This is my blog income report for the month of November 2015.

This post contains affiliate links.

What writing 50,000 words did for my blog.

Why write a blog income report?

I know it seems a bit too personal. Maybe even taboo. I’m giving you the real numbers – what I actually earned, and what I spent to do it. But why?

Because I want to inspire you. I want to show you that earning some income from writing a blog, while working from home and being a full-time mama? It’s possible.

I love reading other people’s income reports and seeing how they do things differently. I appreciate other bloggers sharing their insights into the process and the nitty-gritty of blogging. I value the glimpse into someone else’s version of “real life” while they’re making it work as a blogger.

If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own in 4 easy steps, starting at only $3.54 per month (with a discount only through my link) for blog hosting.

Plus, you will receive a free blog domain (a $15 value) through my A Small Orange link if you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting. And you definitely want to be self-hosted.

Being self-hosted gives you the flexibility to make your blog look exactly the way you want it to, make money from it if you’d like (some free blog platforms restrict this), and truly own your internet “property.”

So I’m giving the same thing back to the community.

Each month, I’ll review what my goals were and how I did with them, along with lessons I learned or insight I gained.

Then, I’ll break down my income and expenses, my traffic, and my income per thousand views.

Finally, I’ll set goals for the next month. Are you ready?

What were my intentions for November?

  1. Write daily, 50,000 words total for November.
  2. Update/tweak top 10 blog posts on Joyful Abode.
  3. Make new printables for Hardcore Homemaking community and upload them to etsy as well.
  4. Simplify main etsy listing pictures.

 How did I do?

Write Daily, 50,000 words total for November

I did it! Every day, I wrote at least 750 words. And for the month, I wrote a total of over 50,000 words.

Was it everything I thought it would be? In short, no.

Was it beneficial? Certainly!

I hoped that in writing 50,000 words, I would have TONS of content scheduled and ready to go, lots of podcasts to record, and several autoresponder emails scheduled. Nope.

What really happened a lot of days was that I was too busy to write in the morning or during the day (3 kids, one of them being a newborn, can do that). Then, I’d write before bed to make sure to get some word count in, and I was too exhausted to focus on anything. So I would write a rambly stream-of-consciousness “for my eyes only” journal entry type thing.

I was putting in the time. I was putting in the work, but I was doing it at the wrong time of day, when my energy was totally depleted. I wrote a lot of good stuff when I was able to write earlier in the day!

The big lesson from this is that it’s not necessarily about the hours I put in. It’s not necessarily time management. Not every hour is created equally, and I’m useless for some of them. It’s more about energy management. There were a few times when I only had evening hours to write, but with a short nap beforehand, I was able to actually produce something worthwhile. Funny how that works!

And my main goal of getting back into the habit of writing was accomplished, for sure. I didn’t hit 50,000 and take a break. I’m still writing at least 750 words every day, and plan to continue. Only this time, I’ll focus on trying to write at more optimal times, so that I can produce more useable content.

Update/tweak the top 10 blog posts on Joyful Abode.

It took a while, but I did it! I worked my way through my most recent top 10 blog posts (traffic-wise), reformatting recipes to be printable and google-friendly (using the Easy Recipe plugin), adding more Pinterest-friendly images, and linking to relevant products on Amazon with affiliate links. Hopefully this will result in some more passive income from the Amazon associate program (their affiliate system).

I won’t know for sure until January, because I’m pushing my affiliate links pretty hard right now in social media and such, because of the Christmas shopping season. But I plan to take a break from that in January to see what happens if I don’t even try.

My current top 10 posts, traffic-wise, in case you want to check them out and see how I tweaked them. I’m not sure if I used the “right” methods, but what I did is most certainly better than leaving them as they were.

  1. A-Freaking-Mazing Artichoke Dip
  2. How to Boil Corn on the Cob
  3. Homemade Baked Cheese Crisps
  4. 25 Handmade Gifts for Toddlers and Preschoolers
  5. Homemade Baked Egg Rolls
  6. Cheesy Garlic Biscuits a la Red Lobster
  7. How to Make a Woven Wrap Hammock
  8. Easiest Ever Balloon Garland
  9. Garlic Lemon Pasta and Shrimp
  10. Skillet Fried Apples Recipe

Make new printables for the Hardcore Homemaking community and upload them to etsy as well.

