We are now well into January, and it’s time to share December’s blogging metrics and income report. If you’re reading our Income Report Series for the first time, welcome, and thank you for joining us!
Each month I break down what’s been going on behind the scenes of our new blogging business. In this series, discuss the growth of our YouTube channel, social media accounts, email list, website analytics, and other metrics that are essential to any blogging business.
I also give a detailed overview of our blogging finances, including revenue streams and expenses. If this sounds interesting to you, please read on.
For today’s creators, it is crucial to develop a solid social media presence within your content marketing strategy. As a blogger, driving traffic from your social networks is one of the best ways to reach your audience.
Furthermore, once you have implemented a solid social sharing strategy, it only takes one piece of good content to go viral to expedient your readers and subscribers. Oh, I forgot to mention the best part about social media promotion. It’s free!
We launched our YouTube channel in late February 2021. This was a few months before our blog was live. Our channel is ten months old, and we publish new video content every Wednesday.
Let’s kick off this report with our YouTube metrics. In December, we finished with a total of 410 subscribers. We grew by an average of 1 new subscriber per day, for a total of 32 subscribers this month. This is a 60% growth rate from November.
Our lifetime video views are now at 14,689, growing by 1,905 views. Decembers’ video view growth rate is up 51% from last month, and we have started to bounce back from November’s slump.
We settled in with 154 watch hours — which is up this month but still shy of 2 hours from our all-time high in October. Since we publish new content every month, our watch hours should multiply at a compounding rate. So, ideally, each month should be a record-breaking month.
Video impressions are climbing back from November’s long fall. We received over 22,000 impressions, similar to the progress we saw in September but still a far cry from October’s outstanding performance.
Our click-through rate is a respectable 4%. We’ve been able to hold firm at the 4–5% range for the past eight months.
Our average view duration has fallen 10% from the previous month and now sits at 4 minutes and 50 seconds. Although this is a decrease this month, we still hold our viewer’s attention longer than the last five consecutive months before November.
So, December was a pretty educational month for our YouTube channel. First, we decided to spend most of the month celebrating the holidays in the States with family and friends. Then, because we wanted to enjoy our vacation truly, we decided it would be best not to work. So we chose to run our entire blogging business on autopilot this month.
We scheduled a few pieces of content to publish on various days and times (including videos) and crossed our fingers. In the end, it was nice to see that we maintained our Youtube metrics from last month and saw some notable growth.
Let’s run through our Instagram. We ended the month with 1,016 followers, up 18 followers from last month (total growth rate of 1.8%). However, we only posted on IG 5 times this month. As a result of our light presents on this social media, we only drove four visits to our website.
What is my concussion? Probably the same as yours. You have to play to win, and we haven’t shown up for a while now.
Our inactivity on this social platform directly resulted in very little traffic driven to our blog from Instagram. Check out the chart below to see how our post frequency is related to website traffic throughout last year.
Stay up to date by following our Instagram page here.
Again, I do not have much news to report on our Facebook metrics this month.
Our reach is slightly down, and followers and page likes remain the same. We posted six times and received 31 engagements with those posts.
You can like our Facebook page here to read our latest blog posts and watch the newest Youtube videos.
The only thing that I can say about our Pinterest account is that we will be putting together a strategy for this social media in the early months of 2022.
Join our three followers on Pinterest here. 😊
If you’ve been blogging for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “the money is in the list.” For bloggers, an email is one of the most powerful tools you have for communicating directly to your audience. We can not stress enough the importance of building a solid email list early in your business.
We finished this month with a total of 266 email subscribers. That’s an increase of 24 subs. In addition, we only had eight unsubscribes this month, which is much better than November.
We had seven different automated email campaigns running this month, sending out a total of 1,730 emails. From all of those emails we sent out, our open rate was 30%, totaling just over 500 open emails. Our click-through rate (people who clicked a link embedded in an email) dropped from 5% to 1.85%, equalling 32 clicks. Zero subscribers marked us as spam from over 1,700 emails we sent out in December.
Here are my thoughts on this month’s email list performance.
New email list subscribers have continued to fall, but this is expected. In late September, we participated in a campaign with the Genius Bloggers ToolKit. This campaign helped us generate high email list subscription results.
