Traffic & Income Report July 2020

Sorry, I’m a few weeks late with this guys, but welcome to my July 2020 traffic and income report! This is the 21st month of my blog (I started it in November 2018).

If you’d like to check out any previous reports (they start from the first month of blogging!) check out my blogging reports section.

This month saw a nice bump in traffic which had me all excited and dreaming of large increases every month. Annoyingly enough, it was traffic marked “direct” in Google Analytics. This basically means that GA isn’t sure what to mark it as.

So good luck guessing where it came from (although I did find out in this case!).

Let’s get into the numbers for July. As always you can scroll on down or use the links below to jump to the sections which interest you.

Posts

Posts this month: 2

Refusing to feel bad about this number. I knew that with two weeks of holidays and a lot of work to do before finally and officially leaving my full-time job for blogging, in addition to the kids being at home, that I probably wouldn’t be able to get many posts out.

I managed to get up two income and traffic reports, as I had fallen behind with them. The other little amount of time I had, I scheduled Facebook posts and made new pins. I was hoping this would keep traffic flowing while I was on holiday.

Traffic

Screenshot of page views for July 2020

July 2020 85,950 (compared to 69,893 last month and 8,555 in July 2019)

Traffic increased to nearly meet the highs I saw in May. As I mentioned before, most of this was due to a nice bump in direct traffic.

I finally figured out where the direct traffic was from when I looked at my Google Search Console. My vegetarian feijoada had been featured in Google Discover (Yay!).

Google Discover screenshot for mid May to mid August

You can see my Google Discover performance from mid-May to mid-August above and the big bump I got for (most of) July.

Unfortunately, as with all good things, it had to come to an end. I’m starting with very little traffic improvement positioning for August but oh well.

July and August are notoriously bad for food blog traffic. Everyone is on holiday (or staycationing, given the way 2020 is panning out) and not cooking. I also have very few summer recipes, so I wasn’t expecting great things from these two months.

I’m just grateful for the Google Discover bump that increased my earnings while it lasted! Traffic sources were similar across the board apart from direct traffic obviously being much higher (26.19% versus 12.73% in June).

Direct traffic had a knock-on effect on the percentages of other sources but when looking at the number of sessions I could see that organic traffic was up and all other sources slightly down compared to the previous month.

Traffic sources screenshot from Google Analytics for July 2020

This is pretty much in line with what I thought would happen with social media and general internet activity trending down as people vacation, but organic increased due to my rankings trending slightly upwards as the blog ages.

Email Subscribers

297 (versus 262 in June)

Growth still super slow (kinda commensurate with effort if I’m being honest). I didn’t send out emails either this month because I’m just fed up with Mailchimp’s impossible ways.

Next month I’m planning on getting the blog optimized for speed and then abandoning MailChimp for something easier to use that has an exit pop-up that is compatible with Mediavine Ads, and then I should see more movement in this area.

I’m still not hugely bothered even though that figure is terrible for the 21st month of a blog, because really an email list is only really valuable if you have a product to sell (which I don’t). Never say never though, so don’t be like me and do prioritize growing your list from the start.


Push Notifications

1600 (versus 1100 in June)

A big increase in subscribers this month. Also note that I only show the number of current subscribers, I don’t include people who have unsubscribed,

Still the easiest and most effortless way to get your content in front of people quickly. Recently, with all the buzz in blogger groups about Google speed guidelines and the Lighthouse update, I’ve seen OneSignal take a hit as it slows pages down with scripts.

I’m still a fan though and if I can keep it without sacrificing too much speed when I get the website optimized in August, I definitely will.

pin for july 2020 traffic and income report
Pin me to make me later!

Facebook

Steady, if unimpressive growth with followers currently at 4,065 (compared to 3,854 in June). This month I featured Facebook posts by other vegan and vegetarian good bloggers while I was on holidays as well as recycling some of my recipes, but couldn’t figure out how to schedule group shares (I don’t think you can do it).

Pinterest

2100 followers compared to 1,900 in June. Pinterest followers don’t make as big of a difference as followers do on other platforms but it’s important that they are quality followers who like and interact with your pins, so slow and steady growth here is fine.

This month I just got a ton of new pins made and scheduled out with Tailwind for when I knew I’d be away. I meant to turn rich pins back on for two weeks to compare whether it’s better to leave them on or off but chickened out. I had visions of coming back from holidays to super-low earnings, let’s see if I can pull myself together and test them out soon.

Pinterest pageviews more or less stayed the same, at 21,450 compared to 21,502 in June. It’s pretty frustrating to be doing what Pinterest asks with lots of new pins, and seeing much less return. My older pins are bringing in much more traffic than newer ones.

I’m hoping my favourite go-to Pinterest course, Pinning Perfect, will release a course update soon about how to manage all the new Pinterest guidelines and madness.

Instagram

479 followers (up from 445 in June)

This month I literally posted once to Instagram. Just not a fan of the platform and it’s not very useful for bloggers outside the states in general (unless you have masses of followers) as:

  • For sponsorship deals most companies prefer US-based bloggers.
  • With no links except for the one in your profile, it rarely drives any traffic.

Income

July Income : $1464.01 (compared to $1118.41 in June)

July is the start of the third fiscal quarter, by the end (September) of which RPMs tend to increase a lot as bloggers move into what, for most of us, will be the most lucrative four months of the year (September to December) due to advertising spend.

My RPMs were actually slightly better this month which really surprised me but I guess it’s because the RPM is actually quite high for my feijoada recipe which was featured on Google Discover. So in the end, it all averaged out as a bit of an increase overall.

My average RPM rose to $17.10 per thousand pageviews, compared to $16.24 in June. I currently earn all of my income through ads with my excellent network Mediavine, although I am planning to set up some affiliate advertising soon.

Unfortunately, July brought some bad news for a log of bloggers aspiring to join Mediavine. The requirements to join were changed from 25,000 sessions to 50,000 sessions. A lot of bloggers talked about giving up as it would take so long for them to earn money.

I say nonsense. yes, it will definitely take you longer to get from 25,000 sessions to 50,000, but trust me it’s not as long as you think. It definitely won’t be as long as the slow haul from 0 to 25k. I qualified for Mediavine (by the skin of my teeth) in November 2019, which was month 13 of my blog.

Less than five months later I had passed 50,000 sessions. It may not happen as quickly for other bloggers (or it may even be faster), but rest assured that once you’ve hit 25,000 sessions, 50k is a sprint, not a marathon away.

All income mentioned is the gross amount, not my net income, and doesn’t take into account deductions for tax, social security, accountant, expenses, etc.

Review and Goals

I have been goal-less for June and July, knowing that I had a killer amount of work to finish off before leaving the day job and that I would be away. For August, my first month of fulltime blogging, I’m going to tentatively suggest a few.

Tentatively, because we need to travel for hubby’s passport renewal so I’ll be away for a week, and the kids are still at home and I’d like to have some fun with them before their summer holidays are over. Yet with September and quarter four looming, it’s time to get serious.

I’d like to:

  • Reshoot and update at least six of my worst oldest recipes that aren’t performing well.
  • Put together a timetable, content plan and study plan for working fulltime.
  • Upskill!
  • Start testing recipe videos.

In addition to getting the blog optimized, this should, ideally, leave me well-placed for the all-important last four months of the blogging year.


I hope you found this report useful, if you have any questions or would like to see other items included in the next report, holler at me down below!

Stay happy and keep blogging!

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