Welcome to my monthly series where I share my blog stats and income with you. I was inspired to do this because I know of some bigger bloggers (like Pinch of Yum) who share their blog stats and income but I really didn’t see any smaller bloggers (like me! and maybe you!) who do so. I figured if I was looking for something that I wasn’t willing to publish myself that was pretty messed up so decided that I’d start sharing my monthly stats and income. Here’s February’s blog stats and income report – I hope you find this helpful (you can find January’s report here)! This post is subtitled “a lesson in bounce rate.” Keep reading to see why!
I usually end with this, but this month we’re going to start with the numbers:
Ad income: 23.76 (BlogHer) +9.70 (Adsense) = 33.46
Affiliate income: 22.95
Sponsored posts: 230
Total February income: $286.41
Total February pageviews: 18,770
If you are a regular reader of these posts you are thinking, “hmmm…that’s a big drop in page views from January (45k)” and you are right. It is. Except it isn’t. What do I mean? It’s time to talk about the bounce rate. Bounce rate represents the number of people who click over to your site and then exit without viewing any other pages (i.e. they “bounce” right back off the site). A normal bounce rate is usually in the 50-75% range. You can google “bounce rate for blogs” if you want to read a bit more on this topic, but those percentages are pretty much in the expected range for blogs. An unusually high or an unusually low bounce rate indicates that there is a problem. An unusually high bounce rate might indicate a content problem and an unusually low bounce rate probably means that you have a GA (google analytics) problem. Of course I wish I would’ve known this information earlier. For a few months, my bounce rate was low low low. Like 5% low. Finally, I began thinking that something might be up. I had my friends over at WP Sitecare check it out…and sure enough, my GA code was installed twice. What does that mean? Well it means that my stats were being counted twice. Which means that my numbers that I was looking at over the past few months were wrong. Ooof. Kinda stinks to figure that out and work through it all, but the great thing is that my blog has still grown LEAPS and BOUNDS over the past year and my numbers are still WAYYYYY up. But anyway, there’s your explanation for the 18k pageviews (which is actually probably about 4 or 5k lower – I realized my GA mistake a few days into February so the numbers won’t be totally accurate until next month). Lesson here? If you are noticing that your bounce rate has dropped or seems too low – it is. You probably have GA installed twice.
So how did my GA code get installed twice? I have no idea. It was definitely in some plugin or something and I missed it. So I don’t have any tips on how to avoid this but just a cautionary tale – pay attention to your bounce rate! Let’s talk about income. I’m excited because as I write this (mid March), I’ve already made more money this year than I did in all of 2014. That’s pretty exciting and I’m looking forward to hopefully at least tripling the amount I made last year. Of course I’m much more intentional about making money with this blog. My goal is to turn it into a legitimate part time hustle. I spend a bunch of time on it and making a few hundred a month is definitely a nice payoff. I have some long term blog goals and things I’d like to do but just haven’t been able to find the time. I’m planning on taking at least two weeks of vacation this summer and some of that time will be spent working on blog projects.
Tell me: do you pay attention to bounce rate?
P.S. Are you reading this and thinking, “hmmm, I should start a blog!” If you are thinking it, then you are right! Read this post to help you get started and start a blog in three easy steps!