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 January: Awesome
The Numbers: January
|Women Winning Online Facebook Group||2,162||2,734||+572|
I have four main goals for my blog:
- Help women 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!
January’s Goals Win or Miss?
1. Hit 6,500 pageviews: Win (7,055 views)
- Publish an excellent post consistently every Tuesday: Win
- Share posts in my Facebook group: Win
- Use Tailwind for my Pinterest strategy: Win
- Include posts in my weekly email newsletter: Win
- Do dedicated promo days in Facebook groups: Win
- Share on Twitter using PostPlanner: Miss
- Comment on my “Top 10 Bloggers” posts: Miss
2. Publish: Win
- 3 marketing/business posts: Win
- 1 goal post: Win
3. Grow to 2,000 Email Subscribers: Miss (1,365 subscribers)
- Share my opt-ins daily on Twitter: Miss
- Share my opt-ins once a week in my Facebook group: Miss
- Create new 90 day goals opt-in based on my 90 day plan: Miss
- Change header opt-in to 7 day marketing plan: Miss
- Change end of footer to 7 day marketing plan: Miss
- Promote opt-ins in Facebook groups: Winnish
4. Grow Women Winning Online Facebook group to 2,400: Win (2,734 members)
- Continue to promote through email opt-in thank you page: Win
- Promote in Facebook groups where allowed: Win
- Promote on Twitter and Pinterest: Miss
5. Create Find Your Tribe Online Course: Win
- Create worksheets and action steps for the course: Win
- Record videos and tutorials for the course: Win
- Write the course content: Win
- Create my own learning WordPress platform for my course: Win
6. Sell 20 copies of Find Your Tribe Online Book: Win (34 copies)
- Promote once a week in Women Winning Online Facebook group: Miss
- Promote 3 times over email: Win
- Add to PS in weekly email: Win
- Ask blogger friends to promote it: Win
- Update the Book: Miss
- Update the spreadsheet for FYTO to include 20 Pinterest group boards and 20 Facebook groups per niche: Win
7. Sell 50 copies of Find Your Tribe Online Course: Win (52 copies)
- Host teaching webinar on the 16th to open the course: Win
- Have 7 days of bonuses for the course: Win
- Share in Women Winning Online Facebook group: Win
8. Be visible online every single day: Win
- Do Facebook live stream 3 times a week in Women Winning Online: Win
- Ask questions in my top 3-5 Facebook groups 3 times a week: Win
- Answer questions in my top 3-5 Facebook groups 3 times a week: Miss
Number of People I Served in November: 7,067 people! (WOW!)
January 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: $3,205.99
- Find Your Tribe Online: $2,947.00
- Thrive Landing Pages: $104.50 —> This income comes from this page where I show you how to set up a landing page with Thrive.
- ConvertKit: $51.09
- ActiveCampaign: $8.10
- PostPlanner: $22.80
- SiteGround: $50.00 —> 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: $148.50
- PayPal Fees: $85.76
- Virtual Assistant: $200.00
- Google Drive: $5.00
- LifterLMS PayPal Plugin: $99.00
- GoToWebinar: $86.00
Net Income: +$2,373.73
January was an incredible month! I am so, so thankful for the support that you have given me and my blog. It was a lot of work as you will see below but a lot of fun too! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support!
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||October 2016: $1,863|
|August 2016: $2,047||November 2016: $2,419|
|September 2016: $3,049||December: $1,340|
Blog Income Report: What Worked
Oh my you all did I work this month! I wrote epic blog posts. I created a course. I did two webinars. I prepped for Women Winning Online’s birthday of 8 days of giveaways. I worked my tail off!
I knew January would be a busy month. I wanted to come out strong because I had taken most of December off. During that time in December I thought a lot about my blog. I strategized about what I wanted to focus on in 2017. More importantly I dug in and looked at what I want to accomplish over the next three months. Then I hit the ground running in January and it felt good!
Takeaway: Blogging is a blast! I have so much fun with it! But make no mistake, it is work. So many of us want successful blogs that bring us an income. It’s the dream! But that dream requires a plan and it requires work.
