How I Made $235.98 With My Blog in August 2017 [Income Report]

All of my blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting Go Ask Your Daddy!

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

How I Made $235.98 With My Blog in August 2017 [Income Report]

I’ve been sharing my blog income reports for the last several months. It’s definitely an up and down business, but I love everything blogging has to offer. August was down in terms of site views and income, but I figured it was because school was getting ready to start back and everyone was busy grasping the last bit of summer.

I wrote 8 new blog posts in August:

Income for August 2017

Sponsored posts: $35.00

Fat Joe Publishing: $211.69

Total: $246.69


Expenses for August

Photoshop subscription: $10.71

Total: $10.71


My top 5 viewed blog posts for August:


Site Stats

  • Total unique visitors: 1,074 (-456 from July)
  • Total page views: 1,719 (-1,135 from July)
  • Total comments: 27 (-3 from July)

Referral Stats


Social Media Stats

StudioPress Theme of the Month

SiteGround’s Labor Day Sale – 70% off all shared plans!

Web Hosting

Most of you probably know I rant and rave about my web host, SiteGround. I’ve been with them just over a few months, and couldn’t be more satisfied. They have all the tools I need for my blog as well as top-notch technical support.

I only promote products I believe in and use myself, so today I’m very happy to fill you in on SiteGround’s upcoming Labor Day Sale.  SiteGround is offering a 70% discount on all shared hosting plans!  These rates are valid from September 1 through September 5th, and are available to all users, regardless of geographical location.

If you are looking for a reliable web host at affordable prices, I really recommend SiteGround. With their Labor Day sale, it’s a great time to do it! After switching from Bluehost and eHost, I feel like I have found my home with SiteGround. When I was with eHost, I experienced awful page load times. It was driving away traffic, and more importantly, income. As soon as I switched to SiteGround, my page load time improved from 10 seconds to 2 seconds! Read my review over SiteGround.

Stay tuned for more great deals on products I love and use. SiteGround is definitely one of those!

Go straight to SiteGround with this link and save up to 70% off.

10 Ways to Shine as a Blogger

All of my blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting Go Ask Your Daddy!

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I’m not going to lie to you. Writing a high-quality blog post that gets mega numbers of engagements and comments is very difficult. I can’t tell you how many other blog posts I’ve read that attempt to sugar coat the blogging process to say that anyone can do it. Anyone can’t.

Do you realize there are millions upon millions of active blogs today?  Talk about a saturated market. Yet, you are still writing mediocre to maybe average content and expecting a motherload of followers to bow down at your feet for writing the best blog post ever.

Ok, so I may be a little irritated, but I think you get my point. So, how do you shine as a blogger? Surely the ones that are hitting high numbers started at the same low point as you are. How do you get there? What do you do?

Let’s look at 10 steps you can follow to work towards shining as a blogger. Notice I did not say “instantaneously” or “overnight.” Forget about those two words. Yes, there’s a rare chance a post could go viral, but don’t plan on it.

10 Ways to Shine as a Blogger
Let’s look at 10 steps you can follow to work towards shining as a blogger.

1. Pick the right niche

Most people don’t think the niche is one of the main causes of a dried up blog, but it is. If you don’t pick a niche that’s easy to write about and has a high search demand, you’re going to find out quickly that there will be crickets chirping instead of blazing comments. If you are an expert in parenting, but know nothing about technology, would you pick technology as your niche? Probably not…

2. Write content people want to read

If you aren’t putting out good content, and I’m talking about content that readers love, share, and find valuable, it’s really going to be hard to do anything else to grow your blog and shine as a blogger.  How do you do it if you are a new blogger? Network with other influencers, read popular blogs, take courses and webinars on blogging. Immerse yourself in the world of blogging.

3. Network with other bloggers

It may sound crazy when you hear it the first time, but networking with other bloggers is a very sane idea. Not only do you meet other like-minded people who do what you do, you form bonds, gain followers, and learn new tips. Facebook groups are great places to interact and network with bloggers.

