Hi and welcome to my fourth month blog income report!
If you have been following this blog, you may have noticed that I haven’t published any post in March.
I was very busy with offline commitments. For the time online that I had, I spent most of it doing freelance and other work but barely had enough time for this blog.
But don’t worry I am not neglecting this blog!
Although this fourth blog income report for February 2019 was delayed for a month, I decided to publish it anyway.
If you want to see how my traffic relates to my blog income, keep reading as I will explain everything from my traffic and income numbers.
You’ll also learn strategies that work for me this month. I hope they offer some insights into what was working and what wasn’t for me that you can apply in your own situation.
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 0 posts and 0 social media followers.
I started counting the income as soon as I published my first post. This blog income report is my 23rd blog post so far.
You can read my previous months blog income reports below:
Most of my traffic comes from Pinterest as it’s still early to have my posts ranked properly in Google.
Here’s how my Pinterest monthly viewers look like by the end of February.
As you can see, I broke 300K Pinterest viewers for the first time!
Now I am aware that Pinterest monthly viewers is not the most important metric to track, but for me, it gives a general direction of my progress.
If it went down, the number of visitors to my blog actually went down with it. This is because I usually pin 80-90% of my own content.
There have been a lot of changes with Pinterest lately so I have to adapt my pinning strategy accordingly.
Along the way, I’ve discovered a few things that helped me to drive traffic from Pinterest continuously. I will explain more below.
My income has been doubling every month as you can see below.
Although sadly, my March income which you will see in my next blog income report didn’t double that of February. It’s because I wasn’t able to publish any post in March!
So why do I share my blog income?
Writing my own blog income reports allows me to keep track of my own progression in income and traffic from one month to the next.
I hope newbie bloggers find some inspiration in these reports and discover tips and strategies that they can use in their own blog.
Like I mentioned in my previous blog income report I do not plan to publish them indefinitely. I will only share them as long as they offer value and are aligned with my current blogging goals.
Besides they are fun to write!
AbsolutelyFreebies.com is a new blog (but not a new domain!) and I realized these blogging income reports give this blog a personality too!
I earned $142.12 from this blog in the fourth-month blogging, an increased of 196%, nearly doubled that of the previous month income.
The incomes came from seven sources. The numbers in brackets are incomes from the previous month.
Personally, I prefer reading blog income reports that show actual screenshots.
I dislike reading reports that share big numbers or impressive progress but without any supporting screenshots.
It’s because we just don’t know if the blogger is telling the truth or just so that they can entice the readers to buy blogging courses via their affiliate links!
So here are the screenshots from my affiliate dashboards to show that I am not making these numbers up (although they are not much)!
My AdSense income almost doubled that of my previous month from $32.79 to $64.99.
This is due to the fact that my page RPM (Revenue Per Thousand) has increased slightly in February.
This is an annual trend when advertisers stop or reduce their advertising budget in January after spending all of them during the December holiday season. Things usually start to recover in February.
The blog also received way more pageviews as I will show in my traffic breakdown below.
Like in the previous months, Survey Junkie is my second largest revenue source. The amount is more than doubled, from $19.50 to $42.
Among the survey sites that I am promoting in this blog, Survey Junkie has one of the best conversion rates.
If you have a freebie site, or write about personal finance or making money online, you can promote Survey Junkie and get $1.50 for each sign-up.
Click here to sign-up with Survey Junkie and start making money from your blog promoting free survey offers to your readers.
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 with Panthera Interactive here.
In February 2019, I’ve made $20.05 from Panthera Interactive with nine conversions.
I made a little bit more money from ShareASale this time because I had more conversions from PinchMe, the free sample program that mails you samples of free products.
Other offers that people signed up for include the freemium Tailwind offer – a Pinterest scheduler that I recommend highly because of the ease in getting traffic without much effort.
I also got one sign up for Grammarly which is a free online spelling and grammar checking tool.
Want to promote those offers in your blog? You can join ShareASale here.
I made my first income from FlexOffers from MySurvey, a survey offer that I promoted in this blog.
FlexOffers is an affiliate network where you can promote many offers from various merchants. You can sign up with FlexOffers here.
Interestingly, the amount of time and effort I invested in writing those articles clearly wasn’t reflected in the money I made. In fact, I was actually losing money if you consider my time.
But blogging is a long term endeavour. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Despite the tiny income, it shows that these articles provide value to the readers as they do convert. All I need next is to drive more traffic to them!
My last income came from Impact Radius for $2.00 for the Ibotta offers.
Ibotta is a smartphone app that helps users to earn cash back on in-store and mobile purchase by scanning receipts.
If you’re looking to save money on your groceries or any shopping for that matter, you can download the Ibotta app here.
February sets a record when the number of visitors to this blog broke 600 in one day.
