Hey all! I’m back with another income and traffic report to share with you today. I started doing income reports as a way to be more transparent about my business and hopefully shed some light on ways that you can grow your own online business, too.
I know that sharing one’s income online, for the world to see, is kind of a strange thing to do. Trust me, it took quite a bit of courage (and convincing from my friends!) to share this data with you. In fact, I held back from sharing my income reports in the past because I never (ever!) wanted to appear like I was flaunting my results. Rather, I do this because I genuinely desire to help you grow your own business and want to provide some behind-the-curtain results of how I’ve grown and tweaked my own. I want to show you both what worked for me and what didn’t so that you can apply those lessons to your own dreams. My overall hope is that my income reports inspire or inform you to create and grow your own online biz.
Thank you for traveling with me, behind-the-scenes, while I take you through my income and traffic reports each month. I’m grateful that you’re here. And if you’re working on growing your own business and blog? Best of luck to you, my friend. Now, let’s get into it!
Hey friend! Glad to have you here. January was interesting, as it came immediately after I finished the big launch of my course, The Blog Hive. I didn’t have much of a plan for January (and honestly felt really tired after the launch), so it was hard for me to focus on “the new year” until January was halfway over. But I’m happy with how things turned out, and 2016 is off to a kickin’ start so far. Let’s chat about what went down.
- Passive Income: $3,087
- Monthly Recurring Revenue: $10,379
- Income from Webinars: $13,871
- Affiliate Income: $7,982
Total Income: $35,319
- CPA: $1,600
- Business Coach: $1,500
- Virtual Assistants: $1,072
- PayPal + Stripe Fees: $881
- Infusionsoft*: $398
- Web Hosting: $348 (annual)
- Facebook ads: $246
- CAOC E-Course Installment Payment: $97
- GoDaddy: $38
- Zapier: $20
- Google Apps*: $17
- MotionMail: $10
Total Expenses: $6,237 (Anything with an * next to it is an affiliate link)
Net Profit: $29,082
So, with all that said, let’s chat about these numbers and what they mean for me, and for you.
Dividing up my income
Normally, I just tell you how much income I made, without dividing it up into different categories. From now on, I’m going to do my best to keep track of these five categories of income streams:
1. Passive Income
This refers to income that I didn’t have to lay a finger to make. It was earned organically from people discovering my products on their own or because my evergreen funnels were working. Bottom line: it was earned completely passively.
2. Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
MRR includes any kind of income that I receive on a monthly basis. Essentially, this all comes from payment plans. So, the MRR that you see for January is from students of The Blog Hive who enrolled in the payment plan system.
3. Income From Webinars
As you’d guess, this is simply income that I earned from doing live webinars.
4. Affiliate Income
Finally, affiliate income is any income that I earned from affiliate programs…simple! In most cases, this is very passive, too. My affiliate income tends to come from old, high-traffic blog posts that have affiliate links in them.
5. Misc. Income
This one isn’t included in my income report above because I didn’t have anything that falls into this category. But, typically this would have the income that I earn from promoting a new product, speaking at events, etc.
So, given those categories, here’s the breakdown of how much of my income came from each source in January:
- Passive Income: 8.7%
- Monthly Recurring Revenue: 29.4%
- Webinar Income: 39.3%
- Affiliate Income: 22.6%
- Misc. Income: 0%
So, if I combine my passive income and affiliate income (both were earned passively), then that would be about 31%. Also, my MRR was kind of passive for January, since I did the work of earning that income during my launch in December. Which would bring my passive income percentage to about 60%.
Personally, I love doing active things like webinars. And I get bored easily if I don’t have a new project to work on. Buuuut my ultimate goal is to earn a majority of my income passively each month so that I have time to create big projects, work on more free stuff for my peeps, and to just relax and travel. As much as I love working and find joy in my job, my goal is definitely NOT to be working on weekends or constantly feeling like I “have to be working.” The ultimate goal is to create a self-sustaining business where I can pop in and produce things when I want to and not because I have to.
