Income Report April 2019
I can’t believe another month has already passed. Is it me or is time just flying by? As every month, I take a closer look at the goals and stats for my blogs, at what I need to work on and what went right. This income report is yet again jam-packed with great information and tips for bloggers and examples of what not to do!
Be sure to have a look at my previous income reports:
What were my goals for April
Okay guys, I have to be straight here. I dropped the ball a bit and you will notice this in the income report. Although I have been working very hard, I was struck with writer’s block.
My husband and I went to Nepal this month and although this gave me 1001 blog post ideas, I find it very difficult to put them on paper. It sometimes feels as if putting my experiences in Nepal into words means letting the memories go. I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it is something I have been struggling with for some time now.
I remember when my husband and I went to Lebanon for a week. I have about 12 unfinished blog post waiting for some TLC. I just cannot bring myself to finishing them. I don’t know why – but that’s just what has been happening.
Another reason why things have been going slow is because I have taken up writing for my other blog – www.liezeneven.com again. I noticed that I was getting around 200 visitors a day on the blog even though I had not posted in a very long time. I now feel that there might be a lot of opportunities within the blog. I have started writing a self-publishing course for my readers which should build my community and my mailing list. This obviously takes a lot of time, especially since I need to write 30 emails and 60 long (2000 + words) articles to go with it. That is A LOT of writing.
But let’s have a look at my goals for April and whether or not I hit them!
1. Have an average of 40 visitors a day (not hit)
I did not hit my average of 40 visitors a day. In fact – I am stuck at 38 visitors. Bummer. The good news is that my pages per session and the average time spent on my website went up. That’s great! Because that is something Google looks at when deciding where to put you in the search rankings.
If people do not think your website is very interesting, they will close it a short time after landing on it. This is called bouncing. Websites with a high bounce rate normally don’t do all that well in Google. My bounce rate also went down from 87% to 80% which is also a massive win.
Lesson: I tried clickthreads for sciense - and they are literally the worst!
As you might know – I read a lot of blog posts on how to grow blog traffic, how to grow your DA, how to leverage SEO to grow etc. And although some of these blogs come with great and amazing advice, there’s also a lot of shit going around in the blogosphere.
I read this article – and I am not going to link or name names, about clickthreads and linkposts. I read how amazing they are and how they help bloggers to get more visitors and create a bigger following. I wasn’t convinced. I mean – I used to be an SEO Marketing Executive and I can smell this kind of bullshit from miles away…
But then one night I woke up – it was 3 am, and I couldn’t sleep. Maybe I should try the method this girl described. Just for a week – just to see what happens. For science!
And thus, I became a member of the Facebook group she linked to in her article and started participating in the threads. It was boring. It was tedious – and true enough, I did get a lot of comments (through comment threads) and visits.
But in the end – what were these visitors and these commenters doing for my site? How was participating in these threads and spending 2 hours every day reciprocating every single day helping me grow my blog?
The truth is that it wasn’t.
I mean - seeing those visitor numbers skyrocket is absolutely AMAZING, because in the end: that is why we blog, right?
But I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was fooling myself. This is not a sustainable stream of traffic. The day I stop taking part in these threads, my visitor numbers will go back to their old self. In fact – I can just buy 1000 visitors a day from Chinese clickfarms if it was just about the numbers.
And I can hear you say “But the clickfarms are not really real people, the bloggers are and that’s where the difference lies.”
Because I don’t think that I was a very valuable visitor to the Python programming blog someone linked to. And I also wasn’t a very valuable visitor to the Monday inspiration blog with weird rambling. I didn’t care. I just clicked so I would be done reciprocating. And if I felt that way – others would too, no?
And then there were the comment threads. Let me tell you: when your blog posts get 20 or 30 comments within the same 24 hours, it looks fake. You’re not fooling anyone. Brands will know. It is just wasted time. 100% of your time down the drain.
Like I said before; it won’t help you build your blog or build your audience either. When you work on a blog there are - broadly speaking - 4 ways someone can land on your blog.
- Organic. This is when they find your blog when looking for something on a search engine.
- Social. When someone with GENUINE interests clicks your article through social media platforms.
- Email campaigns. When you send out an email to your mailing list.
- Direct/Referral. When another site links to your article and someone clicks through or when someone types in the url of your blog into the search bar.
When you are building your blog you need to 100% focus on these 4 ways of generating traffic - but most of all, you need to focus on generating genuine and meaningful traffic.
These threads will not help you to generate the traffic your blog needs. Sure you will get more clicks and more visits for a day - but you will hardly ever be able to convert these people into genuine readers.
