I know that this income report is late but doing a full look back over the year was a mighty big task. I wanted to cover each month and give you all the full picture of what my first full year of working of myself on this blog looked like.
If you haven’t read all of my first year in business series you should definitely start there and save this post for the very last last. It will really make more sense and you will be able to see the full picture.
- Stepped out on faith and decided to work full time for myself.
- Went viral early in the year with the Ultimate Fitness Tracker Printable.
- Started off with a service based business model and quickly found that wasn’t for me.
- Big part of the beginning of the year relied heavily on savings, disability and credit cards.
- Didn’t get my footing and a solid plan together until roughly 6 month into 2015. (Don’t be like me)
- Never relied fully on one income source. Diversified my income early.
- Pinterest was my #1 referrer for 2015.
- Discovered and fell in love with Promoted Pins.
- Sent out a survey to my readers and finally pinned down what they wanted and gave it to them. Best decision EVER.
- Started an affiliate program and began bundling products. Saw a huge increase in sales revenue.
2015 End of Year Income Report and Breakdown
The table below shows my total earnings each month. I will go into more detail below the table about where those earnings came from each month.
Early on I thought that doing a service based business was going to make total sense but I soon realized that I only have so much time in the day and selling my time for money was probably not the best idea. Once I stepped away from providing a service and started to really build out my products that is when my income started to really grow.
Notice however that it took time to get to that point and that required some patience and I definitively felt stressed during the slow build.
Obviously it took time to really figure out what worked and what didn’t work.
Here is a list of all of my sources of income in 2015:
The majority of my earnings came from:
- Printable Sales ($18,470 )
- BlogHer ($4,522.04 )
- TapInfluence ($3,919.99 )
- Google ($2,866.42)
It is pretty clear that creating a product was the best decision I could have possibly made. I urge each of you to think of a product that you can create. I plan to write more in depth on that in a later post.
- Diversify never depend on one source for all of your income. You have to be prepared for the ups and downs. So if one isn’t doing as well you will have others income streams to pick up the slack.
- Create your own products. Stop trying to make everything perfect. Just get your first product out there and then work to make it better with regular updates while also expanding your product offerings.
- Don’t just sell on your website. Offer your products across multiple websites through affiliates, Etsy, Creative Market and other marketplaces.
- Review all your income sources and decide which ones are working and which ones are time sucks with little payout.
2015 End of Year Traffic Report and Breakdown
As I stated earlier I did go viral early in the year. Things stayed pretty consistent throughout the year I did see a bit of a dive in November (probably due to Thanksgiving)
The first part of the year I was creating tons of content but not seeing the ROI (return on investment) so I stopped creating massive amounts of content to instead focus on creating less and promoting more.
This break from constant writing is allowing me to explore new forms of media for the new year which is amazing. Yet I am not losing any traffic and am starting to see the efforts from August in my traffic now.
In October, I discovered that I had two instances of Google Analytics installed from June – Sept so the numbers in the table are accurate. I just divided the a GA totals in half.
Here is a breakdown of where all of my traffic was coming from:
Note: All the ones that say list-manage are from my email list.
The majority of my traffic came from Pinterest and my email list being the second highest referral. If you notice that is says sessions that means number of actual users that came to the site. Pageviews are the number of pages those users look at. Hopefully that makes sense.
This year I plan to focus on sharing with you all Pinterest and Email List building tips. Those are my two strongest areas and they have paid off for me more than anything else.
Make sure you follow my Blogger Tips Pinterest Boards. I am always pinning helpful post that not only I have written but that I have found along the way.
Tips on Blog Style and Design
Follow Danielle | Fitness Fashionista’s board Blogger Tips | Style and Design on Pinterest.
Tips on Blog Monetization
Follow Danielle | Fitness Fashionista’s board Blogger Tips | Monetizatoin on Pinterest.
Tips on Increasing Traffic
Follow Danielle | Fitness Fashionista’s board Blogger Tips | Increase Traffic on Pinterest.
- Create eye catching and engaging images for your blog post to pin on pinterest. Here is an example of my most popular pin and the corresponding post.
- Join a FB Share group and share your pin in there pinterest threads. This is my favorite group.
- Try out Promoted Pins even if you start with a budget of just a few dollars. I started by only doing $15 a month.
- Create a fun, useful opt-in that your audience will enjoy to help build your email list. I am in the process of working on my other opt-ins but here is one of my really popular ones.
- Send emails with attention grabbing headlines and personalize the message each week. (Don’t just send “New This Week” make people want to open you email)
2014 vs 2015 Comparison
I may not be a $100k blogger with crazy launches and what not but I am proud of how far this site of mine has come in a year. To really see how far we have come check out our income in paypal from 2015 compared to that of 2014. It is crazy! This of course does not include the companies like google that direct deposit into my bank.
2014 PayPal ($3,052.28)
2015 PayPal ($35,170.42)
I hope that each of you knows that with hard work and a ton of patience you all can actually make money from your blogs. I will wrap this up by telling you to also keep in mind that everyones situations and circumstances are different.
If you live somewhere that has out of this world cost of living you will definitely need to be making more money to just up and quit your full time gig. Although I am a single mom I do live in Oklahoma and have non business income that comes in monthly due to my time in the service.
So I have a much smaller gap to making this crazy thing called self employment work. I wish everyone the best of luck in 2016 but always want to present a clear and full picture. Going forward I will return to monthly income reports except I will also be adding monthly expenses.