The cool thing though, is that my passive income from January (combining my affiliate and “passive” income categories) is still slightly more than I made as a web designer. So basically, I make as much money doing nothing as I did when I was busting my booty working for clients. #bizarre
The soft launch of List Surge
One of the big things I did in January was launch a new course called List Surge, which includes all of my best list-building strategies along with the tech tutorials to put them into action. Initially, List Surge was going to be taught as a paid, live workshop, but then I started coming up with more and more content ideas and decided it would be better off as a course.
The difference between List Surge and the other courses I’ve launched?
This one was only $97.
$97 is pretty inexpensive for a course, so I didn’t know how it would turn out profit-wise (as I would need a lot of customers to earn any significant amount of income). However, I was actually very pleasantly surprised by the soft launch. I didn’t officially launch List Surge to my email list or followers until February, but in January I held two webinars where I pitched it at the end to anyone who attended. Altogether, those two webinars brought in about $18,000 in revenue and almost 200 students (Note: You only see $13,000 in webinar revenue because one of the webinars was on the last day of January and the promotion lasted into February).
But I was stoked for a couple reasons:
1. I created a product that was more accessible to people. I completely believe in the power of my higher-priced courses, too, and I think their pricing is fair for the results you get from the courses. BUT just because something is valuable doesn’t mean everyone can afford it. So, I was happy to see that a lot of my audience members who couldn’t afford my other paid courses could get in on this one. It definitely makes me want to do more $97 products so that they’re more affordable for people.
2. My ROI was high. For example, when I launched The Blog Hive in December, I earned about $100,000. That was awesome, but it took an absolutely incredible amount of work to pull off. It includes eight modules, plus a bonus module and lots of Q&A sessions. Altogether, I’d estimate that it took me about 200 hours to market and create it (spread out over roughly 10 weeks). Whereas List Surge was MUCH easier and quicker to put together because it’s far less content (since it only focuses on one topic: list-building). It probably took closer to 20 hours to create and launch.
Currently (including February’s earnings), List Surge has brought in about $30k. So, considering that The Blog Hive took 10x as much time to create, but only brought in about 3x as much revenue is interesting to me. On the other hand, now that TBH is finished, I have a very solid $497 asset that I can launch again and again without much additional work.
Anyways, just some things to think about! But I’m glad I tried out a lower priced offering and I have a feeling I’ll be doing more of them in the future.
Working with my first business coach
I’ve been following a particular online business strategist for a few months and always found his emails to be really valuable. He specializes in creating evergreen email funnels, which is something I want to incorporate more of into my biz. He was going to be in San Diego for a conference, and had a few spots available for a “funnel day,” which is four hours of email funnel masterminding and creation. I immediately jumped on the chance, and I’m really glad I decided to!
Not only was meeting with him helpful because he has a lot of experience with building funnels (unique ideas I’d never thought of before!), but it was also very motivating for me. I’m going to meet with him on a monthly basis to strategize a bit more, and it’s nice to have some additional structure with someone I respect and can ask questions to.
Bringing on another assistant
I decided to bring on another assistant toward the end of January. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past few months (and am still learning!) is that delegation is insanely important for growth. There is lit-rally (Chris Traeger voice) no way that my business would be growing the way it is without the support of the two online assistants I have.
I used to be so squeamish about paying other people to help me, but I’m so glad I’ve started to see the light. It’s saved me sanity and allowed me to focus more on the things I enjoy doing and am best at. #Halle-frickin-lujah 😀
Good news about taxes!
Lastly, I decided to reach out to an accountant (first time!) to help me with my taxes. My business is registered as an LLC, but he told me that because of my income, filing as an S Corp would save me about $10k. I have no idea what all of these letters really mean, but saving $10k is definitely in my vocabulary. 😉 Anyways, I was really glad that I hired an accountant and had no idea about the potential savings here. Woo!
Well, peeps, that’s a rap! I hope this report was interesting or helpful for you. I’m really looking forward to March (as it’s already the end of February, say whaaa?) because I’ve got some suuuper exciting things in store. Hollaaaa.
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