It's almost March and I'm only now getting around to publishing the January report! Arrgghhhh! That almost three week holiday to Bali put me out completely and I've been trying to play catch ups ever since my return to Australia.
Anyway, let's not delay the report further, here's how we performed for the first month of the year...
Website Traffic for January 2017
Here's the screenshot of our Google Analytics 'Audience Overview':
The data breakdown in this image is as follows:
- Sessions: 22,723
- Users: 18,570 (unique visitors)
- Page Views: 35,407
- Avg. Session Duration: 00:01:42
- Bounce Rate: 76.46%
When we compare January's traffic figures with December's, we can see that website traffic has shot up, a significant increase, attracting almost 2,000 new visitors in just one month.
The time on site has also increased from 1:39 in December to 1:42 which means that these visitors are spending more time reading the website. Great news! No writer wants to publish work that few read so if people are staying longer on the site, it means our articles are of interest to them. Yay!
Now moving on to the bounce rate. It decreased from 79.92% in December compared to 76.46% in January which is a positive sign as it means that our visitors are 'quality' visitors. They are not just landing on the site and moving off of it. Visitors are finding the information on our site relevant and are choosing to remain on the site longer.
I'm not going to sugar coat this: January earnings were woeful. Here's what the website earned (not necessarily paid) for the month of January (in $AUD):
- Google Adsense: $17.90
- Sponsored Post/Paid Guest Posts: $0
- Patreon Pledges/Reader Donations: $98.41
Total Income: $116.31
Note: There may be exchange rate discrepancies 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. Also, exchange rates used by Patreon and PayPal vary.
When I compare our December income of $1210.61 against the January income of $116.31 our performance is truly awful, and when I consider how many hours were involved in the writing, editing and publishing of our posts, well, it doesn't make a girl feel good that's for sure! Not to mention how much we spent on team wages and runnings costs...
So what exactly happened to cause this major drop in earnings? Read on...
Firstly, January is notoriously slow for most businesses. Small ethical businesses are often financially out of pocket when one considers how much is spent on Christmas presents, food, New Year celebrations and holidays as well as Christmas advertising. So businesses typically refrain from spending on advertising in January until they've worked out their yearly marketing budgets and formulated a sales action plan which is often fully set into motion in February onwards.
Secondly, another reason for January being a slow month is that I went on holidays half way through the month and didn't return to work until February 7. Of course without being in the office to accept product for sponsored posts and product reviews, earnings were always going suffer.
Thirdly, while we had Patreon pledges of about US$150 owing to us, many of these pledges bounced and we received only half of what we expected to get. I don't blame our Patreon supporters though. Given that it was Christmas and New Years, it doesn't surprise me at all that some of them had maxed out their credit cards!
Email Subscriber Stats
MailChimp is still our email marketing provider of choice enabling us to maintain regular contact with our subscribers. Our total number of email subscribers in January:
- New Subscribers: 26
- Existing Subscribers: 2,937
- Total Subscribers: 2,963
A poor performance but as I was going away on holidays, I chose not to run any giveaways or implement a marketing push to increase my email list. Now that I've returned, it will be a main focus.
January wasn't a great month but that was to be expected given all the reasons I outlined above. I will be publishing our February Transparency Report shortly which will detail the steps I've taken (since returning from holidays) to ensure that Eco Warrior Princess influences even more people towards sustainable living and hopefully increases the chances of it becoming a sustainable business.
Wish us luck and make sure to subscribe to the blog if you're keen to follow our journey!
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. Or if you're keen to work with us, make sure to download our media kit here.
Now over to you: What do you think about these Transparency Reports so far? Are you inspired by them? Have you learned anything from them? Or do these reports overwhelm you? Would love to hear your feedback so make sure to leave a comment!
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