One of the stranger consequences of blogging for a living is that it makes you kind of resent public holidays. Yes, Easter, I’m looking at you, here.

When I worked in an office, I used to literally count down the days to those little reprieves from the usual working week, but now that I’m self-employed, I often don’t even know about them (There have been SO many times when I’ve been sitting at my desk working away, when I’ve suddenly realised that it’s a bank holiday or something, and the rest of the country is off enjoying themselves…), and, when the penny finally drops, my first thought is, “Damn, that’s going to affect my blog traffic this month!”

Given that April contained, not only Easter, but also the run-up to the May Bank Holiday (Which, yes, I know is technically in May, but a lot of people take the Friday before it off work, or are generally just winding down for the holiday, which means they’re not reading blogs as much as they usually would), it’s no surprise that April’s traffic was down on the month before: here are the stats…

April blog traffic and income reportTRAFFIC

Goal: 200,000 / month
Last month: 172,527
This month: 160,776

April pageviews

[Google Analytics]

Of course, I can’t just blame the public holidays, and the general spring/summer slowdown, although both of those did play a part in my drop in views. No, April, unfortunately, was yet another hectic month for me, and the big project that was supposed to end mid-way through March is STILL rolling on, meaning that, although I don’t have a huge amount of work left to do on it, it’s pretty much impossible to plan anything, because I never know when I’ll be asked to do something else. My post count is still much lower than it was this time last year, and, in addition to that, Terry and I chose this month to renovate the entire bottom floor of our house, and that, needless to say, has taken up a huge amount of time: I think I just need to accept at this point that things are probably never going to get “back to normal” – it certainly feels that way, anyway!

This month’s focus has been very much on making the most of older content, rather than producing new stuff: I spent a bit of time updating some older posts, and sharing them again on social media, so, again, it was no surprise to find that all of this month’s top posts were older ones:

01. How to Walk in High Heels

02. Capsule Wardrobe Essentials

03. Ikea makeup storage

04. How to Wear a Midi Skirt

05. Spring Capsule Wardrobe

06. Sleep-In Rollers Review

07. How to Get Rid of Sleep Lines

08: Stores Accepting Paypal Pay After Delivery

09. Tips and Advice for People With Fair Skin

10. Estee Lauder Doublewear Foundation Review

Here’s where my traffic came from:

traffic sources for AprilThings I Did Differently This Month:

Other than posting less often (although not on purpose!), the main change I made this month was to start using Buffer’s HiPlay app to share my evergreen content on Twitter and Facebook. This is an app you have to pay for, but I got a free trial, and decided to give it a go. I’d previously been using the ‘Tweet Old Post’ plugin to do this, but hadn’t been very happy with it, as it didn’t include a photo with the links it was tweeting, and I find that tweets with images attached get more clicks than ones without.

I started using HiPlay at the start of April, and here’s the effect it had on the traffic I get from Twitter:

 

 

blog traffic from Twitter

Pretty much speaks for itself, huh?

The Facebook stats, on the other hand, was less impressive:

traffic from Facebook

Although sharing older posts didn’t really work on Facebook, this graph did tell me a bit about what my Facebook followers DO want to see. The first two spikes you see on the graph were from my posts about Rubin, while the second was the post on my tenth wedding anniversary. From this, it seems that the more personal posts are the ones that work best on Facebook, and while I haven’t had time to really do anything with that information, it’s definitely worth filing away for the future!

(Oh, and I did decide to subscribe to HiPlay after my free trial: I think it’s worth it for the Twitter boost alone!)

blog traffic and income reportINCOME

While my blog traffic wasn’t the greatest in April, it was another matter altogether on the income side of things, and April ended up being my best month ever, by quite some margin:

blog income chartOnce you see how that income breaks down, though, you’ll see why I’m not getting too excited about it:

blog income breakdown: April 2017Yup, the largest section of my income for April came from that giant freelance project I keep banging on about. I’ve included it in this report because this was an opportunity that came to me as a direct result of the blog, so although it’s not work I’ve done for the blog, it is work I wouldn’t have had without it, if that makes sense. While I’m glad I did it, and am grateful for the opportunity, however, this isn’t something I’m likely to repeat, so I’m sure this will be the best month of the entire year, income-wise!

If you’re looking to make a living from blogging, it’s worth noting that some of these revenue streams pay in arrears. The Reward Style payment, for instance, is for commissions I earned around three months ago, while the ebook sales are from February. As it happens, April was also my best month from book sales, although I know you wouldn’t think it to look at these stats!  I released a paperback version of My Blogging Secrets at the start of the month, and although I didn’t really have very high expectations of it, it did surprisingly well, selling a lot more copies than I expected. Also unexpectedly, the paperback release also boosted sales of the ebook, so  it was a good month all round – I’ll just have to wait a while to see the benefit of it!

One revenue stream that’s missing from this report is the ShopSense affiliate programme. This is actually quite confusing, as I had a pretty good month on ShopSense, too, it’s just that I haven’t received the payment yet, for some reason. It’s always a bit worrying when something like that happens, but it’s something you do come up against as a blogger (or any self-employed person, really), unfortunately, so fingers crossed it all gets sorted out soon!

And that was April! I know better than to set any goals for May right now, as my time is still not my own, unfortunately, so I’m just going to wait and see what happens, and hope I get a bit more time to really focus on the blog than I have been lately!

How I tripled my blog income last month

8 Comments
  1. It has always seemed weird to me that people would read blogs less on their day off, but statistics don’t lie. Surely you have more time on public holidays to be on the Internet and read blogs and procrastinate? Maybe it’s just me 🙂

    1. I’m thinking maybe this is because many people read on their lunch breaks, traveling by public transportation, etc. Just a thought! I know I came across this blog while sitting at my desk at work!

  2. I agree with Eva, it doesn’t really make much sense to me that people read more blogs while they’re working, than when they have time off. I mean, being online and reading blogs is part of what I do when I have time, not when I’m almost falling asleep on my feet because I have project deadlines, one after the other, between studying for tests and exams..! Sometimes I see there’s a new post and I really want to go read it, because it looks interesting or because I just want to relax, but I know I don’t have the time, so I save it for the next day or something. This post, for instance, I’ve been waiting since I woke up to read it, but… project to deliver at the end of the day! So, it’s strange that your stats go down when everyone finally has some time off.. Well, what can I say, people are weird (or lazy :b)!
    Will you be sharing with us what that big project is, once it’s done? I’m very curious about it!

  3. I love that you share this Amber, it’s so interesting! Really confuses me that people spend more time reading blogs on work days rather than weekends or bank holidays but at the same time I do find it quite encouraging that people might be making the most of their days off and getting offline for a bit! Also very interested in what this freelance project is, looking forward to hopefully reading about it at some point.
    Sophie xxx | Sophar So Good

    1. I think people just like to get out of their usual routines on weekends, public holidays etc – I know quite a few people who have a routine of reading blogs on the train to work, or during their lunch hour, or whatever, so if they’re not at work, they don’t do it! School holidays are another one, and even just a sunnier-than-average day, or one where something major has happened in the world (I’ll have much lower traffic around the time of the general election, for instance) will do it too!

  4. Hi Amber – it’s really good to see how you are doing with this business of blogging! I am the opposite though and find that holidays and weekends are when traffic spikes for my blog – I thought this would be true for most blogs as people have more time when they are off work – but now I’ll rethink and try and work out why mine may be different! Thanks for the insight x

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