Income Report February 2019
Earning reports are a nice way to keep track of your earnings, to set goals and most of all: to keep yourself accountable I have been reading quite a few earning reports now, and I am always impressed by how earning reports not only motivate me to do more and better, but also motivate the author. They give you an insight into the journey the blogger is taking and obviously contain a ton of information for other bloggers on how to be successful – as long as you work hard.
I am a very strong believer that, by doing something small, you can hit big goals, as long as you keep at it long enough. For instance: when I translate my books, I do a few pages a day. This way I do not get overwhelmed by 50K words, but rather work towards my goal every single day for a month. After that month the road to the goal seemed very calm and it doesn’t feel like I put in a lot of hard work. I obviously did – but because I divided mu work up into bite size portions, it went down better, quicker and easier.
What were my goals for February?
When February started, I only had vague goals in my head. I wanted 400 followers on Instagram, I wanted to publish at least 15 articles on my blog and I wanted to lose 2 kg by the end of the month.
Setting clear goals – SMART goals, is important when you want to hold yourself accountable. I never thought twice about my vague goals. I set them as an afterthought. “It would be nice to have 400 followers on Instagram”. That’s not the kind of goal you keep yourself to.
But let’s have a look at the goals that I set for myself in February.
Hit that. I currently have 444 followers on Instagram. That is about 120 more than at the end of January. I have been reading a lot of guides on how to increase your Instagram following and I have been testing what works and what doesn’t.
At the moment it seems that engaging with people is a real hit. I have had amazing conversations on Instagram and even made an instafriend in pennilessinparis. She also has a blog which you can find on https://pennilessinparis.com/.
Another thing that has worked for me is blocking accounts. We all know the pain of these massive follow-unfollow accounts that have nothing to do with your niche. Living in Dubai, I get a lot of so called luxury accounts following me. – Insert massive eyeroll -.
They post anything from beautiful women to pictures of nice cars in the hope of making it big. They follow and unfollow en masse and literally have nothing to do with my niche. I block them.
In fact: I block anyone who is following a large number of people and any businesses that have nothing to do with my niche. Why? That’s very simple: when accounts unfollow you, that is seen as a negative. In an ideal world where there are no follow and unfollow bots, people would only unfollow you when your content is bad. So that is a negative – right? And since Facebook sees engagement and unfollows (for pages) as negative in their algorithm, I figured Instagram would be doing the same.
And it worked. Every day I spend about 10 to 15 minutes before going to bed to root through my account. I block people who have a massive following or brands that I am not interested in (brands often follow and unfollow). It helped me increase my reach and ultimately increase the amount of followers I have.
I currently have 444 followers with an engagement rate of 23.15%. That’s pretty good. My new goal will be to have at least 550 (SMART) followers ( or 620 as a stretch-goal) with an engagement rate that is above 20%.
I did even better! I published 17 articles during February. That’s a great number seen I had friends over and wasn’t able to post or publish anything for a good two weeks.
I finally decided that I want to steer my blog in the direction of travel blogging while on my Youtube Account I keep doing silly things – which will also appear on my blog, but not as prevalent. The thing is, my husband and I will be travelling around a lot in our lifetime. As he is an international teacher, we will always live in amazing places or be able to travel to magnificent countries.
Currently we are in Dubai, but we have no idea where the future will take us, and I am really excited for that.
The fact that we travel around so much and try to travel within my husband’s school holidays also means I will have a lot of content for my blog. My head is buzzing with ideas and I cannot wait to get them out!
One thing I have been doing to spice up my blog is really doubling down on the quality of the content. I have seen many blogs (with popular pins) on Pinterest who might have nice and cute pics, but the content of the post is rather lacking. I don’t want to do that. When people land on my website, my goal is to hand them a lot of amazing information so they will come back whenever they are planning their trip. I know that might be a massive goal, but it’s good to set your bar high. That way you will always achieve something good, even though it might not have been the goal you set out to hit.
My goal for March is to publish 15 articles again – that is just under 1 every 2 days which should be very easy to hit.
I lost half a kilo. Bummer.