4. Don’t be afraid to create controversy

You are sure to get some comments on controversial posts. Don’t be afraid to address topics other bloggers shy away from due to potential backlash. When you push other people’s buttons, you set the expectation that you aren’t afraid to handle the good and bad responses. Look for touchy subjects in your niche and have at it.

5. Offer a freebie

I love getting something for free. I bet you do too! Chances are your readers love getting something for free. For me, I offer a free 7-day email crash course about how to start a blog. It costs my readers $0. Zilch. Nada.

6. Comment on other blogs

You like it when others comment on your blog, so return the favor. Set a goal of responding to a certain amount of blog posts every day. Make sure your comments are meaningful and don’t over promote yourself. I like this strategy because you normally have to leave your name, email, and URL in the post. Free advertising for your blog, plus a great opportunity to prove you’re a subject matter expert in your niche.

7. Be organized

Blogging requires a great level of organization. I don’t know about you, but whenever I read a blog post, I can tell within the first 10-20 seconds how much time the writer put into the structure of the post. I make it a regular practice to develop an outline for every post. No matter if I’m writing a short 500 word post or a massive 3000 word article. All posts deserve the same level of attention, organization, and care.

8. Be active on social media

Sharing on social media is one of the best ways to get known as a blogger. One word of caution – share more than once. Think about why I’m saying this. If you post a tweet in the morning, 1 minute later, it falls way down in your feed. Use scheduling tools such as Hootsuite to automatically schedule posts at opportune times.

Don’t just share your posts. Ask questions, create polls, upload videos. Take an interest in the comments you get on social media. Treat them just the same as if they were comments that showed up on your blog. I like to think of my blog as my brick-and-mortar business and my social media accounts as my marketing plan.

9. Don’t rush to publish your next post

Isn’t it a great feeling to hit the publish button? I know the feeling! But, don’t rush to get that next post up and running. Spend extra time making sure you have your content laid out exactly as you want it, check spelling and grammar, and make sure you have used the right keywords.

I know too many bloggers who post every day, but their posts are mostly fluff. There’s one blog I follow where the blogger actually things his/her readers care about marathon run times. What does that do for me? What does that do for the reader? Absolutely nothing. Maybe some people like reading about it, but to me there’s no value. They probably publish 10-12 more times per month than I do, but I prefer to publish fewer posts with top quality. Volume of posts is not that important in the grand scheme of things.

Are you rushing? Go back to older posts and look to see if you cut corners anywhere. And go back and fix them!

10. Simply ask for feedback

If you are really looking to shine as a blogger, you can’t be afraid to ask your readers for feedback. I trust that you have a “Contact Me” page on your site, or another way for your readers to easily contact you. Use your email blasts as a way to ask for honest feedback. Create a Facebook poll, run a Facebook live Q&A session, or simply start a group chat. It’s much easier than you think to get feedback on your blog. All you have to do is ask. Cool, huh?

What now?

Now it’s time to put these tips into action and work your way towards shining as a blogger. Anyone can blog, but to succeed and grow your blog takes practice, strategy, and perseverance.

15 Ways To Screw Up Your Blog

If you’ve been blogging for any length of time, you’ve probably committed one or more of the ways I’ve identified to screw up your blog. Don’t worry, though, if you have, because there are ways to improve and bounce back.

This post does contain affiliate links.

15 Ways To Screw Up Your Blog

1. You aren’t responding to comments

What the hell are you thinking?!  You have readers engaged with your blog so much that they are commenting on what you are producing, yet you didn’t respond to their comments? This is a massive failure! Responding timely is critical in building a positive relationship with your readers – don’t screw this up!

2. You’re stealing other content

Please tell me you aren’t stealing and plagiarizing other bloggers’ content. Not only is this lame, pathetic, and stupid, but you are breaking copyright laws. If you aren’t creative enough to write your own original content, then maybe blogging isn’t for you.  Good bloggers spend time to create original ideas, or can create a spin-off from another popular topic.

