Hello and welcome to my 7th blog income report!
In May 2019, I’ve made $174.52 from this blog, the highest in my 7th months blogging since I started in November 2018.
It’s not much but that’s the reality.
Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme. The progress is often slow with lots of hard work with little payoff, especially in the beginning.
If you like reading blog income reports, here’s your chance to take a peek behind the scenes.
I am going to explain everything from my traffic and income numbers to what I did and what I have learned.
Let’s get started!
This post may contain affiliate links. See our policy page for more information.
Table of Contents
The Truth About Blog Income Reports
Some blog income reports made blogging looked easy when in reality the exact opposite is true.
That’s because by showing you big numbers, they are trying to get you to buy blogging courses and ebooks!
I can’t help but be a little sceptical when someone claimed they made $200 in their first month or two (a convenient round number?) from affiliate offers, yet only $13 from AdSense.
From my experience, it’s easier to make money from ads than from affiliate offers, not the other way around.
That is because making money from ads is more passive hence easier – you just need more traffic for pageviews. You don’t even have to get your visitors to buy or sign up for anything.
In contrast, you are limited by the average conversion rates for most affiliate offers which are pretty low to start with.
The conversion rates are lower if you’re just getting started because you’re probably still trying to figure out affiliate marketing and blogging.
Unless you have:
- A big mailing list to start with
- Can sell big-ticket items
- Have a friend or two who bought from you
- Have lots of experience etc
It’s quite unlikely someone could obtain like a 10% conversion rate with the little traffic that they have.
Now I am not saying it’s not possible at all.
I am saying, you don’t always get the whole story when reading a blog income report. Unless they can show proof of traffic stats and screenshots from their affiliate dashboards!
A Little About My Blogging Background
AbsolutelyFreebies.com is a very old domain.
I deleted the old content and started a WordPress blog on the 1st of November 2018. I had zero posts and zero social media followers when I started.
I didn’t prep this blog or waited until I had enough posts before launching. Instead, I launched it with just 1 post and started counting the first-month blog income right away.
I am not new to blogging. In fact, I’ve been working full-time online from home doing the whole enchilada since the year 1999!
While I don’t make much from blogging yet (it’s not my main source of income), my blogging result isn’t typical.
Most blogs don’t make money in their first month and often take many months even years to start generating any meaningful income.
Of course, there are other blogs that make more than this. But they often had more posts or got lucky to have their posts went viral on Pinterest for instance.
7th Month Blog Income Report Progress (May 2019)
Every month I published a blog income report to share my progress.
I often write about the different things that I’ve learned for the month so I think it’s worth checking them out if you want to get the full picture.
Here are my previous blog income reports for reference.
- November 2018 blog income report: $17.34
- December 2018 blog income report: $46.76
- January 2019 blog income report: $71.49
- February 2019 blog income report: $142.12
- March 2019 blog income report: $144.43
- April 2019 blog income report: $154.23
7th-Month Blog Traffic Report
Pinterest is still my main source of traffic while the organic traffic from Google starting to trickle in.
In May, my monthly Pinterest views hovered around 300,000.
This, however, doesn’t accurately reflect the number of visitors the blog received.
I actually received more traffic in May than in March when my Pinterest views hovered around 400,000.
As I mentioned in my previous blog income reports, Pinterest views are relative and will only give you a rough estimate of your progress.
Compared to April, the blog received 31% more page views in May.
During the second half of the month, I had several days where the blog received over 500 daily visitors.
This is due to a pin that went mini-viral, just when I thought Pinterest made it much harder to gain free traffic (that’s is still true though).
I discovered that you can still design a viral pin that gets clicks. I will talk more about this in the Pinterest section below.
My 6th Month Blog Income Report Breakdown
Since I dislike reading blog income reports that don’t share the screenshots of their affiliate income especially when the numbers don’t add up, I will show mine.
If you said the reason you are writing blog income reports is to be transparent, then show your screenshots for transparency sake!
