Another month has passed, and it’s time for yet another income report. These reports are currently my favourite part of my blogging routine, because it helps me analyse what has worked, what hasn’t, how my income has changed and all that. I hope that you will find this useful too!
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I will expand a little bit more about this further on, but I feel like August was definitely a month of change: the Google algorithm happened and left me with less traffic than I was expecting, but ironically I also managed to make more money than I’ve previously made.
Because of this new algorithm update I’ve felt a little bit lost in my strategy over the past few weeks: I’m not sure if it would make sense for me to write new, niche articles with the intentions of ranking them on Google, or if I should refine my Pinterest strategy and start writing about topics that are super popular.
These strategies are polar opposites of one another, which has led me to live this month in a state of “I don’t know what I should do next” – not the best place to be.
The conclusion that I came to was that instead of worrying about traffic, I should probably start releasing some of my own digital products, like a lot of other bloggers have done. I have a few ideas, but the first product that I’m working on is my Instagram presets – these are the ones that I use on my personal Instagram feed.
As far as other things in blogging go, I don’t feel like I worked very hard at all in August. I didn’t record the exact number of hours that I worked, but I spent most of the month doing product research and learning about blogging strategies from two courses that I bought – the Six Figure Blogger and Pinterest Traffic Avalanche.
Luckily, most of my revenue on my blog is passive, so the fact that I didn’t create that much content had little to no effect on my income.
Previous Income Reports
Fashion Blog Income Report August 2018
Why I Publish Income Reports
Some of you may be wondering why I want to publish income reports as a fashion and beauty blogger, and that’s a completely legitimate question to ask. Firstly, I know that many of you love reading them.
When I first started blogging I was scouring the Internet for any income reports that I could find – I wanted to know how people were making a living in this online space. I wanted guidance, because I hadn’t made any money myself yet.
I know that many of you fall into the same category, so I want to be as helpful as I can with sharing my strategies. Secondly, making income reports keep me on track with my own finances and analytics. I’m analytical by nature, so I find it very fun to sit down and go through all my stats. This way, it’s easier to see what has been working, what hasn’t, and what I should do next.
Thirdly, I have yet to come across income reports by other fashion or beauty bloggers. Most people who write income reports belong to the “make money online” niche, which is very different from fashion.
I wanted to show my fellow fashion bloggers how I personally run my blog, and any aspiring fashion bloggers that there are more ways to monetise your blog than just sponsorships.
Show Me The Money
Amazon US – $1324 | Amazon has been consistently among my Top 3 revenue sources in blogging. Many of you have asked for me to share my secrets, and I’ve finally listened.
I’m sharing all of my strategies that I use to make up to $2,000/ month with Amazon in my new ebook, How To Make A Living With Amazon Affiliates. It’s going to be released on March 1st, but if you preorder it, you’ll get it for 30% off!
Amazon UK – $210 (£164)
Rewardstyle – $584 (£455)
ShopStyle – $22
Share A Sale – $10
21 Buttons – $1 (lol) I haven’t used this app very actively at all this month, but if you’re new to affiliate marketing, it’s a great place to start. BTW! 21 Buttons is now available in the US – it’s a commission based app just like LiketoKnow.it, except that anyone and everyone can join – there are no requirements. Check it out here.
Total Affiliate Income: $2151 (65% of total income)
Instagram – $760 (Read: How To Make Money On Instagram)
This month I received $760 from two campaigns which for me is good, however one of the campaigns paid me significantly less. I took the campaign because it was with Starbucks, who I love and drink almost every day anyway, so I didn’t really mind.
The other campaign is with Nars, and you can expect to see all the pics on my Instagram very soon!
Total Sponsorships: $760 (23% of total income)
MediaVine (Blog)– $378
Adsense (Youtube) – $34
Total Ad Income: $412 (12% of total income)
Total Overall Income: $3,323 (Net Earnings: $2,602)
Upwork – $108 (Hiring freelancers)
Video Editor – $58
Hosting – $10
Adobe Lightroom – $10
Blogging Courses/Ebooks: $500 ($300 on Six Figure Blogger and $200 on Pinterest Traffic Avalanche) There might be other small expenses which I haven’t accounted for in this income report. Also, taxes haven’t been deducted from the earnings yet.
Total Expenses: $721
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Read These Next:
Right, I know that my expenses were very high for this month. Was is necessary? No. Do I regret it? No.
I have been following Alex and Lauren from Create and Co for quite a few months now and I’m constantly in awe over how successfully they manage to make their blogging business work. At the moment, they are earning over $150,000 per month blogging which is insane.
Naturally, I wanted to learn everything that they have done to make their business grow this fast and this quick, so I watched most of their videos on their Youtube channel that explain how they make their money.
I finally took the plunge and bought the Six Figure Blogger course a few weeks back and I was so impressed by it that I went ahead and bought their Pinterest course too. I haven’t had time to implement the lessons in the course yet, but I am definitely going to do that before I release my next income report.
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August Traffic – How I lost 50% Traffic
So the Google core update happened….
