Blog Income and Traffic Report {April 2018}

blog income report

Inside: Get encouragement, tips and ideas from a small blogger income and traffic report. Follow along as I work towards my goal of $1,000 a month income from this blog (I’m getting closer!).

I realized this month that I never fully explained why I’m publishing income reports on a blog that is primarily about homeschooling, minimalism on a low income, and parenting. So first off, I wanted to remedy that!

So why do I write income reports in the first place?

First, I started writing income reports as a means of chronicling my journey to earning $1,000 a month blogging. That was my year-end goal for 2018 for this blog.

Second, I want to encourage other bloggers who are struggling to earn an income from their blogs. Reading another blogger friend’s income reports from back when she made very little encouraged me to keep going and to not give up. I hope my income reports encourage other bloggers the way hers encouraged me. I also am a teacher by nature, and I love sharing what’s working for me with this blog and what’s not. Sharing that in a post saves time as well, when bloggers as me questions about my business strategy.

Third, I want other moms to know that it IS possible to earn a living online, working from home. We need the income this blog brings in. It is changing our finances and making staying home to homeschool a long-term possibility.

Finally, I wanted to say that it has taken A LOT of hard work to get where I am today. Earning an income blogging is far from easy. Telling people that doesn’t sell blog hosting packages very well, now does it? [wink]

I mentioned to a blogger friend yesterday that I spent 40+ hours a week on this blog for the first eight months. She was thankful I told her because she assumed I was having this massive success with only 10 hours per week! Maybe some people can be successful that way, but that is a minuscule percentage.

Getting your blog to generate income requires tons of learning, trial and error, and even a little bit of luck. By luck, I mean you happen to write about a topic that is popular (or you learn how to write about it), or a post takes off on Pinterest and teaches you what you need to write about to be successful.

Now that you know my “why”, on to this month’s income and traffic report! If you missed the earlier ones, you can find them all HERE.

Blog Income and Traffic Report from a Small Blogger: April 2018 earnings, blogging tips and resources I've found useful to earn $674 this past month! #blogincomereport #bloggingtips

Blog Income and Traffic Report {April}

Blog Traffic

This month, my biggest success was recovering from being stuck in Pinterest jail. If you want to know what that is, you can read March’s Income Report.

  • Pageviews: 54,218
  • Users: 36,521
  • Sessions: 44,862

My Most Popular Posts

Top Referrers

  • Pinterest
  • Direct
  • Organic Search

What Worked This Month

Stopping Manual Pinning

Manual pinning used to be a major part of my Pinterest strategy, and I still believe that it is the best way for a new blogger to start and learn Pinterest as a platform. I still highly recommend this book as the best budget option for beginners.

That being said, manual pinning is extremely time-consuming and not practical long-term, especially for moms with young kids. I decided my time would be better spent creating new content.

My Tailwind scheduling strategy comes from a Pinterest course I took last summer: Pinning Perfect. If you are looking for a Pinterest course that will teach you everything you need to know, including the most straight-forward way to schedule your pins in Tailwind, this one is excellent.

My only hesitation in recommending it is the price. I really don’t love expensive blogging resources, but this one is paying off as it makes scheduling pins every week quick and easy. The only thing that holds me up is creating new pins for old content each week: I create around 3-6 new pins a week, depending on how much time and inspiration I have.

Get a month of Tailwind for FREE when you use my link!

Improving SEO for Old Posts

A few months ago, I bought this resource from Pot Pie Girl that explained in plain English how to easily go back and improve old posts for SEO. I have improved 4-5 posts so far, and I am seeing more traffic to those posts. My goal is to improve 1-2 old posts a week.

really want to see organic traffic become a significant portion of my traffic every month by the end of this year. Because guess what I’ve found with organic traffic? People buy the stuff I recommend far more frequently than the random Pinterest visitor who hops away in just over 30 seconds.

Check Out: The 10 Step Blog Post SEO Improvement Plan for Pinterest Bloggers

Using the Courses I Already Have

Last month, I worked through more of Adventures in SEO. That one is taking me a long time to complete, for some reason, but it’s worth it! Again, I really want to improve SEO over the next several months.

