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November Blog Traffic And Income Report: $92.44

  |   Blog Income Report   |   39 Comments

The inaugural Olyvia blog income report for November 2014: $92.44. Watch and learn how to monetize your blog from the beginning!

 

Be honest. How many times have you asked yourself, “How in the world do I make money with this here blog?!”

 

All. the. time., right?

 

In my early years of blogging I was head-over-high-heels enamored with the concept of making money online. The concept seemed so alluring. Just write about whatever and watch the cash pour in?

 

Sign me UP!

 

Yet, while there seemed to be a lot of talk of “blog monetization,” not many people were openly sharing how they made that money (or how much they actually made).

 

The only advice people tended to give out was to install Google Adsense ads. Somehow it would bring in hundreds, even thousands, of dollars!

 

So, I tried it on this little — and I mean teeny — personal hobby blog I had. 

 

I made a pitiful 15 cents.

 

Not surprisingly, I quickly came to the conclusion that making decent money with a blog was outright ridiculous.

 

But as the blogging community grew and a few more people began to open up their monetization successes and failures, I began to understand the fuller picture of what making an income off a blog really entailed.

 

I learned that:

 

1.  nobody begins by making $1,000, $2,000, or $10,000 dollars

2. you need people coming to your blog in order to make any money

3. just relying on one thing usually won’t pay the bills (+ daddy said not to put all your eggs in one basket)

4. while it may become easy, passive income eventually, it does take A LOT of work up front

 

When I started Olyvia, I decided that once I got to the point where I could begin monetizing, I would share the process openly with my readers.

 

Because A) I want you to learn how to do it for yourself, B) I want you to see a blog income report that starts at the very beginning, not after it’s already bringing in thousands of dollars, and C) because I know the accountability will make me work harder. 🙂

 

So with that, here is my very first (!) blog traffic and income report. Let’s see what happens!

 

 

OLYVIA.CO BLOG TRAFFIC REPORT

 

Note: Olyvia launched in June of 2014; it’s coming up on 6 months old.

 

Pageviews: 3,125 (+520 from last month)

 

Olyvia.co Blog Pageviews in November 2014

 

Top 10 pages viewed this month:

 

Top Pages on Olyvia.co in November 2014

 

 

Top 9 traffic sources this month:

 

Top Referrers for Olyvia.co in November 2014

 

Top search query driving traffic to Olyvia.co: “pinterest smart feed”

 

Top post of all time: 7 Minutes To An Irresistible Opt-In Box (published Nov. 5, 2014)

 

Now let’s look at my blog income report for the past month.

 

 

OLYVIA.CO BLOG INCOME REPORT

 

The figures below are what I made through “passive income” on this blog, not my other client work and services. That’s because I want to give you an idea on how to make money with a blog that is not entirely dependent on your experience, unique niche, or offline networking efforts.

 

I believe these streams of income are realistic for you to begin implementing on their own site, whether you’re a small business owner or blog for a hobby.

 

Last month’s earnings are as follows (again, it the FIRST month I’ve monetized my blog):

 

 

GROSS EARNINGS: $92.44

 

Keep in mind, this doesn’t take into account expenses like web hosting, domain registration, internet costs, etc. My goal is to include a breakdown of those at a later date, I just didn’t have enough time this month to get things together.

 

Another important thing to remember is that I have not been physically paid for these earnings. Each require a certain minimum threshold (ie: $10, $25, etc.) to be met before they’ll issue the payment.

 

 

WHAT I DID TO GROW MY TRAFFIC + INCOME THIS MONTH

 

1. Accepted into BlogHer and Lijit (Sovrn) ad networks in late October (after 4.5 months of blogging on Olyvia)

 

I didn’t do a large amount of research on the requirements of BlogHer before deciding to fill out an application. That turned out to be a good thing because I think if I had, I wouldn’t have bothered applying! It was only after I hit “Send” that I read the hundreds of comments by disappointed bloggers saying how hard it was to get accepted (even with pageview rates much higher than mine).

