This blog, Happier Freelancing is officially 1 year old. Woohoo! I started this site on January 1st, 2020 in order to create an online library for freelancers and side hustlers.
In summary, my website traffic was very little. However, I generated over $900 a year from this site. I know, it’s not a lot of money but enough to cover all of my blog expenses. I’m happy!
In this post, I’ll share all the stats and blog income from the first year of my blogging journey.
First Year of Blogging Report 2021 Click To Tweet
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. Please read my full disclaimer here for more info.
First, Why Monetize the Blog?
Because running a blog is not free.
Some blog is free, but these types of blog usually contain display ads that you can’t remove. If you want to customize your blog or have more control of your blog, you’ll need to pay some money.
My blog expenses for a year was $438.88 and here are details:
WordPress hosting $22.88 (must have)
This site, Happier Freelancing use Managed WordPress Hosting EasyWP.
WordPress is an excellent platform to create a variety of websites like online stores, blogs, business sites, portfolios, web magazines, etc. So, I chose WordPress for my blogging platform. If you want to know more about WordPress, please check the previous post Everything You Need to Know About WordPress. I explained WordPress step by step and also the difference between WordPress com vs. WordPress org.
Domain registration $9.06 (must have)
I registered the site domain name on Namecheap.
A domain name is an address where Internet users can access your blog. Your blog name and domain name doesn’t have to be the same. But most bloggers register domain name = blog name for marketing purposes. Every domain name is unique. Two blogs can have the same domain name. Make sure your ideal domain name is not taken by someone.
Canva $119.40 (optional)
Canva is a graphic design platform. You can use it for FREE, but I purchased a subscription to have more choices. I use Canva to create bar charts, pie charts, banners, Pinterest images, graphics for this site. Some people create Pinterest image templates on Canva and sell them for profit.
So far, Canva is my favorite graphics tool on the internet.
Adobe Bundle $38.12 (optional)
Before signing up for Canva, I used Adobe Bundle to create graphics for the site. Adobe is an amazing graphic design tool, but $38.12 per month…. that’s too expensive for me. I canceled after a month.
Email domain $8.32 (optional)
I used Namecheap Private Email Hosting.
I was planning to do email marketing with a free email marketing tool called Convertkit. (unfortunately, I haven’t started it) To use Convertkit, you need to have Private Email Hosting. You can’t use free email like Gmail and Yahoo mail.
On the other hand, a free email marketing tool called MailChimp does not require your own email domain. Instead of that, MailChimp requires a physical address. If you don’t want to display your home address on your email newsletter, you can also register a PO box address.
Procreate $10.59 (optional)
Procreate is illustration app available for iPad. I purchased this app to create graphics for the site. Usually, apps are subscription which mean you need to pay renewal fee for every month. But Procreate is one-time payment. There’s no subscription or renewal fee. I like it a lot!
Test site $18.95 (optional)
I created test site on Namecheap before launching this site.
Kaspersky Internet Security $67.56 (optional)
I purchased Kaspersky Internet Security to protect my personal information. If you know better alternatives, please comment below. I would like to know your recommendation (:
Buffer $144 (optional)
Buffer is social media management app on the web. It allows you to schedule your social media posts.
Month-to-Month Blog Posts
My blogging goal in 2020 was to create 12 posts a month! Well, I couldn’t reach the goal. Writing 3 blogs a week was difficult for me…
- January 2020: 8 posts
- February 2020: 9 posts
- March 2020: 8 posts
- April 2020: 5 posts
- May 2020: 6 posts
- June 2020: 7 posts
- July 2020: 8 posts
- August 2020: 7 posts
- September 2020: 8 posts
- October 2020: 7 posts
- November 2020: 5 posts
- December 2020: 14 posts
TOTAL: 92 posts
“Users” is the number of actual people that have visited the website.
An anonymous person on a digital marketing forum wrote:
“I have 10 – 20 WordPress blogs most of them are 2 – 5 months old at the moment and each of them gets traffic around 150 -1500 Users per day.”
150 users per day!? That’s crazy numbers to me. lol
- January 2020: 52
- February 2020: 20
- March 2020: 45
- April 2020: 46
- May 2020: 7
- June 2020: 34
- July 2020: 64
- August 2020: 67
- September 2020: 67
- October 2020: 167
- November 2020: 194
- December 2020: 530
TOTAL: 1253 Users
Pageviews is the number of pages that people have viewed in total.
According to a study by Blogelina, 20 bloggers found the average number of monthly pageviews to be around 4000.
4000 pageviews in a month!?!? Ok, I need 5 more years. haha
- January 2020: 1483
- February 2020: 423
- March 2020: 677
- April 2020: 781
- May 2020: 163
- June 2020: 514
- July 2020: 1319
- August 2020: 1044
- September 2020: 797
- October 2020: 890
- November 2020: 806
- December 2020: 1570
TOTAL: 10467 Pageviews
SEO Tips: The Difference Between Users and Pageviews
Say I visited your site on January 1. While I’m there, I visit the homepage, about page, and contact page. If I’m the only one who visited your site on January 8, here’s how your analytics looks like:
- Users: 1
- Pageviews 3
Next day on January 2, I visit homepage, about page, and contact page again. Now here’s how your analytics looks like:
- Users: 2
- Pageviews 6
Traffic sources mean where site visitors came from.
Organic is my biggest traffic source and Facebook is my biggest source of social traffic. This is a very interesting result to me because I only have 1 LIKE on my Facebook page…
- Organic (search engine like Google, Yahoo) 623
- Facebook: 156
- Twitter: 132
- Instagram: 3
- Pinterest: 48
TOTAL: 962 Traffic
The blog title is very important to drive traffic from the search engine. I think MonsterInsights helped to boost my organic traffic! MonsterInsights is a WordPress plugin that allows you to easily add, customize, and manage the Google Analytics on your WordPress site. And also, it’s helped me to create SEO friendly blog title. MonsterInsights is free to download, the paid plan provides more features, always 14 days money-back guarantee.
Blog title store and suggestion looks like this:
As you see it, my website traffic was very little. However, I still made enough money to cover all the expenses to run this site.
In 2020, I had 31 sponsored post opportunities from the ShareASale affiliate network. (I think I was very lucky. I hope the luck will keep continuing) If you want to make money through affiliate marketing and blogging, I highly recommend signing up for ShareASale.
- Sponsored Posts $767.35
- Affiliate Marketing $173.08 (I signed up for 8 different affiliate networks/programs. ShareASale is the only one that generated the money in 2020)
Net Income: $501.55 = $940.43 (total income) – $438.88 (blogging expenses)
Blogging Goals for 2021
In 2020, I posted the blog randomly and shared it on social media sometimes. I want to create a blogging routine in 2021.
In 2021 I will:
- create 12 posts a month
- 1000 followers on Instagram
- 3000 followers on Twitter
- 1000 followers on Pinterest
- 100 followers on Facebook
- signed up for the Influencer Marketing network
- make $100 a month from the blog
- Collaborate with other bloggers
- 5000 pageviews a month
How was your blogging journey in 2020? Comment below or mention me on Twitter. I would like to know your story!