Welcome to December! Last month I did something different and set very specific goals for my blog and business (click this link to read my November 2015 Blogging and Business Goals). I also made those goals public for all of you to see because I knew it would keep me accountable and focused, and perhaps it would inspire some of you who are also bloggers and/or business owners to set similar goals.
In today’s post , I’m giving an overview of my November blogging and business goals and the progress I’ve made over the past month. First, I’ll outline my November goals and let you know which ones I can check off the list and which ones still need a bit of work.
If you follow me on Periscope, then perhaps you’ve watched one of my weekly progress updates on Sunday afternoons. I go into a lot of detail on Periscope about my specific tasks each week and how my to-do list is supposed to help me achieve each of my goals, so definitely follow me there and tune in on Sunday afternoons to hear the nitty gritty of how I’m attacking my goals each month.
November Blogging and Business Goals
1 // Develop and advertise the new monthly sponsorship program for The Feisty House – YEP!
Last month I took the time to create a media kit, develop sponsorship packages, and reach out to a few brands to see if they were interested. No packages have been purchased so far, but I put myself out there and did it! I plan to be more aggressive with marketing and outreach this month and in January.
2 // Write my blog posts on the weekends, and work on my business during the week – YEP!
Blogging on the weekends has been a game changer. I’ve had so much more time during the week to plan my business and think through how I want to launch in 2016. Planning the Dream Job Brunch did take up quite a bit of my time last month, so I didn’t blog as often as I wanted, but other than that, it was a good experience, and I’m going to keep reserving my weekends for writing posts.
3 // Secure event sponsors for the January 2016 DREAM JOB Brunch – NOPE
I haven’t even started to think about the January 2016 Dream Job Brunch! I really need to prioritize sponsorship in December. I want to do a January brunch, but I got some news that might make that a bit more complicated: I’m speaking at Alt Summit in January! Alt Summit has grown to become the premier conference for lifestyle & design bloggers, small business owners, social media mavens and other tech creatives, so I couldn’t be more excited about teaching attendees how to reduce feelings of overwhelm and frustration while blogging and instead, blog happy! It’s the first time I’m sharing my Blog Happy “movement” outside of The Feisty House community, so that means December will most likely involve a lot of preparation for my session, leaving less time for planning the January brunch and securing event sponsors…
4 // Blog Traffic Goal: At least 10,000 unique visitors and 20,000 page views – NOPE (November Traffic: 8,965 unique visitors and 19,311 page views)
5 // Blog and Business Income Goal: $1,000 – $1,300 – NOPE (November Income: $529.34)
Okay, so now that you know what goals I did and didn’t meet in November, let’s move on to my monthly income report! I’ve never done anything like this before, but I can’t tell you how helpful it was to put this report together. For one thing, it gave me a ton of confidence; like, I actually made money from my blog! Second, I don’t normally analyze my blog and business income and expenses like this, so having everything written out neatly in one place was really eye-opening. I’m definitely opening a business account in 2016 so that I can keep my business income separate from my full-time income. I never thought of separating them before, but I think that’s because I didn’t realize I had the potential to make this much! Now, instead of using money from sponsored posts to do things like shop and go to brunch, I’m putting all of it into a separate business account so I can reinvest that money into my blog and business.
- Sponsored Posts: $645
- Affiliate Commission: $103.89
- Blog Sponsorship Packages: $0.00
- Events (November Dream Job Brunch): $550.60
Total Income: $1,299.49
- Events (November Dream Job Brunch): $639.30
- Facebook Ads: $21.12
- Google: $4.16
- Buffer: $10
- CoSchedule: $10
- Evernote: $3.26
- Dropbox: $9.99
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $54.43
- Photobucket: $2.99
- Iconosquare: $14.90
Total Expenses: $770.15
November Blog and Business Profit: $529.34
I made over $500 in November because of this blog. That’s pretty amazing stuff, if I do say so myself. Granted, I didn’t meet this month’s target of $1,000 – $1,500, but I’m not even sure I’ve ever made this much money off of my blog in one month, so I’m really proud of myself!
