16th Month of making money from Blogging!
Blogging Income Report – October 2019
October was a crazy busy month for me and really feels like it was gone in a blink of an eye! It’s hard to believe that there are only two months left in the year!
It’s already over a week into November, which means it’s time for another monthly Income Report! (I know, I’m late this month.)
Last month, I said that September was pretty much a disaster. And I hate to say it, but October wasn’t any less of a disaster. Especially regarding Pinterest!
But, in all honesty, I can’t really say that I expected any growth in October because I barely had any time to work on this blog.
My full-time job has been so tiring that I don’t have any energy to work on the blog when I get home. I only posted 3 new posts in October, and 2 of them were my monthly posts (makeup favorites and income report).
So, it would be pretty delusional of me to expect anything when I barely put any work in!
I didn’t make a whole lot of changes to the blog over the last month, so I think today’s income report will be more of an update.
(I always say I’m going to keep it short and then end up writing over 3,000 words LOL.)
Also, if you want to read any of my other Income Reports (from month 1!), please do!
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’re new to blogging income reports, you probably think it’s super weird that I’m sharing my income with the whole wide Internet to see, right?!
This is the 16th income report I’m writing, and it hasn’t gotten any less weird. But, it’s totally a thing in the blogging world.
And if you aren’t new to blogging income reports, then you already know what I’m going to say next!
1. Transparency is very important
I hate seeing income reports that make it seem like blogging is an easy “get-rich-quick” scheme that anyone can do.
Technically, anyone can blog. BUT, it takes a very dedicated and determined person to become successful at blogging. And it is in no way easy to start making a ton of cash.
And for that very reason, I decided to be brutally honest in my income reports. It might scare you away, but at least you won’t be surprised if/when you hit a bump in your blogging journey!
2. I want to help other bloggers
I totally don’t think of myself as an expert at blogging, by any means. But, in my 16 months of doing this, I definitely have learned things that will help others!
If you browse my other income reports, you’ll see that I started writing them from the very first month I started making money, even when it was a very small amount!
I made the decision to do that in hopes that my income reports could serve as a roadmap for new bloggers.
So, if you’re a new blogger, I definitely recommend reading my income reports from the first month!
A little about me and this blog:
If this isn’t the first blogging income report of mine you’ve read, you can totally skip this part! Because it’s the same old story LOL.
But, if this is the first blogging income report of mine that you’re reading, it’s very important that you know a little about my blogging history.
Even though this is my 16th income report, I’ve actually had this blog since early 2016. I started writing income reports after the first month I made money from this blog.
Prior to that, I was living in Japan and this was very much a personal blog that I used to write about my experiences while in Japan.
I created it mostly so my friends and family could keep up with me while I was away. And I’m pretty sure they were the only ones that ever read it LOL.
When I moved back home in 2017, this blog turned into a makeup blog, which is still what it is today.
Fast forward another year of me blogging about makeup and no one reading it LOL, I finally started to do research on how to make money blogging and I decided to give it a go!
It wasn’t until July 2018 that I finally started to take blogging seriously, which is when I first started making money! (Yes, I made money the first month I actually started trying.)
I already had a handful of posts that were decent enough for me to promote right away, so my blog didn’t start from nothing in July 2018.
October 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.
October 2019 Blog Gross Income: $2,078.53
- Mediavine – $1,939.17
- Rakuten (Ebates) – $50.00
- Amazon – $44.59
- Easy SEO Books – $28.12
- rewardStyle – $16.65
October 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)
October 2019 Blog Net Income: $2,078.53
October 2019 Other Income: $150.00
- Instagram Sponsored Post: $150.00
October 2019 Total Net Income: $2,228.53
*please note this does not include taxes that I will need to pay eventually!
October 2019 Traffic: 55,153 Sessions and 68,212 Page Views
Here are my stats from September for comparison:
October had 31 days in the month and September had 30 days, so let’s take a look at the averages per day:
- October: 1,779.13 sessions/day and 2,200.39 page views/day
- September: 1,454.57 sessions/day and 1,915.4 page views/day
A slight increase, but I’m still not happy about October’s stats.
I honestly feel super discouraged right now because it feels like I took 10 steps backwards in the last few months.
Let’s hope this graph keeps going in the right direction!
It feels awful seeing a visual representation of great work and proof that my effort was paying off, only to see it crash and burn. (That’s really what I feel like right now – my blog is crashing and burning.)
Income and Expenses
I grossed an amount of $2,078.53 in September and I am neither mad nor happy about that.
$2,000 is still a nice amount to make in a month, especially on top of the income from my full-time job. But, if I’m ever going to make blogging my full-time job, $2,000 a month just isn’t going to cut it.
I’m also slightly disappointed that my ad revenue wasn’t higher, but we’ll talk more about that later.
My affiliate income was pretty much non-existent, but that’s pretty normal for me LOL. I just don’t think I’m in a niche that is capable of making bank with affiliate sales. And especially not with the volume of traffic I have.
