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Blogging

Struggling to grow your blog? What worked for me and what didn’t in Month 5

I’ll be honest, I’ve been debating about whether or not to continue writing these reports. I really like reading other people’s, because they usually give me hope or help me set realistic goals. They are also helpful when they share actionable ways to grow your blog. Since change is taking place super slowly with my blog, I feel like each month I’m saying the same thing. I’m not sure how useful this is for others.

So this month I’m going to take a new approach. Instead of just reporting about my month, I’ll focus on sharing what has and (hasn’t) worked for me that other new bloggers can benefit from.

I’d love to hear from you about this change! Leave me a comment letting me know if you like the new format better or if I should just scrap them altogether. I promise not to be offended 🙂

Without further ado…

Grow your blog

August wasn’t the easiest month for me as far as writing goes, with all the kids out of school and done with most of their activities. Some of my goals got pushed off to September when I will (hopefully!) have a lot more time. Very happy to report that I was still able to increase my page views to a record high 18,000 though!

grow your blog

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click one of the product links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Month 5 Revenue: What has earned and what hasn’t

There are four common ways that bloggers make money, and I will go through each one below.

1. Advertising on your site

I have Google Adsense ads, since they are pretty easy to get approval on for a new blog. Since I started using them a few months ago, I’ve earned $70 total. Not a huge moneymaker, but it is something to start out with when you don’t have tons of page views. Once you hit some high benchmarks, you can switch to a higher paying ad network. For example, 30,000 monthly page views is required for MediaVine and 100,000 for AdThrive.

This month from Google Adsense I made $22.75.

2. Affiliates

Being an affiliate is beneficial because you don’t need to create your own product, but you can earn a commission on getting your readers to buy other people’s products.

As soon as I had a few posts on my blog I signed up to be an Amazon affiliate. This is another good one for new bloggers because the approval process is easy, and you can link any product on Amazon to your site. Since Amazon has just about everything, it can work for all niches. The downside is, you only get about 4% in affiliate income which is lower than other affiliate networks. Since my linked products are mostly books and toys, it takes quite a lot of sales to accumulate anything (if someone buys a $10 product, at 4% return I’ll get $.40).

This month I earned $13.22 from Amazon affiliates. Since I started the blog in April, I’ve made a total of $60.83.

Other affiliate programs I’ve joined have yet to pan out for me. I am an affiliate for my web hosting company, Bluehost as well as the influencer network Linqia. While they haven’t paid off yet, I’ve seen other bloggers make some income from these so it’s worth a try for you to give it a go on your blog (especially if you write about how to start a blog).

Though not directly related to blogging, I’d also recommend using Ebates for cash back when shopping online. I’ve gotten a few referrals plus the earnings from my personal shopping, for a total of $239.88 since I started a year ago.

3. Selling your own product

The big bloggers who make thousands each month are almost always selling their own service or product, typically a course or e-book. I feel like this tends to come later on in the blogging journey. People are more likely to pay for something if they believe it’s coming from an expert on the topic.

At this point I’m not selling any product. Having one was never really my vision for this blog. I am toying with the idea of creating a product related to Disney travel planning, but only if it’s something extremely useful and different than what’s out there.

We’ll see what the future holds on that one.

4. Sponsored Posts

Grow your blog

This has been my Achilles heel these last couple months. I’ve signed up with lots of networks without seeing any campaigns come through. They either offer me no campaigns, or I apply and never hear anything.

It could certainly be a lack of know-how on my part, so I’m not intending to discourage anyone from trying. There is always a chance you have what some brand is looking for so it wouldn’t hurt to check out the networks like Social Native, Social Fabric, Influenster, Find Your Influence, Massive Sway, Izea, etc. There are tons of them out there if you’re looking.

It seems like sponsored posts on social media might be easier to come by than sponsored blog posts. Still, for all of the above networks my followings aren’t quite big enough.

The only small amount of success I have had is with Heartbeat. If you’re like me and don’t have thousands of Instagram followers yet (first of all let’s connect and support one another on Instagram!) I would recommend getting your feet wet with Heartbeat. They pay small amounts for small followings (think $5 per post for an account with 500 followers). They essentially write the post for you so it’s very easy to do, and you are only required to leave the post up for 72 hours.

