Yet again I feel like I’ve experienced another month of not achieving the progress I wanted on my blog. My new job is intense and I’ve got other things happening in the background that still saps my energy and attention. Worse still the lack of achieving goals is crippling morale. The only thing that lit some fires was seeing further income. I’m generating income while paying very little attention to the blog at all! I think that’s just amazing. It’s why I started this journey and the reason why it is so important for me to keep the momentum going.
There’s no better feeling than seeing money, albeit a small amount, come in on the side. If you want to get started with your own blog and earn some income on the side I recommend you check out this post which will show you how simple (and cheap) it is to get started.
Traffic has remained pretty good. The work I have done before and having set up lots of easy automation has ensured my traffic keeps coming without me needing to spend lots of (or any) time promoting it. Better still, I’m not paying for traffic.
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Why I’m publishing monthly income reports
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I’m hopeful these reports will motivate, inspire and encourage readers like you to start being sensible with your cash. The aim of the blog is to help you find ways to get out of debt or earn extra income.
My online income reports detail my activities for the month. I share what I’m doing, what’s working, what’s not working and how much I’m earning. It’s a journey, I hope you will follow along. Please sign up to my mailing list to keep up to date on my progress.
November 2016 Online Income & Traffic Report
Her last month’s goals:
- 4 new posts published
- 1 guest post published
- 4,000 Twitter Followers
4,000 Pinterest Followers Mailing list increased to 2,350 subscribers
- Start writing an ebook
The two items struck out were both achieved. I had started writing a couple of posts but just didn’t get around to finishing them. I also wrote a guest post for another blog which has yet to be published.
I also didn’t start writing the ebook. I have spent quite a bit of time on a plan this month. Back in February, I set up a plan for the blog and somewhere along the road I steered off that plan. I’ve had a lot going on this year that’s probably given me justification to not give myself a hard time about that but the plan helped keep me focused and I dare say was one of the primary reasons my traffic grew consistently.
Realizing that I went back to the drawing board and put monetization firmly on the map. I’m pleased to announce that I know exactly what I want to do and I’ll likely start working on that over the Christmas period when I have some time off work. I’m looking forward to producing and launching my own product.
Let’s get onto the usual sections:
Growth Hacking Social Media
Last month I set high targets to hit 4000 followers on Pinterest and feel flat on my face. This month I set the bar to the same level and achieved it. I hit 4038 followers, an increase of 600.
That’s still a decent level of growth in followers. I’ve done a little bit of work on pinning but I really didn’t keep on top of posting to group boards and, as you’ll see from the charts below, the impressions of pins back to my site have suffered.
Click through rates also suffered, unfortunately. There was really no reason I couldn’t have kept on top of this a little more, it takes minimal work once automation is set up in BoardBooster.
I also need to get back to optimizing more of my pins and my boards. I saw great results a couple of months back in doing this and should have been making a more consistent effort in this area.
I’ve got lots of tactics I want to try out and I’ve also been working on a new strategy this month. I’m going to keep this new strategy under wraps, for now, to see how it works out.
I’ve continued to use BoardBooster to automate a lot of the work. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s such a massive timesaver and it costs very little.
I had spent some time using Tailwind last month. My trial period ran out, unfortunately. Other bloggers seem to recommend it and I can see the benefit. I just don’t have the cash since I’m doing my best to bootstrap this site. I’ll probably buy a year’s subscription at some point early next year. I’m actually quite keen to really measure the impact of using the tool.
I’ve done nothing with Twitter again this month followers have increased by 8 to 3665.
I’m not going to focus on Twitter for a short time because I don’t have the time to keep growing that channel right now. I find Twitter needs a lot of effort for little return. I was getting some really good conversion rates from Twitter traffic, but getting decent levels took some serious effort. I’ll come back to Twitter at some point early next year.
Site traffic has been pretty good considering I’ve done nothing on content creation or promotion but it’s down for the first month ever. I’m a little bummed about that but I only have myself to blame. Here are the usual stats:
I almost hit 20,000 page views last month, which would have been a milestone for me. This month I’ve fallen short of just 17,500.
It’s still good consistent traffic but I could be doing better. It’s interesting that I didn’t put traffic figures in my goals this month and it’s been the first month I’ve seen a decrease. Traffic goals kept me focussed on promotion efforts previously as I’d break those monthly goals into daily counts and work a little harder if I could see things falling short over a couple of days. I think it might be wise for me to put traffic targets back on the map.
I’ve not considered traffic to be a measure of success for a few months. Mailing list growth has been my primary goal. I have, to be honest, though, it’s really nice to see traffic pick up month to month. In digital marketing, we call these types of things vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are metrics that are there to either look good or float ego but ultimately meaningless when it comes to a goal. In my case, it’s not entirely a vanity metric because I do earn a marginal fee from Google Adsense based on ad impressions. A better metric would be the click-through rates on ads, or in terms of my goals, my opt-in rates, and conversion rates. These, fortunately, are doing good. Which conveniently leads onto my next section…
Mailing List Growth
My mailing list continues to grow too.
I’ve grown by 714 subscribers to 2693 by the end of the month.
I’m happy with that considering!
What I’m not happy about is that I’ve not emailed you guys all month, and why would I, I’ve had nothing to tell you about!
But seriously, this isn’t good. If you have a mailing list it’s important to keep connected. With plans to create a product, I need to be doing better at that. I know better. I ran a successful e-commerce site selling boxing and kickboxing equipment for about 3 years and my mailing list was the life-blood of the business. I’ll be making more efforts on that front before January comes around.
Branding has not been going so well. I had paid a designer to work on a logo but the ideas he kept putting forward were just not floating my boat. After hearing some of the comments from doing some free user testing last month I may hold off on redesigning things. In fact, when I get some time on my hands (ha!) I’ll probably work on some designs myself.
Income has been pretty good. With growing traffic levels my Adsense income starts to venture into territory that’s somewhat satisfying. $30 a month is enough to be useful. I also had two sign ups to Bluehost. Here is my income this month:
- Bluehost – $75
- Adsense – $20.46
I’m still paying for Melyssa Griffin’s course this should be the last payment for this course this month. I’m now paying $49 a month for ConvertKit. This wouldn’t be so bad if I’d sent out emails to my mailing list to keep them engaged with my site and ultimately that would have brought some welcome traffic back to boost my traffic levels. *sigh*
So, this month I made a loss, but from here on in I won’t have course fees which have been taking up the lion’s share of my earnings over the last 7 months.
The good thing is I’ve started on a plan and I have a firm goal of where I’m heading. I’ve learned in the past that setting goals and having a plan is invaluable. I’ll keep working on that so I have the next 12 months really mapped out. I’m really expecting to spend some time on that over Christmas to fit around time with my son and partner. I have to be mindful that I need a little relaxation time too. Last year I got a little burnt out around this time of year and I have to say with this new job I’m really looking forward to a break from work. I generally find blogging relaxing and energizing at the same time, but in the last 8 weeks, it’s been a struggle. I need some recharge and relaxation time as I have more personal hurdles to come next year.
Next Month’s Goals
For next month I’m going to put some stretch goals in here. These are stretch goals because we’re already halfway through the month and I’m off track already. I need to pull my finger out to achieve these.
- 4 new posts published
- 1 guest post published
- 20,000 page views
- 4,300 Pinterest Followers
- Mailing list increased to 3,000 subscribers
- Solidify monetization / blog plan
- Start working on a product
Wish me luck!