Eighth Month of making money from Blogging!
February went by in such a hurry! I can’t believe it’s already March and I’ve just finished my eighth month of making money from blogging!
I will admit – when I first started making money from blogging (in July of last year), I thought that by the time I was 8 months in, I would definitely be making more money than I am now.
That just shows how much of a slow burn blogging is! I knew it was going to take a lot of work, but a part of me was still optimistic for quick success!
Be sure to check out my other income reports as well. Those may provide you more insight, based on where you’re at in your blogging journey.
Plus, I may gloss over some things in this income report that I have covered in detail in previous ones.
Previous three months:
Why do I publish income reports?
1. To show you what’s “real”
When I read income reports from bloggers that are getting over 100k page views a month and making in the thousands per month after only a few months, I tend to get a little down on myself!
But, I keep reminding myself that those cases are very much the exceptions and far more bloggers are in the same boat I am!
Plus, in those amazing income reports, lots of times, the blogger doesn’t mention that they spent months preparing their blog and researching monetization strategies before they launched.
And that’s where I come in! My blogging journey is very much the “real” journey, rather than the “ideal” journey. I had no idea what I was doing when I started and just learnt things as I went!
2. To help you
I began sharing income reports from the very first month I started making money because I wanted them to serve as somewhat of a guide for others that want to start a blog or those that have a blog already, but want to start making money from it.
I always detail what worked and what didn’t in my reports, so hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and not make the same ones!
Even though I’m still a “newbie,” I hope that through my income reports, you can gain insight on what it takes to make money from blogging.
3. To keep myself accountable
Just like January, it would’ve been easy to not publish an income report for February because I didn’t experience any real growth.
But, that would be too easy, right?
Knowing that I will share my income report every month gives me more motivation to work hard, so I have good news to share with you!
And even if I didn’t experience any real growth, I still learned a lot.
Affiliate links may be used in this post. This means I may receive a commission from them, at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
A little about this blog:
Can you believe I’ve actually been blogging for a little over 3 years? YES, that means that I spent over 2 years not making any money.
I’m sure you can imagine how much regret I feel! I wasn’t really promoting my posts anywhere and I was essentially writing for no one to read.
However, when I first started this blog, it wasn’t to make money. Sure – I knew people made money from blogs. But, I started it just as a way for my friends and family to keep up with my adventures while I was living in Japan.
(That’s why if you look through my archives, there are a bunch of posts on my life in Japan that seem really unrelated to my blog as it is now LOL.)
It wasn’t until I moved back home to Maui a little under 2 years ago that I got into the beauty niche. And it wasn’t until eight months ago that I started to get serious about trying to make money!
If you are interested in my blogging journey (aka the woes of Instagram) up until my first income report, check out my July 2018 income report.
February 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.
Total February 2019 Blog Income: $463.49
- Mediavine – $401.34
- Ebates – $25.00
- Amazon Affiliates – $24.65
- Skimlinks (various merchants) – $7.50
- Honey – $5.00
February 2019 Traffic: 22,888 Users and 38,000 Page Views
Here are my stats from January for comparison:
It’s important to note that February was a short month – 3 days less than January! And when you’re comparing your stats from month to month, 3 days can make a big difference.
Because of this, I’d like to add the average per day numbers for February:
817.43 users/day and 1,357.14 page views/day (up from 1,309.6 page views/day in January)
Last month, I set a goal of 50,000 page views for February (1,785.71 page views/day) and dude, I didn’t even come close LOL.
It was a really lofty goal to begin with and I had a feeling I wouldn’t reach it, but I was optimistic especially after the growth I experienced in January!
Although I didn’t receive the traffic I was hoping for in February, I’m not really mad about it because it was REALLY STEADY.
If you take a look at the screen shot of my analytics, there are really and super high traffic days or super low traffic days. And I’m kind of happy about that.
I don’t like being on a roller coaster when it comes to traffic, so I’m glad my page views are steady. I do wish I would have at least a few massive days, though! That’s where the excitement is!
Here’s a visual on my traffic growth with the average page views per day:
Also, here’s my income growth in comparison to my traffic growth:
So, what worked? And what didn’t?
Well, nothing really worked and nothing really didn’t work.
LOL let me explain.
I can’t really say anything worked or didn’t work in February because everything kind of just stayed the same.
As I mentioned in my January, my main goal in February was to create more content to drive more traffic, and in turn, earn more in ad revenue.
Although I didn’t see an increase in traffic in February, I posted a ton of new posts – 7 of them! That’s a lot for me in one month and especially in a short month!
However, only one out of those 7 posts have seen significant traffic, so fingers crossed they pick up some traction in March.
I normally see new posts do well on Pinterest fairly quickly, but I did start using a different Pinterest strategy with these posts.
Any time you start doing something different on Pinterest, it takes a while for Pinterest to start understanding what you’re doing. So, the slow start for my new posts may have to do with that.
Let’s talk more about this new strategy.
