This year I have decided to try something new – a monthly blog progress report.
Call me nosy, but I am always interested to see what works and what doesn’t for other bloggers.but I realized that I wasn’t doing
And I had a lightbulb moment – why not document what works and what doesn’t for me?
After all, I can learn from my own mistakes and maybe help others in the process.
My focus right is on building my blog traffic.
Even though I have had this site for years, it wasn’t until October of 2016 that I really concentrated my efforts on building the blog.
Prior to that time, my blogging was on again/off again. There were months that I only posted once and other months that I went a little crazy and would post every day for a week and then nothing.
I knew that consistency pays off. So, in October – I started posting a minimum of 3 times per week.
In the chart below, you can see that my traffic has steadily increased since October – but not at a crazy rate. If you look at the month of January by itself there is a slight increase, however, I realize that I need to do better in this area.
Towards the end of last year, I took two blogging courses about Pinterest:
I didn’t really understand Pinterest before taking those courses. Like most people, I thought that Pinterest was all about pretty pictures. In reality, Pinterest is a powerful search engine that can drive lots of traffic to your blog or website.
By putting the Pinterest strategies into place, I have seen my pageviews from Pinterest start to increase.
Affiliate Marketing Courses
I also took an excellent course on affiliate marketing called, appropriately enough, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Even though I thought I knew everything about making money from affiliate marketing – I did not. There is a ton of information in this course that I am starting to apply, and yes, my income is increasing.
The author of this course, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, is in her twenties and she made just shy of a MILLION DOLLARS last year through her blog.
At the beginning of January, I started using CoSchedule for social sharing and also as an editorial calendar.
I created templates in CoSchedule to help me share each and every post repeatedly. I believe that this has made a big difference in the traffic that I am getting from my social channels.
It is not as easy as “set it and forget it” social sharing platforms but I feel like I have more personal involvement on social.
A New Email Service
January is the month of new beginnings, so I decided to start the year off with a new email service.
MailerLite has powerful automation features (and tagging is in the works) combined with a very generous free level and very informative reports.
For now, it is perfect for me.
Using a Quiz as a Lead Magnet
In addition to being a quiz, this is also a clever lead magnet. When people reach the end of the quiz, they have the option to sign up for updates.
I have been pleasantly surprised not only with the sign ups that I am getting but also with the conversations that the quiz has started. Several people have reached out to me via email – and I am enjoying the opportunity to meet new bloggers.
Income from Blogging
While this is a blogging progress report and not an income report – I did want to detail a few affiliate programs that did well for me in January.
You are going to hear me talk about this quite a bit.
Ultimate Bundles offers “bundles” of digital products that revolve around a single topic – at a huge discount and for a limited time. You can learn more about what they do here.
In January, they offered the Conquer Your Clutter Bundle – which I promoted.
Coming up – for two days only – they are offering the Ultimate Startup Bundle featuring eBooks from stars like Zig Ziglar, Nir Eyal, and Michael Hyatt. (I can’t wait to dive into that!)
If you would like to become an Ultimate Bundles affiliate – you can click here to do so.
Amazon continues to be a strong performer for me. I love blogging about my favorite products and linking through to them on Amazon.
Currently, I host this site on SiteGround. I have been very happy with the service and I am also an affiliate.
Genesis for WordPress and StudioPress Themes
I made a few sales of these in January.
Aside from the affiliate marketing, I do help several clients build and maintain their websites.
I like to try new blogging tools whenever I can. Some of the bloggy things that I invested in during January include:
- my monthly subscription to G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work)
- Crash Plan backup service
- Food Blogger Pro subscription
Some of my annual costs include:
- SiteGround Hosting
- Tailwind Scheduling for Pinterest
- PicMonkey for website graphics
- Haute Chocolate for stock photos
- GraphicStock for stock photos
It has been completely revamped for 2017 and I’m looking forward to working through the course one more time.
If you would like to learn more about get started with your blog, there is a free “Blogging Made Simple” training that is happening soon. You can sign up for it here.
And that is all she wrote … until next month.
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