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.
July proved to be a challenging month for me.
Coming back to Traffic Generation Cafe to pick up the broken pieces after an almost three month absence was anything but easy.
I Had a Dream… post will explain what I am talking about.
However, being back feels fantastic!
My brain is slowly coming back from a near-atrophy.
I turn everything I see around me into a blog post.
I, once again, have to stop myself from signing credit card receipts with “@” symbol.
I was even thinking of immortalizing my blogging passion with a tattoo, but someone already beat me to it:
Or is that a magic marker?
July Traffic at a Glance
All modesty aside (like I have any…), July showed that there's a reason I run a blog in traffic generation niche.
I am good with generating traffic.
Compared to June, my July traffic went up over 67%.
I attribute this jump to the authority I've built up over the past couple of years.
As a matter of fact, I firmly believe that building your online authority is the single most important thing you can do to grow your business.
Listen to what I had to say on the topic of growing your blog by growing your authority in this podcast by Dan Norris:
More great reads on the topic of online authority:
I do realize that most posts on the topic are pure rubbish and makes us say “Blah, blah, blah – whatever“, but it IS important.
More Traffic Stats
I am happy to report that Google has finally come to its senses and gave me my rankings back and then some.
(For those of you who are not keeping up with TGC as much as you should, the latest Penguin update pretty much erased my search engine rankings).
My overall search engine traffic grew over 108% compared to June.
Even though I am extremely excited about my newly restored rankings, I am not too happy to see that Google traffic now dominates my other traffic sources.
Not putting all your eggs in one basket is PARAMOUNT when it comes down to developing your traffic sources.
What would happen to my traffic if Google throws another fit tomorrow?
Another curious statistic for the last month:
- My Pinterest traffic grew over 841%!
Learn more about using Pinterest for your business:
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:
- Nick's Traffic Tricks
- 2 Start Blog (new face in my referrals – thanks, Zeeshan!)
- Site Sketch 101 (haven't seen Nick around for a while; thanks for the traffic!)
- Point Blank SEO
Yes, I'd love to mention your blog in this line-up as well.
Keep mentioning Traffic Generation Cafe posts and, who knows, maybe one of these days it'll be my turn to send YOU my traffic!
July 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.
My July Income
Here are my income sources for the past month:
1. Affiliate marketing
- Income Blogging Guide – $398
- TweetAdder – $374
- Market Samurai – $186
- WPSubscribers Plugin – $93
- Aweber – $40
- Kristi Johnson: Blog Post Promotion – $10
2. Paid Advertisements
- Banner Ads – $150
I used to enjoy a much better income from banner advertisements, but this well has dried up significantly since my traffic went down.
Will see if if comes back next month.
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) – $49.95
- Aweber –$69
- Pin Button Attraction plugin – $19.95
- Fiverr.com (outsource tedious tasks I don't have time for) – $5
- Hostgator (hosting) – $9.95
TOTAL: $154 (rounded up)
NET INCOME: $1097
Traffic vs Income
About a month ago, as I was working on my previous income report, my husband said to me:
“Wouldn't it be funny if your income actually goes down now that you are back?”
“Funny” is not exactly the word I'd use now that it actually happened.
Even though my last report included all three months of my online inactivity, the average income per month was still higher than July income.
It's much more profitable to have a small but loyal readership than floods of cold traffic.
To all of you, who supported me in the past by purchasing various products through my affiliate links – my sincere and hearty THANK YOU.
My Toolbox Updates
It's amazing how much we miss if we turn our heads away from our businesses for a few days, let alone a few weeks/months, isn't it?
July turned out to be a month of looking into the latest and the greatest plugins/tools/products that launched while I was on my house-remodeling vacation.
Here are just some of them.
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)
This plugin creates a profile of your WordPress site's plugins' performance by measuring their impact on your site's load time.
Often times, WordPress sites load slowly because of poorly configured plugins or because there are so many of them.
By using the P3 plugin, you can narrow down anything causing your site to run slower than it should.
This is one of those plugins that you don't have to run all the time – activate it when you wan to check up on your other plugins and keep it deactivated any other time.
Hat tip to Astro Gremlin from BlogsNewsReviews.com for this one.
Pin Button Attraction
As I mentioned earlier, my Pinterest traffic is quickly becoming one of my largest referral traffic sources.
Much of the credit goes to the new Pinterest Pin button plugin by Chris Guthrie – Pin Button Attraction.
While I think that Chris could've definitely come up with a less awkward name for this plugin, I do agree with his thinking behind it:
- Place the pin button where it counts the most: in the image itself;
- Pull the image title as the pin description to save your pinners time and effort;
- Pick and choose which images you want the pin button to show in.
I've tested some free plugins before I bought this one (it's only $19) and found that they all fell short in some ways, like this one:
See how that “Pin It” button covered my “Tweet This” image? Not good.
If you want to take advantage of some 20M Pinterest users (and I don't see why you wouldn't), I'd definitely recommend to get Pin Button Attraction.
This plugin is quickly becoming one of the best ways to make my product reviews stand out.
Let's face it: most of us get at least some of our income from affiliate marketing.
Doing product reviews is one of the major ways to drive our sales.
However, those product reviews need to be visible to both our readers (in a non-obtrusive, yet very obvious way) and search engines (as in ranking on Google under the product name).
Author Hreview by Hesham Zebida (FamousBloggers.net) does exactly that.
You can see it at work in my sidebar under “Ana's Roasting Profile”, in the search engines as in:
…or in my reviews, like this one: Do I still Use MarketSamurai?
Author Hreview offers a lite free version, which is fine to start with, or two paid versions to choose from.
I'll probably do a full review on this plugin in the future, but you can see the paid version at work in my CommentLuv Premium review, where you can even send me your testimony about the product and get featured in that post.
Speaking of CommenLuv Premium, just in case you missed me mentioning it in every single post I wrote this week:
If you are ready to buy it, I'd suggest you wait a bit longer.
It'll go on sale as of August 23, but there's a catch.
The sooner you buy it, the less expensive it'll be.
I am still working on testing a few more plugins and will let you know what I think of them.
I might have to do a “review week” of sorts…
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.
Inspired and exhausted,