Income and Blog Traffic Report: Why December Was Nearly a Complete Write off for Side Hustles

Welcome to my second income report where I’ll be sharing with you the extra income, I’ve made alongside my regular income this month.

I’ve also decided to share my blog traffic in this report too. Why? Because, this is a common question that comes up from new bloggers – “How much traffic can I expect when I start my blog?”

Why am I sharing my Income?

I want to share the income I make from the side hustles I test out so that I can:

  • Track if they’re worthwhile
  • Track my income – I need to do it anyway for self-assessment. Yes, remember any additional income must be declared to HMRC.
  • So that you can see how each side hustle has worked for me

So, how did I get on in my second month Side Hustling?

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December Income & Blog Traffic Report: Why Last Month was Nearly a Complete Write-off for Side Hustling

As you can probably guess from the title of this post, December was a bit of a stinker from a side hustling point of view. Unfortunately, mid-way through December youngest son (13 months) became quite poorly, ending up in hospital for around a week. Luckily, he was back home just in time for Christmas. We were worried at one point that he’d have to stay in over Christmas. It’s absolutely heart-breaking to see all the kids in the ward who have to spend Christmas there ☹.

As you can probably understand, side hustling took a bit of a back seat due to this. I didn’t do any of my usual freelance work over this time either so all in all December was a pretty tough month. This is one of the downsides of self-employment unfortunately!

So, anyway that’s the background behind this report so here goes…

In December I made a grand total of £94.31. With hindsight, I’m pretty pleased with this. When I worked everything out for this post it was more than I thought to be honest. So, I think this is a pretty good result considering the month we had as a family!

Here’s the Breakdown

eBay – £86.50

eBay made up the bulk of my side hustling income in December. I sold a few DVD’s and box sets, a Blu-Ray Box Set and an old Xbox 360 that hasn’t been used for years to make some extra cash.

Testing Websites – £7.81

Did you know that you can test websites for money? Well, I’ve been doing just that over the last couple of months. I only did two websites reviews during December – one for UserTesting, which I was paid for in December. The other was for WhatUsersDo, but I don’t get paid until January for that one – that will appear in my next extra income report.

Goals

Last month I set several goals for my side hustling journey. As I’ve said, December was a bit of a rough month but here’s how I got on:

1. Start Matched Betting – Nope

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to try matched betting during December. I planned to towards the middle of the month, but fate had other ideas! I still want to try this out, but I think it’s likely to be towards the back end of January. I’ve got a load of freelance work to catch up on after December…

2. Sign up for more Website testing sites – Nope

Again, due to spending a week in hospital this just wasn’t a priority.

3. Write at least 4 Blog Posts – Yes!

I did manage to publish 4 Blog posts during December – just!! I posted the last one on 30th January, so I hit this target – yay!

During the month I published 4 posts:

As I mentioned last month, I seriously underestimated the amount of work involved in blogging. So, I’m really pleased I managed to post 4 times in December despite everything else going on.

4. Set Up an Email Opt-in – Yes (sort of)

I signed up with Mailchimp and have installed a subscribe box – that’s about it… As my blog traffic is pretty limited at the moment, I may remove this for the time being though. I’ll then come back to building an email list once I have more traffic and content on the site.

New Blog Traffic Report

Now, before I started blogging, I read tons of Income reports and traffic reports – I’m sure you have too!!! Unfortunately, most reports I come across are either from:

  • Established bloggers making huge monthly incomes with tons of traffic, or
  • Posts published retrospectively with headlines like – ” How I got 10,000-page views in my first month blogging” …. I’m sure you’ve read one of these!!!

Now, I’ve no idea if these reports are 100% genuine but I’m pretty sure they’re not the norm….

So, I want to publish a real-time report about a new blogger, with no experience. I hope this gives other new bloggers an insight into what to expect when they start a blog. This seems to be one of the main questions that come up in some of the New Bloggers Facebook groups I’m in.

Publishing this honestly scares the life out of me as I have a real fear of failure. But the way I see it, if nobody reads it then, nobody really knows that I’ve failed to generate any traffic to my site. On the flipside if a lot of people read it then I will have probably made a success of this blog so here goes….

How Much Traffic Did I get to my New Blog in the first month of promotion?

Now when I set up my Blog, I didn’t create a batch of posts and “launch” my blog… I bought a domain and published posts as I wrote then from the end of October onwards. I started promoting my blog on Pinterest in December – traffic was pretty much non-existent until then.

December Blog Stats:

454 Visitors, 549 Sessions and 809 Pageviews

Domain Authority: 4. This started the month at 1 as my site was brand new.

Where did my traffic come from?

Pinterest: 334 Visitors, 430 Sessions, 632 pageviews

Facebook: 68 Visitors, 78 Sessions, 96 Pageviews

Twitter: 1 visitor, 1 session, 1 pageview

Direct: 37 users,

Organic Search: 16 Users

The sessions and pageviews are skewed here too as it looks like a lot of my sessions have been included in this, so I won’t list out sessions and pageviews for the search channel!!!

Pinterest Stats

Followers: 491 up from 390 at the end of November.

Pinterest Monthly Views: 52.4k / 1,090 engaged (screenshor below) up from 9,958 / 224 engaged on 1st December.

Pinterest Profile Screenshot after 1 month promotion on a new blog

A screenshot of my Pinterest Analytics for December is below…

Pinterest Analytics Screenshot for 1st month of promotion on a new blog

What Did I Do?

Well as you can see the bulk of my traffic came from Pinterest. The small amount of Facebook traffic was mainly acquired through Facebook group share threads.

I used Tailwind to schedule my pins which created a spike in my traffic up until the middle of the month. Unfortunately, when my little boy went into hospital, I let me queue run out. I hardly pinned on Pinterest at all and as a result my traffic pretty much dried up.

Once things were back to normal, I set up a new Pinning schedule on 26th December. I scheduled a new pin to go live each day, before being shared onto all my relevant boards on a daily interval. My reasoning behind this is that Pinterest favours new content and consistency. So, my theory is that by staggering my new pins, rather than creating a batch of 4 or 5 and releasing them all at once, this will be preferred by the Pinterest algorithm… Will it work – who knows!!! Check back next month to see!!!

Goals for Next Month

Side Hustles

1. Start Matched Betting

I didn’t manage to get started with Matched Betting last month, but still want to give it a try. I think it will likely be towards the end of January though, once I’ve caught up with everything else.

2. Sign Up with more Website Testing sites

Making money reviewing websites is a fun and well-paid side hustle. By signing up with a few more sites I should be able to get more website testing jobs each month.

Blogging

3. Write 4 Blog Posts

I’m aiming to post weekly so really want to hit this one!

4. Join more Pinterest Group Boards

Pinterest is a real powerhouse for driving traffic for new blogs. Unfortunately, I’m not in many group boards yet. So, I want to concentrate on trying to join a few more this month to grow my Pinterest reach.

Thanks for Reading

How did you get on last month with your side hustles? Did you meet your goals? Or are you trying to grow a new blog too? I’d love to hear how you’re getting on in the comments below.

All the best!

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2 Comments

  1. Kari @esavingsblog January 14, 2019
    • Pennies for the Piggy Bank January 14, 2019

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