When I started this blog series last month, I did so because the beginners weren’t sharing income reports. I was exhausted of reading reports from bloggers who had been in it for a long time. Last month, I threw up my hands and shared my honest (and in some ways quite pitiful) income. Some of you might be wondering why I even bother, when I’m making so little money. Incidentally these “Income Reports” aren’t really about the money. Instead, they are learning tools, lessons I’ve learned, and a compilation of insights I’ve discovered each month in this blogging journey. This month, I’m focusing on useful tools I’ve explored in order to try and build my blog.
Let me be clear in that this is not like other Income Reports. While one day I would like to make enough money off of this blog to work on it full-time, that’s not my current reality. I’m still learning a ton about blogging every day. Mostly, these income reports are about sharing what I’ve learned and how I’m using that knowledge to move forward.
New & Useful Tools
Over the past month, I’ve added two new and useful tools to my repertoire. After hitting my frustration limit with MailChimp, I finally traded in my two free months of ConvertKit* from attending List Building School a while back. Let me tell you, shock and amazement ensued. If I could compare, Mailchimp would be a toaster, good for a few things but very limiting overall. ConvertKit is like a toaster oven. It still does all the things MailChimp does, but so much more. Plus, it’s INTUITIVE. My frustration with Mailchimp grew over the past few months because I’d want to do something I thought was simple, like add a pop-up widget for people to sign up for my newsletter. While eventually I could usually make it work, the steps were so convoluded that it would take me double or triple the time I expected.
So, to save my own sanity, I decided to give ConvertKit a try. I don’t know if it just aligns better to how my brain works, but I LOVE ConvertKit. While I’m not entirely sure how I’ll fund it once my two-month trial is over, I think it’s well worth it. I can find things in ways that make sense. The tutorials are embedded right into the tools. I’ve been using ConvertKit for about 2 weeks and absolutely no headaches!
The other tool I’m trying out is Tailwind (Stay until the end for a free month of Tailwind!), which so far I’m liking a lot. I’ve only been using it for about a week, but it’s a great tool to grow your Pinterest and they’ve got great tutorials for how to begin. Tailwind helps you schedule pins to have a more active presence on Pinterest, even when you can’t be on there directly. It also has a neat feature called “Tribes” that you can create and join to share your pins directly with people in your niche. I’m only part of one tribe right now because I’m still learning the ropes, but I will definitely be doing a more in depth post about Tailwind down the line.
I’ll definitely be posting about how I’m using these tools in the coming months, once I’ve learned how to use them a bit more, so stay tuned!
*Some links in this post are affiliate links. I only link to products I personally use and love. Your price never changes, but I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. For more info about my Policies and Disclosures, click here.
What I’ve Learned This Month
Firstly, my Pinterest stats are EXPLODING. In October, my pins had an average of 8,907 views according to my analytics. This past month, that grew to an average of 24, 212 views. Holy cow! Now I understand why everyone says Pinterest is such a game changer! I can’t even thank Tailwind for that increased traffic, since I didn’t start using it until after December 1st.
What I have learned about Pinterest is that my highest performing board is consistently my Mud Room Inspirations Board. While it may be because of my obsessive pinning of mudroom ideas (ours needs a major scrub & eventual makeover), I think it’s a sign that I should be writing some related posts. We don’t have the budget for a full-on makeover right now, but I could definitely do some organization posts.
This brings me to the major lesson I’ve learned this month. I’ve been balancing a new part-time researching gig with all of the blogging stuff I’ve been doing to try and bring in some extra cash this holiday season. I’m finding that I don’t need to work MORE, especially on my blog stuff. Instead, I need to work SMARTER. So, in preparation for the new year, I’m going to be researching some tricks for working smarter that may even result in a blog post! I mean, do you guys really think I wouldn’t share the wealth? 😉
Okay, Let’s Crunch the Numbers
Blog Traffic Analysis
While my Pinterest traffic seems to be building momentum, my overall pageviews dipped this month. You might think I’m worried about this, but I think the graph below says it all.
While my overall pageviews decreased, I’m seeing some overall growth over the course of the month. By the way, that flat line in the beginning of the month is because I only added Google Analytics about a week before I published October’s Income Report. So, it wasn’t actually pulling data the first week or so of the month. I’m hopeful that next month’s full report will provide a little more insight. On the bright side, almost 40% of visitors are returning, which I think is fantastic! Thank you all so much for coming back and supporting my little blog. It really means the world.
Also, both of those big spikes occurred on Wednesdays. Now, I’m not really sure why Wednesday seems to be such a big day for traffic on my blog. However, I am thinking of shifting my posting schedule to Wednesdays and Fridays. Who knows? Maybe that will build some momentum.
Social Media Stats
First of all, you will see two new colors on the following charts this month. I did not include my Instagram and Pinterest followers before because I had not tracked how many I had in the beginning of each month until October. So, I had nothing to compare them to. However, now I do!
Basically, I saw a ton of Pinterest growth overall this month (over 70 new followers). In past months, I think I saw one or two new followers a week, but that’s based on my memory and not fact. Overall, my Faceboook and Email Subscriber list has stayed pretty stagnant. While I’m not overly worried about Facebook, I am trying to build my e-mail list. So, those numbers were a bit discouraging. Hopefully with my transfer to Convertkit and a renewed inspiration, this will improve in the future. I’m working on developing some subscriber-exclusive freebies. So, even if I don’t see a lot of growth in December, my hope is that by January I will be seeing a lot more growth in the e-mail list department.
Twitter and Instagram both seem to have some steady growth, so at least for now I’m going to keep chugging along in the same manner for those services. That way, I can focus more on getting amazing content to my readers and working on building perks for my subscribers.
Honest Income Breakdown
This is a breakdown of what I’ve earned this month from blogging and/or side hustles. Please note, I only include income I’ve actually received this month. My mother always taught me not to count my chickens before they hatch, so I don’t document income until I’ve actually received payment.
Building a Framework Affiliate Income — $10
Side Hustle Income (for User Testing Services) — $46
You can see, I’ve increased my blogging and side hustle income from $23 last month by double. Again, I’m not really focusing on producing a lot of income on my blog. That probably won’t happen until I’m releasing my own digital products, but I did want to track my income straight from the beginning. Right now, I’m just trying to earn some side hustle income in order to earn back some of what I have invested in this blog.
This Month’s Expenses
While last month I shared my total initial investment, this month and moving forward, I will be sharing only my expenses from the current month. Though, I will also include each month’s balance, as well as my total balance (at least until I’ve moved into the green from my initial investment.
This month’s expenses were pretty light.
Boardbooster* — $5.00
InLinkz — $2.99
Total Expenses: $7.99
Monthly Balance: +$48.01
Total Balance: -$473.07
*As a side note, I will continue to use BoardBooster for separate reasons while I explore the possibilities of Tailwind.
- I have no digital products to advertise and do not want to bombard my visitors with ads.
- I want to give my audience high-quality content, and if I’m focusing too much on the money, then that is what defines my content. Instead, it should be my content that defines how much money I earn.
- Increase my knowledge of tools like Tailwind and ConvertKit, to help me work smarter, not harder.
- Build upon current momentum by focusing on Pinterest consistency and traffic.
- Continue to focus on creating quality, helpful content for my audience.
Don’t forget to snag your free trial of Tailwind!
Be sure to leave your questions in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by and I hope this was helpful!
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