The only constant is change
This is the income report for January 2020 for my blog. With January in the back mirror i have arrived at this post and want to reflect on what happened the past month.
By now I have developed some sort of routine around this blog and the utilization of Pinterest and Tailwind. Using Tailwind to distribute the re-pinning of contents is now manageable enough to focus more attention to content creation in general. The first two months I have spent a lot more time trying to figure out how to best leverage this platform.
One of the things I really like about creating this blog are the AskMeAnything Sundays. I decided to do them every other Sunday, to have plenty of things to talk about. Its a life session to encourage others to join and get some discussions going. To celebrate the schedule, I added a count-down timer on the main page to remind people to come on by. Going forward I expect these sessions to be around 30 minutes. But i have not set strict duration and will adjust as required.
Content creation and research for existing and new opportunities to earn some side income is what is currently keeping me busy. There is so much bad advice out there and it seems that I am finding a lot of ways on how NOT to make money. In general, that’s okay as I can provide you with my findings here to spare you from frustratingly trying them yourself.
I have been using Media.net since December 2019 and have earned a grand total of $0.00,- with them. I know that at this time the blog is not generating a lot of traffic, however on the other hand I should have earned at least a penny or more by now, don’t you think ?
Plenty of fish in the sea
There are other advertising platforms out there for me to try. I am currently investigating AdEx.network, which is based on the block-chain technology. It is not using Bitcoin but instead is paying out in DAI, which is designed to be within a few percentage points of $1US.
AdEx.network itself also has a ticker symbol in the crypto world, sensibly called AdEx. If you go back in time, this coin was at some point worth $3US and is now hovering around $0.08US. I am currently working on another blog post to get into a lot more detail on the AdEx platform and its pros and cons.
Now lets talk about why I think using AdEx is a viable alternative to all the other ad platforms. The openness of the platform allows more transparency than any other platform I have seen. Because it is based on the open Ethereum pltform you get to see the complete transaction log for your account ( wallet ). The drawback for now is the ad variety and the CPM which are both very low so far.
What you think I am funny? Funny how?
I have dug into the php code of this blog and changed the default number of posts from 10 to 12. This allows for an even grid with 3 posts per row. This one thing has always bugged me as the symmetry was lost.
As I mentioned above I started to play with advertising platforms as I have received exactly $0.00,- from Media.net. Granted the traffic my blog is currently generating is very low but one cent or two on the earnings side would help establish the potential.
I found another two plugins which I had to add to the blog. I think this will be the last of it, as I am now well equipped with a set of the most impact-full WordPress plugins.
- AdRotate Banner Manager To rent out your WordPress ad-space
- Quiz And Survey Master, to get feedback from my readership
- plugin load filter, to reduce WordPress loading speed
- Fast Velocity Minify, This plugin helps to minimize your resource files
- P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler), to see which plugins take time
I have spent about two days optimizing my sites performance this past week. Let me know if you are interested in hearing more about web-site optimization, and why it is important.
AdRotate Banner Manager
Preparing to rent out space on the blog. I needed to have a means to manually add advertising to individual blog posts, as opposed to all blog posts. As the name suggests, AdRotate also allows you to display from a set of ads and rotate through them one at a time.
Quiz And Survey Master
The best contents is written if the audience has a need for it. Using Quiz and Survey Master I can plug in surveys and listen to what my readership really wants. This simple, yet powerful tool has all the capabilities I was looking for.
Plugin Load Filter
Please leave a comment below if you need help with this plugin. I highly recommend it for every one using WordPress with more than 5 plugins.
Fast Velocity Minify
Remember that every millisecond in load time saved will increase your user retention. You should audit your blog at least once or twice a year for performance bottlenecks and adjust accordingly.
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)
I installed, tested and removed this plugin. While it may be helpful for people who do not spend a day or two on optimizing the blog performance, I found it was not as helpful as I imagined this to be.
Here is the traffic graph from January 2020. As you can see it is really flat right now. I attribute this to not providing sufficient content and value. Also the work I do on Pinterest is bringing in very few people to my blog.
Goals are a bust
I had the goal to get 200 people following my account but only achieved a following of 184, up from 126 followers in December. Where I fell completely off however was the number of people I follow. While I set out to follow 750 people by the end of January I only achieved to follow 502, which is up from 411 by the end of December. I found that most of the blog posts I am searching for are coming from the same set of Pinterest accounts.
These numbers looked way worse about a week ago, when I started to focus on achieving my set goals at least partially as good as I possibly could.
The other goal I set out for myself in December was to get 35k impressions and 30 clicks. Well as it turns out I only received 22.74k Impressions and a measly 14 clicks. Percentage wise, that is beyond the pale with 35% and 53% below target respectively. This is a clear indication that I need to create more content going forward
App side hustle
Since the AdSense termination in December 2019 for no reason, I have been struggling to find a proper replacement. I moved over to MoPub, which is the second largest advertising network for Android apps. The payout has been only about 8% of what AdMob used to pay. So the side hustle no longer works out. It’s a hobby at this time an honestly I do not spend much time on it.
One thing I want to try out though is to integrate FAN, the Facebook Audience Network. I can integrate this as a mediation network through MoPub and it is supposedly able to pay around 50% of AdMobs revenue. This may be worth another try to save the sinking side hustle.
On the other side, Google is also preparing to introduce some serious changes to Android in the next version which will require a lot of code changes. It is at that point where I may no longer want to follow this business at all. Unfortunately for end users these upcoming changes will mean less variety and less apps to chose from, as I am not the only developer which will think twice about time vs reward for Android development.
I see Google to be not a solid partner for anyone except maybe governments which have leverage through laws over the company. Like Amazon is seemingly driving towards the destruction of the viability of the FBA business model. We shall see.
Blog income report January 2020
|Blog Financials||App Financials|
|In Store Purchases||N/A||$2.54|
|TOTAL INCOME>||- $0.00||-$24.06|
I am hopeful that this will be the last negative income report for the blog for the next few months. The reason it is in the red is that I still had to pay Google Ads the December balance of $26.60 from before the AdSense termination.
Since moving over to MoPub for my Android apps advertising, I earned a total of $31.19 in January. However this will be paid out only after earning at least $100,- and then 60 days after achieving this threshold. For now I can’t account for the income. Also if the AdSense debacle is any indication I will only realize the gain once the money is savely in my account. This is a lesson from the Money confiscation for my earned income from one of the worlds largest companies.
One of the most important monetization opportunities for a blog is through advertising. As I stated above, I want to test a set of different advertising networks over the coming months and see if there are alternatives to AdSense for low-traffic blogs. Please let me know if you want me to investigate a specific network and I will certainly give it/them a go.
Until next month then.