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.
Happy Spring everyone! For those reading this for the first time, let me explain what this is all about. Every month, I share my growth and income report. It helps me see what is working (or not working) in my blogging efforts. I was inspired by Bjork and Lindsay over at Pinch of Yum .Their income reports are mind-blowing. You absolutely must go read them! I really feel like the knowledge they have generously shared gave me a big head start as a blogger. I’m a member and affiliate for Food Blogger Pro, the website they founded to help others start and grow food blogs. It is an amazing resource and a great community!
On to the numbers!
In last month’s report, I mentioned a plateau on the horizon, I’m still feeling it. Not a lot of upward momentum. February was a short month, so I am not surprised to come in slightly below January’s 65K pageviews. With a few extra days, I know I would have hit 70K.
Here is a breakdown of growth since I started blogging:
- March – 2,700 pageviews
- April – 10,200 pageviews
- May – 8,100 pageviews
- June – 7,200 pageviews
- July – 7,400 pageviews
- August – 16,200 pageviews
- September – 12,321 pageviews
- October – 24,216 pageviews
- November – 20,532 pageviews
- December – 35,209 pageviews
- January – 65,174 pageviews
- February – 64,777 pageviews
I should not be greedy. I made such a huge leap between December and January that I am happy to rest on this plateau for a short while. In fact, I know exactly why my traffic growth slowed down in February. I’ll get in to that a little bit later in this post (it involves Pinterest). First lets see if I made any money!
Did I make any money from blogging this month?
Monetize Your Food Blog
Total Income: $214
|Media Temple Hosting||$9.00|
Total Expenses: $18
Confession, I messed up on January’s report and overstated my adsense income by about $23. Oopsie! In January, I actually made $176 so February marks a $20 increase.
Gourmet Ads, I love you. BlogHer continues to be my frenemy. I see that some smart people are buying the Monetize Your Food Blog book at my recommendation resulting in some affiliate income for me. Sovrn is not doing too badly, considering it doesn’t have prominent placement on my site. I will have to look in to optimizing their add units.
My expenses are low, just my hosting and ViralTag for scheduling posts to Pinterest. I’ve also started using it to schedule Twitter and Tumblr posts.
How Do You Get Traffic to Your Blog?
Let’s take a look at where my blog traffic came from this month…
The good news is that my direct traffic is increasing! Pinterest is fairly stable compared to the previous month. This is actually surprising because I drastically changed my Pinterest strategy in February.
In the beginning of February, I noticed that several of the most popular group boards on Pinterest were infected with spambots. The spambots use stolen photos to make pins that link to bogus sites. They really are annoying. I took a look at the boards that were infected and noticed that all the pins on those boards suffered from low re-pins. I put my Sherlock Holmes hat on and deduced that those boards were being filtered by the Pinterest Algorithm. I decided it was a waste of energy to pin to those boards until they were cleaned up. I also worried that it would be bad for my Pinterest account if I was associated with the spammy boards. I made the tough decision to drop about 4 boards, boards that were huge traffic drivers for me.
Now, I’m pinning a lot less and more selectively but my stats are pretty stable because I have a lot of pins in circulation from my weeks of aggressive pinning. This should serve as an example of why it is important to stay on your toes and pay attention to the ever-changing landscape of social media marketing.
I’m happy with February, even though growth has slowed down. I feel like I spent a lot of the past few months pushing really hard to promote myself on Pinterest and now I can lay off the gas a bit and post more judiciously. I’ve mentioned it before, but I don’t want Pinterest to be my only source of traffic because that gives to much power to one stream. For that reason, I’m glad to see an increase in direct traffic and organic search.
Next month, in the March report you will read what happens when I have to scale back my blogging/promotion activity significantly in order to focus on a second project. Scary and exciting stuff!