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2015 Q2 Blogging Report

q2

How has the money been? I’m ready to share! This covers April, May, and June of 2015. 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 also have a free blogging calendar and check-list printable, and would love your input on the best WordPress plugins for creative bloggers.

I reflected a bit recently on what I want this blog to be, and at the risk of using an annoying fake word, it’s a ‘wobby’.  I’d like it to be a stream of passive income but also do lots of things just because I want to, even if I don’t think they’ll be popular. Last quarter I had my baby (early March) so April & May saw the hit that my traffic took with less time online and fewer “shareable” posts. Hopefully things will continue to trend back upwards like June did!

{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: 510

May: 582

June: 795

Subscribers

[March 2015 vs. June 2015]

Instagram [357 /472 ]

Facebook [550 / 604 ]

Twitter [546 / 581]

G+ [257 / 297 ]

Pinterest [ 2126/2385 ]

Newsletter [485 / 601]

Money

Income pie chart

Income

Yay, ads! As traffic continues to grow, I’m still earning money off old posts and traffic to them. I know lots of people are turned off by ads, but I’d like to think mine are pretty unobtrusive. I promise to never use the ads that pop up over the pictures, or pop-up ads, because I think they’re incredibly annoying and make me leave blogs in a hot second. Affiliate links for this quarter are solely Amazon & Ebates*, I haven’t had any pattern affiliate hits and Shareasale has a small chunk of change that hasn’t hit the payout limit lately.

Pattern sales have continued to be slow. I have another pattern releasing in One Thimble magazine in August and then another planned for release in September. I am planning on organizing a blog tour with my (future) four patterns, and then re-evaluating after the holiday season if it’s something I want to continue putting energy into.

Freelance projects include contributor posts written for other sites and companies. I’ve found that I get very, very little traffic from ‘contributor posts’ written on other sites (with a few exceptions), even if I have relevant links back to my own blog in them. So, I’m focusing mostly on guest posting places that pay me, but also allow me to repost here at a later date. There are other benefits to guest posting other than just traffic – like networking, SEO boosts, and visibility, but when there are so many opportunities I try to choose the ones that are going to be the best overall benefit.

Expense pie chart

Expenses

I was wrong, last quarterly report, and did have one more big purchase – a second serger. I LOVE the Brother 1034d* and used it so, so hard for three years and then pushed it too far over a chunk of PUL & FOE. I’m still not entirely sure what’s wrong with it, but I just bought another one instead of paying $100 to have it fixed (they’re under $200 new). My supplies expenses were pretty high – the new pattern I have in One Thimble is a backpack and I made quite a few samples before “getting it right”, which ended up being a little pricey.

 

Total in: $744.47  Total out:  = $323.31 Quarter Overall: $421.16

Year to date=$879.91    Life to date= $1210.77

Not too shabby. Definitely not as exciting as less quarter, but I knew the combination of Christmas income in last quarter and having a baby in this quarter would equal a drop in money. Motivation to keep keeping on!

 

Traffic In/ Out

Out

1. Pinterest! People clicked to pin from my posts, clicked my profile, and checked out my latest pins in the sidebar. The most popular link pinned from my site was this free knit hat, that I shared in my round-up of free beanie patterns. <—- this was all true last quarter, and remains true this quarter!

2. imaginegnats*. Wow! My free beanie testing post has been super popular, and its sent over 700 people over to rachael’s blog.

3. Amazon. I use their affiliate links, and over 200 people checked this product* out.

4. Delia Creates, again from my free beanie testing post, over 300 people have checked out her free pattern.

5. One last beanie outgoing link, with 300 folks heading to Heidi & Finn for their free pattern.

In (Referrers)

1. Pinterest — this is almost double the traffic of #2

2. All Free Sewing (their readers loved this post!)

3. Search Engines

4. Facebook

5. SewCanShe

Top 5 posts

Birthday Party Photo Prop

1. First Birthday Party Prep! (A giant #1 Photo Display)

2. Free Knit Beanie Sewing Patterns Tested

scrappy bookmarks

3. Scrappy Fabric Bookmarks

4. Simple Brother 1034d Serger Cover Tutorial

free sewing printables

5. Free Sewing Rom Printable Wall Decor

Search Terms

I love that people are searching ‘how to save money while sewing’ and finding my post, because it’s one of my favorites. There were also lots of versions looking for nursing friendly sewing patterns, which is good because I’m really proud of this round-up post covering them!

