October 2017 will forever be the month of the sponsored blog post for me. I maaaaay have overbooked myself a bit. While the campaigns were fun, the brands were fabulous, and the money is oh-so-lovely ;), I didn’t have as much time to engage with my audience as I have in previous months.
I’m also sitting here feeling kind of burned out as we move into November. Thankfully, one of the biggest perks of starting my own blog and working from home is that I can take a few days off to relax, watch the rest of Stranger Things Season 2, steal more of my kids’ Halloween candy, and regroup for the rest of the month.
What Was Going on Before This Month?
You can read all about it in my previous income reports!
October 2017: My 4th Traffic and Income Report
This post contains affiliate links. Please read our full disclosure for details.
October 2017 Total Pageviews: 32,690 (- vs. 73,362 in September 2017)
October 2017 Total Users: 24,037 (- vs. 58,262 in September 2017)
Pageviews took a bit of a hit this month. The viral post that I had spike my traffic last month evened out a bit, and I spend more time writing sponsored content than promoting existing content. However, this month is proof that more page views do not automatically translate to more money. While my page views were lower than last month, my income is higher.
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
October 2017 Total Pageviews: 32,690
Top 5 Posts of October 2017:
Best Pregnancy Movies to Watch When You’re Pregnant (5,612 pageviews)
How to Build a Diaper Stash Before Baby (3,884 pageviews)
How to Make Money While Breastfeeding (2,779 pageviews)
Quick Hocus Pocus Filming Locations to Visit in Salem, Massachusetts (2,577 pageviews)
5 Breastmilk Boosting Tips for Moms With a Naturally Low Supply (2,453 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 was a lifesaver this month while I was buried under piles of sponsored content writing.
October 2017 End of Month Followers: 8,705 (+ vs. 8,286 in September 2017)
I’ll be honest—I started missing my Insta-family this month. With my energy focused on my blog, I had less time to engage with my tribe. While I gained quite a few followers, next month Im going to try to re-engage.
October 2017 End of Month Followers: 12,035 (+ vs. 11,486 in September 2017)
Blogging Facebook groups are still my favorite use for Facebook as a relatively new blogger. Having that support system in place from wonderful groups, especially the private Facebook group just for bloggers who are taking the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, saves me a lot of time and stress when I have questions arise.
October 2017 End of Month Followers: 552 (+ vs. 486 in September 2017)
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.
October 2017 End of Month Followers: 1,495 (+ vs. 1,399 in September 2017)
Google+ is growing, and I have yet to put forth any strategy for it whatsoever. I’m glad for the growth, but, like last month, this is really a low priority for me right now, and probably will continue to be for a few more months at least.
October 2017 End of Month Followers: 101 (+ vs. 66 in September 2017)
Income and Expenses
Okay, y’all. Money money moooney. MON-AY 🙂
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.
October 2017 Income
My October 2017 income came from 3 sources:
1. Affiliates: $317.18 (- vs. $411.86 in September 2017)
2. Sponsored Content: $1,756.60 (+ vs $1,267.37 in September 2017)
3. Advertising: $38.40 (- vs. $78.97 in September 2017)
October 2017 Monthly Total: $2,112.18 (+ vs. $1,758.20 in September 2017)
1. Bluehost: $225
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: $22.35
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. Signing up for Amazon Affiliates is free and can be done here.
3. Maven: $36
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! Sign up for your free Maven account here.
4. Etsy: $9.63
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: $13.20
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! You can join Swagbucks for free and start taking surveys in your spare time here.
6. ShareaSale: $7
My first month making some income from ShareaSale! I realized that I had like maybe two affiliate links through ShareaSale on my blog, so in October I changed that. There are so many wonderful brands that I genuinely love—Ergo Baby and Earth Mama Organics, to name a few—that working the links in fits naturally with my content. You can apply to join ShareaSale for free here.
7. Max Bounty: $4
Max Bounty is an affiliate network that connects you to lots of different companies. If you’re a blogger, you can apply to join Max Bounty for free here.
1. Linqia: $101.60
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 usually 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: $855
3. Massive Sway: $650
Another great sponsorship network that I was lucky to work with this month! The Massive Sway team is always on top of their stuff, and the campaigns connect you to great brands like Stonyfield Organic Yogurt.
4. Direct Contact: $150
Sometimes brands reach out to me directly with sponsored post opportunities. Almost all of them find me through my Instagram account, which is one reason I make sure to stay at least somewhat active on there.
Having a Contact Me page on my blog is also essential so…you know…brands can contact me. 😉
Google AdSense: $38.40
Every month I tell myself that I’m going to devote time to straightening out the advertising on my blog, and every month I don’t. Hahaha.
Who wants to do something like advertising when you could be writing something helpful instead?! Not me. 😉
Maybe this month will be the month…but I doubt it. Until then—passive income!
October 2017 Blogging Expenses
After investing a whole bunch of money back into my business last month on things like
Web Hosting: $0 (Prepaid for the year through Bluehost)
Board Booster: $5
Canva for Work: $0 (Prepaid through the year)
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.)
Genius Bloggers Toolkit: $97 (A whole bunch of blogging courses and eBooks that is available once a year through Ultimate Bundles. Worth every freakin’ penny. While this particular bundle is no longer available for purchase, they have some amazing bundles like Work at Home Super Bundle 2017—another GREAT bundle for blogging/work at home mamas!!—and the Parenting Super Bundle 2017.)
October 2017 Total Expenses: $127
Total Monthly Income: $2,112.18
Total Monthly Expenses: $127
Total Monthly Income After Expenses: $1,985.18
Goals for November 2017
1. Audit and Edit Existing Blog Content
Big shock! This goal is still the same. 🙂
I did some editing of a few posts this month, but still work to do.
Final Thoughts on October 2017
While I love writing sponsored posts, I may have overbooked myself a little bit in October. Going forward I’m going to try to find a nice balance between sponsored posts and focusing on content, affiliate sales, and engaging with my audience.