It’s blog income report time again here on One Little Project! This is where I share details from the business side of things here on the blog – with information on my blog earnings and traffic for the month.
I actually really like writing these blog income reports! I feel like I can be myself and tell you what’s really going on around here! Being a blogger is a lot of work, but it’s also a LOT of fun, so I love sharing what I’ve been working on and how it’s all been going. I hope you enjoy it too!
If you missed last month’s income report, (because I just finished writing it and back-dated it for the beginning of May, so it’s a little bit buried…) I talked about how I quit my day job to become a full time professional blogger! I am OVER THE MOON about the decision, but wow, was it ever stressful! I feel like the luckiest person in the world that I get to do this as my job. If you missed it, you can hop on over to the April 2016 Income Report to read about why I finally decided to make the change!
May 2016 Income Details
Here are the income stats for the month:
- The Blogger Network – $3,578.05
- Google Adsense – $231.66
- Amazon Affiliates – $72.73
- ShareASale – $31.33
- ConvertKit – $14.70
Total Income = $3,928.47 USD
The following list contains affiliate links.
- Black Chicken Host – $74.99
- MailChimp – $115.00
- ConvertKit – $29.00
- BlogVault – $9.00
- UpWork – $376.87
- BoardBooster – $30.00
- CrashPlan – $5.99
- HelloBar – $15.00
Total Expenses = $655.85 USD
May 2016 Net Profit = $3,272.62
This was my first month as a full time (ish) blogger and it has been AMAZING. I have loved every minute of it! We have three kids and the 18 month old and 4 year old are going to daycare 4 days a week so I can work here on One Little Project. My 6 year old finishes school at 3:30pm, so I really only have about 6.5 hours during the day, 4 days a week to work on my blog. I spend some evenings here and there working on photo editting (call me crazy, but that’s actually my favourite part of blogging!), and usually about 30 minutes each morning scheduling Facebook posts.
So I would say I’m working about 30 hours a week on the blog, which works out to about $24 per hour. (In Canadian dollars it’s about $31 per hour). It doesn’t feel like it was all that long ago that I was only making $0.03 cents an hour on my blog, so this is a solid improvement. Ha!
This month I created an editorial calendar and I’ve planned my posts for the next three months. It might sound extreme, but let me just say, I LOVE having the editorial calendar. Nothing stresses me out more (well, okay, I’m sure there are lots of things that stress me out more…) than waking up in the morning and not knowing what I’m going to blog about.
I’m planning one recipe post, one craft post and one round up post every week, for a total of three new blog posts a week. And then my goal is to have all of my posts scheduled and ready to go the week before they’re supposed to be published. It gives me a bit of a buffer in case something comes up with the kids.
I’m still figuring out my new schedule as I go, but I spend about 3 days a week working on blog post creation and 1 day a week on the marketing and blog-development side of things.
Changes to Pinterest
I’m in a lot of Facebook blogging groups and there has been quite a bit of complaining going on about the changes to Pinterest’s algorithm. Now that the pins show the total pins for the entire post rather than the number of repins on that particular pin, a lot of people feel discouraged. Along with the changes in the smart feed, some have even said that it’s made them stop using Pinterest.
I can’t stress this enough. Don’t let these changes bring you down! And definitely don’t quit your efforts on Pinterest! Just because you can’t see how your pins are doing, doesn’t mean that nothing is happening.
I posted How to Make Mason Jar Citronella Candles last month on May 23 and nothing happened. It’s not the best post I’ve ever written, in fact, my candles turned out more like crazy torches than peaceful candles (but they worked REALLY well to keep the bugs away!), so I was a little embarrassed to post it. I pinned it, and there were crickets, so I just assumed it was a post that flopped.
