So, for those of you who just came to the Blog CFO party, I am on month 5 of trying to make some money on this site. The nice thing, is that I’ve been writing this blog for 9 years. Fairly consistantly, so I have a lot of old material I could re-push and so I’m lucky that way.
As a reminder, prior to January 2014 I was making ABOUT 10 bucks/month on the blog through Blogher, and I had yet to get a check from google. Things were slow, which wasn’t how I wanted it — but it is what it is. In February I bought my own domain and started pushing Pinterest hard.
Here’s what happened in June
Pageviews up to 158,641 — a 41% increase. unique visitors went up 41% to 99,552
Blogher — I made 521.49 — a 17% increase. That translated out to 1.19 cpm from Blogher alone.
**I have had a lot of questions about Blogher. It seems like they’re getting more picky about what blogs they align with. There is a conract you follow and no other ads may appear above theirs. I do like the control I have over my ads with them (for the most part). I am hoping they up their game in the mobile world, and they have been changing their requirements about viewability, more about that later). There are plenty of geat adnetworks if Blogher doesn’t work for you. If you love your adnetwork — feel free to comment below!
Adsense — 193.16 — a 70% increase. That translates to 1.30 cpm just from Adsense
Amazon — 44.58 — a 55% increase (I use amazon affiliate links in some of my posts, and I get a percentage of each sale made from a click off my blog — even if you don’t buy the thing I linked to).
**The remainder of this pots may contain affiliate links — I, again, will make a small percentage IF you purchase. You can read my disclosure here.
I also started selling my Blogging Income Spreadsheet (which is where you see all those great percentages as seen above). It calculates it all out for you easy peasy. I just checked, I have sold 9 (bringing in $8.13, after fees), but I’m glad I have paypal all set-up to receive that type of micropayments (you can switch it to take just 5 cents plus 5% of the purchase price, and since that blog spreadsheet will always remain under 5 dollars that saves me money over the 39 cent charge). I use Fetch to host my product. It’s super easy, and until it gets bigger or I want to host more stuff it’s free.
That brings my total to 767.36 — a 31% increase since last month. My complete CPM between all of those streams of income was 4.83708 – that means I make almost 5 dollars on every 1,000 people that view my blog.
I have written a few Sponsored Posts. They seem to be shaking out to about one a month, which is fine by me. I currently make 150-250 per sponsored post. I write them through Blogher and have had good experiences thus far. The payments for these are often much later than when you submit, or even when they publish… but either way, I think they align well with my blog (do you hate sponsored posts? tell me in the comments!). I don’t include those in the total above, but if i did that means I’m making just about 1k/month on the blog.
As far as monthly costs:
- 13.99/month to RFE my hosting company
- 5/month to Vaultpress (it backs up my blog daily, worth its weight in gold if I mess something up!)
So, just about 20 bucks. I keep mulling over a larger host, I have yet to jump.
Financial info over. 😀
Three things I think I did well:
1. I made the change from Blogger to Wordpress — which increased my ability to put ads in different places on my mobile views. That helps, and I think was a large part of my huge adsense increase.
2. Switching to Wordpress, even though it was PAINFUL does give me a lot more control over my site and how things work.
3. I kept pinning to my large group boards 3 times/day. I am also using Ahaology, but I’m not sure how that is working for me (or IF it is working for me). Pinterest continues to make up about 80% of my page views referrals. It is very kind to me. If you have a blog that you want to make bigger — Do highly pinnable images (aka, verticle with great images or very graphic if only words) and find large group boards on PinGroupie. Figure out what your audience likes. Write that content. My #1 post for this month (by a lot) is 5 medical Things to Think About Postpartum — when I wrote it, it wasn’t something I thought would take off. To give you an idea of how a popular post does on my blog – -that one recieved just over 15k views during June (23k views total).
Things that didn’t go so well:
1. Changing to Wordpress took SO much time. I spent a TON of time moving things around to get it how I want it. While I was on vacation I got a couple comments/emails about how the font was too light to read, and I’m still trying to fix that (with little luck). So much for thinking I knew what I was doing! I probably worked around 100 hours on the blog in June (which means I make a lot better money as a nurse).
2. Viewability. I was getting better returns from Blogher before because I didn’t do mobile when I was on Blogher and therefore i had tiny ads showing up on people’s phones, and Blogher now said that isn’t cutting it. The ads need to be big enough for people to see, and they need to be on their screen for at least 1 second. Hence, I’ve had to cut down my ads to remain in their good graces (and they say we’ll get better content when we have good viewability).
3. I probably over-did it with ads. Blogher is always trying new things and I’m always willing to try them out. At one point I had too many annoying popups and one that shifted my site for an ad. It was no good. I needed to find a happy medium. I’m not a fan of the Ahology pop-up… it’s making me reconsider them. I hate pop-ups. The end.
Anyway, that’s what’s up with the financial side of the blog. I need to write an update about our library books. It’s good news — so look for that in the near future. Regardless, for someone who wrote this blog for 9 years for, basically, free — this kind of exposure and income is EXTREMELY gratifying, and I love all my readers. I try to respond to all your comments because I truly am thankful for each of you. Have questions, or things you wish I’d change on my blog — ask them in the comments, or free to “contact me” above!
Anyway, I hope this post is helpful to my readers. I know it’s not my normal genre. If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out my other blog income posts, or my blog income spreadsheet. You’ll see how far I came since January. 🙂 Also be sure to follow my “Business of Blogging” Pinterest board.