September-October Blog Report

The monthly Blog report for September and October

Hi, this is Jake with our monthly report on our blog monetization experiment. Ok, so this month it’s not quite so monthly. This post is a twofer since I didn’t publish one for September. But setting that aside I’ve got some interesting stuff here.

Just to get us all on the same page, though we make our livings taking photographs, Dannie and I thought it would be fun to see if we could make a little side income from our blog by putting up a few advertisements and writing posts that we think our customers and followers might be interested in. Before you start getting bitter about that ad over in the sidebar, just remember that like the rest of our income, one tenth of the money we make from the ads goes to Operation Smile, helping provide free surgeries to kids born with cleft lips and pallets.

Now let’s get down to the Nitty Gritty…

September

Total Income: $3.98
Total Donation to Operation Smile: $0.40

Ad revenue was down in September, largely due to a decrease in traffic compared to August. As you will recall from reading August’s financial report we saw a drastic increase in traffic after our first review of Stitch Fix was featured on the company’s web site. September’s review received no such treatment, but encouragingly got more traffic from google than its predecessor.

We also got a good amount of google traffic from our post offering a free download of a printable Instagram wedding sign. That’s the kind of traffic we like too, since brides to be might also be interested in wedding photography, so expect more posts like that in the future. That post was published in August, but it started getting more traffic in September.

October

Total Income: $10.95
Total Donation to Operation Smile: $1.09

October was our best month yet for blog income, and there are a couple reasons. First of all, we’ve had gradually increasing google traffic. Ever since I accidentally screwed up our google rankings in July when I changed the urls for all of our posts (Dummy!) resulting in a whole lot of dead links and zero google hits, our showing on google has gradually been improving. In October our Stitch Fix review got over 2,500 clicks from google, making it our most popular post to date. That being said we’re still planning on moving away from the clothing service reviews since it doesn’t quite go with the rest of the content on our blog and we want to have a more coherent message.

Another change was a test I did replacing one of the square ads in the sidebar with a skyscraper ad, just to see if it would perform any better. After a week it seemed to be a flop, generating less income than the other square ads that were in less strategic positions, but it suddenly took off and by the end of the month it was by far and a way our highest earning ad unit. I’ve since replaced all of the ads with skyscraper ads, and we’ll see if that turns into higher profits. I know less than $11 doesn’t seem like much, but you have to walk before you can run.

I’m expecting another slow month income-wise in November since we’ve discontinued our Stitch fix reviews, which had been our top earners. Remember that the monetization is only an experiment, and we have to put good content first. Even though it’s tempting to double down on an easy monthly post that earns us a little money, we know we’ll do better in the long term if we try to stay focused on content that we really want to produce.

Feel free to drop us a line if you have any words of encouragement or advice for us, otherwise just check back in next month to see if we continue our inexorable march toward soaring profits!

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