April 2015 Traffic and Income Report

Traffic and Income Report April 2015 | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com
abby

Hi, friends! It’s income report day again! Each month my husband Donnie crunches the numbers and analyzes what went well and what didn’t for this little blog of ours, and we report our findings back to you! Why do we do this?

Well, blogging has totally changed our lives and allowed us to do more than we’ve ever thought possible. We knew there were a lot of other bloggers out there trying to figure out the whole money and blogging thing too, and while we still have a lot to learn ourselves, we thought it might be helpful to others if we shared what we’re learning along the way. It also gives us an incredible amount of accountability since we have to report back every month, and that helps keep us motivated!

April was kind of an exciting month for us. We released our third eBook, The Paperless Home, which was mostly Donnie’s “baby,” so it was fun to watch him experience his first launch as the primary author. Check out his analysis below to see how it went! 🙂

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Let me turn it over to Donnie to run the numbers…

Income

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Total Income: $13,322

Expenses

  • Gumroad Transaction Fees – $429
  • Affiliate Payouts – $267
  • MailChimp – $220
  • Virtual Assistant – $150
  • Synthesis Hosting – $67
  • StudioPress Theme – $56
  • WP Affiliate Plugin – $50
  • PayPal Transaction Fees – $29
  • PO Box – $23
  • Board Booster – $20
  • SendOwl – $15
  • Zapier – $15
  • Stripe Transaction Fees – $15
  • CoWorking Space – $15
  • Crashplan – $14
  • ViralTag – $12
  • Adobe Creative Cloud – $11
  • Vimeo – $10
  • Google Apps – $10
  • CoSchedule – $10
  • Buffer App – $10
  • Fizzle.co – $0 (usually $35)
Total Expenses: $1,448

April 2015 Net Profit: $11,874

Income Analysis

donnie

The big thing in April was the launch of our third eBook: The Paperless Home: How to Use Evernote to Organize Your Life. After a massive drop in Bluehost commissions (I haven’t yet investigated why.), it’s fortunate that we did launch a product this month or our April income could’ve taken a serious hit!

The Paperless Home launched on April 13th, so we’ve had a little more than a half a month worth of sales. Abby and I co-authored the eBook, but this was the first product where I was the main content creator. In addition to the eBook, we created a video package that included 17 screencast videos.

To be honest, the week leading up to the April 13th launch, I felt absolutely overwhelmed. Sure, I could’ve been more ahead of schedule and that certainly would’ve reduced my stress, but I think a tense week leading up to a launch is unavoidable and maybe even a good thing. I embraced the chaos, stayed up way too late most nights, and drank a year’s worth of coffee in a single week. It was crazy, but man does it feel good on launch day when everything is done and a few sales start to roll in.

Instead of giving you a sequential play-by-play of the entire launch, I thought it would be fun to give you a retrospective of my biggest lessons and takeaways from launching The Paperless Home. But first, here is the sales data from April 13th to the end of the month:

Combined sales numbers from both product tiers…

Traffic and Income Report April 2015 | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Data from the $18 eBook only version…

Traffic and Income Report April 2015 | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

And sales numbers for the $32 eBook + video course version…

Traffic and Income Report April 2015 | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Sales came from the United States, Canada, Ireland, UK, France, Germany, Norway, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. I love looking at the country data!

4 Lessons From Launching The Paperless Home eBook and Video Course

1. A fixed and public launch date is the #1 motivator.

Abby and I set the launch day of April 13th back in December when we did our 2015 goal setting and planning. That date was constantly in my head as the year started. It’s easy to be wishy-washy about a launch date and say “oh, it’ll launch sometime this summer” or “we’re hoping to launch June.” I think that’s the wrong mindset. Depending on the scale of the product, pick a date at least three months out and commit to it. Carve it in stone, sign your name in blood, and then tell some important people in your life about the date. Sure, it will cause you a little anxiety and stress having committed so firmly to something, but it’s necessary.

How many of you know someone who said they were going to launch something and you’re still waiting more than 12 months later? I know a few. How many of those people never had a firm launch date? Most likely all of them. If you have a product in mind, take one seemingly insignificant but actually incredibly important step today and pick a launch date. Your future self will love you!

2. Creating the content is only half the work.

I made the mistake of thinking that once I had a workable rough draft, the majority of the work was done. Oh how wrong I was! If I could do it over, all content (eBook rough draft and videos) would have been finished a month before launch. It really does take 30 days to edit the rough draft, format the eBook, decide on a cover, edit the videos, create a landing page, setup payment processing, get an affiliate system in order (if you choose), set up email auto-responders, draft launch-related posts, and a million other tiny details that add up to a whole lot of decisions in a very limited time window. Unfortunately, I only left myself two weeks to do the above tasks. It just wasn’t enough time.

