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March 2013

April 12, 2013
blog traffic

April is almost half over, and I’m finally getting around to posting about March.  This explains a lot about my entire life right now, actually.

As you can see from the picture, I earned $42.71 this month.  My 14 year old thinks this is super cool.  (Actually, the exact phrase was “It’s a boss!” but I told him I couldn’t use that phrase, because I don’t want people thinking I’m 14.)  I’m trying really hard to think it’s cool, but I’m frustrated.  There are days when I think a food blog was the worst idea I ever had.

But I tell myself that someday I will say it was the best idea I ever had.

Dear Lord, let it be the best idea I ever had.

The numbers:

  • Over 50k pageviews in March, (or over 51k, depending on which stats you look at) which is another good jump up.  (about 7k higher than February) Happy for that.  Lately, I’ve been hearing that some of the really big ad networks look for 100k pageviews as an entry point, so I obviously have a ways to go.
  • I have around 200 more Facebook followers and 450 new Pinterest followers and a bunch of new G+ followers in March.  I think e-mail subscribers are around 210, about 30 of those new this month.
  • The money breakdown is $2.16 from Amazon, $6.21 from AdSense and $34.34 from HyperX.  All of these are substantially higher than last month… if you look at percentages.  Not so much if you look at raw numbers.  I do wish HyperX had some sort of statistical information I could look at.  Hopefully some day….

This month’s lessons:

  • I obviously know nothing about AdSense.  I watched an awesome Hangout about monetizing your blog, and they said you could “roll out of bed and earn $1 cpm with Adsense.”  I checked my stats, only to discover that I am making $0.16 cpm.  This obviously made me feel amazing.  I tried making a new ad unit, and for some reason it is only showing blank space, so I’m currently making $0.  Even better.  Ugh.
  • I learned that G+ is a powerful tool for page rank and SEO.  I watched another Hangout about this, and it was kind of fascinating.  I can see how working hard on G+ could potentially help my ranking in Google and bring me lots of traffic.  To this end, I have begun a new campaign of growing my G+ as quickly as possible.
  • I learned that my SEO is actually pretty good.  HyperX did an SEO audit for me, and it told me that I am far ahead of most other bloggers in this area.  The one real downside is that my blog is relatively new and small (in Google’s eyes, anyway) so hopefully time=money in this regard.  This makes me feel a lot more confident about going through old posts periodically to update and improve the SEO.
  • Recipes and photography have been steadily getting better, and I find myself getting pickier about what I will accept from myself.  Below are a few favorites from March.

food photography

  • I learned some fascinating things by diving into my stats this month, not the least of which was the recent sources of traffic.  I find it curious that even though I know absolutely nothing about Tumblr, I’ve been getting a little traffic from them.  I started using Tumblr as a food photography portfolio, and I do really nothing else but post at random intervals.  So, note to self, keep working Tumblr.  And maybe figure out StumbleUpon too.

blog traffic

(by the way, the above graphic shows referral traffic only, which explains why Google is not listed.)

Accountability on my goals from last month:

  • Coding issue that is making my site load slow: I made some improvements here, but the guys at HyperX seemed to think it was pretty average as far as load times are concerned, so I’m going to be happy with it for now.  Anything more that could be done is beyond my capabilities for sure.
  • Finish granola book: Did not happen.  Did not even come close to happening.  Did I even make one granola recipe this month?  I doubt it.  I’m feeling like kind of a loser about this.
  • Fan-gated freebie:  Not happening.  I did, however, run a giveaway, encouraging people to follow on Facebook to get more entries, so that will help a little.  I hope.
  • Figure out how to make more money:  I’m not sure moving from $22 to $44 is really much more money, but I’m going to tell people it is a 100% increase, because that sounds better.

And last but not least, goals for April:

  • Learn as much as I can about Google+, and gain a substantial amount of new followers.  I want to get good at this.
  • Learn as much as I can about AdSense, and start making some freaking money with that.  This includes figuring out if I can put AdSense in my e-mails, since my open rate is high and my click through rate is low.
  • Put some focus on the granola book FOR THE LOVE OF PETE.
  • Start learning Photoshop.  I think I’m outgrowing PicMonkey.

Phew.  I’m exhausted.  I do have a big group post coming up at the end of April, and I want to start working on getting sponsors for our next post (or maybe the one after that).

The two quotes that are motivating me this month:

W. Somerset Maugham – “I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”

Alvin Toffler – “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”


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