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Monthly Traffic & Income Reports

Starting a Dream Business: Follow me from the beginning as I start an art business

Followers of Escape Normal, and especially the monthly income posts, will know that this site progressed from a blog with zero traffic and no revenue to a job-board website with hundreds of thousands of visitors per month and multiple streams of income. It took a long time and a lot of effort, so the prospect of starting from scratch again- from zero- on another website and a new business was not appealing, and therefore I did not consider until recently building my own art business (beyond landing a few freelance jobs).

But now, as I continue to move from place to place (currently I’m working and living on Santa Catalina Island off of mainland Southern California, at a zipline attraction– check out their site  and apply in the off-season for some great summer jobs) I realize that if I’m ever going to be able to travel without going through the process of applying and interviewing for seasonal job after seasonal job (however fun some of the jobs turn out to be) and be paid for the effort not all that much above minimum wage, I need to get serious about making money doing something that I love and that can travel with me. And as cool as Escape Normal has become, I can’t honestly say that posting job openings of other companies is profoundly exciting or satisfying. But art is. Creating art is something that consistently makes me happy- and beyond that, illustrating what I am interested in at the moment brings me significantly more happiness than freelancing and working on bringing somebody else’s dream to life.

After having a conversation with a friend I met on the island, I was inspired to finally create a website for my art: Here I have begun to keep a blog, a shop, and an ever-growing portfolio.

Some of my illustrations are inspired by places I have been or would like to go- most notably, Crystal Lighthouse (one of my favorite illustrations to date) was inspired by a photograph of a lighthouse in Acadia National Park.

As I’m in the very, very first steps of breathing life into the site and the business, I’ve started a monthly traffic and progress update like the one I kept and shared with the readers of Escape Normal. I expect that it will be harder to drive traffic to my new site- I’m not really sure yet what to write about art, what niche to focus in on, what I can say that will be helpful beyond the entertainment and emotional factors of original artwork. I hope to figure it out through trial and error and research. See my work, cheer me on, follow Jacqueline Boss Digital Art on Facebook, or learn from my business mistakes and successes over on my new blog!

Are there any other artists out there with some insider tips and information?




In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports

By Jacqueline Boss

Blog Statistics January 2013: $1,003.33

On 01, Feb 2013 | 7 Comments | In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports | By Jacqueline Boss

This month marks an exciting milestone. I have finally reached (and far surpassed) the 100,000 visits-per-month mark, and I’ve passed the $1,000 per month mark! Either one would have been exciting but together they seem to open up a world of possibilities.

blog visits per month

Visits in the month of January: 192,851 (+167% from December)

Total Profit: $1,003.33 (+109%)

Profit from Amazon Affiliates: $39.63 (+233%)

Profit from Google Adsense: $101.57 (+73%)

Profit from eJunkie sales: $246.72 (+48%)

Profit from Amazon Kindle sales: $501.60 (+128%)

Profit from Barnes & Noble Nook sales: $126.55 (+441%)

Monthly operation costs: $12.74


Here are some of the things I did this month that affected the traffic and earnings:

  • Held an eBook giveaway

The objective of the giveaway was to secure more amazon reviews, which it did (and hopefully more reviews will be coming from the remainder of the winners), but a side effect of the giveaway was that it earned Escape Normal some more followers on Facebook and Pinterest.

  • Got more Amazon reviews

Like I’ve said before, every Amazon review helps. I think this is true especially at the beginning when there are few reviews. I am stuck in the teens and I imagine I will need to get about 8 or so more reviews to see another spike in sales.

  • Changed the look of the website 

Have you noticed? I purchased a premium wordpress theme so I no longer have pink polka dots on the background of each page. Now everything is more sleek and profession. Kuzzah! And I didn’t even accidentally destroy any of the essential coding in the process.

  • Redesigned the homepage

The homepage setup is part of the new wordpress theme I purchased. I think I will still tweak it a bit, but I’ve tried to put my most popular and interesting posts on the homepage in a more organized way so that newcomers will be able to understand what the site is about and have a variety of interesting things to read and look at right from the get-go.

Old homepage:

old homepage

New homepage:

 new homepage

I used to just list my email address at the bottom of the about page, but since adding a contact page I’ve seen a pretty big increase in the number of people contacting me.

To encourage guest posters! The biggest deterrent to would-be guest posters is not explaining the rules.

  • Changed the footer to show comments

I’d been considering adding a Facebook comments app to encourage people to comment more, but I am afraid of accidentally deleting all of the old comments. I will look into it more, but for now the addition of the “newest comments” widget at the bottom of the site seems to be encouraging more comments and interaction.

  • Added “buy now” buttons to the eBook page

It’s hard to tell what effect this had, but I imagine it did impact sales quite a bit, if only because I’ve been reading about bright red buttons doing just that. I found a button I liked on another popular blog and made my own version with Adobe Illustrator. I may go back later and add prices to the buttons.

