Month Five Blog Income Report

This post may contain affiliate links

I seriously cannot believe this is my month five growth/income report! I have seriously grown to love this blog and you wonderful community of ladies. 

This month (income wise) was a bit slower than my previous two months and I am totally okay with that. I was sick for about two weeks this month, plus my husband and the little guy got sick, and we are remodeling and I spent a week out of town visiting my parents and sister. The beauty of being a blogger and an entrepreneur is that (for the most part) you get to determine your own schedule. 

WHY AM I POSTING AN INCOME REPORT?

If it is your first time on my site, you may be wondering why in the world I am sharing the nitty gritty details of my traffic, subscribers and income on my site. Isn’t that taboo or something?

Income reports are what gave me the courage to finally start this blog.

I do not in any way post these reports to be prideful, it is actually the opposite. I am putting myself out there, successes and failures so you can learn from my experiences. 

These posts are designed to be a case study for you. In each post I share what worked that month and what didn’t. I hope that you find these posts encouraging and motivating to you. If you have any questions about this post leave a comment below and I will be sure to reply!

You can check out my previous growth/income reports here.

Month One
Month Two
Month Three
Month Four

Now onto this month’s growth report!

You may remember that last month I was feeling burned out. I was exhausted from my course launch and overwhelmed with client work. After pulling one too many late nights it finally caught up with me and I got super sick (P.S. being a mom and an entrepreneur means no sick days.). For one week I was pretty out of it and the second week, I didn’t feel well, but could at least get the basics done. 

However, despite being sick this month I feel like I really got my mojo back! I started getting excited again about blogging and planning awesome new things for the site. The fire was back and it felt so good. 

PAGEVIEWS
10/22 - 21,899   11/21 - 23,615
Difference - 1,716 Increase - 7.8%

Woohoo! This was my highest traffic month yet. I’ve had a few pins do really well this month that have brought a lot of traffic to my site. 

My most popular posts this month were,

How I Make Money On Pinterest Using Affiliate Links 15.9k Pins
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: The Secret to Making $50,000 a Month Blogging 1.5k Pins
How I Started 3 Businesses My First Year As A Stay At Home Mom 2k Pins
35+ Free Online Course For Bloggers + Online Biz Owners 4.9k Pins

Again Pinterest topped my referral traffic for the month, followed by Facebook and then miscellaneous traffic sources.

EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS
10/22 - 868    11/21 - 1,245
Difference - 377 Increase - 43%

I gained 377 subscribers this month. That is awesome! I was really excited to see that growth this month.  I launched two new freebies and my 95+ Free Blogging Resources opt-in did really well! 

My goal last month was to improve my email marketing techniques. I have been taking Email Lists Simplified by Meera Kothand and it is amazing. Email marketing has seriously terrified me, but the way Meera breaks it down made me feel like this is something I actually could master! 

So how did I do? I have written out most of my welcome series emails, but I haven’t set them up yet. Why? I’m really considering signing up for ConvertKit this month. I have used it with clients and it is so easy to navigate. The tagging features are dreamy and I know they would be incredibly helpful for sending targeted emails to my list. 

PINTEREST
10/22 - 290811/21 -3328
Difference - 420 Increase - 14%

It was another great month for Pinterest growth! I probably spent one hour on Pinterest this entire month.

I have a lot of the systems automated using BoardBooster so lately I rarely pin. At a maximum, I am spending 30 minutes a week on there and it is still bringing in over 85% of the traffic to my site.

Students in my course get 3000 pins free from BoardBooster (a $30 value), which will last you about 3 months. You can literally set and forget BoardBooster and your Pinterest account will grow like crazy. To get your 3000 free pins, click here!

TWITTER
10/22 - 756    11/21 - 815
Difference - 59 Increase - 7.8%

I’ve found that Twitter is a great way to engage with readers and other readers, but it doesn’t bring much traffic to my site. I respond to tweets I am tagged in and try to retweet some of my friends, but the rest of my tweets are looped with IFTTT.

