For the last few years, I have done an annual income report. This year is no different. I really think that transparency is important and I want you all to know that I do make money from blogging (albeit not very much).
This year was a very unexpected year for both page views and top posts. I started this year knowing I wanted to hone in on my niche. That being all the food that we produce ourselves, whether it be from hunting, gardening, or foraging. I knew that this would probably cause a few people to unfollow up, but I’m ok with that. While I love to experiment with cooking indian, thai, and various other foods, I’m not really very good at them, and posting those recipes didn’t really feel right. I think focusing on the stuff we know, that we enjoy the most, that we’ve been doing all our lives is what is going to serve this space the best. I also think that this thought process is the best way to help keep my interest. There wasn’t a time this year, for the first time ever that I was annoyed by my blog, and that’s a good feeling.
It’s also worth mentioning that I had a baby in July. This has had a huge effect on the volume of posts that I publish regularly. I went from publishing 3ish times a week to maybe once a week. I know this also had a direct impact on my views, but let’s be honest. Life stuff comes first.
Another thing I did this year was discontinue my meal planning posts. This was a tough decision, but after 2 years, I was just not into it anymore. These were some of my most viewed posts and drove a lot of traffic to my blog, but these had also become the most annoying and boring posts for me. While this did result in a pretty immediate and significant drop in views, again I am ok with this. This space isn’t just about getting views or making money. It’s my hobby. I do it for enjoyment first.
As you can see in the screenshot above my year started out with a bang that slowly fizzled. This is more than likely due to the changes described above. Again, I’m cool with this because I am finding my blog much more enjoyable and I think that I’m really starting to find my tribe. These are the people that are most like me and want to read what I have to say. I think that’s more important than sheer volume of views.
There are a handful of posts that consistently bring in the vast majority of traffic to my site. Only 1 of these posts were originally posted in 2017. The Best Venison Loin post was updated and re-posted in December of 2017. It was already one of my top performing posts prior to this update.
Enough background. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty over here. The actual income and expense numbers are as follows.
Contributor Work: $1,450.00
Affiliate Sales: $10.22
TOTAL INCOME: $1,460.22
You will notice that last year I had a few more income streams. In an effort to hone in on my niche, and find my groove in blogging again, income was not my focus this year, so I did not accept any sponsored posts. I also stopped participating in a number of income generating affiliations (I don’t know what else to call them). In 2016 I was trying some different things, which while giving me some money did not make me feel quite right so all those ended too. I have a new strategy for generating hopefully more income in 2018, but more on that in a minute. At least I was still able to beat last years number, even if it was only by $90.78. I’m chalking it up to a win and a big learning curve.
Domain/Hosting Fees: $65.17 Read how I do it here.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Ecourse: $197.00
New Computer & Accessories: $519.00
Food Blogger Pro: $279.00
TOTAL EXPENSES: $1,526.17
This year I spent a lot of money on investing in myself. I learned a lot from taking courses, and trying out new products and doing some behind the scenes experimenting. It’s all stuff I should have been doing right along, but never got interested in until now. Despite having just implemented what I learned in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Ecourse the, I have already seen some great results. Unfortunately, most of this was in the final quarter of 2017, so I haven’t been paid out for much. Look for those numbers to (hopefully) start appearing in 2018.
NET INCOME: $-65.95
Yes, I am well aware that is a negative number but if you add in the $286.23 that I closed out 2016 with, I am still up overall by $220.28. It’s pretty rewarding to say that I was able to spend this kind of money on a hobby and not “feel it” so to speak in my personal finances. I mean, I was even able to cover the cost of a big new fancy computer. How cool is that?
Things are changing around here. That much is obvious. This was a year of growth for me personally, professionally, and in the blogosphere. That’s a lot of change. Despite this space not being “profitable” I still think that I am on the winning end of things. Again, this space was always meant to be a hobby, the fact that it pays for itself is a wonderful bonus.
Next year, I do hope that I can create at least a small stream of income from this space. I really want to do more with it, but in order to do that I need to have just a little more money. A goal of mine was to never take money out of my own pocket for this space, so I can only do things in increments as I am able to increase my income. It might be the engineer in me that loves to try out new things like this, but I rather enjoy the challenge of making money form a blog as well. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be selling you stuff all the time, though I am hoping to get some of my own ebooks out into the world sometime soon.
Thanks again to each and every one of you who stop by, leave comments, try recipes, share recipes or even just lurk and scoff at me from the other side of the screen. I see you. Each and every one of you is a part of this community and I am so happy to be a part of it with you.
Thank you so much.