Once I’ve grown a bit my plan is to check out higher paying companies like Tribe who pay about $75-$150 per post for accounts with 3,000-5,000 followers (and upwards from there).

Month 5 Expenses: TBD if these are helpful or not!

In an effort to get me out of my sponsored post rut, I did sign up for course this month. It is the first time I’ve signed up for any courses and I tried to choose one that would be a good return on my investment. The course set me back $50, but since I haven’t gotten a chance to go through the material yet, I won’t say too much about it. What I will do is report back next month on whether or not it was helpful!

I also succumbed to the relentless pressure from Facebook to boost one of my posts. I was just testing the waters so I put up $3. It result in the most engagement I’ve had on my page, but didn’t increase my following much. I may or may not do it again depending on how I’m able to grow my page organically.

My growth this month:

  • Page views: One stat I’m happy about is that I’ve increased my page views every month since I started out. August got me 18,105 which was a nice jump from July’s 11,667.
  • Facebook page: I had JUST started one last month and it currently has 324 followers.
  • InstagramI went from 758 followers to 1,020 in the month of August.
  • Twitter: My twitter following grew from 1,613 followers to 2,150. Maybe it’s just because I enjoy Twitter most, but I have found this one the easiest to grow. Anytime you tweet something remotely funny you get at least 10 new followers.
  • Pinterest: Followers aren’t as important for Pinterest since it’s used more like a search engine than a social media platform, but I increased my following from 953 to 1,327.

How I achieved this growth:

Here is the breakdown of my traffic sources

  • 61% Pinterest
  • 17.5% direct traffic
  • 16.5% StumbleUpon
  • 1.6% Facebook
  • Less than 1 percent each: search engine, Twitter, and Instagram

Pinterest

My best advice to grow your blog is to harness the power of Pinterest! Start by setting up a business account and create your profile using keywords relevant to you. State clearly who you are and what your areas of expertise are.

Use rich pins to make your pins look professional among the sea of other pins out there. Make sure each pin has a title that is clear and easy to read. Don’t forget to add a description using keywords that someone might search for. (Remember, Pinterest is used more like a search engine than a social media platform).

Arrange your boards so the first board contains all of your blog posts and no one else’s pins. This is typically called the “Best of (your blog name)” board. Then all your other boards are specific topics that you write about. Load these boards up with the best pins out there, along with your own. All of these boards should have board covers to give your profile a polished, streamlined look.

Lastly, join plenty of group boards and pin to them regularly while abiding by the rules of the board. Many people recommend PinGroupie for finding group boards to join, but I’ve had better luck with Facebook groups like Pinterest Group Boards.

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is like a hidden gem for bloggers. With just a couple easy steps you can get consistent daily traffic from it with no effort. Setting up your profile takes a couple minutes, then just start stumbling. If you like the page it shows you, click “like”, and if you don’t, click “Stumble”. Your likes will be saved to your profile.

Now here is the secret. Do NOT be the first one to Stumble your own posts. Buddy up with another blogger, and Stumble one another. (This is one of those cases where you need those connections with blogging friends!) You agree to Stumble their posts and they Stumble yours.

You also don’t want to Stumble every one of your posts. If you’re writing something about your personal life that only your followers would take interest in, StumbleUpon isn’t the place for it. StumbleUpon shows readers pages at random based on their set interests. These people will likely have no idea who you are, and are looking for value about a topic. My posts that do well on StumbeUpon are ones that have relatable advice, such as How To Talk To Kids. The more likes you get, the more StumbleUpon will show your site to new readers.

Facebook Groups

There are tons of Facebook Groups out there to network and grow your blog. The daily threads that have helped me the most are Pinterest repins (you pin everyone’s pin to a relevant board and everyone repins one of yours). This is great for getting your pins in front of more eyeballs and has lead to thousands of clicks to my site. Another good one is general share threads, where you link your blog post and people share it in any way they choose. I’ve ended up with traffic from sources I don’t even utilize, such as Reddit forums, by participating in share threads.

