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My First 6 Months of Blogging (And How I Already Made Some Money!)

Blogging, Extra Income20 Comments

What I Learned in My First 6 Months Blogging (And How I Already Made Some Money!)

Hey everyone! Another month has come and gone, time to check out everything that happened here on Finance For Geek! My last blogging report had great success so I decided to renew this experience once again. My biggest takeaway from the last couple months is that in the blogging world, one has definitely to find its own voice if you want to grow, especially since we all have different goals regarding our blogs.

I’m slowly starting to find my own (at least I think!) and guess what, after a few months I still really enjoy talking about financial stuff all the time. There’s definitely so much things I want to talk about! A few weeks ago, I even had the chance to have my first guest post here on Finance For Geek. Feel free to contact me if you want to guest post here. Another thing I’ve learned is that practice makes perfect, because when I read my first few posts, even if I know that for a non-native english speaker I think I do *ok*, I definitely prefer my latest posts!

I had a few readers and followers on Twitter ask me things about starting a blog or choosing a theme and every time I advise them to check out the complete guide I wrote on starting a blog. If you use my exclusive link in the guide you’ll even get a domain name for free! I really believe that blogging is something that anyone can do and that it’s one of the cheapest online business which you can start.

I’m so glad I finally started and I’m really looking forward to my next months (years!) of blogging. But first let’s take a look back over my first 6 months (specifically the last two) and see what has been done on this blog, how it went and also what to expect in the next few months. Let’s start shall we?

Overall Strategies

After implementing HTTPS early on, as well as Facebook Instant Article and Accelerated Mobile Pages, I decided the last few weeks to start tackling and improving my social media strategy. I’ve also tried to increase my online presence, as I’ve been following, reading and commenting on so many different and interesting blogs from all around the globe! At first I was incredibly shy to approach some people with any questions I had so I feel like I should give these people a proper shout out. But there are so many people that I would feel terrible if I left anyone out. So thank you everyone!

Blogging is tough, but it gave me the opportunity to connect with so many extraordinary people!Click To Tweet

After a few weeks getting serious with social media, I noticed that if you’re going to use social media, you have to be prepared to consistently use your chosen platform for months before it starts to pay off with some decent traffic. Gaining the authority and trust from search engines takes several months of publishing high quality content. It seems that you should start seeing some real organic search traffic after about a year, and as I’ve reached the six-month mark, it was definitely time that I started improving this side of my blogging skills.

Month 5 & 6 Summary

During the months 3 & 4 of this blog, I managed to write 6 articles, which was around what I expected to be able to produce. As explained in my Goals For 2017 post, I’m targeting at least one post every ten days on average for 2017. Months 5 & 6 were much better as I was able to produce 9 articles, and 4 more for April 2017 (including this one!).

New articles published on Finance For Geek during the last two months (with links and word count):

This adds up to a total of 14,589 words written for the last two months of blogging.

Once again, even if I’d say that I achieved successfully my goal of one post every ten days, I’ve noticed that I still spend way too much time on technical aspects! This might be due to the fact that I can’t seem to have stuff half-done. Anytime I start something technical (such as the widget for my Facebook page on the sidebar) I desperately need it to be perfect hehe.

Another thing I’ve learned the hard way is that blogging requires hard work. Even the most brilliant of minds don’t get their first sentences right on the first attempt, or even the third. So I need to keep being motivated even if sometimes I have kind of what other call writer’s block! A lot of readers told me that the trick is to be persistent, even when you know that people are going to criticize your work (aka you’re not sure whether your content is good enough). Anyway, I’m still quite satisfied with the content I’ve been able to produce lately and I already have some awesome posts planned for the next few weeks. Now onto the juicy statistics a lot of people are fond of (including myself!).

Overall Statistics

This is based on the last 2 months of activity of this blog (February and March). This is much better than the previous period, but I’ve still not reached my goal of 5,000 pageviews per month (I’m about halfway).

Traffic Statistics

Traffic Sources

  • Direct: 33.13%
  • Social: 29.08%
  • Referral: 23.44%
  • Organic: 8.32%
  • Other: 3.89%
  • Email: 2.14%

Comparison between December 1st – January 31st and February 1st – March 31st:

ffg-analytics-month-5-6

As can be seen from these results, I’m getting a lot more pageviews on month 5-6 than the previous two (on average +80% Pageviews) and a lot more unique users also (+114% Users).

