Important: My preamble before profits
Despite being a personal finance website and blog, I’ve hesitated to regularly provide specific earnings. Each time I’ve shared writing revenue — at 6 and 12 months — it’s taken me some time to deliberate whether I should. My revenue isn’t everything, and frankly, it’s been steadily declining since last summer. But while I made less revenue, I saw more traffic — the important metric to me.
Many personal finance blogs share their earnings on a regular, monthly basis with their readers. My fear in regularly doing so may come from an irrational place, but I worry that sharing this information is like eating junk food; the syrupy sweet taste goes down easily, but it has a vapid nutritional value. Do public displays of revenue help those that follow this site? Would love your input!
While keeping these questions in mind, I’ve decided to write about last month’s earnings, analyze the data, and provide forward-looking goals. Hopefully, you can take this information and let it inspire you to reduce your debt and meet some of your own financial dreams. Maybe you’ll start a blog of your own!
July 2014 Income Report
This month I truly learned what it meant to have an article go viral. Shortly after publishing “Destroy The 40-Hour Workweek,” the site quickly received the most incredible response ever. Google Analytics data showed that there were over 221,000 pageviews because of this tremendous social networking surge. Obviously, the increased traffic affected my income for this month, too. Most of this is reflected in an incredible spike in Google AdSense earnings.
$416.00 (Down $200 compared to last month)
Affiliate sales led the way. My most popular articles that lead to commissioned sales are the Barclaycard Arrival and US Airways credit cards. Unfortunately, sales have steadily declined in recent months; likely, due to a combination of search engine optimization (SEO) problems that were caused by server problems. Also, referral rates have been in decline, which means that each sale equaled fewer commissions.
$247.95 (Up $204.49 compared to last month)
As I mentioned earlier, Google AdSense had a huge spike in revenue that was largely attributable to my viral post. Click-through-rates did not change by much, but the surge led to more clicks and impressions. I recently added a couple videos to YouTube and used one of them in an article about moving from my old apartment. While miniscule, the ads on YouTube are contributing to my earnings.
$1.13 (Negligible change)
There’s not much to say here. Amazon Associates is one of the most flexible and user-friendly affiliate networks. Moreover, it pays a fair amount for each item sold. When I linked to TurboTax during the tax season, I actually made about $200. But since then, it’s been pretty stagnant.
Total July 2014 Earnings: $665.08
My main goal in starting this site was always focused on building a network and traffic stream. Money wasn’t the main motivator. But revenue from this website has changed my life forever. It’s given me an incredible lift in mood and gives me an outlet to share my thoughts. I’m truly honored to have visitors and followers. Your contributions fueled me to write more than I ever thought would be possible.
Going forward, I want to build on my fundamental desire for traffic. I’d like to increase subscribers via email (please sign up!), more frequently engage with Twitter followers, and find ways to integrate Facebook with the site. Whatever money follows would be a wonderful thing, but hardly the sole, motivating factor to this site.
The other piece that I want to begin including on Frugaling are book reviews. Anything that has to do with money, finance, and stock markets, I want to review and share with you. Hopefully, it can be a quick way for you to stay informed about complicated financial matters and offer me an opportunity to do something I love: read.
Thanks for viewing my report. If you have any recommendations, questions, or comments, please leave them below. I love nothing more than helping another person make their goals come true! Best of luck!