It’s been a while, but I know some of you followed me back in the Blogging for Keeps Days (BFK), and then again when I brought it back last year. Every month my income reports were always my most popular and most read posts, so I wanted to bring them back in some form or fashion.
But sharing your income on the internet is a funny thing. It’s equal parts terrifying and freeing!
I went back and forth for a while before I decided to share percents here and if you’re interested in seeing the actual numbers, join my email list—I’ll be sharing the real numbers with my subscribers every month.
For me this feels like I can stay a little private, but share it with those who are really interested, so join here if you are one of those people!
Why Income Reports?
A few reasons actually—first, I find income reports to be incredibly fascinating. As someone who started blogging over a decade ago and didn’t even realize people could make real money from it. It’s been eye-opening for me to see how others have paved incredible paths for themselves.
Second, the nerdy side of me loves breaking it all down to figure out what’s working. Whenever I take the time to do these, I usually have a really clear picture of what I need to focus on to reach my goals.
Third, these prove that you can absolutely make REAL money from an online business and blog. This could happen using nothing but your skills and passion! As I continue to move this blog in a different direction and grow my web design business, I think it can be really helpful for other bloggers and online business owners to see where my monthly income comes from.
I’ve always loved reading other blog’s income reports and found is so insightful. I’ve even signed up for new affiliate programs based off their reports. Also, I’ve been able to increase my own income just by reading them. It’s also made me think twice about where I focus my time and energy in my blog and business. I’ve learned what works for others and decided that some aspects aren’t as deserving of my time and energy as others.
And, more selfishly, this really holds me accountable to focusing on the things I said I would each month. It helps me analyze what’s working, what’s not and actually accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself.
Over the years, I’ve had so many people think that my online business and blog are “just for fun” or not a “real business.” So, my hope is that by sharing these you can see that they are absolutely REAL businesses that can support you! They allow you to live life on your own terms with flexible hours, full creative direction, and gives you total location freedom.
After these past two years, I’ve taken a good hard look at what a fulfilling life means to me, and it’s far less about fitting in life around my work, and more about creating a business that works around my life. As a mom of two young boys, I want to be present, and have the energy and patience to give them my attention and love without being stressed and snappy. Working moms will understand that one!
At the end of the day, I think it’s so important to take a good look each month and see what aspects are driving traffic, revenue and which areas are sucking time and energy from my life but aren’t paying off. We all will have different ways of going about our businesses, and what’s right for me, might not be the same for you.
I hope that this gives you some inspiration of where you can grow your own business, what to focus on and give you clarity on what’s most important as you continue to grow and build your own blog or business.
You’ll notice that this income report is not just for my web design business or my blog, but both! I shifted my blog’s content to drive more traffic to my web design company and honestly, I think everyone with an online business should absolutely have a blog. If you don’t, how are you driving organic traffic to your site month after month?
Just a little thought to chew on! Now, let’s get to it!
November Business & Blog Income Report 2021
Since I’m not including actual numbers here, I wanted you to have some sort of visual to go off of—if you want real numbers, sign up here. This month was a 77% increase in income vs. last month. You can also see that the previous few months were really up and down. August and September were before I re-opened my design company, so that income was solely from my blog.
October was slow because I was getting everything set up for my launch and basically did no other work.
Blog income was always unpredictable and up and down months were pretty standard. My goal with re-opening my design business is to create more stability and more sustainable income each month. After just one month, I had 6 clients and a really great month—better than the past three, which was really exciting to see since this was my first full month of having my design shop open!
Here’s where my income came from. This month, it was mostly web design, which was no surprise as I had several new clients sign on. I have one freelance design client on retainer, so that’s nice that I know that income is coming in every month.
My affiliate income was a bigger chunk than I expected, but always good. As my content continues to shift, I’ll be curious to see how this category changes as well.
