Judging by the messages we've received so far from readers, bloggers and ethical business owners, these transparency reports are a hit! It's wonderful to know that people are getting value from them.
And what thrills me most is that some bloggers and conscious entrepreneurs are considering doing the same thing. Yay! The more transparency in business the better, I say. It goes a long way to helping the general population understand how ethical blogs and businesses operate and in turn, helps them appreciate the work and effort that goes into running a responsible brand that tries to minimise environmental impact and is led by a purpose greater than just making profit.
Anyway with that said, let's get stuck into the numbers...
Website Traffic for October 2016
Here's a snapshot of the Google Analytics Audience Overview for October:
The data in the image is as follows:
- Sessions: 13,685
- Users: 10,900 (unique visitors to the site)
- Page Views: 22,603
- Avg. Session Duration: 00:01:50
- Bounce Rate: 74.36%
When we compare October's traffic figures with September's, we can see that the number of visitors has increased significantly, which means that Eco Warrior Princess is becoming a more popular destination for people seeking sustainable lifestyle ideas and ethical fashion tips and advice.
However with increased traffic, there has been a drop in time on site which is to be expected as many visitors are coming through "organic search". When I look at the top 10 pages visited within the site, I can see that many of those are in fact "list posts" which means that people are landing on Eco Warrior Princess seeking out information or research on particular fashion items within a "list" such as ethical sleepwear brands, ethical activewear brands and ethical shoe bands (aside from the home page, the three most visited pages on the site cover these three topics).
Here’s the total income the Eco Warrior Princess website earned (not necessarily paid) for the month of October (in $AUD):
- Google Adsense: $11.05
- Sponsored Post/Paid Guest Posts: $814.43
- Patreon Pledges/Reader Donations: $136.42
Total Income: $961.90
Our September income was $631.13 so this incremental increase is a good sign. Remember too that there may be exchange rate discrepancy when I convert US dollars to AUD as I calculate what has been earned in the month rather than what has been paid in the month.
This has been our biggest month ever in our 6 year history! Woohoo! Thanks to the ethical brands who have chosen to advertise on Eco Warrior Princess and our loyal supporters for their Patreon donations! I would never have thought we'd get to this point so quickly since setting the goal to achieve financial sustainability several months ago.
So how did we get here in the space of just 4 months?
Once I accepted the fact that accepting advertising dollars didn't necessarily mean I had sold out, I learned to loosen up on the topic of monetisation. I learned that a sustainability blog also needs to be financial sustainable if it is to grow and have its content reach more people. Sponsored posts and paid guest posts has helped us cover team wages and operating costs and has allowed us to create more relevant posts for readers.
Now despite receiving lots of encouragement from people within the EWP community who get why we're focussing on financial sustainability, it hasn't all been rainbows and unicorns this month. We also lost a big Patreon supporter (who pledged US$100 a month) which was a major setback for us. I was totally gutted when I saw the email come through.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that the majority of pledgees are from loyal supporters who I am in constant contact with on social media. The Patreon pledgee we lost was someone I had had no dealings with prior to the pledge, and with no relationship established, it's easy for a pledgee to make a clean break.
Anyway, after my initial shock, I decided I was okay with it. It was meant to be. Besides, I would rather have the support of committed community members and readers who value what we're doing over those only seeking quick reward gratification.
Email Subscriber Stats
We continue to use Mailchimp for fuss-free email communication which helps us maintain regular contact with our readers and subscribers. Our total number of email subscribers for October:
- New Subscribers: 964
- Existing Subscribers: 1,833
- Total Subscribers: 2,797
We are currently running a Synergy Organic Clothing giveaway which has has been by far one of our most successful giveaways, helping to attract a high rate of new subscribers.
While I'm a little sad about losing a Patreon pledgee, the team and I are bolstered by all the positive things that have happened in October such as the increase in website visitors, the huge jump in email subscribers, the support we've received about these transparency reports and the kinds words from readers about the consistent and relevant articles we're publishing to raise sustainability awareness.
And while we didn't earn anything from affiliate marketing in October, I have signed Eco Warrior Princess on with affiliate marketing sites such as shareasale.com where we have now enrolled in affiliate programs to support conscious brands like Warby Parker and Miessence. But don't worry, not every post will be pushing an ethical brand that we're affiliated with. I'd hate for Eco Warrior Princess to become just another glorified online product catalogue like other eco blogs and websites!
So here's to a great October! But we've now got our sights set on having an even better November. And hopefully one day in the near future I will finally draw a wage from this 6 year old sustainability blog. Can't wait!
If you value our work perhaps you can spare US$1 a month to support us in our mission to be the change and spread the sustainability message far and wide? We also have some rad rewards for our pledgees. Head to our Patreon page for more details.
Now over to you: Are you an eco blogger or run a conscious business? Is your business financially sustainable or are you having challenges too? We'd love to hear your story so please leave a comment below.
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