Here is what the buttons look like:

buy now button

  • Changed the price of eBook on B&N Nook

I was frustrated with Barnes and Noble because they take away the largest percentage of total sale price of any of the sellers I use. Since I just added my eBook to B&N, I felt that the people purchasing it from them were people who would have previously purchased my eBook from Ejunkie, which earns me a few dollars more per sale. To remedy this, I increased the price of the eBook on B&N only. Now B&N sales earn me more per book than amazon, which I am much happier with.

  • Applied to be an advertiser with Casale Media

And got turned down. Casale is one of many cost-per-impression advertising systems. It is different than Google adSense; Google pays the site displaying the ads (me) a few cents every time a visitor clicks on the ads. A CPI system like Casale pays per view, so nobody needs to click on the ads at all. A system like that would be a great addition to my site as the traffic increases, so I will continue to look for one that is a good fit.


Now that sales are starting to pick up and I have more numbers to work with, I think it is a good time to start keeping detailed notes about the little changes I make and the effects they have on the final income report. I’d really like to put a ballpark number on how much one amazon (or barnes and noble) review is worth, for example. I also want to experiment with Google adsense to see if placing the ads in a different position changes the earnings. I didn’t think there was much point in doing tests like these when the numbers were low, but now they are high enough that I might be able to see a small amount of change in earnings so that I can keep improving Escape Normal.

It is about the time of year when I have to start deciding where I want to spend the summer. I was looking into Costa Rica jobs and decided to look up the weather, and alas- the dry season began in December and ends before summer. I think I may like to go to Costa Rica for a few months next winter, but as for the summer- I really don’t know yet. I’m open to suggestions!

Also, I bought a harmonica. Soon I will be a harmonica pro!

Blog Statistics & eBook Giveaway, December 2012: $479.05

On 01, Jan 2013 | 3 Comments | In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports, Passive Income | By Jacqueline Boss

eBook Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated!

I’m very excited to be writing this update. Tracking my income this month has cast a sparkly light of awesomeness on everything in my life. After almost two years of (less than) part-time work, I have finally grown my blog to the point where it makes a pretty decent income for me. I could pay some bills with that! But that’s not even what is exciting to me- what this really means for me is much more important. I don’t care about the $479, and if I lost it tomorrow it wouldn’t matter. What is important is that this money will keep coming- I can sleep, or learn to dance, or watch tons of movies, or go skydiving next month- and the month after, and the month after that- and the money will keep coming. I am building my own job and a passive income and it is freeing me up to spend my time however I like. And ultimately, that will probably mean more traveling and trying lots of new things. Even better, I’ve got what I like to call a “mobile income,” so my job can come with me wherever I go, instead of the other way around.

eBook Giveaway!

I plan on doing an eBook giveaway/ exchange on my Facebook page next month, so follow Escape Normal on Facebook for a chance at a free eBook.  My aim is to give away 15-20 eBooks in exchange for a promise to post a review on Amazon after reading. Your chances of getting a book are pretty high now since I don’t have many more than 200 followers yet- and I’m probably just going to give the books to whoever seems trustworthy enough to follow through with writing a review.

Visits in the month of December: 72,163

Total Profit: $479.05

Change from previous month: $261.73 (+120%)

Profit from Amazon Affiliates: $11.89

Profit from Google Adsense: $58.54

Profit from eJunkie sales: $165.81

Profit from Amazon Kindle sales: $219.45

Profit from Barnes & Noble Nook sales: $23.36

I already have lots of adventures to look forward to, both with my blog and in my life. In January I’ll be visiting my friends in Alabama for a few weeks, and hopefully I’ll be starting to plan an adventure to Machu Picchu with a friend of mine for sometime in the spring. And I’d really like to go back to Miami at some point this year (I’m a University of Miami graduate) because it’s been a year and a half since I left and I’m starting to miss it.

As for my blog, I thought I had big goals but clearly I need to make them even bigger; two months ago I had set $400 per month by April as my goal, then last month changed it to $500, and now I’m pushing it up to $1,000. Can I do it? Tune in next time to find out!

There are a couple things that I attribute the jump in profit and traffic this month to:

-I published the 100 Most Amazing Hotels post. People love lists, especially lists with pictures.

-I updated my eBook and improved the cover. Nice covers sell books. Yes, people do judge books by their covers.

-I got a few more reviews for my eBook on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Each review makes a world of difference, so getting more and more reviews will be a big focus for me in the upcoming months.

