The beginning of the month is here and that means a blog income report! I love blog income reports because they help hold me accountable, show me what I have accomplished, and where I need to grow. Each month I share marketing strategies that I try to grow my blog and business. I share ideas that I tried and then what worked and didn’t work. My hope is that my blog income reports show my wins, losses, and lessons that will help you on your blogging journey too!
One Word to Describe December: Chill
The Numbers: December
|Women Winning Online Facebook Group||1,899||2,162||+263|
******My stats were funky in November. I got hit by a Russian spammer. JOY! I want to always be real with you guys and share with you my real stats. My bounce rate is completely off because of it and I can’t figure it out. My guess is it is closer to 71% for November.
I have four main goals for my blog:
- Help people through my writing and services.
- Increase pageviews every month.
- Increase my email list every month.
- Earn an income through services, classes, products, reviews, and advertisements.
Let’s take a look at how I did meeting my goals this month!
Are you ready to start your own blog? Awesome! You are going to be great at it! Check out my step-by-step tutorial on how to get your blog up and running in just minutes!
December Goals Win or Miss?
My goals for December are not very big. It is the holiday season and planning season for me. My focus is on working with my Society ladies, prepping my business for 2017, and most importantly enjoying my family during the holidays without stressing about my business.
1. Promote my blog posts: Miss
- Publish a post on 3 Tuesdays: Miss
- Share posts in my Facebook group: Miss
- Use Tailwind for my Pinterest strategy: Miss
- Include posts in my weekly email newsletter: Miss
- Share on Twitter using PostPlanner: Miss
2. Publish: Miss
- 1 marketing/business posts: Miss
- 1 personal posts: Miss
- 1 goal post (this one!): Win
3. Grow to 1,200 Email Subscribers: Win
- Promote 7 day marketing plan in Facebook groups: Missish
- Share my opt-ins once a week in my Facebook group: Miss
4. Grow Women Winning Online Facebook group to 2,150: Win
- Continue to promote through email opt-in thank you page: Win
- Promote in Facebook groups where allowed: Miss
5. Sell 20 copies of Find Your Tribe Online: Miss
- Promote once a week in Women Winning Online Facebook group: Miss
- Promote 3 times over email: Miss
- Add to PS in weekly email: Win
6. Finish Sales Funnel for FYTO: Win
- Update emails for FYTO sales funnel: Win
7. The Society of Winning Women: Win
- Do goal planning with Society Members: Win
- Began Growth Track for my beta members: Win
8. Strategic Plan for January 2017: Win
- How I am going to pour more value into my tribe (content, Facebook lives, email, etc.): Win
- Plans for launching programs for 2017: Win
Number of People I Served in November: 3,426 people! (yes!)
December Income Report
Note some of these links are affiliate links including items I have personally used. Please see my affiliate disclosure here. If you have any questions about my income or expenses please leave me a comment below!
Blog Income: $1,340.20
- Find Your Tribe Online: $216.00
- The 30 Day Marketing Plan for Bloggers: $0 (I need to promote this more!)
- The Society Quarterly: $507.60
- The Society Strategy Sessions: $399.00
- Thrive Landing Pages: $52.25 —> This income comes from this page where I show you how to set up a landing page with Thrive.
- ConvertKit: $9.25
- ActiveCampaign: $6.10
- SiteGround: $150.00 —> This income comes from a page where I show you how to start a blog in under 10 minutes.
Blog Expenses: $474.96
- ActiveCampaign: $29.00
- Profit Track: $97.00
- SendOwl: $15.00
- Find Your Tribe Online Affiliates: $94.50
- PayPal Fees: $33.46
- Virtual Assistant: $100.00
- Screw U: $67.00
- Screw U Sales Funnel Course: $39.00
Net Income: +$865.24
I have to say I am pretty proud of December. I was able to take time off and I worked maybe 30 hours the whole month. To gross $1,340.20 in a slower, more laid back month, makes me quite happy!
Are you ready to start your own blog? You should! You will be great at it! Check out my step-by-step tutorial on how to get your blog up and running in just minutes!
