December 2015 Traffic and Income Report

This girl makes a full time income from blogging and talks all about how she does it! Click through to the post to see how!
May 2015 Income Report | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

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.

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Here’s Donnie with the numbers…

Income

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

Total Income: $20,441

Expenses

  • 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)
Total Expenses: $3,014

December 2015 Net Profit: $17,427

Year End Review

Donnie

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:

January

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.

February

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.

March

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.

April

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.

May

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.

June

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!

July

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 Up-And-Coming Indie Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2015 by Fizzle.co.

August

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!

September

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

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.

November

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.

December

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!

December 2015 Traffic and Income Report | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

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!

Email Subscriber Statistics

  • 4,710 Net New Subscribers in ConvertKit
  • 48,622 Total Subscribers

RPM

Donnie

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

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


Abby

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!

You can see our other income reports here:

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

32 Comments

  1. Suzi Whitfords says:

    Donnie and Abby, thank you so much for sharing your year in review! How inspirational! 🙂 You’ve got a little family business going on there!

    Now that you are both home as bloggers, is it easier to take care of the little ones? 🙂

      1. Suzi Whitfords says:

        Abby, loving reading about how you manage family time and blogging! I need to get a big pot of tea and read all our posts! 🙂

  2. AJ @ Aspen Jay says:

    Hi Donnie & Abby,
    What a great year! Thanks for sharing where you have come, it is so inspiring! I love blessings in disguise. 😉
    Cheers,
    AJ

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, AJ! Yes– it’s amazing what incredible things can come from seemingly unfortunate circumstances, that’s for sure! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  3. Emily @ Small Stuff Counts says:

    THANK YOU for pulling back the curtain and sharing how your blog is growing. I love reading these every month, and I especially love this one for the detailed recap of what you did each month of the year. You two are such an inspiration, and it’s especially fun to watch how you’re growing as a team. Do you have any advice for how to determine what product to launch first? Developing my own product is at the top of my list for this year, but I’m having such a hard time committing to one idea. How to you choose and then find the discipline to create it? I have too many ideas swirling in my head!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks, Emily! Donnie and I actually just dealt with that exact issue while trying to decide what our product priorities would be for 2016– so many options! What we ended up doing is (separately) coming up with lists of every possible product we could think of that we might want to create. Then we came together and compared our lists. At that point we eliminated some that were either too broad or not the best fit for our audience and narrowed it down to 2-3. We started making a basic outline for the 2-3 products we had narrowed it down to, and when we did that we could see potential issues that would crop up with each one, which ones would be hard to have enough content for, etc. Ultimately, we decided on the one that we thought would help our audience the very most and was also something we were passionate about and had a lot of experience with. That doesn’t mean we can’t do the other ideas in the future, but we can focus on this first one and then see where we stand after that. I hope this helps! Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  4. So proud of you guys!! Love you girl!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, friend! Love you!

      ~Abby =)

  5. Kaitlin @ The Mom on Purpose says:

    Wow! What a great year! It’s so inspirational to see someone really making a solid income from this thing called blogging. Congrats on a great 2015! I’m sure 2016 will bring you even more wonderful things to come!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you for your sweet note, Kaitlin! Best of luck with your blog in the coming year!

      ~Abby =)

  6. I think income reports give a false sensense of hope to bloggers. Most of your income, 12,000, comes from business related sources.

    I don’t think it is possible to make 20,000/month online blogging about just hone decor/organization.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Lisa! I think many bloggers who provide income reports are passionate about the business end of blogging and therefore have products that reflect that. I can think of many of my blogging friends, though, who are making a healthy full time income without a business product. I think of KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms who spoke at the Haven Conference last year and said she makes a 6 figure income from her decor blog with sponsored posts and ads being her primary income sources. I think of Jackie from Teal & Lime who does really well with her decorating course, School of Decorating. Melissa from Silhouette School makes way more than I do and all of her products teach people how to make crafty items with their Silhouette cutting machines. Jen from iHeart Organizing said in this post that the majority of her income comes from her Etsy shop, which sells organizational printables: https://www.iheartorganizing.com/2014/10/iheart-blogging-series-bread-butter-of.html. I could go on! So while they may not be shouting it from the rooftops, there are plenty of bloggers who are making healthy incomes without any type of business product. I think every blogger just finds that intersection between what they’re passionate about and what their audience needs and out of that intersection finds a way to monetize in a way that works best for them. I hope this helps clarify! Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  7. Wow, you had a stellar year!!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

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

      ~Abby =)

  8. KittyLuvr says:

    I am not a blogger, and don’t plan to be but I get so excited each month to see the income report! I am cheering you on and am so excited to see that you not only have been able to support your family but you are freely helping others support their families. What a blessing you are!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are the sweetest! Thank you so much for your kind words. They truly mean a lot. Hope you are having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  9. heatheralexander says:

    How inspiring! I have to say, 50% off on black friday is a killer deal, but I’ll betcha you could’ve gotten away with 20% or 30% off. Maybe less sales, but just as much income. I could be wrong, but I have been selling online (on Etsy) for 6 years and I used to do big sales like that on black friday, and ended up shooting myself in the foot. I now just offer a small percentage off + a FREE gift. I try different things each year to see what plays out but so far 2015 with the small percentage off + free gift was the best offer. Fewer sales, but bigger profit, even with the free gift.