2. Dry January
In December my husband and I made a decision that we weren’t going to drink any alcohol in January. Soon after we found out this was called a thing– Dry January. A lot of health and wellness advocate this to get healthy after the holidays. We did this to reign things in. It’s not that we were going overboard with drinking, but there were a lot of celebratory moments over the last few months if you know what I mean. Between summer (it’s short in Minnesota!), the Cubs winning the World Series and then flowing into the holidays, it just felt right to take a break.
I have to say it wasn’t even that hard until the last few days of the month. I love wine! It tastes good, I enjoy it, I look forward to it. It relaxes me and I started to miss it at the end. But during the month I have to tell you it was nice to have a clear head every single day.
Takeaway: Sometimes too much off a good thing can be a bad thing. This is anything not just alcohol! It can be working, phone time, TV time. It’s good to look at what is taking up most of your time and make sure it falls in line with your values and life purpose.
3. Laser Focus
Working hard for me usually comes with a laser focus. A focus so strong that I see nothing else. No shiny object syndrome for me when I am in these modes!
My focus in January was to write epic posts, launch a course, do an awesome webinar, be visible online daily, and work on Pinterest. I feel that I nailed all of those goals. Nailed them. And I feel pretty proud of that! More than that this was my plan, my focus, my goal. It felt good to stay on track with the plan I created.
Takeaway: If you want to grow laser focus is important. If we are bouncing around from idea to idea we never give anything time to stick. By developing a plan, a simple focused plan, we will accomplish our goals and achieve our dreams!
4. Promoting in Facebook Groups
I know the “build it and the will come” theory is nice for a Hollywood movie, but it doesn’t work for blogging. You can’t put a post out there and hope people will read it. You have to go show off your post to get eyes on it!
This is just what I did in January. Every day there are several Facebook groups that will do a promo thread that allows you to share your latest blog post or freebie. I participated in the top Facebook group promos every single day. I created a spreadsheet with the groups, their promo days, and what we could post on those days. That way it is easy for me to go in every morning and find the groups to participate in.
When I am participating in promos I try to not just drop my link and run. I have a general rule that I read and share at least 3 posts for every 1 post I leave of my own. I can’t do it all the time, but I work really hard to keep that ratio.
Takeaway: We are all looking to get more eyes on our blogs. Facebook group promo days are a great way to do that. Don’t just drop your link though. Write 1-2 sentences about it and tell people why they should click on it. Then take the time to share other people’s posts too. If you are looking for a great promo day, check out our Friday promo in Women Winning Online. We are averaging about 400 posts each week with a ton of shares!
5. Pinning in Pinterest
Since I started Women Winning Online my Pinterest strategy has been lax at best. Some weeks I stay on track and schedule through Tailwind. Other weeks I let it go. I also have been not the best at pinning other people’s content. Like I said, a pretty lax approach to Pinterest. This isn’t good considering it should be the number one driver of traffic to my blog.
I changed my attitude towards Pinterest in a big way in January. I redesigned my standard pin for Pinterest.
I stayed on track with Tailwind each week and shared 28 of my pins every day. I went in and manually re-pinned other people’s content on a daily basis. I even changed the covers of all my group boards.
This paid off big for me with traffic in January. In November, I had 403 sessions from Pinterest. In January I had 832 sessions from Pinterest. Double the amount! (I didn’t do December because the traffic was off from not promoting at all.)
Takeaway: If Pinterest is not working for you or if you are not getting the majority of your traffic from Pinterest, it is time to get serious about it in 2017. The number one mistake I made in 2016 was not figuring out Pinterest right away. In my post, 17 steps to a successful blog, I outline in point 10 what I am going to do with Pinterest this year. In Find Your Tribe Online I go even deeper into my Pinterest plan that people are using to triple their traffic. Another top resource I recommend for Pinterest is McKinzie Bean’s Pinterest to Profits. I’ve taken it and it is fantastic!
6. My Webinar
On January 16th I hosted my first webinar of 2017 and my first webinar since September of 2016. It was so much fun! I had 200 women register for the webinar. I had a 50% live rate which means half the people showed up live to watch the webinar.
I had people who missed it watch it after which is new for me. Then during the webinar I had a ton of great questions after both live and in email. I received a lot of compliments on the webinar which meant a lot to me because I worked hard to bring my best stuff. This shows me that the content resonated with people.
