2017 Blog Income & Traffic Review - Goals For 2018

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Another year has just passed, and it's time to take a look back on previous 2017 year of blogging, and no doubts -  take a quick glimpse at 2018.

In today's article, I will reveal some data behind the blog scenes - both traffic and income for the whole year of 2017. But before we dig into the numbers, here is the brief background - blog now is more than four years old, and for the last four years it has gone a very long way,

Make sure to check out my previous yearly blogging reviews:

About blog traffic in 2017

  • In total blog have reached 1,049,975 (that's more than a million) users in 2017
  • On average it is 87,497 monthly users or
  • 2,876 daily visitors

2017 was kind of steady in terms of traffic, there was a growth, but it seems to starts slowing down (if compared to the previous years). It was in the August 2017, when blog's traffic first time cracked 100.000 unique users monthly see: From 0 To Over 100,000 Monthly Website Visitors in 3 Years and 10 Months. Significant traffic boost happened after I implemented AMP see: SEO Results After Implementing Drupal AMP

In total there were four months in 2017 with total traffic more than 100,000. Which is great. 

Blog traffic report 2017 (monthly view). Data source: Google Analytics

Blog traffic report 2017 (monthly view). Data source: Google Analytics

About 3 years ago, around July 2014, when the blog was getting about 2,000 users monthly I first set this goal to reach 100K users, back then I thought it could happen in a 5-year term (around 2019). Now, achieving this goal 2 years ahead the schedule feels awesome.

2017 vs 2016

I can proudly report that in 2017 blog have experienced 65.34% traffic gain if compared to 2016

Blog traffic 2017 vs 2016 (monthly view). Data source: Google Analytics

Blog traffic 2017 vs 2016 (monthly view). Data source: Google Analytics

Top 10 most popular articles

In total, I have written 386 articles in 2017, on average that is 1.05 article per day,  which is a slight decrease if compared to the previous years:

  • 2016 - 469 articles,
  • 2015 - 479 articles
  • 2014 - 428 articles. 

I find it just normal, that my blogging schedule has decreased after blogging for more than 4 years. On the other hand, IMHO, in 2017 I had more quality articles, especially starting Summer when I started to cover articles on crypto investments.

Top 10 articles (according to Google Analytics) generated 39.48% from total page views on the blog. It's interesting to note: 5 out of 10 top articles were written back in 2016, 3 articles in 2015, 1 article from 2014 and just one article from 2017 has made to the top 10. Well, that's how Google Search works - the older the content, more chances for it being picked up. 

The pretty similar scene I observed last year when most of the content was from previous years. I believe it's normal, of course, I would love to see more fresh content being the most viewed, but on the other hand, having a massive archive really helps on getting more traffic.

Desktop VS Mobile VS Tablet

For the fourth year, I'm including data about devices users are accessing this blog

Mobile device users (Data Source: Google Analytics)

Mobile device users (Data Source: Google Analytics)

Nope, the desktop still dominated in 2017, but its dominance is decreasing. I believe 2018 will be the turning point for my blog when mobile will take over the desktop. 

As you can see from the image above - Desktop users still account for most of the visits at this blog making in total 51.36%, followed by mobile devices (43.93%) and tablets (4.71%).

One thing I have noticed here - bounce rates from mobile and tablets are lower than from desktop, and pretty significant lower, the same applies to average time spent the on the blog.

Demographics: Age and Gender

Using Google Analytics Display features I was able to track down demographics for my blog.

Demographics: Age & Gender (Data source: Google Analytics)

Demographics: Age & Gender (Data source: Google Analytics)

According to the Google Analytics primary audience for this blog are males (68.7%) in age between 25-34 (38.57% from total sessions). I'm a male and I fell into this age category as well, so probably it's not a surprise seeing we have some common interests?

The next biggest audience are persons in age group 18-24, making 24.02% of the total session, followed by age group 35-44 with 18.41% from total sessions.

Persons in the age group 18-44 makes about 81% of all sessions. So if you are wondering who is actually reading blogs, now you have some basic idea.

Demographics: Location

If compared to 2016, there are no changes in TOP 3. Visitors from the United States, India, and United Kingdom dominates for the fourth year in a row.

Demographics: Location (Data source: Google Analytics)

Traffic sources:

Google dominates for the fourth year in a row

Blog Traffic Sources 2017 (Data Source: Google Analytics)

Blog Traffic Sources 2017 (Data Source: Google Analytics)

About Blog Income 2017

Combined income streams from affiliate marketing and display ads in 2017 made  $24,920.47, which is a nice 34% increase if compared to 2016

  • $24,920.47 is around $2,076.7 per month or
  • $68.27 per day

Combined RPM from all revenue channels stands at $16.07.  in 2017. Which unfortunately is about 4 dollar decrease for every 1000 page views if compared to the previous years.

Here is what I told a year ago:

Actually after having average RPM for about $20 makes me feel very good, as I think it's a good value. I wonder will I manage to increase RPM in 2017? As speaking for the previous year (2015) RPM was at $19.27. A slight increase or decrease can make a lot difference at the final earnings. 

And here you go, a 4 dollar drop means pretty significant loses -  if I would manage to keep RPM at previous year levels at $20, then today instead of reporting almost 25K profits I would report...  a drum bell... more drum bell... about 30K. With decreased RPM values in 2017, I have not taken additional 5K profits.

I can see a simple explanation, learn more here: Amazon Associates Decreases Referral Fee Rates in Certain Product Categories, Drops Tier System

About Expenses in 2017

Now, this is the tricky part - as I have a simple philosophy regarding spend, I like to keep it short - to earn some money, you should spend some money.

I stopped counting expense in 2017 after reaching about $870, I believe the final number should be around $1000-$1200

I spent on Linode VPS hosting, Facebook ads, domain renewals, KeyCDN and virtual writers.

Goals / Forecasts for 2018

As usual, I will end report with some thoughts about future plans and forecast. But before that, let's see what I was forecasting a year ago:

I'm looking to cross 1 million user milestone, which makes about 83,3K users monthly. My financial goal is more humble - $22,000 income. 

Both goals were achieved in 2017. Amazing!

Speaking about goals for 2018: As things are starting to slow down, I'm looking for about 30% increase both for traffic and income in 2018. I'm looking to reach 1,3 million user milestone, which makes about 108K users monthly. My financial goal is to reach - $32,500 income. That's about pulling $2,7K each month. From today's perspective - hard but doable!