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Quarterly Report – 2015 Q1

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Q1 2015 Blog Report

How has the money been? I’m ready to share! This covers January, February, & March 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.

The only big change during this quarter was.. I had a baby! My daughter was born in early March – in preparation for her arrival, I had/have content scheduled out through the entire month of April; all posts, all newsletters. I didn’t have any contributor posts “due” in March or April, and have been/was able to soak up the newborn cuddles and ease my way back into creativity. I’m excited to share what I’ve been working on and dive back into things as much as I can now that I have two little people at home.

{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

I finally hit my 2014 goal of consistently being over 500 visits a day on average! I’m not sure what prompted the big bump from the end of last year (December was an average of 448) but I’m pleased and hope it sticks around.

January: 698

February: 783

March: 738



Slow growth on most of these – I am most excited about my weekly newsletter. I really enjoy putting links together that inspire or intrigue people, and it seems to be going pretty well. Subscribe here and see yourself!

[December 2014 vs. March 2015]

Instagram [251 / 357]

Facebook [428 /550 ]

Twitter [523 /546 ]

G+ [194 /257 ]

Pinterest [1845 / 2126]

Newsletter (started 11/21, replacing Direct Email) [172 /485 ]


Writing this report forced me to double check and go over all my numbers for the quarter, instead of waiting until the end of the year! Always a good thing. I’m excited to be officially “in the black” and hoping to continue building momentum so the blog can be a steady passive income source for me.


Income Graph

This quarter reflects the pay-outs for ads & affiliate links that were clicked/shown over Christmas, which was a nice bump! I am mildly embarrassed that I only sold one pattern in the three months, when it was on a 50% off sale, despite releasing a new one that I love (Little Photographer’s Camera). I had overwhelmingly positive response to its release, tons of people signed up to test, but no one has put their money where their mouth was. I’m planning on doing at least two more patterns this year and 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.



My hopeful last big expense, another lens! I bought this 35mm* and have loved it, much easier for taking photos of larger projects indoors. Other expenses included my PicMonkey membership and project supplies. Pretty nominal.

Total in: $1246.34 Total out: 377.58 = $868.76

Woohoo! I anticipate this being a high, combined with holiday income and a lag in productivity with the new baby being born. But I’m still excited. I’ve never set a specific number goal for monthly income from the blog, but I’d love to have a steady couple hundred bucks each month.

Year to date= [ended at -$410.01 for 2014]  Life to date= $458.75

Woohoo! Out of the red!

Traffic In/ 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.

2. Amazon! I use Amazon affiliate links, and almost 200 people clicked this one*.

3. Facebook. Both Facebook’s main page and my blog’s page – not sure why or how anyone would click to the main page?

4. Shareasale. I use Shareasale affiliate links, and people are always clicking for free quilting classes*.

5. People still continue to love this free sewing printable that I shared in my post of 8 Free Sewing Printables for Wall Decor.

In (Referrers)

1. Pinterest

2. Sew Can She (I’ve had two tutorials shared, but it’s actually a flashback to one of my Show-Off Saturday linky submissions that was the most popular, How to Save Money While Sewing)

3. All Free Sewing

4. Search Engines

5. Facebook

Top 5 posts

Birthday Party Photo Prop

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

2. 8 Free Sewing Room Printables for Wall Decor

Log Slice Pouf

3. Log Slice Pouf Tutorial for Birch Fabrics

4. Fleece Scrap Busy Bag Activity

Heart Handwarmers

5. Upcycled Heart Hand Warmers

Search Terms

It makes me happy when someone searches for something, and I have exactly what they’re looking for, like the search terms: ‘online creative challenges for 2015’ and ‘sewing website affiliates’.

It amuses me when people find my blog with seemingly random search terms like: ‘something each month’ & ‘where did the only hearts doll website go?’


Here is how I did for my 2015 Blog Goals:

I shared my creative resolution(s) for 2015, these are specific business goals. As I said before, I am really hesitant because I have no idea how life will be with a newborn and a toddler at home. My 2 year old plays independently very well and I take an hour every morning to work on blog emails or posts while he reads, builds, etc. This flexibility will be out the window when I’m nursing an itty bitty baby and constantly sleep deprived! I don’t want to give myself a free pass though.

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.


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.

TBD1 down, 1 to go

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.

TBD- I haven’t done much with this so far this year.

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.


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!

How are your 2015 goals & resolutions going??


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Thursday 9th of July 2015

Thank you so much for sharing all of this! As a new creative blogger with such a specific niche, it's hard to know what to strive for, but you've given me some great ideas of what kind of goals I should be setting. Oh, and congratulations! It looks like you're doing a great job!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 10th of July 2015

Thanks Reece! I have my next report coming out soon; it's not quite as exciting :) I admin a group of sewing bloggers on Facebook, if you have any interest in joining just let me know!

Shelly Morgan

Friday 24th of April 2015

Stephanie I really love hearing about how you accomplish each goal and what the obstacles are. Its great to see how the baby steps really start to add up. Great job reaching a small income and getting in the black! Congrats on the new baby!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 24th of April 2015

Thanks so much Shelly!!


Thursday 16th of April 2015

Thanks for sharing! I love watching your progress. Even though you only sold one pattern for the quarter your affiliate sales and freelance work definitely made up for it. Your progress has been very quick compared to mine. I'm sure you'll reach many more of your goals for this year. Well done :) I'm off to get bubs out of bed to start the day.

Thanks again :)

Jessica Pierce

Thursday 16th of April 2015

Wow! This is inspiring. I am a mess when it comes to being organized. ;) Congrats on being in the black. That is an awesome accomplishment.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 17th of April 2015

I bet you're more organized than you give yourself credit for :) Thanks for the kind words, friend!


Thursday 16th of April 2015

Love this! As a new blogger, your goals, ideas, and everything are a huge resource. Thank you! My goal is to host a series on sewing and saving and publish an eBook.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 17th of April 2015

Thanks for the kind words Dana! Can't wait to see you reach both your goals :)

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