It’s March! And, I’m starting this month by doing something that honestly scares the sh*t out of me.
I’m sharing my actual numbers in today’s income report!
For years, I have loved following bloggers who share their income reports. It’s been such a cool way to get new, creative income ideas and to understand how lucrative certain streams are for different people. These have provided me with such a wealth of information over the years and I want to be able to provide that for you too.
It also proves that there is great money in blogging, and if you’ve been on the fence about starting a blog, maybe this will give you a little extra boost of motivation to finally launch and start publishing!
The other reason I wanted to share these is a little selfish. I’ve been pretty bad at holding myself accountable to my own goals. I get these big ideas and by the end of the month, I look back and realize that I didn’t do any of them.
By the time I finished my last income report, I had realized exactly what I needed to do for the next month and felt like I had such good momentum and direction! Sharing this more detailed report is actually hugely beneficial for me too!
I’ve wrestled with the idea of sharing the real numbers for so long—it’s scary & vulnerable to lay it all out there, but I’ve deemed 2020 the year of going for it, especially when it feels right in my gut.
So, let’s get into it!
I mentioned this in my last email, but what I’m including in these reports is what I’ve actually been paid for this month. Technically that means I earned some of these commissions 2-6 months ago, but I don’t count anything as income until it’s safely inside my bank account.
Blog Income Report: February 2020
Gross Income: $9,497.95
Mediavine Ad Network: $2,424.78 (this was high! typically I land closer to $1000, but I think I hit a yearly bonus or something, again not typical!)
- Beautycounter: $2,903.44 ( Click here to learn more about what it’s like to be a consultant )
- Rewardstyle: $1,449.44
- Equilibria: $127.70
- Amazon: $207.56
- Bluehost: $255
- Rakuten: $50
- Shopstyle: $38.07 (I was surprised to see this because I don’t use this platform anymore, must have been some sales from old posts!)
- Primally Pure: $41.06
Blog Collaborations: $2000
- SEO: -$399
- Adobe Creative Cloud: -$56.30
- Zoom: -$14.99
- ConvertKit: -$79
- Developer: -$452.50
- Bluehost: -$359.88
- Flywheel Hosting: -$165
- SEMRush: -$99.95
- Tailwind: -$89.88
What I loved about doing this, was that it actually opened my eyes to where I could be doing more. I know I could be easily earning more from certain affiliates, and setting up a better strategy for this is top of my list going into this month.
Net Income: $7,586.69
This is my final number—my income, minus my expenses. Not my best month, but not my worst either.
My traffic was down about 20% this month from last, but I expected that. I didn’t have as much content go live and focused a lot on getting stuff set up for the next few months. Sometimes that behind the scenes work has to happen and you take a little hit upfront that will pay off in the next few months.
Also, February has a few less days than your average month, so I think that was also reflected here.
Top Traffic Sources
Organic search traffic and Pinterest remain my top traffic referrals which is even more reason to focus on Pinterest these next few months. A few months ago, I re-signed on with my SEO consultant and it makes such a big difference!
I use Influencer SEO if you’re looking for someone—Jordan outlines one post per week for me based off a list of topics I’ve given to her. Essentially she takes a topic I was already going to write about and makes it even better for SEO! Here’s an example of one of my SEO posts from last month to get a better understanding of how she outlines them.
Top 5 Posts in February
My top posts actually remain the same. I think that this is because I’m getting a lot of SEO and Pinterest traffic to these, so they don’t always change. I was quickly reminded after looking at these that I should go back and make sure that I have affiliate links in there, and if I do, that they’re all updated!
What’s funny to see is that all of these posts are old! Thanks to good SEO & Pinterest, they continue to get traffic and earn me ad revenue! The downside, these aren’t naturally affiliate-heavy posts, so not a lot of extra income there.
- DIY Face Serum for Clear & Glowy Skin
- 8 Toxic Skincare & Beauty Ingredients to Avoid
- Owen’s Schedule at 9 Weeks
- How We Got Our Baby to Sleep
- 6 Ways to Show Someone You Love Them
Email List Growth: 167 new subscribers
I keep meaning to make this more of a priority, but I struggle with list building! Sometimes I worry that my content is all over the place—everything from skincare to baby stuff is popular, but I’m planning on devoting more time to this in the coming months. I know how import niching down is, but admittedly, it’s something I struggle with too!
A lot of this month was spent getting BlairStaky.com all set up. I did it completely by myself, except for the domain swap, and it took longer than expected. I’m so happy with how it turned out!
In general, I felt like February was a reset month. I started thinking about how I could be more strategic with my affiliate marketing moving forward, how to grow my email list and continuing to clean up my Pinterest and get a better strategy in place. While it may not have been my most lucrative month, I did feel like I was laying some major groundwork for the coming year.
For the past few months, I’ve honestly been struggling with affiliate marketing—it’s been all over the place and I need to really hone in on creating a better strategy because in the past this was a much larger portion of my income.
I’m due with our second baby in July, so getting some of these things like Pinterest and better affiliate marketing strategies in place is high on my list because they help with my more passive sources of income that I’ll be relying on during maternity leave.
Affiliate Marketing: This week, I’m working on my editorial calendar for the next month, and focusing on how to work in my top affiliates into that content. I’ve also added notes for when to share on social media and which links to share so that I can actually stay organized.
Managing my Inbox: I’m usually a “0” inbox kind of person, but lately, it’s been stuck at around 50. Not terrible, but it really stressed me out and overwhelms me. Plus, I realized when I went through it the other day, I’d missed out on collaboration opportunities simply because I wasn’t staying on top it. Lesson learned.
Pinterest: I mentioned that I was working on this last month and I made some major progress, but a lot of that was again, laying the groundwork for what’s to come. This month, I feel like I can actually do the things I’d been talking about all last month!
List Building: While I don’t think I’ll have a ton of time to spend on this, I do plan on promoting my current freebies more actively and to start seeing which ones are gaining more subscribers than others.
I hope you guys find these types of posts helpful. I know much they’ve helped me in the past, so I hope that it gives you some new ideas too!
P.S. If you haven’t joined my list, sign up here and get my Guide to Profitable Blogging and jumpstart your blog!