Welcome to another segment of Business Diaries!
Well, it’s been quite a while since my last time writing a Business Diaries report…
… Three whole months to be exact.
I’m writing this on the very last day of August, and this report will be a massive wrap up of the previous three months of my blogging life.
I know that in my very first report, I did say I want to make it into a monthly thing, but I just couldn’t keep up.
At first, everything was going so slow, and I was having issues with growing, so I didn’t think there was anything to report.
And then, everything got so fucking much that I barely had time to publish regular blog posts to my blog.
So, here we are, three months later, with tons of updates for you.
Before we dive deep into how my blog has been doing so far and how is my freelance career is going, let’s briefly touch on some things that happened in the last three months:
- I finally made my first $2000 with my blog
- I finally got my shit together and came back to being a freelance writer
- I have found a great mentor which I didn’t expect to find
- And I once again pivoted my personal brand strategy to start making some real money, and I think it will stick this time.
It’s been long three months…
Now, I’m going to shut up and get to the point!
QUIZ: What Type Of Blogger Are You? Have 60 Seconds And Want To Find Out? Take The Quiz!
What’s Been Happening With My Blog
So, I know that most of you are here because of that catchy headline saying I’ve made $2000 with my blog.
Yeah, July & August have been excellent months, and I did make almost $2000 in income.
Now, let me get it straight:
I’m saying that I made that income with my blog because it did help me show off my writing skills and land freelance clients.
I didn’t make $2000 with affiliate marketing or selling courses or some shit.
So, love me or hate me; I still consider this to be the first $2000 FOXY SOUL made me.
We’ll talk more in-depth about my finances later in this post. Now, let’s look at the significant changes I’ve made to my blog (yes, AGAIN, sue me!):
Change #1: I’ve Niched Down
Oh yes, I’ve been dodging this bullet for a long time now.
In my first Business Diaries segment, I’ve said that I decided to merge my business and personal blog into one, which was the best decision I’ve made.
Well, it turns out it wasn’t.
Having so many things in one place made it very hard for me to stand out.
I mean, hell, I did stand out with my pink branding and those collages, but it wasn’t that type of standing out I’ve wanted.
It wasn’t bringing me traffic, people were not sharing my content, and all the clients I’ve been approaching were not hiring me.
So, I knew that I need to make changes if I want to start building my personal brand as a freelance writer.
I’ve removed all of my podcast show notes, and I’ve created a separate website for it entirely (about that, a bit later).
And I’ve moved all of my personal development content to Medium. I love writing about personal development, but it wasn’t the right place on FOXY SOUL.
And here I was, left with only online marketing.
I’ve given myself three topics I’ll be covering: Social Media, Content Marketing, and Freelancing, which is niche enough.
I’m not going to lie; it was a hard choice to make as I really wanted people who come to my blog to love me and not only my tips on Pinterest.
But, I want my freelance writing business to be professional, while still personal, so it had to be done.
It turns out I love it this way.
Change #2: I’ve Improved The Quality Of My Blog Posts
How can you sell your writing when you don’t have good examples?
The answer: you fucking can’t!
So, I’ve changed my blog’s imagery from those cute aesthetic collages to simple, professional (yet still badass) art.
And I’ve taken some courses and read some material on how to write better blog posts and copy in general.
Working with clients who are very open with their feedback and their guidelines also helped, not gonna lie.
While this change was for the better, it made it more difficult for me to write blog posts for my blog.
I used to write 1500-2000 word blog posts that would just barely scratch the topic’s surface, and it would take me around 2-3 hours to produce.
Now, I’m writing 4000+ words in-depth posts with more sources, screenshots and it’s taking me 5-7 hours to write and edit.
This fucked up my posting schedule quite a bit, and I’ve missed a few blog posts in these months, but I’ll figure it out.
Also, I got an internship with this amazing woman I admire so much (who I consider my kinda-mentor), and I got the task of refreshing her blog content to improve her old posts’ quality.
While I was doing it, I realized I need to do this myself as content that I wrote 3 months ago is so much different from the content I write now, and it doesn’t look great for clients who look at my blog.
So, this is going to be a goal for the next few months.
And How About Traffic?
In my last Business Diaries report, my traffic was at around 220 pageviews a month.
I set myself a goal of hitting the 500 pageviews a month in June.
Well, I can very happily say, that my traffic has been steadily growing, and August was the best month so far.
Because I’m covering the last three months in this report, let’s look at the traffic for each month individually.
