First Ever Traffic and (Future) Income Report
I have a confession. This is not the first time I have ever started a blog. In fact, in 2009 I started a blog. I did all the research, and completed a laundry list of items. I chose a topic that I felt I was an expert at, I bought my domain, I paid for a hosting plan, I installed WordPress, I began to plan content, I wrote my first post, and then–I stopped. I stopped just short of hitting "publish" on my first post.
I stopped for a ridiculous reason. I found a blogger, blogging about my same topic and I allowed myself to became discouraged. I thought to myself, "Oh well, I guess someone is already doing this." I am a big fan of a successful blogger on the same topic I was going to blog about, and I followed along and watched as she even implemented some of the same ideas I once had. The funny thing is, this blogger that I followed is not the blogger I had found in 2009 that discouraged me. And this blogger that I followed, began well after 2009.
I hate admitting that this happened. I mean who does research and goes through the trouble of setting up a blog and then doesn't hit "publish" on the first written post?! But it's okay. What's important is to not make the same mistake again. With billions of people on this planet, there is room for everyone. You don't need to be the first or the only person executing on an idea to provide value to others and find success.
If you are right now contemplating an idea, and you find yourself thinking, Nah, it's been done, I missed my chance–push those thoughts out of your head and give yourself the chance to go for it.
Who knows what would have happened if I had actually hit publish on my blog back in 2009. If I'd kept it up and grown it until today, I could possibly be what some term a "grandma blogger" (someone who began blogging in the early heyday of blogging). Again, though, the idea is to learn and move forward.
So now in 2018, no longer the heyday of blogging, Jon and I have started this blog along with our YouTube channel and Instagram account. We have dreams and plans to grow these. We would like to monetize these, and we would like to get moving on opening up our online shop, which you may notice, is still under construction.
Well, all of those things can be quite intimidating. And they all take time. So we have decided to do something a bit scary and begin documenting our progress through monthly traffic and, in the future, income reports. We are not the first or the only ones to do this, of course. However, we have drawn much inspiration and encouragement from others that have done this, and we feel it's important to keep that going.
Can a blog still be profitable in 2018? What about YouTube and Insta? How long is the process? What goes into it all? Well, let's find out together. We'll post one of these reports at the end of every month. Right now, it's rather, well, almost embarrassing because we don't have income to report yet, and the numbers are in an emergent state. But, that won't be the case forever. It would make our day if openly discussing our numbers and our goals helps anyone move forward and hit "publish" on their idea or dream, so we will share this side of our journey with you.
Without further ado, welcome to the March Traffic Report. There is no income yet, so we'll just be looking at Traffic.
March Traffic Report
Our website and blog is basically taking its very first steps having begun in January (very last days of December technically). We are happy that Pageviews and Visits to the website are up. These are not the type of Pageviews and Visits that highly successful blogs have, so the key here is to remind ourselves that we just started. March was our best month so far (yay for the little wins!), and we aim to keep that momentum going. You can see below that we had 3,707 pageviews and 2,306 visits.
This month was the first month we got serious about Pinterest. We felt that Pinterest was the method of promoting the blog that we could easily tackle first. March was the first month we even had any traffic to speak of, and you can see below that Social Media was the primary driver of our newfound traffic. In the picture you can't see the breakdown of traffic from the social channels, but when the breakdown is opened, the metrics tell us that Pinterest accounted for a whopping 94% of the traffic we received from Social. Instagram came in second place with just 74 of the 1,669 visits from social. If you would be interested in knowing how we have gotten started with Pinterest, let us know in the comments below, and we can incorporate that into future posts and income reports. For now we won't dive into the nitty gritty of beginning our Pinterest journey.
Next up, let's take a look at what everyone read when they arrived on our site. Below you can see that our most popular page is the blog on The Pros and Cons of Motorized vs. Towable RVs. This also happens to be our best performing Pin on Pinterest, so it makes sense.
In terms of goals, we have a few things we'll be working on in April. We would like to monetize our website. So far we have signed up for an affiliate marketing course and are about halfway through it. By the end of the month we hope to have finished the course and taken our first affiliate marketing steps. Although we plan to open our store very soon, the April goals around this are actually still a work in progress . Also on the to-do list for the website, is offering something of value as an opt-in for our email list. The biggest goal for April will be to stick to a more consistent posting schedule. This will be the 4th Monday in a row that we post, so we've made some progress on consistency. Beginning next week, we plan to post on the blog every Monday and Thursday.
A huge goal for us in 2018 was to begin our YouTube channel. We began our channel in January. YouTube provides a lot of fun analytics but, for now, we'll just concentrate on Subscribers and Watch Time. So far, in total, we have 169 subscribers and 11,998 watch time minutes. Below you can see our stats for just this past month. Like our website, our YouTube is in its infancy, but March was our best month yet. The bulk of our watch time and subscribers came in during March, so overall, something to feel good about! YouTube made changes this year requiring 4,000 watch time hours and 1,000 subscribers before a channel can monetize. So it follows that those are goals for us. For April, though, our main goal is to post consistently. We are planning to post a video every Tuesday and Friday. We also need to work on getting the word out about our channel, but consistency is going to be our main goal in April.
Our Instagram, was started early last year. We haven't really been too serious about trying to grow our Insta until this year. So far we have 727 followers. As for our goals for April, you guessed it! Just like our blog and YouTube, we are looking to really focus on consistency for our Instagram account. We have a goal to post between 5 and 7 times a week, with a possible stretch goal of posting 10 to 14 times a week. We just now made analytics for our Instagram available so we won't have anything to share on that front until next month. The small win to celebrate as we grow our Instagram is that we have solid engagement. Many of our posts have much higher engagement than the 3-6% we have read is average on Instagram.
This was a crazy post to write! We feel very strongly about providing motivation and inspiration to others. Putting our little numbers out there is a bit intimidating though, because we wish we could be absolutely crushing it already. But, we know nothing happens over night. We appreciate all of the bloggers and vloggers who have ever shared income and traffic reports and inspired us, so it's important to us to do this in spite of any feelings of intimidation.
We hope you enjoy following along on this side of our journey every month. If you have any questions or suggestions for these end of month reports, please leave a comment below. If you're also inspired by income and traffic reports, let us know in the comments, and feel free to link any that are currently inspiring you that you think we might enjoy too! Subscribe to our YouTube channel here, and Follow our Instagram here.