Welcome to kuaby’s September 2016 monthly report!

Aside from learning how much this site made or lost last month, I will be sharing why you should give me a virtual slap (a hard one), and my plans for October.

I am looking forward to your feedback and suggestions about my plans for the site in the comment section.

If you have the patience to read until the end of this report, you will discover which email marketing provider I picked to host my email funnel too.

Let’s start! To compare, you can click here to open August 2016 report in a new tab.

Wait a minute! Want to get an email when the next monthly report is out? Click here to subscribe. As a bonus, you will see the email marketing software that I am using right away.

kuaby may earn a commission if you sign up or make a purchase after clicking on the links below. The money keeps the site running, and they always get reported in a monthly report like this.

Profit and Loss Statement

In September 2016, kuaby made a loss of $25.79.

Revenue

All of kuaby’s revenue last month came from Google AdSense. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Google AdSense: $7.45 (+80%)
  • Amazon Associates: $0.00 (-100%)

TOTAL REVENUE: $7.45 (+52%)

Expenses

Expenses are the same as August. Here is the breakdown:

TOTAL EXPENSES: $33.24

You can expect to see a bump of $9 in the next report because the billing for email marketing software will start to recur.

Traffic Update

4,023 unique visitors came to kuaby in September 2016, which is a 26% increase from August.

Google Analytics Showing kuaby's Unique Visitors Count for August 2016

The spike around September 14 is because of my monthly report for August 2016.

I shared the report on two Facebook groups, and the engagement I received from other travel bloggers was amazing. Some of them reached out to me via email or on Facebook Messenger. As a newcomer who does not know anybody in the space, it is very encouraging to know that I am not alone on this journey.

High Facebook Engagement for kuaby's August 2016 Monthly Report

Here are kuaby’s top sources of traffic in September:

kuaby's Top Traffic Sources in September 2016

The following is a list of the most visited content in the same month:

kuaby's Most Visited Content in September 2016

It is interesting that even though my monthly report for August caused a spike, it is only the sixth most visited content.

The spike validated Gary Vaynerchuk’s quote that people are indeed interested in the “behind-the-scenes.” On the contrary, this also means that I cannot rely on monthly reports for long term traffic.

Interested to check the best-performing pages? Here are the links to them:

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 September 2016 is $1.34, up by 18% 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.

Community Update

This section of the monthly report gives an update on the size of kuaby’s following on social media.

Although kuaby has a small following across different social networks, I will just list those that I actively maintain.

The Actions I Took in September

To be very honest, I slacked in September! I almost did not want to publish this report because I did not complete anything that was on my plan.

I planned to post eight new pieces of content, but I only ended up with three. Also, I started, but did not finish setting up the email funnel for this site.

I think I sucked last month. If you feel the same way right now, go to my Facebook or Twitter profile, and give me a virtual slap!

Setting Up ActiveCampaign

After trying different email marketing software, I decided to go with ActiveCampaign. I used it in the past, and their robust marketing automation features at a low entry price of $9 a month compelled me to use them again.

ActiveCampaign Screenshot

In the long run, I want to be able to send out customized emails depending on the pages my subscribers are browsing on this site. I do not think that sending out an email about Malaysia is appropriate when someone is planning a trip to France.

Their interface is also among the simplest that I have seen.

Another feature that I like is the profile it creates for every subscriber. If I want to, I can use it as my contact manager to keep track of my email conversations. This feature will become handy when I start looking for potential advertisers.

The software has its weaknesses, however. Unlike similar tools in the space, ActiveCampaign does not offer many email templates.

Besides, their options to customize signup forms are quite limited. I am compensating this with Layered Popups for WordPress. It is a paid WordPress plugin that creates beautiful signup forms, which I bought it a year ago for a project of mine that failed. You can see the plugin in action by clicking on this link >>> show me the form!

Creating My First Lead Magnet

To build a list of email subscribers effectively, I will need to have some lead magnets. According to Digital Marketer, a lead magnet is an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information.

Thanks to Danavir Sarria who wrote 101 Lead Magnet Ideas For Every Stage Of Your Marketing Funnel, I figured lead magnets that will make sense for kuaby is the PDF version of the attraction guides on this site. I am assuming that people will want them because they can view it offline, and save on data or roaming charges when they travel.

The first lead magnet I created is the PDF version of my KL Sentral guide, which is the most visited page here. The signup box to download this PDF is not up yet, but here is a preview of its cover.

KL Sentral PDF Guide Preview

I tried using Canva to design the PDF guide, but it was a painstaking process to align all the elements. It was much faster with Google Docs. Yes, Docs is a little lacking with beautiful shapes, borders or other design elements, but I do not need them.