FACEBOOK 
10/22 - 8811/21 - 111
Difference - 23 Increase - 26%

My Facebook page has continued to grow, although I have given it little attention. My main focus this month is my Facebook Group! A couple weeks ago I did a super fun Facebook Live Pinterest Q&A with the group and it was a blast. 

If you want to come hang with me on Facebook --> Join the group here!

INSTAGRAM
10/22 - 10011/21 - 115
Difference - 21     Increase - 27%

So yet again I totally FAILED at Instagram. I do have some things in the works, so you should be seeing more of me on Pinterest in the next month!

What would you like to see from me on Instagram?

WHAT WORKED?

I actually let go one of my freelance clients! I never thought I would say this, but I was actually so relieved. She is a total sweetheart, but I was ready to go in a different direction. 

This month I also released some awesome new content upgrades/freebies. They did really well, and helped me build my email list! 

WHAT DIDN’T WORK?

Getting sick and second guessing myself. There wasn’t much that I could do in the “getting sick” category, but I really need to get out of my head. 

I often am a perfectionist. If I’m not sure if I will succeed I don’t even try. I have been making great improvements in this category (parenthood and entrepreneurship teach that really fast), but there were a few times this month where I had self-doubt. I second guessed whether I should send a certain email, reach out to another blogger or invest in my business.

Here is what I have learned from this attitude. It is stupid. Yep, I said it. Honestly, all the time I spent worrying and questioning was a waste. Now I am not saying you should go out there making rash choices, but rather during your consideration, ponder, “What is the worst that could happen?”

Maybe I send an email and it doesn’t go over well and a few people unsubscribe. Is that a bummer? Yes. Can I recover? Absolutely. 

This month I did my first Facebook Live ever. I was so nervous. I anxiously thought, “What if I mess up? What if no one watches? What if someone asks a question and my mind goes blank?” Each of those things would have been difficult, but chances are in an hour everyone would forget that I messed up or sounded like a goof. 

This month I challenge you to ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen?” In most circumstances “the worst” really won't be that bad. I dare you to take the chance!

TOTAL # OF POSTS

Month Four Blog Income Report: How I Made $2,126.48 Blogging
How To Make Money Blogging With Affiliate Marketing
Eight Affiliate Networks To Boost Your Blog's Income
2016 Bloggers Gift Guide
What Is A Media Kit & Why You Need One

SO WHERE DID MY INCOME COME FROM THIS MONTH?

1. Affiliate Marketing
A lot of the strategies I have implemented have been from the course I took Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.

If you do not have your own product I would highly recommend finding a few affiliate products that you love. You can do a google search for a specific brand or product you want to become an affiliate for or check out an affiliate network where you can apply to many brands.
Check out my recommended affiliate networks here,

2. Pinterest to Profits. 

I launched my course in September and literally have done nothing to promote it since then so I was pleasantly surprised to see a sale this month. Over the next few months, I will be implementing a few more promotions of the course and I am excited to see the growth!

INCOME:

Affiliate Marketing: $974.15
Pinterest to Profits Sales: $89.20 (after Teachable's fees and the payment processor fee)
Total Income: $1063.35

EXPENSES:

Mailchimp: $15

BoardBooster: $0 (Usually $10, this month was covered by referral credit)
**I’ve been able to score an exclusive deal just for members of my course Pinterest to Profits. When you join the class you get THREE MONTHS (3000 pins) free of BoardBooster. This a $30 value and a huge benefit for class members. To snag this special deal head over here. (*for new BoardBooster users only).**

Teachable: $433.03
This month I upgraded to the basic plan on Teachable which is $39. Later this month they were running a promotion on their annual plan so I made the upgrade. This was THE BIGGEST purchase yet for my site, but I know it will be worth it!

I absolutely love teaching and Teachable has made it so easy for me to create my own course. If you are interested in creating a course I recommend signing up today for their free plan to see if you enjoy the platform! 