It does take a chunk of time each day to reciprocate these threads, but it is absolutely worth it to grow your traffic and following. These groups have also helped me meet other Mom bloggers and make my blogger friends. They help answer your questions and give you support. I would probably still have my sister as my only subscriber if it weren’t for these groups!

My favorite Facebook groups are:

  • Mom Bloggers Tribe I LOVE that this whole group is made up of Mom bloggers. It makes it so easy when we all have similar topics so we can share each other’s content and it will apply to our audience! Everyone here is also really nice, I think because we all have that caring/helpful Mom thing going on.
  • The Blogging Squad This group does not mess around, so make sure you read and follow all the rules (such as removing your previews when you paste a link). I like that it is serious though because you know they check the threads and eliminate freeloaders from the group.
  • Pinning Ain’t Easy I like all the repin threads in this group (some by topic, some for all pins) and follow for follow threads.
  • Growing Social Media for Bloggers Just like the name says, it has threads for all the social media platforms. It also has my personal favorite thread called “request something” where you can ask for any type of favor you want and can pick whichever 5 favors you want to reciprocate.

What hasn’t worked to drive traffic

All of my social media accounts besides Pinterest (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook page) bring less than 2% of my traffic each. I know some people have success with these, I just haven’t figured out how to tap into it yet. Common advice is to focus on one platform rather than spread yourself too thin, so I should probably start taking that advice. Juggling content and engagement on all platforms is a huge time suck and there just aren’t enough hours in a day!

I also don’t get much traffic from search engines, even though I do use plugins like Yoast to make sure my posts are SEO-friendly. Part of this is an issue of being new, as Google indexes pages that have been around a while.

Most popular posts of August:

Once again my Disney posts performed well this month, but my hottest post of August was actually a parenting post. The identity crisis continues!

Raising Kids With Less Entitlement and More Gratitude Real Mom Recs

These were my other top posts of August:

Does marriage really take work?

height restrictions in disney

money saving tools

grow your blog

What has worked best for YOU to grow your blog? What would you like to hear more about from me? Let’s help each other!

 

Blogging Income and Traffic Report Month 4

July wraps up my 4th month of blogging and it was chock full of highs and lows. I failed on some of my goals and saw some success on others.

I’m cutting myself a break on the areas I didn’t excel in this month, keeping in mind that I had all four kids home with me the entire month of July. Not exactly conducive to productivity (<—- understatement of the century). We also went on vacation and had to deal with a miserable baby with roseola, so that didn’t exactly work in my favor either.

Even with these factors, I still managed to increase my page views, income, and social media following this month.

Real Mom Recs meme

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click one of the product links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Why do I write income reports?

First of all, I want to write these because I love reading other people’s!  It is fascinating to me to see how other people have grown their blogs. Not just income, but also page views, visitors, and social media following. I am always super impressed to see how someone can start out so small and then start gaining traction and then BOOM– it takes off! Reading other blogger’s income reports has been hugely motivating for me.

Secondly, I’m a numbers girl. I enjoy seeing data in tables and on graphs. It makes something creative and subjective (writing) into something measurable.

The last reason I have for writing and sharing income reports is to force myself to look at my progress each month.  Blogging can be a frustrating endeavor and I want to make sure I look back and celebrate my successes.  Seeing my growth will also allow me to create realistic, manageable goals for the next 30 days.

Month 4 Revenue

Still nothing to brag about in this section, but I did see an increase in my revenue compared to the $22 bucks I made last month.

Google Adsense: $27

Affiliate income: $4.30

Sponsored posts: $9.02

I didn’t accomplish my goal of writing a sponsored post, but I did get a couple small (ok more like TEENY-TINY) sponsored social media posts, which is where the 9 bucks came from.

Total revenue: $40.32

Month 4 Expenses

Since my Bluehost hosting package is prepaid for the year, I didn’t spend any money this month. *They are still running their Summer Sale for 25% hosting packages, so if you are in the market for your very own .com, .net. or .org domain, jump on it: bluehost.com/track/realmomrecs

I do want to invest back into my site so I’m trying to figure out how to best do that. Debating between doing some social media promo, a Tailwind subscription, or both.