-I went through a few old, popular posts and created nice title graphics for Pinterest users. Pinterest has overtaken Google as my largest source of traffic so I need to pay a lot of attention to how I optimize my site for Pinterest users. Pinterest, for those of you who don’t know, is like an online notebook that is image-oriented and mostly used by women. I personally use it to collect ideas about things that are entertaining to me: travel, fashion, crafts, digital design, etc. If you want to follow me on Pinterest, click here. Or follow Escape Normal on Facebook, though I don’t post there quite as often. And I don’t do Twitter. Anyway, here is an example of an graphic that I created for an old blog post, which has been re-posted often on Pinterest:

-The most simple thing I did this month was something I have overlooked for an entire year. I finally had a “duh” moment in the middle of the month. I have an Amazon Affiliate account and I have a book for sale on Amazon, which I link to on the eBook page of my website. But I never thought to use my Amazon Affiliate account to sell my own eBook. So I replaced the standard link with my affiliate link, and now in addition to the money I get for each book I sell, I also get a few extra cents because I used my affiliate link to sell it. This month that amounted to about $10. Not bad for just replacing one link, and that number will naturally go up as I sell more books.

I’ve got a long to do list in the upcoming months, still including creating a Clickbank account and a free African Safari photo eBook, but I’ve also added a bunch of new things to the list. I plan on adding cost-per-impression ads, which unlike the Google Adsense ads that are currently on my site, don’t require people to click on them for me to get money. The money will be based on how many people see the ads, which has to do with how many people visit my site. So that will be a new and easy source of income, but I don’t know yet what the earning potential is.

I am going to start writing another eBook to sell: this one will be similar to these blog statistics updates I’ve been doing every month. I will explain in detail how I’ve grown my blog from zero to (hopefully soon) $1000 and 100,000 visitors per month, with analysis and steps that you can take to create your own successful blog.

I’d also really like to redo my home page to make it more useful for newcomers who need help navigating my blog. This might be a little challenging for me because although I know the basics of programming, I’ve never really done any major design changes with wordpress, so I hope I don’t mess anything up too badly. If my blog suddenly stops existing next month for a few weeks, you’ll know why.

I suppose that is it for now. I’m very excited about the direction my life is going and the possibilities seem to be slowly unfolding before my eyes. Happy new year, may you too find the courage to follow your dreams! Good luck, my friends, and travel free.




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In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports

By Jacqueline Boss

Blog Statistics, November 2012: $217.32

On 30, Nov 2012 | No Comments | In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports | By Jacqueline Boss

I am happy to report that traffic and income are still steadily rising. Now that my income reports are becoming slightly more interesting, I’m going to switch back to monthly reports. My goal is to be earning $400 per month by April, when I am finished with my Colorado adventure. Cheer me on! (When I set that goal a month or so ago, I thought it would be challenging to reach; it looks like I might actually have to push it to $500 if I want a challenge.)

And yes, for those of you checking back, my traffic did increase by about 10,000 visitors per month since last month. BOOYA. There are many ways that I can choose to increase my profit, but one thing that I always kind of forget about is that as the number of visitors to my site increases, the profit I make from google adsense goes up proportionately. I don’t know what my conversion rate is of people who see my ebook page to people who buy it on amazon (as opposed to the people who find the book directly through amazon) but I imagine that number also goes up proportionately to the number of visitors that come to my site. So at this point, even if I do nothing for a few months, I should steadily be making $250 a month in no time.

Visits in the month of November: 54,079

Total Profit: $217.32

Profit from Amazon Affiliates: $2.27

Profit from Google Adsense: $46.98

Profit from eJunkie sales: $48.94

Profit from Amazon Kindle sales: $119.13

Profit from Barnes & Noble Nook sales: $0

I’ve got plans in the works to bring these numbers up dramatically in the next few months. It will be a challenge to accomplish them all- but the income and stats I post are almost completely passive, meaning I literally don’t have to do anything- I don’t even have to look at my blog- and I will still get income for the month. So once I put in the work, I will reap the rewards forever, and to me that is very worth the effort now.

So here are my plans and some of the things you might have to look forward to, in addition to regular posts:

I am going to create a beautiful free eBook using the photographs and stories from my trip to Africa. I’ve got the book completed, but formatting it for the Kindle is very difficult. It will take some time. I am also working on doing a 100 most beautiful hotels post in the same format of my 100 Most Beautiful Places In The World post, but that will also be a slow process. It is hard to find ten places to put on the list, let alone 100. I’m picky.

Things that might be less exciting to you but more exciting to me because they will earn me more money are these:
I will be working on getting more reviews for my eBook on and the barnes and noble website, where I just listed my book for sale. Sales increase dramatically with a solid number of reviews. I am setting up a Clickbank affiliate program for my eBook so that other bloggers can sell the book in exchange for a cut of the profit. And finally, I am going to test-sell some products on this site. That is how I originally decided to create my first eBook; I saw that a particular travel book I had listed on this blog was selling well. It was not my book; I only referred people to it, so I received only a few cents per sale. So I decided to write my own eBook of the same topic and get 100% of the sale instead. (Or 70% when purchased on a Kindle). I hope that in time I can find another product that sells well and make my own improved version to sell.

