Blog earning is currently the biggest part of our passive online income generation, and this is a look into how that works plus some Google Analytics tricks.
By way of reminder, as of 2016 this is our main source of income and we have our personal monthly budget/goal set at $1,536.
I’m going to keep this month’s summary as brief as possible because I’m writing it late, as well as the fact that I wrote this whole stupid thing once and LOST IT. HOW?! Apparently the auto-save screwed me over.
Here are February’s numbers:
In February, over 114K people visited the site for nearly 186K pageviews.
This is significantly down from January, which may be partly still falling off from the holiday season, but also may be related to something new we tried which I’ll outline below.
What’s still working… or not:
PubExchange, which we got into in January, is still low traffic, but continues to steadily rise. At this point I don’t see us quitting our relationship since I don’t think it’s low quality traffic. The only disadvantage I can think of is that people can be leaving our site to go elsewhere, but it opens in a new tab, so not really a big deal.
New stuff we tried in February:
1. The biggest thing by far that I did with our site in February was start testing out a little guide we purchased called “Skyrocket Blog Pageviews with Google Analytics“.
There are 30 bite-sized actionable tasks/ Google Analytics tricks that help you drill down into your analytics to better understand them in order to optimize your site for more pageviews, which is especially helpful when you’re trying to make the most of your ads.
As you can see below, our pageviews went down, but our bounce rate improved, and that’s what I started out targeting in February based on what I learned through the guide.
I first changed some of the posts we were linking to inside of other posts, you kinda just have to read the guide to understand the numbers behind which posts make the most sense to be linking to each other.
Then I decided to split up our highest trafficked post into several different posts (not a specific recommendation, but somewhat related).
David was really nervous about me doing this, and I was, too, but I think it will be better in the long run because I really expanded and improved the quantity and quality of the content.
The only problem is that it potentially hurt our SEO for that post at first because I accidentally over optimized the post by putting too many instances of our targeted keyword in it and also making the other posts with the same keyword instead of related keywords.
So I’m thinking the drop miiiight have something to do with organic traffic, but I’m not sure. We just need to fix the issue and keep tabs on it.
2. Another thing I did was join LinkVehicle.
This looks like it might have a lot of potential, but so far I’m finding it a bit glitchy and difficult to navigate.
3. We finally got our favorite vitamin/supplement products to give us affiliate links!
Lifesource Vitamins has soooo many great products, and a favorite new one of mine this winter was their All Natural & Safe Antibiotic. Definitely keeping this on hand from now on!
4. David added a bounce thing for when a visitor moves to close the page.
We were using one of these a long time ago when we wanted some reader feedback in a survey, but haven’t had it active for a long time. Right now we just have social media links on there and links to popular posts in case a visitor hasn’t seen them yet, but it’s also a great place to put affiliate specials or email signups or whatever you want to draw attention to. It might be helping with bounce rate, too, not sure yet.
(As might be expected in a post about passive income, some of these may be affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, we earn a small percentage if you choose to purchase something. We don’t bother being affiliates of things we don’t like, that would just be lame.)
1. Sales – $0.00
We haven’t been promoting any products anywhere.
2. Affiliate – $206.27
Any affiliate commissions we’re currently getting are just from content we’ve created in the past – we didn’t take time to put any new work into promoting anything in February.
3. YouTube – $135.25
Telling Kids They’re Getting Shots continues to be our main earner because it continues to be suggested by YouTube.
4. Sponsored Content – $425.oo
Still playing catch-up with previously created content…
5. Blog Ads – $916.24
Even though our traffic was down this month, our ad earnings actually improved.
That’s largely due to our ad management network. They rock.
Expenses – $536.99
- Hosting was still little higher this month because we actually pay for the previous month’s traffic.
- I’ve been using BlogStomp for years because it makes image layout, watermarking, and proper sizing much faster, so I upgraded to the new version and I’m very happy with the improvements.
- I’ve been wanting to put some work into improving my writing for a while now, and Blog Writer’s Bootcamp had a good deal, so I thought it made sense to start there.
- I wanted to have more features and make video editing easier in general, so I jumped on a good PowerDirector 14 deal. You can try it out for yourself and even save 55% right now!
What we did well:
- I put a lot of work into expanding 40+ Things You Can Get Rid of Without Even Missing post.
- I’m really happy with how practical and actionable digging into Google analytics is with that guide we got!
What we want to do better:
- Still a LOT to do with optimizing content here. I hope we don’t have to work on this all year, but it’s possible…
- Still a LOT to do with optimizing our videos… because if that one video can get so many views and actually make some money, there’s a lot of potential with other stuff we’ve already done.
- NOT GET BEHIND… ugh. We were doing so well in February, but then March happened, all month long.
This guide with Google Analytics tricks to understanding how to make it work for you really works!