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 October: Regroup
The Numbers: October Stats
|Women Winning Online Facebook Group||1,234||1,591||+357|
Top 10 Sources for October Traffic
I have four main goals for my blog:
- Help people earn an income online 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!
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October Goals Win or Fail?
1. Hit 6,500 pageviews: Miss
- Publish a post consistently every Tuesday: Miss-ish (Missed 1 week)
- Share posts in my Facebook group: Win
- Use Tailwind for my Pinterest strategy: Win-ish (Didn’t use the last week)
- Include posts in my weekly email newsletter: Win
- Do dedicated promo days in Facebook groups: Win-ish (Missed a week)
- Share on Twitter: Miss
2. Publish: Win-ish
- 2 marketing/business posts: Win
- 1 personal posts: Miss
- 1 goal post (this one!): Win
3. Grow to 1,000 email subscribers: Win 1,057!
- Promote lead magnet in Facebook groups: Win-ish
- Add all lead magnets to Pinterest, create board for them on Pinterest: Miss
- Update end of post opt-in to Grow Blog Traffic lead magnet: Win
- Run one Facebook ad: Miss
- Share daily on Twitter: Miss
- Share once a week in my Facebook group: Miss
4. Grow Facebook group to 1,350 women: Win 1,591!
- Continue to promote through email opt-in thank you page: Win
- Promote in Facebook groups where allowed: Miss
- Promote on Twitter and Pinterest: Miss
5. Sell 150 “Find Your Tribe Online” Miss, Sold 45
- Promote weekly in my Facebook group: Miss
- Update sales funnel autoresponder: Miss
- Promote in other Facebook groups: Miss
- Share a portion for free with my email list: Miss
- Do one case study from a blogger who has had success with it: Win
- Run contest with affiliates: Miss
6. Turn Find Your Tribe Online into mini-course: Miss
- Create Facebook group: Miss
- Update spreadsheet data: Miss
- Add 3-4 more niches: Miss
- Create mini-course with modules: Miss
7. Focus on Pinterest: Miss
- Follow my “Pinterest Plan”: Miss
How Many People I Helped
There is something that has been bugging me with these income reports. I was talking to my friend Debra Trappen about this and she nailed it for me. It’s all about money. How much did I make? Blech. Deb said “Jen that’s not you. You aren’t about money, you are about helping people. Instead of tallying an income report or in addition to doing one, why don’t you also talk about the people you have helped?”
I love Debra! We’ve only known each other a short time but she knows me so well! My husband says this to me all the time. If I make it about the money I will be miserable. When I make it about helping people, everything changes and I am so happy!
The problem is I don’t know how to quantify it. I am not a McDonald’s drive thru. I can’t count how many people I have served everyday! Beyond that I could help someone who in turn took my advice and used it to help 10 people.
So I am going to continue to think on this. Do I share testimonials I receive and count those as people I have helped? Do I just total the people in my Facebook group and on my email list? What about the people in other Facebook groups that I help?
See my dilemma?! I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this. Please feel free to comment below or send me an email telling me what you think. I will also ask in the Women Winning Online Facebook group too.
For this month I am going to add the women in my Facebook group and the people on my email list as the people I have helped.
Number of People I Served in October: 2,648 people (wow!)
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: $1,863.53
- Find Your Tribe Online: $765
- The Society Recurring Monthly: $410.43
- Thrive Landing Pages: $489.50
- Strategy Sessions: $147.00
- PostPlanner: $25.20
- ConvertKit: $23.70
- ActiveCampaign: $2.70
- SiteGround: $0 —> This income comes from a page where I show you how to start a blog in under 10 minutes.
Blog Expenses: $441.76
- ActiveCampaign: $17.00
- The Membership Academy: $39.00
- Profit Track: $97.00
- SendOwl: $15.00
- Find Your Tribe Online Affiliates: $110.50
- PayPal Fees: $53.27
- Thrive Yearly License: $147
- Building Blocks of Blogging Domain Registration: $1.99
Net Income: +$1,421.77
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 10 minutes!
