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Q2 2017 – Blog Traffic & Income Report

Ever wondered how much money I’m making? This covers April, May, and June of 2017. As I’ve said previously, I really enjoy reading similar reports and figured sharing my own would entertain someone and also keep me accountable to keep track of these things. You can read my previous income reports all here. I am looking at average daily visits, income/expenses, subscriber & follower counts, traffic in/out, & goals. If you’re a creative blogger yourself, be sure to check out my list of links for affiliate programs, networking opportunities, and places to submit your work!

I have spent a large chunk of time working on my other website, which has divided my focus, but as summer winds down DSMOF will require less time and I can shift my attention back to Swoodson Says, which is perfect because fall/winter are consistently my busiest times! While I missed one of my goal deadlines, listed below, I’m still feeling pretty good about how this quarter turned out.

If you like these income reports, I’d love to hear what you think in a comment or your support shopping through my affiliate links 🙂

{This post contains affiliate links, indicated by an asterisk*. Please refer to ‘legal stuff’ in the top menu for more info.}

Average Daily Visit Count

April: 2,300

May: 1835

June: 1655

I was a little panicked about the big drop from each month so I looked back at last year’s history and it looks like the exact same thing happened, with a lull through summer and then picking back up in Fall. While I hope Q3 surprises me and swings back up before fall, this made me feel a little better!

Subscribers

[March 2017 vs June 2017]

Instagram [1630/1723]

Facebook [1567/ 1643]

Twitter [765/777]

Pinterest [7595/ 8271]

Newsletter (1796/2247/1838]

So, next year I think I’m going to track things in percentages, but for this year I’m going to keep limping along and just have the numbers.

Slow growth on all platforms, and a huge drop on my newsletter after I culled 676 who hadn’t opened any of my last 10 emails, and did not respond to me “hey, do you still want to stick around?? email”. It’s kinda a bummer because when I’m approaching companies for sponsored posts they want to know numbers, but not engagement numbers. By deleting inactive readers, I’m making sure I’m only paying to send newsletters to people who are actually reading them, and have a more engaged audience who are reading and clicking, but it isn’t as impressive. I’ve deleted well over 1500 subscribers over the past, so it stings to think I could be close to 5000 even if I know the difference!

Money

Income

As always, a reminder that I record income as it’s received as opposed to when it’s earned! I put the graph from q1 below; I’m trying to balance it so my patterns are earning more. Ads were about the same, but patterns did get a boost which is encouraging. The highest performing Etsy affiliate posts were (again) this list of nursing friendly PDF patternsthis moon embroidery, and this list of paper piecing patterns.

Last quarter, I sold over $518 of this product via an Amazon affiliate link*, earning me $41. Second highest earner? This fun set*, from this post.

Expenses

Mostly supplies for specific projects and paying for my newsletter. The one big expense was a new (used) phone; I use it for lots of blog and social media tasks so I split the expense with my other blog, Des Moines Outdoor Fun. I did better about ordering fabric I didn’t expressly need right then, hopefully I can keep that up.

Total in: $3095.24 Total out: = –$158.98 Quarter Overall: $2936.26

Year to date=$5510.09 Life to date= $18722.04 (note, none of this takes taxes into account)

 

Traffic In/ Out

Out

1. imaginegnats. People love my beanie hat post; lots of clicks over to her free pattern!

2. Affiliate window – this is the program I use for Etsy affiliate links; most popular were this butterfly paper piecing pattern*,  this cow paper pieced pattern*. and this paper pieced gem block*.

3- This headband tutorial, from my free headband post.

3. Pinterest, my favorite. People have checked out this board of Swoodson Says patterns, this free hat, & my refashion board most often.

5- Share a sale – the program I use for Craftsy affiliate links; most popular were this monster quilt* (I reviewed it here!, this hipster cat paper piecing pattern*,  and the cutest, leonard the llama paper piecing pattern*.

 

In (Referrers)

1. Pinterest — most popular pins were tips for thrifting, the easiest way to transfer an embroidery pattern4 free headband tutorials tested, and free paper piecing patterns.

