March 2020 was a life-changing month for all of us, one way or another.
Whether you’re a business owner, live in a country directly affected by COVID-19, can’t go to work and have to stay at home for a few weeks or months, have financial troubles due to unstable economy, are worried about your loved ones, or have even been stuck in another country which closed borders while you were traveling… we’re all in this together.
In fact, for the first time, all of us, regardless of where we are located, are affected by the same problems. Self-isolation, anxiety, uncertainty, etc.
The Internet is full of the pros and cons of all this. And to be honest, I love reading the articles talking about the benefits of the coronavirus pandemic. This will forever stay in history and it’s a period in our lives that scientists will use for the next few decades to analyze so many things. This data we are collecting now is priceless (like how, for example, the air pollution in some parts of Europe dropped by 40% once self-quarantine mode took place).
It’s crazy how much can happen in a week. And while that’s something we’ve all heard on different occasions, we now finally had the chance to see it. Our plans are nothing in the face of what life has planned for us. But as with anything else, it’s our responsibility to stay calm, work with what we got and make the most of it.
In this blog income report, I’ll share the numbers for March 2020 (income and expenses) as well as what I worked on. I will also talk about how coronavirus affected my blogging business directly (especially once the USA was hit), what measures I’m taking, and how I deal with all this. Hope you find the information useful.
Read on to see what happened in March 2020 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:
March 2020 Blog Income Report
I earned a total of $4,070 in March 2020 from my blogging business.
Please keep in mind that’s gross income. A lot of it goes for fees I pay to other platforms, transaction fees, paying my own taxes (close to 30% of my income), insurance and pension. You can see all income reports here.
Proof of Income
Here are some screenshots showing some of the revenue:
- Ad revenue from Mediavine
- Course sales
- Affiliate income from Teachable
- PayPal earnings
Earnings from each income stream:
Sponsored content – $2,432
*My income from sponsored content is earned through online marketplaces for bloggers and advertisers (2 examples include ValuedVoice and SeedingUp) as well as networking with brands via email.
Mediavine – $1,182
(See How to Make Money with Mediavine)
WPX Hosting – $70
Launch Your Blog Biz – $213
Total Affiliate Income – $283
Books – $46
Courses – $127
Financial Freedom Through Blogging
Total Sales: $173
TOTAL (Gross Income): $4,070
- WPX Hosting – $0 (paid yearly)
- Teachable – $0 (paid yearly)
- ConvertKit – $0
- Accountant – €0 (paid quarterly)
- Mobile Plan – €27
- Health Insurance – €243
- PayPal fees – $118
- Teachable fees – $11
Traffic was lower than last month, which – together with the current economic instability and virus pandemic – decreased my ad revenue for this month even more (but that will be received 3 month from now, so it’s not in this income report).
15% of that traffic (around 9,000 page views) came from social media, though, which is a nice diversification. That’s mainly from Pinterest as I continue to get 200-400 visitors daily from there.
Another place I’m getting traffic to other than my blog is the sales page of my blogging course. I’ve connected it to Google Analytics and can see what the numbers are. It’s now getting over 4,000 page views per month, which is great.
The formula for selling a product, in its simplest form, is getting people to a sales page, and converting them into buyers (which, of course, is one of the hardest things in online business).
Both of these require effort. I see some bloggers focusing on getting more traffic to their product (so more people can see it and hopefully more will buy). While others focus on conversion and test all kinds of strategies to make sure they bring only the right people to the page and convince them to buy with the copy and all other elements that go into a proper sales page.
Email Subscribers Update
New Subscribers: 618 (136 more than last month)
Total list size: 3,502 (as of April 1)
Last month, I was excited to have nearly 500 new subscribers to my list in 1 month for the first time. Now, that’s over 600.
As I edit old blog posts, I also make sure each has an optin form in it, relevant to its content.
You want to make sure each page on your blog has a call-to-action, and there’s nothing better than inviting people to join your email list so you can start forming a relationship with them through emails (which is way more personal and promising than blog posts).
With the growth of an email list comes the hard decision to clean it and remove cold subscribers. Meaning, those who haven’t opened any emails in weeks or months, who only signed up to get the freebie, who don’t even use their email that often, etc.
These aren’t the people you need so they should be deleted from your database (not to mention it costs a lot to have that extra 1,000 people on your list).
For email marketing software, I use and recommend ConvertKit.
If you’re in need of a course that will teach you how to do email marketing the right way as a blogger and sell your products to your email list, my choice was Six-Figure Blogger. You can check it out and decide if it’s the right fit for you at your current blogging journey.
How The Coronavirus Pandemic Affected My Blog Biz
Now, we all know many businesses in the hospitality industry are facing a crisis. Other industries are suffering due to closed borders and not being able to export their goods.
