First of all, I have to apologize for getting the July income report out SO late. It’s been a whirlwind summer of travel and between this and Going Awesome Places, it’s definitely been tough to keep up. The good news is that the podcasts are going again and I’m catching up on these reports as well.
So winding the clock a little, I had a chance to dig into how July’s performance was. While it wasn’t as good as I had hoped it to be, money still trickled in despite racing around Europe for 2 weeks. I really can’t complain. Check out and see how it all played out.
INCOMEHere’s a breakdown of how the blogs did in the month of July.
Note that I’ve converted all numbers into USD just to make it easy. For each line also note the figures in parentheses which represent the change from this month to the previous. Keep in mind that even though something might show up as *NEW*, it may be an income stream I’ve had in the past.
THOUGHTS ON INCOME
Life of a blogger really is a yo-yo isn’t it? One month you get a little more and another it drops back down. The goal is to always see if you can build some consistency into the income from month to month but a lot of times its out of your control. That being said, July was a little stinkier but then again I spent 2 weeks in Europe for Competitours and did some kickass stuff so that’s kind of how it goes!
The following are my current ad networks ordered by the income they drove in.
#1 The Blogger Network
The Blogger Network (TBN) outperformed Google Adsense again this month saw a dip in earnings with a lower eCPM of $0.57 to $0.72 in June.
#2 Google AdSense
July turned out to be a pretty decent month for Google AdSense but with the Canadian dollar tanking, I ended up making a lot less after conversion to USD. The interesting thing here from the dashboard is that comparing to lass month, there were way less page views, impressions and clicks but revenue per thousand impressions (Impression RPM) was way higher and same for Page RPM. I’ve given up on trying to decode this as it’s either seasonality that drives this or just pure fluke depending on who clicks on what.
No real surprises here. My ad units above article continue to do very well compared to the sidebar. An interesting question to ask is whether it’s worth considering eliminating sidebar ads completely and only have in-article ads (above, in-line and below).
Text ads continue to dominate with AdSense, upping from 42.7% to 68.5% this month. It’s really interesting to see how Google optimizes a website because at first I thought I had my ads set as text only but turns out I have it set to auto. It just knows…
You’ll notice here that mobile has been dropped off completely because I switched over to TBN’s Flight (mobile optimized site) where no Google AdSense blocks are served.
Last month, India was a surprise here but this month, Australia’s near the top. I’ve seen Aussies up here before. What do you do with information like this? Well, from this, you can make assumptions about how people from certain countries are more likely to click on ads and perhaps test this on an advertisement campaign you may be working on.
This is the last month for Sovrn. I finally cut them out in August to clean things up a bit and reduce the number of ad blocks on my site.
Sadly, Spoutable’s been sputtering to a halt and after a few months of poor performances I decided to turn them off in August. Ultimately it came down to poor revenues but more importantly suboptimal user experiences.
My affiliate action seems to come in spurts and it’s usually because I get the one odd sale here and there. This month it came from someone making a purchase of a theme from Elegant Themes. While it may look like this has stayed pretty stagnant over the year, I am looking into a few opportunities that could help improve affiliate sales.
There’s still a steady stream of work coming in from CopyPress but just didn’t get paid in July.
This is where most of my exciting works comes from. It’s a great feeling when you get approached by a travel brand wanting to get their word out by leveraging your influence and brand. I know a lot of people ask me how they can get more sponsored work but the thing is, it’s not so much reaching out for this work but more of two things in my mind:
- Building your blog and branding the proper way. This means focusing on writing brilliant content, improving your traffic and then building a stellar social following.
- Go out there and talk to people and meet those people behind the brands or PR companies that represent them. I can’t tell you how many BIG opportunities I’ve gotten because I’ve built a relationship with the people that mattered here in Toronto and that subsequently lead to something awesome down the road.
TRAFFICHere’s a look at my traffic numbers from June.
Going Awesome Places
A goal for this year was to always to try to break 1,000 sessions a month and July got a lot closer with the tail end of the month really picking up towards the back end.
- Sessions (+1,356)
- Pageviews (+1,108)
- Bounce rate (+1.22%)
Travel Blog Breakthrough
There wasn’t a whole lot of movement for TBB in July. A lot of it’s on me because it’s just been so hard to keep up with content here when there’s been so much to do on Going Awesome Places. Once summer’s over, I’ll be able to dedicate more time to build out great content.
- Sessions (-324)
- Users (-115)
- Pageviews (-235)
- Bounce rate (-1.38%)
TOP 10 TRAFFIC SOURCES
This is a part of the analytics that I always keep a close eye on because diversifying traffic away from just relying on Google is so important in order to grow.
- Pinterest continues to grow. Is there any ceiling??
- The interesting thing I did for July since I knew I’d be doing Competitours was that I turned off ReviveOldPost completely for the month as an experiment. So while I lost about 500 sessions because of it, Pinterest more than adequately picked it up
- Facebook referrals doubled this month and I’m pretty sure it was the result of all the Competitours content I was pushing.
TOP 10 KEYWORDS
Some observations about search queries for July:
- I seriously need to write more Airbnb review posts!
- A nice bump in impressions from 46,118 to 51,300
THE TBB PODCAST
I recorded a slew of podcasts in August but I need MORE! If you have a great story or want to share some of the things you’ve learned in your blogging journey, I want to hear from you.
I also have a HUGE favor to ask of you guys. If you haven’t yet, could you head over to iTunes and leave a review on the Travel Blog Breakthrough podcast? Still don’t quite have enough for reviews to show up but I am oh so close!
About the course: I go in depth into the 10 tools that all of you bloggers need to know about. I introduce the tool, talk about why it’s awesome and then show you how to set it up and use it as I would.
For a limited time, I’m offering the course for only $5 to all of you super fans. Use code TOP10TOOLSJULY. There are only 5 codes and it expires October 16, 2015.
WHAT’S NEXTIt’s September as I put this together having just completed my mega huge trip to Peru. The good thing for all of you fans is that I’ll be home for the next little while which means I’ll be able to work on both Travel Blog Breakthrough and Going Awesome Places a whole lot more. Stay tuned for more helpful content!
3 key takeaways from July
I always get questions about what’s the key to making money blogging and I’ve boiled it down to three things.
- Turning off ReviveOldPost was an interesting experience because on one hand, it certainly cleaned my Twitter feed. On the other hand I lost 500+ sessions in the month. Next month, I’ll be turning it on for the full month and we’ll see how it affects revenue and traffic.
- Okay this is a bit unrelated but I saw an upswing in one-on-one mentoring bookings in July. I absolutely love doing these because it gives me a chance to chat with you guys. From all the feedback I’ve received, it’s probably the single most valuable part of the whole site. If you haven’t yet, make sure you book a call with me!
- When you’re busy travelling, you’ll naturally take a dip in earnings. That’s completely normal. So either you to fit in down time while you’re travelling to get work done or just make it up in other months!