If you are serious about blogging for profit, then using our Traffic & Income Tracker for Bloggers is a must! This tool is an amazing way to keep careful track of your expenses, income and blog traffic to make data gathering and generating blog income reports easier!
Welcome to our January 2019 blog income report!
If you are new to The Millennial Bull, we started writing blog income reports to show our peers that it’s totally possible to earn money online, even with a small blog like ours.
Our very first income report was just last month, reporting on our traffic and earnings for December 2018 ($179.27). We decided to report from our blog’s launch to help us track our progress and to provide transparent insight on monetizing your blog from the very beginning.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. For more information, please see our disclosure.
Is it really possible to make money blogging?
In a word, YES.
But it isn’t as simple as writing a bunch of content, hitting Publish, and watching the traffic and money roll in.
If you are just starting your blogging journey, or are ready to begin the monetization process… WE HAVE BEEN THERE!
We wouldn’t blame you for thinking that this whole earning money from blogging thing is a giant crock of s***, because we used to think the same thing. Thousands of bloggers out there report the tens of thousands of dollars they’re raking in each month, but it isn’t often that you see evidence of the lows that they most definitely faced at one point or another.
Making money online, let alone with a blog, isn’t easy. But it’s definitely possible. It takes a whole lot of commitment, thick skin, creativity and PATIENCE. You have to be able to trek through the crappy months and remind yourself that nothing great happens overnight.
Why do we publish income reports?
To be honest, we hesitated even publishing our second month blog income report. This is because despite having doubled our income from last month, our traffic was not even remotely what we expected.
We’d heard about the post-holiday slump that many bloggers experience with traffic and conversions, but we didn’t realize just how much of a blow it could be for us. We were frustrated, discouraged and definitely wondering if we’d be able to find our way out of it. But then we decided that that was no reason to not publish a report.
We pride ourselves on transparency and want to continue breaking down the walls that many people build to show our readers the truth behind growing a blog and blog monetization; we want to show the ugly side, the side that bloggers don’t talk about, to help you understand that no… it’s NOT all rainbows and butterflies… but that’s OK!
If you want to make money blogging, dream big, but make realistic, attainable goals in the beginning.
Remind yourself that it doesn’t happen overnight. Blogging for profit takes drive and dedication.
We devour other blogger’s income reports, and thought, why not us? As we looked at report after report, we continue to be inspired, realizing that it really is possible to make money blogging. And each time we observed someone else’s monetary progression, we were like damn! We want in on that!
We were motivated, we were excited, and we were ready to get on board – and once we started seeing money come in, albeit a little, our excitement was amplified. That feeling of inspiration and motivation is exactly what we hope to provide our readers with as they endeavor to make money on their own blog.
The point of this report is also not to boast or to sell you on anything. It’s purely to motivate, and if anything else, keep ourselves accountable.
If you have been keeping up with our blog for a while, you can skip ahead to the good stuff.
If not, let me give you a little back story…
The Millennial Bull was created to help other millennials grab their financial independence by the horns. Because we are also millennials, we felt that we understand what our peers want: the ability to be free from our 9 to 5 job. To be able to be our own boss. To be able to have the flexibility to travel the world but to still generate income.
We started the blog back in August 2017 but did pretty much nothing with it. Life happened, career changes took priority and The Millennial Bull was left to be forgotten. Fast forward to Mid-November 2018 and we hit some major rough patches career-wise. We decided it was time to take this little old blog a bit more seriously to monetize it as quickly as possible. We were essentially starting from scratch.
This isn’t our first blog and probably won’t be our last. But boy, we are doing A LOT of things differently. We re-approached TMB with a game plan and have been hitting it pretty hard, utilizing the many growth promoting tactics that we learned with our other blog [she who will not be named – sorry! We mutually agreed to maintain anonymity for the time being].
When we got back in the saddle, we had maybe 8-10 blog posts already published from our first go-around, but they were getting no traffic (and we still haven’t really gotten around to revamping them). If you are interested in seeing what we were working with traffic-wise for our first month blogging, check out our first income report.
In our second full month blogging, we earned $393.82, more than double what we earned in month 1!
November (two weeks of blogging): $11.55
Note: Above graph automatically created in seconds by our Traffic and Income Tracker for Bloggers.
We don’t really count November as a month because we started getting situated halfway through, so we consider December our first (full) month blogging.
Beginner? Start a blog for cheap!
If you are a beginner looking to create your very first blog, you can check out our step-by-step tutorial here. You will learn:
- The best place to host your blog
- How to choose a hosting package
- Registering a domain
- How to install WordPress on your new hosting account
- The basics of making money off your blog
You can also learn how to drive major traffic to your blog – even as a beginner – here.
January 2019 Blog Traffic
In the spirit of being totally transparent with our readers, which we always promise to do, we will say that traffic was not what we had hoped for in the month of January. Yes, we more than doubled our income from the previous month, and yes, traffic was greater as well… but not to the extent that we expected.
We started the new year off strong, with over 600 users on some days, and then the decline happened.
As mentioned, we had heard that January usually sucks for blog traffic, but we thought that maybe we were going to be an exception. This is because we saw a sharp rise on the 3rd of the month, that continued to get better over the next few days.
