September, September, you glorious crazy month, you. Wow.
I’m so proud of everything that happened this month. I’ve worked really hard, learned a lot of lessons, and am once again rejuvenated, energized, and so, so happy that I made the decision to start my own blog a few months ago.
What Was Going on Before This Month?
You can read all about it in my previous income reports!
September 2017: My 3rd Traffic and Income Report
This post contains affiliate links. Please read our full disclosure for details.
September 2017 Total Pageviews: 73,362 (+ vs. 27,569 in August 2017)
September 2017 Total Users: 58,262 (+ vs. 21,975 in August 2017)
These pageviews, y’all. Every month I just sort of stare at them in disbelief that they are actually from my little blog. They certainly haven’t always looked like this.
Here’s what my monthly pageviews have been since my first full month of blogging back in April 2017:
April 2017 Total Pageviews: 472
May 2017 Total Pageviews: 1,144
June 2017 Total Pageviews: 7,484
July 2017 Total Pageviews: 15,755
August 2017 Total Pageviews: 27,569
September 2017 Total Pageviews: 73,362
A few big things contributed to my crazy leap in pageviews this month:
- I had a viral post that brought in over 40,000 pageviews alone in September (see below for my top posts).
- I invested in Canva for Work so that I could create better images for Pinterest. My new images, combined with using Tailwind and Board Booster to schedule all of my monthly pins has skyrocketed my already-high Pinterest traffic—and my blog traffic overall.
Top 5 Posts of September 2017:
Best Pregnancy Movies to Watch When You’re Pregnant (40,911 pageviews)
How to Make Money While Breastfeeding (11,356 pageviews)
5 Breastmilk Boosting Tips for Moms With a Naturally Low Supply (3,077 pageviews)
Build a Breastmilk Freezer Stash With a Low Milk Supply (1,650 pageviews)
Quick Hocus Pocus Filming Locations to Visit in Salem, Massachusetts (1,373 pageviews)
Pinterest is still my #1 source of web traffic across the board.
My ultra-effective Pinterest strategy, which centers around using Tailwind and Board Booster really saved me this month when my blogging workload increased. A lot of my time was spent on sponsored content, which means I had very little time to do much of anything on Pinterest.
For the first time, I sat down at the beginning of the month and scheduled everything for the entire month of September on Tailwind and Board Booster. It was a complete godsend, and I will be doing it every single month going forward. An hour of so of time; a month’s worth of pinning taken care of. You really can’t beat it.
September 2017 End of Month Followers: 8,286 (+ vs. 7,755 in August 2017)
Goal for October 2017: 8,500
I tried to put a little more effort into growing my Instagram this month, and it paid off. Next month I’m keeping my focus on uping the quality of my Instagram—better posts, posting consistently, and really engaging with my Insta-fam.
September 2017 End of Month Followers: 11,486 (+ vs. 11,036 in August 2017)
Goal for October 2017: 11,600
Wanna know something crazy about my Facebook page? I actually haven’t shared it—or my blog—with any of my real-life Facebook friends. I think maybe 3 or 4 people from my “real world” friends and family members know that I’m a blogger.
I get really anxious when I put myself out there, so keeping the blogging a secret has worked really well for me. I have a space where I can try things and make mistakes and learn without feeling like everyone I know is watching.
So the fact that I’m up to almost 500 Facebook followers—and only 1 of them is from my personal Facebook friends—is proof that you can grow social media accounts without the help of your existing personal network.
How? Blogging Facebook groups. Join them. Network. Make blogging friends. Support your blogging friends. Watch them support you right back. It’s one of the best choices a brand new blogger can make.
Joining Facebook groups of like-minded bloggers has turned out to be an incredible resource and support system for me, especially the private Facebook group just for bloggers who are taking the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and a few groups of my fellow mom bloggers.
September 2017 End of Month Followers: 486 (+ vs. 340 in August 2017)
Goal for October 2017: 500
I’ve really come to love Twitter for promoting sponsored blog posts, like the ones that I booked through Linqia. This month I made more of an effort to be engaging with fellow bloggers on Twitter (reposting their blog posts, etc.) and in return saw my traffic from Twitter increase.
September 2017 End of Month Followers: 1,399 (+ vs. 1,099 in August 2017)
Goal for October 2017: 1,500
Google+ is growing, and I have yet to put forth any strategy for it whatsoever. I’m glad for the growth, but this is really a low priority for me right now, and probably will continue to be for a few more months at least.
September 2017 End of Month Followers: 66 (+ vs. 37 in August 2017)
Goal for October 2017: 75
Income and Expenses
Okay, y’all. Money time. 🙂
There are two ways that most bloggers report income: when the actual money reaches their bank accounts, or when the money is earned through a particular program.
Because I’m interested in seeing how I do on a monthly basis, I choose to report my income based on when it’s earned so that it directly correlates to my monthly strategies and web traffic. This helps give me a clear picture of what’s working and what’s generating real results.