This is what I think about the makeup/beauty niche – people like to try expensive products in-store before buying it to see if it suits their skin tone, if it looks like the photos online, etc. And then maybe they’ll get a sample to take home.
And for the people that do buy makeup online, the commission that I get really isn’t that much. Think about it – on a $50 product, if my commission is 10%, I’ll get $5.
Can you imagine how many sales would have to be made for me to make a significant amount?
AND I write a lot about drugstore makeup, which ranges in cost from about $5 to $20… so, very small commission.
I had absolutely no expenses in October, yay!
Some people say that you should invest back into your blog through tools and/or education to continue to grow, but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.
I’m happy to see that this graph is swinging upward, but I still can’t help but feel disappointed!
Ad Revenue and RPM
I mentioned earlier that I was slightly disappointed with my ad revenue in October. But, $1,939.17 just from ads is nothing to be mad about!
The main reason I was disappointed with my ad revenue is that my RPM in October was lower than it was in September!
RPM represents the amount of money earned for every 1,000 page views or sessions.
Mediavine (my ad company) calculates RPM in both sessions and page views, but I’ve always used page view RPM in my income reports, so I’ll stick with that.
In October, my RPM was $28.43, down from $30.24 in September.
That’s a difference of $1.81 and while it’s not a big difference, it’s still a decrease!
As someone who relies on ad revenue for the majority of my blog income, I hate seeing a decrease in RPM!
It inevitably happens from time to time because of seasonal ad budgets, but it still sucks!
In the grand scheme of things though, a $28.43 RPM is still a VERY NICE RPM to have.
Last month, I talked about how horrible my Pinterest traffic was and how I experienced such a massive decrease.
WELL, I hate to say it, but October was EVEN WORSE.
Just look at this graph:
And check out these stats!
- October: 39,801 page views
- September: 47,433 page views
- August: 68,641 page views
- July: 98,003 page views
Average per day:
- October: 1,283.9 page views per day
- September: 1,581.1 page views per day
- August: 2,214.23 page views per day
- July: 3,161.39 page views per day
ISN’T THAT CRAZY?!
My October Pinterest traffic is about 40% of what it was in July. That is so depressing!
Last month, I mentioned that Pinterest just did an update, so I was hoping my traffic would bounce back once the update was finished. Well, that didn’t happen!
I also mentioned that I did a few things to change up my strategy a bit to see if it would help. These were those things:
1. Cleared my entire Tailwind queue
2. Exclusively pin manually
3. Archived a ton of group board that weren’t performing well
I think it’s safe to say that these things didn’t help since my traffic got even worse.
OR, it could be that I didn’t give it enough time for it to work.
Not using Tailwind to schedule pins and exclusively manually pin just did not work for me. I work a full-time job that keeps me very busy during the day, so I couldn’t spare enough time to pin manually consistently.
Tailwind was back to pinning for me less than two weeks after I cleared my queue. I apparently just can’t live with Tailwind!
I forgot to mention this last month, but in addition to archiving a ton of group boards, I stopped pinning to group boards altogether.
So, while I didn’t archive every single group board I was part of, I stopped pinning to all of them.
Aaaaand that strategy ended almost as quickly as exclusively manually pinning did LOL.
I just didn’t feel like I had enough personal boards to distribute my pins to and some of my best performing pins in the past were those that I pinned to group boards, so I couldn’t give them up entirely.
Be sure to take everything I say about Pinterest with a grain of salt because while it may sound like the changes I made last month negatively affected me this month, I really didn’t give it long enough of a shot to know for certain.
Two to three weeks of testing any strategy out on Pinterest is never really long enough to know.
So, I’m back to pinning through Tailwind and pinning to group boards – basically what I was doing before I experienced the decrease in traffic.
Fingers crossed November is better!
(But, in the first week, it hasn’t been…)
Every month, I work towards a goal of having 100 posts receive 1,000 page views within one month. That’s not very easy!
That means a lot of good content that people want to read and a good promotion strategy so people actually read it!
My best month in reaching this goal was July, when I had 26 posts receive over 1,000 page views. Still a far cry from 100, but a hell of a lot better than what it was in October!
In October, I had ONLY 15 posts receive over 1,000 page views, which is the same amount as September. SAD TIMES.
But, I only managed to publish 3 posts in October, so I can’t really complain about not seeing any growth, especially because all of my summer/fall posts have fizzled out and I haven’t even started on holiday posts.
It’s been a real struggle!
My goal in any given month is to publish 8 new posts. I obviously wasn’t even close to that, so I really need to smash out some posts in November!
This isn’t a usual heading in my income reports because I don’t usually get a ton of traffic from Google, nor do I focus much on researching keywords for Google.
However, I did a bit this month. You probably noticed that my overall page views increased since September, even though my traffic from Pinterest decreased.
That’s because of Google traffic!
I had a very seasonal post (it was for a sale) that I was able to rank on the top for multiple keywords, very quickly.
Of course, that traffic will die down very soon as the sale is almost over, but it gave me a nice boost since my Pinterest traffic is down!
It also reminded me how great it is to rank high on Google for keywords that have decent volume. (Can’t beat my April spike, though.)
