January was a great month for views, and a hard month for income. I knew it would be — let’s find out why.
Users: 120,947 (up about 35%)
Unique Views: 181,505(Up 39%)
I think a good part of this was potsing every day for my 31 days of Family Systems. I pinned each of those posts very frequently, and good content, posted daily can really increase your views. That shouldn’t be a surprise!
*I use Padsquad and it inflates my pageviews, I have found a way to find my “unique” pageviews which more directly compares them without the inflation of how they can mobile views ~ although, it seems lower than unique views before I went on Padsquad, it seems my best comparable.
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Income with Padsquad was down 55% to 303.70 (big, fat, frowny face). They had HORRIBLE CPM’s last month. Really, really bad. However, towards the month’s end we started to see an uptick and we are in the dollar range as I type this. That is encouraging, because that was one. sad. month. Especially with such great pageviews! You’ll notice this across all ad networks — it’s not just padsquad.
The Blogger Network
The Blogger network was up at just over $310 – a 26% increase. Their cpm’s weren’t quite as bad and I have switched over my image ads to them, which will give me a bump.
Blogher was down 17 percent at just under 90 dollars. Again, super frustrated with them. Unsure of what I am going to do when my contract is up. I’m REALLY trying to give them the benefit of the doubt since they joined with She Knows — hopeful. I got send a few good sponsored posts with them, we’ll see if they come through. That might make it more worth giving them my “premium” ad space.
I once again spaced off working on these, but they brought in just over $17 with me doing nothing. I should be up to almost a payout number soon with them. I need to work on it more thoughtfully.
Total Ad Sales: $719.64 (a 29% decrease)
Even with over 30% more traffic, the 1st of the 1st quarter absolutely pummeled me. I’m trying to play like Elsa and let it go. 🙂
Amazon actually had my best month ever. I had a lot of links to items within my Family Systems posts that obviously did well for me at just over $70 dollars from them. THRILLED about that!
I re-did my spreadsheet and sold 12. I was also running a sale on them last month for only $2.00 — the price is now 3 dollars with the additions I made. Still a bargain if you’re looking to keep track of your blog numbers (that link will take you to the inital post, but also has a link to the upgraded post — there’s even a video to show you how it works).
My e-book was for sale the last day of January and sold 5, making just over 10 dollars (again, it was also on sale back then, and the price has gone up now). You can read more about it here. I read “The Launch” and kind of built up my hopes — but the reality is that sometimes books are a hard sell. It’s still doing well this month though. Overall I am pleased with the effort I put into it and what I am getting out (and can continue to get out).
I was an affiliate for the Ultimate Bundle last month, and I really tried to push for sales. I only ended-up with 3 sales, but that still brought in $41.94.
Sales total: 146.85 (173% more, with additional sources of income)
I had one sponsored posts in the month of January. I actually already had an entire post written that happened to just fit in REALLY well with a sponsored post, and it was a product I have used before and was happy to promote. It doesn’t get much easier or well-fit in for me! I am hoping to find a good balance of sponsored posts this year. I think they can be valuable for readers, and obviously lucrative for myself.
Sponsored post total: $175 (I had $0 last month)
Blog income total for January $1041.49
I think I have adequately covered what I think the decrease, even with the increase in followers. Darn you January!
- RFE hosting (love them) 14 bucks
- PO Box (you’ve gotta have one if you have a newsletter) 6 bucks
- Vaultpress 5 bucks
- Viral Tag 6 bucks
- Met with a CPA 75 bucks (I actually did this in December, but forgot to report it)
- Site speed fix by KanWebSpeed.com 97.00
- I sent out a TON of email last month and fell off the free program from Mailchimp 15 bucks
Total costs: 218 bucks.
Things I’m doing good at:
1. My 31 days really helped. It also inspired me to make it into an e-book (which wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be). Figuring out family systems is actually what I am REALLY good at. So, it’s nice to kind of have a niche — but it is also REALLY nice to have it done and be able to spread my wings a bit!
