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The month of August completely vanished right before my eyes. I wish I had more time to dedicate to this blog but I’m not at the point to be doing this full time. It’s a bummer that I’ve only written 7 blog articles last month but that said, I made some nice cash on the side. This is officially the end of month 3 and that means that this is my third official income report.
Why Am I Sharing My Income Report?
Similar to other bloggers out there, I think keeping income reports that they posted has given me the motivation to take blogging seriously. I also want to keep track of how much time and effort goes into making money, especially for the long haul.
I also want you to follow my journey into the realm of blogging. While I do have a pretty good amount of marketing experience, it’s a lot of different marketing companies with money to use compared to someone who is doing this pretty much from scratch.
I can also look back at the goals and see how I did. I’ve also noticed that my blogging related posts tend to do better compared to my financial posts. I have so much I want to write about but so little time!
Check out My Previous Income / Blogging Reports:
- May 2018 & Website Goals (First Post)
- May Results (Month 0)
- June Results (Month 1)
- July Results (Month 2)
How Are Earnings Reported
I share my income reports based on earnings, not actual payouts. While I do mix in affiliate links every so often, those networks don’t pay out right away. Same goes for advertising. But realistically, nothing is more motivating than seeing money earned from the effort that’s put in.
Overall August Summary
I was heavily focused on the first two weeks of August, testing out various ways to bring traffic to the site to see which is the most effective traffic generation plan. As mentioned in my July update, I stopped tracking my blog hours and have been going off estimates.
The biggest reasons for my decline in posting activity in August was that I was testing traffic for starters, and that am focused on providing higher quality content. That said, there have been a few personal matters I’ve been dealing with that have prevented me from focusing on writing. While that sucks, I hope to come back up to full speed soon!.
My range of traffic has been diverse this month, with a mix of Facebook, organic, Pinterest and some paid campaigns as testing grounds.
High Focus on Pinterest (Organic)
In the month of August, 91% of my social traffic came from Pinterest. While that might sound like a lot, the actual numbers were 1685 users came from Pinterest, which accounted for about 2K pageviews. This was very similar to the month of July, so technically I didn’t really make progress but since I’ve been fairly hands-off in August, this is pretty good.
I continue to follow the practices from the pinteresting strategies ebook by Carly from Mommy On Purpose. I’m not going to spend time explaining how awesome this book is, but she essentially saved me months of struggle for $32 on her book.
There are some things you can do by practicing and learning, but without proper direction, you’ll likely see limited progress. Considering I’ve probably saved hundreds of hours of stress for $32, it’s a fucking steal.
As someone who focused on Google SEO, Carly brings a very practical sense of using Pinterest the right way.
Use Of Tailwind
Another big help has been Tailwind. Last month I paid $15 after I got my first month free and even though I’m paying $30 this month, I find that it’s a lot easier to find content from Tribes and schedule it out.
One of the biggest help has been the use of Tribes. Tailwind tribes are great at finding related people in your niche and then pinning the best content all in one place. I’m probably involved in too many tribes right now, but I can pin to multiple boards much faster compared to doing it manually and other tribe members pin my stuff.
This helps increase the likelihood that your pins end up going viral. Using the Pinteresting strategies book with Tailwind is a pretty strong combination.
Bonus: Get a $15 credit (one month) of Tailwind by clicking here. I recommend you try it yourself and see what works for you. I don’t plan to talk too much about Pinterest unless I start getting 20K visitors each month or something like that. I’m on my way though :).
I feel like I’ve done a solid job of building a fanbase in Pinterest and have been getting consistent traffic, while it could be better if I spent more time on it, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at right now. I’m getting between 60-150 visits on any given day from Pinterest which is super awesome! As for Pinterest visibility, see below.
This is a chart of Pinterest viewers in the month of August. You can see I’m getting about 200K viewers each month concurrently. Again, thank you to Pinteresting Strategies have been able to make Pinterest work for me. I do want to continue to grow and since August I wasn’t available nearly as much as I wanted to, it seems that I have a new baseline.
Of course, there is where I plug my own Pinterest page if you are interested in checking it out.
Diving Into Paid
With the money I made from July, I wanted to reinvest that into testing traffic generation methods outside of organic. There are two primary paid networks I began testing the waters for:
Back in my early affiliate marketing days, I was a big fan of Bing and figured I could test out some ads that go to my content pages and then go from there. Pinterest ads are a different beast as they can get costly very fast. But I think testing for more visibility and traffic to see what works and what doesn’t.
So far, Bing hasn’t yielded any revenue after spending about $50 dollars. Pinterest has seen some revenue but not a strong enough ROI to actually scale. Although I see the potential.
