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If you’re reading this, it means the new design is up and running. 🙂

It’s not 100% finished, but I was eager to get it online (my last theme was half-working since I’ve been tweaking it to make room for the new one).

Transparency Reports

I decided to call these reports “transparency and income reports” instead of “traffic and income reports”.

I share my traffic, but I share much more than that. The goal is to share what’s going on behind the scenes, not just share my traffic and income.

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 Income Breakdown

October Expenses

  • Tailwind: $9.99
  • SendGrid (e-mails): $9.95
  • Hosting: $10
  • TOTAL: $29.94
  • NET EARNINGS: $11,410.19

What’s Up In October

We’re approaching the holiday season which means earnings are going up. More shopping, more affiliate sales. Bigger ad budgets, higher CPMs. My affiliate and ad earnings went up a little bit so far.

I also collaborated with a company on a sponsored post, and I’ll tell you more about this later.


Amazon earnings:

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Ad revenue:

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Since I’ve been with AdThrive, my RPM has increasing steadily every month. I’m assuming this is because of the time of year, since the same thing happened with my previous ad network (although the RPM wasn’t as high).

October Traffic

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My traffic went from 576,920 in September to 588,279 in October. That’s a 2% increase but it’s pretty much the same.

What Worked This Month

1. Actually using my mailing list.

I’ve grown my mailing list to over 12,000 but so far I haven’t used it to “sell” much. Scratch that. I haven’t used it much, period.

Last month, I shared my free course, How To Launch Your First Kickass Blog, to that mailing list. I received a lot of positive feedback, and I loved interacting with my readers 1-on-1.

This month, I decided to do something else, this time more focused.

I polled my readers to ask them what their favorite mascara is, and why (it’s a beauty list). Compiling all the results took me close to 2 full days, but it was worth it.

I then turned this poll into a helpful blog post. I included a ton of my readers’ comments and I ranked all the top mascaras. You can check out this post here if you’re curious: The 17 Best Cruelty-Free Mascaras.

This was a cool way of creating content. It allowed me to involve my readers directly while also creating a post that’s going to help even more ladies.

2. Overhauling my collab strategy and media kit.

Redesigning my media kit this month had a big impact.

As soon as I made some important changes in my media kit, I already got 2 sponsorship opportunities (one of them in October, and one for next month).

This is what I learned:

Your media kit should reflect your goals. YOUR goals, and nobody else’s. What impression do you want to make when someone reads it? What do you want the outcome to be? How do you want them to act?

The sponsored content you’re selling is your product. Most often, we want to attract sponsorship opportunities. These sponsorships are your product, which means you’re selling. Take lessons from marketing and sales when showcasing your product.

Don’t sell yourself short, and never do companies “a favor”. Sometimes you’ll get asked for favors. Free product reviews. Major discounts. You don’t owe this to any company, and their buddy-buddy approach is most likely a sales tactic. They want something valuable from you, for peanuts.

Based on my own experience as well as what I’ve read from other bloggers, many brands out there try to lowball bloggers. Know what your blog is worth, and know what your time is worth.

I had been feeling drained from my past sponsorships. I didn’t have the motivation to do them, because I was undercharging.

After looking into it, I more than doubled my rate (from $300-$400 to ~$1,000) which is still a very fair rate.

What Didn’t Work This Month

1. Lack of consistent posting.

Posting consistently is a big plus when it comes to blogging. It’s not mandatory, but for a few key reasons, it helps.

I’ve been struggling with consistent posting since the beginning of my blog.

Lately I’ve been leaving big gaps between posts. It’s completely understandable given the circumstances, but it’s gnawing at me.

I know that it’s one of the reasons why my traffic is suffering, and I’m going to have to find a solution (either sticking to a schedule or getting paid writers).

2. Stagnating traffic.

This one isn’t specific to this month, but it’s been another issue.

My traffic has been stagnating for a while now. The last 6 months looked like this:

6months

IMO, growth is always important no matter what stage you’re at. If my blog isn’t growing, I take it as a hint that I’m doing something wrong.

My plan for growth at this point is simple: posting more and (possibly) hiring writers.

Tailwind

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Pinterest Followers:
Last month: 9,475 (+647)
This month: 10,030 (+555)

Facebook

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Facebook Likes:

Last month: 11,492 (+979)
This month: 12,359 (+876)

Upcoming Goals

1. Work on Rosevibe errday.

I’m happy to say that I crossed off last month’s goal which was redesigning Rosevibe. It’s live! It’s not perfect but it’s live.

I’m just lifting this site off the ground, and it’s not quite ready yet. My goals are to redo all my Pinterest graphics, tweak the front page, make it more responsive, add social sharing… and the list goes on.

Being new at web design, Rosevibe has been a challenge. The new site is out of my comfort zone, and I’m constantly doubting myself.

Looking at my moodboard, it’s clear that I’m not staying true to the original vision I had with the site. In November, I’m going to bring it to something closer to my initial concepts and branding.

2. Learn InDesign.

Because Photoshop alone isn’t enough for some of my projects.

I’ve recently come to terms that Photoshop and text aren’t a great match. For instance, I’m deeply embarrassed by my lead magnet which was done in Photoshop before being turned into a PDF.

I’m going to create a new, badass lead magnet that my new subscribers will love.

Thank you!

Thank you for reading and thank you for following my journey. Especially now in the early stages of this blog!