Blog Income and Traffic Report {May 2018}

blog income and traffic report may 2018

Inside: Get blogging tips and advice from a small blogger, one who was stuck for a long time, but with a lot of perseverance, finally started making progress. Follow my income journey from a few hundred dollars a month to $1,000 a month in 2018. 

It’s June, and time for another blog income report. This marks my fifth blog income report since I started chronicling my journey to $1,000 a month income from my blog.

I’m getting so close!

Once I reach my $1,000 monthly income goal, I will stop publishing regular income reports, as I need to focus my time and energy on getting a second blog up and running. I decided to start a second niche blog to test my ability to generate the majority of my traffic from organic search.

While I love Pinterest for driving blog traffic, and my blog wouldn’t be where it is today without it, I don’t love the constant ups and downs. Also, Pinterest takes a lot of effort to maintain, and lately, it seems like what its requirements for decent traffic is changing every other week.

The majority of my efforts going forward will be focused on SEO (search engine optimization) and reader problems/requests. I will still be using Pinterest, as it wouldn’t make sense to pass up the free traffic, but it will be a secondary focus from now on.

But why write blog income reports in the first place?

If this is your first time reading my blog income reports, I write them for three reasons. First, I write them for personal accountability to reach my blog income goals.

Second, I want to show proof to moms needing or wanting to earn extra income from home through blogging that it is possible. I didn’t know that earning an income from blogging was possible until I read an income report from my favorite blogger. That report opened my eyes to blogging as a possible source of income for our family.

Finally, I want to encourage bloggers who feel stuck or discouraged by larger blog income reports. I hope those bloggers can follow my journey from a few hundred dollars a month to earning a significant, consistent part-time income and learn something from my failures and my successes.

One to this month’s income and traffic report! If you want to get a better idea of my progress, you can look back through my previous income reports, starting with the January 2018 Blog Income and Traffic Report.

Blog Income Report from a Small Blogger: My fifth blog income report as I make progress towards my goal of $1,000 a month.

Blog Income and Traffic Report {May}

Blog Traffic

My biggest success in May was finally seeing a steady increase in search engine traffic. In January, I was averaging 30 visitors from search engines a day. In May, I was averaging 90 visitors a day from search engine traffic. That number keeps increasing into June.

  • Pageviews: 65,756
  • Users: 43,714
  • Sessions: 54,060

My Most Popular Posts

My Biggest Referrers

I have to note that direct and search engines were SO close. I can easily see search engines overtaking direct next month, which will be awesome!

  • Pinterest
  • Direct
  • Search Engines

What Worked This Month

SEO

I’ve said it once (or twice), and I’ll say it again: Pinterest is way too volatile for dependable blog traffic. I’m thankful for how it’s helped me in so many ways my first year, but going forward, I want steady eddy passive traffic and income.

I have also seen better results for affiliate income from blog posts found through search engines. In other words, people are actually looking for and buying what I recommend.

Almost every single post I wrote in May had solid keyword research put into it. I currently use my 5 free daily searches on kwfinder.com, along with researching directly on Google itself. Neil Patel also recently bought a site called Ubersuggest which is now a free keyword research platform with unlimited daily searches.

E-mailing My List Consistently

Currently, I am using my e-mail list mainly to drive traffic to my blog, with a little bit of affiliate marketing in the e-mails themselves. I do prefer to do my affiliate marketing in the posts themselves, so I’d rather send a reader to my post to read it and buy something through the post.

My preference is for my e-mails to be more free/helpful info instead of selling stuff, especially since I am currently “leading from the trenches”. I don’t think of myself as an authority with years of experience in minimalism or homeschooling.

I am a step ahead of my audience, and my e-mails come across as “let’s have a cup of coffee together and I’ll give you some ideas to try” as opposed to “I have all the answers you need”.

Blog Income: $876.29

I count income as I get paid it, not as it is “earned” in that month. That means that income I received this month was earned anywhere between February and April, depending on the source. I did not include in my income receiving a free product for our homeschool, but the value was over $100. Technically, the IRS considers that income, too.

