I'm cautiously optimistic about the growth. Very cautiously though. I know my monetary increase looks pretty exponential, but I feel like I'm about to hit a plateau on that front and a dip with pageviews. Hopefully I'm just being paranoid.
Not too much to report on the advertising network front. I'm still primarily using The Blogger Network (TBN) and their rates still aren't where I'd really like them to be, but I don't have another good alternative at this point. I hear great things about AdThrive, but I don't have the traffic yet to qualify. Most ad networks have a minimum threshold - TBN is (or was at least when I applied) an average of 100,000 pageviews per month. I actually was just under that, but they said they liked my work, so here I am. I'm also still using Gourmet Ads, Infolinks, and BuckBooks.
Last month I was worried about impressing Social Fabric with my first sponsored post through them, and apparently I did because December has been full of Social Fabric sponsored posts. Not only that, but they liked two of them so much that they did a paid Facebook advertising campaign for me which garnered a pretty significant boost in pageviews (P-0494 and P-0450 on my referrals screen cap, below).
Those boosts came just in time too because, thanks to the new algorithm, my referral traffic from Pinterst is all stinky cheese. And I don't mean that in a good way. (Sorry stinky cheese, I do love you).
One of the biggest things I did this month was start a newsletter. I already had the option for my readers to have an RSS feed sent to their email (every time a post was published, a copy of it was emailed to them), but I wanted something more engaging that would get them to click over to the site rather than just read the recipe from their inbox. I chose Constant Contact because they're the only email service that allows you to place Amazon Affiliate links in their emails (they have an agreement with Amazon). My hope is that a few Amazon Affiliate purchases will help offset the price of the email service.
Unfortunately, email services aren't cheap - especially because I already have a lot of subscribers from my RSS services. Another nice thing about Constant Contact though is they have a two-way referral program. So if someone signs up for the service via my link, I get a $30 credit, but so do they. That's my favorite kind of referral program!
I also started using the Hello Bar (the bar across the top of my page that has a message, usually directing you to another page on my site). It seems to do a pretty good job at getting people's attention and encouraging them to click on a particular page. I originally wanted it for collecting emails, until I discovered Gleam's pop-up capture service. Gleam has been SUPER awesome at getting people to sign up for emails as I have been routinely getting 8 -10 new email subscribers per day. Gleam also has a referral program, but I'm not entirely sure how it works. Something to do with Gleam credits. I like cash better, but who am I to complain?
And I figured while I was signing up for stuff, I would go ahead and whip my Pinterest account into shape by joining Tailwind. Tailwind is a pin scheduling program. There are several programs out there, some even that are free, but I found Tailwind to be the most reliable and user friendly. Their support staff is pretty great as well. They have a rather low pin limit for scheduling, but this is entirely negotiable if you call and speak with a representative. I feel like this is a good time to mention too that everything is negotiable. It never hurts to ask (plea!) for a discount. *ahem*
Finally, I started using Yummly. The best way I can describe Yummly, is like an enriched Pinterest, but just for food. A lot of food bloggers swear they're getting loads of traffic via Yummly, and it's a much simpler platform than Pinterest, so I figure I ought to jump in.
Have you joined anything? Changed anything? Do you have a similar mail, capture, or pinning service you like better? Please tell!
DECEMBER 2014 - EARNED: $2,880.00
Money that I earned during this month, but have not necessarily been paid yet. For example, most advertising companies don't pay until 30 - 90 days after your impressions, and many sponsors don't pay until your post has been live for 30 days.
- Google Adsense: $98.75
- The Blogger Network: $507.58
- Amazon Affiliate: $23.61
- Gourmet Ads: $99.66
- InfoLinks: $80.31
- BuckBooks: $1.00
- Izea: $114.71
- Social Fabric: $1,905.00
- BlogHer: $50.00
DECEMBER 2014 - COLLECTED: $1,677.96
Money that actually made it into my pocket this month.
DECEMBER 2014 - EXPENSES: $238.00
- Izea membership: $1.00
- Constant Contact trial $9.00
- Amazon gift card for contest: $5.00
- Tailwind annual $119.00
- Starbucks gift card for contest: $5.00
- Kindle for contest: $99.00
DECEMBER 2014 - TRAFFIC: 102,224
DECEMBER 2014 - FACEBOOK:
- Likes: 2,286