Welcome to our first ever online income and traffic report! We are no strangers to talking about money. In fact we happily share our family budget with the entire world. But this is our first ever online income report where we delve into the details of our business.
I’m not going to lie, it’s strange thinking of One Big Happy Life as a business because we are truly passionate about it. Plus it’s fun! It really doesn’t feel like work most of the time, which is why it’s been hard to internalize that what we are actually building is a company that helps families live happy balanced lives. And that if we work hard at it, we can actually grow One Big Happy Life so that it makes a full time income for our family. Of course, the only way that’s going to happen is if we believe in the possibilities and start taking action.
Just about every big thing that we’ve accomplished in our lives has started with setting a goal. We have a few goals that we have set for One Big Happy Life.
The first is that we want to grow the blog to 100,000 page views by the end of the year. We’ve read a lot about page views being just vanity metrics and to some extent they are. But they also reflect the number of people that our message reaches. At the end of the day, we do what we do because we love it and because of the real positive effect it has on people’s lives. So page views will always be important to us for that reason alone. And since we also intend to monetize with ads for the foreseeable future, page views certainly help on that front.
Our second goal is to reach $10,000 in revenue per month by the end of 2019. This is a massive goal. It’s a bit scary to put on paper. It seems even a little audacious to dream it into existence. But it is important to set scary and ambitious goals. We believe that if a goal doesn’t make you feel a little sick to your stomach, then you aren’t dreaming big enough.
At the end of the day, all a goal is, is admitting to yourself that you want something and then being committed to figuring out a way to make it happen.
In my day job as a consumer finance attorney, I have always believed in the principle that you can do well and do good–meaning that you can have a lucrative business that is also ethical and benefits the people that your business serves. That’s how we view One Big Happy Life.
One Big Happy Life found its legs on YouTube long before we launched this website, so our our YouTube channel will necessarily be a prominent part of these recaps for the foreseeable future. We published 15 new videos on February, which is right on track with our goal of making at least three videos a week.
We took a short family trip to Great Wolf Lodge for Reeves’s birthday at the beginning of the month. While on that trip I took a break from YouTube for the first time since we started over a year ago. That’s when I realized that I needed to scale back on some of the busy work that I was doing and start focusing on the next most important things that I could do to grow One Big Happy Life.
I stepped away from responding to comments as much, leaving them for Joseph to respond to. Instead, I started focusing on researching and writing new videos and blog posts. Ultimately I did not post any new blog posts in February, which isn’t great and is something we plan to work on in the upcoming months.
We also started using Asana + Google Drive + Zapier (all free) to collaboratively manage our content calendar and documents. That one change has made us so much more organized. It was worth the time it took to figure it out and set it up.
Blog Ad Revenue: $18
Amazon Associates: $53
Misc Affiliates: $118
Sponsored Posts: $80
Value of Items Received: $315
Our income numbers include revenue earned in the month of February even if we don’t actually get paid until some time in the future. Since the whole point of these income reports is to assess our progress from month to month, it makes sense to track the actual income we earned in the month rather than income received from work done in prior months.
YouTube is a money generating powerhouse for us right now. It makes up the bulk of our profits and is our absolute favorite social media platform. We started making a few hundred dollars after just a couple of months on the platform last year and it has only gone up from there.
Total Income: $2,218
Adobe CC: $30
Epidemic Sound: $15
Our expenses include any costs we incur in that month. Some of our expenses are paid for yearly, like our blog hosting that we paid in January. Our expenses were a little higher than usual because I decided to invest in a blogging course to help me with SEO and Pinterest keyword research going forward.
Total Expenses: $264
Net Profit: $1,954
In February we topped our previous personal best monthly income which was $1,200 last September. Our YouTube revenue was up $800 from last month thanks to a few videos that did really well. It will be interesting to see how long we sustain the high and where it settles if/when the traffic boost dies down.
Our expenses were slightly higher than usual this month because we ran a giveaway using Gleam and because I purchased a course on SEO. Neither of those will be regular line items. We don’t have plans to have another massive giveaway until we hit 50,000 subscribers. And at this point there is only one other course that I have my eye on (details to come if/when I decide to purchase it). So our expenses should be ~$200 lower next month.
We didn’t post any new blog posts and haven’t fully optimized for ads on all of our pages yet, but still we managed to get $18 in ad revenue from the few ads on the handful of articles (out of the 25 total) that are currently on the blog. Our blog and traffic are still pretty small which means we are using the lowest paying ad companies: Google Adsense and Media.net. As of right now, I don’t think that one really is any better than the other.
Google recently created an automatic ads tool that will optimize your site’s ads without you having to do anything but install the code into the page header of every page where you want Ads. Next month we will see what a difference it makes in the end, if any.
Page Views: 13,908
Unique Visitors: 5,069
New Visitors: 96%
We launched our blog at the end of October 2017, so this is only our fourth full month of blogging. All in all, we are thrilled with the amount of traffic we are getting so far–especially in light of how little content we currently have on the blog. Over the next few months we will be working on putting out more content on the blog and doing a better job of creating companion blog posts for the YouTube videos we make.
Right now 65% of our traffic comes from social networks (YouTube, Pinterest, etc.) and 16% comes from search. Ideally I’d love to get those two number a lot closer together with the ultimate goal of having most of our traffic come from search. The course that I purchased this month focuses on SEO which should help us get better at targeting keywords that we can rank for in Google search.
EMAIL & SOCIAL MEDIA STATISTICS
Total email subscribers: 1,515
New email subscribers: 462
YouTube is clearly our social media powerhouse. We had a pretty amazing month on there in February which boosted our income and subscriber counts a good bit. But after a year on YouTube we know that it can be pretty cyclical with ebbs and flows. While we are ecstatic about having such a great month, we recognize that what goes up will probably also go down at some point. The question is how far will it drop before it stabilizes? I guess we will find out next month.