Mar 162013
 
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I had stopped doing the monthly income and traffic reports as some readers had posted comments that they weren’t interested in seeing them and as DragonBlogger started focusing a little more on Technology, Entertainment and Gaming the blogging related articles were becoming a smaller focus.  However I did want to share with my fellow bloggers and those who seek to make money online the total traffic and earnings report for 2012.  This is an effort to show others seeking to make money online what is possible by blogging on a part time basis like I do, with a little WordPress services added in there as well.  It also shows how many expenses can come along with the blogging and help clear up the expenses vs. earnings that can come with running blogs online and especially ones where you hire a team of writers or freelance writers to contribute content for the site.

First the 2012 Traffic Report

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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.

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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:

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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

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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.

In Closing

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.


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Justin Germino
Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.
Justin Germino

@dragonblogger

Technology, Gaming and Wordpress blogger who runs gadget giveaways, helps others with blogging tips, monetization, earning and more!
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Justin Germino
  • Sita Gabriel

    Great info, can you tell me how exactly did you start the blog, how did you get traffic at the beginning of DragonBlogger.com?

  • http://avgjoegeek.net/ avgjoegeek

    Great report Justin! I can see it takes a ton of work to make your site successful. For the load times? There are a few things you can do to try and speed things up. 1. Images – make sure they are as optimized as possible as they are what are the bulk of the load size of your pages. 2. Try and “hard code” as much as possible into WordPress instead of relying on Plugins to do the work for you. Anything that has to reference the WP database is going to increase load times. 3. The biggest killer for my load times? External scripts – the necessary evil that allows me to display things like Facebook/Google+ and Punchtab. Unfortunately these pull from an external source and there is nothing that I can do to improve the load times.

    Currently I’m at around 4 seconds with a whopping 1meg page size! So I am switching to Genesis, audit what I have currently and see what I can get rid of. Whenever I get done I’ll be doing a comparison to the old site and see how it improved – Wish me luck!

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

      I considered the Genesis or Thesis framework myself but ended up with another free theme (Suffusion) is the one I am going to migrate too, it is more efficient has a ton of flexibility and had no initial cost. My new theme is very much where I want to be, you can take a sneak peak at http://dev.dragonblogger.com/sandbox let me know what you think.

      • http://avgjoegeek.net/ avgjoegeek

        At this point if you ever decide to go with a premium framework? I would suggest Genesis. I don’t like the direction they took Thesis 2.0.

        I took a look – it kind of reminds me of Pinterest or the front page of EA? Which isn’t a bad thing. I was told recently that my site is way too busy and is too distracting without offering the user to focus on what I want them to read.

        So… I’m going to start really looking at top sites and see how they are doing it – try and take the best and hopefully provide a better overall experience for the reader when they come to visit :)

        Great job again though Justin – I hope I can reach 1/2 your success in blogging!

        • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

          I was inspired by Gizmodo actually, if you scroll about 1/2 way down Gizmodo.com you see they have a column like layout for the rest of the articles on homepage. With the rise in popularity of Pinterest, Instagram…etc. My goal is to have snippets of information on the homepage, more snippets, rather than 4 or 5 larger sized article summaries. I believe more and more that bite sized chunks and readers will only click what immediately grabs them, few read a whole homepage and instead pick and choose very quickly what interests them to read and moves on to the specific article to read. Also the much smaller thumbnails load so much faster and the lack of coding for the slider and such saves overhead too. I like how tags, comments are all still included but are hidden and you have to click the image to show those features in the new theme.

  • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

    I started DragonBlogger.com on August 21st 2008 and my first efforts in getting traffic involved writing 60+ posts per month to create content, quality content that would last, I also did heavily rely on commenting on other blogs, expanding getting known and left about 50-100 comments per day at the time on other sites. I used Entrecard at the time too, but have since outgrown it. Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Answers.Yahoo.Com they all help generate some traffic, but overall 70% of my traffic comes from search engines not referral, so I still concentrate on providing quality and as much content as I can produce.

  • http://twitter.com/MysticDhaval Dhaval Thakur

    What a report man! loved it! hope i also get same report for my blog :P

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

      Paypal lets you pull a good annual report and then you can sort the data with a filter to collect all the information you need, it takes a little bit of time but works very well. I also track all my earnings monthly and keep it in a spreadsheet that I offer as a template for others if they want it, if you want a template spreadsheet just email me contactme@dragonblogger.com and I will send to you.

  • wholesale snapbacks

    Awesome post, nice blog comment list. thanks for sharing.

  • wholesale snapbacks

    Awesome post, nice blog comment list. thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

      Thank you, I am constantly testing new services and will continue to report on whether or not I have success with them.

  • http://twitter.com/sbhsbh Steve Hughes

    Thanks for sharing Justin…Whenever I see your reports I always feel like you would be rolling in the dough with your traffic. Just goes to show it’s very challenging, but yes nice for a part-time effort…Congrats

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

      I probably could earn more if I pushed more affiliate products, mass promoted the sale type of stuff, so I am not really over eager to sell stuff just for the sake of earning. I blog as a hobby and for fun, and I do it very part time at about 20 hours per week or less.