Monthly Blog Growth and Income Recap – June 2018

 

Well, we have officially reached the 6 month mark of blogging for This Online World!

It’s remarkable how quickly time can pass on these sorts of projects, but as the saying goes: time flies when you’re having fun.

Overall, the month of June resulted in some very solid progress for my blog.

My quest to 25,000 monthly sessions (for meeting the Mediavine traffic requirements) is under way quite nicely.

Additionally, I also tested out a new blogging monetization method, and improved some back-end aspects of This Online World.

So, let’s jump into this month’s blogging income and traffic report to examine some of the progress!

If you want to read my other blog reports before continuing, you can check them out here:

Let’s get to it!

June 2018 Blogging Traffic and Content Statistics:

I’m happy to have reached my goal of publishing 4 posts for the month of June.

Blogging roughly once per week seems to be a manageable schedule for now, and as usual, I like to write longer posts that have some thought instead of pumping out content.

All in all, the month of June saw:

  • 4 new blog posts.
  • 10,865 additional words.
  • 2 new guest posts (1 is live, 1 is scheduled).

I wrote the 2 guest posts with a friend of mine, and they helped to establish an additional 2 backlinks to my blog which is pretty awesome.

They aren’t anything special, but each article was about 1,500 words and covered generalized ways to make money online.

Additionally, I’ve also started to take a harder look into my SEO profile, rankings, and overall progress in the eyes of search engines.

This month, I focused on 2 metrics: backlinks and website speed.

I’ve used both SEM Rush and Serpstat to monitor the progress of my blog thus far.

Currently, backlinks are one of my greatest weaknesses in terms of increasing my domain authority. The 2 guest posts I wrote this month are a good start, but I have a long way to go:

backlink-report-blogging

backlink-progress

As you can see, I’ve gained a few backlinks this month and lost quite a few.

I also am sitting at roughly 38 total referring links.

I’m actually happy to have lost some of those links (they were from spammy Russian websites or meaningless RSS feeds), and the links I gained were do-follow links from other blogs.

I also edited a few old Medium articles and added some referring links to This Online World where it made sense.

Medium links are no-follow, but I hope to benefit from some additional referral traffic in any case.

Moving forward, I plan to make an effort with link building campaigns, blogger outreach, and guest posting.

Considering the benefit of link building from a SEO perspective, this seems like a worthwhile endeavor.

In any case, I definitely recommend other bloggers track their backlink metrics and overall SEO profile on a biweekly-monthly basis.

Serpstat in particular is pretty neat, and I use their platform to track position changes for my top 10 keywords:

serpstat-keyword-tracking

Monitoring keyword position changes is a great way to find the web territory you need to defend (high rankings) and where you should aggressively push in areas of opportunities.

Personally, I have a few keywords sitting on the fringes of page 2, so I might update existing articles that rank using these keyword and look to expand with new content in the categories that are doing well.

Increasing my Blog’s Speed and Performance:

In June, I also invested in hiring a WordPress developer from Fiverr to increase my blog speed and performance.

My friend Peter from Seller At Heart (his blog is awesome, check it out) advised me about the importance of website speed, and I decided to make some improvements in that department.

I mean, Google did announce a mobile-first index system this year, and if I’m honest, I’ve been neglecting my website performance for some time now.

Anyway, I finally decided to scour the Fiverr marketplace for WordPress optimization specialists.

After a bit of searching, I found Sharmin, a WordPress expert from India who specializes in website speed and performance optimization.

wordpress-development-fiverr

For $20, Sharmin would improve my blog speed and performance, so I decided to give it a go.

Unfortunately, I don’t have before screenshots, but from my own tests I know my blog was averaging around a 65-70/100 score on Google Page Speed Insights (for desktop and mobile).

Here’s a screenshot from a Pingdom speed test on my recent freelancing post:

pingdom-page-speed

My home page is still a tad slow, but my blog posts now load significantly faster on both desktop and mobile.

Additionally, future posts I create will be properly formatted and my website is actually optimized.

At the end of Sharmin’s work, This Online World has really made some progress.

What did Sharmin do, exactly?

In a nutshell, Sharmin added:

  • Browser caching.
  • Photo optimization.
  • Minification.
  • Fixed some stuff with Javascript and CSS that I don’t quite understand.

fiverr-website-development

In other words, Sharmin made a lot of improvements on the back end of my blog.