When you first start blogging, every course feels like the magic bullet. If only I buy this one, everything will work out for me! As you can probably guess, it doesn’t work out that way. You need to actually have time to apply what you buy.

Thankfully, the blog course fever seems to have worn off for me. I won’t be buying another course for quite some time. I have what I need…for now.

Blog Income: $674.80

I count income as it hits my bank account. This can be slightly confusing, as I already know I’ll be earning over $1,000 in June (and it’s only May). It’s also important to realize that I can’t count on income earned in the future right now, and I want you to understand that it took me over a year to start earning any significant blog income.  You really need to persevere to see success!

  • Mediavine Ads: $464.73
  • Affiliate Income: $176.39
  • Freelance Writing: $33.68

Blogging Expenses: $179.99

  • Convertkit: $29.99
  • Courses: $150 (the final payment for Adventures in SEO)

I still love Convertkit and consider it money well spent. However, I will be testing out Mailerlite with my next blog (launching later this summer)

Related: Grow Your Blog on a Budget (Affordable Blogging Courses for Beginners)

What I’m Changing

Still Working on Facebook Traffic

I still don’t love Facebook, and to be honest, I don’t know if it’s even worth trying to build up a presence there. But I am still using Smarterqueue to publish three posts a day. It’s taking a lot more time than I expected to build up a good library of posts that actually engage my audience to rotate through.

Ideally, I would love to hire out my Facebook page at some point, if I start seeing it’s worth the expense.

You can try Smarterqueue for FREE using my referral link.

Continuing to Learn about SEO

The website stupideasyseo.com has been a fantastic resource to understand more about SEO. I know I need to work on getting backlinks to my site. Actually coming up with a plan for doing this? If only I had another 24 hours in the day!

Adventures in SEO has definitely helped me to think through how I structure new posts, but I know that I will need to just start writing guest posts to build links to content I want to get more traffic. And that takes time I don’t have just yet.

Goals for May

I am working on scheduling my blog activities over a week so that I can work smarter and spend less time online. While I started out working 40 hours a week, 20 hours a week is my ideal. I am attempting to batch write two posts a week on the weekends. However, I am still finding it hard to make time on Saturdays to do this.

Finding uninterrupted time to write is the most difficult part of blogging for me as a work at home, homeschooling mom. I can design pins and promote posts with kids running around, but writing? SO difficult to do with constant interruptions.

Right now, finding that uninterrupted time still looks like a lot of late nights. One day, I hope we can pay for childcare a couple hours a week by the end of the year, so I can do this one part of blogging in peace.

I have spent some time this month getting ready for the new GDPR regulations that go into effect May 25. The fact that the European Union wants to police the entire internet is just absurd to me, and I’m pretty sure that most people feel the same way. If you use the internet, you are giving away pieces of your privacy, and you risk your personal data being stolen or sold. If you didn’t know that, you probably shouldn’t use it. #endrant

Related Resource About GDPR: GDPR For Bloggers

That being said, I’d rather be safe than sorry, so I am doing everything I can to comply with the new guidelines (notice the new cookie plugin? pretty annoying, huh? I’m sorry! It’s a GDPR must have). As if blogging wasn’t already hard enough!

I also am looking into new hosting for my blogs. Siteground has been great so far, but I have heard that if you have a post that does very well, they will shut down your site if it uses more than your allotted resources on their servers. I am strongly considering switching to Lyrical Host, a new small business that seems awesome in every way.

The main promise that got me was that on the biggest plan (comparable to Siteground’s plan I am currently on), I will have UNLIMITED pageviews: my site will NEVER be shut down due to a spike in traffic. (If that interests you, you can check out their plans HERE). It will also save me $60 a year, which is significant.

Hosting is so much more important than I realized. I’ll keep you posted about my experiences with Lyrical after I switch at the end of June!

How did April go for you? I’d love to hear, and I’m also happy to answer any questions. Be sure to leave them in the comments!

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