How has your October begun? I hope it's on a cheery and fun note!
In my case, October was a bit of an unexpected twist. Technically, I'm on holiday and while things generally run on auto-pilot and I don't have to check anything when I am on vacation, something happened this time.
Last Thursday, October 3rd, my Pinterest account was suspended. No reason given other than 'I have violated Pinterest community guidelines'.
Not going to lie, but this put a serious dampener on my holiday.
Instead of enjoying myself and taking time off from work, I wound up e-mailing Pinterest daily, receiving mails from them saying they won't be reactivating my account and watching my blog stats fall on Google Analytics.
As a solo entrepreneur these are some of the tougher challenges we have to endure and knowing that there may not be a resolution at all, makes it worse.
As of today, I have no way of knowing if I will recover my account or not. I'm keeping my hopes up and my fingers crossed,though.
But,most importantly, I also went back to check on my revenue for September.
This is what I found out
In September I earned around INR 48,000. Of that, INR 18,000 was income generated purely through the blog, affiliate income and services rendered. The rest of it was from my freelance writing gig.
Here's the important thing: How much of September's income was through Pinterest?
None of it
But, wait! Isn't Pinterest important for bloggers? Isn't that what you hear people telling you all the time?
Yes and yes, but let's understand what that means exactly.
What is Pinterest primarily good for?
a) Page views that come via keyword and image search. This, in turn, leads to consistent volume of traffic and ad income.
b) E-mail subscribers who find your opt-in via Pinterest and sign up for your mailing list
c) Clients who find your product or services via your pin images and hire you
However, I want you to read the next part carefully. This is important because most bloggers fixate on page views as a sort of be-all metric.
Pinterest is GREAT for page views, but here are some facts about this platform:
a) Your Pinterest account can get suspended. Not because of anything you did, believe me. The spam policies are crazily vague and you could just be caught up in it for no fault of yours.
b) Page views by themselves are a wonderful, ego-boosting metric. But unless those page views are converting to one of the following- sales/ ad revenue/ clients/ subscribers- those remain just that- a vanity metric.
In my case, while I do get clients and subscribers from Pinterest, it's the ones who stick around beyond the 'freebie' stage who actually generate revenue. Meaning, if I make a sale to a person via my e-mail list, it's usually after they've been on my list for at least a couple of months.
That means I can get a subscriber through Pinterest (I often do),
but keeping them there and converting them is the actual work.
c) Page views do not translate into direct income unless you're with a very high-paying ad network. I am currently on Google AdSense but I absolutely dislike the spammy nature of their ads and have turned them off. Plus, they don't pay well.
*It's good to have Adsense approval, by the way, since that is something bigger ad networks ask about if they have to approve you. Good ad networks include Monumetric, Mediavine and AdThrive.
So, should I ignore Pinterest? Not at all! I still find the platform very enjoyable and will continue to work on building my page views, my e-mail list and eventually applying to a good ad network. (This is assuming Pinterest will reactivate my account) ;)
Right now, though, I am focusing on something else: generating regular income.
My revenue streams:
Now I mentioned earlier that my blog income in September came from:
*Affiliate marketing (through the blog, my e-mail list and my Facebook group)
*Services rendered (Consult calls & client work through my e-mail list, my Instagram followers and my Facebook group)
What does this mean? My main income streams are my affiliate products, my e-mail list, my Facebook group, my Instagram followers and my blog!
These are people whom I've nurtured over 2 years with a dedicated e-mail list.
These are people who trust what I have to say and turn to me when they have a question or a doubt when it comes to their blog.
These are people who WAIT for a month, if required, to ensure I have time to take them on as clients in my calendar!
You are all people who wait eagerly when I mention that I have a paid product coming out in a month.
Which is why I know that my overall focus is on serving those people (all of you) who read every single one of my mails.
Which brings me to the subject of this mail: Finding out what tasks make money for you and how to focus on them.
What are YOUR income streams?
The only way you can answer this is to go back and look at your income for the last 6 months.
Break it down into different sources of revenue. If you are a new blogger, don't quit your job or your freelance career just yet.
Even though I blog full-time, I still have a freelance writing job that pays good money. I am not about to stop that in favour of JUST the blog.
How do you focus on the money-making tasks?
Make a list of all your income streams. These could be:
* Brand collaborations
* Affiliate income
*Services or products sold through your blog
The point is, you have to figure out what works for you and then optimise your day to spend time FIRST on those tasks.
Start with 2 hours in the morning, make a list of income-generating tasks and finish those first. Then, later in the day work on your other tasks.
*As an example, I spend a minimum of 3 hours a week on every email newsletter that I send out :) It's the BEST return on investment, both in terms of time and money.
Then, I work on my affiliate products, reviewing them, checking to see if there are any new, valuable affiliate programs in my niche and applying to them.
Next, I spend time daily engaging with people in my Facebook group. As a service-based entrepreneur, I find my time best spent answering questions from potential clients.
Then, I spend about 20 minutes a day on Instagram. A LOT of my email subscribers came through Instagram in the last 3 months. They are my MOST engaged social media followers and I love that about them. From client calls to full projects, I've been lucky with Instagram!
Going forward, when I launch my products, I am hoping they will bring in some passive income that will help with covering the costs of hosting and some other tools that I invest in, for the upkeep of the blog.
I hope this gives you a better idea of what you need to focus on, to bring in steady income for your blog.
Do reply and let me know!
P.S. In a strange twist, although my Pinterest account is suspended, I still get traffic from Pinterest through other people's pins that lead to my website. So the good news is that my domain is not blocked. Just my account.
P.P.S: So I am asking for a HUGE favour for the next week or so. If you are on Pinterest, could you pin directly from my website and add some pins to your Tailwind queue? That would really help me out. Just go to any post on my site and pin one or two pins per day. That's more than enough.