Today we are celebrating this blog's #22 traffic and income report. Unbelievable how fast times goes by. It seems just yesterday I sat at my laptop's monitor, installed Drupal on Linode VPS, registered a domain in Godaddy and started to explore is there a way I can get some traffic (back then I was not thinking about making actual money out of it) to my blog. 

On October 10, 2015 this blog celebrated its second anniversary - just wow. 2 years passed like a flicker. 

I was doing separate reviews both for traffic and income until last September, I just understood - how time consuming it is to provide 2 similar articles on related topic. Traffic and Income for any website goes hand to hand. The reason for publishing such reports and revealing secrets beyond the scenes are simple - Transparency matters. I hope my success or failures can give some ideas to you as well. On the other hand there are times when I'm planing to stop write reviews about traffic and income at all, well most probably I will do that once 100 000 user milestone will be (if) cracked. But you never know.

Back to the numbers.

Last October almost cracked 40,000 user milestone and almost generated the same traffic in one month as it did for a whole 2014

Blog Traffic October 2015

Blog Traffic October 2015 Data source: Google Analytics

October attracted 39,928 unique users what is a modest growth of %8.89 if compared to September. It was third month in the row making more than 30,000 users. On average in October I had 1,288 unique users per day. 

I was so eager to crack 40,000 user milestone that I boosted an article on Facebook (more on that bellow) unfortunately it was not enough to reach my goal.

About Income and Expenses in October

A quick note: Some of the links below are affiliate links.By clicking on them I might end up earning some income from that.

*Amazon Associates includes Amazon CPM

Total income: $631.99

Expenses:

  • Linode VPS: $62.50
  • Facebook Ads: $5.00
  • Domain renewal: $15.00

Total expense: $82.50

Net profit: $549.59

Thoughts on Income

Frankly speaking I was excepting to see even a greater decrease (In September and August income averaged just a little bit bellow $1,000) for October, but gladly I was wrong. The biggest drop happened for earning from Amazon Associates program, I already experienced this last October, and then I found following to explain it:

Obliviously I started to wonder - why does income this month is lower - and if honest I didn't find a good explanation. I have just one assumption - October was a slow month for retail sales, why? Have no idea! Maybe in October people have less money to spend?

See - there is nothing wrong with traffic to my blog, it even increased for 42% in month of October, so I cannot explain this with lost traffic. Even clicks to Amazon increased sharply, but conversation rates decreased from about 5% in September to 2.4% in October (more than by half).

The same words (just other numbers) I can use to describe happenings for last October.

On the other hand - earnings from Google AdSense and Bluehost leveled up my total earnings. I'm surprised seeing earrings from Google AdSense steadily growing month over month. In fact I added third Google AdSense block and it contributes a few extra dollars to total AdSense profit. 

Bluehost is just a lovely affiliate marketing program paying out a very lucrative commissions for attracted customers - $65.00 If you are into hosting you can make way more than I do by promoting just Bluehost alone.

ThemeSnap is a new affiliate partner on my list  - I decided to experiment with selling Drupal Premium Themes - thus I didn't made anything last month here - I see there is some potential.

Now about expenses - Linode is my trusted hosting partners for some 4 years already, I have a total freedom on it (I'm running a VPS). I believe my expenses will go here even higher with time, one of the things I'm looking to spend is a managed hosting on Linode which comes about $100 per month. I should probably upgrade to managed hosting once I will break $1,000 income milestone, for now additional $100 seems kind a high price.

About spending on Facebook ads - there are times when I spend small amount of money on Facebook just to drive traffic back to my blog, this month I created a post with Top 44 hotels in Georgia and boosted it to local Georgian audience. Although it didn't generated me any direct income, it helped (as I believe) to build my name as a brand for selected audience (A few hotel owners contacted me back, and many other hotel owners just re-posted/shared that article on their business and personal pages, being proud listed as one of the best)

Things on Blog

I did two major things on blog last month - first I finally created a decent footer section (removed a lot from header)

Footer section

Footer section

I did some other small user interface improvements on blog as well.

Second, and a huge thing - imported more than 2600 Georgian hotels. You might wonder - why I would do this - does it is a blog or what? I agree on that, I still haven't figured what is it what I'm building. For now I would love to call this as an extended Blog.

The reason to import Georgian hotels in my blog is simple. First of all - I have been Booking affiliate partner for a couple of years already (haven't made much, but cannot complain either). Second I'm building geospatial blog, what means that every tourist attraction, restaurant or hotel I review I put on map (using decimal latitude and longitude values), so I can provide related places and location using this data (this is achieved with help of Drupal which is my favorite CMS and I have been building sites on it for years). I have more than 20 Tbilisi restaurants, some 100 tourist sights and a few hotels already listed on my blog. By importing additional 2600 hotels I can now provide better information for my readers and probably I can earn some additional income from that. I would call this a win-win situation. I'm not looking to generate tremendous booking sales (I would lie if say - that haven't thought about it), frankly speaking if this import will help me earn additional $537 (EUR 500) in next 12 months I will call this a right decision. 

Beyond the blog

In October my mom visited me in Georgia for 12 days, and I took her on some remote parts of Georgia (we traveled a lot across the country). I did a lot of photography, speaking of what, since September I have been doing 365 days photo challenge of taking a photo every day. See my photo of the month for October.  Also you can see/follow my photo challenge on Flickr

I started another interesting project - cost of Living in Georgia, were for the month of October I counted my daily expenses to see for myself, is it cheap or not to live in Georgia, results are quite fascinating, but latter (in future blog posts) about that.

As you can see October was pretty busy month with a lot of projects and not many time for blog writing, but thanks to my strategy of writing at least one post per day and using a scheduler it worked out pretty well.

Look in the Future

Now speaking of forecasts for November - I'm willing to crack 40,000 user milestone this month. Income? Hard to tell.. Would be great to reach at least $750.