3. Your blog is loaded with ads

I’m just going to come out and say it: If your blog is covered with ads when I land on your homepage, I’m immediately leaving your site. Not only is it super annoying to have pop up ads all over the place, it makes a CLEAR statement that you are out to only make money and not be known as a true influencer in your niche. I do have a few ads in my sidebar, but I mean a FEW. I want my readers’ to experience a clean, fast-loading site when they come to my blog, not a nightmare. I also want to build trust with my readers so that they know I’m not only pushing for clicks. You have one chance to make a solid first impression, so don’t screw it up by coming across as a salesman.

4. Your blog is not organized

Every good blogger has planned ahead to organize his or her site to make it easy-flowing for their readers. Make your navigation menu simple to follow. A rule of thumb I follow is to try to minimize sub-menus as much as possible. Your homepage should lead directly to your most recent blog post. One thing I can’t stand is landing on a blog’s homepage and there aren’t any blog posts. If you are using WordPress, you have the option to make a certain page your homepage, but I strongly advise against doing so. Make it your blog – with the most recent post at the very top.

Organize your sidebar with only the essentials. Forget about the social media widgets. If I wanted to see your Facebook threads or your Pinterest pins, I’d click on your social media icon and follow you. I don’t want to see your Instagram photos taking up all of your sidebar. It’s ok to include a set of social media icons to let your followers choose which of your accounts to follow, so don’t take up valuable space with the widgets that show your feeds. It’s unnecessary.

5. Your posts are just random thoughts

I don’t want to know how many marathons you ran last weekend. Who the hell cares? What kind of problem does that solve?  Are you going to write about what you ate last night?  Please don’t. I see enough of that garbage on Facebook and Instagram. If you are a food blogger writing a detailed review, fine, but just a random post about that awesome burger you had last night, just don’t.  You aren’t writing for yourself. You are writing for your readers. Keep that in mind for EVERY SINGLE POST. If you start writing about yourself, delete it and start over.

You need to offer your readers some level of value for visiting your blog and reading your posts. What kind of problem are you solving? Why are you the expert they need to pay attention to and not someone else? If you can’t address those types of questions in your latest post, then don’t write the post.

Of course, there are times when random comments are okay, but for the most part, your readers are searching for information and answer to questions, so don’t blow it by spitting out random crap. Great job running that marathon, but how does that help me??

6. You’re using a bad web host provider

Trust me, there are bad web host providers promising great things that never happen. Just Google “web hosting” and watch how many of them pop up. You may not be able to notice the bad things that are happening, but your readers are. If your host isn’t providing enough speed, you will see a high bounce rate. I noticed it happen when I used a crappy service provider called eHost.

Who do I recommend for bloggers? SiteGround. I heard so many wonderful things about SiteGround while I was busy chewing out eHost that I finally decided to get on their bandwagon. You can’t go wrong with them. When I needed to move my WordPress site over from eHost, they did it all for me at no extra cost…and within 2 hours. How crazy cool is that?

Choosing a web host provider is like buying a used car. You really need to be careful and do your research, because they will look all new and shiny on the outside, but once you take the bait, you’ll wish you hadn’t made the leap quite so soon.

If you are interested in moving to a better web host, here’s my referral link to SiteGround. I’m not just throwing out this link to make commission. I truly love SiteGround and am so happy I moved to them. To me, there are no better choices.

7. You aren’t updating your older posts

It is really easy to write the perfect post, share it once, and move on, but that’s NOT the way to run a successful blog. People change, information changes, prices change. Thus, you must change with the times as well. That gem of a post you wrote a year ago could probably use some updates. You’ve learned more since then and can make the post even better.

Whenever you do update your old content, make sure you put a statement at the top of the post telling your readers when you last updated it. This little statement is crucial because it proves to your readers you are in this for the long haul, and you care about the content’s accuracy and value to them.

