These reports are written in an effort to offer encouragement (and a little guidance) to other bloggers/entrepreneurs out there. I will be sharing the things that have worked here on Gluten Free with L.B. as well as the pitfalls that have been encountered. After all, the best way to learn is from other people!
After over 2 years of blogging I am nowhere close to being a blogging expert, but I do have some real (blog) life lessons to share. Whether you’re a fellow blogger or just curious about the ins and outs of making money from the internet, read on!
(Don’t have a blog yet but would like to start one? Visit my “How to Start a Blog” page to create your own in under 20 minutes!)
Traffic for March 2016
16,609 sessions (+4%) | 40,822 pageviews (+2%)
Total Income= $119.04
RPM = $2.92 (+8%)
*RPM stands for revenue/mille, or revenue/1,000 pageviews. It will be used on every monthly report. This helps gauge if monetization strategies are improving (making more money/1,000 pageviews) or getting worse. Since traffic varies from month to month, it is good to have a consistent measurement to determine how well your site is generating money.
- Hostgator $12.74
- E-junkie $5.00
- Mailchimp $10.00
- (Get $30 towards your paid subscription when you sign up with this link.)
Total Expenses= $27.74
Total Net Profit = $91.30 (+50%)
A Quick Catch-Up
If you want to catch up and see what GFwLB has been doing for the rest of 2016, check out the income reports from January and February 2016!
Changes Made in March
The first official affiliate sale!!…
Up to this point, GFwLB has been making all of it’s income through advertisers. While affiliate sales* are set up throughout the site, no one has made any purchases through the links**… until now! In the picture below you will see that on March 23rd I earned $6.00 in affiliate sales. Later that week I find out that it was one of our good friends, Nitin, who kindly used my referral link. 🙂
*Affiliate Sales are sales made from visitors to your site. The visitor clicks on a link you have embedded in your site, purchase an item, and then you get a percentage of the sale.
**The links I have throughout GFwLB include, but are not limited to, Amazon items, Tasty Food Photography e-Book, and How I made $40K My First Year of Blogging e-Book. (all of these are affiliate links which means I will get a % of the sale, at no additional cost to you!)
Is that an owl in the night or is that HootSuite?…
One of my favorite changes during the month of March was discovering HootSuite! It is a HUGE time saver when it comes to sharing on social media and optimizing the best times to share. You essentially write up your posts, tweets, grams, etc. and then place them in a queue of optimal time slots. They will be posted at those times without any button clicking or work from you!!
An add-on that you can find in HootSuite is a little thing called Tailwind. Last month I talked to you about Ahalogy, a Pinterest scheduling tool. Well Tailwind is very much like this, except I think it is a little bit better. It allows you to change the times of day that you want your pins posted as well as how many pins you want to pin per day of the week. One caveat to using Tailwind, however, is that you have a limit of 100 pins in the free trial. That seemed like a lot of pins to me at the beginning of my trial until April 24th hit and I was met with a haunting image… 100/100 pins posted!!! Oh no!! I am back to using Ahalogy for now.
You can choose to purchase the next level of Tailwind for $15/month or $120/year. Right now I am debating whether or not it is worth it so I will let you all know in one of the upcoming income reports.
Should GFwLB put all of its’ eggs in one basket?…
While this month my RPM went up slightly, I have not been seeing the >$5 RPM I would like. A lot of this is due to my advertising spots not generating much income. Recently I have been contemplating if it is worth the risk to switch to a publisher network that would have complete control over all of my ads. The pro to this is I can stop fiddling with my ad placement and focus on what really matters… delivering quality content to my readers! The obvious con to this is that I will be depending on 100% of my ad revenue to be generated by one publisher network. Talk about putting all of your eggs in one basket!!
Quite a few of the bigger bloggers I follow are using a publisher network called Mediavine. Take a look at the advertisements placed on Homemade Hooplah’s website. There are minimal ads, placed strategically, that load relatively quickly. If you scroll all of the way to the bottom you will notice there is this thing called a “sticky ad” at the end. This concept places a single ad in front of the viewer for a longer amount of time, thus increasing the viewability of the ad. Since the reader is seeing the ad for more time, the ad revenue generated from this type of ad is obviously higher.
Making the switch takes some obvious dedication. I have not decided whether jumping ship is worth the risk or not, but I will be sure to let you know in the coming months what happens here on GFwLB!
A Gift from a Facebook Angel…
Hey everyone!! Meet my Facebook angel, Ryan. At the end of February I received a call from my sister. She asked me if I would be interested in talking with an old college friend of hers who is looking to do some free Facebook advertising. Ummm…. let me think about it– of course!! Within a week he had helped me install a Facebook tracking pixel and was teaching me about “boosting” my Facebook posts. I had done it some in the past, but only a few dollars at a time. With Ryan’s business account he has been helping me “boost” almost every Facebook post by $10-20! He has been such a tremendous help in growing the Gluten Free with L.B. Facebook page (up to 541 likes as of today!) and teaching me the ins and outs of promoting your business/blog on Facebook.
Be sure to check out next month’s post where I tell you tips and tricks to spread your reach on Facebook… and it costs $0!!
Organizing the Madness cont…
Are you ready to see the organized madness?! Brace yourself… it’s not too pretty.
But this is what my editorial calendar looked like for March! And you know what… that works for me 🙂 Bottom line… do what works for you and helps YOU stay organized. Below are some things that I currently do to help myself stay organized:
- Set reminders on your phone for certain times that you want to submit to food sites, share on Facebook, etc.
- Start brainstorming at least a MONTH before major holidays. That way you can create, photo, edit and post well before the holiday!
- Keep plenty of scratch paper around for recipe ideas. Make sure to place these in one location when finished with them so you know where to look when you need some inspiration.
- From each recipe you post, think of 2-3 recipe ideas that could be spin-offs or something made with one of the ingredients. This will help you keep a nice long list of potential recipe ideas.
Check out your blog’s rankings…
In March I stumbled across a really cool website where you can check your website’s ranking worldwide as well as within the nation. Simply go to Alexa.com and type in your blog’s name. Here is what GFwLB’s rankings looked like for the month of March 2016…
A Look Into the Future
What’s going on for the month of April?
The dreaded advertising cycle…
- Understanding the cyclical nature of advertising revenue.
Moving on up to a faster host…
- Learn how and why I switched to a new host provider.
Using Facebook to your advantage…
- Tips to spread your reach on Facebook… and it costs $0!!
How to prepare for vacation…
- What to do for your blog before you leave for vacation.
YAY!! You made it to the end! Once again, I give you a virtual smiley face sticker for sticking around. 🙂 If there was something I touched on in the post but you would like more information about, please comment below and I will give more details in the next post or send you a personal e-mail response.
Until next month’s report,