Remember how I got all corporate at the beginning of January? Well I just put on my linen suit again (yes linen…I’m not THAT corporate). I’ve been very grateful to some of my fellow bloggers for their transparency when it comes to this whole blogging thing. People think that you start a blog and it becomes an overnight success with hundreds of thousands of page views and tons of ad and affiliate sales revenue, but that’s SO now how it goes.
If I were to describe blogging in a nutshell it would be like this.
- You start a blog.
- You get SUPER excited.
- You blog.
- There are crickets.
- You decide to shake things up and try something new.
- That doesn’t work.
- You try something else.
- That works…a little.
- Repeat steps 4-8 over and over again.
That’s pretty much how things go over here at Indoorsy Camper. The thing about blogging for me is I think it’s fun. I truly enjoy doing it. And while I’m not out here to make tons of money and quit my day job (but if that happened I wouldn’t complain) it would be nice if this little hobby of mine paid for itself.
I’ve read lots of posts and articles about how to make a successful blog. The pool of knowledge out there is deep and dark and sometimes scary. But the one thing I’ve taken away from the bloggers out there I love and respect is that this blogging thing takes time and consistency. That’s what 2019 is about for me and this blog.
It’s why I’m going to post these income and traffic reports each month. If you’re totally bored and want to skip them I get it, suits are stuffy, even when they’re made of linen. My hope is that these reports will do a couple things:
- Show slow growth over time, because that’s the reality. I know there’s some people out there who tell you they can get you 1,000 followers in a month or make your posts go viral. I have a sneaking suspicion I’m not gonna be one of those people.
- Provide a certain amount of transparency when it comes to blogging and making money. I want you to see what my income looks like whether it’s big or tiny. Spoiler this month is gonna make you laugh, but honestly I’m pretty proud of where I am.
- Accountability. I’m also using these posts to keep me honest, set goals and check in to see how those monthly goals worked out.
You can look forward to seeing these posts at the beginning of each month. I’ll always include the income and traffic numbers, but each month will also include some other information. It might be what I’m reading, what courses I’m taking, which Instagram post was the most popular or just a list of upcoming trips. So here we go, this is my review of January.
January Blog Posts
- Stop Making New Year’s Resolutions: Instead Set One Small Goal
- Blog Mission Statement & Core Values
- Beach Day Must Haves: Best Beach Umbrella & More
- The Importance of Creativity in Your Daily Life
- Crystal Cove State Park: Moro Campground Review
- Required Reading: Best Books for Bloggers Building a Kick-A Blog >>collab post on To & Fro Fam
What I Worked On This Month
- I’ve been trying to go through older blog posts to make them more SEO friendly. This month I managed to update my post about camping at Furnace Creek campground in Death Valley as well as my Leo Carrillo campground review.
- I launched my How Outdoorsy Are You? quiz! Honestly, I was hoping this would gain traction and increase my number of email subscribers, but that has yet to happen. Since it’s so new I’m going to hold off judgement and try to figure out other ways to get it out into the world. I’ll be sure to report back on this one in future months.
- I made a commitment to write one blog post per week (and I made it!).
- I also decided to show up on Instagram once per day. This could be a post in the feed, a story, a like or even a comment. I just wanted to show up in that space more and engage with other outdoor lovers. It was so much more fun than just scrolling!
- I met with my mastermind group for the first time and it was AMAZING! More on that later.
- I started working on a course called Irresistible Email by Ruth Soukup
January 2019 Revenue Total: $2.13
- Income Breakdown
- Amazon Affiliate Income: $1.15
- Awin Affiliate Income: $0.98
Monthly Blog Expenses Total: $57
**A note about the links below. Several of them are affiliate links. Which means I make a small commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
- Expenses Breakdown
- ConvertKit: $29
- During the previous iterations of this blog I used a different email service called MadMimi. It’s free and fairly easy to use. When I decided to get a little more serious about this blog thing I signed up for a one month free trial of ConvertKit. It became clear very quickly that this was the way forward for me. If you have questions about why I like the service feel free to leave a comment or email me with your questions.
- Canva: $13
- Tailwind: $15
- As you can see from my traffic report a LOT of people come to my website thanks to Pinterest. To make sure I’m pinning consistently (Pinterest likes that) I use Tailwind, it’s very user friendly and allows me to schedule out my pins a weeks in advance.
- ConvertKit: $29
As you can see this hobby isn’t making me any money. AND THAT’S OK! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not particularly keen on losing $55 per month, but I’m hopeful that that’s not how it’s always going to be.
January Traffic Numbers
So what the hell does this graph mean? It’s hard to tell this first month since you don’t really have much perspective about my blog. The god honest truth is that my pageviews have been going down since September. I had a high point in September and since then it’s headed downward. Why is that happening? I think it’s because winter came…or at least that’s what I’m hoping happened. The number of people who go hiking and camping in the winter is much lower so hopefully as we head into spring the numbers will start to go up again.
I could get really hung up on these numbers and freak out about them going downward month by month, but I’m choosing not to do that. This first year is all about information gathering. I don’t know what’s ‘normal’ around here yet, so I’m hoping to slowly figure that out.
Just to give you a little idea of how social media works for Indoorsy Camper, here’s the numbers broken down by platform:
- Pinterest: 263
- Facebook: 32
- Twitter: 2 (no idea how that happened, because I don’t really do twitter)
Best performing blog post of January: Perfect 7 Day Road Trip Itinerary: Grand Canyon Plus Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon
January on Social Media
Most Popular Instagram Post:
This post had the most likes and comments in January. As you can see it’s not even the most beautiful post. My face is in shadow and one of my legs is cut off.
So why did this post do well? I think it was because of the caption. I made sure to be totally honest and talk about who I am and what I love to do.
I’ve noticed that the pictures I post in my feed that include me are often the best performing posts. That’s not necessary always true, but since I’ve been tracking this it’s often the case.
So I know that was a LOT of information in one post. Hopefully moving forward this post will be a little more manageable. It’s been really great for me to take the time to review the numbers and think about what I achieved in a month and what I’m planning on doing in February.
Goals for February:
- Publish 4 posts this month.
- Continue showing up on Instagram daily.
- Participate in 3 collaborative posts this month.
- Go back and update SEO on two old posts.