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Blog Income Report for Joyful Abode - October 2015

What is a blog income report?

Each month, I’ll share what income I’ve brought in from my three websites – this site, Joyful Abode, my newest site So Damn Domestic, and my old basically abandoned site, Baby Led Weaning Blog (which brings in a couple of dollars randomly here and there from Amazon affiliate links).

I’ll also report my expenses, notes about my traffic, and my income per 1000 pageviews (for comparison’s sake).

Then, I’ll share my intentions for the next month. I won’t be making monetary goals, but instead will focus on actions I can take to improve my blog income, especially in the long-term.

Why?

I want to inspire you.

I want to show you that it’s totally possible to make a decent income from a blog.

I’ve done it (on and off, with varying levels of income, related to the effort I’ve put in) for 8 years now, and I want to help you get started, or give you new ideas if you’re already a blogger.

Why NOW?

I’ve been blogging since 2007.

In that time, I’ve earned next to nothing from it some months, and over $3,000 a month for a period or two.

My income has paid for home births (which our insurance doesn’t cover), paid for my van with cash, and has sent my children to Montessori school, something that’s important to us as a family.

When I became pregnant with my third child, I had a really weird few months when I couldn’t even look at my computer screen without getting an instant headache.

Super strange and inconvenient! And once that settled down, I just had a couple of “good months” computer-wise before he was born. And since then, I’ve had a newborn on my hands.

Which is awesome, of course. And he’s still my number 1 priority most of the day.

But he’s starting to take longer naps, and it looks like I might be able to devote some real time to this whole blogging thing again.

So, now is the time. Things are lining up for me to kick this blog back into gear again. And I want to take you on the journey this time!

It’s About Intention

So instead of just playing it completely by ear, like I’ve done for the last 8 years, I want to do these reports to give myself a baseline, see my progress, and share my plans and insights with you.

I want to approach my blogging business with more intention, because I know it can do so much better than it is right now.

With such a weird long break, it feels like I’m stating from scratch (though I know it’s far from that), and I want you to be able to share in the process of planning for and achieving growth. Maybe you can even play along with your own blog, doing some of the same exercises along with me.

So, before we get to the report for October, I want to know… what do YOU want to know? What questions do you have about blogging, or about the way I personally blog? Leave them in a comment and I’ll answer them in future posts for you.

October is going to serve as sort of a baseline for me, since I’m just now getting back into the swing of things… here goes nothing.

Blogging Income for October 2015:

Affiliate:

Products:

Writing:

Advertisements:

Total Income for October 2015 – $1656.21

Expenses:

Hosting (A Small Orange)– $155 (pre-paid a big chunk of time in advance)

AWeber for email marketing – $50

DAP (membership software) – $39.99

Paypal Fees – $3.95

Affiliate payouts – $17.10

Google mail apps – $10

Virtual Assistants (fiverr and private) – $109.06
(Use my fiverr link to get a free gig)

Amazon (S3 & SES) – $2.61

Equipment/Software – $112.03

Total Expenses for October 2015 – $499.74

Net Income for October 2015 – $1156.47

Traffic report:

Blog Traffic Report

(Ignore the crazy drop-off in the bounce rate and time on page… I had GA installed twice by mistake. It’s fixed now.)

You can see a pretty big jump in my traffic around the last week of the month. I think this is due to a few things. I actually started writing a bit more and paying attention to the blog more. I updated some old posts, and wrote some new things.

I also participated in some “linky parties” where bloggers can submit posts for others to visit, and visit other people’s posts in return. A couple of those parties featured one of my posts the next week, so I probably got some extra visits from that.

The traffic looks pretty good, but it’s not up to where it was when I was really cultivating this site better… so I am hoping I can get it back up to its more normal 250-300k/month range.

RPM: Revenue per 1000 – $5.69

This is the amount of money I earned for every 1,000 views on the blog. The reason I’m using this metric is so that I can compare different months’ income even if traffic varied widely.

Intentions for November:

During the month of November, I’m doing my own version of NaNoWriMo / NaBloPoMo.

In case you haven’t heard of those, let me explain.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Writers set out to start and finish writing an entire novel in the month of November, of at least 50,000 words. That’s roughly 1,700 words a day.

NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month, when bloggers post on their website every day of the month.

I’m sort of combining them. I don’t want to write a novel, and I don’t want to post every day on my blogs. But I’m writing daily in November, and aiming for a monthly word count of 50,000 or more.

What am I writing? Anything! Blog posts for my sites, podcasts for my homemaking community, rambling “diary” style writing no one will ever see and I will never read again, emails for my subscribers… really anything.

I’m doing this to get back into the habit of writing after my maternity leave hiatus. Before Henry was born, I was doing well with daily writing, and I could see how it was going to be a great thing for my websites. When I write daily, I write better. I get used to letting the words flow, and when you’re a content creator, that’s kind of a necessary thing.

So, one of my intentions for November is to write daily, with a word count of 50,000 for the month. Think I can do it?

