Fourteenth Month of making money from Blogging!
Blogging Income Report – August 2019
Another month has passed which means it’s time for another Income Report! I’m now two months into my second year of blogging for money!
I’d like to tell you that it gets easier in the second year and that I had a great August, but I’m not going to lie – August was a very rough month for me!
After having such a great month in July, I was super excited to see what August had in store, but every day felt like such a struggle.
I feel the complete opposite of how I felt after July, when I felt like my blog had a breakthrough and it was the start of something amazing.
Now, being completely honest, I feel like it could all crash in the blink of an eye and all of my hard work would be diminished to absolutely nothing.
I’m trying my best to fight that feeling every day, but there’s no doubt that this blogging thing is HARD!
However, despite August feeling like one of the worst months, I still managed to earn almost as much money as I did in July.
How? We’ll talk about everything in this report.
And feel free to browse through the rest of my Income Reports!
Here are my previous three:
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Affiliate links may be used in this post, which I may receive a commission from, at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.
Why do I publish Income Reports?
If you just happened to stumble upon this blogging income report and it’s the first one you’ve ever read, it must be super strange that I’m sharing my income online for everyone to see!
(I don’t think it’ll ever not be weird for me to share it with you, either. But, it’s kind of a thing in the blogging world.)
And if this isn’t your first income report, you already know the drill!
1. Transparency is very important to me
I am so honest in my income reports and sometimes I may even be too honest, but I don’t believe in painting a pretty picture without showing you all the effort that goes into it.
Far too often I see income reports that make it seem like blogging is a super easy “get-rich-quick” scheme and that couldn’t be further from the truth.
It definitely is possible to start earning a significant amount of money in a short period of time. But, that doesn’t happen without a lot of hard work.
2. I want to help you!
If you’re just started a blog and you have no idea what you’re doing or if you’re thinking of starting a blog, I hope my income reports can shed some light on the steps you should take.
I started writing income reports from the very first month of my blogging for money journey to serve a sort of a road map for new bloggers.
A little about me and this blog:
You can totally skip this part if you’re not new here! But, if you are, I think it’s super important that you know a little about my blogging history.
Even though this is my 14th month making money from blogging, I started this blog way back in early 2016.
I was living in Japan at the time and I created this blog as a way for my family and friends back home to keep up with me.
Nothing was done to promote it and I’m pretty sure only my family and friends read it.
When I moved back home to Maui in the middle of 2017, this blog turned into a beauty blog (which is what it still is).
But, I didn’t do any research on how to blog or how to make money from blogging, so I’m pretty sure only my family and friends were reading it then, too.
Finally, in July 2018, I started researching how to blog for money and turned this blog around!
I did already have a bunch of beauty-related posts that were “promotable” at this point, so I wasn’t exactly starting from zero.
August 2019 Income Report and Traffic
As I’ve done in my previous income reports, I will be reporting my income on an earned basis, even though this money hasn’t hit my bank account yet. The money I’ve earned in any given month corresponds to the traffic of said month, so I feel this is an intuitive way of reporting. This may change in the future, but I will always disclose my reporting method in every income report.
August 2019 Blog Gross Income: $2,386.99
- Mediavine – $2,172.25
- Rakuten (Ebates) – $125.00
- Amazon – $41.32
- rewardStyle – $28.87
- Skimlinks – $19.55
August 2019 Blog Expenses: $0
- Animoto Video Maker – $0 (paid in full previously for one year)
- Domain Registration – $0 (paid in full previously for one year)
- Siteground Hosting – $0 (paid in full previously for one year)
- Tailwind – $0 (paid in full previously for one year)
August 2019 Blog Net Income: $2,386.99
August 2019 Traffic: 60,523 Sessions and 80,154 Page Views
Here are my stats from July for comparison:
Both August and July had 31 days in the month, but let’s still take a look at average/day:
- August: 1,952.35 sessions/day and 2,585.61 page views/day
- July: 2,682.65 sessions/day and 3,540.87 page views/day
I set a goal of hitting 125,000 page views in August and I was nowhere close…
Here’s a look at my traffic over the months:
At least my August traffic was still more than June!
Income and Expenses
I grossed an amount of $2,386.99 in July, which I am very pleased with, especially with the decrease in traffic.
The goal I set for the month was $3,000 so I didn’t reach it, but I’m still very pleased.
I managed to refrain from buying any blogging courses and e-books in August, which is quite a feat since I felt like everything I was doing was wrong.
And all of my operational expenses were previously paid for, so I didn’t incur any new expenses there. My Tailwind subscription expires in September, so I’ll have more expenses next month!
Looking at this graph still makes me happy even though traffic was down. I managed to prevent my income from going down by much!