Like everything else in January I worked hard to promote my webinar the first two weeks of the month. I wanted to make sure people signed up and people attended. I sent emails to my lists to ask them to sign up. I then sent emails to people that signed up to remind them to show up. I sent them emails with free stuff to use during the webinar. I shared this webinar all over Facebook and in Facebook groups. This webinar was everywhere! This increased my sign ups and increased m live audience attendance.
Takeaway: If you are going to plan an event for your blog, go all in. Don’t randomly post your event and then hope people show up. You have to go out there, get their attention, and ask them to show up. Then knock their socks off with the best content you have!
7. Collaboration Post
In January I did my first collaboration post with other bloggers in my niche. It was so awesome! The post is called “The Top 16 Bloggers Reveal What You Should Focus on in 2017.”
I felt honored that these women would take the time to share their expertise with me and my readers. Their advice ranges from email to social media to focusing on your tribe. The advice is a roadmap for you to follow in 2017. Doing a blog collaboration post was a lot of fun and I look forward to doing more in the future!
Takeaway: Doing a collaboration post is a great way to meet other bloggers in your niche. It is a great way to introduce your readers to new bloggers that can help them. It is also a great way to get more traffic to your site. All of the bloggers in my collaboration post shared my post on their social media sites. It was much appreciated! Overall blog collaboration posts are a win-win for all!
8. Wrote Epic Posts
In December while I was thinking about my blog, I also looked at it from a critical eye and a loving eye. What I found is that I wasn’t in love with my posts during the fall. To me they weren’t the pillar content that I wanted to put out. They weren’t these posts that I knew could help women. They felt scattered, much like I felt last fall felt for me personally too.
I decided that starting in January I was going to make a change with my posts. I was going to create a content calendar for three months and I was going to stick to it. More than that, I wanted to write these epic posts that helped people. That wasn’t full of fluff but was full of actionable content.
I knew the posts would take a lot of work and I was right. All of my posts in January except for the collaboration post, took me at least 7 hours to write, edit, and publish. That’s a full work day!
These epic posts as I call them are greater than 4,000 words. There is a ton of content in them. I worried that people wouldn’t read them or they would be too much. I worried that they wouldn’t get shared.
Let me tell you I had nothing to worry about! Check out this graphic from January. Outside of Find Your Tribe Online, all of my January posts are my top posts for the month.
I am amazed that those posts became my most popular posts that quickly. This to me shows me that epic, long content is what gets read, what gets shared, and what gets pinned. Most importantly long content is what helps people the most.
Takeaway: I hit 7,000 pageviews in the month of January for the first time ever on Women Winning Online. Yes I hustled to promote my blog but I also wrote really good content. Exceptional content in my opinion that helps people. I encourage you to take a look at your blog posts and see if they need more content, more meat added to them. Where can you give your readers more to help them?
9. Hotel Time
My dear husband gave me the best gift he could have ever given me this past month. On the morning of the 14th he said to me “Why don’t you pack up, get a hotel for a couple days, and hammer out your webinar and finish Find Your Tribe Online.”
EXCUSE ME WHAT?!
I thought about it for half a second and ran to our room and started shoving things into a bag before he changed his mind. I love my husband dearly but this is not his M.O.
Then the guilt crept in for another half a second. Truthfully he works hard during the week so to have the kids all weekend to himself is a lot of work.
But I thought to myself “No I deserve this. I am working hard to build something too that will help our family long-term. If I have to cut out short-term to help us in the long-term this is what I need to do. It’s okay.”
And you know what? It was okay. I am with my kids all.of.the.time. All the time. Having me gone gave them a chance to hang out with their dad and let him be in charge. It gave them some bonding time with him too. I also think it made them appreciate all that mom does do at home too.
For two glorious days I got to focus on Women Winning Online, which like my family, is a piece of me. It felt so good. And trust me I worked my tail off during those two days. I could not have gotten done what I did without those two days.
