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December Blog Income and Traffic Report

  |   Blog Income Report   |   16 Comments

Earning money with a blog can be slow! Here are the mistakes I made this month, + specific tips on what you can do on social media this week to grow your own blog traffic.




(That’s the sound of me trying to stop being so darn lazy after all the frenzied Christmas festivities + cheer + pots de creme.)


While I try to wrangle myself out of the blanket pile + little crater I’ve created for myself here on my couch, here is my second blog traffic and income report.


Let’s see what happens!





Pageviews:      3,388 (+263 from last month)


I’m frankly disappointed by this month’s traffic. My goal was to increase it by at least 1,000, however (brutal honesty time) I just didn’t do the work to get it there. 


A large part of that was due to being distracted by the holidays…


And trying to accomplish other work in my business.


But I should have put out for at least one guest blog post and started getting a couple of other “small” blog posts lined up that could have published on different days of the week.


I have some new plans up my sleeve for the blog in 2015 + I’m going to put out for some strategic guest posting, so let’s see what happens in January…okay, February. Blog Pageviews in December 2014


Top 10 pages viewed this month:


I had a hunch that my prior blog income report post would be popular.


(Because hello. They’re addictive.)


But what surprised me was that my Resources page (which is brand new to the site) came in so high.


If I had to do it over again, I would have put that up within the first month of launching Olyvia!


Top Pages on in December 2014



Top 10 traffic sources this month:


Notice #8? It’s pretty incredible that I’m getting that much traffic from Marie Forleo’s site, as it’s only due to 2 comments I left on her recent blog posts.


Top Referrers for in December 2014


If you’re looking for ways to increase your traffic, seriously: don’t underestimate the power of leaving comments on certain influencer’s websites in your industry.


My tips for you are:


1) Be one of the first to leave a comment when the post goes live. (It gets more eyes on your comment.)

2) Leave an intelligent, thoughtful post that adds something to the conversation. (No “hey, great post, thanks” allowed!)

3) Make sure the avatar attached to your comment is a real photo of you (or at least a logo).

4) Focus on blogs where your ideal readers are congregated. Otherwise very little people will click through to your blog, and if they do — poof. You’ll lose them immediately.


Top search query driving traffic to It’s still “pinterest smart feed” — all because I’m ranking on the 1st page of Google for that term.


Top post of all time: It’s still 7 Minutes To An Irresistible Opt-In Box (published Nov. 5, 2014), but How Do I Get Noticed On Facebook is gaining traction on it. (Why? It now has at least 906 pins on Pinterest, so booya.)


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





Please note: The figures below are what I made through “passive income” on this blog, not my other client work and services.


I’m doing it this way because my goal is to give you an idea on how to make money with a blog that is not heavily dependent on your experience, unique niche, offline networking efforts, and other variables.


Last month’s earnings are as follows:





Last month I made $92.44, which means I made precisely $89.64 less. 😀




BUT…okay. This isn’t really surprising. Last month was honestly an anomaly as far as a realistic first month’s blog income (unless you launched an e-product or something).


If there’s one thing I could never tire repeating (and therefore get to pester you incessantly with), it’s this:


It takes time to get consistent AND significant passive blog income. (Tweet this!)


You’re welcome. 🙂





1. Overhauled my blog images


I wasn’t happy with my former blog images; they were OK, but they didn’t stand out.


I felt they lacked…well, punch. 😉


Since Pinterest is my main source of social traffic, I wanted something that was instantly recognizable + different than the rest.


I experienced my highest jump ever in followers on Pinterest this month (stats are below!), and I think my new images had a happy influence in that.


CHIEF OLYVIA TIP: Dare to be unique. Most Pinterest images look the same, which doesn’t help you get noticed or remembered. (Tweet this!)


2. Ran targeted Pinterest ads


To gain exposure for my new images, I ran some short term promoted pins for them. (Literally like a dollar’s worth.)


Most of them did very well, though I noticed my post against pop-ups didn’t do as well as the rest.


I also re-ran a former promoted pin for my email list opt-in, The Classy Entrepreneur, and added some keywords I hadn’t used before (all dealing with customer service).


That pin campaign — which you can learn how to run yourself in this fancy little post — totally rocked it.


My results were leaps and bounds better than the first time.

Promoted Pin campaign results for


CHIEF OLYVIA TIP: Look for ways to make your Promoted Pins more effective. Only re-run pins that have done well, and then build on them by adding (relevant) keywords you didn’t think to add previously.


3. Was active in my Facebook Groups


Like all things social media, the key to using Facebook Groups effectively is to go there to provide value for others. So last month I focused a lot on answering people’s questions + helping them find the resources they were looking for.


When you do that (well!) oftentimes people “like” your business FB page, visit your website, or even contact you privately.


It’s also a good opportunity to point people back to your Resources page or share a product for which you are an affiliate.


I saw quite a few clicks to affiliate products I shared in my groups. (But — obviously — no sales!)


CHIEF OLYVIA TIP: You have to be really careful about how you approach “selling” your affiliate links in Groups. Sometimes the conversation just isn’t appropriate for you to provide an affiliate link, and it makes you look overly desperate/scammy.


Remember, it’s more important to build a soft, warm blanket of trust than to always push for a sale. (Tweet this!)






