I can only describe March as being pure and utter madness and not in a good way. I definitely took some major hits in the month of March that I am currently working on correcting but we will talk about how I am correcting things in next months income report.
Two major non blogging things got in the way of pretty much everything. Thank God for savings accounts! My son had surgery and spring break back to back.
So he was basically home the entire month of March and I accomplished absolutely nothing and probably got on my site once maybe twice the entire first half of the month. He went back to school the last half giving me a little more time to focus and launch a new section on the blog.
So without further ado lets see how the month panned out…..
March 2016 Highlights
- Outrageous overhead (as quickly as it came in it went right back out)
- Set up a Pinterest ad wrong and paid for it (really paid for it)
- Emotions up and down all month long
- Started new section called #PlannerAddicts Society
The Emotional Entrepreneur Roller Coaster
This crazy thing called entrepreneurship is hard-work. Every single time one of my friends mentions starting a blog I just smile because I realize they have no clue how difficult it really is to get something off the ground.
Even after you get everything off the ground and you are humming along you can be hit with unforeseen obstacles. It is an emotional and often stressful roller coaster of highs and lows. I love this life but I literally contemplate throwing the towel in every other day.
The month of March tested me. I have been doing this for a solid year now but the month of March was one thing after another and I just didn’t know if I would make it or not. Of course, I did make it but the month was definitely not kind to me. Like I said before I was so happy to have been putting money aside.
I must say I am happy that March is over and lessons were learned. Now, lets jump in!
March Income Report
The best thing I can say about this month is that all of my bills were paid and I had enough money to put into saving and my 401(k). So this month may have not garnered as high an income as previous months but things can always be a bit uncertain when working for yourself.
I am super happy to report that I think I might actually be figuring this Etsy thing out. My etsy shop income has be steadily increasing and was higher in March than it was in February ($54.96 increase) I did a number of things to help increase visibility on Etsy.
- reworded listings with tons of keywords
- interlinked products in the description
- wrote keyword packed listing descriptions
- linked to my etsy shop from my blog to give people more options of where to buy
I also used EtsyRank to see what keywords were being over used and how I compared to the competition.
If you are on etsy or considering etsy definitely take time to check this out. I want to send a big thank you to my friend Mary Ann of Detaillicious Etsy shop for introducing me to EtsyRank.
|Printable Sales (website)||$2619.93|
|Printable Sales (Etsy)||$283.70|
|Commercial License Agreement||$25|
This was a $2,346.82 decrease from the month before. It was definitely a hard pill to swallow but I also knew it would be a bit lower since I didn’t do any sponsored content the month prior that would be paid out in March.
I have definitely tried to limit sponsored content here on the site but I definitely have to find that happy medium. I am currently playing around with only doing roughly 4 per month that way it brings in income but is not overwhelming making the site feel like a walking billboard.
It is all about balance.
I talked about wanting to make a consistent $500 extra a month in ad revenue and I am happy to say that I hit that. You can see when adding up Sovrn, BlogHer and Adsense I am at $608.30 for the month.
Ad revenue is the purest form of passive income there is. You put the ads on your site and you just bring in the readers. I know I am in a number of groups where people take the ads off their site and state that they were only making pennies anyway so there is not point in having them. I have been with adsense since 2006 (yes you read that right).
I have been online a long time and all those pennies added up. It wasn’t until years later that I got serious about blogging and I have been getting a consistent check every month from Google for the last 3 years. It was that first google check that made me realize that I could do this and really make money at it. So don’t throw in the towel just yet!
Of course in business it isn’t all income there are expenses too.
My expenses for March were downright outrageous as I said before. I am working on cleaning things up and really getting control on some of my impulsive spending especially when I am in the middle of designing. I always over buy when I am creating new products.
|Total Net Income||$1,663.3|
You will notice that I did get the spending down but it was still high in relation to how much I made for the month.
