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Grow Your Blog

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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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 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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How to Double Your Email Subscribers with a Welcome Mat (Leadpages Tutorial!)

Wanna grow your subscribers like crazy?

Want to get people to subscribe to your list before they even see your blog?

The answer is a MAGICAL welcome mat!

By that I mean… well, this. See how one of my biz-crushes Allison has this super cool landing page right when you visit her homepage?

grow-your-blog-welcome-mat

What if I told you it’s super simple to set that up so it’s automatically the first page your visitors see?

Aaaand that it’s also super easy to change it or remove it at any time with NO coding needed?

AND that this one little change could boost your opt-in rate by up to 535%?!

(Did I just blow your mind?)

It’s possible thanks to Leadpages. 🙌🏼

Today I’m going to show you step-by-step how to combine your WordPress blog with Leadpages to make an email list building MACHINE, mmk!

Grow Your Email List with a Welcome Mat Using Leadpages

Okay, and maybe everyone else knew this, but I’ve been a Leadpages customer for 6 months now and literally just found this feature yesterday. YAH.

So I want to share it with you.

But First, What is Leadpages?

If you don’t already know about Leadpages, it’s a landing page creation tool that makes it dead easy and quick to setup targeted, fun landing pages. You don’t need to know how to code or anything: it’s all drag and drop AND they have beautiful templates to pick from.

It’s how I created my free content strategy course page!

grow-blog-email-list-welcome-mat

Lots o’ pro bloggers use it. And for good reason: it’s affordable and saves SO MUCH time. I thought it might be overkill when I signed up months ago, but I can’t picture life without it.

So yeah in a nutshell, it makes pretty landing pages effortlessly.

AND, with this exclusive link, you can snag a 14 day free trial to check out Leadpages for yourself.

Mmk, Now What’s a Welcome Mat?

The example from Allison I featured at the beginning of this post is what’s called a “welcome mat”.

It basically means a call to action that you’re putting on your site as the first thing people see. They can either sign up and convert, or choose a “No Thanks” option and continue viewing the rest of your site.

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5 Easy Blog SEO Tips to Skyrocket Your Traffic

Blog SEO is a big deal.

It goes beyond just optimizing your posts for a single keyword, although that’s important too. I’ve been studying SEO for over three years now and have a pretty foolproof system for growing organic search traffic easily and quickly for my blog and websites.

5 Easy Blog SEO Tips: Grow Your Blog Traffic

Google is always changing their algorithms, so you need to be aware of what’s new in the world of SEO. But, these tips are universal, despite any new mega-update from the Google overlords.

Read on to discover my 5 best blog SEO tips you can do today!

 

#1 Verify Your Blog with Google Search Console

Google Search Console used to be called Webmaster Tools. It’s basically the place where Google verifies your site’s identity, keeps track of changes to your site (i.e. new blog posts), and controls how your site appears in search results.

It’s free and super easy to setup! Once you verify your site, it will stay that way.

I recommend logging into Search Console and checking your stats every month, just to make sure your website is indexing properly and all systems are go.

To verify your site, login to Search Console with a Google account (either a @gmail.com email, or your G Suite account email).

Easy Blog SEO Tips

Enter your website URL in the white box. ☝🏼

On the next screen, you’ll see different verification options. The easiest one is to verify with Google Analytics, which you can find on the Alternate Methods tab. If your Google Analytics account is setup with the same @gmail.com email address, it will verify your website right away.

Or, you can download an HTML file and upload it to your site to get verified. You can upload the file via FTP, or through your web hosting company’s CPanel/File Manager area. (Psst, this is where you would login to manage your hosting account – like on Bluehost or Siteground!)

There are lots of tools within Search Console, but the most important area to monitor for your SEO is the Crawl tab.

Easy Blog SEO Tips

Click on Crawl Stats to monitor how often Google comes to crawl your site. This is the number of times Google’s algorithm is scanning your content, looking for new changes, and adding those changes to Google.

aka… how your blog shows up in search results! Super important.

Easy Blog SEO Tips

More crawls per day = good!

Another key area to check in monthly is the Sitemaps tab under Crawl. Here, you can manually submit a new sitemap to Google. Many WordPress plugins do this automatically, but it’s a good idea to do it manually once in awhile too.

You can see how many pages of your site are indexed here. To add a new sitemap, click on Add/Test Sitemap at the top.

Easy Blog SEO Tips

Then, type in “sitemap.xml” into the box and press Submit.

Easy Blog SEO Tips

If you want to learn more about Search Console and all it can do for you, I recommend reading this article from Moz.

 

#2 Use SEO Keywords in the Right Places

It’s not enough to stuff your SEO keyword everywhere you can find a spot anymore. Google is cracking down on “spammy” keyword stuffing practices and shady over-optimization.

What does that mean?

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How to Decide What to Write a Blog About When You Love #AllTheThings

I get it. You are passionate about a few, or a lot of, topics and you don’t know which one to focus on for your blog.

It can be hard to narrow down to just a few topics if you’re used to writing about #AllTheThings.

How to Decide What to Write a Blog About

Or, if you haven’t started your blog yet, how on earth are you supposed to pick just a few topics?

My free blog strategy course can turn you into a quality content posting machine, buuuuuut you do need to know what you wanna write about first, right?

