Traffic and Income Report - June 2018
I'm learning a lot about myself through starting this blog. I'm learning a lot about my will to persist, my patience, and my drive... my ambition. I'm learning a lot about how I react to other's success and how sometimes my first instinct is to be jealous. But with that I'm learning how to be OK with being at a different pace than others and being on my own journey, and also I'm learning how to balance my work with play.
They are all really great lessons, and if thats all I ever gain from this blog, well then I'm happy to say it was worth it. Each month I feel a little more confident in myself and a little better at balancing my work load and being less stressed. I'm learning how to be more efficient and focus on the things that make an impact. I'm seeing growth. Small, yes, but growth nonetheless from putting what I'm learning into practice. And overall... I'm optimistic. I still want to keep going. I still feel a strong pull to keep on playing the long game. I'm still having fun.
It's so nice having something that is yours. Something you have to put a lot of your heart and soul and hard work into. Sometimes it's frustrating how no one appreciates how much effort you're putting into something, but mostly I feel proud. I'm learning that I don't need validation from others. I just gotta keep putting my best effort and work out there. It will suck at first, but eventually... it might just be good. Did I already mention I'm learning a lot? :)
If you’re new to these reports and would like more details on why I’m writing these income and traffic report posts, please read the intro of my first income report. If you want the short answer though, it's for this:
- To be transparent and share the amount of work that goes into maintaining something like this, but also maybe one day I'll have something to show and teach from it to others
- To practice sharing and get away from having a "scarcity mentality", I want to believe that helping others won't hurt my own growth... it should just make it better.
- To reflect on past months and to be a tad more personal with my audience
And if you’d like to support us in our journey, the best way to do that is via our Patreon account. You can read more about that here. We currently have 10 amazing patrons! We are so grateful for all the support and love we have received from this community so far. These people have helped me keep up the momentum on this blog, while I learn how to turn it into a business.
**A quick note: Some of the links below are affiliate links.
June was a bit of a mixed bag. The weeks where I worked I felt highly productive, but we also took about 10 days of vacation in June and I didn't do much work on those days. I mentioned in May that I wrote a 90-day plan for the next few months, and I've been doing a decent job at following it. I'm a little behind on a few things because of the June vacation, but otherwise I'm still sticking to that plan.
What we worked on for the blog:
- SEO - I mentioned last report that I read some books about SEO, and it has totally helped direct me toward how to write blog posts better. Since I finished those books, I've been writing all my posts to be SEO optimized. Now I just need to go back and edit some of my old posts.
- Building Backlinks- I participated in 4 collaborations in June to help continue to build my backlinks to the website. I took it down a notch from the past few months, so i could try and focus a bit more on my own content. One day I'll be able to balance the two better.
- Instagram - again, this hasn't been my priority lately.
- We had our 3rd full month with the Pinterest Virtual Assistant! Things are growing, slowly but surely.
- Followers continue to increase +41 in June
- Monthly views continue to increase +14,000 compared to last months growth
- Daily pin impressions increasing +1,800 compared to last months growth
- Clicks and Saves have also increased for the first time!
- Domain Authority- domain authority grew this month from 13 in May to 17 in June! woo hoo! Almost in those 20's
- We grew our email list by +14 new subscribers this month with Convert Kit! It was a bit less growth than normal, but I think that is because some people unsubscribed. I started actually putting out a consistent newsletter in June and so people may have decided to opt out then. No biggie.
- Engaging with Brands- I didn't really pitch any new brands this month because we have a couple projects we are already working on and I want to make sure to devote my energy to them. We are however, partnering with Maya Kaimal Fine Indian foods for an instagram giveaway in July, so be sure to follow me on instagram and keep and eye out on our instagram stories for the giveaway details. We got connected with them because we loved their simmer sauces for cooking camping meals when on our trip in Colorado!
- BSchool - I worked through more Bschool material, and updated quite a few more things on my website. For instance, I now have more of a “static” home page. Still a work in progress, but it’s better than what I had before.
- Search Console Set Up - Oh and a little embarrassing, but I finally set up google search console and submitted my site map. I had google analytics downloaded since I started, but I had been putting off the search console thing because I had no idea the value it provided (until I read those SEO books)! We are all good now.
Life Outside of Blogging in June:
- Took our 10 day road trip through Utah and up to Colorado. This road trip was a blast! It was our first big road trip using the van. We drove up from California and into Utah. Our first night we decided to hike the slot canyon called Kanarra Falls, which is right outside of Zion National Park, and it was so beautiful! Then we spent some time hiking Zion National Park Classics such as The Narrows and Angels Landing. Then we made our way over towards Arizona to try and get permits to hike the Wave... with no luck unfortunately. So we stopped by Horseshoe Bend (photo above), and made our way to Telluride, CO. Telluride is probably my new favorite place in Colorado! We loved it. We spent some time mountain biking here and exploring the town. Then we made our way up to Vail for the Go Pro Mountain Games. We watched some mountain biking competitions, and rock climbing competitions and we also competed in the Vail 5k and Citizen Climbing Competition. Our campground up there was so awesome. We stayed at the Camp Hale Memorial Campground, and it was perfect. It was secluded and felt really private + the campground host was great. The only bad news about the trip was that our very last day, at the Citizen Climbing Competition, Michale re-tore his meniscus. So... we are working on that recovery now.
