Is it just me or was January both the shortest and longest month ever?
I was looking back at last month’s income report and laughed to myself a little bit. Also, I had no idea how the month was going to play out when I wrote that last one. So, I had set some big goals for myself, and while I did not accomplish them—thanks to Covid, stomach bugs and snow days—I did make some major progress.
And progress is good!
It’s moments like this when you miss your goals and you could easily throw in the towel and say, “ugh, I suck! Why bother trying anymore,” but the reality is that life is going to continue to throw you curveballs. It’s your job to stay focused on what you want for yourself and to keep moving forward no matter how things play out.
If you’re new to my blog, or these blog and web design business income reports, I started sharing them a few months ago to help you see what’s possible with an online business. I’ve always loved reading other people’s income reports and have gotten great ideas from them. If anything, I think it’s a good reminder that anyone, yes, even you, can start an online business and be successful with it. With these reports, I hope to get your creative wheels spinning and bring out your own entrepreneurial side.
And, a question I haven’t posed in previous income reports, but one that I think is so important to consider, is why do you want to have an online business?
RELATED: Get my REAL Income Numbers here!
When it comes down to it, your “why” is going to be the thing that you continue to come back to, that pushes you through those tough times and encourages you to put one foot in front of the other. Believe me, I came back to it so so many times this past month.
Maybe it’s because you want time and location freedom, maybe you want more time with your kids, maybe you’re home with your kids and craving something just for you. Maybe you’re set out to change the world, or travel the world! Whatever it is, don’t forget it.
My why is two-sided. One, I’ve always had a really strong urge to help people—my goal with this blog and my design business is to help other women realize their potential and take action and grow businesses that help them live out their own “whys”. The other “why” is my family. I want to have more free time to be with my kids, to enjoy a slower pace of life, to travel more and do cool things. I want to live life differently, and I know that starts with me.
So, if you’ve never considered the “WHY” portion of being an entrepreneur, think on it, journal on it, dig into it and own it!
Focusing on my own “why” is about the only thing that got me through the end of last month, and is keeping me encouraged as we enter into a new one.
So, onto this month’s income repot! At this point, you probably won’t be surprised to find out that it was NOT my best month.
Which actually surprised me.
I had several web design projects that started in December, and I expected all of them to launch in January, but with all the delays and bumps, it didn’t happen. Thankfully most of them are scheduled to launch in February—wahoo!
It can be discouraging when you’re income is on an upward trajectory then suddenly dips, but it’s the nature of being an entrepreneur, not every month will be your best ever, and that’s okay!
January Business & Blog Income Report 2022
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From December to January, I saw a -40% decrease in income. In the past, I’d let this take me on a downward spiral, but as we all know January was tough. I feel like I’ve talked about it a lot, so sorry if you think I’m beating a dead horse over here, I promise, this will be the last I talk about how much this month sucked, but it really did.
I was talking to a friend recently and realized that January had been the hardest month on my mental health in the past two years. For me, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I felt like we were back at the beginning of the pandemic. I was overwhelmed, defeated and felt powerless at times. Not to dwell on the negative, but just being honest that this month was a real struggle not only for my business, but also personally. As much as I’d hope 2022 would start off with a bang, it was more like a slap, and then more slaps and punches and pushes. But despite it all, we made it through.
This month, web design and affiliates link made up the majority of my income. I didn’t actually finish many projects, but got a few new ones started and made major progress on the rest—aiming to launch several this month which I am so excited about!
Web Design: 40%
Freelance Design Work: 24%
From December to January, I saw a 16% increase in traffic which is exciting. As many of you know, I used to be a lifestyle blogger. I still get traffic to many of those posts, but had started seeing a dip as my content changed. Seeing that start to turn upward again is exciting! That was even without much blogging this month.
I’ve outlined content for the next few months and plan to get back into a more regular habit of posting because quality blog posts drive so much traffic. It, in turn leads to email sign-ups and new clients!
Top Sources of Traffic
- Organic Search: 48%
- Pinterest: 27%
- Direct: 18% (people who came directly by typing in my domain name)
- Instagram: .8%
Yet again, a big reason why I focus my marketing efforts on my blog content, SEO and Pinterest—they bring me traffic. Instagram doesn’t do much to push the needle, though I’ve been playing with Reels some more to see if this makes a difference.
BlairStaky.com Traffic (Design Business)
I’m in the process of refreshing this site, and soon it will have products and more services for sale, so I’ll focus more on driving traffic to it. It was good to see that it was getting some organic search traffic already though!
At the beginning of January I had 4,005 subscribers, and today, I have 4,172. Not the 950 a month I need to hit my goal, but better than past months. As always, progress over perfection!
I need to create a better plan to promote my freebies because I haven’t made that a priority yet.
First Quarter Goals
While I do have monthly goals, these are big ones—launching new products and services and there’s a lot of moving parts. My goal is to have these launched by the end of the first quarter. If you read last month’s goals, you’ll see it’s similar as I didn’t complete them in that month. I made huge steps towards getting them complete, but I’m not quite there yet! It’s all a process!
I’m getting close to being done with this which I’m so excited about. When you first launch your business, you’re kinda just feeling your way through it. A few months in, I have a better idea of what exactly I want to do and how I want to do it. This new design will be a better representation of that! My aim is to launch by the end of February as I’m taking new brand photos to go along side it.
Launch Template Shop
Last week, I made major progress here! Designing templates is fun, but also challenging because you’re anticipating how people might use it. I want to make it as unique and special as possible, but also flexible enough to work for many different types of businesses.
Launch 1:1 Strategy Calls
This is happening ASAP! I love chatting strategy with business owners and being able to help give them clarity and answer any questions they have, so I’m planning on launching this in the next week!
Make Progress on DCA
In October, I signed up for Amy Porterfield’s Digital Course Academy. I’ve always wanted to create a course—I love teaching and educating and empowering women. Actually, a long time ago, Jess and I did have a blogging course through Blogging For Keeps. But, I digress….I signed up for her course with no idea what I wanted to teach and then let it sit on the shelf.
As time passes and I meditate more and more on what it is I want to share with the world, it’s slowly coming together and I’m finally diving into the course and taking action. It’s a little intimidating and is pushing me out of my comfort zone, but I’m also so excited about the possibility of helping other women build their own web design business—(hint hint on the topic of my course) one area I’ve become an expert in. Stay tuned for more on that in the future 🙂
Despite this year starting off rocky, I’m always focusing on my why and taking steps, even if they’re small and slow towards the big picture. And, if you had a similar month, I’m sending you a big hug and encouragement—keep moving forward!