Web Design: 40%
Freelance Design Work: 19% (this is a retainer client)
Brand Collaborations: 0% (not focusing much on this right now)
- Other Affiliates (I make very little on these so I don’t list them individually)
The Fox & She Traffic
I basically took the month of October off. So, my traffic took a hit, but as I create more content for my new niche, I’m excited to see how it grows over the next year. Also, I redesigned my site in October and forget to install Google Analytics. I realized it on Nov. 1—hence why the first of the month shows zero traffic—whoops!
If you don’t have Google Analytics installed, do it immediately! It gives you so much amazing information about where you’re getting traffic from. It can help you decide what is worth your time.
Top Traffic Sources:
- Organic Search: 51%
- Pinterest: 24%
- Direct: 18% (people who typed in my domain name directly)
- Instagram: 1%
Again, this is a big reason why I say it’s not always worth it to spend tons of time on social media. Instagram feels like the big thing, but look at your analytics to see if it’s actually driving traffic. I’m not saying ignore it, but it might be worth it to spend more of your time on something that’s going to drive REAL growth. Like SEO, building an email list or Pinterest.
Blair Staky Traffic (My Web Design Business)
This site is totally new, well a few months old, but is pretty stagnant in terms of new content. It has all my business information, packages, etc. But, I don’t spend much time optimizing this site. Another goal for the new year!
I realized that my open rate had gotten pretty low recently. Part of that is probably because I’ve shifted my content. So, I know some people are no longer interested in my new content, and part is that I hadn’t cleaned my list in maybe 2 years?
So, I purged all subscribers that hadn’t opened an email from me in the last 3 months. Sounds drastic, but what I’ve come to learn is that fewer high-quality subscribers are better than more, unengaged subscribers.
As of now, I have 3,892 subscribers on my list. It feels like a clean slate!
I have big plans to grow this over the next year and I can’t wait to share more as I test out new growth strategies.
Since shifting my blog’s content, I’ve been far less focused on social media. I’m not sure how I want to show up on Instagram. Instead, I’ve been thinking about bringing back my Facebook page as a community for online business owners and bloggers to connect and ask questions.
I did a deep dive on my traffic from platforms like Instagram and Facebook and it was pretty low. Also, I shouldn’t be surprised, the goal of those platforms is to keep you ON their platform, not take you away from them.
I looked at those stats compared to my traffic from Pinterest, which I consider to be a search engine, not a social media platform and decided in about .2 seconds that my time was far better spent creating content for Pinterest than it was for Instagram.
Launch My New Blog
I’ve been spending whatever spare time I have working on my own blog re-design. I put this design up quickly and do love it, but as my content becomes more and more focused on growing your blog and business, I wanted to be able to highlight some categories and resources in a better way, so be on the lookout—I’m aiming for a New Year launch! There’s still lots to do, but I’m excited! This new site will also help drive more email sign-ups with some new resources and freebies that I’m finishing up this month. I’m really excited to get this live!
Finish Client Projects
I’m so incredibly grateful for all of my clients that have trusted me to bring their online business to life these past few months. I have several projects going on all the time and I’m thrilled to finally be launching a few before the year ends.
Create a New Welcome Sequence
When you sign up for my emails, I’m honestly not even sure what you get right now. A big goal for this new year is to streamline the experience and give new subscribers something meaningful and helpful when they first join.
Complete My Free Resources
Behind the scenes, I’ve been working on some really great resources for you guys. I’ve been working on them at night or in between client projects, so it’s taken longer than anticipated, but my hope is to launch them at the same as my new site design in January!
Rest & Relax
It’s been a whirlwind these past few months—I re-opened my web design business and completely switched gears as a blogger. It’s been really fun and exciting, but also mentally draining some days. I have so many things I want to do and as a mom, it’s hard to ever feel like you have enough time to do it all.
We’re heading to the mountains for a week over Christmas and I can’t wait to just chill out with my family and not have work on the brain constantly. Taking time away is always so good for my creativity and is the perfect way to end the year in my opinion!
Phew, that was a long one! Again, if you want to see my actual numbers, you can sign up for my email list here!
BTW, the most profitable blog niches, and why rest is one of the best productivity hacks.