Welcome to another traffic and income report, here on One Little Project. This is where I share the details of what happened behind the scenes this month on the blog. And let me tell you, it was one heck of an interesting month!
It has been almost 3 months since I quit my day job to become a full time professional blogger. (You can read all about how I decided to make the change in the April 2016 Income Report if you missed it). It took a few months, but I’m finally getting into a good groove.
I swear this has never happened to me before, but this month, I feel like the clouds opened up and the sun was shining down on me. Everything seemed to go “right”. I’m definitely not bragging, because to be honest, it was kind of unsettling! Kind of like, “OK universe, what’s going on? Am I going to be hit by lightning tomorrow to even out all of this good karma?” (So far so good.)
So I’m sorry if this post drives you a little nutty. Good things happened on the blog this month, and there’s really no explanation for it – I’m just as perplexed as you are! But since it’s not every month that things just seem to go “right” for no apparent reason, I’m going to try to enjoy it… and I’ll explain it as best I can!
June 2016 Income Details
Here are the income stats for the month:
- Monumetric (Formerly The Blogger Network) – $5,740.37
- Google Adsense – $304.57
- Amazon Affiliates – $64.60
- HostGator (How to Start a Blog) – $124.67
- ConvertKit – $14.70
Total Income = $6,248.91 USD
The following list contains affiliate links.
- Black Chicken Host – $74.99
- MailChimp – $125.00
- ConvertKit – $29.00
- BlogVault – $9.00
- UpWork – $367.76
- BoardBooster – $40.00
- CrashPlan – $5.99
- HelloBar – $15.00
- 99 Designs – $515.00
Total Expenses = $1,181.74 USD
June 2016 Net Profit = $5,067.17
I’m in a beta testing group with Monumetric, so when they have new ads/ideas/whatever, they ask if I want to be involved. They made some tweaks to the ads on my website during the last week in June and overnight my income doubled. Seriously, it DOUBLED!!! I was staring at my dashboard in disbelief, thinking, “This can’t be real???”. But I emailed them to ask, and that was apparently my real income. Overnight, my RPM jumped from $10 to $20. Whoah.
After doing a happy dance, and taking the family out for dinner, I started to wonder when the other shoe was going to drop. Things dipped down when July 1st hit and the 3rd quarter rolled around, but my income has still been unusually high. I have no idea how long it’s going to last, but if they want to increase my ad revenue, who am I to argue?!
I Took a Break from Facebook (and Facebook liked it)
Facebook confused the pants off of me this month. I’ve been working really hard on my Facebook page for over a year now. Every day, I was posting 8 to 15 times a day, and I gradually built up my fan base to 130,000 Facebook fans (as of today). But on June 17th, I was tired. And I decided I didn’t want to put in the hour that it takes me to find Facebook content each day and get it all scheduled. I just wanted a break. So I didn’t post anything that day, other than my own new blog post. And the same thing the next day.
In my head, I told myself that I was just taking a break, and that I’d get back to it soon enough. Summer is slow on the blog, so what difference does it make if I take a Facebook vacation? But then something crazy and completely unexpected happened. After about a week, I started getting 800 new Facebook fans each day. And a week after that, I started getting 1,000 new Facebook fans each day. So now, I’m only posting my own new content on Facebook, and I’m getting more than 1,000 Facebook fans every single day. What?!?
I searched through Facebook to see if someone was mentioning my page, but they weren’t. As far as I could tell, when someone liked someone else’s page, it would pop up with something suggesting that the person like my page as well. I’m not paying for it. It’s just happening.
Before June 24th, I would have said POST POST POST on Facebook to build up your fan base. But now I’m not so sure? Facebook seems to like that I’ve stopped posting so much. Has anyone else noticed that happening to them? Maybe everyone in general is getting “suggested” more?
I Added a Pop Up to Collect Emails
I added a pop up to collect emails, and do you know what happened? My bounce rate went down. I’m baffled. Normally my bounce rate is 85%, but since the day I added the pop up, it dropped to an average of 78%, which is kind of a huge change and totally counter intuitive. My pop up says “Join the 12,000 community members who receive our newsletter each week!” and my only guess is that by saying that I have 12,000 community members, people are intrigued? It’s almost like people are thinking, “Well, there are 12,000 others who think this is a good website, I wonder what the fuss is about?” And then they look around? Maybe?
And on top of that, the pop up is collecting about 100 emails per day. I’m guessing about 15% of them are fake. I laugh when I look through the list and see creative email addresses like [email protected] or the more popular ones with $#&[email protected] (except use your imagination and replace that with a bad word… so yes, clearly pop ups annoy people…). But even still , 85 new, valid subscribers a day is pretty good. And it works out to about 5 or 6 times as many subscribers as I was getting with the regular Hello Bar at the top.
The first half of the year is over! Yay! Halloween and Christmas are usually my most popular seasons, so I’m counting down the weeks until I can start posting about them! Where has this year gone?!
My traffic seems to finally be going back up again. (I’ve been waiting since January, but my traffic just kept going doooooown…) This month, my pageviews were up 17% from May 2016, which is finally heading in a better direction! And compared to this time last year, traffic is up 90%.
Most Popular Posts this Month
Summer themed projects and kids activities seemed to be popular this month.
- Mason Jar Citronella Candles
- How to Make Puffy Paint
- Glow Stick Ideas
- Dish Soap Silly Putty
- 4th of July Desserts
- New Email Subscribers – 764
- Total Email Subscribers – 12,496
RPM is revenue per thousand pageviews. It’s a metric to track your income against your traffic, to see how effective you are at bringing in income.
My RPM went WAY up this month, mostly due to the tweaks that Monumetric made to my ads. My site is definitely heavy with ads and it tends to be slow to load, but it’s hard to say no to more money – especially when my bounce rate is actually improving.
June 2016 RPM = $14.04
People in my blogging Facebook groups often make comments about how having a lot of ads on your website is a bad thing. They don’t really give reasons, it’s just a general feeling across the board that ads are bad and ugly and should be avoided. And if you feel that way, make sure you ask yourself why?
When you buy a magazine, how much of it is real content vs advertisements? When you watch television, how many minutes of commercials are there per hour? Why is it any different when it comes to having ads on your blog? Is it more important to have a beautiful and non-distracting blog? Or is it more important to make money?
Everyone is going to have a different answer, and I’m not saying one way is better than the other, but you should be confident in your answer. For me, my blog is my business, and in my situation, I’m here to make money through ad revenue so I can support my family. My traffic is going up, my bounce rate is going down, people are subscribing to my newsletter, and I’m ranking high on Pinterest for key search terms (One of my posts is #2 on Pinterest for the search term “crafts” today, Woo!). In my situation, I’m very confident that the ads are not hurting my business. Will that change some day? Maybe, but for now, it’s working.
So if you want to try out a bunch of the different types of ads on your website, keep an eye on your stats and don’t let other bloggers make you feel bad about it. Do what you’re comfortable with and don’t be afraid to try out different methods of monetizing your blog.
So, how weird of a month was that? My RPM shot up to over $14 and my income doubled pretty much overnight. I stopped posting on Facebook and I got more fans than ever. And I added an email collecting pop up on my site and my bounce rate actually improved. Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. I’m pretty sure these awesome and counter intuitive things can’t last forever, but it sure made for an interesting month!
I’ve been glued to my office chair all morning procrastinating, but it’s time to do a photo shoot for a new blog project! So that’s it for now! Happy blogging!