  • Mediavine Ads: $508.82
  • Affiliate Income: $333.79
  • Freelance Writing: $33.68

Blog Expenses: $152.99

The fonts? Total waste! I was trying to find a pin design that took less time for me to make, but still satisfied me. No matter how many courses I take, I’m still no graphic designer.

What I’m Changing

GDPR Changes

With the recent GDPR law going into effect, I am working on changing over all my e-mail forms to no longer accept submissions from EU IP addresses. While this system isn’t perfect (I suppose the random EU citizen could be visiting America and sign up for my e-mail list), it will, to the best of my knowledge and along with a few other steps, eliminate my need for GDPR compliance, since I am not targeting EU citizens.

Hiring a VA

Gulp. This was a huge step. As you can see from my income reports, I am not raking in the dough here. BUT, I know that I cannot continue to do everything on my own, especially tasks like joining group boards for my new blog, running my Facebook page for my current blog, and scheduling Pinterest. Not if I want to actually, you know, sleep, or homeschool my kids, or spend time with my husband.

I spent the first eight months of blogging working my butt off, and I know that I cannot keep that pace. While I theoretically want to keep every dollar, I believe it will be worth it to spend a small portion on hiring extra help.

I found someone who is both experienced and affordable. I will try it out in July and see how it goes.

Switching Hosts

While I have been thrilled with Siteground’s customer service, I mentioned in my last income report that I want to eliminate any fear of my site being shut down if a post goes viral. Lyrical Host will give me unlimited pageviews on the same type of account I currently have with Siteground (SG caps their account around 100K pageviews). They will automatically shift resources to my blog if a post goes viral.

I like the idea of being rewarded for viral posts, not scared of them. It’s a risk putting faith in a newer company, but I think it will be a risk worth taking. I’ll let you know in my next income report how it goes!

Goals for June

Get A Second Blog Up and Running

In June, my biggest priority is getting my second blog off the ground. This will require somehow posting less on this blog (so hard for me to do!). I have a couple of guest posts scheduled. Hopefully, the guest posts will give me the break I need to write at least 3-4 posts for the new blog, so I can take down the “coming soon” sign and start working on getting traffic to it through Google at least. I will start tackling Pinterest after I have 10 posts or more.

SEO, SEO, SEO

I want to continue to work on improving the position of old posts in Google by using this guide by Pot Pie Girl. The posts I’ve worked on are now getting consistent SEO traffic. Yes!

Now to find the time to do more… Sigh. Oh time, I need more of it!

I want to target a few keywords that are harder to rank for and get backlinks to key posts that currently rank on page 1 of Google, but could stand to move up the page to the top three spots. I also need to dig more into keywords to find those “diamond in the rough” keywords that are more difficult to rank for but will reward me with more search traffic in the long-run. As my Domain Authority improves, I will have a better chance of ranking for harder keywords.

One common misconception about backlinks is to sit around and wait for other bloggers to link back to your site. Unless you become a big name overnight somehow, that’s not going to happen.

You have to network, join Facebook groups in your niche specifically devoted to SEO, and ask. Ask for backlinks; ask to guest post; ask, ask, ask. One thing I’ve learned to avoid is link-swapping with friends: it negates the power of those links. You want links from different sites, ideally with higher DAs than your own.

You can check the DAs of sites through moz.com before requesting to guest post. You want those guest posts to be worth your while: they’re hard work!

Final Thoughts

Whew! Hopefully you got something out of this income report. Bottom line: earning money blogging takes hard work, perseverance, and learning new things all the time.

Still, even on the days I struggle to juggle working from home, homeschooling, and all other things wife and mom, I still can’t believe I get paid to share my advice with the world, while wearing comfy pants no less!

Seriously, how amazing is that?!

Finally, if you aren’t seeing results, ask for help. Especially if it’s been longer than 6-10 months of blogging (sometimes, it takes longer to see results depending on your strategies and goals).

Don’t keep beating your head against a wall. Reach out to successful bloggers: most of them genuinely want to help and will give you honest and helpful feedback.

How did May go for you? I’d love to hear! Let me know in the comments.

Blog Income Report May 2018: an income report from a small blogger with tips and encouragement for small bloggers still struggling to make their income goals.

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