Since I moved to Dubai I have lost about 7 kgs just because the heat does not give me an appetite or because I have been walking around more. The 2 weeks my friends were here I was logging 18k steps and 3.5k calories on my fitbit. I am not a big eater anymore and my calorie intake would not have succeeded 1300 calories. I think I just gained a lot of muscle over February as my legs and butt look a lot more toned. Muscle does not translate well on a scale as muscle is more dense and heavier than fat.
I am glad with my progression this month as I feel better about my body. I am going to adjust my weight loss goal to 1 kilo in March.
What goals am I going to set in March?
March is going to be a great month. I can feel it in my pinky toe. Not only are Joshua and I planning on making a trip – Sri Lanka or Kathmandu, we do not know yet, There will be no distractions, people visiting or massive deadlines in March.
I came up with some SMART goals I want to set in March both on a personal as a business level.
1. Get my blog up to an average of 30 visitors a day.
We all start small. I have read so many "This is how I got 1000 visitors a day in my first month blogging" posts and although I am happy for those bloggers, the methods they use are not that different from most guides and what most bloggers do in their first month.
Most bloggers don't get more than 10 visitors a day in their first month. So don't feel bad when you don't hit massive numbers. Instead try to hit smart goals and take them up whenever you hit them. I am going for 30 visitors a day this month.
An average of 30 visitors a day is already three times more than three months ago. I am not one of these bloggers that drives massive amounts of traffic to her blog. Why? Because it is not necessarily the number of traffic that counts, it is also the quality of the traffic.
I want to build a readership that comes back, a readership I can talk to and I can bond with. Because that is ultimately the reason why I blog.
I had an average of 19.1 visitors a day over February bit I was consistently hitting the 30 a day mark by the end of the month. I think it is a good idea to take last month’s average and to paste on 10 or 20 more per day depending on the number of people visiting your site.
2. Earn my first $10 via affiliate links
A lot of bloggers use affiliate links to monetise their website. I want to do the same. I don’t like ads all that much and I honestly cannot stand blogs that use ads as wallpaper. In fact, last year Google was even punishing blogs and websites that used too many ads. Why? Because people just don’t like them.
Additionally, a lot of internet users are currently running adblockers – I know I am! And thus you will not get any income from those people as they won’t see your ads.
I decided to insert affiliate links when and where I would normally insert a normal link. The great thing about affiliate links is that I can offer readers discounts and offers they normally wouldn’t get. That way I can serve my audience but at the same time earn a little bit of money for the effort I put into creating my blog posts.
As of today, I have not earned anything via the affiliate networks I set up. This is partly because I used to be very lazy with these links, because I didn’t post enough and because I just was not working on increasing my readership.
Those are all things I want and need to tackle to achieve this goal. So, bring it on!
3. Earn $2000 in general
As a freelancer, it can be very hard to consistently earn money. I have about 2 books worth of translations queued up of which one will have to be sent out this week (already late due to friends). That book is already 75% of my goal, so I should look to earn another $500 which will not be that hard.
But if the goal isn’t that hard to hit this month, why did I set it?
Because I am a worrier. I worry about money all the time. Not a great trait for a freelancer, I know, but it keeps me on my tows and hardworking. Setting a goal like that and hitting it will make me stop worrying. Especially since all that money goes into our savings account and is used for 2 things only: travel or a deposit for a house.
I earn most of my money on platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork. In fact, Fiverr keeps me so busy at the moment that I hardly have any time to spend on Upwork.
I write Dutch blog posts on Fiverr. Not under my own name – I didn’t feel comfortable enough. It earns well and I don’t need to put in too much effort. I work about 2 to 3 hours on articles a day (on certain days) and I earn about $60 to $130 doing so.
I used to hate Pinterest. No really – I didn’t like it at all. I was never able to get any traction, I didn’t get traffic at all and gaining followers seemed like the hardest thing in the world. Turns out I just had no idea at all what I was doing.
Pinterest at the moment has become my primary social media platform. I was able to increase my reach from 36 a month (yes, really) to 6.8k a month in what basically is my first month blogging (again).
