Welcome to my January 2020 Monthly Blog Income Report! It was a busy but extremely rewarding month. Blame it on New Year’s resolutions, or simply timing but I had some major goals I wanted to be accomplished and very little time to do so.
Without further ado, welcome to my first blog income report! This is a nerve-wracking thing to do, but I’m finding MANY of you are interested in starting a blog and I think being transparent about the reality of blogging is important so I will be publishing a monthly blog income report from here on out!
Additionally, I will share some of my “other” side hustles to break down WHY things look the way they do, with that said, let’s go!
The backstory about me and my blog
(If you’ve been here before, feel free to skip this section!)
I started my blog in 2018. It was originally created to be more of a portfolio site to accompany me on my job search so I invested very little time or effort into as a blog. In fact, I even went as far as NOT self-hosting so my customizing and monetizing capabilities were ZILCH.
In 2019 I switched to self-hosted as I pivoted towards lifestyle blog. It was another 6 months before I narrowed my focus, found my target market and ultimately niched down to intentional living and personal development catered towards moms.
However, it wasn’t until the end of 2019 (as in after Christmas!) I began my journey into monetizing my blog!
January Recap Blog Income Report
I didn’t set any vanity number goals for this month as I wasn’t totally sure what to expect. I wanted to focus on settling into a new schedule, work on setting up an Etsy shop for my artwork, along with creating a product for my printable shop.
So with that said, let’s jump into numbers…
Google Adsense: $17.75
Affiliate Marketing: $0
Sponsored Posts (blog): $0*/$23
Total Blog Income: $17.75/$40.75
Additional Income: Art Shop: $0 Sponsored Posts (Instagram): $0
**I have joined a variety of individual affiliate programs. I currently have no made any money from them, however, if that changes in the future I will list them specifically to share my successes!
Etsy Fees: $1
*I pay in advance for the year but showing the monthly breakdown of that cost is.
Total Expenses: $128.38
Total Net Loss:$110.63
Unfortunately, I lost money. Not at all a surprise, of course, I’m so early in the process with very little I’m actively pushing. As far as my income streams go I opened my art shop the last week of January and launched my first product (my ebook!) for the printable shop on the last day of January so in fairness they don’t actually belong on the list. My hope is that my hard work and educational investment these first few months will start paying off as we get closer to Summer!
? February Goal:
Google Adsense: $50
Work on SEO to increase organic traffic to increase RPM
Affiliate Marketing: $50
Write affiliate post
Sponsored Posts (blog): $0
Nothing currently in the works (unless my January post gets approved)
Email shop launch, targeted Pinterest pins, write a blog post
Art Shop: $500
List 10 products (rephotograph items), connect printify, possibly reopen commissions
Sponsored Posts (Instagram): $30
I have one lined up, will apply to more programs and brands
This month I took the time to organize my editorial calendar, create specific goals with an action plan and measure my time commitment.
I spend the majority of my day as a homemaker: taking care of the child, the home, homeschooling, etc. This is my first priority.
I spend approximately 3 hours a day, or 20 hours a week working on the blog, including products listed on the website.
The rest of my time (LOL) is spent split between writing (YA series and picture books), painting (for my art shop), and illustrating. I am working on building a portfolio to open up for illustrating picture books (including my own), and opening my painting shop to commissions.
? February Goal:
Ideally, I would start scheduling further ahead on blog posts. I usually work 3 months ahead, I’m currently writing the night before so I need to get ahead of schedule again. I will focus on creating better breakdowns of my time towards goals so I can better portion control the time overall and be more strategic towards specific goals.
Bounce Rate: 60.32%
Blog Views Overview:
Organic: 52 users
Direct: 308 users
Social: 851 users
Referral: 22 users
Social Views Breakdown:
Pinterest: 546 users
Facebook: 362 users
Twitter: 32 users
Instagram: 2 users
Email: 0 users
Overall my Pinterest views are low, I know I can do much better. One of my focuses in February will be spent on Pinterest and Pinterest SEO in particular. I’m using Tailwind but I don’t see any increase in views from that.