Let's say I take part in this click thread - and I am 100% not interested in car parts. Marc has a car part blog. I click through to his blog. He gets a visit. But how meaningful is that visit? The only reason I clicked is that his link was in the thread. I am not going to follow him on social media, I am not going to subscribe to his mailing list, I am probably not even going to spend more than 20 seconds on his website which then, in turn, will tank his average time on the site and skyrockets his bounce rate - which then ultimately will lower his Domain Authority and his spot in the search rankings. When the bounce rate is up and the time spent on the page is down, Google might think that your site is not interesting or not userfriendly.
So in the end: getting a bunch of clicks from click threads in this group will make you feel great for a day "Oh my I had 200 visitors today" but in the end, they do not help your blog grow nor will these visits lasts. Within a few days (sometimes even a few hours) your visitor numbers will be back to normal.
When you are taking part in these click threads you are just fooling yourself. You are not gaining readers. You are not attracting new readers. You are not even doing yourself a favour when it comes to discoverability or even search engine optimization - in fact, doing this might even hurt your ability to appear in search rankings.
Also: please stop link-up threads. This will make your spam score go up which will tank your SEO, your DA and the DA of the sites you link to.
So don’t fool yourself and don’t take part in clickthreads. The ONLY threads I would recommend taking part in are HIGHLY TARGETED NICHE THREADS for repining pinterest pins. So when you are a travel blogger, you can, for instance, take part in the mappin Monday pinning thread as the followers of your fellow pinners are already interested in your niche and content.
2. Get 650 followers on Instagram (smashed it!)
At the moment I have (drum-roll) 835 followers on Instagram! Whoop whoop! I did feel that posting more pictures of myself helped and that engaging with other Instagrammers really did the trick.
But – and yes there is a BUT. Creeps have been coming crawling from under their moist, wet stones to slide into my DM. Literally. I have had so many creep DM’s that I just don’t care to hear what they have to say anymore.
Lesson: Instagram doesn't give a shit about the creeps in your DM's.
I am a very friendly person and I love talking to people – even strangers. I like to give everyone a chance, but that is not that easy with so many creeps messaging me. It kills me that I have to hit Delete whenever they send a normal and inoffensive “hey”, but it is just getting too much.
Certain men like to message women on Instagram with ulterior motives. I have had 50 year old men ask me to be their friend. I have had men from Kerala ask me out for a coffee. I had men messaging me pictures ever day to ultimately send me masturbation videos in quick succession. I even had a professional travel guide from Azerbaijan tell me I had nice tits and that he wanted to eat them. Exce-fucking-cuse me?
Anyway – if you want to send me a message on Instagram, please say a bit more than just “Hey” or “Hi” as the chance that your message will be dunked into the bin is pretty damn high.
The reason why I include this in my monthly overview is because this is something I have been struggling with for the past few weeks. I don't like it when men are rude to me just because they can. I don't like it when men tell me I am a bad wife for not yet having kids. I don't like it when men send me dick picks.
What the hell is wrong with humanity?
And the worst part is that I am not even getting the worst of it. My friend has 14k followers on Instagram and she has a complete inbox full of pending messages. I have scrolled through them. There must be close to 300 "hey sexy" and "Hi baby" messages. Instagram doesn't bother counting anymore and just says "99+"
The kind of harassment she gets from men is CRAZY. Two weeks ago I was astounded that this guy called my friend (who is a teacher) a prostitute because she works in Dubai and is pretty. He said "them Arabs would never accept her fat ass". We laughed about it but it actually is quite tragic.
And that is one side of the abuse. The other is that most of these men are looking for sex or sexual favours. I get that "sliding into DM's" is quite popular with teenagers now, but I am not talking about cute guys wanting to date a nice girl they found on Instagram. I am literally talking about 40 year old pervs asking girls to be their "friend" because they think the girl is good looking. That's not a teenage guy working up the courage to message a girl he likes, that's a serial DM'er who sends hundreds of messages a day looking for some perverted action.
The worst part is that you cannot report these people as Instagram thinks they are not doing anything wrong. Have a look at the Instagram reporting system. No way to report harassment that is not blackmail or racism. This makes me so angry!
Women are left to fend for themselves when these creeps message them. The only thing we can do is block them. It doesn't matter if you report them or not because Instagram doesn't give a shit.
This sits very wrong with me because me reporting one of those creeps doesn't help other women. In fact, me reporting them just means they latch on to another victim and go bother her on her account.
Something needs to be done by Instagram but we shouldn't hold our breath. This has been a problem for years and except for the few token changes they have made, they never made a real effort of keeping women safe from these men and these messages.
3. Find a theme or a preset that fits my Instagram
I like to keep my Instagram more or less consistent. I know there are a number of bloggers who would rather not keep to a colour scheme, a theme or a certain preset, but I love the way those images look. I have been looking for a great preset for almost 4 months now. I tried VSCO, I tried lightroom mobile, I tried actions in Photoshop.
Nothing really seemed to work.