I hate to say it, but August sucked for my blog. This is the first month since January that my traffic actually declined. And the sole reason for that is that Google had a core algorithm update and my rankings suffered.
As you can see, the last day of July I received over 1,000 visitors from Google – the articles that I had written for SEO were starting to rank and I was feeling jolly good about it. Then, the next day, my visits from Google suddenly dropped by 100, the day after, they dropped another 150.
Slowly, they reached the point where they are now: at around 500 visitors from Google per day. That’s a 50% decrease in traffic from Google!
At first, I hadn’t fully realised what had happened, and I was hoping that the traffic would come back. It hasn’t. Apparently, Google had a major algorithm update on the 1st of August that caused many websites in the health and medical niches to drop in rankings.
However, as you may know, my fashion and beauty blog is far from that, so why did my website drop? Unfortunately, I can’t provide you with any answers to that question yet. I’m doing my best to understand why it has happened, and hopefully I’ll be able to regain my positions.
Any advise on this matter would be greatly appreciated – please do let me know about any insights in the comments! (So far, I’ve only upgraded my website to have SSL, which it didn’t have before.)
The silver lining in this situation is that my Pinterest traffic has taken off a little bit – it’s now averaging at about 400 visits per day, which is a great improvement from last month (100% increase). The final thing that I want to mention about Google’s core update is that unless I can get my rankings back, I need to completely change my blogging strategy, which sucks. I’m considering starting to use Pinterest as my main source of traffic from now on, which also explains why I went ahead and purchased the Pinterest Traffic Avalanche course. Writing articles for Pinterest and writing articles for Google are completely different, so I feel as if I was back in square one when it comes to brainstorming article ideas.
What Worked In August
I Increased My Income By 90 times On One Link (Switch To RewardStyle!)
I have been using both ShopStyle and RewardStyle for about a year now, and ShopStyle used to be my default affiliate program to turn to. However, after looking at my analytics, I noticed that I was making constant sales through a specific product that I linked to about 4 months ago on my Youtube, so I decided to switch that link to a RewardStyle link.
After two weeks, my earnings on that link shot from $1.30 to $116 per month! If you’re not familiar with how these platforms work, let me explain. ShopStyle pays its affiliate a flat fee per click, which is usually 2-5 cents per click.
How many products you sell doesn’t really matter, nor does the price of the products matter. On the other hand, RewardStyle pays you a commission on whatever sales you generate for them. What’s worth mentioning is that you will be paid a percentage of everything that a customer buys through your link, not just the product that you’ve linked to.
This is something that I didn’t know when I started using there networks, and it makes all the difference in the world when choosing between these platforms. For example, I’ve received up to $120 commission on a single order on RewardStyle, because of all the items in that order count towards my commission.
Imagine if I had linked to that retailer on my ShopStyle account – I would’ve only been paid 2 cents for my efforts and left so much money on the table!
I’m a 100% confident that I’ve missed out on a lot of money by using ShopStyle, so I generally can’t recommend it anymore. I won’t be adding any new links from my ShopStyle account, and I will do my best to update any links that I have now to RewardStyle links.
(You will probably still see ShopStyle in my income report though, as I won’t be able to change all of the thoussands of links that I have!) If there’s anyone out there who uses both ShopStyle and RewardStyle, I hiiiiighly encourage you to switch to RewardStyle.
Writing About Beauty
One of my articles about beauty really took off on Pinterest and it’s now the most popular article on my blog by a mile. Also, there were two articles that I wrote a while back, and that suddenly became very popular on my blog.
This just goes to show that you can’t always expect immediate results – write as much as you can, market the articles well, and let the rest sort itself out.
I also believe that I was able to increase my affiliate earnings despite the decline in traffic because of this article: beauty products are more evergreen than fashion articles, and sometimes the fashion items that I link to will run out of stock. In the case of beauty, this almost never happens.
What Didn’t Work In August
If you’ve read my previous income reports you may remember that I was on the fence about YouTube for the past few months – the Adsense money is practically peanuts, but the videos convert well into sales and you can ask for more money per sponsored content.
So, last month I went ahead and hired a video editor. He’s a lovely chap, very professional and very affordable. However, looking at my figures it makes no sense for me to continue with YouTube at the moment.
I would love to be earning six figures in a years time, and I know that it will not happen through Youtube. In August, Youtube brought me in 1% of my income, but took away at least 5 days of my work week – I had to plan videos, shop outfits, film videos and make final edits to my videos.
It would be fine if I enjoyed doing it, but at the moment I sadly don’t. So, for the moment, I won’t be continuing with regular YouTube videos.
Next Steps & Goals
My Own Products
Digital products are a huge source of revenue for bloggers, and I’ve finally decided that it’s about time for me to create some too.
As my first product, I’m going to release my own Lightroom Presets, because many people who follow me on Instagram have been asking about these. (Check out my pictures here! )
As for the next product, I’m not sure what I will go for yet. If there’s anything that you would like to see from me, let me know in the comments!
As part of creating my own products, I want to learn how to do email marketing properly. This was emphasised in the Six Figure Blogger course, and they also gave some amazing templates to work with. I can’t wait to get started!
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