Courses + E-books: $169
I am all about investing in education. Nearly every month I buy a new book or course to increase my knowledge in different industries. I am very excited to implement what I have learned from these courses this month! 

Promoted Pins: $15
I have been running some new Promoted Pins campaigns for one of my secret projects I have been working on. I have run ads in the past, but I wanted to try a new strategy. Stay tuned for more info coming soon!

Total Expenses: $632.03

Ouch. This month was my highest month for expense yet. The majority of the cost was for the year upfront that I paid for Teachable. This month I did still turn a profit, but it was significantly lower than last month. However, I am okay with this month's report because I made strategic investments in my business that I am confident will pay off in the upcoming months. 

Net Income: $431.32

Even though my net income this month was significantly lower than previous months I am still extremely please with the month. From a business stand point a five-month-old business is still a baby business. The main financial goal for my blog right now is to be able to make enough in order to make strategic investments to grow it even more! 

What investment has helped grow your blog the most?

Black Friday Deals For Bloggers Roundup

This post may contain affiliate links

Hey mamas! The bloggers in my Facebook group wanted me to do a roundup of the best Black Friday deals for bloggers, so I figured I would share it with you too!

The deals are broken up into categories, they are, hosting, courses, software & tools, and themes. Happy deal finding! 

I already have a lot of these on the list, but the ones I am getting this year are, 

  1. ConvertKit
  2. Teachable
  3. SiteGround

HOSTING

SITE GROUND

  • 70% OFF on all annual shared hosting plans
  • November 25 - 28th

BLUEHOST

Bluehost is offering their starter package at $2.65/month with free domain when you purchase hosting for 36 months of their basic plan.

  • Start Date: Nov 25th, 12.00 A.M CST (IST 26th Nov 11.30 A.M)
  • End Date: Nov 27th, 11.59PM CST (IST 28th Nov 11.29 A.M)
  • Deal: Get hosting for $2.65/month (36 months term)

COURSES

PINTEREST TO PROFITS

  • Buy One Get Two Free! Buy Pinterest to Profits By November 28th 11:59 PM EST and get BOTH of my new courses when they launch in January for FREE!
  • Pinterest to Profits Advanced - Advanced strategies to directly grow your email list and income for your blog.
  • Promoted Pins Mini Course - How to use Promoted Pins to increase your sales and accelerate your blog's growth!
  • Get all three courses for $97!

MAKING SENSE OF AFFILIATE MARKETING 

  • $51 off!
  • Monday November 28th through 11:59 PM PT
  • coupon code CYBERMONDAYSALE
  • This will make the course $146 after the discount (that is lower than what she presold the course for!).

START A MOM BLOG BUNDLE

  • 200 gorgeous stock images
  • How to Make Money with Amazon Affiliates ebook (these are the exact steps that a mommy blogger (Carolina) does to make over $1,000 with her small blog)
  • The Blog by Number ebook
  • The 9 Step Blog Plan
  • The Blog by Number course
  • Only $77

BUSY MOMS BUILDING

  • Use code BLACKFRIDAY50 on her ebook or business tracking spreadsheet and get 50% off through Friday 11/25 at 11:59PM EST!

STRATEGIES WORTH SHARING

  • Brittany's strategies for growing her Facebook fans from 2,000 to 100,000 in five months!
  • Use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY for 40% off
  • Offer Valid from November 25-26. 

SOFTWARE & TOOLS

CONVERTKIT

When you sign up you get a free month of ConvertKit + four other freebies!

