Apparently, everyone is getting much more traffic than us.
‘I got 900,000 views in my fourth month of blogging’
And making stacks more cash than us.
‘I made $5K in my first week of blogging’
(Which all kinda blows, right?)
I know this because a lot of bloggers are writing those blog traffic and income reports. They’re ALL over Pinterest - in case you haven’t seen them. And, hot-damn, we just can’t stop reading them. Even if they make us feel like garbage.
But, what if there was a way to read blog traffic and income reports without wanting to smash our laptops and go live in a cave?
Because reading blog traffic and income reports can be a great way for beginner bloggers to learn what it takes to build a successful blog.
Read on and I’ll show you how to read blog traffic and income reports in a productive way and not in a self-hating, why-am-I-a-total-blogging-failure??-way.
Are you ready?
Get to Know Yourself as a Blogger
This can be tough if you’re a new blogger.
But ask yourself:
How do I like to showcase MY blog? (Because you do need to promote your blog.)
How do I like to teach? (Because blogging is all about passing on information.)
Don’t read blog traffic and income reports until you’re clear on these two things. Because everyone works in different ways. For example, some people will love to use Facebook ads, but if that’s not how you like to lead people to your blog, don’t feel like you have to use ads.
And if video isn’t your cup of tea, I recommend not reading the blog income and traffic reports of a YouTube star.
Follow along with someone who likes to promote and teach in a similar way to you.
Understand That You Aren’t Getting The Full Picture
Blog traffic and income reports aren’t 100% transparent and accurate?
OK, I’m not saying that bloggers are lying. I’m saying that you aren’t getting the full-frontal, access-all-areas, picture.
Let’s talk about income reports.
When bloggers report affiliate income - for example, made from website hosts - they might not be telling you that their overall income will no doubt be reduced by cancellations. Because affiliates usually don’t get a commission if people subsequently cancel their purchase or subscription.
When bloggers report income from their own products - courses or ebooks for example - they might not be telling you that their overall income will no doubt be reduced by requests for refunds and charge backs later down the line.
And what about expenses?
Bloggers might not be telling you that a chunk of their income will be handed over to the taxman.
And they might not be telling you about all the money they fork out every month in expenses to run their blog - social media schedulers, ads, assistants, Photoshop subscriptions, the list could be endless.
See, bloggers might not intend to mislead you. But unless you’re their bookkeeper, you might not be getting the full picture.
Let’s talk about traffic reports.
So, what if someone got 10,000 visitors during their first month of blogging?
(OK, that would be a hella lot of visitors.)
But let’s think about what that traffic report might not be telling us.
What if their viral blog post was attracting the wrong kind of traffic? (People who weren’t quite the intended target audience and who didn’t want to sign up for the blogger’s newsletter or buy a product or service - for example).
It can be fun and useful to read blog traffic and income reports. But remember that you might not be getting the full picture.
Don’t Compare Donuts to Pizza
I love donuts.
And I love pizza.
They’re both delicious foodstuffs - but for very different reasons.
Where is this food metaphor going?
If you’re a beginner, don’t compare yourself to someone who’s been blogging for years. Don’t even compare yourself to someone who’s been blogging for months.
Because blogging has a huge learning curve. And every day you’ll learn something new.
So, instead of letting blog traffic and income reports depress you, see what you can learn from them. How does Abby from Just a Girl and Her Blog kill it on Instagram? How does Pat Flynn use his podcast to network with other influencers? How does Michelle from Making Sense of Cents write affiliate posts that have people begging to buy?
Top Tip: Pick just one thing to work on and leave the rest - you can’t do everything.
Acknowledge The Work
Ever been to the ballet?
Fun fact you might not know about me, I trained as a ballet dancer.
And I still love to watch the swan white tutus, the pretty ribbon tie ballet shoes and those graceful bodies. Every little girl’s dream, right? But, have you ever seen a ballet dancer’s feet?
They are gross with a side helping of yuck.
Because when you go to the ballet what you don’t see is all the HARD work it takes to be a ballet dancer. And it’s the same with blog traffic and income reports - you don’t see the work it took.
You don’t see the early mornings, late nights, and all the ‘mommy’ll come play with you later’ moments that earned that blogger her success. If you read a blog report that seems to say it was easy, click off it. Because it’s total BS.
Instead, recognise the work it takes to be a successful blogger.
And then pull on your big girl pants and get to work.
Get Out of your Niche
Blogging can be a bit incestuous.
We’re all reading the same blogs in our own little niches.
But it can be very helpful to read the blog traffic and income reports of bloggers outside our own niches.
So if you blog about blogging, why not check out the reports of a finance blogger? If you blog about parenting, why not read the reports of a designer or social media expert?
This tactic ensures that you avoid direct comparison your ‘competitors’.
And it’ll open your eyes to the way other people are doing things.
Ask Yourself ‘What are they selling?’
When you read traffic and income reports, always ask yourself ‘what is this blogger is selling or promoting?’
Maybe it's an affiliate product. Or the blogger’s own course, ebook or service. Could be they aren’t selling anything. But ask yourself the question anyway.
For example, if that blogger has a Pinterest course, they’ll most likely attribute their amazing success to Pinterest. And encouraging you to buy from them. Because traffic and income reports are often a marketing tool.
If you're tempted to invest in a course, why not be smart and ask yourself these important questions before you hit 'buy now'.
Don’t Read ALL the Blog Traffic and Income Reports
There are so many reports that you could read.
But I highly encourage you not to read every single one that you find on Pinterest - even if they are highly addictive.
Because each report is a piece of advice about what to work on and where to spend your time, money and effort. And if you take advice from too many people you’ll find yourself overwhelmed trying to do everything. Worse still, you’ll most likely read conflicting advice and end up not taking action on anything.
Set your Own Blog Traffic and Income Goals
Be clear about why you’re blogging. Are you promoting a service or an affiliate product? Are you selling a course or ebook? Then set realistic traffic and income goals.
And then track the metrics that matter.
It doesn’t matter if someone got 10,000 page views if your goal is to find 2 clients this month. You just need to attract a small number of highly targeted visitors who might be interested in your services.
Because we don’t just want ‘traffic’, we want the right kind of traffic. We want visitors who leave comments, join our mailing list, and ultimately buy what we’re selling.
And it doesn’t matter if someone made $1 million blogging last year, if your goal is just to help with the mortgage. So don’t get sucked into emerald-eyed greed.
One Extra Thing - Celebrate Your Success. Hard!
Remember when you didn’t know the difference between a website domain and hosting?
Remember when installing WordPress was literally the most difficult thing you’d ever done?
Well, you’ve come a long way, mama!
And don’t you forget it!
So every time you figure out something new, every time you brew up another pot of coffee and give up sleep to grow your blog, and every goddamn time you get a 1% increase in traffic or income, celebrate hard.
Celebrate like you just won the Superbowl all by yourself!
Reading Blog Traffic and Income reports
Let’s be honest, we love blog traffic and income reports, right?
But yes, just like chocolate-coated caramel donuts, we know that sometimes reading those reports are bad for us. Filling us with the empty calories of shame, comparison, and envy - why isn’t my traffic as high as her’s? How freakin' much did she earn??
But if you use these tips and practice safe reading, you’ll find that you can get a lot of value out of blog reports without losing your blogging mind.
Don’t forget to pin for later!!
Tell me in the comments below, whose blog traffic and income reports do you love to read?