Hi and welcome to my first EVER income report!
I believe income reports achieve one of two things:
They can help encourage new bloggers by providing a learning tool and inspiring them to keep moving forward…
…or, they can cause a bad case of ‘comparison bias’.
This can often have the opposite effect and extinguish motivation, hopes and dreams.
After all, it can be difficult for a struggling newbie, who has yet to earn a dime, to remain upbeat when other bloggers are earning 5 or 6 figures in their first year!
Therefore, I’ve given a lot of thought about whether I should publish income reports.
I started Xukkhini 7 months ago. And I can neither lay claim to such stellar earnings nor insanely rapid growth.
(please note: I had not spent months researching and learning how to blog before ‘launching’ 7 months ago. When I began, I literally knew NOTHING!)
An overnight success takes years. And building a successful business can be a long haul.
Therefore, I’m hoping that my income reports will resonate with the millions of bloggers who, like me, are still waiting to hit the big time 🙂
I am, however, earning just enough through blogging to have quit the 9 – 5 corporate rat race…
…and it feels great!
My hopes and dreams?
That if I keep on going, never give up, remain positive and optimistic, that maybe one day I can join the ranks of the 6 figure bloggers.
And if this never happens?
I care little. For I LOVE blogging!
It’s not just my income that I’ll be revealing in these reports:
I’ll also chronical what has worked and what has not, my goals and if I’ve met them. As well as any ‘failures’.
I strongly believe this will provide a roadmap of where I’ve been and where I’m headed. It will give me direction, purpose and structure. And looking back in years to come…nostalgia!An overnight success takes years.Click To Tweet
Xukkhini Income Report, January 2018
Traffic: 47, 586 Page Views
Not a bad start to the new year considering I kinda fell into blogging to ‘see where it would lead’!
As you can see, income was mostly ad revenue through Mediavine.
Previously, I had been earning scraps through Google Adsense.
For those of you who are unaware, Mediavine publishes minimum thresholds in order to become a ‘Mediavine Publisher’ which allows you to run their ads on your blog.
As soon as I heard about Mediavine, I became a little fixated (read obsessed!) on hitting their inclusion target of 25,000 sessions (not page views) a month to qualify.
When I hit this goal, it was extremely validating.
Not so much for the income, but to know that I was publishing worthy content that they judged of value.
It also solidified the reality that, yes, one can earn a living from blogging!
If you’re lucky enough to have over 25,000 sessions a month then what are you waiting for?
Supplementing ad revenue with affiliate income is my next step.
I believe this is easier in the ‘How to Make Money Blogging’ niche as there are simply so MANY opportunities.
Therefore, I have big ambitions to launch a second blog in this very niche.
I also aim to develop a digital product such as a course or ebook for Xukkhini.
This requires a HUGE time commitment, however, and I’d rather flesh out my site with more great content and grow my audience beforehand.
What Has Worked
1. Pinterest Group Boards
Applying to Pinterest group boards has really skyrocketed my traffic.
If you’re blogging and not on Pinterest yet, I recommend you start today!
Ranking high in Google is a slow affair, but Pinterest can start driving traffic instantly.
Group boards allow the followers of that board to view your content.
Pinning to group boards, therefore, allows your content to be seen by a much wider audience.
The process of finding and applying to group boards can be tedious…
…but it’s well worth it!
2. Less Content…More Pins!
Believe it or not, creating less content and focusing on developing more pins for existing content has helped my traffic soar.
When I launched, my goal was to publish at least every other day.
And this is necessary for most new blogs. You need to establish your online presence with at least 10 great blog posts.
But as I gradually shifted my focus to designing more pins for existing posts, I noticed something crazy beginning to occur:
New pins were bringing in more traffic than new blog posts!
You can find a more detailed review of Picmonkey and Canva on my Resources page which features 50+ crucial blogging tools for online success.
3. More Pin Variety
This goes against the grain of establishing a visual brand on Pinterest.
But personally, I feel that a greater depth of pin variety has been key in driving traffic.
Some Pinterest profiles lack impact. The pins are branded with the authors own unique look and feel, but it can create a monotonous user experience.
Churning out divergent pins creates appeal for all audiences and keeps visuals fresh and innovative.
You can follow me on Pinterest and check out my pins and here.
4. New Genesis Framework and Child Theme (Foodie Pro)
I’ve been delighted with the results.
This set up allows almost any web developer to make changes to my site with ease.
Some other themes can be bloated with code. This means the user can self-build the site and add tons of features…
…at the expense of speed.
The Genesis Framework, however, is a very lightweight option and slashes page load times.
This was another consideration in swapping themes:
I desired a faster site for my readers. As soon as the change over was complete, I hired a web company to optimize my site for speed.
Page load times are now blistering fast. Compared with the 4 – 5 second ‘eternity’, as measured by online standards before being optimized for speed.
What Has Not Worked
1. Pillar Posts of Over 1,000 Words
I can’t see any correlation between length of post and increased traffic.
Therefore, I strive to keep my posts under 1,000 words.
People skim read online. They want answers FAST. And as bloggers, we must deliver.
However, sometimes it’s not all that easy to keep posts this short. Some topics will always require more explanation or may be inherently complex.
2. Facebook Groups to Drive Traffic
Before I launched Xukkhini, I had no Facebook account, nor any other social media account for that matter.
Crazy, but true!
I was a raw beginner to the online world in every sense.
Since launching however, I became a member of dozens of Facebook groups. I dutifully post my new articles, but in all honesty…
…my traffic numbers would not suffer if I were to stop.
You may think otherwise, but for now, Pinterest drives over 99.9% of all my traffic!
3. Breaking Tailwind!
I have always been cautious about spamming Pinterest with too many pins.
I therefore decided to schedule pins with intervals of up to 5 days.
But as I have around 60 boards, this lead to a queue of over 6 months!
This excessive range of dates effectively broke my Tailwind account!
I was unable to access the dashboard for weeks.
And when I finally gained access, the platform kept crashing.
This stunt of mine cost me a LOT of time and effort.
I had to pin ALL my content manually for months!
I was reluctant to delete any scheduled pins as I had invested a lot of time and energy configuring a balanced pinning queue so as to neither spam nor neglect any boards. (The sunk-cost fallacy hard at work!)
I decided to allow Tailwind to run its course until the number of pins and range of dates fell within normal levels.
However, this strategy did not seem to be yielding any results.
Conceding defeat, I contacted the excellent team at Tailwind HQ to delete my errant pins.
You can imagine my surprise when they informed me that my range of pinning dates did not stretch out a mere 6 months…but well into 2021!!
I still have no idea how I managed to accomplish such a feat but my Tailwind account is now up and running as normal no thanks Tailwind’s helpful staff.
The entire debacle gave me a fresh appreciation for the benefits of Tailwind for making pinning a breeze and a joy.
If you’re not yet using Tailwind to pin, I highly recommend you sign up now. After all, who has time to spend hours pinning when you can automate the whole process?
I have often read that, “You can only make money blogging by writing about how to make money blogging!”
This is nonsense!
I believe that anyone can make money blogging in any niche…
…provided that you publish GREAT content that helps people reach their goals or solve their problems.
If you’re intrigued or have been thinking about blogging, you can start a blog today in minutes.
Simply follow this beginner’s step-by-step guide. No technical experience needed!
I publish around 1 or two posts a week. Even if you’re working full time, you can easily achieve similar results evenings and weekends.
So if you’ve been debating about starting a blog, stop delaying and start now!
Happy blogging and thanks for reading!
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