Hi! I’m Suzi from Start a Mom Blog and I help mommies start and grow their blogs into beautiful businesses. But not just that I help them with time-saving tips and techniques.
I like to share my income reports for my blog so that I can inspire you, teach you, and share my mistakes and successes. Just like a good friend I am an open book and don’t mind sharing where exactly I make money with my blog.
Time Saving Tip
What I am trying here for the first time ever is I’m actually recording the video for a blog post completely and then I’ll have my VA transcribe it for me and this is going to turn into a blog post. Normally I have my husband help me with my income reports, but we wanted to try something a bit different for this month.
You have the choice to either watch the video, listen to the audio or read all the text. Hopefully, this will be an amazing time-saving technique that I can use this year to grow my blog and then you can adapt it too and use it as well.
November Income Report
What we’re going to get into today is my November 2016 Blog Income Report. And it completely knocked my socks off. I had no idea this was going to happen. I was talking to my other blogging friends and asking them: “Well, how does a business blog actually make money over the holidays?”
This is tricky. People are out shopping for Christmas. Who wants to start a blog in November and December? So I was expecting really low months.
Since starting my blog, (I am giving you a little recap) I started on January 16, 2016. (I say January 28th in the video – I don’t know where I came up with this number? Maybe I was thinking about something else when I was talking so darn fast :)) By June, I worked my little tushy off and I started really monetizing. I wrote my e-book in May. I launched it in June. In June, I made a thousand dollars. In July, $1,700. August, was over $4,000. So it’s just been growing. September was over $5,000. October, over $6,000. It’s just insane.
So when we hit the holidays season, I was not expecting November to be big. But it was. And I made so many mistakes and so many things went wrong. I’ll tell you about all of them in this post. But I made over $9,000 dollars. That’s hard to say out loud. I might cry. That’s really hard to say out loud. Thank you so much to everybody. This is a lot. This means a lot to me. (Watch the video around minute 2:00 to see me almost break down)
*This post contains affiliate links
Blog by Number eBook: $269
Blog by Number Course: $4,118
Stock Images: $69
Amazon Affiliate eBook: $232
How I made $40k blogging: $39.92
How I went from 17K to 350K Monthly Page Views in 9 Months: $10
Collaboration on ebook with WhatMommyDoes (Lena): $171
Amazon Affiliates: $130
Divi Theme: $158
Total Income: $9,042
Affiliate Payouts & Fees: $450
Total Expenses: $628
Total Profit: $8,525
Page Views: 41,498
Total Subscribers: Just over 6,000
What did I do right and what did I do wrong?
Okay so, what went right and what went wrong in November. So that you can copy my successes and avoid my mistakes. So you can do better. November was my highest income month so far on my blog.
What did I do right? The biggest thing that I did in November was I ran a week-long “Black Friday Special”. I started from Monday before “Black Friday” until the next Monday on “Cyber Monday”.
I didn’t put a lot of thought into this. I didn’t prepare my list. There’s mistake number one. I didn’t even tell my list that a special is coming on. I didn’t even tell them what’s gonna be in the special. So that’s one mistake.
Second mistake, some of the products that I had in the special, I’ve never even talked about them. I didn’t prepare my list. I never told them these are awesome products and this is what they contain or this is how much it’s going to help your blog.
I just decided on Sunday night that I’m going to do a black Friday special. “These are my products, I’m gonna put it in and go.”
Those were two really big mistakes where I know I could have converted higher if I prepared my list. So that they can prepare themselves for it. I should have piqued their interest and told them the products that will be in it.
Success Tip #1
Running a Black Friday special was a great benefit. It helped expose my list to new products and bumped up my income for the month.
Success Tip #2
The second thing I believe I did really good in November was really nurture my email list. I answer all the emails that come through.
It takes a lot of time and I really try to give really good advice when my readers email me, even if they’re not a customer. It takes time to go through and look up if they are a customer or not. I just assume everybody is or will be. So I just treat everybody equally.
If you email me with questions, I try to give you my best advice to help you because I know as stay-at-home mommies, we need something more than just being a mom. And blogging has been such an amazing, confidence boost and creative outlet for me that I want other moms to experience that too.
You need to think ahead
So things I did right: nurture my list and do a little “Black Friday Special”. As you look at the next year at 2017, think about how you’re going to prepare for those specials at the end of the year. Are you going to have a product by then? Are you going to have an e-book? Are you going to have a course? How big is your list going to be? All these things you can start thinking about and preparing for when the holidays hit next year.
What was in the special?
