november-2016-income

Last November, I made $2,391 from blogging. My goal back then was to reach 1K a month from my blog, so that sum was more than enough for me!

This November, I’m up to $14,679, which is crazy to me.

2016 hasn’t been a great year for me from a personal standpoint, but I’m incredibly grateful. It’s the year my blogging took off, and I can finally call it an online business.

The Last 12 Months

My progress for my second year of blogging so far:

  • September 2015: $1,521.11
  • October 2015: $1,784.43
  • November 2015: $2,391.96
  • December 2015: $3,069.71
  • January 2016: $3,461.03
  • February 2016: $3,985.58
  • March 2016: $6,696.22
  • April 2016: $6,301.01
  • May 2016: $7,806.68
  • June 2016: $7,897.69
  • July 2016: $8,586.24
  • August 2016: $10,689.15
  • September 2016: $10,510.04
  • October 2016: $11,440.13
  • November 2016: $14,679.61

November Income Breakdown

November Expenses

  • NET EARNINGS: $14,659.66

What’s Up In November

I’m digging the holiday season this year. I’ve been playing more scrabble than I’d like to admit and watching 90’s movies with my boyfriend. The Christmas lights are up, and we’ll be getting a tree soon.

Blog-wise, my earnings are up thanks to the holidays. My RPM for the ads is up to $7.83 which means my ad earnings went up by over $1,000 this month. My affiliate earnings doubled for rStyle and tripled for Linkshare. This is purely due to the holidays, and no major changes happened on my end. More sales, more purchases being made.

Amazon earnings:

amazon-nov2016

Even with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, my Amazon sales didn’t increase compared to last month.

After looking into it, I realized that my earnings for the main blog increased a tiny bit, while the earnings for the second blog decreased dramatically (by ~$1,000).

Looking at my stats for the second blog, I found out that there was no decline in clicks or traffic compared to last month.

What was happening? I installed Amazon Native Ads on that site. The specific tag I used for the native ads earned me around $700 for the whole month, but the text link revenue dropped by $1,000. Worth it? Nah.

Ad revenue:

adrevenue-nov

This is the highest my ad revenue has been, and it’s my first holiday season using Ad Thrive.

My biggest blog wish right now is to get rid of ads, but it’s hard to come up with an extra $3,500 to $5,000 to make up for them.

Ad Networks typically take a 50% commission on your earnings. Considering this, an option would be creating my own ad waterfall and reducing the number of ads. The rest could be supplemented with brand collaborations and sponsorships.

Going completely ad-free would be more complicated. The revenue wouldn’t be as passive as the ads, which to me is the biggest negative, but I’m still striving for an ad-free site down the line.

November Traffic

traffic-nov

Pageviews this month went up by over 40,000 (October brought 588,279 pageviews to be exact). This is purely due to a holiday boost and I expect my traffic to decrease after the holidays.

What Worked This Month

1. Sponsored content.

I teamed up with a brand that aligns with my blog, and it was a positive experience on both ends. Sponsored posts aren’t the easiest to manage as far as I’m concerned. There’s constant back-and-forth, and a lot of time and effort is put into these types of posts.

Since I’m not seeking sponsors but merely waiting for interested brands to contact me, this might be the last sponsored post I’ll be doing for a few months. Contacting brands for sponsorships is on my agenda, but it’s going to have to wait until after the (small) redesign I’m working on.

What Didn’t Work This Month

1. Amazon Native Ads.

Of course! These didn’t work out as I hoped.

At the beginning of November, I was so excited to integrate Amazon’s Native Ads since they were bumping commission to 12% for the whole month. I added them to my second site, and purchases were being made every day.

The things is, I ended up making less money on Amazon with that site. I feel that those widgets ended up stealing clicks from my natural links. Instead of reading the content and clicking the relevant links, the reader would click the eye-grabbing widget instead.

Long story short, I won’t be keeping the Native Ads on my site.

2. Email screw-up.

For Black Friday, instead of joining 3729891 other bloggers in making a Black Friday post, I decided to email my list the deals instead. Simple and fuss-free, right?

Nope. Google decided that my innocent email linking to Sephora and other retailers might be trying to steal my subscribers’ identity.

A big red warning showed up at the top of the email: “Be careful with this message. It contains content that’s typically used to steal personal information.”

I paused all emails going out, made some changes, resumed. Same message. I crossed my fingers and hoped that it was just a fluke, but my open rate for that message ended up being so low that it was probably considered spammy.

This was the first email of mine that Google perceived as fishy. The only thing different was the number of affiliate links (I included links to 7 or 8 retailers, which doesn’t seem excessive). It’s also the first time I used rStyle links, which could also be an issue.

I’ll have to experiment and find the cause.

Tailwind

pinterest-nov
Pinterest Followers:
September: 9,475 (+647)
October: 10,030 (+555)
November: 10,425 (+395)

I haven’t been using Pinterest like I should, and I’m also experiencing a slowdown. I’m gaining followers way slower.

As a sidenote rant, I’m not a fan of what Pinterest has been doing lately. The only change I enjoy is having the total number of repins show up (across all pins). Other than that, I miss the old layout.

Facebook

fb-nov


Facebook Likes:

September: 11,492 (+979)
October: 12,359 (+876)
November: 14,021 (+1662)

I haven’t been on a social media schedule for a while now, and it’s bothering me. It’s been a good month on Facebook nonetheless because of a post that had a huge reach mid-November. That’s where most of my new likes came from.

Last Month’s Goals

1. Work on Rosevibe every day.

Nope.

I didn’t work on Rosevibe every day. I started the month on the right foot and published a weekly post, but I fell off the wagon and focused on tumblr a bit too much this month.

2. Learn InDesign.

Hell yes.

I procrastinated on this one, but on November 29 I learned all the basics and created this:

cfguideimg

Next Month’s Goals

I have one goal for next month: DECIDE.

Pick something, ANYTHING, even if this means giving up on other options.

I’m in limbo between 4 or 5 blogs I love, some of them I haven’t created yet. I have too many projects and not enough focus.

By January 1st, I’ll have a clear idea of what my blogging plans are for 2017. In my next post, I’ll be going over them.

Thank you for reading!