Other than that, check back to see how I am doing in Colorado. I’ve completed my training week for my job as a ski instructor this season, and I’ll be writing about that within the next few days. What I’ll be doing after the season is over, I have no idea. But I am excited that I will have the income from my blog to take with me wherever I go; that will make life a lot easier.




In Blogging
Monthly Traffic & Income Reports

By Jacqueline Boss

Blog Statistics, July-October 2012: $400.08

On 31, Oct 2012 | 2 Comments | In Blogging, Monthly Traffic & Income Reports | By Jacqueline Boss

Since I wrote my last statistics and income update in June, traffic to my site has increased dramatically and so has income. From week to week I’ve been excited by the upward slope of the traffic graph, although I keep expecting it to level off. It still hasn’t: since I posted the “100 Most Beautiful Places in the World,” traffic has yet to stop increasing. Before the post traffic was steady at around 8,000 or 9,000 visits per month, now it is nearing and preparing to pass the 45,000 per month mark!

I’ve also since discovered an important (and stupidly overlooked) source of income. I didn’t realize that my eBook had been selling any copies on Amazon Kindle, partly because I couldn’t remember my Kindle login information, and partly because I never received any emails from amazon telling me that copies were sold, as I would have expected to. I finally was able to log in and check, and found out that I had sold more copies on amazon than through eJunkie, which was a huge and exciting surprise.

I won’t retroactively add the income to past posts, I’ll just quickly estimate here for the sake of completeness that I had made a total of about $200 in profit from amazon. Not all that much, but it made me realize the possibility that amazon held. Since then I’ve been working on sending out copies of my book to get more amazon reviews. I’ll go more into selling eBooks on amazon Kindle when I’ve become a bit better at it, but there seem to be a few critical numbers of reviews that cause sales to spike. I would say that one of these is the jump to five positive reviews; I noticed my book started selling much better after it had 5 reviews on amazon. I am expecting another spike at around 11 reviews, but this is just a hunch and I will update when I have more information.

I also lowered the price of the book on amazon, which has had two effects: more people buy the book, and because the book now falls within a different price bracket, I now keep 70% of the sale price of the book as profit instead of just 35%.

Here are the details of the past few months:


Average visits per month: 26,303

Visits in the month of October: 44,565


Total Profit: $400.08

Profit from Amazon Affiliates: $7.00

Profit from Google Adsense: $79.03

Profit from eJunkie sales: $123.84

Profit from Amazon Kindle sales: $190.21


So that is that. I am very optimistic about the upcoming months: the numbers represented here are an average of the past 4 months, and October is naturally the biggest contributor to those numbers. Going up!

For those of you who don’t yet know, my next adventure (when I get back from Africa) will be in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where I will be working as a ski instructor for kids ages 7-12, levels 1-4. Lots of updates to come!

Happy Halloween!



One Comment

In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports

By Jacqueline Boss

Blog Statistics, March-June 2012: $231.14

On 01, Jul 2012 | One Comment | In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports | By Jacqueline Boss

In the past couple of months I’ve been experimenting with marketing on Pinterest. This has included trying to get more followers and creating a visually rich post (the 100 most beautiful places in the world,) which I imagined would entice a lot of people to re-pin images which would link back to my site. Since I created that post just a few weeks ago, the traffic to my site has increased by about 1,000 visitors per month, and I expect that number will increase dramatically as the post naturally begins to rank better in google search results. I am excited to see what happens!

I also have plans in the next few months to try a book giveaway (for my ebook) via pinterest, I hope it can do well but I don’t really know what to expect.

And I’ve finally created a Facebook page for Escape Normal– I am slowly figuring out how to use Facebook as a marketing tool.

At some point I’d like to experiment with the price of my book to start to see a supply and demand curve, but I don’t think I’m selling quite enough now for that to be a useful thing to do.

Daily visitors from March-June 2012:


Average visits per month: 10,218

Visits in the month of June: 12,550


Total Profit: $231.14

Profit from Amazon Affiliates: $5.26

Profit from Google Adsense: $72.01

Profit from eBooks: $153.87

So the average is increasing, and I hope that in July I can break 13,000! Suggestions?



One Comment

In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports

By Jacqueline Boss

Annual Blog Stats Overview Year 1 (2011-2012): $205

On 01, Mar 2012 | One Comment | In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports | By Jacqueline Boss

Today I am writing from the lobby of a Marriot in Huntsville, Alabama. I have been working as a counselor at space camp for about a month and a half now, and today is the warmest, nicest day since I arrived. It is the perfect day to get excited about writing my first annual update post. So here goes!

