The month of May was a complete shemozzle.
I was hoping to hit the $2k target again and make it our third consecutive month to have done so, but I completely dropped the ball in the area of ‘income-seeking’ especially towards the latter part of the month.
So we didn’t hit the income target in the end.
I won’t go into why we didn’t achieve it right now. I’ll explain the reasons for that later.
Anyway, let the Transparency Report for May begin…
Website Traffic for May 2017
Our Google Analytics ‘Audience Overview’ for May looks like this:
The image breakdown is as follows:
- Sessions: 31,336
- Users: 25,611 (unique visitors)
- Page Views: 47,768
- Avg. Session Duration: 00:01:39
- Bounce Rate: 77.50%
Comparing our May performance with April’s I can see that across all key Google metrics, we did very well. We were able to increase the amount of time people spent on the site from 1:36 to 1:39. We maintained a steady bounce rate. We increased page views and we finally hit the milestone of 25,000 visitors in a 30-day period. Yay!
Too bad our great website performance didn’t trickle down to a great financial performance.
Here’s what we earned from each income stream in the month ($AUD):
- Google Adsense: $70.32
- Amazon Associates: $211.31
- Skimlinks: $61.49
- Linkshare: $14.17
- Share-A-Sale: $29.17
- Other Affiliate Programs: $0.00
- Sponsored Post/Paid Guest Posts: $688.92
- Patreon Pledges/Reader Donations: $410.52
Total Income: $1,485.90
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.
The income we made is nothing to scoff at I guess as I know other sustainability sites don’t even earn half as much as we do, but still not as impressive as hitting the $2k income mark like we did in March and April.
My fiance and business partner Ben is now committing one day a week to business development so that we continue to bring in the dollars. Without the advertising income, I won’t be able to fund the growth of our team or have any hope of paying myself a wage even. Hopefully we fare much better in June with his sales skills. Fingers crossed!
Here are the expenses and costs* we incurred for May:
- Software: $47.64
- People: $645.82
- Office: $331.04
Total Expenses: $1,024.50
*Note: Rough estimates as the operating costs are divided between our other businesses as well.
I was conscious of wrangling expenses in for the month as it was top of mind since April’s expense blow out ($2,216.39). It turns out I’m a very good operations manager because we more than halved our expenses to just $1,024.50.
Once we give up this office and move operations back to the farm (we finally have ‘proper’ internet access in our rural community, albeit a slow and crappy one compared with what you’d expect in a ‘Western’ economy) I will be able to slash office expenses further as we won’t be paying office rent.
Our Adsense and affiliate marketing income is increasing and our Patreon support is very steady (thank you to our beautiful loyal supporters who value what we do!), but I dropped the ball in the sponsored posts area which is historically our most lucrative income stream.
So why did I fail in our profit-seeking endeavours in May?
I had good reason. Well, at least to my mind it seemed a good reason.
We started to implement our video strategy.
A major part of our sustainability communications plan for this year is to create YouTube videos to reach an audience we haven’t been able to with our site: men and young people.
The Eco Warrior Princess website commands great ‘web’ authority and of course, is popular with conscious millennial women who are much like myself. But I needed to get out of the echo chamber. Preaching to the converted wasn’t helping us to achieve our goal of influencing the masses towards green living.
We needed to do more.
I instinctively knew that video blogs about the sustainable lifestyle would help us do this. Some people don’t have time to read in-depth well-researched articles (I know this because my family and friends tell me often they “haven’t had the chance to read” our posts) and video is a communications medium that some people prefer (Ben sits in this category).
So this became priority in May as I realised that the year’s midway point is fast approaching and I still hadn’t implemented our video blog strategy.
Anyway, that’s why we didn’t make a higher income for the month. Because I used my time video planning and production rather than business development.
But I think it’ll pay off in the end.
In the last month, we were able to attract another 50 subscribers to the channel and we’re only still learning how to video blog! Plus I’m all about the long game and am confident that given enough time, we’ll eventually excel at it. (To watch the vlogs on our YouTube channel, click here.)
Anyway – factoring in income and expenses – Eco Warrior Princess recorded a net profit of $461.40.
A good result. Not good in the sense that I can now put my feet up and take my foot off of the accelerator, but good in the sense that we at least covered operational expenses and did not record another loss.
Email Subscriber Stats
Our total number of email subscribers for May:
- New Subscribers: 880
- Existing Subscribers: 3,963
- Total Subscribers: 4,843
Gaining another 880 subscribers in a month is an incredible outcome that can only be attributed to our eco-friendly prize bundle giveaway (pictured below). It was a very popular giveaway indeed.
It’s almost half way through the year and while we’ve achieved some of our goals, we’re nowhere near where we want to be (hello 100,000 unique visitors…!). Everybody knows I work hard, but I think I can work a whole lot smarter too. I’ll be reevaluating our business strategy regularly to make sure we’re using our time, energy and resources as effectively as possible. Plus I’m hiring more writers too which will help us achieve our goals.
I’m going to give Eco Warrior Princess everything I’ve got, but then again, when aren’t I?
Want to follow along on our sustainable 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.