  • One month free of ConvertKit
  • A free month of Edgar
  • A free month of Teachable
  • A free month of Samcart
  • A ConvertKit t-shirt of your choosing
  • Entered into a drawing for an entire year of ConvertKit for free
  • November 28 - 29th 11:59 PM EST

TEACHABLE

  • Upgrade to the Teachable Annual Plan and get over $2000 in courses for FREE
  • Plus, two months in savings compared to the monthly plan!
  • Offer ends November 28th at 12 p.m. EST

OPTIN MONSTER

  • 35% off discount from November 22nd to November 30th, 2016.
  • Coupon code: BF2016

WORDPRESS THEMES

BLUCHIC

  • 40% off on individual themes and bundles.
  • Use Coupon code: CYBERBC.
  • This deal is valid from 12:01am EST on Friday, November 25th until 11:59pm EST on Monday, November 28th.

RESTORED 316

  • Cyber Monday: 30% off themes

 

The Ultimate Roundup Of Free Blogging Ebooks

This post may contain affiliate links.

Forever and ever I will be a life long learner. I’m a firm believer that knowledge is power and free blogging ebooks are a great place to start! 

If you’ve read my income reports you may have noticed that every month the biggest part of my expenses comes from education.However, when you are just starting out I know it can be scary to invest in courses, so to get you started here are 51 blogging ebooks for $.99 or less!

Over half of the books on this list are FREE and the other half you can get for free if you have Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited plan. Get a free 30-day trial of Kindle Unlimited here.

Free blogging ebooks

Wordpress

  1. WordPress Made Super Simple - How Anyone Can Build A Professional Looking Website From Scratch: Even A Total Beginner: Wordpress 2014 For The Website Beginner

  2. How To Create A Website Using Wordpress: The Beginner's Blueprint for Building a Professional Website in 3 Easy Steps (Plus 40+ Premium Wordpress Video Tutorials)

  3. The Best WordPress Plugins: 500 Free WP Plugins for Creating an Amazing and Profitable Website (SEO, Social Media, Content, eCommerce, Images, Videos, Security)

  4. WordPress Plugins: The Best WordPress Plugins - 101 FREE Must-Have WordPress Plugins For Your Website SEO, Security, eCommerce and More! (SEO, Social Media, Content)

6.jpg
15.jpg

What Is A Media Kit & Why You Need One

For the last two years, I have worked as an influencer marketing manager for small businesses. That means, I reach out to bloggers and other influencers for potential collaborations and respond to their sponsored post inquiries.

This position has given me a unique perspective on blogging. I have been able to analyze the influence of dozens of bloggers and build and shape these brands through social media.

Now you may already know what a sponsored post is or possibly you have done one before. But I want to share one way to dramatically increase the number of responses you get when you pitch your blog for a sponsored post.

It is called a media kit.

I cannot tell you how many times I received pitches without a media kit attached. Or even worse when I replied asking them to send me their media kit and they didn’t know what it was :(

If you are planning on doing sponsored posts for your blog, make your media kit today!

Many times I chose to work with smaller influencers because they had a professional media kit. Why? Because it showed that they took this seriously. If the are prepared and professional in our correspondence, it is likely that their sponsored post will be similar.

In this post, I am going to break down exactly what you need to include in your media kit and pitch email + give you a free media kit template to get you started. 

Approaching brands is like applying for a job. You need to put your best foot forward, no matter what experience that you have. Show them who you are, what your blog is about and most importantly how each of you can benefit from the collaboration. All of this can be creatively done through a media kit.

A media kit is a summary of who you are. This is where you can showcase and subtly boast about your blog.

Here is what you need to include,

  • An introduction to you and your blog
  • Statistics from your social media accounts,
  • Blog traffic
  • A headshot

Optional*

  • Your Prices
  • If you offer multiple packages
  • Previous collaborations

Adding these to your media kit shows  professionalism and enthusiasm to work with the brand.

Just like meeting someone for the first time, you need to introduce yourself. Don’t go directly to the numbers and other statistics. Let the brand representative get to know you better and relate to you. Start off by sharing your goals, what you stand for, and why you started your blog or website.

Then describe your background, business goals, and your target market. Once you have given them an overview, you can now add in your statistics.