Up until August, the amount of money I made was directly related to the amount of traffic I received because most of my income comes from ad revenue.
And I have no intention of changing that – I love ad revenue!
Most of my income came from ad revenue again in August, but why was it almost the same as July when traffic was higher?
RPM represents the amount of money earned for every 1,000 page views or sessions.
In August, my page view RPM was $27.10, up from a page view RPM of $20.17 in July.
THAT IS CRAZY. That is an incredibly high RPM for anyone to have and that’s why my ad revenue was so high for the amount of page views I received.
And you know what? I have no idea why it increased so much.
I didn’t do anything differently than I did in July and I didn’t make any formatting changes to my blog that would affect it.
The only thing I can think of is the seasonality of advertising spending. Mediavine has a great blog post on it: Ad Revenue by the Seasons
But, that still doesn’t explain how large of an increase I experienced. I’m definitely not complaining, though!
OH. MY. GOD. PINTEREST.
Pinterest was the cause of all my stress in August and is the sole reason I had a rough month.
First of all, at the beginning of the month, I got blocked as spam on Pinterest!
Yes, that’s right! That means every single pin that was linked to my domain name was marked as spam.
So, ALL of my pins didn’t work and my traffic from Pinterest went to ZERO.
A little hyperventilating happened, a few tears were shed, and I went into a complete panic.
I felt so helpless. All I could do was email Pinterest over and over, send them support tickets over and over, and just wait.
Can you imagine what that waiting period felt like? It was the worst!!
Luckily, after I continuously pestered them, the spam block was lifted after 2 days.
Well, it was around 9 pm on August 6th when I received the dreaded email from Pinterest that my site was blocked and around 4 am on August 9th when the block was lifted, so about 55 hours.
And I said “luckily” because I’ve heard of others being blocked for much longer than 2 days – sometimes even weeks!
My traffic seemed to go back to normal for a few days until it all of a sudden tanked to about half of what it was.
I had a browse through Pinterest and realized NONE of my pins were showing up in the search terms that they once were, nor were they showing in the Related Pins section under a pin, even though all of my pins were no longer blocked.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the spam block was the cause of that. My pins are now showing up in search terms and in the Related Pins section, but traffic is still not back to what it was.
I’ve heard people say it takes weeks, if not months, to bounce back from being blocked as spam and I’m afraid that’s what is happening to me right now. 🙁
There could be other reasons traffic is massively down right now:
1. It’s the end of summer and people are busy getting ready to go back to school/getting their kids ready for school
2. People are busy enjoying the last weeks of summer and aren’t on the Internet as much
3. Pinterest is going through an update, cause glitches everywhere (I believe this to be true)
4. The amount of ads now on Pinterest since they went public is turning users away from the platform
5. The last weekend of August was Labor Day weekend and people are busy
All of those reasons could definitely be affecting my traffic right now and they all probably have a role in it, but I still believe the spam block is making it worse!
But, what can I really do about it? Nothing really. And that just sucks.
I’m confident in my Pinterest strategy and I know it works (it was working super well last month!), so all I can really do is keep on chugging along.
This is why it’s important to diversify traffic, guys. Don’t be like me and rely on Pinterest traffic.
Here’s my Pinterest traffic numbers for the last three months:
Again, at least I still had more in August than I did in June! I guess it’s really not all that bad… But, it really is all thanks to the few really good days I had at the beginning of the month…
- August: 68,641 page views
- July: 98,003 page views
- June: 56,265 page views
Average per day:
- August: 2,214.23 page views per day
- July: 3,161.39 page views per day
- June: 1,875.5 page views per day
My Pinterest growth in July was crazy! I hope I can get it going in that direction again!
If you’ve read any of my income reports before, you know I’m on a journey to have 100 blog posts receive 1,000 page views a month.
That means having a lot of awesome content!
In August, I had 20 posts that received 1,000 or more page views, which is down from 26 in July. (Yeah, we already know that August sucked compared to July…)
I managed to publish 7 posts in August and I have to admit that none of them are doing very well LOL.
Only one of those 7 new posts was one of the 20 that received 1,000 or more page views in August. And it just made it.
I’d like to think it’s just because Pinterest isn’t behaving right now because I think all of my new posts should do well on Pinterest. But, maybe I need to re-evaluate.
I’m still very much focused on pushing out new content as much as I can to build up traffic, but I may shift some of my focus to updating old posts.
There are a handful of posts that I think could receive a lot more traffic if I update them to be more current and that might be easier and less time-consuming than writing new posts.
My Favorite Blogging Resources
The following resources are those that I’ve personally used during my blogging journey and what I attribute my (small) success to. I definitely wouldn’t be as far along as I am now without these resources!
