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Monthly Blog Update – March 2010

6 April 2010 11 Comments

I have been doing a monthly update on my blog progress and overall online income progress for several months now (as you can see below).  The result is a good basis for my monthly numbers.  You can really get a good feel for what this blog accomplishes each month by reading these reports.

In the future I will likely be adding to these reports discussing other areas of online income.  For example, I have other websites that are starting to generate revenue.  Also, I’m currently earning anywhere from $50-150 in other freelance income as a result of my 20smoney.com presence.

I’m moving closer and closer to significant income from my online assets.  As the numbers grow, the more and more these income streams have a profound effect on my financial situation.

Traffic & Readership

I like to break my traffic down into three categories: visits, page views and eye ball time. Since page views per visit can depend on a look and feel and how a blog is organized, the eye ball time is probably the most accurate number when comparing blog to blog. Let’s look at each…

Total Visits

October 2009: 6,387 visits
November 2009: 6,996 visits
December 2009: 7,735 visits
January 2010: 12,354 visits
February 2010: 11,947 visits
March 2010: 13,208 visits (10.6% increase)

The above total visit numbers break into the following categories: search, referral and direct traffic. My goal is to show monthly increases across the board in each category.

Search Traffic

October 2009: 3,570 visits
November 2009: 4,075 visits
December 2009: 3,954 visits
January 2010: 5,922 visits
February 2010: 5,533 visits
March 2010: 6,710 visits

Direct Traffic

October 2009: 1,245 visits
November 2009: 1,230 visits
December 2009: 1,738 visits
January 2010: 2,370 visits
February 2010: 2,035 visits
March 2010: 2,425 visits

Referral Traffic

October 2009: 1,572 visits
November 2009: 1,691 visits
December 2009: 2,043 visits
January 2010: 4,060 visits
February 2010: 4,378 visits
March 2010: 4,071 visits

Overall I had a nice, not huge, increase in traffic.  I lost some referral traffic as one of my bigger referring sites dropped me from their blog roll for some reason. Additionally, I’ve been lazy with Blog Carnivals recently as I’ve gotten tired of submitted articles to these.  I need an assistant.

Other than that, traffic growth continues slowly but surely.  If you notice, I had a big leg up in January.  I’ve held the move higher, and have sort of plateaued since then.  I’ve noticed similar trends with other people’s sites: big leg up, plateau, big leg up, plateau, etc.  I’m completely fine with this pattern as long as the next big leg up does indeed occur.

Page Views

October 2009: 19,155 total page views
November 2009: 20,500 total page views
December 2009: 23,418 total page views
January 2010: 36,023 total page views
February 2010: 33,725 total page views
March 2010: 36,776 total page views

Eye Ball Time

October 2009: 1:44 per visit = 664,248 total seconds = 184.51 hours
November 2009: 1:57 per visit = 818,532 total seconds = 227.37 hours
December 2009: 1:48 per visit = 835,380 total seconds = 232.05 hours
January 2010: 1:49 per visit = 1,346,586 total seconds = 374.05 hours
February 2010: 1:43 per visit = 1,230,541 total seconds = 341.82 hours
March 2010: 1:34 per visit = 1,241,552 total seconds = 344.88 hours

My length of time per visit has been trending lower over the months. I wonder if this is due to more regular visitors who check up on 20smoney.com repeatedly. These tend to drive up the quick visits. We’ll see.

Google Analytics is the source of all traffic data

Blog Income

Adsense Revenue

October 2009: $38.60
November 2009: $75.40
December 2009: $59.28
January 2010: $171.79
February 2010: $68.39
March 2010: $121.28 (3 Month Average: $120.46)

After a tough February, it’s good to see my Adsense dollars go back over $100 for the month.  The three month average jumped $20 to $120.46.  If I can stay over $100 every month, the site is generating some nice income.  Next hurdle: $200 per month.

Private Advertisements

November 2009: $285.00
December 2009: $90.00
January 2010: $90.00
February 2010: $290.00
March 2010: $435.00

Definitely very pleased with the growth in private deals.  This is where you can really start to bring in some good money.  As the monthly commitments rise, the blog develops into a fantastic recurring revenue stream.

Overall Thoughts

As I mentioned above, the traffic is sort of plateauing at current levels, but my overall income has gone up significantly.  Can’t argue with that.  Building a blog is brick by brick, slow and steady progress.  More of the same in March.

2010 Goals Progress

As I mentioned at the start of the year, I have the following goals for 20smoney.

  • Alexa ranking under 120,000 by the end of 2010 – I’m under this mark at 114,890 as of this writing.  Hopefully, I’ll continue to move lower and end the year below 100,000.
  • Google Pagerank of 5 by the end of 2010 – Update has occurred!  20smoney.com is now a PR 5.
  • 25,000 visits a month by the end of 2010 – I’m going to need another major leg up in order to hit this traffic level, which is definitely possible.
  • Averaging over $100 per month in Google Adsense income by the end of 2010 – Two out of the last three months have been over $100 per month.  A third month will solidify this accomplishment.
  • Averaging over $400 per month in total blog income by the end of 2010 – I eclipsed this mark this month so it’s a high likelihood that my monthly average will secure this mark shortly.
  • 1500 RSS subscribers by the end of 2010 – I got rid of my external email list which had been counted towards my RSS subscribers.  This dropped about 300 from my numbers which sets me back on this goal.  I’ll need to recover and add numbers quickly in order to hit the 1500 mark by end of year.

