Without a doubt, January was bad for readership and income. Well, blogging income that is.
I started a little side hustle towards the end of December that really took off last month. I’m not positive on the exact number, but I think I brought in around $800 last month by making and selling breakfast burritos and sandwiches. It’s simple and super profitable. I make the food every morning and Hubby takes it to work and sells it.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. For more info, visit my disclaimer.
On top of that, Hubby and I pulled the trigger and decided it was time for a change in our lives. I can’t delve into what exactly that change is, but it involves us trying to do a bunch of work to our house in a short amount of time. I swear, the moment I can share our little secret on my blog, I will!
So, between those two things, I’ve been busy. Last month the time I’d normally spent blogging and working out was spent making food and working on our house!
I am pretty proud of myself, though. My stats may be down, but I crammed a lot of work into the last week of January. I wrote a 1,200 word post about how parents are coddling their kids and raising a bunch of safe space needing cry babies and created a 12 page opt-in and landing page to go with it, I wrote a sponsored post (that I’m getting paid for!), I updated 7 older posts, I started using Flipboard and I removed that pop up I used to have.
Things may have been down in January, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that I continue finding time to blog and that February rocks!
Here are the sad stats from last month:
Everything was worse in January than it was in December. Not a single thing got better!
That’s alright, though. Like I said, this isn’t surprising. With everything going on last month, my main goal was to make sure I was sharing my posts on Pinterest and Facebook. A lot of days, normally the weekends, I struggled to get even that done! I’m happy to see that, even though I sorta slacked off, my blog still saw over 100 visitors a day on average.
And I thought this would be a fun thing to start: my most popular posts of January!
Here are the 5 posts that saw the most traffic:
- Stop Turning Your Little Boy into a Little Girl – 1,481 page views
- It’s Your Fault That Your Kid is Being Bullied! – 382 page views
- Great Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Your Country Boy – 317 page views
- How to Turn Your Coffee Cans into Flower Pots – 259 page views
- December 2016: Income & Progress Update – 188 page views
Controversial posts have been my most popular posts for months now. People are drawn to read things written by someone who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and voice her opinion. Which is great because that’s the kind of person I am outside of the blogging world! If you don’t like the things I say on the internet, you definitely wouldn’t like me if we met in real life!
I was so scared to post Stop Turning Your Little Boy into a Little Girl. Even though I’ve heard controversy can be a good thing, I was terrified that it would run people off! To my surprise, it’s had the opposite effect.
It’s been my most popular post since October. Month after month, it continues to draw people to my blog. Most of those people think I’m a monster and absolutely hate me. I’ve received threats and personal attacks from people who have read that post! Back at the peak of it’s popularity, people would email me just to tell me my parents were morons and they set me up for failure when they misspelled my name! Yes, I really did receive emails like that on more than one occasion!
But then, every once in a while, someone who agrees with me comes along. And then she follows all of my social media accounts. And she signs up for my newsletter. And she sends me a message or leaves a comment thanking me for saying what she’s been too afraid to say.
And that makes it all worth it.
So, let’s talk about my goals. How many did I actually achieve?
- Get rid of the pop-up – Yeah, it’s gone. I was really hoping to replace it with something else. I had an awesome idea, but my theme just won’t allow it. I’m brainstorming a new plan now. I really only have two options: change my theme or figure out a different way to advertise my freebies on my home page. I don’t want to change my theme, I’m a big fan of this one and planned to keep it until the day I finally pull the trigger and purchase a new, fancy theme.
- Write a Valentine’s Day post – Yep, yep. And it hasn’t sold a single thing. I wrote a Valentine’s Day gift guide for country boys and it’s been seeing a good deal of traffic for the last week or so, but it isn’t selling stuff like I’d hoped it would.
- Fix 5 old posts – Oh yes! Just did this yesterday, so I’m pretty proud of myself. I had my laptop sitting on my kitchen counter (which is actually the main place I do all my blogging at) and while I made dinner I also worked on my posts.
- 75 email subscribers – No. I only gained 1!! But I created a new opt-in last month that I’m hoping helps bring in more subscribers.
- Organize! – I started this, but didn’t finish it. I belong to so many Facebook groups! It turns out it’s a little harder than I expected!
- Write 6 posts – No. I struggled to get 4 done!
- Google AdSense – $9.35 – I’m at $95.23 on Google AdSense. I’ll be cashing out as soon as I hit $100!
- Amazon – $0.15 – I actually find this one funny! I made so much more in December. The one sale I made in January was from one of my Christmas gift guides, too. Not even a sale from my Valentine’s Day gift guide!
- DealSpotr – $4.80 – 2 people signed up for DealSpotr after reading this post. I made a little money off of it.
- Ibotta – $5.00 – Just like DealSpotr, someone read my recommendation of Ibotta, signed up and used it. I made $5 and she made $10!
Total income last month: $19.30 – Most definitely not my most profitable month, but that’s okay!
Social media followers:
I’m happy with all of these increases! Glad to see my following grew this much last month!
Goals for February 2017:
- Create a better schedule – I want to sit down one evening and plan out at least 4 posts topics each month for the rest of the year. I have so many ideas floating around in my head that I just want to get it on paper and decide when I want to write each post. Plus I think it would be nice to go into the holiday season totally prepared and ready this year.
- Write 6 posts – It’s definitely going to be a goal again this month.
- Fix 5 old posts – I did it last month, I can do it again this month!
- 75 email subscribers – I just want to add 10 new people to my mailing list.
- Organize! – Finish that Facebook spreadsheet.
- Flipboard it up – I’ve heard a lot of good things from other bloggers about Flipboard. I just started using it yesterday and adding my blog posts to it. I want to really give it a try this month.
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!
If you already have a blog, PINTEREST IS KEY.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to be on Pinterest! And not just “I have an account and I pin all my posts to one of my boards“. You have to join group boards and pin your own pins to them as much as possible. I belong to tons of them, so feel free to head over to my Pinterest page and browse through my 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! If you want to take your Pinterest game to the next level, it’s definitely worth the $27!!
If Facebook groups are more your style, she’s included a ton of those is FYTO, too. Seriously, this is the best blogging resource I’ve found so far!
I’ve been promoting FYTO for a few months now. I totally stand behind this product and attribute a lot of my success to it!