- Volunteered at Yosemite with Nature Corps. I got to go and work in Yosemite Valley with a non-profit called Nature Corps to do some volunteer work at Yosemite! Our project was working in the meadow area under Yosemite Falls to help create a better growth environment for the Black Oak Trees which are recognized as a valued cultural, scenic, and biological resource to Yosemite National Park. It was really great getting to work in the valley, being surrounded by this beautiful place and work with people who really care about preserving it. This place never ceases to take my breath away, and I hope to do more to give back like this as time goes on.
- Michaels Surgery. Michael had surgery to repair his torn meniscus the last week in June, so now he is finally on the mend!
- Books this month. The Dream of The Alpine Book Club's choice for June was "Jungle", and they also have a Netflix movie on this story! In July the book club is reading, "Tales of a Female Nomad" and I can say I've already started it on audible and am loving it so far!
June Blog Posts:
Out of the 9 posts I wanted to write, I only published 4 and they were pretty much completely different than I had originally planned (totally different topics). Our week of vacation at beginning of June sort of pushed my timeline back a bit, but also inspired me to write some new posts.
- Hiking Utah’s Hidden Gem, Kanarra Falls
- 7 of the Best Hikes Southern California That Will Help You Train For the Big Mountains
- Your Ultimate Guide to Hiking Mount Baldy
- Blog Traffic and Income Report for May 2018
- I also participated in 4 collaboration guest posts this month on other travel blogs.
Ok, so what did we earn in June?!
"THEORETICAL" Revenue Totals: $281 -- Highest month to date!
- Patreon Sponsors: $133
- You can see a list of all our sponsors on our Patreon page
- Amazon Affiliate Income: $114
- Google AdSense: $16
- Skillshare Classes: $18
ACTUAL Blog Expenses: $610
Monthly expenses breakdown:
- ConvertKit (monthly): $29
- I made the leap to ConvertKit at the end of December and I couldn't be happier! I love love love it. I wouldn't go back to Mail Chimp now, it has seriously made my life so much easier and given me back so much time. I used to spend hours trying to figure out how to do something in Mail Chimp that is very intuitive in Convert Kit. I'll write a more detailed post sometime soon about why I moved from Mail Chimp to ConvertKit.
- Virtual Assistants: $200
- Pinterest VA
- Canva: $13
- I finally upgraded my Canva membership to the pro version from the free version because I wanted to be able to save my "brand" colors and fonts, and build folders within Canva.
- Gsuite: $10
- Email domain name service
- Hotel for a Blogging Conference in September: $358
- Other tools that I pay for (but only get charged yearly, not monthly)
If I hadn't bought that hotel room for September last month, it would've been the first month I have made profit! Things are looking up :) haha!
I started doing for SEO optimization in my blog posts starting the very end of May, and I think it might be starting to catch on a bit. Slowly but surely. Numbers aren't a ton higher than last month, but organic continues to grow and if you look at the middle of June, there is a "noticable" jump in daily views.
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.
Top 10 Traffic Sources
Direct Traffic: Direct traffic can occur any time that Google Analytics can't determine the source of the traffic. Often times this can be from mobile social media apps or emails, or even organic search. It's a mixed bag.
Organic Traffic: This grows every month! Yahoo!
Facebook Groups: these continue to be great ways to promote new content, but like I said, I didn't publish many new posts this month.
Instagram: I think my instagram stats are a bit skewed, because I started using bit.ly to track my clicks from instagram and I think google analytics won't recognize it as a source from Instagram if you do that. This traffic probably got dumped into "direct" traffic.
Pinterest: 3rd full month with the Pinterest VA, and I saw growth in the Pinterest referral bucket this month.
* I only show 9 traffic sources this month because number 10 was "spam" referrals, which I learned about last month, and I didn't want to give them any more "traffic" than what they are already trying to scam ME with.
Most Popular Blog Post in June:
I'm actually really looking forward to the next couple of months. I have some special projects I'm working on... some experiments per say, and I really think its going to be a great month. I also have quite a few outdoor activities going on including a couple backpacking trips and spending some time up in Mammoth Lakes, California. I have a great feeling about July.
Based on my 90-Day Plan, here is what I'm working on in July:
- Full Content Audit of My Older Content. Complete my full content audit on my site. Decide what I want to delete and what I want to revamp, and make a plan.
- Work through more modules in BSchool
- Write 4-5 new or revamped (Keyword optimized) posts on my own site
- Participate in at least 4-5 collaboration articles/guest posts to build backlinks
- Keep up with my bi-weekly newsletter
- Make my business official. Set up EIN and make my business "official" with its own bank account
- Focusing more on trying to be consistent, get my older blog posts updated and optimized for keywords, and going through the courses I signed up for.
Let's do this.
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Hope this all was helpful and insightful, please leave me a comment if you have any questions or want to follow up! Thanks for following us on this online business journey!