First the 2012 Traffic Report
From Jan 1st 2012 – December 31st 2012 DragonBlogger.com received nearly 1 million pageviews from 645,743 unique visits. Bounce rate and Avg. Duration could use some improvement but the amount of traffic in 2012 was nearly 200,000 more than in 2011.
Referral traffic took a swing where Facebook turned to generate the most referral traffic behind Google itself. Most of those Google.com referral visits were from imgres or Google Images links.
Yahoo Answers was something I started experimenting with in 2012 and you can see that answering some key questions with a link to a few source articles on my site paid off in terms of generating referral traffic. I only focused primarily on 4 questions on Yahoo Answers, and 4 articles that were linked so this was a huge return on investment and one I hope to leverage more in 2013 as well.
StumbleUpon was still generating a lot of visits in the first half of 2012, but was not even in the top 15 by the 2nd half of 2012 and kept getting lower, not sure if there was a penalty to my account or the service started fizzling among those who did stumble my articles but it definitely waned toward the 2nd half of the year.
The top 10 articles for the year are:
Pottermore related articles still garnered a huge portion of the traffic in 2012 overall but did come dramatically down toward the end of the year, meanwhile Pavan wrote an article on top 10 Go Launcher Ex themes which literally launched to the #6 spot in only a few short months. Diablo 3 released and the article showcasing some wallpapers held strong in the early part of the year. Setting up Kindle Fire for kids was published in December 2011 and still continues to be a strong performing article on the site even 15 months later.
Finally when NBC Heroes came out on Netflix, I started seeing surges in my Season 5 article when this article is several years old, it just started trending as people probably started searching for a non-existent Season 5 and came across my article which questioned it.
Now the 2012 Income Report
Listing out all sources of online activity related income to my blogging, I brought in a total gross revenue of $11,204.66 in 2012, which is higher than my $9,156 earnings for 2011. You can see that AdSense was my largest single revenue source at $2,887.47 with IZEA coming in 2nd place with $1,642.21 which comprises mostly of Social Spark with some SponsoredTweets and PayPerPost income. TheBlogFrog was a new service I only started using in 2012 and though they don’t have a lot of opps for technology bloggers, I was still able to earn $600 from that network. Amazon Affiliate income rose dramatically in 2012 as well and most of the income was earned in the last quarter of the year toward the holiday seasons which was the same trend as 2011.
My $4,390.60 is spread out across direct advertisers who pay for featured/sponsored reviews, banner ads, contest sponsor income (their money goes to fund prizes), WordPress services income also as well was included in this category though that is a much smaller portion overall.
Expenses were greater in 2012 than in any previous year and this year I had paid out $2,831 to freelance writers most of that was to my DragonBlogger staff, I also included the Amazon.com purchases that went to prizes and giveaway for my readers and including shipping fees, my web hosting feeds for all my 7 blogs across 2 hosting providers, advertising with the Blog Engage Network, Facebook, SponsoredTweets and my Feedblitz RSS. My total expenses for 2012 that were blogging related came to $5845.15 which brought my net income for 2012 to $5,359.51 for the year.
This really isn’t an income anyone can live off of if it was your sole source of income, but as I run my blogs as a part time hobby and if you divide the hours I put in vs. the gross income my earnings rate is about $10.77 per hour. Again, this isn’t a brag-worthy income amount in itself, but for me this is a hobby that I enjoy doing it and most hobby’s people pay money for their hobby, this is one of the few hobbies where I make money from my hobby.
This also is a way to earn income online without ever leaving my home or taking time away from my family as most of my blogging is done at night for a few hours when the rest of the family is sleeping.
2012 continued to be a growing year for DragonBlogger.com and the site and all my blogging related activities continue to be a fun hobby that I learn from as well as earn a little on the side from. I continue to try new programs and some new ones in 2013 that are working well are ebuzzing.co.uk as well as growing my YouTube Channel which will cross 250,000+ video views very soon. I want to continue to expand my video media content creation and integrate it with the site and in 2013 my focus will be on improving site speed and pageload times. My site still takes too long to load, the homepage is slow loading due to the widget and I feel this is hurting my SERP rankings and possibly some traffic so I plan on transitioning to a new theme and possibly a new hosting provider or at least upgrading to a VPS or dedicated server I know Bluehost is supposed to be offering VPS and Dedicated Hosting soon so I may upgrade my plan there and see how it does.