This is my second year of blogging income, traffic stats report and yearly review, as part of my annual blogging transparency report.
Time really flies when you’re having fun, but there really isn’t enough hours in a single day. Not when you’re a work from home dad of two toddlers anyway.
So before I get down to the finer parts of this report, I want to explain why I do this every year, even though this is only the second yearly report I’ve created for this blog.
- I want to be completely transparent with you, and all of my other sincere readers as to what I’m doing to earn a living from blogging.
- I want to hopefully inspire you and many others starting a blog or an online business, so that you can see just how much work there is involved in making this a success.
- For me to keep an account of my progress, so that I can make adjustments where I can, and to look back and what I’ve done in years to come.
I’ve been as honest and open as I can be with this report.
You will see that although it’s not an impressive report in comparison to many you’ve probably read out there, it’s a step in the right direction.
Well at least it is for me, as far as reaching my blogging and online business goals.
This report accounts for this blog only, and not for any of my other niche websites or online business ventures.
How many businesses do I own?
Well 3 for the time being…
OK let’s make a start.
Only the second year of blogging income report? Seriously?
Some of you reading this might be thinking, well if I’ve been blogging since 2010, how is this only my second year of blogging income and progress report?
Simple. Because Magnet4Blogging isn’t my first blogging venture.
I started and failed with another similar blog, you can learn all about it here.
So here’s some of the challenges that I’ve faced in the last 12 months as a blogger and online business owner.
Finding time has been a huge challenge for me.
However, I’ve had to come to terms that I wasn’t going to make up more time, which is why I put blogging on the back burner for a while, to focus more on my busy little family.
I can make up the time to blog and build my online businesses at any time. But time to spend with my family I could never get back, especially as our two little ones are growing up so fast.
That has always been the most important thing for me.
Family always comes first.
On the flip-side, only very recently the time that I have to work on blogging and my running my online businesses has increased dramatically.
Well with both our kids now at school, it has meant that I’ve been able to structure my time better.
In the last few weeks I’ve been able to organise and plan a lot of cool things to do in my business.
At the start of this financial year I started investing more time and money on learning new things.
One of the things I whole-heartedly wanted to do was to improve the service I provided to my clients.
I enrolled on several courses, including an iOS 9 developer course and advanced HTML5 and CSS3 course.
I’m yet to complete these, but I’ve learned so much already.
As much as I didn’t want this to happen, my health also took a hit at the start of 2016.
A visit to the doctor, because I was constantly feeling tired, drained and sometimes ill, resulted in me having to make some serious lifestyle changes.
So the challenges hasn’t just been with blogging or with my business, but also with my health and lifestyle too.
What has changed?
25-Hour work week… solid!
5 hours each day and no more than that, is what I’ve been spending working online on average.
This will continue because I am at my most productive when I spend less time working at my computer.
You’d be surprised how much I can fit into those 5 small hours, everything from taking Skype calls with clients, doing social media, marketing, web design projects to blog writing.
I do take a 30 minute break with 2 hours or so of work each side of that though.
Also my health, the kids school runs and family commitments has to fit in with my work, so the 5-hours work perfect.
At the start of the year (2016) I was writing a post each week, sometimes two posts.
That frequency has reduced over time and I’m now averaging 1 to 2 posts per month.
Is that a good thing?
Well it’s been working fine for me, plus I simply couldn’t find the time to write more posts than that.
The reduction in number of posts being published, hasn’t affected my traffic numbers in anyway whatsoever either.
If anything, traffic has been steadily increasing, but more on this later.
Working on myself
Sometimes when we’re so busy working on our blogs and businesses, we forget about working on ourselves.
I’ve realised that if I wanted to continue doing this whole blogging and online thing, I needed to take time to work on myself.
Like I said, I’m doing a lot of reading and learning new things these days.
Diet and exercise
Boy how much did I underestimate the importance of this?
I tell you, if you run a blog or an online business from home, where you’re sat down for long hours each day, and you’re not doing any exercise or watching what you eat, you could be heading for trouble.
