When I published our first Transparency Report, there was an overwhelmingly positive response from readers who appreciated my openness and honesty. It seemed some people really had no idea what it took to create a super ethical blog such as ours.
So as part of my ongoing commitment to transparency, you can expect to see these reports published each month. It will provide you with real insight as to the amount of work that goes into running this blog.
So let's get right into the data...
Website Traffic for August 2016
Here's the Google Analytics snapshot for last month:
The data breakdown from the image is as follows:
- Sessions: 10,368
- Users: 8,172 (the number of individuals that visited our site)
- Page Views: 16,915
- Avg. Session Duration: 00:02:03
- Bounce Rate: 64.97%
There was an 18.78% increase in traffic compared to July. This was a result of two things:
- our 6th birthday giveaway that we paid to promote on Facebook; and
- our first ever Transparency Report which was published towards the end of August and caused a spike in visitors as you can see from the graph above.
Income Summary for August 2016
The blog barely produced any income at all, but of course I still paid everyone for their work.
The total income made for the month of August:
- Google Adsense: A$2.49
We earned a total of $2.49. Yes, that's all. Not enough to purchase even one takeaway fair trade coffee (in a re-usable cup of course!).
Our income has decreased to almost nothing because I spent much of August working hard in my other business to cover the team's wages, as well as creating a monetisation strategy and promoting our giveaway. This should improve in the coming months as I start to focus not just on saving the world, but on saving Eco Warrior Princess!
I decided that if the blog is going to pay for itself, I would have to open it up to monetisation which means that I've now added Google Adsense to the website. I don't always have control over the types of ads it shows, but since we are teetering over the financial precipice, I have to make a compromise here.
As you know, I launched Eco Warrior Princess in 2010 and the central motivation is to help people be the change, not to make money. But let's face it, to survive in the real world, one must make money if one is able to continue saving the world!
Ethical fashion advocate and journalist Lucy Siegle said "fast fashion isn't free. Someone somewhere is paying." But you can apply the same principle to a blog like Eco Warrior Princess:
"Digital content isn't free. Someone somewhere is paying." And that someone somewhere, in this case, is me.
The burden of all the costs have fallen on my shoulders and as you know, the increased amount of financial pressure and stress resulted in my infamous meltdown. If you want to get a better understanding of our current situation, read our first transparency report.
Email Subscriber Stats
A couple of years ago my RSS feed was corrupted and I lost all my RSS subscribers. I had to quickly move to an email marketing software to reduce the risk of it happening again. Keeping in regular contact with like-minded readers is essential in helping the sustainability movement create waves.
So now I use Mailchimp for fuss-free email communication.
Anyway here are our email subscriber statistics for August:
- New Subscribers: 588
- Existing Subscribers: 1,079
- Total Subscribers: 1,667
The increase in subscribers in August was a result of our birthday giveaway.
Strategy moving forward
When I published our Transparency Report last month, I was surprised to learn that many people didn't realise that I bore all of the operational costs. Did you think the core team worked for free? But I have no one to blame but myself for not revealing this information sooner.
Anyway, if a sustainability blog is to be truly sustainable, it must make an income and pay for itself. Online publications around the world are currently struggling to make an income to pay for wages and runnings costs resulting in a worldwide loss of editorial and journalist jobs, as the expectation is digital content should be freely available.
As a creative, I find this an absolute tragedy and I do not want to play a part in perpetuating the 'poor do-gooder' and 'struggling artist' stereotypes.
I've been told time and again that Eco Warrior Princess is a wonderful resource for people looking for green inspiration. If so, I hope you understand that the 'free' content we publish isn't exactly free and I work hard to make money from my content marketing agency just to pay the team so we can keeping providing this 'green inspiration'. So please understand the need for us to accept more sponsored posts and ethical brand advertising.
Now if you value our work and want to keep Eco Warrior Princess as ad-free as possible, perhaps you can spare US$1 a month and use the loose change to pledge your support to us on Patreon.
Now over to you: Are you enjoying our Transparency Reports? Does it give you better insight into our behind-the-scenes? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. The monies collected helps us to continue providing free content to our readers and allows us to pay fair wages. For more information about this, click here.