Blog Report – The $100 Challenge Is Complete!

Care to share?

blogging challenge

Some of you will remember that back in October I started a ‘$100 Blogging Challenge’.

Basically, I challenged myself to earn $100 from this blog.

Well a whole lot has happened since then. My traffic has gone up and then back down, I’ve been interviewed on two podcasts and I’m more committed to the success of this site than ever.

But to the point, you came here to find out if I made the $100 I was after and the short answer is yes, I did it in February…sort of.

February Happenings

Feb was kind of an odd month around here. If you read my January Blog Report, you know that I had a record traffic month. Well I’m sad to say that the momentum didn’t continue through Feb.

My traffic wasn’t awful, but it rang in just a little below January’s numbers. In fact, if February had 31 days, it probably would have eeked out just a little bit ahead.

But it didn’t happen, and to be honest, I can tell you now that traffic for March is going to drop significantly from February.

There’s probably a few different reasons for this, and I could make excuses. Seasons and all that…

The real reason is that I’ve been slacking off. There, I said it.

My tailwind queue has been empty for over a week now and my Pinterest traffic has dropped considerably.

I have been meaning to spend some more time optimizing my SEO on past posts but somehow life just keeps getting in the way.

February traffic numbers

My total pageviews for Feb. were 5,516, down just a touch from 5,668 in January. All things considered, I guess it wasn’t that bad considering February is three days shorter.

blog report

Still, I’m not excited about it. I would have liked to see the same rate of growth that I saw in January, but I suppose that’s a little bit unrealistic.

As you can see in the image above, I had one ‘mini viral’ pin in February, but that was basically it.

The $100 Challenge

Anyhow, so now I’ll tell you what you came here to find out – how I made $100.

As I mentioned above, I have been on a couple of podcasts recently. One of them was the Do You Even Blog podcast with Pete McPherson.

On the show, Pete challenged me to try making my first $100 via sponsorship, rather than just taking the affiliate marketing route.

Basically, just reach out to other bloggers or companies, and offer them a ton of promotional hustle in exchange for something (money, free product etc.).

I saw on Twitter that another blogger in the personal finance space was just about to launch a product, and decided to reach out to them. I haven’t asked their permission to mention them by name, so I won’t share who it is, though I’m sure if you checked out my social channels you could take a guess.

Anywho, I offered them a post on my site, and a ton of promotion on social media and Pinterest all for the low low price of $95. They accepted immediately and the rest is history.

I realize that $95 is not $100. I’m Canadian however, and $95 USD is well over $100 CAD.

I had originally intended to make the $100 through affiliate marketing, that’s why I’ve said above that I ‘sort of’ met my goal.

A hundred bucks is a hundred bucks though, so I’m calling it a win and officially closing the $100 challenge. On to the next thing!

Related Posts

Blog Traffic Report – How I Tripled My Traffic Last Month
11 Lessons I’ve Learned From A Year Of Blogging
Extreme Side Hustle – My $100 Blogging Challenge

What I’m working on right now

I’ve got a few irons in the fire right now. I’m in the middle of starting up a small weekly mastermind with a few other personal finance bloggers. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while and I’m super excited about. I think we’re really going to be able to learn from each other and help each other grow.

This month, I also had a new logo designed for the site. It comes with a new color scheme and I’m super excited about it. Keep an eye out for that, I’m planning to start some work redesigning the site shortly.

I’m also trying to get some old posts properly optimized and updated with some Pinterest images, as well as reorganizing my category and tag structure on the site, a great tip I learned about on this podcast episode.

What I’m doing well

It’s hard to say this, but what I’m doing well right now is not pushing myself too hard with regard to writing content and working on the site. We’ve had illness going around in our house since Christmas and we’re all exhausted.

On top of that, I’m having a real battle with insomnia, something I’ve wrestled with on and off since I was a kid.

I’ve had to allow myself to watch a little more television, and be a little less productive over the last few weeks, and I’m perfectly okay with that. It’s tough sometimes to not be productive when you’re in this industry where there’s so much talk about hustle and hard work, but I’ve had to learn that if I’m going to get anywhere, I need to rest.

