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Monday, January 11, 2016

November Blog Traffic & Income Report



Seeing as we're almost halfway through January, I thought it was about time I recap what happened in November, no? Welcome to my monthly traffic and income report, in which I tell you the exact numbers regarding my blog and businesses.

I've been writing here at The Loudmouth Lifestyle for five years and coaching for one. I almost didn't want to share this report because it might be the worst ever, but y'all know how much I love transparency (more about that in a sec).

I brought in $487.95 while completely self-employed this month. Of course, that's before expenses, which I have detailed completely below (along with traffic, hours, followers and other stats). Read on to see what else I've been up to!

BUT FIRST, WHY DO I SHARE THESE REPORTS?


It might seem strange that I would share how much I make as a small business owner when my profit has consistently been less than four figures per month over the past year. Some people find these reports discouraging and uninspiring; others have thanked me for being so honest. It's up to you to decide, but here are a couple reasons why I'm so open about this stuff.

1) I want you to know that I'm a real person who is constantly making mistakes and learning from them. Even though I've been a social media junkie for over a decade, I only recently started seeing the internet as my workspace. I left my secure full-time job in March 2014, thinking that I could release an e-book and write blog posts for a living, but it ended up being a lot harder than I thought.

I'm still learning how to make and save money as an entrepreneur, hence why I don't consider myself a marketing expert, monetization strategist, or financial guru. I've even stopped calling myself a 'business coach' because it was a confusing title that made it sound like I'm super experienced when it comes to business. The truth is that I'm not. I have had people hire me to help them make money online, but it made me uncomfortable because I'm still learning that myself.

I now like to be seen as a motivational coach for women who want to serve others in the blogosphere. I'm good at that and I've been doing that for a long time. As for the business aspect, I want you to learn along with me. My biggest pet peeve is when someone acts like they know what they're doing when they've really just started. I'm letting you know now: I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm figuring it out as I go along.

2) I wish I'd had reports like this to read two years ago. Statistics show that most businesses fail. The entrepreneurs that survive are completely broke for the first 1-2 years until they break even. The fact that I'm making a profit AT ALL is impressive.

However, we are constantly inundated with reports by bloggers with five-figure launches and six-figure years. It's inspiring and interesting, but it can also give us a false perception of business ownership. We start to think that if so-and-so can make that much money, so can I. But we don't know what they did to get to that point or if they've run other businesses in the past and if so, what they looked like.

It would be awesome if more bloggers and business owners could be open and honest when it comes to the first 1-2 years in business. They are usually hard for everyone. If I had known everything that I know now about entrepreneurship, I would've been a lot more prepared for what was to come. I had no idea how challenging it would be, because no one told me.

Putting in the work every day while seeing extremely slow, small results is hard. And when you have a family, it can be downright depressing. There were so many times last year that I wanted to quit. I'd ask myself what the point was and if I was really doing the right thing for my son. It's a constant battle of the mind to keep going and not go back to Corporate America when I know I could be making six figures there right now.

But when I think about what my life could be like if this actually works out... well, that's what makes me not want to stop. Plus, it's really cool when someone tells me how much I've encouraged and inspired them. Thank you for that.

I don't want to miss out on all of the people I could help.


BEHIND THE BLOG

You may have noticed that I've been MIA the last couple months. (Or not. It's cool.) I took a break from blogging so that I could concentrate on building up my social media followings (in preparation for next month's Periscope series and masterclass) and work on my rebrand (the site looks amaze so far). I also had a really wonderful, relaxing holiday season with family. It's important to let yourself take time off -- otherwise, what's the point of being your own boss?

Mentally, it's been tough. I've mentioned before that I've struggled with depression and anxiety pretty much my whole life. I went through a huge bout of depression during my pregnancy (which was also right after I left my job in 2014) and I really hadn't felt the same since until recently. Also, my fiance got a new job last summer, but it ended up not working out -- so I've been the only parent working, and the resulting financial situation has taken a toll on our relationship.

Things are starting to get better now. He's been applying for jobs and getting interviews, and I'm becoming extremely laser-focused on my goals. I'm cutting out anything that doesn't serve my purpose (tasks, people, things). I'm doing some major decluttering in business and in life. No distractions.

I am also using The Happiness Planner because I want my mental health to come first and foremost this year (click that link to get $5 off if you want your own!). When I am happy and healthy, everything else seems to fall into place.

We're still planning on getting married in May 2017, though we haven't gotten far with the whole 'planning' part. However, I've been researching dresses (because they're so pretty to look at), and I've been thinking about preownedweddingdresses.com so I can stay on-budget.


NOVEMBER TRAFFIC

Okay, time for some stats!

According to Google Analytics, I received 3,619 pageviews in November from 1,877 people:



My top referral sources (in order) were Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin', Facebook, and Google.


SOCIAL MEDIA PROGRESS

Here's where I'm at with my followings:

11,385 Twitter @loudmouthblogs ^73
3,156 Instagram @stephanie_shar ^452
2,697 Pinterest @stephanieshar ^29
1,520 Facebook /stephanie.loudmouth ^466
931 Facebook /stephaniesharblogs ^6
314 Periscope @stephanieshar ^98

I've been doing something new and 'microblogging' on my social media sites, so make sure you follow me so you don't miss out on any of the stories or info! My next social media goal is to have at least 5,000 followers on each platform... and of course, connect with as many as I can.


INCOME, EXPENSES, & HOURS

Here's how I did over the last 6 months.

JUNE Revenue: $117.50 / Profit: $92.52
JULY Revenue: $520.06 / Profit: $235.66
AUGUST Revenue: $446.77 / Profit: $255.56
SEPTEMBER Revenue: $213.96 / Profit: $62.47
OCTOBER Revenue: $1,594.43 / Profit: $230.35
NOVEMBER Revenue: $487.95 / Profit: $90.38

I obviously can't promise that you'll make more or less than this; keep in mind these figures are based on my own journey. Our lives are all different and I strive to keep myself from comparing.

Scroll down for the November breakdown between TLL (soon to be OYB!) and my Mary Kay business.



November 2015 Earnings:

Sponsored posts: $60.00
E-books and workbooks: $0.00
E-course: $0.00
Coaching: $0.00
Other: $6.74

Total TLL Revenue: $66.74

Personal sales: $421.21
Team commission: $0.00
Other: $0.00

Total MK Revenue: $421.21

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November 2015 Expenses:

Photobucket: $4.99
Dropbox: $9.99
Hootsuite: $29.99
Mailchimp: $10.00

Total TLL Expenses: $54.97

Inventory: $267.59
Transportation: $75.01

Total MK Expenses: $342.60

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(TLL Revenue + MK Revenue) - (TLL Expenses + MK Expenses) = Total Net Profit: $90.38

I worked 108.2 hours in November, which averages out to be 25.3 hours per week or 3.6 hours per day. I always try to work no more than 6 hours per day unless it's launch season.

Any questions? Feel free to reach out, and make sure you get on the VIP list so you don't miss the new website announcement!
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