November 2017 Atypical Life Blogging Update

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

After 11 months of life for the Atypical Life blog, blogging has started to morph more from a hobby and pastime to attempting to make money from it, so let’s detail the progress I have made with it. When you add side income to your “retirement” portfolio, then you can retire even earlier and that is the goal. I want to retire at age 30 when my expat contract in China is up.

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 11 months and trying to implement all of the tips and tricks out there and have made less than $100. 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!

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Blogging Update

November saw a few more changes to this blog and its secret sister travel blog that we also run.

60-Day Blogging Challenge

Towards the end of October, Paul Scrivs, the spectacular creator of the Billionaire Blog Club released his 60-Day Blogging Challenge. His goal was to inspire us to set up our own goals and get ourselves set up for success come the new year.

Here are the goals I set up for myself:

  1. 20,000 pageviews in any 30-day period
  2. 100 email subscribers
  3. $100 in affiliate income
  4. New email sequence
  5. 15 new posts
  6. 2+ guest posts

In return for pursuing and achieving these goals, he will sweeten up our Billionaire Blog Club affiliate payout from 40% to 50% making a huge return on investment. Plus, he is getting ready to raise the cost of entry to this exclusive blogging course/club/community to ~$1000! So you need to get in soon.

Check him out here.

Email Signup and Subscribers

After migrating to Drip from Mailchimp and getting Rapidology working again, I was able to gain 13 new subscribers. I am now up from 34 to 47 subscribers. Not quite the 100 total I am looking for, but at least the trend is going up and is certainly going up much faster than it has in the past.

I love Rapidology and was sorely disappointed this month to learn that they are retiring the plugin and not releasing any more updates for it. 🙁

With the retirement of Rapidology, I am crossing my fingers that it stays compatible for awhile longer until I can get switched over to Convertkit eventually which has great built-in signup forms. However, with our current blog income of <$50 per month and subscriber total <50, it just does not make sense to put money into the email service yet.

Email Sequence

I am working on a new email sequence, but am still deciding which way to go with it. I believe that investing advice would be a great email sequence, but as I get into cryptocurrencies, I am thinking an email sequence on them might be beneficial as well.

If you have a preference, please leave a comment or email me at [email protected]

The first short email sequence/signup is here:

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Other Blogging News

After returning from our travels in October, my wife and I buckled down on posting and regular blogging updates. November saw me get up 9 new posts along with 3 guest posts written with 2 of them published so far. I was stoked to finally get a couple of guest posts up! You can find them below:

I also completed an interview for Keep Thrifty.

From those posts along with twice weekly posting to Atypical Life I cranked out a total of 12 articles in November. I am well on my way to achieving the 15 posts in 60 days goal.

Blogging Income

November saw our first affiliate income! We made a whopping $31.80 all from Amazon.

My post on How To Make Money Mining Ethereum was the cash cow this month as at least one person ordered the parts for an Ethereum miner through my links.

Hopefully, I can continue the forward progress on affiliate income. This is the first affiliate income we have received and it feels good to finally be making positive dollars off of this blog. After the sad not in September of having our Amazon Affiliate program cancelled, we are officially accepted! We have made enough sales through enough different people now to officially be “big time” with Amazon.

I hope to also continue to receive sponsored posts requests as I increase traffic and get more exposure.

Using Ads

I tried to add Google Adsense to Atypical Life this month, but they refuse to display. I have gone through the proper troubleshooting steps to no avail. Anyone else that has issues with Google Adsense have any ideas?

I also applied to Media.net but have not had time to get it setup yet, so no ads and no ad revenue to speak of for now…

Traffic Growth

November saw little to no traffic growth from October with only a 5% rise in pageviews. At least 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:

  • August: 3055 pageviews
  • September: 4937 pageviews  61% growth
  • October: 3909 pageviews  -20% growth  🙁
  • November: 4101 pageviews   5% growth  🙁
  • 2 frowns in a row… Not good!!!!!

As can be seen from the daily view of November from Google Analytics when compared with October, I saw no growth. It pretty much shows static numbers. At least I did not decrease. Towards the end of the month with the holidays, things really tailed off, and I had my lowest traffic day in 3 months. I guess that should be a comfort though, because that means people are enjoying time with their families and not getting distracted by the internet.

Going forward into December I definitely need to increase these pageviews. In order to reach the 20,000 pageview goal I need to be averaging 645 pageviews per day, which is higher than I have ever had.

Can I make it?

It is possible, but let’s see. I will be following these recommendations to increase pageviews in December:

  • Pinterest optimization from the Billionaire Pinterest Course and Billionaire Pinterest Book 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!
  • After 2 full months of testing tailwind and remaining stagnant with regards to Pinterest sessions, I am returning to BoardBooster to see if it adds the magic sauce. It is certainly easier and more hands off than Tailwind.

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.  ~Clint Eastwood

stagnant pageviews
Weekly pageviews stagnant for 3 months.

Pinterest Scheduling

 

I applied to and got into about 10 more group boards in November, but I still need to apply to more. There is growth to be had, and it seems that simply the more group boards you are in the better. I am trying to stay relevant when it comes to boards. So far I have:

  • 41 Relevant personal finance group boards
  • 12 generic blogging boards

It is nice to have so many, however, the numbers are a little bit inflated. Nearly one-half of the personal finance boards have less than 1000 followers. So, I actually have less useful boards than the stats make it look.

My personal followers have continued to go up and I am now up to 192 followers! Hopefully, I will surpass 200 followers shortly.

So How did I do on my goals?

Traffic for November: 10,000 pageviews, actual pageviews: 4,101 🙁 FAIL

Traffic for December: 20,000 pageviews

Guest Post Goal November: 2 guest posts, Actual Guest Posts: 2 + 1 scheduled for publication in Mid-December

Guest Post Goal December: 1 guest post

Affiliate Income December: $100

Total Subscribers By EOY: 100

The path to get there: Continue with the renewed Pinterest methodology on BoardBooster, 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. I didn’t know you were in China. That’s so cool!

    My traffic was down in Nov. Some seasoned bloggers said it’s normal since people are busy preparing for and enjoying the holidays. Traffic will pick up in January though. Good luck!

    1. Thanks Ms. FAF. Down for the holidays seems okay. People are taking the chance to unwind from the constant in your face nature of technology and the internet and enjoying life with their families. Back to “the grind” in January. I guess that is high time for us. 🙂

  2. Hi I came across your blog on Pinterest and I love the $0 income report – very refreshing from all the ‘How I made $100,0000000 in November 2017’ income reports (I am guilty of this as well). I read through a few articles and they are great – informative and well written. But I think the reason you are not making more money is that you just don’t have enough affiliate links in the text of the articles. I understand if this is deliberate in order to provide a pure and valuable reader experience, however it may also be limiting your affiliate sales. I have several websites and I am probably at the opposite end of the scale regarding number of affiliate links which is probably over doing it!
    Anyway good luck with your blog !
    Russell
    Russell Barbour recently posted…3 Easy Ways to Save Money on GroceriesMy Profile

    1. Thanks for dropping by. I am definitely trying to adopt a less pushy method to affiliate marketing, but that is probably why I have such low affiliate sales.

  3. Thank you for documenting your progress, accomplishments and challenges. I enjoy reading them as I travel a similar path with my blog. I got into Pinterest for blog promotion after reading your update a couple of months ago. I tried Tailwind for automated pinning, but it confused me and like you ended up with board booster. Tom
    Tom @ Dividends Diversify recently posted…Partying Like It’s 2007 (Part 1)My Profile

    1. Thanks so much Tom! Tailwind is definitely a bit harder to get rolling because it is not automatic. I think though, there is definitely a need to maintain a manual presence on Pinterest as well.

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