Let’s be honest…
Many bloggers who publish monthly income reports are just tooting their horn.
They use those reports as a “hey look at how amazing I am! Here’s a bunch of affiliate links!!! Bluehoooosssttt!!”
(note the non-affiliate link. I only promote products I use or will stake my reputation on)
Am I right?
My goal: I’m publishing ALL my stats (not just income):
- Do You Even Blog is a business.
- I treat it like a business…and businesses publish monthly financial reports.
- I should know. I used to be an accountant 🙂
The purpose of DYEB is to be an open book for income-seeking bloggers…whether through my wins, revenues, or failures.
You need to see the process of growing a blog…not just large gross revenue numbers and affiliate links.
Did I reach my goals last month?
Get 360 email subscribers – Fail! (347, +6% from prior month)
I averaged a few subs per day (purely organic), but had 20-ish unsubscribes during the month. Honestly, I didn’t do anything for list growth during July.
No giveaways, no special promos, no big freebies, etc. Can’t really complain about the organic growth, as it’s only my 2nd month.
NEXT month, however, I need to focus more on this.
Make $250 in revenue – Fail! (sorta) ($104.50 cash, +107% from prior month)…$1,740 in free software(!)
- DYEB Sponsor Income – $95
- Affiliate Income – $10.40
- Tailwind – $1 (hey, if you’re not a user already, my affiliate link grants BOTH of us a $15 credit)
- Snappa – $4.50 (recurring!)
- Jooicer – $4.90
- Software Sponsorships – $1,740
- Mystery Sponsor 1 – $1,500
- Mystery Sponsor 2 – $240
Sponsor income – Believe it or not, I had 2 serious inbound leads, which just haven’t paid yet. Hopefully that’ll come through in early August, and I’ll have 1-2 slots left for people at $135 each.
I also pitched 3-5 people during the month, and 2 of them were “on the fence,” though I’m not going to push them 🙂
(side-note: I had 4 paragraphs where this sentence is…but deleted them. David at Zero Day Finance grilled me w/ questions about being a sponsor before saying “no thanks.” Would you like a glimpse at how I pitch sponsorships? I’ve been thinking about writing a post (or recording a 10-min podcast). Let me know in the comments?
Software sponsors – I’m super pumped about this, but I’m not supposed to share names yet 🙁 🙁
I reached out to 2 different companies in July (One I’ve used the free version for years, the other I just discovered), and bartered with them.
I can’t share details yet, but I was able to snag a free year of the product’s “pro” versions! It’s seriously awesome. I’m providing them a variety of exposure and introductions in return 🙂
So even though it wasn’t cash, I’m thrilled about having pro-level access to these two products.
Receive 1,100 page views – Yes! (2,253, +47% from prior month)
My first blog took 9-12 months to see that many page views in a month (and it was only from a Rockstar Finance feature). I’m thrilled people seem to be getting some value out of the site/podcast.
AUGUST is traffic month, however. More of that below…
Other blog metrics
Podcast downloads – 1,219, +140% from prior month(!)
This is huge, and has taught me a very valuable lesson: The Do You Even Blog Podcast is my “one thing.”
Perhaps you enjoy my sarcastic (and possibly snarky) tone and writing style. Hopefully you learn something from the blog…
The podcast is where I’m seeing extraordinary growth and positive feedback. I could not be happier.
Thank you all so, so much for listening. It melts my heart. <3
Facebook Group Growth – 16 (brand new!)
Here’s a question…
What do you honestly think about blogging Facebook groups?
MOST of the groups I’m in are slightly above average. I enjoy groups w/ honest discussions and controlled link spamming…but it feels like everyone is just lurking, ready to post their blog post URLs at the FIRST opportunity they get.
That said, I’ve started my own private Facebook group, with the intention of making it valuable and useful.
There’s just one huge problem…
I have no clue how to do that yet. Join me and let me know?
Pinterest Growth – Essentially none
Even after speaking with 3 Pinterest marketing gurus, I still find myself struggling to drive Pinterest traffic.
There’s no shame in admitting that.
- Things I’ve done: Overhauled my Pinterest profile and board organization, and took a huge leap with my images. Signed up for a pro Tailwind account as well, so maybe that’ll make things easier.
