It’s time for the monthly income report.
Each month “The Wife” crunches the numbers on our earnings while I, “The Husband”, puts together a recap of what happened in our online business. A dangerous combo!
As a reminder, this is why we do the income reports:
- Accountability. These will allow us to finally keep track of our total online revenue – something that I’ve been horrible at but seeing improvement. You can go here for all of our previous blog income reports.
- Progress. Now that we have it documented, we’ll be be able to chart our progress as our income increases. (thankfully it has)
- Truth. To show people that you really can make money online and in a non-scammy way.
- Transparency: We want others to see how we do it so that others can do it, too.
What went down in October
Well after a hectic stretch leading up to the Financial Bloggers Conference, things have settled down a bit for the Roses.
We were both running on high octane for a long stretch, traveling to multiple conferences and just being really busy. That’s fun for awhile, but eventually we needed a break.
As of now, we have no conferences lined up for a while. We have plenty of friends heading to New Media Expo in January, but for the time being I think we’re going to pass.
Instead, I’m trying to plan a mommy and daddy getaway (kid free!) for the 1st time in a VERY long time. As I’m writing this, it’s around 20 degrees outside so I’m definitely ready for some fun and sun!
Site Launch – Yeah!
In mid-July I decided that with my book coming out that it was time for a new site design. I had been sitting on the previous design since about the day my site launched in 2008 with a few changes along the way.
In a nutshell, I was long overdue for a new design. Plus, I was wanting to get my site on the Genesis framework and have a theme that is responsive.
This is the result:
I seriously can not express how happy I am with the result. The peeps over at FortySevenMedia.com did much of the heavy lifting. I luckily found Forest Parks from EverydayNomad.com that helped implement the CSS and HTML into Genesis.
He also helped with some last minute tweaks to the site that I wanted. Did I mention that I’m VERY picky when it comes to my site? Designers beware….
I’m still making subtle changes to the site and have been using Crazy Egg to check heatmaps and clicks on my higher traffic posts and pages.
By the way, if you’re not using something like Crazy Egg on your site and you get a decent amount of traffic to your blog, you are totally missing out.
Here’s an example of the heatmap of my homepage. I wanted to make sure that people were clicking on the “I’m in!” button.
Looks like they are – success! I still think I can tweak a few more things to get more clicks. One thing that I may eventually test is taking a new picture where I’m actually looking at my sign up box. Derek Halpern from SocialTriggers.com wrote a good article about that here.
I actually do that in my popup box shown at the bottom of this post thanks to his article.
Anyway, as you can see you can never and should never stop testing on your site. I’m confident that with a few more tweaks, we can increase email subscribers and affiliate revenue. Now I just need to prove myself right….
The Dollars and Roses podcasts continues to be a blast. We’ve had some amazing guests in the past month that we can’t wait to share. We also have at least 20 guests line up so stay tuned.
Right now we’re sticking to a weekly publishing schedule. It would be fun to do more, but we still need time to work on other projects. Plus, I just launched the Good Financial Cents podcast last week. More on that in next months’ income report.
Here’s some of our podcasts from October in case you missed them:
- Holly Johnson replacing her 9-5 income in 11 months
- Carrie Rocha building a 6 figure online business
- How to not look like a blogging newbie
Happy Mommy Box Update
October 1st was the official launch day of Mandy & Natalie’s project called Happy Mommy Box.
To say they KILLED it would be an understatement. I think I mentioned that already last month, but it’s worth mentioning again.
They have currently sold out two months in a row and I don’t look for things to slow down anytime soon. In fact, they’ve been strategizing ways they can accommodate MORE subscribers since so many moms are interested. This could include hiring employees. Watch out.
They had some site and functionality issues the first month they had to work out. It was fun to watch my wife stress to the max. But, I knew they would figure it out. They moved to WordPress and are currently using Woo Commerce which has helped them a ton.
They’ve spent a good portion of their time on brand outreach and marketing. They had some GREAT brands in the November box…including IKEA. Yes, IKEA. And there are more great brands lined up for the months to come.
They also had a huge response on Instagram when the box went out. TONS of mommies were sharing photos of their boxes and all the great items.
Like I said last month, we are not currently including any Happy Mommy Box income in our reports just yet. We may change our minds later, but since Mandy and Natalie are doing this together we decided we didn’t want to disclose it all.
Look for BIG things from these ladies though. They are dynamite together.
Here’s a look at the numbers for October….
