September 2016 Income Report

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Why I’m Publishing Monthly Income Reports

 

One of the reasons I was motivated to begin my blogging journey was from seeing fellow bloggers post monthly income reports. Whether they were making money or not, I find all of these posts to be inspiring. I hope that you will be able to find my income reports inspiring as well. To clarify, these reports will not include income from my husband’s or I’s jobs. This will only include income from any of the side jobs I am trying out and from this blog if I ever start to make money from blogging. I find it all very exciting and I look forward to where this journey will take me. If you are wanting to start your own blog, check out my How to Start a Blog post using Bluehost(this post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a little bit of money whenever you purchase or sign up through my links. Don’t worry I only recommend things that I also personally use!)

 

I chose to start my income reports from the very beginning of my blog so that you and I have something to compare to later down the road if I do in fact become successful at this. I also plan to include updates on traffic reports once I get this figured out. Please know, that I am choosing to share these income reports not to brag, but to inspire, and to provide a realistic idea of what you can expect to make starting out your own blog. Keep in mind, most of this income hasn’t been taxed yet so I will have to pay taxes on it come tax season.

 

I will be posting these income reports once a month, but plan to post new content 2-3 times a week. If you would like to follow along in my journey feel free to subscribe to my blog. You can be among the first to know every time I publish a new post, by using the subscription box on the right. Plus you will receive a free budgeting template when you subscribe!

 

My Blogging Journey

If you are curious to learn my reasons and motivations for beginning this blogging journey you should check out my “Why I am Starting a Blog.” To give you a brief overview, I have four major reasons for beginning this blog:  1) I want to help others avoid the mistakes I made 2) I need a creative outlet 3)  I need extra income to pay down some of our debt 4) I want to be my own boss and have my financial freedom.

 

Last Month’s Income Report & Goals

 

 

Goals from September of 2016:

So, I met 3 of my 11 goals. That is not a good ratio. So, this is the last month I allow this many goals to stay unmet. I know I am capable of more so I will accomplish more.

  1. Create a high value free incentive for people to join my email list- Fail.
  2. Create a landing page for email opt-ins-Fail. I did attend a webinar on this topic though!
  3. Put opt-in forms for my email list at the hot spots on my blog-Fail. But I have a plan for this month.
  4. Identify who I serve and how I serve them-Pass! I sent out my first survey to my email subscribers and in Facebook groups.
  5. Try the free trial of board booster and tailwind (if they aren’t a month long)-Fail.
  6. Update my Pinterest boards to have SEO rich titles-Fail.
  7. Put a call to action in all of my pins leading to my blog –Fail. I didn’t go back and update old pins but I am definitely doing this in all of my new pins.
  8. Increase page views-Pass! Boy did I blow this goal out of the water!
  9. Decrease bounce rate-Fail. Yikes! My bounce rate is high this month.
  10. Work on improving the appearance of my blog-Pass! I changed some colors and have been actively looking for a new theme.
  11. Finish my About Me  Page- Fail.

 

Income Earned Breakdown $418.61

If you want to start making some extra money, check out my Resources page!

  1. Google Adsense: $4.86
  2. Mystery Shopping: $268.00
  3. Affiliates: $120.00 (Bluehost)
  4. Ebates: $0.72 (if you haven’t joined Ebates I highly recommend you do! I don’t shop much and I’ve already made over $15 in cash back! If you use my link you’ll start off with $10!)
  5. Referral programs: $0.00
  6. Apps: $5.50

Ibotta- $2.75 (+$2.75)

This is an app I use to get cashback on certain groceries I buy. If you sign up using my referral link you will automatically start with $10 in your account! Please use my referral code rkiow

Shopkick- 3,117 kicks (+ 275 kicks) I redeemed my first $50 gift card this month to buy my husband’s birthday gift.