In my highlights above I briefly stated that I made a major mistake on a Pinterest ad. However I didn’t have to pay for that in March since Pinterest bills you the 1st of the next month. But it still was a mistake made in this month so lets discuss.
In Pinterest when setting up ads you can set a daily spending limit. So a cap on how much you want to spend each day. Lets say you want to spend $150 total for the month. You would set your daily spending limit to $5 .
When I went in to set up my ad for the month I had a kid at home that was in pain from surgery and I had a million thoughts and ideas going through my head. In the haste I set my daily spending limit to $150 and let it go.
I regularly check in on my ads but Pinterest ads don’t show reporting until 24 hours later. You should have heard me scream! I had spent my entire budget in one day and it was still going strong by the time I finally got it stopped I had racked up about $392.81 . Needless to say I was sick. I don’t spend as much on marketing after January until around September when things pick up again.
|Monthly Business Services||$635.68|
I updated the way that I do my accounting and so I have broken the categories down even further to see where I am doing the most spending. The biggest area of spending is on monthly services and the second area is on my independent contractors (writers and assistant).
Here is a breakdown of my monthly business services:
I keep track of all of my income and expenses in a excel spreadsheet.
Post Planner I upgraded to a higher package since I cancelled MeetEdgar.
Also this month Dollar Photo Club got bought out and so it no longer exists for new members and old members can opt to move to Adobe. I am still on the fence about this one.
If you would like a description of any of the other monthly services that I use you can check out February’s income report.
Overall I am happy that I decided to cut somethings down even further. I think I will fully realize the savings in May since I will be back on good footing after the Pinterest debacle.
Traffic and Referrals
March traffic took a bit of a nose dive and I think the reason for that is because I was running an experiment to see if doing pinterest threads in blogging groups was worth it or not. I also was so consumed with my son and his surgery that I didn’t create any pinnable images for the post that went out in March.
I only sent out 1 email to my subscribers in March. I am telling you the month was rough. I think it was a combo of poor choices and poor planning. I just assumed that after his surgery he would be pretty easy to work around since he would be sleep most of the time but I didn’t account for the fact that I was going to be totally drained after taking care of him during that time.
One of my biggest goals is to get the blog to a point that it needs very little from me and a stint away won’t impact me as hard. I think after this I will be much better prepared in the future.
In February I had 79,448 pageviews so March was down by 14, 715 . I did notice that the months that I post about new challenges I have higher pageviews. Although I had a challenge in March I always introduce a new challenge the month before.
What saved me is that by the end of March I had launched #PlannerAddicts Society and the planner community showed me so much love and traffic really began to pick up then. I am excited to see where this new avenue takes me. I love creating the designs for the planner community and seeing how they use them in their planners.
Pinterest traffic is down but it is still in my top position, Facebook is behind that and then my amazing affiliate Sara is right after that.
In an effort not to have all my eggs in one basket I have been working hard to bring in more facebook traffic and I had an overall increase of 27% from the prior month. While Pinterest traffic was down 35%
Here is the thing although there was a drop in traffic I try not to focus to heavily on pageviews. My biggest concern is my conversion rate. The amount of people that come to my site and covert into customers.
This post is getting long so lets wrap it up. My goal next month is to keep the income report under 1k words lets see if I can do that…LOL
Tips and Recommendations
1. Slow Down – So many errors are made when we try to work through things too fast. If you have a lot on your plate or too much on your mind just slow down before making any major moves or decisions when you come to your blog/business. Those hasty decisions could cost you!
2. Keep Moving Forward – There will be bad months but you have to keep moving forward. Don’t throw the towel in over one bad month. Assess where things went wrong and put together a plan to change those things going forward. The best thing you can do is be able to bend when you need to.
3. Save Your Money – I know most blogger talk about their income but never really talk about what they are setting aside. I am here to tell you that you need to save a portion of your money. You need to save it so that if you have a no good, very bad month you can get past it without being scared you will be working in the dark. Save. Save. Save.
I hope that you all have an amazing month and would love to hear how you all are doing on monetizing your blogs.
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