I have always loved reflecting back at the end of the year, listing out all the things that worked and things that didn’t, so I can plan for a better coming year.
This year, I thought I would do a reflect and planning here on the blog about my blogging business.
Yes. I am calling it a business now.
You’ll understand why in a while.
But before I go deep into that, I do want to make a little clearance first onto why I decide to write this here and share them with you.
Why am I reporting publicly my blog growth and income.
#1 To keep myself accountable.
yes you… have been my best accountable partner. and the best support I have for this growing blog.
I thank you so much for being so. Thank you for coming to this blog and to read what I have here.
You make me more productive. You bring more joy to my life. This blogging + quilting life has bring me a lot of joy and gave me space to be more creative and learn.
I hope I did the same to you too and will continue to inspire you in some way.
#2 To learn from my mistakes, and to fuel my goals
By reporting it this way, I am forcing myself to write and capture the detail things I do for the blog.
I want to learn what works and what didn’t so that I can be of better serving to others and to make better leverage of my time.
If I write goals and reflect on them, I will eventually make them much clearer and hopefully to achieve them.
It is not a selfish act though, rather I would want you to be a part of this growing business with me.
I love having you around, and to be talking to you like this, seems like we are best friend split apart, yet connected in this world of blogging under The Little Mushroom Cap. 🙂
Thank you dear friend. I do hope you’ll continue to support me in this blogging/quilting business of mine.
#3 To be more transparent
I love transparent businesses, where I get to learn more about behind the scene of a business, and get to know more of the person behind the business.
Hence, I hope to start my little business on the right foot.
Being transparent means that I will report how my progress are, my income reports and strategies or things I have implemented that worked or failed in my quilt blogging business here at TLMC.
So, here is my first review and income report. Hopefully it will be a great start to something new I am testing out here.
I may not report as often yet, since I am fairly new.
And, I am doing this as a side hustle. Hence my growth would not be as fast as it would be if it were my full-time job.
Eitherway, I do have big dreams and I will continue chasing them.
#4 To show others that it is possible to make money with a blog
With the details that comes with the transparent reports that I am to reveal, I do hope to inspire others to start making a side income with their passion too.
I fell in love with quilting in 2011, and have never thought I could actually make money by blogging about it.
Not until recently, I upgraded my knowledge about blogging that I knew that this was actually possible.
To make money blogging.
To see that I could earn enough to sustain the blog and even to make a side income was inspiring.
Of course, making money from blogging is not the only reason why I blog, but knowing that it can be sustainable really keeps me motivated.
I am not earning as much yet, but I am happy to report, that I now can pay my hosting, email services and some little fabric purchase with the money I earn.
I am pretty sure most bigger quilt bloggers are earning well, and I have always wished that I knew the details of that to be inspired by.
For that reason,
I will go into details in my income report, to allow others to understand what goes behind the blogging business.
TLMC Blog 2017 in review
I started back this blog early this year, February 2017 after being quiet for almost a year and a half.
I was already on my own domain and was self-hosted before by the name of littlemushroomcap.com, but I decided not to renew it last year due to money constraint and low interest in blogging.
[if you don’t know what it means by self-hosting – it means you are blogging on your own domain , usually with a .com at the end, and you pay monthly hosting like about 3.95/month from bluehost. I gives you way more flexibility and allows more income generation]
Little that I know that by not renewing it, I couldn’t reclaim the domain name.
So, I had to change my domain to thelittlemushroomcap.com instead.
Little change, cause I really like the name and I could not think of a new name.
I was determined to make it work this time.
Partly because I really do love blogging.
When I went quiet, I was still active on Instagram.
And at the time, I thought I might just need Instagram and not a blog.
In fact I was like, blogging is dead to me. I no longer read them, and why would I write them then?
But soon after, I find that it was so hard to share more than just a pretty photo on Instagram.
and, I crave reading details and learning techniques through blogs.
Hence, I went back to reading them and once again I was hooked on blogs. And I was determined, that I wanted to do the same with my quilting journey.
I want to share more than just a pretty photo.
I want to share what I learn, how I do it, keep a record of my quilting projects and journey.
I also wanted to create a resource place where other quilters and sewist get more info, printables and inspiration from.
I want it to available anytime and easy to search for.
Hence blogging fits all of that.
and I am happy to report, 2017 has got that covered. I did get blogging back on track, just how I wanted it.
In fact, I wanted more and I would continue to make it grow from now on.
[image related: I am still quilting my DWR quilt – here is a post for tips to make DWR yourself]
Here is my income report for the last quarter.
Quarter Year Income report for a quilt blog
Affiliate income: $337.68
Ads Income: $69.05 (only have started Google Adsense in Nov, so this is basically for two month instead of quarter)
Patterns sales: $20(I have no new patterns and no promotion is done this quarter)
Total incomes: $426.73
(income do not generally mean that I have earned the money in the bank, but this is what is earned during the quarter inside the affiliate/ad account. Usually, they get in the bank a few month later)
(affiliate links provided in this post. Please find my full disclosure here)
Payhip (where I place my pdf pattern for sale), percentage of sale deduction: -$0.50
I am not including courses as my expenses yet, instead, as my investment and currently, it is at considered as my own personal expense, not my business.
Total Expenses: -137.30
Profit: $289.43 , which makes roughly about $96.50/month.
Since my blog bussiness is basically a work in progress, I am not so down about the fact that the blog make little profit as opposed to the worked I have put into it. Blog works like that. They take time to really comes around.
Besides, I love blogging and inpiring others that it makes me happy even to make very little.
But I do have to take notes every now and then on what has been working and what not, so I know where to improve.