I think one of the biggest mistakes I made before I saw the light was underestimating the power of group boards. Group boards are literally the bread and butter of Pinterest bloggers. They often have loads of followers and just being able to participate on a board means that you do not have to pin 20 pins a board a day to give your board some content and substance.
When I first wanted to join a group board, I was a bit confused. How did I join? And if there was no join button – How could I message the owner? I honestly just winged it. I did not find a way to message the owner on Pinterest so I decided to send emails to the Pinterest group board owners on their websites (they often are bloggers). I was accepted into a few and this ultimately boosted my reach, my repins and my clicks.
Another thing I changed in February was my use of Tailwind. Before February I didn’t use it. After in Feb I did. I just don’t have the time to pin manually every single day. It is laborious and the fact that I am not in the right time zone also makes it pointless.
I have used Tailwind before but then it was still just a normal, stupid pin planner thingy and I did not feel it was worth my time or money. Now they have integrated the smartloop feature. The smartloop feature literally lets you put pins in a loop and then the program will pin these images to predefined boards on the best possible times. It is literally brilliant! I don’t have to do a thing and once I have put a pin in the loop, I don’t have to worry about it anymore.
As the number of pins is restricted, I will need to weed out the pins that aren’t working once I approach the limit. I am a big fan of A/B testing and weeding out pins that don’t work is basically just that.
5. Get 1000 page views
Although leading visitors to your website is important, the most important metric are page views. Page views are the number of pages people viewed that month (duh) and research has shown that websites with more page views earn more money.
I currently have 848 page views for feb which is 1.35 page views per session. That’s not bad, but not great either. My goal is to increase that number to at least a thousand in March and 1.5 page views per session.
My earnings explained
As I explained before: most of my income comes from Fiverr and Upwork together with some book translations.
Where I used to spend a large amount of time on Upwork I now seem to have shifted to Fiverr. I think one of the reasons for this is because on Fiverr people come to you rather than you having to apply to the people.
My earnings for this month are quite low for a couple of different reasons.
First of all: I was focussing on my blog. Writing 2000 to 3000 words for your blog every day is exhausting. There are times where I will just completely shut down after writing a post.
There is a lot of research involved, a lot of writing, rewriting, a lot of emotion as well… it just completely drains you. I know a lot of bloggers just write 500 word pieces and be done with it, but like I said earlier: content counts.
Writing a 3000 word article will take about 4 to 5 hours of writing, research and posting. I use elementor on my blog, and even though it makes everything look very nice, it is very time consuming.
When you just spent 5 hours on a blog post, the last thing you want to do is write a 1000 word article on sandblasting walls. So I often take a break and write the article in the evening. This means I might be a tiny bit overworked, but I know that the ultimate goal – travelling the world with my husband and not having to work a corporate job, is worth it.
Second: We had friends over for 14 days. Although I was hoping I would be able to get some work done while they were here, those 14 days were very intense. I fell asleep from the moment my head touched the pillow.
No time for work sadly also means no time to earn money.
It’s good to set goals but you also need actionables in order to complete these goals. These actionables are small tasks I will need to perform in order to hit my goals.
- Create a guide or a printable
One of the best ways to grow your email list is by making a printable or a guide. I am not sure which of the two I am going to create, but I want my printable up and running by the end of March.
- Insert links to other posts in my blogs
One of the best ways to keep traffic on your website is by inserting links to other posts in your website. Although it might be quite a laborious task, it pays off!
- Weed out pins that aren’t working
When pins aren’t working, you need to take them out of your smartloop circulation. By the end of march I need to have taken out some of the smartloops so I can make place and space for pins that actually work.
- Write more about and for bloggers and blogging
I have been helping some bloggers on Instagram, giving them blogging and marketing advice, and I liked it. It is something I want to do more. So here it goes: I want to create more content that is helpful for bloggers!
I hope you enjoyed this overview of February 2018. I love going through earning and income reports just because it motivates me. You can literally see the income of bloggers grow every month, and that is because they set goals and keep themselves accountable. That’s what I am doing here. I set the goals and you guys keep me accountable!