Clever Blog Income Report #4 – How I Earned $205.39 My 4th Month Blogging In June Of 2016

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June’s income is getting back to where it should be based on what I was able to generate in month #1, but I’m still making headway/plans on adding a zero or two. 😉  Blog income has stabilized a bit after the last two months had a slight dip, although in the grand scheme of things we’re not even talking about four figures monthly… So how much of a dip is it really? Youtube is propping up the terribly unsteady traffic the blog is seeing… Still peaks and valleys in terms of traffic like most new domains with no outreach go through.

I noticed I was not really producing that much content during the past two months of slump, and am working on fixing that immediately. My content experiments from last month are coming along nicely, with a sale or two here and there but nothing consistent. I’m getting the itch to start a niche site as a little case study, but also to expound upon other topics that are way outside of the reach of this blog. (not that I haven’t pushed that envelope already!)

Anyhow, things are starting to get interesting! I definitely notice a direct correlation to the amount of time per week spent on the blog and income generation. You can’t see the metrics yet, but I’m already on track to double this month’s income for next month. Should be interesting to see where we end up that’s for sure!


Clever Blog Income Report #4 – My 4th Month Blogging


Affiliate Income:

amazon-affiliate-earnings-month-4-june-2016

bluehost-affiliate-blog-earnings-june-2016

 

 


Affiliate Income Streams

Amazon: $124.59
Bluehost: $65.00
Namesilo: $1.80

Passive Income Streams

Youtube: just under $15 (Adsense)

Total Income For June 2016: $205.39


I really expected some more Bluehost signups considering my total number of views on youtube and various trickles of interested traffic elsewhere. But I think I need to come up with a better solution for getting referral credit from video tutorials after a disturbingly terrible phone chat with a Bluehost affiliate manager. The level of expertise and the quality of recommendations for promotion were downright terrible… So much so, I thought I was talking to a guy at his first day on the job, and me feeling more qualified to run the department myself. smh

The point I’m getting at, and what I was trying to speak with them about and find and amicable solution to, is when someone watches one of my video tutorials for setting up a hosting account, unless I direct them to a specific url I don’t get any referral credit for those efforts whatsoever. They don’t have a coupon code system like Hostgator does, whereby you get credit if someone uses your code. Bluehost also has a policy where they don’t allow you to use any domains with their company name in it… So using “matts-bluehost-coupon.com” and 301’ing it with aff id is a no go. (which was the whole reason for my call to their aff department in the first place) I was politely told that I could set up some kind of shortlink and get people to type it in manually, in addition to modeling Michael Hyatt and being asked if I knew who Pat Flynn was… Since he generates tons of affiliate signups from his 4 minutes start a blog video on Youtube.   (wowzers)

Just because of that, I’m going to write a post about funneling traffic, and break down why that is shit advice for affiliates/bloggers who don’t know any better.

Unless I can figure out a better solution for this on my own, hosting referrals to Bluehost from tutorial videos are going to continue to slip through the cracks. I’m not going to stop promoting Bluehost because of this though, since they are the better option for newbies. (especially after my call with Hostgator’s customer support last week… holy bananas it was awful!!!)


Takeaways From The Month You Can Use On Your Journey

Consistency. Consistency. Consistency.

Focus on producing more, even if you’re not happy with everything you do. I’m finding myself in highs and lows from one week to the next, especially in terms of writing and daily/weekly content production.

It “feels” hard still, since I don’t have my foundation / base setup like I want (completed website with the correct content areas built out, etc…), but it’ll never get there unless I “start chipping away at it.” On a related note, that phrase is something that’s stuck with me ever since I heard it from Billy Murphy over at Forever Jobless talking about Kai Greene’s training schedule.

Ideas Are Not Enough

Everyone has tons of ideas, some even really good ideas. But you know what, those ideas are worthless unless acted upon, and I can’t express to you the gravity that holds in relation to blogging enough. This screenshot of the amount of draft posts in my dashboard should paint a pretty clear picture:

ideas-are-not-enough

Myth Busted: You Have To Have Followers To Make Money Blogging

Myth Busted: You Have To Have Followers To Make Money Blogging

How many followers do you have to have to make money with your blog?

So many people say you have to have X,XXX amount of traffic to make any money with your blog… Or you have to have XXX followers in order to get any traction. FALSE! I often wondered how much you needed to be active on social media and whatnot to generate any cash, but the fact is I don’t have a single follower and I’m doing just fine. (I consider an organic follower someone who’s found me naturally and is a returning visitor on a regular basis) Sure, there are people who’ve subscribed to my Youtube channel, but a quick look at Google Analytics shows me the returning visitors vs new is very very low.