There was my Blog by Number e-book and course in the “Black Friday Special”; they knew about that one. But they did not know about the Nine Step Blog Plan which is the pre-course for the Blog by Number course. They also did not know about the Amazon Affiliate e-book which is amazing. It gives you so many tips to increase your affiliate income of Amazon.
However, I didn’t even tell them about those products. I didn’t prepare them. And this “Black Friday Special” also had my 200 stock images in it, which they’ve seen before. So, I know if I prepared my list better, my conversions would have been higher.
How did I promote my special?
I put together the special, the “Black Friday Special”. I launched it on Monday. And I don’t like emailing my list too much. I see them all as mommy friends and I don’t like to bombard them with sales emails. I believe I sent them three emails that week and that’s a lot for me. Because normally, I send one email on a Monday and that’s it. If I need to, I’ll send something else.
I sent three emails about the black Friday special. One on Monday. I believe one on Thursday before Black Friday. And then one again, the next Sunday night to remind them that it’s going to end on Monday.
What I did in that last and third email was put a link in there that would put them on a different list, if they decided to. It was a little reminder link. So if they clicked it and said: “Yes I would love to be reminded two hours or three hours before the sale runs out, please email me.” So I didn’t want to bombard my entire list but just those people that were specifically interested in buying the special but wanted a little snooze button.
That’s the great thing about ConvertKit, the email marketing service that I use, is that they have those triggers that can move a person from one list to the next list, so you’re targeting the right people on your list and you’re not emailing everybody.
Alright, so that’s what I think I did right. I didn’t want to upset my readers because not everybody’s interested in Black Friday Specials, so I tried to keep it low-key.
But even with my three emails and messing up by not telling my list about the two products that I had in the special as well, I made over four thousand dollars on course sales and over four thousand dollars in affiliates.
My Income Streams
I am completely and utterly shocked and blessed. So thank you. As you just heard, my income from my blog is about 50% of my own products and 50% of my affiliates which I think is a very healthy balance. It’s not all affiliates or all my products.
I don’t do sponsored posts. I do have companies that reach out to me. But my blog is not about mommy products so I pass along those opportunities to the people on my list because I can’t really talk about awesome cool mommy gadgets. But I can ask the people on my list – my mommy bloggers – if they want to and they can put that on their blog.
I don’t have any ads on my blog either because my traffic is really not that high. I mean, I think my highest month was 53,000 page views per month. So that’s still very low in the grand scheme of blogs and for making over $9,000.
I’m very blessed! You do not need a lot of page views, you need a good list. A good engaged list.
What went wrong?
And then, things that went wrong that were completely out of my control. What went wrong in November? If you’re a reader on my list, and you tried to email me in November then your email probably bounced back.
So there was a little glitch in the ConvertKit system that the little “unsubscribe” link that they put in the bottom of the email that’s automatically there was labeled as spam somewhere on the internet.
My emails went out and reached my readers but when they tried to reply they couldn’t because their email client saw my email as spam. So all those replies bounced back. So for two weeks I barely got any replies and normally I get about 20-30 emails a day.
And I was wondering what’s going on? Every now and then I would get an email and my reader would say: “Hey I tried replying back. I had to manually put your email address in a new email and compose that and write that to you so that I didn’t reply back to your ConvertKit email.”
So that’s how I found out that something was wrong. So immediately, I emailed ConvertKit’s customer service. They worked one on one with me. They checked my emails. Every time I emailed them they email me right back. They’re very helpful.
Why didn’t I switch email marketing clients?
To be honest, there were a couple of days where I was just thinking: “You know what this is my life blood – my customers can’t reach me. I’m going to switch email providers. This is not going to work.” But because they were so quick to respond and because they were so helpful. And because they helped alleviate my fears through the whole process, I stuck with them. They have been amazing.
Since about the beginning of December, all problems are gone. And that’s what I like. I understand that things happen in the internet world that was out of their control as well. And I wanted to practice mercy and kindness towards them. So that maybe, one day when I mess up, somebody will be merciful towards me too. Because things do go wrong and things aren’t always perfect.
Alright so that was November, completely blessed and thankful to everybody who supports me and I hope that the information that I put out there and all the mistakes I make and all the successes I have is helping you as well.
And now I hope that this video that will be transcribed into a blog post really works well because this will save me a lot of time too. So I’ll let you know how it goes in the comments below and hopefully, you can do the same thing. (Update: so far so good, it took me a bit of time to edit it and add titles. But the more I do this with my VA, the quicker the process will become.)
So thank you so much. I really appreciate all your emails, all your comments, all your replies. And if you need anything just email me!