Why I’m changing my focus this year
I made a decision in December that I will concentrate on my blog in 2017 rather than my online shop. My online fashion boutique has been my main focus for four years, with an eight month maternity break in the middle. It’s been my absolute passion and I’ve worked tirelessly to promote it. My main source of promotion is Twitter using the networking hours and various retweet hashtags.
Before I took my maternity leave things were looking good. I was taking around £2000 per month and the possibility of it making a real income for me looked promising. I was getting sales every day and things were great. After my maternity leave things were great for a few months, but I had returned in October perfectly timed for Christmas shopping. After Christmas shopping season things slowed down significantly and never really picked up.
I decided to cut down my stock which may have affected this, going from around 500 items to 200 now. Towards the end of 2016 I was feeling a little tired of the relentless promotion for very little profit. I could get sales every day, but only if I spent 7 hours in all the Twitter networking hours. Sometimes I’d only get a couple of £5 or £10 sales and when you take off the cost of the item, packaging, payment fees, website fees, eBay fees, promotion fees and all the time and effort I was putting in, was it really worth it?
To make a decent wage I’d have to be selling vast quantities of such low priced and lowly marked up items to make enough money to survive on. I do love selling online and will continue with my little shop, but for 2017 it is not my main focus. If I get sales, that’s great and I am still passionate about my lovely boutique, but I just can’t continue to give it this much energy.
Focusing on my blog in 2017
Last year I also made the decision to start monetising my blog. Before this I’d blogged for three years purely for pleasure and never dreamed I could actually make an income from my blog. I reviewed lots of items for free and this was a bonus to me. One week, however, I had around ten reviews to do and realised I was giving so much of my time and effort for free to make others money whilst I was skint.
I decided then things had to change and I needed to value my time more. After all it’s taken me years to build up my followings and hours of time each day. I was giving all this away for free. I also noticed other SEO companies charging upwards of £100 for links on blogs with a domain authority such as mine, so needed to reconsider giving anything away for free! It’s evergreen advertising for a company to have a blog post on my blog and they’d pay far more for a monthly magazine advertisement or similar.
I started accepting some sponsored blog posts, one or two a month, in spring 2016 to test the waters. I also decided in December 2017 I would no longer review items for free. After all, products don’t pay bills and I needed to value the two hours of my time more wisely (plus all the other time spent building my blog, increasing followers, etc, as that’s all part of the package).
January Income Target
I set myself a target of £400 for January and thought if I make £500 then that will be a bonus. £100 a week didn’t seem too crazy a starting point. I shifted my entire focus to my blog in the New Year and set about searching for paid opportunities. This was something I hadn’t ever done before. I’d only taken part in those which had landed in my inbox (and I thought were a good fit). I put myself out there and started applying for any I was suited to.
Incredibly, my plan worked and I doubled my target! I’m still so amazed and I’ve no idea if it will continue, but I’m super chuffed and shifting my focus to my blog seems to be the right decision for me.
January 2017 Blog Income
Before expenses my blog income for January 2017 is £974.28.
I’m so amazed. This shows real potential for making blogging a real income. It’s now been my main source of income for a couple of months. I would have hit £1000 had some of my invoices been paid on time, but this reflects the money I was actually paid in January. Anything outstanding will go in next month’s blog income when it is paid.
I absolutely thrashed my target!
January Blog Stats
I upped my game with sharing blog posts in January, ran two blog giveaways, tried to post on Instagram every day, joined some blogging groups and networks and most importantly I wrote so many more blog posts than I usually do and devoted as much time as I could to this, the best part – the writing.
All of this had a great impact on my blog traffic which was the best it’s ever been:
January 2017 Google Analytics
Page Views: 12300
New Users: 4400
February Blogging Goals
- Increase Instagram followers
- Try to post at least once per day to Instagram
- Increase newsletter subscribers and send new blog posts via newsletter twice per week
- Run two giveaways
- Make £500 from blogging
- Write at least two personal blog posts per week
- Add all blog posts to a spreadsheet (640ish, phew!) in order to find evergreen posts and add to a Social Oomph queue
- Write at least two guest posts
- Enjoy blogging, stay positive and focused!
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