Why didn’t I start income reports when I was raking in $10,000+ a month? I didn’t so, oh well. I am starting over and it’s not going like I wanted it to. For the second month in a row, I actually came out negative again. I had to put about $400 into my online efforts. But it’s not really as bad as it seems. Why?
Unlike many people who post income reports, I am putting ALL MY BUSINESS EXPENSES here. From gas, to a candy bar that I get from the gas station- it’s here. I got my eye brows done for a photo shoot for pics that will be in a MAJOR publication in June- yep it’s on there. I put my cell phone bill, internet and auto maintenance expenses here, too. ( I do have some speaking gigs for June and it will cost money to drive there. So I’m putting it down.) It’s what it takes to run my business, so I think it’s only fair to show you what I am really spending on it. I don’t want to beguile anyone with “back of the napkin math” that over simplifies what it takes to start and run a business.
Also, I was careful not to say I “lost” money. I am investing into this effort, which is a business and costs money to start and run. There are online entrepreneurs that can and have start a blog from scratch with little to no money, but at this stage in the game, I am well aware that to save time, you will have to spend money. But don’t let that discourage you from starting your thing. You can totally start an online business with about $150 and recurring expenses of $50 or less each month.
Remember, I am coming from a somewhat different place in my business journey. Admittedly, I am still carrying business spending habits from my $10k/month earnings. During that time, it was natural for me to spend money on things like hosting fees, writers, continuing education, etc. on my blog or other digital endeavors without even thinking about it. But now that the blog has to carry it’s own, I am doing what I can to bring expenses down in a reasonable way that won’t hurt my chances for success.
What Worked This Month
My Udemy sales were the highest ever this month! (But I won’t see that payout until July.) Unfortunately, March was the lowest, so May’s payout will be dismal. I am working to add more courses and use that as yet another avenue for exposure. I am recording my 5th class this week and am hopeful this will be a revenue producer and add more traffic to the blog. Right now, I have 4 classes up in all. Two are free and two are not. I have 10 more in draft mode, it’s just a matter of knowing which ones to prioritize. I am looking to do more promotion on Google Adwords and FaceBook ads when the 5th one gets finished. Check out my classes I offer here: https://www.udemy.com/user/ajamcclanahan2/
Facebook ads were so so, but I am getting better. I am starting my funnel for the August cart opening of Elite Blog Academy . I added some people to my bloggers email list in anticipation of that. Facebook ads helped along with Pinterest in terms of building that list. Now, I need to start scaling my FB ads more to beef up this list.
I wrote a guest post for www.theworkathomewife.com, one of my long time tech crushes! That post has given me a nice boost in traffic, so I will be seeking out higher quality guest posting opportunities like that going forward as well.
Also, I had a story featured in the Huffington Post and have an upcoming feature in a FOR REAL MAJOR publication in June or July that should add to my “PR profile.” I don’t know about traffic spikes from these features, but my guest posting and offers for paid freelance writing should see an increase.
I am inching through my eCourses on blogging including Elite Blog Academy along with Efficient Blogging. Even though I am not done, the results are starting to show: I was at 21k page views in January, had an issue with my BoardBooster for Pinterest in February, but am still hanging in there with 32K page views (as of May, April was lower.) I attribute this to my Pinterest activity and implementing some strategies in Lena Gott’s How I Went From 17K to 350K+ Monthly Page Views in 9 Months eBook. She mentions Stumble Upon and Google + as traffic sources, so that’s helped some.
What Didn’t Work This Month
I noticed my email subscription pop-up stopped working for some reason and my mailing list growth was stalled. I was a little too frazzled to deal with it, until a few weeks after it stopped working. Big mistake! My mailing list is essential for revenue, so I had to fix it.
I found this plug-in called Bloom from Elegant Themes that is a good solution. It integrates with a bunch of email service providers and after a week of installation, my list has grown by over 10%! I am going to work on more page-specific content upgrades as well. Only thing, MailChimp makes it really hard to combine lists when you have a lot of them… so I am looking to change email service providers soon. But overall I am happy with the plug in and I believe this will help increase my mailing list.
Here are the numbers for April 2016:
Monthly Page Views: 24,000
Email list: 575
|Uncategorized Income (affiliate deposit to verify bank account)||0.42|
|Udemy.com Course Sales||91.96|
|Sponsored Content Income||96.80|
|Consulting Income (Video Editing)||96.80|
|Repairs & Maintenance||11.01|
|Computer – Internet||86.24|
|Telephone – Wireless||66.77|
|Bank Service Charges||15.00|
|Software Subscriptions (PicMonkey, Board Booster for Pinterest)||114.93|
|Advertising & Promotion||46.00|
|IT & Technology Services (Website was very slow, had to fix)||67.50|
|Vehicle – Fuel||30.00|
|Total Operating Expenses||701.11|
So, again- a loss. But a loss I am counting as “seed.”
I want to note that I am recording expenses and income as they happen for the month. I have a few hundred dollars out there in affiliate income, but since I haven’t met the threshold for payout, it’s hung up in my pay queue. Also, there are some things I pay in chunks for the year. I’m not going to put that here. I am only reporting what is actually received as income or spent in the month I am reporting on.
How did I finance the negative? Well, we are savers and I like to keep cash around exactly for things like this. Even if your business is online, it’s still a business and requires money to start and run. I see this as an investment and expect a return based on that investment.
Hopefully, May turns out better. I am enrolled in Elite Blog Academy along with Efficient Blogging and expect my traffic and related income to increase based on what I am learning there. So far, I can say that taking classes has ben helpful. With Efficient Blogging , I’ve seen over 100% increase in my page views. I just started Elite Blog Academy , so I am hoping that will kick in soon as well. Udemy sales were better in this month (the number you see above is from February’s sales.) But I have made a commitment to churn out more courses and work on my promotion strategies to help boost sales.
Thanks for reading and I hope to have better news for you in May!