This strategy is so new and out-of-the-box that it’s a huge breath of fresh air.
It has nothing to do with the way you pin – how frequently, to group boards or personal boards, directly from your post, etc., but everything to do with how you prepare the pin before you pin it for the first time.
If you like doing keyword research for SEO, you’re going to love the PIQ Strategy because it includes doing some keyword research.
I don’t want to give the contents of the e-book away because that wouldn’t be fair to the author.
But, all I will say is that if you’re feeling a bit in a rut with your Pinterest strategy and you’re looking for something fresh and new to shake things up, this strategy is for you.
It’s given me so many “a-ha” and “oh that makes total sense” moments that I feel like I understand Pinterest on a completely different level now.
I haven’t seen mind-blowing results from it yet, but my Pinterest account did grow in February (over 1 million Pinterest viewers now) and I believe implementing this strategy has something to do with it.
My average page views per day from Pinterest also increased slightly from 1,063.77 in January to 1,112.18, so there is some growth!
I’m looking forward to seeing what it does to my Pinterest traffic in March!
Here’s a little visual for you:
Ad Revenue in February
February marked my first full month with Mediavine!
I had a page view RPM (earnings per 1000 page views) of $10.56, which is not too shabby for my first month!
There’s always a “ramp up” period when you move ad management companies and I was told that I wouldn’t be seeing optimal RPM and fill rates (the rate that ads appear on my blog where they’re supposed to) until 3 months in.
Well, it’s not that I won’t see good numbers until 3 months in, it’s just recommended to give it a fair chance for at least 3 months before complaining to them LOL.
$10 RPM is a pretty average amount and nothing to be mad about, so if it’s only going up from here, I’ll be one happy camper!
I did a lot of research on how to increase RPM by reading Mediavine’s awesome blog posts. I tried my best to optimize my posts for ad revenue as much as I could without making my posts have too many ads.
So, we’ll see how it goes in March. I’m hoping for an increase in RPM and in turn, ad revenue.
Writing for my Audience
As I mentioned last month, there really is a hump that bloggers have to get over to realize that it isn’t about what you want to write, it’s about what your readers want to read.
I’ve seen the best response to my drugstore makeup posts over the last few months. So, what did I do in February?
Write more posts about drugstore makeup!
Other than my January Favorites and my Income Report, every single post I wrote last month was about drugstore makeup.
My bounce rate went down almost 2% in February compared to April, which means people are viewing more of my posts once they land on my site.
(2% may not seem like a lot, but it is!)
And I think having a lot of related posts on drugstore makeup has something to do with it.
My new posts may not be getting traction on Pinterest yet, but once the user gets to my site (by landing on one of my older popular drugstore makeup posts), they’re definitely clicking on the related posts.
That’s a good sign that my audience is interested in what I’m writing!
My Favorite Blogging Resources
I still regularly use the following resources to continue learning and improving, or they are resources that have really helped me get my blog to where it is now.
I mention this course in every single one of my income reports because it is no doubt the reason I have been able to see the growth that I have with Pinterest.
It just allows you to understand Pinterest so well, that even when your Pinterest traffic seems to be declining, you know what you can possibly try to turn it around.
Pinterest has been acting pretty crazy lately for many bloggers. Others have been experiencing an extreme decline in Pinterest traffic and the general consensus is that Pinterest is going through an update.
However, I didn’t experience that type of extreme decline. My blog traffic from Pinterest was really steady throughout February.
I truly believe it’s because this course has taught me the best practices when it comes to Pinterest that no matter what updates it goes through, I’m still going to be alright.
This is literally the mecca of all blogging courses. It’s not even just a course. It’s everything you could ever want.
There are courses for all aspects of blogging, journeys that you can embark on (such as a business launch), webinars, and you get the awesome DTC community!
Paul Scrivens (Scrivs), the creator of DTC, is probably the best thing that you get out of DTC. He’s always available to answer questions and isn’t afraid to tell you like it is! Because he genuinely wants to help you.
I really thrive in situations where people don’t sugar-coat things. So, if you’re like me, you’ll love his no-nonsense way about doing things!
The other DTC members all use a collaboration tool called Slack, so it’s a great way to bond with those going through the same things you are and also ask for advice.
Blogging can get pretty lonely when you don’t have anyone close to you that really understands, so it’s nice to be part of that kind of community.
DTC costs a pretty penny right now, so before taking the plunge, I HIGHLY recommend going through one of Scrivs’ free bootcamps.
I took his free 12-Day Blogging Bootcamp (via email) and I learned so much from that alone.
Here are his 4 bootcamps:
Also, Scrivs sends out really helpful emails. And you don’t need to be part of DTC to get them. You’ll get them once you go through a bootcamp.
Written by the same author as Pinteresting Strategies, this course shows you everything you need to know to be successful at affiliate marketing!
I seriously had EVERYTHING to learn about affiliate marketing when I bought this course and even though I haven’t been focusing on affiliate marketing recently, the few things that I implemented from this course has definitely made a difference!
