October saw either a flattening or decline across the board with my blog, from revenue going down (this was largely due to a major affiliate payout missing their projected payment date), to a leveling off of traffic and drop in email subscriber growth. Income came in at $24,626.17 and I brought in 234,944 readers—with 321,352 unique sessions.
Now, digging into the numbers for October… blog income took a meaningful hit (thanks to a large delayed affiliate payout), but I’m still booking steady commissions from my guide about how to start a blog, seeing longer-term oriented gains with other monetized articles—and I still had solid month of 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, so come join us 👋).
Overall, I generated $24,626.17 in blog income during October of 2020.
Business expenses remained relatively low again as I’ve been focused on keeping my freelance writers as busy as they’ve wanted to be, while staying pretty lean otherwise. Profit for October came in at $19,356.67.
The Forecast ☀️: For November, I’m expecting blog income to continue hovering in this general range (mostly as a result of what looks to be short-term volatility in search rankings), landing my revenue somewhere between $28,000 – $32,000. Income is likely to remain around here over the coming months, while I work on a few strategies to rebound traffic and spend more time updating up my existing library of content to boost more search rankings. My business-related expenses will also hold steady at a lower level for the foreseeable future.
Now, on to the details of my October blog income report…
Blog Income in October 2020: $24,626.17
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 October 2020
Built to Blog Course Sales
Freelance Clients & Sponsorships
Amazon (Business Books)
Food Blogger Pro
Web Services: Hosting & 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)
FindUsLost (Editing Tools)
Rev (YouTube Transcriptions)
Travel, Office Supplies & Misc
AT&T Service Plan (iPhone)
iPhone 12 Payment Plan
Amazon (Office Supplies)
Transaction and Processing Fees
Net Profit Breakdown
Now, on to my blog and email-related statistics for October.
2. Blog Stats for October 2020: 321,352 Sessions and 152,192 Total Email Subscribers
October remained fairly steady as far as traffic is concerned, but I’m much lower right now than usual. It’s due mostly to increased volatility in most of my key organic search positions (fueled by Google algorithm updates and some technical issues that I’m still addressing with my site). At this point, it’s still not something I’m terribly concerned about though, as volatility has always been the norm for my niche, but I’m continuing to work on cleaning up all of the technical improvements I can identify—of which I rely primarily on Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool for actionable insights and specific fixes.
As you should know by now, I’m the very first to tell you that blogging is a long game… and I’m continuing to invest more time and resources into creating impactful content that’ll lead to sustainable future performance around more profitable topics (with less dependance on traffic to a small number of articles).
I was up 1.41% in Sessions from October as things appeared to level off a bit. Pageviews fell by 6.35%.
Since the majority of my blog traffic comes from the United States, the first week of November (during which our election has taken place) has been pretty volatile compared to previous years. Fortunately, my most frequently read articles are still delivering healthy traffic from organic search—and my some of my best, newest content pieces (most around 1 year old) are again 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 October, ranked in descending order of which drove the most readers:
- business ideas
- make money online
- freelance jobs
- how to start a blog
- best remote jobs sites
- how to name a blog
- free blogging sites
- remote job
- how to freelance
- business books
- how to pick a blog niche
- blog post ideas
- make money blogging
- work from home jobs
- amazon affiliate marketing
As I’ve said already, much of this short-term volatility I’ve seen periodically throughout this year has been from frequent search algorithm updates and isn’t fully in my control, but I’m adapting to interpret what the search engines are suggesting they’re trying to reward most.
Throughout this all, readers to my 25,000+ word guide, How to Start a Blog and Make Money have remained pretty steady, thankfully—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 October, I published two new long-form articles for my growing audience of bloggers:
- 16 Blogging Skills You’ll Need to Build (and Strengthen) in 2020: Top Skills for Bloggers
- 10 Blog Marketing Strategies to Use in 2020 (Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Blog)
- I’m also publishing new content on the SmartWP blog that I run with my friend, Andy
A very consistent theme has been that the majority of my time spent on content is going toward maintaining my existing library of almost 300 articles. It’s a lot of work updating and expanding my guides on an ongoing basis, to keep them relevant, fresh and highly actionable. New long-form content comes in second and I’m still publishing at least a couple of new articles each month. My plan is to keep publishing more in-depth, highly actionable content specifically for bloggers this month, and moving forward into the future.
