Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I have been flirting with the idea of sharing income reports for a few months. I first touched upon the subject in April in my article “The Rise of the Income Report“. In the article I looked at the pros and cons of sharing income details online. My overall view of the issue was that I was not completely comfortable sharing details like that online.
I have listened to feedback from readers and understand better why these reports are so useful useful to those of you who are just starting out online. Call it listening to readers, call it jumping on the bandwagon, but I have decided to do an income report myself.
Before reading this article, I encourage you to read my detailed article about my traffic and income goals for this blog that I published last month. It details the growth of my traffic from December 2012 to the middle of May 2013. Perhaps more importantly, it outlines what I am striving for. My long term goals may change though, as always, if they do, I will share all my thoughts about it through this blog.
Note, as this is my first income report, I have made the point of explaining what I will and will not disclose in my income reports. I apologise to those who are just looking for facts and figures, however it is important for me to explain my reasoning for everything (or I'll end up having to address certain issues lots of times in the comment area).
From time to time I check stats for KevinMuldoon through the Webalizer and Awstats programs that are included in the cPanel hosting area. Week to week, I normally check statistics in two places: The WordPress stats report that is built into the Jetpack plugin and Google Analytics.
I find the Jetpack statistics to be reliable, however moving forward it is best for me to stick to one stats program, therefore I will use Google Analytics for this traffic report and all future traffic reports. This is what most website owners and bloggers use when quoting stats to others so it allows me, and all of you, to compare traffic with other websites.
In my blogging goals article I noted that my goal for April 2013 was to double traffic to 400 visits per day. I exceeded this and reached 500 visits per day, therefore my target for May 2013 was the same: Double traffic to 1,000 visits per day.
Did I meet my traffic goal? Well….kind of. The traffic spike on 6 May was a result of my Facebook post promotion test, therefore I do not count that. On 28 May I received 1,028 daily visits, though this traffic was not consistent moving into June 2013, so in my opinion, my traffic goal was missed.
I am not too disappointed with missing my target of exceeding 1,000 daily visits daily by the end of the month. As I noted last month, whether I actually hit my traffic goals every month is not essential. Targets are simply something for me to strive for me every month and to keep my focused on working hard.
This income report should have been written at the start of June 2013. Unfortunately, I have been really busy with other things over the last few weeks, so I did not get round to writing it.
What I want to do in future income reports is speak about my traffic from the previous month and then talk about what I want to achieve in the following month. It is not really possible for me to do that objectively as almost two thirds of the month have passed already.
What I can say is that whatever target I would have set for myself at the start of June 2013, I would have missed. Traffic is hovering around 500 visits per day at the moment, which is what the blog was getting at the start of May 2013. There are two main reasons why traffic has not increased in the way I wanted it to. Firstly, I dropped out the rankings for a few search results that were bringing in lots of traffic. Secondly, I have been busy working on the relaunch of Martial Arts Videos over the last two weeks to devote much time to this blog (an 8,000 word article that details the complete relaunch of this website will be published tomorrow; so stay tuned). Due to these reasons, I am not too disheartened.
Therefore, as we are through more than half of June already, I will not set any traffic goals in this traffic report. Instead, I will give you some broad traffic goals for future:
- Increase engagement with readers.
- Increase direct traffic and referral traffic.
- Build a loyal readership that read my articles frequently (i.e. rely less on search engine traffic)
Alexa rank is not something I ever really think about. For the benefit of those who do, my global traffic rank at the moment is 87,360. I imagine this will get lower over the next few months, however whether it does or does not really does not affect me in any way.
Readership & Social Media
I do not spend a lot of time on social media websites though I am hoping to develop a bigger readership on KevinMuldoon. Social media ties into this as many people use social media services to follow blogs and bloggers they want to follow. Therefore, I want to include details of my readership and social media profiles in my reports.
