During the month of August, I had the most productive time in my blog’s history from a content output perspective. I published 8 brand new long-form guides (5,000+ words) and my blog income for the month came in at $30,814.19. Traffic remained even with last month, bringing in 371,059 readers and just over 464,655 unique sessions. Another great month in the books!
On the personal side, I’m now finally getting used to being a full-time blogger and August saw us taking advantage of the flexibility that’s come along with that. Hiring a few very talented writers to help with writing components of my first drafts has also freed Shelly and I up to do more traveling lately—and for me to step away from work in the early afternoons, dedicating more time to hobbies and being active outdoors. We went to a good friend’s wedding in Healdsburg, had my parents in town one weekend and watched a friend’s (beautiful) golden retriever for a few days:
Now, let’s dig into the numbers… last month saw another drop in blog income, but I landed above my forecast range. I still saw pretty strong affiliate commissions from my guide about how to start a blog and another very consistent month of sales for my advanced blogging course, Built to Blog: How to Get Your First 10,000 Readers and Earn Six-Figures Blogging.
Overall, I generated $30,814.19 in blog income during August of 2019.
I’m continuing my new content surge, which meant more freelance writers helping out last month. Still, profit for August came in at a healthy $25,073.45.
The Forecast 🌤: For September, I’m anticipating another (small) decline in blog income as the effects of recent search algorithm updates still linger, but with more positive recovery signals now starting to show. I’m expecting to land in the range of $22,000 – $25,000. As I’ve said in my last few income reports, I’m expecting this lower level of income to now level off around here for the next few months as we approach the end of the year and I expect to see an uptick again. Expenses will hold steady as I produce more content and get leaner elsewhere in my business.
Now, on to the details of my August income report…
Blog Income in August 2019: $30,814.19
In these monthly reports, I track my total income every month, including each individual source of that income, and associated expenses with running my business. This is the good and the bad.
Next, I break down the traffic to my blog which heavily impacts my income, including what’s performing best and how I’m working to drive in more readers. I also cover how many email subscribers I’m at, the number of new subscribers acquired during the month, and what that growth trajectory looks like.
Then I talk about my podcast download numbers for the month, and which episodes performed best.
Finally, I cover updates on any other side projects I’m working on for the month.
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Blog Income Breakdown for August 2019
Built to Blog Course Sales
Freelance Clients & Sponsorships
Amazon (Business Books)
Podcast Sponsorships (Side Hustle Project)
Web Services – Hosting and Storage
Online Tools & Subscriptions
Quuu Promote (Pre-Paid Annual)
Travel, Office Supplies & Misc
iPhone X Payment Plan
AT&T Service Plan (iPhone)
Uber and Lyft 🚖
Net Profit Breakdown
Now, on to my blog, email and podcast-related statistics.
2. Blog Stats for August 2019: 464,655 Sessions and 117,743 Total Email Subscribers
My blog traffic stabilized last month, but remained below the half a million monthly reader mark with the organic traffic dip I've been continuing to experience this summer.
I was up in Sessions over July by 1%, signaling that my traffic drop has likely leveled off and is starting to turn a corner. Pageviews increased to 592,669.
Most of my top articles were pretty flat in traffic figures for the month—a continued effect of the ever-changing search algorithm still not favoring sites that cover a broad range of topics. Though I'm still hovering at lower numbers than earlier this year for now, I've been publishing a lot more long-form content related to blogging (the niche I'm choosing to focus in on more).
Overall, I'm still up more than 59% in growth year over year compared to August of 2018. That increase is tied to my most trafficked posts still continuing to deliver strong traffic from organic search—coupled with increased activity on Pinterest that's resulted in more readers.
Here are my top 15 trafficked posts from August, ranked in descending order of which drove the most readers:
- business ideas
- freelance jobs
- make money online
- how to start a blog (most attributable revenue for the month)
- best remote jobs websites
- motivational quotes
- remote job
- business books
- how to freelance
- business advice
- freelance contract
- work from home jobs
- freelance proposals
- make money blogging
- amazon affiliate marketing
August continued to see a leveling off in the traffic decline I was seeing to my 25,000+ word guide, How to Start a Blog and Make Money—which is still holding onto decent rankings in organic search for competitive terms like how to start a blog, how to blog, and other related terms.
