Happy almost-spring! Shannon here, checking in with my February 2017 income and expense update. As well as some important discoveries that I made this month about SSL which may be of interest to you!
February was a frustrating month for me because I tested SO many recipes and the vast majority are not ready to be shared yet. So I put a lot of time into creating new content that is now living forever in limbo.
A look back at February
In February I published 3 new recipes, and had a lot of failed recipe tests along the way :(.
AdThrive – $1,404.00
Amazon Affiliates – $92.21
Swoop – $12.11
Sponsored content – $200.00
Total income: $1,708.32
Groceries – $115.96
Food Blogger Pro – $29.00
Facebook advertising – $57.82
MailChimp – $27.00
Total expenses: $229.78
More sponsored content! Including occasional sponsored content really helps to free me from the ebbs and flows of advertisement revenue rates, which aren’t even guaranteed to be pegged to pageviews. In March I plan to spend a few solid hours on reaching out to brands that I already love to collaborate on sponsored content that’s a good fit for my readers and not disruptive.
SSL… One chilly February morning, I woke up and took a quick look at my website. I noticed at the top that there was a warning it “wasn’t secure” and that none of my AdThrive ads were loading! This type of thing is a huge priority to fix because it means I’m not making ad revenue from people visiting my site. Having your website run in HTTP instead of HTTPS also now causes Google to rank it not-as-high because secure sites are being prioritized in Google’s ranking algorithms.
About four hours and several coffees later, I had finally fixed the issue so let me share a few of the things that were going on:
- My website designer was using a couple of graphics that were linked directly from her own website, which was not in HTTP. This meant that no matter what I was doing to my own site, this resource wouldn’t be considered secure. I solved this by downloading the graphics, and re-uploading them to my own site. Hosting them on my site meant I could load them with HTTPS. It’s bad practice anyway to rely on external images, so this was a double win.
- I had an SSL certificate with my host already installed, but it wasn’t actually enabled. This does not happen automatically, so if you purchase an SSL certificate make sure to double check. I ended up doing a redirect manually in my .htaccess file, but there are also plugins available to enable your SSL cert.
If your own site is showing security issues even though you think you’ve enabled SSL, I highly recommend browsing to it in Google Chrome and using the Google Chrome Developer Tools to diagnose the problem. You’ll see error statements from every resource that’s unable to be loaded over HTTPS, so it’s a big help with debugging.