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Why I’ve Been Quiet Lately (Big News!)

You’ve probably noticed the lack of posting here for the past few months. Eeks! I’m sorry for the sudden slow down but I promise it’s for a good reason.

You see…

I’m pregnant!

WITH TWINS.

(So I’m kinda like Beyonce now. 🤔)

Photo by Rachelle Gregory Photography.

With very high-risk, unexpected complications, early bedrest and a lot of stress kind of twins. It hasn’t been easy to juggle work, business, this blog, and my life lately.

YIKES.

So, I hope you can understand my absence!

I found out in November that I was expecting, but not until the end of December that it was twins. Because I am certifiably insane, I started another blog to document our family life and I wrote about how we found out here if you’re curious.

During this whole time, I continued to work my full-time 9-5 job, freelance write for clients about 20 hours a week (sometimes more), and work on this blog that I love so much.

I even launched Blog SEO Bootcamp on the day I found out I was pregnant (by coincidence)!

By February, I was having a hard time keeping up with just my job and freelance clients, so this blog took a backseat unfortunately.

By March, we discovered that our identical twins have TTTS (or, Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome) which is basically unequal blood sharing in the womb.

It is a very serious complication and I am undergoing surgery in utero in a few days to hopefully fix it. It has about a 50-60% survival rate for the twins, so I am very worried, obviously.

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December 2017 Income Report: $2,658.27

December was a crazy month for me! Between my 9-5 job and all the family responsibilities and parties the Christmas season brings, it sure went by fast.

I was on track to make over $3k in December, but I ended up turning down a few projects in order to focus on my own health and family during the holidays, which I don’t regret at all.

Read on to discover how I made over $2,600 with my blog and business in December (while still enjoying a week off for Christmas)!

December 2017 Blog Income Report

Why I Write Income Reports

I don’t write blog income reports to brag, or make it seem like blogging is an easy path to endless riches. 💰 (Spoiler alert: it’s fackin’ not, okay.)

To be honest, every month I post one, I feel a little squicky about it. Should I be putting my blog income report out there? Will people judge me, either too positively, or negatively? Will it affect my relationships with other bloggers or, gah, clients?!

But, I push through, at least for now.

When I first set out to turn my blog from a $0 hobby into a profitable venture, I remember seeing income reports from well-known bloggers. Those were the turning point for me. Before seeing those, I never thought my blog could make any money at all.

Related: How to Start a Blog in 30 Minutes! (+ My Must Have Plugins)

I thought that was only for famous people with huge audiences, and people who blogged full-time.

Now, I realize that’s far from the truth! Anyone can make money blogging if you treat it like a real job, and that means putting in the time and effort to grow. These reports are a glimpse into how I do that for my own blog, and I hope you can find a new tip or tool in this report to help your blogging journey. 💁🏼

Blog Income Report

  • Freelance writing clients: $2,444.89
  • Etsy shop sales: $212.39

Total Gross Income: $2,658.27

I do make most of my money from freelance writing for clients, and only a little from my own products and affiliate income.

December was a little lacklustre blog-wise, as I didn’t earn any affiliate income or make any sales of my new SEO course. Bummer. But, I also didn’t spend ANY time promoting those things or writing any content about them. So, what do ya expect, right?

0 effort = 0 rewards. Plain and simple.

However, I did pull in over $200 from Etsy without doing anything there either. LOL.

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$2,473 – November 2017 Blog Income Report

Better late than never with last month’s income report! In November, I made $2,473.33 in income… woot! Actually, it was just shy of $3,000 due to my course pre-launch but I won’t see that money in my account until January, so I didn’t record it in November.

Anyway! Super happy with another month over $2k consistently. This is over half of my salary from my full-time job… meaning, I bring in more than an extra paycheque every month working just a few hours a week!

Read on to see the full breakdown…

Blog Income Report

 

Why I Write Income Reports

I don’t write blog income reports to brag, or make it seem like blogging is an easy path to endless riches. 💰 (Spoiler alert: it’s fackin’ not, okay.)

To be honest, every month I post one, I feel a little squicky about it. Should I be putting my blog income report out there? Will people judge me, either too positively, or negatively? Will it affect my relationships with other bloggers or, gah, clients?!

But, I push through, at least for now.