Total expenses: $0

How I did on my goals for this month:

  • Up my SEO game: Meh. I use Yoast SEO and try to have all my posts in the green. Other than that I’m not doing anything huge in the SEO department.
  • Land my first sponsored post: Fail. I did get those teeny tiny sponsored social media posts though, so not a total fail. Gotta start somewhere.
  • Continue to grow my InstagramCheck! I went from 503 to 758 followers in the month of July. It still isn’t my favorite platform, but I’m making progress.
  • Increase Twitter followers: Check! Twitter is becoming my favorite platform now that I’ve connected with so many funny people on there. It can be a bit of a time suck, but at least I’m enjoying myself. I went from 1205 to 1613 followers this month.
  • Write for a site that’s bigger than mine: Check! It won’t go live until September, but I did write a post for a pretty awesome blog and I can’t wait to share when it’s up!
  • 16,000 page views: Fail. But I still had a record high month with 11,667 page views, so no hard feelings here.
  • A greater net profit than I made this month: Check! I increased my paltry income by 80%.

Other accomplishments: I started a Facebook page! Now I’m pretty sure I’m on everything!

Most popular posts of July:

Two of my Disney posts took off this month, which leaves me in a contemplative state. I’m such a huge Disney fan, but I didn’t intend for this to become a straight up Disney blog. Should I separate it out into two different blogs? Just leave this site as a mix of Mom topics? I do have a HUGE idea in the works that is Disney-related, but I don’t want to turn off my readers who come here to read about parenting topics. I’m open to input on this if you feel like leaving your 2 cents in the comments or by email!

Am I a Mom blogger? Or a Disney blogger?

via GIPHY
Anyway, here are my most-read posts this month:

5 Most Underrated Attractions at Walt Disney World

Disney souvenirs RealMomRecs

RealMomRecs 25 Quotes That Will Make You Smile

RealMomRecs The Worst Kinds of Moms the Rest of Us Can't Stand

Goals for next month:

  • Continue to increase my social media following on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest
  • Do more guest posting
  • Work on “branding” Real Mom Recs (having consistent colors, fonts, etc across all platforms).
  • Write a sponsored post or at least more sponsored social media mentions
  • Write more parenting humor and practical parenting advice articles
  • Start my big surprise Disney project!

That should be enough to keep me busy! 😀

Interested in starting your own blog? Check out my step by step directions in last month’s report: How I got 11,000 page views (and finally made a profit!) in my 3rd month of blogging

Until next time!

Blog Income and Traffic Report Month 3: How I got 11,000 page views (and finally made a profit!) in my 3rd month of blogging

RealMomRecs Month 3 Blogging Income and Traffic Report

So you want to read my blog income and traffic report?

June wrapped up my 3rd month of blogging and I’m finally feeling like I have a little, tiny, bite-size amount of “cred” in the blog-o-sphere.

I no longer feel like I’m fumbling around in the dark when it comes to blogging.  (And this shows in my numbers compared to Month 1 and Month 2.)

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click one of the product links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Why do I write income reports?

First of all, I want to write these because I love reading other people’s!  It is fascinating to me to see how other people have grown their blogs.  Not just income, but also page views, visitors, and social media following.  I am always super impressed to see how someone can start out so small and then start gaining traction and then BOOM– it takes off!  Reading other blogger’s income reports has been hugely motivating for me.

Secondly, I’m a numbers girl.  I enjoy seeing data in tables and on graphs.  It makes something creative and subjective (writing) into something measurable.

The last reason I have for writing and sharing income reports is to force myself to look at my progress each month.  Blogging can be a frustrating endeavor and I want to make sure I look back and celebrate my successes.  Seeing my growth will also allow me to create realistic, manageable goals for the next 30 days.

Month 3 Revenue

My revenue was not as high this month as it was last month, but I was really focused on getting more traffic and followers. I have recently added a couple new affiliates that I will devote a little more attention to next month.

Google Adsense: $13.13

Affiliate income: $9.28

Sponsored posts: One of my main goals for July is to land one

Total revenue: $22.41

Month 3 Expenses

Zip, nada, zilch! If there is one thing I’m good at, it’s NOT BUYING STUFF 😆

That said, I do see my blog as an investment and I’m considering paying for a course next month if I find something that I think is worth the expense.

