So overall October 2011 was a backwards step for this Technology blog which had record earnings and traffic in August and September almost to take a big hit to both traffic and income in October.
October 2011 Analytics Report
Traffic was down nearly 30% in October compared to September and this was largely due to the falling traffic for the Pottermore articles. since 80% of the site traffic comes from searches, DragonBlogger.com heavily fluctuates traffic based on trends or changes in how pages are searched for or rank in the SERP. As a result my site brought in only 59k unique visits and 76k pageviews when I was over 100k pageviews the previous month. The site also had an income drop by about 40% as well though earnings related to traffic were down only 20%.
I still need to increase traffic from referral sources but you can see the top 7 listed above and BlogEngage continues and has always stayed on the top 10 list of referral traffic sources for my blog. BlogEngage is a valuable resource not only for traffic but for building backlinks and engaging with the blogging community so it is on one of my top “must use” lists for bloggers, but especially for new bloggers looking to try and leapfrog the initial plateau that occurs with traffic building.
I continue to build my Facebook fanpage and for the first time Facebook jumped to the 4th highest referrer, Twitter continues to hold as #3 and as my networks continue to grow these referral sources continue to grow as well.
StumbleUpon has been the #1 traffic referral for most of my blogs and continues to hold that spot, all it takes is one good article to be shared and you can get really decent spikes in traffic. It is completely random and intermittent but should not be ignored either.
October 2011 Earnings Report
The varied amount of blog earning sources continue to help keep my revenues above the $500 mark, even with a 45% income loss I consider this one of my low marks which is ironic since $500 is about 3x as much as I made from blogging about 2 years ago on this date in a single month.
SocialSpark which had quite a few good opps in September wound up only having a few offers for my smaller blogs. My personal blog won a $75 BloggersCompete contest and started picking up more income since it was upgraded to a PR3 by Google. Even my Poetry blog which is a PR3 picked up a little income but it wasn’t much by comparison. This was the first month I actually started seeing referral income from SocialSpark and though I had almost 40 people signed up under me, only 3 had blogs registered. I earned about $3 just from referral bloggers doing paid posts so this was like free income. It takes about 30 referral users on SponsoredTweets to match the referral income of just 1 blogger referred on SocialSpark so I will try to build up my referrals there if I can.
SocialSpark is still a great platform and IZEA opened a 2nd office out and is publicly traded now. I really think this is one of the best platforms for bloggers to earn money by doing sponsored reviews and none of the reviews are DoFollow links, advertisers care more about the review and word of mouth than the backlink in the post.
AdSense continues to be the largest single source of revenue though this was dropped by about 20% which is in line with my traffic loss. Pretty much every other program hovered around the $20 – $30 mark and they all added up to make the difference. One new program I tested was Luminate which puts advertisements on any images you already upload to your blog. This brought in over $8 but it is very passive and automatically inserts itself over your images so I thought I would leave it in for a few more months. It could be the Luminate took a little bit away from the AdSense or Amazon affiliate earnings but it is too early to tell.
Amazon Affiliate earnings though at $43 was pretty good for me, I can have some months with < $20 and others with over $80 but $40 is pretty mid range. I find that I sell a lot of products not targeted, and typically most sales end in just around a dollar commission but it is a good side income to have and it only continues to increase gradually as I leverage EasyAzon plugin more frequently for linking to Amazon affiliate products in images and in post.
Formidable Pro which is one of the best WordPress Form plugins that I purchased and also affiliate sell had 2 sales in October which is always nice as well.
My Expenses in October 2011 were pretty high and after $341.19 in expenses my blog net income was brought down to $244.75 which most will be paid out to my writers for their November payments. This does mean October was barely profitable but I am hoping November will fare better.
In November I intend to try and focus more on backlink building and growing traffic in alternative ways to Organic Search which is too high and the backlash of having a few articles drop down was a heavy cost to pay in terms of traffic.
How did my fellow bloggers fare?
Also, I create the Blog Income Tracking spreadsheet to help bloggers track income and expenses. This is a free excel sheet that I offer to my readers, if you want a copy for yourself just simply Pay with a Tweet Here and you will be given the download link.