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2015 Q3 Quarterly Blog Report

q3 report

How has the money been? I’m ready to share! This covers July, August, and September 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’m pretty excited! September brought all-time high traffic, my monthly pageviews ended up at 37,956 – almost 10,000 more than August. I haven’t done anything radically different, just more of the same with a few posts getting popular on Pinterest.

{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

(June: 795)

July: 824

August: 949

September: 1276

Subscribers

[June 2015 vs. September 2015]

Instagram [472 /647 ]

Facebook [601 /772 ]

Twitter [581 / 618]

G+ [297 / 341 ]

Pinterest [ 2385/2929 ]

Newsletter [601 / 747] <– I “clean” this list once a month, unsubscribing folks who haven’t opened the past 10 newsletters, which keeps me around a 50% open rate. It’s tempting to just let it grow and grow (I usually unsubscribe around 100 people) but I’d rather keep folks around who actually read what I send out, so I don’t end up paying for more people than I have to once I hit that point.

Money

q3 income

Income

Big bump in pattern sales, due to payment from being included in One Thimble with my Little Collector Backpack! I also had quite a few Little Photographer sales after a review on Pattern Revolution. This is the most even pie chart I think I’ve had, with all portions being relatively close. That seems like a good idea, to not have all my eggs in one basket!

Expenses

expenses q3

Wow! Big expense here, I did a site redesign and paid Sarah of Spunmonkey a chunk of change to help me do it. I still have time “left” on the contract, it is so nice to have someone to email for help. I’m thrilled with how it all turned out, and don’t regret it for a second! It’s hard to say if my increased traffic is due to the redesign and being more mobile friendly, but it certainly can’t a complete coincidence.

Total in: $848.21 Total out: = $460.83 Quarter Overall: $387.38

Year to date=$1267.29 Life to date= $1598.15

It definitely feels like I “should” be making more by now -ha! I briefly looked at joining another ad network, but was put off by reviews and hearing about over-photo and sliding full page ads. I hate those! I re-added my Google ad into the sidebar and have seen a kick up for that, hoping my blog tour continues to boost pattern sales for this quarter.

Traffic In/ Out

Out

1. imaginegnats. Wow! My free beanie testing post is *still* super popular, and its sent over 1800 people over to rachael’s blog. I also have had clicks over to some of the fabrics I’ve used!

2. Etsy! I have done several pattern round-ups recently, with loads of people checking out new designers. Don’t forget, you can get cash back when you shop patterns on Etsy, through Ebates*.

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

4. Delia Creates, again from my free beanie testing post, over 800 people have checked out her free pattern.

5. One last beanie outgoing link, with 700+ folks heading to Heidi & Finn for their free pattern.

In (Referrers)

1. Pinterest — booming traffic this month! Lots of free beanie love, just like every other stat this quarter.

2. Facebook

3. Search Engines

4. Sew Can She – I continue to get a bunch of traffic from this feature, any time it is reshared, it’s a good one!

5. All Free Sewing – My DIY Body Double was popular, which is timely because I really need to make some for my daughter! My kid’s card holder got lots of traffic too; that was an idea that I was proud of but it hasn’t been very popular outside of All Free Sewing.

Top 5 posts

1. Free Knit Beanie Sewing Patterns Tested

2. DIY Ewok Hood Tutorial -I can tell Halloween is coming!

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

4. 4 Free Headband Sewing Patterns Tested

5. 10 DIY Babywearing Coats

So, round-ups are super shareable and bring lots of folks to my blog. But do they stick around? I need to learn how to use Google Analytics better, I think.

Search Terms

Lots of searches for ‘ewok’ as Halloween gets closer and closer, which is fun! I never expected that post to be so popular. Someone searched “my pregnant belly looks square” which is hilarious, so was mine! No clue where that brought them, or what they found here for that though. Also lots of different nursing searches, hitting on my PDF patterns list for nursing friendly clothes.

Goals

Here is how I did for my 2015 Blog Goals:

I shared my creative resolution(s) for 2015, these are specific business goals.

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 I have been bumping this over and over and I doubt it will get done before the holidays. But, maybe!

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.

Doubtful. I haven’t seen any calls for submissions that interest me!

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! The Little Photographer Camera & The Little Collector Backpack

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? – Exact same as last quarter. 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.

Done! The post went live in Q4, my 4 Free Baby Pants Sewing Patterns post, sponsored by Mabel Madison. Emily, the owner, reached out to me after my past report and it was just the motivation I needed to get a media kit together and woohoo, I’m so happy with how the post turned out! Hopefully pitching one more to another company before the end of the year.

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.

Danger, danger! I skipped my craft book review last month. I just ran out of time! Those posts are so much work and so little traffic, but I like doing them. Going to hopefully make up for it and do two this month, but we shall see.

10. Work ahead more.

Kinda. I have lots of posts in motion and some to “bring home” from guest posting, but fewer than 10 actually finished and scheduled, which is driving me nuts. Definitely trying to get back ahead this month, and prep for Christmas crafting posts ahead of time.

How are your 2015 goals & resolutions going?? I would say overall, I’m happy with the growing traffic but trying to be more strategic with my time. It’s hard, when I’m attached to the idea of doing X Y or Z. These reports, for instance! They take a long time and not many people read them. But, they force me to clean up bookkeeping and analyze each quarter.  I need to take a closer look at how I’m spending my time vs. what is earning money vs. what I truly enjoy, as I start to plan 2016.

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This Post Has 10 Comments
  1. Great to see your traffic climbing up! Mine sort of plateaued over the summer with my less disciplined posting between travels. Thanks for sharing!

      1. It just occurred to me when I clicked back through…you added a landing page, so almost everyone would click through to the blog making the pageviews double. How are your other stats, like users, in relation to the number of pageviews? Just curiosity, mostly…

        1. That is an interesting point, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that! Most people come to my site directly, from a post link. The landing page accounts for maybe 2000 duplicates, in the quarter? I have not gone into GA to look at unique visits or users, maybe I should add that into my mix.

          1. I remember reading a blog post a couple of years ago that suggested adding a landing page and truncating posts to boost pageviews. Of course, it works…but it doesn’t seem like an honest way to get more pageviews. I’m certainly not suggesting you are being dishonest though! It just made me remember that post. It looks like your growth is coming from a variety of places and the landing page may have added a to the mix in a smaller way.

  2. Yay for getting a bump in traffic and pattern sales. I like reading the quarterly reports. I keep meaning to do them even though my traffic is just a fraction of yours but I figure it would help me stay on track with things. Interestingly (to me anyway) your site is in my top 10 referrers for the past few months. So thanks! 🙂

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