Another intention for November is to update my top 10 blog posts on Joyful Abode. Tweak them for better search engine optimization, make any recipes recognized as recipes by using the EasyRecipe plugin (which Google reads as recipe schema). Update photos if necessary, and add some affiliate links where appropriate. I’ve already started this, but I’d like to finish the top 10 posts by the end of the month.

Finally, I want to work on some more products for my community – make different and new planner printables and work through a short list of printables I want to update, since the old versions are ugly (the first ones I ever made need to be re-vamped).

I’ll also upload these to my new etsy shop so people can purchase them a la carte if they don’t want to jump for the whole membership just yet. Another (very successful) etsy digital product seller gave me some advice about my product listing photos, and I plan to take her advice by simplifying my main listing pictures as well.

So I think if I make any more intentions, it would be unrealistic. As it is, I’m stretching a bit with that word count goal! It’s pretty optimistic, but I’m going to make it happen. Next month, I’ll share how I did with these goals, and make some new ones for December.

  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.

And once again, because I really do want to help YOU through these reports…

I want to know… what do YOU want to know? What questions do you have about blogging, or about the way I personally blog? Leave them in a comment and I’ll answer them in future posts for you.

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

16 Comments on Blog Income Report – October 2015

  1. Tisha says:

    Hi Emily! I am so glad Freedom Fridays brought me to your site! I love reading income reports and I appreciate bloggers who takes time and effort to share theirs. You are an inspiration to all bloggers out there who are just starting to grow their blogs (that includes me!)
    Thank you so much. I will definitely be a regular visitor here 🙂

  2. Meena says:

    Thank you, thank you for writing all of this.

    I am a new blogger who is not making a dime on my blog.

    I don’t have any ads up — I feel that all these ads clutter the page
    and make it incredibly slow.

    I would love to take photos of the products that I use and endorse them.
    Is that what IZEA is?

    Do you have any other suggestions on how to make money on blogs besides
    the ads on the actual web site?

    I’m a big Pinner on Pinterest. I still haven’t been able to figure Pinterest out.
    I’ll gain a bunch of followers, then I will lose a bunch of followers. Oy Vey….

    That would be my dream — to make money with what I love doing and not to
    be tied down to one place. We move often and we are going to have kids soon.

    Thanks in advance,

    Fellow NAVY wife living in GA

    • Endorsing products and recommending them for a commission is more like affiliate income. Look into “Amazon Associates” for an example of a popular affiliate program. IZEA hooks up bloggers and advertisers for sponsored posts and social media shares.

      Keep in touch! I’ll have some blogging Q&As up soon.

  3. Jessica says:

    Were you on Etsy once? In the Homefront team? I feel like you seem familiar to me. Regardless, your traffic is incredible. I’ve only been seriously blogging since February, and my traffic is slowly improving. It’s always really encouraging to see other bloggers, especially bloggers with a newborn, making a real income from their blogs.

    • Oh my goodness, yes! AGES ago. Were you in that team also? I actually just started up on Etsy again, November 1st. So my etsy income will be in next month’s report also. Are teams still a thing?

  4. Erin says:

    Thanks for sharing, Emily. As a new blogger it’s helpful to see how other bloggers approach their business and how they are doing. Best of luck for your Nov goals!

  5. Lydia says:

    I love reading other people’s blog income reports- it’s always so interesting and I can typically learn a few helpful things too.

    I have to say though, that I am completely baffled by how you make so much with The Blogger Network. I make about half that and my pageviews are just a bit less than yours. I have emailed them and asked for input on how to get my earnings up, because I really feel like I should be making more, but they don’t respond. 🙁

    • Do you have in-image ads? about 1/4 to 1/3 of mine is from that, I’m guessing because some of my posts are really image-heavy. Though I find them really annoying, so plan to remove them even though they do well for me…

  6. Harmony says:

    Newbie here. How do I go about getting ads or affiliate links in my blog? Also, if I am talking about a product I really like (for example my daughters dress she has on that day) is it ok to put a link to where someone might be able to buy it? Or say I find a cool tutorial, can I put a link to it in my blog? Or are there specific rules for doing these kinds of things?

  7. Steven says:

    Thanks for sharing this income report.

    Regarding your sudden increase in pageviews, there is one simple reason that you stated yourself in the post: you had Analytics installed twice on your pages.

    It is why your Bounce Rate dropped, your % Exit dropped, your Time on Page dropped, and your Pageviews spiked. This is why Pageviews increased, but Unique Pageviews stayed constant.

    • Oh you’re right. Though I do feel like it went up for real anyway… because I had a lot more comments in that time period, too. It’s annoying to screw up analytics/stats like that. Anyway, it’ll be correct next time. You know?

  8. MJ says:

    Thank you for sharing your income and traffic report. I have been blogging for under two years. My biggest area I would like to work on is SEO and traffic. Your pageviews are amazing. I’ve been reading up more on SEO but do you have any tips you can share on it or on pageviews in general. Thank you.
    I’m also blogging with a 6 month old and soon to be 4 year old. Feeling overwhelmed and in need of a better plan. I admire you planning approach.

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