 

But, I did end up getting accepted the following day. My best guess is that it was primarily because my blog niche is not overpopulated on BlogHer (naturally they have A LOT of parenting/food/lifestyle blogs). Though, honestly? I’m plain ole’ clueless. My best advice is to do the best you can with your blog content and design, then give it a shot; you have (literally) nothing to lose!

 

Both the BlogHer ad and Lijit ad are placed in my blog sidebar.

 

(One last note: BlogHer and Lijit ads are Pay-Per-Impression ads. That means that you are paid when someone merely sees the ad, not when they click on it. I initially learned about both from Pinch Of Yum’s income reports.)

 

2. Accepted into Linqia and Izea in mid-November (after 5.5 months of blogging on Olyvia)

 

Linqia and Izea are networks for sponsored post opportunities. (I didn’t fit the requirements for Linqia either, but after my experience with BlogHer I decided to just go for it, baby.) I’m interested to see how these can supplement my blog income in the future. It’s important to me to only work with companies and products that I’d tell my BFF about + feel will be excellent for you, so I’ve yet to find the right match.

 

The lovely Regina first tipped me off to Linqia in her recent income report (which you should definitely check out because it’s crazy helpful).

 

3. Participated in the DYOB Blog Tour, led by Marianne of Design Your Own (lovely) Blog

 

Marianne dropped this opportunity in my lap and I’m so happy I chose to get involved because it was a fab experience. I met so many fun new bloggers via the tour, and it also helped my blog gain a lot of extra exposure. (It was my #4 traffic source this past month.)

 

4. Continued to guest post for She Owns It

 

I’ve been guest posting as a Featured Contributor for She Owns It since July. (That’s right. My blog had only been live for less than a month when I applied. Is anyone else seeing a pattern of risk-taking here? Don’t be afraid, friends. Blogging is an experiment, not a college exam.)

 

She Owns It is not a huge traffic source for my blog — it ranked at #22 this month — but it has done a great deal for my Twitter following + social proof.

 

You can submit a guest post here, and about every 6 months or so they also put out a call for a new lineup of Featured Contributors.

 

5. Published a Resources page

 

I love Resources/Tools pages, and had meaning to do one here on Olyvia for quite some time. Not only are they helpful to your visitors, they translate to income for you if you include links to products with which you have an affiliate relationship. (That’s how I made my Amazon Associates income this month.)

 

I understand that some people feel weird about using affiliate links, but here’s why I don’t think you need to feel uncomfortable: you are performing a highly valuable advertising/marketing service for that company when you recommend something you use or believe in. It’s classy for them to pay you a commission for that profit you’ve made them, and it’s classy for you to accept it.

 

Also, using affiliate links is a beautiful way for your fans to support you if they can’t afford your current services/products. (Or if they don’t have a current need for them.) By purchasing something — that they needed anyway! — via your link, they’re effortlessly able to contribute to your livelihood and say “thanks” for the great stuff you’re putting out there for them week after week. It’s a win-win. 🙂

 

 

+ SOCIAL MEDIA STATS

 

I know this is a “blog traffic and income report,” but a good deal of my success is a direct result of my efforts on my social media accounts. So I feel it’s important to include this information here so you can get the fullest picture possible:

 

 

(Next time I’ll be showing comparison numbers from the previous month.)

 

The networks I’m actively trying to grow at the current time are Twitter and Pinterest, then, to a lesser extent, Facebook.

 

For awhile I focused heavily on LinkedIn (as evidenced by the numbers), but because it hasn’t been a great place for me to interact with my target audience, I no longer spend much time there. I do try to keep it updated, however, because outside clients (who don’t initially find me via my blog or other social networks) tend to gravitate only toward that profile.

 

I haven’t put any real effort into Instagram, but it’s a place where I’ve decided I want to get wildly serious about in 2015. There are a few plans I have up my sleeve that I’m excited to try out, particularly after listening to this podcast that Amy Porterfield did with entrepreneur Chalene Johnson on Instagram marketing.

 

And of course, I just opened up my new Olyvia TV Youtube channel! At first I published my tutorial videos on my personal YouTube account (which is linked to my personal profile on Google), but after thinking about it I decided it was probably better to begin attaching them to the Olyvia Google Page account I have.

