It’s income report day again! Every month Donnie crunches the numbers and we share exactly how much we’ve made from this little blog of ours and how we’ve made it. Our hope is that by being transparent about how we make money online, we will help others who want to pursue similar ventures to see that it really is possible! We feel like we’re living our dream by getting to work on the blog together from home, while spending tons of time with our two boys, and if we can help others take some steps closer to this goal as well, we consider that a huge success!
Here’s Donnie with the numbers…
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
- Framework eBook and course – $5,925 –> Download our product launch plan
- 2016 Intentional Life Planner – $5,070
- Bluehost – $4,465 –> How to Start a Blog
- Paperless Home eBook – $2,931
- AdThrive – $1,512
- Simplify eBook – $890
- Ultimate Bundles – $807
- Media Temple – $500
- ConvertKit – $425
- Amazon Associates – $386
- Genesis Framework – $207
- Misc Affiliate Income – $175
- Restored 316 – $113
- Sponsored Posts – $100
- Fizzle.co – $47
- PicMonkey – $31
- Food Photography School – $30
- Evernote Essentials – $21
- Pretty Darn Cute Designs – $18
- Optin Monster – $10
Total Income: $23,663
- Gumroad Transaction Fees – $644
- Framework Affiliate Payouts – $597
- Assistant – $345
- ConvertKit – $319 –> We We Switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit
- PayPal Transaction Fees – $134
- Training – $97
- Stripe Transaction Fees – $95
- Instapage – $69
- Synthesis Hosting – $67
- Adobe Creative Cloud – $53
- Meet Edgar – $49
- Intercom.io – $49
- Wistia – $25
- SendOwl – $24
- CloudFlare – $20
- Zapier – $15
- Co-Working Space – $15
- Crashplan – $14
- Media Temple – $10
- Board Booster – $10
- Backupify – $3
- Fizzle.co – $0 (usually $35)
November 2015 Net Profit: $21,009
Black Friday discount, or no?
November is an interesting time for anyone that sells anything. Each year it seems like Black Friday and Cyber Monday take on additional craziness. Personally, I never partake in the insanity of running out to various stores in the middle of the night to get a good deal. I will admit that I do some internet shopping during those few days and I’m not afraid to take advantage of good deal if I find one.
Because Abby and I sell a few different books and courses, every year we have to decide if we’ll participate in Black Friday/Cyber Monday and offer some type of discount.
I like to go against the grain, so part of me wants to just completely ignore the crazy sales. There’s a really interesting episode of the SeanWes Podcast where he talks about this issue. Sean explains that while Black Friday sales (or any sales for the matter) certainly increase profit in the short-term, they are bad for your business in the long-term. He argues that the sales dilutes your brand and says, “your course is worth the least amount of money you are willing to charge for it.”
Sean offers a premium-priced hand-lettering course and has never offered a discount. He’s firm on this. Over time his audience has come expect this and they understand that the best price for anything is when it first comes out. His early adopters and early purchasers are are rewarded. Prices only go up and never come down. He also argues that it’s an insult and disservice to people who bought a product on launch day to then make it available for a fraction of the price at a later date.
Part of me agrees with his argument. If I sense that someone is going to soon offer a discount on a product, I’ll wait. I’m not afraid to wait until I can find the best possible deal. I think that’s human nature.
The other part of me thinks that offering some type of discount is a nice thing for our customers. We received more than a dozen emails leading up to Black Friday asking what type of deals or discounts we had planned. People come to expect it and prospective customers are ready and willing to buy during that four day stretch.
After going back and forth a bit, we decided to offer a substantial discount on just one of our products. We offered The Paperless Home for 50% off during the four day stretch. The main reason is that The Paperless Home has been out for a while (April 2015) and sales had started to slip. It’s also one of our lesser known and more niche products. If you’re looking to go paperless, this is the product, but not a lot of Abby’s regular readers know about it.
Besides writing a short update post that went live on Black Friday, Abby sent out two emails related to the discount: one on Thanksgiving night at midnight and another Sunday night in preparation for Cyber Monday.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday certainly stand out on the chart above. Even offering the course at 50%, we saw a significant increase in revenue during the four day sale period. Look back, Abby and I were pleased with the results and feel good about the decision to offer some type of sale but not offer everything we have for sale.
The 2016 Intentional Life Planner Launch
Over the past year I have been getting SO many requests for a printable planner. I’ve made tons of planning printables before, but honestly, venturing out into an entire yearly planner felt somewhat intimidating to me! When I was doing my own planning, though, I kept finding that other planners that I had tried were missing components that I wanted, so between the number of reader requests I was getting and my own selfish need for a really functional, beautiful planner, I decided to go for it and make one of my own, and The 2016 Intentional Life Planner was born!
I always get SO nervous when launching a new product… will people like it? Will they care? Will it live up to the expectations that they had been hoping for? Well, I was so incredibly overwhelmed and honored that within the first three weeks after launching the planner, over 500 of you answered that question with a resounding YES!!! I was totally blown away by your support of this project and absolutely cannot wait to see how everyone absolutely crushes their goals this year!
90 Day Business Plans
If you remember, a few months back I talked about how Abby and I were working on our 2016 business plan. It’s amazing how much of what I planned has changed already… we haven’t even started 2016 yet! A few weeks ago I learned about the idea of 90 day plans and it made so much sense to me.
The problem with a detailed plan that looks a year ahead is that so much can change. Planning something in detail 10 months from now just seems a little silly. On the other hand, 90 days has a sense of urgency and now-ness. 90 days is a long enough time-frame to actually accomplish something big, but it’s a short enough time-frame to make a detailed plan and have a sense of urgency about it.
Moving forward, Abby and I will likely create a very general and quick “one page” yearly plan but then get into the details with an ambitious 90 day plan. We even have a kid-less weekend coming up so we can do nothing but work on our 90 day plan! Thank you, grandparents!
Three Legs of Blog Income
- Affiliate Income – $7,335
- Ad Revenue – $1,512
- Product Sales –$14,816
Email Subscriber Statistics
- 2,086 Net New Subscribers in ConvertKit
- 43,912 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.
November 2015 RPM: $61.46
So to recap…
Gross Income: $23,663
Net Income: $21,009
Thank you all so much for continuing to follow along with our blogging journey! This year has been an absolute blast, and I cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store for Just a Girl and Her Blog! We certainly could not do this whole blogging thing without all of your support, and we are so thankful for your encouraging words and positive comments day in and day out. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so awesome! Have a wonderful holiday, friends!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
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