I know you all are probably thinking “When in the world is this girl going to publish that blog income and traffic report?”. Its been a pretty chaotic few weeks, so I decided to dedicate the last day of every month to the Blog Income and Traffic Report.
Now that we have a dedicated day, you will know exactly when to look for it. However, if you are anything like me, you might forget sometimes. So while it is on your mind, sign up for my free 7 Day Pinterest Bootcamp and also receive my free blogging tips via email. You will get an email as soon as each month’s income report is posted, along with some exclusive blog tips that I will be releasing only to my email subscribers.
Without further ado lets jump in….
This year truly started off with a bang because I WENT VIRAL! Actually, I am still riding the viral tidal wave. Literally everything has increased. My pageviews are out of this world compared to last year. Plus, as of the time I am writing this (February 24th), I have already surpassed my January numbers. However, that is going to be shared in next month’s report. This report is going to focus on January’s blog traffic and income.
If you read my strategic plan for 2015 you will know that I took the month of December off from blogging to plan out how I would work my blog in the New Year and I am happy to report that the time spent creating a strategy has really paid off.
It worked so well that I have decided to take the last week of each month off and use it to create a detailed plan of action for the following month. You may be wondering “how do you go about creating this strategy?”. I sit down and think about what my readers will need going forward in the month. Every month there is something different going on in terms of holidays, seasons, events – you name it. I try to play to into that with my content and the printables that I offer.
Speaking of printables…not only did my blog take off in the month of January- so did my design business. The overwhelming success I have had with my printables opened the door for me to be able to create printables for many other bloggers.
Food for thought…
If you are actually looking to take your blog to the next level you have to stop looking at it as a hobby or a thing that you do sometimes. It’s important to identify it as a business from the start so you don’t look back later, like so many bloggers do, and say “I wish I would have taken it more seriously”.
Don’t get me wrong – looking at it like a business doesn’t mean that you can’t blog for fun. However, it saves you the headache of trying to turn a mess into a success later down the road.
January’s Strategy Recap
In my last blog income and traffic report we talked about giving up time-wasting activities and focusing your energy on the platforms that are working for you.
I gave up on stressing about Twitter and Instagram. My focus was totally on Pinterest, Facebook and Google Search traffic. These 3 sources send me the most traffic and so I wanted to make sure that I was creating the kind of content that would be popular on these platforms.
Also, redesigning the site with new brighter colors helped me to make my blog look more inviting, engaging and upbeat. Part of my redesign goal was to make older content and certain pages easier to find and access.
Over the course of a few days, I tackled the task of rewriting many of the current pages located on my navigation bar. I also created a nice little sidebar graphic. Doing this helped pages that were normally overlooked instantly easier to find. These changes actually helped increase my Amazon affiliate sales, too.
The next thing was to focus on the type of content that was being created. If you blog with the purpose of providing useful content that people want to share then you have to make your blog less about you and more about what your readers will take away.
Making your blog less about you doesn’t mean that you can’t share your stories in your posts. It just means that those stories should add some value to your readers. My content has become more helpful in nature. I try to design a printable or give useful information in my blog posts.
Stop right now and go to your last 5 blog post and see how many times you used the word “I”. If the word “I” is overpowering your post then you are making your blog all about yourself. Take a minute and reword some of your sentences to take your reader into consideration.
Since the proof is in the pudding, lets get to the numbers!
|Adsense ( blog + YouTube)||$ 282.17|
|Custom Designs||$ 703.67|
|Everywhere Agency||$ 150.00|
|Link Vehicle||$ 4.00|
Now lets compare this to last months income. Last month Fitness Fashionista brought in $1358.75 which give us an increase of $255.06 for the month of January. Now that might not be all that impressive to you, but considering that I pulled back on all of the sponsored posts to find other ways to make money from my blog I am pretty happy. The design business has really taken off! It showed me how important it is to use your blog as a platform to branch out into other business opportunities.
With that being said, I am currently gearing up to launch my own planner to offer to my readers. I will let you all know how that goes once we officially launch. If you want to know when the planner launches be sure to sign up for the It’s A Lifestyle Planner mailing list. I’ll be giving away lots of planner goodies in the coming weeks.