Total expenses: $0

Month 3 Net Income: $22.41

Finally in the green! Boom baby!

via GIPHY

 

How I did on my goals for this month:

Income: Anything positive CHECK! It may only be enough to buy a few coffees but it’s my first positive month!

Page views: 10,000 CHECK! 11,052, a number I’m very proud of considering I’m so new

Bounce rate: Still needs work, but I have gotten ideas for plugins that can help

Comments on my blog: 100 CHECK! 111 comments for June

Pinterest followers: 250 MAJOR CHECK! 696 followers as of June 30

Twitter followers: 1500 FAIL! 1205, but if I had to fail at any goals this month I’m glad it’s this one.

Get on Instagram and get 200 followers: CHECK! Started Instagram and I’m up to 503 followers. 

Progress on my other goals for June:

Figure out Tailwind to save me time on Pinterest: Half fail. I started doing Tribes on Tailwind but haven’t worked out any automated pinning schedule, which I really need to do.

Continue guest posting and featuring guest writers on my blog: CHECK! I wrote a little excerpt for the Twin Kid Project about Why I Read. It was exciting to see my name and words on someone else’s site!

I also featured two more guest writers as part of my Ask Me Anything series.

I have gotten great feedback on this series. I think the openness and honesty really resonates with a lot of people. Look for several more posts to be added to the series in July!

Make board covers for my Pinterest boards and get them looking good: Half check. I did clean up my Pinterest boards a bit, and added board covers, but I’m not completely thrilled with them so will probably start over.

Get more email subscribers: Half check. I have been getting email subscribers, even though I have not focused on this at all. Since I don’t have a good newsletter tool yet I haven’t done much with them. I even realized some of my new posts were never sent to to my email list which is a huge FACEPALM! 

How I reached my traffic goal: Most popular posts of June

My greatest success this month was getting over 11,000 page views. These were my three most popular posts which brought a sizable chunk of that:

RealMomRecs: 6 Useless Phrases Parents Need to Stop Saying to their Kids

dark side of parenting what I wish I knew before having kids

How I reached my traffic goal: Sources of traffic

I had been telling everyone that Pinterest accounted for about 90% of my traffic, but after actually crunching the numbers I found that not to be true. Here is the actual breakdown of my traffic sources:

  • Pinterest: 64%
  • Stumbleupon: 9%
  • Facebook: 6%
  • Flipboard: 1%
  • Twitter: 1%
  • Online forums: 1%
  • Instagram: 1%
  • Link ups: 1%
  • Search engines: less than 1%

I realize that only adds up to 85% so I think the other 15% must be from my email list or direct traffic, but I’m not positive.  Add that one to the list of blogging mysteries.

The big takeaway from this is that I’m extremely reliant on social media. I really need to tap into search engines by improving my SEO (search engine optimization) skills. Which brings me to my next subject…

Goals for next month:

  • Up my SEO game (wait, to up my game means I should already have some game, right? So… start my SEO game? Get in the game? Why am I so old?!)
  • Land my first sponsored post
  • Continue to grow my Instagram
  • Write for a site that’s bigger than mine
  • 16,000 page views (Shoot for the moon, miss it and land among the stars, or something like that?)
  • A greater net profit than I made this month

I think that should be enough to keep me busy for July while I also work to keep 4 kids alive 😳

Reflections on my first 3 months

I need to be honest, this little site has truly changed my life these last few months. Being a stay at home is paradoxical: you are always busy, but somehow still bored. Even though I felt like I had no free time, I wanted something else in my life. I needed a purpose, a feeling of being valued, outside of being a Mom.

Blogging has fulfilled that for me.

When people ask what I do for work, I still tell them I’m just a Mom. But in my mind, I’m becoming something else. A writer, an “influencer”, I don’t know what to call it. But I do more than just Momming all the time, and it feels really good. If someday my blog actually makes an income, that would just be icing on the cake.

Have YOU ever thought about starting a blog?

If you can relate to the feeling I’m describing and want to start a blog yourself, I urge you to give it a try. Write about crafting, recipes, your 12 cats- whatever you enjoy. Do it for yourself.

