February 2016 Blog Income and Traffic Report
I’m thrilled to share my second month of income and traffic reporting, although, I’m afraid this month was a great example of the ebb of blogging and not so much the flow. I had a ton going on in my personal life as well as at my job. I’m excited to tell you that I’m currently training the person who will take my place when I quit my job in June. Finding the right person to help me feel comfortable with leaving behind a job that I care about is a huge step toward the new lifestyle of freedom that our family is pursuing.
So, you’ll see my busyness and first quarter doldrums reflected in this month’s traffic and income. However, I’m not upset by the numbers at all. I know that the numbers tend to rebound in the 2nd and 4th quarter and I’m still making a profit. I’ve got nothing but gratitude!
The Purpose of Sharing Blog Income and Traffic Reports
I talk about why I’m sharing my blog income and traffic reports in my first income report. You can read it here.
Now, on to what you came here for!
Our Small Hours February 2016 Blog Income and Traffic Report
First you need to know:
As always, the income reported is the income that was actually paid to me in the month of February. It does not include income I made this month, but have not yet received. Most companies pay on a net 30, 60 or 90 basis.
The traffic numbers are from the month of February, though.
Blogging is like any other business in that some quarters are better than others. Typically the 2nd and 4th quarters have brought me the most revenue. It’s important not to get down about the lack of income or traffic during these months. The boom will come around again. It always does.
That’s why I didn’t start doing income reports in the 3rd quarter. I felt it would give newer bloggers a false sense of how much I really made. Starting these reports in January will allow you see the ebb and flow over the course of a year.
Ok, so now on to what you came here for! For real this time.
February 2016 Blog Traffic
Most advertisers and sponsors want to know what your Unique Monthly Visitors (UMV) are and they usually want it for a 30-, 60- or 90-day period. This is the number reflected under “Users”. This is the number I pay the most attention to.
It’s also important to note my traffic breakdown between mobile, tablet and desktop. As you’ll see in the income report, I have ads that are served exclusively to mobile users and ads that are served exclusively to desktop users. Ads for tablet users can go either way depending on the tablet. This explains why certain ad revenue is low for the number of pageviews.
Here is my traffic breakdown for February 2016:
Mobile traffic: 73%
Desktop traffic: 13%
Tablet traffic: 14%
Here are my Google Analytics for February. If you look at the difference between February and January, you’re probably thinking, “Whoa! What happened?”
Well, you’ll notice the dip in traffic around the 8th-9th. I installed a new theme and didn’t have my analytics running for about 24 hours while I worked out the snags. So, although I was still receiving traffic, my numbers in GA don’t show it. That probably accounts for about 5,000 fewer uniques for the month, so it’s not a huge deal.
Also, Pinterest changed their algorithm and that affected me a bit. If that wasn’t enough, I also changed my Pinterest strategy and it immediately dropped my traffic. I expected that and I’m still working on the new strategy, so March may have diminished numbers as well. I think it’s worth it to do my testing and see what methods are working best early on in the year.
(I’m currently reading How I Went From 17K to 350K+ Monthly Page Views in 9 Months and highly recommend it!)
February 2016 Blog Income
Sovrn (desktop ads only) – $137.76
PadSquad (mobile ads only) – $553.91
The Blogger Network (desktop ads only) – $194.72
Google Adsense (desktop ads only) – $0 – You have to earn $100 to get a payout from Adsense. I usually hit this every other month.
Amazon Ads (desktop ads only) – $0 – I have removed Amazon Ads from my website for low performance.
Young Living – $514.82
Other Online Revenue
Consulting and/or VA work – $80
Total Blog Income – $1961.94
February 2016 Blog Expenses
Bluehost – $91.86
Catch Themes – $44.99
Rafflecopter – $13.00
iTOVi – $39.99
IZEA – $5.00
123RF.com – $38.00
Archie.co – $29.00
Autopin – $19.99
Crowdfire – $2.19
Facebook Ads – $6.23
PostMyParty.com – $9.99
ViralTag – $29.00
BoardBooster – $34.96
MailChimp – $20.00
SumoMe – $20.00
Total Blog Expenses – $404.20
February Overview and Goals for March
February was peaceful like January. I think I only had two sponsored posts in February. Because of my natural living and real food focus I turn down a lot of sponsored posts from companies that don’t fit the natural living or real food niche. So, if you feel discouraged by the amount I make from sponsored posts at my level of traffic remember that I’m offered many more opportunities than I take.
One of my goals for March is to finally complete my media kit. This will help me to reach out to companies that I want to work with instead of waiting for those companies to find me. While I can still find many great sponsored post opportunities through “middle-man” agencies, it’s definitely more lucrative to work with companies one on one.
Blogging Tools and Tips
Tools I found in January that I’m keeping:
I tried out some new tools in January that are continuing to work well for me and I will keep them. Here they are:
Tools and Tips I found in February
For Social Media:
I found another love in February – Autopin. I’m sure you know that it’s very important to pin other people’s pins as well as your own. Part of my Pinterest strategy change was to really get serious about pinning stuff other than my own.
I’ve said before that I use Board Booster to pin only my own pins since it’s the priciest of all of my pinning helpers. I use Viral Tag for pinning other people’s stuff and for scheduling Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I really want to use Pinterest as a way to give back to other pinners since Pinterest is my social media account with the largest following.
Autopin not only lets me pin continuously throughout the day at a rate that I set, but it’s helped me grow my Pinterest following. I’ve jumped from about 7% growth each month to over 15% – even with pinning less of my own stuff and the algorithm changes at Pinterest. Wow! And, I’ve found some really great pins and fellow pinners/bloggers that I might not have found without Autopin.
For Traffic Growth:
Recently, I stumbled onto How I Went from 17K Pageviews to 350k+ in 9 Months from What Mommy Does. If you feel stuck and need ideas to increase your traffic, you need this book. I’m reading it now and Lena’s insights are incredible. She knows what’s she doing and it shows on her blog and in this book. Check it out.
Other Tools and Tips:
Tax time is creeping up on us and so I’m still heartily recommending The Unofficial Tax Handbook for Bloggers. Get this now because April 15th is closer than you think! My husband always does our taxes and I stay happily out of the way. However, I needed to be able to offer insight this year since my blogging income will make a significant difference the amount of taxes we pay. Here’s to hoping we’ve saved enough.
Goals for March
I’m still chugging away on finding great affiliate programs. Make Over Your Mornings did well for me in February (likely pay out in March). It’s great program for parenting bloggers to promote.
I’m also getting into a rhythm with my weekly email. I’m having a lot of fun sharing tips for rocking the mom life with my readers and they are responding to my emails well with opens and clicks. It really is all about providing value. I love, love, love sharing stuff that I know is going to help someone else as much as it helped me. Isn’t that what blogging is all about?
What would you like to see as part of my monthly blog income report? Tag me on Twitter – @oursmallhours and let me know.
Since I’m new to this, I’d love to know what questions you have about blogging that I can answer in future income report posts.
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