‘Million’ is a magical word. However, until a few years back, it used to be an alien word for me.
I’m from New Delhi, India, and here we talk in Lakhs and Crores. Thanks to globalization and the growth of the blogging and startup industries, “million” is no longer a word that is exciting for me.
Why am I talking about this word?
Because ShoutMeLoud receives more than 1.5 million page views a month, and one of my goals for this year is to reach 2 million page views a month.
I think we can get there…
Welcome to this special transparency report of ShoutMeLoud!
Every few months, I publish a report like this stating what is happening with our blog, how we performed in terms of traffic and income, and a lot of new ideas and suggestions for bloggers in every niche to grow their own blogging businesses.
If you are not sure why I publish such transparency reports, then you should read our philosophy here and check out previous income reports here.
To sum up, I want you to be your own boss and live a life that is truly yours. And if you follow my advice, you can definitely get there!
So now, let’s start with some of the highlights of July, and then we will have a look at our traffic and income reports.
First Remote Team Meeting
As ShoutMeLoud is growing, the biggest challenge I’m facing is providing the right base for consistent growth. The only way this can be possible is with the brightest minds working together in a large-scale, collaborative effort.
At the time of this writing, we have a team of 6 full-time people (7 including me), and everyone has a different and important role to play:
- 2 Content Writers
- 1 Editor
- 1 Designer
- 1 Growth Hacker
One of my goals is to take ShoutMeLoud to the next level, and this can’t be done without bringing all of my team together.
While we use Slack for daily team communications, in July, we had our first ever online team meeting (using Zoom), and it was a great experience.
Tip: If you have a team of more than 3 or 4 members, I suggest you host a team meeting. Team meetings are great because otherwise unconnected parts of the business get to interact with one another. This goes a long way in building up team morale.
A few tips for hosting your first online team meeting:
- Have a clear agenda for the meeting.
- Announce the date/time 1 week in advance. Send a calendar invite.
- Use a tool like Zoom or Skype’s Group Chat to host the meeting.
- Have one person from your team be the host.
One Important Productivity Hack
For the past 2 months, I started doing a new thing to increase my productivity, and it’s been working out great. I have started using a calendar to schedule every day one month in advance. This has helped me remove the guess work that I face on any given day, and I end up finishing most of what I need to.
If you are like me who has never been so great with calendars, I suggest you to start trying it out.
A few things that you could do:
- Use the Google Calendar app on your phone.
- Schedule all of your meetings in advance.
- When you make a promise to someone for a phone call or a meeting, add it right away to your calendar.
- Configure Calendly to schedule your online meeting. It’s a useful app to schedule calls when you are working with others in different time zones.
One major benefit of working with a calendar in this way is that I have started to truly value my limited amount of time. Now, there is no such thing as “time wasted”.
Another thing that I started doing was auditing my weekly targets. This helped me understand more about my working style, and it also allowed me to plan my upcoming week more effectively.
If you want to read more about time-management and productivity, check out this article:
ShoutMeLoud Traffic Report: July 2017
In the first week of July, I audited the SEO of ShoutMeLoud and worked on improving the existing backlink flow. Here are a few of the things that I did:
- Improved the overall internal link structure.
- Deleted low-quality posts.
- Redirected 404 pages with a high DA backlink to relevant pages on the site. SEMrush and Ahrefs helped to achieve this in a couple hours.
- Removed all broken links. (Use Broken link checker plugin)
- Fixed anchor text for internal links.
Doing this, we had a significant improvement in traffic, receiving close to 1.65 million page views.
But we still have a lot to do to reach our new goal of 2 million page views/month.
Tip: If you are not utilizing web push notifications yet, you definitely should as it’s a great way to drive recurring traffic. Here at ShoutMeLoud, we use PushEngage because they offer some cutting-edge features like Segmentation and Automation. You can read this guide to configure PushEngage for your blog. Here is the stats from my PushEngage Dashboard:
We are close to reaching 0.3 million subscribers on PushEngage & that gives us immense reach. With every day you are missing out a lot if you are not using PushEngage to convert your one time visitors into regular readers.
Trouble In Paradise: ShoutMeLoud Forum Hosting
Seems like my hosting woes will never end. I will never understand paying for bot traffic…
The ShoutMeLoud forum is powered by Discourse, an ad-free forum service.
We receive about 45K page views a month and the forum is hosted on Discourse’s server which costs $99/month; the plan allows for up to 100K views a month.
Last week, I was contacted by the Discourse team and they asked me to upgrade to the next plan which costs $299.
I was surprised to discover that, according to them, we received 7 million page views.
Unfortunately, they have become one of those hosting companies that charges for bot traffic…
Most probably, the ShoutMeLoud forum will be moved to a Digital Ocean server or another private server (which costs about $20/month). So far, I have avoided doing this as I didn’t want to handle what will definitely be another headache for managing a new system.
But now it seems like there’s no other choice…
Tip: If you are planning to launch a forum using Discourse, you are better off self-hosting on a server like Digital Ocean, Linode, or another self-hosted server.
Before we end our traffic report, here is a quick shout-out to our most active Shouters on the ShoutMeLoud forum for the month of July 2017:
If I combine all of the traffic from all of our platforms (blog, forum, mobile apps), we received more than 1.7 million page views this month.
But we are still 300K short of our new target goal…
We will definitely get there.
Quick Thanks To Our July Sponsors
I’d like to take a quick moment to thank our advertisers and partners:
- NativeAds: A very profitable ad network for bloggers.
- HillTopAds: Another great ad network for bloggers. Detailed review coming soon.
If you want to advertise on ShoutMeLoud, check out advertisement page.
July 2017 Income Report
July was a great month for ShoutMeLoud in terms of growth.
Our revenue has also grown significantly as we have added more avenues of earning money from our blog. Most of these changes are happening in the backend, and by the end of September, you will see some new stuff we are trying on our media kit page and on the homepage.
Like always, I will be sharing about every change in detail so that you can also implement these techniques on your blog and improvise on my original ideas to increase your own revenue!
For now, here is how we performed in the month of July…
Total Income: $52,434
From the eBook sales alone, we have made more than $800. Since I sell eBooks on various platforms, I have shared the exact amount I have earned from different sources. From the stats, I can see that we still need to improve a lot on Amazon Kindle sales.
In our last month’s transparency report, I mentioned that instead of using PayPal, I have started using wire transfers to collect payment from our many advertisers and partners. This has helped us to save a lot of money and has made our payments “on demand” which is good for business.
Tip: If you are earning more than $5,000 from any one company, you should consider getting paid via wire transfer instead of any other payment methods.
Total Expenses: $12,670
This is the first time I have ever crossed the $50K milestone, and it feels pretty amazing.
As I mentioned earlier, a majority of this revenue is going into content production and marketing of ShoutMeLoud.
And as I discover new avenues of marketing and promotion, you will be the first ones to know.
ShoutMeLoud Continues To Grow
In the past few months, I have made a major shift in terms of how I handle ShoutMeLoud.
Now, more than ever, I’m:
- Creating more goal-based targets.
- Heavily focusing on branding.
- Building and nourishing the core team.
As it is, ShoutMeLoud is all about quality over quantity, and this is one thing you can be assured of; our readers (you) will always be put first before anyone or anything else.
With this, I close this transparency report.
It’s been a great month, and I’m excited to see what happens next!
Now it’s your turn to let me know how your month of July 2017 was in terms of traffic and income. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Also, if you want me to add anything more in our transparency reports that will help you to grow your own blog, feel free to suggest away in the comments!
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