Takeaway: This goes for all of you reading this but especially you moms and even more especially you moms with little kids. What we are doing is HARD. We are trying to build blogs in the fringe hours. We are writing posts before work, during nap time, and after the kids go to bed. We are doing all the things. And it is HARD. If you can please give yourself a break. Maybe it’s not two days holed up in a hotel room but dinner out by yourself. Or a Saturday off to do what you want to do even if that means working on your blog. I am here, my husband is here, to tell you, you deserve it!
10. Facebook Live
I wrote in my top 13 trends for 2017, I knew Facebook live streams were going to be huge in 2017 when I saw a commercial for them during the Chicago Cubs World Series. I also knew that I wanted to focus on being more visible in my group in 2017. Facebook live is the perfect solution for this.
I decided in January that I was going to go live three times a week in my group.
- Mondays: Coffee + Q&A
- Tuesdays: Digging Deep on Tuesdays Tips
- Thursdays: Behind the Scenes
I have been doing this for a little over a month and I have to tell you it is a huge hit! Mondays have the most engagement. I think there are two reasons for this. First, people know they can come and ask me any question and we talk about it. Second, because I am consistent with it without fail. Third because I create an event in the group Sunday night and share it with everyone.
Tuesdays and Thursdays aren’t as popular but I am working on that. I think I need to create events for each live stream. I think that helps a lot.
Oh and by the way, someone told me they bought Find Your Tribe Online just because of my Monday live stream and how much it helped her. I do this for you, but I do recognize that it builds trust in me and in my programs.
Takeaway: If you haven’t gotten on board with Facebook Live the time to get on board is NOW! Do what I did and force yourself to do it by scheduling an event in your group every week or on your Facebook page. You don’t have to jump off the deep end and do it three times a week like I am. Start with one. Do it once a week and see how it works for you. I promise it will and I promise it gets a ton easier!
11. Find Your Tribe Online
I am in love with Find Your Tribe Online! Can I say that? I know it sounds weird because it is something I created, but to me it feels like it’s own thing at this point. Since it’s creation it has worked and has taken on a life of it’s own.
I get emails weekly from clients telling me how they are tripling their blog traffic using Find Your Tribe Online. How people are reading their posts and sharing them. How through finding their tribe their traffic and their email lists are growing. That they are getting more comments on their posts and a ton of traffic from Pinterest. That point blank Find Your Tribe Online was the best investment they ever made in their blog.
This is happening in every niche that I hear from. See what I mean that it’s taken on a life of it’s own?
In January I turned Find Your Tribe Online into a course. I was nervous to do this but had a lot of encouragement from my friend Suzi Whitford of Start a Mom Blog. I was worried that I didn’t have more to share that wasn’t already in the book. I was worried that people who had the book would buy it and say “there isn’t any new information.”
My worries were unfounded and I was relieved!
- 32 new clients buy the course (thank you!)
- 19 past clients who owned the book upgrade to the course (thank you!)
- 29 new clients buy the book (thank you!)
I heard a resounding “thank you” from the people that had originally bought the book and then upgraded to the course. They thanked me for laying it out in a way they could understand. They loved the extra tips, the videos, and the tutorials. It was a hit and I was relieved! I only want to put my very best out there especially if it is something I am selling and asking you to spend your hard earned money on.
Takeaway: Focus on what your niche is saying to you. What are they really struggling with? This question is becoming a cliche but I don’t care. I will preach it until I am blue in the face. When my people, my tribe, told me they wanted more blog traffic I worked to create something that would make that happen for them. I made a mistake though, one I will write about at great length at some point. I launched FYTO and then I launched 3 more things after that. Instead I should have focused on FYTO, growing it, and getting it into as many hands as possible. That is my mission for 2017!
Blog Income Report: What Didn’t Work
1. No Balance
When I worked like I did in January there’s not a lot of balance in my life. The blog goes well, the rest of it not so much. There was more screen time for my kids than normal. There were too many late nights push 2 and 3 am. True. There was more work than there was play.
This is not the first time I have fallen into this and I doubt it will be the last. I have a lot on my plate. A lot. Like I said above it is hard to do all the things, but this is the season of my life right now. I know that someday my kids will be in school all day. Or hopefully my husband and I will both work the blog and business giving me more time. Or the blog will earn an income that will support me and a team.
But right now it is just me and my part-time VA working on this thing. In the beginning of any business there is a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice that goes into it. I am working towards better balance in February, and so far so good, but January was anything but.
