I started doing a generalized blogging income report last year, not necessarily sharing numbers but sharing WHERE my income came from, and the breakdown. This all started when I shared my first “truth” about blogging income report here.
2015 Blogging Income Report Summery:
Last year my blogging income report broke down like this:
“65% of my revenue came from consulting. Working on projects, management of campaigns, services that were not “products” sold on my blog, but things that happened because OF my blog, and the connections it made.
30% of my revenue came DIRECTLY from sponsored content or advertising on my personal blog.
the other 5% came from additional assets and other “bits and bobs”
Of that 30%, 3 networks made up 42% of the income from the “Sponsored content line” Three networks, who kept me on their roster, month after month, contributed almost as much as the other dozens put together.”
This year, things were a little different, as you can see from my 2015 blogging income report .
79% of my income this year came from consulting. This number continues to grow and evolve above and beyond what my website assets deliver, as can be expected. There is only SO much content you can publish that is sponsored on a website, and without creating new platforms, or increasing my service delivery on the current platforms, the blog revenue will only see moderate growth.
Most blogging income report you look at do have some sort of “consulting” income line and this continues to show that the best way to stabilize your income is to think of products and services you can sell “off” your blog, and use your blog as a way to promote and market your personal brand.
20% of my income came from website properties, which in the great scheme of the numbers, is still a stable income in my experience.
The “other 1%” is revenue from affiliate programs, or other benefits (speaking opportunities, one off consulting etc)
Blogging Income Report “Blog” breakdown
My “Blogging” income was 20% of the my total income for 2015, with it being split with digital revenue (from ad deliveries) and sponsored content, or social media support.
My breakdown from digital ad revenue and sponsored content is as follows:
19% of the total blog revenue was from digital advertising, so ads placed by networks on my website properties. This was delivering just shy of 1million impressions over the course of the year.
81% of my total blog revenue was from sponsored content, and somewhat unrelated to the amount of page views my sites delivered, and more connected to my “personal brand” and writing style.
There is ALWAYS room to improve sponsored content by building relationships with brands and other networks, and delivering BETTER content, and content that has more detail (recipe posts vs narrative)
Coming into 2016 I have already secured multiple blog content sales that will equal almost 50% of my TOTAL 2015 blog income. This revenue line is one I want to refocus on since the expenses are minimal, and the delivery of the product is actually very easy (and fun to do)
How much did it all cost?
Here is the “clincher” though – expenses!
I spent just under $200 on advertising in the year!
Over $4000 was spent on travel, food and conferences (so education, and well spent in my books)
$4000 was spent on purchasing platforms, stock images, and other technical items that support my blog, business and consulting.
And the biggest chunk was spent on sub contractors. I endeavour to keep this number BELOW 50% of the related income, and this year it ran in at about 42%.
In total, my expenses were approximately 39% of my total income, which (again in the grand scope) is a manageable and acceptable number to me to run the business I am running.
So, what is in store for 2016?
I am going to continue to promote the consulting revenue, finding additional products and services I can deliver with reduced expenses. I am increasing the deliverables on my web properties so those values can increase, since the expenses on these items are very, very low.
(When I say “increasing deliverables” I mean I am going to focus on increasing page views, and delivering higher valued sponsored content like videos, and custom programs. I am building my social assets as well, so there is more value to brands that I am pitching and I can pitch at higher prices”)
I am focussing my attendance on conferences that delivered my HIGHEST ROI, and not attending the ones that did not (want to know which ones I am talking about? Check this post out)
I am scouring my expenses on platforms and technology, seeing what I am using and deleting the programs I am not, as I am a true believer that EVERY dollar not spent counts as a dollar earned.
In the end, my income has doubled each year that I have been in business, and while I don’t actually expect it to DOUBLE this year, I would like to see a growth of my gross income by 20% and my net income by 40%, with a growth of my blogging income to come back up to 30% of my total for the year.
A BIG change in the 2015 blogging income report
One big change I noticed in the 2015 blogging income report compared to the 2014 blogging income report was that the 3 main networks I got most of my income from in 2014, were just part of the whole average in 2015. These networks still delivered, but other networks did too. I saw an increase in other agencies delivering big numbers in campaigns, and increased frequency of opportunity. While I still put a lot of MY support to the “Big 3”, I am happy to be having more sources of network income coming into my blog.
It also shows me that there are a lot of players out there that can deliver consistent and high value blog sales to your site, and that by continuing to connect with networks and agencies at conferences, and being willing to work with these groups and deliver campaigns (even at rates below what you would normally sell) you are overall increasing the income opportunity of your blog. (i.e.: don’t delete ALL those PR press releases, spend time to review and respond and engage with each one that lands in your inbox. Share your stats and rates and find some common ground for what you can deliver)
In the end, 2015 was a strong year for my business. I made some big changes from what I was doing in 2014, and saw growth in new service deliverables. I created a “business” website for myself to better represent the consulting that I offer, and feel more confident saying what I “DO” for a job these days. My products are streamlined, as is my proposal delivery. I am working in my area of strength and better balancing all my income sources so that no one area overwhelms me.
And I am very excited to be moving into 2016 with a strong business foundation and the time to continue to refine what I do and be innovative in the services and strategy I offer!
So, how was YOUR year?
Check out these other great blogging income report posts below!
Pinch of Yum
Just a Girl and a Blog
The Endless Meal
Are you struggling to find the business in your blog? Think about booking a strategy session or signing up to participate in my 6 week FREE blogger mentorship class!