A little over a year ago I decided to go full-time on my blog, FITnancials.
This was incredibly scary since I was used to working for someone else for over 8 years. Becoming an entrepreneur never even crossed my mind in school.
Then, I started a side hustle, my blog, which eventually turned into a website that earns over $10,000 and over 150,000 page views per month.
I remember telling Michelle that I would be grateful for $10,000 per month, and that I'd be content with that amount of money for the rest of my life. It's crazy to think that I hit that number at 25 years old, while a senior in college.
If I can do it, you can, too. Seriously. A lot of people say that but it's true. I never thought I'd be my own boss, and look where I am.
Get rid of the negative mentality and stop telling yourself you can never meet your goals. You'll complete your goals a lot sooner when you get rid of that way of thinking.
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Below is how I increased my income and page views in just one year.
For awhile, ad revenue was my highest income generator. This is also because I had 10 ads blasting through every post.
Once I decided to cut the amount of ads in my posts, my user-friendliness went up tremendously and my affiliate income went up. People weren't bombarded with ads and clicking out of my site.
I make a substantial amount of blog income from ad revenue, so while I'd like to throw out ads completely to increase user-friendliness, I am keeping them for now since they are such a money maker.
There are several different advertising companies out there. I currently use Mediavine and have been with them for a long time and don't plan on switching any time soon. The bonuses and user-friendly website makes it easy for me to customize my ads and things of that nature.
My affiliate marketing income is higher than it has ever been this year.
The amount of ads in the body text of my articles played a huge role in this. My bounce rate was VERY high (and still is higher than I'd like it to be) and I believe it's because of the ads popping up every screen. After I got rid of most of the ads, I did the following:
I started writing posts with a clear purpose and an end-goal in mind. For example, if I wrote a post about increasing my page views, I'm going to highlight often how I got to that point, such as a course or eBook that helped me.
Creating bonuses when allowed (check with your affiliate manager) is a fantastic way to increase conversions. When you give people bonuses for purchasing through your link, you're giving them an extra incentive to buy the product.
I also like to go through Michelle's Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course several times throughout the year. Skimming through the course at least once per quarter is ideal just to stay updated and refreshed on the strategies.
If you're struggling with sponsored posts, you'll want to read my post on how I make $3,000+ per month from sponsored posts.
Getting opportunities for sponsored posts is easier when you have accounts with sites that are specifically for connecting brands and online influencers for sponsored posts. You'll want to make sure your profile stands out as much as possible. Increasing your page views per month and social media followers is very important for sponsored posts because you will get paid according to your following.
I make sure to reach out to brands monthly that I am interested in working with, and I also apply for opportunities on websites that list sponsored opportunities. I make sure to stay on email lists for companies that list sponsored opportunities so I'm constantly updated.
My page views hit 150,000 page views for March which was pretty exciting. I was stuck at 60,000 for months, maybe even a year and it was frustrating. I switched up many strategies that I was using for awhile and got a little uncomfortable.
Related article: How I Got To 100,000 Page Views Per Month
1. Posting less frequently and publishing what people want to read
For awhile I was publishing posts just to publish. I was dishing out 2-3 posts per week and the articles were not high-quality.
Then, I started publishing once per week and saw no dip in page views. In fact, I saw a huge increase since I was focusing on publishing the highest of quality.
2. Finding out what my readers want
Last month I conducted a survey where I asked 100 readers to give me feedback on my blog. I asked questions like:
- What topics do you like to see the most on FITnancials? (making money, saving money, travel, health)
- What topics do you like the LEAST?
- What are you currently struggling with?
I learned a lot from this survey because more people wanted to read about travel than I expected. I put this topic on the back burner just because I thought people weren't really interested in it, but realized that was a big mistake.
3. Digging into Google and Pinterest Analytics
Google Analytics and Pinterest Analytics are tremendously helpful. With both services, I can see which posts are read or clicked on the most. This gives me more ideas of what I should be writing about and where I should focus my attention.
Pinterest Analytics also lets me know what kind of pins people like to see on Pinterest. I've been studying which pins perform best. Longer, shorter, which colors, etc.
Google Analytics lets me see what content is performing the best, the worst, bounce rate, and so much more. Every blog should be taking advantage of Google Analytics.
4. Making my pins click-worthy
I use attention grabbing and emotional words that make people want to quick.
Instead of dark colors, I try to stick with orange, red, pink, and have even decided to start using smaller pins, versus the super long ones everyones using. These pins are performing a lot better than my longer pins. For each post, I am currently making 3 pins and over time I am figuring out what kind of style people prefer the most.
5. Create a free product to grow your email list
If you haven't started your email list, you'll want to start that ASAP. Your email list will always be yours and no one can take it away from you, unlike sites like Facebook and Pinterest that are constantly changing their algorithms.
Creating a free product to grow your email list is crucial. People don't sign up for email lists without anything in return anymore. Some great ideas for free products would be a free resource library, ebook, printables, and so on.
Email can be incredibly personal which can help grow your relationship with your audience.
I have so many plans for my blog, I don't even know where to begin!
Currently, I'm in the process of creating a few free and paid digital products. Michelle and I are also teaming up on a sponsored course resource, too!
I finish school this year so it's exciting to know I'll soon be able to dedicate 100% of my time to my blog. So much time and energy is focused on doing well in my last semester of college, so being stress-free from that will clear a lot of mental energy.
If you have any questions for me, feel free to leave a comment below or contact me over at FITnancials.
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