3. People like videos.

You can see from the data above that the eBook + video version had nearly twice the number of sales as the eBook only version. It was a much larger revenue driver. As much as I love reading books, most people prefer to learn through videos. I think this will become increasingly true in the coming years. If your goal is to educate, consider videos.

This was our first video product so we made it as easy as possible and made screencast videos. Fortunately, no one had to actually look at me. They just listened to my voice and watched as a navigated around my Mac.

abby

The videos may have been a hit, but they almost didn’t happen. At one point we almost dropped the video idea and considered a strategy that involved putting the eBook in the Kindle store instead. A certain wife who will remain nameless kept pushing for the videos, though, and ultimately we decided to maintain the control over our products by keeping them on our own sites and added the videos as a fun bonus. This certain wife would hate to say “I told you so” but… 😉

donnie

Moving forward, for lower priced products, a neat strategy might be to only include screencast videos with no corresponding eBook. It would be easier to create as well. I spent 5x more time writing the book than I did recording and editing the videos.

4. Email drives product sales.

How many of you know your blog traffic for yesterday? I would assume most of you. How many of you know the number of new email subscribers you had yesterday? Probably less of you. When it comes to product sales, I would argue the email number is vastly more important. Not only for launch day, but for continuing product sales.

Leading up to to the launch, Abby and I linked in numerous places to a landing page offering a free sample of the book. In order to get the free sample, visitors had to input their email address. Over 2,000 people input their email address to get the free sample. This is like 2,000 people raising their hand and saying, “Yes, I’m interested in going paperless.” You can see from the sales numbers that only a portion of these people purchased the eBook or video course, but this whole sales process happened automatically. Once they received the free sample they would automatically receive a few educational and follow up emails that eventually directed them to landing page for the course, where they had the option to purchase.

My #1 mistake in this launch was not having my email marketing autoresponder and educational email series 100% complete before launch. I was playing a little catch up and didn’t have the entire system worked out until after launch. The result, most likely, was some lost sales. Someone may have been excited after reading the free sample but then a few days went by before they heard from me and they might have lost interest.

In my next launch, I’m going to dedicate an entire week to setting up and perfecting my email marketing series. It’s that important.


If you’re interested, here are the various tools and technology Abby and I used to launch The Paperless Home: How to Use Evernote to Organize Your Life:

Writing and editing: Google Drive and Desk.pm
eBook creation: iBooks Author with our own homemade template
Cover: Allison from Just Add Confetti
Project Management: Trello, Evernote, and ToDoist
Video recording: Screenflow
Microphone: BlueYeti
Landing Pages: Homemade with Instapage
Payment processing and content delivery: Gumroad
Email marketing: Combination of MailChimp (Abby’s list) and ConvertKit (my list) connected with Zapier
If you have any other questions/comments about this launch or questions about your own product launch, please leave a comment below!

Three Legs of Blog Income

  1. Affiliate Income – $4,123
  2. Ad Revenue – $1,407
  3. Product Sales –$7,792

Traffic and Income Report April 2015 | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Top Posts of April 2015

  1. How to Make Pretty Labels in Microsoft Word + FREE Printable
  2. Our Secret Weapon For Saving Money: The 2015 Budget Binder
  3. 10 Simple Habits that Will Help You Stay Organized
  4. How I Organized My Whole Life
  5. My Secret to Getting Things Done and Accomplishing Goals

Traffic Report

April 2015 Income Report | Just a Girl and Her Blog

April 2015 Income Report | Just a Girl and Her Blog

Email Subscriber Statistics

  • 2,046 New Subscribers
  • 23,444 Total Subscribers

RPM

RPM is a metric to track revenue per thousand pageviews. This is a measure of the overall effectiveness of a blog and is a handy benchmark for comparing blogs even if they have vastly different traffic numbers. I first learned about this metric from Bjork of Pinch of Yum.

April 2015 RPM: $35.58

and to recap…

Gross Income: $13,322
Net Income: $11,874
Pageviews: 374,420

Click here to see a running tally of all past income reports.

abby

Yay, April! Each month at the beginning of the month I think to myself, “This is the month where everything is going to tank! There’s no way we can keep this up!” But somehow, the numbers always seem to work themselves out, and we are so thankful to you, sweet readers, for supporting this blog and making it all possible! You guys are the best!