1. Pinteresting Strategies Course
This is the very first Pinterest resource I ever purchased, back when it was still an e-book!
Now, it has been updated to a full-fledged course and it’s even better than when I first bought it.
Although I had a rough month with Pinterest in August, I will say that in the grand scheme of things, my Pinterest traffic is pretty good for someone that is just over a year in. And it’s because of this course.
It teaches you everything you need to know about Pinterest from the very beginning, but it’s not only for beginners, either!
I cannot count the amount of times I referred back to the course in the last year and I always learn something new!
Use code PINNING for $5 off!
2. P.I.Q. Pinterest Strategy and PinTest Playbook E-Books
The Pinteresting Strategies course gave me the foundation to be successful on Pinterest, but these two e-books allowed me to take it to the next level!
If you’re feeling stagnant with Pinterest, these two e-books offer super out-of-the-box strategies to really shake up your Pinterest game.
Neither of these books teach you the foundational aspects of Pinterest, so it’s more of a complementary resource to a general Pinterest course (like Pinteresting Strategies.)
3. Easy On Page SEO and Easy Backlinks for SEO E-Books
As you could see from the screenshot of my August stats, my traffic is very small without Pinterest. I get a few hundred views a day from Google, but it’s not much.
Part of that is due to my niche, but it’s mostly due to the fact that I rarely properly keyword research for any post I write (I’m just lazy LOL).
BUT, when I do properly keyword research, these two e-books give me a fighting chance on Google against the big publications like Allure and Cosmopolitan magazine.
(I did get over 100,000 page views from Google to ONLY ONE seasonal post in April!)
The mecca of all blogging resources. The one-stop shop for all your blogging needs.
Seriously. Everything you need to know to start and build a successful blog is in Dare to Conquer. SEO, Pinterest, Affiliate Marketing, Content Creation – you name it!
It’s not the cheapest of resources, so I recommend going through the free bootcamps to see if the teaching style is right for you. (I love it.)
Here are the bootcamps:
- Online Business Bootcamp
- Biz Idea Creation
- Brand & Tribe Framework
- Creating Killer Content
- Understanding SEO
- Principles of Pinterest
- Acquiring Affiliate Marketing Dollars
- Perfect Info Product Creation
- Storyselling Sales Funnels
5. Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers Course
This is a great intermediate level affiliate marketing course to teach you how to make conversions.
If you’ve signed up for affiliate programs, you’ve put affiliate links in your posts, but people are just not buying anything, this is the course for you.
Tailwind makes my life so easy!
One of the keys to Pinterest is staying consistent with it and Tailwind allows me to do that without having to constantly be on Pinterest.
I spend about half an hour scheduling pins for a month and then I pretty much forget about it!
Since I didn’t reach my goals in August, I’m going to set the same goals for September: 125,000 page views and $3,000 in gross income.
My traffic for the first few days in September has been pretty abysmal, so it might take a miracle for me to reach those goals!
But, I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing:
For me, more content should equal more traffic, which should then translate into more ad revenue.
I know it’s better practice to diversify income streams, but ad revenue is just the easiest. It’s the most passive. I make money while I’m sleeping as long as people are viewing my blog!
I’ve always wanted this blog to become a “set it and forget it” type of blog where I don’t have to continuously work on it for it to make money.
So, I’m building it for that. And that is just tons of informational content.
But hey, it’s not the end of the world, right?
I may have shed a few tears over the course of the month, but let’s just call it a learning experience!
It seems like a Pinterest block happens to most bloggers and it was just a matter of time before it happened to me. Sucked that it was when my traffic was at an all time high, though!
But, that really showed me that all of this could crumble down at any moment. And it scares me.
I want this to be my full-time job, but how stable can it really be? Now I know that with just the way I’m running things now, it’ll never be stable.
Relying on Pinterest traffic and then relying on ad revenue will always be risky because there are factors in there that are out of your own control.
In a sense, this month could be a blessing in disguise because it really put things into perspective. A lot of thinking was done on what direction I should take my blogging career. (The answer is more blogs LOL.)
Bottom line, I know that I have to do more and it’ll only make me work harder!
With that my friends, I shall end this income report. If you made it this far, I thank you for sticking with me through all of my ramblings!
If you are a fellow blogger, please leave me a note down in the comments! I’d love to know more about your blogging journey and let’s be blogging friends! 🙂
Thank you for reading and until next time! <3
P.S. If you like what I do here on lianadesu, it would mean so much to me if you bought me a coffee (support my blog)!
Previous Income Reports:
You can view all of my income reports on my blogging page.
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