Yes, that’s right! I made my first affiliate sale in my second month of blogging. But other than that, I also go spam-blocked on Pinterest for a week and burnt out.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
In some areas, this month was more successful than my first month of Blogology and in some areas, it wasn’t.
But why am I sharing this with you?
Because I want you to know what it’s like to be a blogger and run a blog. I want to take you behind the scenes. That’s why I’m trying to be as detailed as possible.
But before we go any further, let’s get the disclaimers out of the way.
DISCLAIMER NO. 1: This isn’t my first blog. I’ve been blogging on and off since 2008, professionally from late 2018. In early 2020, I decided to leave my fashion blog SaraViktorie.com. Then, there were quite a few months when I was working on Blogology before I officially launched it. By now, I completely abandoned my previous blog, but here’s my dying Instagram account, and here’s an interview with me with a company I used to be working with. I was cringing a bit when I was rereading it, so don’t read it if you don’t have to haha!
DISCLAIMER NO. 2: I’m not an expert at blogging. I do have experience with starting and running blogs, but I don’t know everything that goes into blogging. I only teach what I know. In the venues where I’m still lacking, I provide you with other resources.
DISCLOSURE: This blog post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I’ll receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Read my Affiliate Disclosure for more information.
Why did I start Blogology?
Well, I have a few reasons:
- Blogging has always been my passion and that one thing no one could ever take away from me
- To test my content marketing skills
- To show introduce you to the world of blogging and take you behind the scenes of running a blog
- To make money online and be able to travel full-time
One thing I decided to change this month was my posting schedule. Until now, I was posting four times a month – every Monday.
In August, I decided to change that number to only three posts – main posts every other Monday and a blogging report the first Friday of the month.
Because my posts are very detailed and I try to get the nitty-gritty of the discussed topic. Researching, writing, and putting together these posts takes a lot of time.
Also, this schedule will give me more space for guest posting and gain visibility that way.
Posting less gives me more time to:
- Create better content
- Guest blogging
- Promoting my blog
So, apart from my first month of blogging report, I also published:
Blog traffic report
In August, I got exactly 1,145 pageviews from 1,028 visitors. The bounce rate could be lower. I’ve already started making some small steps to improve it. But, to be fair, I’m quite happy with the average time on page.
Although, I want to make it clear that those two metrics are difficult to track and they are not the most precise metrics. I go over this in How to Measure the Success of Your Blog.
What does the high bounce rate mean?
- My posts are either so good that my readers find all the information they need and they don’t need to click on any other posts to find for information
- Perhaps my posts are so bad that people leave immediately
- Or the users don’t even land on my page in the first place
Hopefully, judging by the average time on page, it’s the first option haha!
To be fair, I also have quite a few landing pages with email opt-ins and freebies where the reader won’t spend a lot of time. I keep promoting those pages a lot, so that might be the reason as well.
As you can see, most of my traffic comes from social media. My highest source of traffic is Pinterest.
To be honest, at the moment I’m not having much luck with Google. But I’m aware that this takes time. I’m getting a few clicks from Google every now and then, but I’m not appearing on the first page for any of my articles.
That being said, I do have a few pages that rank on the first page of Bing. So far, the CTR isn’t great, but at least I have some data and have an idea as to what to improve.
As I mentioned, my results from SEO are close to non-existent at this point. Here’s a report from Moz:
What shocked me was the number of backlinks. If you go to my last month’s report, you’ll notice that the number is a lot different.
I checked it and apparently, the majority of those backlinks come from DoSplash, which is a blogging community. A lot of those links don’t even come from my submissions, so I’m honestly confused about this.
As I said, I started posting less. Did it affect my traffic? I don’t think so.
Here’s what I do each week:
- I pick three posts I want to promote that week
- I tweet them on Twitter and submit them to comment threads in Facebook groups
- Every time I post a new article, I also submit it to Blog Post Vote Up, DoSplash, Mix, and Bloglovin’. To be honest, I’ve only seen a few clicks from Blog Post Vote Up and DoSplash, other than that, I haven’t had much luck with the other two. But that’s okay, I’m putting more time into other strategies.
I mentioned that Pinterest is my main source of traffic. In August, I was pinning four fresh pins a day. I pin them to 4 to 6 boards (including 1 to 2 group boards). I generally keep my descriptions 2 to 3 sentences long and include 3 to 5 keywords.
Throughout the month, I was also including 5 to 7 hashtags but I stopped doing that toward the end of the month.
As you could notice in my first month of blogging report, the impressions on my pins were great. That wasn’t the case for the link clicks. I was happy when I got four link clicks a day.
So, I decided to play around with my pin designs, colors, and also titles. Titles are the most important part. I started including different power words and just was trying to craft better titles that I thought might get more clicks.
So, for example: How to Plan a Blog Before You Launch It became 6 Crucial Things You Need to Plan Before You Start a Blog
See the difference?
So, what were the results? Very good! Since last month, I have decreased the amount of daily fresh pins. Similar reasons for posting less on Blogology: I’m focusing on quality rather than quantity.
