I’m so excited to share this month’s report with you. Suddenly I realized I really CAN do this! Here’s how October went on the blog.
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October 2016 Wins
Maintained my traction on Facebook.
I think I’m finally figuring out what you all like reading from me, so I ran with it this month and wrote more personal stuff. Both of my posts What Thinking About Non-Binary Gender Taught Me About Race and How I Realized My Halloween Costume Supported Cultural Appropriation were well-received when I shared them to my personal page, and it really made a difference in my growth this month. More people liked my Facebook page, and I gained more traffic this month, which is nice to see.
So tip of the month: share your posts to your personal Facebook page! You’ll be surprised by the response.
Also, I’m not the only one who has taken a hit with pageviews. Pinterest changed their algorithm a couple months ago and even bloggers with tens to hundreds of thousands of views per month have had a major drop. So I’m really glad to see I’ve found a way to help with that! It had been a little sad to see the drop after I’d been doing so well in July and August.
Met a local blogger who is in my niche!
This month I met Marisa from Stream & Stone YEG for coffee, and it was awesome! I haven’t meet any fellow bloggers in person yet, and since she also writes about feminism, it was great to connect with her. I highly recommend searching Facebook for any local blogger groups, because not only is it lovely to connect with like-minded people, but it’ll likely put you in contact with more bloggers than you imagined which is great for networking! I can’t wait to get to know the rest of the Edmonton bloggers she knows.
Starting working as a VA & met with an accountant like a REAL adult!
I kind of went out on a whim a couple weeks ago and made a free website where I sell my virtual services. And before I knew it, I had three emails from prospective clients, all of them other bloggers! One of them has officially hired me, so I actually am working as a VA (Virtual Assistant) for her! I sent her my first invoice yesterday, so that means the income won’t be part of this month’s report, but still. I’m pretty excited.
So I realized I needed to talk to an accountant to discuss what self-employment means for taxes. It was a big step, and I’m so excited about it! I’m going to shut down that free site soon and just run my VA services from my blog to keep it simple for me, but wow I’m glad I did it.
If you have ANY services you think you can market to online businesses, do it. It literally took me about 2 hours to set up a website and then post in Facebook groups about my services, and Jen Rudd’s book about working form home as a VA is an awesome guide. She sent it to me for free, but you can get it for cheap here.
At the rate I’m going — I already have another client who looks like she’s going to hire me this week — I might actually be able to turn this into a source of income! It isn’t directly from my blog via ads/affiliate sales/my own products, but it’s something, and it wouldn’t be happening if I hadn’t started my blog. So yay!
Wrote my business plan.
I did it! I had been meaning to for a while, but never got around to it. Now that I’m actually bringing in money (as little as it may be) I figured I needed to do it. So there it is. Whoo!
Got 2 weeks ahead.
Phew. ’Nuff said.
October 2016 Fails
Clearly, I have a problem. This happens way too often.
In October, I signed up to join my cousin’s online project Aficionado, a set of websites set to launch in April. It’s essentially going to be a Canadian Buzzfeed-style website with different sections/sub-websites, and he asked me if I’d like to be in charge of the Women’s site. In April, I’d be working as a part-time writer for the site at the least! Of course, I said yes. Perfect, right? Literally my dream.
Then I unexpectedly got a client right away for my VA services, right after I’d signed up for a VA internship and Sagan Morrow’s 30-Day Begin Your Biz Challenge to help with my VA services too.
And I’m just starting to work with a blogging mastermind group this week too, as part of my Elite Blog Academy assignment.
And trying to get my business shit together too.
Yup, my schedule is just impossible right now.
What I Want To Do Now: Goals for November
Be honest with myself regarding my commitments.
A few days ago I set down and counted out all the hours I have each week, assuming I get work as a substitute teacher every day. I listed out how long I plan to work on VA services and my blog, and then added in time for housework, the gym, and hanging out with Grady.
And then I added in Aficionado. (Needless to say, I emailed the internship and declined.)
Here’s what I have.
There is pretty much no flexibility during the week. (It’s almost a good thing Grady works nights now! Ha!)