    I love your income reports and find them very helpful!! Happy 2016!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for the feedback, Heather! That makes total sense! Who knows what we will try next year?! 😉 Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  10. What an AMAZING year you two have had! God has certainly blessed you! Wondering what your total intake was for the year, and how you plan to use it, percentage wise/reinvesting it…taking a pay check…etc. You both are so inspiring!

  11. Lovely Decor (@lb_lovelydecor) says:

    Thanks for always sharing this with us! It always gives me hope and inspiration that I can do this too. This is my dream and thank you for encouraging us to go get it 🙂

    What an incredible month you guys had and year in that case! Keep up the amazing work 🙂

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor
    http://www.lovelydecor.co
    xx

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, you are too kind! Thank you so much for your sweet words! ~Abby =)

  12. Kathryn Hanna says:

    I love that your top income item is your Framework eBook and that you are able to make so much off your eBooks in general, instead of just advertising or affiliate income. I am trying to get my blog up and running and I loved the Framework eBook. You’re amazing!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are too sweet Kathryn! Thank you so much! ~Abby =)

  13. Debbie Stolle says:

    Hi Abby,
    This is my first comment on a blog. I have a launch date of Feb 1, 2016 for mine. I cannot tell you how much I have learned from everything you have posted and the product that I purchased. I bought your framework, video and printable package maybe last week? I can’t remember because I have been so immersed in the school of blogging that is so generously shared in this community. I tried blogging at least 2 times several years ago but some how I was never aware of all of this education and I never got more than 2 real life comments in 4 months. I would drool over other blogger’s design and could not for the life of me figure out how they made the buttons and stamps. But in all things I believe there is God’s timing and I am transitioning out of one job and hoping to enjoy this new one. Many, many thanks to you and your husband and blessings to your business and family for 2016! Oh and I bought under a different email since I had not established this one until 5 days ago.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I’m so glad it has been so helpful for you Debbie! We LOVE to hear that! Have a wonderful week and happy blogging! ~Abby =)

  14. jessicacoplen says:

    I just love your transparency! Thank you for having the guts to post this very personal information for the benefit of others. You inspire me!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Jessica! I’m glad the income reports are helpful! Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  15. Hi Abby! My family is in a seriously tough situation right now…. I used to own a boutique in our small-ish town. After 3 years in business, things went south and I couldn’t make it work anymore. So I had to close it down. But of course I was left with a lot of DEBT. And so now I’m having to work a full time job (away from home) to pay off this debt and have income for the family. And then this happens…. my 6 year old daughter has developed an anxiety disorder, which has now also manifested into physical symptoms. What would be best for her would be to stay at home and have me homeschool her for now. But I can’t. I can’t quit my job, because we would go broke. And it breaks me heart. She needs me and I can’t be there for her in the way that she needs me to be. As you can now tell, I’m desperate. Blogging has been on my mind a lot. Kind of weird, I guess God put it on my heart. I couldn’t shake it. So I made the leap and invested a little money and started the blog. I only have one post up right now because I’m not ready to promote it yet. I want to get a bunch of posts written so my readers (if they ever exist) aren’t left waiting for more. I do have quite a lengthy list of blog post ideas, so that’s good! Anyway, any prayers would be helpful. And any advice would be appreciated.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh, Brandi, thank you so much for sharing your story! I have totally been in the spot where jobs have ended and money is tight, and it is a tough one. I will certainly be praying for you, my friend! As far as the blog goes, I would say the most important things to focus on are creating amazing content and building relationships with other bloggers. Those two things will be huge. And definitely, definitely, definitely start an email list ASAP. (You can set one up for free with MailChimp!) The people on your email list will be your VIPs and your biggest fans. It’s never too early to start growing that list. I hope this helps! God bless!

      ~Abby =)

  16. Francisco says:

    I always love to see your progress and the truth is that you are the perfect couple. You plan together everything perfectly and it seems very simple and smooth.
    You have my total admiration!
    I started blogging one year ago and my wife a couple of months ago, I wish one day we could do same as you do, it would be a dream for me.
    As I like you both a lot I include your income report in my favourite bloggers list (and updated) that you can find here https://passiveincomewise.com/favourite-bloggers/
    I wish you all the best!

    Francisco

  17. Debbie Stolle says:

    Hi Abby, I am launching ready or not, mistakes and all tomorrow (actually today its 2 am!) since I set a date. I am grateful for the product that I purchased from you and very much your heart…sweetness comes across in words and you sparkle with it. I see that you changed your design! I had just sent my daughter to it this weekend so I don’t know if she got to see the old one…she saw someone using it and like it but yours was so much nicer with the same design. Anyway, your new design is cleaner and has a great layout.

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