December 2016 Income and Traffic Report



Why I’m Publishing Monthly Income Reports


One of the reasons I was motivated to begin my blogging journey was from seeing fellow bloggers post monthly income reports. Whether they were making money or not, I find all of these posts to be inspiring. I hope that you will be able to find my income reports inspiring as well. To clarify, these reports will not include income from my husband’s or I’s jobs. This will only include income from any of the side jobs I am trying out and from this blog if I ever start to make money from blogging. I find it all very exciting and I look forward to where this journey will take me. If you are wanting to start your own blog, check out my How to Start a Blog post using Bluehost(this post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a little bit of money whenever you purchase or sign up through my links. Don’t worry I only recommend things that I also personally use!)


I chose to start my income reports from the very beginning of my blog so that you and I have something to compare to later down the road if I do in fact become successful at this. I also plan to include updates on traffic reports once I get this figured out. Please know, that I am choosing to share these income reports not to brag, but to inspire, and to provide a realistic idea of what you can expect to make starting out your own blog. Keep in mind, most of this income hasn’t been taxed yet so I will have to pay taxes on it come tax season.


I will be posting these income reports once a month, but plan to post new content 1-2 times a week. If you would like to follow along in my journey feel free to subscribe to my blog. You can be among the first to know every time I publish a new post, by using the subscription box on the right. Plus you will receive a free budgeting template when you subscribe!


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My Blogging Journey

If you are curious to learn my reasons and motivations for beginning this blogging journey you should check out my Why I am Starting a Blog.” To give you a brief overview, I have four major reasons for beginning this blog:  1) I want to help others avoid the mistakes I made 2) I need a creative outlet 3)  I need extra income to pay down some of our debt 4) I want to be my own boss and have my financial freedom.



Last Month’s Income Report & Goals


So, I had really high hopes to end 2016 by finishing all of my goals for the year. But, I just didn’t. One of the biggest reasons for this was because I installed a new theme for my blog at the beginning of December and I temporarily lost all of my content. I spent the majority of the month trying to get it back. Thankfully, now you can see that I have restored the old look of my blog since it was looking like a generic photography site there for a while. To be honest though, I could have tried harder to get my site back to normal. But, since I am now writing this is 2017, I resolve to not be so hard on myself. I had a lot of fun just living my life in December and I don’t regret that at all.


I am planning on doing a year in review post soon, and I hope to include some pictures in there from recent events. But just as an over view for what I had going in the month of December:

  • Celebrated my birthday at Medieval Times (I was knighted and made queen. This was probably one of the most memorable experiences of my life to date)
  • Got several Birthday Freebies (I am going to be doing a new series soon on where and how I get things for free so stay tuned)
  • Attended my work Holiday Party and Happy Hour Event
  • Spent Christmas Eve with my in-laws and my husband’s siblings.
  • Spent Christmas Day with my family
  • Saw the Rogue One movie and hurt my knee (I think I either bruised or tore a ligament in my knee since it’s been hurting pretty badly for over a week now. Don’t worry I am going to get this checked out. I tried to go to the Urgent Care tonight but there was a 2 hour wait.)
  • Celebrated my brother’s birthday
  • Visited my grandmother and cousins 3 hours away from where we live
  • Had a nice long break from work (and was not nearly as productive as I would have liked to have been but I am seriously done beating myself up over it)
  • Spent New Year’s Eve re-reading Rich Dad Poor Dad and drinking wine J


Here were my goals for the Month of December, and I don’t feel I met any of them. Oh well, again I am done beating myself up over it. I started this blog for fun right? I have decided I’ve lost some of the fun aspect in writing this blog and I plan on bringing that back!


  1. Add my Disclosure Policy to my site
  • Figure out how to add it to the footer of my home page
  • Figure out how to add it as a plug-in in my posts so I don’t have to write it each time


  1. Add email opt-ins to the hot spots of my posts and on my blog
  • Apply the Rapidology Plug-In within my old posts


  1. Add a landing page to my blog
  • Review the webinar I attended last month
  • Review the tutorial my coach provided
  • Install my landing page


  1. Work on creating my branding image
  • Implement new blog colors (black, red, teal, and yellow possibly)
  • Decide and create a new logo


  1. Update my category tabs
  • Update the category names within my main menu bar
  • Figure out how to create drop down tabs in my main menu bar


  1. Freebie
  • Make final updates to my freebie
  • Figure out how to automate my freebie to be sent to new email subscribers
  • Write my welcome email for when people opt-in to my email list.


  1. Have a month’s worth of content written
  • Create 4 outlines
  • Create 4 rough drafts
  • Select and edit 4 post images


  1. Install my New Theme
  • Update my overall design
  • Update my logo
  • Update my photos
  • Update my blog colors



Income Earned Breakdown $71.01


($15 reimbursement for dinner and $5.00 reimbursement for a grocery store shop)

If you want to start making some extra money, check out my Resources page!

  • Google Adsense: $0.21 (this amount dropped because my ads were removed when I had installed my new theme. So my ads weren’t viewable for about 3 weeks.


  • Mystery Shopping:$56.00

Company #1: $26.00

Company #2: $30.00 ($15 reimbursement for dinner and $5 reimbursement for a grocery store shop)


  • Affiliates:

Finding Your Tribe Online $13.50


  • Ebates: $0.00 (if you haven’t joined Ebates I highly recommend you do! I don’t shop much and I’ve already made over $30 in cash back! If you use my link you’ll start off with $10!)