During the month of February, 2012, there was another huge jump in the total amount of visitors to my site; despite the 2 lost days because February is the shortest month, I had 6,700 unique visitors to my blog. My total income for the month was $28.53. The last few months have brought a major increase in unique visitors, and the number still seems to be on the rise. I’m already getting excited to see next month’s stats!

Daily Visitors from March 2011-February 2012

Annual Statistics

Locations of visitors


Total Income for the Year: ~$205

Google AdSense: ~$145

Amazon Affiliates: ~$20

Ebook: ~$40

(Somewhere the numbers got a little fudged, so these numbers are not perfect, but very close.)

Based on these numbers, it seems that my biggest earning potential right now is from Ebook sales. I’ve only been selling the book since December, but it represents a disproportionally large amount of blogging income. Amazon Affiliates is getting me nowhere, which is why I stopped focusing on it months ago. My blog doesn’t really lend itself to selling physical products.

I think I should focus on coming up with a better Google AdSense strategy; I have an ever-increasing number of visitors but my AdSense earnings are remaining the same. That will take a bit of research and tweaking to figure out. And maybe I will have enough visitors soon to start selling banner ad space at a fixed rate on the side of my blog.

What I will most likely do next is set up an affiliate program for my ebook so that other people can sell it for me, in exchange for a large chunk of the profit. If I put the selling in other people’s hands, the book can reach a much wider audience than I could reach on my own.

Happy anniversary everybody! Any suggestions for year 2?





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In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports

By Jacqueline Boss

Month 11- January 2012: $-4.68

On 10, Feb 2012 | No Comments | In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports | By Jacqueline Boss

You read right, I had negative earnings for the first time last month. Strangely, it coincided with a huge jump in visitors- I’ve surpassed the 5,000 per month mark!

Why the negative? 2 reasons- I didn’t sell any copies of my book, but I still had to pay the $5 hosting fee. And apparently Amazon affiliates deducts money when somebody returns a product, so I have negative earnings from amazon too. Ah well. Though I’m not sure what the cause of the huge jump in visitors is. I have heard that after about a year, Google begins to send a new website more traffic, though this may just be a rumor. The number of visitors has remained fairly constant, and high, through the last half of January and so far through February, so hopefully the trend is here to stay!

Google AdSense Earnings:

Total: $3.29

Number of Clicks: 9

Average Cost per Click: $0.37


Amazon Affiliate Earnings:

Total: $-2.79

Items Ordered: 2

Items Returned: 1

Clicks: 122

Conversion: 2.46%


eBook Earnings:

Total Profit: $-5

(I use E-Junkie to sell my book, which charges $5 per month for the service, but I keep all of the profits. Amazon Kindle is free for sellers but keeps a huge portion of my sales.)


Total Earnings: $-4.68


I’ve been in Huntsville, Alabama for the last month completing an intense training program to become a counselor at Space Camp. I still haven’t had my first camp group (I’ll be leading one next week), but I’m done with training and I’ll write a post about it soon. To sum up my experience so far, I am surrounded by some of the greatest people I’ve ever met- everyone who works here is smart, friendly, and make their own paths in life. I am happy every day just to sit in the same room with these people. The accommodations and the food are absolutely terrible, but if I had to pick good people or good food, I’d pick good people any day. But time flies here, so I’ll have to decide fairly soon what adventure I’ll be embarking on next.

Today I listed my first product in a new digital product experiment- paper dolls. Here is Becca! My feather hair extensions that I have been selling on Etsy are completely out of style already, so I haven’t sold any in months. A few are still listed but I do not expect them to sell, I am really just waiting now for the listings to expire.





In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports

By Jacqueline Boss

Month 10- December 2011: $35.90

On 07, Jan 2012 | 4 Comments | In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports | By Jacqueline Boss

So this month I launched my eBook, so that I could have one more passive income stream that will keep bringing me profit for the rest of my life, provided I can advertise it to a decent level first. That’s the nature of a passive income- put in a lot of work once, and reap the benefits indefinitely. Well, book sales aren’t exactly booming, but I’ve sold more than zero… so I am happy.

I am also starting another niche blog, this one with more earning potential than Escape Normal, because it covers a topic that is growing in popularity but that there isn’t much information on. There isn’t much on it yet, but as it is about a topic that I’m passionate about, I’ll be putting a ton of work into it over the next few months, and then I’ll be reporting to you my income from that blog as well.

I’m also working on a project with a friend I made in Hawaii- together we are going to publish a deck of tarot cards and a book to go along with them. My friend is doing the writing and I’m taking care of illustrating the 78 cards. It is going to be an awesome final package!

And finally, I am going to be experimenting in selling digital products on Etsy, where I have previously sold hand-dyed feather hair extensions. I like this idea because I can create a digital piece of art once, then sell it as many times as there are people who want to buy it. I’ll let you know how that fares.


