October was… amazing. In September, I earned more than $2,000 in one month for the second time ever. Pinterest started to deliver. October took it all to a whole new level. Traffic BOOMED. Income soared. I am so grateful. So happy! Also, I have started to connect with both my readers and other bloggers. It is SO. MUCH. MORE. FUN!!!
It never occurred to me back in January 2016, that focusing on making a business out of this blog would help me connect better with readers and bloggers. I thought I would hopefully earn a bit more money, but that was it. Now I am here with new friends, many new followers on both Pinterest and Facebook, more comments on my blog and seriously much more fun! I have always loved blogging and parenting, but trying to be more serious in terms of income takes this to a whole new level. Love it!
October 2016 is my 10th blog income report. You’ll find earlier blog income reports here.
Now, let’s see how I did with Easy Baby Life during October!
Blog Income October 2016
- Amazon – $148 More than double the amount in September
- Other affiliate income sources – $57 Infinite growth – this didn’t exist last month :-D
- Mediavine Ad Network – $3,811 That’s a 70% increase compared to September :-)
Grand total – $4,016 That’s a 74% increase compared to September. AND my first ever month above $4,000! I am super happy!!! A bit hard to believe.
Blog Expenses October 2016
- Boardbooster – $5. I am learning more and more about how to use it. Very practical for pinning content to Pinterest. If you haven’t given it a shot yet, please do! It is FREE to try out.
- Aweber – $29.99 (Still considering other alternatives – maybe ConvertKit – what do you think..?)
- Sucuri for website protection – $16.66 per month (I paid for a full year immediately during spring, $199, but count cost for 1 month each month of the year. SO. VERY. WORTH. IT.) My site hasn’t been hacked once since I started with Sucuri. (And I know that IF it would be hacked, they will help me clean it completely without any extra costs at all.
- Cost for my new host A2, where I now splurge on a Managed VPS account – $55 (per month with all bells and whistles, 2-year contract)
- VA services – $100 I started trying this out last month. I decided to get an extra pair of hands and eyes for creating social media images and some other tasks. Feels great so far!
- The course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – $169 Do you see the connection here: Course investment and a big improvement in affiliate earnings… :-D You can read more below on my decision to invest in this course.
Total costs – $371 Pretty high due to the course and the VA services. But I am INVESTING in my business, so these are all intended costs that I am totally happy with!
Net Income October 2016 – $3,645
First-ever month with net income above $3,000. :-)
My Investment in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
In August, I invested in Pinterest, this month I took the plunge into affiliate earnings. This is another step to turning my blog into a business. If I was hesitating to invest in the Pinterest course, I was even more so for a class on affiliate earnings. I KNOW what affiliate earnings are. I’ve been using affiliate links for 10 years. I did not want a beginner’s class telling me that I need to sign up for affiliate networks. I already know that!
So I looked around for something more advanced. Obviously, since I don’t really earn any affiliate income, I am not doing everything right. (Or anything…) Let me tell you, affiliate marketing courses are a jungle! Everyone and his uncle want you to spend money on their class. After checking content, reading reviews, asking other bloggers and checking out the actual course providers, I decided – with hesitation – to sign up for the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. She writes that her course is not only for beginners but also for those who had failed as affiliate marketers so far. (LOL, that’s definitely me!)
She also had a money-back guarantee, which is an absolute must for me!
I got the course, started it, and… was super disappointed! It went on about what is affiliate marketing, that you have to nofollow the links and other super-basic stuff. Duh.
But then, as I continued with the class, and overcame my hesitation, I came to modules that were much more targeted MY situation, and with tips that I had obviously not implemented at all.
In the past 4 weeks, my affiliate income has tripled! It is without a doubt because of the tips that Michelle shared. I have SO much more work to do and affiliate income is still pathetic. But it is increasing and I have a plan. So I take back my disappointment completely. The course is great, and the Facebook group that comes with it is completely amazing too. (And the course has almost already, after four weeks, paid for itself through my increased affiliate earnings.)
If you want to check this class out, you have it right here!
Now, let’s have a look at traffic numbers and finally RPM for the month.
Blog Traffic October 2016
Here are some screenshots from Google Analytics to show my traffic for October 2016.
Pageviews were up 55% compared to September; from 312,499 to 484,849. That’s pretty massive! It was a combination of Google love and Pinterest love. I love both! :-D
Those of you who have followed these income reports during the past months, maybe remember that I woke up in April and realized the Pinterest train was definitely leaving the station without me. I got myself an account and started reading and experimenting with how to connect with Pinterest users and hence increase my traffic from Pinterest. I learned (sort of) how to use both Boardbooster and Tailwind, to scheduling pins to Pinterest.
At the beginning of August, I decided to do something I almost never do. I bought an online class to learn how to drive traffic to my blog with Pinterest. After quite a bit of hesitation and research, I decided to get Melyssa Griffin’s Pinterest growth course – Pinfinite Growth. It took less than a week before I started to see results. A few weeks later, it got even better:
- During August, my Pinterest traffic grew by 55% to 2,170.
- In September, Pinterest went from 2,170 page views to 9,491 page views and passed Bing to become my 4th largest traffic source!
- In October, BOOM, Pinterest traffic was 49,188 page views. That’s 5 times more than in September and took Pinterest to my second largest traffic source!
In August, when I decided to invest in Pinfinite Growth, I calculated that I needed 57,000 extra page views from Pinterest within a year for the course to have been a good investment for me. I reached that goal in 2.5 months. Amazing! Now all page views from Pinterest ever will be pure profit for me.
You can see my traffic sources here below.
The Traffic from Google
As you can notice, I am very excited about Pinterest taking off. But for October, Google should definitely be mentioned too. My traffic from Google increased by 46% or over 85,000 page views. That is massive for an established blog in just one month. So what on earth happened? Well, Google can be quite unpredictable, but during October, Google released a new version of its “Penguin” update. Google Penguin is all about a blog’s link profile and aims at penalizing sites that spam, buy or sell links or have an unhealthy link profile in any other way. And as some sites go down, others go up. Easy Baby Life started climbing immediately after Google announced its Penguin update.
When I started blogging 10 years ago, gaining traffic to your website was all about SEO (search engine optimization). Social was almost not invented. Facebook actually launched in February 2004 but was not a big thing for bloggers (at least not where I hung out) at that time. Pinterest launched in March 2010.
So I learned SEO. SEO in 2016 is both similar and very different to how it was 10 years ago. I think it is much more difficult to rank today, but actually, it should be! Back then, there were many stupid things you could do that was only for Goggle and not at all for your readers. (There still exist things like that but to a much lesser extent – or at least with a much weaker result.)
If you want to learn more about SEO, you can check out this extensive online course. It is 5.5 hours of up-to-date SEO knowledge worth going through. (NOT for the super-advanced SEOer, but for those who want to learn a lot about SEO in a pedagogical way.) There is a huge Black Friday deal running on this course right now through my link. Hurry up to grab it!
Now putting all this together and calculating RPM (revenue per 1000 page views)…
Grand RPM is $8.3
This is a nice improvement compared to September and the first time ever over $8. It is driven by higher, higher traffic and somewhat improved affiliate earnings.
Now, after getting Pinterest in order, the next step will be to continue working hard on my affiliate earnings, with the help of Michelle’s course. Stay tuned. :-)
That was all for my October 2016 blogging income report! I’d love to hear any thoughts you may have on this. Please share by leaving a comment below! :-)