I didn’t have much hope for it, but a week later, it really started to pick up steam. Ten days later it had 7,000 pins, and today, 17 days later it has 23,000 pins! Which is crazy for a post that I thought would flop! I’m using my regular pinning campaign and schedule using BoardBooster, (where you can also see how your individual pins are doing, by the way), and even though nothing happened at first, it just took a week for my pins to start to take off. If I had given up on pinning that post any time in the first week, I wouldn’t have seen its success. Here’s the graph:
Ranking Well in Search Terms on Pinterest
Every once in awhile I like to search the popular search terms on Pinterest to see what search results are coming up. It helps me learn what’s successful, what people like to pin, and more importantly, what Pinterest likes to show to people. The other day I did a search on Pinterest for the word “crafts” and I was shocked to see that three of my own posts showed up in the first ten pins! I wasn’t sure if it was just me or if other people were seeing it too, but some of my blogging buds saw the same thing.
It feels like Pinterest changes these search results on a daily basis, so I’m sure it won’t last forever, but I was still in there. Three times. On one of the biggest search terms. I was definitely having a pat-myself-on-the-back moment for this. I’m giving myself a virtual high five, because I’m pretty sure no one else in the world cares but me. (And my husband… he’s very supportive.).
I’m not sure how Pinterest decides what to show in its search results, but I can tell you that my post about How to Make Paper Hyacinths, which I posted on April 28 (that was the one and only blog post I published in April that I mentioned in my last income report), and it ended up being really popular. It has had tons of traffic and the pin count has grown like crazy. Almost 50,000 pins at the time of writing this post, and I published it a little over a month ago.
What can you learn from this? Take a look at the format of the pins that rank highly. Try searching the word “dinner” on Pinterest to see what I mean. Try using a similar format and see if it helps your pin counts (but don’t copy anyone’s fonts… that’s just not cool.). It’s normally the posts that are getting a lot of traffic and click throughs that end up ranking well for search terms.
This time of year is just terrible for traffic. For me anyway. It’s depressing that in December I had twice as much traffic as I had in May. The important thing is that my traffic is generally going up. So I know I just have to stick it out for another few months and I’m pretty confident my traffic numbers will go up again.
I’ve said this before, but it’s best to look at your pageviews compared to the previous year rather than the previous month. Right now, everyone is outside enjoying this beautiful weather, not sitting on the couch in the dark searching for comfort food or holiday decorations. So it makes sense that there’s less traffic right now and throughout the summer. You have to compare apples to apples.
Most Popular Posts this Month
‘Tis the season for backyard and gardening posts! I was happy to see that two of my new posts made it into the top five (the Paper Hyacinths and the Crafts for the Garden). Here’s the five posts that got the most traffic this month:
- How to Make Puffy Paint
- Paper Hyacinth Flowers
- Glow Stick Ideas
- Crafts for the Garden
- Vegetable Garden Hacks
- New Email Subscribers – 348
- Total Email Subscribers – 11,732
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.
I admit it. I have a lot of ugly ads on my blog. I’m sure there are lots of bloggers out there cursing blogs like me. But the difficult thing is that they perform really well! My RPM went up from $9.06 in April to $10.38 in May. My goal for the year was to get to an RPM of $10, and to tell you the truth, I thought I’d have to start selling e-books and courses and really step up my affiliate marketing game to get there. But I’ve done nothing so far. I’ve never seen such high RPM values for a blogger whose only source of income is from ad networks. I know I need more income streams, and I definitely don’t recommend this all-your-eggs-in-one-basket approach, but wow, it’s crazy that I can get such a high RPM just from ads. I guess I need a new RPM goal for the year?!
May 2016 RPM = $10.38
Young Living Essential Oils
Remember back in October 2015, when I said I ordered a Starter Kit from Young Living? Well, I FINALLY published my first post using the essential oils, and I’m hoping to publish one or two a month from now on. There are super diligent bloggers out there, and then there’s me who orders something and takes 8 months to use it. (The moral of this blogging story is that you can take breaks, and work at your own pace and there is NOTHING wrong with that!).
I know other people have had amazing success with their affiliate income selling essential oils, so we’ll see how it goes. In the past, I’ve been pretty terrible at affiliate marketing, so here’s hoping I can add another source to my revenue streams! Keep your fingers crossed for me!
That’s it for now! I’m still working on finishing up the income reports I missed while I was taking my blogging break, so check back every once in awhile and they should be up soon!