2. KanWebSpeed fixed my page considerably. I was looking at an 8 second, or more, load time for a long time. I had tried to fix it with no luck. It was worth the cost and he was quick. I recommend him — if you tell him I sent you, you’ll get 5% off your purchase. They say that with each second your site takes to load, it diminishes readership quite a bit.
3. I did my own taxes. They are done, for the most part. It was scary, but I made it through. I was glad that I spoke with a CPA about what I could write-off and what I couldn’t. Now that I work from home, we are able to write-off our health insurance (for me and the kids). That is a HUGE help in that area. However, this isn’t for the faint of heart. I have done it every year and I’m learning more and more, but even with all my knowledge, it took considerable brain power.
Things I’m working on:
1. I have Viral Tag scheduled to post to Pinterest for me every day until mid-April. I will likely switch to Board Booster after that. I am working on getting that set-up (because it, also, is quite a process). My Pinterst traffic is down so far this month, and I think that is in large part due to changes from Pinterest, I am anxious to see if I can do anything to fix it. I am trying a little bit of organic pinning in the mornings when I have a little time (and hopefully also in the evenings).
2. Trying to balance out my time. I’m hopeful now that the 31 days series is over I can aim for about 10-15 hours/week spent on the blog. I really need to draw the line between blog and family time. However, if you figure I spent 60 hours to net about 800 dollars last month (and I spent WAY more last month with the 31 days series) the hourly wage isn’t quite what I’m hoping for.
3. With doing my taxes, I am considering what purchases I want to make or classes or conferences. I realize that this is officially a business at this point. I hope to LLC sometime in the near future.
4. I ran a giveaway, and included a free money-saving e-book for newsletter subscribers. I gained a lot of followers on my newsletter, twitter, facebook and Pinterest last month because of this. That was a great boon!
5. I began paying for Mailchimp, I will likely move to another lesser expensive service in the next few months. I don’t have a ton of subscribers (under 1k) it’s because I sent out SO much email with my 31 day challenge.
6. I worry that I’m pushing to hard for a “sell” on my newsletter. Between the ultimate bundle and then my book launch it’s been a lot of “buy me” and that’s not what I wanted it to be. It’s just that the jumbled up all together. 🙁
Again, income is certainly not the largest draw to this blog. I wrote it for YEARS before I saw much more than 100 dollars, but the income is nice, and allows me to spend more time on it than I would otherwise.
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I hope you found this helpful. I only do it because I find it SO helpful to read other people’s. Be sure to check out my other blogging for income posts or my Business of Blogging Pinterest board.
I love these posts, because it gives a more realistic view into what making money online is like. Though it does seem strange that ad revenue was down…you’d think that especially with the 31 systems bit it would have been higher – new year, new you, all that whatnots, that has a lot of money in it!!
Oh well, I knew revenue would be down. I should do 31 days in December (except people just want crafts in December). 🙂
Wow Hilary – even for a slow month, you did great! You also touched on several things that I’ve been looking into. I ran a series, and will be publishing it as an ebook in September, I’m totally going to check out Kan for my site speed and an LLC is in my near future as well. I love readingn these, keep up the good work!
Thanks Gretchen — I think this month is going to be better. I’m glad you enjoy them! That’s why I write them. 🙂
Gail Akeman says
Yes I do like to read blog income posts. Hard to do blog and family for sure and I have an out of the home job too. I did the Ultimate bundle too but did not sell any.
Gail, I have no idea how some of the people sell thousands of those bundles!
A year later and I can’t believe how much you have grown. CRAZY! That’s so inspiring! I have always loved reading your monthly updates keep going!
Thanks Yasmina, it is kind of hard to believe when you look at it all happening in a year! 🙂
Stacey Garska Rodriguez says
This was very useful information. I love that you are very open and helpful to your fellow bloggers. Thanks for sharing– it’s nice to see realistic numbers, but of course I hope for you that they continue to go up!
Thanks Stacey, I’m glad it’s helpful!