Hello from Florence, Italy! Years ago, I wished I could live in Florence — just for a while! Now I’m here for a month, and we’ve been exploring the city non-stop. I’m blown away by the beauty and the history all around me, and I’m so grateful to finally be here!

Here’s one of my favorite statues so far, Perseus holding Medusa’s head:

Gruesomely beautiful, yeah?

Now onto blogging…

November marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, with high RPMs and higher conversions. $17,934 is the most I’ve ever made blogging in one month, so I’m grateful for that as well!

I haven’t pushed my business hard enough but I’m getting there. I need to get past this “planning” stage with Rosevibe and start growing the site already.

November Income Breakdown

November Expenses

  • TOTAL: $34.99

November Overview

I’m using AdThrive’s dashboard to show my pageviews in order to avoid taking an extra screenshot. Above you can see both my earnings for ads ($8,684) and my pageviews.

My traffic is hovering at around 700,000 pageviews as usual.

As for the ad revenue, my RPM has gone up by about $3 because we’re entering Christmas shopping season. Overall, my affiliate earnings are up because of this as well, and because of Black Friday. Except for Amazon, which has been on a slow decline for a year.

In November of last year, I made close to $5,000 from Amazon alone. This is close to a 50% drop, which means I need to find a fix to make this drop stop. I’ve been neglecting my second site which is responsible for most of my Amazon earnings, so this is what I’ll be working on.

I also did one sponsored post this month, which turned out to be a great collaboration with a lovely brand. I was on track for 2 sponsorships in November, but couldn’t follow through on the second one because of post issues. More on this later.

Hell yes, my autoresponder is working out!

In my last income report, I mentioned being screwed because my emails for Rosevibe are going to spam. I was sending email blasts again (after a long period of inactivity) and lo and behold, my open rate was ridiculously low. Like 3% for the first day, and it would go up to 10% after a few days (for a mailing list of 4,000 subscribers).

Well, I think I solved it!

I’ve been writing a series of emails to gradually send every new subscriber (an autoresponder). At first, my open rate for each email was on the low side. It started at 35% for the first email. As a few weeks went by, it’s now at almost 60% for the first email. Look:

Email1 is the initial email subscribers get when they sign up, where they receive the “7 hacks to grow your traffic” freebie. I’m really happy with the open rate, and I’m also happy with the 35%+ open rates of the upcoming emails. Those also had lower open rates in the beginning, and they went up significantly.

One step I took to reduce the spam factor is on the page people see as soon as they sign up. I straight up let people know to check their spam and mark the email as NOT spam or whitelist me.

Another considerable factor is that I’m no longer blasting emails. That’s not something I’ll be doing in the future either. Instead, I solely rely on my autoresponder. For important updates, I’m only going to “blast” the email to particular interested segments instead of sending them to the WHOLE list.

This achieves a few things. First, I’m not bothering the people who have no interest in those emails. But also, I’m removing a big “spamminess” factor by NOT blasting the list constantly. Plus, since I’m getting better open rates, less unsubscribes, and less emails marked as spam (because I’m targeting relevant segments) this also reduces my “spamminess”.

This was a big issue to me, so I’m glad things are looking much more promising. I’ve been having a lot of fun writing my email autoresponder series and I’m glad to be getting results!

Traveling + Working As A Blogger

I was supposed to partner with 2 brands in November, but only one collab worked out. I’m bummed about this situation, but I learned a lesson. Traveling makes it harder to work as a blogger. When you don’t have a residence and you’re constantly moving, getting packages mailed is a challenge.

I spent most of November in Romania before leaving for Italy. At the beginning of November, I ordered a package for one of my collaborations. Receiving the package was a whole ordeal, and it got stuck at customs for nearly 3 weeks with no way of getting a hold of it. I had to get on my plane before I was able to receive the package, so the collaboration was cancelled.

Being in Italy right now, I researched their postal system, and I’m finding that packages tend to be held at customs here as well.

I have another sponsored post planned for next month, so I can’t risk the same scenario happening. What I’m doing right now is looking for a photographer to receive the products and take the pictures while I focus on the content. I can also purchase the products locally if I need to try them for the post.