On the blogging front I did actually get a lot of my category structure updated a couple of weeks ago so I’m going to call that a win 🙂

What I need to work on

Now that I’m starting to feel better, I need to get into a content production schedule that I can commit to long-term. I tend to just blog when I feel like it – an hour here, a couple of hours there. It would be nice to have a content production schedule that’s a little more concrete.

Another area that could use some work is my engagement on social media. I was really active throughout January and the first half of February, but I haven’t had the same amount of time to spend on Twitter lately. I need to get back at it as pretty much all of the opportunities that have come my way have come through Twitter.

Last month, I mentioned last month that I was starting to put a few ads up on the site. Thus far, I just have the one placement in the sidebar, but I’m hoping to get a few more in-content placements in the next couple of weeks.

If you know of a good plugin for putting ads into posts, please comment below and let me know what it is. I have tried several in the past but haven’t found something that is easy to use.

Conclusion

Well, that’s it for now. The $100 challenge is complete.

I’m going to be honest with you here – though I’m tempted to roll that success into a $500 or $1000 challenge, I’m not going to.

Life is hectic right now, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to achieve such a big goal in the short-term. Basically, I don’t want to fail, so I’m going to just keep my mouth shut for now 🙂

Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear how 2018 is treating you so far. Is your blog growing?

Care to share?

18 thoughts on “Blog Report – The $100 Challenge Is Complete!”

  1. Really liked this update, Mike! You really highlighted the “grind” aspect of blogging — it’s tough to keep the motivation up when traffic/income drops. Not sure if this helps at all, but we had a pretty sizeable downturn in traffic for February as well. Just gotta bounce back and keep at it, my man!

    • Thanks Jeff, I appreciate that. Finding both the time/motivation to keep going on this stuff can be tough at times for sure. I’m lucky to have found a couple of communities including BTOP that are really supportive and that helps a lot.

  2. Hey Mike, congrats on earning your first $100! I get where you’re coming from in terms of productivity and life getting in the way. I haven’t gotten as much done lately as I’d like either, mostly because the day job has been busy and we’ve had family commitments as well. But blogging is a long game so I’ll keep taking baby steps towards my goals. You keep doing the same!

    • Thanks Mike. I’ve found that I need to treat my blog like any other important thing in my life – block off time in my calendar that’s just for blogging. It can be really hard when the motivation’s down but no pain no gain right?

    • Thanks, I appreciate that. I’ve listened to most of Pete’s episodes now. I usually listen at 1.25x speed as I only have my lunch hour and driving time to work to listen.

  3. I’M PROUD OF YA!

    In all seriousness, well done Mike. I feel like doing what you did is something few bloggers have the guts to even try, let alone try well and succeed.

    Screw the overall blog traffic as well. No biggie. You got this.

    • Hah, thanks Pete, I really appreciate that. You helped a lot along the way – thank you for that!

      As for blog traffic, you’re right. Meh, I’ll get there. I’m trying to look at the bigger picture these days. Month over month and year over year instead of fussing about it day to day.

  4. I’m definitely relating to the grind of blogging right now. My to do list is growing out of control the past couple of months and I just haven’t had the energy to tackle everything. I should know better because this is always busy season at my day job so I have way less time (and energy) to focus on blog projects.

    Here’s to continuing to plug away at things 😁

  5. Congrats on the $100 Mike!! Loved the podcast episode with Pete and glad you reached the goal.

    One of my goals as well for the short term is to get a more concrete content schedule. This time and of year is busy season for me so I’ve moreso just done the little bit here, little bit there. Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

    • Thanks for that Ryan, I’m glad that you enjoyed the episode, it was a lot of fun for me to record with Pete. Thanks for reading!

  6. Hey Mike! Nice article 🙂

    As for ads and plugins, I just switched from WordPress’s Wordads to Sovrn and Google Adsense. Sovrn I use for the sidebar ads, Google Adsense I use for the in-article ads. Wordads are the ads at the bottom of the article. Between these three, you should be able to get some decent moolah with your page views.

    Hope this helps 🙂 if you ever want to mastermind with a minimalist PF blogger, let me know! 😄

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