September 2017 Income
My September 2017 income came from 3 sources:
1. Affiliates: $411.86 (+ vs. $90.40 in August 2017)
2. Sponsored Content: $1,267.37 (+ vs. $216.60 in August 2017)
3. Advertising: $78.97 (+ vs. $54.22 in August 2017)
September 2017 Monthly Total: $1,758.20 (+ vs. $386.22 in August 2017)
And now for the breakdown….
1. Bluehost: $215
Staring a self-hosted blog with Bluehost is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
It was nerve-wracking in those first few months when I was trying to learn how to operate my own blog, but Bluehost has made it super easy for me with their 24/7 customer support—which I’ve used about 100 times in the past few months for all of my annoying little newbie blogger questions ;).
If you’re interested in starting your own self-hosted blog for under $4/month with Bluehost, you can sign up here with my special discount link.
If you’re feeling completely lost when it comes to starting your own blog, follow my detailed step-by-step instructions here.
2. Amazon: $45.28
Amazon Affiliates is fantastic for brand new bloggers. The application/approval process is quick and easy, and once you’re in you can start recommending products that you already use and love, and making a small commission from qualified sales.
3. Maven: $66
If you haven’t heard of Maven before, it’s basically a Pinterest-esq platform that allows you to recommend your favorite products from lots of different brands, and make a commission off each sale!
4. Etsy: $7.98
I have all of the heart eyes for Etsy and the small businesses that it supports. Being able to recommend them to my audience as an Etsy affiliate is a dream.
You can apply to become an Etsy affiliate through Awin. You’ll be required to pay $5 when you sign up, but you get that $5 back in its entirety when you make your first affiliate sale (which is pretty easy when you get to recommend great products from Etsy). Sign up for Awin here.
5. Swagbucks: $57.20
I took surveys on Swagbucks on my iPhone to earn Target gift cards while I was pregnant and breastfeeding my daughter. I usually earned about $5-$10 in gift cards each month with passive survey taking—which definitely was not nothing!
6. Max Bounty: $20.40
Max Bounty is an affiliate network that connects you to lots of different companies.
1. Linqia: $212.20
Linqia is an influencer network that connects online influencers (such as bloggers) with amazing brands to work on sponsored posts and social media campaigns.
There are a few minimum requirements that your blog will need to meet before you’re approved (e.g. you have to have either 2500 social media followers or unique monthly visitors to your blog), but once you’re in you can start working on campaigns.
I book 1-2 campaigns with Linqia each month, and the income has really started to add up! The Linqia team is great to work with, the campaigns are fun, and payments are processed quickly (within 10 business days of program completion).
2. Social Fabric: $720
I got to work with some really great brands like NUK and Huggies this month thanks to booking sponsored posts through Social Fabric. I already have a few campaigns booked for October, and am excited to see where my relationship with Social Fabric goes from here!
3. Massive Sway: $335
Another great sponsorship network that I was lucky to work with this month, and will be working with again in October!
4. Activate: $0.17
Activate is another sponsorship network that I just started looking into. I earned $0.17 from a sponsored tweet in September, and am excited to see what I can do with them in October!
Google AdSense: $78.97
I really made a mess of my advertising this month, and am actually shocked that I earned as much as I did.
I switched ad networks twice before going back to AdSense. I added maybe 2 new ads to my new blog posts in September. It was rough.
Part of my blog auditing that I’m hoping to do this coming month will include straightening out my ads so that I can continue to increase this revenue.
September 2017 Blogging Expenses
Web Hosting: $0 (Prepaid for the year through Bluehost)
Board Booster: $5
Canva for Work: $119.40 (Annual membership)
Digital Product Delivery (DPD): $10 (I used DPD to create and sell my Mama Blog Audit. It’s super easy to use, and you can try it out with a 30 day free trial here if you’re thinking about creating your first produce or service.)
MacBook Air: $1,270.94 (I haven’t had a working laptop in about 3 years, so one of the very first things that I wanted to invest in with my blog earnings was a new laptop. I had the chance to do that this month!! Woo hoo for no longer having to do the bulk of my blogging on my iPhone!!)
Canon EOS Rebel T6 Camera + Accessories: $469 (Since I’m booking more and more sponsored posts, I decided to invest in a camera that isn’t a dated iPhone to up the quality, and hopefully book more sponsored posts in the future. So far I’m LOVING this camera and the pictures that it takes. Such a difference. Plus I can take nicer family photos of the kiddos. ;))
September 2017 Total Expenses: $1889.34
Total Monthly Income: $1,758.20
Total Monthly Expenses: $1889.34
Total Monthly Income After Expenses: -$131.14
Goals for September 2017
1. Audit and Edit Existing Blog Content
I say that I’m going to do this every month and I keep putting it off. It’s my only goal this month.
I want to go back and make sure everything is linked properly, do some extra proof reading, and making sure my advertising is where it needs to be.
Final Thoughts on September 2017
September was such a learning experience. I realized my love for writing sponsored content, made some tweaks to increase my affiliate sales, and had great increases in traffic. I have no idea if any growth will happen in October, but I’m up for the challenge. 😉