This September was another extremely productive month for my blog, especially in terms of new content going live. I published 7 new long-form guides (5,000+ words) on blogging-related topics and my blog income for the month came in at $25,280.27. Traffic was up in a big way, bringing me 397,339 readers and just over 487,333 unique sessions.
On the personal side, I JUST TURNED 30 YEARS OLD a couple of days ago 🎉. This month saw us spend plenty of time with friends and family both here in San Francisco and down in my hometown, Hanford, but we finally had a bit of a break from a summer that was packed with non-stop traveling. I also went to a bachelor party for my future brother-in-law and started ratcheting up my running distance as the weather has gotten incredible here in the city—it’s been a great excuse to cut out during my afternoons and take a jog through Golden Gate Park.
Now, let’s dig into the numbers… I saw another dip in blog income last month, but I landed just above my forecast range. I still saw pretty strong affiliate commissions from my guide about how to start a blog and another consistent month of sales for my comprehensive blogging course, Built to Blog: How to Get Your First 10,000 Readers and Earn Six-Figures Blogging.
Overall, I generated $25,280.27 in blog income during September of 2019.
My new content publishing continued its pace last month, which meant more freelance writers helping me out. Still, profit for September came in at $18,706.86.
The Forecast 🌤: For October, I’m anticipating either a leveling off or potentially (small) drop in blog income as the positive search traffic recovery signals I’ve started to see lately begin to deliver more traffic back my way. I’m expecting to land in the range of $20,000 – $23,000. As I’ve said in income reports throughout the summer, I’m expecting to hover in this range of blog income as we approach the end of the year, at which point I anticipate an uptick again. Expenses will remain fairly steady as I keep my writers busy, pause the podcast and focus on doing more of what I do best.
Now, on to the details of my September income report…
Blog Income in September 2019: $25,280.27
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.
Then I talk about my podcast download numbers for the month, and which episodes performed best.
Finally, I cover updates on any other side projects I’m working on for the month.
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Blog Income Breakdown for September 2019
Built to Blog Course Sales
Freelance Clients & Sponsorships
Amazon (Business Books)
Web Services – Hosting and Storage
Online Tools & Subscriptions
Legal & Accountant Fees
Quuu Promote (Pre-Paid Annual)
Travel, Office Supplies & Misc
iPhone X Payment Plan
AT&T Service Plan (iPhone)
Uber and Lyft 🚖
Net Profit Breakdown
Now, on to my blog, email and podcast-related statistics.
2. Blog Stats for September 2019: 487,333 Sessions and 121,275 Total Email Subscribers
Finally, my blog traffic started rebounding in a major way last month. I'm still below the half a million monthly reader mark I was at earlier in the spring (with the organic traffic dip I experienced over the summer), but all signs appear to be now pointing toward a resurgence in meaningful growth—due to a few key initiatives I've been working hard on.
I was up in Sessions over August by 4.88% (a month with one more day than September), further supporting that my traffic is on an upswing as we head into October. Pageviews increased to 617,452.
Virtually all of my most important articles were up in traffic this month—an effect of how much work I've been putting into publishing a TON of long-form content related to blogging (the niche I'm choosing to focus my blog on). See the big uptick in traffic during the last few days of September? It's still early, but there was a pretty big search algorithm update that's seeming to re-delivering a lot more traffic my way with higher search rankings for a few of my key terms.
Overall, I'm up more than 58% in growth year over year compared to September of 2018. That increase is tied to my most trafficked posts still continuing to deliver strong traffic from organic search and the publishing of more new content that's climbing the organic search rankings as well. I feel that I'm in a pretty good position heading into 2020.
Here are my top 15 trafficked posts from September, ranked in descending order of which drove the most readers:
- business ideas
- make money online
- freelance jobs
- how to start a blog (most attributable revenue for the month)
- best remote jobs websites
- remote job
- motivational quotes
- business books
- how to freelance
- business advice
- freelance contract
- work from home jobs
- freelance proposals
- make money blogging
- amazon affiliate marketing
September finally brought about growth in traffic to my 25,000+ word guide, How to Start a Blog and Make Money—which is still holding onto decent rankings in organic search for competitive terms like how to start a blog, how to blog, and other related terms.