BIG NEWS: A Building a Framework Revamp!

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that I was away at a hotel this weekend eating chocolate and drinking lots of caffeine working on a major revamp of our eBook for bloggers, Building a Framework!

Traffic and Income Report April 2015 | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Since things in the blog world are always changing, it was due for some updates AND I wanted to be able to share a whole bunch of new info I’ve learned since the last release of the book, so there will be several additional chapters as well as extra information in existing chapters too! Woohoo! Everyone who has purchased Building a Framework already will get the updated eBook for free, so watch your inboxes for that in early June.

Oh but that’s not all, friends! Since we loved doing the videos along with The Paperless Home and they seemed to be really helpful for people, we are adding some video options to Building a Framework! These upgraded packages will include even more in-depth information and tutorials, and I may even be collaborating with some of your very favorite bloggers and mine for some extra-special additions. 😉 It was so fun to celebrate my birthday with the release of Building a Framework last year, so we decided to do it all over again…

Mark your calendars for *June 10th* for the big relaunch!!

I absolutely cannot wait so share everything that will be included, but I’m telling you now… it’s going to be GOOD! If you’re interested in receiving updates about the launch, be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get all of the insider info!

But if you’ve been thinking about starting a blog and just don’t know where to start, you certainly don’t need to wait for June 10th to get a jump on it! Head over to our How to Start a Blog page to get all of the info you need to know to set up the technical side of things, or join our “7 Days to Start a Blog” Challenge to get a step-by-step guide sent right to your inbox!

Thank you so much for all of the encouragement and support month in and month out. We truly could not do this without you and are so grateful for all you do!! Have a wonderful week!

You can see our other income reports here:

38 Comments

  1. Yasmina @ Mina and Her Blog says:

    Abby, I always look forward with your reports! Some good bits you’ve shared that made me think! Looking forward for your Ebook, already marked!!!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Mina! <3 Hope you are having a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  2. Hey Abby & Donnie! It’s so funny that you post an income report today but I just published a post today about a few of my favorite blogs, and I definitely listed you guys as one of my top three favorite blogs regarding blogging tips. I so appreciate not only your transparency with these posts, but I also think you make them as short and sweet (as you can!) as to not overload your reader with TOO much info. You both make an amazing team! Congrats on so much success! – Erica 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Erica!! Thank you so much for your sweet words and for including us in your post! I’m honored! I hope you’re having a wonderful day!

      ~Abby =)

  3. Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom says:

    I am so excited about the update for Building a Framework AND wow, these books really earn y’all some money! That is GREAT and I am so excited for you both!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Carrie! The eBook income is always deceiving on a launch month, lol. It will taper off in May, I’m sure, but I’ll take it while we can get it! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  4. I always look forward to your traffic and income reports – they are inspiring! I don’t suppose you want to take on a mentee, do you? 😉 Your e-books really do make you a lot of money 🙂 here’s to May being just as good to you!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Nicola! You are the sweetest!!

      ~Abby =)

  5. Laura @ The Turquoise Home says:

    I read every word of these reports each month, Abby! Thanks so much for being vulnerable and sharing them. They are inspiring!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, friend! That really means a lot! <3 Hope you have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  6. I love your reports not to see how much you made but what new technology you guys have found. I think video is so super important and is much easier to understand for walkthroughs. Now I do have to ask.. What are you paying for in Google Apps?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Lesley! We are definitely having fun with video these days! 🙂 We have hosted email addresses using GoogleApps (abby {at} justagirlandherblog {dot} com, for example} and they are $5 each per month. 🙂

      ~Abby =)

      1. Oh got ya! And good to know!

  7. Nancy from Do Small Things with Love says:

    You guys blow me away. I just love these income reports because you are so generous to explain everything you did to make these earnings. Really, this is so helpful for me (and I’m sure many others).
    Also, Abbey–can’t wait to see the additions to Framework. Again, so generous!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thank you, Nancy! I’m so glad they’re helpful! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  8. Sydney @ Tastefully Frugal says:

    Abby I live reading your income reports… You and Donnie are rocking it! Can’t wait for the re-release of Building A Framework too!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Sydney!! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  9. Heather J says:

    Your blog is wonderful. You are very successful with it and your hardwork has paid off. You shouldn’t be nervous about this, you should be dancing a jig, jumping up and down, laughing, crying happy tears, etc because you are so successful. Your a true inspiration to those who are just starting out in the blogging world and scared to death! You are doing an awesome job and I’m sure many are praying to even gain a quarter of your success in the blogging world:) God is good!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thank you so much for your sweet words, Heather! That really means a lot! God is most certainly good! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  10. Dear Abby and Donnie,
    Thank you so much for your honesty in publishing both your numbers and your process! A very interesting read! I have been following Donnie’s e-book progress and look forward to purchasing the e-book (and videos) in the near future! (Have to follow my monthly ‘budget’ for education/products…) :). But am getting ready to go ‘paperless’ in the near future, both personally and in my virtual-assistant business. You have a lovely site!