The reason my health started going down the drain 12 months ago, was simply because I was overdoing it, and I didn’t realise I was doing it either.
I would sit on the computer until 2 or 3 in the morning working online.
During the day I had to be there for my family and kids, but eventually this caught up on me and I became exhausted.
I was trying to fit everything in, trying to balance blogging and my business, family life, all whilst not really taking care of myself.
Anyhow I’m pleased to say that about 5 months ago, I decided to take evasive action after taking a break.
I joined the gym back at the start of the summer, which I’m still loving very much.
I also run a mild 20k each week over three running sessions.
I invested in an Apple Watch to help me track my activities, and of course to help keep me motivated throughout the day with important notifications.
My diet has changed completely, to suit my personal goals of gaining more muscle, losing fat and increasing fitness.
I also drink a lot more water now, which I recommend bloggers do anyway.
Where I used to have a at least 6 cups of coffee per day, I’m now only having 1 cup and around 2 litres of water.
Another thing I’ve started having is some Muhet regression therapy. It’s a very relaxing deep spiritual massage. You’ve got to try it!
I think finding time to relax and unwind to recharge your batteries, even when working from home, is important. There’s a nice picture of me up there relaxing in the garden!
I share a lot of what I’m doing to improve my personal life over on Instagram, so be sure to follow me.
I’m also standing a lot when I’m working (if not slouched on my bean bag with my laptop).
If I’m taking a Skype call I find it better to stand as well.
Eventually I’d love to invest in one of those sit-to-stand adjustable desk’s so that I can stand up and work at my desk.
Anyhow I’ve been feeling epic as a result of this lifestyle change. I’m less tired and I’m more focused.
I would absolutely recommend anyone working from home to take a step back and analyse their health and lifestyle.
I reached one of my ultimate blogging goals a few months back. One of my goals has always been to try and earn more than $1,000 a month, just from passive income, and I did it!
In July I earned $1,114.91 from affiliate marketing, which was truly awesome.
I also reached 1,000 email subscribers to this blog last month as well.
I’ve been averaging between 60 and 70 new subs each month, so I’m really thrilled with that.
If you recently subscribed to my blog by the way, I really appreciate you! I hope you’re loving the content so far. Please do feel free to send me an email and tell me what you’re up to with your blog or online business.
Also let me know how I can help you reach your goals, or perhaps overcome a particular problem that you might be experiencing with your blog or business.
Amazing things that have happened
First and foremost, the best thing to have happened in the last 12 months is that my girlfriend and I got married!
It was truly a magical day and one we’ll bother remember forever.
I also got mentioned in the Huffington Post twice. Thanks to two unique opportunities to participate in a couple of awesome expert roundup posts.
Here’s one of them you can check out.
When it comes to expert roundups, I got featured in just under a dozen of these awesome posts in the last 12 months.
Every now and then I get an email with an opportunity to feature in another one, which is great!
The third amazing thing to have happened of course, has to be all the new connections I’ve made with so many awesome folks in the blogging and digital marketing realm.
I want to talk about this very quickly.
If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that before roughly 8 months ago, I was chopping and changing the look and layout of this blog like crazy.
That was up until I found what I was looking for about 8 months ago.
I wanted to achieve a more user-friendly design and layout that would help me showcase my content and increase conversions.
My current setup does that very well for now.
The current colours work well, conversion wise it’s never been better.
I’ll more than likely stick with the way the site looks now for the rest of 2016 and the most part of 2017.
The homepage feature area (hero section) may change above the fold, but the rest will stay as it is.
I’m also considering adding a focus area above the fold in all my blog articles. Thrive Themes allow you to do this quite easily, and this could help me increase conversions furthermore.
I’m still honing in on my marketing message as well, but I feel it’s definitely getting there, and that everything is falling together.
So here’s a snap shot of what the website’s homepage looked like back in February 2016.
Here’s a snapshot of the website’s current homepage.
Blog content audit
Once again if you’re a regular reader here, you might recall back in early 2016 I began doing a full content audit for my blog.
I laid out all the details here, but essentially I ended up:
- Deleting over 60 blog articles and applying 301 redirections.
