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Last Updated on November 9, 2022
Welcome back to Root + Revel’s traffic + income reports! You might remember back in January 2018 we published our very first blogging income report–it was actually for the entire year of 2017 (hint: I earned over $75,000 blogging in just my second year of blogging!).
It’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging for just shy of 4 years now, and even more amazing that my income went from $6,500 in my first year of blogging to $150,000 in my third year (including $58,000 while on a four-month maternity leave), and I’m on track to surpass $200,000 in my fourth year. #fingerscrossed
I know sharing my income with you might seem a little crazy–or perhaps you’re just here for holistic health advice, but let me explain.
TLDR: If this isn’t your first rodeo and you’ve been following allowing with these income reports for a while, you can skip to the next section titled Total Income.
For years, I’ve been reading the income reports of many successful bloggers, like Pinch of Yum, Making Sense of Cents, Smart Passive Income and Show Me the Yummy.
And they’ve inspired me so much, not only to know what’s possible in the world of blogging as a business, but also with their incredible ideas and generosity in sharing their mistakes and successes along the way.
And now, I want to return the favor. I feel like I’m at a point with Root + Revel where I have something valuable to share about making money online, something that I hope will help you learn how to make money doing something you love, something that lights you up every day and makes you excited to get to work, something you’re passionate about, something that impacts others for the better, something you can do from your couch in your jammies or on a beach in the Caribbean or at a desk in a co-working space at whatever dang time you please because YOU’RE YOUR OWN BOSS.
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 for Q2 2019.
*Note: $40,409.69 is what I earned on an accrual basis, but I’ve recently started using Quickbooks and have switched over to the Cash method of accounting. So my revenue for Q2 using the cash method was actually $46,570.59. I only mention this because now I only use the cash method for tracking expenses, and to compare apples to apples, I will be sharing those numbers below.
I’m changing 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 my 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 Q2 2019.
*Note: I’m going to talk more about the Google update down below, but it is CRAZY and super scary, not just for my business but for freedom of speech in general.
Note: This screenshot comes from my dashboard in Active Campaign. You can see that I gained roughly 4,312 new subscribers per month in Q2.
My goal for 2019 was to get 1,000 new subscribers per month and we more than quadrupled it last quarter. WHOA! This is particularly exciting because we didn’t even run any giveaways or paid ads to grow our list, so it was truly all organic.
I also wanted to increase my open rate to 25%. Last quarter, we averaged around 10.46% for one-off campaigns (more on that below) and 34.16% for automations, bringing the average to 22.31% open rate. I also wanted to increase my click rate to 5%. Last quarter, our average click rate was 1.24% for one-off campaigns and 5.93% for automations, bringing the average to 3.59%. So we’re still shy of our goal, but we’ve been working tirelessly this year to really clean up our email list and get it as optimized as possible and it’s been a lot of trial and error.
Another goal I set is reducing our unsubscribe rate. Last quarter we lost 4,709 subscribers (roughly 1,500 per month), or about 52 subscribers per day. I’d love to see that number be under 500 unsubscribers per month, or less than 15 unsubscribers per day. Hopefully as we continue to improve our segmenting and value, our subscribers will stick around more.
Scroll below to Takeaways section to read more about our email efforts and optimization.
This is a new metric I’m adding to my income reports, as SEO is such a focus for us right now and I want to track how our efforts are working.
Note: DA is a ranking metric developed by Moz that predicts how well a site will rank on Google, and is measured on a scale of 1 to 100. The closer you are to 100, the more traffic and better ranking you’ll have.
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.
Running a blog is a TON of work and each month I feel like I could fill an entire notebook with “what I focused on” details. But for everyone’s sanity’s sake, I’m going to keep this list simple and straightforward, and talk about the top 4 things I worked on in Q2 (April through June) of 2019:
Alright, this has been a doozy of an income report so I’m gonna wrap up here and just let you know that my plans for Q3 are simple: Prep for Launch #2 and Hire a VA. That’s right, R+R’s small but mighty team is growing once again and if you’re interested in working together, you can apply for the job here.
Each month, I feature one question from a reader. Here’s the question from last month:
Can you explain your RPM calculation? $73 doesn’t make sense to me with your PV and ad revenue. Also, mine is so much lower, and I’m completely dumbfounded as to how I could increase it that much! Love your reports, btw. These are so inspiring!
Great question! While your advertising network will likely give you an RPM calculation, for the purposes of these income reports, I’m looking at RPM for all types of revenue, not just ad revenue. So I take my total revenue and total pageviews and run the numbers to see how well optimized my entire site is, not just my ads.
Hope that helps and so glad you love the reports!
For next month, please leave a comment below if you have a question that you would like me to answer.
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 of Root + Revel. Your support and participation in the R+R community reaches beyond just this website.
For the last year, I’ve been donating to Nicholas House in your name, as I am so blown away by their incredible mission and want to do as much as I can to help these families make the transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. So this month, I donated to Nicholas House again.
I love the structured but home-like environment that requires they earn a living wage, maintain the physical, mental and social health of parents and children, and maintain safe and stable housing. They’re also highly rated on CharityNavigator for their accountability, transparency, and performance. Join me, won’t you?
P.S. Stay tuned–we’re working on an exciting virtual fundraiser coming to you soon!
I am so incredibly grateful for you. Thanks for showing up!
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COPYRIGHT © 2022 • KATE KORDSMEIER
We are an LGBTQIA-affirming, interfaith-oriented, diverse organization. We are committed to social and environmental justice, including civil rights, dismantling systems of oppression like the Patriarchy, White Supremacy and Diet Culture. We believe Black Lives Matter.
Celebrating you taking charge of your finances in a new way and feeling so empowered around money! Love that you’ve gotten the support you need and I can’t wait to see how these systems take R+R to a new level!
I cannot believe the Google thing. So infuriating! I’m glad you’re calling attention to this!
Also, way to kill it this quarter!
Emily, thank you so much; what I do, and the success I have, is only possible by the support of people like you, so THANK YOU!
(the Google think IS crazy, right?! Never a dull moment when you own an online business!)