I didn’t make a whole lot of new ones, but one of them was huge, so I’ll count it as a win! I made these new ones, uploaded them for my annual community members, and listed them on etsy:

I like making variations on the same thing, because it gives people options when they’re shopping, and hopefully one will resonate with them! It just takes a little bit of extra time up front, but I think it will be worth it to do different versions in the long run.

Simplify my main etsy listing pictures.

Last month, an etsy seller I really look up to gave me the advice that my main listing images were too busy and suggested that I simplify them. I didn’t make new images for all of my listings, but I did swap out some of the primary and secondary images on listings, since the secondary ones are simpler. It’s hard to tell if it made a difference or not, but we’ll see.

I guess it would be a better test to do some A/B testing comparing simple and complex main images, but that seems like a lot of time invested for a little potential return. Moving forward though, I’ll use simpler main listings. The four products I uploaded this month all use simpler main images.

Income:

Affiliate:

Products:

  • Etsy (Printables and PDFs) – $63
  • EBook Sales (Amazon) – $4.16

Writing:

Advertisements:

  • Display ads (The Blogger Network) – $768.90

Total Income for November 2015: $2137.92

How my blog earned $2137.92 last month. Blog income report with all the nitty-gritty details.

Expenses:

My expenses this month are pretty much through the roof. After a long time of unfocused blogging, and then some time off during pregnancy and with my newborn, I really needed to make some changes and upgrades.

Next month will be a much cheaper month for me, thank goodness! But this is why I list my gross income on my images for these reports – the expenses often are tied to big one-time costs, or I’m paying for several months or years of a service at once. Expenses vary hugely.

Hosting (A Small Orange) – $276.93 to upgrade my plan to Small Business for the next 3 years.

I started with A Small Orange just recently, and I LOVE them – their customer service is the best I’ve ever experienced! Still, I started with the wrong plan for me. I host several sites on one plan, and have a good amount of traffic, so “Medium” just didn’t cut it. I upgraded to Large at the beginning of the month, and then again to the “Small Business” plan on Black Friday during their sale. Now I’m in the right size plan for me, and I’m all paid up for the next 3 years. Whew!

Use my link if you want to switch to their hosing – I highly recommend them and so does my web designer – and you’ll get 15% off and a free domain.

AWeber – $30

My usual monthly fee for AWeber has been $50/month, but I was deleting some inactive subscribers, so my cost went down this month. Still, this is my last month with AWeber! I’ve switched to a new system – and no, it isn’t MailChimp. Hang in there to read what it is.

Tailwind (Pinterest Scheduler) – $119.88 for one year

I did the month trial of Tailwind and LOVED it. I tried using Ahalogy for a while, but didn’t really click with it. Tailwind was love at first Pin. Try a free month of premium Tailwind, on me, and see what I mean. It makes Pinterest scheduling a breeze.

DAP (membership software) – $39.99

Fotolia & Other Stock Photos – $29

Paypal Fees – $14.80

Google mail apps – $9.18

VAs (fiverr and private) – $52.50

Use my Fiverr link to get a free “gig” – basically one free job performed by a Virtual Assistant for you!

Amazon (S3 & SES) – $1.21

Equipment/Software – 358.88

Again, this includes an entire year of some subscription software, so the cost is high for just one month.

But this ALSO includes my new email management system, which I’m using to replace AWeber. Sendy is a one-time cost. You buy it, and it’s yours. It works to send email to your list using Amazon’s email system (which is CRAZY cheap). This purchase alone will save me about $800 each year in AWeber fees ($200/year plus $50/month). And as my list grows, and AWeber would’ve cost more, Sendy will save me even more. I showed it to my web designer and she fell in love with it too. Approved!