Google AdSense Earnings:

Total: $7.46

Number of Clicks: 7

Average Cost per Click: $1.07


Amazon Affiliate Earnings:

Total: $6.47

Items Ordered: 6

Clicks: 89

Conversion: 6%


eBook Earnings:

Total Profit: $21.97

(I use E-Junkie to sell my book, which charges $5 per month for the service, but I keep all of the profits. Amazon Kindle is free for sellers but keeps a huge portion of my sales.)


Total Earnings: $35.90

Twitter Followers: 111

Feedburner Subscribers: 58

Average Reach: 0


And now I am off to Alabama for a few months to play on some flight simulators and moon-walk simulators and other awesome things as a camp counselor (paid. no more volunteering for a while.) and an RA (free food and housing) at Space Camp. What’s that? My life is awesome, you say? YEAH IT IS!




In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports

By Jacqueline Boss

Month 9- November 2011: $10.42

On 06, Dec 2011 | 2 Comments | In Monthly Traffic & Income Reports | By Jacqueline Boss

I’ve written a grand total of 2 posts this month, as you may have noticed. But also, I’ve written an eBook. The book, which I will release in both eBook and Amazon Kindle versions on December 8th, is called How to Become the Jack of All Travel: A Beginner’s Guide to Traveling the World for Free. I’m extremely excited to see how it sells and figure out the best way to market it. Once everything is completed, I’ll share with what it takes to create a book like this and how you can easily make one of your own.

The idea behind my book is this; the product that gets me the most revenue from Amazon Affiliates is a book about how to travel for free. Since the book is not mine, when somebody buys it through my affiliate link, I get only a few cents from the transaction. If however I sell my own book, I can get anywhere between 30%-100% of the profits, which will hopefully cause my income to jump in the coming months. The main concern I have is that I’m personally the type of person who likes to hold a paperback book in her hands, rather than an ebook or Kindle book, so that might present some marketing challenges for me with regards to how I relate to my customers and encourage them to make a purchase. Check back to see how it goes!

Google AdSense Earnings:

Total: $8.68

Number of Clicks: 15

Average Cost per Click: $0.58


Amazon Affiliate Earnings:

Total: $1.74

Items Ordered: 5

Clicks: 100

Conversion: 5%


Total Earnings: $10.42

Twitter Followers: 107


Feedburner Subscribers: 55

Average Reach: 0

Yes, embarrassingly I had 0 reach this month- but that is what happens when you don’t make any new posts. I still consider this to be a young blog, and my eBook is going to be one of my experiments to help me find other means of making income through the blog without having to post multiple times per week. j

And I am back from Hawaii after 3 months! It was the best trip of my life and I expect many more great adventures in the future, starting on January 11th at my new job as a counselor and RA at space camp in Alabama. And after that- on to the rest of the world, and many more personal projects; the ideas are always brewing in my head. Stay tuned!





In Blogging
Monthly Traffic & Income Reports

By Jacqueline Boss

Month 8- October 2011: $12.33

On 01, Nov 2011 | 7 Comments | In Blogging, Monthly Traffic & Income Reports | By Jacqueline Boss

This month I’ve been slowly getting back into blogging and I’ve started writing an ebook about traveling for free which I would ideally like to release in December. After so many months of barely writing, I’d forgotten how fun and rewarding blogging is. And with every week that passes I learn a little bit more about how to have a successful blog. If you are interested in starting a blog but don’t think you know enough yet to do it- at least get it up and running and start posting. There is only so much you can learn from reading about blogging and only so much I can help you understand, but the majority of what I know and what you can learn will come from real experience. And it’s fun!

A few of my friends here are bloggers too, and it is exciting for me to share ideas with them. You can share in my excitement- check out Cameron’s “Master Manifesting,” about how to realize your dreams and improve your life, read about Amanda’s amazing and emotional journeys at “One Yellow Roman Candle,” or give Katrin input about her first blog (in German) at “Job Break.”

Google AdSense Earnings:

Total: $11.73

Number of Clicks: 15

Average Cost per Click: $0.78


Amazon Affiliate Earnings:

Total: $0.60

Items Ordered: 1

Clicks: 85

Conversion: %2.25


Total Earnings: $12.33

Twitter Followers: 104

I don’t think I should keep my Twitter account, because I can’t stand Twitter and never use it, but I’m afraid that one day it will “click” and I’ll wish I had kept it. Thoughts?

Feedburner Subscribers: 52

Average Reach: 5


I reached a goal this month- I received my first payment from Google adsense! They don’t send out money until it accumulates to $100 or over.

861 more unique visitors than last month! That is exciting. My main goal this month and for the rest of 2011 is to bring back the subscribers and the people who like to read my blog regularly by posting and interacting more. My random google-search visitors are ever increasing, but the most important visitors are the ones who come back regularly. Plus, when I do write new posts, those readers that are subscribed via feedburner seem to react well (they click on links to my blog within the new posts that are sent to them.)