Anyone with an eCommerce business might have zero income too or be at a loss, depending on the niche they are in. Travel bloggers are having difficulties too. And I can only imagine what other small and big companies are going through right now…
Here’s how the economic crisis looks like in my small blogging business.
I didn’t feel any changes up until the virus hit the USA (although I live in Europe). Then, a few things began happening.
- A few clients I work with (for sponsored content) said they won’t be able to have new orders for me and won’t be working with bloggers due to the current unstable state of the economy.
- I’ve been contacted multiple times over the course of a few weeks and asked to sell my blog (that has happened before too but once to twice a year). Then, I read that now people with a budget are interested in investing in blogs that are already bringing traffic and income. Blogs are the ‘real estate’ of the digital world, and in a financial crisis, people want to get access to something that has proven passive income streams.
- Ad revenue is lower. That’s due to lower traffic but also because advertisers spend less now and are trying to cut expenses.
- My income for March was definitely lower than the previous 2 months, and that might continue decreasing. So, I started thinking about cutting expenses.
What I Did About It
The most important thing in times like that, of course, is to stay calm. I mean, harder months might be coming and the whole rest of the year can even be filled with financial problems for so many people all over the world. But health (mental and physical) comes first.
So I invest in self-care time, routines at home, dealing with anxiety and uncertainty. I also keep doing work as usual, mostly.
There’s nothing I can do about low ad revenue, for example, as some of these things are out of my control. I can keep focusing on growing traffic with Pinterest (as SEO is a longer-term strategy and not a quick solution), so I do that.
Content is always king so I now write on relevant topics and try to provide as much value as possible. I also grow and nurture my email list (that’s part of the long game too).
One smart thing to do before and during recession, though, is to cut expenses.
One big expense I cut in March was Tailwind. Due to the new Pinterest algorithm update and the fact that I now only Pin manually and don’t use group boards, I decided to see how life would be like without Tailwind.
I’ve been using it for a year now (April was the time to pay the annual fee again, that’s why it was a good moment to cancel) and it’s given me tremendous results. Tailwind Tribes is what I will miss but that’s also something I want to experiment with and see how it goes without them.
I still highly recommend using Tailwind as it’s the best scheduler, has amazing features (plus a new one that guides you through the new best Pinterest practices). They also work closely with Pinterest and are their official partner, so nothing can go wrong if you use the tool.
I’m also investing more time and resources in email marketing now so to cover that extra expense (which is now nearly $800/year) I had to drop something else if income isn’t growing these months.
Pinterest Algorithm Update
Big things were happening on Pinterest in February 2020 (accounts got suspended, many bloggers lost traffic and engagement, Tailwind recommends new practices too, etc). That was due to the big algorithm change that took place and in March, Pinterest revealed more about it.
In a nutshell, Pinterest really has put an emphasis on fresh images (even if the descriptions and titles remain the same) and is against duplicate content.
That might sound confusing. So I wrote a post with all you need to know about the update, what Pinterest defines as duplicate content exactly, how to use the platform from now on, etc. You can read all about it here.
I’m currently adjusting my Pinterest strategy based on these changes, and so are all other bloggers and business owners using Pinterest.
The way for me to stay up to date with Pinterest is by logging into Pinterest Traffic Avalanche (the course I took some time ago by 6-figure bloggers Alex and Lauren) and seeing the new lectures they added and updates they included. It’s the most detailed course I’ve seen on the topic so far and it’s the reason why I started bringing thousands of visitors from Pinterest to my blog on a monthly basis. I highly recommend it.
Over the last 3 months, I’ve been working on my new products – printables. I decided to still use Teachable as the platform to sell them on (that’s where my online courses are). It really does a great job with a seamless payment process, security and great interface for people to enjoy and use once they’ve made a purchase.
So, the first new product I launched is the 2020 Blog Planner Printables.
This blog planning kit includes everything new and intermediate bloggers need to start and grow their blog traffic and income, organize their blogging tasks, and turn their blog into a full-time online business.
The printables in the bundle are:
- Blog Goals Planner
- Weekly Post Planner
- Yearly Planner
- Blog SEO Planner
- Keyword Research Planner
- Blog Optimization Tracker
- Account Summary Tracker
- Pinterest Growth Tracker
- Pinterest Group Board Tracker
- Seasonal Content Calendar
- Affiliate Tracker
- Digital Product Sales Tracker
- Ad Income Tracker
- Sponsorship Income Tracker.
Aside from wanting to give bloggers the right tools to get their blog started and grow it faster, I also wanted to release a cheaper product. This one is affordable and I can mention it to people who can’t quite afford my course Financial Freedom Through Blogging yet, but want some motivation and organization to get their blogging journey going, and printables can provide that.