So If You Don’t Need Followers To Start – How Do You Make It?

Organic traffic from supplemental platforms is my answer.

Your blog isn’t going to produce for you in it’s infancy, so you must leverage what you can. Youtube is what I’ve been using, but you could do Pinterest, Instagram, etc… Or all of them combined. It’s just too much on me in the beginning to focus on all of them, so I picked my blog and youtube since it’s what I enjoy. (you would absolutely get more traction quicker if you mastered one or all of them simultaneously)


New Tools I Tried This Month (what’s working and what’s not)

I tried some new tools this month, some that flopped and one that’s awesome! Here they are, and my experiences with each:

  • Curation Suite – I tried out Curation Suite in order to find tech related video reviews to easily incorporate snippets from reddit, youtube, etc… in some of my reviews. I liked the idea of giving readers someone elses take on the product in one go, but this software didn’t work very well. In fact it sucked, made my dashboard a bit slower, and the search functionality within the Creation Suite dashboard was buggy as fuck. I literally had to switch between the youtube, google, and bing tab and research to get results to load. No thanks.  (uninstalled, refunded, won’t promote as an affiliate)

 

  • Easy Azon – I bought this easy amazon link plugin to try and make adding affiliate links and product thumbnails to posts faster. It works alright, but I’m not a fan of two things: 1) it’s not a good idea to use a plugin like this in mass with a shortcode. If for some reason the plugin developer goes belly up, you’re entrusting your entire sitewide links (also revenue) and banking on it working long term. Not a good idea, and makes me uncomfortable. 2) The image functionality doesn’t really help me with only being able to choose form the specified sizes. None of them are the right size I need, and there’s no settings in the plugin dashboard to set your preferred image height and width. Additionally, it doesn’t rename the image upon download with your search query used to find it, so nothing is optimized as well as if you did it manually. Add to that serving oversized and resized images on every page, that’ll just making trying to speed my blog up that much harder, seeing as how I just went through that last week. Good plugin, still have it installed even though it constantly tries to update itself to the wrong version, but probably would help newbies A TON just getting started. (makes adding amazon links way way waaaaay easier if you don’t have your own system)

 

  • Tubebuddy – I added Tubebuddy to my youtube channel this month, and I’m most excited about this tool! Views are already increasing because of it, and I’m up to almost $15 a month in passive income now from my youtube ads, and I attribute some of that gain to this tool. The thing I like most about it, is how much faster it makes it to add relevant tags and description info to my videos. Some of my uploads have nothing added since I was too lazy to take the time to fill everything out and research related videos, but with Tubebuddy it puts it all right there in my dashboard, and within a few clicks everything is added with ease. I highly recommend this tool, and I’m now finding out that this is the secret weapon a lot of the top youtubers use! (they make it simple to change the description links for all videos in a given playlist which is an absolute MONSTER of a time saver!!!) Super cool. Highly recommended. I will promote this tool as an affiliate because it works awesome and I love it. Great job Tubebuddy!

My Biggest Struggles In My Third Month Blogging

  • Writing Groove – finding my groove has been a bitch to say the least. One week I do awesome and feel great, the next week I can’t keep the pace and feel like shit because of it. I noticed that NOT doing what normal people do (in terms of 9 to 5, Mon – Fri work schedule) helps a bit, and by that I mean waking up early Saturdays and Sundays to maintain the morning writing routine keeps the train chugging along more smoothly overall. But this means saying no to dinners, drinks with friends, and a lot of other activities in general. (don’t expect friends and fam to understand this… at all.)
  • Belief – it’s been a bit of a lull month, as I thought I’d be farther along financially by now. The urge to quit all client work and streamline obligations is stronger than ever, so that I can work on Clever Leverage full time. But I’m still afraid of living off of savings for who knows how many months, and need more traction in order to pull the trigger. That said, believing that I can still do this, and staying true to my grand vision has been challenging. I don’t want to give up by any means, but the feelings of doubt and worrying if it will work out or not still creep in. (*note to self – dig up your affirmation, story, meditation material and figure out how to get a handle on this)
  • Consistency – producing everyday is ideally what I’d like to be doing, but in reality I haven’t been able to find a system that works for me yet. This has been an ongoing struggle, and I’ve been reminded that every decision matters right now on more than one occasion. I’m talking everything from diet and exercise, to sleep and external media consumption… the little things add up, and if you don’t have your shit together in most areas, you can’t perform well in this one. (weeks where workouts and walks are prominent, productivity and creativity for writing soars. Weeks where diet is poor and sluggish movement ensue, everything goes to shit. Poor sleep? Even worse. Brain fatigue, fogginess, etc… also set in from improper work habits with no breaks. Pomodros, meditations, etc… are needed)

