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This December 2019 traffic & income report marks the official 6-month mark of Cozy Simple Calm! Yay! I’ve made it half of a year, and I’ve gotta say, that time has FLOWN by. So it’s time to check-in and see how the past 6 months have been.
Why am I sharing something so personal?
I’ve decided to share my income and progress reports for a few reasons. First, reading other income reports was a HUGE motivator for me during the planning and building stages. Doing something completely new can be scary and overwhelming, so it was inspiring to see other people out there making it work.
Second, I’m using this as a record of my own progress. It can be difficult to see growth and change when you’re in the middle of it, so I want to be able to look back at these reports to see where I was and also get a clearer picture of where I’m going. It will help me to stay on track with my goals and fix any problems as I notice them.
Just a note – I’ll be sharing any income as it’s EARNED, not as it’s paid out, because the payout times can vary so much. It seems more accurate to show how what I’m doing right now is working, instead of trying to remember what I was focusing on 30-90 days ago.
I’ll also only be sharing income that came directly from this website. I have several other jobs right now and do a little freelance work, but I’m not including any of that income here. I want to show exactly and only what this website is earning.
Cozy Simple Calm has been live for 6 months! I can’t even believe it’s been that long. And while it’s a lot of fun, blogging is a grind. It’s a lot of work, a lot of adjusting and readjusting, a lot of learning about terms I’ve never heard of before I jumped into this world. But so far, it’s totally worth it! I’m loving (almost) every minute of this and I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months bring. (I have some pretty big plans…shhh…)
So how have the first 6 months gone? Overall, pretty well. There have been some ups, and some downs, and some “I’m frustrated and I can’t even deal with this problem right now” moments. But there is growth and promise!
Let’s talk numbers – during the first 6 months, I had 5998 visitors and 7976 pageviews. My Instagram following has almost doubled, my Pinterest followers have tripled, my Facebook followers have grown by almost 1000%! That’s a lot of growth!
That said, I haven’t actually earned any money…yet. Not technically. I’ve earned a total of $19.54 during these first 6 months, but I haven’t hit the payout threshold for any of those earnings. So while it’s there, it has yet to hit my bank account. One day…
My goal is to make this blog my full-time job, and I have plans to make that happen. But the first 6 months have all been about building a foundation. Income will come in due time…
Want to see how each month went? Check out the rest of my reports here:
December 2019 Monthly Summary:
December was a pretty good month! I got a lot accomplished and, for the most part, stayed on schedule during a normally busy time of year. My traffic was back up, I got quite a bit of writing done, and I refocused on a few things that had been a little neglected.
December traffic report:
From December 1st through December 31st, I had 1803 pageviews (compared to 984 in November). I didn’t quite hit my goal of 2000 pageviews for the month, but I was close!
I’m aiming bigger next month, so we’ll see how it goes in about 30 days
December Income report:
I stuck with my goal of making $10 for the month. And once again, I didn’t. I was hoping to do a little more affiliate promotion for the Christmas shopping season, but since this was my first Christmas as an active blogger, I wasn’t quite sure how keeping up with everything during the holidays would work out. So I decided to pull back a little bit and just focus on content this month. While December wasn’t my first $10 month, I still made a little bit.
Google AdSense – $4.43
Total income for December 2019 – $4.43
Since I’ve been working on this project for so long, I’m only going to include expenses as they are billed. Several things, like my hosting through Bluehost, are paid annually. But I do have a few monthly expenses at this point.
Most of my expenses this month were the normal monthly expenses for programs and services I use to promote and run Cozy Simple Calm.
In December, I paid for:
Tailwind for both Pinterest & Instagram scheduling, plus boost for extra tribe submissions – $44.97
Canva Pro for creating graphics – $12.95
ConvertKit for my email list – $29.00
Depositphotos membership – $29.00
Milotree pop-up – $9.00
And one new one – I joined a membership course to help me dial in on a few things I was struggling with – $79
I expect to talk a little bit more about it later, but since I joined late in the month, I haven’t really had a chance to dig into it yet.
Total expenses for December 2019 – $203.92
December Goals Recap:
I strongly believe in goal setting. It gives me something to aim for and also a tangible way to see if I’m progressing or just standing still. And this month, I met almost ALL of my goals! Yay!
Here’s how I did on my December goals:
Write 8 posts – 4 for December, 4 for January – Failed, but wrote 6 total
Make first $10 – Failed, $4.43
Pinterest views goal: 1.5m – Success! 1.8m
Pinterest followers goal: 600 – Success! 631
Instagram followers goal: 2100 – Success! 2106
Facebook followers goal: 125 – Success! 144
Monthly traffic goal: 2000 pageviews – Failed, 1803
Subscribers goal: 25 – Failed, 23
Goals for January:
I’m so excited for 2020 that I can hardly stand it! And January is the first month, so I plan to make it count. I’ve set some pretty lofty goals this month to push myself a little bit, so let’s see what happens!
