Last month, July 2014, I shared my first income and expenses report for my site, A Life in Balance. I had several bloggers thank me for being open, and others asked wonderful questions about the ways I chose to spend money on the site. I made some of the changes I mentioned in my July 2014 Income and Expense Report which helped reduce my expenses and increase income, though I’m not at break even yet.
Sharing my income and expenses for my site last month was a fantastic exercise for myself and my husband who doesn’t understand all the aspects of blogging. I also felt and feel incentivized to work on monetizing my site more to cover the cost of running the site. My friend Clare of The Super Mommy Club inspired me to show the money side of blogging, just as she continues to inspire me to work harder and smarter as a blogger.
I struggled a bit with sharing the numbers. It’s not easy to say publicly I’m losing money, though I’m not losing a ton of money. Still, it’s money lost. I also struggle with monetizing. Yes, my work is worth something, and there’s a cost associated with it. After all, I could be working part-time outside the home, or be more focused on saving money in our home.
Blogging is hard work. It’s still relatively new. Readers don’t always understand that our writing is worth something because it’s not traditional media. Companies can make the same mistake, too. As bloggers, we can sell ourselves short and not see ourselves as a business. I know I often do.
Clare of The Super Mommy Club‘s August income and expense report.
- Ad Networks (Adsense, Rivit, BlogAds, Izea Sovrn): $39.91
- VigLinks: $4.19
- Escalate: $11.19
- Affiliate Income (ShareaSale and Commission Junction): $0
- Ross Dress for Less Gift Card $25
- Ball Brand Products: $69.43
In August, I switched my Escalate coupon widget in the sidebar back to the Savvy Shopper one which brought my Escalate income back up. I also started publishing coupon lists from Escalate on a regular basis along with setting up a Coupon Printing Center on my site. For September, I will continue to promote printable coupons, along with including printable coupons in my recipe posts.
Also in August, a friend, Clare of The Super Mommy Club, set up DFP for me. She will have an ebook out this month about setting up DFP. As I add in additional ad networks, I’ve found Clare’s instructions clear and very helpful. This month, I am adding 2 to 3 additional networks to DFP while dropping one that has not produced much income. Setting up DFP increased my income about $6 weekly.
For September, in addition to adding on more ad networks, I’ve also been signing with companies like Clever Girl and Mom Central. My goal is to check these companies weekly or twice a week for new sponsored post opportunities. While I don’t want my content to be overrun with sponsored posts, the more opportunities I apply to, the chances I get to choose opportunities that fit my blog perfectly.
Finally, I have been deliberately including affiliate links in my posts. 32 of my posts for August included affiliate links. For September, I will be adding affiliate links to old posts that I SEO while making sure I include them when sharing about a product I’m using. While I don’t like telling my readers to buy, buy, buy, I also recognize they may not have heard of the product I’m using.
- Hosting (paid in full in June $125.31): $10.44 monthly
- Virtual Assistant: $115.65
- Feedblitz: $4.98
- CoSchedule: $5
- Learn to Blog Forum: $7.95
My VA helped me with promoting 2 giveaways in August. I dropped a defunct email list from my Feedblitz account which reduced my cost to $4.95 monthly.
Follower Stats for August
- Facebook: 2,120
- Twitter: 1,821
- Pinterest: 3,309
- Google+: 787
- Google+ Page: 67
- Instagram: 375
- YouTube: 42
- Newsletter: 303
- Pageviews: 62,544
- Unique Visitors: 12,820
Audience Overview for August 2014
Where the traffic came from in August 2014
September Blogging Goals
- Continue to work on affiliate income through Escalate, ShareaSale, Commission Junction, and VigLinks by writing posts about various offers
- Sign up for additional ad networks
- Experiment with posting regularly about free printable coupons
- Work on my ebook about cleaning (I’ve only been writing it for a year!)
- Set up a regular schedule for social media and content creation now that the kids are back in school
What are your September blogging goals?