Other concerns are Facebook, social media, SEO and email list (basically everything). I am spending 1-2 hours of my day in Facebook groups that aren’t reciprocating so moving forward I will begin testing which groups are giving me the best bang for my buck and removing the worst offenders! I do find that social media is a waste of time. I’d like to schedule posts ahead, maybe post 3-4 times a week only and stay off of it the rest of the time. SEO on my blog will be my other main focus in February. My email list now has the resource library available to all who join so hopefully that will begin incentivizing.
I recently invested in the Ultimate Bundle: Genius Bloggers Toolkit and will work through the Pinterest and SEO sections to hopefully gain some traction. I also purchased the Niche Conversion Book and will begin making those changes to my blog posts.
? February Goal:
Bounce Rate: 50%
Email Subscriber Statistics
January total subscribers: 70
In the last few days of January I actually set up an incentive for people to sign up, access to ALL the free printables I create in my blog posts! Now that I have a resource library I hope to begin capturing emails and will start sending out newsletters every other week, to begin with. I’m currently using Mailchimp, free of course at this time. Their interface is surprisingly complicated for some reason but after getting my library set up I think I’ve finally figured my way around the site! I love the customization, the templates, the variety, etc. it definitely just takes a moment to figure out the interface!
? February Goal: 100 Subscribers
Social Media Statistics
Generally, social media isn’t a huge focus for me. However, I am building up my media kit and social media vanity numbers are important for that so I need to focus some amount of time towards building up solid profiles.
Again, I want to spend minimal time on Twitter and Instagram, so I will stick to posting on days when new blog posts come out, and sharing other people’s content occasionally. Pinterest I will focus on this month, first spending time learning SEO and then increasing followers.
? February Goal:
Pinterest: 2000 Followers
Twitter: 1500 Followers
Instagram (blog): 1500 Followers
Instagram (art): 600 Followers
Adsense is measured by RPM which is the metric to track rate per thousand page views. This number can move month-to-month and ultimately measures how effective your ads are. So for every 1000 pageviews, you receive your current RPM. The RPM can fluctuate day-to-day due to impressions versus clicks. I barely understand it myself so I’m the last person to try and explain it. All I know is: the higher the RPM, the more you make!
January RPM: $3.20
Can only go up from here, right? Sometime through the month I lowered the number of ads showing as bad ads that people ignore lowers your RPM, so potentially that raised me up a little. I also activated matched content ads, that should help keep people on the site. My goal this next month is to work on SEO to increase organic traffic to my site!
? February Goal: $5 RPM
My goal was to create 9 blog posts this month (coming out every Monday and Thursday), with approximately 8500-word count total for the month.
January Blogging Goals:
Post Count: 8 January Word Count: 11677
I hit one, but didn’t hit the other! I had a sponsor fall through after I had written the post. It may still come through in February though so we’ll see! These goals are entirely personal. I use them to keep myself accountable and focused. Plus it’s fun seeing my word count at the end of the month!
In case anyone is interested, you can read all my January posts here, or my top 3 most popular from January:
Another piece of my blog I need to work on is speed. I have a few unused plugins sitting around and I need to compress my photos to increase my speed.
January Blog Income Report Summary:
All in all, January was surprisingly productive! While I obviously lost money, I feel that I got a lot done to set me up towards making money sooner rather than later. I’m definitely excited about the future.
I’d love to hear from you! What successes did you have in January? What are your goals for February? Any tips for the newly monetized? Do you publish your own blog income report? I’d love to see it, drop it in the comments!
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About Ariana Dagan
Welcome! I live in Northern California with my husband, our toddler, and two dogs. I'm a writer, illustrator, and creative mentor.
I'm on a mission to create a culture of happier, thriving creators! I help calm the chaos so you can reclaim your time, rediscover your identity, and reach new levels of success in your endeavors.
This site is a place to find value in your voice and strength to become the best version of yourself so you can go from simply existing day-to-day to LIVING ON PURPOSE.
Thank you for sharing your report. I should be doing a breakdown like this every month. I am not making any money yet, but hope to be able to do soon.