I’m still making very little from affiliates, but a little is better than zero! And it totally was at zero before.
This course is especially great if you have no idea where to even begin with affiliate marketing.
You know people make money from affiliate marketing. You know that means putting links in your posts. But, how do you get those links to convert into sales?!
This course shows you exactly how to do that.
I don’t know what I would do without Tailwind!
I started off on my Pinterest journey just manually pinning and it seriously was taking over my life.
I now use it to schedule about a month’s worth of pins at a time and it saves me SO MUCH TIME AND EFFORT. I’ll spend about 10-15 minutes filling up my queue and I won’t even have to think about it again for a month.
Consistency is a huge factor in Pinterest success and Tailwind makes it so easy to do so! I can spend my time doing other things to improve my blog instead of being on Pinterest all day!
You probably have heard of Grammarly before, right? If you haven’t, it’s basically a spelling and grammar checker for your web browser.
I’m an avid Microsoft Word user for drafting my blog posts which has a built-in spelling and grammar checker, but I will admit that there are times that I don’t use it.
Which is why having the Grammarly browser extension is great. It will check my post while it’s in my blog’s text editor, before I post it.
In addition to that, it’ll literally check everything you do in your browser. Facebook, Twitter, email, and all.
And the best part? It’s free!
You can also sign up for their affiliate program here.
THIS PLANNER HAS CHANGED MY LIFE.
I’m totally not a planner person. I never have been. Everything I need to do has always been stored just in my head.
BUT, there’s so many damn things to do in blogging. I was actually going insane with trying to remember what I need to do every day.
I wrote things down on my phone, on post-its, in a notebook, and literally anywhere else I could when I thought of something to do for my blog.
It’s SO NICE to have everything in one place. I now know why people go crazy over planners and stationary LOL. I’m now one of those people.
Since starting to use this planner, I’ve been so much more organized and in turn, so much more productive. It’s so satisfying checking something off of your planner and moving on to the next task!
The best thing about this planner is that it’s made by a blogger for bloggers. There are spaces for you to fill out that you’d want as a blogger, that most generic planners don’t necessarily include.
And it’s probably a hell of a lot cheaper than any other pretty planner you’re buy in a store and then you’d have to customize it for blogging yourself. That’s too much effort!
After failing to reach my goal of 50,000 page views in February, I’m going to set the same goal in March.
50,000 page views equates to an average of 1,613 page views a day since March is a 31-day month. That seems totally doable to me!
My income goal is definitely to break $500 for the month. I am so close! I thought I had a chance to do it in February, but I came up just short.
I feel like after 8 months of working hard on this blog, I should already be making $500 a month! I’m totally not one of those success stories of making over $1,000 a month after like 4 months LOL.
Slow and steady wins the race!
In March I will be focusing on:
1. Content, content, content
Even though I’ve been pushing out a good amount of content over the last few months, I still feel like I don’t have enough.
In Dare to Conquer, Scrivs mentioned that his goal on his sites (when they were still newish) was to have 100 posts that get 1,000 page views a month.
That would equal 100,000 page views a month, but in reality, you’d get much more because your top 10 posts will probably receive more page views than 1,000.
In February, I had 10 posts that received 1,000 or more page views in the month, so I have a long way to go!
And more content that gets more traffic leads to… you guessed it – MORE AD REVENUE.
2. Traffic for Ad Revenue
Ad revenue is the easiest way for me to make money right now, especially since I am still working a full-time job.
It’s completely passive and all I have to worry about is creating good content and promoting it well.
And for me, promoting it well means having a solid Pinterest strategy. As I mentioned earlier, Pinterest was steady in February in terms of sending traffic to my blog.
But, I still want an explosion. And because of that, I’m going through Pinteresting Strategies again right now. Even though I’ve gone through the course multiple times already, there are always things I pick up that I missed previously.
My goal is still to reach 100,000 page views from Pinterest before venturing out into other aspects of blogging. At that time I’ll feel like I have solid traffic where I can afford to try new things and it’ll be okay if I fail initially.
At 100,000 page views a month, with an RPM of $15 (this is hypothetical), I’ll make $1,500 solely from ad revenue. PASSIVELY. I want that.
After 8 months of taking this blogging thing seriously, with each passing day, I realize more and more how hard it really is to make a living from it.
I have no doubt I can do it, but I think it’ll take longer than I had hoped when I first started. There are always new things to learn and a never-ending to-do list, but the hustle is now!
Hustling this hard will no doubt be worth it in the future when I’m my own boss and I can stay at home in my pjs all day!
Even though the goal of going full-time with blogging seems far off, I do feel like I’m at a turning point in my blogging career.
Getting accepted by Mediavine was a HUGE accomplishment in January and it made me feel like it’s only going to go up from here.
And with that my friends, I shall end this income report. I’d love to know what you thought of it down in the comments! 🙂
Thanks 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)!
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