July Blog Income Report and SEO and Pin Tips: How I made $120 this month!
I haven’t done a blog goal or income report in a while, but I promote frequent check-ins when setting goals, so why not make myself publicly accountable.
Also, as a blogger, I find these goal and income reports extremely helpful. I love reading about how other bloggers promote their work and earn money from their passions. It is a wonderful motivator to see how the bigger bloggers have made it and quite frankly, it keeps me going!
In this post, I will tell you the following:
- my top five posts
- 9 juicy pin tips
- my best SEO tips
- how I made money blogging
- the best affiliates I use
- blogging goals
I haven’t written about my progress in a while because I have been Uber focused on SEO keyword research and writing longer, better posts. I’ve been successful in that I have some post ranking number one on Google now. I’m slowly learning the best SEO practices and will share my tips with you.
Posts You Will Love:
But first, let’s take a look at my top five blog traffic-driving posts:
1.Budget-Friendly Two-Week Dinner Meal Plan – Under $75
This post has been a fan-favorite of mine. It gives a two-week meal plan with printables all for under $75. I love saving money and I find saving money on food is one of the easiest “needs” to cut from your budget.
2. How to Get Out of Debt: 11 Actionable Steps to Live Better
Are you in debt? Do you need debt help? This post highlights 11 practical steps to help you learn to handle your finances and get your financial life in order.
3.How to Create a $40 Meal Plan Your Family Will Love
My readers love a good meal plan and it works out well because I LOVE to meal plan! This is seriously one of my number-one money-saving tips! I love saving money on a need like food. Also, It is a challenge to see how much I can lower costs.
4. 21 Things to Stop Buying to Save Money
This post can literally save you thousands each year. Take a look at the things you buy and learn how you can save over $3000 this year with my tips!
5. Cheap Meal Plan for Two – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Under $30
As you can see, three of my top posts are meal planning posts. This post is fairly new, but the top two are all older posts that continue to bring me traffic from Pinterest and Google.
In analyzing my top posts, I can tell what my readers are interested in! I will definitely be churning out more meal planning posts and posts about getting out of debt and saving money. This is great because these are things I love writing about! I have found my people!
These posts are either ranking in google or have pins that are doing well on Pinterest. It is always a fabulous idea to check your stats. By looking at my top five posts, I know more about what my readers want and I will include these in my goals.
I’m also working on writing some seasonal posts that will fit into these categories like saving money of fall tailgating, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. By looking at what your readers want, you can gain more loyal followers and keep those pageviews coming.
I’ve been playing around with some new pin designs and it seems to be paying off. I’ve also been paying attention to keyword research on Pinterest as well. I’m VERY intentional with my pin description and how I pin.
Pin tip #1: I try to only pin to niche boards for the first week or so, to let Pinterest know what my pin is about.
Pin tip #2: Make sure your pins are easy to read, use bold colors (I love hot pink!), and have text overlay. Here is a pin of mine that has done very well for me following these guidelines: Cheap Meal Plan for Two (pin me!!)
Pint tip #3: Pin consistently. Don’t pin for a day and then drop off the face of “Pinterest Earth.” Continue to pin every day.
Pin tip #4: Pin at peak times. I have found it best to pin from 2-4 P.M. and 8-11 P.M. This is the time I pin my best pins to my best boards. I also pin other’s pins in the morning and 8-11 P.M. of my pinning sessions.
Pin tip #5: Facebook Pinterest threads can help get eyes on your new pins. I still take part in Pin threads for three certain groups that I find helpful and beneficial. These groups have high-quality pins that I can choose to repin and I only participate in groups that allow me to repin a certain amount such as “repin 10” threads. In this way, I am not pinning “all” pins in the thread which can be unrelated to my topics and unfortunately, I have had to pin some very low-quality pins in these “pin all” threads which is why I do not do them anymore. The key lesson is to find Facebook Groups that are high quality and do not join any and every thread you find. Your time could be better spent elsewhere.
Pin tip #6: Pay attention to your pin description. Don’t just leave it “as is” when first adding a pin to Pinterest. A good idea is to do a search for other pins that relate to your subject. Don’t copy their description, but take a look at what keywords they are using to rank in a Pinterest search and their hashtags. Be VERY intentional about this step. You will not be found in a Pinterest search if you haphazardly write a “no keywords” description.
Pint tip #7: Pin seasonal content early. Make sure you are pinning seasonal content at least two months (I have even been sneaking in some Christmas pins lately) so that your pins have time to circulate. Also, go back and make new, fresh pins for your old seasonal posts. I guarantee if you do this, your traffic will go up! (If you have decent pins that lead to good content) – Cheers!
Pin tip #8: Use Google Analytics to find your best pins. Continue to pin them to your best boards to give them more Pinterest Juice!
Pin tip #9: If you are falling fast on Pinterest, get some training. I have taken three or four Pinterest classes or sections of larger classes that have really helped me with pin design and strategy.