I was able to get three sponsored posts in November, and each one was at least $200. I actually negotiated my rate for one of those posts; the brand proposed $100, but I stuck to my guns and they agreed to pay me $200, double what they’d originally proposed. My only affiliate commissions are through rewardStyle, and I usually get about $100 every three months or so, so I don’t expect to see that income in January or February. I’m not interested in putting my energy into increasing my rewardStyle commissions right now, since there are other projects I’m working on that should bring in a larger and more consistent income. And for the first time, the Dream Job Brunch completely sold out! I sold 20 tickets at $30 each. I used Splashthat as my event platform, and after they took their cut for fees, I was left with $550.60.
I went WAY over budget for the Dream Job Brunch because I bought some things for gift bags. I have some returns to make for things I purchased and didn’t use, so hopefully I end up breaking even once I do that. I really need to work on getting sponsors for this event! I also played around a bit with Facebook Ads.
My other expenses are pretty regular, although November is the first month I’ve used Iconosquare (I’m hoping it gives me a bit more insight into how to better connect with my Instagram community). I use Google’s Tools for Business, which comes out to about $4.00 every month. I use Buffer and CoSchedule to share my blog posts and other helpful links on social media automatically; it’s really important that I schedule as much of my social media in advance because I have a full-time job and don’t have the time to be on Facebook or Twitter during the day. I pay less than $4.00/month for Evernote, which allows me to access some of my notes on my phone when I don’t have cellular service or wi-fi (i.e. when I’m on the Subway). Dropbox is TOTALLY worth the $10/month. I have 1 TB of space and access to all of my Dropbox files both on my phone and my laptop, which is so convenient.
My largest monthly business expense is the Adobe Creative Suite. I use the Creative Cloud version, which is essentially a monthly subscription to all of the Adobe programs. I’m not at a point where I can afford to purchase the three or four Adobe programs I use, so while the monthly fee is kinda high, it works for me. Photobucket is like an old version of Flickr. The photos from my really old blog posts are still hosted on Photobucket, so I pay about $3.00/month to make sure they keep showing up here on The Feisty House.
November Blog Traffic
Lastly, we’re going to look at my blog traffic. I set some specific blog traffic goals for myself in November because I haven’t been actively focused on growing The Feisty House readership. Now that I know my why for writing The Feisty House, I really want to be intentional about growing this platform and building this community.
My goal in November was to get to 10,000 monthly unique visitors (or “users”) and at least 20,000 monthly page views. Below you’ll see screenshots from Google Analytics of my October 2015 traffic and my November 2015 traffic:
I was so close to meeting my goal!!! But not close enough, unfortunately. I’m not too upset though. In November I did improve my stats for page views (16,889 in October vs. 19,311 in November) and unique visitors (8,083 in October vs. 8,965 in November). Improvement is always a good thing, but I hope I can do better in December, especially since I know why I didn’t reach my goal: I just didn’t post enough. I only published seven blog posts in November. Only seven! That’s not even two posts per week! So while I’m proud of myself for getting so close to my goal with only seven posts, I need to post more often. My readers (that would be you lovely people!) prefer when I post more often and on a variety of topics, and I know I definitely didn’t post often enough in November.
I really enjoyed the process of coming up with monthly goals and sharing my progress with all of you! This week on the blog I’m going to share my December blogging and business goals, and then be sure to catch me on Periscope on Sundays for my weekly updates!
If you have any questions about how I’m making money from my blog, please let me know! Leave me a note in the comments, or you can send me an email using the contact form at the bottom of my ABOUT page. I’m actually working on a post that will outline my business plan that I’m implementing in 2016, including my income streams and 2016 business goals, so stay tuned for that this month!
I know from Periscope that a lot of you had some awesome November goals, too. How did you do?
Share in the comments!
Photo Source: Paper & Stitch