Happy income report day! We are officially calling 2015 a wrap and sharing the last of our earnings from the year. If you’re new to the blog, each month my husband Donnie tallies up our blog income from all different sources and we share the numbers and a reflection here on the blog. We feel like we have been given such a gift to be able to blog full time and spend so much time with our two boys, so we share these reports in hopes that our transparency will help others find strategies that work (and some that don’t!) in order to grow their online businesses and benefit their families as well.
Here’s Donnie with the numbers…
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
- Framework eBook and course – $6,199 –> Download our product launch plan
- Bluehost – $5,035 –> How to Start a Blog
- AdThrive – $2,244
- 2016 Intentional Life Planner – $2,100
- Simplify eBook – $1,400
- Paperless Home eBook – $1,278
- Amazon Associates – $560
- ConvertKit – $403
- Ultimate Bundles – $364
- Media Temple – $258
- Genesis Framework – $210
- Sponsorships – $150
- Restored 316 – $88
- Fizzle.co – $56
- Misc. Affiliate Income – $55
- PicMonkey – $31
- Evernote Essentials – $10
Total Income: $20,441
- Framework Affiliate Payouts – $905
- Assistant – $667
- Gumroad Transaction Fees – $344
- ConvertKit – $319 –> We We Switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit
- Stripe Transaction Fees – $115
- PayPal Transaction Fees – $107
- Training – $97
- Instapage – $69
- Synthesis Hosting – $67
- Adobe Creative Cloud – $53
- Meet Edgar – $49
- Intercom.io – $49
- Wistia – $25
- CloudFlare – $25
- Asana – $25
- SendOwl – $24
- Board Booster – $20
- Zapier – $15
- Co-Working Space – $15
- Crashplan – $14
- Media Temple – $7
- Backupify – $3
- Fizzle.co – $0 (usually $35)
December 2015 Net Profit: $17,427
Year End Review
As I sat down to reflect and write on our blog progress in December I couldn’t help but look back at the entire year. A lot has happened, and I know 2015 is a year Abby and I will remember for a long time. Here’s what happened in 2015:
Traffic nearly doubled (to 550,000 views) in January thanks to a lot of organizing/productivity traffic from Pinterest. Along with a doubling of traffic we also doubled our income and crossed the 5 figure/month level for the first time. We were invited to a temporary mastermind group with the founders of Fizzle, and we took what we learned during the first few calls and launched Simplify with an emphasis on automated sales using our 7 Days to an Organized Life email challenge and sales funnel.
This was our first month of working on the blog full time with Abby after being laid off from my job at the end of January. We had no idea if we’d be able to support ourselves! Pageviews went back down to normal, and I spent much of the month creating content for what would become The Paperless Home.
Abby continued to blog away day after day while I recorded screencast tutorials (that almost didn’t happen!) and put the finishing touches on The Paperless Home. We waited too long to develop a launch strategy and promotion plan for the book.
The Paperless Home launched, I started experimenting with ConvertKit for a now nonexistent DonnieLaw.com list, and we crossed over 20,000 email subscribers for our Just a Girl and Her Blog list. The week after The Paperless Home launch, we started into revamping the content of Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook and re-launch process for the eBook and new course. It was this month that I thought just maybe we would be able to make this full time blogging thing work.
Abby was writing, recording interview videos, and recording screencast tutorials for the launch of Building a Framework — all the while still pumping out quality blog posts. I started the transition process of moving our 25,000 email subscribers from MailChimp to ConvertKit. This decision would later have a huge effect on the Framework launch.
Framework re-launched on Abby’s birthday, and the course brought in $17k during the month of June. It was a better launch than the previous year because of 1) higher price point 2) bigger list 3) more comprehensive course, and 4) the use of an automated sales funnel by way of our 7 Days to Start a Blog challenge. June was also the launch of the private Building a Framework Facebook group for advanced and master package purchasers. We officially made the decision that I would not go back to full time corporate employment. Yay!
As we’ve done the past few years, July was a month of guest posts on Just a Girl and Her Blog as well as some much needed rest for Abby and a family vacation to coastal Georgia. We also marked the one year anniversary of Abby’s surgery. Abby appeared on the Entrepreneur on Fire Podcast and was featured as one of the 25 Up-And-Coming Indie Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2015 by Fizzle.co.
After using (and loving!) ConvertKit for many months, I felt comfortable detailing our switch from MailChimp. Abby’s sister Brittany also started helping Abby manage her insane email inbox. We realized we couldn’t do it all ourselves anymore, and Brittany’s help in this area was a huge weight off of Abby’s shoulders. Also, Brittany writes just like Abby, so the transition was seamless!
Still feeling exhausted from the summer, we began to make plans for our fall 2015 and winter 2016 product launches. I ramped up my email list building experiments with ConvertKit and OptinMonster and grew our list by 5,000+ in September.
October was all about Abby finishing The 2016 Intentional Life Planner. She squirreled herself away for a weekend at a local hotel and worked like crazy to finish the planner. We originally thought we’d launch the planner in August, but that was just too soon after a major June product launch.
The Intentional Life Planner launched with over 500 sales during the month. We also went back and forth on what (if any) discounts to offer for our various products during Black Friday/ Cyber Monday. Ultimately, we offered a 50% discount on The Paperless Home. The discount certainly improved sales numbers, but I’m still not convinced that it’s a good idea to play the discount/sale game.
Abby and I just tried to stay afloat during this month… We celebrated our nine year anniversary, Christmas, New Years, and then our oldest son’s birthday at the beginning of January. Family, business, and travel made this month an absolute whirlwind. Abby spent the latter part of the month prepping for the relaunch of Simplify: 35+ Printables to Help You Organize Your Life while I strategized, planned, and wrote 20,000 + words for a future top-secret project that we’ll tell you more about next month!
Whew! What a crazy year! I put my goals post out there at the beginning of January, mentioning that maybe possibly someday if everything went exactly right Donnie and I would love to be full time bloggers together, and by the end of that month, we were thrown into full time blogging whether we liked it or not! Looking back, him getting laid off was probably the best thing that’s happened to us all year, and I’m amazed to see how this blog has grown because of it. I could not be more excited to see what 2016 is going to hold!
Three Legs of Blog Income
- Affiliate Income – $7,200
- Ad Revenue – $2,244
- Product Sales –$10,977
Email Subscriber Statistics
- 4,710 Net New Subscribers in ConvertKit
- 48,622 Total Subscribers
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.
December 2015 RPM: $41.51
So to recap…
Gross Income: $20,441
Net Income: $17,427
Thank you so much for following along throughout the past year, sweet friends! We definitely could not do this whole blogging thing without you, and we are so incredibly grateful for your support!
If you are a blogger, I also want to encourage you to DREAM BIG for your blog this year. Then make a plan to turn those dreams into realities. Yes, it may take some learning and a whole lot of hard work, but it is so possible. Go get it!