One book that truly helped me with my manual pinning strategy and finding my best pins in Google Analytics is Pinteresting Strategies from Carly over at Mommyonpurpose.com. This book has amazing tips You CANNOT FIND ANYWHERE ELSE – sorry, got excited about that last part! Check it out because the book is totally affordable!!
Another class I absolutely loved and recommend is Ready, Set, Blog for Traffic by Elna Cain of Twinsmommy.com. Her class has a Pinterest section and she goes into detail about how to create a great pin using Canva and more, plus an entire class. This class is also totally affordable, and you all know I DO NOT like to waste money!
My Pinterest reach has gone up and down. I had over 480,000 monthly reach but it dipped down when Pinterest was being wonky (all bloggers know what I mean) but went back up to 328,000 so hopefully, it will keep rising.
Follow me on Pinterest to see my latest pins on meal planning, personal finance and making money!
However, Pinterest fickleness taught me a HUGE lesson: Don’t focus on one source of traffic. This is why I have worked hard on SEO, search engine optimization!
What I use: I use Keyword Finder. If you sign up you are able to do five searches per day with the free plan. After about a week of searching, you can build up a keyword list and use the keywords to optimize old and new posts.
Another free option, because you know I love to save money, is Google Keyword Planner. However, you have to set up an account and create an ad. Yet you can immediately pause your ad and still use the tool for free.
I try to find keywords that have between 1000-5000 search volume per month and are long tail. These are easier to rank for than shorter keywords, which you could eventually rank for if your site builds authority. If you are trying to rank for a broad search term such as “saving money” you will have two issues. 1. If your site is new, you will not rank for a high volume search word because there is just WAY too much competition. 2. Google does not trust your site to be the best source of information on the subject. The only way to build this trust is to continue writing on the subject, gain traffic from social media, and gain backlinks from higher authority blogs.
I read several books on SEO so I am a work in progress but learning as much as I can.
Here are some basic SEO tips you should take for each keyword you are trying to rank for.
First, install Yoast SEO because it will allow you to edit your meta description and give you a green light when your post is SEO friendly (however, I caution, don’t only rely on Yoast because it is not the end all be all of SEO for your blog posts.)
Once you have found your keyword you can add it to your post in these spots:
- Add the keyword to title, H2, and body
- Add the keyword to URL (Pro tip: Use a short URL)
- Add the keyword to meta description
- Add the keyword to picture caption and image alt. Text
Try to make it natural and don’t stuff your post with keywords unless they make sense. Google may see this as spammy.
Since I’ve started doing this, my organic traffic from Google has picked up.
My best google day is around 100 pageviews thus far. I’m ranking number one for several terms and others page two or three.
I’m working on building backlinks and increasing the ranking of my posts on page two or three.
See my posts here: 75 Frugal Living Tips That Are Surprisingly Easy
I’ve been researching SEO tips and came across this post by Trading Average. She breaks down how she got over 100,000 pageviews in four months. She has some amazing tips!
I cut back on Facebook threads as these were eating up too much of my time and the threads were not giving me the results I wanted. The main threads I participated in for the past year were blog share threads and pinning threads. I realized I could be using my time much more wisely and in any business return on your investment is very important, including your time. I have gone an entire month without participating in any blog share threads for July (except one day – I was testing a group) and guess what? My traffic is up. It really does pay off to spend time on what works. Pinterest and SEO are working for me, so I will continue to focus on these two areas of my blog promotion.
I have a few groups I will still continue to participate in sharing but only a few times per week. I am also going to work on creating a schedule for my facebook posts and keep a log of post I can start recycling because I have over 130 posts on my site, so I can start re-sharing some of my old posts.
Blog Income Report: Let’s get down to the money:
Money making has been on and off with blogging. I have made as much as $80 but so far, nothing has been consistent. However, in July I finally broke $100 and got paid all at once on the same day. That was a great feeling!
How I made money blogging this month:
First, I am sharing this with you to show you it is possible to make money with your blog. Although I’m not making a HUGE profit now, my numbers are increasing so I am happy with that.
Affiliate sales are made by recommending a product or service and in turn, the company pays you a commission for the referral. I highly recommend only promoting companies you know, love, and trust. Here are my money makers this month:
IGain is a good company if you are promoting survey companies. I like that they give you an affiliate manager to help answer your questions.
Ultimate Bundles: $58
This is by far, my favorite affiliate. They have a Facebook group to give support and answer questions and bigger bloggers are in and out of the group providing useful tips and questions you may not have thought of. They also have amazing giveaways, give a discount to their affiliates on their bundles and have a high-quality product.
I have to add Ultimate Bundles is one of my favorite companies to promote. Their bundles are absolutely amazing and they have a bit of something for most niches. I highly recommend promoting them if you are a blogger as they have frequent giveaways for their affiliates and I even won a $50 Amazon Gift card during my last promotion, just for linking to a tweet I put out. They pay well, are trusted and respected, and I have bought their bundles myself, so I feel extremely confident in promoting them. To sum it up, they are AWESOME. Become an Ultimate Bundles affiliate here and get ready to promote your next bundle (work from home, essential oils, meal planning, healthy living, blogger’s toolkit, and more.)
