October Blogging Income Report: $2,668
October was a great month here! I finally felt like I was out of the summer slump and was taking a real upswing in pageviews. I wanted to share with you my October blogging income report before I forget (like I did with September… oops).
My current schedule is a lot about balance and my work life has taken a bit of a hit. But it’s really been ok because I’m not spending time spinning my wheels like I had been for so long!
Before we can get into my actual income report, I want to tell you the Cliff Notes version of my story…
I started my blog (as in I made my first post) in August 2015. I had read one too many blog income reports of $10k-$100k in a month and thought to myself that it looked like an easy way to bring in tons of money for my one-income-family.
And then I started my blog. And that was quite the rude awakening! There was a lot of work that went into it. I spent 50+ hours each week working on my blog and threw a party if I broke 100 pageviews in a day. I was burned out in a big way.
I had hit the 6 month mark in blogging and was just about ready to throw in the towel. That was when I remembered hearing from someone that 80-90% of all bloggers call it quits by month 6. I also remember the same blogger saying that month 6 is when you start to see the money come in. I was stubborn and determined to keep trying to make it work.
Somehow, I got on Ruth Soukup’s email list and got an email about Elite Blog Academy. I took a huge leap of faith and took money out of my super-tight budget to enroll in Elite Blog Academy.
It might sound like a cliché, but it really did change my life. 2 months after joining the course, I had my first viral post and had my first 80k pageview month. The next month was 168k pageviews and it’s been a wild ride since.
My days look like this:
7-8:30am – Gym, listening to business podcasts on the treadmill.
8:30-9:15am – Checking email, troubleshooting (if needed), promoting newest post on Facebook and Pinterest (does anyone use google+ or Twitter?), or writing until I need to turn off Blogger Mode and turn on Mom Mode.
9:15-2:00pm – Family time, homeschooling (yes, I’m crazy), and then nap time for at least 1 of my boys maybe 2 if I’m lucky.
2-3:30pm – Catching up on email, doing some training, writing, making graphics or anything else that needs to happen (I don’t usually get the full 1.5 hours)
3:30-8:30pm – Kid time and finally sweet, sweet bedtime!
8:30-10:30pm – Scheduling Facebook posts, checking stats and any other small task that doesn’t take too much brain power!
Honestly, all in all, if I get 3 SOLID hours of work each day, it’s a good day. Usually, it’s less than that just because of kids, commitments, and my brain functioning like a laptop with 9,000 tabs open.
My amazing ad network that I love so much! I applied the second that I got 100,000 pageviews and they’ve stuck with me through the slow season. If you’re looking for an ad network but don’t have 100k monthly pageviews (yet!), all of my Elite Blog Academy blogger friends say to check out Mediavine instead of any other network.
The tried and true Amazon affiliate making me money off of my essential oil rollerballs post. That’s been my number one Amazon affiliate post from a year ago and it’s still bringing in some nice passive income.
BlueHost affiliate: $390
I still use Bluehost for my website hosting. I started using them because of how cheap they are. They regularly have flash sales that really help give you that incentive to take the jump into blogging if you’re waiting for a push.
Ebates affiliate: $275
With the holidays coming up, cash back for online purchases basically sells itself. Plus, their referral program is fantastic. Even for people who aren’t bloggers, you can get $75 if you get 3 people to sign up through your link. That’s your mom, sister, and sister-in-law. Boom $75. And they each get $10 for signing up. See? Sells itself.
Swagbucks affiliate: $125
Swagbucks is another amazing affiliate program. I regularly use it to pay for all or most of my Christmas presents. Plus, you don’t really do anything and it pays you for it. Plus, I get to give away 300 SB each time someone uses the code “cowcountry15” which makes me really happy!
Ultimate Bundles: $307
I wish this was still around for you now. But it’s not. 🙁 The team at Ultimate Bundles made dreams come true with their Genius Blogger’s Toolkit this month. $5,000+ worth of ebooks, ecourses, and bonuses for $97. This is an affiliate program that you’ll want to get in on ASAP! They put out a new bundle for a different niche almost every month.
$5 Dinner affiliate: $87
Erin Chase and her $5 Dinners program is my favorite, and I’m glad that other people are loving it too! If you’re a frugal living blogger or a food blogger, this is a program that you’ll want to get into.