I’ve noticed my stats improving in the last few days because of a few things- I’m doing a little bit of advertising around Kalani (I’m going to put up a few flyers soon and see what happens- if it works well I will probably try to do a lot more flyer ads.) Also, the changes I made to my home page and logo seem to be inviting people to explore my site more and just make my blog look more professional and interesting. It’s the results of little changes like this that all mush together in my head to give me an overall picture of how to make my blog successful in the future.

As for my ebook, the December release date, if I can finish it by then, will be a really exciting holiday season marketing experiment for me. There is the biggest potential for sales of the year, and I want to start figuring out how to make this work for my blog as soon as possible so that I can improve my technique each year!








Month 7- September 2011: $33.72

On 04, Oct 2011 | One Comment | In Blogging, Monthly Traffic & Income Reports | By Jacqueline Boss

I’ve been lazy with blogging this month. And for the past few months. It’s obvious. I’m writing this end of the month post 4 days late, I haven’t checked my stats or revenue in weeks, so imagine my surprise when I checked and found that I had earned $33.72 this month when I’ve only written one new post and last month’s revenue was a mere $6.25. Nice!

Google AdSense Earnings:

Total: $33.17

Number of Clicks: 21

Average Cost per Click: $1.58


Amazon Affiliate Earnings:

Total: $0.55

Items Ordered: 1

Clicks: 77

Conversion: 2.56%


Total Earnings: $33.72

Twitter Followers: 106

Feedburner Subscribers: 47

Average Reach: 1


Granted most of my stats are terrible this month- people aren’t spending much time on the site and visitors are slightly down from last month, for the first time ever. But I’m really happy with the income, and hopefully it will be enough motivation for me to start (really) writing some more.

What I’d like to do this month is start to market my last post, How to Fund Travel: The Growing List of Resources. Since one of my most popular posts is The Top 18 Resources for Cheap, Free or Paid Travel, I think I’ll be able to make the Funding post popular too. It’s a similar subject and it is hard to find a good list of resources elsewhere. Though the list still needs a whole lot of work- I’m sure there are tons of things I am missing, so if you know of any please let me know!

My next post will be about my experiment with youtube marketing. I’ve been trying to think about what to write about Hawaii, but nothing I’ve experienced can really be put into story form. I just like it here. Though I will keep trying to think of a way to put it into words- or maybe pictures.

Month 6- August 2011: $6.25

On 01, Sep 2011 | No Comments | In Blogging, Monthly Traffic & Income Reports | By Jacqueline Boss

Half a year is up! This month I barely touched my blog, so let’s see how that translated into traffic and income!


Google AdSense Earnings:

Total: $5.65

Number of Clicks: 29

Average Cost per Click: $0.19


Amazon Affiliate Earnings:

Total: $0.60

Items Ordered: 2

Items Shipped: 1*

Clicks: 92

Conversion: 2.17%

* I’m not sure why only one of two items was shipped, but I only get paid for shipped items.


Total Earnings: $6.25

Twitter Followers: 104

Feedburner Subscribers: 45

Average Reach: 1


What I find interesting is that even though the number of Adsense clicks more than doubled from last month, the cost per click fell so I still made less money. The next step- I have to look into why this is the case. I’d prefer to make more money when advertising is successful, not less.

I tried something new this month- today actually- I uploaded my first self-promoting Youtube video. While the purpose of the video is to teach a skill, the links at the bottom will hopefully help draw traffic to my blog and income to my amazon affiliates account. The video, How to Dye Feather Hair Extensions: Tutorial, has gotten 21 views since I uploaded it a few hours ago. I have no benchmark so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but that sounds pretty good to me. I’m hoping that this experiment in Youtube marketing, given time, brings my video to the top search results for “dying feather hair extensions.” Of course, I will let you know how this works out for me and try to give you some pointers for your own promotional videos!

My thoughts on Twitter thus far? Terrible. I can’t stand it, I never use it, and every time I look at what people are posting I feel like I’m reading one of those tween books that is written in entirely computer slang. Lol #fyi @jk 2pm boi!

There are lots of things to look forward to next month: I will be doing my first product review of a travel/sports related product, so I am looking forward to see how that affects my amazon affiliate earnings. I’ve been able to draw a pretty good amount of traffic to my Etsy store quickly, so I’ll let you know how I did that. I want to start work on a new project- so I’ll be formulating some ideas for my Eco-Art-House to be, and setting up a method of receiving donations and funding. And I will be writing all about the beginning my stay at Kalani in Hawaii- in fact, I have to wake up in less than 3 hours to go to the airport (18 hours of travel!).

Finally, my goal by the end of the year is to break 5,000 visitors a month. Let’s do it!