Good Financial Cents
- Adsense: $1,571.87
- Adspeed: $1,343.20
- Commission Junction: $913.50
- Link Offers:$226.83
- Media Net: $148.92
- Personal Capital: $400.00
- Consumer Track: $69.00
- Linkshare: $262.50
- YNAB: $6.00
- Total: $4,941.82
Dollars and Roses
- Total: $246.45
Other Niche Sites
- Adsense: $167.84
- Media Net: $37.83
- Main Niche Site Revenue: $10,318.92
- Direct Advertising: $50
- Total: $10,574.59
House of Rose Blog
- BlogHer Ads: $430.34
- Sponsored Posts: $150.00
- Direct Advertising: $200.00
- Adsense: $125.00
- Lijit Media: $108.43
- BlueHost: $630.00
- Total: $1,643.77
- Equifax: $200.00
- Other: $150.00
- Total: $350.00
Total Revenue for October: $17,756.63
Revenue Last Month: $17,848.11
- Difference: –91.48
- October 2012: $13,491.48
- Total for 2012: $115,289.16
- Running Total 2013: $188,900.89
Monthly Fixed Expenses
Many of you have asked what our expenses are each month running our online business.
- Hosting Companies
- AWeber: $130.00
- Article Writers: $240.00
- Unique Article Wizard: $67.00 << I’m discontinuing this service
- Virtual Assistant: $1,000.00
- SEMRush: $69.95
- Fiverr.com: $50.00
- Elance.com: $105.00
- Libsyn $15.00
- GFC design: $1,030.00
- Leadpages: $197.00
- Total: $3,183.95
What Happened in October
It seems that 17 is our lucky number….
That’s 4 months in a row where we’ve made $17k+. Maybe I need to find a roulette table and let it ride on 17? Haha….as soon as I do that is when double zero would hit.
Overall, I’m not complaining. I personally thought we would be putting up higher numbers at this point in the year. The niche is doing well, but as mentioned in last months income report, traffic has been down which I feel will eventually affect revenue.
Traffic has been down on both my blog and my wife’s blog. We’re still putting up solid numbers, but the growth hasn’t been there like in earlier in the year.
Mandy (and Natalie) are doing extremely well with Happy Mommy Box which is not factored in our income report above, so that’s something to consider.
I personally have some big plans for the first of the year which I can’t wait to announce which I also think will increase revenue on GFC. I’ll be announcing that on the next income report. If you want the latest updates, become a fan of GFC on Facebook.
Money Vs. Design
One of the tough decisions I had to make about the GFC site design was whether to include the 728 x 90 ad block in my header. That ad is run through a very profitable CPM ad network that yields me anywhere from $600-$1000 per month (Adspeed above).
Plus it’s easy money. I slap the code onto my site and watch the money role in.
When I showed the site design to my mastermind group, one of the members politely suggested that the ad was very distracting. He also suggested that it took away from what my primary goal was – to get new email subscribers.
Here’s how the original header was going to look:
Here’s what I went with:
Realizing that building a community and letting first time visitors know exactly who I am, I opted to remove the ad block from the home page. I also removed it from my Start Here, About, Resources page and all 5 pages on the landing pages immediately below my feature box.
You’ll still find it on individual blog posts so I won’t be losing out on all the revenue, but a pretty good chunk.
I think long-term I will more than make up the difference.
Popup Box Gone!
Another tough decision I had to make was eliminating the popup box that would automatically appear on my blog. I had it set for a popup box to appear 30 seconds after a new visitor was on my site.
The logic was that if the person had been there for at least that time period, they were finding value with the content and be more inclined to sign up.
I’ve tested in the past whether the popup box really works and it does. After I removed it for a stretch I saw a 50% decrease in email subscribers.
After that test, I immediately put it back.
For the new design I really, really wanted to see if I could go without it. Instead, I’m offering a lead magnet -The Money Dominating Toolkit- as an incentive for people to subscribe.
I also have sign up boxes all over my site including on the blog home page, top of the right sidebar, below each post and page, and also on my book page.
Each sign up box requires the person to click the “I’m In!” or “Join Us” button. Once they click the button they’ll see my new schnazzy sign up box.
The results? Mixed….
The email subs are about exactly what I was getting before. To be honest, I was hoping that the lead magnet would increase the amount of email subs I would have.
I’m going to have to test to see if I put the a popup box on the site to see if that works. I’ve heard a lot of positive reviews from the box above, so I may just use the exact same popup box.
How often do you test stuff on your blog to see what converts?
Until next month….
Thanks again for all your support!