Wondering where to start? If you’re concerned about the technicalities, it’s really not as hard as you think. I am not at all a “techie” and I started this site in one afternoon.

This is really all you need:

A hosting site: Bluehost, GoDaddy, HostGator, etc. Think of this as your plot of land in the web.

I went with Bluehost because I kept seeing it recommended everywhere and it does automatic backups, which I like because I’m the kind of person who would forget to do backups and lose months of work!

Your hosting site allows you to choose your domain name, so this is how you get a neat little URL with whatever cute name you come up with.

WordPress: Install WordPress, this is like building your house that will store all your content and you get to decorate it and make it look pretty.

Write your first post: Just dive in and don’t look back!

It really is that simple to start a new blog. (Promoting it and getting readers is another story for another post!)

Bloggers, what has your experience been like? Those considering blogging, what questions do you have?

Leave a comment (up at the top), I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Blogging Income Report Month 2: May 2017

Welcome to my blogging income report from my second month of RealMomRecs!

I learned so much this past month, I’ve been in a constant state of what I call “brainache”. Like any muscle that fatigues from too much work, I get headaches when I learn and think too much!  I guess it was a big learning month for me!

Right now on my blogging journey I feel like I’m juggling SO many balls. It is hard to know where to focus my efforts (SEO? Adding more content? Promotion? Collaboration? Social Media?) I’m still in awe of how much actually goes into blogging. I have to remind myself that at month 2 I’m still in the very beginning of this process and it isn’t going to all come together at once. Patience is something I’m always working on, and this is no different.

I did have lots of small victories however, and I’m really excited about the progress I’ve made! Just compare to last month’s report to see the growth.

Why do I write income reports?

First of all, I want to write these because I love reading other people’s!  It is fascinating to me to see how other people have grown their blogs.  Not just income, but also page views, visitors, and social media following.  I am always super impressed to see how someone can start out so small and then start gaining traction and then BOOM– it takes off!  Reading other blogger’s income reports has been hugely motivating for me.

Secondly, I’m a numbers girl.  I enjoy seeing data in tables and on graphs.  It makes something creative and subjective (writing) into something measurable.

The last reason I have for writing and sharing income reports is to force myself to look at my progress each month.  Blogging can be a frustrating endeavor and I want to make sure I look back and celebrate my successes.  Seeing my growth will also allow me to create realistic, manageable goals for the next 30 days.

Month 2 Revenue

I was successful in my goal of getting accepted to Google Adsense. I am pretty happy with it so far, but if my readers seemed bothered by the ads or if I notice them become too distracting I will need to reassess.

Oddly enough, most of my Amazon affiliate income came in the beginning of the month when my traffic was lower.  I barely earned anything the second half of the month when my traffic got better. Probably because people were reading articles and not reading my toy or book lists.

Google Adsense: $7.20

Affiliate income: $25.48

Sponsored posts: Hoping to break into this in the next couple months

Total revenue: $32.68

Month 2 Expenses

I was hoping not to have expenses this month, since I paid for the whole year of Bluehost upfront. But I decided my brand was worth a little investment and I hired a graphic designer to do my banner. I am very happy with it and it’s not something I’ll have to pay for again so this is basically another startup cost. Hopefully next month will have minimal expenses!

Graphic design: $180

Total expenses: $180

Month 2 Net Income: $-147.32

This month was another net loss. I am very optimistic that I will be in the green for month 3 though!

How I did on my goals for this month:

Now here is the part I’m really excited about!

Income: $1 (hoping to see a positive number) FAIL At least this saves me from having to write the obligatory paragraph about how I’m not writing this to brag about my income! I think it’s pretty clear there’s nothing to brag about here.

Page views: 1,000 CHECK! I dominated this goal! Thanks to Slacker Mom going mini-viral at the very end of the month, I ended up with over 5,000 page views this month

Unique visitors: 500 CHECK! 4,129 I’m happy this is a high number, but I’m also noticing my bounce rate is really bad. Need to focus on bringing that up.

Comments on my blog: 25 CHECK! 84. Very happy about that! A big goal of mine is to get people talking, even if it means saying things not everyone agrees with.