  • Apps: $0


Ibotta- $4.50 (+$0.00)

This is an app I use to get cashback on certain groceries I buy. If you sign up using my referral link you will automatically start with $10 in your account! Please use my referral code rkiow


Shopkick- 3,663kicks (+ 0 kicks)

(for those who don’t know Shopkick is the app I use every time I walk into a store. They give you points called kicks for various things including walking into a store, scanning items as you shop, purchasing items, and redeeming receipts.) I’ve already earned over $60 in gift cards from doing this! If you’d like to join please use my referral link


  1.   Surveys: $1.30

Inboxdollars-$25.88 (+ $0.80)

Swagbucks– 496 (+ 0 SB) I redeemed my first $25 gift card with them this month!

American Consumer Opinion-$8.15 ($0.50)



Income Received Breakdown $135.10


If you want to start making some extra money, check out my Resources page!

  1. Affiliates:

Ultimate Bundles: $77.60 (The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit)

Find Your Tribe Online: $13.50


  1. Mystery Shopping: $44.00 ($12 reimbursement for dinner)
  2. Referral programs: $0.00
  3. Surveys: $0.00
  4. Ebates: $0.00
  5. Google Adsense: $0.00
  6. Miscellaneous: $0.00



Blog Expenses $0.00



Net Profit: $71.01



Next Month’s Goals


So for the month of January, I want to be successful, and to do that I really just need to stick to my goals and my plan and stop putting things off. I have a new work space (as part of my Christmas gift) and I am working on setting work hours for myself each day (and taking 1 day off each week).

  1. Finish my goals from December
  2. Start the Facebook Group Living Fully and Free
  3. Start my Booktube account on Youtube called Reading Fully and Free (REALLY EXCITED!!!!)
  4. Read 1 book aimed at personal development this month
  5. Increase my email list by 20 new subscribers


Traffic Report Breakdown


Subscriber Growth: Currently I have 67 subscribers! This means that I gained 4 new subscribers this month. I am honestly surprised I got 4 new subscribers since I had all the issues with my blog theme this month. I am finally going to make growing my list a focus this year. I thought that it was a focus of mine, and it has been at the fore front of my mind, but I am finally admitting to myself that thinking about this being a priority is not the same as actually making it a priority. So, one of my yearly goals is going to make a HUGE jump from 67 to several thousand by the end of 2017. I haven’t set the exact amount yet, but I want the number to scare me because that means it will motivate me to push harder to grow this list.


Facebook Likes: I have 81 likes on my Facebook page. That is 0 new likes this month. I am honestly, not disappointed. I don’t like having a Facebook page honestly. I’m not sure what to really do with it. Instead, I plan on creating a Facebook Group this month! I’m working on ideas on how to engage my readers, and my blogging coach has really inspired me with the success of her Facebook group Winning Women Online. If you are a female and haven’t joined I strongly encourage you to do so. Fellas, I try to stay gender neutral but this one is unfortunately only for the ladies.


Pinterest Followers: I have 15,530 followers on my personal Pinterest page (-6), and I have 1,251 followers on my business Pinterest page (+2). I was not active on social media at all this month and I plan on utilizing some of the free trial offers I get from purchasing the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit a few months ago. I am willing to invest in automating some of the work since I can see how much it has helped my fellow bloggers grow and simplify their work.


Twitter Followers: I am currently at 116 followers (+4) and earned 832 impressions this month (-350). I’m not dropping Twitter, but I am not going to be able to devote focus to it until I have Pinterest automated, and my Facebook group up and running.


This is what my traffic report looks like from Google AdSense:

I made $0.21 from ads this month bringing my total Adsense profit to $11.63. As I mentioned above, since I installed a new theme earlier this month, it completely got rid of my adsense ads and I didn’t even notice since I was so worried on getting my content back. So my ads were down for over 3 weeks which is the reason for this huge drop in income from this source. I am making growing my traffic a priority this year, so I’m hoping to start seeing this income source grow each month.


This is what my traffic looks like from Google Analytics.


Here are what my stats look like from last month to this month:


November December Entire Life of Blog
Sessions 1,139 762 9,083
Pageviews 1,845 1,236 14,247
Avg. Session Duration 01:30 01:11 1:17
% New Sessions 76.38% 80.84% 83.84%
Users 898 646 7,615
Pages/Session 1.62 1.62 1.57
Bounce Rate 71.55% 72.70% 80.19%


Yeah yeah, another drop. No surprise since my blog basically did not exist. I am not worrying about these stats this month.


This is what my traffic looks like from Pinterest.


November December Overall
Average Daily Impressions 1,277 675 819 (+3)
Average Daily Views 867 470 558 (+6)
Average Monthly Viewers 27,587 15,511 11,755 (+684)
Average Monthly Engaged 599 348 298 (+13)


I did nothing on Pinterest. I’m not going to beat myself up over it, but will instead focus on automating this so I can improve in 2017.


Each month I hope to make big improvements on the quality, design, content, and growth of this blog. If you can share my page on your social networks that would be fantastic! If you have any advice I’m open to that as well!


If you are wanting to start your own blog, check out my How to Start a Blog post using Bluehost!


I look forward to see how next month turns out!!!

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  1. I’m happy to see you back and operational. I think your site as it right now is fine, and perhaps when you’ve reach a level of success you can reward yourself with a website designer. Someone who knows how to change things around is so valuable. Sounds like you had a good Christmas break, and I can’t wait to see pics from Medieval Times- I’ve always wanted to go there!
    Lisa recently posted…November 2016 Income and Progress ReportMy Profile

    • Thanks Lisa! Me too. I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. I’m going to keep messing around with my new theme and see if I can make the improvements I want. But I like the idea of hiring someone. Honestly, I’m going to do that for any future sites I start as this is just not an area I’m strong in. I’ll be sure to post pics soon of Medieval Times! It was great!

    • I honestly have done a horrible job with keeping up with everyone else’s blog in the past few months. So I’m hoping we start to all move upwards this year!

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