The second month is over and I’m happy to report that I’ve had a pretty productive one. I doubled the income from last month and tripled my page views.
The reason I started the income and growth reports after my relaunch is that I wanted to provide some insight to a new blog for other new bloggers. I hate comparing my blog to blogs that are making $20,000 a month. I find myself getting lost in a “what am I doing wrong” vortex and before I know it, I’m stuck. Unmotivated.
Parents are always advised not to “compare” their children to other children. So why do bloggers feel the need to constantly compare themselves to others? All blogs are different and all blogs have a different monetization route. One is not “better” than the other and if we all stick to what works for us, then we will all be successful.
My major goal this month was to get my first sponsored post.
That goal was met and also provided a lot of learning for me. After I published the article I consulted my favorite facebook milspouse blogger group about pricing for their services and realized I needed to be going at this a lot differently.
I have totally revamped my pricing and also created sponsorship packages (more on that next month!)
Here are the numbers from last month:
- UVs: 2,114
- Monthly Page views: 4,326
- Facebook: 42
- Twitter: 1,232
- Pinterest: 64
My goals for July:
- UVs: 5,000
- Email subscribers: 300
- Monthly Page views: 10,000
- Pinterest: 300
- Facebook: 50
- Twitter: 1,300
- Instagram: 1,300
- Income: $50
My actual numbers for July:
- UVs: 4,567 (goal not met)
- Monthly Page views: 12,3666 (goal met and tripled from last month!)
- Email subscribers: 469 (goal met)
- Pinterest: 388 (goal met)
- Facebook: 95 (goal met)
- Twitter: 1,346 (goal met)
- Instagram: 1,459 (goal met)
- Income: Hang on, I’ll get there…
What didn’t work this month
Facebook post boost: I boosted a pretty popular post and still got nothing, maybe you need to be willing to pay more than $5 or maybe I’m missing something but facebook ads are still not working out great for me (well, kind of… I’ll get to that in a minute)
Twitter and Instagram: Next month I will not be focusing on either of these social media outlets. I’ll do the bare minimum. While my followers are significantly higher on those two sites (which is great for sponsorship opportunities) and the readers engage in my posts frequently (great for social media campaigns) they just simply haven’t converted to readers (yet).
Editorial calendar (gasp!): While I was originally really excited about having all my posts planned out ahead of time, each week I ran into the same problem. I would sit down to write and think of a bunch of other (better) ideas that were not on my calendar- so I’d write that instead. The stuff on my calendar would be rearranged and moved down every single time. So now I just have a running list on Evernote of post ideas in case I hit a block. I try my best to stay on my Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule.
Writing my posts ahead of time: Let me clarify, I think this idea actually works really well and I do plan on continuing to try it. This month just seems like life got in the way of that (like a teething baby). I would try my best to complete the article at least by the night before and just schedule it to post the next morning, which seemed to work.
Sponsoring sites: You know, like IZEA and Tap influence. I made no headway with these and said “screw it” because I want to be doing sponsored posts for companies I really believe in any way, not just whoever is paying me. I might try them again as my blog grows more and just be picky about the campaigns I choose.
What did work this month
Pitching to companies directly: I made a list of awesome companies and sent them emails directly. ALL of them responded and wanted more details. I worked really hard on this- I was very picky about who I pitched to and spent time on creating sponsorship packages. I got my first sponsored post and social media campaign, which was my major goal for the month.
Facebook ads for page likes: Okay so facebook boosted post was a bust but I made an ad to get people on my page and it worked wonderfully. My facebook fans more than doubled. I plan to do this again because a LOT of page views are from facebook. However, they are not consistent at all so I think once I get more activity on the facebook page I’ll get more likes and shares and my content will be spread better. (BTW have you liked my page yet? Click here!)
Pinterest: While my followers on Pinterest are still well under 1k, it is the only source of traffic that is steady and growing. Facebook will have one big spike of a post that gets shared a lot and then it kinda drifts off into the abyss. Here’s my 30 day screenshot from Google Analytics to give you a better idea of what I’m talking about:
(P.S wanna see that post that caused a spike of more than 4,000 pageviews in one day? Click Here)
So that big spike from Facebook kind of skewed the view of the “All sessions” and makes it kind of hard to see. (the top graph is what I’m talking about right now though) Facebook had one big spike and then dissipated, while Pinterest (still having some dips) is continuously increasing and moving upwards.
My biggest tip for Pinterest is group boards!! I am a part of several of them. I add at least one pin each day to all of the group boards and stay pretty active without flooding feeds by using BoardBooster. I have a few very popular pins that have several hundred repins so far!
My most popular Pinterest posts:
Spelling and grammar: I did not major in writing. I consider myself a pretty good speller but when it comes to grammar, I am nothing but frustrated. I overuse commas and make run on sentences and try to write like I’m talking and then when I read it back it doesn’t make any sense. I started using Grammarly, a free app and I’m in love with it. It works in all of my text fields (email, blog posts, facebook posts). All I did was install it, I didn’t have to do anything else- it continuously works in the background and “spellchecks” anywhere that you can type.
So now for the income breakdown
- Ad network income: $15.38
- Affiliate income: $2.10
- Private advertising: $22.00
- Direct sales: $29.00
TOTAL income: $68.48
While I realize this is nowhere near “full-time income” status, it is double what I made last month and *spoiler alert* August is already looking like it will double (or even triple) that.
I love blogging, I get to be home with my kiddo, write about things I love, and help other military spouses navigate through military life (while still trying to figure it out for myself). I will continue to work really hard at it so that I can afford to keep doing it!
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This article may contain affiliate links, all opinions are 100% mine.