So it looks absolutely crammed, and the truth is I’m not expecting it to work. So this month, I’m going to try be really honest with myself from the get-go. I’ll try this the first week, and if it’s too stressful or literally impossible, I’ll have to rethink my plan.
But I hope it can work! It still isn’t so much that I don’t have a weekend… right?
Get 2 more clients.
Okay, I know I said I need to be honest with my commitment and now I’m saying I’m signing up for more but here’s why. The extra hour I have for VA work on Tuesday and Thursday is for working on the business, not client work. Now that I see the potential for work as a VA, I want to make it happen. I’ve created a page on my blog dedicated to my services and transferred all the info on my VA Services website there, and now I’m going to focus on getting more clients! I’m so excited!
Besides — I’m in the process of working out the financials, and once that’s figured out, I’ll be able to figure out when it’s worth it to take days off from teaching to work as a VA for any new clients. I can do it, I know it!
Finish Unit 4 of Elite Blog Academy.
I’m still working on this, with one assignment left. It’s been a great unit! I’ve seen a lot of growth and am really happy with it. It focuses a lot on networking with other bloggers, and it’s so cool to do. Hopefully with my 1 hour a week I can get this one done!
October 2016 Stats
These are my blog stats for the past month, according to Google Analytics. Super exciting — these are my highest since July. I’m gaining momentum whoo!
- Page views: 4,361 (+829)
- Sessions: 3,181 (+477)
- Visitors: 2,748 (+317)
- 21.8% of all visitors were returning visitors — an increase of 3.3%.
- 78.2% of all visitors were new visitors — a decrease of 3.3%.
- Bounce Rate (percentage of people who leave right away): 81.99% (-1.74%)
- Average Time Per Session: 1 min 2 secs (+6 sec)
- Pages Per Visit: 1.37 (+0.06)
- Top Referral Sources: Pinterest brought 39% of my traffic, Facebook 25%, and finally Twitter with 2%.
I’m really excited about this month, because traffic went way up since last month but bounce rate is still going DOWN! My bounce rate has been brutal lately, so it’s nice to see people are sticking around more now. It’s the lowest it’s been since March!
These are my social media stats as of November 1st.
- Facebook: 226 page likes (+16)
- Twitter: 1,044 followers (+32)
- Google+: 71 followers (+0)
- Pinterest: 1,564 followers (+69)
- Bloglovin: 512 followers (+0)
- Email list: 49 subscribers (+10)
October 2016 Posts
If you’re wondering, these are the posts from last month that led to the above stats.
- My Ninth Month Self-Hosting My Blog: September 2016
- 12 LGBTQ Novels You Need To Read
- What Thinking About Non-Binary Gender Taught Me About Race
- How I Realized My Halloween Costume Supported Cultural Appropriation
- How You Can Participate In Feminist Activism
And finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for…
October 2016 Income Report
Media.net ads: $0
Adsense ads: $0
No payout until I reach $100 in any given account but here’s what I earned within each account this month:
Media.net – $1 USD
Adsense – $4.14 CAD
Amazon.com Associates – $0.28 USD
BoardBooster: $5 USD
Genius Blogger’s Toolkit (affiliate discount): $61.11 USD
Total $66.11 USD
How Elite Blog Academy Helped Me This Month
This month, EBA helped me realize I’m not as alone in this at it may seem.
The assignments to connect with other local bloggers and bloggers in my niche in person (as well as online) has made things feel more real. And the assignment to create a mastermind group where we focus on growing our blogs together, based on sharing our expertise in different areas, really makes things feel like a team effort.
Suddenly, I’m not just working in my sweatpants with my cat and TV on. It’s a real effort, and progress can really happen!
I have to admit though, I was hesitant about these assignments. I felt like connecting with others wouldn’t really make much difference, because I’ve learned so much on my own. But looking at the people I’ve met, I’m already learning a lot and it’s such a good feeling to have a sense of community. If you sign up for Elite Blog Academy ever, don’t skip Unit 4!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of October 🙂 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 🙂 and do share your blog with me so I can check it out!
What goals do you have for November? Let me know in the comments below!