One of my mentors said to me “I don’t think it is ever possible to have true balance.” I agree with here. Some day/weeks/months I am more focused on my family and the blog doesn’t do as well. Other days/weeks/months I focus on my blog and my family and my house suffer. It’s the constant push-pull of being a working wife and mother. I know it won’t always be this way and that all my hard work up front, will make sure that is true.
Takeaway: Give yourself grace all the time. You are doing hard stuff, I am doing hard stuff. Try to remember what’s most important– your family, your people. If you find them getting the short end of the stick, take a few hours off from the blog, from Facebook, and focus only on their faces. I find when I do this even in the midst of a crazy time, that I can fill them up and they feel loved. My husband included.
2. Growing My Email List
I wanted to grow my email list by 800 subscribers this month. It sooooo did not happen! Like not even close. I increased it by 101 people. I am okay with that. I saw early on that it wasn’t going to happen because I wasn’t focusing on it.
Also to increase an email list by that many people you have to have an opt-in offer that is doing really well and a lot of traffic to it. I think my main opt-in offer needs a reboot. I have some thoughts on this for February, maybe March.
Takeaway: What you focus on grows period. I did not focus on growing my email list in January which is why I didn’t hit my goal. I am happy that it increased by 101 people though!
3. Missed on my Personal Goals
Outside of my blogging goals I also have personal goals, hard to believe right? I want to tithe more to our church, lose weight, spend more quality time with God, more time with my husband, and one on one time with my kids. Not a lot of my personal goals got met this month because I was so hyper focused on the blog. Again there’s a balance and sometimes that balance is going to be off. It happens.
Takeaway: Again I am going to go with the word grace. I am and you are doing the best we can. As long as we are trying, and trying to improve ourselves, we are headed in the right direction. I do hope that I can focus on meeting some more personal goals this month as they are important to me too.
4. Behind on Emails
I get a lot of emails from my blog readers and the women inside the Women Winning Online Facebook group. I love every single one of them. That you all would take your time to email me and ask me questions means a lot! I love our personal conversations.
But in January I fell completely behind in answering the emails I received. I feel so bad about it too but there are only so many hours in a day and again, grace. I have them flagged in my email system so I remember to go back and answer every single one. Every single email matters to me. True.
Takeaway: You can’t do all the things. Prioritizing is important when you are growing a blog. If you fall behind on talking to your readers be honest with them and let them know why. They are human just like you and they will understand. And to my readers– thank you for understanding!
1. Hit 10,000 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
- Host a giveaway
- Run 1 Facebook ad
- Do a webinar
- 3 marketing/business posts
- 1 goal post (this one!)
- 1 guest post
3. Grow to 1,800 Email Subscribers
- Host a giveaway
- Share my opt-ins once a week in my Facebook group
- Hold a webinar
- Promote opt-ins in Facebook groups
- Promote opt-ins on Pinterest
- 1 guest post
4. Grow Women Winning Online Facebook group to 3,100 women
- Continue to promote through email opt-in thank you page
- Promote in Facebook groups where allowed
- Promote on Twitter and Pinterest
- Promote through giveaway
5. Add to Find Your Tribe Online Course
- Add more worksheets and spreadsheets to course
- Add a guest posting section to the course
- Add graphics to the course
6. Sell 100 copies of Find Your Tribe Online (Want to help me hit my goal by buying it? Thank you!!! Click here!)
- Promote once a week in Women Winning Online Facebook group
- Promote 2 times over email
- Add to PS in weekly email
- Share it in webinar the week of the 20th
- Do a guest post about FYTO
7. 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.
8. Host “You Started a Blog, Now What?” Webinar
- Host webinar the week of the 20th
- Create new content and new slides
9. Get Pinterest Rocking and Rolling
- Run and participate in Pinterest challenge in Find Your Tribe Online Facebook group.
- Increase Pinterest traffic by 10% (In January it was 34.4%)
- Work through modules in the Pinterest to Profits course
Oh February you are the shortest month of the year, my birthday month, and Women Winning Online’s birthday month. But we are going to make big things happen February– I just know it!
How was your January and what does February look like for you? 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!