Web Design -$137

I got my web designer to tweak some things for me, set up image compressing on this site, set up CloudFlare for me, and make new widget areas on both of my websites. It would’ve taken me so many hours to trial-and-error my way through all of this… she’s worth every penny.

Education (books, courses, etc) – $18.02

Giveaway Prizes & Shipping – $34.70

Total Expenses for November 2015: $1,122.09

Net Income for November 2015: $1015.83

Traffic report:

 November 2015 blog traffic - blog income report

If you saw my post last month, you know that I accidentally had two instances of Google Analytics running on my site at the same time. This screws up data, and I didn’t fix it until about the second week of November (you can see the huge jump in bounce rate when it was fixed).

Still, my overall traffic this month was higher than October’s, which isn’t a surprise since I’ve been much more active on the site in general. I hope to see it back up to 250,000-300,000 (which used to be my “normal” before I took a huge break) soon.

RPM: Revenue per 1000 – $4.38

This is the amount I earned (net) per 1000 views on my site. This number will give me a good metric for comparing different months even when traffic fluctuates. Last month was $5.69 RPM , so this month is down a bit. But with so many expenses this month, it doesn’t surprise me. I still feel good about my income for the month.

My intentions for December:

Since I basically ignored my website – and email list – for so long, most of my traffic is from google searches and Pinterest users. I’d like more of it to be from “regulars” – people who see themselves as part of the same communities I’m in. Good, real food people. Intentional parenting people. And work-at-home-mama people.

So I’m putting some effort into building my email list back up. Right now, I have one list at 933 users (after I deleted the inactive ones on AWeber and switching to Sendy).

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 3.33.48 PM

I’m currently running a giveaway for my new favorite kitchen tool, an Instant Pot DUO 7-in-1 pressure cooker. This is the best kind of giveaway, because only people who are actually interested in cooking (and not cooking processed frozen dinners). So, at the end of the giveaway, I’ll add the people who entered to my email list. I decided I’m going to make three separate lists, though. And these people will go on the “food” list.

I’ll probably also run a giveaway to build a family/parenting list too, maybe giving away a woven baby wrap of mine.

And I want to build a blogger list as well, so I’ll work on making something that will be really useful to bloggers – maybe some stock images, printable worksheets, or something else. (Leave me a comment to let me know what you’d be interested in!)

So this month, I’m going to take a break from tweaking and optimizing old posts to focus on email list building overall.

With Christmas and the New Year, and my kids’ school break, I don’t want to have too many things to focus on this month work-wise, so I’ll keep it simple.

In December, I will:

  1. Write every day, at least 750 words.
  2. Build my “food” mailing list with the Instant Pot Giveaway
  3. Build my “parenting” mailing list with a babywearing wrap giveaway
  4. Build my “blogging” mailing list by creating a free tool for bloggers.
  5. Add opt-in links to the sidebars and About pages of both Joyful Abode and So Damn Domestic.

If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own in 4 easy steps, starting at only $3.54 per month (with a discount only through my link) for blog hosting.

Plus, you will receive a free blog domain (a $15 value) through my A Small Orange link if you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting. And you definitely want to be self-hosted.

Being self-hosted gives you the flexibility to make your blog look exactly the way you want it to, make money from it if you’d like (some free blog platforms restrict this), and truly own your internet “property.”

How to start a blog in 4 easy steps

6 Comments on What Writing 50,000 Words Did For My Blog

  1. Sam says:

    Thanks so much for this! I found it on the Snap link up and love how you break everything down. It’s totally encouraging to see how everyone is able to do!

  2. gigi says:

    Amazing! Thank you for breaking it all down for us!

  3. I like reading income reports, especially ones that are honest and include screenshots! It’s a push in the right direction, and gives me ideas on how to monetize my website. I’m working on my blog once again, mainly to advertise my writing services. I hope one day I’ll be able to share an income report!

  4. Christina says:

    I’m switching to A Small Orange after chatting with Mark M. Soon. Thank you.
    Your mother, X

  5. Catherine says:

    Congratulations on making it to 50,000 words! I can’t imagine doing that with a newborn. You are amazing!

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