Why did I start publishing my monthly income reports?
Blogging is never about talking the talk.
That’s what politics are for.
It is my goal for these reports to show that walking the walk and actually bringing in income from our online ventures is possible and within reach for all of us, whatever the niche.
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.
Most of you know that my family is going through a transition from Tucson, AZ to San Francisco, CA.
Seems like it’s taking forever, doesn’t it?
It does to me, as well as my husband and daughter.
My (almost) 5 year-old asked me this morning if we could move out of this “house” (a tiny rental apartment) soon; she is “not a big fan (her words) of this place.”
I am with you, Emma.
Most of us have an innate desire to have a “home”, feel like we belong somewhere.
Feeling like “home” brings us comfort, stability, and safety, and could be considered a great starting point to conquer whatever else comes our way, whether we realize it or not.
We pray and hope we’ll find our “home” soon as well.
Meanwhile, it warms my heart to see my daughter taking tremendous pleasure in the simple things in life, like grass:
…and water (she took a dip in the cold waters of San Francisco Bay, fully dressed):
Remember, we moved here from Arizona desert – grass and water are novelties to her…
Every once in a while we need a reminder that THIS is what life is all about – LIFE.
Playing in the grass, running in the water, flying kites, eating with your hands, laughing…
And thank you all for reminding me of what’s truly important in your comments on my self-indulgent Today I Feel Like Quitting post last week.
Today I don’t feel like quitting.
Fight, fight, fight!
(Although let’s revisit this after I take a look at my financials for March, lol, since I have no idea how well I’ve done yet.)
March Traffic at a Glance
Let’s take a look at my March numbers:
Yep, just as I thought: my overall traffic was down in March.
Let me take a look at the sources of traffic to see where it went down the most (I’ll take a wild guest – search engine traffic?)
Not exactly a wild guess, I suppose – I knew that Google pushed Traffic Generation Cafe in rankings for many of my best keywords as a result of their latest war on… well, I am not entirely sure on what.
Blog networks? Link building? Quality content?
The vast majority of my backlinks are a result of natural backlinking, i.e.
- I do my best to write exceptional content,
- you say “Wow, that’s good stuff!”
- you are kind enough to mention my exceptional content in your future blog posts,
- your readers are grateful because you provide value,
- I am grateful because you trusted me with a backlink and some traffic,
- In turn, I might add you to my “Top 10 Referral Traffic Sources” for the month (like I will do below),
- Win-win, right?
Moral: Google’s playground, Google’s rules.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Networking could just be the ticket to YOUR (and my) business success.
Thumbs Up to These Blogs
I really appreciate everyone who mentioned me in any shape or form last month.
Tip: when you mention other blogs in your posts, make sure you shoot those bloggers an email/tweet/whatever to let them know you linked to them.
Many times, we rely on pingbacks or Google Alerts to do the job for us, but this is one instance of “if you want the job to be done right, do it yourself.”
So do let me know when you mention my blog; I’d love a chance to stop by and say thank you.
The following ten blogs were my top blogging referral traffic sources:
I don’t know how you manage to bring this much referral traffic to your blog week after week, Nick, but you won’t hear me complaining! Thank you!
Even though I haven’t written for Yaro’s blog in several months now (I need to change that), his blog still sends me a great deal of referral traffic each month.
That’s a new face in my top 10 referrals – thank you, James!
4. Buzz Blogger
Kim Roach’s excellent post on 21 Ways to Bring 1,000 Visitors to Your Site just keeps on giving.
Lisa Irby has built an incredible business over the years and I absolutely admire her for claiming her stake in the “how to build a website” niche.
Thanks for the traffic, Lisa!
6. Sarah Arrow
Wow, Sarah – thank you so much!
Just goes to show that giving does work, no matter how big or small your blog is.
7. Steve Scott
I love Steve’s blog and it’s nice to see that it loves me back. lol
Francisco does exceptional speedlinking posts, which I suspect are responsible for this traffic to my blog.
Want to know how to create a great linkbait?
Read Tom Ewer’s list of 100 Blogs You Need in Your Life.
He is giving away traffic 100 ways, yet all of it and more comes back through links and mentions like this one.
Wouldn’t be the same month without Kristi Hines sending traffic my way. Thank you, Kristi!
My March 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 this month yet, 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, but got paid for them in January.
Also, being in transition, I haven’t received any mail for the past two weeks, so I won’t account for the commissions that are usually paid by checks.
Here are my income sources for March:
1. Affiliate marketing
- CommentLuv – $387
- Market Samurai – $280
- TweetAdder – $228
- Aweber – $53
- Income Blogging Guide – $45
- Kristi Johnson: Blog Post Promotion – $20
2. SEO Contest by MySEOCommunity.com
This was one of those contests that was based solely on the quality of submissions – a rarity in blogopshere these days.
My wholehearted thanks to everyone who shared and commented on my winning post!
Here’s the link, by the way; it’s a must-read about online scraping and what to do about it:
3. Paid Advertisement
I use Yaro Starak’s CrankyPlus to manage all my paid advertising on this blog.
Difference from February:
After I published my previous income reports, many of you asked “What about your expenses?”
Here’s a list of my expenses:
- Danny Iny (consulting) – $250 (needed an extra pair of eyes to examine my business model; worth every penny)
- Outsourcing (for 3 months) – $76 (I outsource my social bookmarking for new posts)
- Aweber -$49
- Fiverr.com (outsource tedious tasks I don’t have time for) – $25
- GoDaddy (hosting) – $4.99
- Hostgator (hosting) – $9.95
TOTAL: $391 (rounded up)
FINAL MARCH INCOME: $1694
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.
Image Source: Oil painting by Karol Bak