Traffic and Income Report - July 2018

   Blog Traffic and Income Report for July 2018  |  A monthly report on the She Dreams of Alpine Blog income and traffic. We are in the beginning stages of monetizing our blog to try and help us pay off our student loans. This post will detail what kind of work we put into the blog and the steps we are taking to bring in more traffic and income.| shedreamsofalpine.com

I mentioned in my last income and traffic report that I had a feeling that July would be a good month, and well... it was AND it wasn't. As life typically works, even my best made plans can sometimes get derailed. But like with anything in life, it's not about the moments that derail you. It's about what you do to get back on track, and so we started the month strong and ended it strong too.

This was our best month income and traffic wise so far to date, which is very exciting. Although sometimes I feel like we are growing so slowly, I have to keep reminding myself of the long game and that at least we are still growing! 

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

supporting us & the blog:

The reason and inspiration behind starting this whole digital nomad blogging business journey of ours was to find a creative way to help us pay off our massive student loan debt.  At first we were embarrassed to say it, but to be transparent, we have over $190k in student loans. I could get into the details here, but I will save that for another time. The short story is private school tuitions + San Francisco living. While we look back at our choices sometimes and feel regret, we would pick a different path if we could turn the wheels, but hindsight is 20/20 and we've got to get creative with the situation we have right now and not dwell on things we can't undo. 

So if you like what we are doing and want to support Michael and I on our journey toward debt free living, you can do so in a few ways!

1) Shop on AmazonAny time you click on one of our Amazon affiliate links, you are supporting us at no-extra cost to you. Need to do some shopping on Amazon? Click through with our link, add items to your cart, and we get a small percentage in return from Amazon.

2) Shop on REIIf you prefer to shop through REI it works the same way. If you use our REI affiliate link, you are supporting us at no-extra cost to you. 

3) Become a Patron on Patreon: Patrons of She Dreams of Alpine are continual supporters of the blog. You can pledge $1, $3, or whatever you want a month to support us. If you would love to support us in this way, you can learn more about our Patreon here. We currently have 9 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.


 
blog-work-this-month

**A quick note: Some of the links below are affiliate links.

As I eluded to above, July started and ended strong. There were a couple of weeks in the middle where I lost my way and was overwhelmed a bit by life, but hey, it happens. 

What we worked on for the blog: 

  • I've continued to focus a lot on SEO. Writing new posts and optimizing old ones. It's a long process, but I've seen other bloggers have good success with SEO, so I'm keeping the faith and putting in the time. 
  • I continue to work on building backlinks to the blog each month via various backlink building strategies.
  • I completed a full content audit on my site and have a list of the blog posts that I want to revamp/rewrite/delete in order to clean up my website and improve user experience. Now I just need to start making a plan to implement it.
  • I continued to work on the content in my Bschool program, and I have a Bschool Conference coming up in August. I hope to be completed with the training modules by then so I can go into the event fully ready to soak it all in. 
  • I tested out "batch writing" articles this month, where I attempted to write 5+ articles in one week, so I could focus the rest of my month on other things. I only ended up being able to batch 3 articles in one week, but it definitely still helped to spread out the work load! I'm going to keep trying to do this going forward.
  • I started getting consistent with my email newsletter. I've decided I can keep up with a bi-weekly newsletter for now, because I want them to be meaningful and provide value to my readers. I hope to increase that to weekly one day when I have the capacity, but this feels good for now!
  • We ran an Instagram giveaway with the brand Maya Kaimal, featuring their delicious Everyday Dals! I am loving this product and so happy we got to try it out! It's a fantastic, packable size for backpacking and packed with protein! (Bonus, you don't even need to cook them if you don't want!)
  • We had our 5th full month with the Pinterest Virtual Assistant! Things are growing, slowly but surely. 
    • Followers continue to increase +41 in July
    • Traffic to the site was 523 sessions from Pinterest in June and in July it has grown to 762 sessions on the site.
  • Domain Authority- domain authority still sitting at 17, sigh.
  • We grew our email list by +75 new subscribers this month with Convert Kit!