8. You aren’t grabbing readers’ attention

Have you ever searched for something online and found a headline that was so compelling that you just had to click on it to find out more?  If your headlines aren’t doing this today, change them. The goal is to get your readers’ attention in the first few seconds so that they are tempted to click on the post to read more.

Think of the most outrageous and tempting headlines as possible to generate views. It takes practice, but once you get in the habit, you’ll find it gets much easier.

9. You’re using free WordPress

There is a TON of information online about which version of WordPress you should use. There is no debate about which one is better. Always go the self-hosted route. This means that you host your WordPress blog through your web hosting account and domain. Nothing will discredit you more than having a yourname.wordpress.com URL. Spend the few bucks a month and go self-hosted.  If you aren’t self-hosting, I’m not reading your blog. Ever. Period.

10. Your images suck

If you aren’t using professional-quality images, you’re doing it wrong. Your images contribute greatly to your site’s overall appearance and appeal. There are a few free sites you can pull free images from, but don’t do this forever. Spend a little extra money on quality images, or take your own quality images. Trust me, it makes a huge difference!

I can almost guarantee no one wants to see your mirror selfie on your blog. Definitely do not use it as your main profile photo. Use a more professional photo or even have a company take the photo for your site. Most photographers will offer packages so that you can get your images digitally.

11. You don’t use the right keywords

SEO research is a MUST in building organic traffic to your blog. You can only get by for so long on traffic coming from other sources. Yes, the traffic coming from other sources is valuable, but the end goal is for your content to show up as high in the search rankings as possible.

The Yoast SEO plugin is a must-have for anyone running a blog through WordPress. It gives you a visual indicator when your SEO is good, just ok, and poor. If you aren’t using this plugin today, what are you waiting for?

12. You don’t back up your site regularly

You don’t realize that you need to back up your site regularly until something goes wrong. 9 times out of 10, it’s too late by that point. My website has crashed several times, but thankfully I had my site set to backup daily, so I didn’t lose any data. Don’t get to the point where you are in danger of losing data. There are several good plugins for WordPress, so hop over to www.wordpress.com and find one that’s right for you.

One thing I should point out – don’t only backup your data to your PC. PCs fail all the time. If your hard drive dies, there goes your data. Always backup to a remote source such as OneDrive.

13. You don’t protect your site

This should be a no-brainer this day and age, but you’d be surprised as to how many bloggers don’t install any type of protection for their sites. WordPress is vulnerable to attack, and it happens a lot. It happened to me a year ago. Again, WordPress.com will have security plugins. Don’t wait until your data and your readers’ data has been compromised. Take action to secure your site today.  Some web hosts offer additional protection.  My advice is to pay the extra money to secure your site to avoid any data loss down the road.

14. You don’t utilize Pinterest

I never realized how much traffic I could reach by simply implementing and managing a pinning strategy. A year ago, I’d tell you I didn’t really pay much attention to Pinterest, but after a ton of research and talking with other bloggers, I don’t know how I could possibly live without it.

I suggest optimizing pin images using Canva and promoting pins using Tailwind. I pin 80 times a day automatically using my Tailwind account. These pins drive multiple repins, increase my followers, and drive traffic to my group boards. I have a free video tutorial over the basics of Tailwind that I just know you’ll love!

15. You never link to old posts

Remember how I talked about updating old posts? You should always find opportunities to link your new posts to old posts. The more opportunities you can find to link to other content, the more information you can provide your readers. This also gives them more of a reason to stick around on your site longer!

Had enough yet?

Yeah, I know I was a little harsh in today’s post, but I really do have your best interest in mind. I hope you’ve learned more about preventing total chaos and failure on your own blog by reading these tips today. Are there any other ways you’ve found that put your blog in danger of collapse?  What are they?

If you’d like to join a great group of 1,200 + bloggers to share content and drive traffic, come join my Facebook group, Blogger Share and Promo Group.

