May 2013. Up and Down Again.

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June 1, 2013 by Brian Rock

May is over, and it’s time to look back and see how things went with my online publishing ventures. At the end of April, things were looking up… my posts comparing the Canon t5i and the Canon t4i had mysteriously floated to the top of Google’s SERPS, and traffic exploded pretty much overnight.

But, relying on Google is like playing with fire. In May there was both a Panda refresh and a Penguin update. While my site didn’t experience a major penalty, like my digital photography blog did last year, there were some noticeable movements in the SERPs and there was a significant drop off in traffic.

While I was initially upset, I figured it was best to wait until the end of the month to reflect on things… and here we are. First, let’s run down some stats.

Rockin’ Photogs Traffic and Income

May was by far my best month for this fledgling blog. Despite a huge drop off in traffic at the end of the month, traffic increased significantly – from 9,851 visits to 12,661 visits (28.53% increase). Page views also increased, from 12,505 to 15,366 (22.88% increase). There wasn’t much shift in terms of pages per visit or bounce rate.

Income also increase significantly. From AdSense, the site earned $90.34, up from $53.04 in the previous period (70% increase). That definitely outpaced the surge in traffic. Amazon earnings increased as well, from $205.33 in the previous month to $412.70 this month (a 101% increase).

All told, the site earned roughly $500… a number I’m extremely happy with.

Other Bits and Pieces

While traffic declined at Rockin’ Photogs, it held steady (and perhaps increased a bit) on my YCN / Yahoo! Voices account. I had roughly 20,000 page views and earned about $40.00 – about a 15% increase. I also got a badge for being one of the “Hot 500” – meaning I’m in the top 500 performing authors on the site. Cool… (and a good indication of how YCN is not a great place to go to earn big bucks).

HubPages didn’t fare so well. Despite my account improving – I’ve currently got a Hubber score of 100 and several accolades for participation – my Hubs took a hit with the Panda update. I ended the month of May with just over 3,000 page views – within about 2% of my total from the previous month. Earnings were just under $9.00, again with a few percentage points of April’s total.

My old photography blog, DPHT, continues to bring in a small amount of income in AdSense – $17.30 up from $12.27 the previous month. That was based on about 1,900 visits, most of which are from referrals, Bing, or Yahoo. I haven’t done anything there (except write a couple articles to link / direct people to Rockin’ Photogs), so it makes me chuckle whenever it racks up a few bucks.

In other news, Rockin’ Webquests and Tech and Teaching both saw a small drop off in traffic. However, I still haven’t gotten the energy together to really build those sites out to bring in a whole lot of traffic (or money). So whatever…

All in all, the statistics say May was a great month. However, I have a feeling June is going to be a bit of a let down. I haven’t written much in the past few weeks, and I’ve been kind of coasting on my past success. So I guess the challenge now is to get back to work and make sure I don’t fall off that goal ($500 / month) for too long… because that has been my goal from the outset to break that barrier consistently this year.


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