What Can We Learn From This?
Yay, great, I shared my income report. What now?
Well, I learn several things from looking at this list. First of all, at the beginning of the year I got together with some blogging buddies, and we shared income reports and stats and discussed how we all did in 2014. One thing that I noticed was that I had a lot more sources of revenue, and this can be good and bad.
More Revenue Sources = More Revenue, but More Headaches?
My highest category of revenue was from sponsored posts and social media campaigns. I worked with 13 different companies. The good side of this is that when you work with more companies, you have more opportunities coming into your inbox. This is why you might want to go visit my Ultimate List of Blogger Networks and sign up for a few more!
On the other hand, my top 3 companies (23% of companies) made up 82% of the income coming from that category. Do those numbers look familiar? 80/20? So maybe I should cut ties with the lower portion of that list, to save myself time, effort, and emails, and just focus on the top money-makers. It’s definitely two schools of thought- no right or wrong.
Look at my affiliate sales. If I get one person to sign up for BlueHost, I earn $80 in commission. If I sell one Pogo Pass, I get $5. I could push both products, but maybe I should put all of my affiliate focus on BlueHost.
Diversify Your Income
Clearly I made a lot of money from sponsored posts last year, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to only focus on sponsored posts this year. There are other factors at play. I don’t want my blog to become one big advertisement. And sponsored posts take a lot of work.
I want to increase revenue from sources that require little effort from me. One example of this is the spreadsheet I sell. It’s only $3, but after I created it, I configured PayPal and MailChimp to take care of the payment and delivery process, so I don’t have to do a thing. Someone buys a spreadsheet, I get paid, they get the product, cha-ching!
So even though the product sales category was lower on the list, if you factor in the amount of effort required, it may have a higher net worth.
The more different types of income streams you have, the more likely you’ll stay afloat if one of your income streams dries up. <—And you can tweet that!
Know Your Worth
I worked with some companies last year for less than my usual rate because I wanted to have the experience of working with them, so I could advise other bloggers. But make sure you know you what you are actually getting paid.
If you accept a sponsored post opportunity that pays $100, and you have to go out and shop for the item, as well as any additional items, spend time styling and taking photographs, uploading and editing photos, writing the post, reviewing guidelines to be sure you have all the requirements, promoting on social media, etc… well let’s say that took you 5 hours, so now you’re getting paid $20 an hour. Not too bad. What if the post pays $50? Now you’re at $10 an hour. And if it pays $25…
I love to tell people that the Mormon church pays me $24,000 an hour. Last Christmas they paid me $200 to host an ad on my sidebar for 30 days. You may look at that and say, no way, you were getting less than $7 a day! But it took me all of 30 seconds to copy and paste the ad code into a widget, so I say 30 seconds is 1/120th of an hour. 120 multiplied by $200 = $24,000. Math is fun.
You have to decide what it’s worth to you- don’t let someone else tell you what you should work for. One of the sponsored posts I did this year was for a carpet cleaner, no additional payment. The carpet cleaner is totally awesome, and I use it all the time! Worth it? YES! If it was not a carpet cleaner but a bottle of vitamins I could buy myself for $10? NOT worth it! You decide.
So how to wrap this up?
There’s money to be made, so go get it! Keep working on having a great blog with an attractive design and quality content, but don’t wait until you’re a “big blog” to monetize if you want to be making money now.
And come on, who doesn’t want that?