Business & Writing

Year in Review: Blogging, Writing, Content Creation 2022

How much money does my blog make? That’s why you’re here for this year in review, right? Well, spoiler alert, it doesn’t bring in a profit currently. In this post, I’ll discuss the money and other metrics but also the intangible benefits. I’ve learned so much about content creation, search engine optimization, and being on video this year. I’ve made it through a period of burnout, giving myself the time and space to start healing.

Rey lying down on a mattress in a van with the side door open, looking out on a mountain landscape

I feel vulnerable sharing how this project is not financially successful, at the moment. But I would be fascinated seeing these kind of metrics from someone else who’s getting started in blogging and content creation, especially in the LGBTQ space. So I hope you find this interesting and informative.

Hi, I’m Rey, a nonbinary writer! Please subscribe for more stories and resources:

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Blogging and content year in review 2022

How Many Views?

Over 6 thousand people visited my site (The Nonbinary Connection) this year, most during the second half of the year.

Graph showing new site visitors increasing after July 1 (Google Analytics)

Around 95% of new people found my site through organic search (from searching in Google, for example – I don’t run any ads). The other 5% clicked a link to my site from social media, my email newsletter, or simply clicking a URL (from a text message or bookmark, for example).

When including the return visitors and inspecting an average week, around 80% of visitors come from organic search and 20% come from social media and direct links.

Where did the new visitors for this year come from? (Google Analytics)

For my videos, the views increased from zero once I started posting them mid-way through the year, and increased again quite a bit when I did a TikTok challenge in October (post a video every day!). I’m able to get analytics for the last 28 days for these reels or shorts from the various platforms, so consider this a snapshot of now rather than a summary of the year:

Instagram accounts reached, last 28 days: 7.8k

Youtube views, last 28 days: 4.3k

TikTok views, last 28 days: 3.4k

Facebook views, last 28 days: 15.9k (They are giving me about $7 in bonuses for this much traffic. I don’t get any money from the other platforms)

Pinterest views, last 30 days: 3k

How Much Content?

I published 44 blog posts on this site during 2022. Also, I am proud that I contributed a guest post to BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog about writing about nonbinary people with respect.

I posted 80 short videos (reels), most since October 1st. I also posted 7 Youtube videos about van life and foraging.

I kept my content going from a rental van in California for 8 weeks, using only my phone! (No laptop!)

The October TikTok challenge led by Brianne Huntsman ramped up my ability to create and post video content efficiently. I’m very grateful for her supportive group and get-it-done mentality.

Rey sitting on a large flat rock covered in fallen red maple leaves in the autumn

Coming Out on Social Media

It felt like a big deal to me to start posting my LGBTQ & nonbinary content on two platforms in particular this year. I started posting this stuff on my personal Facebook page, an account that was linked to people I’ve known since high school and college. All these people who had “friended” me before I came out as nonbinary or bisexual now could see this LGBTQ content. I was dreading having to see bigoted reactions from people who were not just strangers on the internet. But it went better than expected. I don’t keep track if anyone unfriended me, but I didn’t get any hateful comments. If anything, I was touched to receive some very kind feedback from cousins and old friends.

LinkedIn was another hurdle. I was out as nonbinary to my immediate coworkers, but not to the large professional network on my LinkedIn profile. But when I started posting links from my blog, I received kind and interested comments. Someone I know professionally reached out to suggest some blog topics they were interested in. I’ve received support from colleagues both in the US and India, which I am grateful for.

I had never posted a video of myself talking to the camera before this year. It was terrifying at first, and I would say one of my largest improvements in content creation skill to be able to easily make and post videos. Blogging has also become easier and higher quality through practice.

Attempts to Make Money

I applied for Google Adsense this year three times before I was approved to join the program. If you’re wondering if your site will be eligible (or wondering why it was denied) I’d recommend using this free Adsense site checker. Certain aspects of the site such as appropriate privacy policy and about us pages need to be complete. The domain name also needs to be established over some months.

Google Adsense earns me about $2 to $4 per month (but doesn’t pay out until I get to $100).

Within Google Adsense, I’m able to filter the ads shown on the site somewhat. In Adsense, under Content -> Blocking controls -> Sensitive content, I blocked Politics, Religion, and Weight Loss categories. I feel a little better about working with advertising that hopefully will be more relevant to my audience.

I also applied for the Amazon affiliate program. I received my minimum of 3 purchases in 90 days to stay in the program. Currently I have about $4 of affiliate income total from 5 shipped purchases (which doesn’t pay out until I get to $100). I’ve learned that recommending books as an Amazon affiliate is not worth it. I feel happy when someone buys a book I recommend, but I get about 8 cents from that. Products such as electronics, beauty products, or kitchen appliances pay out much higher.

I’m an affiliate for Sophia Lee’s Perfecting Blogging course. I truly stand behind this course being useful for learning SEO and becoming a successful blogger so I’m pleased that I had some clicks and one purchase from my affiliate links.

So I make a few dollars here and there from this website. That’s great, but when compared with the cost of doing business, it doesn’t cover it. I host this and other websites on AWS for about 10 dollars per month, not including the domain name ($12 per year), my Google Workspace account ($6/month). Other expenses include classes and coaching, equipment such as laptop, phone, tripod, etc, and occasional paid help.

I am hoping to ramp up affiliate income and selling products and services in the upcoming year.

Rey with a bicycle on a path around a lake

Email Newsletter vs. The Future of Social Media

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but my favorite social media platform, Twitter, is descending into a dumpster fire. I still use Twitter to find opportunities to pitch writing and find out what’s going on with Tiktok’s parent company and the Chinese government. Speaking of which, will Tiktok be banned? Who can say.

I see growing on social media as an interesting pursuit that lacks permanence. If I want to be able to market a book to interested people two years from now, an email newsletter or self-hosted blog is the only reliable way. An email newsletter, done respectfully, is the only way for me to keep track of people who have expressed interest in the past without the involvement of a massive company such as Meta.

Like many things this year, I had never done an email newsletter before. I had a surprisingly large mental block on sending out a message to people in email format. I reached out to L Brinks, social media and marketing coach and small business owner. In a coaching session, L talked me through the specifics of types of email newsletters and content I could send out. They helped me gain confidence to send out my first newsletter. (Yay!)

What’s Next for 2023

I’m planning to focus on:

  • Consistent, useful email newsletters and growth of my email list
  • Blog posts based on keyword research
  • Consistently posting short videos
  • Selling my own products and/or services

I hope you enjoyed this brutally honest year in review rundown of my metrics and lack of profit! Hey, I’d love to hear how your blog is doing and how your year was. Let me know!

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2 thoughts on “Year in Review: Blogging, Writing, Content Creation 2022

  1. Rey,
    I loved working with you on the mat and am loving your journey here.
    You are helping me to grow in my understanding as well as enjoyment of your writing and content.
    Thank you

    1. Thank you so much, Doug! It is a pleasure to hear from you. I appreciate your kind feedback and I’m so glad you are enjoying the content.

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