Include,

  • What social media platforms you are active on
  • How many followers you have
  • Your blog traffic.  (You can see the traffic reports in Google Analytics.)

In your pitch email, you can then be more specific as to how your collaboration will work. A little extra research and time go a long way. Look for other bloggers or influencers the brand has collaborated with and share something you enjoyed from it. This shows your dedication to working with the brand.

Explain why you want to collaborate with their brand and you can even share some ideas or strategies you can offer in your sponsored post (but don’t give too much away until you have secured your contract!).

Once you’ve peaked their interest, you can start getting into the nitty-gritty details of your pricing.

You have two options,

  • Have set pricing packages for collaborations
  • Bespoke pricing (this is essentially a fancy way of saying the price varies for each project)

Packages are convenient because it immediately puts your pricing out there so you don’t have to carry on a conversation just to find out multiple emails later that the brand cannot afford you. If you choose to follow the packages model, I recommend having three packages, a “lite” package, standard package and premium package.

The benefit of doing bespoke pricing is you can feel through their reply to decide what kind of pricing you can offer them. There is the possibility that with negotiation you can secure a higher price for your collaboration this way. However, you may also waste time corresponding with brands that are not able to afford your price. Ultimately, the decision is yours. Consider testing each method to see what works best for you!

Media kits should reflect your brand, meaning it should include your logo, colors, fonts etc. Everything should be cohesive with your website. Show off your creativity in your media kit and treat it as a marketing presentation.

You can create a media kit in Photoshop, Powerpoint and even online editors like Pixlr.com or Canva. There are ready-made templates that you can purchase and download on Creative Market or Etsy and just fill out. Or download my free customizable media kit template below.

Have you done a sponsored post before? Comment below with your experience!

2016 Bloggers Gift Guide

This post may contain affiliate links

The Christmas trees have started appearing in stores, festive lights hang in the windows and I’m ready to crank up the holiday tunes.

It is hard to believe, but Christmas is just around the corner.

I love finding presents for other people, but have the hardest time making my own Christmas list...well until this year that is.

Boy oh boy, this year is different. I feel like there are a thousand different online courses, tools or blogging products I want to buy. Do you feel the same way?

If you are having a hard time writing your Christmas list or if you are looking to buy for a loved one, here is my go to Blogger’s Christmas Gift Guide!

BoardBooster - $5+ (a month)

BoardBooster is hands-down the best $5 investment that you can make for your blog. Your Pinterest account will be able to grow on autopilot and you can enjoy the Christmas season without constantly being on Pinterest (or if you still want to be that is cool too, but maybe instead pinning chocolate desserts. Am I right?)

Tailwind - $15 (a month) 

Tailwind is a fabulous Pinterest scheduling tool and it’s analytics are incredible. I love that I can schedule to 30+ group boards in only three clicks! Tailwind has a monthly plan that is $15 a month or an annual plan that is $119. If it is in the budget grab the annual plan. You get unlimited pins per month + it comes out to be a 33% savings over the monthly plan. (P.S. if you get Tailwind be sure to check out my favorite features here!)

BLOG BY NUMBER EBOOK + COURSE - $17 - $97

Suzi really knocked it out of the park with this ebook + course. I have taken this course and it is so good. It is laid out beautifully and takes you from idea to beautiful blog. The value of this course is insane, especially for this tiny price point.

  • Best for moms that want to start a profitable blog.

Strategies Worth Sharing - $20 - 30

Do you suck at Facebook like me? Confession time I am the worst ever at Facebook. I recently purchased this book to help me up my game. The author Brittany was able to increase her Facebook followers from 2k to 100k in five months! Imagine what you could achieve (and how high your traffic would be) if you had 100,000 Facebook fans!

  • Best for beginner to advanced bloggers that want to grow their presence on Facebook.

BLOG TRAFFIC E-BOOK - $25

These strategies from Lena are amazing. She was able to grow her blog from 17k pageviews to 350k pageviews in 9 months. Her strategies are super actionable.  This is a must have if you are trying to grow your blog traffic. 