Pinterest followers: 50 CHECK! Up to 110 now and growing daily.

Twitter followers: 200 CHECK! 770, not bad for just starting out.

Broader goals I had for this month included connecting with other bloggers by either writing a guest post or featuring a guest on my blog. CHECK on all these! I did one collaborative post about Transracial Adoption which I’m turning into a series featuring guest bloggers.  I’ve gotten a lot of interest in it and am looking forward to some exciting new posts coming in June!

I also wrote guest spots in two other blogs being posted in June. I will come back and link those up here once they are live!

How I reached my traffic goal: Most popular posts of May

My best post this month by far was Why I’m Proud to be a Slacker Mom

RealMomRecs: Why I'm Proud to be a Slacker Mom

And these two were runners up

RealMomRecs: 7 Must-Use Sites to Help Plan Your Disney Vacation

RealMomRecs: The Motherless Mom on Mother's Day

Goals for next month:

Looking at how I did in May, I think I made my goals too low. Time to raise the bar in a big way for June!

Income: Anything positive (I mean it this time 😝)

Page views: 10,000

Unique visitors: I don’t care about the number as long as my bounce rate is better than this month.

Comments on my blog: 100

Pinterest followers: 250

Twitter followers: 1500

New goals:

  • Get on Instagram and get 200 followers
  • Figure out Tailwind to save me time on Pinterest
  • Continue guest posting and featuring guest writers on my blog
  • Make board covers for my Pinterest boards and get them looking good
  • Start focusing more on getting email subscribers

Do you think this is all doable? What am I missing or forgetting about? Leave a comment!

Blogging Income Report Month 1: April 2017

Whew!  I survived my first month of blogging!  I have learned a lot this past month and had some successes as well as many challenges.  A month ago, I was clueless about how much more goes into blogging than just writing blog posts.  Hosting, domains, security, plugins, widgets, promotion, graphic design, image editing, branding- these are all things I had NO idea about going into this.  As I assume all new bloggers do, I am learning as I go.

Why write income reports?

First of all, I want to write these because I love reading other people’s!  It is fascinating to me to see how other people have grown their blogs.  Not just income, but also page views, visitors, and social media following.  I am always super impressed to see how someone can start out so small and then start gaining traction and then BOOM– it takes off!  Reading other blogger’s income reports has been hugely motivating for me.

Secondly, I’m a numbers girl.  I enjoy seeing data in tables and on graphs.  It makes something creative and subjective (writing) into something measurable.

The last reason I have for writing and sharing income reports is to force myself to look at my progress each month.  Blogging can be a frustrating endeavor and I want to make sure I look back and celebrate my successes.  Seeing my growth will also allow me to create realistic, manageable goals for the next 30 days.

Month 1 Revenue

This section will be very short because right now I only have one (small!) income stream: Amazon Affiliates.

Affiliate income: $4.33

Sponsored posts: None yet

Google Adsense: Hoping to start next month!

Total revenue: $4.33

Month 1 Expenses

Expenses this month are not what I expect to have going forward because they my startup costs.

Bluehost (Web hosting for 1 year, domain name registration, + security):  $125

WordPress (Premium Theme and Install): $179

Total expenses: $305

Month 1 Net Income: $-300.67

Sad face!  This month was a big net loss.

However, I didn’t expect to turn a profit in my first month and I am not going to let this get me down!

Stats:

These are a bit more optimistic than my income this month.  Anything above 0 is a success to me because all of these were at 0 until half way through April!

Page views: 303

Unique visitors: 207

Comments on my blog: 2

Pinterest followers: 7

Twitter followers: 35

Right now those are the only social media accounts I’ve started.

Goals for next month:

Income: $1 (hoping to see a positive number)

Page views: 1000

Unique visitors: 500

Comments on my blog: 25

Pinterest followers: 50

Twitter followers: 200

Broader goals for the next month include writing a sponsored post, setting up Google Adsense, and connecting with other bloggers by either writing a guest post or featuring a guest on my blog.

So, what do you think?  Any impressions or feedback from my first month?  Anything you want to share about your start as a blogger?  Leave a comment!

One Messy Mama

Blended Life Happy Wife