This is a detailed breakdown of the traffic and income I was able to generate with this blog in it’s first year
Hey everyone, I hope you’ve all had an amazing Easter break – that’s if you celebrate it, of course.
I can’t believe that we’re halfway through April (2015) already, this month is literally flying by so fast.
Of course, if you’re reading this post way into the future, maybe it’s 2017 or 2020, then what does it matter, right?
Anyway, just over a week ago (March 2015) I decided to take a break from blogging to spend some quality time with my family.
I really needed it as the couple of months leading up to my break was quite hectic, and I felt as if I was burning myself out again.
However, I’m happy to be back feeling totally refreshed, inspired and motivated.
So this past week I’ve been sorting out some serious emails piling up in my inboxes.
When I say serious emails I mean like 12,000 emails across all my inboxes. (Google, Hotmail x 2)
Amazing things that happened in March
Two awesome things happened during the month of March; My little girl celebrated her 2nd birthday, and I couldn’t be more proud of the little lady.
The other awesome thing that happened was this blog celebrated its 1st birthday, which was on the 23rd of March!
The last 12 months has been a real blast I can tell you. Of course, there have been ups and downs, but I couldn’t be happier with the progress I’ve been able to make in that time.
It’s so easy to be over-critical about your progress I think, and until you sit down and evaluate the things you’ve been able to achieve properly, then you should never beat yourself up or feel as if you’re not doing enough.
Unless, of course, you really are not doing enough.
Transitioning from Magnet4Marketing to Magnet4Blogging
You know, after I somewhat failed with my first blog, I took a 3-month break from blogging (January 2014).
If you’ve been following me online from the very beginning, you may already know this.
During my break, I thought long and hard about what path I would take next, and I actually considered the idea that blogging and online business wasn’t for me.
I considered giving up is what I’m trying to say.
I mean, I gave it the best shot and dedicated three whole years of my life to blogging. (2010 to 2013).
It wasn’t until I reached out to a few of my blogging friends that I realized just how much I loved blogging and doing business online, and of course, being part of a great online community.
So, instead of ending my blogging journey in 2013, I decided to give it another go and launched Magnet4Blogging Media in 2014.
How this blog started
So way back in 2013, I purchased the domain name Magnet4Blogging.net.
I had no intention of using it, I only purchased the domain name to simply create a web hosting installation tutorial video at the time.
So quitting my first blog and taking a long break at the end of 2013 and into the early part of 2014, I thought about all the great things I learned about running Magnet4Marketing.
I thought about the community I had built, the connections I had made with so many people.
I thought about the skills that I developed as a blog writer, digital marketer, and as a web developer too.
And I thought how all of it would have been a massive waste of time if I didn’t at least give blogging another go.
So, on March 24th, 2014, I made the whole-hearted decision to get back into blogging and start writing again.
The first post I wrote for this blog is titled Starting Over After Google Penguin Destroyed My First Blog. Feel free to read it when you get some time.
First year of blogging: Goals
So let me start with my blogging goals with Magnet4Blogging for the first year.
The only two things that I cared about was –
- Creating amazing content.
- Promoting each piece of content the best I could, for maximum exposure, traffic, comments, and all the rest of it.
I focused very hard on writing massive value posts. I’m talking about 2000, 3000, even 4000-word blog posts like this one.
First year of blogging: Google and SEO
The HUGE mistake I made with my first blog was focusing too much on SEO, getting backlinks, ranking for keywords, and all the rest of it.
I paid far too much attention to Google and SEO, and not enough attention to creating high-quality content and building an audience/community.
The goal mindset that I had when I started Magnet4Blogging was to just focus MORE on creating content that mattered to people. Useful, problem solving, shareable content.
If the search engines happened to like my stuff, then great, but I wasn’t going to write purely for the benefit of search engine traffic anymore.
As for backlinks? I didn’t care about them.
Magnet4Blogging stats and social strength
OK, so before I dive into this blog’s first annual traffic and income report, let me first share with you some statistics for the blog and social media.
Keep in mind that most of the Twitter followers and Facebook fans I brought with me from blogging at Magnet4Marketing.
Alexa Ranking: 157k, if anyone cares anymore.
PR 0, not that I care about that.
Facebook Fans: 10.1K (Now deleted Facebook page and started over with a new one here.)
Twitter Followers: 12.7K
Feedly: 0 still…
Email Subscribers: 302
Number of posts published: 131 (including this one)
Number of comments received: 600+
Average comments per post: 5
Blogging achievements in my first year of blogging
Asides from creating better content and promoting it properly, here are some of the other things I’ve achieved with Magnet4Blogging so far.