- Things I haven’t done well: Engaging on Pinterest. Before a few weeks ago, I was NOT a user at all. I’m starting from scratch as a complete newbie, so I suspect it will take time to generate solid growth. Also, my pin images still need a LOT of optimization and improvement.
June Monthly Blog Income Report
Money saved through software sponsors: $1,740
Note: I’m back on the ConvertKit bandwagon! Hence the expenses this month.
Next month’s goals and how I’m going to get there:
- Revenue: $100
- Traffic: 3,000 pageviews
- Email subs: 400
How I’m going to get revenue
I will not be focusing on revenue at all in August.
I’ve had a few inbound requests from sponsors, so maybe a few of those will pan out. I’m increasing the price to $135 for a “site of the week” sponsor slot….but revenue is not a goal for me in August.
Content is king.
How I’m going to get traffic
I have 3 guest posts slated for August, and my organic traffic has been increasing steadily. I expect 3k page views to come easily.
Pro Tip: Guest posting takes a long time. There’s a lot of going back-and-forth, pitching, editing, emailing, optimizing, and oh yeah, writing. Don’t be like me and say “oh yeah I’ll just churn out some guest posts this month!” It takes planning.
How I’m going to get email subscribers
1 – I’ve created my first email course, Podcasting for Bloggers.
It’s a quick and dirty email course designed to provide an easy and inexpensive way to get started podcasting. Like, in a day. There’s never been a better time to start a podcast, and it can be an incredible tool for your own blog.
This will generate some subs, converting from normal site traffic.
2 – I’ve created 2 massive content upgrades for my upcoming guest posts. They’re really good, if I do say so myself.
I spent a ton of time on them, and have no doubt the guest post readers will be inclined to check them out.
Those 2 strategies, combined with continued early growth, should allow me to hit the subscriber goals with ease.
Published this month:
Final thoughts on what worked and what didn’t.
Things I’m proud of:
My podcast stats make me really happy. DYEB fans are responding, sharing on Twitter and Pinterest, etc. I really think this is my “one thing” right now.
Also, I got “enterprise” and “team” level access to 2 amazing products. For free. I’m proud I was able to barter those deals.
Things that didn’t really work:
I thought Pinterest traffic growth might occur a bit faster, given the improvements I’ve made. But it hasn’t. Gotta stick with it, keep optimizing images, and join more high-quality group boards.
The theme for August:
Publish interviews and drive traffic.
- Publish more deep-dive interviews (PT Money, John Lee Dumas, Brian Dean (hopefully), Sarah Peterson, and ESI Money should be in the queue!)
- Hustle for Pinterest traffic growth.
- Convert guest post traffic into email subscribers via awesome content upgrades.
Please, please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear…
- Do you publish your blog stats monthly? Drop a link!
- What do you feel about blogging Facebook groups?
- What can I teach you about? (seriously. What content do you need? What areas are you struggling with? Want to know more about my sponsorship pitches?)
I’m only posting once a week so I figured people would be put off by having most of my posts be networth updates so I plan on doing mine quarterly.
I’ve been thinking about creating a Facebook group or page but I’ve been trying to take social media one platform at a time.
I’m on Twitter and trying to get better about Pinterest.
Pinterest is more challenging since I usually only have time to use it on my phone so I’m not finding group boards to try to join.
I guess I am interested in monetization but not sure they best approach or if I’m ready yet.
I more or less at least want to break even on this experiment of blogging.
Totally with you on the break-even thing. That was my real motivation for monetizing in month 1 🙂
Also, I totally suck at the “one platform” thing. It IS good advice, but I tend to iterate over everything to begin with, then focus later. Still trying to do that now :-/
to this day my most popular article has 15K pins on Pinterest. It’s inexplicable. I’d be interested in learning more about how you pitch your sponsors.
I told my Pinterest consultant about that! We analyzed your success 🙂
I’m glad to have found you (or vice versa?) on Twitter. You’ve got some great stuff here and since I’m an avid podcast listener, I’m going to follow your podcasts.
It looks like I’ve caught you on your way up since you’ve got a good system that is only getting better apparently.