I haven’t really tested Facebook either as I don’t think my Facebook page is complete and it’s very easy to spend a lot on Facebook without realizing it. I don’t think I’ll be using Facebook anytime soon, I’m already terrible at posting on other social media networks in general.
I tend to be long-winded, but I should probably talk about this in another blog post. But I’ll keep it short.
I changed up my content a bit. While most of my content is sizable (about 1,000 words+ per article), I really wanted to go all out. All of my recent articles are at least 2,000+ words that also provide a ridiculous amount of great value.
I’m aiming for more evergreen content as opposed to some evergreen content mixed with my insights. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking and listening to myself, but I want to focus on max value first.
Not to mention, I would much rather sprinkle in my rants/thoughts/etc on my blog and go heavy with guest posting instead of strictly being “thought-based” on my own blog.
I hope that makes sense? Anyways, check out some of my latest articles (warning, they are long).
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- What to Do If The IRS Overpays Your Refund? Can You Keep It?
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Without further ado, time for the income results!
August 2018 Income Results
Income – $439.46
- Adsense: $110.26
- Affiliates: $329.20
- Amazon: $0 (one sale but not credited)
Expenses – $210.06
- Hosting: $25 (Technically, this is free since I’m using my consultancy website under Pressable that gives up to 5 sites of top-tier managed WordPress hosting).
- Tailwind: $30 (This is probably the max I’m going to spend, we’ll see how September goes and see if I end up renewing)
- ConvertKit: $0 (I finished my 30 day trial but haven’t renewed, turns out I really suck with email engagement)
- Ad Spend: $155.06
- Pinterest – $100.80
- Bing – $54.26
NET AMOUNT -> $229.40. I think the biggest reason why my net amount isn’t bigger is that Bing didn’t work out as much as I wanted it to and that I don’t think Tailwinds $30 plan is worth it. But I’m going to test that in September. While I’ve made more money this month, so did my expenses.
How Many Hours Did I Put Into This Blog?
- May (Pre-launch): 61.25 hours
- June (Month 1): 152.75 hours
- July (Month 2): 200 hours
- August (Month 3): 100 hours
Combined I’ve spent over 510 hours on this blog and have ‘made’ about $669. August was technically my best month is making money with the least amount of time, I’m not too sure how I feel about it though.
How Much Traffic Did I Get
So, I showed the Pinterest graph which is more relevant to getting visibility on Pinterest, but let’s talk about traffic.
You can see that my pageviews have increased in the month of August. While some of the traffic is from paid ads, I probably would’ve had viewer pageviews without them along with my lack of writing in the final couple of weeks. But still, this goes to show that the more effort you put in, the better the results will be. I had 4800 page views in August.
August 2018 Goal Outcomes
Let’s see how I did on my goals in August.
- Write 12 articles – FAIL – This does suck, I was on pace halfway through, but with personal matters and traveling, I didn’t really come close to this.
- 10 Guest Posts / Appearance – FAIL – I did manage to get two guest post appearances this month along with an interview with another company regarding my student loan refinances, but that’s about it.
- Limit Facebook Groups – SUCCESS – I might spend about 2-3 hours on Facebook groups weekly vs 1-2 hours daily, this has helped my sanity.
- Make $500 from the blog – FAIL – $439 was close, but I missed the mark.
- Get 5000 page views – FAIL – I had 4,800 page views last month, and this was including paid. So I did miss the mark by a bit, I would prefer to have engaged traffic though.
- Update My Homepage – SUCCESS(ish) – I updated my homepage to feature top articles and to make it easier to browse, but it’s not fully complete and it’s something I’m always looking to improve upon.
- 100 Newsletter Subscribers – FAIL – I did go fro 7 subscribers to 20+ last month, but I mentioned this earlier, I just suck at capturing emails. Not only that, but I don’t care for writing emails (though everyone preaches email) so it’s something that I should improve and focus on.
- Test Out Paid Traffic – SUCCESS- While I’ve had mixed results, I did make more money with ads although my ROI probably isn’t where it needs to be. But nothing ventured is nothing gained I suppose.
I really do hope to get back up to speed with this blog, but with a lot of personal stuff going on and my consulting taking up more of my time, I’m going to be more lax this month. I hope to regain some lost focus as well, so here are my goals.
- Write 10 articles – That’s one article every 3 days, I think that’s doable.
- Make $500 from the blog – This is more attributed to me focusing on Pinterest and getting back to that.
- Get 5000 page views – This is also correlated to Pinterest
- Drop 15lbs – This is more for me to get back in the groove of having healthy habits and improving my mindset.
Anyways, I hope you continue to follow my journey and become motivated to blog just like me. I always have my set on improving and growing, so I will continue to try my best to make this the best personal finance blog out there!
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