Blog Report: My First Six Months of Blogging
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So in February I officially finished my first six months of blogging. Exciting! I celebrated by ignoring my blog completely. So… to rectify that, here is my six-month blog report which is actually going to cover seven months from August 2017 to March 2018.
Why seven months rather than six? Because I am late posting the report, and it’s more interesting to look at seven months of data!
Six months of blogging: the journey so far
August to December was relatively successful for me, as you’ll know if you read my previous blog reports. However, my blogging between January and March was erratic due to being hit by a spell of depression.
And my traffic shows that I had a great spike in October, which was caused by my Christmas Gift-Guide for those on a budget taking off on Pinterest.
Watching my traffic drop after October was somewhat depressing. It looks effectively like my traffic flatlines right? And I didn’t help myself by posting hardly anything between January and March.
Pinterest (and other social media) can give you a big traffic boost, but it didn’t last. But something magical happened when I got beyond the six month mark. Look at my traffic when I include April:
SEO is now driving my traffic, and it’s almost up to the level it was at in October! This is despite breaking hundreds of ‘blogging rules’, like not posting consistently, not posting around a specific niche, and not promoting on social media.
The following screenshot shows this:
Between January and March I quit virtually all of my blogging and social media groups (seriously, keeping up with Instagram comment-for-comment pods is just exhausting) but the posts I had written towards the start of my blogging journey started gaining traction on Google.
I get search engine traffic to the following posts:
- A review of Fabulous: an app to build healthy rituals – by far the most popular blog I’ve written.
- Depression self-care checklist – the second most popular post.
- Passion Planner Review – what I gather from this is that review posts do well in SEO.
- The Best Online YouTube Based Fitness Programs – fitness sells!
- Self-Care Checklist – and my other self-care checklist.
Total traffic in the first seven months: 14,537 page views. A respectable number, but more importantly it shows the trend.
Show me the money: is it really possible to earn income from blogging?
I am going to be upfront here. My blog is a little unfocused and is not optimised for generating income. However, I have earned some money which is pretty cool.
- Google Adsense: £2.08. This went into an Adsense account I’ve had since I first started mesing around online, allowing me to meet the payment threshold and ‘pay myself’ £60.51.
- Awin Affiliate Program: £18.14. However, as I haven’t met the payment threshold of £25, that stays locked in my Awin account for now.
- Amazon Affiliate Program: £0. I got some pennies on Amazon.com, but this wasn’t enough to keep my account open, so it got closed. I earned nothing on Amazon.co.uk.
Total earned from six months of blogging: £20.22
I got some free coaching from a blog coach which clarified the fact I’ve been blogging without a particularly clear plan for ‘making money’. I spent quite a lot of time trying to come up with a niche/product etc, but then the aforementioned depression came along and I got completely sidetracked.
The problem, of course, is I’m not really selling anything. I’m just writing posts vaguely inspired by my everyday life and the challenges of having a stressful job, coping with depression, trying to save money, and so on.
Fun? Yes. A money maker? Mmm, not really.
And here is where my original goals in starting this blog become conflicting. I wanted to have fun, I wanted to get back to blogging like I used to do… and I wanted to make money. But making money online is super competitive, and I would have done a lot better setting up a freelance business or some other kind of business and treating my blog like content marketing.
But I already have a stressful job, I’ve done the freelancer thing, and right now is not the time and place for me to be starting a new business.
I admire people who write deep articles around a specific niche and provide huge amounts of value. But right now I’m just writing ‘lifestyle lite’ articles about the same old shit that everyone who starts a personal development blog writes about 😉
For right now, I am going to keep doing that, whilst figuring out this marketing stuff and what niche, if any, I love enough to commit to long term.
Alright, enough waffle. Let’s see how my third month (October 2017) compares with my seven month (March 2018)
October 2017 versus March 2018: the blog stats
Just a little snapshot of the blog as of March compared to October.
- Page views: 3,357
- Twitter followers: 153
- Pinterest followers: 103
- Instagram followers: 165
- Email subscribers: 22
- DA: 20
- Blog expenses: £94.78
- Blog income: £1.16
- Page views: 2,119 (-1238)
- Twitter followers: 184 (+31)
- Pinterest followers: 148 (+45)
- Instagram followers: 233 (+68)
- Email subscribers: 48 (+26)
- DA: 25 (+5)
- Blog expenses: £8.42 (Photoshop)
- Blog income: £0
The decrease in page views is not as tragic as it looks, given that I’ve replaced unsustainable Pinterest viral traffic with more stable SEO traffic… and that I didn’t post at all in February or March.
Blogging Tools and Resources
- My blog is hosted with Geek Storage*.
- My social share buttons are via the WordPress plugin Social Warfare*.
- I use Tailwind* and Buffer to schedule my Pins and my Tweets respectively.
- My newsletter is sent via Mailchimp*.
- All blog images are made with Photoshop.
- I signed up to Awin*, Amazon, and Shareasale* for different affiliate programs.
Blog content from November – March
- Set a consistent sleep schedule: why it matters and how to do it.
- New Years Resolution: Lose weight and be healthy.
- How to set healthy boundaries.
- 10 quick pick-me-ups for when you’re exhausted.
- How to eat 10 portions of fruit and veg a day.
Another report, someday maybe?
I think these blog reports are interesting, but I’m not sure how relevant they are to most people. After all, ‘vague lifestyle blog with no plan is not an overnight success’ is not really news! However, I find them interesting so I will probably post them intermittently here and there.