As of 19 June 2013, my social media status and readership is:
- RSS = 1,442 Subscribers
- Email Newsletter = 1,819 Subscribers
- Facebook = 241 Followers
- Twitter = 2,000 Followers
- Google+ = 431 Followers
- YouTube= 23 Subscribers
* RSS stats are tracked by Simple Feed Stats.
In future income reports, I will note my readership and social media numbers and compare them to previous months to illustrate how my profile is being raised on these platforms.
I am sure that all of you reading this part have read my blogging goals article in full (if not, shame on you!). One of the reasons why I was reluctant to publish income reports at the moment is because I am not focused on making money. I am mainly focused on acquiring a readership for this blog and developing my other websites.
I still make money from some of my other websites and I still have some savings. If my situation was different, I would probably be applying for more writing jobs to help my bottom line, but by doing that I would have less time to work on my own projects.
Another thing that I was unsure of with this income report was what I should report. Should my income reports detail how much I am making through this blog or how much I am making from all of my projects? I realise that when it comes to this issue, many people want to know every single little thing, however for the time being I would prefer to just report what I am making through this website.
- I will only report the total amount of money I have made through freelance blogging. I do not believe it is fair for me to break down exactly what blogs I wrote for and how much I was paid as this is information that blog owners do not want public (particularly as it is common for many blog owners to pay different rates to writers).
- I do not feel it is important to reveal exactly how much money I make online. I will detail income from other websites from time to time, but my total income from other websites and from Google Adsense etc will not be disclosed in these reports. Future case studies will probably disclose other income I generate on a case by case basis. For example, the case study on the relaunch of MartialArtsVideos that is being published tomorrow details exactly what the website has made in the past.
- All income not generated in US dollars will be converted to US dollars for consistency.
- My hosting costs are currently $169 per month and my email marketing costs through GetResponse are currently $25 per month. Both these expenses are not included in this income report as these services are used for all my websites, not just this one.
My total income for KevinMuldoon.com for May 2013 was $2,070.62
It was generated through:
- Freelance Blogging = $1,164.10 – I spent a total of 5 full days writing for others.
- My Books – $403.06. This includes digital and printed book sales.
- Affiliate Income = $502.92. This was generated by the banners and affiliate links that are linked in this blog including websites such as ThemeForest and Fiverr.
In my previous articles about income reports, I always spoke about how readers would enjoy my income reports. Along the way, I kind of forgot how much it could benefit me. You see, I really should have taken the time to review the income of this blog in the past, but I was solely focused on building a readership, so it was not something I looked at. It is clear that publishing an income report every month will force me to review my income, traffic and goals every month.
As you know, I really enjoy writing. It's something I kind of fell into, but it is something I really enjoy. I turned down a few offers of work in May 2013 so, in theory, I could have made at least double from freelance blogging by simply taking those job offers. Obviously, it is not just a case of me taking on more work and making more money. Time spent writing for other people gives me less time to work on my own projects.
I believe if I spent a few days aggressively looking for blogging positions, I could find sufficient job offers to work full time freelance blogging and make over $6,000 a month. This sounds great on paper, but it adds nothing to my income long term. I would struggle to update this blog more than once a week and I'd find it difficult to manage all of my websites effectively too.
Long term, I need to increase my affiliate income from this blog. I do enjoy writing for others, however I am always conscious about my time being spent building other people's websites rather than my own. I also have several ideas for books of my own. Once I am back in Scotland (and back to a good chair and desk for writing every day), I am going to make an effort to make time to get some books finished. I don't want good ideas to simply stay in my head or written down as ideas; I need to make an effort to get these books finished.
Without sounding like a stoned hippy from the 1960's, I really do love updating this blog. KevinMuldoon.com is a place where I can share information about my projects with fellow website owners and bloggers.
I have lots of goals for the rest of the year including writing more books, making money through affiliate marketing and increasing my readership here. I am also keen to make my other websites, such as Martial Arts Videos and Black Belt Forums, a success.
I hope you have enjoyed this income report. I plan on publishing the report for June 2013 at the start of July (in two weeks time). Make sure you subscribe to this blog so you don't miss it :)
Thanks for reading,