As you know, last month I started publishing monthly income reports. I decided to do so in order to keep myself accountable and also to keep track of any progress I may make.
As I stated last month, I have learned the most about how bloggers make money from these types of reports. I have learned the importance of having multiple revenue streams and different types of ad networks. Most of all, I have learned that it can be done. These reports have given me hope and encouragement and those are some of my favorite things.
I plan to break these reports down into income, what I did during the month, and what my plans are going forward. I think that it will be a great way to reflect and also a good accountability tool in going forward. It’s great that I have so many ideas, but if I don’t break them down and plan on putting them into action then I will just end up with a mess in my head.
Without further ado, my May Income Report.
- Freelance writing: $200
- Sponsor: $20
- sovrn: $17.59
- Goodle Adsense: $2.11
- Shareaholic: $2.79
- Amazon affiliates: $0.32
- ShopStyle Collective: $0.50
- Total: $243.41
As you can see, the biggest part of my income still comes from freelancing (I know I owe you a post on that!!). I was able to write for another site, YourTango, but I get paid the month after a post goes live so I will include that on next month’s report.
I also got my first legitimate sponsored post in May. The deadline isn’t until June, but I was partially paid in May for purchasing the product. The rest of the payment will show up in next month’s report. I know there are a lot of mixed views on sponsored posts and I am right there with you. If I legitimately want my blog to grow financially, however, I am going to have to accept them from time to time. Just know that I have been a part of several networks for almost my entire time blogging, yet I actually apply for very few campaigns. I will only apply if the product is something that fits the theme of this blog and I would use in daily life.
My sovrn income increased from last month to this month (see below for why).
Amazon was slacking this month because I only had one purchase through any of the affiliate links.
What I Did Differently This Month
Honestly, not much. I got wrapped up in studying for my NASM exam, so I wasn’t able to dedicate a huge amount of time to growth. I took some active steps by applying for more freelance work, but most of the numbers are a result of blog growth and pageviews.
One of the things on my to-do list for May was to experiment with floor prices in sovrn, my main ad network. The way that sovrn works is that ad networks bid (through sovrn) to have their ads placed on your site. A floor price is where the bidding starts. When I first started using sovrn, my price floor was set to $0. This meant that everyone and anyone could bid on ad space and that the likelihood of filling the space was very high. While this meant that I constantly had ads, my CPM rate (or rate per 1000 views) would be low. For April my CPM was $0.59 and my fill rate (how often my ad space displayed sovrn ads) was 63%.
In May I increased my floor to $0.40. This means that the bidding had to start at $0.40 for ads to even be in the running. By increasing the floor price, I increased my CPM to $1.11 and my fill rate was 44%. So while the amount of ads shown decreased, I was getting paid a higher amount for the ones that did. I have it set up so that when ads are not shown by sovrn, they are filled in with ads from Google Adsense so that there is always something going on at one time. Let me know if this doesn’t make sense!!
I also signed up with Food Blogger Pro (affiliate link), which is organized by the same wonderful people who operate Pinch of Yum. Their income reports really opened my eyes to the possibilities out there and I signed up with FBP because I trust and value their advice. While they are concentrated on food bloggers, there is a TON of blog business information that I have found incredibly useful. There is also a great forum where all the members get together to ask questions and help each other out. Kind of like a think tank for bloggers. I haven’t had as much time to explore it as I’d like, but so far it’s been a great resource.
I also experimented with a new affiliate program, ShopStyle Collective (formerly ShopSense). Granted, I signed up at the end of May, but I am testing it out to see whether Amazon Affiliates (AA) or ShopStyle will be a better fit. The way that affiliate programs work is that when you either click on a link or purchase something from a link, I will get a small commission. The price is always the same to you regardless.
The difference between AA and ShopStyle is that I only receive a commission from Amazon if someone actually buys a product. ShopStyle will offer a commission simply by someone clicking on a link. The potential for payoff is much better with Amazon, but it all depends on whether readers are people who actually buy products that are recommended or if they are only interested in seeing more information about it. Time will tell…
Plans For June
- Try for more freelance opportunities
- Get another post up on Huffington Post
- Continue to increase traffic and grow followers by publishing quality content
I just realized that it is already 10 days into June so I need to sit down and think about what steps I want to take next. I have a lot of things going on in terms of writing, teaching, and trying to grow my training clients so I have been running all around this month. I plan to sit down and get some goals down on paper in order to make reaching these milestones easier rather than harder.
If you can think of anything that you would like to see (or not) on Erin’s Inside Job or topics that you want me to cover, please let me know in the comments section! If you want me to go into more detail about any of the ways I am using to monetize, just ask. I have been excited to start writing these and I’m sure in my excitement I have forgotten something. As always, it is your feedback that helps me know what direction to go to make sure that you are getting the most out of your time here!
Also, if you enjoy reading income reports as much as I do, make sure to check out some of my favorites: