Celebrating 1 Year of Blogging
Cue the confetti! Swaddles n’ Bottles turns one on October 16th! I’m going to celebrate by giving away some money. Seriously! I plan to do a little Instagram contest and give away an Amazon Gift card. I haven’t decided how much just yet… $100? $200? I don’t know. But I’m just happy to hit this fun milestone! Join me on my Instagram for more details!
Blog Report vs. Income Report
Last month was my first time doing a blog report and I realize now how I was doing it all wrong. In no way does it help readers for me to just outline how much money I made and where I made it from. WHY? Because about 637 other things happen in the month that contribute to the income. THAT is what I need to be sharing. A full what-the-heck-did-she-do-to-make-7k– report.
So I’m ready to start sharing more. More insight. More details. More actionable steps you can take to meet your blog goals. Now we won’t just be talking money. We will be talking the whole blog and what happened in the month. Let’s dive into it.
Swaddles n’ Bottles had a rough start to the month of September. The unfortunate series of hurricanes to take our country by storm had people focusing on more important areas of life and not browsing the internet aimlessly. Overall, I had around 13,000 pageviews LESS than I did in August. However, I did see more income this month than I did in August, which I completely contribute to the changes made at the beginning of the month to my Amazon set up. Read more on that below.
As far as my promotional strategy to bring in those pageviews, I didn’t do anything too drastically different than what I have been doing over the past several months. I continued to use Pinterest as my main source of traffic and pinned at my normal scheduled times. I did see an increase in search engine traffic this month which I attribute to switching to HTTPS. More on that below.
Download my full Pinterest pinning strategy in Pinning for Pageviews.
New Blog Posts
I REALLY exceeded my goal of 3 posts for Swaddles n’ Bottles: I did 6 new posts of my own and 2 guests post! It was a lot of work, but I loved it!
All of these new blog posts had new pins created for them that were added into my Tailwind schedule. I also added all of these new images to my Tailwind tribes. I set a goal to be more active in my tribes this past month and I was! I added all of my top pins to each tribe that aligned with the topic of the tribe. I also scheduled many pins from other bloggers that I found in these tribes in order to support them! Collaboration over competition 🙂
I fell short on my goal for the Basics of Blogging. I set a goal of doing 3 new blog posts, but I only did 2. Feel free to check them out!
(Amazon- $3,458, other affiliate- $270)
I am happy to say my gut feeling about Amazon OneLink was RIGHT! In Septmeber I had almost the EXACT same amount of pageviews that I did in August, yet I made over $700 MORE this month in Amazon Affiliate Income! WOOOO-HOOO! I got to tell you, I am SO happy I caught this before the holiday rush that is right around the corner. (If you didn’t read the August income report and how OneLink was seriously killin’ my affiliate game, read it here). My conversion rate is up over 2%, items shipped is up and therefore income is up. All from removing OneLink from my site.
As I mentioned in the August income report, OneLink may work great for some people. It all depends of the availability of your products in the UK and Canada. Be sure to check your links before applying this feature to your blog.
My affiliate strategy remained consistent to what it has been in the past. I always try to have a nice balance between posts that contain affiliate links and ones that do not. For the new posts that I did, I continued to use all 6 of the different type of affiliate links outlined in the eBook. I am happy to say I finally saw a new front runner in my product sales! As long as I can remember, 3 products held the top spot for products sold every month.
After analyzing my Amazon analytics the way we discuss in the eBook, I noticed a product that I did not have any blog posts about was consistently being purchased 8-10 times a month by my audience. Funny thing was, I owned the product too but never thought about how I could blog about it! I published a post in early August highlighting this product. This month I sold over 140 of these products resulting in over $290 income!
If you would like more insight into my affiliate marketing strategy, download the Mastering Affiliate Marketing eBook.
A great month for ads as well on Swaddles n’ Bottles! I did not make any changes this month to set up, yet I saw an increase of almost $2 in RPM’s. Another reason why I just love AdThrive!
AdTrive is an ad network that you must qualify for with 100,00+ monthly pageviews. I made the switch to them about
To read more on how you can increase your traffic and hit this goal using Pinterest, check out the eBook!
My Products- $996
I sold less eBooks this month that I did in August. But to be honest, I am totally ok with that. Let me share a little bit of my heart with you on this matter.
Ever since I launched the Basics of Blogging, I have spread the word about my site and eBooks in 2 ways- Pinning to group boards on Pinterest and participating in Facebook groups for bloggers. Pinterest has been a breeze, I’ve simply been using my same strategy for S n’ B. Facebook has been a whole different ballgame tough. I felt like I was in a rat race of posting in comment threads and pinning threads and share threads and then there were the questions that other group members would post. I would respond and include promotion of my book if it seemed fit. It never seemed to end. I felt like I was at the mercy of Facebook and there was relief from the constant struggle to get my material out there first so it would be seen. So I made a change this month.
I turned off the Facebook notifications for just about every group I am part of (except the B.o.B. Facebook group, I’ll never do that to you guys!). If I occasional had a few minutes to spare, I may jump into one of the groups to see if I could offer any help where needed. Overall, I would say I spent about 80% less time posting in Facebook than I did in August. The month seemed to be so much less stressful and I felt more in control of my time. Considering this, I am happy with the results.
I had a goal to connect and collaborate with 3 other bloggers this month and this goal was MET! I teamed up with two bloggers who did AMAZING guests posts for the site on a topic I had no experience with but REALLY wanted to have on my site. I also did 2 interviews for features which will be out next month. The first one is a Mompreneur Money Maven Week feature with Kari from MompreneurMoney.com . The second feature is Mom of the Month with HustleAndMom.com
Welp, this goal was a big fat FAIL. My goal was to set up all the emails needed for the Basics of Blogging in order to maintain open lines of communication and support after a blogger reads an eBook. I started the task, but never finished. I will get it done this month!
I did create a new opt-in for Swaddles n’ Bottles and am seeing positive results from it. It’s only been active for 4 days so I’ll give it a little more time before analyzing it and deciding if things need to be tweaked.
Increasing my Reach
I set a goal in August to increase my Pinterest reach by adding 10 new group boards to my profile. This goal was met, however I am not completely thrilled with the results.
While a few of these boards were joined the old fashioned way (email to board owner), a majority were added through Facebook groups. I found threads that were advertising open boards and if I found one in my niche, I would drop my email to be added. I also advertised a few of my open group boards as well.
Where I ran into the issue was the size of the boards. I didn’t take my time to research each one before asking to join and many had less than 500 followers and 10 contributors and were very inactive. Overall, joining the 10 new group boards only increased my reach by about 3.6%. A good lesson learned for the future when it comes to seeking new boards to join. It is definitely quality over quantity.
Just as a small side note, I also left 3 group boards this month. Their virality score was less than 1 and I knew it was bringing down my entire profile standing. I had been part of these group boards for some time so they had a fair run.
Other Small Changes & Time Consumptions
Switching to HTTPS
Switching to a secure site on Swaddles n’ Bottles had been on my mind for some time. Make the change while writing the SEO blog post seemed like the perfect time, I was able to document the process and support conversations I had with BlueHost along the way. While the move happened mid-month, I already saw an improvement in the amount of traffic I was receiving from search engines. From August to September, my sessions by search increased by 24.83%! I think that’s reason enough to make the change… view the how to here.
Creating New Pins for Low Performing Posts
I had a few blog posts on Swaddles n’ Bottles that were very old and had never really taken off. They had maybe 30-40 pageviews a day, but I really felt that the content was great! I decided I was going to make new pins for 4 of these blog posts. I feel like my comfort level with Canva has really grown over the past few months and I knew from the looks of these pins that it played a big role in these posts lack of success. So I went back to the drawing board (literally) and re-made pins! I’ll update you next month on how the new pins are performing!
P.S.- I recently did a mini-Canva training in The Basics of Blogging Facebook group! If you have read the books but have not joined the group, request to join here.
With that being said… I’m going on a hiatus
But I will be back! As of today, I have just 39 days until my second daughter arrives. I need to prepare! I also have a HUGE charity event coming up in the middle of the month and I am the keynote speaker (my nerves are going haywire at the thought of it!). I will be spending a lot of my time preparing for that. I’m really hoping I don’t go into labor before the event… or during the event for that matter.
A big goal for October is to set myself up to take a break from blogging.
I will officially be signing off November 1st to take a month or two… or three, just to be with my family. I want to make sure my blog is all set up and scheduled for my time away. I do not want my time away to lead to a dip in performance. I aim to have pageviews and income consistent with what it has been over the past few months. Here is what I would like to accomplish in order to set this up along with general October goals:
- Complete 1 year celebration giveaway!
- Pin schedule filled through January 1. (For more details on how I schedule my pins, click here)
- Schedule all email marketing through January 1 for both sites (3 emails per month for Swaddles n’ Bottles)
- Complete my freezer prep blog post (this is a BIG one that will take up a WHOLE weekend!)
- Complete 3 additional blog posts for Swaddles n’ Bottles
- Complete 2 blog posts for The B.o.B.
- Switch to new tax software- this is going to be a big pain in the tush, but I’ve got to get organized and do it!