Welcome to my monthly oversharing post! 😉
In this post, I’ll be sharing exactly how I monetized my blog in November, what my results were, and what my traffic was.
This is the second time I’ve done an income and traffic report. Yep, it’s still intimidating. But first things first — THANK YOU for all your positive responses to last month’s income report. I hope that I helped clarify what blog monetization really entails.
If this is your first time tuning in, a few quick reminders. Like I said before — I want to help other creators be successful as much as I can by sharing my own experiences.
- I’m still in the beginning phases of monetizing. Even though I’ve experimented with monetizing since beginning my blog, I am still learning best practices and am just now starting to really focus on it. I think it’d be best to start these income reports now, when my earnings are relatively low, to share how I (hopefully) grow my income.
- I believe information should be shared. Monetization online is still a big experiment that changes all the time. I want to share any helpful strategies or tips with other online content creators so that we can all learn ways to be compensated for our effort!
- I want to prove it’s possible to make money from creating free content. Online content creators deserve to get paid. I want to show not only the work involved behind the scenes, but also that it’s possible to get paid to do what you love.
- Transparency is valuable. I don’t like leaving my readers in the dark about what is sponsored and what isn’t. I try to be as clear as possible in each instance, but these income reports will only further my efforts at transparency.
As a reminder, it’s not my goal to make a full-time income off my blog. That said, I do want to start focusing on building my income streams and making my blog a more consistent and significant secondary income.
So let’s dive in!
My traffic was on the low end this month, and I know it’s from taking an unintentional blogging hiatus from November 5 to the 25. I’m happy that my evergreen content ensures I still have a good number of pageviews, but fresh content is important too.
See that big spike near the end of the month? That’s pretty much solely from my Black Friday post! Thank you, time-sensitive content. I also noticed my post from last year for Black Friday got quite a few clicks, too.
Pinterest is still king for sending traffic to the site. I am always surprised that Facebook sends as much traffic as it does, since I don’t have much engagement or audience on Facebook compared to other sites. I think the Facebook traffic is mostly groups I’m in rather than my page.
Top Posts for the Month
- Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals for Cosplayers & Geeks of All Trades
- Cosplay 101: Underthings, Shapewear, & More
- Cosplay 101: Tutorials and Tips
- Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals for Cosplayers and Nerds of All Trades
- Cosplay 101: Basic Wig Guide (Part 1 & Part 2)
- Income + Traffic Report: October 2015 — $139.54
- Cosplay 101: Planning and Budgeting a Costume
- Cosplay 101: Detangling a Cosplay Wig
- November Goals
- Cosplay 101: Basic Makeup Guide (Part 1 & Part 2)
New posts from November that made it into my top posts are bolded.
As usual, my top posts are usually my Cosplay 101 posts — which is why I’m spending so much time on revitalizing them! There was also significant interest in my income and traffic report.
Also interesting to note — my top post (Black Friday deals) accounted for over 12% of my monthly traffic. Wow!
I also wanted to point out that I’ve made a few organizational changes as well. I have updated the top menu to (hopefully) be a little easier to access, as well as splitting up some of my cosplay posts into different categories. I also added a few email subscribe widgets through my site, and added an image header.
Monthly Income + Expenses
- PassionFruit: $0 (- $91.35)
- Amazon affiliate sales: $14.14 (- $8.26)
- SkimLinks: $2.49 (+ $1.33)
- ShopStyle Collective: $1.00 (- $1.24)
- Google AdSense: $4.41 (+ $2.32)
- YouTube AdSense: $2.91 (+ $0.80)
- Trade4Cash: $18.10 (- $0.09)
- Pinky Paradise: $9.81 (+ $9.81)
- Share A Sale: $63.05 (+ $63.05)
Total income: $115.91 (- $23.63)
Thoughts on Income
So many interesting things about this month!
First, you’ll notice I didn’t make a dime from PassionFruit this month, meaning I didn’t sell any sidebar advertising. This is how it usually goes for me, especially since I have a few 3-month long slots.
Next, it’s evident that my other income sources shifted significantly this month. My Black Friday post is responsible for the Share-A-Sale and Pinky Paradise affiliate income — two sources that weren’t listed last month since I didn’t make anything from them last month. I also created a Blogging Resources Guide full of all the resources I use to manage my blog, which may have contributed to some affiliate sales.
For me, my income sources vary each month since I have quite a few. Some might find it a little tricky to manage, but I love having all the different options depending on what type of post I’m going to do. This month, I’m planning on a few gift guide posts, which will give me an opportunity to use affiliate links (but of course, in an honest, non-spammy way), so I expect my December income sources will shift as well.
My income was down this month, but I’m not upset about it — income fluctuates, just as pageviews do. I am hoping to get back on track with posting in December to make sure that my income rises next month!
Finally, I wanted to mention that I made a little bit of extra income from cosplay figure modeling, a gig I wouldn’t have received without this blog and the opportunities I’ve gotten from it. I didn’t include it in my income since it’s not purely blogging income, but I wanted to mention it as an example of how blogging can lead to other income.
- Domain/hosting: $10.60
- Passionfruit: $4.17
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $31.38
- Dropbox: $10.65
- Trello: $5.00
Total expenses: $61.80 (- $5.00)
Thoughts on Expenses
Last month, I said both Buffer and Dropbox were “lazy expenses.” I paused my Buffer subscription in November, and soon realized how vital it is to my workflow, so I purchased it again for December. I still need to transfer all my photos and videos to a hard drive to stop paying for Dropbox!
I am excited for the end of December when I can change my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription to Photoshop only and save a few bucks there. (I signed up for a subscription that had a long-term commitment.)
Though really — I’d rather focus on making more money than saving a few bucks here and there.
Take Home Pay
This is net profit, minus what I will have to pay for taxes. The formula is Take Home Pay = .70(Income – Expenses)
This month’s take home pay is $37.87.
Again, not impressed, but always happy it’s higher than my expenses. I didn’t expect to do more than break even this month since I barely posted. I’m looking forward to changing that in December!
Being aware of how much I make and spend has really changed how I look at my blog. While I’ve had some success in monetizing my blog, I will have to really set and execute specific goals if I want to get to the next level.
Set Blogging Income Goals
Casually wanting to make money isn’t the same as setting concrete goals. In my wildest dreams, I’d be able to reliably make $1000 off my blog in a month. For now, I want to push a little further than my current norm and aim for $300 a month.
To achieve this, I will:
- Create at least one post utilizing affiliate links strategically per month
- Make my first two digital products in 2016 (!)
- Build my traffic and e-mail list using strategies I have learned recently