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 😊