 

So I only have one (terribly lonesome!) video posted there at the moment — and one awesome subscriber. 🙂

 

But I absolutely love how video has connected me to people, so the plan is to publish more in the future. My main goal at this point is to make it consistent and see how that helps me grow.

 

Andddd that’s a wrap, guys.

 

Did you find this blog income report helpful? What can I be sure to include next time that would better help you grow your blog?

 

Let me know!

 

 

Erika Madden

(Chief Olyvia)

 

 

P.S. Office hours are today, in the blog comments. Remember, you can ask any question about running a business online or blogging — but only one! I’ll be popping in here all day to answer them the best I can. 🙂

 

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all my U.S. readers!!

 

 

 
The free 21 day ecourse that creates pro online impressions for business owners!
 
 

  • Maritza Diaz

    LOVE THIS! Because I have made 0 so far. LOL. Ww will strive for more, nothing wrong with that! It takes a lot of time. It will pay off! Your trips are always so golden!!!!

    • And there’s no shame in making 0! 😀 You’re so right: it’s a process, and there’s no “get rich quick” solution (which, unfortunately, is often perpetuated on the internet). I think it’s so important for people to have a realistic view of making money online so they can make the right decisions for their blog — and then stick with it when they’re bringing in 0…or just 15 cents. 🙂

      Thank you, Maritza!!

  • Right now I am striving to at least make $100 per month. Right now currently making $0 lol, but I first gotta figure out getting my blogging game back, and also how to get traffic to my site. It’s been pretty dormant, but I’m planing a re-fresh/re-brand to incorporate more of the things I like over on my site, so maybe that will also help boost traffic and get more readers? One thing I do know from past experience, making any kind of money on your site is hard work indeed.

    • Getting people to your site really is the first step in being able to monetize (successfully). 🙂 Have you tried guest-posting for bigger blogs at all? (That is something I personally want to focus on a lot more in the coming months.) The other things that have helped me a lot are:

      A) Making Pinterest-optimized images and really working on getting my pins seen on Pinterest. (Your brand is SO perfect for Pinterest, so I think this would be an incredible traffic source for you. I’ve been looking at your site and you may want to think about making “long” images for every one of your posts going forward, as they tend to perform the best. If you have the time you may even want to go back to the posts that have received the most engagement and redo the images for them, too. Then you could just repin them.)

      B) Building relationships via Twitter. Most of my repeat traffic comes from people I’ve met on Twitter! Twitter chats are most helpful in this area. (Some of my personal faves are #blisschat and #fireworkpeople. I know there are fashion and beauty-oriented ones out there, too, which would really be excellent for you!)

      I love your comment Shae, thank you for taking the time to comment!

      • Such awesome ideas Erika! Thanks. It’s crazy that I use Pinterest ALL the time, but have yet to truly optimize my images for the platform (like duh!! I need to get on it!). And I haven’t done much guest blogging, I’m hoping to guest blog for a few good sites soon so it can help me gather traffic back to my site at least.

        As for twitter, I used to be so amazing with it, then I don’t know what happened. either it became overwhelming and spammy and I left it all alone, but I will moving forward be re-iterating my chats via twitter that I used to do, they were fun and allowed me to get back into connecting with readers. Thanks!

        • Hahaha Oh my gosh, I hear you. I have so many things I know in my head I should be doing…it’s just a matter of actually DOING it. Which makes me feel silly, but there ya go. 😉

          You know, Twitter really can be…overwhelming. (That’s a good word for it.) And yeah, people totally abuse it so it ends up just feeling bleh. But I’ve found if you focus on just keeping up with those who you truly care about and who interact like real human beings, it helps. (I literally have a private list called “To Keep Up With” with all my favorite people on it. lol)

          • Wow! I should so do that. Haha, I use lists but it didn’t even dawn on me to make one for a “keep up/in touch with” – totally makes sense, especially for me since I get overwhelmed with the twitter madness quite easy. And it would help since I don’t only want my blog to be focused on just hair+beauty. I’m looking forward to finally (since I’ve only said I’d implement them years ago) adding design, and more fashion and lifestyle. I’m looking at my site as a lifestyle beauty blog with love drops of design and hair haha. But I can hear in my head, the experts saying I must go super niche – meh – it’s kinda niche right?

