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2020 Blogging Year In Review.

Whew! 2020 was really different, to say the least! And aren’t you glad it is over now? New Year. New Beginning.

In today’s post, I will share my annual blogging income report for 2020. This is my second year of blogging and you can check out my first year blogging income report here.

Just be warned that this is not a success story, so if you were hoping for one, you can click away now because I do not want you to be disappointed.

I will be going over my blog expenses and what I did to still make a blog income. We will dig into what worked, what didn’t, why I think my blog is not successful(yet), and why I am still hanging on to it.

Second Year Blogging Income Report (Year In Review Of A Struggling Blogger)

What Happened in 2020

Before we dive into the income and expenses report, I want you to know that I still firmly believe that blogging is not a get-rich-overnight type of thing.

Some grow faster and others —including me, takes longer.

I have been blogging on and off for two years now and I know that if I had focused more on my blog, I could have done better.

And this year did not make it easier for anyone. Covid-19 shook everything up, all over the world!

I have a full-time job and despite the shelter-in-place this year, I still continued to work in the field because I am an essential worker.

Therefore, I was not able to dedicate more time to this blog.

And on top of that, I also got pregnant!

Although these are both valid excuses(I think), I am still aware that I could have done better.

Why Am I Still Doing This

You are probably wondering why am I still sticking to this blog despite my struggles.

Well, since the beginning, I started to share my journey as a blogger so that I can track what’s working and what’s not working.

And most importantly, so that my experience can be a source of encouragement and education for other struggling bloggers out there.

I am in this for the long run. I have already invested time, money, and effort on this blog and I am not just gonna throw in the towel just like that.

2020 Blog Income And Expenses Report

Alright, let’s get into the numbers! For reference, here is my previous year in review blog income and expenses report.

  • 2019: I spent $1,744.30 on my blog in 2019 and earned $1,114.30!

Now In 2020:

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    • I spent $2,758 on my blog
    • I earned $1,371 from my blog

    Now let’s break this down!

    Main Income

    • Affiliate Income: $ 576.21
    • Ad Revenue: $ 526.75
    • Digital Products: $ 52.70
    • Sponsorship: $ 215

    Main Expenses

    • Hosting Upgrade: $ 560.89
    • Canva: $ 155.4
    • Convertkit: $ 499.16
    • Tailwind: $ 243.68
    • Keysearch: $ 107.10
    • Smarterqueue: $ 144.95
    • Courses: $ 43
    • Ads: $ 586.7
    • Freelancer: $ 164.33
    • Link Whisperer: $ 52
    • Grammarly: $ 63
    • Publer: $ 49
    • Other Fees: $ 88.79

    As you can see, blogging expenses can add up. However, you can still make your expenses minimal. You can learn how to start to successfully start a blog with minimal investment here.

    I incurred a lot of expenses in 2020 mainly because of upgrading my hosting and a costly mistake on Facebook ads (more of this below).

    2020 Blogging Stats

    If I do not have 2019 to compare my blog stat with, I would definitely be depressed and just gave up.

    However, as I look back on 2019, I can definitely say that I have made progress—slow but still a progress.

    Monthly Traffic Comparison

    20192020
    January06492
    February2974227
    March8952554
    April249310796
    May27399954
    June14775164
    July26245300
    August8355605
    September23877024
    October34047509
    November16775926
    December35729843

    Organic Traffic 2019-2020

    I am very happy to say that my SEO hard work is finally paying off. I am now ranking for quite a few keywords.

    Having a good keyword research tool is a must if you want to create articles that will rank. I have been eyeing Semrush and Ahrefs but they are too expensive for my budget.

    That’s why I was so happy when I found out about Keysearch. Keysearch is an affordable keyword research tool that only costs $17/month!

    But if you are interested in trying out Keysearch and want to save money, you can get it for 20% off by signing up here and use code KSDISC. You will then have a powerful keyword research tool for only $13.50/month!

    What Didn’t Work For Me In 2020

    Facebook Ads

    I know a lot of bloggers swear by using Facebook ad in growing their blog, however it did not work for me.

    Earlier in the year, I signed up for a course on Facebook ads and implemented what I learned.

    However, my ad spend was adding up and still I was not making any return on my investment. I swear I followed the step by step guide!

    I am not saying the course was fake because there are a lot of factors that might have affected my promotions like visuals, content, and so forth.

    So it was an expensive mistake. I should have researched more.

    Smarterqueue

    I was using Smarterqueue for while to schedule my posts on social media but because I was not really making an income, it was getting to be too expensive for me.

    That’s why I was so happy when I found out about Publer. Publer is a scheduling tool that you can use for your posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.

    And unlike other scheduling tools, Publer is so affordable. I was lucky to get their lifetime deal for less than $50.

    The deal is not active anymore but you can still try Publer for free up to 5 social media accounts. You can get your free access to Publer here.

    Monumetric

    I use Google Adsense for ads, however, I was not making a lot out of it. So when my traffic was nearing the 10K pageviews, I decided to try my luck with Monumetric.

    However, as expected I got rejected due to not having enough traffic.

    So I turned to Ezoic. I was not quite at the 10K pageviews yet but still, I tried. And surprisingly, I got accepted!

