Regrets, I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention.Frank Sinatra lyrics, or a synopsis on my professional blogging career?
I’ve been blogging for nearly six years. During this time, my blog has had a lot of success. Over the past six years, “blogger me” has:
- Published 200+ posts
- Published an eBook (Blogger Relations: How to Pitch Influential Content Creators is available on Amazon, in case you’re interested)
- Been featured in Quartz, Forbes, Business Insider, and BuzzFeed
- Had over a million readers
- Earned $9,948.59 in ad revenue, affiliate commissions, and influencer campaign payments
When you look at the list above, it looks like the average list of accomplishments. From the list, it looks like I’ve been successful. But in reality? Not so much.
So, instead of boasting about my blog’s accomplishments, I want to dig deeper into my blog’s failure. Without further ado, here’s my blog’s failure resume.
First failure: Retaining my audience
Although having over a million readers sounds fantastic, when you look at the stats, my blog becomes quite sad.
Over the last six years, my blog has ballooned in popularity. Then sunk to embarrassing lows.
A big problem I have is with retaining my audience. And capitalizing on peaks of success. (See above. Why, why, why didn’t I keep that momentum going?)
I’m really good at writing pieces that get popular. I’m not so good at consistently pumping out content.
First takeaway: establish consistency
As I look at my blog’s history, it’s becoming obvious that I need to establish consistency. There needs to be a routine. And I know this. An editorial calendar (one that I actually stick to) would work wonders.
I have started to get back in the rhythm. This post is day three in a row with a new published post. So, I’m getting back into it. But I do need to establish some sort of structure.
Second failure: Revenue
Look, earning $9,948.59 from writing some blog posts on the internet sounds amazing at first glance. But when you consider that I’ve written 200+ posts and have been doing this for six years, it’s kind of depressing. However, I will say that about 70% of that revenue occurred in the last year when I really got serious about monetizing my blog. So, that’s actually pretty awesome.
And there’s more to the story
Revenue per post
If I take my blog’s income and divide it by the current number of published posts (230 at the moment), that means each post is worth $43.25. Not too shabby. In fact, I’m pretty impressed and motivated by this number. Not bad for a side hustle.
Revenue per month
When you take that same $9,948.59 and divide it by 72 months of blogging, then my blog only earns about $138.17 per month. Ok, that’s kind of sad. There were months in the beginning of my blogger days when I earned less than $40 in a month. Then, there have been months where my blog has earned $700+ a month. But when you average it out over time, $138.17 is the figure you get.
Still, when you consider the fact that my blogging expenses are only about $35/month, the profit margin is pretty good even if it’s small.
Second takeaway: Content leads to revenue
Moz did a weird experiment on post frequency. It’s an interesting read if you’re a content geek, but there’s a major take away that is important.
Above, I did some basic math that shows each post being worth about $43.25. But that’s not really true. About 60 of my posts, or roughly 26%, pull in all the revenue. That means for every four articles I write, only one is really earning its keep.
Although a lot of bloggers do tons of research to plan and write the content that will earn the most money, that’s never been a strong suit of this blog. Why? Well, in part because this blog is a lifestyle blog. I have recently come to terms with the fact that I need to own my identity. My blog is me. For better or for worse. When I’m more authentic about who I am and how I feel about things, my blog seems to perform better.
And it doesn’t hurt that I’m also a wiser blogger now. After years of writing mediocre content, I’ve become better at producing content. I understand how to craft an informative and entertaining blog post. Sometimes, I still miss the mark. But with a 26% success rate, it’s worth the effort. (Or so I keep telling myself.)
Third failure: Fear
I don’t like to put myself out there online. Although I enjoy sharing my opinions, ideas, and research, I value my privacy. You won’t see photos of myself on this blog, and I rarely get personal beyond the generic.
Third takeaway: It’s ok to open up
Understanding that my blog is a lifestyle blog was a huge revelation. And for a lifestyle blog to be successful, you need to relate to the audience. For me, that might mean opening up a bit more.
What else am I terrible at?
I’m going to stop at three failures (for now), but I know there’s a lot of room for improvement. I’d love to know what you think I’m doing well vs. what you wish I worked more on. After all, this blog isn’t my personal diary. It’s a platform to share knowledge, ideas, research, and opinions. It’s a place where you can come to get information and to be entertained. What do you want more of? How can bottlesoup.com serve you better? Please let me know in the comments or drop me a line!
Thanks for reading!