February 3, 2016 Blogging Tips January’s Numbers Can you believe that we’re already one month into the new year? This month was busy and flew by, but felt so much different than the past few months. As I mentioned, I had a really rough few months last year with too many work projects and not enough sleep. I decided to take off January from designing and sort of semi-test the whole full-time blogging thing. I’m not sure I’m totally ready to give up designing, but if every month went as well as this past one did, it would definitely be a possibility. I was surprised with this month’s income because it was a lot higher than both November and December. I figured people would be shopping less and that traffic might be down, but it was the opposite. I did get paid out for several projects that I completed in November and December, but that happens every month. Part of me wonders if all the time and energy I channeled from designing into blogging made the difference this month, I guess February will be the true tell. So, without further ado, the January income report … This graph shows my blog income from the past 9 months. AFFILIATE LINKS — 28% Affiliate links made up a good chunk of my income this month. As always, this is what I got paid out this month, not what I earned this month. My commission was nearly double this month from last month, so I’ll be looking forward to that paying out in a few months. Crossing my fingers I can keep this trend going! Bluehost was lower than normal. Guess people were waiting for the new year to start their sites. • Bluehost • RewardStyle • VigLink AD NETWORKS – 4% Ads continue to be one of those things that continue to bring in a little bit of income, but nothing major. Lijit is working best for me and I don’t have to do anything special, just drop in codes! I also use Mode, but have seen little to no money come in from that which is a bummer. Maybe I shouldn’t have switched… I also did some direct advertising this month which brought in an extra chunk, but it’s nothing that I’ll rely on in the future. • Lijit • Mode Media • Direct Advertising SPONSORED CONTENT & COLLABORATIONS — 39% I got paid for several collaborations this month and also secured more for the following month. A lot of these collaborations were on the blog, but several were just social media sponsorships too — another good reason to keep focusing on growing those followings! • Collectively • Pop Pays • RewardStyle • Direct Collaborations through Brands PRODUCT SALES — 0% My minted sales only pay out quarterly and I got paid in November, so nothing new here this month. • Minted PRE-FAB SALES — 29% This month I launched a new product to the shop, the Ultimate Editorial Calendar, and it sold like crazy. For good reason though, it’s been the most helpful tool in planning my content and maybe another reason traffic and income grew this month. As of now, I’m a week and a half ahead on blog posts (this has NEVER happened!). While the calendar starts in January, the inside pages are fill in the blank, so you can start whenever and not worry about buying it late. TRAFFIC Traffic was good this month. As always, I got a lot of referral traffic from Pinterest, but also Facebook. A blogger with a large following repinned a photo of mine and that helped drive traffic early in the month. It tapered off a bit after that, but was still a lot higher than December. I’ve been working on posting and sharing more on social media and I think that’s contributing to the growth here. Pageviews: 16% increase Uniques Visitors: 59% increase Referral Traffic: Pinterest & Facebook SOCIAL MEDIA Instagram is my biggest and fastest growing social platform and drives a lot of sales via LikeToKnow.It. Pinterest is still by far my biggest driver of traffic, so I’m always happy to see that growing! Pinterest used to grow faster though and I definitely don’t spend as much time on there as I used to, but I’m hoping to do more of it this month. Instagram: 10.7% increase Pinterest: 5.5% increase Twitter: 1.9% increase Facebook: 4% increase Bloglovin: 6% increase Newsletter Subscribers: 8.4% increase LAST MONTH’S GOALS • Get Ahead! I think this actually happened! Like I mentioned, I’m about a week and a half ahead on scheduled blog posts and also have my editorial calendar planned for the next month. Overall, I’m feeling so much more organized (big thanks to the Ultimate Editorial Calendar) and like I actually have a real game plan for growing my blog this year. • Increase Blog Income: My commission grew a lot this month too and to be honest, I’m not sure why. I do hope this trend continues. The pre-fab shop also did well which makes sense for January, but hopefully it will continue throughout this next month. GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH • Plan Instagram Strategically: LikeToKnow.It provides a good chunk of my affiliate commission. This month I want to plan each week more strategically so take advantage of this platform. That means shooting more on the weekends and knowing what to post each day before the day arrives. • Launch New Pre-Fabs: I currently have two new themes in development and they’re nearly done, but I just need to finalize things and get them online • Do More Outfit Posts: I continue to find that my highest days of traffic are the days I post outfit posts and it makes sense. Those are my favorite posts to read on other bloggers’ sites! I’m hoping that by March, I’ll be doing 3 outfit posts a month. This month will be spent getting ahead and getting a few extra shoots in each week! • New Feature Page Launched: Sounds secretive, but that’s just because I don’t want to spoil the surprise. I’ve been working on a new section of the site that I think will be really cool and I’m hoping to wrap it up by the end of the month and launch in early March. What goals do you have for your blog this month? Anything you’re working on or trying to accomplish?!