The takeaway from this is that blogging shouldn’t be your end game. At least not if you are trying to blog for income. If you want to create a sustainable business, then you need to work towards developing a product or service. Use your blog to help you jumpstart your venture or become and expert in your niche. I am working on creating some resources for you all to help you do this. And of course, I will announce all of that to my mailing list subscribers. So get on the list!
This is the part I really wanted to dive deep into with this report, because so many of us want more traffic. This year, traffic has been outstanding.I attribute that to some of the marketing principles that I revisited from business school as well as studying what corporations do.
I took a seasonal approach this year, in which I looked at what was popular for each season and created my strategy accordingly. The beginning of the year is all about weight loss resolutions and so I made sure that, coming out of the 2015 gate, I was going to have something that played into that. I worked for weeks to create the Ultimate Fitness Tracker Printable in 3 different colors.
The Ultimate Fitness Tracker, as of this writing, has been repinned over 26 THOUSAND TIMES! Yes, you read that correctly! Because of that, it has been sending tons of traffic from Pinterest, my #1 referrer for this month.
It has been included in printable round-ups on Cosas Molonas, Scattered Squirrel, Camilla Isabella Ptoczny (tumblr), Follow with Delight just to name a few! Its been downloaded 38,571 times since I posted it.
This one printable totally changed how I create content on my blog. The success of this made me realize that people crave useful content and they absolutely love things they can print off and use to make their lives better!
Lets take a look at the traffic…
In December, my pageviews were around 10,335 and for January. I saw a 264.65% increase in pageviews. January pageviews were 37,687. As you can see from the graph it took about 2 weeks for the post with the printable to really began to gain momentum. Once it did, it really took off and I saw a real increase as other bloggers began to pick it up and share it with their readers.
The increase in traffic also resulted in an increase in email subscribers to my Fitness Fashionista mailing list.
Now, as I stated earlier my top referrer was and still is Pinterest. I know I see many people’s pins on Pinterest and I just want to tell them to please, please, please do your research and look at the type of pins that get repinned. Some of the things bloggers put on Pinterest are a mess. Its better to not put it out there than to put something out there that will devalue your brand.
Take the time to better understand the type of content that people are repinning. You can do this simply by doing a search for your niche on Pinterest. Look and see what the most repinned pins are in your niche and then follow suit. Don’t try to recreate the wheel and don’t put up crappy pins!
Here are my top referrers for the month of January…
You can clearly see that all referral traffic increased drastically. My #1, of course, is Pinterest. However, I have some new ones on the list. #2 is direct traffic, #3 is Google traffic and #4 is the blog I mentioned previously that shared my printable with their readers.
What I really want you to look at is #5, which is my email list. I had a 2,680% increase of pageviews from my list. People are always asking why an email list is so important and this is exactly why. In December I got only 15 pageviews from my list so growing your list has a real purpose. Not to mention your list is something you own completely. No one can take that away from you and no algorithm can affect if people will see your email or not.
If you have gotten to this point and you are sitting there thinking “how in the world can I recreate this success when I am graphically challenged?”, don’t fret I can help! If you need help creating visually stunning images or printables for your opt-in, that is what I do. Check out my custom design page and then reach out to me. There is a course in the works on how to create these things for yourself very very soon.
Normally I give you the highlights of the post but I want to change things up and give you some homework!
- Sit down and create a strategy for your blog by understanding who your reader is and how your blog will help them month after month.
- Research your topic on Pinterest. Find out what people are pinning the most of and put your own spin on it to create the kind of content that people just can’t help but share.
- Commit a little time each day, week or month to learning to take better photos. Having visuals that complement your content will take your blog to the next level!
- Give people a reason to subscribe to your email list. Come up with an opt-in offer that will make people want to sign up.
- Create an opt-in offer that will solve a problem for your reader.
I think I have rambled on long enough. I hope that you all have found some valuable information in this month’s income and traffic report. As always, if you have any questions please leave them in the comments below. Let me know how blogging is going for you in the new year.