All with the continued mission of signaling to Google (and other search engines) that my blog’s niche is clearly focused around the topic of blogging and I’m expecting that intense focus to keep delivering more readers looking for tactical blogging advice over the long-term… and I frequently need to remind myself that this is an investment for the long game 💪
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.
October saw the addition of 2,476 subscribers to my community with my total email list growing to 152,192 subscribers.
This was a leveling off in email subscriber growth, similar to September’s figures, which represents a pretty big drop from where I’d been throughout the first half of this year. This was due largely to a few key articles getting less traffic than than they’d received in previous months (due to the many Google algorithm updates, which sent fluctuations in organic traffic), so new subscriber growth again took what looks like is going to be a relatively short-term drop.
As with previous months though, 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 remain focused on, as that’s the niche I’m all in on serving for years to come.
A significant chunk 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) for those looking to get more hands on help in growing their blogs.
That’s it for my October blog income report
As we covered at the beginning of this report, I’m predicting blog income to remain in this general range for the time being, landing somewhere between $28,000 – $32,000 as I experience continued fluctuations in affiliate payouts that are tied closely to the ups & downs in traffic I’ve seen throughout the last few months. My main focus still remains on updating & publishing more in-depth blogging content that’ll pay off over the course of the coming months and years. This is the long game.
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 😊
28 replies to “Blog Income Report for October 2020: How I Earned $24,626.17 Blogging (Last Month)”
Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us. I also need to remind myself over and over again that this is an investment for the long game.
Yes, absolutely! Glad to be a helpful little nudge when you need it. Even I need to constantly remind myself of the long-term nature of this business (which is prone to ups and downs), despite doing this for approaching 8 years now… so you’re not alone Vasco! 😂
Your transparent income report inspires us as a blogger. I eagerly wait for this post every month to boost my ambition
Ah, that’s so great to hear. Thanks for following along and I hope it helps you keep moving in the right direction with your blog, too!
Thanks for putting this out there Ryan!
Pretty big drop from the previous months but hopefully you get back up there. 🙂
You’re welcome, Ricky! My promise has always been to highlight both the ups AND the downs… because that’s the most realistic picture of how the blogging business tends to function for most people 🙂
I’ll get back up to my all-time highs, I have no doubt about that… time to put in more work though 💪
This is very inspiring, thank you soo much for sharing it with us!
You’re very welcome, Mouna! Wishing you luck with your blog as well 🙂
I’m always excited to read your blogs, I have a question for you.
If you would have to start your journey once again will you choose the same niche? If not which on will you go for?
Great question, Amol! What’s actually most interesting about my blogging journey here is that for the first ~5 years in the life of my blog, I wasn’t really talking much about “blogging advice” which is what I consider to be my niche today.
So, my niche today has really been a more recent evolution over the past couple of years, based on teaching from the experiences I’ve learned & results I’ve accumulated from first growing my blog to several hundred thousand monthly readers and a full-time income based around the niches of freelancing and content marketing. That’s where I really started to build my brand, reputation, audience and where the majority of my income came from for several years (from teaching freelance-related courses, booking consulting/freelance clients of my own, podcast sponsorships, blog advertisements from freelance-focused tools). It wasn’t until I’d formed a solid business in that niche, that I felt comfortable moving into the space of teaching “blogging” based on my results over the course of years.
In short though, no—I wouldn’t go back and change my progression here… it was necessary for me to build the skills & get the experience I needed in those first niches (freelancing & content marketing) that were most natural for me at the start of my blogging journey, because I was a freelancer and content marketer, myself. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t be able to authentically teach blogging today in the same way that I am.