That being said, there will come a point where sharing everything will do more harm than good. You’ll expose yourself to more competition as people will try to copy what you do.
But for now, I am happy to share them so that new bloggers can see what’s actually possible!
AdSense is still the main income source on this blog. I’ve also made a little bit more from Survey Junkie and Panthera Interactive too.
Anyway, my income came from six sources. The numbers in brackets are incomes from the previous month.
- AdSense: $111.42 ($86.83)
- Survey Junkie: $28.50 ($19.50)
- Panthera Interactive: $23.30 ($19.70)
- ShareASale: $7.5 ($10)
- Impact Radius: $2 ($3.20)
- Rakuten: $1.8 ($0)
Here are the screenshots from my affiliate dashboards.
My AdSense revenue was higher in May even though the page RPM dropped slightly as compared to April because I received 30% more visitors.
For the first time ever I’ve made over $100 dollars ($111.42 to be exact) in a month from AdSense which made be eligible for a payout immediately.
My income from Survey Junkie has increased from $19.50 in April to $28.50 in May.
Survey Junkie is one of the most reliable survey affiliates with good conversion rates. They also pay like clockwork.
If you have a freebie site, or write about personal finance or making money online, you can sign up here to promote Survey Junkie and get paid $1.50 for each sign-up.
Panthera Interactive is an affiliate network offering mostly CPA offers.
CPA stands for cost per action, that is, you get paid when users take a specific action such as signing up for a trial, taking a survey, getting a quote and so on. The users don’t even have to buy anything.
Because of that, CPA offers usually convert better than pay-per-sale offers. You can sign-up for Panthera Interactive here.
In May 2019, I’ve made $23.50, up from $19.70 in April, mostly from survey and freebie offers.
I’ve made $7.50 from ShareASale by promoting the usual offers.
My commissions came from the Tailwind app – the ever useful Pinterest scheduler that is crucial to my blog progress.
The remainder came from PinchMe, the free sample program that sends you free product samples via mail.
Whatever your blog niche, there are tons of relevant offers you can promote from ShareASale. I recommend you sign up here.
My last income source in May came from Impact Radius where I made a whopping $2! Yay!
What I Did in May 2019
I managed to write and publish six posts in May.
That’s quite an achievement for me considering that most posts are between 2,500 to 4,000 words long!
Between my other online work, I usually take my time to write a post. English is not my first language so it’s also a struggle for me to compose my thoughts!
Thankfully, I got a little help from Grammarly. It’s an online spelling and grammar checking tool that helps me find and correct English writing issues.
To get traffic, I focused on the usual sources, i.e. Pinterest and Google.
Using Pinterest to Attract Traffic
As I mentioned previously, it’s getting harder and harder to get free traffic from Pinterest and I believe it’s still true.
You have to create new content more frequently, which can be new posts or new pins for old posts.
I did those in April but my Pinterest traffic continued to drop.
It just so happens that Pinterest was going public. So I suspected Pinterest wants to encourage its users to spend money on promoted pins.
Then in May, I noticed one of my pins went mini-viral. It’s puzzling because the design is not so much different from my other pins.
I checked the pin stats and noticed someone has left a comment and I realized the text and image used in the design were probably conveying unintended message causing people to click.
Last time I checked, the pin had received 68k impressions, 327 saves, 1k clicks and 1 comment.
Check out the comment to understand what I mean! LOL!
What I’ve learned is that if you have a newer Pinterest account like mine, getting your pins to go viral can be harder because you don’t have much history behind it.
But if you can design pins that pique people’s interest, clickbaity in a way, your pins can still go viral.
Just think about what made you click a pin and try to incorporate those elements in your design.
That said, it’s also important to make sure your message accurately reflects the content of the post, otherwise, the user would just click away causing your bounce rate to increase.
As for me, I’ll be more careful next time to make sure I don’t convey any message that I shouldn’t!
I Use Tailwind to Schedule My Pins
To do well on Pinterest you need to pin frequently and consistently and the best way to do it is by using Tailwind.