After a lot of experimenting and reading loads of blog posts about Instagram, I decided to install Lightroom. Within 20 minutes I had made a preset I was happy about and was able to use on all my pictures.
I felt pretty stupid at the time because I had always discarded lightroom as a simpler version of Photoshop. No way I would need lightroom because I have photoshop – right? NOPE!
Editing in lightroom is actually easier – especially when you are looking to make your pictures lighter or bring out certain tints and colours. Another great thing about using lightroom is that you can literally import your pictures and apply the preset to all your pictures at once. I am not even kidding. It literally saves me hours and hours of editing!
How could I have been so stupid never to use this amazing program!
And the best thing? I now also use it for video!
Lesson: Instagram is being weird about hashtags. It's not you. It's them.
Look guys, I really don’t know what is going on with Instagram these days. I have seen, read and responded to at least 50 threads of bloggers having problem with their reach on Instagram. They are hardly visible under the hashtags they use – even when they are carefully selected and even when they made sure massive bloggers weren’t posting under these small hashtags.
My reach fluctuates between 300 and 500 (250 when I am really unlycky) even though I research and handpick small and medium hashtags. My reach via hashtags can be as low as 50 accounts. That is ridiculous! A few months back, when I had 200 to 300 followers, I was getting a lot more reach than now – and I am not doing anything different. In fact, I would say that my pictures are of better quality.
I am not the only blogger who is dealing with this. I have no idea what Instagram is playing at, but I don’t like it one bit.
4. 5 new newsletter subscribers (not hit)
No I did not hit 5 new newsletter subscribers.
I got 1 new subscriber.
But 1 is more than none! So that’s a small win.
Anyway, I know that I need to focus a bit more on creating freebies for my website and showcasing the freebies on my website prominently. However, as long as I have as much work and as little time as I currently do, this will have to be put on the backburner.
I obviously will keep pushing for more subscribers, but it will not become a massive goal next month.
When talking in a blogger group about mailing services and platforms, a lot of people were asking about good and especially cheap websites and companies that help you with email automation and landing pages.
I was surprised nobody had ever heard about mailerlite. It is literally the best thing that happened to me these past months.
As someone who used to work in marketing, I have dabbled in many different email platforms. From mailchimp to mailjet – they all do the same thing: they let you gather email addresses and make lists, they let you send emails to your mailing list and they let you take a closer look at the analytics of your email campaigns.
I liked using these platforms, but I was never ever blown away by them as I was by mailerlite.
Mailerlite literally allows me to send out automated emails when people sign up for one of my freebies, they allow me to make amazing automated online courses and they allow me to make landing pages! For free!
I know SO MANY people who pay a lot of money every month in order to design landing pages!
5. 15 blog posts written
This one I both hit and not hit. I did a lot of writing this month but it wasn’t all for this blog. I have written 9 new posts for my book blog and 8 new posts for Glitterrebel.com.
However, when I wrote down this goal, the goal was set for glitterrebel.com and thus I feel bad counting the other blogpost I have written.
I don’t want to fool myself
What are my goals for May
- Make at least 2 videos for Glitterrebel
- Average of 40 visitors a day
- Pinterest reach of 40k
- Write at least 10 articles on Glitterrebel
- 2000 Pageviews on my website
What actionables did I fulfil?
- Weed out pins that aren’t working [X] => My loop isn’t full yet so I still have some time.
- Experiment with Instagram themes [V]
- Create first 3 lessons for the course on my other blog [V]
- Run a contest on Glitterrebel [X] => Still thinking about this one as I am not sure if contests really attract dedicated readers and followers.
- Post at least 15 posts on Instagram [V]
- Post book reviews on Liezeneven.com [X]
- Edit book [X]
- Comment on at least 30 blog posts [V]
- Read at least 15 blog posts on blogging and growing your blog [V]
- Edit all pictures from Nepal [V]
What actionables do I want to fulfil in May?
- Weed out pins that aren’t working
- Publish a freebie
- Update the pinterest images of at least 5 old articles
- Link other articles into these 5 old articles
- Post at least 15 posts on Instagram
- Edit at least 50 pages of the book
- Publish at least 2 book reviews on Liezeneven
- Have at least 3 days of course content ready on Liezeneven
How much did I actually earn this month?
I am not sure to the answer of that question. I earned $50 through translating for a client, but I also did some caption and subtitle translations. I have no idea when the money for those will come in or how much I will be paid, but I will keep you in the loop.
I understand that this month wasn’t all that great when it comes to earnings, but that’s the risk you run by freelancing. I was very busy during the months running up to Christmas which meant I had to kill off all freelancing I was doing. I am still trying to rebuild my customer base, but it’s going quite slowly as I am focussing on blogging as well.
Most popular articles in April 2019
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- What sun screen to buy when going to Dubai or Abu Dhabi?
- 6 highest and best rated hotels in Montmartre Paris
- Income Report March 2019
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