One of the most hazardous decisions (and to be honest, disingenuous moves in most situations) you can make at the start of your blogging journey is to immediately start a blog about blogging if you don’t have past experience in this world… because you’re still learning how to blog and build an audience, yourself. You should first blog within a niche that lends you the ability to teach from your own well of experience, from skills you’ve built and in an area that’s still interesting/engaging to you 🙏
Disingenuous is a very strong word in my opinion. 😊 Teachers teach that doesn’t mean they have experienced every thing in that subject. They give examples and teach to the students. For example a business or management professor might not have experience with doing business or might have not indulged in any kind of businesses. But still they teach giving examples.
Just like someone who is starting a blog can give or provide your name and say, when this persona Ryan can do may be you can do it too.
That is how teaching world works IMHO😊
Every post of yours is always inspiring 🙏
Ok, I’ll give you a little bit in the fact that doing something like “blogging about blogging while you’re learning to blog” can be a useful exercise in teaching yourself, learning from others through a form of inspiration/imitation and to document your own journey as you’re beginning… but I still remain of the strong opinion that you should always choose very carefully who you learn from (and that it’s usually a good idea to choose to learn from seasoned practitioners with proven results over months/years of experience).
You may also be bringing some unique qualities, strengths or ways of thinking to the table too—so that’s a possibility.
Thanks for the fun dialogue, Suparna! I always appreciate you too 🙏
Ryan, what I love about this report is how many different affiliate income streams you have. It’s a great reminder that there are a ton of affiliate partners out there… and that just because an affiliate partnership may only bring in $100 a month does NOT mean you can’t be a 6-figure blogger… it just means you need to be on the lookout for multiple affiliate partnerships. $100 per month X multiple partners can really add up!
Absolutely! It’s all about diversification 🙂
Definitely love these income reports you published! 👋
It reminds me that blogging isn’t something that you just put in and forget for a year while expecting it to generate income for you. You need to be more proactive. 🚀
Yep, right you are… it’s a long game to start generating serious revenue, and that’s exactly when you need to keep your pedal on the gas 😉
Interesting blog income report and good work! This is one of my favorite blog posts from you, and so helpful for me to improve my website traffic.
Much appreciated! Hope it helps to steer you in the right direction with your blog as well 🙂
Ups and downs in this journey. I also had some difficulties last month in my blog.
However, I always remember your philosohy to play the long game.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s SO good to watch the whole process.
Absolutely, it’s all part of the journey. Sorry to hear you’ve been seeing some down times as well.
We’re both playing the long game though—keep up the work and I’ll do the same over here 🙂
Hey Ryan, thanks for sharing the details of your blogging business. It’s very inspiring, I always look forward to these reports. I am considering a blog report to go along with my dividend income updates. I think it would be fun to track and it’s a great way to learn and analyze what you are doing. My blog income is not a lot right now though, so I question if I should begin the blog reports or not. With that said, it’s awesome that you continue to transparently post your blog reports regardless of how the month went. Looking forward to reading your blog in 2021.
Oh, I say go for it Graham! I started publishing my blog income reports several years ago when my income was between $5k-10k/mo and I think it actually adds even more value to sharing your journey starting in the “early days” and gives you a greater library to look back upon one day 🙂
Transparent and insightful as always, thank you Rob.
You’re welcome, Dan! 🙏
Happy (almost) holidays, Ryan! Thanks for sharing this with us.
I noticed that the opt-in rate seems to be low at less than 1%. You know what you are doing and I’m curious if you happen to know why?
I figure that perhaps it is because you’ve prioritized other projects? Or perhaps because you prefer to send people elsewhere? (e.g. affiliate links)
You’re welcome, Chris! Right you are—a lot of my highest traffic content is optimized for sending people out toward affiliate links (at the moment), but I’m sensing a focus back a bit toward list building/nurturing and greater emphasis on my course business in the new year 🙂
Thanks for the insightful comment 🙂
Of course! Always a pleasure seeing you here in the comments and in my inbox, my friend! 🙏