January Blog Income Report (And Traffic, Too)
Each month I publish a Blog Income Report. My desire is to inspire others to dream big and plan their own exit strategy from the cubicle hamster race. I also want to set the proper expectations that this is tough work. You’ll work harder than when you were working for the man with (a lot) less income at first and more fear than ever. But you know what? You’ll love it because you’re following your passion and have the opportunity to control your destiny. Get started running your own blog today!
January was a false start.
Realistically, I knew going into 2016 that I may start the year with a stumble instead of a leap.
First, I set some lofty goals for 2016. None of them are unachievable, but they do require a fair bit of strategic planning, of which I spent a huge chunk of time at the beginning of January doing. I fell a bit behind on obligations as I strategically looked at the year ahead. That’s okay though as I feel that I’m poised for greater success in the months to come.
Second, Mrs. G. went back to work. Thus, I assumed the role of part-time stay-at-home-dad on top of blogger, freelance writer, and budding novelist. I had to completely revamp my schedule and learn to work when I wasn’t spending time with Baby G. My working hours are now broken up throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening.
Third, I went on my first trip less than a week after Mrs. G. returned to work. Talk about epic fail on timing. I hadn’t quite figured out my own work / daddy-day-care balance and I hit the road to Jacksonville Beach to check out their budding craft beer scene.
Fourth, I’m still in freaking therapy. Can you sense my frustration? The now limited, valuable time I have to get work done is being cut into by physical therapy. I’m going on four months now since the car accident, and I’m still in excruciating pain. Even more frustrating? I want my damn time back.
Fifth, interview requests for two articles didn’t come in when I wanted them to and some deadlines had to be pushed backed to February. Thus, invoicing followed. This isn’t the sources fault but mine. I should have planned better.
January Goal Summary
I wouldn’t quite describe the month as a complete failure though. I came close on almost all of my goals and even succeeded on a few:
- Make $1,000 from freelance or otherwise – FAIL!
- Find one new regular client – CHECK! And they were very impressed with my work. More to come…
- Finish Food Blogger Pro traffic and social media lesson and formulate strategy – CHECK! Strategy is being implemented as we speak.
- Build up to 3 posts a week with a cue of 3 ready to post – FAIL!
- Fiction Writing:
- Finish Draft 3 edits to What Lies at Home – FAIL! I made it about halfway through.
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Freelance Writing and Blog Income Report
Things are going to look at bit different around here. My charts and reports are going to closer match my 2016 goals, starting with the freelance writing and blog income report. I made a goal of covering the mortgage and fulltime childcare with this little dream of mine by October. Why October? Because that’s Baby G’s first birthday. Thus, my income report will start showing how close I’m tracking towards achieving that goal.
As you can see, I was just shy of my January income goal of $1,000 at $871. If it wasn’t for the two article interviews that didn’t come in until February 1, I would have been at $971. Either way, not too bad given the life circumstances in January.
Income Source Distribution
A ridiculous amount of my income came from freelance writing. Like 94% ridiculous. Two months in a row of really good sponsored post activity dried up to nothing. This is typical though in January. The year, and marketing budgets, start anew, and companies are hesitant to start spending.
All this lends to the argument that I need to create a product of my own. Expect a big announcement on this in March. Hint: it involves scoring free travel.
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Business Operating Expenses
Once again, my expenses were on the high side. I had a few unexpected one-offs hit like TBEX conference tickets, business cards, advertising on Alex in Wanderland, and travel related expenses from Jacksonville (not all meals and beer sampled were covered). The trick is making those expenses pay me back.
For example, I spent $113 out of pocket for the trip to Jacksonville. So far, I sold one small article for $50. Thus, I still have to pay $63 for the trip. Since I’m not in the break-even business, ideally I need to sell a much bigger piece to make money from the trip.
The same goes with TBEX. I seriously considered not attending this year since last year’s TBEX was such a drain on my expenses. However, I paired it back this year by attending TBEX North America instead of Europe. In addition, I did a cost analysis of TBEX 2015. I did make a small return from the conference justifying year two.
Advertising on Alex in Wanderland was a bit of a risk. While it won’t pay me back monetarily, there is potential for increased traffic, which eventually will translate into dollars. More on this next month.
Like my income report, an increase in traffic was one of my three big goals for 2016. Thus, I plan to show how well I’m tracking against my traffic goal. As a recap, I set a traffic goal of 10k a month by July. The significance of the early deadline is that July marks two years since I left the corporate rat race. If the blog isn’t hitting higher traffic numbers by then, then it might be time to give it up.
This is the January goal I’m most disappointed with. I missed my target of 4,000 hits by 400. I’m hopeful that some things I have in the works will improve this number for February though (revamped content, Alex in Wanderland ad, new Pinterest strategy).
Top Posts in January
Over the past few months, the first two posts from my archives have consistently been in my top five. The rest were all from January, but none are travel related. As I’ve been reading about myself elsewhere on the web, I’m making a name for myself as the travel blog income report guy, which is not my goal for these reports.
With that said, I published seven posts in January. Only three were travel related. All three were published at the end of the month. Looking ahead to February reports, one of those will land in the one or two spot for February. The other four reports were all income goals and blog planning related. You reap what you sow…
- What to Pack and Wear in Europe This Summer
- A Craft Guide to Aruba
- December Income Report
- 2015 Year in Review
- 2016 Blog Goals
To help achieve my 2016 goals, below are February goals
- Make $1,278 from freelance or otherwise
- Complete outline of my e-course
- Land a featured article
- Hit 5,000 in monthly traffic
- Launch Pinterest strategy
- Complete Jacksonville series
- Fiction Writing:
- Finish Draft 3 edits to What Lies at Home
What are your goals for February?