Here are the goals I’ve set for January:
Write 2 posts per week, publish 1
Start working on a digital product
Make first $10
Pinterest views goal: 2.3m
Pinterest followers goal: 675
Instagram followers goal: 2250
Facebook followers goal: 200
Monthly traffic goal: 3000 pageviews
Subscribers goal: 25
Resources I am using:
If you’re reading income reports, there’s a good chance you have a blog or are considering starting one. That’s why I’m including a list of resources that I’m using on this adventure since I found this info SO helpful when I was reading (devouring) other income reports.
Create & Go Courses:
After toying with starting a blog for a long time, but getting buried in ALL the info that was available, I decided I needed a little help breaking everything down. So I made the decision to invest in the idea and bought the Build and Launch Your Blog course. It was a great investment! Alex and Lauren give a good step-by-step on how to get started, as well as their own experiences of what did and didn’t work for them along the way. Alex and Lauren at Create & Go have since restructured their courses. Build and Launch Your Blog and Make Money Blogging for Beginners are now one big comprehensive course called Launch Your Blog Biz! This is fantastic news, because this single course now has all the information you need to get started.
There are a lot of hosting options out there, but I decided to go with Bluehost. It’s cost-effective and their support has been fantastic anytime I’ve run into an issue or even just had a question. It breaks down to $3.95 a month, so it’s pretty cost-effective too!
I actually use Squarespace for one of my jobs, so I was a little torn when I was deciding what to use for my own website. I decided to give WordPress a shot and I feel like I made the right decision! For my needs, WordPress is easier to use and customize. There was a little bit of a learning curve at the beginning, but that’s all part of the process.
Divi theme from Elegant Themes:
Again, there are SO many theme options out there, but after doing a little research and reading LOTS of reviews, I decided to go with the Divi theme from Elegant Themes. Again, there’s a little bit of a learning curve, but hey, I was already learning everything else, so why not? They offer training videos for everything you could possibly need and their support has also been fantastic.
The Legal Bundle:
Since I wanted to do this the right way from the start, I knew I would need all the necessary legal pages from the very beginning. And frankly, that was a huge roadblock for me. I’m not a lawyer. I had no idea where to even start. I was anticipating So. Much. Research. Then I found The Legal Bundle. Amira IS a lawyer and The Legal Bundle is exactly what I needed. HUGE time saver! (And I know it’s done correctly!)
ConvertKit is so easy to use! I have used several other email service providers throughout the years and ConvertKit is hands-down my favorite. I’m not doing a whole lot with my tiny email list yet, but ConvertKit is making the emails I DO send soooo simple.
I would be lost without Tailwind. I use it to schedule both Pinterest and Instagram each week. Instead of spending tons of time each day pinning to Pinterest and posting on Instagram, I can set up my queue for the week and move on to other tasks! Tailwind is also approved by Pinterest and they have features to help keep you out of “Pinterest jail”.
Pinteresting Strategies course:
I gave this quick little course a shot and I’ve been implementing some of these strategies. And I’ve definitely seen some results from it!
I’ve been happily using Pixabay to find photos for my graphics since the beginning. But every now and then, I wouldn’t be able to find the right image…or when I found it, I noticed that it was everywhere! Everyone was using those same images. One thing I learned in the Pinteresting Strategies course is that other bloggers have had better luck using paid stock photos (or original photos, but I take terrible pictures) for their pins, for a variety of reasons. So I decided to try Depositphotos out for a month or two. I’ll keep you posted on the results of this little test, but I’m loving the selection I have available now! $29 per month for 30 images seemed pretty reasonable, especially compared to other paid stock photo sites I’ve considered.
Waaaay back, when I was just toying with the idea of starting a blog, graphics were one of my biggest concerns. I’m not a designer. I don’t have Photoshop…I don’t know how to use Photoshop! Does everyone have Photoshop? Or do they just hire a graphic designer? And then I found Canva…which is amazing. I can create all the graphics I need, easily They even have a free version! I quickly upgraded to the paid version for $12.95 a month, because some of the extra features were so worth it. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s SO worth looking into.
I had mixed feelings about Milotree since I hate visiting sites full of pop-ups, but this one is cute, customizable, and fairly unobtrusive. (You can even set it not to come back for repeat visitors for a specific amount of time.) It just shows up to direct readers to my Instagram, Pinterest, and email list. I haven’t seen HUGE growth from it, but I do get new followers for both social accounts – so for now, I’m keeping it!
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course:
Since affiliates are my next focus area, I decided to go ahead and dive into the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. I haven’t implemented a lot yet, but definitely useful info! A lot of reviews I read listed this as a “con”, but I personally LOVED the fact that it wasn’t a video course. I learn better by reading.