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I can’t believe that November is over! I’ve now officially been blogging for three whole months, which seems unreal. I’ve learned so much over the last three months that it seems like I’ve been doing this for much longer. This is my second monthly blog report so check out the details below.
Learning new things is one of my favorite parts of having a blog. I read so many articles about starting a blog and what you should and should not do but until I started, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
Blogging is a whole new world with its own challenges and opportunities. I’m trying to take it one day at a time right now and these monthly blog reports are my way of keeping track of how I’m growing, what I’m learning and what’s ahead.
So, enough about that, let’s get to the juicy stuff. Here are the stats for November:
November Monthly Blog Report Recap Numbers
November views: 5,255
November income: $60.18 (October’s income was $25.75 so this more than doubled!)
November expenses: $40
November email subscribers: 24
A few notes: For the sake of simplicity, I’m sharing income in the month it was earned rather than in the month for which I received the payout. For some affiliate programs, it can take some time before getting paid and I believe income and traffic are closely related.
What Worked This Month
My monthly page views are continuing to grow so I feel like I’m making some steady improvements in that area. My traffic is not gangbusters like I’ve seen on some blogger reports but the main thing I’m currently doing to drive page views is Pinterest.
I’ve been very happy with the way Pinterest has been sending traffic my way even after I’ve implemented some changes. I’m still using the concepts from Carly’s book, Pinteresting Strategies, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone new to Pinterest.
The book is absolute gold when it comes to understanding how Pinterest sees your pins. I did mostly manual pinning last month but I started also experimenting with BoardBooster and I’m very hopeful with some of the tactics I’m trying out.
My goal is to use what I’ve learned in Carly’s book to create an automated version since who’s got the time for manual pinning? I can tell you that I, unfortunately, don’t! I have a full-time job, two kids under five and a husband (who’s feeling very neglected lately because of this blogging thing).
I’ve really invested a lot of time over the last part of the month to learn the ins and outs of BoardBooster because I think it’s the key to creating a system using Carly’s methods. Since my blog does not really focus on blogging, I’m not sure if I’ll share my findings here (blogging about blogging – so overdone, right?) but I may reconsider if I really think it could help other bloggers.
I’m still learning so much having only three months under my blogging belt. I’d say 95% of my page views are from Pinterest so I’ll keep plugging away and trying new things until I’m happy with a system. BoardBooster overall is a cheap way to test things so I’ll keep tweaking.
Let’s Talk Money
So, I finally have my first positive earning month. I’m not getting rich by any means but I do like seeing the needle move in a positive direction.
I made a grand total of $60.18 from my blog for the month of November. This includes $18.24 from ads (Google Adsense) and $41.94 from affiliates. I’ve started to apply the lessons I learned from Michelle’s awesome course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and slowly adding affiliate links to my blog.
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest and quickest ways to make money as a new blogger. One of the reasons is that it doesn’t take a lot of traffic to make money as an affiliate. As a new blogger, it’s going to take time to build my traffic but it doesn’t mean I can’t make money in the meantime.
With ads, as you can tell, I don’t make much of anything based on my traffic. With affiliate sales, I have a little more control over my earnings. I only recommend products and services that I truly believe in and use myself. When someone clicks on my link and signs up for something or buys something, I get a percentage of the sale (or a specific amount).
One of the best affiliate programs for money bloggers during the holidays (in my opinion) is Ebates. I LOVE Ebates (here’s my review) and have used them for several years to get cash back on my online purchases. Their affiliate program for the last quarter of the year is amazing!
I’m not sure why I haven’t seen more bloggers mention this but Ebates pays out the last quarter bonus for each person that signs up and qualifies using a referral link. Each person who signs up through my link and makes their first $25 purchase through Ebates gets a $10 cash bonus. I get a $25 bonus for referring them – say WHAT?! That’s a pretty amazing commission for recommending something I use and love – and the person who signs up also get a cash bonus so it’s a win-win!!
Moral of the story – if you are a new blogger (or even an established blogger who wants to make money using another tactic), try out affiliate marketing. Find some products and services that you love and recommend them to your readers. I would recommend getting Michelle’s course because there are some laws you need to keep in mind plus she has such great tips – and she knows her stuff. She makes more than $50,000/month from affiliate marketing.
The $40 I spent this month was a Black Friday deal that I couldn’t pass up. I’ve had Traffic Transformation: 21 strategies I used to go from 17K to 400K+ page views in 10 months by Lena Gott on my wishlist so when I got an email with a fabulous Black Friday promo, I scooped it up. I love it so far and will let you know what I think as I implement some of her suggestions.
In the meantime, don’t miss out on this fabulous freebie she’s offering. It’s a tactic I haven’t seen anywhere else and is guaranteed to increase your page views.
What Didn’t Work
I realized after I published my last blogging report that I did not mention the Facebook blog sharing threads I was participating in as a way to get more traffic to my website. I mainly participated in daily Pinterest repin threads where you partner with other bloggers who repin a pin you post in exchange for you repinning theirs.
It’s a great idea to partner with other bloggers and to help grow each other’s traffic but in practice, it’s a time suck! It was taking me one to two hours per day to complete threads and I’m not sure that it added much to my traffic.
Since I ended up quitting the threads the week of Thanksgiving, we’ll see if it was a good move. I just think that there are way better ways to spend the time I do have for blogging than repin threads. I’m all for working smarter not harder (hence my blog name) so I just quit.
My traffic has still been pretty good overall so I’ll keep plugging away to see if I can keep it up without the repin threads. Now I have some extra time each day to focus on other blog tasks.
Come back for next month’s report to see if this was a wise move. I figured the repin threads will be still there if I decide to try them again in a few weeks. For now, I’m enjoying the new extra time I have for blogging.
Blogging as a Business
As I mentioned last month, I didn’t start my blog as a hobby but as a business. It’s still a hobby to me as well since I love writing and learning new things. However, I’m treating it as a business and trying to make money as well.
My focus is on figuring out the best way to make money with it so I’m not afraid to invest in blogging resources that will make the job easier. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel but learn from bloggers who have already figured it.
I invested in a number of courses so far to help me grow my blog but I wouldn’t recommend you waste your money on even half of them. Below are just the resources I found truly helpful and would recommend to others:
- Bluehost – I started my blog through Bluehost and couldn’t be happier. They are a great hosting company and I’ve had no issues with downtime so far. They also made my switch from HTTP to HTTPS a breeze and I’ve had no broken links or other problems. I signed up for hosting for three years for a little over $100. Why? Because that way I have some skin in the game and I’m committed to sticking with blogging.
- Pinteresting Strategies – the BEST course/ebook on understanding Pinterest and using it to drive massive traffic to your blog. It’s a manual pinning strategy that does not require signing up for Tailwind or BoardBooster. And I can’t believe it costs about the same as a two-month subscription to Tailwind!
- Group Board Master – this course teaches you how to find and join Pinterest Group Boards, which, in turn, can help drive traffic to your blog when combined with the strategy outlined in Pinteresting Strategies. It’s a very well laid-out course with actionable steps to help you get on some great group boards. This course is one of the reasons I’ve been able to join several group boards with more than 50,000 followers each while I still only have less than 200 Pinterest followers.
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – if you want to make money with affiliate marketing, then you absolutely need this course. Blogging is a business and by taking this course, you will be learning from the best. It also provides access to a private Facebook group, which has been an invaluable way to promote my blog and get access to some other well-established bloggers who are happy to help answer questions from newbies like me.
How was November for you? What resources helped you most as a new blogger? Share in the comments.