Blog Income Report: What Worked
1. Find Your Tribe Online
Find Your Tribe Online is like it’s own force of nature at this point and it amazes me. It continues to sell without me pushing it very hard. I always include it in the P.S. in my weekly email and get a few sales on Sundays and Mondays. I promoted it a couple times in the Women Winning Online Facebook group. Other than that it is selling from people visiting my website, as part of my email automation, and from my awesome affiliates.
I did do one thing different this month. I wrote a case study for Find Your Tribe Online. I had 20 bloggers tell me their story about why they bought it, what they did with FYTO, and their results. Their results are incredible if I do say so myself! This case study also got people excited to try Find Your Tribe Online.
The number one reason Find Your Tribe Online is selling? Because it works. The testimonials are incredible for this product and they are selling it for me. I am so grateful for the incredible feedback I am getting on this program.
The other reason it is selling? Because people do not have the time to do all the research I have done. It took me 60+ hours to research the best Pinterest groups boards, Facebook groups, and top bloggers for the 15 niches FYTO covers. People do not have that kind of time so instead they are smart. They purchase Find Your Tribe Online and spend time implementing the data instead of wasting time researching the data. Time is money right?
Takeaway: Take the time to really, really get to know your audience. Find out what they need help with and how you can help them. Create a simple product that solves their needs. Launch it, promote it, get testimonials for it. Then let your hard work speak for itself. But find that one thing that your audience needs and create it!
2. My Weekly Email
I could be sick in bed, out of town, or not in the mood, and no matter what I am sending an email newsletter. Why? Because hands down my email followers are what keep me going. They are the most loyal women on the planet! They send me emails back when I share I am having a rough week and encourage me. They read my blog posts, they buy my programs.
Why? Because I invest in them first. Every week without fail I send out my weekly email newsletter. This week I sent out my 29th email newsletter. That means 29 weeks of content. And this is bonus content that only goes to my email subscribers. That’s a lot of content! But it is worth it to give to my email followers and I love doing it. In turn they give back to me when I ask them to. It’s a win-win relationship!
Takeaway: If you could only pick one of my suggestions to implement it would be to get an email list AND email them! Don’t get a large list and then do nothing with it. Invest in your people and and they will invest in you when you ask them to. Make it part of your schedule to send out a weekly email newsletter above and beyond your blog post. Don’t just email them when you want something from them. Pour value into them every single week because you want to, not because you want something from them.
Oh have I been turned onto a tool that I am in love with! My good friend Debra Trappen connected me with the fabulous Rebekah Radice. Rebekah works with PostPlanner and she gave me a private demo of this amazing tool. Seriously it is a game changer for bloggers and anyone working online.
With PostPlanner I can:
- Loop my posts to share again on my social media sites. (This alone made me fall in love!)
- Find the top content that influencers are sharing and share it on my social media sites.
- Recycle my posts for my Facebook groups which saves me a ton of time. (OMG this is amazing!)
- Find the top engaging posts on the web in different categories and share them with my audience.
And this only scratches the surface! PostPlanner is a game changer for me and it will be a game changer for you. I promise! Rebekah will be doing an exclusive webinar for the Women Winning Online crew (my group + email list) so make sure you are on my email list to find out when it is!
Takeaway: Get PostPlanner today. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, just get PostPlanner now. First of all it’s $9 a month. It’s features put both HootSuite and Buffer to shame. Lock in this price before the awesome people at PostPlanner realize they should be charging more. In all seriousness it will save you time when scheduling your social media posts, which you should be doing every week. Make it easier on yourself by using PostPlanner.
Tailwind has saved me when it comes to sharing my content on Pinterest. I have a schedule set up where I pin about 28 pins of my own content every day. Because of this Pinterest sent 368 new people to my blog in October. Cool I will take it!
I started to play with BoardBooster at the end of the month and shut off Tailwind. I noticed a huge decrease in traffic because of it. I love the idea of BoardBooster but I did something wrong because I was spamming boards. Not cool! So I went back in for November and set up my pins for Tailwind until I can spend more time on BoardBooster.
Takeaway: The number one source of traffic for every blogger should be Pinterest. In order to make that happen a scheduler is a must. Right now I recommend Tailwind. It is what has worked for me over the last few months. I hope to incorporate BoardBooster too in the next couple of months. Either way I am investing in tools that will help me on Pinterest and I think this is a must for any blogger!
