Transparency Reports

Eco Warrior Princess Transparency Report April 2017

transparency report eco warrior princess - april 2017
Written by Jennifer Nini

We had another big month in April making it the first time we’ve hit $2k revenue in consecutive months.

While it might seem like we’re doing well as a business, we’re actually not doing all that well. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why…

Website Traffic for April 2017

Our Google Analytics ‘Audience Overview’ for April looks like this:

Google Analytics Audience Overview April 2017 Eco Warrior Princess

Data from the image is as follows:

  • Sessions: 29,727
  • Users: 24,695 (unique visitors)
  • Page Views: 45,336
  • Avg. Session Duration: 00:01:36
  • Bounce Rate: 77.42%

Traffic Analysis

While we received more awards and accolades for our work in promoting sustainable living in April, this hasn’t paid dividends financially and neither has it generated website traffic comparable to that which we receive from Instagram even.

Nevertheless, our traffic results were nothing to be upset about; just falling short of the 25,000 unique visitors mark for the month of April, this is a brilliant result.

However my celebration was short lived. Other metrics didn’t do so well such as time on site which dropped from 1:45 in March to 1:36 in April.

I can only conclude that this is the result of the giveaways we ran in April which attracted a lower quality of visitors. It is common knowledge that giveaways attract people that only care to win a contest and aren’t as engaged as other visitors who are seeking informative content to consume.

Ethical Fashion Giveaway - Win a $100 Les sublimes e-voucher

We partnered with French eco fashion brand Les Sublimes for April’s Fashion Revolution giveaway.

Income

Now as I mentioned earlier, we had a wonderful month in terms of income, earning around $2k.

Let’s break it down even further. Here is what this sustainability platform earned (not necessarily paid) off of each income stream in April ($AUD):

  • Google Adsense: $69.06
  • Amazon Associates: $168.55
  • Skimlinks: $57.04
  • Linkshare: $15.73
  • Share-A-Sale: $0.67
  • Other Affiliate Programs: $54.22
  • Sponsored Post/Paid Guest Posts: $1,246.92
  • Patreon Pledges/Reader Donations: $414.13

Total Income: $2,026.32

Note: There may be exchange rate discrepancies when I convert USD 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.

A positive outcome considering that in January our revenue was a measly $116.31. However, revenue can be an optical illusion because even if you’re being paid for products and services, that’s just one part of the financial equation. You need to consider your business expenses too.

And if you’re outgoings are higher than your incomings, you have a huge problem.

And this was precisely the problem we faced in April.

We are a proud Etiko affiliate.

Expenses

Here are the expenses and costs* we incurred for April:

  • Software: $159.60
  • People: $1,710.06
  • Office: $346.73

Total Expenses: $2,216.39

*Note: Rough estimates as the operating costs are divided between our other businesses as well. 

So how come our expenses blew out this month, when just two months ago we laid-off a staff member in order to reduce costs?

There are two reasons for this.

First off, we had to pay one of our skilled contractors a lump sum payment for her work. The other reason is that I had to get some help to be able to create our Fashion Revolution #haulternative series of films which meant that EWP ‘borrowed’ a staff resource from our other business – and was required to cover the employee’s wage in so doing.

Income Analysis

So in April – factoring in income and expenses – Eco Warrior Princess recorded a loss of $190.07.

Not a huge amount by any means, but for me, a disappointing result considering that we achieved a net income of $738.56 in March. It’s annoying to be ‘in the red’ again just a month later, considering our plans for the site to be financially sustainable as quickly as possible.

But it’s not all doom and gloom.

This result  just makes me more determined to keep a closer eye on outgoings and drive sales even more. I am determined not to record a loss for the remainder of the year.

It’s at this point I should also give gratitude to the Patreon support we continue to receive because although it in no way comes close to covering even half of our costs, something is better than nothing. Plus when it all gets too much, I at least find solace in the knowledge that some of our readers value our work and are happy to donate to keep EWP going.

Furthermore, now that our affiliate links are in place, I will make concerted efforts to tweak our affiliate marketing efforts for maximum results. By actively managing this revenue stream, I’m confident it will improve in the second half of 2017 and help to improve our bottom line.

People Tree Sabina off the shoulder top in green

EWP is a proud People Tree affiliate.

Email Subscriber Stats

Our total number of email subscribers for April:

  • New Subscribers: 612
  • Existing Subscribers: 3,351
  • Total Subscribers: 3,963

This was a great outcome that was the direct result of running two giveaways: the Bokashi Composting Kit giveaway and our Les Sublimes Fashion Revolution Week giveaway.

I’m a little apprehensive about giveaways and the poor quality of subscribers it attracts to our email list. Giveaways almost always dilutes the community with individuals who don’t care as much to be there, and only want ‘free’ stuff. Plus this low quality of subscriber also impacts email marketing performance.

We rarely hosted giveaways in 2016 and email marketing performance was impressive with open rates of about 25-27% and click rates at about 5-7%. Now after several giveaways just in the past couple of months, our open rate has dropped to 24.5% and our click rate is now sitting at 4.9%. I’m not happy that it’s declining but if it continues, will need to strategise how to stop the haemorrhage. Can you tell I care about quality and not quantity?

Eco Warrior Princess Fashion Revolution Week Email Newsletter

Our most recent email newsletter.

Overall thoughts

When I review the business goals I had written down in my organiser (“Hit $2,000 revenue by May, achieve $3,000 by July”), I can see that Eco Warrior Princess is on track to achieve these. But since I am what people would describe as an A-type overachiever, I am not content to just break even. I want to make enough profit so I can at least grow the business, expand the team further so we can get the sustainability message out to more people in more countries.

