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2016 Q2 Blog Income & Traffic Report

2016 Q2 Blog Income & Traffic Report

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blog income q2

It’s that time again! As I shared in my last quarterly report, I lost a lot of blogging mojo after looking over my entire 2015. I’m happy to say, it’s back! Even though I am always frustrated at the ratio of time I have to the amount of ideas I had, AND have started an entire second site/project that I’m passionate about (it hasn’t launched yet but you can get a peek here!), I am enjoying blogging again and really excited for the end of the year when I can be in the thick of making handmade Christmas gifts, ad $ is high, and sponsored post opportunities are plentiful.

This covers April, May, and June of 2016. 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!

{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: 1538
May: 1427
June: 1486

This has stayed relatively steady for the past 9 months. I’m hoping some of the Pinterest sharing groups I’ve joined will give me a boost and bump up to a new level.

Subscribers

[ March 2016 vs June 2016]

Instagram [1030/1232 ]

Facebook [1150/1293]

Twitter [730/734]

G+ [393/412]

Pinterest [4150/5248]

Newsletter [1580/1785]

It makes me laugh to have gained FOUR Twitter followers, but honestly I’ve spent very little time there, same as G+. I haven’t culled my newsletter non-openers lately and really need to, my open rate is hovering around 40% and I’d love to get it back up to 50%!

I am still LOVING my Tailwind subscription. You can try a free month through my referral link* – it allows you to repin something to several different board spread out, with one click. This has saved me a bunch of time but also really diversified who is sharing my pins, because of their ‘tribes’ feature. You can have a bunch of high quality posts all in one spot and ready to pin, I can’t say enough good things.

Money

Income

graph

Another pretty balanced quarter, I feel good about where all my money is coming from! I ran a sale this quarter, which resulted in a nice spike of sales. Running an ad in Pattern Revolution’s sale listings always pays off! A big chunk of my pattern sales comes from selling two patterns to magazines, which will be released and shared later this year.

I consistently get a nice chunk of change as an Ebates affiliate, which is especially nice because I LOVE using Ebates when I shop online (see more in this post). I’m starting to dial back on any freelance work for other sites, especially now that I’m making more money on ads, I think it makes the most sense to focus on creating my own content.

Amazon is always a steady money maker – my highest selling item was this craft book, which I used for this project, I need to write a full/formal review of it!

Expenses

I decided a pie graph for my expenses was silly – I only ever have two categories! I spent $247 on supplies like fabric and felt, and $905 on business expenses.

A huge expense that I debated about was paying someone to set up an LLC for me. You can file for yourself, but I wanted someone experienced to walk me through the different options – he ended up helping me set up a “holding company, Swoodson Media LLC, and then two separate LLCs for Swoodson Says & Des Moines Outdoor Fun. I had a long legal battle in high school/college when my horse injured someone else, and it has made me much warier of being sued, so I feel good about having this done!

Total in: $2283.88 Total out: = $1152.98 Quarter Overall: $1130.90

Year to date=$1,835.01 Life to date= $4939.68 (note, none of this takes taxes into account)

Traffic In/ Out

This section seems silly to keep writing, because for the third report in a row it is all pretty much the same!

Out

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

2. Delia Creates, with links from my free beanie hat post and free headband post.

3. Another headband hit, the twisted headband from this post.

4. Pinterest, my favorite. People have checked out this free hat & my refashion board most often.

5. One new link into the mix, this beautiful butterfly paper piecing pattern*, from my free foundation paper piecing pattern post.

In (Referrers)

1. Pinterest —  this non-pinterest-optimized pin blew up this quarter

2. Facebook

3. Search engines

4. All Free Sewing – this quarter my simple fabric bookmark brought over lots of eyes

5. Sew Can She – Caroline’s readers LOVE my “how to save money on sewing” post

 

Top 5 posts

1. Free Knit Beanie Sewing Patterns Tested

2. 4 Free Baby Pants Patterns Tested

3. 4 Free Headband Sewing Patterns Tested

4. First Birthday Party Prep – Giant Photo Display

5. How To Sew A Simple Sunglasses Case – so this one is shocking! Posted at the very end of June, it was promoted by the agency and brought in hordes of people from Facebook. It hasn’t had much time to gain traction but has clearly been very popular.