2. Search engines

3. Facebook

4. All Free Sewing – this is a new top referrer, how to make a fabric doorstop.

5. So Sew Easy,  a post I wrote and linked back, projects for sewing to sell at craft shows.

Top 5 most popular posts

1- 4 free headband tutorials tested

2- Five Tips for Thrift Shopping to Upcycle & Refashion

3-Free Knit Beanie Sewing Patterns Tested

4- 4 Free Baby Pants Patterns Tested

5- Top 10 Best Baby Gifts to Sew

Those last 2 were new to the list, and #4 was from this year!

Reflection

I shared my 2017 goals in this post; I think I’m doing pretty well so far, hitting all my “keep it up” goals. I hit my p

Big goals

-Be earning $1000 a month by the end of 2017 (so close!! My q1 monthly average was $857 and my q2 average was $978)
-Have at least 2 new products/patterns for sale in 2017 (done! Christmas Baby Blocks and Hipster Teddy)
-Improve SEO (I started using Moz.com’s free tools to be more strategic about my post titles. I need to go back and work on SEO of old posts still).
-I’d like my monthly traffic to be at 90k a month on average by the end of 2017 – I picked this number following that I had a 74% growth rate for this year, which projected out to about 88k by the end of this year (Ugh. As shown above, I’m feeling bad about my June slump, but looking back and comparing month to month, there is still growth. Fingers crossed.)
-hit 10k on Pinterest (Close! Want to follow me? I think this is possible).
-hit 5k on Instagram (there is NO WAY this is going to happen. I have a new strategy in mind, but it is not a priority for me this year to implement.)
-Set up an auto responder to welcome people to my newsletter when I hit 2k subscribers on Mailchimp and have automation services. (I did set up a welcome auto responder but plan to be more strategic and add other avenues soon).

Medium goals

-Set up a lead magnet to grow my newsletter by June 2017 (Failure. I keep dithering about what to use. New deadline – September).
-Figure out what I’m doing with Craftsy (have a few random free patterns up, haven’t emailed any of those folks who downloaded them in a while) (Not yet.)
-go through all old posts and clean up, add in new relevant links, make sure affiliate links are do not follow, update pinterest pictures (This has happened slowly as I share old content).
-be more intentional with IG posts, – posting DSLR photos more infrequently vs. regular iphone shots that aren’t as nice (More or less, working towards this and trying to share progress pictures on ‘stories’ instead).
-set up more collaborations – both with other bloggers and sponsored posts with fabric shops (Yes! I have a fun blogger week coming up in July and am working on two more sponsored posts soon).

Keep it up goals

-Continue my regular re-pinning and promotion of old content (organized quarterly) (yes! loving my new system)
-Continue weekly newsletters & at least once a week blog posts (yes!)
-Post a minimum of 1 roundup post per month (mmmm nope. I have had several sponsored post opportunities pop up that bumped these down my priority list, but this is a good reminder to change that).


Did anything surprise you? Let me know if there is anything I’ve left out, you know I’m an open book.

 

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Girl you are doing so well! I’ve got to up my affiliate game. My traffic is totally down too 🙁 But it’s still up from last summer and I’m making more this summer than I did last, hopefully you do too.

  2. You’re doing amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this info—it’s really encouraging and is a great way to get my brain sparked with some new ideas for my business!

  3. Thanks for sharing Stephanie! My traffic has been tanking since March, but still up overall from last year. Google implemented some new stuff about that time so I think it hit everyone hard. I’ve been working on fixing my site to run better and be a better experience. But gosh, it’s so tedious going back over the old posts and fixing the follow to no follow links and all of that. I’m hoping that by taking the time now to fix this stuff that I am planning ahead for a better season in the fall and winter when it counts. I want to figure out how to do the Amazon store and maybe adding an affiliate link or two would help. I don’t have enough traffic to generate much in the way of ad revenue, so that’s a little stressful, but I’m working on it. And planning ahead to publish more patterns and developing my youtube channel. It’s a LOT for one person, so I constantly feel behind. But I’m doing my best and that’s all anyone can do. I never expected there to be this much to having a website and pattern business. It’s mind boggling sometimes. Ha Ha!

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