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Welcome to my 2017 Year End Income Report! 2017 was a year of growth for me and for my business, and I’m happy to share a behind-the-scenes look with you. This post will also focus in on the fourth quarter of 2017.
As always, my goal is to give you 100% value and 0% fluff with this post.
Blogging for profit is a constant learning process. I’m just reaching the tip of the iceberg myself. And hey – if you’re reading this, it’s a process that you’re probably looking to master yourself.
Maybe you’re like I was a year ago at this time – a discouraged blogger who would simply like to be earning money with your blog. (BWT, if you’re still looking to start a blog, open this post in a new tab for later reading!)
I know I’ve poured over hundreds of bloggers’ income reports hoping to find the secrets to profitable blogging. And most of them provide zero value.
But a few actually are transparent about what works, what doesn’t, and how the blogger plans to grow his or her business moving forward.
That’s what I am aiming to provide with this income report.
2017 Year End Income Report Stats: At-a-Glance
What a difference a year makes!
In 2016, this blog was a fun hobby. In 2017, I wanted to turn FinanceSuperhero into a business that could reach and help more people, but I was spinning my wheels. I was averaging right around $6.00 per month in blog earnings.
I took a long, hard look in the proverbial mirror and decided it was time to change. From that point on, my content, marketing, and focus changed completely.
Early in 2017, I took a game-changing course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and began to apply the expert principles that helped the course creator, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, build a $100,000/month online business. I’ll be honest: this was a last-ditch effort for me. I was just about ready to throw in the towel.
But I kept toiling away, and things began to change for the better in March 2017. My traffic ticked upwards that month, and then surged the following month, and I earned 5x the money I had invested in the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
And by the end of 2017, my determination and investment had led to the payoff below:
Not included in the image above: FinanceSuperhero reached 312,000 unique readers in 2017. I’m just going to say it: THAT. BLOWS. MY. MIND.
That’s the equivalent of nearly three Michigan Stadiums – yes, The Big House, with a capacity of just over 109,000 people – that read an article on my blog in 2017.
Top Posts of 2017
A Detailed Guide to the Zero-Based Budget – 128,829 page views
25+ Best Items to Flip to Make Money (And Where to Find Them) – 51,214 page views
11 Fail-Proof Hacks to Save Money on Food – 30,966 page views
5 Tips to Stop Wasting Money – 28,692 page views
7 Critical Ways Dave Ramsey is Right About Money – 21,857 page views
The Best Items to Buy at the Dollar Store – 19,093 page views
Quarter 4 2017 Stats: At-a-Glance
Some day, I hope to look back at quarter 4 of 2017 and recognize it as the moment my business started to turn a corner.
Here is a look at the key statistics (i.e. what you really want to know):
A few comments:
- December traffic reached an all-time high for FinanceSuperhero. And due to greater competition for ad space in December with my ad provider, Mediavine, RPMs rose significantly.
- I hired a consultant to perform an SSL upgrade and site speed audit in November – money well spent!
- Email expenses will be reduced moving forward. I paid for both Mailchimpand Convertkit in December.
What Worked in November and December
My focus heading into 2018 has been and will continue to be repurposing and refining old content.
In the long run, this has proven to be far more effective than focusing on pushing out new content every week.
By building this blog on a foundation of 8-10 evergreen (i.e. always relevant) posts, I’ve eliminated the need to worry about churning out content just for the sake of grabbing page views.
In fact, 8-10 pillar posts drive nearly 70% of my traffic. Every month. Each post has several pins on Pinterest, is primed for SEO, and written to maintain relevance for the long haul.
By taking the time to audit poorly-performing posts and optimizing them with better SEO, stronger H2 headings, actionable content, and crisp Pinterest pins, I’ve managed to revive several fairly dead posts.
Example: I first published the post 7 Unmistakable Habits of the Rich in May 2017. As the graph below shows, it never really gained any traction, except for landing nearly 500 page views in July.
I spent an hour cutting down what was a rambling introduction, improving readability, and designing a few new pins (see below) for this article, and it received 7,612 page views in December.
Key takeaway #1:
Don’t give up on older, under-performing content if you think the piece has potential. Refine, restrategize (yes, I’m making up a word), and give it a rebirth!
Key takeaway #2:
I’ll keep this one short and sweet because the jury is still out on this one, but I quietly launched a brand-new email course, The 3 Day Budget Breakthrough, in December. The course is FREE, contains multiple printable budgeting forms, and even includes an Excel-based calculator.
So far, 54 people have taken the FREE course and created a better plan for their finances in 2018.
I created this brief course as a beta test for a larger course/e-book idea I’ve been working on.
If you’re a blogger and you don’t have a lead magnet on your site, you’re missing out on an opportunity to forge a relationship with new readers and add value to their lives. And if you’re not treating your email list seriously, it’s time to start. You can sign-up for a service like Mailchimp for a very small monthly investment and easily upgrade to Convertkit when you feel the time is right.
What I’m Doing to Grow My Business This Month
January 2018 is all about continuing to audit and improve existing content, churn out a few seasonal and evergreen posts, and develop a final outline for my course/e-book.
Beyond that, I’m excited to expand the horizons of my business and do more to help other bloggers grow their businesses. To that end, I’m going to begin creating more content and guides to help bloggers build traffic, create better content, and optimize existing content.
To be honest, positioning myself as a sort of “blogging expert” is definitely going to feel strange, especially because I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface of the kind of income this site could and probably should be generating. But I can’t deny that I’ve found ways to build a thriving online business while still teaching full-time and working in real estate part-time.
It’s time to pay it forward.
Key Takeaway #3:
Your business is going to evolve. Constantly. It’s important to be in-tune with what your audience needs and stay open to changing and finding new ways to serve them.
Thanks for reading my 2017 Year End Income Report! I hope you learned something new to help you grow your blog and business!
Enroll in our FREE 3 Day Budget Breakthrough email course and make a better plan for your money!
-and one powerful Budget Calculator