I’ve noticed recently that the average session duration has increased, which might be due to the fact that I’m finally having some content and not anymore only a few posts as it was the case the first couple of months of this blog. That’s great! Bounce Rate has also slightly decreased but I think that it’s still way too high. For those who do not know what the hell is a Bounce Rate:

Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page

Without the technical terms, what this means is that the lower your bounce rate is, the higher engaged your visitors are. Or you could also say that if it’s *too high*, this could mean that your content is not attracting you readers. So all-in-all, if you produce good and interesting content, your bounce rate should decrease over time! We’ll see how it goes from here but at least I have a metric to compare it to for my next report. It’s also good to know that it’s part of Google algorithm to determine your website *performance*, because the lower your bounce rate, the more chance you’ll get some organic traffic (from search engines).

ffg-analytics-numbers-month-5-6

Social Media

The past couple of weeks (since early January in fact) I’ve been focused on setting up and improving my social media profiles, and creating content on all of them. One thing I noticed, is that while it’s definitely interesting to learn all the ins and outs of, let’s say Pinterest and Google+, it is also way too much time consuming. I’ve spent literally hours reading some articles on social media management, because I really enjoy this! The downside is that I’ve also learned the hard way that it’s impossible to grow all of them in parallel.

I’ve even learned about some social media which seem interesting and which I did not even know existed a couple of weeks ago, like Bloglovin and Stumbleupon. I definitely was way behind in terms of social network it seems! So starting from early May, even if I’ll keep posting on all of them, I’ll try to focus on one-by-one to learn thoroughly and then I’ll try to tackle the others, this might work way better than currently!

Anyway, I’m still glad that so many people chose to follow me! That’s a new and cool interesting metric I’ll try to track in my next reports also.

Finally, even if I definitely could be doing it better, I already made a few really cool friends on Twitter. I even had a nice tweet from Wealthsimple for the review I made of their awesome product. Drop by on Twitter if you want to say hi!

Blog Income

Although I did not start this blog with monetization in mind, I’ve already started implementing some monetization methods here. I did this mainly in order to recoup from the expenses I had from web hosting and buying plugins. I find that it’s also a great way for me to try new things, and as I’m only promoting products that I already use and love I think that it’s a win-win!

My main monetization technique is affiliate marketing, like when I’m promoting Bluehost or Wealthsimple which are two great products I recommend. I’ve also recently added Facebook Audience Network ads for my Facebook posts, as well as Google AdSense on my posts and sidebar. I’m also promoting some Amazon products, like the books I’ve been reading recently, as I’m part of the Amazon Associates program.

I’m far from generating a decent income with Finance For Geek (yet!), but everyone has to start somewhere! Here is the breakdown of my income since I started monetizing this blog (which was early January). Keep in mind that this is for income which was earned during this period, but not necessarily paid out yet (all amounts are in USD or converted to USD for the sake of simplicity).

Advertising & Sponsors – $69

The last two months were great regarding my blog income. After implementing AMP and Facebook Instant Article, I’ve seen my adverting income increase quite quickly, which is totally a success!

Affiliate Income$147

This is the money that I made directly from the blog, and February and March were my best months ever for Finance For Geek! I had my first affiliate income and it’s definitely interesting to see that you can make money blogging. Still nothing too fancy to brag about, and I did not start this website with monetization in mind, but what’s better than getting paid for doing something that you love.

Although not technically part of my earnings, I’ve had again two readers (thanks!) which opened up an account with Wealthsimple so now I’m able to have my first $30,000 managed for free!

Total Income Months 5 & 6: $216

Regarding what was spent during these last two months, since I paid my web hosting in advance and as I did not buy any plugins since I acquired Social Warfare a few weeks ago, my expenses were quite low for these two months (all amounts are in USD):What I Learned in My First 6 Months Blogging (And How I Already Made Some Money!)

I’ve decided to keep all of this blog income and put it back directly into the website to improve it and I might start getting serious with ads like Facebook ads. I’ve just started it this past month, but I’ve kind of noticed that if you’re not structured it seems like throwing money out the window. Definitely need to read more about that! Feel free to contact me if you have some excellent resources about it.

Total Expenses Month 5 & 6: $32

Final Thoughts

So this was my six months bloganniversary report, I hope you liked it! I’ve already got many posts which I started writing, but I’m still unsure about my exact post schedule, as I’ve been trying to post on different days recently. It seems like I had more success on Wednesday though!

Anyway, for the next upcoming weeks, expect to see some interesting posts such as a detailed review I made on the new Canadian app Mylo, (you should definitely check it out if you live in Canada, because if you register before May 1st you’ll get it for free with my link) my thoughts on budgeting and the 50-20-30 rule and another post on how to grow your blog, with a how-to-guide to implement URL shortening service, like I do here with my ffgeek.co shortening URL.