Most visitors who will be downloading these PDF guides will print them out or view them on their smartphones. If this will be the use case, it is better for me to use fewer colors and bigger fonts.

If you need some visuals to go with your lead magnet, get some inspirations from Canva, and try to recreate them with Google Drawings. That is what I did to create the masthead for my KL Sentral PDF guide.

My First Ever Collaborative Blog Post

A collaborative blog post is a blog post that combines content submissions from different parties. The host, or the blog hosting the content, will invite other bloggers in the same industry to contribute to the post. After that, the host will compile and edit the contributions before including them in the collaborative blog post.

After my monthly report for August had gone live, I was lucky enough to connect with several bloggers who are passionate about growing their blog. One of them was Brian Ballmann who blogs at Hawaiian Brian.

Brian was looking for travel bloggers to share their top vacation destinations. I decided to contribute since I wanted to share how fascinating Seoul, South Korea is as a holiday destination. Brian offered a link back to all the contributors he picked, so why not?

Here’s the link to the blog post if you want to read it or to understand how collaborative blog posts work.

Plans for October

The following is a list of things I want to start doing in October.

Ramp Up the Publishing of New Content

I planned to publish at least eight pieces of new content in September, but only three went live. I am carrying this plan over to keep pushing myself to create more content.

Build an Email Funnel

Now that I have my first lead magnet, and ActiveCampaign is all set up, I will continue to craft an email funnel. As mentioned in the last report, it should contain relevant content and offers that will help my subscribers in planning for their upcoming trips.

Double Down (Not Spamming) on Facebook Groups

I participated in two Facebook groups last month, and the number of connections I made blew me away. It was totally unexpected.

Facebook groups are great for building relationships with like-minded individuals, but so many people are using it the wrong way. They spam their links onto the walls without thinking about the annoyance that their actions are causing.

I believe there is an opportunity here for those who want to put in the effort to study what excites and catches the attention of these communities.

In the coming weeks, I will be spending some of my weekend time looking into a few more groups. I will look for high engagement posts in these groups and study why they took off. I will also figure out the “rituals” of these groups, as well as acceptable etiquettes, before posting stuff to their wall.

Created vs. Curated Social Media Content

There are two types of content that you can use to update your social media profiles. You can either post a piece of content you produced or something you found online that might be interesting for your fans and followers.

For the past two months, I was only posting photos that I took myself across kuaby’s social media pages. I am not a frequent traveler, at least not yet, so I am running out of photos to post. This month, I will experiment with posting curated content across kuaby’s social media profiles.

There might be other benefits to posting curated content, but for now, the only goal is to increase my posting frequency on social media.

Final Thoughts

And… That is a wrap! No final thoughts this month. I need to hustle and get to work!

What do you think about my plans for October? Share your feedback with me in the comment section below.

Also, share your best productivity tip with me! I need it to execute all the plans I have for this month.

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Wayne Liew
Wayne fell in love with traveling and every aspect of it when he traveled to Singapore in 2013. He is a newbie when it comes to traveling and he loves chatting with other travelers to learn from their experiences. Are you a traveler? Let's connect!

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    • Hey Hridya, thank you for dropping by to leave a comment, and for your kind words. I didn’t forget about the guest post. I will send it to you once it is ready. Looking forward to your PM. 🙂

  1. I love reading your monthly reports. They’re very encouraging for me. I love how brave you are to show your transparency and share your growths and failures. I’ve seen a few other bloggers that are Amazon affiliates but I’m not entire sure what that means. Could you expand on that a little more?

    Stephanie
    Adventures in Aussieland

    • Hi Stephanie, thank you for your kind words. I figured it will be interesting for me to look back at the numbers, maybe 12 months from now and see how much I’ve progressed.

      Being an Amazon affiliate means that when someone clicks on an Amazon link on your website, and goes on to buy something, you will earn a % of what the person bought. There are also similar programs with hotel booking sites like Booking.com, Agoda, Hostelworld, etc. Hope this will help kickstart your affiliate marketing journey. 🙂

  2. Very well written! Kept my interest all the way through! Way to start working on growing your network. I post my personal net worth increases month to month, but haven’t started posting my blog monthly reports… Thinking I might need to start doing this. People love my net worth updates as well! Love that you have goals as well! I haven’t heard of your email marketing software, but I also use one that’s not on other blogger’s radar too! have a great day and keep up the great work!

    • Hey Steven, thank you for your kind words! 😀

      Do you mind sharing the email marketing software that you are using? I am open to changing mine if I come across a better alternative.

      Also, I like how you are using Excel and just take a screenshot of it for your net worth reports. I might start doing that once I have more line items for my reports.