Blog Traffic & Income Report December 2017 (My First Month of Blogging)
It’s now a little bit over a month since I started this blog. Before I even started it, I was already reading through traffic and income reports on a daily basis. My reading hasn’t changed. But I did decide to write one myself. This traffic and income report is not as crazy and amazing as some others out there. But perhaps it is a bit more realistic for other people like me out there. And with that I mean people with no blogging experience. So I hope you’ll enjoy.
(Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links for which I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase)
I doubted for quite a while whether I would publish traffic and income reports, or not. But in the end, I realized that even though my traffic isn’t great, it can still be interesting to others. I, myself, was looking for other first month traffic reports that showed similar numbers as mine, and I could barely find any. So I decided to write one about my own experience of the first month, and how discouraging it can be.
I had wanted to start a blog for quite a few years, but never made the leap, up until a month ago. I decided that there would never be an ideal time in my life to start one, so why wait. So I started this blog, without being sure what my niche was going to be, but I quickly realized that my stories about having a chronic illness and dealing with chronic pain have an audience. I also write about blogging, because I also like reading about it. And because in the end I would like to monetize this blog, and I don’t feel comfortable doing it with posts about being ill. So now that you know why I started my blog, let’s dig into the numbers.
As you can see my total amount of page views in my first month was 536, which I consider to be relatively good. But when you look at the number right below it, you will see that my bounce rate was over 90%. Which isn’t very good. The bounce rate shows how many people of your total amount of page views click on your page, and click it away before actually reading it. So you could say that only about 47 (536 x (100-91.15)%) people actually read something. Yet, I’m actually quite happy about that, because I didn’t really expect to have any readers at all. And I should note that the bounce rate was almost 100% on the two days that show the big peaks in the graph, so that might have influenced the general bounce rate a bit.
Both of those peak days were a Sunday. Now I’ll tell you what caused these two peaks of visitors. On those two days one of my articles was picked up on StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon is a social network that is very visual, but also shows you page to many people, for a very short amount of time. So those two days didn’t actually have such a spectacular visitors as I first thought. StumbleUpon really messed up my stats and made me so excited, only to realize that it wasn’t any real traffic.
But all in all my blog kept steadily growing, and more and more people were seeing it. I used several types of social media (Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest), but Pinterest was my biggest succes. Facebook on the other hand didn’t work out for me at all. I will go into that later, when I discuss my entire social media ‘strategy’ of the last month.
This steady growth collapsed with the Christmas holiday. First I panicked a bit, when I had my first day of zero visitors. But I quickly put into perspective, and realized that I didn’t have time to go on the internet all that much either. So instead of panicking, I chose to regroup. I used my own days off to come up with a new strategy and to get to know all the tools I had decided I was going to implement in the coming month.
To understand your traffic, it’s really important to look at where the people came from. As you can see in the table above, the majority of my traffic came from ‘Social’, which stands for social media. I will try to give a short explanation of what each term stand for.
- Social: Social Media is often the biggest channel for traffic for a new blog. This is logical considering that your blog isn’t established enough to be picked up on google searched or to be a staple to go to. For my blog it even brings in approximately 85% of my traffic.
- Direct: 12% of my traffic comes from people who type my blogs name directly into their browser, or perhaps even saved it in their bookmarks (a girl can dream).
- Organic Search: And about 2.5% of my traffic comes from organic searches. These are visitors that are coming to my blog through google. I hope this number goes up, as my blog becomes a bit older and more established. Using SEO is really important to achieve any organic traffic. I use the Yoast plugin to help me out with this. (If any of you know something else that could help me improve this percentage, let me know in the comments! All help is welcome.)
- (Other): Honestly, I have no clue what this stands for, it’s one person who apparently went to my site through some other way. And that person is more that welcome. (Although I’m afraid it might’ve just been me in the beginning, who did it on accident. I may never know.)
As you saw in the graph of my traffic sources, the majority of my traffic comes from social media. Now I have to confess something, I am not great at social media. Why? Well, I had to start from scratch. I will explain how I managed to get this amount of traffic with all new social media accounts anyway.