Misspellings make me laugh, so I enjoyed ‘homemade hand tawels’. I’d really love to know what exactly they were hoping for with ‘crazy doll pants’.

Goals

Here is how I did for my 2015 Blog Goals:

I shared my creative resolution(s) for 2015, these are specific business goals. I was hesitant to set the bar too high without knowing what life with two kids at home would be like. Almost four months in and it is both easier and harder than I expected. I’ve definitely lost my hour of working in the morning while my son played independently, and often don’t get a naptime.. and sometimes don’t get after they’re asleep if bedtime goes too late. But it’s not overwhelming. Sometimes I publish a post with subpar pictures because I don’t have time to wait until the lighting/timing is better, but I’m okay with that.

1. Continue to post every Monday and send out a Friday newsletter.

So far so good!

2. Stick to my Try Something New Every Month project

So far so good!

3. Review a Craftsy & Creativebug class. I started the ‘Sewing With Knits‘* class a long time ago and let myself get sidetracked, then I got pregnant. I’d like to increase my income from Shareasale, which includes Creativebug* and Craftsy*, and that’s the most genuine way I know to do it.

TBD

4. Spend more time leaving thoughtful comments and supporting blogs I enjoy. 

So far so good! Commenting while nursing the baby has been an easy task.

5. Have another project published in print. I already have one completed and submitted for a summer 2015 issue (a camper pillow, see it here), but would like at least one other project in print in 2015.

TBD – I have two submissions pending.

6. Create and list at least 2 new paid patterns. I have several rough drafts and dozens of ideas, I need to make time and make it happen.

Done! 1 down in my own shop & 1 releasing in One Thimble in August

7. Improve my photographs. I took a class and am continuing to gain confidence shooting in manual. I’ve purchased and need to set up my studio lights and continue to make my photos brighter, cleaner, and more appealing.

Sorta done? I definitely feel more confident playing with settings to get better pictures and troubleshoot. I still don’t have a great permanent set up to take tutorial shots, and as I said above, often go with what I know could be better because I don’t have the time to keep messing with it. I’ll keep aspiring for better. 

8. Reach out in Q3/Q4 and secure at least one sponsored post. I wanted this to happen this year but have pushed it back, as previously discussed.

TBD I’ll be honest, I haven’t thought about this one bit. I’ve lost some of my gusto, and need to amp myself up for this.

9. Stick to a monthly schedule. I’m planning on having each of these, for each month: a sewing/craft book review, a tutorial, a round-up post, a refashion.

So far so good!

10. Work ahead more. 

So far so good! I burned through all my saved content and hit “real-time” in May but am slowly working back up to two weeks out, hoping to get further out soon!

How are your 2015 goals & resolutions going??

 

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This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. Hey Stephanie!

    So I have to just let you know that I think you’re a super mom!! I can barely handle my little guy and blogging now, can’t imagine what it will be like with two little people. What’s you’re secret? How are you so far ahead still? I mean I have stuff planned out but teething has left me about a good two weeks behind on post. I’m trying to play catch, any advice?

    1. Hi Mariana! You are too kind, truly. If it’s any consolation, I think I get more five times more done now with two, with the second one at 4 months than I did with only one when he was 4 months! It’s so much easier, for me at least, to be in a rhythm even with a second tiny person. All my advice is wrapped up in this post: https://swoodsonsays.com/making-time-sew-craft-young-kids-home/ – and I can tell you that at least for me, mentally, I’d rather not have any new content for a little bit and work “ahead” than keep feeling like I’m a little behind, if that makes sense. But that’s just how my brain works. But truly, #1 takeaway from the post I linked is to lower your standards. I am typing this response to you with approximately 500 toys, books, and singleton socks staring back at me behind my laptop. Not even kidding.

  2. I think I might start to get a little more serious about blogging. I mean. I’ve blogged and have regularly since 2008. But I don’t really promote my little online space because I want it to be fun to come back to, instead of making it feel like work. Sometimes monetizing something makes it feel like a job, even if that’s the only thing that has changed. But I’m glad I’ve found you and I have your blog in my reader feed now. You’re so full of useful information!

    1. People’s opinions and attitudes on monetizing are wide and differing, but at the very least throwing up one or two ads is low impact and low maintenance. I feel the same way about affiliate links – if I’m already writing about the product, why not. I still do lots of things that aren’t very serious, and are just because I find them fun, like my book reviews 🙂 That’s so kind of you though, I’m glad you found your way into our blogging group too!

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