- Set up email subscription funnel with Thrive Leads and MailChimp. Read this post.
- Launch new web design service on the blog. Read more here.
- Launched my “Blog Traffic Without Google” eBook. Get it here.
- Connect with many new readers, bloggers, and even influencers.
Changes made in the first year of blogging with Magnet4Blogging
I think the most notable change I’ve made as a blogger has to be my posting frequency.
When I was running Magnet4Marketing, I was writing and publishing every single day, or every other day on occasions. Sometimes, though, I would write two posts per day.
Over the last 12 months, I’ve only been writing a few posts per week, sometimes three posts but no more than that.
Why this change in frequency?
Because, once again, I really wanted to focus on providing better quality and value, and the only way I could do that was if I spent more time crafting each post properly.
It’s about connecting with your readers, responding to them comments, engaging with your audience etc. I had to make more time to focus on all of those things too.
Branding and design transformations of the last 12 months
In the first 12 months of building this blogging business, I went on a bit of a mission searching for the perfect custom design for my blog.
The screen shot above shows how Magnet4Blogging looked in the first few months of its life. In comparison to what it looks like now in 2017, what a change, right?
I should also mention that I was somewhat unsure about the direction I wanted to take this blog into at the time.
The theme I was using then was called the Outreach Pro theme by StudioPress, you may still be able to find that theme here, actually.
In June 2014, I decided to completely rebrand and redesign blog and add a custom static front page as seen above.
I continued to use the same Outreach Pro theme as before for, just with a few amateurish looking modifications of my own.
In January 2015, I decided to redesign the front page completely for Magnet4Blogging again, as shown above.
Only this time I was using a new WordPress plugin I had just discovered called Thrive Content Builder, now upgraded to Thrive Architect.
In late May of 2015, I made a few more tweaks to the homepage design, including creating a brand new logo for Magnet4Blogging.
At this stage of my blogging career, I was also discovering and learning about many new WordPress development and visual design tools.
You might be thinking to yourself – ‘Goodness me, how many changes did you make to the design of your blog in the first year, Fabrizio?’
The truth is, I was never really happy with any design I came up with and felt that I needed to chop and change it frequently.
First year of blogging: Traffic report from March 2014 to March 2015
OK, so we finally, finally get to the traffic stats for the first year.
Once again, I’ll remind you that I’m sharing with you just the traffic, income and stats for this blog.
From the start, traffic has been steadily increasing.
The traffic took a bit of a nose dive over the Christmas holidays as expected, but it slowly climbed back up again over the last three months as you will see in the screenshot below.
I did sweat a little bit when Google Penguin update 3.0 was rolled out late last year (November 2014) I must admit.
I didn’t really know what to expect, especially having experienced first hand how an algorithm update can quickly change everything overnight.
But, as it turned out, traffic increased ever so slightly a few weeks after the update, I was happy about that.
So here’s a quick overview of the traffic stats for the first 12 months. In brackets, I’ve included the traffic for the last 3 months.
Total sessions: 23,676 (9,118 in last 3 months)
Total users: 18,038 (7,075 in last 3 months)
Total page views: 41,267 (16,435 in last 3 months)
Average time on site: 2:27 (2:34 in last 3 months)
Bounce rate for year: 72.44% (71.07% in last 3 months)
Now let me share with you some of these numbers in greater detail. Check out the screen grab below.
As you can see from the above image, overall traffic has been increasing very steadily.
You can see the dip I was talking about in late December and early January.
I also personally took a little while to get back into the swing of blogging and doing business just after the festive period. My motivation for writing was a bit low.
If you look at the screenshot above, you can see that organic traffic dominated my top sources. Remember what I said, I don’t pay a great deal of attention to SEO anymore.
I rarely optimize my posts for search engines, and the outcome hasn’t been bad at all, has it?
It just goes to show that you don’t really need to do much to get your content ranked. As long as your post is well written, is useful, compelling, valuable, then that’s all that matters.
In the above image, you will see that Facebook was the 3rd biggest traffic provider to my blog.
Income Report March 2014 to March 2015
OK so, finally, finally, finally… Below is a list of the income streams that I’ve been able to create through Magnet4Blogging in the first year.
Most of the passive income came from my online reviews.
Here’s my affiliate disclaimer very quickly:
Disclaimer: This income report may contain affiliate links. If you click on any of these links and make a purchase of a product or service, I will be paid a small commission, but, at no additional charge to you. It literally doesn’t cost you anymore to use my links, however, you’re not obliged to use them. If you do use them, I’d like to thank you for your support, I appreciate you. I also want you to know that I would never use or even recommend products or services that I don’t 100% trust.