Still, as more readers land on this post, more are joining my free course, How to Build a Blog in 7 Days and are offered an opportunity to join my more advanced, comprehensive paid Built to Blog course that'll help them level up their blogging journey even more.
Also in August, despite travel and long weekends with friends, I published eight killer new articles for my growing audience of bloggers:
- 35 Best Blogging Tools for Better Marketing, SEO, Writing, Research and Growth in 2019
- Guest Blogging 101: How to Land a Guest Blog Post (for SEO and Traffic) in 2019
- What is WordPress? The Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
- ConvertKit vs AWeber vs Mailchimp: Which is the Best Email Marketing Tool for Bloggers?
- How to Make A Website in 3 Easy Steps: Free Step-by-Step Tutorial for Beginners
- 9 Best Website Builders for Bloggers and Business Owners (Easy to Use Without Code)
- Email Marketing for Bloggers: 7 Smart Ways I’ve Generated 116,596+ Email Subscribers
- What is a Blog? How a Blog is Different than a Website (and Blogging Basics) in 2019
I also updated a couple of my most successful blogging-related guides last month, to keep them fresh, up-to-date and as impactful as possible:
- 12 Ways How to Make Money Blogging and Earn $325,936 From a Blog in 2019
- 32 Best Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Blog (Increase Blog Traffic) in 2019
My plan is to keep publishing a higher volume of in-depth content for bloggers throughout the rest of this year, with the goal of clearly signaling to Google that my site is primarily about blogging.
2. Email Subscribers.
I use ConvertKit to manage my email subscriber community and deliver my emails.
August saw the addition of 5,768 subscribers to my community with my total list size growing to 117,743 subscribers 🎉
This was a decent climb in new subscribers over July, which is a positive sign that my traffic is still recovering in the right direction, and I'm still seeing a meaningful number of new email subscribers come through, largely in my "blogger" cohort. Much of my new subscriber growth continues to be fueled by my new free course, Build a Blog in 7 Days which is well-optimized for both affiliate revenue—and for offering my more advanced paid course (Built to Blog).
3. Podcast Downloads for August 2019: 27,891 Downloads
My podcast, The Side Hustle Project is still growing steadily month-over-month... but I've decided to take a bit of a recording break after working through my existing backlog of recorded episodes (which will take the show partially through October).
Why? I'm going to be spending the rest of this year doubling down all of my time and effort on doing just two things:
- Publishing a higher volume of long-form written content where I have a proven framework for ranking high in organic search, thus delivering traffic and revenue back to my blog
- Writing a TON of guest posts to promote the content on my blog and build a substantial amount of new, high quality and natural links to my most important articles
I'm also being interviewed more often on other great podcasts, so I'm allocating more time toward that for the rest of the year.
With 27,891 downloads though, last month saw a one of my highest months yet in terms of listenership—but I haven't taken the time to monetize the podcast and make it at least a breakeven project.
Here are the episodes that went live last month:
- #124: Intercom’s Geoffrey Keating on How to Grow a Blog to 150,000 Readers/Mo with Content Marketing
- #125: WordPress Side Blogger Brian Jackson on Content Creation, SEO and Monetizing a Blog
- #126: How Data Analyst Ben Collins Built a $75,000 Side Blog and Course Business
- #127: How Nikko Mendoza Started an $8,400/mo 3D Printing Side Business (and Blog)
August brought my total download numbers for the show up to 355,388 downloads!
If you're not a listener yet, give it a try right here 🙂
That's it for my August blog income report.
For September, I'm predicting my blog income to take a dip once again, landing around $22,000 - $25,000 as the effects of my organic rankings continue to linger and level off. This looks to be about the floor of what I'm expecting to see in terms of the revenue volatility I've experienced this summer, and I'm seeing some early positive signs that my rankings and traffic should start to swing back around in the coming months—and more importantly, that traffic should be landing on better-monetized articles as well.
Another major goal of mine this month is to begin updating the content in my advanced Built to Blog course with brand new lessons, refreshed videos & written lectures and more interviews. After the updates are complete, I'll be doing a relaunch of the course and increasing the price significantly as the value is going up dramatically.
If you're looking for some additional reading to help grow your own blog (on the side), I recently updated my 25,000 word free guide to building and scaling a profitable blog right here that I'd love for you to read 😊