Growth
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Growing The Blenderist – March 2015 Income Report

This is my once a month, super-nerdy post for other bloggers. If you come here for the recipes, you might find this post boring. I’m sorry! This post is all numbers and blog geekery. This post also contains a number of affiliate links.

March-2015-report-01

April was a bit of a Gong Show for me. That is why I’m posting my March income report in May! Get it together, Jasmine! I have a good excuse. I swear! I’ve been pretty busy working on my new online venture. It is a website all about chocolate!  I’ll be writing a whole post about it soon, but you can check it out right now! (After you finish reading this article).

If you’ve ever launched a website, you know that it is a lot of work! If you are reading this post, you probably have a blog or you are thinking of starting one. The single best investment I ever made when starting my blog was signing up for Food Blogger Pro. The instructional videos over there are priceless. When I joined, I thought I’d only be a member for a month…but it’s been over a year. I find the forums on the website so helpful. In fact, I’m such a fan of Food Blogger Pro that I’m now officially working with them as Affiliate Program Manager. I’ll be sharing more details about what this means in a future post.

Okay, so enough about my busy April. Now, we go back in time to March and see my “growth”.

 

How many pageviews did my blog get in March?

March Pageviews

 

I took a dip in traffic, nothing terrible but I still hate seeing it go down. Still, if I look how far I’ve come since March 2014…I’m thrilled!

Here is a breakdown of growth since I started blogging:

  • Mar. 2014 – 2,700 pageviews
  • Apr. 2014 – 10,200 pageviews
  • May 2014 – 8,100 pageviews
  • Jun. 2014 – 7,200 pageviews
  • Jul.  2014 – 7,400 pageviews
  • Aug. 2014 – 16,200 pageviews
  • Sep.  2014 – 12,321 pageviews
  • Oct . 2014 – 24,216 pageviews
  • Nov. 2014 – 20,532 pageviews
  • Dec. 2014 – 35,209 pageviews
  • Jan. 2015 – 65,174 pageviews
  • Feb. 2015 – 64,777 pageviews
  • Mar. 2015 – 56, 370 pageviews

I’d be curious to hear if others saw a dip in traffic in March (and especially April…April was brutal). If you are a blog nerd and you noticed the same thing, whine about it with me in the comments!

Did I make any money from blogging this month?

Income:

Adsense $0.94
Sovrn $19.30
Gourmet Ads $92.83
Food Blogger Pro Affiliate $11.60
Monetize Your Food Blog $27.50
Amazon Affiliate $1.70
BlogHer $33.62

Total Income: $187

Expenses

Media Temple $9.00
ViralTag $9.00

Total Expenses: $18

Balance: $169

Cool that is not so bad! That is a nice new pair of shoes or a metric buttload of Premium Chocolate Bars.

Since I’m learning that the growth process can be a bit of a roller coaster, I’ve decided to start including the RPM metric in my reports. RPM is a term that means Revenue Per 1000 pageviews. This is what the last 6 months look like…

  • Oct . 2014 – $3.26
  • Nov. 2014 – $3.06
  • Dec. 2014 – $2.95
  • Jan. 2015 –  $2.7
  • Feb. 2015 –  $3.02
  • Mar. 2015 – $2.99

What this shows me is that I am averaging about $3 per 1000 page views. This is the number I’m going to be working on over the next few months. Growing my following is only part of the battle. I need to maximize the pageviews I have.

For this reason, I’m considering a drastic shake-up in my blog design. I want to move away from banner ads and move towards a magazine format. I have so many ideas! Now, finding the time to do it all become the challenge.

I use great social media scheduling tools such as ViralTag and IFTTT.com but time management is still a challenge. You can’t just automate things and then forget about them. You need to monitor and evolve your strategy! Things are always changing.

There has been a lot of grumbling about changes to Pinterest that make it harder to be seen. It is still the number one referrer for me by a long shot. If the walls come tumbling down on Pinterest there are going to be a lot of sad bloggers.

If you are a blogger, I’d love to know where you are looking to invest your promotional time. I’ve been investing a bit of time in Yummly lately and it has yielded some results.

How Do You Get Traffic to Your Blog?

Let’s take a look at where my blog traffic came from this month…

March Referral Report

Pinterest reigns supreme, but direct and organic traffic are right up there. This is what you want to see. The more organic and direct traffic you have, the less dependent you are on referrers like Pinterest and Facebook. Boosting your organic and direct traffic takes time and a little SEO knowledge. Don’t be scared. There are videos on Food Blogger Pro that teach you how to set things up so that your site is “Google Friendly”.

I am still scheduling Pins regularly, but much less aggressively than I did in previous months. I was a bit worried about over-saturating the group boards I belong to. I also didn’t want to have my profile penalized for being too repetitive. I don’t know if Pinterest would actually do that, but I’m being cautions. That being said, I still scheduled 30 to 60 pins a day of my own material and then I manually pin other people’s stuff throughout the day.

In conclusion:

My takeaway this month is that I need to focus on maximizing my traffic. I am going to go back and edit a bunch of my posts to include more Amazon affiliate links. I’m also going to look at redesigning my site for a better mix of content. I will always post recipes, but I an itching to include some other lifestyle content. I won’t go off brand, I know people come here for the desserts!

-Jasmine

 

7 Comments

  1. As a blogger who is just starting out, I found this post very interesting. Thank you for sharing!

  2. This made me feel pretty good about myself. It’s refreshing to see a blogger sharing her revenue when she isn’t making five figures each month. Not that it isn’t great for those bloggers – it is! – but I think it’s important for bloggers to see the beginnings, not just the final lap. It gives people like me, the new bloggers, some hope and comfort to know that not everyone went from “new” to “rich” in a month.

  3. Impressive growth in traffic! I haven’t been able to blog since my move, but I’m starting up again shortly. How often are you blogging? I’d love to see my website grow like yours. Gives me hope. For now, it’s just a side hobby that I’m trying to make time for.

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Hi Lisa, I have had a big decline in traffic over April and May. I’ll be writing about it soon. I was blogging 2-3 times per week in January/February. Recently, I’ve only been able to get 1-2 posts per week. This is because I’ve been occupied developing my new website http://chocolatecodex.com.

      I will mention that despite lower traffic, I’ve actually increased my blogging-related income through contract work. I’m trying to become less dependent on ad revenue because it is too variable.

      I will talk about it more in my next report!

      Thank you for reading!

      • I think I recall a while ago you were talking about a chocolate project on Food Blogger Pro. But that sounds cool! Can’t wait to read about the update.

        My biggest issue with blogging right now besides the time, is actually the space to cook/take photos. I lived in such a huge house before with my stepdad and now I live in an apartment near NYC. Oye! On the plus side, my new job gives me extra income to buy the things I need to play with for recipes.

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