Previous Income Reports
|July 2016: $59.66||August 2016: $2,047|
|September 2016: $3,049||October 2016: $1,863|
|November 2016: $2,419|
Blog Income Report: What Worked
1. Taking Time Off
My plan for December was to take the month off and not work too hard. I wanted to spend the time enjoying the holidays with my family. Truthfully I didn’t want to add more things to do during this busy season in our lives. Not only is it everything with the holidays but we also have school events and a break thrown into the mix, plus spending time with our friends and family.
I made a decision mid-fall that I would take most of December off. I wanted to not put this pressure on myself and my family to try to get a whole lot done for my business during this season. Instead I spent time connecting with my kids and my husband. I slept more, read more books, and enjoyed cozy nights by the fire. It was just what my mind, body, and soul needed during this busy time. I feel fortunate that I work in a business where I can afford to take that kind of time off!
Takeaway: When we work online it is far, far too easy to be on all the time. When we work at home it is too easy to always try to squeeze in more work. I am a sucker for this. One more post, one more glance at the phone, one more until I am no longer present at home. My biggest takeaway is take the time to step away from the blog sometimes and spend it with the people you love. You may not get to your blogging destination faster, but you will enjoy your life and your people more and isn’t that what matters the most?! My whole goal is to be successful with my blog. But if I get to the top and I am alone, what’s the point? Take time for your people and take them on the journey with you.
2. Strategy Sessions
Now even though I wasn’t hard at work writing new posts or doing a lot of promotions, there was something fun I was working hard on. The Society of Winning Women Strategy Sessions. My friend Elizabeth challenged me not to take the whole month off just for me. But to find a way that I could help women and help them figure out their goals for 2017.
Not one to back down from a challenge I thought why not? If I can get a small group of women together, do a weekly Q&A, and help them with their goals, that would be fun! So I did just that!
I created a four week mastermind group where we had a Q&A thread every Thursday and worked on our 90 day goals. I was there during the week to help with any other questions they had. I shared tips that I was using in my blog to help me grow. I launched this idea on December 1st with a kickoff of December 8th. I had seven women join and I was so happy!
It was the perfect size group for a small mastermind! I find in these smaller mastermind sessions that people are more comfortable being open and vulnerable with each other. I had a lot of fun working more closely with these women and am thinking about doing something like this more often. I also think a lot of them got more clear on exactly where they are headed in 2017 and that was fun to watch too!
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try something different with your blog especially if you can help people. Look at your blog and business. What 4 week mini-challenges can you run? How can you think outside of the box to help people and bring money into your business? Also, take the time to network with other people. I would have never tried this idea if my friend Elizabeth hadn’t pushed me to do it. Thank you Elizabeth!
3. Planning Time for 2017
If you have been following me for an length of time you know I am a planner. I always joke that my lists have lists. 🙂 (They do by the way!) One of my most favorite things to do since I was a little girl is planning for the New Year. I have never been one to do resolutions because I don’t think they work, but I do love setting goals for the upcoming year.
Something I have been struggling with in my blog is not having the time to set goals and make plans. For the last several months I have felt like an assistant of my blog instead of the CEO. I was just working to get things done instead of being strategic and focusing on my long term goals. It was frustrating me quite a bit.
At the beginning of December my husband came up with a great idea. He realized that college and high school kids would be on break for part of this month. He said “why don’t you see if some of our sitters can come in and watch the kids so you can work?”
Brilliant idea! What I heard was “Why don’t you have our sitters come in so you can go to a quiet place in the library and plan out your 2017 goals?” It was like music to my ears and that’s just what I did! The last two weeks of 2016 I had sitters come in for 4-5 hours, three days a week to watch the kids. I took off for the library and locked myself in a tiny room with windows and wrote and plotted and planned. The end result was a plan that I am excited about for my blog and a plan that I know in my heart will help other women! I came away from that time so pumped for what 2017 holds!
Now that this post is written a week into the New Year I have to say that the time I took to do the planning has paid off. I am more focused, I have my goals hanging on my wall, and I know exactly how I am going to grow and help people. This was the best thing I could have done for my blog and business!
