Holy cow you guys, how is it September already? It feels like summer just started, and now there are already Christmas decorations at Target. I have to admit, I kind of love it. So much has happened in the past 30 days, both on the blog and in my personal life! First off… I moved!! To Las Vegas!! How confusing is that? A blog called My SoCal Style, about Disney parks, written by a girl living in Las Vegas. Hmmm. Well I have to admit, in hindsight I probably should have been a bit pickier about my name here, but c’est la vie because I’m not changing it now. As many of you know, my boyfriend is in the Navy and has been stationed in Las Vegas since October of 2016. We’ve been making it work with frequent road trips back and forth, but it really became a hassle. After spending so much time in Vegas we came to appreciate the culture and everything there was to do, not to mention housing is C.H.E.A.P. CHEAP! Especially compared to San Diego. So, we bought a house and became Vegans……Las Vegans…Vegasans? Vegasian? Whatever, we live in Las Vegas now.Las Vegans...Vegasans? Vegasians? Whatever this chick is hilarious! Click To Tweet
What does this mean for My SoCal Style?! I will still be your favorite place to get the best park tips and latest Disney news, I’ll just have to outsource some of my picture taking. We’re still only a few hours away though, so we’ll be making the trip pretty often. (Just don’t tell my boyfriend that, he thinks he’s safe now. MUAHAHAHAHAHA!). There will also be tons of new products coming to the Etsy store soon, because I will actually have a dedicated little space in the house to work on stuff!! The bad news is that I now have to find a job, so definitely click on some ads and buy some stuff from my shop so that I can eat. 🙂
So, How was the Business in August?
I set 3 goals for the month of August; 1 financial, 1 personal, and 1 for site traffic.
- Reach 7,000 page views for the month.
- I did it!! When I set this goal I actually thought that it was a little lofty, as it mean nearly doubling my traffic from last month. But, I’m happy to say that I hit my goal on the 18th. Unfortunately, traffic started to dwindle after that. I went from 500 page views a day to around 100. I also saw a substantial drop in my Pinterest analytics, even though I hadn’t changed anything I was doing. I’ve heard rumors recently about changes to the Pinterest algorithm, so I’m working to re-optimize my pins, but haven’t seen a rebound just yet. If you’ve heard anything about this change, please help a girl out.
- Send 5 e-mail Blasts
- Okay, so I didn’t technically hit this one since I only sent 3. But I’m still counting. First off, I wasn’t looking at a calendar when I made this goal or I would have realized there are only 4 Fridays in the month, which is when I send out my blasts. Second of all, I would’ve had 4 except that MailChimp flagged my account as spam when I tried to send my first campaign. It then took over a week of my near constant nagging to actually get a response. Even then, they wouldn’t tell me why I’d been flagged just that it shouldn’t happen again. I’m on the look out for a new platform, simply because I can’t stand the lack of transparency.
- Positive Cash Flow
- Hell to the Yeah!! I not only was in the green, I made over $50 in August!! This was completely unexpected, but made me so happy. It also let me see that this is a totally scalable business, but it will take work to make it grow. And that is a-okay, because I’m hungry to make it happen.
How I Made $55.54 Last Month
I utilized 2 revenue streams last month, ads and products. I did rejoin the Amazon Affiliates program, but I haven’t promoted for them much and as a result did not earn anything. I’m also registered on CJ and Share-A-Sale, but most of their clients want you to have 10,000 or more page views per month. Note to self, make affiliate marketing a September goal.
- Ad Revenue: $16.93
- Products: $38.61
- Etsy Planners: $38.61
- Etsy Ears: $0.00
- At the end of August my traffic on Etsy exploded! It was ridiculous, 200-300 views per day but then barely 100 views on my blog. So frustrating!! That being said, I only converted about .07% of that traffic into sales. Also frustrating. I think I’ve got 2 problems here. 1) Minnie Ears is such a saturated market, unless there is something really unique about them it’s difficult to make a sale and 2) I don’t think many people understand the purpose of a vacation planner printable and/or expect it to be free.
- I’m not worried about Ears sales, because I just do that for fun. If they sell, rad. If they don’t, well then I’ll probably need to buy a display case. The Ultimate Planner though, I would really like to be a big mover. I think I may write up a post, or series of posts, that goes over each step in the planning process and explains how to use the document. I could give away a couple pages of the planner, which might entice people enough to buy the whole thing. We’ll see.
- Blue Host: $4.95
- Once again, Blue Host is my only expense. However, my credits at Tailwind are gone so I’ll need to decide soon if it’s worth the $15 per month. I also have been scheduling social media in the platforms native schedulers; later (free), tweet deck, and Facebook publisher – which is enough to make me go crazy. I’ve conjured up so many excel sheets to try and streamline the schedule processing, I lost count. I experimented with Drum Up in August, but I really don’t know if I can bring myself to pay $15 a month for a scheduler. Especially when it limits me to (10) posts per day, I shoot for 17 – 20 tweets per day. I’m open to suggestions, if anyone wants to point me in a better direction.
- Blue Host: $4.95
Goals for September
My main objective for September should probably be un-packing all the boxes that are currently crowding my living room, but that’s any fun. Instead I’m going to focusing on fixing some of the problems that popped up in August.
- 10,000 page views
- I need to get to 10,000 so that I can start being approved as an affiliate for some of the larger companies. I would love to put together a Christmas shopping guide, but at this point it will just be a list of stuff on Amazon. Hopefully updating my pins will re optimize them for Pinterest and drive my traffic back up, if not you’ll find me huddled around my computer screen with a coffee IV until figure out what the hell happened.
- Disney Vacation Planning Series/Posts
- I think that this will work well as a marketing strategy, and double as a new freebie for newsletter subscribers. It’s not really the best time to fill up the site with this kind of information though, since there is so much holidays related content that I want to post. At the very least I want to get this series written, but I may post in conjunction with my normal weekly posts or hold on to it until after the first of the year.
- $100 in Revenue
- This would have be nearly doubling my revenue from August. But people love to spend money during the 4th quarter, so I think it’s do-able. I’ve got several Halloween products I’ll be launching in the shop, along with a few DIY’s that contain affiliate links, that are slated to all come out this month.
That’s a Wrap
August was a good month. I struggled, mentally, coming to terms with my plummeting traffic in the last few weeks. I don’t do well when things don’t work the way that I planned, and it usually makes me want to give up. So, when my traffic graph started to look like a cliff diving trajectory I was more than a little discouraged. I hadn’t done anything different that would explain the change and it drove me crazy to know there was nothing I could do to change it. I started to doubt myself thinking that maybe what I was writing just wasn’t that good. But if it was good enough to read last week it shouldn’t suddenly be terrible now. There are millions of people on the internet, so there’s no way that everyone has read all of my articles yet. At the end of the day, I can only do so much and hope for the best. It’s not worth loosing anymore sleep, or tears, over.
How was your last month of online income? Did you meet all your goals? Want to start a betting pool on when I’ll finally find my favorite PJ’s in the giant mess of boxes? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. They’re black Star Wars PJ’s if that impacts your bet at all.