You can learn more about the Blog Planner Printables here.
The Life Planner Kit
Next is another planner bundle – called The Life Planner Kit – but this time related to all other categories I cover here on the blog.
This life planning kit includes everything you need to define your goals, organize your tasks and your whole day, get more done each week and month, keep track of all aspects of life and ensure progress, improve your financial situation, and save yourself a lot of hassle when traveling or shopping and in your day-to-day life.
There are over 35 printables, including:
With this bundle, you can:
- Daily and Weekly Calendars;
- Year at a Glance;
- Daily, Weekly and Monthly Planners;
- To-Do List;
- Goal Action Plan;
- Bucket List;
- Monthly Goals Planner;
- Morning and Evening Routine Planners;
- Password Tracker;
- Emergency Contacts Log;
- Birthday Tracker;
- Habit Tracker;
- Work Planner;
- Bank Account Tracker;
- Income, Expense, Bill, Savings and Debt Payoff Trackers;
- Chore Planner;
- Cleaning Schedule Printable;
- Vacation Planner;
- Travel Packing List;
- Meal Planner;
- Grocery List.
Interested? Learn more about The Life Planner Kit here.
No interviews were published last month. I’m waiting for some bloggers to send these but as March was quite an unusual month and many businesses were negatively affected, I might not hear from them any time soon.
Some interesting articles were published, though.
Coronavirus and Blogging
I wrote a post on how Coronavirus affects bloggers and what we can do to not just prevent blog traffic from decreasing, but actually keep it stable and even boost it.
More people are at home now and spend time in front of their computers. In addition, they have more free time and the desire to educate themselves more than usual (be it with news or articles on other topics or taking an online course).
That’s good for bloggers. But why are so many of them seeing a dip in traffic? Read How Coronavirus is Affecting Bloggers (+ Tips to Grow Traffic During the Pandemic)
Working from Home
As most people all over the world are doing their work from home now, I wanted to share tips on how to stay focused even if you’re in a crowded house, don’t know how to be productive at home, don’t have your own workspace, or else.
Read How to Work from Home Like a Pro During The Coronavirus Outbreak
I shared the new post once on Pinterest (following the new Pinterest practices) and the Pin got over 8K views and 60 clicks in the first day. So that’s a hot topic and everyone’s looking for ways to get things done and stay healthy while working from home.
Other articles published last month:
What is a Recession and Who Declares It
5 Science-Backed Morning Hacks
February Blog Income Report
Top 3 European Destinations for Digital Nomads
Should You Focus on Saving Money, Paying Off Debt, or Both?
My Plan for Next Month
In April, it’s already decided that most countries will remain in self-quarantine and businesses will be closed. The USA is sadly being hit by the virus right now and is only taking more measures to stop is, so not sure how that will turn out.
Blog income and traffic might go down even more, and there’s not much small blogging business owners can do about it. Writing relevant content and offering discounts to your audience is something that experts recommend in these times. In fact, you shouldn’t stop selling, especially if you have digital products that help people with homeschooling, making money online, working from home, or else.
These are hot niches right now and people want invest time and money in the right resources if they can benefit them.
I will keep updating old blog posts, adding optin forms, and taking care of my email list.
I’m now publishing new content related to recession, dealing with everything during a pandemic, making money from home, starting a blogging business, working remotely, and more. So I’ll keep doing that as it’s what people need more of these days.
New to Blogging? Check Out These Resources
Start a Blog
What is a Blog and How Does Blogging Work?
How to Start a Blog That Makes $1000/Month: A Beginner’s Guide
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Blog (+ My Blogging Expenses)
Financial Freedom Through Blogging – My Ultimate Course for Bloggers Looking to Start, Grow and Monetize a Blog and Become Their Own Bosses
Grow Your Blog
8 Ways to Boost Your Blog Traffic
How I Got 103, 231 Page Views and Made $4,305 from My Blog in 1 Month
Pinterest Traffic Avalanche: A Solution for Beginner Bloggers to Drive 10,000 – 100,000+ FREE Monthly Visitors to Your Blog – on Autopilot!
Make More Money Blogging
How to Make Money Blogging
How Many Page Views Do You Need to Make Money Blogging?
How to Make $50,000/Year Blogging from Home
How This Stay at Home Mom Earns $30K/Month Blogging and Retired Her Husband at 30
How These Highest-Paid Bloggers Earn Over $100K/Month
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing(The Ultimate Affiliate Marketing Course for Beginners, Created by Michelle from Making Sense of Cents Who Earns $100K/Month Blogging)
How I Earned $250 from 1 Sponsored Post on My Blog