The benefits from this campaign have lasted longer than I expected. And since these new subscribers are our target audience, we have a shallow unsubscribe rate.
A low spam rate is always reassuring. The last thing we want to do is send out unsolicited or annoying content to our subscribers. This metric tells me that our personalities are showing through our emails.
Our open rate has fallen a bit under 2% this month. In general, I am contributing this to people being preoccupied during the holiday season.
Okay, let’s move on to website analytics. Blogging Money Life was launched in August 2021, and we are now five months old.
We published three articles this month, which brings our total articles on our website to 33. You can check out our latest blog content here.
SEMrush shows that we rank for 394 organic keywords within the U.S. This is an excellent number for the size and age of our blog.
We’re showing up for six different keywords on the first page (within the first ten articles from a Google search). In addition, we rank #1 for one of those keywords terms populated by Google’s search engine.
Our U.S. organic traffic sits at 129 views this month.
SEMrush has given us an authority score of 21 out of 100, improving last month.
Moz domain authority has stayed at 7 out of 100.
Our Alexa rank has shown some improvement. We now rank #116,506 websites in the U.S.
Recent changes made in May 2021 to the Googles algorithm have affected the overall Alexa ranking. However, once we finish changing our WordPress theme to something more Google-friendly, our rank should improve.
Alexa has also ranked us as #705 of all websites in Costa Rica. If you are not familiar with the content on our blog, my wife Jasmine and I made an indefinite move to Costa Rica in August 2021. Our blog has a section about living abroad in Costa Rica. This section seems to have driven our Alexa Costa Rica rank up.
We had 834 new visitors and 78 returning visitors to our blog this month, up about 15% from November.
We’ve seen a longer average session duration this month. The average time spent on a single page on our site is 1 minute and 32 seconds.
Organic traffic continues to grow and is up to over 25%. We ended the month with a new record of 636 organic visits.
My thoughts on this data. So, overall, I’m impressed with the growth and performance of our website this month. I was especially considering that we ran our blog on autopilot for most of the month.
It’s true that with good content and optimized SEO, a blog can continue to grow on its own. This has reinforced the belief that we have started our online business on a solid foundation.
All right. Now that we wrapped up YouTube, social media, and our websites analytics, let’s talk about December’s income.
Affiliate marketing networks. We recently signed up as an affiliate for ConvertKit. We now have five referrals pending in our account. These referrals are from signups that we helped generate from the affiliate links in our content.
Hopefully, we have a reasonable conversation rate so that some of those referrals turn into sales for ConvertKit. ConvertKit is a great email management platform Jas uses with her other blog. They have an excellent affiliate program, and we will receive 30% of any sale generated through our affiliate link.
Advertising networks. We’re still working with the same ad network. With Google AdSense, we earned $25.16 this month. This is significant earnings from this network, considering our traffic is still pretty low.
Digital products sales. In the 2nd month of our four-month payment plan for our online blogging course, the Blogging Money Formula program, we retained two people. We should receive $198/month from those signups for two more months.
We gained three new Blogging Money Update subscribers, each paying $29.99/ month. In addition, five returning subscribers earned us $149.95, and 8 subscribers who have been with us from the beginning and grandfathered in at a lower price.
We also sold one Sponsored Post Pricing Tool Kit for $27.00
So our total product sales are $568.83.
Another method we will soon use to monetize is working with Sponsors Posts.
Click here for a free list of 150 Influencer Networks With Paid Sponsorships.
Our total reoccurring expenses are identical to last month and come in at S72.71.
Morningfame, it a YouTube analytics tool we use, and it costs about $10 a month. This is a must-have for any YouTubers out there. Not only does it generate weekly analytics reports, but its keyword research tool makes ranking on YouTube easy.
We didn’t have any single-time fees this month, but we have a regular personnel expense of $66.66 paid to our transcriber. She does terrific work creating the subtitles for our YouTube videos.
Profit and Loss
It all boils down to this, our profit and loss summary. So did we make any money blogging in December? If so, how much?
Well, you can see for yourself in the chart below. December’s gross income was $593.99. Subtract expenses of $139.37 and estimated taxes of $100.02, which leaves us with a profit of $354..60 for our 5th month of blogging.
And since we were not actively working on the blog this month, our earners are entirely passive income.