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This month has been a complete blur. If you have been paying attention to this blog you’ll see that I haven’t been writing as much (more on that later) but the good news is that my blog if profitable (for now).  This is officially the end of month 2 and that means that this is my second 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:

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.

While I do make money from doing surveys and my own marketing consulting, it wouldn’t be fair to add those earnings because that isn’t money made by “blogging”, if that makes sense.

Overall July Summary

I feel like I spent more time in July than any month so far on my blog. The honest truth is that after the first week of July I’ve been mixing both my consulting and blogging time so much that tracking my blog hours became too much of a burden for me. Meaning that my blogging time moving forward will be off estimates.

It sucks that I’m no longer tracking my hours verbatim, but in order to keep my sanity I think it’s totally worth it.

Pretty much I’ve seen a major spike in both Facebook and Pinterest traffic. Things were trending great at the very end of June and July I seemed to have a breakthrough. Check out the adjustments made on my end.

Continued Focus on Pinterest

Compared to June, it is likely that 2/3 people that come to my site are from Pinterest. My original plan was to be very aggressive with guest posting to start building links to my site and with some luck, I would be able to get lots of traction from Google long-term. Not to mention referral traffic from guest posting.

This number continues to increase daily as 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.

I’ll say this, 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 $0 with their welcome bonus and even though I’m paying $15 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 :).

Pinterest Traffic

Did I mention I started Pinterest in the first week of June with 0 followers, no knowledge of the platform, and no clue what I was doing? I’ve primarily focused on pinning a lot of other peoples pins and to create relevant boards. The month of July has been crazy! I know I’m not someone who will end up with like 2 million viewers, but as someone that is getting his feet wet, I think this growth is nothing short of amazing!

Chart of Massive Pinterest Growth

100,000 monthly views in the last 30+ days HOLY COW!

This is a chart in the last 5 weeks. It was only at the end of June where I began seeing traffic. While I was greatful to have made about $10 in June, having this kind of traffic in July has helped push the needle my way. Again, thank you to Pinteresting Strategies have been able to make Pinterest work for me. I do want to continue to grow.

Of course, there is where I plug my own Pinterest page if you are interested in checking it out.

Facebook Groups

I briefly mentioned it last month, but in July I made it a goal to add Facebook to my list of social media promotional tools. Not only that, but I went deep and created a top 111 list of facebook groups that can grow traffic!

The article mentioned my favorite 11, but since then I’ve been testing out multiple groups from my full list and it’s starting to pay off BIG!

I don’t want to dive too much into Facebook primarily because I’m still testing out groups every day and seeing the kind of traffic that comes in.

I also want to build long-term traffic on the site and while I think Facebook is great to generate traffic, I want to have traffic that is engaged with my content. Facebook can be good for that but I think Pinterest will ultimately give me long-term traffic and allow me to build an audience

Content Strategy

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).

Without further ado, time for the income results!

July 2018 Income Results

Income – $220.04

  • Adsense: $182.04
  • Affiliates: $38.00

Expenses – $68

  • 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: $15
  • ConvertKit: $0 (I’m currently on a 30-day trial, so next month I’ll have to eat the $30 fee.
  • Ninja Popups: $28 (I’m giving this a test drive, I’ll probably include a report on this next month)

NET AMOUNT -> $152.04

This number could have been higher, but I think paying for the cost of improved speed and educating myself will save me months and hundreds of hours of failing so I think it’s a pretty good investment.

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

Combined I’ve spent over 410 hours on this blog and have ‘made’ about $230. The good news is that I crushed my 4 cents per hour rate and am now at 64 cents per hour based on the life of the blog.

Counting strictly July: I did manage to make more than $1/hour on the blog. So I’m getting close to 1/8th of the minimum wage, so I got that going for me.

Marketing Over Content

As mentioned, I spent a lot of time improving the blog and marketing it. While I did still right over 15 articles, I dramatically improved article quality so I wouldn’t get burned out.

That said, I did a lot fo Facebook groups to help get traffic and took part in helping out other communities.

