Back to the grind, friends! I’m honestly really looking forward to working again… having money is great.
Here’s how August went on the blog!
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August 2016 Wins
Started sharing my posts on my personal Facebook.
A few months ago I began implementing some of the strategies from the book Strategies Worth Sharing, even though I wasn’t quite in the social media growth unit of Elite Blog Academy. But this month, I finished the “Presentation is Everything” unit with my blog redesign (!!!) and I’m on to the next unit — which is indeed about growth. I decided to start sharing my posts from my Facebook page on my personal account so that the people connected there will see it.
This was a big decision for me, because already a few people who I was worried about seeing the blog had seen it, and they did respond sort of negatively. I also took a long time to decide because the topics of queer issues, sex, and even feminism can be sort of controversial for teachers, and I’ve been worried that colleagues would see the posts and that I’d get in some sort of trouble. But I realize now that if I want this to grow, I need to go big or go home — and I’m early enough in my career that I can deal with any issues. (Plus, I think the organization I work for is quite supportive, so I doubt anything bad will happen!)
But already in only two weeks, I’ve gotten some growth as a result. It’s really neat to see that people I know care what I have to say. So if you’re hesitating, I feel ya — but it just might be worth it!
Hit 5,000 pageviews!
This sort of stat I usually save for the stat breakdown later in the post, but I’m super stoked about this. It’s a milestone I didn’t know if I’d ever really hit when I started this site, even though hit was always kind of a goal. I couldn’t help but think that no one would care what I have to say, especially as a very new, not expert in feminism. But it happened — in fact, I went way over! I can’t wait to keep going.
Anything really is possible! 🙂
Created another awesome freebie.
Friends, I hope you’re excited. This one took the whole month for me to work on, instead of the two weeks I was hoping for — it’s really fun and cool!
This month, I worked my butt off to create the 36-page mini e-book The Quick & Dirty Guide To Feminism for anyone who signs up for my bi-weekly newsletter! It’s a guide for anyone who’s new to feminism or wants a little more info on why it matters and what it is, and is full of stuff I’ve researched and learned about at the beginning of my journey in learning. It’s basically a compilation of a bunch of information you could spend hours looking for on your own, like I did, but instead it’s right here in one nice bundle. And the best part? It’s FREE!
My newsletters are sent every two weeks, and they’re basically blog posts that only members of the newsletter can see, about how I’m doing with relation to learning about feminism, my sexual assault, and more related topics — along with a few ways you can use what I’ve learned for yourself. You also get notifications of new posts once a week.
If that sounds like something you’d like, sign up here! You’ll get the The Quick & Dirty Guide To Feminism right away, plus the checklist How To Tell If Something Has Misogynistic UnderTones & What You Can Do About It. You’ll also get full access to the resource library, so when the other resources are released you’ll always be able to check those out too!
August 2016 Fails
Fell two weeks behind.
This is sort of a win and a fail in one, because I needed the break but it was unintended. I originally took the first week off intentionally to spend some time with Grady before he starts his new job where we’ll have opposite hours. But then I ended up going on a mini vacation to visit his family in BC. I totally meant to get some work done, but did essentially nothing… so that’s that. Time to get to it!
What I Want To Do Now: Goals for September
Get back to two weeks ahead.
This takes priority number one! It’s much less hard now that I only post once a week, but it’s still really worth it because it means accidental breaks and emergencies don’t slow the blog down.
Finish updating old posts.
This took the back burner this month while I focused on The Quick & Dirty Guide To Feminism in preparation for my blog redesign, but I’m so close! I’m determined to be done updating my top 30 posts by mid October. (This does mean my next freebie isn’t going to happen for a while, but the Quick & Dirty Guide should keep ya busy for a while!)
August 2016 Stats
These are my blog stats for the past month, according to Google Analytics. Super exciting — these are my highest yet, breaking last month’s records!
- Page views: 5,629 (+ 4,575) — still going strong!
- Sessions: 4,622 (+996)
- Visitors: 4,122 (+972)
- 17.5% of all visitors were returning visitors — a decrease of 0.7%
- 82.5% of all visitors were new visitors — an increase of 0.7%.
- Bounce Rate (percentage of people who leave right away): 86.35%
- Average Time Per Session: 39 secs (-9 sec)
- Pages Per Visit: 1.22 (-0.04)
- Top Referral Sources: Pinterest brought 67% of my traffic, and the rest weren’t even close (again) — Facebook was next with 7%.
This month was not as huge of a jump as last month’s, with only about a 20% increase in traffic, but I’m still quite happy with that. Plus now the blogging season is picking up, so I have high hopes for further growth!
These are my social media stats as of September 1st.
- Facebook: 196 page likes (+8)
- Twitter: 988 followers (+29)
- Google+: 71 followers (+0)
- Pinterest: 1,379 followers (+140)
- Bloglovin: 508 followers (+10)
- Email list: 32 subscribers (+8)
August 2016 Posts
If you’re wondering, these are the posts from last month that led to the above stats.
- My Seventh Month Self-Hosting My Blog
- My Parents Aren’t Feminists
- 7 Things You Can Do To Support Gender Equality
- What You Can Do About Binary Gendering
- 23 Feminist Books I Can’t Wait To Read
And finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for…
August 2016 Income Report
Media.net ads: $0
Adsense ads: $0
So this month I actually did make some money from Media.net and Google Adsense, but I didn’t reach $100 so I didn’t include it in my income for the month since I won’t be receiving any of it until then.