    1. That’s awesome Leah! I really think going paperless will make a difference for you and your business.

  11. Laura @ I Heart Planners says:

    Wow, you are doing so well. I’m so impressed with how many products you’re launching. It makes me tired just thinking about it, but it clearly works well! I was really curious about the two paperless book packages, and glad to hear that the video one did so well. My next product involves a lot of video, so that’s very encouraging to hear. Video is a huge pain (especially ones where people see your face) but are worth it. I totally agree with you on setting a public launch date. Once you do that, you’ll get it done rather than putting it off. I also think there’s no avoiding the crazy week before the launch no matter how prepared you try to be.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I’m excited to see your next product with video! It is definitely another whole realm of its own! And I hear you… launch week always seems to = pure craziness! 🙂 Hope you’re having a wonderful week, Laura!

      ~Abby =)

  12. You two are SO inspiring! Can’t wait to see the updates to “Building A Framework”!! Congratulaions on another wonderful month. 🙂

  13. Another great post with tons of information. Thank you so much for sharing! I will have a lull in work soon, so I am anxious to get back to setting up my blog. I have to update my OS first; I am still running Windows XP, believe it or not! I have been reading the “Framework” ebook, and I am really excited to read (and listen to) the updates! Thank you, again.

  14. Hello !
    I love your blog !
    There is a mistake : the URL for” Paperless Home eBook – $4,474″ is bad.
    A problem with “.com”.
    Have a nice day 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for the heads up, Magali! All fixed! Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  15. I love how you break this down for people to see exactly where your income is coming from. As a blogger, it is extremely important to diversify your revenue streams. A huge goal of mine is to focus a lot more on videos and podcasting this year. I just added a welcome video to my blog and have a few more coming out soon. I am definitely going to check out your Paperless Home video course version!

  16. Patty @ Reach Your Peak says:

    wow this is super motivating for me! I have been meaning to write my fitness ebook since about last year =( I know…I’m one of THOSE people haha. Now I need to set a date and just get it done!

    Question about the videos…you use that software but where are you able to keep videos for those who buy the packages? Do they need a password or to sign in somewhere? Or do you email the files to them?

    Thanks in advance!

  17. Hi Abby,
    Thanks so much for sharing. You guys are really kickin’ it! I was wondering, how many sponsored posts did you do for this month?
    Thanks!

  18. Hi Abby I love your blog. Simple but very cute and refreshing because you leave out all of the “fluff” that others have in their blog. You have an honest flair I should say. I wanted to ask what other products do you offer besides your ebooks or is that the only physical product you have as a revenue stream? Because I saw most was through ads and affiliates who want to advertise to your readers.

  19. Brittney Guise says:

    Wow! This is awesome! I love how you are so open about your blog and willing to help others. I love this blog!
    Brittney. x

  20. Raj @ Monthly Income Report says:

    Hey Abby,

    Some great sales figures in your report – well done.

    I’m putting together an income report roundup post on my blog and am in the process of gather a lot data.

    I would love to see your May figures so I can include your blog in my report if I may?

    Let me know when you publish them and I’ll get them included in the post.

    Raj

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Raj! They will be out next week! Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  21. Abby!! You didn’t even mention that April is the month. Not just the month, but THE MONTH:

    “Our goal is to earn $10,000/month by April of 2015”

    Do you remember this little tidbit from your first blog income report?

    You’ve got a lot going on but I hope you + your husband took time to celebrate reaching a goal you set over a year ago. That’s phenomenal. Looking forward to stalking.. ehh.. staying updated on your progress 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Lol! Thank you so much for the reminder and for your sweet comment, Nia! I’m so glad that the income reports have been helpful. Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  22. Hey Abby!

    Thanks so much for breaking down how you made this possible! I do have one question–do you purposely drive people to your “How to Make a Blog” page?

    Thanks!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I do! The biggest thing that drives people to that page is our free “7 Days to Start a Blog” email course. It also gets a lot of Pinterest traffic. Hope you’re having a wonderful week, Amanda!

      ~Abby =)

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