11 Comments »

  • chemkrafty said:

    I've been reading for awhile and reading multiple sites talking about blogging as a second income stream, but I have some questions…

    How many hours per month do you think you are putting into this blog? How long have you been at it? How does your "current month" $/hr compare to the lifetime $/hr given all the hours you've put in since the beginning. I think these would be interesting statistics to understand to see how the blog building has progressed. Perhaps a chart of monthly $/hr over time with a second line showing the average monthly $/hr since the beginning would help to show the trend in the value of your time?? I know you may not want to show this info, but it seems a critical piece of the puzzle that I have not seen from those promoting blogs as a viable secondary income stream.

  • 20smoney said:

    @chemkrafty

    Very good observations and you're correct. in the beginning, probably the first 6 months, it's pretty much zero income. It's very hard to get a blog "off the ground". I'll see if I can come up with an estimate of my lifetime average monthly income. I'm trying to establish a documented track record, but for some reason just started doing it last fall as you can see in the post.

    As for now, I probably do 2-3 hours of work a week. As you progress in your blog, you get better at becoming more efficient and not wasting time. For example, I try and keep a little note pad with me. When I think of an article to write about, I'll write it down so I remember. Then, when it comes to writing, I'll actually pump out a couple articles at a time. I really don't spend a great deal of time editing, I write it and publish it. Some people frown upon that, but I'm not writing for the New York Times, and if people get upset that I miss a comma or something, they don't have to read the blog, ya know?

    I do want to show as much information as possible, because I want to be a good resource for people like yourself who are considering such an idea.

    I've been doing this blog since April 2008, but for the most part, 2008 was me just messing around. I didn't really know what I was doing. Thankfully, I gained a few readers during that time. In the first half of 2009 or so, I didn't really put much effort into the blog. I wrote maybe once or twice a week. Then, in August, I decided to give it a real shot. So honestly, I've been going hard on the blog since August 2009. The traffic and income have gone up nicely since then and continue to grow.

    If I did 2.5 hours per week in March… let's just round it up to 15 hours of work total in March. I earned $555 essentially. That's $37 per hour. But, like you said, it took a while to get there.

    The biggest motivator is the eventual goal of maybe earning a few thousand a month, without increasing the effort. Assume $2,500 a month in income (aggressive but possible goal), with the same 15 hours of work. The result is $166 per hour.

    Thanks for the comments, hope this helps.

  • Felix said:

    These are really excellent results! I think I can really learn from you. I've had my blog for more than half a year now, but like yourself, with a baby at home, it's difficult to find time (I'm also doing part-time school on top of full-time work). I'm fairly amazed at how many posts you can pump out in 2-3 hours of work. I guess I'm still in the "learning how to be efficient" phase.

    Anyway, congrats on your great progress. Keep up the good work! I hope you'll reach your goals for this year!

  • 20smoney said:

    One more thing. Most blogs promoting blogs as a viable second income stream are crap in my opinion. Most blogs telling you to blog for money make no money themselves. I do think it's possible, but it's not for everyone. I like to view it as an experiment in my life and I'm just reporting my results to my readers. Thanks again.

  • chemkrafty said:

    Thanks for the information. It really is nice to see a good example of what its actually like running a blog financially. I agree with your second post in that many sites tend to categorize blogs into the "passive" income crowd. I don't agree with that at all since I can only imagine that the minute you stop the upkeep, you will stop making money.

    I've been trying to identify other small money making ideas that are not overly time intensive and hopefully more passive. I'm not sure if I want to be a landlord quite yet (ties us down). I haven't identified a good blog "area of interest" yet either. Maybe there is something to ebooks, but promoted on someone else's blog versus an ebook farm site for improved credibility and passive income for both me and the blog site. I think you may have shared some ideas in the past, but are there other good sources out there that you have come across that cover potential secondary income streams?

  • 20smoney said:

    I believe there are some real ways to make a blog passive, but it usually requires the blog being successful and established which means a couple years of hard work. I do know some people with some niche sites that require pretty much zero upkeep and bring in a few grand a month in revenue. I'm playing around and experimenting with a few of these and will provide the results to my readers down the road.

    Ebooks are tough unless you have an already established audience, because everyone claims to be an expert and claims to have the magical ebook. You need authority and an audience already established. I'd like to do an ebook down the road, but I'm not there yet.

    Best passive income stream…. a nice dividend stock 🙂 that requires capital though!

  • Kellen said:

    Thanks for sharing so much information. It's great to see your results snowballing after this!

    I'm trying to make a little extra savings from writing a blog I was running anyway, but it does take some extra work since I've decided to be more devoted to making it pay a little. I ran accountingelf.com since January 2009, so I had a bit of a springboard when I moved to accountantbyday.com recently.

    I'm also trying to get a blog off the ground with the ultimate goal of driving people to buy some of my artwork (http://www.cecicooper.com). It's frustrating starting from absolute 0, and trying to find other like-minded people to make a connection with, when I'm way more familiar with the accounting/pf/money related blog community!

  • Siju George said:

    It seems a nice progress. Can you tell us what all methods you are using to monetize your blog ?
    At this time I failed see any Google adsense ads here. Anyway your private ads gives more than what adsense gives. That seems a very positive thing.

  • DSLR-A900 said:

    Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!