Proof it Works – Test blog in 12 months: Earnings from $700 to $7,000 per month, 120k to 430k monthly views.
Forecast growth: $15,000 monthly earnings, 1 million monthly views by January 2018.
Yes, I’ve been silent over the past year. Part of that has been me being uncertain that my blog growth and monetisation strategies are still working in this current, ever-changing environment. Not wanting to provide false information or hope to those reading this.
But today, 12 months after I started my case study, I am here to say with confidence that it works.
My blog growth and monetisation strategies work. The growth of my blog is not a fluke.
I’ve proved it. Not once. But twice. Actually, 3 times including myself. 🙂
I am not one for sharing financial and traffic details openly, I feel uncomfortable doing so. However, in the context of this post, I will say that my monthly page views are almost 4 million per month and my earnings are in excess of half a million dollars per year.
My website is built on organic growth. Viral spurts from social media and referral sources does not, with the traffic I get nowadays, have the material affect on my site traffic that it did in the past.
Don’t get me wrong. Spurts of traffic are always welcome. But it’s not a foundation for the growth of my blog. Nor is it part of my blog growth strategy.
THE PROOF: Test Blog
12 months ago, I approached an unnamed blogger who was in a “make or break” position in that this mystery blogger was either going to have to return to life in corporate or, as they dreamed, to make a full time living as a food blogger.
I scoured the blog. I cooked a number of recipes, wanting to immerse myself in this blog like I was an everyday reader, and read loads of posts. (I never left a comment or told this blogger I did this – even now, this will be a surprise when they read this.)
Truth be told, I wanted to get a sense of the true passion of this blogger and, frankly, the quality of their recipes, even if the recipes weren’t the type I usually cooked. Because good food is a universal language – whether it’s vegan, vegetarian, healthy, ethnic or mainstream everyday food.
I wanted to know whether this blogger really had what it took to be my test case. Whether the passion for cooking was really there. And I was convinced it was.
And that’s how I selected this blogger to be my test case.
WHAT I SAID
Put simply, I asked the blogger whether they would be interested in being coached by me to grow and monetise their blog as a test case. I was very honest – I said it would be hard work, that I would be tough, I wasn’t going to tread softly-softly with gentle kindergarten-teacher words and fluff around the issues. I’d talk straight – sometimes even probably too bluntly.
I also said I was supremely confident that we could achieve significant blog growth but more importantly, substantially increase blog earnings to a full time equivalent income.
The blogger said yes.
And so we embarked on our little project the next day. 🙂
To be able to make a living off the blog within 12 months.
WHAT WE ACHIEVED
This is what we achieved in 12 months:
- 130k monthly page views grew to 430k
- Monthly earnings increased from US$700 to US$7,000
But most importantly: this is sustainable traffic and earnings that will continue to grow. The growth is organic. It’s not reliant on a pray-for-a-viral-Facebook-video or favour-trading approach or other bursts of viral traffic.
OUR NEXT GOAL
This blogger will hit 1 million views by January 2018. Earnings will be close to $20,000.
This is what we are working towards. I am confident we will achieve it.
WHO THE HECK IS THIS BLOGGER??
Well, now. That will take all the fun out of this if I reveal the name!
I’ve been working secretly with this blogger for 12 months now. It’s been a long time coming and you’re just going to have to let me enjoy this moment for a bit.
All will be revealed soon…..
PS It’s not my mother (her blog is RecipeTin Japan). It’s not a level playing field because I promote her blog on mine and in my newsletter. 🙂
WHY THE HECK DID YOU DO IT??
I wanted to prove my blog growth strategies work.
So I could create a simple guide.
So you can do it too. 🙂
WAIT A SEC. DID YOU SAY….THREE TIMES??
Err, yes. 🙂 Me, my Mystery Blogger and Imma from African Bites, the one and only coaching client I took on for a small fee back in late 2015. When I announced the exciting news about the Mystery Bloggers’ achievement on the FBC Facebook Page yesterday, she contacted me to let me know that she is about to leave her job to be a full time blogger – GAAAAAA!!! I honestly almost cried. 🙂
WHEN IS THIS GUIDE GOING TO BE AVAILABLE?
Soon. When I’m happy with it.
I know that’s not an answer. But this project has been in the works for 12 months. It is not something I take lightly. It makes me really grumpy when I see so called experts making big promises with slick marketing talk but when you scratch the surface, there is in fact no substance or actual track record there. Or their only track record is the blog advice blog that they use to sell their services. 🤔 That seems cheeky to me.
So bear with me. Just know I’m working on it. And yes, it will include traffic and earnings statistics.
In the meantime, continue to ponder…..