How did I manage to rank high in the search results so quickly? The methods in this awesome e-book! Easy On Page SEO
Because of my great on-page SEO on the post, Google was able to quickly know what my post is about and what questions it answers.
About a week after posting it, I also used Google Search Console to find out the exact terms my post is already ranking for and I strengthened my post using those terms.
My Favorite Blogging Resources
Even though I am in a bit of a slump right now, I have used these resources (and love every one of them) to get where I am today in my blogging journey!
Despite my dip in traffic I’m experiencing at the moment, I have no doubt seen great success with my blog in a relatively short amount of time.
This was the first Pinterest course I ever took and it’s totally what I attribute my early Pinterest success to!
Even though Pinterest has changed since I took this course, it has been updated since then and it’s amazing for beginners that want to get their Pinterest account started off on the right foot!
Use code PINNING5 for $5 off!
2. P.I.Q. Pinterest Strategy and PinTest Playbook E-Books
These two e-books are geared more towards intermediate Pinterest users as they don’t include details on how to set up your Pinterest profile or the basics of Pinterest.
However, they are great supplements to the Pinteresting Strategies course above and will definitely help take your Pinterest game to the next level!
3. Easy On Page SEO and Easy Backlinks for SEO E-Books
If you know nothing about SEO, you need these e-books!
They are written in a way that’s so easy to understand, especially if the concept of SEO scares you!
I mentioned earlier that the Easy On Page SEO e-book helped me rank high on Google for a seasonal post that gave me a nice boost in traffic.
If you want a fighting chance on Google, on page SEO is the first place you need to start and this book shows you exactly what you need to do!
And with the Easy Backlinks for SEO e-book, I haven’t put it into proper use yet since I haven’t tried to build backlinks seriously. But, after reading this e-book, there’s no doubt I’ll use the strategies in it when I do start building backlinks.
The mecca of all blogging resources! You’ll find everything you need to be successful at blogging in one place – SEO, Pinterest, Affiliate Marketing, Content Creation, Product Creation, EVERYTHING!
Scrivs, the creator of Dare to Conquer, has a no-nonsense style of teaching that I personally love. It really forces you to look at your own business without any bias!
The lifetime membership that gives you full access to everything, including any updates that are done, is a bit expensive (but totally worth it), so I definitely recommend taking a look at all the courses included on this page because you can also choose only certain courses to purchase on their own.
Affiliate marketing seems like it would be as easy as adding a link to your post and getting paid when people buy through your link, right?
Well, there is a whole lot more that goes into effective affiliate marketing than that. Affiliate marketing is totally more about understanding how people think than it is about the technical implementation.
I don’t make a killing with affiliate marketing (mostly due to my niche), but I’d be making a whole lot less if I didn’t take this course!
I mentioned earlier that I cannot live without Tailwind – it just saves so much time!
After attempting to exclusively manually pin in October, I realized even more how much I rely on Tailwind! With a very busy full-time job, I just don’t have the time to manually pin consistently every day.
Being consistent with pinning is a very important aspect to an effective Pinterest strategy, and without scheduling my pins through Tailwind, I just couldn’t be consistent!
Both my September and October goals were to hit 125,000 page views and $3,000 gross income. Since I didn’t even come close to that in October, my November goals will be the same.
Traffic is still WAY down in the first week of November, but I’m optimistic it will pick up!
I KNOW I have to start smashing out new content again and I DEFINITELY need to write at least a few holiday/winter posts ASAP.
In addition to a few seasonal posts, I need to write more evergreen content that will perform well throughout the year.
Since I’m just into my second year of blogging, my first year was spent creating a lot of seasonal content for instant traffic gains. But, let me tell you – the rollercoaster ride when those seasonal posts die is ROUGH.
I looked through all of my posts that I felt were well-written and worthy of promotion, and guess what? Only twenty-something of them were posts that I felt could be promoted all year long.
That’s not a lot!
I definitely need to step up my game in content creation.
What a rough month. I thought August was rough, but here I am two months later and it’s only gotten worse!
It feels as if the progress I made in the last 6 months has all just gone down the drain. If you look at my traffic graph above, I haven’t been at this traffic level since February!
Granted, I am making more money now than I was in February, so at least my income hasn’t taken a massive hit. But, that’s probably because we’re at the end of the year and ad revenue is best at the end of the year.
(I’m scared about what will happen to my ad revenue in January if my traffic is still in the dumps.)
So, what can I do from here? Just keep going!
I’m still determined to make this my full-time job (so I can stay home in my pjs all day), so I will figure out how to make this work!
There is always change in any industry and only the ones who adapt will survive and emerge better than before!
And with that my friends, I shall end this income report. I said it was going to be a short one, but I’m looking at the word count right now and we’re past 3.5K words at this point LOL.
If you stuck with me til the end, thank you! You are a champ! Hopefully you gained some insight on blogging through this income report!
For my fellow bloggers, let me know how your October was down in the comments!
Thank you so much for reading and until next time! <3
Previous Income Reports:
You can read all of my income reports on my blogging page.
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