Time flies! Welcome to kuaby’s October 2016 monthly report.
For those who are new, this monthly report covers my progress in building up this site, the revenue I made, as well as the expenses I incurred.
October’s results surprised me, and I am very excited about November. Curious to know why? Let’s find out!
- 1 Profit and Loss Statement
- 2 Traffic Update
- 3 Revenue per 1,000 Pageviews (RPM)
- 4 Community Update
- 5 Actions I Took in October
- 6 Lesson Learned
- 7 Focus for November
- 8 Question: Do You Share Your Work on Social Media?
Profit and Loss Statement
In October 2016, kuaby made a loss of $32.67.
Google AdSense was kuaby’s sole income source last month.
- Google AdSense: $9.57 (+28%)
TOTAL REVENUE: $9.57 (+28%)
Expenses increased in October because I started using ActiveCampaign, an email marketing software.
Here is the breakdown of spending:
- DigitalOcean: $12.00
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $9.99
- Grammarly: $6.25
- Google Apps: $5.00
- ActiveCampaign: $9.00
TOTAL EXPENSES: $42.24
I do not expect to incur additional recurring costs in the coming three to six months until the site breaks even.
Last month, 4,066 unique visitors came to the site. This means I only had a 1% month-on-month increase.
At the same time, the guides that I published in recent months are for popular attractions like Petaling Street and Central Market Kuala Lumpur. The search results for these attractions are more competitive. As a result, the new content pieces are struggling to attract visitors.
Here’s the list of top traffic sources in October:
My email signature drove a significant increase in traffic last month. This is because I was reaching out to travel photographers and influencers on Instagram for permission to use their photos across kuaby’s social media profiles. More about this later.
The following is a list of the most visited content in October:
If you are interested, here are the links to the Top 5:
- KL Sentral
- Sungai Chiling Fish Sanctuary
- KLCC to Bukit Bintang Pedestrian Walkway
- KLCC Park
- KL Bird Park
Revenue per 1,000 Pageviews (RPM)
Revenue per 1,000 Pageviews or RPM is a metric to measure a website’s efficiency in monetizing its page views.
kuaby’s RPM for October 2016 is $1.65, up by 23% month-on-month.
I do not know what the industry average is for this metric. Please share if you are tracking this metric for your blog, but it is not a metric that I am focusing on right now.
I am very excited about this section.
Here is the breakdown:
As you can see, not only the kuaby’s following on social networks is growing fast, I managed to attract 4 new email subscribers too. More about how it happened here.
Actions I Took in October
I still need to ramp up my content production. I only published 3 new content pieces in October whereas my goal is to post 8 content pieces every month.
I have a few things in place to help me produce content faster. For example, I now have fixed structures and formats for the content pieces I write. I also use a tool called focus booster to maintain my focus while writing.
The thing that is holding me back is to get started. Even though I schedule an hour a day in my calendar to write, I just can’t spit the words onto my Google Docs when it’s time to write.
Other than this, everything planned for October was on track.
My First Lead Magnet Went Live
I created a lead magnet last month, but I did not hook it up with ActiveCampaign, my email marketing software, until mid-October. You can head over to my guide on KL Sentral to see how I offered it to my visitors.
4 new email subscribers came in through the lead magnet, which took me about an hour to create. Setting up the form and integrating it with ActiveCampaign took me another half an hour. Will I come up with more lead magnets? You bet!
Using Curated Content on Social Media
Last month, I decided to feature the photos taken by travel photographers and influencers on kuaby’s social media channels instead of just pictures that I took.
The results blew me away. The 97% follower growth on kuaby’s Instagram profile is all due to this tactic. Just because the profile now features an impressive gallery, people are more likely to follow it.
To get this rolling, I reached out to about 50 prominent travel influencers to get their permission to republish their photos. I then posted a request on a Facebook Group for travel bloggers. As you can see from the screenshot below, many travel bloggers actually don’t mind letting others republish their Instagram photos.