- Consolidating a bunch of articles to create pillar articles.
- Rewriting and improving over 100 existing articles.
- Keeping and no-indexing a few other articles which I thought was still relevant to some degree.
Most of this is now complete, bar from a dozen or so articles that I need to put time aside to make better.
In addition, I also carried out a full site-wide SEO audit, and made improvements there as well.
As a result of all this, I was able to increase my overall website traffic by 55%, particularly search engine traffic.
You can read how to do a full content audit for your blog here.
OK enough ranting, it’s time to start crunching some numbers.
Traffic and visitor statistics
So in the last 12 months the blog has managed to attract a cool 61,073 sessions (previous year 23,676), and 96,179 page views (previous year 41,267).
On average Magnet4Blogging has been getting 165 visits per day.
Let’s take a look where that traffic has been coming from.
Organic search engine traffic dominates whilst direct, referral, social and email traffic remans quite low.
If you look at the screen shot below, you’ll see that almost all of the organic traffic came from Google.
Facebook traffic dominated over all other social media traffic too.
During the summer my site was attacked by abusive spam referral traffic from the domain name tkpassword.com as you will notice on number 7.
This lasted for an entire weekend before I decided to take action on the Monday morning. I contacted the host responsible for the site for advice.
They took immediate action and removed the site from their system, and wrote a sincere email of apology on behalf of the user.
I also made some changes of my own to prevent my site from being hit with spammy traffic from this site, and other similar sites too.
If you’re having trouble with spammy traffic as well, check out this post.
Most popular blog posts of the last 12 months
Here’s the top 10 most popular posts by number of page views.
Time on site is great, but bounce rate is quite high for most of these pages. Something I’ll have to address and work on in the future.
Top 6 popular posts by number of social shares
- 23 Successful Bloggers Reveal Their Methods For Blog Post Promotion (Expert Roundup) – 463 shares
- More Traffic VS Better Conversion Rates: How To Strike The Perfect Balance – 425 shares
- 11 Must-Read Books For Solopreneurs: Taking Back Control Of Your Life – 381 shares
- 100+ Magnetic Headline Formulas For Small Business Bloggers – 371 shares
- 5 Smart Ways To Get Your Blog Noticed Without Google Or SEO – 364 shares
- 40+ WordPress Design And Development Tools For Savvy Bloggers – 341 shares
Here’s a snap shot of the number of comments received each month on the blog over the last 12 months. Data taken from my Disqus account.
The combination of only posting two posts per month, and not commenting quite as often on other blogs as I should have been, has resulted in a drop in the number of comments I received.
Current blogging statistics
Here’s Magnet4Blogging’s vital stats for the last 12 months, in brackets are last year’s numbers.
Alexa ranking: 146,320 (157k)
Facebook fans: 9.2k (10.1k)
Twitter followers: 13.7k (12.7)
Google+: 3.8k (3.1k)
RSS subscribers / Feedly: 185 (0)
Email subscribers: 1,015 (302)
Number of posts published: 146 (131) – Deleted some posts during blog content audit.
Number of comments received: 794 (600) – Lost comments when deleted some posts during content audit.
Blog income report (Full income breakdown)
Right, so now let’s dive into the income I was able to generate through Magnet4Blogging in the last 12 months.
Once again, the income marked in brackets is the previous year’s income to compare with. Some new income streams have been added since the last report.
Disclaimer: The following income report below may contain affiliate links to products and services I use and therefore recommend. If you click on these and make a purchase of a product or service, I will be paid a small commission, but at no additional charge to you. If you choose to use my affiliate links, I’d like to thank you for your kind support, I truly appreciate you.