He installed some great plugins, worked his magic, and delivered the final result in 2 days.

I think thee improvements show that sometimes, it is worth investing into the development of your blog.

SEO related metrics like page load speed are incredibly important for ranking, user experience, and your overall success as a blogger.

Spending $20 now to reap the long-term SEO benefits of a fast website makes a lot of sense to me.

It can sometimes seem difficult to invest money (or time) into something that isn’t immediately profitable, but I think bloggers should consider SEO related investments as a long term play.

I still don’t have a logo, and my website theme was only $45. However, I’m definitely not afraid to spend $20-$50 on some SEO enhancements from time to time.

If you want to sign up on Fiverr and outsource some website development, I’d appreciate if you used my sign up link!

Book a gig on Fiverr today with my link to help support my blog!

Blogging Traffic Stats – Slow but Steady Organic Traffic:

I was slightly discouraged last month to have the first month of ‘backwards’ growth.

However, June saw the highest ever monthly page view count for This Online World with 12,083 views!

blogging-page-view-stats

I’m excited to see growth once again because it means my content is working its way up in the world.

Despite my goal of boosting my social media promotion for the month of June, I didn’t make significant changes to my marketing strategy.

Here are some promotional efforts I continued/experimented with for the month of June:

  • I shared blog posts on several Facebook blog posting groups.
  • I joined the Rockstar Finance forum and submitted This Online World to their feed.
  • I wrote 10 Quora answers.
  • I shared 2 blog posts on Reddit (1 to r/FreelanceWriting and another in a bi-weekly self promotion thread of r/FinanciallyIndependent).
  • I syndicated 2 more articles to my Medium profile and added some more backlinks on existing articles.

All in all, these efforts resulted in roughly 700-800 views.

The rest was pretty much all organic traffic and various bits of referral traffic.

As you can see from my traffic breakdown, that’s a decent spot to be in:

traffic breakdown for blog

The fact that organic traffic is continuing to increase is a very encouraging sign.

Often times, people bemoan Google updates, changes to search engine algorithms, or the nature of search engines in general.

However, Google actually makes updates to their search engine algorithm hundreds of times per year, according to Moz.

Sometimes the updates are massive (like the Panda update that destroyed the rankings of millions of terrible content pages), but most of the time, they go largely unnoticed.

Additionally, I believe that high quality content producers who create original, engaging work don’t need to stress about what the future may hold.

Voice search/result rankings might shake things up, and SEO will continue to evolve.

Ultimately, content is king and I think we should trust the process.

Moving forwards, I do need to revamp my Quora marketing efforts and drive additional referral/social traffic.

For the time being, at least I have some organic growth on my side!

Blogging Income Report – Making Money with a Blog:

Display Advertising Income from Blogging:

June was a relieving month for blogging income because I finally made up my mind on the whole ‘should I monetize my blog?” conundrum.

For most of June, I was simultaneously running 3 Adsense ad blocks and 3 Media.net ad blocks.

This is 100% allowed by both platforms, and to be fair, I think I did an adequate job or spacing ad blocks and preventing the disruption of user experience.

However, from both a page speed and monetization perspective, I don’t think the combination of Media.net and Adsense is worth it for me.

Adsense has an approximate $2 RPM for This Online World. Media.net is roughly $3.30 which is what I was expecting for a blog that’s loosely in the technology niche:

media-advertising-earnings

However, not every viewer will see every ad block, and I also refrained from placing Adsense or Media.net blocks in-text.

Ultimately, each advertising network earned about $15-$20 for the month.

Media.net has a higher RPM since the ads are contextual and match my technology niche, and overall, Media.net would earn slightly more than Adsense if I had let it run for 30 days.

Despite these earnings, an extra $20/month isn’t worth the sacrifice in page speed and user enjoyment/readability.

Besides, I’d rather earn less money now but benefit in terms of SEO and page ranking to help inch towards the 25,000 monthly session requirement for Mediavine.

Moving forwards, I’m only keeping Adsense ad blocks active on my blog.

In any case: Monthly advertising revenue = $33.

Phone Farming – Passive Income Results:

I don’t have much to report on the phone farming side of things this month.