Takeaway: As bloggers there comes a point where we need to put down the blog posts, walk away from the social media, and focus on our goals. What do we want to get out of our blogs? What do we want to accomplish? More importantly who do we want to help and how will we get there? The best thing you can do for the health and growth of your blog is to step away from all the noise and create a plan to grow. If you haven’t done this for 2017 it’s not too late! Take a Saturday off, hit up the library, and plan until you can’t plan anymore. Break down your yearly goals into monthly and weekly tasks. Hang them up proudly to remind yourself what you want to accomplish. It’s an awesome way to stay motivated every single day!
4. Not Writing
Can I be honest with you? The last few months I haven’t loved my blog posts. They were shorter than I prefer and not as helpful as I want them to be. They also didn’t feel like they flowed together. The posts seemed random. I wasn’t following my own advice of following a content calendar. I was sitting down to write just to write, instead of writing with a focus in mind.
So in December I took the month off from writing blog posts. I published one income report because I want to stay consistent with that. I made a decision that unless I was writing posts that flowed together and were helpful, that I wasn’t going to write. My readers deserve better than that and so does my blog.
Taking the month off from writing was so therapeutic for me! It made me realize how much I love to write, how much I need to write! But I also need to know I am putting meaningful words out there and not words that are cluttering the Internet. I also knew I didn’t have that in me for the month of December. Like I mentioned above December was all about my family, the holidays, the strategy sessions, and planning for 2017. It kind of felt good to focus on those things so I could come back in January 2017 with killer posts that make a difference!
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to take a break from writing blog posts. If writing posts starts to feel like a hard slog it is okay to take a break. Your blog will always be here. Sometimes taking a break from writing is the best thing you can do for your blog. You will come back refreshed with content that will blow people away. There are no rules to this blogging game so feel free to give yourself some time off from writing when you need it!
Blog Income Report: What Didn’t Work
Before I jump into what didn’t work I want to add a note onto this. I had a hard time coming up with what didn’t work because overall I am pleased with how December went. No it wasn’t my highest month for income and numbers, but I accomplished exactly what I set out to do. That being said there is always room to improve which is why I kept this section in for this month. 🙂
1. Not Writing
What? How can not writing fit into the worked and didn’t work category? For starters, while not writing worked for me personally, it didn’t work for the blog. When I share a new blog post every week I get more pageviews, more email subscribers, and more people purchasing Find Your Tribe Online. I share the post with my email subscribers and the Women Winning Online Facebook group. Doing those things brings people back to my blog.
It’s not that people didn’t visit my blog, it’s that I didn’t get a lot of new traffic either. I knew I wouldn’t if I sacrificed my writing and I was okay with it. But I definitely had a dip in my numbers because of it.
Takeaway: Writing consistent posts is important to the health of our blogs. Our new material draws new people in and brings older visitors back. It gives people the opportunity to read our new material and visit our old stuff while they are there. When we aren’t consistent with our writing it can hurt our numbers. Like I mentioned above it is perfectly fine to take a break and you should, but overall consistency with your writing is part of what will help your blog grow!
2. Not Feeling Well
This part is scary. I am scared to put this out into the world for fear of what you will think of me and how you will perceive me going forward. But my goal is to be 100% transparent with you and well with me too. I have hidden so much in the shadows for too many years and I don’t want to do that anymore.
Someday I will write the whole story, but because of my traumatic childhood, I suffer from depression as well as post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Those are my official diagnoses anyway. I spent all of 2015 plus 2016 deep in therapy working through things and working on me. I was put on medication in 2015 and able to go off of it in the first part of 2016. Things were going amazing until this fall when the darkness started to creep back in. My husband noticed it first and I think I was hesitant to see that it was coming back. I had done so much work and it felt like I was going backwards.
But I wasn’t okay. No matter that I wished the depression wasn’t back, it was, and I needed to deal with it. I have worked too hard to get better and feel better and I wasn’t willing to go back. Plus my kids and my husband deserve more. Heck, I deserve more.
I put this out there to show that I am human and that outside of blogging I have a real life that isn’t always pretty. But my driving force for putting this out there is for you. Mental illness is real and it is not something to be ashamed of. Too much shame is put on those that suffer.
