October 2016 blog income and performance report for DIYDanielle.com, a relatively small do-it-yourself blog with a focus on going green.
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I’ve been blogging since December 2011. I’ve recently been driven to increase my revenue and traffic from blogging because I’ve been spending more and more time on it (working for free is meh, particularly when you’re paying for supplies for projects).
I am hoping blogging will offer me an alternative to a formal job once my kids are in school full-time. This is REALLY important to me as we don’t have local family to help out with childcare. Someone needs to be there for the kids during school breaks, sick days, and to pick them up from the school bus. But I also need some type of job to keep me busy because I will want to earn some money and keep busy.
In terms of my niche, I consider myself DIY and green living. The green living piece isn’t as primary as it is for other green blogs, but it shapes a lot of my choices about what I will take for sponsored posts so I think that it’s worth a mention. We use a lot of reusable products (as you might guess from my book) and as such, promoting items like disposable diapers, paper towels, and toilet paper doesn’t feel authentic. And if you’ve seen the options for sponsored posts for bloggers, you may have an understanding why that’s an issue. Those companies make up a good portion of the advertised options.
Email Subscribers: +33
- I had a post promoted on Reddit. I had 1,391 pageviews from that.
- I post regularly to Hometalk and they gave me a direct feature in their email newsletter. I can’t say how much traffic I got from that, but I got over 3,000 views this month from the Hometalk website and 6,600 pageviews on the date of my feature (compared to a typical day of 700-1000 pageviews).
- The biggest traffic boost came from an unlikely source. Someone created a really awesome car seat poncho for little girls that went viral-ish. I have an old post about creating a car seat poncho for my boys and people were obviously searching for a boys’ option in Google because I had a MAJOR boost in traffic from Facebook referrals. People were finding my post on the first page of their Google Search, then posting the link on their Facebook pages. It was an amazing example of what good SEO can do. And that was the BULK of the traffic difference that you see from this month. Normally I get around 400-600 pageviews a month from Facebook, but I got around 7,800 this month. That’s a HUGE difference.
PadSquad (which overlaps with MV right now until December when my contract is up): $118.46
Affiliate Window: $28.77
Amazon Associates: $56.74
Blue Apron: $105
YouTube Earnings: $15.13
Book Sales: I have no idea how this translates into money because the Kindle/Amazon accounting info is reallllllly hard to figure out. But this is what I sold.
- Physical Books Sold (Complete Guide to Using, Laundering, and Sewing Reusable Cloth): 2
- eBooks Sold (Complete Guide to Using, Laundering, and Sewing Reusable Cloth): 2
- Kindle Edition Normalized Pages Read (which I think translates into payment somehow): 297 pages
Link Party Services from a VA: $40
TailWind (Pinterest scheduler): $8.74 ($104.88/year)
BoardBooster (Pinterest scheduler): $10
Mad Mimi (email list): $12
Domain Name: $1 ($12/year)
Inlinkz (for link parties): $2.99
Reddit Ad: $5
Pinterest Ads: $22.04
Post Planner (Facebook scheduler): $5 ($60/year)
I also purchased a template for my Media Kit this month for $15.
Comparison from Prior Months
In December, I’ll be switching over to Mediavine completely and stopping my use of Padsquad for mobile ads. This will allow me to keep all of my ad income from one source for both desktop and mobile (I loved Padsquad but I think my income has been better from Mediavine).
What Worked and What Didn’t This Month
Honestly my traffic was mostly dumb luck combined with good SEO (search engine optimization). Once I started getting the traffic, I went back and made sure my posts were optimized. I added affiliate links as appropriate. I updated my car seat poncho post with a full video tutorial- that I uploaded both to YouTube AND to Mediavine. Mediavine allows me to upload videos to their site, grab the code, then embed the video on my site. The ad rate is higher than on YouTube video and I like the formatting better. I also think the ads might be better, but I’ll let you judge. Please let me know if you find my ads too intrusive- they’re one of my few sources of income and are an important part of keeping my blog running, but I also will try to tailor them to work better for viewers, as much as I can. Every now and then someone lets me know that a popup is going crazy on my site and I fix it and that HELPS my blog. The goal is to balance my need to make an income from the many, many hours that I put in with my desire to make my site ethical and easy to read for my visitors.
In September I completed a DIY Gift Series. I was hoping that those posts will peak on Pinterest in October/November and drive more traffic. So far, I haven’t seen a huge amount of traffic to those posts so we’ll see how I feel after December. Those gift ideas *should* theoretically do well between now and Christmas. I did update all of the videos and embed them via Mediavine on my blog posts- and kept the posts on YouTube separately. This should hopefully give me two revenue sources from video.
My goal for October was to reach 50k Pageviews/month and increase my Facebook followers. Check and check.
In September, I added a FB “like” pop up to my blog instead of an email subscription list because I offer MANY freebies via my subscription list and I have plenty of opportunities to promote that list within my content. This has helped build my Facebook following faster, although I’m not sure my page views have increased as a result (with the exception of the viral post).
My Facebook traffic is LOW normally- around 400 page views a month out of my more typical 35,000 page views. That means my rate of return for my time is VERY low. I was investing a lot of time (and money) into Facebook and I decided to back off a bit. I am hoping it won’t negatively impact my traffic but quite frankly 400 views isn’t worth the effort of posting on a set schedule 8x a day. That was hours of wasted time to “beat the system.” I’ll spend that time promoting the occasional post instead. I’ve also been sharing photos to my FB blog page from Instagram and I’ve seen slightly higher reach on posts since starting.
I’m currently working on another series for January on organizing my house. This has taken some time away from my being able to work on current posts, but I’m hoping to have a really nice series for you and less stress for me come January!
For those of you new to blogging, the niche of your blog can affect your income. Blogging is a lot of work and I spend soooooooooooo many hours on my blog each month. These are things I can’t quantify for you.
I hope this was helpful to some of you. I’ll try to update monthly.