5. Taking the online, offline.
My best days blogging are when I can take the online, offline. I am in a group coaching program myself called Profit Track. There is another women in the group that was struggling with the same kind of things I was in September and the first part of October. So we hopped on the phone.
This is one of the best decisions I made this month! Talking to Elizabeth and finding a like-minded online business woman and busy mom of soon-to-be 3 kids was a Godsend for me! It helped to share our struggles and help each other figure out what we liked and didn’t like about our business. Our conversation plus our Facebook messages after helped me really figure out where I want to take Women Winning Online in 2017.
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to step out from your computer and connect with people offline. Find people that are like you that you can connect with. Find out what they are struggling with or what they like/don’t like about their blogs and businesses. Simply put, make a business friend! This will be the person you can bounce ideas off of, someone who you can help and in kind will help you. Plus it makes blogging and online business less lonely. 🙂
Blog Income Report: What Didn’t Work
1. Not having a nanny
Oh my gosh am I struggling without a nanny. S-t-r-u-g-g-l-i-n-g. It is so bad. We had to fire our last nanny because she was late every time she came to our house and then the kicker, she didn’t buckle the four year old in her car seat. What?! The four year old was proud of herself for pulling a fast one on the nanny. I was thankful the four year old made it home in one piece. But buckling a kid in a car seat is a fundamental task when taking care of kids so unfortunately we had to let her go.
I had this grand idea that I could do it all on my own. I would just work at the gym, on Saturdays, and a few nights a week.
Yes I can work on simple tasks during those times but I cannot write blog posts, do Facebook lives, plan content, educate myself, and strategize for my business. All of those things are important to growing a business. By the time I sit down to do those things I am so exhausted. Plus I need to network with other bloggers and hold strategy sessions with my clients.
I am waving the white flag, Bill I am putting it in writing, I cannot do it all. I need help. I need a nanny.
Takeaway: Raise your hand if you are a woman that thinks “Oh no big deal. I can do this. I can do that. I can do everything. I’m a woman/mom/superhero.” Yes you are a superhero, but no you cannot do it all. Even superheros have sidekicks. You can try to do it all but you will be exhausted, miserable, and not the best you that you can be for anyone. Is that what you want? Me either.
Consider getting help. Yes it may cost you some money, but what if you can spend that time away on money making activities? It will be a win-win. If you can’t afford help, get to know someone in your area and look at swapping time or services. Do whatever you can to get help because you deserve it!
2. Not having a plan at first
I left September still feeling unfocused. What is it that I want for myself? What do I want Women Winning Online to look like? What kind of business do I want to run? How am I supposed to help women? Is it courses, coaching, programs, what?
Not having a clear goal made me unmotivated to push through every day. It felt like a hard slog and I hated that. When I am focused on an end result of helping people and knowing how I am going to do it, everything I do every day has purpose. That is a must for me.
Takeaway: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This small sentence is powerful and it is true. Yes it is okay to figure out what works for you and how you are going to grow your business. But you must have a plan. Without a plan you lose focus, determination, and some days the will to keep working on it. Give yourself time to stare and day dream about what you want your business to look like. Give yourself time to create a 30 day, 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month plan. Then act on it!
3. Focusing on one product
Ah running an online business is a huge experiment! In September I felt that I had too many things to sell. Three things to be exact and it felt like too much. So for October I was going to focus on one product to sell, Find Your Tribe Online.
Nope that didn’t work either! By focusing on one product I was putting all my eggs in one basket. Doing this put a lot of pressure on me everyday to push this program. When I do that I appear desperate and needy to make sales. Yuck! I hate that! So I didn’t push FYTO that much at all.
Takeaway: It takes more than one product to make an income online. But too many products can leave you feeling overwhelmed about what to sell when. So find a happy medium. In November I am going to try selling two programs, Find Your Tribe Online and The 30 Day Marketing Plan for Bloggers, and see how that works. Don’t be afraid to experiment when it comes to making money online. Put yourself out there and try it!