I truly appreciate you dropping by today!  I look forward to any feedback or criticism you may have over the content I’ve provided you today. Without your support, it’s very difficult to improve my blogging skills. So, let’s hear it – good or bad – send it my way!

 

10 Ways To Successfully Market Your Blog

This post contains affiliate links

It isn’t enough to write a gem of a blog post, hit publish, then go out for a night on the town. I mean, if you still want to go out for a night on the town, fine, but don’t expect a massive amount of traffic to show up in your stats when you get home.

When I first started my blog 2 years ago, I never thought of it as my business. I looked at it more as a hobby. That was a critical mistake that I had to correct right away. My blog earns me income, so it’s my business. Treating my blog like a business is much different than treating it like a hobby.

Today, I’m going to give you 10 critical tips you must do to successfully market your blog correctly. This post is for both new and seasoned bloggers. Are you following these tips? If not, what’s holding you back?

10 Ways To Successfully Market Your Blog

1. Know Your Audience

When you first started blogging, I hope you immediately identified your blogging niche. If you didn’t, it’s time to pick to whom you are writing, and cater all of your blog posts to that particular audience.

I started off as a pure dad blog. All of my original posts had something to do with parenting. As I discovered there wasn’t much of a niche for dad blogs, I switched to helping others blog successfully and to writing product reviews.

All posts I write for Go Ask Your Daddy today have my blogging audience in mind. Knowing who you are writing to is the first step in crafting the perfect post that will attract a lot of attention and send a lot of traffic your way.

2. Don’t be boring, be truthful

There are millions of blogs out there, and many of them spin out the same content over and over again. Don’t be like them.  You can write about similar topics, but put different spins on them.  Definitely do not copy other content for your own site! Not only is this plagiarism, but it’s not your true voice.

Write with honesty. Sometimes that means pissing people off with the truth, but that’s okay. Be true to yourself and don’t cover everything in ribbons and bows. Your readers will appreciate the honest truth even if it’s bad news.

3. Make the most of social media

Since the explosion of social media, there are more and more opportunities to promote your content than just email and your website. The one important thing I advise my readers to pay attention to is to make sure to follow each social media account’s rules. For example, if you are promoting affiliate links on Facebook, you have to indicate that the link is branded content. Promoting products on Facebook is a good way to get your account suspended.

Establish a solid social media promotion plan. Know when and how often you are going to share posts every day. A great free tool I use is Hootsuite. Although there is a paid version, the free version is sufficient for me to schedule multiple posts in advance.

4. Promoting affiliate products? Don’t overdo it.

The temptation is going to be there to throw dozens of banner ads and affiliate links all over your blog. Resist, my friend!  Too many ads will discredit you as a serious blogger and a subject matter expert in your niche. Only promote products you believe in and actually use, and link to those products in your post. I only put a few affiliate banners in my sidebar because too many makes it too cluttered.

Once you’ve made a few sales through your affiliate links, you’re going to want to promote them even more, but it’s important to plan ahead before you do so. Promoting everything under the sun is not a plan – it’s almost the equivalent to spam.

5. Use specific keywords

Bloggers who bring in a lot of traffic didn’t bring in that level of traffic overnight. They did serious research on which keywords worked best and implemented strategies. When using keywords, try to be as specific as possible. For example, if I’m promoting a pickup truck, it would be better to talk about red Ford pickup trucks. The more specifics you include with your keywords the more search traffic can find you. I’ve actually read that search engines can push generic keywords to the bottom of results so that the better, more specific results can show up first. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

6. Allow guest posts? Be smart about it.

One thing I don’t do much of any more is allow guest posts on my site. This was a personal decision I made because I realized the guest poster was only about spreading THEIR content and not my own. I like to keep my voice on my blog and let my personality shine. If I’m allowing every guest post under the sun to appear on my site, I lose my voice and personality.

If you do allow guest posts on your site, create specific ground rules and make sure you abide by them. Make sure you proofread for errors and read over the content for accuracy. If the post doesn’t match your niche, just say no. You have the power to control the content, so don’t just allow anything to come through.