In brackets is the income generated in the last 3 months or Quarter 1 of 2015.
Dreamhost Web Hosting – $5.97
Genesis Framework – $244.86 (Review of Genesis)
Genesis Design Palette Pro – $39.20 ($39.20) (Review of GDP)
Genesis Dynamix Website Builder – $95.60
Elegant Themes – $44.40 (Black Friday promotion)
Thrive Architect – $299.00 ($110.80) (Review of TA)
Thrive Landing Pages – $75.00 (Rapid Landing Page Building Course)
Thrive Leads – $382.50.00 ($382.50) (Thrive Leads walkthrough video)
SEOPressor5 – $78.64 ($45.86) (SEOPressor VS Yoast SEO post)
Bluehost – $0.00 (No sales or review yet)
Moonfruit Website Builder $121.45 ($23.56) (Moonfruit review post)
PremiumPress Themes $52.50 ($23.77) (PremiumPress review post)
Amazon Associates Program $7.12 ($5.97) (Top Blogging books post)
Better Links Pro – $16.20 ($16.20) (Better Links review post)
Build A Blog Community – $0.00 (No sales yet)
Google AdSense – $35.48 ($10.39)
Graphic Design Services $70 ($70)
WordPress Consultation And Website Design Services $440 ($70)
Gross Total Income: $2,007.92 ($798.25 in last 3 months)
Before I share my huge list of expenses, I just want to say a few words about the income report above.
This earnings report is far from impressive, I realize that. I also know that there are probably many other 1-year old blogs out there that are generating way more income. However, I’m happy with my progress so far. I’m in no rush to build this blogging business.
My biggest driver for affiliate revenue as of this moment is Thrive Themes. I do hope this trend will continue to grow with more promotions in the future.
OK, so let’s now get to the expense report… Gulp!
Once again expenses for the last 3 months or Quarter 1 are placed in brackets.
Web hosting and domain renewals with
Bluehost $548.79 ($105.00)
BlogVault WordPress Backup – $119.40 ($27.00)
Akismet – $60 ($15.00)
WebMeUp – (April to May 2014) $57
Positionly – (October to December 2014) $57
Thrive Agency Licence (Annual Membership Fee) – $216.00 ($216.00)
EasyAzon 4 Developer License – $37 (Purchased during launch week) ($37)
Build A Blog Community Course – $47
Net Expense: $1,085.19 ($400.00 in the last 3 months)
In addition to the above expenses, I’ve also invested some of my own money into this blogging business. I spent a great deal of money on hardware and software upgrades, and various other useful tools. Here’s the list below.
MacBook Air $1,269 (Amazon Link)
iMac 21″ $1,343 (Amazon Link)
Samsung M3 Portable Hard Drive 1TB $100 (Amazon Link)
Affinity Designer for Mac $58 ($58)
Skype Subscription $100 per year ($16.00)
Screencast-O-Matic (Annual Fee) $15 per year ($15)
Net Investment: $2,885.00 ($89.00 in the last 3 months)
Net Total: -$1,962.27 (+$309.25 in the last 3 months)
Once again, I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made so far with this blog, and the investments that I made in the last 12 months was much needed.
I will continue to invest more money into building my blogging business in the next 12 months, of course.
In addition, there are some website building and WordPress development tools I would like to invest in, in the near future.
Wrapping things up
So there you have it, a detailed breakdown of both income and traffic, as well as the progress I’ve been able to make with my blog in the first 12 months of its life.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this report. If you’re just starting out yourself, I hope you’ve found my report inspiring and motivating.
I know it’s not easy building an online business through blogging, heck I failed the first time around, remember?
All I can say to you is, just keep going and don’t give up.
Special thanks to the following peeps
Before I sign off for good, I want to mention a few names of some of the bloggers that have both influenced and inspired me in the last 12 months.
Special thanks to:
Adrienne Smith, a great friend, passionate blogger, and queen of blogging engagement. Sadly, Adrienne no longer blogs.
Ryan Biddulph, a great friend, storyteller and living proof of how successful blogging can fund a life of traveling and good times.
Sylviane Nuccio, recently connected but already have gotten a lot of value from reading her blog.
Enstine Muki for featuring me on his blog.
Maxwell Ivey, aka the blind blogger, for showing the blogging and entrepreneurial world what can be achieved with passion and determination, regardless of the obstacles that life throws at you.
Sue Anne who writes at Successful Blogging and who also mentioned me in an experts roundup post, truly appreciated.
Until next time peeps, happy blogging, keep working hard and stay safe.
Speak soon, your blogging friend – Fabrizio Van Marciano