December 2014 Traffic & Income Report
- Framework eBook – $2,078
- Ad Thrive – $1,440
- Bluehost Affiliate* – $1,360
- Amazon Associates – $358
- Silhouette America Affiliate* – $256
- Evernote Essentials Affiliate* – $135
- StudioPress Affiliate* – $104
- Restored 316 Themes Affiliate* – $58
- Contributor Post – $35
- PicMonkey Affiliate – $17
Total Income: $5,841
- Affiliate Payouts – $263
- Mailchimp* – $150
- Synthesis Hosting – $67
- Paypal Transaction Fees – $45
- Gumroad Transaction Fees – $31
- Stripe Transaction Fees – $23
- SendOwl* – $15
- Zapier – $15
- Crashplan – $14
- Viral Tag – $12
- Adobe Creative Cloud – $11
- Fizzle.co* – $0 (Usually $35)
Total Expenses: $646
Net Profit: $5,195
Abby and I are really excited about the December income. To be honest, I worried things would fall off a cliff during the busy Christmas season. Abby ran a 20% off sale on her eBook during Christmas and that certainly helped sales. I don’t think it’s so much the 20% off but rather just another opportunity to email her list and post the sale on some social media channels. Certainly we can’t do this too many times a year, but I think a 3 to 4 sales per year is normal and healthy.
Ad revenue was strong this month. I am beyond thrilled with our decision many months ago to completely hand off ad management to Ad Thrive. It’s just one less thing to worry about and they honestly do a better job than I could ever do. Ad revenue numbers are inflated in December because of massive end of year ad buys. Ad revenue should be significantly less in January.
Bluehost affiliate income was great in December! I’ve been planning a redesign of Abby’s How to Start a Blog Page but that hasn’t happened yet. I’m thinking the increased Bluehost income happened for two reasons.
- Strong Framework eBook sales in November caused many of Abby’s readers to finally start a blog and sign up for hosting. When someone purchases her eBook they are put onto a specific email list and are eventually reminded to go to her How to Start a Blog Page and sign up for hosting.
- End of year goal setting. The beginning of the year is great time to start a blog! I’m sure many people have a similar goal or resolution and make their way to Abby’s page. Two years ago Abby informed me near the end of December that she wanted to start a blog for the new year. She told me what domain name she wanted and then had me go out and set up hosting. A lot of people find themselves in the same situation.
Three Legs of Blog Income
Our December blog income came from three categories:
- Product sales – $2,078 (36%)
- Ad revenue – $1,440 (24%)
- Affiliate income – $2,323 (40%)
December was officially our best month ever for blog traffic. It just seems like every month or at least every other month Abby sets a new personal record for traffic. I think this is just a byproduct of a larger and larger content base. This leads to more Google and Pinterest traffic which are the two largest drivers of traffic (by far!) to Abby’s site.
The screenshot from Google Analytics above is actually deceiving. Those numbers are missing an entire day from early December. We had a little hiccup with a plugin and Google didn’t track any stats for a day. According to Jetpack (see below) Abby actually broke the 300,000 pageview barrier for the first time.
Abby’s traffic exploded near the end of December. For whatever reason Pinterest started sending her massive amounts of traffic. So far it hasn’t slowed down and has continued into January. Time will tell if it will last. We haven’t done anything different to cause this.
This brings up another interesting and very important point. Abby and I have consciously ignored all SEO and non-content related traffic strategies. We simply ignore all that “noise.” I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard about this or that Penguin or Panda update from Google, and the negative traffic consequences for some or some change to the Facebook or Pinterest algorithm. Some people lose massive amounts of traffic after those updates. I’m always suspicious that they are using some type of strategy to try and game the system. Every time there has been some type of update like that Abby has gained traffic. Every single time. Maybe it’s because we ignore SEO, link-building, keyword stuffing, and any other traffic strategy that is not content-related. I say bring on the algorithm changes…we always seem to benefit. (Let’s hope I don’t have to eat my words!)
If you are just starting out, I recommend the same thing: ignore SEO. Focus all your energy on writing compelling content and thinking of compelling headlines. Spend time and money improving your writing and photography instead of spending time and money learning various tricks to increase traffic.
Email Subscriber Statistics
- 1,479 New Subscribers
- 13,691 Total Subscribers
Near the end of December one of Abby’s posts took off: Our Secret Weapon for Saving Money: The 2015 Budget Binder. It did really well on Pinterest and then subsequently started getting lots of Google traffic. In fact, if you search “Budget Binder” on Google, you’ll see it show up as the #2 search result. Pretty cool. Abby made a simple change to the post that captured lots of new email subscribers. Notice the little text blurb right below the first picture in the post:
So all of the new visitors to her blog (through this post) were met with this little paragraph about creating their own printables. New subscribers for the month would’ve been half of what they were in December if Abby hadn’t made this little change when she saw that this post was getting lots of traffic.
RPM is a metric to track revenue per thousand pageviews. This is a measure of the overall effectiveness of the blog.
and to recap our income…
Net Income: $5,195