7. Make an About Me page that shines

Your “About Me” page is like your resume. It needs to be about your readers’ needs more so than about you as a person. While you can talk about who you are and where you are from, do it in a way that lets your readers know you understand where they are coming from and can help solve their problem.

8. Write how you talk

So many bloggers think they need to change how they write to be more impressive and authoritative in their niche. This is simply not true. Write how you talk. Let your voice carry over into your writing so that those who follow you and read your content know without a doubt who you are and what you are about.

Although you need to spell check and speak professionally, don’t remove your personality from any piece you are writing. Let your personality shine, because that’s why your readers are following you. If you don’t use big words when you are talking, don’t use them when you are writing, unless you absolutely need to.

9. Utilize your mailing list

You more than likely have a place where your readers can subscribe to your mailing list, but if you aren’t actually sending emails to them on a regular basis, what’s the point?

Just like you need a social media strategy in place, you also need a email marketing strategy. I’m not talking about only emailing when you are trying to promote a product (but this is a good idea if done right!), but ask questions in emails that drive responses. You hopefully have calls to action on your blog posts. Do the same for your emails.

10. You need Pinterest in your life

Okay, you may be sick and tired of me talking about Pinterest, but here I go again. Remember Jan Brady when she said, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha?” Well, “Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest!”

Pinterest is one of the top sources of traffic to my blog. It didn’t happen that way overnight, though. I created group boards that would drive a lot of interest, and then purchased Tailwind to help automate sharing my pins. I share 80 pins per day automatically across 24 boards! There is no way I could have shared that many manually.

Your turn now!

Do these make sense to you?  Do you use any or all of these tips today? If you use any I haven’t listed, what are they?  I’d love to give you credit and add them to the list in the future. Let me know in the comments below!

Have You Tried Candy Club Yet?

This post contains affiliate links. I will receive commission on any items you purchase through them. Thank you, as always, for supporting Go Ask Your Daddy.

I only post deals on my blog when I truly love the product. Candy Club is one of those products. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to receive and review a free box of candy from Candy Club, and was blown away at how delicious the candy tasted. As a candy lover since I was a kid, I could really taste the difference in quality of the Candy Club candies versus the ones you pick up at the store.

If you haven’t yet tried Candy Club, I’ll give you a rundown of what it is and how to get started. Candy Club is a subscription box service that brings the world’s best candies to your doorstep.  What’s also fantastic is that you can give Candy Club as a gift. Trust me, it makes a really good gift to anyone who loves premier candies.

If you are wondering what kinds of candies are available through Candy Club, they make it very convenient to see the entire list. My favorite candy is the Promotion in Motion (Sour Jacks Watermelon).

Ordering from Candy Club

It’s simple to order from Candy Club. When you go to www.candyclub.com, click on the huge “Get Started” button.

Have You Tried Candy Club Yet?

From there you’ll be able to choose from a monthly plan ($29.99/month), the 6 month plan ($24.99/month), or the 12 month plan ($21.99/month) (all prices do not include shipping).

Have You Tried Candy Club Yet?

Once you choose your plan, Candy Club gives you the option to upgrade to save even more money. This is completely optional.  If you are satisfied and ready to order, the next screen you go to is your billing and shipping information.

Once you’ve entered your information, you’ll get to take the super cool candy quiz. This quiz asks you what types of candies you love best so that a customized subscription box can be created for you (really cool!). Once you’ve finished your quiz and processed your order, your delicious candies will be at your doorstep before you know it.

Current Candy Club Offers

What did you think?

Did you end up trying Candy Club after reading today’s post? I really hope you got the chance, because their candies are some of the best I’ve ever tasted. If you have tried it, what did you think?  Did you pick a recurring plan?  Or did you send a gift? Let me know in the comments.  I have a good affiliate/merchant relationship with Candy Club, and they always listen to the feedback I give them.