Most of you know that we have started something new on BeckyandPaula.com – we are asking OTHER bloggers to share their income reports here! We already share our blogging income reports, so it is your turn. We would love for you to have a place where you feel comfortable sharing (I don’t like to share my reports on my own YourModernFamily page, so that is how we got started sharing them here.)
If you are interested in sharing your income report, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and title it INCOME REPORT.
Ok… Time to get started!!!
Hello! I’m JoAnn and I’ve been blogging for two years over at A Whimsicle Life. I help moms raise kids while keeping their sanity – what may seem as an impossible task. I’ve been sharing my income reports since March on my site and I am super excited to share October’s report here! Here is my monthly rundown of what went well, what tanked and what I’m working on in the future. This report focuses on prepping a product for launch and how I maintained my blog during that time.
Prepping a Product
Last December, I coordinated a project involving over 70 bloggers called Countdown to Christmas. Because of the large number of participants, I split the group into three. Starting December 1st and leading up to Christmas, three bloggers shared their own Christmas related craft, activity or recipe. I chose my favorites from that project and compiled them into a book called “Christmas with Kids” – with permission of course.
Since I had never created a product before, nonetheless a book, I felt that a collaborative book would be a great place to start. I thought, most of the material is already written, all I have to do it put together and make it pretty. Easy, right?
No. No, it’s not easy. This book has consumed my life since June. Between learning the in’s and outs of publishing software (I compiled the book in Scrivener and formatted in Word), developing a marketing plan and then coordinating between twelve other people without stepping on toes – easy does not at all describe it.
But, I had fun and if nothing else, this has been a huge learning experience. Here are my three takeaways:
It’s Hard to Promote a Christmas Product in October
I started promoting my launch email list on October 1st by purchasing an ad on Facebook. I set my budget at $5 a day and let it roll. By the end of October, my launch email list had 50 subscribers. That number disappointed me.
Word is not the best for formatting
While I enjoyed working in Scrivener because I could easily move whole chapters and re-organize sections with ease, I grew incredibly impatient with Word. Christmas with Kids contains a lot of pictures. Many of the chapters contain step-by-step tutorials where I wanted pictures in a specific place on the page. I created a few Word hacks to work around some spacing difficulties, but overall I wanted a lot more control over my layout. For my next book, I plan to learn InDesign.
Talking to a Lawyer is Invaluable
Throughout my creation process, I often wondered if I was protected – particularly since I used so many other people’s work. Of course I had permission through email, but never any contract. Luckily, I attended a conference in September and got the opportunity to talk to a lawyer familiar with bloggers: the wonderful Sara F. Hawkins.
She suggested I draw up a simple contract detailing what I’m using from each blogger, how they will get paid and that the copyright of the book will be in my name.Copyright?!? What? I need to copyright the book?
Yes. And it was an incredibly simple process. I logged onto the Library of Congress website, uploaded my book and paid the $55 fee. Done! The copyright is in my name because if any legal dispute arises, I won’t need 13 different people to sign off on paperwork. I would represent the work as a whole.
Keeping the Blog Going
I noticed a dip in social shares this month since I didn’t spend much time on social media during the month of October. While I still tried to publish 2-3 posts per week, the volume of shares was less. My most popular new posts this month were:
How to Tell if Your Child is Getting Bullied – 122 shares
I wrote this post for one of my friends who was worried about her son. He didn’t talk about friends at school or playing with people at recess and she wondered if other kids were bullying him. I researched this for several days and compiled my findings in this post along with a personal story of my own bullying.
When I posted this on my Facebook page, a lot of people shared their own bullying stories in the comments. I loved the response. Although writing this post was extremely emotional for me, I saw how sharing my heartache could inspire community and help others feel less alone.
Trick or Treat Glitter Pumpkin Stack (Sponsored) – 96 shares
I needed a way to display Hershey’s candy in a fun way. I thought of how we always lack someone at home on Halloween to pass out candy and pitched this pumpkin stack to Social Fabric.
Talk Like a Pirate Treasure Hunt – 120 shares
Arizona has a wonderful community of bloggers! One amazing blogger started a group called Blockbuster bloggers where we all brainstorm a recipe, craft or activity that relates to a movie coming out. We then all publish our posts on that’s movies release date and promote each other like crazy. This post was for the movie Pan.
5 items you can Toss Out of Your Closet Right Now – 57 shares
I have a popular post called How to Create a Small Wardrobe that I’m always looking to spin off. Elaborating on a popular topic is difficult. I always have trouble thinking of an idea that is similar to the topic yet different. My husband actually suggested this post topic to me and I ran with it.
- Adsense: $7.74
- BlogHer Ads: $55.51
- Affiliate Income: $359.66
- Sponsored Posts: $1410 (I got paid!!)
- Total: $1832.81
- Pinterest Ads: $33.00
- Props for photos: $5.80
- BoardBooster: $19.35
- Library of Congress (copyrighted book): $55.00
- Facebook Ads: 131.19
- E-Junkie: 5.00
- Dollar Photo Club: $10
- Ultimate Photography Bundle: $67.00
- Total: 326.34
Total Profit: $1506.47
My profit is huge this month in part to two three-post sponsored series getting paid. Oh happy day! Also, my affiliate income is larger than normal due to an awesome flash sale of Elite Blog Academy (of which I’m an affiliate). Usually my blog profit falls within the $10-$20 range.
Total page views for October: 23,o82,
Oh, it’s always heartbreaking to see page views go down. I live in Phoenix, AZ. Every school break, I publish a list of places to take kids in Phoenix. I link it to posts I’ve already written in my blog and the post always blows up. It’s spectacular. The peak at the beginning of October was from my fall break post. As you can see, the page views go down as soon as fall break ends.
Sad? Yes. I’m still struggling with ways to raise page views. Although I experience brief successes, I would love to have my views be more consistent. I am still learning.
That is my rundown for October. Next month, I’ll let you know how the book launch went and how many copies of the book I’ve sold.