When I first set out to turn my blog from a $0 hobby into a profitable venture, I remember seeing income reports from well-known bloggers. Those were the turning point for me. Before seeing those, I never thought my blog could make any money at all.

Related: How to Start a Blog in 30 Minutes! (+ My Must Have Plugins)

I thought that was only for famous people with huge audiences, and people who blogged full-time.

Now, I realize that’s far from the truth! Anyone can make money blogging if you treat it like a real job, and that means putting in the time and effort to grow. These reports are a glimpse into how I do that for my own blog, and I hope you can find a new tip or tool in this report to help your blogging journey. 💁🏼

Blog Income Report

  • Freelance writing clients: $2,007.72
  • Etsy store sales: $84.92
  • Siteground affiliate income: $63.72

Total Gross Income: $2,473.33

I do make most of my money from freelance writing for clients, and only a little from my own products and affiliate income. I plan to ramp that up in the next year!

Also in November, I earned $288 from the $48 special price pre-sale of my course, Blog SEO Bootcamp. I’m super excited about how that went.

I’ll write a full post on that soon, but I challenged myself to finish the course I had in my mind in only ONE WEEK. I forced myself to do it by pre-selling it and listing the release date. I made it, just in the nick of time (uploading videos takes awhile as I found out, lol).

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7 Ways to Use Google Analytics to Grow Your Blog Traffic

I’ve waxed poetic about Google Analytics before, about how to install it and what you should be tracking every month for your blog. But you need to do more than track and observe.

You need to ACT on that info and use it to guide your blogging strategy for the month ahead. 🦄

Aww yiss. Google Analytics isn’t only for tracking how many people come to your site and that’s it. There is a lot of powerful info in there that you can use to grow your blog faster!

In this post, I’m going to break down 7 ways to grow your blog using a plain ol’ free Google Analytics account!

Google Analytics Blog Strategy

First up, when you log in to Analytics, you see what I like to call your SUBS. It’s actually USBS when read left to right but I think SUBS sounds better. It stands for your Sessions, Users, Bounce Rate and Session Duration.

Those are the 4 key things you should be looking at every time you log in, FO REAL. In a general sense, they tell if you if you’re trending upward or downward. I like to set my view at the previous 30 days to get a good overall picture.

In this screenshot, you can see my traffic went downhill this month, compared to last (by 15.7%). I know that’s because I hardly spent any time writing new posts or promoting existing ones, whoops.

Google Analytics Blog Strategy

Beyond that, I review the following things at the end of every month as part of my monthly business review (that also includes things like tax payments and profit/loss statements – oh yay).

Reviewing these 7 things influences the actions I’ll take for the upcoming month to grow my blog. Sometimes it might be posting more on social media, or other times it’s about seeing who’s linking to me and striking up a conversation.

Here’s what to look for, boo.

1. User Location

Under the Audience -> Geo -> Location area, you can find out the geographical breakdown of everyone who has visited your site. Again, I like to set this to the past 30 days.

Google Analytics Blog Strategy

There’s a list underneath of how many people came from which countries. This is helpful to know if you’re targeting certain areas or if you plan on running ads.

If you run a local business, meaning one that you help customers face-to-face in your city, this is really important. I mean, it’s not very helpful if you want to attract people in Vancouver, Canada but 98% of your traffic is coming from Vancouver, Washington, right?

Knowing where your audience lives can influence the keywords you’re using on your site and even your ad strategy.

Even if you’re an online business that can serve anyone anywhere in the world, you still want to know where your top countries are. Maybe you target French-speaking clients. Then, you’d want to make sure French-speaking people are coming to your site (there’s a separate Language tab for this, too).

Running a Google AdWords or Facebook campaign can be a lot more cost-effective when you can target the locations your ideal audience is in. Analytics tells you that with no guesswork involved. Easy, right?

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October 2017 Blog Income Report: $1,755

Last month wasn’t as profitable as my all-time high of September, but I’m still really happy with this blog income report!

Read on to discover how I made $1,755.56 in October 2017.

October 2017 Blog Income Report

Why I Write Income Reports

I don’t write blog income reports to brag, or make it seem like blogging is an easy path to endless riches. 💰 (Spoiler alert: it’s fackin’ not, okay.)

To be honest, every month I post one, I feel a little squicky about it. Should I be putting my blog income report out there? Will people judge me, either too positively, or negatively? Will it affect my relationships with other bloggers or, gah, clients?!

