Hello and welcome to my 6th blog income report!
April was a productive month for me as I was able to publish six blog posts as compared to the zero posts in March!
I made $154.23, just $10 dollars more than in March despite the blog getting 23% fewer visitors.
But I am fine with that because laying the groundwork is what matters more.
In today’s post, I will explain everything from my traffic and income numbers to what I did and what I have learned.
Ready? Let’s jump right in!
This post may contain affiliate links. See our policy page for more information.
For some background, I started this blog on the 1st of November 2018 with zero posts and zero social media followers.
I didn’t prep this blog or waited until I had enough posts before launching. Instead, I launched it with 1 post and started counting the first-month blog income right away.
My goal is to see if it’s possible to make money blogging from the get-go and then share my experience.
My blog income reports are never about trying to impress with big numbers so that I can sell blogging courses and ebooks!
When it comes to blogging, I am mostly self-taught so I don’t have much experience in terms of blogging courses anyway!
In my blog income reports, I try to show what is realistic so that new bloggers know what to expect when they are starting out.
The reality is that it will take many moons for the average blogger to start generating any income.
I should mention that I am not new to blogging. I’ve been working on various online ventures since the time when AltaVista was the most widely-used search engine!
Today, blogging is one of the things I do to make money online. It’s still not my main source of income but I’d love to see it be one in the future.
With my background in Internet marketing, I feel that I am in the best position to experiment with this and lucky you, I am revealing everything in this blog for you to read!
In April 2019, I made $154.23. Sure it’s far from impressive but it’s realistic.
Here are my previous blog income reports for reference:
In my sixth month of blogging, the majority of my traffic still comes from Pinterest.
My Pinterest views have been fluctuating between 250,000 to 400,000.
I know Pinterest views is like a vanity metric. It doesn’t necessarily correlate to the numbers that really matter, i.e. number of visitors.
For example, the number of users who visited my website when I had 400,000 views wasn’t always more than when I had 250,000 views.
Still, I like to give Pinterest views a quick glance once in a while to help me gauge my progress relative to the other bloggers that use Pinterest.
Due to Pinterest algorithm changes, this blog received 23.05% fewer visitors in April.
The reason being none of my pins went crazy viral.
As you can see from the graph above, after the blog received 600+ visits a day, the number began to stall until the end of the month (the blue line).
The trend continued regardless of how many new pins and new post I created.
However, I am happy to see my average session duration, bounce rate and pages per session continued to improve.
That means people were reading more posts and were spending more time on this blog. These send good signals to Google and will help in the organic ranking down the road.
It became apparent how important it is to not depend on just one traffic source, i.e. Pinterest.
For the long term, getting organic traffic from Google should be everyone’s goal. It’s more steady, reliable and converts better.
But for getting fast traffic, nothing beats Pinterest!
I still made the most money from Google AdSense.
The amount I made from each of the affiliate programs didn’t vary drastically from the previous month except that I also made some money from Fiverr affiliates.
Since I dislike reading blog income reports that do not show the actual breakdown of their affiliate income, I will show how much I made for each.
I know it’s a blogger’s choice to reveal or not to reveal. But sometimes things just don’t add up for me.
For example, how can a blogger make $2,000 in the third month with only 100 daily visitors and no email list?
People can make up income numbers which can mislead the readers into believing blogging is easy money when the opposite is true.
Anyway, my incomes came from six sources. The numbers in brackets are incomes from the previous month.
Here are the screenshots from my affiliate dashboards.
Even though the ads impressions are lower in April as compared to March, the page RPM (Revenue Per Thousands page impressions) was higher in April.
So the drop in my AdSense revenue was not too drastic. I earned $86.83 in April, down from $91.09.
I am using AdSense Auto Ads where the ad placements are automatically optimized by Google.
That is good because I can focus on creating content and growing my website traffic while letting Google monetize my content effectively in the background.
I think that I can make more money from AdSense if I receive more organic traffic from Google because they are more targeted and are more likely to click on the ads.
My ultimate goal is to apply for Mediavine when I reach 25k sessions per month. Last month I had 7,221 sessions. I’ll need to triple the number to qualify.
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 April 2019, I’ve made $19.70 from Panthera Interactive mostly from survey and freebie offers.
While I plan to write more articles where I can promote relevant offers, I don’t necessarily want to place affiliate offers above the fold unless they are highly relevant.
I want my articles to accurately satisfy the user intent.
Satisfying user intent is Google’s ultimate ranking factor. Google uses signals like time on page and organic CTR, to figure out whether or not a result is making users happy.
