I know it may seem like I just recently published a report but that was my end of year income report now we are on to the new year. This month has been really great and filled with so many valuable lessons.
Before we jump into the January Income Report I have a bit of an announcement to make. I am starting a new monthly series where I answer your blogging questions.
The series will be called Behind the Blog so shoot me an email with your questions for our first post. If I don’t get to your question in the first post I promise it will get answered.
January 2016 Highlights
- Got super organized and created an action plan
- Performed a year end review to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work
- Stopped focusing on vanity metrics and start focusing on metrics that mattered (# of fans don’t matter if they don’t convert)
- Hired assistants because no matter how hard I’ve tried I can’t do it all by myself
- Highest Income month EVER
- Spent the most on expenses this month too; gotta spend money to make money
- #1 referrer Pinterest
January Income Report
January I was riding the wave of the New Year with a new year comes new goals and resolutions and it paid off in a big way. Like every year most people resolve to get healthier and this year was no different. Except this year I was ready.
Last year was the first time I had experienced this bump but I didn’t have any products (my loss). However, spending time reviewing last year I knew that this year would bring the same type of traffic spike and now that I had products that means an income spike as well.
I have also started spending more time understanding what people are focusing on during different times of the year. We all have very seasonal buying habits. If you are selling a product or looking into selling a product I recommend you check out this article about seasonal buying trends.
Knowing these can help you position your products and promotions at the best possible times for your niche.
|Printable Sales (website)||$4,826.48|
|Printable Sales (Etsy)||$341.81|
Products topped the chart this month. I have said this before and I will say it again start creating your own products. Don’t depend on brands and sponsored post. When you have your own products you can make the rules, set the prices and reap ALL of the benefits. I will be talking more about this soon.
Total Net Income
|Total Net Income||$4,169.73|
This is a new section I am adding to the income reports previously I only share income and traffic but realized that didn’t give the full scope of what I am doing.
Although this was my biggest income month so far it was also a month that I spent quite a bit of money. I break my expenses up into tax categories but I will break down what business services consisted of since it was the highest and all the others are pretty self explanatory.
Business Services Break Down
Dollar Photo Club – ($10) stock photography
Dropbox – ($9.99) storage for photos and some printables
Microsoft ( $7.99 ) Microsoft Office subscription
Mailchimp ($55) email service I am in the middle of cancelling this one but need to keep it for a couple of months just to ensure a smooth transition
ConvertKit ($99) email service lower plans start at $29.99 but still have full features
CoSchedule ($10) social media scheduling
Virtual Assistants ($350)
Adobe Creative Cloud ($29.95) full access to the Adobe line of products
Female Entrepreneur Association ($30) resource full of business bundles thinking about cancelling not essential to my business and trying to stay under budget
Fizzle Co. ($35) resource, course and forums for business
Synthesis ($47) hosting
Meet Edgar ($49) social media scheduling
Other Business services that were not listed were Blurb, Minute Man Printing and half of my cell and internet bill. Blurb and the printing where one off cost and cell and internet I write off 50% on my taxes so they are included in my business services as well.
Although I am canceling FEA I still highly recommend it to others. I think they are great resource but I am working to have a very lean budget.
I am all about making profit but I realized that I clearly didn’t need some of the things that I am currently subscribed to as I am just too busy to take the time to go to them.
Why the switch from Mailchimp?
I am moving to ConvertKit because it is so much more powerful and was created by a blogger that understand email funnels and email marketing so all the things that he needed he built into it and it gets better everyday.
I can finally start sending smarter emails that respond different depending on how people interact with the email.
Traffic and Referrals
It is no surprise but Pinterest still holds the top spot for all of my traffic. Once I stopped thinking of Pinterest as a social network and more like a visual search engine I really started to see things take off and they have been going strong now for over a year.
Recently I have been spending more and more time soaking in all things Pinterest as well as testing different things .
My Pinterest Strategy
Strategy wise I started pinning the content that I wanted to take off for the new year in October. It can sometimes take Pinterest a little time to get pins to show in the smart feed search so start pinning before the season hits.
Once we got into the season I started the second part of my strategy and that was to utilize promoted pins to promote my most popular product the SMART Weight Loss Planner . I ran promoted pins from 12/28 – 01/10 (2 weeks).
It took off just as I had expected and traffic an sales were crazy.
I spent a total of $480 on promoted pins but I didn’t pay for it til February so it is not included in this months expenses
Check out the traffic that was coming in during that period.
Overall I would say that the strategy worked and I am already working on next years New Years strategy. My overall traffic for the month was right on target for my goal of 100k the first month of the New Year.
Here was my overall traffic for the month along with my top referrers #1 Pinterest, #2 Facebook and #3 Email List
Tips and Recommendations
1. Refocus your Energy
Stop pouring energy into the platforms that don’t work for you. Use that energy instead to take the platforms you are winning at to the next level. I promise your instagram pattern isn’t going to make or break your blog.
2. Create an Action Plan
Create an action plan. Just having a goal is not enough. You need to create the specific road map that will get you to your goal. BUT don’t focus on vanity metrics. If your goal is to make income form your blog you need to focus on income generating activities. For example: Product Creation , increasing conversions and growing your email list .
3. Invest in Getting to Know Your Readers
Remember that it isn’t all about money it is also about creating value and helping people. Create a Facebook group and get to know your audience more intimately. My facebook group allows me to really interact and get to know the people that read my blog and use my printables. It has allowed me to really understand who they are and also helped me to better understand how I can be of service to them.
4. Experiment. Experiment. Experiment.
Your blog is yours to do with whatever you please. Don’t be scared to take risk and experiment with different things on your blog and social media. I regularly run experiments I am currently of two experiments one involving Pinterest and the other involving Facebook.
When creating your experiment be sure to document what your desired outcome is and check regularly to see if it is having the affect that you hoped. Running experiments will help you test out ideas and create new strategies.
I hope that you enjoyed the January income report and were able to find a few things you can implement on your own blog.
What are your current blogging goals? Do you have an action plan / road map to help you reach them?
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