August was another very successful month for my blog and the second highest in terms of revenue generated for this year, which I’m especially grateful for, considering I was on vacation for most of the month. Income came in at $45,473.20 and I brought in 320,767 readers—with a solid 398,916 unique sessions.
Now, digging into the numbers for August… blog income remained at a sustained level, again landing pretty far above my forecast range thanks to increased affiliate commissions from my guide about how to start a blog, and another month of increased enrollments in my comprehensive blogging course, Built to Blog: How to Get Your First 10,000 Readers and Earn Six-Figures Blogging (enrollments are still open if you want to join us 👋).
Overall, I generated $45,473.20 in blog income during August of 2020.
Business expenses remained fairly low again, but I kept my freelance writers stocked up with articles throughout the month, so that my content pipeline remains fully planned out for the next several months still. Profit for August came in at $39,518.74.
The Forecast ☀️: For September, I’m expecting blog income to drop a little bit from the highs I’ve been at these past few months, landing somewhere in the range of $34,000 – $38,000. Income is likely to hover in this general range over the coming months as I continue benefiting from relatively steady traffic and spend more time updating up my existing content library. My business-related expenses will also remain steady (possibly lower) as I dedicate more of my resources and time to supporting important causes and organizations that I care deeply about.
Now, on to the details of my August blog income report…
Blog Income in August 2020: $45,473.20
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.
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 2020
Built to Blog Course Sales
Freelance Clients & Sponsorships
Amazon (Business Books)
Food Blogger Pro
Web Services: Hosting and Storage
Online Tools & Subscriptions
ConvertKit (Pre-Paid Annual)
Bluehost (Test Website)
Adobe Creative Cloud
Zoom.us (Video Conferencing)
DeBounce (Email Verification)
Simplecast (Podcast Hosting)
Apple (Storage & Apps)
Frase (Appsumo Deal)
Rev (YouTube Transcriptions)
Travel, Office Supplies & Misc
AT&T Service Plan (iPhone)
Amazon (Office Supplies)
Transaction and Processing Fees
Net Profit Breakdown
Now, on to my blog and email-related statistics for August.
2. Blog Stats for August 2020: 398,916 Sessions and 150,264 Total Email Subscribers
August saw a meaningful decline in traffic from July, due in a large part to constant volatility in search positions (fueled by multiple little Google algorithm updates). Several of my key organic search rankings rode a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs throughout the month, but overall traffic hovered at a lower than usual level. Nothing to be overly concerned about as a measure of volatility is the norm, but I’m pushing out some updates to several of my most important long-form guides over the coming weeks to freshen them up a bit.
A consistently positive signal I’m continuing to see this year though, is that almost all of my long-form, blogging-related content I’ve published over the course of the past couple of years are still continuing to climb higher up the first page of search results for their target keyword phrases (suggesting there’s a lot of strong potential for growth for my blog). I’ll be the very first to tell you that this is a long game… and I’m still investing more than ever into strategic content that’ll lead to stronger future performance around more profitable topics (with less dependance on traffic to a small number of articles).
I was down 14.36% in Sessions from July as traffic declined quite a bit during the month. Pageviews also fell by 15.16%.
While I’m by no means panicked about traffic trends yet, my blog is down 13.55% in traffic year-over-year compared to August of 2019, which was a very strong month that year. Still though, my most read articles continue to deliver healthy traffic from organic search—and my some of my best, newest content pieces (all less than 1 year old) are consistently climbing in organic search rankings. I’m in a positive position considering my key priorities and focus on increased revenue from existing traffic throughout this year.
Here are my top 15 most trafficked posts from August, ranked in descending order of which drove the most readers:
- business ideas
- make money online
- how to start a blog
- freelance jobs
- best remote jobs websites
- how to name a blog
- remote job
- free blogging sites
- business books
- how to freelance
- how to pick a blog niche
- make money blogging
- blog post ideas
- work from home jobs
- amazon affiliate marketing
All in all, August saw a downward trend that I’m now working hard to try and course correct with a combination of new content & updates to existing articles—though much of the volatility is from frequent search algorithm updates and isn’t fully in my control. Readers to my 25,000+ word guide, How to Start a Blog and Make Money remained sustained though—which still holds rankings in organic search for competitive terms like how to start a blog, how to blog and such. As usual, when more readers land on that guide… more are joining my free course, How to Build a Blog in 7 Days and they’re offered an opportunity to join my more comprehensive paid Built to Blog course that’ll help level up their blogging skills even more.
Also in August, I published three new long-form articles for my growing audience of bloggers:
- Do People Still Read Blogs? (Is Blogging Finally Dead This Year?)
- How Much Does Web Hosting Cost? 7 Web Hosting Costs Compared
- 10 On-Page SEO Strategies: How to Optimize a Blog Post (for Maximum SEO Ranking Ability)
- I also published a couple of new in-depth guides over on the SmartWP blog
The majority of my time spent on content these days is still going towards updating and expanding my most in-depth, high-traffic guides on an ongoing basis—but I’m keeping up a steady rhythm of working on new long-form content with the goal of still releasing at least a few new articles every month. My plan is to keep publishing more in-depth, highly actionable content for bloggers this month, and moving forward into the future.
This is all with the continued mission of signaling to Google that my blog’s niche is clearly focused around blogging and I’m expecting that intense focus to keep delivering more readers looking for tactical blogging advice over the long haul… and I frequently need to remind myself that this is a long-term investment 💪
2. Email Subscribers
I’ve used ConvertKit to manage my email subscriber community and deliver my emails for several years now and I absolutely love the product.
August saw the addition of 3,266 subscribers to my community with my total email list growing to 150,264 subscribers.
This was a meaningful drop in subscriber growth compared to July, with a few key articles getting less traffic than than they’d received in the past few months (due to the many Google algorithm updates, which send me some fluctuations in organic traffic), so new subscriber growth has taken what looks like will be a short-term dip.
As with previous months, most of my new email subscribers came from the influx of blogging-related content and free downloads I have across my site (like my blog business plan, blogging books, outreach email templates and blog post templates)—which is my ultimate goal to keep focused on, as that’s the niche I’ve doubled down on serving and want to keep providing valuable free tools & resources to my audience.
Much of my new subscriber growth continues to be fueled by my 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).
That’s it for my August blog income report
I’m embracing my freedom to work a little less these days, and it’s been a welcome (new) mindset that I’ve really enjoyed. That means I’m still on a break from recording new podcast episodes as my attention remains on publishing impactful written content (along with updating my existing content library). Once the time is right though, my goal is to bring the podcast back next year with a fresh focus around providing the most actionable blogging advice out there.
As we covered at the beginning of this report, I’m predicting blog income to drop a bit again in September, landing between $34,000 – $38,000 as I see continued fluctuations in affiliate payouts that are tied closely to the ups & downs in traffic I’ve seen this summer. My main focus still remains on publishing more in-depth blogging content that’ll pay off over the course of the coming months (and years).
If you’re looking for some additional reading to help grow your own blog, I’m always updating my ultimate guide to building and scaling a profitable blog right here that I’d love for you to read 😊