4. Lack of Promotion
I have to be honest with you, I didn’t do much promoting in October. I just. didn’t. feel. like. it. Put another way? I just didn’t wanna. I wasn’t in the mood to promote heavily. When I had time I was either writing, or thinking, or strategizing. I didn’t feel like promoting every day in Facebook groups. I didn’t feel like making sure all my pins were perfect. I just wasn’t in the mood.
Takeaway: I didn’t promote much this month and it shows in my numbers. I am okay with this. I didn’t feel like I worked as hard as I have in previous months. Blogging and earning money online is a journey, not a sprint and every once in awhile it is good to see that in action.
5. The Chicago Cubs
Did you hear? The Chicago Cubs broke their 108 year streak of not winning the World Series. Woo Hoo!!!! Now why is a die hard football lady like me writing about baseball?
My husband. My husband Bill is a die hard Cubs fan. He went to his first game when he was four months old. When we married, he adopted my Iowa Hawkeyes and I adopted his Chicago Cubs.
So we spent the last two-and-a-half weeks watching the Cubs first beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and then the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. Hand to heart I have not ever watched as much baseball as I did in those two weeks in my entire 37 years! It was a lot of baseball!
Many nights I was able to work while the game was on. But they were late nights which meant I sacrificed my mornings and getting up early. It also meant I was tired. A lot. It was incredible to watch the Cubs make a run at the pennant and win it all. The emotions in our house looked much like these photos of my husband during game 7 of the World Series:
But it did take a toll on my productivity. I wasn’t able to get everything done that I wanted to and I was often sluggish during the day.
Takeaway: Nothing! You know what? Life is so much more than blogging, online business, and making money. It is about the moments that take our breath away. Sharing this historic win with my husband was worth my blog not doing as well and me being tired. It was just awesome! Plus it was a moment that hasn’t happened in 108 years so it was worth celebrating!
1. Hit 6,500 pageviews
- Publish a post consistently every Tuesday
- Share posts in my Facebook group
- Use Tailwind & (maybe) BoardBooster for my Pinterest strategy
- Include posts in my weekly email newsletter
- Do dedicated promo days in Facebook groups
- Share on Twitter using PostPlanner
- 2 marketing/business posts
- 1 personal posts
- 1 goal post (this one!)
3. Grow to 1,200 Email Subscribers
- Change header opt-in to 7 day marketing plan
- Change end of footer to 7 day marketing plan
- Do 1 Facebook ad
- Promote 7 day marketing plan in Facebook groups
- Share my opt-ins daily on Twitter
- Share my opt-ins once a week in my Facebook group
4. Grow Women Winning Online Facebook group to 1,775
- Continue to promote through email opt-in thank you page
- Promote in Facebook groups where allowed
- Promote on Twitter and Pinterest
5. Sell 60 copies of Find Your Tribe Online (Want to help me hit my goal by buying it? Click here!)
- Promote once a week in Women Winning Online Facebook group
- Promote 3 times over email
- Add to PS in weekly email
- Run contest with affiliates, winner gets 30 minutes coaching with me.
- Share a portion free with my email list
- Ask blogger friends to promote it
6. Sell 70 copies of The 30 Day Marketing Plan for Bloggers
- Promote once a week in Women Winning Online Facebook group
- Promote 3-4 times over email
- Add to PS in weekly email
7. Work on Sales Funnels for FYTO and The 30 Day
- Create diagrams of sales funnel emails
- Update emails for FYTO
- Write new emails for The 30 Day
8. Design Growth Track of The Society of Winning Women
- Write plan for the next 90 days for The Society of Winning Women
- Share with current Society members
9. Brainstorm re-design of Women Winning Online
- Make a list of what I want to add
- Make a list of what needs to be removed
- Determine new navigation menu
- Add strategy sessions
- Add Work With Me tab
10. Outline Plan for new Facebook groups
- Outline plan for The 30 Day Marketing Plan for Bloggers Facebook group
- Outline plan for Find Your Tribe Online Facebook group
11. Strategic Plan for January 2017
- How I am going to pour more value into my tribe (content, Facebook lives, email, etc.)
- Plans for launching programs for 2017
I am already excited about November! First the Cubs won, the U.S. election will soon be a thing of the past, and the holidays are upon us. November is a good month, but a busy one.
How about you? How did your October look and what are you up to in November? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below!