          • Shae, I think I answered this in my head and forgot to write it here. 😮 I’m sorry! What I wanted to say was…heck yeah it’s niche!! Don’t forget, your entire brand personality (your beautiful images, the way you write, etc.) is part of what makes you niche. 🙂

  • I’ve been a bit stumped as to how to make blogging profitable for my new business (real estate and relocation) but after listening to the IG podcast with Chalene, I had a HUGE a-ha!

    My “profitable” status only equals (for ME), a database of people that trust me as the go to gal for real estate and relocation! The actual finances of it works itself out later.

    I will be creating a really beautiful worksheet/system that allows potential homebuyers to dial in to what they REALLY want as non-negotiables so that their family can find home and thrive in their community. It will be an opt-in offer, and I can drive traffic to that via my YouTube videos (soon to come) and my new IG ideas from Chalene.

    Long-winded but thank you for my a-ha!

    (ps, now you have two YouTube subscribers!)

    • Oh my gosh. Naomi. Perfect! Perfect, perfect, perfect. I would grab that up in an instant. I can see you doing so many great things with that via Instagram, too. (That podcast was outstanding and gave me so many A-HAs as well.) You’re going to see so much success, I just know it. Please keep me in the loop.

      OH, and I’m (seriously) super pumped that I have two subscribers now. 😀 You’re awesome.

  • Julie Harris

    This is amazing, Erika! First off, I am always blow away that your site is only 6 months old. Truly inspiring! And I love how you really made a point to focus on the strictly blogging related income. It gives a real honest idea of how theses affiliate programs work.

    I think my favorite thing of all was showing the power of taking chances and “breaking the rules.” If you have something awesome to share, and it provides value to all who read it, then no matter what “regulations” another site may have, they will recognize that value and just might take a chance on you.

    As a business entrepreneur, I naturally want to work on LinkedIn as it is the “business social network” but I also find that not many of the people I engage with are active users for it. I definitely don’t want to pass it up completely, but it’s most important to be where your people are. IG is a new platform for me so I am also really working some stronger Instagram marketing strategies. Thank you for the podcast link! I will definitely have to check that out.

    I love love love your videos! You have such a charming and delightful quality to your speaking and the information you provide is always so spot-on and educational. I’m so glad you are continuing with your videos!

    2015 is gonna be all about being brave, and taking chances! This was super motivating, Erika. Thank you!!!

    • I loved that you valued the risk-taking part of this whole post, because that was my favorite part, too. 😉 If anything I’ve learned that taking chances is really where the magic happens. Too often we hold ourselves wayyyy back because we’re too humble / fearful / insecure. If we just take a moment to do something that feels crazy, I think we’d all be experiencing greater and greater things (in biz AND life).

      LinkedIn was very attractive to me, too. I didn’t want to give it up. I became a publisher, joined groups, etc… And it just didn’t come together. For someone dealing with mid and large companies, I think it would be wonderful. But for young(ish) creative entrepreneurs, it’s a dead zone. (At least in my experience.)

      Do check out the podcast! I’d actually like to know what you think after you listen to it.

      I’m so happy I have a video fan. 😀 That makes me SO happy. Eeeee. 🙂

      AND, you are WELCOME. To courage!

  • Brett Goldstein

    Erika – this is seriously so helpful and right in line with the next step I am looking to take with my blog. Thank you for putting all of this info out there and offering a lending hand to other bloggers like me. The idea of creating a resources page is almost a no-brainer and something I honestly hadn’t even thought about – I love that idea! Bookmarking and sharing this for sure. Thanks again.

    • I hear you! Sometimes the most obvious things are the ones we totally forget about. 😉 I’m glad I could help give you some ideas; thank you so much for taking the time to comment, Brett!

