My 5th Month of Blogging: Income & Progress Update

What I've learned and how much money I've made during my fifth month as a blogger!

I’m kind of bummed out today. Normally this is my very favorite post to write each month. And I really was looking forward to it up until a couple days ago.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed with this last month. I mean, I did better than the month before as far as my stats go, but it looks like things are trying to head downhill. I also spent less time working on my blog, so I suppose I should have expected this.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. For more info, visit my disclaimer.

Over the last few days my readership has dropped. I have no idea why. I created a Thanksgiving post and a Christmas post last week to try to combat this, but neither have helped (yet). The Thanksgiving post is starting to get saved more on Pinterest, so that’s a good sign. Just wait and see what happens, I guess.

 

Alrighty… let’s begin with readership:

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My blog saw nearly 2,000 more sessions than it did the month before. It was visited over 13,000 times. Which is awesome, it really is! I’m not as excited as last month, though, because I’m seeing a problem. My sessions have gone from averaging around 300 a day (with a few awesome 1,000+ days here and there) to seeing not even 200 visitors a day this last week.

Pinterest is still driving most of my traffic, but it isn’t sending nearly as many people to my blog as it did just a couple weeks ago. I’m also seeing fewer Pinterest followers now. Last month I was getting 20 new followers a day, easy. Now I’m lucky to see 10. This might sound crazy, but I almost feel like Pinterest is punishing me for something!

Whether that’s true or not, I have no idea. I’m going to start participating in Facebook groups more (something I’ve been slacking on lately) and I’m gonna pin, pin and pin some more. I plan on pinning as much as I possibly can this month. And not just my own stuff, I’m going to pin a lot of other bloggers stuff, too. Fingers are crossed that this plan helps me out.

So, goal update. What were my goals last month? Did I achieve them?
  • Start my eBook – Yep! I started this project and I’m about 12 pages in right now.
  • Finish fixing my old posts – No. I didn’t fix all of them. I think I only fixed 3 or 4.
  • Join 10 Pinterest collaborative boards – Yes. I joined 12 boards! But I was removed from 5 boards and I have no idea why. So now I’m a contributor on 37 boards.
  • Reach 1,100 Pinterest followers – Uh huh! I had 1,174 followers yesterday.
  • 50 email subscribers – I did it! I have 56 subscribers!
Income:
  • Google AdSense –  $31.50 – I’ve now made $61.62 through AdSense. You can’t cash out unless you have at least $100. I’m getting there!
  • Ibotta  –  $5.00 – I had 2 new people sign up for Ibotta after reading this post and one woman used Ibotta. Not only did she save money on groceries, but she also earned $10 for free by using my referral link (and I received $5 for referring her).
  • Freelance writing – $0 – I didn’t even try to do any freelance writing last month.
  • Sponsored post – $0 – I didn’t write any sponsored posts last month.
  • DealSpotr – $10 – A representative from DealSpotr approached me in September and asked me to write this review about their website. Since then, 6 people have read this post and signed up. I’ve received $10 worth of referral points from this.
  • SITS Girls – $25 – I signed up with Massive Sway through SITS Girls last month. I joined in an attempt to find more sponsored post opportunities. Apparently when you sign up, you’re entered in a raffle for a $25 Amazon gift card. I won the raffle!
Total income last month: $71.50 – Less than the month before, but I didn’t work nearly as hard in October. There was just so much going on in my personal life, finding time to write was a struggle! I’m glad I found the time to post on my blog at least once a week.

Social media followers:

Facebook: 283 (+72)
Twitter: 1,196 (+161)
Instagram: 271 (+16)
Pinterest: 1,174 (+415)
StumbleUpon: 11 (-2)

I’m happy to see Pinterest growing. I surpassed my goal without really trying. No complaints there!

Facebook grew more than I expected it would, which is a nice surprise. I invested almost no time into this until I saw people were starting to “Like” it more than usual. So then I made sure I posted stuff a couple times a day on my page, but that’s it. When I share my own blog posts on FB, few people see it, so it’s not a top priority right now.

| How to handle negative feedback as a blogger |

As far as StumbleUpon goes, I have no idea why I lost two followers! I think I used StumbleUpon more this month than I have any other month. StumbleUpon is still sort of confusing to me, though. Feel free to follow me over there! I’ll follow back!