There’s a solution to every blogging problem. 🙂

Amazon earnings going down…

When I first started posting income reports, my second blog was making a good portion of my revenue (probably almost 50%). Soon after, my main blog took over and the second one got pushed to the side, but it was still generating decent money. In the last few months though, it’s been making less and less.

My Amazon earnings were about $5,000 per month 12 months ago, and they’re currently about $2,700. They’ve slowly been going down. Part of it is because they lowered the commission. They no longer offer commission tiers based on how much you sell, which is a bummer. My commission used to be a flat 8.25%. It’s now lower.

For my second blog, I’m going to find new ways of monetizing that aren’t just Amazon.

Personality Type + Business Struggles

I haven’t paid attention to Myers-Briggs personality types in years. I’m an INTP (fellow INTPs, are you out there? holler at me!) and as it turns out, some of my struggles are textbook INTP struggles. Specifically, work and business-related issues.

This tells me that I can overcome my issues by acknowledging and understanding them. If I can relate them to my personality type and understand that they make sense, and that they’re common, it makes it easier for me to consciously build a plan to overcome them.

One of our typical traits is keeping things too abstract, and needing other people (despite our introverted nature) in order to get shit done. Put pen to paper. Turn the ideas floating in our minds into concrete projects.

This definitely applies to me.

Another common thing among female INTPs (based on what I’ve read) is that we learn to censor ourselves as not to offend anyone or appear “unfeminine”. Not because our opinions are highly controversial, but they might not be the norm.

An example that applies to me personally is the whole “crystal” craze, where healing powers are attributed to crystals. I’m rolling my eyes already. This idea is super popular in the “green beauty/health” and “self-help” crowds, which I’m a fan of. Except I don’t believe in the magical power of crystals, and it feels like I’m in the minority. I can’t express how I truly feel without ruffling some feathers and offending readers.

I want to be authentic though, and I want to stand against what I perceive as a negative influence. And I really believe that attributing healing powers to crystals is detrimental to our actual growth. Instead of feeling like we’re masters of our emotions and destinies, we pretend that owe all our good fortune to a piece of amethyst.

On my beauty blog, I wrote a more “political” post after the last US elections — still related to my niche. I ruffled some feathers and received comments telling me to “stick to doing beauty reviews”. But I want to be genuine. I want to talk about what I find important. And as long as it’s related to the topic of the blog, I shouldn’t be afraid of speaking my truth, right?

I got derailed very quickly, but here’s my point:

If you have certain predispositions because of your personality, you’re not doomed. Becoming conscious of your blind spots and weak points can lead to fixing any issues.

For me right now, this means:

1. Stop being so abstract and actually turn my ideas into a reality.
2. Stop being afraid of offending or alienating readers. My goal isn’t to please everyone, and I would rather be authentic regardless.
3. Stop overthinking everything in general.

December Goals

Holy crap, it’s the end of 2017. I’m happy to be able to say that 2017 has been a great year for me overall. This is because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and this is something I’ll continue doing in 2018.

There’s seriously nothing like pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. For me, this process was really hard, and being overly self-critical, I always feel like my accomplishments weren’t good enough. But I overcame a lot of fears and personal struggles, and the glass is always half full.

I also grew a lot on a personal level this past year. I realized that above all, I want to be connected to others. I want to trust my instincts, my emotions more. I don’t want to let negative experiences tarnish my views.

  • Get working on my new course about working with brands. I want to be 50% done by the end of the year.
  • Expand and improve my How To Start A Blog page.
  • Record a helpful voiceover video for bloggers (for example, how to use WordPress when you’re just starting out). I’m not comfortable with video OR audio, so this is a big challenge for me and I have to start somewhere.
  • Switch over to Evernote as a way to keep track of bookmarks and inspiration. Disorganized bookmarks aren’t ideal.

Starting January 1st, I also want to be more on top of my social media and blogs in general. I might start hiring outside help again, but this time in a more strategic way (for example having one person who does social media, one general assistant whose function is organization, and so on).

Thank you for reading! 🙂