Because of that, I always think what to place at the very top and placing affiliate offers is not always a good idea.
For example, in my latest article about jobs for stay at home moms, I only place surveys and other offers which are not directly related to working at home near the bottom of the article.
I don’t always do that though and there are definitely rooms for improvement.
My income from Survey Junkie has dropped further, down to $19.50 from the record high $42 in February.
This was because the posts that brought me traffic from Pinterest were no longer attracting as many visitors and as a result, I got fewer conversions.
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.
Fiverr is a new entry in my income source list.
I mostly recommend Fiverr as a place for people to offer their freelance services i.e. be a Fiverr seller.
While I don’t get paid directly if someone registers as a seller under my affiliate link, I’ll get a percentage cut of their income when they are making money themselves.
On the other hand, Fiverr will pay directly for referring buyers who end up purchasing a gig.
So the $15 commission I received was likely for a service purchased by a buyer and not from sub-affiliates.
Register as a Fiverr affiliate here and earn a percentage of your sub-affiliates income in the first year.
I made a nice round number of $10 from ShareASale by promoting the usual offers. It’s not much but hey, it’s better than nothing.
I also made money by promoting CreativeLive.com for promoting their online classes.
There are tons of relevant offers you can promote from ShareASale. I recommend you sign up here.
I made $3.20 from FlexOffers last month from the promotion of Paribus.
Paribus is a free shopping app that tracks if stores owe you a refund.
It sends you money when you buy items and there’s a price drop or your guaranteed shipment shows up late.
There are tons of other affiliate offers to promote at FlexOffers and I plan to join more programs in the future.
No matter what niche you are in, you can surely find relevant offers to promote in your blog. You can sign up with FlexOffers here.
Like before, I had been focusing on Pinterest and Google as well as creating quality content.
Pinterest has been adjusting its algorithm a lot lately. In April, I noticed new pins lose their freshness faster which caused a severe drop in views and traffic.
One of the ways I’ve tried to overcome this was by creating new pins and publishing new posts more often.
Unfortunately, that didn’t work as well as I hoped for which was disappointing. I actually got 23% fewer visitors in April compared to March.
I am not alone in this as I’ve noticed this affected many other bloggers in various Facebook Groups.
One of the bloggers that I keep track on is Elna Cain’s Twins Mommy account. I noticed her Pinterest viewers went from 1.6 million to around 900K during that period.
SimilarWeb estimated her traffic went down 90K per month to 60K in April. This was likely due to the lower number of visitors coming from Pinterest.
But I believe her organic traffic from Google has been increasing. In fact, social media only accounts for 13.55% of her total traffic. Without Google, the drop could be more severe.
As I am writing this in May, I realized there’s a way to pin new pins to ensure they gain as much traction as possible when they are still fresh.
If you want to know what it is, then come back next month for my May’s blog income report!
Update: My May’s blog income report is up, you can read it here.
To do well on Pinterest you need to pin frequently and consistently and the best way to do that 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 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.
So how long does it take for Google to start ranking a post?
The stats below are from the guys who run DollarSprout.com where they shared their analytics in their Facebook Groups recently.
What interests me is how their organic traffic saw a bump every three to four month.
I am seeing a similar pattern with AbsolutelyFreebies.com albeit at a much smaller scale.
I’ve been following their progress for a while and it’s crazy to see how they went from making a couple of hundred dollars per month to making over $10K per month in just over year.
While they have stopped publishing their income reports, in their last report for January and February 2019, they’ve made $347,675 in that two months period. Crazy I know!
Here’s another example.
A guy shared a graph from his Google Search Console in the SEO Signals Lab Facebook group showing the organic impressions he has been receiving.
Noticed a similar pattern appear on the chart.
From both images, I think it’s safe to expect a bump every three/four month in impressions and traffic.
That is if you have done proper search engine optimization for your blog! Otherwise, it might take longer.
Try publishing as many posts as possible especially during the early days of your blog.
Honestly, I am struggling to create as much content while trying to maintain quality. In the future I might outsource some content creation to help me publish more articles faster.
Once Google gets around to indexing them, there’s a better chance some of the posts will rank.
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.
If you use KSDISC code, it’ll only cost $13.6 per month until you cancel.
Try KeySearch here (no credit card required). The free trial allows 3 daily searches and analysis as well as YouTube research.
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 effort.
Also, we love to know how you are doing with your blog. Please feel free to share your story in the comments below!