  • Reel Life With Jane

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love reading about your monetization adventure (that’s what I like to call it for my site – makes it seem more fun and, yeah, I’m trying to embrace it). I’ve run my Reel Life With Jane site (http://www.reellifewithjane.com) for about 10 years, and I totally agree that there’s no get-rich-quick scheme, as some of the emails in my inbox would have us believe. Even after THAT long and also having a cadre of a dozen writers contributing regularly, it still is a struggle to make significant cash from the site. But I will say that the site is a good home-base for various revenue streams — Adsense and other ad networks (still, if I make a hundred bucks a month from all combined, I consider it a windfall), Blogher (I do ok with their influencer program – doing social media touts and sponsored posts usually nets a few hundred a month), and I also have an “editorial web store” where we sell entertainment content to newspapers, family magazines and other websites. And an eBay store where I sell whatever is cluttering up my life. I just try to stay open to all the possibilities, but there’s never been a major influx of cash from any one of those revenue streams. It’s definitely a dribs and drabs type of income, but it’s steady and I manage to support my family of four on what I earn (we live a FRUGAL life, but want for nothing). Hang in there! I look forward to your next report.

    • No, you’re absolutely right: getting rich quick off the internet is NOT reality. Even very successful entrepreneurs admit they spent several years building their presence before they made their first dollar. I think that’s important for people to know, as it’s so easy to get discouraged and give up only a few months into it.

      Also, can I just say that I love that you’re willing to admit that your success is due to diligent hard WORK? Thank you for that. I also really appreciate that you talk about the necessity for a diversity of revenue streams. You are a perfect example of this. I think too many people depend on Adsense, or Blogher, or their ebook, or an affiliate, or _______ to bring in the income…when they would be much more successful (and safer) if they spread things around. It definitely takes some juggling, but it’s how most people are finally able to make a livable income online.

      (And CONGRATULATIONS to you for doing it!)

      Thank you so much for you insightful comment. I really appreciate the time you took to share your experience with the community.

      • Reel Life With Jane

        I was bemoaning the dribs and drabs of income to a friend of mine, and she said when she worked as an auditor for big companies, there was a big ALERT when any one company provided more than 30% of their income. That made me feel better. I guess the dribs and drabs is good, so that if you lose one thing it’s not a huge financial shock. And part of the reason I built up my own site is because at one time I had fairly good-paying writing gigs with AOL and various other sites, but those – all of them, always, for various reasons – went away leaving me in panic city because suddenly the income was gone. So I try to remind myself of all that when I’ve got $30 here, $50 there, $20 here coming in.

        The trick – and I know I’m preaching to the choir here! – is to keep a steady stream of something coming in all the time. My goal is $100/day, whether it’s in ad revenue, sponsored posts, ebay sales, editorial sales, pitching stories to other sites (when I can squeeze it in – which isn’t often), yada yada. I’ve got some quick ebook ideas I was aiming to start by the end of the year, but that’s just not happening, so I’ll shoot for first part of 2015.

        I can’t seem to find a good hook on the affiliate income. I mean, I post every day about DVD and Blu-ray releases, always link to my Amazon/iTunes/etc. affiliates for each release, have an Amazon box in my sidebar, etc., but there’s virtually NO income from that stream. I don’t know what the deal is there. I guess if people want something, they’ll just go directly to Amazon and not click through my site even if it’s right in front of them.

        Thank you for letting me brainstorm and drone on. 🙂 And yes – hard WORK! Every day, I go a little insane trying to keep up with everything, but it beats working in a cubicle in an office away from my kids. 🙂

        • I’m just brainstorming here, but what about an affiliate with a complementary company…perhaps one that makes software/programs for watching movies (DVD players)? I just saw where Fandango has an affiliate program, too…are you signed up with them?

          I love your last line…”I go a little insane trying to keep up with everything, but it beats working in a cubicle in an office away from my kids.” Absolutely!!!

          • Reel Life With Jane

            It’s a great suggestion and I’ve done that in the past with Fandango, Netflix and some other entertainment affiliates, but people just don’t seem to click through. Right now I’ve got several display ads for CBS’ new streaming option and they’re taking up a good amount of real estate with no action. I don’t know what the answer is. I did have a surprise sign-up for TigerTech, my hosting site, which gave me a nice little referral fee. So then I added a little affiliate box in my footer for that. Maybe I’ll get some more. 🙂

  • Meredith

    I love this income report Erika! I remember when I made my 1st $100 via passive income and it is the best feeling in the world. Keep up the amazing work!

