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Last Updated on September 14, 2022
In this monthly Traffic + Income Report, we’re looking back on January 2018 at what worked, what didn’t, what lessons we can learn and how we can best move forward to achieve our dreams. I’ll also share my business strategy and tips that made me $7,500 blogging in one month.
Welcome to Root + Revel’s very first monthly traffic + income report! You might remember last month we published an annual income report for 2017 (hint: I earned over $75,000 blogging in my second year!).
But, as promised, moving forward I’m going to be sharing monthly reports so we can dive deeper into the every day of running a blogging business.
I know this might seem a little crazy to you, but let me explain.
For years, I’ve been reading the income reports of many successful bloggers, like Pinch of Yum, Making Sense of Cents, Smart Passive Income and Show Me the Yummy.
And they’ve inspired me so much, not only to know what’s possible in the world of blogging as a business, but also with their incredible ideas and generosity in sharing their mistakes and successes along the way.
I finally feel like I’m at a point with Root + Revel where I have something valuable to share about making money online, something that I hope will help you learn how to make money doing something you love, something that lights you up every day and makes you excited to get to work, something you’re passionate about, something that impacts others for the better, something you can do from your couch in your jammies or on a beach in the Caribbean or at a desk in a co-working space at whatever dang time you please because YOU’RE YOUR OWN BOSS.
Please know, the goal of these income reports is not to brag or show off or pat myself on the back (though it’s always a good idea to celebrate your own successes, too!). Rather, my goal with these income reports is three-fold:
I’ve been self-employed for nearly a decade at this point, but since I began blogging full-time in January of 2016, my life has exponentially improved.
I’m finally writing the stories that I want to tell, I’m finally helping others to live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives, and I’m doing it ALL on my own terms.
I’m so proud and happy to report that life is so much better now that I’m truly my own boss and a full-time blogger. I look forward to each and every day–I wake up excited to work, I’m always learning something new and I love the challenge of running your own business, constantly coming up with new ways to monetize and help people, simultaneously.
Alright, enough talk. Let’s take a look at the numbers for January 2018…
Whew! I know that’s a lot to take in. One of the things I hope people will takeaway from these reports is just how much work, energy, thought and heart goes into running a blog. It’s not just as simple as slapping up a few words and an iphone photo and pressing publish.
Before we get into the details, I also wanted to share my traffic totals for January. I am SO excited to announce that I finally broke the 100,000 pageviews per month threshold!
Top Ten Traffic Sources
Top 5 Posts on Root + Revel Last Month:
*Note: This screenshot comes from my dashboard in The Blog Village, a membership site that helps bloggers monetize their blogs. This tracking tool is my favorite part of the site!
**Note: This screenshot comes from my dashboard in ConvertKit.
Note: RPM stands for Revenue Per Mille, or the revenue earned per 1,000 pageviews. When you look at RPM, you put the focus on optimizing your revenue as efficiently as possible, rather than just getting the most people to your site. For example, a site with 100,000 pageviews and a $1 RPM makes $100, while a site with 20,000 pageviews and a $10 RPM makes $200. This is good news because it means you don’t have to have TONS of traffic to make a great income. In fact, when you niche down and focus on providing as much value as possible to your current audience, you earn more money.
Hourly Rate: I worked on the blog for a total of 125 hours in January. With a gross income of $7,534.92, that means I earned roughly $60 per hour. Not too shabby!
If you look at my net income instead, my hourly rate drops to about $25/hour, which is far below my goal of $100 per hour. But more on that below.
I use Toggl and RescueTime to track my time.
What I Focused on This Month
Running a blog is a TON of work and each month I feel like I could fill an entire notebook with “what I focused on” details. But for everyone’s sanity’s sake, I’m going to focus on the three main things I worked on this month:
Goals for February 2018
Featured Question: Last month, I shared how I’ll be featuring one question from a reader in each monthly income report. Here’s the question from last month:
Where do you find the folks to create your team to help with things that are not your strong suit, i.e. marketing, social media, editing, etc. How do you get competitive rates? How did you go about finding all the people that you have hired to help you?