Here is my traffic overview for June:
It was low, only barely 200 pageviews a month, and in June, I’ve only published two new blog posts.
It was a slow month because I spend the majority of the time regrouping. I didn’t have any client work (because that one client I had at the time didn’t have the time to work with me), and I needed to find a way to make this freelance life happen.
In June, I decided to come back to freelance writing and specialize ONLY on that and leave social media management behind.
I wasn’t enjoying it, and I wasn’t good at it, and if I’m being perfectly honest with you here, I’ve always wanted to be a writer.
So, I had to make it happen.
Because of all these things, the half-year mark was a massive kick in the ass for me. I regrouped and made some changes.
This was also the month when I was supposed to write my Business Diaries #3, but I didn’t because I didn’t have anything to report.
Now, let’s move on to July, and the traffic was looking better:
As you can see, in July, my traffic almost doubled.
Now, in July, I already had a strategy in mind, and it was the month that I’ve started incorporating Pinterest again.
I have to say that while the results are fantastic, it’s nothing like it used to be at the end of 2018.
So, I was a bit disappointed, but I’m working on understanding Pinterest’s mechanics and how to use it to increase my traffic even more.
I’ve only published one blog post during July, and it was the first long-form post I’ve written.
This was also when I realized that I could not keep up with my blog as I’ve hoped as I was writing a lot for clients.
And now, the traffic for August was terrific:
I’ve managed to get almost 900 pageviews in this last month alone.
My daily traffic is around 20-30 pageviews a day right now, and I think it’s all because my Pinterest efforts are paying off bit by bit, but I still don’t feel great enough to give you my tips away.
I will make sure that I write a blog post about driving traffic once I hit a more significant milestone and learn what strategies are working and why.
In August, I’ve published two blog posts, both long-form, which I’m very proud of.
I had four posts planned, but this post is going live on the first of September, and the other post is still only a draft.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m getting into guest blogging and networking to grow my blog.
And that’s what I’ve been doing as well.
Now, I’ve managed to land myself two guest blogging gigs, and I’ve got two blog posts written.
One of them was the post I’ve written for Golden Bloggerz about lead magnet ideas. I encourage you to read it as it’s a very informative blog post.
And I’ve also written and submitted another one, but it’s only getting published in mid-September.
I’ll make sure to link to it once it’s live.
I have to warn you:
I’m not guest blogging to get more traffic as I’ve read that it’s not the most efficient way to use it.
I’m guest blogging to build the authority of my website and me, as a freelance writer.
It’s also a part of my research for the upcoming guide I’m writing that should be coming out sometime in October.
We’ll see then if it’s worth your time and hustle if you were thinking about guest blogging.
What Are My Blogging Goals
OK, so now that you’ve seen what I’ve managed to accomplish with my blog in the last three months, let’s talk about where I’m headed next.
My next blogging goals for this year would be:
- Hit 5000 pageviews/month
- Update all of my old blog posts
- Re-launch with the new design (coming at the end of this year!)
I’m focusing on a few things at the time, as I’ve noticed that it usually doesn’t work when I set myself too many goals.
But I’m very excited to see where this year takes me.
Etsy Shop Overview
I decided to include my Etsy shop overview here because last time I said that I want it to be the main focus of my income.
Of course, it didn’t happen as I’ve focused on my blog and freelance writing only for the last three months.
But the very funny thing happened:
While I was using Etsy ads to get my products in front of more people, I didn’t have a single sale.
In June, I stopped my ads, and I completely stopped working on promotion…
… And I got five sales.
It’s funny how life sometimes works, right?
Anyway, here are my Etsy stats for the last three months:
My profit was nothing impressive, but knowing how I completely neglected the shop, it’s nice to see that at least I got a few cups of coffee out of it.
Now, that’s very interesting is the traffic sources for my Etsy shop:
Quite a few views came from my website directly. I do have the link to my shop here on FOXY SOUL, and apparently, people are clicking on it.
What Are My Etsy Shop Goals
While I completely neglected the shop for the last three months, I actually want to start making some decent money with it by the end of this year.
The reason I started an Etsy shop was because I want to diversify my income.
I don’t want to rely only on client work only as it can be tricky unless you’re very established.
So, here are my aims for the Etsy shop for the rest of this year:
- Create and upload all planned products
- Make the first $1000
While I like to have these goals in mind, I don’t pressure myself too much as Etsy shop is not a priority.
But I will make sure to do as much as I can this year.
Email List Overview
Well, well, let’s talk about email marketing.
