Welcome to the first blog income report of 2021 for Swift Salary! For those of you who have been following along, thank you! Not a ton of people read these reports, but I hope they're helpful to those of you who do.
To see my past income reports (from my first year blogging up to now), go here.
Highlights from Q1 2021
- Clickworker Review and Earning Guide (In-Depth) – 3263 words
- Eureka Surveys Review and Earning Guide (Definitive) – 2838 words
- Top Micro Job Sites (22+) for Finding Paid Tasks (Ultimate Guide) – 6292 words
- How to Start a Mobile Detailing Business ($0-$6K/Month In 1 Year) – 5063 words
- Remotasks Review and Earning Guide (Definitive) – 3298 words
- How She Made $472 Selling Tattoo Designs on Fiverr – 1301 words
- Honeygain Review and Guide: Is it Safe? (In-Depth Look) – 2958 words
- TryMyUI Review and Earning Guide (In-Depth) – 3885 words
- Total of 28,898 words published! (not including email content or updated posts). That's 1,088 words less than last quarter.
I've continued to put a heavy focus on reviews recently. They're fun and interesting to make, and people seem to be finding them helpful.
I outsource the initial writing of most of the reviews I publish, but they still take quite a bit of time to edit. I'm thinking of some ways to make the process more efficient so I can get more reviews out each month.
I also got two of my first interviews out this quarter, which I'm really excited about. I wanted to publish 6 interviews in total this quarter, but finding someone to interview and then actually having them write up answers to my questions is a lot more difficult and time-consuming than I expected.
On another note, I got my About page published, which I was procrastinating on for a while. Publishing one was part of an online challenge I took, so that gave me the motivation to get it done.
Some of my content hasn't been updated in ages, and I still have work to do here, but this is what I've done so far:
- 12 Free Apps That Pay You Cash Back for Receipts – Made some small updates.
- 25+ Passive Income Sources to Make Money While You Sleep – Small updates and additions.
- How to Get Free Money Online and In-Person (50+ Ways) – Added 3,000+ words to this one
- Moka Review: Worth the Fees? (Read This First) – Fully updated this review.
- 11 Apps That Pay You to Work Out, Exercise, & Lose Weight – Made some small updates, added a graphic.
Going back and updating old posts always takes longer than you first anticipate because you end up finding a ton of small things to change. It's worth the effort though.
Other Small Updates
- I moved the comment form on Swift Salary to be above the comments, with comments automatically sorting from newest to oldest (used to be the other way around). This should make it easier to have discussions on the site!
- Made some speed updates. I've been trying a new caching plugin called FlyingPress but my sites had some issues with it. I still have a ways to go in terms of the mobile speed score of my site.
- Started organizing – I created a simple Google doc linking to all important documents and such related to Swift Salary. It also contains procedures for creating and publishing different types of posts (e.g reviews, guides, etc.), which should help for outsourcing in the future. Trying to get more efficient around here!
- Ran some Pinterest ads – This was a fun experiment. I ran an ad to my All the Best Online Proofreading Jobs for Beginners (50+) post. Proofread Anywhere was running a sale at the time so it seemed like a decent idea. Only problem is, I use Pretty Links and have no way of knowing which affiliate link clicks/conversions come from organic traffic and which come from an ad. Does anyone have any tips/ideas on how to better track this?
Blog Income and Expenses for Q1 2021
All income and expenses are recorded in Canadian dollars. Income is based on money that has actually hit my bank account.
Income Breakdown: $13,242.05 Gross Profit
Here's a monthly breakdown:
- January: $4,611.64
- February: $3,179.53
- March: $5,450.88
Here's what I actually earned from:
- Affiliate Income ($6,104.46):
- Impact Radius – $197.79
- MaxBounty – $1,781.34
- MoneyMade – $21.99
- Newsflare – $16.31
- Panthera – $1380.38
- Proofread Anywhere – $311.37
- Proofreading Academy – $285.08
- Rakuten – $195.86
- Transcribe Anywhere – $1,610.34
- Mediavine – $7,137.59
Due to my traffic being down recently (more on this below) I didn't actually expect to make as much as I did this quarter, so I'm pleasantly surprised. That said, I'm expecting next quarter to potentially be a bit smaller due to lower ad revenues.
Still, I'm going to be working on pumping out more content and optimizing for some affiliates I'm working with, so hopefully I can hold steady at around $4,000/month average.
Expense Breakdown: $2,357.38 Spent
- Zoho Books – $120
- Pinterest Ads – $100
- Bank Fees – $126.80
- Writers – $1,502.92
- Bullet journals – $53.76
- GSuite – $23.40
- Transcription (for mobile detailing interview) – $8.65
- NordVPN – $100.96
- Affinity Suite for Mac – $104.97
- FlyingPress plugin – $78.38
- Pretty Links Pro – 76.06
- WP Review Pro – 59.15
Nothing too crazy on the expenses side of things. I'm expecting my expenses to be higher next quarter due to more outsourcing.
* Total Net Profit: $10,884.67 *
Traffic Breakdown: 216,697 Pageviews
If you read my Q4 2020 income report, you know I had a decline in traffic around November/December. I'm happy to say that things are starting to slightly level out/improve now.
Here's how this traffic stacks up to past quarters:
- Compared to Q4 of 2020, I had 60,673 fewer pageviews. That's a ~24% decline.
- Compared to Q1 of 2020, I had 95,721 more pageviews. That's a ~56% increase.
- Compared to Q1 of 2019, I had 144,941 more pageviews. That's a ~100% increase.
So yep, still down from last quarter, but year over year I'm doing pretty well. By updating more content and releasing new content in Q2, I should be able to beat this quarters traffic levels.
Email List: 4,413 Subscribers
I started January with 4,248 active subscribers and ended March with 4,880.
That's 632 new subscribers for the quarter (163 fewer than last quarter) and an average of 210 subscribers per month.
I consistently sent out my weekly Swift Saturday newsletter every week this quarter, which I'm really happy about. In the newsletter, I share content related to making, managing, and multiplying money. If you want to check it out, sign up here!
Open rates for the newsletter this quarter sat at an average of 14.22%, so not great, but better than before. I've been sending the letter earlier than I used to which has helped a bit. Also, I've been getting great feedback from readers, so even with the low open rates, I'm still motivated to keep writing.
Goals for Q2 of 2021
- Update my Start Here page – I've procrastinated on this for too long. This page should be a guide to anyone new to Swift Salary or anyone simply looking for the best content I have to offer.
- More reviews and guides – These are my main traffic drivers so I'm going to continue to focus on them. I have an entire list that I need to get through. I'd like to get 12 more reviews out by next quarter, and at least 8 more guides. Both of those goals massively exceed what I got done this quarter though, so I'll need to outsource in order to hit them — there's really no other way.
- More interviews – These are still a learning experience for me. Figuring out how to conduct them and structure them is all very new. I also don't have any interviews lined up yet so this is a bit of a wild card!
- Update my Make Money Online course – Sort of forgot about this, but this course is due for an update. Going to try to just make it a small update for now that I can add on to over time. Nothing too crazy!
- Continue working on site speed – I'm honestly tempted on hiring someone for this. I just want to meet the Google core web vitals but I know very little about speed optimization. The struggle is real.
Hope you enjoyed this income report! Check out my 2021 Q2 income report next.
In the course, I cover the technical stuff along with how to pick a topic/niche for your blog, how to come up with content ideas, how to get readers, and most importantly, how to make money blogging.
Have any questions about this quarter's blog income report? Leave a comment below!