June 2016 Income Report – My First Month Blogging

Whew, that went by fast! My first month as a blogger has come to a close. I’ve seen other bloggers post Income Reports each month, but they tend to do so once they’ve already become established. I am far from established, but I want to bring transparency to that for anyone who might be struggling with their own site. Creating these income reports will also allow me to track my own progression. There were definitely some bumps in the road, but all in all I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished in the last 30 days.

Stats

Total Page Views: 257

Revenue: $2.64
Expenses: $150

Facebook Followers: 14
Insta Followers: 21
Twitter Followers: 3
Pinterest Followers: 49

E-mail Subscribers: 9

Traffic

Traffic could have better. I would have liked it to be much, much, better. But I’m not too disappointed with the results. It’s not shown in the stats graph, but on my launch day I actually received over 60 page views – but most of that was family and friends of family (thanks guys!!). You can see through most of the month my traffic was basically non-existence. Then right at the end of the month it started to spike and has been raising pretty consistently over the last few days *knocks on wood.* While there are are some strategies I started changing towards the end of the month, I think the biggest factor in the up-swing is that I changed topics. Say What!? I know, probably a blogging no-no but screw it – I’m a rebel.

Topic Change

When I started the site I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to write about, so I just kind of wrote about everything. I have a pretty fast paced life, driving back and forth to Vegas contributes to that a LOT. I also love SoCal so my original idea was to present different facets of life from a SoCal point of view. Recipes with a heavy southern influence, reviews and guides to different parts of the city, and DIY projects focused around recycling. But I got really overwhelmed trying to keep up with all the posts I had scheduled, and honestly I lost interest in doing those types of things. Also I was posting 3x a week, which is a lot. Around the middle of the month I realized this just wasn’t working for me and switched gears.

Anyone who knows me will say I am Disney expert. It’s a running joke at work that they try and e-mail me Disney news to see if I’ve already heard about it, so far I am undefeated. So it seemed more natural to write about Disney, especially vacation planning. On top of my addiction to Disney I am extremely OCD when it comes to planning. Making lists and excel sheets are a hobby of mine. So The first few Disney posts that have gone up are about the Disney Dining Plan and creating a Disney Itinerary. And they’ve been WAY more influential in driving traffic than any of my other posts. There are other factors as well, but these are my top posts consistently, well at least for as long as my traffic has been consistent.

Social Media

It also wasn’t until the second half of the month that I actually put some effort into my social media accounts. I’d created them all back in May, to make sure I got the name I wanted, but I hadn’t even uploaded profile pictures. After I switched gears to focus on Disney I went through and did a lot of re-branding, or I guess just branding since I didn’t have much to begin with. I also started to post regularly on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It hasn’t garnered MUCH traffic, most is coming from Pinterest, but I did get click through’s from all of these platforms. It’s also given me a better opportunity to engage with my audience and fellow bloggers. My social strategy is still a bit of a work in progress, but it’s coming along.

Revenue

Now it gets INTERESTING. I was pretty stoked to have earned $3 this month from blogging – kind of. Technically it’s from Etsy, but my Disney Itinerary template is what sold so I’m counting it. I started off June as an approved Amazon affiliate, but got kicked out for using an unapproved photo from their site. It was a review of their Prime Fresh program, and I took a screen cap of their logo for it. It was a super positive review too, but whatever. I took down the post, but I haven’t reapplied yet. I’ll probably re-apply this month, but it’s not my main focus.

Expenses

More than $3. I didn’t keep track as much as I should have. I have most of my receipts for the supplies I did purchase, but I haven’t reconciled them yet. The biggest expense was, of course, the purchase of my domain. Other than that expenses were minimal. I haven’t paid for anything besides DIY supplies and recipe ingredients.

The Struggle

Mid month I was really struggling with the lack of traffic I experienced and I legitimately contemplated just throwing in the towel. It’s really difficult to read other bloggers reports of experiencing exponential growth in their first month and not experience that for myself. I did a lot of research about promoting and driving traffic, and everyone seems to have a trick that works for them phenomenally. A lot of people praise auto-pin programs like Tailwind and Board Booster. I used both, but when I started to automate my pins 100% my Pinterest analytics actually dropped. I had better luck when I just pinned 100 or so pins when I woke up in the morning. On the other hand traffic to my site wasn’t as good then.

Anyway, even using the tips that others have shared I’m not seeing the traffic I wanted and it’s kind of a downer. But after changing my topic I feel SO much more motivated to write, because I enjoy it. I really want people to come visit my blog, read my content, buy of my Etsy, etc. – but at the end of the day if they don’t, I’m still happy with what I am creating.

Goals for July

Increase Traffic

For June I had 257 views total. My goal for July is 1,000 page-views. So far I’ve gotten 69 views at 8:00am on July 3, so I feel like my goal is within reach. I’ll need to average about 33 page-views per day, which is what I’ve been seeing this last week.

Schedule Social Media

Most of the social media I’ve been posting is pretty adhoc. I try and post to each platform a few times per day when users are most active, but it’s a bit like chasing my tail. Especially since I’m usually at work when most people are on social media. I’d like to get out in front of the monster a little more this month and start scheduling everything for a week or 2 at a time. I’ve got a handful of blog posts ready to go, so that should help free me up a bit.

Monetizitaion

While I’m going to re-apply as an Amazon affiliate this month, I want to focus more so on growing my Etsy store and presence. My goal here is to have at least 10 listings from each of my store categories; planning printables, art prints, and park ears. I’m also going to add some branding to my shop and establish better descriptions and store policies.

 

The most important part of goal planning is accountability. In the spirit of that notion I created a printable to keep me on track. It’s easy to say “I’ll increase my traffic,” but setting out specifics about how you will achieve the goal is the real work. You can grab my worksheet HERE, one copy is blank and one copy I filled out as an example.

 

If you’re new to the blog-o-sphere let me know how it’s going! What’s working for you? What’s not? Have you experienced a moment of self doubt?

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