 

just-for-fun
split-mountain-hike

Life Outside of Blogging in July:

  • I finally got to meet up one weekend with the Facebook group, Mountain Chicks SoCal, and hike at Mount Pinos! I hope to do more of these in the future, because I got to meet some really awesome girls there! Lincoln got to go too and he loved it!
  • A coworker and I took a stab at backpacking and summitting Split Mountain, a California 14er that I haven't done yet. We turned around at 12,700', but it was still a really awesome trip. I already wrote up a guide to that area which can be found here.
  • Michael and I took the van up to Mammoth Lakes one weekend and did a bunch of hiking in the area and also hit up the Reggae Festival that was going on. 
  • We also got to see our friends who just got back from their long trip up bouldering in South Africa at the Rocklands. It was awesome to hang out with them again and hear all about there trip. I really want to go back there! 
  • Michael is on the mend. Michael is starting to walk now on his leg that had the torn meniscus, hoping the doctor gives him to go ahead to start doing physical therapy in August!
  • Books this month. The Dream of The Alpine Book Club's choice for July was "Tales of a Female Nomad", which I am still working on finishing, but I really love it! In August the book club is reading, "Into the Wild" which has been on my reading list for quite some time now.

July Blog Posts:

We aimed to publish at least 5 to 6 new articles on the site this month, or revamp older posts. Here's how we did:

the-revenue

July was the first month of true actual profit from the blog. However we don't expect this every month yet at this point. Still the blog is growing and we are focusing mostly on SEO at the moment to build momentum around traffic and growing our email list. We don't want to spread ourselves too thin with sponsored content, so we are trying to really be focused on who we work with. However, I look forward to doing more in the future! Ok, so what did we earn in July?!

"THEORETICAL" Revenue Totals: $700 -- Highest month to date!

  • Patreon Sponsors: $114
    • We made a shift in our Patreon this month, I used to upload blogging tutorials there, but I just don't have time to dedicate to that right now, so we did lose a couple of patrons there. 
  • Amazon Affiliate Income: $26
  • Sponsored Content and Social Campaigns: $533
  • Google AdSense: $20
  • Skillshare Classes: $7

ACTUAL Blog Expenses: $252

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
  • 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
  • Other tools that I pay for (but only get charged yearly, not monthly)
the-traffic

We saw a 20% growth in our traffic (sessions) this month from June, and July was our highest month to date for overall traffic since I re-launched the blog. I really started focusing on 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 our organic views are growing.

As far as Social goes, this was my first month where Pinterest was the highest amount of social media traffic. Usually my Facebook Traffic is the highest.

  • Pinterest - 760 sessions
  • Facebook - 374 sessions
  • Instagram - 164 sessions
  • Redditt - 55 sessions

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

traffic-report-July-2018
conclusions

I am feeling VERY AMBITIOUS for August... but we will see how it goes. I also have quite a few outdoor activities + my very first entrepreneur conference (in San Diegooo) going on so it is going to be a busy month. PLUS, I am also trying to get back to focusing on climbing (I've sort of been taking a bit of a break the last couple of month) and our friend, Carlos, has written me a training plan that I hope to start next week.  I have a great feeling about July. 

Based on my 90-Day Plan, here is what I'm working on in August:

  • Finish reviewing all modules of BSchool & attend the Bschool Conference in San Diego! Plus I need to start making a plan to implement some of the items I've been learning from Bschool... so many things are sitting on my to-do list in Trello.
  • Begin working through some other course material I invested in a while back. 
  • 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
  • Write my first email nurture sequence and update all the email capture forms on my website. 
  • 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.
  • Upload a new video to the site and to Skillshare.

A lot, a lot, a lot... Can I do it? Only time will tell.

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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!



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