Search Terms

A few made me laugh, like ‘what do you put in your golf scorecard holder’ (typically, the golf scorecard – it did bring them to this golf scorecard holder though!). Mainly lots and lots of different versions of “how to sew your own nursing clothes”, leading them to this roundup of nursing tutorials and patterns.

Goals

Here is how I did for my 2016 Blog Goals:

I decided to switch from the actionable, specific goals to some broader hopes for the year. You can see my 2015 in review for the business side & for the creative side, respectively.

Take Better Photographs

Going well! I’ve been happy with my photographs for the past 6 months. I’m really glad I pushed through and figured out how to shoot on manual, although I always have more to learn.

Work Smarter

[Same as last quarter, nothing has changed] As I stated at the end of last year, I made several significant changes to how I work. I’ve been uploading pictures directly to WordPress instead of hosting them on Flickr, using Tailwind to pin, and stopping promoting on G+. This has all dramatically cut down on the time it takes me to write and promote a post.

One other thing I’ve been doing ‘smarter’ instead of ‘harder’ is only sorting my photos once – I create a folder of ‘no’ pictures, leave out the ones I need to edit, save all the edits and make sure I didn’t need any of the ‘no’s before deleting them. Less digital file space used and it’s much easier to look back through later.

Promote Old Content Better

I’ve continued to include 1 or 2 old posts ‘from the archives’ in my newsletter and it’s been going great! I try to repin posts as I share them in my newsletter but need to make time to go through and schedule pins for everything.

Work Smarter on Freelance Posts

[Same as last quarter] The more I think about freelance posts, the fewer I am signing up for. I am going to finish out my commitments and then probably solely write for this site in 2017. I will say that this post about tips to refashion was very easy to write and has been very popular. It was prompted by another article I wrote for So Sew Easy, so food for thought!

Make More Money

I’ve been doing better since last quarter, sharing more affiliate links on Facebook and making sure to include at least one in each post.

I’m feeling good! Excited about plans for the rest of the year and feeling like things are going to continue building and growing. How is your blog year going?

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Rachel Rossi

Friday 28th of October 2016

Hi Stephanie,

Thanks for these super-helpful posts! You talk about being an Ebates affiliate, which I have been signed up for for a while now, but don't know what to do with it. Do they have code for side banners, or do you link to them when you mention another store in your posts? I'm just not really getting anywhere with my affiliate account and wondering if I'm missing something! Thanks so much for these posts—keep them coming! :)

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 28th of October 2016

I created my own sidebar button for a while but didn't get much traffic on it - I just link to it when I mention a store in posts or in my newsletter. I get the most traffic from it here - https://swoodsonsays.com/how-to-save-money-while-sewing/ :D I also link to this page https://swoodsonsays.com/ebates/ when people talk about ordering from fabric.com, in Facebook groups. Glad you like the post!

Irene

Wednesday 27th of July 2016

Love these posts! I just picked up blogging this month again. Very informative to read through your reports. Ah there is so much to learn about blogging! An interesting journey to get better at it :)

xo Irene

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Wednesday 27th of July 2016

Welcome back to the blogging grind :)

Deby

Wednesday 27th of July 2016

Good to see things continue to go well Stephanie. I love to read about your quarterly progress. I'm also working on some new projects, but things take a long time to get off the ground, and build a following. Maybe we'll get a chance to work together again in the future. Good luck with your new site.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Wednesday 27th of July 2016

Aw, thanks Deby! I'm always interested to see what you are up to, and I so miss you at your old site :( I would never begrudge you for selling but darn it isn't the same without you!

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