    • It IS a pretty awesome feeling. 😀 hehe Thank you, Meredith!!

      • Meredith

        You will be making a full time income before you know it! You have solid content, marketing, and your design is chic and clean. I get excited about your site like I do about Regina’s at byregina.com! <3 Keep the awesome info coming. I get excited when I see an email from Olyvia.co in my inbox!

        • Thank you SO much for saying that, Meredith. That gives me so much motivation!

  • I love this post. So many people think it is either WAY harder than it is or WAY easier than it is to make money blogging. Seeing someone’s real numbers can help put it in perspective. Thank you for sharing this!

    • That’s really true, Jenni. It can be hard in the beginning or if you aren’t sure how to monetize, but it’s not impossible. And on the other flip of the coin, it’s not as if people can simply start up a blog and start making $10k a month immediately (like some would have you believe).

      I appreciate your comment, thank you so much. 🙂

  • I have made exactly $0 from ads! I’ve done one or two sponsored posts here and there for free stuff but I generally steer clear of ad placements (on my personal blog, not B&B).

    Crazy that a person that advocates constantly to turn blogging into a money making machine doesn’t do it that way! But the truth is I make more money from my products and from consulting than I could ever make for the same amount of time and effort with ads. I’ve optimized ads and affiliate things for clients but it always seems like way more trouble than it’s worth.

    I wish I could be an Amazon Affiliate though! But Arkansas and our sales tax laws means we’re not too friendly with them right now.

    It’s interesting to see where you’re at with your ads.

    • Oh my gosh Kim, I always forget that Amazon Affiliate isn’t available to everybody!! It’s nice to have for sure, though I know it’s a fairly small drop in the bucket for most people. But, anything helps.

      I totally agree: products and services are (for most people) really essential for bringing in the most significant part of your income.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, Kim. I appreciate your input! 🙂

  • Simplify.Create

    This is great to see someone willing to share right from the start. Our blogs are about the same age but I haven’t tuned my niche enough yet so you are doing much better than me. I’ve made about $6 lol big plans for 2015 though so fingers crossed 🙂

    • Hey, $6 is not bad! If I didn’t have a Bluehost sale this month, I would have been at $2.44. 😉 I really believe the key is to just keep with it. The growth will happen with time!

      Thank you for your comment!

  • So glad you are sharing your report! I have about the same traffic on Blog Chicka Blog. I am using Adsense only and getting about $8-9 per month…so you might want to add them in. I also was using BlogHer on my other blog. You can Twitter message me about that.

    • Thank you for adding your input, Jill! I appreciate that a lot. I may consider Adsense; I’ve been weighing that one for awhile. 😉

      • Ooh, I’ve decided against AdSense, mainly because it competes with my affiliate ads and I make more money there.

  • What? When did you turn to the dark side and get Disqus? Just kidding. sort of. Great post, fun to see your stats!

    • Hahaha, I know Kristie. I resisted with Disqus, but my former commenting system was driving me nuts. Too slow and bad formatting. 😉

  • I missed office hours but I am so glad you posted this. I am just now getting started on my re-launch and the honesty is refreshing 🙂 I also listened to Amy’s podcast, its why I got on to IG and will be incorporating it more into my strategy.

    Great post and Good Luck <3

    • Kelita, yay on your relaunch!! I hope I could be helpful to you in some small way. 🙂 (And wasn’t that podcast amazing? It really inspired me and gave me so many ideas.)

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, I appreciate you taking the time to read and share your thoughts. 🙂

  • Madura Maha

    you are sharing great information for all new bloggers…thanks for sharing http://www.toonexplainers.com

  • This is brilliant. Wel done for being brave enough to share your results right from the start, this is so helpful for people just starting out.

  • The Broke Dad

    Thank you for sharing your information from the start, it is strangely refreshing knowing that not everyone who posts an income report started out making $10,000 a month, I was starting to feel a bit inadequate in my blogging abilities (I have not made any income yet).
    Your blog is beautifully done and I really like how clean it is, I think that makes it all look very professional.
    Well thanks again and I am now going to look for your most recent income report if you have one to see how you have grown since you posted this.

    The Broke Dad