But, I push through, at least for now.

When I first set out to turn my blog from a $0 hobby into a profitable venture, I remember seeing income reports from well-known bloggers. Those were the turning point for me. Before seeing those, I never thought my blog could make any money at all.

Related: How to Choose a Niche for Your Blog

I thought that was only for famous people with huge audiences, and people who blogged full-time.

Now, I realize that’s far from the truth! Anyone can make money blogging if you treat it like a real job, and that means putting in the time and effort to grow. These reports are a glimpse into how I do that for my own blog, and I hope you can find a new tip or tool in this report to help your blogging journey. 💁🏼

Blog Income Report

OK, I just gotta talk about this Tailwind shiz for a sec. Last month, I earned a 1 cent commission from Share A Sale. This month, I earned another cent. WHAT IS HAPPENING.

Does anyone know what this 1 cent is for? Cause honestly, it’s not paying the bills. 😂

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How to Write SEO Page Titles and Descriptions for Your Blog

SEO page titles and descriptions are really important for your blog.

Raise your hand if you know what an SEO page title or description is. 🙋🏽

Mmkay, for all y’all advanced placement students, hold on just a sec.

They help Google figure out what your site is about and show your site to people searching for things like, “Pants for big butts,” or, “What shade of foundation am I?” (You can tell how my week is going so far.)

SEO meta data (another name for dis shiz) helps bloggers:

  • Get more traffic from Google
  • Get higher rankings in Google, as part of your overall onpage strategy

But they’re more than just a nerdy internet thing. They can actually help you surprise and delight your readers, too!

Read this post to find out how! 🤓

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

 

What Are SEO Page Titles and Descriptions?

For those who don’t know, an SEO page title is the text that appears in 2 cool places:

  1. In a Google search result

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

  1. At the top of your browser window

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

And yeah, this is the sort of wild stuff I do on a Saturday night: write about SEO. #NerdAlert

An SEO page description is the other texty part that shows up in a Google search result.

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

Page titles and descriptions can either be on PAGES on your website, or on blog POSTS. Obviously, ya wanna have SEO-optimized titles and descriptions for both of those types of content.

SEO page titles and descriptions are also known as “SEO meta data.”

 

Why Are They Important?

For starters, page titles and descriptions help Google figure out what your site is about. Google still scans your whole site’s content to figure that out, too.

But having the keywords you want to optimize for listed right in your titles and descriptions makes Google’s job a LOT easier. Which means, more people will find you via organic search easier!

There are a LOT of factors that go into ranking high in Google and fully optimizing your SEO. There are about 200 ranking factors, actually.

Optimizing your SEO meta data is just one small part of a robust SEO strategy, but it takes just a few minutes per page and is a good habit to get into as you write posts. Don’tcha want more traffic for just a few extra minutes?!

Image from searchengineland.com

Some SEO strategies are harder than others, like link building, creating longform 2,500+ word count posts full of value, or searching the web for broken links to replace with your own.

Literally nothing is easier or faster than writing page titles and descriptions for your blog.

Woo! All aboard the Lazy Blogger Express over here. 🚂

 

How to Write SEO Meta Data

To write effective titles and descriptions, you need to know what keywords you want to optimize your blog for.

Related: How to Do SEO Keyword Research

And, make sure you change it up for different pages. If one of your target keywords is, “blog seo,” you don’t need to have that in EVERY single page title or description.

Make sure the keyword you’re optimizing the page title and description for is relevant to the page’s content.

Once you have a keyword in mind, write out that page title and description!

For SEO page titles, they need to be under 60 characters to fit on Google.

If they’re over 60 characters, it trails off like this:

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

For SEO descriptions, they need to be under 160 characters… and ideally more than 120.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing your meta data:

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Sales Funnel Fun: How to Use Visual Automations in ConvertKit

If you didn’t already know, I love love LOVE email software wizards ConvertKit.

They make sending high-converting emails and building your email list super easy. And now, they’ve introduced a new feature called Visual Automations to make life even easier. awwww yissss

ConvertKit Visual Automations

In this post, I’m going to walk you through creating a simple, automated sales funnel using the new feature so you can start selling more on autopilot.

What is Visual Automations?

“Visual Automations” is a fancy way of saying automated email marketing.

