Yay! I’m back with an income report from last month! Sorry I skipped a few months. The good news is that income is pretty similar the past few month as it is this month — so no big loss. I will try to offer as many insights as I can. In return, I’d love it if you’d share this in your blogging groups. I just helps grow the word that it is possible to grow your income in whatever niche your pick!
This post includes TONS of info! As always, it includes my traffic and income — but this month I did a quick jot down of my expenses, my big win on Instagram and also shared a bit about becoming an S-corp. I hope you find it helpful!
Let’s get started:
Traffic is up about 6%
Guys, I swear the less you pin, the better your traffic.
I had boosting how many pins I was looping with Board Booster — but traffic started to go down. As soon as I halved my boosting, and took a pinning slot off of each day ALL of my pins are doing better. Huzzah! #moreclicks
RPM is up a bit and with traffic being higher my ad revenue is up 13% from the month before!
Note: I use Mediavine for almost add my ads (I sometimes put up an ad run directly from a company separately, but I didn’t have that this past month)
$1,029 — this is up about 13% also.
Good: I brought down the price of my prenatal class this month, and that helped sales considerably. I also ran a PDF sale which allowed customers to get the full pdf in addition to the course. That way it seems like they’re getting MORE in addition to the discount.
Bad: I installed a plugin called “Clean Talk” mid month (to eliminate spam comments) and my sales entirely disappeared while it was on. No one emailed me — but I got ZERO sales the entire time it was on. So, no idea — but that is a week or so entirely lost. Sad face….
Note: I paid out affiliates $131 of this. If you’re interested in becoming an affiliate email me!
$2100 — down 3%
Note: I find that programs that are directly with specific companies do the best for me. I am working on adding more affiliates to my blog (but I must admit I have a rough time finding good fits — so if that’s your problem, just keep trying and looking for new programs!)
Sponsored Post Income
I don’t love that this is taking up so much of my income, but I do love the income.
I have really be blessed (or, some might say lucky — but I choose the word “blessed”) to have some very good-fitting sponsored content offered to me lately. I am grateful for it.
Total March Income
Just over $8000
This is extra exciting as I am aiming to make over 6 figures on my blog this year. I am fairly on track (I had planned on having a bit less in the first few months of the year).
I’ve had the request for what expenses I use for my blog.
I’m going to give you a basic idea. I do purchase a lot of my expenses for an entire years but I am going to try to split that out a bit for you
Hosting $45/month — I use BigScoots and ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM!
Newsletter: $79/month (I pay less because I bought a full year) — I am also just about ready to head to the next tier — and that will be $99/month — I use ConvertKit and while it is PRICEY — it really helps my courses sell better. It is well worth the price if you plan to sell, in my opinion. If you’re considering it — email me and I will be happy to give you details. 🙂
I obviously also pay for a domain name. I also own the name HilaryErickson.com — but I’m not using it yet. I use GoDaddy for my domains.
I use Thrive for my sales pages. This past month I bought Thrive Ultimatum, that will allow me to use timers and the scarcity principle a bit more. I use Thrive Content Builder for my landing pages, I use Thrive Quizzes a few spots on my blog and I am eyeing Thrive Leads for more email uses. I’m a big fan of their stuff (if you can’t tell).
I paid about $21 in Paypal fees (I use Lifter LMS to host my courses, so that is my main cost for running them).
I use Wagepoint to pay my husband and myself (which can save you money if you become an S-corp — which was a worthwhile huge PAIN) — that cost about $25/month.
I spent $155 on advertising (that includes Tailwind, BoardBooster as well as Facebook/Pinterest ads)
Note: I have decided to STOP running both Pinterest and Facebook ads this month. I have found them almost entirely fruitless, so I’m adjusting on that one.
I have signed up for a newsletter course that I am REALLY excited about. The main things that attracted me to this is:
- Her target market isn’t bloggers
- She gets a TON of click-throughs from her newsletter, and I’d like to work on that
- My sales funnels don’t work as well as I wish they did — I’d like to adjust
- Above, you can tell that I spend a fair amount on my newsletter each month, I want to be sure that I’m using it to capacity.
- She used to be an L&D nurse. 🙂
I have been paying Adobe for photos $9.99/month, but they just increased my plan so I am canceling that. I use Stencil for a lot of my photos (and love how many photos are free from within their system). I also have a lot of photos on credit from Deposit Photos.
Also, last month I bought a new camera to do video a bit better on my blog. It was pricey. I’m in love with it already though. 🙂
I also pay for PO box, and a few other things.
OH, and I pay for a CPA (more on that below) — I think about $800 for my business taxes (I also have him do my personal taxes for another $400). That’s for the full year.
I am headed to Snap this coming month. It’s the main conference I am going to — I am SPEAKING this year on Friday AM!
I’d love to know if any of you are going! I did buy some clothes for this event, as it is a write-off. But, I wouldn’t REALLY call that a blog expense. 😉 Just a perk of the biz, am I right?
Big win with Instagram
I am growing my Instagram following, and I must say that I am thrilled to be getting some Instagram offers that are a nice chunk of change.
I have used her system and doubled the # of likes on my photos. I’m excited to keep growing with it! The book isn’t pricey, but it is simple to follow. I keep the hashtags in my google keep folder to add (on my phone, I also have the main ones assigned to a hotkey that I can use easily on my android keyboard).
A note on becoming an S-corp
I made the decision to become an S-corp last year. I have basically just held my breath until I had the final #’s from my CPA for tax time.
The news was good. Good enough I bought that new camera and I also bought a new laptop last month (which I type on right now). I think that becoming an S-corp was a great choice — but it didn’t come without its own downfalls.
I did have to hire a CPA, I have always done my own taxes, but I was totally over my head on this. He also helped me become an Scorp (if you’re just becoming an LLC, that can easily be done on your own).
I had to start payrolling myself and my husband. It was a HUGE pain to set up (and I do mean huge). I finally figured out two website that have saved my bacon:
- Waveapps — I use this to do my basic accounting. I had purchased Quickbooks but it doens’t integrate well with paypal which was a BIG problem for me (since I get a fair amount of income from Paypal). It was also hard and made me want to cry.
- Wagepoint — they do my payroll. I had tried to do it with WaveApps, but they only tell you how much to pull out to pay and then you’re required to pay taxes on your own. No bueno. I really like Wagepoint — very user-friendly, and customer service has been great. I am still a little paranoid they’re stealing my money, but I am not sure how I’d ever entirely get over that. 🙂
Anyway — my CPA said that if you’re netting much over 15k you want to think about becoming an S-corp. Just something to think about. If you’re consideirng it, I 100% recommend you talk to a CPA — no matter how cheap you are. Making a mistake could cost you a lot!
Phewsh! that was a long one! I hope you made it to the end. I try to make these as valuable as humanly possible. Again, I’d love it if you’d share them.
If you’d like more info about blogging and how to make money doing it — sign up for my newsletter. This is truly the only way you can REALLY be notified of these news posts. I don’t post them on my home page — so this is truly a hidden gem. Plus, check out all my other blogging for income posts below that!