Wow, what a rollercoaster of a month it’s been in the world. So much has been happening (and changing almost daily) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic—and I’ve been hearing a lot from you about how those changes are impacting your daily lives, both positively and negatively.
That led me to create a new blog scholarship program during March, which received a whopping 539+ applications. I’ve been busy creating more free resources, courses and tutorials for bloggers than ever before—along with contributing to local organizations in San Francisco that support people who’ve been negatively impacted in recent weeks. There’s a lot to do, but it’s been encouraging to see how much we’re all coming together as a global community in this time of need.
These trying times have again shown me the immense amount I have to be grateful for, and that I’ve benefited by investing in myself over the years—building this blog business into an asset that can provide stability in my life. Blog income for March came in at $28,387.79. Traffic increased a bit, bringing in 276,369 readers and 349,885 unique sessions.
Now, let’s dig into the numbers for March… blog income rose a bit from the previous month, again landing well above my forecast range thanks to increased affiliate commissions from my guide about how to start a blog and another consistent month of enrollments for my comprehensive blogging course, Built to Blog: How to Get Your First 10,000 Readers and Earn Six-Figures Blogging.
Overall, I generated $28,387.79 in blog income during March of 2020.
I intentionally kept expenses low for the month as we began moving into an uncertain time, and am following suit moving forward for right now. Profit for March came in at $23,790.02.
The Forecast 🌤: For April, I’m anticipating a slight dip in blog income with the timing of some upcoming affiliate payouts—expecting to land in the range of $20,000 – $24,000. Income will likely rise a little bit in the next few months as I continue experimenting more with traffic driving strategies, auditing my existing content library for update opportunities and weaving in new affiliate promotions throughout my content. April will again stay light on expenses as I work to get more lean with everything going on in the world, and I also keep focusing more on internal content updates.
Now, on to the details of my March blog income report…
Blog Income in March 2020: $28,387.79
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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Now, let’s do this.
Blog Income Breakdown for March 2020
Built to Blog Course Sales
Freelance Clients & Sponsorships
Amazon (Business Books)
Web Services: Hosting and Storage
SmartWP & The Blogger Source Hosting
DeBounce Email Verification
Online Tools & Subscriptions
Zoom.us (Video Conferencing)
Travel, Office Supplies & Misc
AT&T Service Plan (iPhone)
Apple (Office Supplies)
Net Profit Breakdown
Now, on to my blog and email-related statistics for March.
2. Blog Stats for March 2020: 349,885 Sessions and 138,112 Total Email Subscribers
March saw a little lift in traffic—especially during the last week of the month as a few key organic search rankings climbed a bit higher, suggesting a pretty positive outlook for April. Still, if there’s any constant it’s that change and volatility are constant today 🙂
Again this month, a very positive signal is that almost all of my long-form blogging-related content and guides that’ve been published over the course of the last year are still continuing to creep up the first page of search results for their target keyword phrases (suggesting there’s still a lot of strong potential this year).
There’s been a lot of volatility with a few most of my competitive search rankings, especially the ones on keyword phrases that aren’t related to blogging and thus have gotten much less attention from me over the past few months. This is a long game though… and I’m continuing to invest in a more strategic, stronger future performance of my blog that’s centered around more profitable content with less dependance on traffic.
What’s great though, is that my blog is now driving traffic to a much greater number of articles (and revenue sources), rather than relying on just a couple of key articles to fuel my business. As we keep moving forward this year, diversification in terms of traffic & revenue remain my two primary areas of focus.
I was up in Sessions from February by 3.59% as traffic began to swing back again. Pageviews rose to 464,360.
Overall, I’m down 28.09% in traffic year-over-year compared to March of 2019, which was one of my best months ever in terms of traffic. Still, my most read posts continued to deliver traffic from organic search and my newest content from the second half of last year is climbing in organic search rankings as well. I’m in a pretty positive position considering my key priorities and focus I have on increased revenue from my existing traffic.
Here are my top 16 trafficked posts from March, ranked in descending order of which drove the most readers:
- business ideas
- make money online
- freelance jobs
- how to start a blog
- remote job
- best remote jobs websites
- business books
- free blogging sites
- how to freelance
- motivational quotes
- work from home jobs
- make money blogging
- how to name a blog
- amazon affiliate marketing
- blog post ideas
- how to pick a blog niche
With the month of March seeing traffic turn around in the right direction, readers to my 25,000+ word guide, How to Start a Blog and Make Money increased pretty dramatically—which still holds rankings in organic search for competitive terms like how to start a blog, how to blog and such.
Plus, as more readers land on that guide, more are joining my free course, How to Build a Blog in 7 Days and are offered an opportunity to join my more comprehensive paid Built to Blog course that’ll help them level up their blogging journey even more.
Also in March, I published two new long-form articles for my growing audience of bloggers:
- 7 Best Free Web Hosting Plans (to Blog for Free) in 2020
- What is a Self-Hosted Blog? Should I Choose a Free or Self-Hosted Blog Platform in 2020?
Most of my time spent on content last month went to updating and expanding my biggest, most important guides—along with still fixing the formatting of a bunch of pages (as a side effect of my now finished site redesign).
My plan is to keep publishing in-depth, highly actionable content for bloggers this month—and moving forward into the future.
This is all with the continued, very long-term goal of signaling to Google that my site is primarily about blogging and I’m expecting that to keep delivering me more readers looking for tactical blogging advice over the long haul… but I have to keep reminding myself that this pivot in my content topics 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.
February saw the addition of 3,153 subscribers to my community with my total email list growing to 138,112 subscribers.
This was a positive turnaround in subscriber growth compared to the past couple of months, with a few key articles getting more traffic than than they’d seen in the beginning of the year (lots of little Google algorithm updates are still happening right now, which sends me fluctuations in organic traffic).
On top of that, I’m also still seeing the downstream effects of a new email subscriber verification tool I started using, called DeBounce—which guarantees only real, authentic email addresses are used to sign up for my list… thereby increasing the quality of my email subscribers and ensuring that no fake, spam or questionable email addresses are used to sign up for my community. That tool alone has already caught (and stopped) hundreds of suspicious email addresses from joining my list.
Still, many of my new subscribers came from my influx of blogging-related content and free downloads—which is my ultimate goal to keep focused on.
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 March blog income report.
I’m still on a break from recording new podcast episodes as my attention goes primarily to producing more standout written content (along with auditing & updating my existing content library). Once the time is right, my goal is to bring the show back with a new focus and format around providing the most actionable blogging advice out there. Stay tuned for updates on that!
As we covered at the beginning of this report, I’m predicting blog income to fall a little during April, landing between $20,000 – $24,000 as a couple of oddly timed affiliate payouts make their way to me a little slower than usual. My focus still remains on publishing more in-depth blogging content that’ll pay off over the course of the coming months (and years) and keeping expenses as low as I can as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 😊