Blogging, Income Report

June Blog Income Report (And Traffic, Too)

Each month I publish an Income and Traffic 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.

I’m also writing this column for me. Posting these numbers publicly forces me to hold myself accountable. Each month I will have to sit down and evaluate both my successes and failures, and strategize on what needs to change. This is something I should be doing monthly anyway, but the truth is that I don’t hold myself accountable for monthly strategy sessions. Now, I’m forced to as I publicly share my results.

Visiting Wicked Weed Brewery on a Trip to Asheville in June

Visiting Wicked Weed Brewery on a Trip to Asheville in June

June Was Rough

I wish there was a way to sugarcoat it, but there isn’t. June sucked. I’m not one to make excuses, so I won’t. Three major fails occurred and here’s what I did to cause them.

  • My largest and only freelance client cancelled their contract without warning. I could easily say, not my fault! But it was. How foolish was I to rely on just one freelance client? Isn’t that the entire reason why I left the corporate world for this life as a writer-entrepreneur? So that my income was no longer tied to just one source? I was so wrapped up in novel writing, freelance writing, and blogging that I lacked the time to find a new client. That was a huge mistake on my part.
  • The company I work for as a brand ambassador had one contract fall through and one delayed until July. See the note above. Two total clients is not enough in the freelance world. My work and income must be diversified.
  • I was gone too much and / or let others dictate my time. Once you enter the world of becoming a writer-entrepreneur, everyone thinks you’re like Richard Castle and can just do whatever you want. While that’s the goal, his lifestyle is not quite feasible at the beginning. Family will visit during the workday or expect you do likewise. Friends will think you’re at their every beckon call. Your spouse will expect you to be there for anything that might take away from their day like home service calls, oil changes, veterinarian appointments, etc. You even put yourself out there more. It’s a lonely job and distractions make you feel loved. However, I have to put my foot down and embrace the word “no.”
Hitting Another Favorite Brewery in June - Catawba Brewing in Morganton, NC

Hitting Another Favorite Brewery on One of My June Trips to Asheville

June Goal Summary

Let’s dive a little deeper into what went right and what went wrong in June.

  • Income of $500 – Fail! I only made $225.
  • Finish retooling the site for more affiliate income – Fail! I did nothing to further retool my site. It’s been on my agenda, but… In July, I will prioritize these efforts before creating new content as this is how I make money. Once again, it’s that whole mindset of “You have to plan to win and prepare to win before you can expect to win (Zig ZIggler).”
  • Recap TBEX notes and host a strategy session – Check! I spent about two working days deep-diving into my notes from TBEX and strategizing on my business model. More on this in a future post.
  • Complete a read through of draft 1 of my second novel – Check! I’m going to pat myself on the shoulder here. I REALLY liked what I read, and I’m normally my toughest critic.
  • Finish sending out press trip proposals for a series on the blog – Check!
  • Find a new freelance client – Fail!

June Income

June Blog Income Report

As I’ve already stated, I fell on my nose when it came to hitting my June income goal. While I had a fleeting moment when I thought of throwing in the towel, I looked at the missed goal more as a lesson learned. I know what I need to do to fix things but I haven’t done anything about making those changes happen.

This may sound totally crazy, but each day I set my affirmations according to the Miracle Morning. Yet, my actions were not schedule to follow those affirmations. Instead, I fell into the same routine over and over again. Thus, I created what I call my “sanity” plan.

What’s a “sanity” plan?

It’s my way of bringing change into my workday. Old habits are hard to break, and I’m one of the worst at breaking them. For me it’s not out of fear, but laziness in the comfort of habit. Thus, I needed to make change before I went insane doing the same thing over-and-over again and expecting different results.

For my more on my “sanity” plan, sign-up for my newsletter. I’ll have a post out soon on how you can use my plan to define your workday.

One thing I’m not including in my income report is a sponsored trip that we went on with a value of $1,500. I considered including the trip as income since we planned to go on a babymoon anyway. However, it wasn’t a “free” trip. I made certain tradeoffs for lodging. And yes, each post related to that trip on the blog has been clearly labeled with disclosures so that my audience knows we were sponsored.

My expenses are still a little inflated due to travel expenses. While the lodging for the babymoon was covered along with a few meals and a massage treatment, not all of our meals, transportation, and entertainment were included. Because they were work related, they fall under expenses. My regular office expenses are under control with Internet, cell phone, Buffer, and Light Room.

June Expenses

A regular goal has been to diversify my percentage of income from freelance writing while still maintaining the same dollar figure from it. This still remains a goal and is a major part of my “sanity” plan. As you can see, I have made progress. In May, affiliate income was less than 1% of my income. In June, this number has jumped to 11%. Two things helped this jump:

  1. My What to Pack and Wear in Europe post always spikes in traffic during the summer months. It’s full of affiliate links.
  2. My newly launched Travel Resources Page is doing exactly what it should: drive traffic and revenue. Once again, it is full of affiliate links.

June Income Distribution

You’ll also see that Site Ads are making up a percent of my income. These are new to the site as of mid-June. I don’t expect them to generate much income as my traffic is still a bit low. Which brings us to the traffic report…

June Traffic Report

I admit that I have done absolutely nothing, nada, zilch to increase my traffic or social media following in the past few months. Yet, in five of six categories, my numbers continue to rise. Albeit at a slower rate than from April to May. Please know that I’m not intentionally ignoring growth strategies. I’m just not ready for them yet. I have a few patches to make to the site before I start trying to grow site traffic and subscribers.

One thing that does concern me is my slide in page views versus growth in unique visitors. What to Pack and Wear in Europe is drawing in visitors, but they aren’t clicking through to other posts within my site. This could be because they are clicking through the Amazon which is the goal of the post anyway. I’ll look at strategies here a little more closely in the fall when traffic from What to Pack and Wear in Europe falls off.

June Traffic Report

July Goals

  • Make $500. I wanted this to be $1,000 but realize that it takes up to 30 days to sign a new client and right now I am clientless.
  • Finish draft two of Home Invasion
  • Send out round two of query letters
  • Finish affiliate pages
  • Redo about pages
  • Catch up on writing commitments

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