If you are serious about blogging for profit, we highly recommend using our Traffic & Income Tracker for Bloggers! 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 March 2019 blog income report!
If you are a new reader, we would like to start by saying that we create blog income reports to show our peers that you can make money online, even with a small blog like ours.
When we first started The Millennial Bull, we did it with the intent of monetizing. We have owned a handful of other properties in the past but never actually tried to make money off of them. When taking the plunge with TMB, we were hopeful but definitely did not expect to be making several hundred a month just a few months after beginning!
This is our third income report, though technically it is our fourth full month blogging for profit. We have not yet published a report for February 2019. More on that later. 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.
Before we get into the numbers and strategies, let’s answer that big ole question…
Is it really possible to make money blogging?
The answer to this common question is 100% YES, but it does not happen overnight, and it does not come easily.
So many bloggers boast making thousands of dollars off their passion, which is amazing and true… but they often don’t disclose how much time and effort it actually took them to get to where they are today. We wanted to approach income reports with transparency so that those who are interested in making a side income off their own blog know that it isn’t as simple as writing some content and hitting publish.
If you are just starting your blogging journey, or are ready to begin the monetization process… WE HAVE BEEN THERE! And you’ve got this.
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 keep ourselves accountable, to motivate readers like you, to track our progress and to be open and transparent.
We pride ourselves on transparency and want to continue breaking down the walls that others 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… and that it does take strategy and time… but that is OK!
Creating a successful blog that makes money doesn’t happen overnight, but when it does happen, man… it is REALLY exciting.
The more we make, the more motivated we become, despite the expected and unexpected setbacks. 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.
To make money blogging, dream big, but make realistic goals in the beginning to avoid frustration and burnout.
We didn’t publish an income report last month for a few reasons, the biggest being that we have been so swamped with our day jobs that the month literally came and went. Neither of us had the time or energy to put it together. The other more pride-driven reasons were because it was our worst (full) financial month yet, and traffic was abysmal.
We did catch wind in blogger land that February was pretty trashy overall, but it was still frustrating and hella discouraging to put so much time into a project only for income and traffic to seemingly tank. We were feeling pretty deflated, not going to lie. We may eventually put something together but right now it isn’t available.
But, nonetheless, we carried on into the month of March, during which we saw our BEST income, but pretty unimpressive traffic. While we are not at all pleased with our blog stats, a couple of big ticket affiliate sales carried us through and gave us enough good spirits after the crap that was February.
In our fourth full month blogging, we earned $599.24!
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.
March 2019 Blog Traffic
March was our best financial month, but our traffic was not very good.
We did VERY little work on our blog during the month of March. And when I say “very little” I mean VERY, VERY little. We published two articles but other than that, we spent less than 10 hours on the blog, sharing content, filling our Tailwind schedule here and there, and working our way through the Stupid Simple SEO course (which we have not finished yet, but guys, it’s GOLD).
March Blog Posts:
Work has been next level busy, so, unfortunately, our blog has suffered. Which is OK, life happens, but our traffic certainly suffered along with it. In fact, despite it being our BEST financial month, it was the WORST overall traffic month that we have ever had.
Overall we had just over 6,400 sessions and 8,600 pageviews, but we made $599.24. Weird, right?
This traffic is almost half what we had in January. What worked for us in terms of the monetization side of things is that a few well-performing posts continued to drive valuable traffic, which in turn resulted in more income. We are realizing that while a ton of traffic is ideal, what matters more is the quality of our visitors.
Here’s a snapshot of our traffic for the month of March.
One of our articles went “viral” for a couple of days on Facebook, which was a sweet surprise, since we don’t focus a ton of our efforts on Facebook growth. Someone shared an article, which led to more shares, and suddenly we were getting more than twice our normal traffic in a day.
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 8.7 million from our January income report. Good, but not consistent with our growth from December to January.
We continue to keep meticulous track of our data.
Because we started this blog with the intent of monetizing, which we have disclosed from the start, we didn’t want to get really deep into this without having a solid 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, webuilt 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.
Now, onto what you came for…
March 2019 Blog Income Report
In March 2019, we earned $599.24 from our blog:
Affiliate Income: $556.50
Selling Our Own Products: $16.98
Display Advertising: $25.76
Affiliate Marketing & Display Advertising
Affiliate Marketing is still our biggest money-maker. We still don’t have a ton of ads on our site purely to ensure a nice experience for our readers. Our biggest Affiliate Network earners are e-courses from other bloggers, FlexOffers, MaxBounty, Impact Radius and iGain, with some small bits also coming in from ShareASale. We focused on getting conversions on HIGHER EARNING affiliate referrals rather than on the small change, which is exactly how our month ended as successfully as it did.
If you have been relying on display advertising to sustain your income, we would highly recommend 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!) – the very first course we ever bought! 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.
So, we clearly did not reach the goals that we created for Feb/March, as stated in our January income report. That goal was to see 15,000 total users, which would have been a 50% increase over the previous month. We also wanted our own products to make up 25% of all income, which we didn’t do.
We did, however, meet our goal of increasing our income by 50%! We needed to make $590.73 to meet that goal, and we just passed it by the skin of our teeth, so that is a big positive!
Our goals for April are to first and foremost, manage our time better (we should take our own tips, right?) so that we can designate more time to the blog. We also plan to better optimize our posts as we analyze our users’ experience to keep them coming back, and are implementing strategies that we are learning through Stupid Simple SEO.
In terms of traffic, our goal is to get it back to what it was in January, at the very least.
Overall, we are happy with our blog stats for the month of March. While we are disappointed that our traffic has been crappy, we are relieved to see that we can take some time off to focus on other obligations and still make money. That’s passive income for you!
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.