This post contains affiliate links.
Hello! Welcome to my Blogging and Income Report for December 2018! This is coming a little later than I wanted but between traveling for the holidays, going to Las Vegas for a conference, and running my Step Up Your Social Media course, I’m a bit wiped out! Also, keep reading because I have a big announcement regarding the future of these income reports.
Blogging and Income Report – December 2018
It’s always a little funny to go back and read last month’s goals. At the end of November’s report I wrote that I wanted a little rest and relaxation … that’s SO adorable. Needless-to-say I don’t remember the last time I felt rested. December is always stressful, and I’m re-evaluating my business to figure out how to make the holidays less stressful for me … because otherwise, what’s the point of being self employed, if I can’t have control over my own hours?
More on that later.
After five years of tracking my stats I’ve started to notice some patterns, and December is always a lean month for traffic. People are spending time with loved ones instead of surfing the ‘net at work. So, I expected this drop.
My top referral sources for December were the usual suspects – Google, Pinterest, Direct traffic, Facebook, and Bing.
2018 in Review
2018 marks the fifth year of doing these blogging reports and the fourth year of doing income reports. I love doing them because they force me to stay on top of my stats, and now it feels like a habit. The month changes over and I’m genuinely curious to review everything and see what’s happening with my website.
BUT, this past year has been a bit … depressing. It’s partly my own fault; I have focused my attention on other aspects of my businesses and the blog suffered a bit. But in 2018 I noticed a shift across the blogging board, where the traditional way of blogging is just not cutting it anymore. There’s just a lot to analyze and figure out, and I’m not sure I want to do it publicly.
I’ve decided for 2019 I will not be doing monthly blogging reports. I’m still going to keep track of my stats monthly, but I’m only going to do an end-of-the-year recap here on the blog. The truth is, these reports take a long time to put together and they don’t get a ton of traffic. So this is my first step in rearranging my blogging priorities.
Okay. With all that out of the way, let’s dive into some 2018 numbers, shall we?
Stats for 2018:
Page Views: 633,432
Taking a look at last year’s stats …
Page Views: 734,309
Honestly, my traffic dropped 15% which isn’t as bad as I was thinking. Obviously I never want to see a drop, I would prefer only growth all the time. But I thought the percentage would be much worse.
Taking a look at the second half of 2018, you can see it’s a steady decline. What happened? Well, my business priorities shifted. I started a podcast in May and also jumped full steam ahead into designing shirts for Amazon. I don’t regret either, but there are only so many hours in the day and something had to give. I stopped writing five articles a week because I just didn’t have the time for it, and I do think my traffic suffered because of that. I also neglected some of my social media, specifically Facebook and Pinterest. You can clearly see the Facebook referral decline from when I was very active at the start of the year, to pretty much doing nothing towards the end of the year.
I also neglected Pinterest for most of the year. I picked it back up after attending the Flock conference in September and you can see I had a little boost before it went down again.
While looking at lower stats feels upsetting on the surface, I don’t regret any of the business choices I made this year. My income was steady with last year (I’ll get to that soon), and the podcast has been both challenging and fun, and there are plans to monetize it soon. So perhaps this is my new “normal” with the blog, or perhaps there will be another big shift in 2019.
The bottom line is – no regrets.
Here’s what I earned in December 2018. I list the earnings by network, and then state the specific brands/shops in parenthesis. If I didn’t make any money through a specific affiliate channel, I will leave it off the list.
(Keep in mind I’m only sharing the revenue I generate through my websites and social media accounts.)
Affiliates (some of the links below contain my affiliate code)
Total revenue for December 2018 = $692.77.
– Total revenue the previous month = $894.33.
– Difference: -$201.56
It’s funny … I was reading over my 2017 report and I was disappointed in last year’s December revenue, too. It seems I always put a lot of time into promoting holiday shopping and sales and it just doesn’t convert for me. So my goal with 2019 is to work on increasing affiliate revenue throughout the year so I won’t feel this big sense of panic come December. We’ll see how it goes!
Total revenue for 2017 = $15,682.53.
– Total revenue the previous year = $17,229.58.
– Difference: -$1,547.05
Yes, I made less money with my blog in 2018 than I did in 2019. BUT with my Joy Social consulting, product revenue, and courses revenue, I’m over the $18,000 mark. I just don’t feel completely comfortable writing about all that here because it feels like a lot. And because I’m a little too shy to put ALL of it out there COMPLETELY. Which is exactly why I’m stopping the monthly reports next year.
Things I need to work on:
Gosh … a lot. For the blog, I want to work on getting that traffic back up. More focus on Pinterest and SEO and less focus on Instagram (which is fun but brings me, like, ZERO traffic). Working on growing my emails lists. Working on more Joy Social clients. Creating more courses. Creating more shirt designs. Monetizing the podcast. That’s just off the top of my head.
That’s it for a while! Thank you for reading, and not just this report but for the last five years. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try my best to answer! Let me know how I can help you! Have a great YEAR, everyone!