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I’m baaaaaaack! After four months of maternity leave with my new daughter, Gemma Mason (born May 2020), I am back at work with so much exciting news to share.
Last time I took a maternity leave, I earned $58,000 from my blog. And truly, I thought that was winning the lottery, hitting the jackpot, the best it could ever be. But the second time around, I was able to manifest an even better scenario: $135,000 in 4 months (April-July 2020), during a pandemic and social justice awakening, while I snuggled my new babe and played with my toddler (Jackson will be 2 next month!).
Now a few things were different this time around (like, ummm…. we weren’t allowed to leave the house), and I did end up working a teeny bit during this leave. Basically, I would attend our team meeting on Monday mornings to check in with my amazing employees and stay on top of what was happening in the business, and I also attended weekly mastermind calls and a few other meetings. I handed off most of my emails, but still responded to a few priority messages, and I recorded a couple podcast episodes because when Amy Porterfield agrees to an interview, YOU SAY YES!
But all things considered, I essentially took as much time off as a self-employed business owner with employees can, and spent maximum time at home with my family… AND still made over six-figures!!! Here’s how I did it:
A quick disclaimer before we get into it:
Please know, the goal of these income reports is not to brag or show off or pat myself on the back (though it’s always a good idea to celebrate your own successes, too!). Rather, my goal with these income reports is three-fold:
I’ve been self-employed for nearly a decade at this point, but since I began blogging full-time in January of 2017, my life has exponentially improved.
I’m finally writing the stories that I want to tell, I’m finally helping others to live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives, and I’m doing it ALL on my own terms.
I’m so proud and happy to report that life is so much better now that I’m truly my own boss and a full-time blogger. I look forward to each and every day–I wake up excited to work, I’m always learning something new and I love the challenge of running your own business, constantly coming up with new ways to monetize and help people, simultaneously.
Alright, enough talk. Let’s take a look at the numbers.
I’ve changed up how I report my expenses a bit here to streamline and simplify. Instead of listing out the exact expenses for each item, I’m just going to list out some of my favorite resources and services that I use every month to help me keep the blog up, running and profitable.
Whew! I know that’s a lot to take in. One of the things I hope people will takeaway from these reports is just how much work, energy, thought and heart goes into running a blog. It’s not just as simple as slapping up a few words and an iphone photo and pressing publish.
Before we get into the details, I also wanted to share my traffic totals for Maternity Leave (May through July 2020).
Note: This screenshot comes from my dashboard in Active Campaign.
This RPM is just for Root + Revel, so I am only counting the income my lifestyle blog brought in and the pageviews that site specifically received, and excluding my course income and pageviews to katekordsmeier.com.
Note: RPM stands for Revenue Per Mille, or the revenue earned per 1,000 pageviews. When you look at RPM, you put the focus on optimizing your revenue as efficiently as possible, rather than just getting the most people to your site. For example, a site with 100,000 pageviews and a $1 RPM makes $100, while a site with 20,000 pageviews and a $10 RPM makes $200. This is good news because it means you don’t have to have TONS of traffic to make a great income. In fact, when you niche down and focus on providing as much value as possible to your current audience, you earn more money.
How I Prepared for Self-Employed Parental Leave
I won’t lie–preparing for extended time off when you are the boss and manage a team of people is not easy. And I also couldn’t have taken this time away and earned what I did without my team (Sarah and Mara, you make my life infinitely better!). And a team of people may not be in the cards for you. That’s okay–remember I earned $58,000 last maternity leave with just a part-time VA to help me!
That being said, there are some strategic business ideas that we implemented to keep our revenue up during this time and I want to share those below:
Goals for the Rest of 2020
I officially came back to work the first week of August and I have to say, though there have been some overwhelming moments as I’m getting caught up, I’m coming back newly energized, motivated and so excited for everything the rest of 2020 has in store.
Life looks a bit different these days–not only do I have 2 kids, but they are both at home with Matt and I for the foreseeable future due to COVID. So with the exception of some help with Jackson from my mom, we have no childcare and way fewer hours to get work done. But I am surrendering to this rebirth and opening myself up to all of the possibilities this time can bring to my family and my business.
That means I’m relying on my team now more than ever–and we’re growing. I hired a new FB Ads manager who is crushing it! I hired a Pinterest manager to help us create and grow our presence on that platform and drive more traffic to KK. And we’re currently hiring our first full-time virtual assistant. I hope to also add an affiliate manager to our team (know anyone?) and potentially a social media manager and publicist. We’ll see. I’m putting it out into the Universe and patiently awaiting what comes next. I am in receiving mode these days, inviting abundance and joy and ease into my life.
In fact, I have this sticky note on my computer right now–it says “How good can it get? And what if it was easy?”
Tactically speaking, here are my goals for the rest of the year:
Please know, I am keenly aware that I have the flexibility, freedom and finances to work on this blog as my full-time job because of YOU–dear reader, sharer, Pinner, commenter, Liker, customer or silent follower. Your support and participation in my community reaches beyond just this website. This month, I donated to a local doula’s GoFundMe page in your name. Sadly, this beautiful woman died after giving birth to twins, and with motherhood fresh on my mind, I felt compelled to contribute in some small way to her family. I hope you’ll join me.
I am so incredibly grateful for you! Thanks for showing up.
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