Why we moved our reports to yeisonkim.com
We have been thinking about not publishing our income reports for awhile now because Mytanfeet is not an internet marketing blog. It has and always will be a travel blog so our target audience is not looking for that kind of content you will find in an income report. It was a great way for us to keep ourselves in track and to share with other travel bloggers, but since Mytanfeet is not an internet marketing blog, our target audience isn’t travel bloggers.
Another reason is the direction the blog is going. We are getting more sales every month and more companies are interesting in joining our affiliate network in Costa Rica so we are taking our blog further than a travel blog, we are making our own association and have plans to develop our business.
So from now on you will find our monthly reports in two languages, Spanish which is my first language and English. You will also find more detail information about what we have done in the month technical wise due to the fact this blog was originally created to be an internet marketing and lifestyle blog.
What we have done in June
We had to take very important decisions in June and the most important one was to decide if we were going to move to another town or not. We have been living in Playas del Coco for a while now and we are ready for something new. We finally decided on Jaco beach which will be our base for at least the next 6 months.
Why we chose Jaco? Well despite the bad reputation that Jaco has had over the past several years, the area is really nice. The town has gotten way better, we want to surf more and there’s so much to do in the area. This area has both mountains and beach so we can go surfing one day, mountain biking the next, and hiking the third. Then there are many beaches still good for snorkeling so we’ll still get to do what we love to do.
Another reason is that I have some projects at Jaco so it will be easier to live there instead of being traveling there every month. So starting on August 1st our new town will be Jaco, for the next 3 weeks we will be looking for a place.
Optimizing our blog performance
Another reason why we moved our reports to this blog is that now we can get more in detail about technical stuff so this time I will show you what I did last month to increase our website’s performance.
First I will show you the results and then I will tell you how I did it. Just keep in mind that if you test our blog or yours, there is a possibility that your results might be a little different which depends on how many people are in the blog at that time, ISP and other factors.
Loading speed result using Pingdom
As you can see in the screen shots above, our main page is loading at 446 ms which is less than half a second, and the total weight of the home page 457.4 kb. Also on webpagetest.org we have the perfect score.
Google and other search engines are putting a lot on emphasis on site speed that will bring a better user experience. In the internet marketing world, for each second delay in loading page your sales will decrease by 7%, you will get 16% fewer page views and your reader satisfaction will decrease 16%.
You want your audience to have an excellent experience so they will stay on the page and look around. Think about when you Google something and ask yourself how many times you leave a website because it takes forever to load. It’s safe to say almost all of us do. If your site is really slow and takes forever to load, you lose so many chances to gain a new reader, make a sale or get a new subscriber.
This is not a statistic for us anymore since we have been seeing a nice increase of sales. In less than 2 months we increased our sales about 20%.
Next I will list all the steps to get this point, I had to make a little investment but the ROI was awesome. I got my money back the first week.
Step one – Moving our blog to a faster hosting company
If you have been following our blog you might know that at the beginning we started with BlueHost as our hosting company. Back then we had no experience at all, almost zero budget, not even 100 visitors a month and we had no clue about performance.
After a bad experience with WPEngine (2 years ago), I started to look for another hosting option so a friend of mine (Matthew Woodward) told me that Terry Kyle from Traffic Planet started his own hosting company, so without hesitation I gave it a try and ever since then we have been with them. No complaints for more than a year and I already paid a year in advance which shows how much Iike their service.
I talked to them and they gave me a 25% discount code – W3OJ68H99I0K3 for our readers if you want to give them a try. Here is my link to their site if you want to use it.
Step two – Get a CDN
A content delivery network will speed up your site and save lots of bandwidth. I personally use MaxCDN but if you don’t want to invest the money you can use a free CDN service as a CloudFlare, but as we all know free is not as good as paid when it comes to performance.
You can use any CDN with the famous W3Total plugin.
Step three – Check your WordPress theme performance
Check your WordPress theme developer’s website and look if they are still doing updates. Some WordPress developers stoped doing that and you might not want to have an old coded theme. I use Genesis Framework and I found it so easy to customize, it is coded with HTML 5 and it is very light and secure.
No matter which theme are you using, it would be a great idea to test it’s performance. You can even change the theme very quickly to one of the default themes that wordpress comes with to see the results.