Here’s a snapshot of our traffic for the month of January.
We noticed that one of our pins was going viral, bringing in a huge portion of our traffic over the course of those days. But that eventually fizzled out.
Traffic started to dip, each day bringing in fewer and fewer sessions. By the end of the month, our traffic was looking more like our first month – which you can imagine felt SUPER discouraging. But, we still saw an overall increase in traffic across the board, with over 4,300 more sessions than we had in December.
The traffic and revenue can be attributed to a lot of things, but most importantly:
- Creating multiple, eye-catching pins for each post
- Sharing our pins on Pinterest group boards
- Sharing our pins on Tailwind Tribes
We continued to focus heavily on Tailwind, which is still the major driving factor in our traffic. Our reach increased by 6.5 million from the last month. Good, but not as great as we expected.
Don’t get me wrong, we are still content with our traffic for the month of January! It was just tough to see the peaks and valleys when we started off so well.
We continue to keep meticulous track of our data.
We didn’t want to get knee deep into this thing, start making money and have no way of tracking our progress – it would be hard to have varying degrees of success but have no idea what our bottom line was or no way to visualize ALL of the data – not just the numbers we could pull from Google Analytics.
To solve this problem, we built a Traffic and Income Tracker for Bloggers with the goal of maximizing our time and money.
This tool has helped us spend less time recording data and more time creating content!
Income reports are now easier than ever, with our traffic, income and expense tracker for bloggers. Use this tool to record all data related to your blog’s growth and bottom line to keep careful track of what you are spending, what you are earning, when you are earning a return on your investment, and how your traffic growth correlates with your revenue. Learn more here.
The data that we collect from our Analytics is another huge way for us to continue growing our blog. Understanding these valuable numbers is the best way to scale your traffic and ultimately your income.
January 2019 Blog Income Report
In January 2019, we earned $393.82 from our blog:
Affiliate Income: $322.26
Selling Our Own Products: $36.93
Display Advertising: $34.63
Affiliate Marketing & Display Advertising
Affiliate Marketing is still our biggest money maker, and display ads were our smallest. We are still leaning toward not going wild with the ads right now, with the intent of creating a good user experience and not scaring people off with a ton of in-your-face advertisements.
For the display ads that we did run, Google Adsense RPMs were low in January, but that was expected with the dreaded post-holiday slump. So, Affiliate Marketing really saved the month!
If you have been relying on display advertising to sustain your income, we would highly recommending researching and implementing affiliate marketing strategies to diversify your revenue streams, and ultimately cover your butt when RPMs tank!
We can largely attribute our foundation knowledge of affiliate marketing strategies to Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing, an online course by Michelle Schroeder (the QUEEN of affiliate marketing – girl brings in $100,000+/month from her blog!). If you are ready to take blog monetization seriously – whether you’ve not tried it or your earnings are slim-to-none – this is the perfect place for beginners to learn the ins and outs of marketing affiliate brands and products.
Selling Our Own Products
In December, we launched our Advanced Excel Time Tracking Tool, and in January, we released three more tools:
- Personal Finance Spreadsheet – Keep an eye on your budget, get out of debt quickly and learn to live within your means with this comprehensive yet straightforward personal finance budget tracking spreadsheet! Input all of your income and expenses and let the sheet do the rest! Truly visualize where all of your personal money is going!
- Traffic & Income Tracker for Bloggers – Spend less time recording data and more time creating content that sells! Income reports are now easier than ever, with our traffic, income and expense tracker for bloggers. Use the visual elements to discern how your traffic growth correlates with your bottom line.
- Business Expense & Income Tracker – Track all of your business expenses and revenue in one place! Whether you have started a small business or are an entrepreneur, you are sure to incur many expenses! Keep track of all your cash flows with this easy to use and straightforward business budget tracker!
Sales have started off small (with $36.93 in revenue in January) but our main focus was simply creating and launching the tools, with only a little focus on marketing them. We look forward to getting the word out about them in February and beyond!
We would, of course, love to see our own product income increasing month over month, eventually making up the greater % of our income. Currently, as you can see below, Millennial Bull Product Sales are only 9% of total income:
Note: The above pie chart was automatically produced by our Traffic and Income Tracker for Bloggers. It makes income reports so much easier to put together by tracking all of your different blog income streams and expenses!
Next month, we would like to see total income go up by 50% and our Millennial Bull Products being 25% of all sales. Right now, we are selling our products really cheap so that we can get the word out about our tools before we are in a position to increase our prices to a more reasonable rate.
Lastly, we would like to see total users to the website at 15,000 (50% increase over last month).
Overall, we are happy with our income for the month of January, and will take the strange traffic as a learning experience and hope to beat it in the coming months.
Let me remind you – we, and most others – have been in the exact place you are today: wanting to make money blogging but bringing in little to nothing. It can be both exciting and frustrating to read about others making money through their blog because most talk about the thousands they are making – forgetting that they once were excited just to make $100. If you are just starting out, don’t get discouraged!
Making money blogging takes patience, time and determination. But trust me, you’re capable of having the patience, finding the time, and becoming more determined than ever.
You may also be interested in:
How We Made $179.27 After Relaunching our Blog (December 2018 – Month 1 Income Report)