(for those who don’t know Shopkick is the app I use every time I walk into a store. They give you points called kicks for various things including walking into a store, scanning items as you shop, purchasing items, and redeeming receipts.) I’ve already earned over $60 in gift cards from doing this! If you’d like to join please use my referral link http://get.shopkick.com/lincoln56422

 

     7. Surveys:

Inboxdollars-$23.10 (+ $1.24)

Swagbucks– 2595(+ 1142 SB)

American Consumer Opinion-$0.55 ($1.55) I requested my 2nd cash out payment of $10.55 this month!

 

Income Received Breakdown $223.00

If you want to start making some extra money, check out my Resources page!

  1. Google Adsense: $0.00
  2. Mystery Shopping: $173.00
  3. Affiliates: $0.00
  4. Referral programs: $0.00
  5. Surveys: $0.00
  6. Ebates: $0.00
  7. Miscellaneous: $50.00 (I redeemed my first giftcard using the Shopkick app)

 

Blog Expenses $239.78

Find Your Tribe Online $17

(This is the first blog improvement product I purchased and I can say is one of the biggest factors for the increase in traffic I received this month)

BlueHost Security Package $95.88

The Society of Winning Women Online $126.90

 

Next Month’s Goals

(I know the numbers are funky in this, I can’t figure out how to change them so I apologize. Just try to ignore them for now)

  1. Update my About Me Page
  • Update my picture
  • Update content
  1. Add my Disclosure Policy to my site
  • Update my disclosure policy (I already have this written but never added it to my site)
  • Figure out how to add it to the footer of my home page
  • Figure out how to add it as a plug-in in my posts so I don’t have to write it each time
  1. Add email opt-ins to the hot spots of my posts and on my blog
  • Install the Rapidology Plug-In
  • Apply the Rapidology Plug-In to my blog
  1. Add a landing page to my blog
  • Review the webinar I attended last month
  • Decide on what service to use for my landing page
  • Install my landing page
  1. Decide on a new theme for my blog
  • Research different themes
  • Purchase a theme
  1. Work on creating my branding image
  • Implement new blog colors (black, red, teal, and yellow)
  • Create a Pinterest brand consistent image
  • Create a featured image brand consistent image
  1. Update my category tabs
  • Update the category names
  • Figure out how to create drop down tabs
  1. Freebie
  • Decide on my first freebie item
  • Create a rough draft consistent with branding
  • Finalize rough draft
  • Figure out how to have freebie sent to email subscribers
  1. Social Media groups
  • Join the Facebook groups recommended in Finding Your Tribe Online
  • Join the Pinterest boards recommended in Finding Your Tribe Online
  • Participate in Facebook Promo days
  1. Have a month’s worth of content written
  • Create 4 outlines
  • Create 4 rough drafts
  • Select and edit 4 post images

Traffic Report Breakdown

Subscriber Growth: Currently I have 47 subscribers! This means that I gained 30 new subscribers this month! Woo hoo! I really plan to focus on increasing this, as one of my goals this month. I feel like it’s so important because I think many readers like what I write about and find it useful, but once you click away unless, you are on my list I have no idea if you’ll ever come back. I’d like to have a couple hundred subscribers or more by the end of the year.

 

Facebook Likes: I have 77 likes on my Facebook page. That is growth but only by 2 people 🙂 Thank you whoever you are! It’s not one of my goals this month because I truly don’t think I’m ready to devote the time to this yet, but I am hoping to start a Facebook group very soon!

 

Pinterest Followers: I have 15,543 followers on my personal Pinterest page (-13), and I have 1,211 followers on my business Pinterest page (+72)! I’ll be honest, I didn’t even log into my personal account this month. I hate to keep losing followers though, so I plan on changing that this month.

 

Twitter Followers: I am currently at 100 followers (+6) and earned 1,721 impressions this month (+856). I have no idea how my impressions increased that much since I did not except tweet when I published a new post. But hey! I’ll take it.

 

This is what my traffic report looks like from Google AdSense:

I made $4.86 this month in passive income from the two ads I have on this site. This brings my account balance to $8.25. I can request cash out when my account reaches $100. I must say while this is still a very small amount, this was purely passive income. And this amount was more than half my total income from my ads in the 6 months or so I have been blogging. I’m hoping to start seeing an increase in income in this area.