I you all enjoyed your summers! Good luck with school, work, and travel!

Month 5- July 2011: $11.01

On 02, Aug 2011 | No Comments | In Blogging, Monthly Traffic & Income Reports | By Jacqueline Boss

This month I did less than ever before on my blog. I posted on my regular schedule for the first two weeks, and then I only posted once in the second two. What I started to realize that the quantity of my posts barely seems to matter at all to my total traffic (at least this early on)- it is the quality of them that draws visitors. By quality I don’t mean “well-written,” but unique, informative, and helpful posts that draw Google search traffic again and again. (Then again, my feedburner reach has dropped drastically- so which is more important?)

So that is going to be my new angle. Escape Normal will still be a blog, but I will steer it more in the direction of “website” from now on. I will still do many of the usual types of posts, but they will be fewer and further between because as I see it now, a few excellent posts each month will be better for growing my blog than 4 posts each week. And of course there is the added benefit of freeing up my time- which is great because on September 1st I will be going to Hawaii for three months to volunteer at the Kalani Retreat Center. Which I will surely be talking about later on.

So here are the stat updates- still barely any money is coming in, but I’m excited about the increase in Google traffic. And it feels pretty cool to be able to say that 2,400 people visit my blog each month!

Google AdSense Earnings:

Total: $5.75

Number of Clicks: 11

Average Cost per Click: $0.52


Amazon Affiliate Earnings:

Total: $5.26

Items Ordered: 7

Clicks: 114

Conversion: 6.14%


Total Earnings: $11.01

Twitter Followers: 103

Feedburner Subscribers: 35

Average Reach: 1


Because the amount of visitors coming in from Google has increased, I get a steadier number of visitors each day, with less work on my part to draw them there. Once I do the initial “advertising” for a blog post- meaning linking to it in various relevant places, like similar posts on other blogs and in forums, then it starts to slowly gather more traffic over time without any more advertising. Since I’m still new to it I can’t be positive, but what seems to be the case according to other people is as Google starts to “trust” you and your site draws traffic without Google’s help, then Google starts to send you more traffic. I’m excited to find out how well this continues to work in the coming months!

Month 4- June 2011: $13.07

On 01, Jul 2011 | One Comment | In Blogging, Monthly Traffic & Income Reports | By Jacqueline Boss

I’ve been blogging for 4 months. This month was going to be an experiment in guest posting, but the experiment will go on because I haven’t learned how guest posting affects my traffic, although I’ve tried. This month ended up being more of an experiment to see what happens if I don’t do anything to increase traffic- just post and let what happens happen.

Google Analytics Reports:

Google AdSense Earnings:

Total: $8.63

Number of Clicks: 12

Average Cost per Click: $0.72


Amazon Affiliate Earnings:

Total: $4.44

Items Ordered: 5

Clicks: 130

Conversion: 6.92%


Total Earnings: $13.07

Twitter Followers: 96

Feedburner Subscribers: 33

Average Reach: 14


Let’s cover guest posting first. I submitted 5 guest posts to different blogs. (A guest post is a post that you write for free and submit to a blog other than your own in order to gain traffic from that site and improve in search engine rankings.) 3 were accepted and I had no response from 2 blogs. One of my posts was published, one seems to have been forgotten as the publish date has passed and it has not been published, and one is due to be published this weekend. One thing I learned quickly is that it is important to check how many comments a blog has before you consider submitting a guest post to it. It does not pay to submit to a blog that doesn’t get any reader interaction- it doesn’t help your stats.

I am keeping a spreadsheet for all of my guests posts with information like the subscribers I gain and the traffic that comes to my site from the post, so when I have a sufficient amount of data I will share that with you. One of the blogs that accepted a post I wrote is one of the biggest blogs about blogging, so I’m interested to see how that affects my traffic. And I’ll also provide you with links to all of my posts so you can see the type of things that get accepted.

The second thing I learned is that, despite what many people say, it isn’t important to build a relationship with a blogger before you submit a post to them. Just be professional in your email, include an HTML version of your post that conforms to their guidelines, and if it’s good it should be accepted.

This month I made my blogging schedule even more solid by breaking down the week into topics. If you’ve been following, you may have noticed, for example, that Wednesdays have become “The Best Sport You’ve Never Heard Of” Days. It makes it much easier for me to think of things to write about when I have all of the topics pre-selected. It is still very difficult for me to try to think of ideas for guest posts- hopefully I will find a good method in time.

I still don’t see the point of twitter. I may consider deleting my account, but I imagine it could become a good way to market once I have a lot of followers, so I’ll keep it for now.

I’m a little disappointed that the average cost per click of google ads has dropped so much- down $0.44 from last month.

Two interesting things to note about the traffic, though pretty much the same in quantity as last month, are that a much greater percentage are from organic google traffic- about double (good!) and that the traffic per day is much steadier.