I’ve been meaning to start my email list for FOXY SOUL since the beginning of this year.
But I’ve only managed to set it up in June.
Now, it’s not my first time growing an email list as I’ve had one for The Blonde Social in 2018/19, but this time is going so much harder.
Somehow, I’ve had many fails with my email list this time around:
I’ve had a few different freebies for different audiences and soon realized that it’s not working.
I’ve created forms that don’t work well for my blog, so I had to redo all of them.
In the end, I decided that I’m going to keep only two good quality freebies that are targeting my ideal audience and focus on growing my list:
I think it’s been working.
Here is the subscriber growth for the last three months:
Here is a screenshot for those of you who want a visual:
It’s very slow, my god, how fucking slow.
But I’m happy it’s growing.
You know how they say:
Slow and steady wins the race?
Well, I’ve never been a fan of this saying in the past, but I might be now.
I’ve written a guide on starting an email list here if you were wondering how to start growing yours, so do check it out.
It doesn’t have any strategy tips, just everything you need to start one.
The strategy is coming as soon as I can gather more information and get better results.
What Are My Email List Goals
Well, my goals for my email list are humble this year:
- I want to grow my list to 500 subscribers
- I want to launch another freebie
I have been planning a freebie for a while now, and I think it’s going to help me take my email list to another level, and it’s going to be very useful for you guys.
A Quick Podcast Update
I feel like I have to address the elephant in the room:
Oh, boy, it’s been the best thing I’ve done and the immense pain in the ass, if I’m being honest.
I’m including this here for the last time only because I’ve been reporting on it in the previous Business Diaries posts.
I have been neglecting the podcast, but the episode on how to be that badass bitch you’ve always wanted to be was the post that drove the most traffic to my blog in the last three months.
Hilarious, isn’t it?
And I wasn’t even promoting it!
I’ve created a separate website for The FOXY SOUL Show, and while I still leave a call to action everywhere I go, it’s not a part of my FOXY SOUL business model anymore.
I’ve decided that I don’t want to turn my podcast into a business podcast to match my brand, so I’ve just been having fun with it.
I’m taking it easy and a hobby, and I’ll be continuing to talk about pop culture, being a woman, and other life-related topics.
Yeah, that was it, and I won’t be including the podcast in my Business Diaries in the future.
And finally, the part that you’ve been all waiting for the most in this post:
My income report.
I’ve had huge financial goals for this year.
I really wanted to create three different income sources for myself, and I wanted to make $5000/month by the end of the year.
Yes, I know I’m a girl with big ambitions and stupid optimism.
While I did have those huge goals, I wasn’t genuinely focusing on them 100%; I’m going to be honest.
Once I landed myself a sweet client that was paying me enough for very little work and allowed me to survive, I focused on non-monetary goals more.
So, when June hit me, and that month I didn’t make a dime because that one sweet client wasn’t giving me any projects, you can imagine that I felt like I was smacked in the face.
That is when I decided enough is enough, and I want to be serious with my income.
So, I went from making $0 in June to making $1623 in July.
It’s incredible how much you can do if you just simply set your mind to it.
In July, I found myself new freelance writing clients, and I’m still working with them in August. And so far, it’s looking like I’ll be having steady jobs coming in for the next few months.
In August, I didn’t make as much even though I was aiming for $2000.
But I wasn’t surprised as August is always an extremelly slow month as everyone is taking it easy, or they’re on holiday.
This was the case with both of my new clients, and I’ve only been starting to get more work in the last two weeks.
I don’t have the financial report for August yet, I should get it by the end of today or tomorrow at the latest, but this month I should make around $500 from client work.
It’s way less than last month, but I already have plenty of work for September, so I’m not worried about it being less this month.
I hope to hit that $2000 mark in September, so wish me luck.
I did start using an Income Goals Tracker in July, and let me tell you; it’s a must for every freelancer:
I didn’t create one myself. I’ve got the idea from Lindy from The Freelancer’s Year.
I found her blog a few months back, and I love it. She has tons of great resources and information.
Honestly, using the Income Goal Tracker changed my life, and now I have the rest of my year planned with my income goals.
It’s easy to see and plan, and it’s helluva good for motivation.
Well, this was a long-ass post.
But it was long overdue, and I was dying to update you all and share my journey.
While bad things are still happening in the world, I’m feeling pretty optimistic about the rest of this year.
It can still be great, and I’ll continue focusing on creating great content and writing great posts while meeting my monetary goals (lol).