Blogging, Income Report

April Blog Income Report (And Traffic, Too)

I’m not sure which phrase best describes April for me.

It could be either “April showers bring May flowers” or “April fools!” Both would probably describe the mixed bag April was after coming off of an awesome March.

Some amazing things happened in April. I went on two incredible press trips. The first trip was at the beginning of the month. I spent four days at the King and Prince Resort in St Simons Island, Georgia. The quaint barrier island more than surpassed my expectations, as did the resort amenities at King and Prince.

 

Each month I publish a Blog Income Report to inspire others to plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. Here's April’s edition.

 

The second trip was to Northern Ireland for a press trip. While I was making the leap over the pond, I decided to tack on a few additional days to reunite with an old friend. The press trip was to focus on the new craft beer and distillery industry in Ireland but had a deeper focus on food. Yes, Irish cuisine is more than just corn beef and cabbage, and I’m convinced Irish whiskey is distilled from leprechaun tears.

While both trips were great experiences and a testament that I’m moving in the right direction with both my e-course (15 Steps to Sponsored Blog Travel) and my blogging / writing career, they broke a rule I promised to hold steadfast. I was not going to go on more than one trip a month. With all of my other writing and parenting obligations, there isn’t enough of me to be on the road more than that. However, Ireland presented itself at the very last minute, and I couldn’t say no.

 

Each month I publish a Blog Income Report to inspire others to plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. Here's April’s edition.

 

Thus, I fell hugely behind on my goals as you’ll read below since press trips keep you occupied nearly every waking minute of the day. There is no time to keep up with your normal obligations. On that same note though, I now have plenty of material for the blog and to pitch for freelance articles. There’s the April showers connection.

As for “April fools,” well the news that our babysitter was resigning after coming off of a stellar March completely stymied any celebration. In fact, for a while it completely occupied the precious few hours I had free for work between the press trips and stay-at-home-dad obligations (I watch Deacon in the mornings). It was like a giant “fooled you!”

 

Each month I publish a Blog Income Report to inspire others to plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. Here's April’s edition.

 

We were devastated by the news as we loved our babysitter and her son. Plus, part-time childcare is hard to find in Charlotte for infants. Most places require fulltime or charge a rate almost equivalent to fulltime. Neither are affordable to us.

After much consideration, we have decided not to hire another babysitter. Instead, I plan to take the reigns as a fulltime, stay-at-home-dad – something I never thought I’d do.. To help with the burden of my blog, freelance writing career, and novel writing, I have decided to hire a virtual assistant instead of a babysitter. I have spent the past two weeks screening applicants and conducting interviews. I hope to have my new VA start in the next couple of weeks.

I think working with a VA will be a welcome change. It will allow me to shift off of my plate things I’m not good at, take me away from the computer (which has been killing my eyes and back), and allow me more time with Deacon (I’m a proud papa).

 

Each month I publish a Blog Income Report to inspire others to plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. Here's April’s edition.

 

April Goal Summary

So, how exactly did I fare goal-wise in April?

  • Freelance:
    • Make $1,834 from freelance or otherwise – Hahahaha! Not even close.
    • Launch beta of my e-course “15 Steps to Sponsored Blog Travel” – Success! The sales window is now open and the beta lessons start emailing out on Monday.
  • Blog:
    • Hit 7,000 in monthly traffic – Hahahaha! Not even close.
  • Fiction Writing:
    • Create a new outline for my first book, It’s Always Personal, that is better suited for self-publishing – Success! Editing has begun!

 

Each month I publish a Blog Income Report to inspire others to plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. Here's April’s edition.

 

Blog Income Report Goal

Yes, I took a step back in April income-wise and missed my goal of $1,834 by $700. There are several reasons for this failure:

  1. When I’m traveling, I’m not working. With my two trips in April, I missed eight days of work.
  2. I factored my e-course into April’s income. However, I’m running a month behind on its release.
  3. I have not been actively pitching. A few of my clients were looking for content ramp up. Now that their sites are robust with my writing brilliancy, they’ve cut back on assignments. I had nothing in the pipeline to pick up their slack.

 

Each month I publish a Blog Income Report to inspire others to plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. Here's April’s edition.

 

Income Source Distribution

I’m quite happy with the direction my income source distribution is moving in.  That big blue piece of the pie called freelance is finally starting to shrink moving from typically 80% or more down to 60%.

In addition, my brand ambassador gig picked up steam again after a couple month hiatus, and my affiliate income is starting to grow due in part to a few changes I made to my What to Wear in Europe this Summer evergreen post. A little SEO magic and reformatting has seen my affiliate income from Amazon triple.

Why is income source distribution important? Because my goal is to move my income away from content I don’t own (freelance articles) to content I do own (my blog, e-course, etc). When you own the content you produce, you can make far more money.

 

Each month I publish a Blog Income Report to inspire others to plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. Here's April’s edition.

 

Business Operating Expenses

Let’s not go there… My expenses for April were through the roof as I was hit with two large, non-reoccurring events. First, TBEX North America is right around the corner, and I had to buy my plane ticket to Minneapolis.

Second, while the flights and press trip portion of my trip to Belfast were covered, my additional days with my friend were not. Thus, my dining / entertainment category soared as did my miscellaneous category. Miscellaneous is basically the amount I withdrew from the ATM in Belfast so I would have some cash in my pocket.

 

Each month I publish a Blog Income Report to inspire others to plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. Here's April’s edition.

 

Traffic Report

There really isn’t much to report in the traffic report category like there was last month. My overall site traffic dipped a bit. This is because I fell off my regular posting schedule due to the travel / nanny crisis.

 

Each month I publish a Blog Income Report to inspire others to plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. Here's April’s edition.

 

As far as social media goes, everything seems to be growing at the same rate with Pinterest of course leading the charge due to strategies I reviewed last month that I learned from Food Blogger Pro. Likewise, my traffic from Pinterest is also growing. I have not done anything differently in April.

 

Each month I publish a Blog Income Report to inspire others to plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. Here's April’s edition.

 

Top Posts in April

My top five posts are starting to remain rather static with the exception of the post on Straight to Ale. It was the only post in my top five from last month.

I really don’t find this problematic as three are craft beer travel posts and two are evergreen pages chalk full of affiliate links. Instead of trying to change reader behavior, I’ve decided to embrace it by refreshing old, popular posts for both SEO and affiliate purposes.

Take What to Wear in Europe this Summer as an example. I edited the text, images, and titles to be more keyword rich and reorganized the data to be more user friendly with additional affiliate links. As a result, traffic is up 150% and my Amazon affiliate income has tripled.

  1. What to Wear in Europe This Summer
  2. Taproom Talk: Straight to Ale in Huntsville, Alabama
  3. A Craft Beer Guide to Aruba
  4. What to Wear in Europe
  5. 48 Hours in Asheville, North Carolina – A Self-Guided Asheville Brewery Tour

 

Each month I publish a Blog Income Report to inspire others to plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. Here's April’s edition.

 

May Goals

  • Freelance:
  • Blog:
    • Hit 8,000 in monthly traffic
    • Hire and start working with VA
  • Fiction Writing:
    • Edit one third of It’s Always Personal.

 

Each month I publish a Blog Income Report to inspire others to plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. Here's April’s edition.

 

What are your May goals?

Each month I publish a Blog Income Report to inspire others to plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. Here's April’s edition.