This article contains affiliate links.
Hey everyone. Welcome to my December blog income report.
I publish monthly income reports to share the numbers (earnings and expenses) from my blogging business and the mistakes I made, the lessons I learned, and the new projects I’m about to work on.
You can find all income reports here.
Read on to see what happened in December 2019 on Let’s Reach Success and in my business.
If you haven’t started a blog yet, make sure you enroll in my free course Launch Your Profitable Blog Today:
Deleting Thin and Outdated Content
I’m focusing more on SEO thanks to the new online course I’m taking. But deleting old content is something I’ve been thinking about for more than a year now. It was a big task, though. Or so I thought, until I actually started working on it.
Turns out, once you have a blogging strategy in mind and read what experts are saying about old content and removing it, you can immediately spot the blog posts that should be gone and do something about it.
Please keep in mind that it should be done correctly with redirections in WordPress so you don’t end up having a ton of broken links on your site. I use the free plugin ‘Redirection’ for this (it’s super easy to use). In addition, I use the plugin ‘Velvet Blues Update URLs’ to remove any internal link I have pointing to a deleted article and replace it with the one I redirected it to or another relevant post on the blog.
Here’s what content I deleted:
- Posts on topics I didn’t want my site to be associated with anymore. With so many guest posts published over the years, I’ve allowed more than I should have on the blog and now I’m fixing that mistake;
- Outdated content. Some posts were about trends in 2016 or analyzing 2017 and setting goals for 2018, etc. I prefer to have evergreen content only;
- Thin content. That basically means posts that contain only 400-500 words. These should be added to longer posts on the same topic and redirected to the new page;
- Blog posts covering the exact same idea. With this, you’re competing with yourself about ranking in Google. It’s better to have that content on one page and optimize it well so all the traffic can go there;
- Old product pages. I’m now focusing on selling online courses and not personal development books anymore so I deleted these pages;
- Old services pages. I had a page for my freelance writing services, which I’m not doing anymore so that had to go. Along with that, I removed the page for guest contributors and one for advertisers that wasn’t relevant anymore;
- Low-quality posts. Of course, if something published on your blog years ago doesn’t look or sound good, even if it’s long enough, that should be removed too. As I’ve been in business since 2013, I have plenty of that and am still going through old posts to see what can be updated or removed.
So far, 300 articles have been deleted. Now, Google can stop crawling thin content and can focus on the long, optimized guides I’m trying to rank for (which I’m updating constantly).
I also created a new freebie for subscribers last month. Ever since switching from MailChimp to ConvertKit a few months ago, I’m in the process of replacing old opt-in forms with new, better ones and giving my email subscribers the best content I can.
The newest addition is a freebie called ’18 Top Bloggers Reveal How They Make Money Blogging’.
I’ve already shared the PDF file with anyone who’s on my email list. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can get the eBook below:
The freebie contains exclusive information as I’ve personally interviewed all these bloggers for Let’s Reach Success. As many of the interviews are 2,000+ words, I only gathered the best tips related to making money blogging to create this eBook. It was fun.
Improving My Google E-A-T Score
Another SEO matter I looked into, inspired by Stupid Simple SEO, is the Google E-A-T update. With that algorithm, Google focuses on a high-level of expertise, authority and trustworthiness and makes sure only quality content ranks on top.
That’s extremely important for sites in the Health and Finance niche, for example, who publish content written by random freelance writers and not professionals in the field with proven experience.
That means you can’t just be a Fitness fan and go guest post on different sites on the topic, as this concerns people’s health. Google will then try to find out the information about all authors on blogs like that and if it doesn’t find any real author pages, where these people have been featured and with their achievements, it won’t give any real value to that content.
Here’s a good piece on what you can do to improve your E-A-T score.
Sadly, my traffic has drastically dropped down. However, that’s pretty normal due to the Christmas holidays and what people are looking for online in December and January (content related to Finance, for example, as they want to recover from the shopping spree and have set at least one big financial goal for the new year).
While my page views were over 100K for the last few months, they’ve now dropped down to 72K. That’s fine, of course, and it’s completely normal for blog traffic to fluctuate due to seasonal trends.