 

This is what my traffic looks like from Google Analytics.

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I feel like I made such great progress in how much traffic came to my site this month! Here is what my stats look like from last month to this month:

 

August September Entire Life of Blog
Sessions 354 3,339 5,478
Pageviews 706 4,146 8,697
Avg. Session Duration 1:47 00:40 1:24
% New Sessions 72.03% 93.89% 84.52%
Users 273 3,152 4,630
Pages/Session 1.99 1.24 1.59
Bounce Rate 67.51% 89.19% 82.31%

 

 

I said I was going to work hard to see growth this month right? I did it! But here is what I’ve learned. While I saw a massive increase in the number of people coming to my site, I saw a significant increase in my bounce rate and a large decrease in how long these new readers are staying on my site. I’m not sure how to improve this and unfortunately, it’s not a goal this month. But I plan to focus on how to improve these areas in the next few months. But look at this growth guys!!! I am so proud regardless.

 

This is what my traffic looks like from Pinterest.

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August September Overall
Average Daily Impressions 210 1,519 455
Average Daily Views 145 1,031 308
Average Monthly Viewers 1,963 13,063 4,873
Average Monthly Engaged 52 361 138

 

I just want to take a minute to pat myself on the back. This growth was all my doing. I do not have any system set up to assist me in gaining more followers, and increasing my activity and rating on Pinterest. This is the result of hard work, focus, and dedication. I spent hours making this happen and I am so proud! Honestly, all I did was created a Pinterest board rotation document that I use to keep track of what I pin in all the group boards I am a part of. Then I started pinning to these boards once a day and making sure it was a different pin each time. I also started unfollowing anyone that wasn’t contributing content I found helpful to my readers, and I really focused on being more active by really focusing on adding more boards, and pinning more consistent and helpful content.

 

Each month I hope to make big improvements on the quality, design, content, and growth of this blog. If you can share my page on your social networks that would be fantastic! If you have any advice I’m open to that as well!

If you are wanting to start your own blog, check out my How to Start a Blog post using Bluehost!

I look forward to see how next month turns out!!!

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17 Comments

    • Thanks Francesca! I think this is a turning point kind of month for me where things are going to start to happen!

  1. Your numbers are growing at almost an exponential level! Congrats! I am striving for my blog to get going. It can be very frustrating. What do you use to create your “pins” for Pintrest? I have heard a lot of different app preferences for this. I am trying different things out because I am not in love with the app I am currently using.

    • Thank you for the congrats! I’m going to make sure to stop by your blog this weekend! Currently I use picmonkey, but I haven’t tested any other services out yet. I heard Canva is great. So maybe check both of them out?

    • Thanks for stopping by Christine! I love being nosey too 🙂
      I live in a big city and I find there are lots more opportunities than smaller areas I’ve lived in. Regarding my goals, this is the first time I’ve created actionable steps underneath each goal. This has really been helping me.

  2. Good job this month! I really like how you set your goals. One word of advice, you shouldn’t share your whole dashboard screenshot for Adsense (it is against their terms).

    • Hey Allen! Thanks for stopping by! I plan on updating my starting a blog guide next month, but I’ve actually earned $220 from Bluehost since I started blogging in April. These were from 2 friends purchasing through my link at times when they were having a special incentive sale for affiliates. But, I didn’t realize until my 2nd affiliate sale that I was actually encouraging people to use another bluehost affiliate to find a good name for their blog. So I think I may have been losing sales from this.

        • Hey Allen! So I had originally been using a website called name mesh to try and come up with a name for my blog. I had included a link to their site in my How to Start a blog post. Then one of my friends told me they purchased through my link but I didn’t get credit for the purchase. So I contacted Bluehost and they were able to tell me that namemesh.com is actually another bluehost affiliate. I had no clue 🙂 Newbie mistake

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