Sponsored post: $300
I got the chance to do a post that I finally got paid for! The whole experience was a disaster, honestly. The client had asked for 3 things initially, and then every week would keep trying to add more and more to the requirements without increasing the payment. The network through whom I found the sponsored post was very apologetic but I won’t be working with them again. At least I got paid finally!
You guys! I can’t believe it! I’m still in shock. I’m inching closer and closer to my 3,000/day goal (I’ve had a few, but just 1-2 times/week) and I broke my goal of $2,000 in a month… by more than a little!
ConvertKit is my amazing email service that I absolutely love. Worth every penny!
Board Booster: $40
Pinterest is far and away my #1 traffic generator right now. Board Booster is a no-brainer for me. I love them! (Plus, you get 3,000 free pins from them if you sign up and their paid plans start at $5/month.)
This as my first time working with Upwork, and I didn’t have an awful experience, but it wasn’t the best (see What Didn’t Work below). Upwork is a site that allows you to post jobs for contractors all over the world to apply for and you get to hire them. If you find the right person, it would be great!
Facebook Ads: $68
Interesting concept, but I didn’t see a great return on investment. I more than broke even, but I just didn’t see the value (see What Didn’t Work below).
I had really put my email list in the foreground this month. I made it priority number one. I set up all new boxes for my subscriptions and I made a set of welcome emails that tell my new readers about me and what I’m all about.
In October alone, I got 203 new email subscribers. That might sound like chump change to some, but compared to September’s 113 new subscribers, I was really excited!
BlueHost was killing it with the flash sales in October! I stand by that I think that they’re the best option for when you’re starting out your new blog and don’t have a whole lot of traffic but you want to get started on a budget. Promoting them came so naturally and I had my first affiliate sales for Bluehost thanks to these sales.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing has been the class that I focused on most in October. Michelle from Making Sense of Cents made the course after she was making $50,000-100,000 + /month and she shares her secrets. I loved getting more comfortable with the idea of selling products in a natural way.
I loved getting more comfortable with the idea of selling products in a natural way. My biggest takeaways from the whole class:
1. If you have to force it, your readers won’t buy it.
2. Michelle is just an awesome person! I got the chance to interview Michelle about blogging, affiliate marketing, and her best advice to newbies.
Launching my first eCourse!
I finally launched the eCourse that I’ve had set up for months now. It took a lot of support from my friends and family to actually get it launched. I kept getting in my own way! Go on ahead sign up for the course, Side Hustles That Work:
Emailing a sale to the wrong group in my email list… oops!
Well, if you’re wondering if you should send emails for the Ultimate Bundles Blogger bundle to your whole email list, the answer is no. At least not for me!
Yeah… I sent it to my whole list and BAM! Unsubscription left and right. While the sale did pretty well for me, I had the most unsubscriptions from that email.
Which is why I love Convertkit! I have all of my email groups separated into categories and I can send it to the RIGHT email list the first time.
Hiring a Facebook manager
Upwork is a great site. I’m so glad that there’s a site like this out there! I just didn’t have the best luck. The woman who I hired was from India and I don’t know if Facebook knew that she was hired from out of the country, but anything that she scheduled (even if it was the same thing that I would have posted) didn’t get shown to anyone. I had her employed for 3 weeks and Facebook showed my posts to literally 10 people in 3 weeks, resulting in 0 likes.
So nothing against the woman that I hired, but I really think Facebook had something against outsourcing. Whatever the reason may be, I wound up working more trying to figure out why I had 0 engagement for almost the entire month.
Bummer? Yes. But at least I didn’t pay someone $200/ hour to find out the same thing!
Well, I decided to give FB ads a try for the Ultimate Bundles Sale and it was… blah. I had a low budget ($7/day) and got more than 2,000 clicks on the ad… but only had 2 conversions. Yikes.
Thankfully included in the bundle was a course from my friend Beth Anne from Brilliant Business Moms all about FB ads! I’m taking this as a learning point and moving forward.
This is my real life as a blogger! I’m telling you that this is something that I never thought would have been possible just one year ago; even just a few months ago!
Here’s to another amazing month!