It’s a way of creating a sales funnel so that when a subscriber meets a certain criteria, you can send out emails targeted to them automatically. Magic, huh?

Not sure what a sales funnel is? It’s the path you want a prospect to take to go from unknown to becoming a paying customer.

For bloggers, this often looks like attracting people via a free content upgrade. They enter their email address, you automatically send them the item they signed up for, and then they enter your funnel.

convertkit visual automations
Image courtesy of easyecommercewins.com

Using a tool like Visual Automations, you can create follow-up emails to send them a few days later to suggest a complementary product that they might be interested in.

In other words, ka-ching baby.

Cool, right?

How to Use Visual Automations in ConvertKit

Alrighty, so to follow this tutorial, you obviously need to be using ConvertKit. And no, I’m not writing this post just to get you to sign up via my affiliate link. I’m writing it because I frickin love a) marketing, and b) ConvertKit. And yeah, if you do want to try it out and sign up via my link… well, that would be swell, too.

So, click on Automations on the top menu. Then click on “New Automation.”

ConvertKit Visual Automations

Click on Create an Automation, and choose how you want to start off your sales funnel.

ConvertKit Visual Automations

You can choose to begin the automation when someone signs up for a particular form in your account, or when a subscriber enters a tag.

If you’re not familiar with tags, you can create as many as you want to categorize your subscribers. If you sell products, you can use a tag to identify your existing customers from people who haven’t bought from you.

You can also use them to label people by the topics they are interested in.

You can add people to a tag by having them click a link in any of your ConvertKit emails. In a recent one of mine, I asked people if they wanted to be notified when my new course launches. If they clicked it, they were added to my course pre-launch tag, so I know who to contact when it’s ready.

ConvertKit Visual Automations

Your subscribers don’t see anything other than a normal link, but here’s what it looks like when you’re writing your email in ConvertKit:

ConvertKit Visual Automations

It’s super easy!

So for this automation example, I’m going to make one for people who wanted to learn about my course. Set your automation to start when a tag is added to a subscriber, and then pick the appropriate tag.

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How I Made $3,422.83 Blogging This Month (September 2017 Income Report)

September flew by so fast!

I was so busy with my day job, my freelance clients, and just regular life stuff like grocery shopping (fo realz) that I can’t even believe it’s October already. Geez.

But, I am pretty proud of the fact that September was my highest earning month so far in my little biz! I made $3,422.83 through my blog and freelance writing services. WOO!

September 2017 Blog Income Report

This month I tried a few new things.

I earned some affiliate income (a grand total of $8.71 thankyouverymuch!), by promoting my genuine love of email marketing software ConvertKit.

I also earned ONE PENNY from Tailwind. I am not even sure how that’s possible. What did someone do for a penny?! I have no idea. But… thanks, random stranger.

This month I didn’t get as much done as I wanted to. I focused almost exclusively on client work and not my own big ideas, which was disappointing. But that’s how life goes sometimes!

I did get a chance to outline and start creating my upcoming course that I am SO EXCITED about. It’s called Blog SEO Bootcamp and dives into all the nerdy stuff I’ve learned in over 6 years of working at content marketing agencies, and through this blog.

I AM PUMPED to share it with the world. When it’s ready in like, 2020. 🙄

K but seriously, I plan to work on it over the next few months and unveil it either late this year, or early 2018.

Anyway, let’s dive into September’s numbers and stats in detail!

Income

  • Freelance writing clients: $3,414.12
  • ConvertKit: $8.70 🙌🏼
  • Tailwind: $0.01 (YES REALLY)

September 2017 Blog Income Report

Total Gross Income: $3,422.83

I recently had a comment asking about how I get my freelance clients and what sort of work I do. I plan to cover this in an upcoming post, but the short version is that I do freelance writing/blogging for marketing and software companies, focusing on list building and conversions. 🤓

aka. Nerd Stuff.

Expenses

Total Expenses: $485.21

Net Income: $2,937.62

So, I made almost the same net income as last month as I had some more expenses this month.

I also decided to invest in some education and take Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s class, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.

At first I thought the class was a bit too basic for me, but I actually learned a lot in the later modules. I’ll write a review about it another time, but what more can I say than it works? I did make $8.71 in affiliate income this month for the first time ever, right?! (Gotta start somewhere.)

One of my regular clients slowed down a bit, so that impacted my income a bit, too.

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