Have no fear. Today I’m gonna walk you through how to pick a profitable blog topic that you love writing about.

I wish I did that like five years ago. 🙄

Start a Blog: What to Write About?

 

How to Pick a Profitable Blog Topic

Unless you’re a one dimensional cartoon character, you probably have at least a few hobbies and interests. And if you’re like 99% of beginner bloggers out there, you want to write about them ALL.

You’ve read how important it is to choose a niche to monetize your blog, or gain real traction from blogging.

But HOW do you pick one?! GAHHHH.

It can feel impossible but I’m here to tell you it’s not. I used to be just like you!

Long story short, a great way to find your ideal topic is to just start a blog, and start writing. Just DO IT ALREADY. When I started my blog, I wrote about marketing from an agency perspective (since that’s my background) but quickly discovered I liked writing with an entrepreneurial mindset instead.

Meaning, instead of helping the big companies succeed, I want to help YOU succeed.

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How to Do SEO Keyword Research for Your Blog

I’m passionate about SEO for blogging. You could say obsessed. And for good reason: mastering SEO is the ultimate free way to market your business.

Yes, there’s paid search (AdWords), Facebook advertising, networking, lead generation and all that stuff too… but those strategies are made even better with a solid SEO foundation for your blog.

It can be a tough thing to learn if you’re just starting out. I used to think it was just for the pros, or something techy marketing wizard types did to “growth hack” or disrupt or whatever other marketing buzzword is hot right now.

Until I became a techy marketing wizard type. 🌟

Okay, before we get to my awesome lesson (including awkward video walkthrough) showing you how to do SEO keyword research for your blog, I’m gonna tell you my SEO story. Buckle up.

how to do blog seo keyword research

About five years ago, I got a job in an ad agency. It was all very exciting for 25 year old me. They had leather couches, rum hidden in cabinets and worked with huge national brands that I was a fan of. What’s not to love, right?

Well, the truth about the downside of agency life would come crushing down on me years later, but at that moment, things were great. I was the fresh meat, the eager young intern-type ready to learn about the industry and take it by the horns.

I am marketer, hear me roar! Or something.

Why Bloggers Need SEO

I got the job because I wrote well (and hopefully still do in the present tense). But, I had no idea about SEO. I’d heard of it, but again, filed it away in my brain into a folder called Wizard Land: Do Not Attempt.

I had to learn SEO for my new job, and I was nervous. My boss at the time took me under his wing and promised me it was really easy, I’d learn it in no time. The first week of my new job, I eagerly read everything I could find on the internet about how to do SEO keyword research, write for SEO, get higher rankings, get Google to like me, etc.

The articles I found were good, but I was left with a feeling of, “So now what? What do I do with all this information?”

Well, my boss showed me in like an hour how powerful SEO can be. How it can help businesses, how to write for it without sounding like a total tool, and why keywords are only one small part of SEO.

“Whoa, what? There’s more to SEO than keywords?!” you might be asking.

YEAH. There is. It’s a big topic with lots of shady shit in it and some really stellar strategies too.

I wanted to cover just keyword research today because it’s the easiest place to start if you’re new to SEO, and it’s especially important for bloggers.

I’ll show you exactly how to do SEO keyword research below…

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How to Use Google Analytics: The Complete Guide for Bloggers

If you’re new to living online (welcome to digital life, y’all), Google Analytics might be a bit overwhelming at first.

I promise it’s actually really easy! Once you get the hang of how to find reports for your blog traffic, and how to interpret what they mean, you’ll be golden.

Google Analytics can tell you a LOT about your blog and the audience reading your blog. It’s a super useful tool! I’m a big data nerd, but only when that data can actually make a difference and accomplish something, and that’s exactly what Google Analytics does.

Today I’m gonna walk you through EVERYTHING you need to know about how to use Google Analytics!

Let’s get started.

How to Use Google Analytics: For Bloggers

Step 1: How to Set Up Google Analytics

OK, this is the first step. If you have already enabled Google Analytics on your blog, skip ahead to Step 2.

Do you have a Google Analytics account yet? If not, all you need is a Google account (so a @gmail.com address). If you don’t already have this, click here to setup one now (it’s free of course!).

If you’re on WordPress, here’s how to set up Google Analytics easily on your blog. I’m sure it’s easy for other platforms too, but WordPress is what I know so I’ve included instructions for that below. Please note these instructions are for self-hosted WordPress blogs (wordpress.org!).

Login to WordPress! Then on the left side navigation, go to Plugins –> Add New.

In the “Search plugins…” box on the top right, type in “google analytics” and hit enter. You’ll see a bunch of results like this:

How to Use Google Analytics: Set Up

This is an easy way to install Google Analytics – using a plugin. There is a manual way you can go in and add the code too, but I like using a plugin because most of them also show you your stats right in your WordPress Dashboard (so, visible right when you login). It’s super convenient to have all your “blog stuff” in one place, right?

Anyway, obviously there’s quite a few to pick from. The one I personally use is Google Analytics by MonsterInsights.

Click on Install Now for that plugin (my button says Active because I already have it!). Once it’s done installing, that button will change to “Activate” so make sure to press that too, until it says Active, like my screen above.

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