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.

2 Month Growth On New Blog Analytics Chart

June was great because I was starting to see some traffic and ended up with 300 page views! But July was super awesome as I had some days where I had 300+ page views! July I ended up with nearly 4000 (3800 to be exact) pages views (1000% increase in page views!)

Again, super excited!

July 2018 Goal Outcomes

Let’s see how I did on my goals in June.

  1. Write 20 articlesFAIL – I wasn’t too far off in my goal and ended up with 15 articles. I probably could’ve gotten to 20 but I spend 30+ hours last week on my epic list of ‘buy it for life’ products article. I could have gotten to it, but quality over quantity.
  2. Update My LogoDUNNO – I did get rid of my old logo. Right now I’m not using a logo and I don’t hate what I have now (I kind of like it) but I think I could get a new logo sooner rather than later.
  3. Get a new theme –  SUCCESS – I think we all can agree that this new theme is super amazing (creativo). I talk more about it in my blog changes‘ article.
  4. Make $50 from the blogSUCCESS – I wasn’t expecting to make more than $50, it was more of an ambitious goal. While I did get a majority of that from Adsense, I still was in the black and I get to reinvest in my blog.
  5. Catch up on my Pinterest PinsSUCCESS – I caught up and all of my major pins are now on Pinterest or scheduled within Tailwind!
  6. Get 1000 page viewsSUCCESS – Again, super excited that I went above and beyond for page views with over 4,000 page views! I hope to continue to grow this beyond social media.
  7. Fix My LinksSUCCESS – I needed to fix my crap and I did.

August Goals

I focused heavily on social media and promoting my blog in July which helped me become profitable. I’m not making $10k/month or anything, but I’m happy with the direction the blog is going. That said, I’m going to tweak some things in August.

  1. Write 12 articles – I already have a content calendar, I try to mix in 20% blogging and the other 80% finance. The 12 articles should end up being 1/3 blogging and 2/3 finance in this month. Article quality will continue to be awesome.
  2. 10 Guest Posts / Appearance – I have about 60 posts on my blog and about 5 potential guest posting opportunities. My goal is to start showing up on other sites. This is going to be more focused on thought leadership.
  3. Limit Facebook Groups – I love Facebook and prefer to leverage Facebook to help Pinterest. But I spend 1-2 hours daily supporting other bloggers (repins, sharing, etc). I want to cut that down and focus on long-term blog growth.
  4. Make $500 from the blog – Yes, this is super ambitious. Even if I were to continue with steady growth in Adsense revenue, I want to build an ecosystem for the long term.
  5. Get 5000 page views – I had 4,000 page views last month, I’m hoping to continue to grow this via Pinterest and Facebook. But I think I can get about 150 page views a day on average so I want to go beyond.
    1. Note: I want to point out that this is only counting non-paid traffic. Right now I don’t pay for any traffic, but I want to test paid sometime in August.
  6. Update My Homepage – I realized last week that I already have printables, checklists, and other resources I’ve created over the last few months. It’s time I get my shit together and update my homepage to create a better experience. It will only be a few tweaks, but I want to make it easier for people to browse the site and view top articles.
  7. 100 Newsletter Subscribers – I’m including both finance and blog subscribers in this. Right now I have 7 subscribers (thank you all who have joined so far) and I haven’t actively tried to get emails. Eventually, I want to keep building this and provide the best personal finance and money-making blog out there.
  8. Test Out Paid Traffic – I’ll probably create a blog post about this, but the amount of time blogging is often reflected in growth. That said, one way to shorten time is by paying money. I probably will only spend $25 or something, but this will be me reinvesting the money I earned in July to help grow.

As much as I want to grow this blog organically, it takes a massive amount of time. Writing / creating graphics / pinning / SEO / optimizing articles / promoting / analyzing traffic is all done by me. So even though it could take 1 hour to write an article, after spell checking and creating graphics and timing pins, it could easily be 2 hours for a complete article. And that’s just talking about a standard 1K word article.

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!

Related

July 2018 Blog Income Report