Plus I want to be able to draw a wage. Surely that’s not too much to ask in return for the countless hours and almost seven years I’ve spent on this site?

Want to follow along on our conscious business journey? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site here (and you’ll get our 12-page Sustainable Lifestyle Guide too!).

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.

Click here for a running tally of our gross income.

Now over to you: Do you run a business or a blog? How are you showing your commitment to transparency? What do you think of this report in general? Would love to know so feel free to leave a comment below!

Enjoyed this post & want to show your gratitude? Then please support Eco Warrior Princess on Patreon!

About the author

Jennifer Nini

Jennifer Nini is a writer, activist and the founding editor of Eco Warrior Princess. In 2010, after studying Fashion Business, she launched Eco Warrior Princess to explore her interests in fashion, politics, social justice and sustainability. Jennifer is also the founder of The Social Copywriter, a digital agency harnessing the power of copywriting and content marketing to help mindful businesses reach more people. When she's not perfecting a sentence or coaching business clients, you will find her at her certified organic farm reconnecting with nature.

12 Comments

  • Seems to me that the lump sum payment would be an occasional expense rather than a monthly one, so that should disappear after this month, right?

    In any case, keep up the good work. I laughed at the shareasale income, because that’s what mine looks like most of the time!

    • Yes indeed. That lump sum payment was a once-off and so too the expenses associated with filming. Thank goodness! I am super determined to keep expenses as low as possible whilst driving our earnings up.

      I often wonder about the affiliate income that other bloggers make so it’s nice to know we’re in the same boat haha!

  • Thank you for your transparency Jennifer! Like you said you’re on track to meet your goals, and it’s obvious you’ve got the heart and dedication to grow your profits AND positive impact.

    Love your mission and your wisdom, onwards and upwards!

    • Oh wow thank you so much Louree for your kind words. It’s an uphill battle not just in business, but in getting the masses to transform their habits. But that’s ok, because we’re driven by real purpose and since it’s been a long journey for me personally already, happy to devote my entire life to the environmental and sustainability cause. p.s. I just checked out your website and loving YOUR mission. A brilliant concept that I hope spreads like wildfire!

      • I completely understand what you’re saying and empathize with you… Positive change takes time, perhaps due to the evolution of humanity. You’ve probably made more of an impact than you even know 🙂 Thank you for visiting, I’m SO happy you’re loving Kynder! I hope so too, we’ll be expanding our reach soon… it would be lovely to find a way to support each other!

  • Your sponsored posts or paid guest posts seemed to generate the most income. Is this outsiders posting for you or you posting on others sites?

    This is the first time I’ve read one of your reports. I own a women’s clothing boutique and am in a constant struggle of getting in the black, and not really paying myself. Looking to me favorite blogs, bloggers, websites to see what they are doing that works! I love what you explained about giveaways and quality of subscribers. Much love to the eco warrior princesses!

    • The sponsored posts are the posts we write and create for advertisers 🙂 This is the area that we will focus on moving forward and start to bring in more writers to be able to do the work when we start to ‘business develop’.

      Thanks for checking in and glad you found one of our reports. I decided to start publishing them when I realised that if I am asking fashion labels and businesses to be more transparent with me, I should be more transparent with them – and everyone else! So I started to publish them and people have been very receptive, and particularly brands.

      Now as for your business, is it online or bricks and mortar? How long has it been operating?

      • Hi, Jennifer! My shop is brick and mortar for 3-1/2 years. I had a really tough location – very “up-and-coming” but still not there yet. I’m relocating my shop to a better (more frequented, shopping-focused) block. I closed my original location in February and am on hiatus until we reopen in the new space when construction is finished later this summer. I do have much of my inventory online, and am working on focusing more on my website sales in the meantime to keep momentum and to help with building additional income in the future. I don’t have any employees, but I just got an intern for the summer, so I finally have some help!

        • Wonderful to know you have an intern because I think this is a great starting point. For online, it’s important that there is fresh content on your website on a regular basis that brings people to your online shop so if the intern is working on this, this is a good step to take. What does your shop sell? I hope that the new location helps with foot traffic and promotion 🙂

          • At the moment my intern is working on helping me with inventory, but I do plan to move her into writing some blog articles to update website content with. I sell primarily women’s apparel, but some home decor and gifts. I mix RTW brands with USA-made & Ethically made brands, work with companies that give back and use eco-friendly materials, and local artists. It’s a pretty big variety. A bit of a versatile boho aesthetic. This is the first time I’ve ever had an intern, so I’m really excited to get to know her and work with her career goals to give her some real world experience to move forward with her dreams! She’s already interested in ethical fashion, so that’s a huge start! Thanks again for the advice, Jennifer!

  • I’m a new reader (I follow on feedly, have not yet subscribed to email updates), I found you because every list or website of sustainable fashion bloggers seemed to have you at the top of their list. This is an incredibly impressive post to me! Not only because of the respect I have for the transparency of your business and business model, and the vulnerability you show by putting that all out in the open, but also because I am curious about what running a website/blog business looks like. Thank you!

    • So glad you found us Ruth! Happy to know that this report has given you some real insights as to what it takes to have built this sustainable fashion and green lifestyle site. I’m upfront about it all so that people understand what’s involved and the outcomes. Keep checking in each month if you’re keen to track our progress or subscribe if you want. We send an email now every fortnight 🙂

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