Each month I share with you how I make money online. I’m a SAHM with two toddlers and if I can do this, you can too. I use my graphic design skills and monetize them. I share this information with you because;
1) It’s motivating to others
2) I want to document my progress, my failures, and hold myself accountable
3) I want to try to break the standard blog that makes money online by blogging about making money online
This report does not include what my husband or I make outside of the internet, it only includes what I make online.
This month I signed up with passionfruit advertising to start ad swapping with other bloggers for free. I wanted to test the waters to see if I could get anybody to come over to my website from other popular websites. I put the option up to advertise on my website while thinking that every little visitor will help me reach my blog growth goal. Then I got a little message in my inbox. I was so excited when Paige from Lively Green Door wanted to advertise on my website!
Check out her blog here (and she’s very stylish, my favorite kind of blogger!)
I’ve been thinking about this report all month. It was the only thing I wanted to write about all month! There’s so many juicy new tricks and tips I learned.
I unfortunately learned some bad things too. Some things that aren’t working for my blog and my business. Thanks to the help of google analytics, I discovered a section called “Advanced Segments.”
When clicked, some options come up that you can track, such as your return visitors. This is where my heart broke in two. Apparently I am my only fan, and the rest of you stop by once in a blue moon! But I’m amazed because my analytics also tells me that I must write amazing content because my average visitors continues to climb.
You won’t see these details in my monthly reports. It’s just something new that I wanted to share with all of you. For the past year I’ve been trying to track my return visitors and all I had to do was snoop through google analytics!
IS SIDEBAR ADVERTISING DEAD?
This month was truly a test to see if I can increase my page views. I noticed one day when I made a comment on thenester.com, that my stats shot through the roof. I decided to advertise on two other bigger websites who I thought had enough visitors to give me some results, like 100 new visitors. However, the results weren’t anywhere to what I was hoping. I was shocked. I pad $35.00 for advertising to get about 10 new visitors. And these other blogs aren’t overpriced, it’s a great deal!
I receive Jess Lively’s “Wish I Know Wednesday” e-mails and this month she sent an e-mail discussing about how advertising in sidebars for bloggers is no longer a way to make a decent income unless your partnering with big brands. What she said hit home considering how I spent $35.00 in advertising and saw little results. She said a lot of users overlook the sidebar and don’t click (I’m one of them). I can agree with her that either…
A) Advertising for small business’s on other bigger blog sidebars is dead
B) My ad is unattractive which resulted in hardly any clicks
C) My blog sucks.
I’m really leaning towards B. I have plans to test out a new theory, but that will have to wait. I’ve put advertising a bit on the back-burner, because I’m a bit focused on this new project instead…
THE JEREMIAH PROJECT
As I’ve been yapping about the last couple of weeks, Jeremiah has two full-time jobs. He doesn’t have to have them both, he has chosen to work and help pay down his business debt. But meanwhile, I miss my man! And my kids miss him too. So we’ve kinda put household projects on the back-burner as we save our pennies. We want Jeremiah to be around the house more than he is. We’ve been calculating some numbers a lot, and came up with plenty of scenarios to make things better on everyone in multiple situations.
1) Quit to one full-time job… and lean 100% on the Lord to provide
2) Have my business become the primary bread-winner, then quit one full-time job to focus on his own business growth
3) Use all those pennies we have saved to pay down the debt and quit to a one full-time job
This is a little graph of how far we have come, and how far we have to go.
This is why I’ve been working hard behind the scenes creating new products and doing a lot of shop maintenance.
Other daily life duties have slid off my plate as I try to work just as hard as Jeremiah does. Life is short, and if we spend all our lives working hard instead of getting some relax time.. well, what kind of fun life is that?! And it seems like the last few months we were finally turning a corner until the second job happened. That’s when we realized we need a change. But we can’t finish this transformation until that green bar is the same as the red!
Technically we can finish the transformation, but it’s a slow, slow process. It’s not like all of a sudden we’re gifted with great jobs where money starts rolling in like crazy. We have to work hard at it.
YOU ASKED FOR THE TOP 10
I recently sent out a questionnaire to a few of you to let me know what you want to see more of. It was so kind that ONE person replied (this is a virtual slap in the face for those who have slacked off). ;) The only person that did reply said they wanted to see the top 10 referrals. Here they are. And oh hey, thenester.com is still sending traffic my way just because of one blog comment I left last month.
MAKING MONEY ONLINE
I ended up adding up all the numbers a different way this month, to make it more realistic of what I actually will be getting paid for. The last few months I was adding what I was already paid for. I wanted to see how much I will be getting paid for all the sales I made in the month of April.
What stinks the most is that Zazzle pays me in 65 days for April’s earnings, so I don’t get to spend April’s earnings until then. Etsy is a bit better, they pay me once a week.
The changes I made at Etsy over the last couple of months has helped (see past income reports). I still have a business plan lined up for Etsy. Business Growth has been slow, and I think I know the reason why. I recently updated one of my popular stationary lines and changed the color. Well, that small color-changing mistake was almost the death of my Etsy Business. After consulting my college books and refreshing my mind about color theory, I started to see a level of interest in my etsy products rise in just one week. I ended up improving my Etsy stats almost double from the rate it was going within one week. Color theory rocks.
One of the biggest Etsy sales I received was for a print job. I usually average this amount in one month just for digital files. Too bad I don’t get to keep all that money from the print job!
I decided to group all of zazzle’s earnings into one group. I use to split them with zazzle royalties and bonus. I use to go by zazzle’s earnings which is every 30 days. Instead I decided to look up what I made in the month of April. I was shocked. It’s the highest earnings yet from Zazzle. I feel that I’ve been so busy doing everything under the moon that I havent’ had a real chance to create anything new for zazzle. But I have noticed one of my templates continues to rise in popularity while another template diminishes. And it’s also graduation season. I’m sad because I’m missing graduation season and mother’s day. I’ve worked so hard in the growth in other areas that I have to be realistic. I can’t do everything. Maybe next year I’ll be lucky and get to prosper more from these two seasons.
Adsense grew this month because one of my blog posts became popular overnight. Once this season passes and summer comes, I’m sure adsense will go down unless I can somehow get the blog to grow.
As far as my theory about advertising in sidebars being dead, it’s not for my affiliate TinyPrints. My blog is so small and I’m surprised how much traffic I sent them. I see the clicks on my affiliate admin panel. It really makes me believe that my advertising isn’t good enough.
My little blog pulled through with affiliates this month. Not much more to say about that.
TOTAL GROSS INCOME: $1,223.47
That’s all I have for our April Income Report on how I make money online. Leave a comment with any suggestions, questions or helpful hints/tricks. Thank you for reading, purchasing and making this a success!
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