It's that time of the month again, Transparency Report time!
We had a super slow month in January if you recall due to my almost three week trip to Bali, but our performance has since improved.
So without further ado, here's how we fared in Feb...
Website Traffic for February 2017
Here's the screenshot of our Google Analytics 'Audience Overview':
The data breakdown - as seen in this image - is as follows:
- Sessions: 21,858
- Users: 17,839 (unique visitors)
- Page Views: 34,628
- Avg. Session Duration: 00:01:42
- Bounce Rate: 75.99%
To compare February to January - or to any other month for that matter - seems a little unfair given that most months have 30-31 days in them and February only has 28, or 29 if you count a leap year.
So when I compare unique visitors in February of 17,839 to January's 18,570 for example, it would seem that January outperformed February. However as we average about 600-700 visitors per day, we can quickly see that had February been a couple of days longer (like other months!), it would have performed on par with January.
One thing I will point out is the bounce rate which has decreased from 76.46% in January to 75.99% in February, a positive trend which I'm really excited about as it means that visitors are finding the information on our site useful and relevant, and are spending more time reading and browsing.
We spend so much time thinking, researching, writing, editing and sourcing images for our posts that it is the best feeling ever to know that our content is valued. Thank you readers!
Anyway, the part you're probably keen to learn more about.
Show me the money, money, money.
So here's what our website earned (not necessarily paid) for the month of February (in $AUD):
- Google Adsense: $27.98
- Amazon Associates: $5.48
- Skimlinks: $26.21
- Linkshare: $8.45
- Share-A-Sale: $3.51
- Sponsored Post/Paid Guest Posts: $125.00
- Patreon Pledges/Reader Donations: $374.24
Total Income: $570.87
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 each platform may vary.
Considering that January's revenue was $116.31, I'm pretty happy with our results for February. While $570.87 is still a long way away from our December high of $1210.61, I have every confidence we will be able to pick up the pace again. Keep in mind also that this blog is not my only responsibility. I actually run my own content agency and manage the online marketing for my fiance's businesses so these activities keep me pretty busy outside of this blog.
Plus Eco Warrior Princess isn't profitable enough yet so I need to continue working hard in our other businesses so that I can afford to keep it running, pay our team fair wages and ensure that people have access to the information they need to transition away from their wasteful lifestyles to an eco-friendlier one.
Now as many of you are aware, the goal this year is to try to make this blog a sustainable business in its own right. After almost seven years, it's time it pays its own way. As an eco blogger, I dislike having to consider affiliate marketing as a source of income to cover operating costs given my feelings about consumerism, but I am left with few options.
Patreon has been wonderful but the reader donations received from all 26 (actually 27 if I include one friend who deposits directly into my bank account, preferring for me to receive all monies so I don't pay fees to Patreon, - she's a doll isn't she?) isn't enough to cover an intern's monthly wage.
So I signed up to a heap of affiliate marketing programs such as SkimLinks and Share-A-Sale and lo-and-behold in just a few days, I started to see some sales. Not lucrative by any means as you can see above, but some money in the bank is better than no money at all, right?
Now as we had a backlog of fashion-related posts on the blog that already receive lots of traffic, it made sense to monetise those pages. Those pages were created fairly and affiliate marketing did not influence its content creation. In fact, I refuse to have affiliate marketing dictate the content on this website so you won't see post after post of consumer goods.
I'm a genuine eco blogger, not a pseudo one. The consumerist message of 'buy this it will make you happy, cool, unique... blah blah' is advertised heavily around us and it is my aim to be super responsible in how the eco message is framed, lest someone starts to believe that buying 'eco' stuff is the only way to solve the world's environmental problems. Two words: it ain't!
I suggest reading this post about zero waste if you're truly serious about sustainability.
Email Subscriber Stats
Our total number of email subscribers for February:
- New Subscribers: 377
- Existing Subscribers: 2,963
- Total Subscribers: 3,340
MailChimp is our preferred email marketing software. It has helped us manage our ever growing list of subscribers. Now in February, we were able to attract hundreds of additional subscribers because we ran a giveaway with COSSAC, a popular eco-fashion brand as part of celebration for hitting our business milestone of 3,000 subscribers.
Now we did get some subscribers from advertising on Facebook. We budgeted $15 Facebook ad spend and that will be the last I will spend for a while or maybe ever, on the Eco Warrior Princess Facebook page.
Why? Well, here are my main reasons:
- I don't like Facebook's pay-to-play model. Simple as that.
- I am over Facebook and if not for my businesses and the pages I manage, I would delete my personal account in a heartbeat. I only care to hang out in the groups because it's a community and I'm not being 'sold' to unlike my newsfeed.
- Concerns over where my money goes. I won't go into it too much but suffice to say I have concerns around who actually benefits from the huge profits this corporation makes, and whether Facebook pay the appropriate corporate taxes, particularly in my neck of the woods, Australia. I take voting with my dollars seriously as you can see and I haven't dug deep enough to fully comprehend whether I feel okay with my ad dollars going to such a huge corporation. So for now, no more Facebook ad spending.
We are still years away from becoming a sustainable business but it's good to see that we're gaining momentum since returning from holiday; even if we're not yet hitting the income numbers I've projected for the year.
Nevertheless, we have big plans in store and I have no doubts that this blog about sustainability will become a sustainable business. The only real question is: when?
Now over to you: How do you feel about opening up your blog or website data to the rest of the world? Is it something you would consider? If not, how are you promoting transparency in your ethical blog or sustainable business? Leave a comment and let's discuss the topic of transparency!
If you're a newbie ethical fashion or green blogger looking for more blogging tips, you'll love our blogger resources. You can access them here.
This post contains affiliate links and monies received from any sale helps us to keep our content free for readers, covers operating costs and allows us to continue our sustainability education. You can read more about our disclosure policy here.