    What Worked For Me In 2020

    Hiring Freelancers

    Hiring freelancers made a huge difference in my blog management. I was able to focus more on the tasks that I like doing. Therefore, I was more productive.

    SEO

    With a good keyword research tool, I was able to find keywords that are easier to rank for. Currently, I have a few posts ranking on the first page of Google, and they are only 3-6-month-old articles.

    Pinterest

    Pinterest can be frustrating with all the changes that they are making but I hate to give up on it. It brings in most of my blog traffic.

    So I decided to invest in a course that focuses on Pinterest. And Carly’s Pinteresting Strategies was worth the investment.

    I purchased her course in early December and started implementing her tips. As you can see, my impression and outbound clicks went up!

    If you are looking for an affordable Pinterest course, check out Carly’s Pinteresting Strategies.

    Link Whisper

    Interlinking is great for SEO. If you haven’t yet, you should interlink on all of your blog posts! This means that you are “linking back” to related posts that you have already published. 

    For example, I have a blog post on how to make your first $100 in affiliate marketing, so I will interlink it here. Interlinking your content also helps your bounce rate go down which means your audience is staying on your blog longer.

    But what if you have tons of articles already published. It will be quite hard to keep track on which post to link to.

    This is why I love Link Whisper! It makes it easy for me to link to related posts in my blog using the best anchor text. It saves me so much time!

    There is so much more about this tool that it deserves its own review post. However, you can check out the features here.

    Opening An Etsy Shop

    In late August of 2021, I launched a printable shop on Etsy. I do have a printable shop on my blog but I decided to venture out since Etsy has so much to offer.

    Although I only dedicate a few hours a week on this shop, I was able to create 36 listings.

    So far, I am making 10-15 sales a month. That’s without adding new listings in 2 months!

    Opening an Etsy shop is fairly easy, it is free but you have to pay a minimal amount when you list an item. But you can start out for FREE on your first 40 listings when you use my referral link.

    I use Canva to create my printables to sell. I actually have a post on how to make and sell printables that you can check out.

    And you do not need the paid version of Canva to create printables to sell. You can just sign up for the free account and start creating helpful printables to sell.

    Ezoic

    I started with Ezoic early December and so far so good. I was able to earn a little over a $100 with less than 10K pageviews!

    If you ever want to try out Ezoic, you can use my referral link here. They have great customer service!

    Affiliate Marketing

    One of the sources of my blog income came from affiliate marketing. I love affiliate marketing because it’s a great source of passive income.

    Affiliate marketing isn’t always the easiest to master. You need to have a trusting audience who values your opinion. 

    You need to target the right audience, have an engaged audience, and market your links in the best way possible, are some of the keys to mastering affiliate marketing.

    Michelle’s course Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing goes over some of my top affiliate marketing strategies to increase your affiliate sales. 

    Brand Sponsorship

    Another great source of blog income that worked for me this year is through working with brands on paid sponsorships.

    I was able to land a few paid sponsorships last year and I do hope to have more this year!

    2020 Goals Check-in

    HAVE A DEDICATED TIME FOR BLOGGING. My goal was to blog two hours per day, however, I was not able to stick to it.

    Due busy schedule, there were days when I cannot find time to blog. On the other hand, there were days I have to work on my blog 5-6 hours per day.

    AIM FOR 192 PUBLISHED POSTS. Well, I was not able to meet this goal either. I was blogging on and off through out the year so there were months that I was not able to publish any posts.

    It was towards the end of the year that I put my head down and start working on some articles.

    I also started outsourcing some of my blog tasks so I can have more time for content creation.

    As a result, I was able to close the second year of blogging with 150 published posts.

    LEARN MORE SEO. I would say I have met this goal. Probably not fully met, since there are a lot of things to be learned.

    I haven’t invested in a SEO course yet, since they are a bit pricey, so all the SEO strategies I did was from my own research.

    As you can see, the result of my organic search is gradually increasing, therefore my SEO strategies are working.

    FOCUS MORE ON PINTEREST. Pinterest drives most of my blog traffic therefore I need to keep at it.

    I will continue to implement the strategies from Carly’s Pinteresting Strategies since it is yielding good results.

    QUALIFY FOR MEDIAVINE. So far I am okay with Ezoic, however, I am still eyeing Mediavine.

    BUILD MY EMAIL LIST. An email list has not been one of my priorities, however, I found that affiliate marketing works better when you use your email list.

    UPDATE OLD POSTS. I have older posts that needs updates and I will make this as one of my priorities since some of them are ranking.

    Michelle from Making Sense Of Cents strongly recommends adding affiliate links on ranking posts to make extra affiliate income.

    Goals For 2021

    • Quarterly Blog Income Report
    • $10,000 Blog Income
    • Consistent 25K PVs Per Month
    • Reach 50K Sessions
    • 300 Total Published Posts
    • Grow Second Site To $1K/month

    Blogging Income Report Year in Review Conclusion

    My second year of blogging is not that spectacular, however, a progress—regardless of how small it is—is still a progress.

    I hope you found this income report helpful and inspiring! If blogging is your passion and you would love to grow your blog then keep at it!