$50 Amazon Gift card from Ultimate Bundles (Didn’t count this in my total)
So I didn’t make this, but I won this from Ultimate Bundles during the last sale! Your odds of winning a gift card in the Facebook group are good. Mine thread was one to twenty when I won this! That means only 19 other people participated in the “show your promo” thread for a chance to win.
I highly recommend becoming an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles! Sign up using my link here: Ultimate Bundles Affiliate
$5 Meal Plan: $4.50
This is a great service and I LOVE meal planning so I don’t mind recommending this company at all. The key to affiliate marketing is to find the products you love and recommend them to your readers/followers. I have actually turned away affiliate offers because I wanted to stay true to my brand which is helping people save money.
This is an app I love and use. Anyone can become an affiliate, even if you do not have a blog. It is a rebate app that gives you money back for things you already buy. You can read more about Ibotta here and sign up with my link! I promise you will love it!
I do not usually make that much with Amazon, but it is worth noting, I do recommend products that are listed on Amazon and it is easy for a new blogger to join this program.
Google Adsense: $15.00 (I’m at $60 and need $100 to get paid, so maybe a few more months!?!)
I did not count these in my monthly amount because I have not yet reached the threshold for either Ad networks so I have not got paid yet.
I had my best traffic months ever! 11,499 pageviews in all!
Traffic is always a goal for most bloggers and with my SEO tips above, my traffic is starting to pick up. Understanding keyword research is key for both Google/organic traffic and Pinterest. I’m working on networking, guest posting/backlinks to my site, and increasing my domain authority.
I’ve seen gains in traffic every month, even with the summer slump, so I am looking to catch the traffic train with some seasonal fall posts that are Pinterest ready. I am also only writing posts that are 2000+ words and solve a problem. I’m working on coming up with better, more clickable titles and working through some blogging books, videos and business books I picked up from the library.
My goal is to triple my traffic and get 25,000 sessions so I can get into a better ad network. I’m very optimistic since my traffic continues to go up.
Many people are saying group boards are dead on Pinterest, but I beg to differ. I get most of my traffic from group boards and a few of my own. The key is to find the right group boards, so join groups board and give them a chance even if the owner has low Pinterest page views. I am a contributor to one board that does not seem to be a good board if you are only looking at followers, but it gives me pageviews every day, so you never know. Test the board. You can always leave it later if it does not have high engagement.
2. Increase income
As you can see above, I am finally over the $100 mark, but I would like to break $500 in the next few months. So I am getting ready for some Ultimate Bundle Sales that are relevant to my audience. For this, I will put together a promotion plan for various bundles taking place in the next few months. One of my favorite sales is fast approaching. It is called the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit and it is the one blogging purchase you need to make. I bought it last year and learned SO much! All of the classes I mentioned above were from the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit from last year.
I am going to analyze my Amazon’s Associates and see what people are clicking and what is actually selling. This will help me with future affiliate placement and posts.
I am also working on an e-book and I will have more time to write this after my kids go back to school, so it will be put on hold for a few months. I love to write, but finding time to write is another story in my house with two active boys.
Instead of posting as often as possible, I am finding my longer posts that are well thought out and provide quality information are dong better for me than most of my shorter posts. Therefore, I am planning to post to my blog 3-4 times per month and I am working on guest posting for other bloggers with higher DA’s than mine. I feel backlinks are more important than more posts at this point, especially since I am starting to rank on google. I want Google to trust my site and continue to build relationships with other bloggers.
4. Pinning – Yes, more pin tips!
Pinterest is an entire post of its own, but in short, I am creating new pins for old posts. I am pinning more often and this strategy is helping. Since I have been exclusively manual pinning, my pageviews have gone up. I am still considering a scheduler because manual pinning takes time, but I find it easiest to pin from my phone.
Then I check my best boards and pins in Google analytics daily to weekly and these are the pins I continue to pin on a rotation.
Yet, I am not sure I am ready to give up the control of manual pinning just yet because I can see how well my pins are performing when I pin them and I can repin from the group boards and check that I am not spamming the board. It is working well for me thus far.
I got my manual pinning strategy form Carly’ book Pinteresting Strategies. She goes into great detail on how to manual pin to help pick up your traffic. Check it out. It is one of the cheapest investments you can make for your blog at only $32 and my traffic has almost doubled since I started using her methods.
Blog Income Report and SEO and Pin Tips Conclusion:
Blogging is hard work, but I love it. My brother just sent me a picture of a story I wrote back in middle school. Writing has been a love of mine, even as a child. So as far as doing what you love, I will keep at this blogging thing!
I will continue to focus on SEO to build traffic and my Pinterest strategy. Also, I am going to challenge myself to create at least one new pin each day this month. This shouldn’t be super hard because I enjoy making pins. I have a template, but I am going to play around with other designs and see what works best.
I will also be on the lookout for more guest posts opportunity and build high-quality backlinks.
Please leave me a comment on my blog income report. Do you have any questions about pin tips or SEO tips? I would love to help!
Take care – Sarah