Such a great question!! So, the short answer is: I sent an email to my list and posted on social media that I was hiring and I got dozens of applications.
From there, I picked about a dozen that looked the strongest and had them complete a skills test, which was basically just some of the tasks that I’d need their help with once hired. This was really great at weeding out those applicants who didn’t have enough experience, as I really didn’t have the time to train somebody.
After the skills test, I had Skype interviews with my top candidates and from there, I landed on my current business manager, Sarah. She is a total godsend and I’d be lost without her!
So I definitely recommend asking your audience. You’d be surprised how many people are skilled in something you may need and dying to work with you. I know I was!
In terms of competitive rates, I think that if you’re asking for more than just admin help (which I was), you need to pay at least $20/hour. But because I really wanted this person to be a member of my team and be personally invested in our growth and success, I decided to pay a flat monthly fee, PLUS a commission bonus for signing new sponsors, getting press/podcast placements to drive traffic back to the blog, and bringing in affiliate commissions.
I’m a big fan of incentivizing employees as it’s a win-win for everybody!
For next month, please leave a comment below if you have a question that you would like me to answer.
Please know, I am keenly aware that I have the flexibility, freedom and finances to work on this blog as my full-time job because of YOU–dear reader, sharer, Pinner, commenter, Liker, customer or silent follower of Root + Revel. Your support and participation in the R+R community reaches beyond just this website. This month, I donated to the Environmental Working Group in your name.
I am so incredibly grateful for you! Thanks for showing up ????
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no extra cost to you when you purchase through my links.
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COPYRIGHT © 2022 • KATE KORDSMEIER
We are an LGBTQIA-affirming, interfaith-oriented, diverse organization. We are committed to social and environmental justice, including civil rights, dismantling systems of oppression like the Patriarchy, White Supremacy and Diet Culture. We believe Black Lives Matter.
Thank you for the glowing shout out! Love how easily we found each other. 😉
Thank you for this detailed post! I recently started blogging and have no desire to do it for a living. However, one of the reasons I started blogging was to learn. And I’m finding there is a lot I can learn! I am doing it for fun as well. I find the entire blogging world fascinating! This helps me understand how people do it for a living, and all the possibilities out there in Blog World! Thank you! 🙂
I love how you’re blogging for your own pleasure and growth! That’s amazing and I’m so glad that you’re enjoying it. Glad you found this insightful!
Thanks so much for sharing. I am definitely inspired! Congrats on getting over 100,000 pageviews!
Thanks so much, Stacy! Glad you found inspiration in it. 🙂
Hi Kate, in future posts I would love to hear more about how you obtained the relationships with the brands that sponsored posts. Thanks!
Hey Sarah! We’ll be publishing a post about this at the end of the month, so stay tuned. 😉
Great post, I’ve been following you for awhile and heard you on a few podcasts and love your approach to blogging. Can’t wait to reach more!
Thanks so much, Kristina! That’s awesome you’ve heard some of the podcasts. 🙂 Let me know if you have any specific questions!
Fantastic post! Thank you for sharing this information. You are truly an inspiration!
This is really helpful. Do you mind sharing your bounce rate? Do you work to improve this?
Over the last 90 days it’s been 78.42%. I keep an eye on it, especially when running ads as I’ve found that with Outbrain, for example, my bounce rate increased so it didn’t seem like it made the ads worth it.
Thank you SO much for these income reports. They are so inspiring and helpful for navigating this crazy blogging world! Social media is not my strong suit and, like you, I hate spending so much time on my phone.
Would you be able to share the name of the Instagram firm you used to help grow your account? I’d like to focus my time on content, so I’m looking for help in the Instagram arena.
Thank you so much!
Hi Allison – so glad you find these inspiring and helpful! I honestly don’t feel comfortable sharing the name of the firm as I don’t think they used authentic methods and, while I grew quickly, I think I’ve ultimately had negative consequences from it. Instead, I highly recommend Molly Cahill – she’s my current IG coach/manager and she’s amazing! @mollycahill or mollycahill.com