I earned $5.89 from Adsense, which is really exciting because though that’s not much compared to the $100 needed for a payout, that’s way more than I’ve earned from Media.net all year!
So here’s a special tip: If you go with Media.net — which is generally a good idea if you’re just starting out — email your manager and ask them to optimize for visual/image ads. In Adsense, you have the option to optimize for both text & visual (which I recommend, because that’s how I got results immediately) but in Media.net you don’t. You have to ask, which I found annoying, but I’m glad I did — because all of a sudden I earned $2.51 this month compared to the $1.83 since January. (That’s eight months!)
When I emailed, my manager told me that the ads are done to respond to each visitor’s history and such so not everyone sees the same ads, but it’s clear to me that it made a difference since now I’m seeing results. As well, when I visit the site myself, I see a better variety of ads than I did before. I can’t believe this entire year I could’ve been making more if I’d known the ads I had on my site weren’t optimized. The text ads honestly don’t look all that great, so there you go!
Switching to SiteGround
I found that once I started getting 4,000 hits a month, my site would go down a lot more with BlueHost, and my page load time tanked. It happened only every so often before that, but it actually ruined some of the momentum I had going at the beginning of this month — I got over 1,000 views in the first week, and then my site went down and I lost that. Dang it! I’d had enough. They’re all right when you’re just starting out, but you’ll end up switching once you have more traffic.
So I did some research and asked some people I’ve met from Elite Blog Academy and went with SiteGround — and I couldn’t be happier! They made the transfer process really easy as well, I didn’t have to do anything. It’s only been a few weeks, but my site hasn’t gone down once and the load time is much faster. Plus, I signed up with them just after a promotion for $2.49/month if you sign up for a year, and when I asked if I could have that rate, they still gave it to me — even though I’d just missed it! That means I only paid $63.16 CAD for a whole year! *happy dance*
The good thing about BlueHost as well is that they give you a pro-rated refund when you leave. I don’t know if this is unique to BlueHost, but I had signed up for 3 year and only used about 8 months — so I got my money back for the time I didn’t use their service. Definitely happy about that! If you’re planning on keeping a blog only as a side hustle and don’t have plans to go full-time, you could go with them and do all right. They have one, two, and three-year plans all for $3.49/month whereas SiteGround (at least from what I saw) only has promotions like that for if you sign up for one year at a time. But if you want to go full-time and really build your blog up, go with SiteGround for sure.
UPDATE Apr 3 2017: Bluehost also no longer offers a pro-rated refund, which means if you sign up for 3 years and cancel after your first 30 days, you DO NOT receive your money back for the remaining time. Not worth it! Go with SiteGround instead for sure. I’m still with them and it’s been great!
Switching to GoDaddy
I bought my domain on a whim through WordPress.com last October, when I wasn’t self-hosted yet, for about $34. I only got it for one year, so since I was due for renewal, I did some quick research. I discovered that holy crap, GoDaddy is significantly cheaper and much more reputable! So I signed up to switch over on their Canadian site, for only $18. Super worth it.
I will say, the switch was a little stressful because I did it at the same time as my hosting switch. I had to wait for my domain to switch over before I could change the name servers from BlueHost to SiteGround — fancy talk for what points your site to the right host — so I ended up waiting almost a week before I could finally finish the switch and save my traffic levels from BlueHost tanking on me!
So take it from me: don’t switch your host and domain at the same time. Switch your domain first. Also, don’t use your domain email as your contact email. That screwed me up a whole bunch!
In the end, it cost me a total of $81.89 CAD to pay for my hosting transfer and domain renewal.
And these are two of the major costs of starting a blog. Pretty cheap overhead for starting a business! If you’re thinking about starting a blog, I really encourage you to do it — it’s fun and really cheap, if you’re smart.
(Basically, don’t buy any ebooks or courses until you can afford Elite Blog Academy, the Pinterest Strategy Guide, and Strategies Worth Sharing, in that order. Trust me, you’ll be wasting your money otherwise — I did, and it sucked!)
How Elite Blog Academy Helped Me This Month
I faced a lot of backlash after one of my posts this month in a Facebook group, and it really had me down. I doubted my ability to write, my worthiness as a feminist, and whether what I have to say even matters. What right do I have to talk about feminism when I clearly know so little?
I knew this was going to happen eventually, but that didn’t make it easier.
I also happened to be quite active in the EBA Facebook group I joined this month, and the positivity and encouragement there helped me stay optimistic. I never actually went to my friends there directly, but seeing other people also working their butts off, struggling their own challenges, and never giving up really helped me to remember why I’m doing this.
I went back to my EBA book, since with the site redesign I’m on to a new unit, and I was reminded to keep on trucking. The new unit is about growth — and Ruth mentions multiple times that this unit is full of a lot of information that might not all work right away because they take time. And throughout this entire course, she always says to take your time, go slow, and to never give up.
So this September, I’m slowing down and enjoying the process instead of rushing to the finish line. It’s only been six months since I started the course, and look at the growth I’ve already seen! I have a lot to be excited about, so them haters… well, they got nothin’ on me!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of August 🙂 see you next month!
If you want to see more about how I actually set up my blog and the costs of that, you can check out this post where I explain it all 🙂
What goals do you have for September? Let me know in the comments below!