Now that I’m working full time while finishing school, I definitely spend less time tending to my phone farming operation or researching new passive income applications.

I did learn about some nifty global GPT websites and ways to make money online in the month of June, and wrote a post on the best global GPT websites and passive income apps.

However, my own phone farming routine has remained rather unchanged.

Here’s the income breakdown from phone farming for the month of June:

Total: Roughly $39.75 from phone faming.

I actually visited some local cell phone shops this month to find cheap cellphone deals for phone farming, but my efforts were in vain (phones are expensive in Canada).

For now, I think I’ll keep my modest device running for some free Amazon gift cards!

Making Money on Medium:

I’ve continued syndicating content from my blog onto Medium throughout June, and I’ve also grown to 140+ followers.

I still plan on writing more original content for the platform when I find the time, but for now, content syndication plus minimal Twitter promotion is spurring growth.

These are the stats for my Medium page views over the last 30 days:

medium-traffic-stats

That’s about 2,500+ more views for that time period than the previous month, marking around a 50% increase in my reach on Medium.

Unsurprisingly, a 50% increase in reach resulted in an increase in Medium income as well:

Making-money-on-Medium

medium-blogging-update

$56.55 isn’t a bad bit of passive income for the month, especially since it’s converted from U.S. to Canadian currency on my end.

Unfortunately, I expect my next month on Medium to be less stellar.

Unbeknownst to me (always read terms of service and guidelines), you aren’t allowed to lock content that focuses on Medium as a platform behind the member pay wall.

My post How to Make Money on Medium (a previously strong earner) has therefore been demonetized by Medium staff.

This oversight was completely my mistake, and while it is unfortunate, it serves me right for not paying attention to Medium Partner Program guidelines.

If you’re planning on writing on Medium to make money, be sure to stay clear of writing about Medium as a company/platform!

On the bright side, Medium is continuing to send fairly interested readers to This Online World:

medium-referral-traffic

I’m hoping that the triangle of audiences I’m building (Quora, Medium, and this blog) will continue to benefit one another through streams of referral traffic and increased reach.

I think Medium is an excellent way for bloggers to increase their blog traffic.

Even if you don’t earn a dime through the Partner Program, it can be a valuable form of content syndication.

And who knows, maybe I’ll have a $100+ month down the line as I add more content!

Amazon Affiliate Blog Earnings:

Nothing crazy to report on the Amazon Affiliate earnings side, as usual.

However, June was my best month for making money with Amazon Affiliate, with total earnings of $10.30.

amazon-affiliate

The amount of referral traffic I’m driving to Amazon is also continuing to slowly increase, so this boost in income makes some sense.

Adding affiliate links to my post on how to start investing certainly has helped with this aspect of monetization.

Ultimately, This Online World is not an Amazon Affiliate website, and I have no plans on saturating this website with affiliate links.

However, the bits of passive income are nice to have every month, and I’ll keep including the numbers in the list!

Total blog related income for June: $139.6.

Note: I won’t see the Media.net earnings for a very long time (or ever) since they have a $100 cash out threshold…maybe I’ll add their ads to another website in the future.

Plans for Next Month:

Next month plans are really up in the air.

My courses are starting to slow down, but I have a few unfortunate projects to get out of the way in the month of July. Hopefully this doesn’t impact my ability to push out a post a week!

Other than that, I have plans to revisit old posts and update some content to hopefully push some keywords into higher ranks.

I also want to establish a few more backlinks or forums, Reddit, other blogs, and perhaps some directories.

I’m currently trying to be featured on the list of the best finance related blogs on Modest Money, which would be an awesome backlink to gain.

Hopefully, This Online World can be on there soon! I recommend checking out the list in any case to find some excellent blogs to read.

That’s all for this month!

Thank you so much for reading.

Tom

 

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Abbie

You’re killing it Tom. Keep going and thank you for the transparency.

Lola B

It is fascinating to watch the progress. The level of detail in each post, the depth and breadth of your research, the clear explanations, useful links, and transparency about your approach make each post fun, applicable, interesting, and inspirational. Love receiving a new post notification from your blog. Keep it up, Tom. Looking forward to the next posts even though summer is busy. Best success, Tom!

Great post, i came across your site in the process of researching keywords so your efforts are definitely paying off. Very useful content for new blogger.