March Blog Income Report (And Traffic, Too)
March was a month of fun opportunities!
I don’t think there’s a better way to state it – March was an insanely cool month of opportunities. To start with, I made both my live television and podcast debut.
In early March, Cheers Charlotte, a local craft beer podcast, invited me on to talk about beer travel. Towards the end of the month, the Charlotte NBC affiliate’s lifestyle show, Charlotte Today, interviewed me about food travel. Both were a blast and are doing interesting things to my traffic, as you’ll see in the traffic section of this post. I’ve already been invited back as a regular guest on Charlotte Today!
Also in March, I was invited to write a feature for the Charlotte Regional Visitors Association’s magazine, Charlotte Happenings. Are you catching a theme as a local influencer?
Travel wise, the month was slow. We drove down to Florida for Easter to visit my parents in The Villages and introduce Deacon to his Great Grandmother in Hudson. You won’t see much content on the trip other than the Pink Pig BBQ Review I posted earlier this week and an upcoming post on tips for road tripping with an infant. However, I will share the photo of Deacon’s first dip in a swimming pool. He loved it!
It’s not that I don’t want to write about The Villages or family travel, but sometimes its nice to have dinner without taking notes and photos and thinking about storylines. Besides, I spent enough time on my holiday rushing out end of month deadlines that it wasn’t a relaxing weekend. Honestly, I’m need of some non-agenda travel.
Travel picks up quite rapidly in April with a press trip to St Simon’s Island, Georgia and my biggest press trip to date that involves beer and whiskey in Europe (more to come on specifics…).
Want to learn how I keep using the blog to earn sponsored travel? Sign-up to participate in the beta of my upcoming e-course, 15 Steps to Sponsored Blog Travel.
March Goal Summary
So, how exactly did I fare goal-wise in March? While the initial survey doesn’t look good, each was very close to being successful.
- Make $1,556 from freelance or otherwise – Came close at $1,206
- Launch beta of my e-course – The content is written, I just need to create and execute the marketing plan.
- Hit 6,000 in monthly traffic – Came close at 5,674.
- Fiction Writing:
- Create a new outline for my first book, It’s Always Personal, that is better suited for self-publishing – I’m disappointed with the results here. I did not put any time into fiction writing in March. That’s a month lost towards achieving my dream.
I was close – so stinking close – to hitting my March income goal. I was off by a little under $300. That’s almost a $500 gain over the previous month. A huge step in the right direction! I expect that upward momentum to continue as I’m set to earn a quarter of my April goal in the first week of the month.
How did I improve? Remember that low-paying client I’ve been griping about? I asked for more money. They said no, so we parted ways. I was able to free up 15 hours that I was averaging only $13.33 an hour to dedicate towards pitching (and earning) better paying assignments.
Income Source Distribution
Unfortunately, my income source distribution is not improving any. Too much income is coming from freelance writing and sponsored posts, which involve my direct effort. I need to start bringing in more affiliate income. I’ve made strides to do just that with more links in posts to either affiliate programs or evergreen pages on my own site, but my audience is too small to make a real difference.
On a positive note, I still manage to diversify my freelance client list with a roster of nine clients. This helps mitigate the loss should I lose a client.
Business Operating Expenses
March was a pretty normal month expense wise. I wasn’t traveling and there weren’t any extraordinary costs associated with the blog or freelancing.
The real meat of March’s income report falls into the Traffic report. Not only does traffic continue to rise at a rate of about 1,000 hits a month – that’s a growth of 20% a month – but my social media and email list are also growing. Normally, I only share my traffic growth in this column, but this month, I’m highlighting all channels.
A couple of things stand out to me from my social media growth. First, Pinterest is on the rise. I’m hovering around a 1,000 followers right now. That’s up from 67 less than two months ago. I credit the success directly to lessons I learned from Food Blogger Pro. I’ve been heavily following others, regularly pinning both mine and other’s pins, and hiding “long pins” in each post for better appeal on Pinterest.
If you’re not familiar with long pins, click the Pinterest sharing bottom to the left. Notice the one with the text on it? That’s a long pin.
I’m still not done with Pinterest. Next up is to start participating in group boards.
Second, email list growth has been flat up until the past two months. A few efforts are leading to the recent sign-ups for my list.
- I launched a new lead magnet mid-March that closer aligns to a food and craft beer travel blog (11 Tips for Planning a Culinary Vacation).
- I created a second unique lead magnet for my “48 Hours in Asheville, North Carolina: A Self-Guided Asheville Brewery Tour.” The lead magnet was added well after the article originally published, but it draws a lot of Pinterest attention. Thus, the lead magnet is working.
- I used the Asheville lead magnet and create a “special offer” for the Cheers Charlotte audience to help listeners get started planning their first beercation right here in North Carolina.
The rest of my social media I’m really not focused on growing right now other than pushing out blog updates. I consciously decided to focus on each one individually as there just isn’t enough of me to go around. Next up is Instagram as DMOs like large IG followings and then Facebook and Twitter. I decided to cut out Periscope as my vision is too poor to read audience questions, and I’m still debating SnapChat.
Top Posts in March
March marks the first month since I started writing income reports that my previous month’s income report was not in my top five posts. This could mean one of two things: readers aren’t finding them useful or my craft beer travel content is finally catching on. I’m going with option two as three of the top five posts in March were craft beer travel content (Growlers Pourhouse has a huge focus on beer).
- What to Pack and Wear in Europe This Summer
- A Craft Beer Guide to Aruba
- What to Wear in Europe
- Restaurant Snapshot: Growlers Pourhouse and Crepe Cellar in Charlotte, NC
- 48 Hours in Asheville, North Carolina – A Self-Guided Asheville Brewery Tour
- Make $1,834 from freelance or otherwise
- Launch beta of my e-course
- Hit 7,000 in monthly traffic
- Fiction Writing:
- Create a new outline for my first book, It’s Always Personal, that is better suited for self-publishing