I also know something else. All the SEO changes I’m making now, such as removing many blog posts, can cause a dip in traffic at first, but will then lead to more page views than ever if things work out.
If you’ve noticed less traffic last month too, don’t get upset. Keep working on new content and updating old one and things will get back to normal in the following weeks or months.
Email Subscribers Update
New Subscribers: 126
Total list size: 2,345
Last month, I published 23 new articles on the blog. Here are my favorite ones.
I interviewed a couple that saved enough (and even found ways not to pay taxes at all) to retire in their 30s and travel the world with their kid. How awesome is that!
There’s no magic to what Jeremy and Winnie did, it’s just good money management. Read the whole interview here.
The next interesting post worth checking out is the income report from last month, where I share how:
- I spent over $1,300 on blogging expenses;
- I started a new online side hustle;
- traffic was lower but income was higher.
To learn more about all that, read the detailed income report here.
I did a personal year end review.
I like to review my year first before I set any new goals. I describe the process and share my exact results for the past year in this article. Check it out so you too can do your year end review and crush it in the new year!
And here are 2 more interviews you must read to stay motivated and hustle all January:
Do you want to build a niche site and earn $9,000/month from it? Do you want to stay in your industry but are tired of working for someone else? Are you a real estate broker who wants to work from home?
Jeff achieved all that and is showing you how in this interview. Read How Jeff Earns $9K/Month from His Real Estate Niche Site.
Next, Christine from TheMostlySimpleLife became a full-time blogger in 2 years. Here’s her story.
- why she started blogging
- how she earned her first money
- her top traffic source
- how she reached over 1 million Pinterest pageviews
- how many hours she works on the blog each week now
- what it’s like to treat your blog like a biz
- and more.
December Blog Income Report
I earned a total of $4,051 in December 2019 from my blogging business.
Please keep in mind that’s gross income.
After extracting fees I pay to other platforms, transaction fees, paying my own taxes and insurance and covering my pension as a solopreneur in the Netherlands, there’s much less left for me to spend.
Blog Income Breakdown
Affiliate earnings: $148
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
Financial Freedom Through Blogging
Next Level Productivity
TOTAL (Gross Income): $4051
I like seeing sales of my courses as well as earnings from affiliate marketing (I only recommend a few specific products and services that I use or whose creator I know).
These 2 are what will ultimately become my main income streams. Till then, it’s sponsored posts and ad revenue as usual that helps me make a living from blogging.
Blogging Expenses Breakdown
WPX Hosting – $302 (paid yearly)
Teachable – $0 (paid yearly)
ConvertKit – $29
Tailwind Plus – $0 (paid yearly)
Tailwind Tribes Max – $0 (paid yearly)
Accountant – €0 (paid quarterly)
Mobile Plan – €27
Health Insurance – €23
PayPal fees – $119
What I’ll Be Working on in January
First of all, I’ll finalize my annual income report, which I’m excited about. It’s only the second one I’ll publish and I want to make it as valuable as possible.
It’s also a learning experience to look back on what I did and how much I earned and spent each month of the year, as well as assess the big picture.
I will be sharing my 2020 blogging goals in that annual blog review too.
Next, I’ll keep going through old blog content to see what can be deleted and updated. That really takes a lot of time, by the way.
Meanwhile, I might complete some more lessons from Stupid Simple SEO as well as revise my notes from the last course I completed, Six-Figure Blogger.
I’ll keep creating new Pins and scheduling them on Pinterest as things are going well there in terms of page views and traffic to my blog.
Finally, I’ll upload the next printables to my Etsy store and add images and descriptions.
In addition, I have so many ideas for new courses but it’s much more important to keep updating my free ones and Financial Freedom Through Blogging to provide more value for the students that have already enrolled. So I’m now adding Pinterest lessons to all courses (exclusive ones for Financial Freedom Through Blogging, of course, which won’t be available anywhere else).
Thanks for reading my last income report for 2019, guys! What an exciting and enjoyable year of being a full-time blogger it was. I love it and will keep hustling in 2020 and ahead.
What was your December like? Did you finally start a blog or are you setting your blogging goals for the next year? Don’t hesitate to contact me and let me know.
Stock Photo from Floral Deco @ Shutterstock