Goals for Month #6:
  • Write 15 pages in my eBook – I’ve started my eBook and my goal for this month is to write just 15 pages. That’s a page every other day. I doubt I’ll break it down that way, I’ll probably just sit down and write for a few hours a couple days this next month and get it done.
  • Write one more Thanksgiving post – I need all the help I can get driving traffic to my blog. I want to write another Thanksgiving themed post either later this week or at the beginning of next week.
  • Finish fixing my old posts – I wanted to do this last month, but didn’t get it done. So here it is again… fix my old posts!!
  • Join 10 Pinterest collaborative boards – I sort of feel like I should raise the bar here and join more than just 10 boards, but I don’t want to get in over my head. 37 boards are hard to keep track of. 47 will be even more difficult!
  • Reach 2,250 Pinterest followers – Yep. That’s a big jump! But Pinterest has been the key to my success. The more Pinterest followers, the better.
  • 75 email subscribers – I’m only hoping for 19 more people to sign up for my newsletter. I’m not going to focus all of my attention here because I’m seriously worried about my readership dropping. With my readership being what it was earlier this month, I was seeing 4-5 new subscribers a week. I know it’s only just dropped, but I haven’t gained a single subscriber since the drop happened.
  • 2 freelance/guest posts –  Right after this article was published on Parent.co, I wrote another and submitted it to them. They ended up turning it down. I haven’t tried submitting it anywhere else. I want to revise that article and send it to another website. I also want to write some kind of Christmas-y article and submit it to other websites. Ideally these will be paid freelance posts, but I’d also be okay with doing it for free if it’s being published on the right blog. Just getting my name out there and gaining readers is what’s important right now.
  • Organize! – I feel like I’m super unorganized at this point. Everything being so messy is making this blogging thing harder than it has to be, I think. I keep reading about bloggers with spreadsheets and systems for EVERYTHING and I think they are on the right track. I want to create at least one spreadsheet to better keep track of the Pinterest boards I belong to and also start a list of different spreadsheets I need to make.
What are my recommendations for other bloggers?

Well, if you haven’t started blogging yet, I recommend getting a self hosted plan through Bluehost. Since I started blogging in May, I’ve had no issues with them. They have been great to work with and plans start as low as $3.45 a month!

| Here’s a list of my favorite Pinterest group boards! |

Another great idea is buying Finding Your Tribe Online. I couldn’t have gotten to where I am now without all the help I’ve gotten from Jen Snyder over at Women Winning Online. She has been so helpful that I purchased Finding Your Tribe Online from her a few months ago and it has been one of the best blogging purchases I’ve made! FYTO has multiple lists of Pinterest group boards organized by topic. It even tells you how to request to join each board! Not to mention that, FYTO includes a full blown marketing plan! If you want to take your Pinterest game to the next level, it’s definitely worth the $67!!

My 1st month blogging.

My 2nd month blogging.
My 3rd month blogging.
My 4th month blogging.

5 thoughts on “My 5th Month of Blogging: Income & Progress Update

  • November 9 at 9:42 pm
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    Omg, Desteny, that’s an insane amount of group boards! Haha! I thought I was in over my head. You’re doing fabulous. Stop beating yourself up. You’re right about where I am with stats. I know a lot of bloggers that only get about 2K views a month about where we’re at. You’ve made more money than me, girl. Keep at it! You’re gonna be a rock star, soon

    Reply
    • November 10 at 5:55 am
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      The boards are pretty nuts. I think 7 or 8 of them are really small boards that people randomly sent me an invite to and only have 200-something followers. I don’t pin to those much. I’m wanting to keep track of which boards bring me the most traffic and leave some of the other ones.
      I’m just disappointed that I’m seeing this recent drop in my traffic. I haven’t changed anything on Pinterest, but there’s been a big change in my Pinterest reach. It’s been steadily dropping for the last month. The upside is it looks like over the last week or so since I noticed the largest changes, my bounce rate & average page views have been up. And even though my readership is down, I’ve still gotten two new subscribers since writing this. I doubt I’ll get the 4-5/week I was seeing last month, but ya never know.
      Thanks for stopping by, Susan. It’s always great to hear from you!

      Reply
  • November 12 at 6:21 pm
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    I think it is amazing that you’re sharing this. Usually these types of posts are from the high pageview high earners that really make the rest of us feel inadequate, but posts like this one really show the struggle we are all feeling. We’ll get there, my stats are similar to yours, I get about 10K unique pageviews. I feel the same about Pinterest, it grew me from 2K to 10K in 4 months, but now I’m stagnant. Another algorithm change which means we need to find new ways to grow our audience.

    Reply
    • November 13 at 9:43 am
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      Thanks for stopping by, Julie! I’ve always loved reading monthly updates by other bloggers, so when I started blogging I knew I needed to do them, too. The struggle as a new blogger is real! I’m sure these early reports will be fun to look back on one day.
      I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one having Pinterest issues. I figured it was another algorithm change, but I haven’t heard anyone else talk about it, so I was worried it was just me!!

      Reply
  • December 3 at 2:50 pm
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    Congratulations on your journey as a blogger. I get so much inspiration from posts like this as I can relate because I’m an new blogger too. Way to go!

    Reply

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