4th month of blogging turned out to be really exciting for me. I got my first affiliate sale.
If you are a new blogger, who did not get any affiliate sales yet, believe me, it feels awesome! Why?
Because once you sell something via your blog, you start thinking: whoa! this may actually work, I may actually earn money by blogging!
I’m really grateful and I wanted to thank all of my readers for trusting in my recommendations.
Enough for an intro, let’s get into details.
1. Time constraints
Taking care of a blog is a challenge. It takes a great amount of time to write posts, promote them and learn about blogging. For most of the people, a blog is not the main income stream, sometimes we have to slow down with our ambitious blogging plans and take care of the other things.
This is exactly what happened to me.
I got really busy and just couldn’t dedicate as much time for blogging as I wanted to.
Here we get to the conclusion: I want to build up this blog in a clever, semi-automated way, so I can still provide you with valuable posts about money and blogging, but at the same time I have to stay flexible.
The sad truth is: I run out of pre-written content and couldn’t provide you with as many posts as I wished.
Therefore it is crucial to write posts and plan ahead of time. Lesson learned.
One of the main factors why my blog did not collapse during that time was Tailwind. This tool allowed me to automate pinning process, so I could focus on important things happening in my life. (You can get a free trial here.)
I not only kept my blog alive but also increased my traffic drastically.
October: 4,647 sessions!
Compared to September: 1458 sessions.
It is a 219% increase month to month.
Let’s take a look at historical data:
There is one more statistic I wanted to mention when it comes to traffic.
On 22 September I discovered something interesting.
I got really excited and implemented the knowledge I gained as fast as I could.
Within 4 weeks before that day, my blog received 845 sessions:
Within 4 weeks after implementing the new knowledge: 4,428 sessions!
This particular knowledge helped me increase my traffic by 424% within 4 weeks!
It felt awesome.
If you wish to know more, I decided to write a detailed post about it.
I believe you can also receive similar results. Or maybe even better.
October turned out to be a crucial month when it comes to my blogging income. Not only did I get my first affiliate sale, but it also did not end up there.
I hope you guys love the services I recommend as much as I love them!
My total blogging income in October was 55.50 USD!
I’m so excited!
I realize that $55.5 does not impress most of you, but please keep in mind that my earnings in September were only $6.83. That is a huge step for me. Mostly because it confirms the thesis that a person with no experience within blogging can actually start a blog and earn some money.
Let me tell you more about the structure of my earnings:
$17.90 – ads on my blog
$37.6 – affiliate sales (all of the commissions earned on a product I used to increase my traffic by 424% within 4 weeks!. I loved it, so I decided to recommend it.)
Please keep in mind that you can always negotiate some deals. I leveraged this and asked for a refund on the service I bought in September for $48.50.
I have also “earned” $15 for a Tailwind referral. (I’m actually not going to receive a cash for that referral. Instead, I’m going to receive a $15 reduction on my next Tailwind invoice. Therefore I’m not showing it as my income.)
Let’s also look at the historical results:
4. Accounting details
Another point to mention is that I’m using the accrual basis of accounting for my income, but not for the expenses.
To be more precise: if I sell something in October, I take it into consideration in October, even if I did not receive cash yet. The consequence may be that some people might want to request cash-back on their purchases and eventually I might not get the cash for some services.
If I were to use accrual base of accounting for expenses I would have to take, for example, my hosting costs and divide it by the number of months the service will be provided. I think most of the people without accounting background would get pretty confused, therefore I report my cash outflows when it comes to expenses. In other words: if I pay in October, I report the whole payment as an expense in October.
Does it make sense?
I hope I did not confuse you too much with the accounting details.
If you have a better idea for my reports or need some clarification, you can go ahead and write me an email.
5. Break-even point analysis
Let’s talk business now.
Every business needs an investment.
One of the reasons why I have decided to start a blog was that I wanted to learn about online business. And I wanted to do it cheaply. As cheap as it gets.
If you follow my blog you will know more or less how much I spend on this blog. You can track all my spending in my monthly income reports.
Please keep in mind:
a) I publish my reports every month since the very beginning. I’m really transparent about my earnings and spendings and I said from the very beginning that I did not have experience with blogging when I started 4 months ago.
b) As I mentioned before in my earnings and spendings section I asked for a refund on service that I bought for $48.50 in September and received it, therefore it will not be taken into consideration for my break-even point analysis.
Keeping that in mind let’s get to the overall expenses:
This is my total investment on this blog so far.
Why am I saying it? Because I want you to realize how little it is for a small business.
So far I earned:
It means that 29% of my investment on this blog has already returned to my pocket.
If you’ve been wondering about starting a blog, but are still not sure, you can go and check my other income reports to learn how much does it take to create a blog that generates some money.
I also encourage you to take a look at a list of the tool I’m using and I recommend (please note, that there are so many tools that I’m not happy about and therefore I only recommend these that really make my life easier.)
I really want this blog to go through the break-even point at 222.22 USD, so I could say one day that my blog started to be profitable. However, I’m not setting a goal here yet, instead, I want to focus on sustainable growth.
I was really busy in October but still wanted to find out how I increase my Pinterest reach even faster. I started to experiment a lot and decided to automate these experiments, so I could still have a lot of time for myself.
My Pinterest performance turned out to be… pretty stable.
Even though my blog achieved average monthly viewers at a level of 191k, you can see that I failed to increase my audience starting from 20th October:
I’m actually not quite sure yet what caused such a decrease in my Pinterest growth. I was still able to increase my traffic by 424% within 4 weeks.
I definitely have to research that, because my pins got much better and I am getting much more traffic. If you read my September Income Report you know that I made a stupid Pinterest mistake back then in September. Am I doing it again? I definitely have to investigate.
6. Changes on the website
I decided to create a page about the resources that I use. You are reading this post probably because you have your own blog and you want to learn something new, or you need some motivation to start blogging/continue blogging.
It may be that you wonder what are the tools that I’m using.
To get the things done the proper way I created a page with the software that I use and love, so you can find all of the info on one page without reading all of my income reports.
7. Goals for November
For me, blogging is getting more and more serious every single month. Especially now, once I started to earn affiliate commission. Therefore I will have to start prioritizing my to-do list. Here are my main focus points for November.
A) Pinterest performance
As I already mentioned, October was a really bad month for Pinterest performance. I have to admit: I experimented a lot and still had to fit those experiments within a really tight time schedule. If I want to survive I just have to figure out what caused my Pinterest performance disaster.
No traffic= no reach = I cannot help as many people as I wish, but it also means no sales.
My goal is to start receiving at least 5k viewers every single month. For me, it is really important to reach the 5k level and don’t go under this line.
I want to change most of my pins. Once I learned how to make amazing pins and increased my traffic by 424%, I realize that I just have to produce more quality pins not only to my new posts but also for my old ones, therefore I’m planning to prepare more quality pins during November.
I hope you like this blogging income report and you gathered some more knowledge. This whole “blogging thing” is more complicated as everyone tries to tell you, but you can really make it happen. For me, it starts to work.