Here I was expecting a drop in my income following Amazon’s new commission structure, and I ended up making about $4,000 more than I did last month. What I didn’t predict is a growth in traffic, which essentially offset the losses.

In this post, I’ll be going into more detail about Amazon’s new policy for affiliates and how these changes affected me. I’ll also break down my earnings and do a recap as usual.

March Income Breakdown

March Expenses

  • NET EARNINGS: $17,839.33

March Traffic

Holy crap! My pageviews were at 872,000 in March compared to 733,000 the previous month. On March 15th, I received almost 60,000 that day alone which is part of why my overall numbers are higher than usual. On average, I get about 25,000 pageviews per day, which brings it to 750,000 pageviews a month.

What’s Up In March

In March, I was busy taking care of some mild medical issues I’ve been having. The good news is that I don’t have a stomach ulcer, which I was showing symptoms of. The bad news is that the symptoms are still there, and I need to do more tests.

Chris and I have been planning a roadtrip across Eastern Canada, specifically to Nova Scotia and Peggy’s Cove (below). I would love this trip to pull me out of my comfort zone, and I don’t want the issues I’ve been having to get to me.

In March, I also revamped Cruelty-Free Kitty. Right now, I’m happy enough with the site and don’t feel the need to constantly tweak it at the moment. I made minor changes which I believe had a positive impact, such as re-doing some graphics and featured images to make them more consistent and improve the “branding”.

Takebacks From This Month

These are the major things I’ve been focused on in March.

1. The impact of Amazon’s commission changes.

If you’re a part of Amazon’s affiliate program, these changes are already affecting you. I went over the basics in my last income report, so to keep it short:

Amazon no longer offers its affiliates volume-based sales. They now offer us fixed commissions (from 2% to 10% depending on the category).

For me personally, this means that my commission went from 8.25% to about 6%. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s considerable.

These are my earnings for March:

And for February:

I calculated the total income I would have made without the commission changes, and it comes to $6,587.49. This is about $1,000 more than I made with the new structure. It’s still a hit, but I expected a bigger drop.

You’ll notice that shipped items were just under 3,000 in February, and 3,600 in March. This is a big difference, and it’s part of the reason why my commission didn’t drop. I simply had more traffic, more clicks, and more orders.

The second reason is that I mainly sell items in the Clothing category, which has a fixed commission of 7% (still relatively high compared to other cuts Amazon made).

Here’s an overview of my top categories:

You can see that “Clothing & Accessories” is by far my top-selling category, and the commission is set to 7%. My second top category is Beauty at 6%. I’m still down from 8.25%, but luckily it’s not a huge hit.

2. An important takeback on sponsored posts.

I accepted two sponsored posts in March. They were both for brands I love and support, but one of them was given at a discount of almost 50% compared to my usual rate. I said yes to their first offer, specifically because I love the brand.

It was a mistake, and I learned a valuable blogging lesson. When you’re working on sponsored posts for brands, there are many different approaches to the collaboration. You might be dealing with a marketing person, or you might be dealing with the owner. Some owners are laid-back, and some are very fussy. The same applies if you’re dealing with someone who simply works for the company.

In this case, I ended up having to spend more hours on my discounted sponsored post than on my “full price” post. The process was kind of a pain in the ass, to be quite fair, and jumping through the hoops felt wrong for the rate I accepted. It would have been a different story if I wasn’t offering a “special rate” just because I love the brand.

Lesson: no more double standards when offering sponsored posts!

3. Am I ever going to hire help?

Most bloggers hire a virtual assistant (or seven) as soon as they start making money. With an income of $17,000 this month, it would make the most sense for me to hire outside help. Why the heck would I not?!

The truth is that I do need some help, and getting a virtual assistant would help me grow my existing blogs, and allow me to start more. The blog that I need help with right now is Cruelty-Free Kitty, which is getting overwhelming. The problem is that Cruelty-Free Kitty is a labor of love, and I can’t shake off the feeling that I need to be involved in every single step of the process.

If I want to grow, I need to let go of my perfectionism and hand tasks over to others. Does anyone have experience with outsourcing and hiring a virtual assistant? I’d love to hear other bloggers’ experiences and at what point they decided to hire outside help.

To end this report, my goal for April is to take the plunge and find a virtual assistant. It’s a hard decision to take, but it’s for the best.

Thank you for reading and have a great month!