At 18 years old, Rockefeller had no money.
He found an apple in the street.
The fruit was dirty, so he cleaned it up and sold it for 50 cents to a man walking in the street.
With his 50 cents he bought 2 apples for 25 cents each and resold them for 1$ to another man walking in the street.
With his $1 he bought 4 apples and resold them for 2$…
Then at 19 years he inherited from his grandmother…
And now back to reality of building your own financial empire one post at a time.
As you’ll see, traffic and perceived popularity doesn’t always automatically translate into cash.
I’ll show you my traffic stats, let you know what I’ve done in the previous month to improve them, what worked and didn’t work, and how much went into my bank account in terms of earnings as well as left it in terms of expenses.
August Traffic at a Glance
My traffic in August grew at a steady pace of 10%.
Considering I am still not as active in the blogging community as I should be (not guest blogging for several months now, for instance), any growth is great.
My main focus in the past month was on:
- Creating epic content that my readers actually want to read;
- Reconnecting with my social media followers and email subscribers;
- Fighting pandas and penguins off by begging my readers to link to my content;
- Working on reducing my bounce rate;
- Redesigning my website – thanks to Ian Belanger for his undying commitment to make me happy.
Let’s talk about reducing bounce rate for a minute.
What about Bounce Rate?
If you need to brush up on what bounce rate is, read this post:
Many of you have noticed and asked me about my new pagination on some of my longer posts, i.e. breaking down posts into 2-3 pages vs keeping them nice and long and on one page.
Reducing bounce rate is the major reason I am experimenting with pagination.
Google bots are not people.
They work off numbers, algorithms, and equations, and rank your site accordingly.
If we want to get more search engine traffic, we have to tweak our site to make sure the numbers speak for themselves.
And our bounce rate could be one of those factors Google is keeping a close eye on.
I’ve been implementing pagination very sparingly so far; mostly on a few new posts and a couple of older ones that bring in the most search engine traffic.
Even with such minor modifications and in a short period of time, my bounce rate went down about 9%.
To learn more about pagination and decide whether it might be a good choice for your site, take a look at these posts:
- SEO Pagination Guide: The pros and cons of Content Pagination
- How to Split WordPress Posts into Multiple Pages
Also, if you are using Thesis theme like I do at Traffic Generation Cafe, I’d suggest that you noindex your subpages to avoid any duplicate content issues.
More on noindexing and other SEO features of Thesis:
To get your own copy of Thesis theme, click on the link below (and thanks for the sale!):
To implement pagination on your site, simply insert <!–nextpage–> tag where you want to separate your post into pages.
Page Load Speed
Pagination has another great benefit: it reduces your page loading times.
Instead of loading one huge posts with a bunch of images, you can now cut that loading time in half by separating the post into pages.
Good for Google (page speed is another search engine factor); good for your readers (the faster the site speed, the more likely they are to stay longer).
Main Traffic Sources
Let’s take a look at the breakdown of my traffic sources:
60% of search engine traffic is too close for comfort, if you ask me.
What happens if Google throws a fit again and I loose all that traffic in a blink of an eye?
My goal is to keep any given traffic source under 40%.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that I am getting too much search engine traffic (no such thing, really).
It just means that I need to step up with generating more referral traffic.
My Plan to Increase Referral Traffic
There are several goals I hope to hit in the next month to bring my referral traffic up to par:
1. Get back to guest posting.
Thumbs Up to These Blogs
I really appreciate everyone who mentioned me in any shape or form last month.
These five blogs were my top blogging referral traffic sources:
I think Nick is quickly becoming my favorite content curator on the web.
He certainly knows what he is doing when it comes down to linking out to quality content AND turning those mentions into more traffic for HIS blog.
It wasn’t enough that his blog has been my top blogging referral source for a number of months now (Nick generously mentions TGC in many of his posts).
A couple of weeks ago, Nick contacted me asking which particular posts I’d love to see mentioned on his blog.
And here’s another example:
Simple and effective: he sends traffic to me, I send it right back to his site through social media and various mentions on my blog.
2. 2 Start Blog
Zeeshan’ blog is the “new kid on the block”, yet this is the second month in a row he managed to send me a steady flow of traffic.
Ileane Smith is my go-to source on everything YouTube; just check out her recent post:
Thanks for the tip and the traffic, Ileane!
It’s always an honor to be mentioned by Kristi Hines.
My question is how DOES she manage to write exceptional guest posts all over the blogosphere, publish awesome mashups every Friday on her own blog, WHILE expecting their first baby!
Here’s Kristi’s latest:
5. Buzz Blogger
If you are not reading Kim Roach’s blog yet, you definitely should.
- 600+ Places to Share Your Content and Get MORE Traffic…
August Bottom Line
Let’s get on with the best part.
By the way, as I write this post I have no idea how much I made, so I am in anticipation as much as you are.
Note: these are all paid earnings, meaning I might’ve actually made those sales in the previous month(s), but got paid for them just before publishing this income report.
Here are my income sources for the past month:
- Ryan Deiss’s Social Tube Traffic System – $473
- CommentLuv Premium – $427
- Sticky List Builder Pro*** – $308
- TweetAdder – $220
- Market Samurai – $186
- Clickbank Misc Products – $170
- Aweber – $56
- SEMRush – $56
- WPSubscribers Plugin – $45
- Kristi Johnson: Blog Post Promotion – $10
***Sticky List Builder Pro is the plugin that powers my sticky optin form in the sidebar.
As of right now, it’s not available for sale, but if you are on the market for a great list building plugin with similar capabilities, try OptinSkin.
Difference from July:
This is the first month EVER affiliate marketing has become my only income source.
Posting gross income doesn’t really do us any good – what if my expenses put me in the red no matter how much money I made in the previous month?
With that in mind, let’s see how much running Traffic Generation Cafe cost me:
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links to the products I love and use for my own business.
I appreciate your patronage, should you choose to purchase any of them through me.
- SEMRush.com (my favorite SEO tool) – $50
- Aweber -$69
- Fiverr.com (outsource tedious tasks I don’t have time for) – $5
- Hostgator (hosting) – $10
NET INCOME: $1817
Make Money Blogging: Food for Thought
My first income report was published in December 2011.
It wasn’t an easy decision for me.
I was concerned that my actual income numberswouldn’t live up to the perceived success other folks might think TGC should have.
And sure enough:
This might’ve been the first time Johnny was faced with the harsh reality of blogging.
Traffic and perceived popularity don’t automatically translate into cash.
Starting a blog online won’t get you much closer to your dreams of financial success.
And neither will passion alone.
Or “if others did it, I can do it too“.
- The Truth About Making Money Blogging – TrafficGenerationCafe.com
- A Reality Check about Blogging for Money – Problogger.net
- Is Blogging a Good Way to Make Money? – ChrisG.com
- The Truth About Making Money While You Sleep - Copyblogger.com
- Reality check: You’re not going to make money from your blog – PenelopeTrunk.com
- The History of My First Online Business – SmartPassiveIncome.com
- Harsh Truths To Why You Won’t Make Money Blogging – JohnPaulAguiar.com
And I am not saying all this to discourage you.
I am not discouraged.
I KNOW I’ve got what it takes.
I KNOW I’ll make it – in due time.
What about you???
There’s no such thing as free bacon.
Making money blogging is entirely possible, as I was surprised to learn from my own experience.
Just takes time, determination, and a lot of work.