September 2017 Atypical Life Blogging Update

How I made $50 blogging in September 2017. It's not quite as easy as it looks.

***This post may contain affiliate links. I do not recommend products that I have not personally vetted and love myself.***

After 9 months of life for the Atypical Life blog, I feel it is time to separate the income report (home budget report) and the blogging update for the month. Blogging has started to morph more from a hobby and pasttime to attempting to make money from it, so let’s detail the progress I have made with it.

Making money from a blog is not nearly as easy as all the high dollar blogging income reports you see out there. I have been blogging for 9 months and trying to implement all of the tips and tricks out there and have made a grand total of $50 so far. Don’t get fooled by the “How I made $10,000+ last month” blog posts that making money blogging is easy and passive income.

Easy, no. Passive, definitely not while starting out!

Blogging Update

September saw a few more changes to this blog and it’s secret sister travel blog that we also run. You may have noticed the opt-in for Financial Independence 101… You should check it out. It’s been updated!

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I also was able to migrate the optin on the homepage to Rapidology. Rapidology by Leadpages has been an amazing plugin for lead generation. It makes it extremely easy to add opt-ins wherever you like and it is completely free. If you are comfortable with CSS you can even style them to match your personal theme like I have and they come out looking quite nice, if I don’t say so myself. If not, then they have lots of customization still available without messing with CSS.

My wife was out of town this month in Italy, where I was to join her at the end of the month. This left me with a lot of free time to work on the blog. I attempted again to write a blog post every day, but it didn’t end up working out. Writing a 1,000+ word post every day takes a lot of time and I had lots of tasks lined up while she was gone. I did write more as you can see from 9 posts being published in September.

Other tasks that were completed were:

  • migrate sister blog to Gantry from Grand Photography (this one took a very long time, though less than when I migrated Atypical Life to Gantry)
  • added Amazon ads to the bottom of posts (may be switching to Google Adsense in October)
  • Wrote a Recommends page to share with all of you the tools and products I use.
  • Got published on the Modest Money Top Finance Blogs List. Check them out!

Blogging Income

I made my first actual income this month!!!!!

I couldn’t believe it. After nearly 9 months of blogging I made my first actual income of $50. The post, 4 Critical Steps to Reduce Home Costs with Energy Efficiency, is a sponsored post that they paid $50 to put up on my site. I didn’t have to write it. I just edited it when it was delivered to me.

Hopefully, sponsored posts can keep rolling in as I increase traffic and get more exposure.

On a sad note for blogging income, our Amazon Affiliate program reached its 180 day maximum with no sales, so ended up getting rejected. Now, we have to reapply to get back in. Not a big deal, but it is disappointing that I was not able to get a single sign up. I guess I need to continue to look at optimizing affiliate marketing. One note about Amazon: in September they changed their rules to 3 affiliate sales to qualify within the 180 day probation period up from one qualifying affiliate sale.  

Traffic Growth

September saw continued traffic growth! Finally, I am getting people to consistently come and read my content. After 7 months of writing and more or less nobody reading it, it is relieving, to say the least, to finally have some traffic to the site. Writing with no one ever coming by and reading your writing gets demoralizing.

Hopefully, my writing has been helping out those of you that come by. Please let me know in the comments or shoot me an email from the contact page if you have suggestions to make this site more helpful to everyone.

Here are the traffic numbers so far:

  • April:  188 pageviews
  • May:   199 pageviews
  • June:  283 pageviews
  • July:   1280 pageviews
  • August: 3055 pageviews
  • September: 4937 pageviews  61% growth

As can be seen from the daily view from Google Analytics, my traffic started off September with a bang on Labor Day weekend. I got my first 3 days of over 400 pageviews per day over Labor Day and then it trailed off again. I saw the beginning of the month and was like, SWEET!!!! 12,000 pageviews here we come. Then, it trailed off… At least it leveled off at a level higher than it was in August. My newfound success in September can be attributed to 3 things:

  • Pinterest optimization from the Billionaire Pinterest Course by Paul Scrivens
  • Scheduled Pinterest pinning using BoardBooster. If you want to see growth on Pinterest you need to be scheduling pins. It makes it so much easier!
  • Midway through September I migrated Pinterest scheduling to Tailwind for testing.

The main takeaway from Paul’s Billionaire Pinterest Course is not all group boards are treated the same. Only pin to group boards that are relevant to your niche. Broad/general group boards are worthless and can actually hurt your chances of making it to the home feed.

Check out and follow the Atypical Life Pinterest account here.

One thing you learn as a new blogger is continual improvement. Always work on something new, improve something else. As my dad always quotes:

Improvise, adapt, and overcome.

Pinterest Scheduling

I have been scheduling all my Pinterest pins with BoardBooster, but midway through September I migrated to Tailwind for testing. The 2 Pinterest schedulers have different methodologies to scheduling, but in the end achieve the same end result.

The main reason I wanted to switch was because Tailwind is cheaper, and we all know that if something is cheaper, I am going to go for that one. Tailwind has a annual unlimited plan for $120 while BoardBooster ends up at $0.01 per pin. When you pin 2,000 pins per month, that comes out to $240/year and 3,000 pins per month comes out to $360/year. Tailwind remains at $120, which is a winner in my book.

Now, all I have to do is learn how to use Tailwind…

Tailwind used a new methodology of individually scheduling each pin to separate days and separate boards. However, once I got in the nitty gritty, I was able to set up board lists and then schedule a pin to all 30 group boards at once and space them out at whatever interval I want, whether it be 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, or anything in between.

Tailwind has become my go to tool for Pinterest scheduling over the past few weeks, but it is yet to be seen whether the traffic continues to increase under the new scheduling methodology. If so, then Tailwind is a definite winner.

Sign up for Tailwind with this link, and you get a free month to test out Tailwind!

So How did I do on my goals?

Goal Traffic for September: 6,000 pageviews, actual pageviews: 4,937 🙁 FAIL

Goal Traffic for October: 10,000 pageviews Stretch Goal: 12,000!

Guest Post Goal September: 2 guest posts, Actual Guest Posts: 0 🙁

Guest Post Goal October: 1 guest post

Path to get there: Continue with the new Pinterest methodology on Tailwind, apply to more group boards, target SEO and keywords while writing posts, and promote, promote, promote. It is time to start reaching out to other bloggers for help. I plan to comment more on others blogs and hope to guest post a time or 2 this month.

TL;DR

Traffic growth is real, but it is time to get this snowball rolling and make an avalanche of traffic! Keep coming back to Atypical Life for more help on your finances and to find out how this whole blogging thing works. Is it real? Can you actually make money blogging? Stick around and find out.

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Comments

  1. Your post is really well written and helpful. I started my blog in mid September. October being my first full month looks to have around 900 page views. My next goal is to leverage Pinterest like you. Your advice, determination and statistics are encouraging. Good luck! Tom

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