One of my purposes in life is to help erase that stigma. Erasing that stigma starts with me and me being honest with you. For part of December I didn’t engage with people because I simply couldn’t. My depression was full blown and it took everything I had to function some days. I want you to know that you are not alone. I am here with you and I am here for you. If you ever find yourself so down you can’t get up, I am here for you. I know how it feels. I have lived it, I have experienced it, and I still am. There are people in my real life that have lifted me up during this time. There are people online that have lifted me up during this time. I am here to be that person for you. You are not alone.
I am 100% grateful for the time we live in and the people around me. I have a very astute therapist who saw this happening and put me back on my depression medication. Is it something I will be on forever? Maybe, maybe not. All I know is that the medicine, along with a lot of prayer and Jesus, good therapy, a loving husband, and supportive friends, I am back to feeling like me. And oh am I so grateful! When I am well and I am me I can give so much to the world and take in so much for me. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured. We are meant to thrive, not to survive. We are supposed to feel good!
Takeaway: Above all make sure you are taking care of yourself. Whether or not you have a mental illness, please take care of you. You are no good to anyone if you aren’t taking care of yourself. And if you do suffer from a mental illness and need a friend, please know my door is always open. I get it and I am here for you without any judgement.
3. Not Promoting
For the month of December I think I promoted my blog like three times. I didn’t do any promo days in Facebook groups. I didn’t go into groups and help people. I didn’t even have my Tailwind queue filled up! I let it lapse after the first few days in December.
Part of this was the fact that I was laying low in December. Part of it was I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t have the energy to do it. I am okay with this. I think I have said it enough, but I needed the break and that is okay! My break resulted in low numbers for my blog and I am okay with it.
Takeaway: There is this myth out there that we can blog and people will just show up. Wrong! The “build it and they will come” theory does not work for blogging. You have to be out there promoting your blog whether it’s in Facebook groups or on Pinterest. There is nothing passive about blogging. When you don’t promote your blog people don’t know you are there so take time every week to get out there and show off your blog!
1. Hit 6,500 pageviews
- Publish an excellent post consistently every Tuesday
- Share posts in my Facebook group
- Use Tailwind for my Pinterest strategy
- Include posts in my weekly email newsletter
- Do dedicated promo days in Facebook groups
- Share on Twitter using PostPlanner
- Comment on my “Top 10 Bloggers” posts
- 3 marketing/business posts
- 1 goal post (this one!)
3. Grow to 2,000 Email Subscribers
- Share my opt-ins daily on Twitter
- Share my opt-ins once a week in my Facebook group
- Create new 90 day goals opt-in based on my 90 day plan
- Change header opt-in to 7 day marketing plan
- Change end of footer to 7 day marketing plan
- Promote opt-ins in Facebook groups
4. Grow Women Winning Online Facebook group to 2,400
- Continue to promote through email opt-in thank you page
- Promote in Facebook groups where allowed
- Promote on Twitter and Pinterest
5. Create Find Your Tribe Online Course
- Create worksheets and action steps for the course.
- Record videos and tutorials for the course.
- Write the course content.
- Create my own learning WordPress platform for my course.
6. Sell 20 copies of Find Your Tribe Online Book (Want to help me hit my goal by buying it please? Click here!)
- Promote once a week in Women Winning Online Facebook group
- Promote 3 times over email
- Add to PS in weekly email
- Ask blogger friends to promote it
- Update the Book
- Update the spreadsheet for FYTO to include 20 Pinterest group boards and 20 Facebook groups per niche.
7. Sell 50 copies of Find Your Tribe Online Course (coming soon!)
- Host teaching webinar on the 16th to open the course.
- Have 7 days of bonuses for the course.
- Share in Women Winning Online Facebook group.
8. Be visible online every single day
- Do Facebook livestream 3 times a week in Women Winning Online.
- Ask questions in my top 3-5 Facebook groups 3 times a week.
- Answer questions in my top 3-5 Facebook groups 3 times a week.
I am so excited for a rocking January! I can’t wait to get out there and help more women drive more traffic to their blogs! I can’t wait to fully get back into my writing! It doesn’t look like a lot to do on paper, but somehow I always find myself running short on time. I hope your January is off to a great start!
What are your goals for January and how did your December go? I would love to hear about it! Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments!