December 2017 Atypical Life Blogging Update

After 12 months online 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 in 1 year from now.

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

December 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 in November and 13 more new subscribers in December for a grand total of 60. 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 last 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 which has great built-in signup forms. However, with our current blog income of <$50 per month and subscriber total 60, it just does not make sense to put money into the email service yet.

I have started to email my subscribers on a much more regular basis. Actually, I have just started emailing them period. Before Drip, I never sent an email to my subscribers, so I am not surprised that the open-rate and click-through rate are so low. Going forward, I plan to email regularly and try to connect more on a personal level with my subscribers.

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 on Cryptocurrencies 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. December saw me get up 11 new posts along with 1 guest posts published on Keep Thrifty. You can find them below:

Guest posting did not bring hardly any traffic my way from the 2 posts that I have gotten up. Mustard Seed Money even does ~80,000-100,000 pageviews per month and I got a measly 30 sessions referred to him. The Keep Thrifty post on the other hand, drove 35 sessions in 2 days, much higher than Mustard Seed in a shorter amount of time.

Basically, I am not seeing the major benefit of guest posting besides link-building for SEO. However, the chain gangs from Rockstar Finance have been doing a wonderful job of building up those links around the web!

In total, I wrote 20 posts for Atypical Life and 3 guest posts during the 60-Day Challenge. Success!

Blogging Income

Affiliate Income

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

We followed that up in December with -$6 of affiliate income. That’s right, negative income 🙁

Someone returned an item that was bought in November. I am pretty sure it was a part for an Ethereum miner. The setup probably ended up being more difficult than they intended. Oh well.

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?

Media.net came through with acceptance and they even display correctly, but the ads just don’t look very good. The default setup is for text only ads served by them. I need to contact the account manager to get the image/video ads enabled so they look a bit more presentable.

I have a few more ideas for ads coming in the future, but it is certainly not the quick way to big profit because of the reliance on big traffic.

Traffic Growth

December saw actual traffic growth again after several months of stagnation. I achieved a 13% increase in traffic over November! It is still not the highest month-to-date, however, I am still happy to see traffic growth.

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  🙁
  • December: 4654 pageviews   13% growth 🙂

 

google analytics

As can be seen from the daily view of December from Google Analytics when compared with November, I saw little growth. Basically, the difference was the absence of a lull in traffic that occurred over Thanksgiving in November.

Going forward into the new year I am going to be focusing on increasing traffic. In order to reach the 25,000 session goal to apply to Mediavine, I need to be averaging 833 sessions per day or ~30,000 pageviews.

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

Pinterest Scheduling

My personal followers have continued to go up and I am now up to 210 followers! Hopefully, I can sustain my Pinterest followers growth hand continue up to 1000 by the end of 2018.

So How did I do on my goals?

GoalsDecember TargetDecember ActualCommentNext Month
Pageviews20,0004,654FAIL 🙁5,000
Guest Posts11Success!0
Subscribers10061Progress100
Affiliate Income$100$-6Epic FailPositive $
Pinterest Followers200210Success250

The path to get there: Continue with the renewed Pinterest methodology on BoardBooster, get accepted to a couple of BoardBooster Tribes, 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.

Conclusion

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. We’re flattered that you’re aiming to join us at Mediavine. We’re here to help you monetize your great content with programmatic ads. When you reach the threshold of 25k monthly sessions, we’re here for you at [email protected].
    We’ll see you soon!

    1. Thank you so much Jenny! I just purchased another Pinterest course to up my game. Hopefully it will be in the next few months… We shall see.

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