Here I list of what I have found worked and not in the past few months.
#1 Learning about blogging
Since I had to literally start over my blog, I went deep into researching about blogging and stumbled upon the opportunity to realise that I could make money blogging.
That is when everything changed. I was fascinated by the fact that it could actually be worth my time to blog, as it would make an income right?
Did I tell you that blogging consumes so much time?
It does. So, making money out of it makes sense to me.
I decided to invest myself into deep learning how to build a great blog that can serve and benefit people while making some extra money worth for my time spent on blogging. And that totally had worked. I learned a tons! and still learning.
Here are some of the courses that I took to bring my blog to the next level.
- Elite Blog Academy – my biggest investment to the blog biz (it cost a lot but was a game changer))
- Tasha’s Affiliate Marketing Course which got me to learn how to make money as an affiliate to the things I love myself, it’s like the best of both worlds. I get to share with my audience the things I love to use and would highly recommend. And I get paid for it at NO cost to my audience.
- and some other ones I bought together in the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit 2017
From all of these courses combined,
I have increased my blog pageviews from 602 in February to 16, 295 in December. That is growth for certain.
I have diversified my blogging income to include affiliate income and ads income.
Previously I had sold my patterns and gain an income for that, but it was inconsistent and most of the month my income was zero. Yes Zilch.
That is why I never thought I could make an income blogging.
However, ever since I implemented some of the things I learned from the courses I was to be able to gain a growing income from my blog. This allows me to see the potential of the blog growing bigger.
I am not earning much just yet partly due to my slow implementing strategies and life, but happy to report it has been more consistent than it had ever been. And consistent is key. Slow progress adds up.
My income for the last quarter year of 2017 is within this post for a public record (you can scroll back up to read that if you missed it.)
#2 Investing on an email service provider
This year I decided to finally invest on an email service provider.
Well, actually, I didn’t really know it exist until I went through researching about blogging.
Yes, it was a lot of learning curve this year.
I settled in with Mailer Lite. It is FREE to start with, so, I had zero risk starting that.
Get a $20 credit here if you want to try it out too. But again, it’s free for subscribers below 1000.
It basically takes care of all the emails of my subscribers and make sure they are in great care.
The email service provider also makes it so much easier for me to send out TLMC Fairy newsletter and free resources to my subscribers.
#3 Having a weekly newsletter
I recently shifted to a weekly newsletter and send my subscribers some news, links or fun things weekly every Monday or Tuesday.
I love that. I love being able to connect more with you. It makes me feel like I am having a coffee chat with a close friend who literally understand why I am all geeky about all quilting and fabric related things.
I hope you liked that too though… by the response I get, you do right? 🙂 Love you.
If you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter, please do so below.
I would love to connect with you and share with you other awesome things that is not shared over on the blog.
What hasn’t worked?
#1 keeping to a blog schedule
While I know keeping to a blog schedule is a MUST in order to keep my blog going, I have yet to find my groove to sustain it. Since I am working on my blog part-time and I still need to find time to sew in order to blog about it, I sometime find it a struggle to keep it perfectly scheduled.
Often time, I miss a week without blogging. 🙁
To take action: Batch Working. I hope that will change to better this 2018 as I am getting more used to batch working.
#2 Free Email Courses
I made a couple of free courses this year such as the feather quilting course and the free motion quilting course. I have a feel that they are not working as much as I needed them to be, as they were too complicated. I need to plan for a much simpler course so that readers can really take action and follow along. Because I really do want to help and give more to my readers as I am so very thankful to have them.
Yes, you, I am so thankful to have you. 🙂 and I want to help you. So your feedback on any of the course really does matter.
But anyway, based on my interpretation so far, I found that both of the courses were too much of a homework and I need to tweak them to give ease so that it will be more actionable. This is to ensure that my readers are getting the benefit of the course rather than being a burden for them.
To take action: Tweak Free Email course to be more actionable.
#3 Too much time wasted browsing
Because of my new love for learning about blogging, I now spend more time browsing for more, more and more inspiration. Both, inspiration for blogging and quilting. Two love, means double time, …or probably tripled.
Whatever it is, I think most of the time this was unnecessary and rather was used to feed my procrastination.
I am going to set a specific time only for browsing and I want to make sure that my time are spent wisely and intentionally this coming year. Hopefully, that will improve 🙂
To take action: Intentional time spending, set timer and set time for pinterest/browsing.
I am looking towards improving more this year to provide more information and goodies for my readers. And of course, to attract more readers.
Goals for 2018:
- Increase pageviews to 30K per month.
- Increase Newsletter Subscriber to 8K this year! Which is double of my current one. Thank you for subscribing all of you.. I will continue to provide more fun things and FREE things to my newsletter subscribers.
- Post more FREE tutorials: 12 tutorials minimum this year.
- Blogpost in archive reach 350 post! which means another 100 more new post this year! which should mean I should blog at least 2-3 times a week.
- Record more videos – plan for a consistent sew with me videos or a vlog. Weekly vlog at least once a month
- More FREE printables and E-courses. 12 FREE printables, 2 E-courses
- Release 5 patterns/ebook and a super awesome FMQ course
- Income goal this year: to up my monthly income by at least about another $300.
These are big goals here for me, but with small steps, I am positively moving towards it. And of course with all of your loving support and love. THANK YOU! So, let’s hope we make this 2018 the best year for all of us yea?
Well I guess that is it for a lengthy review. Thank you for reading all the way through.
Do you blog? If you do, what are your goals this year?
If you are interested in creating your own blog, get your self self-hosted. I wish I would have done so sooner.