Popular Posts Of The Month:


Past Income Reports


Featured Tutorials Of The Month:


Featured Question Of The Month:

I normally either feature questions, or pick the ones I think will be most helpful at the time. But this month, I’m going to do something a little different…

This is a question of the month from me to myself, so I can look back on it for future reference, and maybe just maybe someone else will be in this predicament at one time or another, and gain some inspiration from it if they come across it.

How Can I Take What’s Working And Scale It Faster So I Can Do This Full Time?

I’m sort of stuck in between being able to do this full time, and giving up financial freedoms for a little while. I can feel the crossroads approaching anytime now, and I’m going to have to make a choice on whether or not to go all in on my blog or still juggle multiple things at once. Deep down, I know I can make this work, it’s just a question of how long will it take. I’d really prefer NOT to start burning through my savings just to free up my time… That’ll really put a damper on my plan for that money and the down payment for my 4-plex.

So I’m contemplating: how can I become a successful full time blogger, and make a full time living from this from anywhere in the world?

It can be tough sometimes. You go through highs and lows, have good weeks and bad weeks, and sometimes question whether or not you can really make this work. It’s still tough pressing forward not getting any substantial results, but I’ve never wanted to quit… Just had a little doubt creep in now and then. Fact is, I’m on track to triple earnings this month, which would put me at over $600 next month. If I can keep that pace and add a zero in the near future, I’ll be all set!

So how do I make that happen?…

Normally I would analyze like a mofo, get to the bottom of what’s working and how, and do more of that. (essentially delve into analytics, isolate the winners, and scale) Trouble is, I don’t really have any metrics to look into! lol My traffic is so minuscule, it would be a waste of time to do this now, as there isn’t really a 6 month history or more for a control to compare to. (by that I mean, I can’t see how a certain section of the site is performing because there isn’t consistent data… the blog is still doing it’s dancing, and new pages get the surge, then drop off, and the graph is all peaks and valleys thereafter changing day to day which makes basing decisions off that data a little nuts)

So off the top of my head:

  • You’ve got content experiments going, may as well add some more.
  • Switch to publishing every single day, no matter what anyone says.
  • Start a niche site and test the same principles with ultra high relevancy and keep it super tight. (also could use as a case study)
  • Review low traffic high cpc products I used to use a lot in small business consulting.
  • Crank up the videos, and start a second channel that’s ultra targeted. (broad will work, just takes longer)
  • Do some roundups both to promote other bloggers, and include income reports for inspiration. (I hate roundups too! **cringe**)
  • Figure out a system that works for blogging consistently. (this is #1 priority, absolutely critical)

What’s Next?

There’s still a need for me to finish my tutorial bank, I’ve just gotten off track and haven’t completed them. I have about 15 of them half done, but editing, producing, and uploading them is time consuming as all get out! I’m working on ways to streamline this, and hopefully get them hammered out on a regular basis.

When I come up for air and poke around however, there’s still a gaping hole in the market for blogging tutorials. Just a quick google search pulls up popular blogs and you see common situations where readers are stuck in the same way over and over again.

Case in point…

an-example-of-why-i-started-creating-these-tutorials

My original motivation for wanting to make detailed video tutorials in the first place, stemmed from being a person who has no computer background whatsoever, and has struggled like a mofo in the past and even using/signing up for bullshit services because I didn’t know any better. I think there’s an opportunity to help people with that in my own unique way. It’ll still be the freemium model, whereby I do all the work for free, and hope to get paid for my time by people signing up for the products and services I use in the tutorials through my referral links. This is already an issue with Bluehost like I mentioned above, so there are still a couple hurdles to iron out in that department. The monetization model still resonates with me however, since I’ll be getting paid for for time via affiliate signups for products they were going to buy with or without me.

So more tutorials, higher frequency publishing, more content experiments, and maybe a niche site added to the mix. (I already have 3 picked out 😉 )

How can I make these income reports more helpful / useful for you? Comment below and let me know!

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Join the conversation on Matt’s case studies at CleverLeverage.com as he discovers and tests new ways to earn more income, learn alternative investment strategies to net >10%, maintain good health, and turn passions into online businesses.

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