At the beginning Facebook accounted for much of my traffic, this was all thanks to Facebook groups that I’d joined with my personal account. I was really happy about this, until I realized that the Facebook visitor’s bounce rate was 100%. Which means, that they didn’t actually read anything. So I quickly stopped putting energy in it. I was tempted to keep going, because Facebook was the platform I knew. But my Facebook Page wasn’t getting any followers, so posting things on it wouldn’t make a difference. And the articles that you are sometimes obliged to share for others, aren’t always good for you own social media account. Because who wants to share unrelated content when you are just establishing your account. So Facebook is momentarily put on hold.
With Pinterest I really found my favorite platform. Why? Because everyone is so nice. People are on Pinterest to help each other and learn from each other, and most definitely not to bash each other. (Something that can’t be said about facebook). I had to start a Pinterest Account from scratch. So I created a business account and got to work creating a brand, my brand. In the beginning, I found it really difficult to create pinnable images, but it quickly became easier as I got to know Canva better. Now, we are more than a month after I set up my account and I can proudly say that I have 62 followers and a reach of over 10K. And that reach is still growing. (I know it’s not a lot, but I’m really happy with it.)
For Pinterest to grow, I read so many articles. Many of them recommending follow for follow strategies, something I was not willing to do. I would feel too much like stalker I think, which I can’t imagine being a good feeling. So instead of trying to grow my followers, I decided to find group boards. I think I send e-mails and messages to more than 40 boards since I started. And that’s how I ended up having access to 15 boards by the end of my first month. To do this yourself, I suggest keeping a notebook of all the boards you have asked to join and when. This will help you with keeping track of all your boards.
Another strategy that I only started using about a week ago is Tailwind. I signed up for Tailwind, because pinning manually wasn’t an option for me to do every single day. And, I also really wanted to have access to Tailwind Tribes. This is all still new to me, and I’m going to wait and see what is does for me. I’ve been using the Christmas holiday to learn how to use it. And hopefully in my next traffic report, I will be able to tell you if it gave me those magic results everyone is always writing about. We’ll see. I’m also going to use it to pin more to the group boards, something that I haven’t done as much as I wanted. Simply because I didn’t realize that pinning other people’s content to group boards gets your name out there, and it helps your fellow bloggers whose pins you are sharing.
If you want to start your free Tailwind trial with 100 free pins and access to Tailwind Tribes click here.
The last Social Media account I set up was my twitter account. To me twitter was all new, I hadn’t ever had an account before, but I knew what it was. At first it took me a while to get the hang of it, but now I have 54 followers, and traffic coming in. I wish I could be more active, but that might be for a bit later. My twitter account is also the only account that is set up on my own name. Because I thought that twitter was the place where more personal messages could also be welcome. Up until now, I haven’t posted much personal stuff, so we’ll see.
StumlbeUpon is a social media platform that I don’t use myself, but it doesn’t bring in traffic from time to time. Now you are probably wondering how I get my articles on there. Well, I use a site called ViralContentBee, it is a site where you can earn credits when you share someone’s post on your social media, and then spend those credits to get your own posts shared by others. It’s quite straightforward and it really helped to get the word out in the beginning.
Expenses December 2017
Now we come to the less ‘fun’ part. In my first month I spent quite a bit:
- Bluehost: $2.65 /month
- Backup Pro: $1.79 /month
- Domain Privacy Protection: $2.38 /month
- Tailwind: $8.74 /month
Income December 2017
None, because I decided to focus on creating content and finding readers, before monitizing. In the meantime I have created some posts with affiliate links, but they haven’t brought in anything yet. On top of that I’ve set up Google Adsense, where they say I’ve made $0.04, but I don’t think that counts.
Goals for January 2018
My goals for the coming month will be quite limited, because I have some school exams coming up this month. Yet, I will set a few, and we’ll see if I have the time. Because school comes first.
- Create multiple pins for each posts and share them on social media.
- Start posting more on group board.
- Find new group boards to join
- Manually pin every day (only a few, but some nonetheless, to show Pinterest that I’m active on their platform).
- Look into Boardbooster, and research its benefits
- Get 20 new followers
- Post more frequently (min. once a day)
- Get 10 new followers
- E-mail list:
- Find Subscribers and look for ways to get people to sign up.
- Think of a good Freebie
Want to know if I achieved my goals? Click here to read the report of my second month of blogging!
If you enjoyed this, and would like to see more, be sure to let me know. And if you have any advice or ideas for me, be sure to leave it in the comments.
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