Step Four – Delete plugins that you don’t need
Go over all your plugins and delete the ones you are not using. I have seen many people that have a plugin for their Google Analytics Code, other ones for social media and some other ones that you can perfectly add manually in your theme.
On Youtube you can find thousands of good tutorials about how to add your analytics code using the editor, and many other tasks that don’t require a plugin. As we all know, plugins slow down your site and can cause conflicts during updates and things like that.
Step Five – Optimize ALL you images
Check the weight of your images and replace the ones that are too heavy. You can use the loading chart that webpagetest.org and see which images are taking longer to load.
Pay special attention to the images that display the most on your blog such as your sidebar images, headers or footers. I use Photoshop and I always use the “Save for web” option. Also make sure to save them as a progressive jpeg image format, you will see that the weight will be way lower than a normal jpeg.
By going over these five steps, I am sure you can improve the performance of your blog.
Mytanfeet Affiliate Network
Our Costa Rica affiliate network have become our #1 source of income. I am developing a new website that is going to be dedicated to all our partners and deals. We always get questions about this network and some people think it’s complicated but it’s not. The model is very simple, just by taking away the company you use to get your affiliate commissions from YOUR traffic you will increase your payouts drastically.
After more than 4 months of using this model I am 100% sure that it works and that most of the travel bloggers are giving money away to these companies. Don’t take me wrong I still use these companies but for deals that are half a world away and that I can’t do myself. It just doesn’t make sense for me to promote a hotel that is 10 km away from where I live and just get $0.15 per booking.
It takes some extra work but at the end readers get a better deal and we get more money :).
Last month Samantha changed a lot of posts to make them more attraction on Pinterest which is our number 1 social media referrer. In one month, here are the results for the most changed pins.
For pins that have the “Pin me for later” caption:
Costa Rica wildlife watching guide – Increased 23.5% (this post is special as it has two pins)
How to get around Costa Rica – increased by 152%
Costa Rica Monkey Tour – increased by 54%
Pins that do not:
Romantic destinations in Costa Rica – increased 354%
Ultimate guide to Playas del Coco – increased by 1.1%
Well I think it’s safe to say that at this point, I can’t really tell if it makes a difference since there are also so many other factors that play into this such as the pin itself (how good the pin is), traffic to the certain post and etc.
I think you just need to make sure you always make a good quality pin and to put it somewhere in the post that is visible and makes it easy for the reader to pin it. You can add a PinIt button by a plugin as well which we don’t have but would be curious to know if that makes a difference.
June 2015 Stats & Income Report
Visits: 60 846 (+941)
Unique Visitors: 50 690 (+78)
Page views: 90 213 (+3724)
YouTube channel stats:
Views: 12 221 (+1855)
Minutes watched: 30 701 (+4022)
Mytanfeet Costa Rica Affiliate Network: $3365
Mytanfeet International Affiliate Network: $1048.51
Total affiliate income: $ 4957.54
Google Adsense: $203.89
Total Income for June 2015 : $ 5.231,64 (+74.94)
Second month in a row that we set a new record!
Social Media and email subscribers
Twitter followers: 15 989 (+1207)
Facebook likes: 1966 (+126)
Instagram: 4170 (+555)
Emails subscribers: 2318 (+225) Learn how I used Lead pages and Aweber to gain subscribers and automate income
Google Page Rank: 3
Alexa Rank: 187 618 (+19 311)
Domain Authority: 36 (-6) Moz made a major update last month and we got hit hard.
Thoughts and Plans
July is a busy month since Samantha’s parents are here and we need to find a new place before August 1st. Then we are both traveling to the US in August so we have a lot to do in the meantime. But if anyone is going to be in the Seattle area end of August, we will be there! We’re planning on doing a lot of exploring so let us know if you’re in the area.
Once we get settled in Jaco when we come back in September, we’re going to focus on getting in touch with more businesses and companies here to expand our affiliate network and go live with our travel page. I have a project in Jaco that is keeping me pretty busy but Mytanfeet is always our priority and we want to make it the best as possible.
We also got our brand new drone so we will be taking as much video and photo footage as possible. The Phantom 3 Professional makes our first drone look like a toy and the quality is amazing. We can’t wait to share it with you.