And many many more to come! I have something like 5+ posts which I already started writing and I might have at least 20 more post ideas. I just need to find the time (or I should probably say that I need to MAKE some time) to write and publish them!

With this in mind, I’m still aiming to reach at least 5,000 Pageviews per month before this summer, which I think is totally doable. We’ll see how that went in my next blog report (probably at the end of June for the 9-month mark or for my first bloganniversary at the end of September)!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I owe you all for such an amazing support.

As always feel free to reach out to me for anything! Whether it’s about contributing here, or if you have any tips or resources that you’d like to share, I’d love to be a part of it.

You can take a look at my last report if you’re interesting in some more statistics:

– Vincent

So that’s how went my last two months of blogging! Did you like my summary? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    Dinero Pro (Javi)
    Apr 29, 2017 at 2:40 PM

    Heck of a job man! That’s so awesome that you have monetized already. Thanks for sharing this, very inspiring!

  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    Chris
    Apr 29, 2017 at 6:56 PM

    Great work. Its encouraging to read about some of the struggles and successes of other bloggers. I enjoyed reading your report. Keep it up.

  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    Millennial Dollar
    Apr 29, 2017 at 7:55 PM

    Congrats on starting to make some money from your blog! It’s inspiring seeing the work you’re putting in start to pay off. I just started my blog and it’s good to see someone a little further into this journey being able to celebrate some major milestones. Keep it up!

  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    Ricard Torres @ Escaping to Freedom
    May 02, 2017 at 5:04 AM

    Loved the article – really in depth and useful! The amount of organic traffic that you’re generating after 6 months is impressive, mine’s getting there, but it’s nowhere near 8% haha.

    Keep up the awesome work. I’ll be following along 🙂

    • Avatar for Finance For Geek
      Finance For Geek
      May 03, 2017 at 10:50 AM

      Thanks! I’ve been implementing SEO from day one, and it’s slowly starting to pay off. Even more since I reached the 6-month mark, I keep getting good organic traffic from some specific keywords I targeted. Cheers!

  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    Mustard Seed Money
    May 07, 2017 at 9:38 PM

    Wow you are crushing it and doing really well. I am slowly learning how to monetize the website and I’ll definitely be using some of the tips that you shared above. Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    NZ Muse
    May 15, 2017 at 9:58 PM

    Facebook Ads is what I spend a fair bit of my workday managing! Jon Loomer is my go to blog/resource.

    Congrats on 6 months!

  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    Lily @TheFrugalGene
    May 22, 2017 at 9:00 PM

    Thank you Vincent!!! These tips are amazing for baby bloggers like myself. I’m going to pass this article along to another new blogger on Rock Star Forum that I know because what’s written here is a lot more helpful than what I know! Lol!

    What are a few WP plugins you find helpful?

    • Avatar for Finance For Geek
      Finance For Geek
      May 23, 2017 at 3:57 PM

      Hey Lily! Thanks for sharing it’s much appreciated, and congrats for starting your own blog, it’s definitely a good choice!
      Regarding the plugins which I find most helpful, I’d say Yoast SEO for SEO-related settings, Social Warfare is a must when it comes to social sharing features and WP Smush for images compression! There are many many more, but that should be a good start!

  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    Melanie
    May 25, 2017 at 6:18 PM

    Wow that’s great that you are able to generate some income so early! I’m almost 2 months into blogging, still new and still learning, but it would be awesome if I could hit that milestone early.

    You’re off to a great start!

    • Avatar for Finance For Geek
      Finance For Geek
      May 27, 2017 at 9:27 AM

      Yes only six months in and I’m already generating some income, but you have to remember that blogging takes time and a lot of commitment if you want to be successful! Way more than I thought in fact. But I’m glad I started it’s so much fun!

  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    The Investor Kid
    Jul 08, 2017 at 8:59 PM

    It’s so encouraging to read about your growth in the last 6 months, Vincent! I’ve really been enjoying reading through your blog. I’m hoping to start monetizing my blog in the near future as well. It’s great to see what hard work and a bit of time can do for you!

    Can’t wait to see how you’re doing another 6 months from now!

  • Avatar for Finance For Geek
    Tim Kim @ Tub of Cash
    Jul 23, 2017 at 9:54 PM

    Nice! Great job so far on the monetization! I’ve only just started myself and kinda clueless 😅

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