Because of that, my account stopped growing in terms of impressions. My impressions remained at around 600k monthly viewers. But my link clicks started increasing. Suddenly I went from 4 link clicks daily on average to 30 link clicks on a good day.
Well, until this all stopped.
See the dip there?
In week three, all of a sudden all my pins stopped getting impressions and therefore zero link clicks. After a few days of this, I contacted Pinterest Support. I heard that a lot of accounts are being mistakenly flagged as spam. All I got was a generic response that I should be pinning mainly my content and focus on producing fresh pins. Good to know haha!
After a few days, I connected with a few other bloggers who had the same issue. I was advised to keep contacting Pinterest until the problem is resolved.
But then, exactly a week after it started, I noticed that my pins started getting impressions again. As of now, my account is almost back to normal. Honestly, no idea what the issue was.
Other than this, I wasn’t paying too much attention to social media. That’s changing in September, so stay tuned!
This month, I decided to try a new strategy. I link out to other articles and blogs a lot. So, why not let the authors know and perhaps get some traffic from it?
The way this works is that you link out to an external resource, let the author know, and if they like the content, they share it with their audiences. Ideally, you should pick bloggers that have similar audiences to yours.
This was the case for How to Brand a Personal Blog. I demonstrate some of my points on three blogs. I contacted the bloggers a few weeks before publishing the post letting them know that I’d like to feature them and if it would be okay with them.
All of them said yes, and then when the post was finished, I sent them the link. Some of them did share the post which also resulted in some extra traffic.
NOTE: I didn’t ask for shares in any of my emails. I understand that not all of them would like the post and so I let the choice up to them.
I definitely will be using this technique in the future.
In August, I grew my email list to 35 subscribers. The good thing is that no one unsubscribed!
I rebranded my newsletter to the “VIP Club”.
What are you getting?
Weekly exclusive tips, updates, and freebies. I’m also thinking about starting a series where we look at successful blogs, analyze them, and identify why they are successful.
I want Blogology to be very analytical and well, sciency. In a way.
But I’m not sure about this series just yet.
In August, I released my pre-launch blog planner, which is my most popular freebie to date.
How do I collect emails?
I use ConvertKit to collect emails. I have a pop-up on most pages throughout my blog and I also have opt-ins throughout my content. I also pin my landing pages on Pinterest.
Blog income report
At the moment, I’m monetizing my blog with display ads and affiliate marketing. I also own a business called The Blogger Assistant which I’d like to turn into an agency. I’m aware that some bloggers also include their freelance gigs in their income reports. I mean, this business has a lot to do with blogging. However, I’m not including my earnings from that in this report.
Last month, I made almost $6 from AdSense. Well, this month, despite getting more traffic than last month, I received fewer ad clicks.
If you didn’t know, AdSense is a CPC network. This means that I make a commission only if someone clicks on the ad.
To be honest, AdSense is known to pay less compared to other networks, so I’m not expecting to make big bucks from this. Also, I don’t have the ads on all pages, and if I do, I have just one ad per page, since I don’t want Blogology to be covered in ads. User experience is very important to me.
So, how much did I make from AdSense in my second month of blogging?
£0.04 which is roughly $0.054 at the time of publishing.
I’m a member of a few affiliate networks and programs. You can have a look at my affiliate disclosure to see which ones.
I promote my affiliate links in my content where it makes sense, on my Tools page, and I also share my affiliate links on Pinterest.
NOTE: I add #afflink in the description to make sure the visitor knows they are clicking on an affiliate link.
As you can tell from the title of this report, I made my first affiliate sale in my second month of blogging!
So, how much did I make?
£0.15. This is roughly $0.20 at the time of publishing.
It’s not much, but I was very happy to find out.
So, in total, I made £0.19 or roughly $0.25 in my second month of blogging.
In August, I didn’t have any expenses whatsoever! I invested quite a lot of money before launching (over $500) so I decided not to buy anything this month. Mainly because my SiteGround renewal is coming soon. They raised their prices a few months ago, so I’m bracing for the renewal haha!
I noticed that suddenly most of my images are blurry. I tried the Regenerate Thumbnails technique but it didn’t help.
I remember that when I first started building the website, I had the same issue. I also remembered that to solve it, all it took was going to Settings > Media and change the image sizes to zeros.
Oh, and yes, I’m talking about WordPress haha!
I’m noticing that some of my images are still a bit blurry, but to be honest, I have no idea what the issue is. Perhaps it’s the quality of those images. But the thing is that when I’m viewing them on my computer, they are okay.
After months of not taking a single day off and working my businesses, I burnt out. I saw it coming, but I tried pushing through it. Nope, it didn’t work.
Putting myself out there
I’m quite shy and introverted so networking and putting myself out there is pretty difficult for me. But I do want to step out of my comfort zone in September and change this.
So, this is all for my second month of blogging report. A part of me thinks that I could have done better and a part of me is happy with the results.
What do you think?