I now have an endless supply of photos that I can post across kuaby’s social media profiles.
Participate More in Facebook Groups
From just one Facebook Group, I now have a presence on three Facebook Groups. In the travel space, there are three different types of Facebook Groups:
- Groups with more travelers than travel bloggers.
- Groups for travel bloggers.
- Post sharing groups.
I am active in all the three types of groups.
The first type of group doesn’t generate much traffic unless there are discussions around content that I already have on my site.
The second type of groups will usually host some engagement exchange activities. For example, in one of these groups, their members will start posting links to their latest Facebook posts to get likes on every Tuesday. In return, they will like or comment on the posts shared by other members.
Here’s a screenshot taken from one of these groups to give you an idea of how this works:
As for the post sharing groups, you are free to share any links to them. Unless there is a team of dedicated moderators, spam, and low-quality content will take over the discussion section of these groups.
Participating in these groups does not bring a lot of traffic, other than when I share my monthly reports. However, I was able to connect with a few travel bloggers just by being active. From there, I then go on to close some opportunities for collaboration and guest posts with them.
Moving forward, I will still be active in the groups that I am already engaging actively, but I will not invest more time in them. Publishing more content to the site is my utmost priority now.
In this section, I share the lessons I learned or the realizations I had while executing.
If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get
“Yes, just go ahead!” is the response that I got the most last month.
Aside from asking for permission to reshare the photos published by travel photographers on Instagram, I was also asking my new subscribers if they can give me feedback on my content. One of them wrote replied with a 4-paragraph long email.
I even wrote cold emails to bloggers who were linking to my competitors in the search results. I wanted to see if they are willing to link to my website instead since it offers better attraction guides. 2 out of 10 bloggers that I reached out to replied. It seems like a poor ratio, but it’s huge for a small site like mine to get 2 links from established blogs.
Sure, there are better ways to ask for something. You can also optimizing how you ask. The bottom line is, you need to be asking. People will find a way to say no if they don’t want to give you what you are asking for. But the outcome will remain unknown if you don’t ask.
“You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
Focus for November
The growth for kuaby was flat from September to October, but I am more excited about this project than ever.
These are the things that I am planning to do in November.
Keep Calm, Rinse and Repeat
This month, I want to convert tasks that bring results into processes.
Having an innovative mindset that has the tendency to hack is a good thing. But when all I do is pondering, strategizing and rethinking how I can improve my productivity instead of actually getting things done, I end up procrastinating.
I am a tech geek. I get excited when I discover a new tool or a marketing tactic that pops up on news feed. I doubt I can even focus for 30 minutes when I am working online. However, I understand that some tasks will boost the growth of the site if I do more of them or perform them as a routine. For example:
- Publishing content pieces that are useful for travelers who are planning their trips.
- Carry out thorough research for my content pieces, which includes taking my own photos and physically visiting these attractions.
- Interacting with my target audience on social media.
- Collaborating with other travel bloggers and influencers.
Will building kuaby still be fun if I establish processes for the things I do? Maybe, maybe not. You’ll find out in my next report.
Sharing My Progress on Social Media
3 months ago, I started publishing monthly reports like this because I want to document my journey of building this site. Doing so did not only made me more productive, but it also brought me new connections and allowed me to participate in conversations I would not have otherwise had.
Despite the benefits, I’ve only shared these reports on the Facebook Groups that I belong to.
This month, I am taking a step further. I am sharing this post to my personal social media profiles. It’s a little scary, to be honest. I don’t know how my friends and family members will respond to it. I’ll share how it goes next month.
Want to see the responses I get? Follow my personal profile on Facebook.
That’s it! I am wrapping up this monthly report. Let me know if you have any question or feedback in the comment section below.
Also, I have two questions for you:
- Do you share your work and what you learned about it on social media?
- What is the most exciting thing that happened since you started sharing?
I’ll look forward to your comments!