I can’t believe that I have done an entire year of income reports! It has been a wild ride this year, and December is finishing off with its own chaotic signature. So, let’s jump right into the income and traffic report for December and see what happened.
As I mentioned in last month’s report, I was already seeing results from Google’s new algorithm update. This (not so) wonderful thing called BERT.
It is supposed to make the search engine smarter, and maybe it will, but so far I can’t say that I am a fan. Of course, there is always some initial upheaval before the dust settles and the final results can be known. So, we shall see.
In addition, Pinterest made some drastic changes to their algorithm. Their new best practices really tanked a lot of sites that rely on them for traffic. I suffered a bit but was able to pull things back up by adjusting to their new demands.
As you can see from my analytics below, the combination of Pinterest and BERT dragged me down to almost last year’s numbers. As I write this post, I have gotten over the hit, as you will see in the next report.
It is just one of those things that happen. If you are a blogger or you are thinking about starting a blog, just know that in the life of every blog, there are highs and lows.
If you do this long enough, you will eventually get hit by a Google update or a social media algorithm change. It is inevitable. But, don’t let it get you down too much.
Eventually, there will be another update that will swing things in your favor. You just have to roll with the punches and keep carrying on.
In the meantime, you should always strive to make your site immune to algorithm changes. You won’t be able to eliminate every risk, but you can certainly protect it from a full-fledged crash.
The Most Important Thing You Can Do
Just a quick note on a few things that every blogger can do to help make their business immune to drastic algorithm changes. First, diversify, diversify, diversify!
Did I say diversify? Yep, this is the biggest and the best thing you can do, and it will prevent you from having too many repeats of results like I have in my December report for both income and traffic. You never want to rely on one source of anything when it comes to running a blog.
That goes for traffic sources as well as income. With traffic, you generally rely heavily on things like social media and search engines. In that regard, you need to have a decent division amongst all your traffic.
Likewise, you don’t want to rely on just one source of income. There are so many options available out there and you want to make sure that you have a good, stable, four-legged, income stool.
I know I have said it many times before, but I am very big on scrubbing my email lists. Normally, I just do small, monthly, scrubs to keep it maintained. But, this month I did a major scrubbing.
I eliminated around 2500 subscribers from my list taking it from over 14,000 to just slightly over 11,500.
Yikes! That’s a lot of subscribers for one month. I always get a quivery stomach just before I hit the delete button, but in the end, it helps to keep my open and click-through rates higher.
Even though you can’t see it in the chart, I bounced back by almost 500 subscribers. So, not a bad month for sigh-ups. But I do suffer from a little bit of sticker shock for the first few weeks after doing a big scrub.
Last Month’s Subscribers… 14,006
This Month’s Subscribers… 11,922
Total Gain/Loss… -2084
Income and Traffic Report for December
Did I mention that BERT is really messing with my traffic? Last month, Google did some changes in Discover and I suffered a minor loss with that hit, but nothing compared to BERT.
I take solace in the fact that about half of all sites took some massive hits. So, I know it isn’t just me or anything that I could have done to prevent it.
The algorithm change began to take effect on Dec 16. You can see how my traffic from this year began to fall until it merged with the traffic numbers from last year.
I have been lucky in the past and have never suffered a hit from an algorithm update. I guess I was due, but I have to tell ya, it really sucks.
All and all, I am still up by slightly more than 50% over last year. However, that would have been double had I not taken this hit.
And although the next quarter should average out, the month of January isn’t looking so hot either. I am just hoping that once the dust settles everything will return to normal.
This Year’s Pageviews… 75,797
Last Year’s Pageviews… 50,107
Email Services …$175
Final Earnings: $2719.84
Lately, I have been feeling a little stretched for time and don’t feel that I have contributed as much to this site as I could/should. Mostly, I have felt that my hands have been tied with getting my income reports posted on time.
There have been several times when I have wanted to write a post on things like paying your taxes or trademarking your blog name. But instead, I set those aside to put together an income report for the month.
So, one thing that I will be doing for the upcoming year is reducing my income report posts. Don’t worry. I will still be sharing all the dirty details with you. I will just be doing it on a quarterly basis rather than each month.
I really feel that I can get fit a full quarter easily into one post without overloading it. This will leave me more time to write other types of posts for this site. Just getting one extra post a month should really help to feed the Google beast.