Tailwind is a Pinterest (and Instagram) scheduling tool that helps you share your posts automatically at the best times for engagement.
Tailwind saves you time by avoiding the drudgery of manual pinning while you concentrate on content creation.
With the recent Pinterest algorithm changes, I think it’s more important than ever to create new content and pin consistently.
The free trial lets you schedule and publishes up to 100 pins. However, to get most of Tailwind, I would highly recommend upgrading to the Plus plan.
Tailwind Plus account costs $15 per month, or if you pay annually as I did, it costs $120 and you get 4 months free. Your monthly payment comes down to $9.99 per month.
Personally, I thought $120 is still a little pricey for a scheduling tool. But I don’t want to wait for months or a year to start getting meaningful traffic to my blog so I bit the bullet and paid for it.
As it turns out, it’s one of the best investments I have made online. I am always looking forward to seeing my traffic increasing.
The traffic you get from Pinterest is also a signal for Google to check out your posts more closely.
In fact, most bloggers who had viral pins also discovered the same posts to do quite well on Google search result pages.
Tailwind plus account is perfect for bloggers and small businesses. My advice, don’t hesitate to upgrade to the Plus plan if you’re serious about driving traffic to your blog.
Optimizing Blog Posts for SEO
Thanks to the social signals from Pinterest, some of my posts are starting to rank on Google.
The image below is a screenshot taken from my Google Search Console. As you can see, the impressions started to increase in May.
I am using the Yoast SEO plugin to help me optimize my article for the search engines. The free version should be enough for most bloggers.
I Use KeySearch for Keyword Research
To help me find popular topics which are easier to rank for and have high search volume, I use the KeySearch keyword research tool.
One of my favourite features is the Competitive Analysis which lets you analyse your competitors and discover all the keywords they are already ranking for.
Then you could easily target similar keywords and select those which you’ll have a better chance of ranking for.
KeySearch is one of the cheapest professional level keyword research tools you can get your hands on. It’s easy to use and beginners friendly.
If you don’t know anything about SEO and keyword research, they have you covered! It comes with a free SEO course to get you started on the right foot right away.
Try KeySearch here (no credit card required). The free trial allows 3 daily searches and analysis as well as YouTube research.
Blog Income Report Conclusion
Thank you for reading this far!
I hope you’ve learned something from this blog income report and that you can apply in your own blogging endeavour.
Also, if you are just starting out or have a blog, feel free to share your story in the comments below!
Recommended Tools & Resources
- How to Start a Blog – here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how you can start your own blog without technical knowledge.
- Thrive Themes – I am using a theme and plugins from Thrive Themes for this blog.
- KeySearch – most affordable professional-level keyword research tools. Use KSDISC coupon code to get a 20% discount. Instead of paying $17 monthly, you’ll only pay $13.60 monthly until you cancel or upgrade your plan.
- Panthera Interactive – an affiliate network offering mostly CPA offers. CPA stands for cost per action. That is, you get paid when a user takes a specific action such as signing up for a trial, taking a survey, getting a quote etc – no purchase is necessary.
- MaxBounty – another popular and reliable CPA network you can join.
- Survey Junkie – get paid for promoting high converting survey offers in your blog.
- FlexOffers – one of the most popular affiliate networks for bloggers
- ShareASale – another affiliate network popular among bloggers.
- Grammarly (freemium) – an online freemium spelling and grammar checking tool that helps you find and correct English writing issues.
- Tailwind (freemium) – MUST HAVE if you’re serious about getting traffic fast to your blog. Save time by scheduling your posts automatically. Get more traffic, followers and accelerate your blog growth fast
- Photoshop, Canva or PicMonkey – design beautiful and engaging pins with any of these tools.
- Ready Set Blog for Traffic – if you are new to blogging and want to learn how to create the best blog, get traffic fast, even learn some Pinterest tactics, get this. (I purchased this for the Pinterest content but it offers more).
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