Welcome to month 2 of my Making Money income experiment, with Giddy Upcycled! In case you missed last month’s income report, I recently decided to start documenting the income I earn from this blog. I’m doing this in an attempt to build more transparency around the topic of blogging – there is SO much misinformation out there about whether blogs can become income generators, and how to actually going about doing it. My blog is a little over a year old, but I really didn’t start posting regularly, sharing all of my DIY projects, as well as others’, until this past May. After implementing some of the monetization and traffic strategies that I’ve learned over the last 10 years as an web based marketing professional, and starting to make a few pennies (I know, I know, its just a few, but its a start), I figured what better way than to show people that this CAN be a business, than to have a totally open book about how mine is doing. So I decided to begin publishing blogging income reports, showing traffic statistics, social media statistics and sharing new strategies that I implemented this month along with takeaways that had a good or negative impact on the blog.
So here we go!
Traffic for August 2014
August 1, 2014 – August 31, 2014: 21125 visitors, 18107 unique visitors – (Down 27%)
August 1, 2014 – August 31, 2014: 46,732 pageviews
- Google Adsense- $28.10 – Up 446%
- Prosperent Ad Network – $61.47 – Up 373%
- Bluehost** – $90 (earnings come from my tutorial on how to start a blog)
- Media.net – $2.77
- Content.Ad – $.66 – hmmm… something needs to be tweaked here, or less this one is gone
- ShareASale Affiliate Program – $3.39
Total: $186.39 – Up 11%
Last Month’s Takeaways
1. Facebook’s Algorithm
Facebook seems to be bent on tweaking their algorithm to squeeze out all fanpages that don’t pay to “boost” or advertise their posts to their fanbase. Some of my biggest successes in July were discovering some headline tweaks that yielded crazy amounts of traffic for single posts – not only did I get tons of traffic, but shares were very high for those posts. Many of those successful posting strategies were wiped away by algorithm changes in late August. Despite very similar posting frequencies, styles and formats, my engagement is down significantly – especially shares – which results in much fewer people seeing my posts, and much fewer people clicking through to my website, to see project posts. Just goes to show, you need to always be testing, tweaking, and taking advantage of what works – in the moment. Use it while it works, and when it stops working, test and tweak until you figure out what is working now.
Towards the middle/end of the month I made a discovery that had me smacking my head – when I had set up adsense on the site, for some reason I had checked the plugin to only display ads on the homepage. Since my homepage gets a very miniscule amount of traffic (99% of visitors enter in directly to a project/post page), this was resulting in what I saw in July – $6 in ad earnings for an entire month. In July I was averaging something like $.25 a day in Adsense. As soon as I activated the adsense plugin to display ads on my post pages, my adsense earnings jumped up to $3.00-5.00 per day – thats more like it!!! And as my traffic grows, that number will become much more respectible. 🙂
Networking is yielding some great connections, and upcoming opportunities (yay!) – I got my first couple of “official” sponsored post opportunities, for projects coming up in October and November. They aren’t major sponsored projects, but its kind of fun to get free product to make something cool with, and then get paid on top of that! As long as the sponsored product is good and valuable for my readers, that is a win win win for everyone! I also have a potential opportunity that I am VERY excited about, more on that if it actually goes through. 🙂
4. Linkup Parties –
I’m experimenting more with Linkup parties – they do take a bit of time and are tedious (note to self – as soon as the blog revenue takes off – this would be a perfect gig for a virtual assistant!), but they are paying off. I’m not sure so much whether direct traffic from the linkup is happening – some of these link ups have 500-600 posts on them, so you pretty much get buried. BUT, where it does benefit you is that if you link up a really cool project, or even curated list (spend some time and make it a GREAT curated list) -you might get featured by the blog owner in a future post. That happened to me twice in August, and it brought in some pretty good traffic!
I didn’t have anything set up with Instagram prior to August, so I made it a goal to get my account set up, figure out how the whole thing works (from a business perspective), and get my site up and running. I am certainly not an expert yet, but I’m working on getting content into Instagram every couple of days, and growing my fan base there – so I call that a success, at least for a start!
This month I also set up some scheduling programs, that would help me plan my social media posts in a singlesetting, rather than being tied to creating updates multiple times a day.
- Schedugr.am** – This program is the BOMB!! One of the biggest issues I’ve had with instagram, is its mobile-only format. I know this is part of why some people LOOOOOVE it, but for me, I need to be able to do things with my desktop, as well. Schedugr.am is a program that allows you to post, and schedule posts to Instagram from your desktop! Its recommended by a lot of the top Insta-gurus and works fantastically – if you are looking to post from your desktop, check it out!!
- ViralTag** – I was hesitant to get on the ball with this one, but OMG am I glad I took the plunge! This one was sort of an “end of August” addition, so much of the benefit will be seen in September’s income report, but my Pinterest traffic has almost doubled in the last 2 weeks since I started scheduling my pins and repins with ViralTag. Its a winner!!
Those are my big wins, lessons, failures and takeaways from this month. Hope you can learn something from them (good or bad), and implement them in your own blogging or web marketing, to make a difference for the better!!
If you are enjoying these income reports, and are interested in learning how running a blog works (or learning about how to start a blog), I have a program coming out soon that I think you will be SUPER excited about!! I’m still putting the final bells and whistles onto it, but until then, here are some ways you can learn more and stay connected!
Here are the 3 ways you can join me on this journey:
1. Subscribe to be notified when I create new blog posts (including these income posts) – they will be sent to your email inbox:
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2. Maybe you are thinking about starting your own blog? I say take the leap, and join me as we turn our blogs into a thriving business together!
3. Once a week I send out a newsletter called Blogger Bootcamp where I share actionable tips and tricks for building and growing your blog. This isn’t some fluff newsletter with weak content or a spammy list with promotional offers. Its a bullet point list of things that you can complete in a few minutes, that will have a measurable impact on the growth of your blog or website. This is also where I will send out notifications of my new project, coming out soon! Subscribe here:
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**Some of these links are affiliate links