Still, as more readers land on this post, 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 September, I published seven new long-form articles for my growing audience of bloggers:
- How to Pick a Niche to Blog About (+8 Profitable Blog Niche Examples to Inspire You)
- How to Do Keyword Research (and Get 584,958+ Monthly Readers) to Your Blog in 2019
- What is a Permalink? How to Make SEO-Friendly Permalinks (Blog URLs)
- 25 Best WordPress Themes for Bloggers (No Code Required) in 2019
- What is a 301 Redirect? How to Set up 301 Redirects on Your Blog
- How to Start a Food Blog in 2019 (on the Side): Free Guide to Start Food Blogging Today
- 230 Blogging Terms You Need to Know in 2019 (Blogging Glossary & Definitions) to Blog Smarter
I also continued updating a few of my most successful blogging-related guides, to keep them fresh, up-to-date and as impactful as possible:
- 12 Ways How to Make Money Blogging and Earn $325,936 From a Blog in 2019
- 32 Best Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Blog (Increase Blog Traffic) in 2019
- 101 Best Blog Post Ideas That’ll (Actually) Drive Massive Traffic in 2019
- How to Write a Blog Post (People Actually Want to Read) in 2019: Free Blog Post Template
My plan is to keep publishing a higher volume of in-depth content for bloggers throughout the rest of this year, with the goal of clearly signaling to Google that my site is primarily about blogging and expecting that to keep delivering me more readers looking for tactical blogging advice.
2. Email Subscribers.
I use ConvertKit to manage my email subscriber community and deliver my emails.
September saw the addition of 5,380 subscribers to my community with my total list size growing to 121,275 subscribers 🎉
This was a slight dip in new subscribers compared to August, but these new subscribers came from more blogging-related articles and free downloads—which is my goal. 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. Podcast Downloads for September 2019: 24,527 Downloads
My podcast, The Side Hustle Project is going on a recording break for the rest of this year! After what's been an awesome 132 episodes, I'm taking my first "podcast vacation" for the next couple of months as I shift my priorities over to producing (and promoting) more long-form written content on my blog. For that reason, this'll be the last time I report on download figures for the rest of this year.
I'm anticipating a return of the show early next year—with a new format and focus on delivering authentic blogging advice.
With 24,527 downloads though, this is a great place to pause for now.
Here are the episodes that went live last month (and one from early October):
- #128: How to Grow a Mac Application (Side Business) to $60,000 with Priyadarshan Joshi
- #129: Indistractable by Bestselling Author Nir Eyal (How to Be More Focused in Work and Life)
- #130: Laura Roeder on Growing Edgar from Social Media Side Project to $1 Million in One Year
- #131: How Todd Grew a $1,200/mo Personal Finance Blog (on the Side) and Gets 20,000 Readers
- #132: Best-Selling Author Jeff Goins on Building an Engaged Blog Audience (of 250,000 Readers/Mo)
September brought my total download numbers for the show up to 380,812 downloads!
That's it for my September blog income report.
For October, I'm predicting my blog income to either remain pretty steady or see a slight dip, landing around $20,000 - $23,000 as my traffic begins to rebound (and the accompanying revenue uptick is often a lagging indicator that'll show in the next couple of months). I'm seeing more positive signals that my search rankings and traffic is now swinging back around—and with the introduction of TONS of new blogging-related articles, that traffic will be increasingly landing on better-monetized content.
Another goal for this month is to continue with updating the content in my comprehensive Built to Blog course with brand new lessons, refreshed videos & written lectures and even more interviews. After the updates are complete, I'll be doing a relaunch of the course and increasing the price as the value is going up dramatically.
If you're looking for some additional reading to help grow your own blog (on the side), I recently updated my 25,000 word free guide to building and scaling a profitable blog right here that I'd love for you to read 😊