Hey thanks Darren! I appreciate the kind words. I’m an avid podcast listener myself 🙂
If you see this reply, let me know what else you’re listening to right now?
My regulars are Tim Ferriss, Noah Kagan, SHS with Nick Loper, Hardcore History, Problogger, and Masters of Scale.
Nice analysis! Looks like you’re doing pretty well, for only your 2nd month with this particular blog!
I also liked the concrete plans to hit your goals for next month. Keep up the great work! Sounds like the podcast may be your best bet indeed… 😀
A ‘glimpse into how you pitch sponsorships’ could be useful for people, but I’d think REAL HARD about giving away that info.
Thanks FS! I appreciate that.
I am curious as to why you think I should be hesitant to give those details away?
The way I see it, I don’t have anything to lose, as whatever “tactics” I use are really a combination of 15-20 books on sales principles I’ve read.
But I’m more than open to hearing your opinion!
Terrific month! Oh my gosh Pete you already made monies! That’s amazing!
P.S. you should add a Pinterest button so I can pin this report to my group boards 🙂
OMG. I have been meaning add a Pinterest widget since month one. I’m going to literally do it right now. Thank you for reminding me!!
(however, there should still be a pin button on the sidebar?)
P.S. You’re a rockstar Lily, thank you so much for comin over 🙂 🙂
Pete, I would love to hear about your biggest lessons learned from your first blog. I’m a new blogger (5mos). I’ve accomplished a lot at my age, and share all the details about that on my site. But yeah… marketing.
My biggest page view day was also an RF feature. Otherwise, it’s growing slowly but steadily.
The Rockstar Feature is a traffic story most tell 🙂
If you’ve only been blogging for 5 months, any sort of “steady” growth is good. Just promise me you won’t quit before 12 months.
I’ll bet you $1,589 you’ll look back on month 5 and say “ha!” 😉
Pete I appreciate your transparency and honesty. Being inches away from my own launch I am glad to see success out of gate is possible if you work at it…I just subscribed to your podcast and am actually hoping for some traffic on my daily commute to have time to listen. -TFF
Thanks TFF, I appreciate the kind words. Best of luck on your launch, and keep us posted when it’s live!
Found your blog from the podcast with Lily and Ms FAF.
Awesome success with this months report.
I think you should add some social icons to your site so readers can follow you easier.
Try a plugin called simple social icons.
Just followed you on Pinterest and I’m setting up my Twitter as we speak!
Awesome overview. One of my favorites so far I’ve read. If you’d ever want to guest post let me know! I like your style & approach!
Keep up the great work!
Thanks Zack! 101% appreciate it 🙂 🙂
And always bro –> https://doyouevenblog.com/write-for-dyeb
Great overview, Pete! Awesome story about bartering for products. Makes sense they don’t want you saying who, the whole blogger universe would be knocking at their door!
I published income reports my first 6 months blogging because I wanted to show the early months. Most people don’t seem to start right away. However, I’m now moving them to my email list. My blog isn’t focused on blogging and now that I dropped to two posts a week I didn’t want to take a slot up each month with a report.
Most of the blog Facebook groups I’m in are pretty useless, though I find the EBA and FinCon groups invaluable. EBA is great for advice without having to sift through spam and FinCon is amazing for networking.
I could use some help with monetization! I recently discovered I have 2-3 posts ranking in the top 3 on Google for my target keywords, and while just those posts drive ~1/3 of my traffic, none of them have any monetization on them. Oops!!
Good luck in August!!
I TOTALLY feel you on not wanting the income reports to be 20% of blog posts, etc. I’m currently having the same problem.
Couldn’t agree more about the first 6 months though. I want people to takeaway the fact that they can’t results overnight…and they shouldn’t quit!
Go add in some opt-ins and such for those well performing pages 🙂
Fabulous report. Content rich and transparent. I look forward to seeing more!
Thanks AoFire! I appreciate the kind words 🙂
Congrats Pete! That’s amazing that you’ve done so well in your second month! And made $$ already!
I can feel the hustle in this post! You are working hard! 🙂
I try at least. Thanks for the kind words Laurie 🙂