Amazon affilaite program – $85.16 (Top blogging books for bloggers)
Better Links Pro – $32.40 ($16.20) (Better Links Pro Review)
EasyAzon plugin – $21.08 (EasyAzon Review)
Etsy Store – $12.33
Genesis Design Palette Pro – $121.20 ($39.20) (Genesis Design Palette Pro Review + Tutorial)
Long Tail Pro – $36.10
PremiumPress Themes – $47.40 ($52.50) (PremiumPress Themes Review Post)
SEOPressor Connect – $213.84 ($78.64) (SEOPressor VS Yoast SEO Post)
SiteGround Web Hosting – $191.51 (SiteGround VS Bluehost VS HostGator Post) (How to build a WordPress blog in under 10 minutes video tutorial)
StudioPress Themes / Genesis – $311 ($244.86) (Review of Genesis Theme Framework)
Thrive Themes – $5,217.94 ($756.50) (Thrive Themes VS Genesis Theme Framework)
Warfare Plugins – $76.50 (Warfare Social Plugin Review + Tutorial Video)
Google AdSense – $43.67 ($35.48)
eBook Sales – $88.15
Gross Total Affiliate Marketing Income – $6,497.88
Website Design & Branding – $6,699.79
Gross Total Blog Income For 2016 (October to October – financial year) – $13,197.17 (Increase of $11,189.46 from previous year)
Akismet – $40
Payhip – $6.40
Upwork – $251.10
JustRetweet – $170
My eCover Maker – $29.80
Warfare Plugins – $24.00
Thrive Themes Developer License – $199
Etsy – $4.26
Gravity Forms – $29.95
Screen-Cast-O-Matic – $15.00
Facebook Ads – $70.00
BlogVault WordPress Backup – $135 (How To Backup Your WordPress Blog Professionally)
Skype Subscription – $38
Office supplies – $333.25
PayPal fees – $275.42
SiteGround Web Hosting – $180
Positionly SEO Tools – $124
Libsyn Podcast Hosting – $99
Net Expense: -$2,024.18
Net Total of Blog Income: $11,173.49
So there you have it. A full breakdown of the income and expenses for my blog Magnet4Blogging of the last 12 months.
Again, whilst this might not be the most impressive thing you’ll see as far as income and traffic reports go, for me it’s a step in the right direction.
I don’t invest a huge amount of time with Magnet4Blogging. I work 2 to 3 hours each day maximum with this business. The rest of the time, I’m either focused on my other business in art, or building some niche websites, which is a bit of a hobby of mine at the moment.
The site practically paid for itself as far as web hosting goes. I paid $180 for the Grow Big plan on SiteGround, and earned $191.50 in affiliate commissions. Not bad going I think.
Overall I’m happy with the results of the last 12 months, but I know I could potentially make this business more profitable in the next 12 months, which is why I have some new goals and exciting new ideas in store, which I’ll share with you shortly.
Start your own blog
If you’re thinking of starting your own blog, and don’t really know where to start, don’t panic.
Check out my detailed post on starting a blog from scratch here.
Check out my video tutorial on how to start a blog in under 10 minutes video here.
Goals for the next financial year (October 2016 to October 2017)
I would like to make Magnet4Blogging a family run business, so my wife Samantha and I are in talks 🙂
My time is stretched at the moment, so I would like this business to be the only business I run from home, instead of trying to run multiple businesses here there and everywhere.
So here are my main goals for Magnet4Blogging.
- Manage my work time more effectively each day.
- Start creating more content for the blog, so increasing posting frequency back to 8 posts per month, instead of 2. This will start from October.
- Launch another book in early 2017.
- Add more products to my Etsy Store.
- Launch my first online course by the Summer of 2017.
I don’t include things like “make more money” or “increase blog traffic” to my list of goals, because essentially those are “results” of achieving some of my goals.
Here’s what I plan to do before January 2017 arrives.
- Redesign landing pages for my web design services.
- Add a new feature to capture client testimonials to the website.
- Fine tune my marketing message on the homepage.
Thank you list
So I want to finish off this mammoth yearly review post by thanking the following peeps in my community and of course the blogging world. Just a few of you as I know there’s many more of you I owe thank you’s too.
Thanks for all your continued support, opportunities, frequent visits, comments and emails as always, I appreciate you.
If I’ve not mentioned you here, I’m truly sorry, but you know I appreciate you all, especially my awesome clients of the last 12 months.
Here’s to another epic year next year!
Your blogging friend Fabrizio.