Note from Ryan: If you haven’t read my thoughts around how and why I’m supporting Black Lives Matter, please head over and read this letter. I don’t often talk about my personal life here on this blog, but these monthly income reports are always my #1 most read articles… so I wanted to place this plea where you’d see it.
I ask that you join me in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement through the actions and organizations I’ve detailed here.
Here’s my blog income report for May. Income came in at $33,647.68. Traffic increased a lot last month too, bringing in 449,019 readers and 555,880 unique sessions.
Let’s dig into the numbers for May… blog income rose a good amount over the previous month, landing 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.
Overall, I generated $33,647.68 in blog income during May of 2020.
I kept me expenses relatively low last month, but gave my writers as much work as they wanted to take on—which is keeping my buffer of new content fully stocked for several months out. Profit for May came in at $28,152.62.
The Forecast ☀️: For June, I’m expecting another increase in blog income, landing in the range of $33,000 – $36,000 (possibly higher depending upon the timing of some upcoming payouts). Income is likely to steadily keep rising a bit over the coming months as I continue benefiting from traffic gains, spend more time beefing up my existing content and weaving in new affiliate promotions throughout my content. My business-related expenses are going to remain relatively steady (possibly lower) as I dedicate a lot more financial resources and time to supporting important causes and organizations in the fight for all black people to one day be treated equally in our country.
Now, on to the details of my May blog income report…
Blog Income in May 2020: $33,647.68
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 May 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)
PSDCovers (Design Tool)
DeBounce (Email Verification)
Apple (Storage & Apps)
Travel, Office Supplies & Misc
AT&T Service Plan (iPhone)
Transaction and Processing Fees
Net Profit Breakdown
Now, on to my blog and email-related statistics for May.
2. Blog Stats for May 2020: 555,880 Sessions and 143,639 Total Email Subscribers
May saw a very significant boost in traffic over April, as almost all of my key organic search rankings climbed a bit higher (largely due to a Google core algorithm update that revisited some of their ranking factors—and at least seems to be favoring much of my content for now). If there’s any constant I’ve come to expect though—it’s that change and volatility are still the norm in today’s environment, so diversification is key 🙂
For the past several months now, a very positive signal I’m continuing to see is that almost all of my long-form, blogging-related content I’ve published over the course of the past year 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 throughout this year).
This is truly a long game… and I’m investing more than ever into a strategic content roadmap that should lead to stronger future performance around more profitable content (with less dependance on traffic to a small number of articles).
I was up in Sessions from April by 31.99% as traffic climbed dramatically. Pageviews rose to 726,695.
Despite these great figures, I’m actually down 4.97% in traffic year-over-year compared to May of 2019, which was one of my all-time best months ever in terms of top-level traffic. Still, my most read articles continue to deliver traffic from organic search—and my newest content is consistently climbing in organic search rankings as well, which has brought me back up to near all-time highs. I’m in a positive position considering my key priorities and focus on increased revenue from existing traffic.
Here are my top 15 most trafficked posts from May, 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
- free blogging sites
- remote job
- business books
- how to freelance
- make money blogging
- blog post ideas
- work from home jobs
- how to pick a blog niche
- amazon affiliate marketing
With the month of May seeing traffic rise in a major way, readers to my 25,000+ word guide, How to Start a Blog and Make Money increased significantly too—which still holds rankings in organic search for competitive terms like how to start a blog, how to blog and such.
As per usual, when 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 May, I published two new long-form articles for my growing audience of bloggers:
- 12 Blog Layout Examples (and Best Practices to Follow) in 2020: Great Blog Designs
- How to Write an eBook (and Sell 1,328+ Copies) in 2020: From eBook Idea to Sales
The majority of my “content time” has again gone toward updating and expanding my biggest, most important guides.
My plan is to keep publishing a steady stream of in-depth, highly actionable content for bloggers this month—and moving forward into the future.
This is all with the continued long-term goal of signaling to Google that my site is primarily about blogging and I’m expecting that to keep delivering more readers looking for tactical blogging advice over the long haul… and I have 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.
May saw the addition of 4,595 subscribers to my community with my total email list growing to 143,639 subscribers.
This was a pretty significant surge in subscriber growth compared to the past few months, with a few key articles getting more traffic than than they’d seen in the beginning of the year (due to the many Google algorithm updates, which send me fluctuations in organic traffic).
Still, many of my new subscribers came from my influx of blogging-related content and free downloads (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’m doubling down on serving.
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).
3. Blog Scholarship Update
It’s now been (almost) two months of working with the 6 people I chose to support with my blog scholarship program! The results we’ve been seeing in such a short period of time have been incredibly promising. And because this mentorship program has been going so well, I want to share regular updates with everyone here, each month.
I’m a bit crunched for time at the moment, so check back here tomorrow for a detailed update on everyone in my blog scholarship program!
That’s it for my May blog income report.
One little milestone I hit on my blog the other day is quite a landmark in my book… 10,000 comments (with only 273 published articles)! Thank you for playing such an active role in my blog 🙏
I’m still on a break from recording new podcast episodes as my attention goes full force into producing more standout written content (along with auditing & updating my existing content library) and eventually into more videos for my YouTube channel. Once the time is right though, my goal is to bring the podcast back with a new focus and format around providing the most actionable blogging advice out there. Stay tuned for updates on that!
As we touched on at the beginning of this report, I’m predicting blog income to rise a bit again in June, landing between $33,000 – $36,000 as I experience the downstream benefits of traffic increases positively impacting my revenue. 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 😊