Overall, I had around 54% more visitors and page views in February as compared to January 2019.
My goal was to publish at least two posts per week but I only managed once a week for a total of four posts.
I continued to create new Pins for new posts and all my older posts and scheduled them to run for a month.
Usually, my Pinterest viewers number would continue to climb up or at least plateauing by the end of the month
But I noticed Pinterest started to treat fresh pins differently.
Their freshness is getting shorter and seems to last only for about one or two weeks and then my views started to plummet instead of dropping gradually as before.
Here’s a sneak peek of my current Pinterest viewers. After the algorithm changes, once I stopped creating new pins for a week or two, I experienced a severe drop in views and traffic.
I know I am not alone because people were sharing a similar experience in several Facebook groups.
Interestingly, this trend coincides with Pinterest preparing to go public in April 2019.
My theory is that Pinterest wants its users to pay for promoted pins more as this will help improve their bottom line.
This could mean Pinterest is no longer be a source of ‘passive traffic’ that it used too.
You either have to create new pins more frequently and new content more often or pay to promote your pins!
Of course, your experience may be different from mine. Feel free to share in the comments if you noticed any changes in your traffic from Pinterest lately.
Let’s talk specifically how I use Pinterest to drive traffic to this blog.
This is the secret behind my steady growth in traffic and income.
I’ve been using Tailwind to share my posts on Pinterest.
If you don’t know, Tailwind is a Pinterest (and Instagram) scheduling tool that helps you share your posts automatically at the best times for engagement.
To do well on Pinterest you need to pin frequently and consistently and the best way to do that is by using Tailwind.
With the recent Pinterest algorithm changes, I think it’s more important than ever to create new content and pin consistently.
The best thing about Tailwind is that you can sign up for free. No risk, no commitment. Click here to register for free.
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.
Previously, I put a lot of focus on joining group boards. Pinterest group boards are collaborative boards where multiple users can pin their stuff for free.
Today I no longer look for group boards to join. I am also selective to which group boards I pin to.
My focus today is more on my own personal boards.
I created several niche personal boards and optimized their descriptions with targeted keywords. I pin relevant third party pins as well as my own pins.
From my Tailwind dashboard, I can confirm that my personal boards are among my best performing boards.
If you want to access this statistic, you’ll have to subscribe to Tailwind.
I continue to optimize my blog posts for the search engines. I don’t get much organic traffic yet but this is for the long-term.
I also performed keyword research to find popular topics I can write about. For that, I’m using KeySearch.
KeySearch offers a no credit card required free trial that allows 3 daily searches and analysis as well as YouTube research.
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.
Why write blindly when you can find out what already working for other bloggers with KeySearch?
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.
It also comes with a free SEO course to get you started on the right foot right away.
From my Google Search Console, I can confirm that this has been working. More and more of my posts are climbing up the rank and starting to get more impressions.
They are not ranked in the top 10 or top 20 yet. I think that will take a few more months.
Like most bloggers, sometimes I can’t help but wonder if this ever going to work. Especially when I think about the amount of effort I’ve put in and the income generated.
While other bloggers are making thousands of dollars per month, I am stuck at earning a few hundred dollars.
Will it be like that forever until I quit? When is this blog going to take off if ever?
Intellectually, I realised that this is the part when every successful blogger said they were struggling in their first few months or first year. I know I am in this period.
I’ve seen other people who have less technical know-how or worse writer than myself (being a non-native English speaker, I myself always struggle with my writing…) made thousands of dollars from their blog.
Why? They become successful because they stick with it!
So throwing in the towel would be the most foolish thing that I can do right now lol.
I should have known better because I’ve been working full-time online since forever although blogging has never been my main source of income.
I’ve used blogs as a way to promote my other businesses.
Putting things into perspective, actually, I wasn’t doing too bad. I made money in my first month and $142.12 in my fourth month!
Anytime I feel defeated for not achieving more or for thinking if this ever going to work, I focus on the task at hand.
I will spend at least 30 minutes at a time writing a blog post before taking any break. At other time, I’ll spend another 30 minutes creating pins or do other tasks.
During the 30 minutes time period, I immerse myself in the task fully. No mobile phone, no social media, no emails, no unrelated work. It’s like the Pomodoro technique but less rigid.
I believe this small work will add up and keeps me moving forward regardless of the obstacles or how slow the progress may seem.
Instead of trying to self-talk myself or think about the what-ifs, I switch into the doing mode. Before you know it, you are putting patience and persistence into practice.
I mentioned in my third-month blog income report that I wanted to make at least $1000 in May.
But since I didn’t post anything in the previous month because of other commitments, it looks like the chance for me to make that much money is lower.
But it’s OK! Things don’t always go as planned.
No what ifs, I’ll just continue publishing new posts and keep moving forward.
Thanks for reading!