Probably the two most surprising things that happened with social media this month were:


1) my Pinterest growth (which had stagnated there for awhile), and

2) my Instagram growth (considering I posted maybe two photos during this time)


I did spend a lot of time pinning, re-pinning, and liking photos on Pinterest, so I’m happy to see that helped (along with my new images + Promoted Pins).

At the very end of the month I finally got approved for Rich Pins, too. It should be interesting to see what impact that has, if any.


As a final observation, Facebook seems to be naturally picking up more now that I grew to over 100 followers.


I think it’s due to the social proof dynamic (not-so-fun-fact: if you don’t have many followers, others aren’t as inclined to follow you), plus my activity in Facebook Groups.


Oh, I almost forgot! I’m also experimenting with a free Facebook “widget” that slides up in the corner of my website, asking people to like my page.


It’s called Conversions Box and you can learn about it here.


That seems to be helping, too, but I don’t want to keep it around if it’s hugely obnoxious. So, if it is, would you let me know?


(And if it doesn’t bother you at all, let me know that, too.)


How did you do monetizing your blog this last month? Any wins (or losses) to share? Let’s hear ’em!



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 New Year!


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  • I absolutely love this post 🙂 You are right blog income reports are great, I love seeing the progress blogs are making behind the scenes and there are valuable tips that you can learn from blog income reports. I do have a question for you for office hours 🙂 What are some of your favorite G+ groups to hang out in? For the life of me I can’t seem to find any ( I am newer to G+) Thank You and keep the awesome work up.

    • Kelita, that’s such a great question! I actually don’t use G+ much at all. 😉 Confession time: I personally don’t care much for the platform + I find it a bit too overwhelming to manage that along with all the other ones. BUT there are entrepreneurial friends of mine that do participate there and love it — you may want to try this community: and also this one:

      The latter is run by Regina of and is geared toward people working on her social media e-kit, but I’m positive that they would all be tremendously welcoming over there (and perhaps give you the names of other lovely communities)!

      I hope that helps. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Kelita!

  • Guest

    This such an insightful post Ol

  • I love your transparency and the helpful tips Erika! It’s very inspiring to see what you’re doing behind the scenes and your willingness to show it even when things aren’t working. I’m currently working on a resource page for both of my blogs so I’m excited to see how it helps. Thank you!

    • Chivon, thank you so much for your supportive comment. I think it’s so important for people to know that, for the average blogger, making significant passive income doesn’t just happen in a month or two…but that there are ways to keep chipping away at it and try anew the next month. I DO wholeheartedly believe that if you keep your hands dirty for the long haul, you’ll see your reward!

      I wish you good luck with your Resource pages!

  • The FB popup is not annoying at all … very sleek and unobtrusive!

    • I really appreciate that input, Naomi. Thanks lady!

  • Hey Erika, very good post…and blog! Just put the conversion box on my site. It doesn’t look invasive so we’ll see! Keep up the good work

    • Thanks, Rudiano! I enjoyed your blog as well. Keep doing those vlog videos; they’re great! 🙂

  • My hits were gosh-awful last month, but I think it’s mainly because everyone’s too busy getting their holiday cheer on to hit up their usual blog roll. My numbers are already back in a good place! So, I wouldn’t take it too personally. 🙂

  • I’ve been blogging since 2006 and have seen huge leaps in earnings over the last few years. I recently created a spreadsheet to track monthly earnings since I started and my Amazon stats once looked much like yours. Don’t get discouraged!

    I’m thinking of starting income reports on my site - it’s been helpful to me to read other reports over the years, and I think I’m at the point where I should start giving back and sharing what’s helped me in this journey. Best of luck with yours!!

    • I know I told you this already on Instagram, but YES. I totally think you should do it. It would be so helpful for people. (Plus, I’m just a sucker for income reports. Haha.) And thank you for your encouragement! I think that’s really one of the main keys with affiliate marketing income…realizing one needs to stick it out for the long haul. 😉

      Thank you so much for coming by and taking the time to comment!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this Erika! I particularly love when blog income reports are honest, even when the earnings are low (as was the case in this report). I admit the holidays derailed me too, and I finally launched my website, City Leaper, a month late, in mid-January. Now you’ve got a blank slate though and it sounds like you have some great ideas for kicking things into high gear. I can’t believe I didn’t know about promoted pins! Despite not spending too much on it, do you feel it was worth it? (The spike in new followers, repins, etc. - do you feel it was directly tied to that?) I’m wondering if I should experiment with that to get my blog out there! It’s tough to promote something when it’s SO new and you’re working to build a following.

    • Hi Alison. 🙂 Thank you for your comment! To answer your question, I really do like Promoted Pins right now and the possibilities they hold for people who may not have a big budget to spend + have posts ideal for Pinterest. (Looking at your site, you definitely do. And your graphics are lovely!)

      I have seen very good results through most of my Promoted Pins. The key really lies in picking the right keywords (in addition to having the nice images); if you don’t, results can be poor. But Pinterest is rolling out new features regularly to make this process more accurate and successful for advertisers. 🙂

      I don’t recommend using Promoted Pins as a main strategy to blog promotion, but as a supplemental one, yes I would say definitely experiment with it if you have the financial ability and don’t mind investing a little money to gain traction. I don’t know if you saw my tutorial on Promoted Pins and other (free) strategies for getting noticed on Pinterest, but if not I think it would be helpful for you:

      Hope that helps, Alison!