February 2018 Monthly Traffic and Income Report

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Hey friends! Here we are, smack dab in the middle of March, taking a look back at how Home Beautifully’s done the month of February. If you’re new, you might be wondering why I publish these monthly income and traffic reports. Bottom line: they’re here to not only give myself space to reflect, but also to share my journey so that it may both inform and inspire you. As an educator, I recognize that information is the greatest tool we have for improvement. Want to learn more about the February 2018 Monthly income and traffic for Home Beautifully? Keep on reading!

February 2018 Monthly Income and Traffic Feature

Objectives of this January 2018 Monthly Income and Traffic Report

In reading (and writing) this report, I want to answer three main questions for you.

  • How many people are reading Home Beautifully?
  • How much money am I making writing Home Beautifully?
  • What are my biggest takeaways of the month?

Sound good? Let’s start answering these questions!

February 2018 Blog Traffic and Email Subscribers

If you remember from last month, January 2018 was a HUGE month for Home Beautifully. Because of a post that went viral (in particular: this post with the free printable calendar), the blog hit almost 25,000 unique sessions and 57,982 page views in January.  Traffic settled down in February, once the vitality of the free printable calendar post subsided.

February 2018 Blog Traffic Snapshot

February 2018 Monthly Income and Traffic Report

In February, Home Beautifully saw about 10,000 sessions and almost 20,000 page views.  I feel really good about the pace of growth, particularly since once upon a time, having over 10,000 page views felt monumental.  If I put a best fit line over my data, I anticipate reaching 100K pageviews by end of next year.  Who wants to pop the bubbly with me when that happens?!

February 2018 Email Subscribers

February 2018 Monthly Income and Traffic Report

By the end of February, over 7600 peeps subscribed to the Home Beautifully newsletter. This is coconuts. I actually can’t think about that crazy big number too much or I get all weird when I’m trying to write the weekly newsletter.

I’m getting kinda close to the 10K mark for email subscribers. And even though MailerLite is super affordable, I need to think about if I should keep everyone on my list or ask the inactive people if they still want to hear from me. And, there’s a ton of back-and-forth opinions about if “cleaning up a list” is helpful in the long run. I dunno. For now, I’m gonna sit on it, but the clock is ticking.

February 2018 Monthly Income Report: Revenue

February 2018 Monthly Income and Traffic Report

You guys, YOWZA. Almost 600 bones doing something I love? Heck yes.  (563 bones to be specific.)  Also, it’s still a little nutty to me that I get money blogging. Because, you know. It’s BLOGGING.

But, yes, it’s totally possible. (Although, side note rant: it’s NOT a get rich quick scheme by any stretch of the imagination, contrary to the Facebook ads might want you to believe. End rant.)

The hustle is real.

This month, I had a few more income streams than usual, hence the larger amount of ching-a-link. I picked up some clients doing social media management and graphic design (more on that to come later), and I did a live video for a company’s influencer outreach. Also, I had a pretty big AdSense payment come through. (With Google AdSense, you have to hit a $100 threshold before you can cash out, and I just missed the threshold in January.)

February 2018 Monthly Income Report: Expenses

All looks well and good til you glance over at my expenses. …And here’s the challenge with blogging. It’s so EASY to spend it all. (And I did, almost.) Heads up that some of these are linked with affiliate links.

See that big ol’ expense down in the middle? Yep, I (finally!) upgraded my lens so that I can take the kind of pictures I see in my head. My Nikon 3200 came with a decent kit lens, but I wanted a prime lens to really play.  (This is the updated version of my camera.  It’s insane how much less it is now than when I bought it in 2012.  Sigh.  And, it’s awesome. After a ton of research, I decided NOT to go with a nifty fifty, and I got a Nikon 32mm 1.8 . Y’all, it’s creamy dreamy bokeh blurry goodness.  Now that I’m learning to shoot in manual mode, it’s ahhh-mazing.

Other big expenses?

I got a deal through AppSumo for MissingLettr, which helps me automate my content on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. MissingLettr auto-creates a bunch of different campaigns for my content, then drips them to each platform over the next 12 months. Reposting content? Done and done.  This is what my February posting calendar looked like, for example:

February 2018 Monthly Income and Revenue

(Honestly, I got it mostly for Google Plus and SEO. But since I’ve started using it, I’ve seen BUCKETS more traffic from Facebook. Loads and loads.)

Also, I finally (finally!) got around to getting my SSL certificate. See up top? I’m an HTTPS, y’all. No more danger warnings when visitors come to my site, wahoo! Thanks, Grayson Bell (the tech guy who saves me from myself)!  In addition, Grayson also hooked me up with a firewall, so now my site is super safe and protected.

And see that last expense? VA? Yep, I hired a virtual assistant this month to help keep things moving, and it’s made a world of difference. (See “Lessons Learned” below.)

February 2018 Revenue and Expenses: Bottom Line

If you don’t consider that I still owe a million bajillion dollars for my new iMac (kidding, more like $800), then I made a profit of 66 bucks this month. ROLLING IN IT.

(That’s after applying the “family credit” hubs and I agreed to eons ago. We use our regular budget to cover Photoshop, OneDrive, and part of MailerLite.)

Here’s the annoying thing about having a husband in finance: see the cash from last month line? Yep, he so kindly reminded me that last month, I was in the hole 60 bucks. Sigh.

So I’m still in the red, red, red. So red, it’s crimson. And I’m certainly not about to leave my full-time income anytime soon. (Um particularly not since we’re a one income family right now. No way.) But having some disposable cash to reinvest back into a fun hobby? Sure, I’ll take it.

February 2018 Lessons Learned

Usually, in this section, I talk about the three big things I’ve learned blogging this month. But this month, I got knocked upside the head with one BIG thing, so I’ll just focus on that.

Here’s what I learned:

I can’t do it all.

And I know because I tried. I tried, and I tried, and I tried some more. Then, I cried and I tried harder. I tried, and then I doubted myself.  Next, I looked to others for inspiration, then felt meager by comparison, and I cried some more. I wondered if it’ll ever happen for me, and then I figured it probably never would.

And I felt like a failure.

You know what’s going on? I’m exhausted.

I have a six-month-old baby, a wildman toddler, a full-time job, and a whole lotta pressure to keep things afloat.

Here’s something you might not know about me: I am fiercely competitive. I hate yoga because I’m always competing against myself. Relax? Um, no thank you.

I can push and push and push until I run myself into the ground.

I can love on something so hard that I end up hating it.  Does anyone else feel me on that?

And THAT’S what I was doing with this blog. Holding on SO tight that I was squeezing all the joy right out.

I believe in signs. Do you? Sometimes I call it God, sometimes I call it the universe, but I believe that I get gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) nudges when I need to pay attention.

This month (and continuing through March), the universe has been YELLING AT ME to slow down. Slow down, regroup, and find my joy.

I know that the success of this blog will be driven by my joy. Yep, I KNOW that. I feel that in my fingertips straight to my ever-beating heart. And I also know right now that in order to let me joy soar, I need to let go.

So what does this mean? I dunno. I’m not leaving. I’ll still be here. But maybe not with three posts a week? Maybe just writing posts for me instead of for SEO or affiliates? I dunno. I’m still figuring that out.

Maybe this is a very natural part of the blogging journey, maybe not. But if it resonates with you, feel free to pop a comment below or leave one in my blogging friends Facebook group

As always, lots of love from my house to yours, Cynthia

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