  • Best for beginner to intermediate bloggers looking to increase their traffic. 

Building A Framework - $25 - 75

This ebook by Abby from Just A Girl And Her Blog will help you build the foundation of your blog. With each chapter you are lead step-by-step with suggestions on how to improve your blog. This is a great option for beginner to intermediate bloggers. Packages range from $25 to $75.

  • Best for beginner to intermediate bloggers. I would recommend her Master Package if you are and intermediate blogger. This allows you access to the Facebook group and access to 18 expert interviews. 

Styled Stock Society - $25 - 69

The majority of the photos that I use for my blog graphics are from the Styled Stock Society. They offer gorgeous feminine photos at a super low price. If you have a feminine theme for your blog, then these girly stock photos would be perfect for you! A three month plan is $25 or a one year plan is $69.

ConvertKit - $29+ (a month)

I have seriously been drooling over ConvertKit’s amazing segmentation features. I started my email list on MailChimp, but I’ve desperately wanted to switch over to ConvertKit. I’ve used it for my clients and it is seriously as good as it sounds. Plans start at $29 a month depending on your number of subscribers.

Trello For Bloggers - $27

Want an organized system for your blog? Then Trello For Bloggers is where it is at! This course will teach you how to use Trello to maximize your productivity as a blogger. The course creator Jen works full-time, has two little girls, AND runs two profitable blogs. Her secret? Trello.

Email Lists Simplified - $97

Another course that I am obsessssed with! Figuring out what to send my email list has been THE biggest struggle of mine. This course gave me the motivation and framework to begin writing my welcome series for my email. If you struggle with email at all you need Email Lists Simplified. 

  • Beginner to intermediate bloggers that want to improve their email list strategies.

Pinterest to Profits - $97

I may be biased, but I think Pinterest to Profits is pretty great! This course is the complete guide to leveraging Pinterest to grow your traffic, subscribers and income. Plus, it comes with amazing bonuses like three months free of BoardBooster, customizable Canva Pinterest graphic templates, a massive Pinterest Group Boards spreadsheet and more!

  • Best for the beginner or intermediate blogger that wants to increase their traffic, subscribers and income from their blog.

Meet Edgar - $49 +(a month)

Meet Edgar is a social media scheduler that allows your to recycle your social media library. Basically you add social media posts to your library and it will automatically reschedule the forever and ever. Pretty much any bloggers dream right? If you buy an annual subscription to Meet Edgar you can get it for $49 a month, or if you choose the month to month plan it is going to run about $79 a month. 

Blue Yeti Microphone - $129

I have heard such good things about the Blue Yeti Microphone. This helps you record crisp audio for online courses, webinars & more. This would be the perfect gift for an intermediate or advanced blogger.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing - $197

Guys this is the course of the year. I signed up during the pre-sale and never looked back. I made my first affiliate sale within two days of starting the course and since have averaged about $1,000 a month in affiliate sales. All from my new blog! If you are thinking about this course check out my full review here.

  • For beginner to advanced bloggers. I purchased this course in my first month of blogging and immediately saw success. There are also some REALLY big bloggers in the course who have seen huge growth in their affiliate income after taking the course.  

Blog & Be Legal - $127-497

Does the legal side of blogging suuuuuper intimidate you? To be honest it totally freaks me out. Jackie from Jade & Oak is a lawyer + blogger and this inclusive course covers everything you need to make sure that your blog is running legally. PLUS, it comes with amazing legal templates for your blog too! Score! 

  • For beginner to advanced bloggers. If you make money or plan to make money from your blog then you need to become familiar with the legalities of running it.

Canon T5i - $599

So much of blogging has to do with pretty pictures and a DSLR camera plays a big role in that. I would love to upgrade my old camera to a T5i. With this baby your pictures will be Instagram ready. 

What other blogging tools or resources are on your Christmas list?