Oh my gosh summer is over already! It really did pass by in a whirlwind. I think this had been the busiest year of my life. Every month so far this year I keep assuming that things would start to calm down and normalize the next month. That has not held true at all. In fact, each month feels busier than the last.
This year has been huge for us both in our business lives and in our personal lives. And while it’s awesome to be making progress towards our goals (especially our business goals) when things are constantly changing, it’s hard to create a schedule that encompasses all the things.
With back to school season in full swing, our youngest is now in preschool and we are home schooling our oldest by having her take classes full time at the community college. We’re still adjusting to that new schedule. Meanwhile, our big project that has been in the works for a few days now is just weeks away from being revealed. I can’t wait to spill the beans.
Okay, now let’s talk about how July went for One Big Happy Life.
And if you want to read all about the journey from the beginning, you can check out all of our income reports to date.
YouTube Ad Revenue: $2,600
Blog Ad Revenue: $40
Affiliate Income: $240
Sponsored Posts: $2,000
Our income numbers include revenue earned in the month of August 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 receive from work done in prior months.
August now holds the new record for our best revenue month thanks to our sponsored posts and freelancing work. This month is also a perfect example of how the YouTube algorithm can cause big swings in YouTube ad revenue. In July we had one video go viral (by our standards anyway). It amassed hundreds of thousands of views within weeks, injecting a nice boost into our ad revenue. But what goes up must come down. And it came down fast.
Our ad revenue is down $1400 from last month. Yet this has still been our best month when it comes to our overall revenue. The reason for that is because we work on diversifying our income sources. So even though our ad revenue has returned to normal, we’ve been able to increase our online income in other ways.
Auto ads were off for the entire month and I did not go through to manually insert ads on the blog. But I also noticed that there isn’t much of a difference in traffic when auto ads are on compared to them being off. I’ve decided to turn the auto ads back on and leave them there until our traffic grows enough for us to be accepted into Mediavine.
We are still working on some things behind the scenes that we can’t really talk about yet, but that should give our income a sustained boost over the next few months. Stay tuned for more details about this in future online income reports.
TOTAL REVENUE: $6,380
Adobe CC: $30
Epidemic Sound: $60
Convert Kit: $80
Attorney’s Fees: $1,500
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 full in January. The first five expenses on our list this month stay relatively constant from month to month. Our ConvertKit cost increased this month because our list is now over 3,000 people. It’s exciting but it now makes our email list our single highest business expense.
We haven’t gotten into the habit of emailing our list very often so right now it’s feeling like a very large expense that has little return. We plan to start regularly emailing our list soon. Eventually we will go through our list and remove anyone who hasn’t opened any of our emails within a certain period of time. Then the cost should drop again for a while.
The other major unusual cost that we had this month was paying the fees of the attorney that helped us create One Big Happy Life, LLC. In addition to drafting and filing the document that we needed to incorporate, she also created a partnership agreement for us which should help us out quite a bit when tax time rolls around.
While Joseph and I are both attorneys, we’re not that kind of attorney. We much preferred to hire someone who practiced this kind of law for a living than to try to muddle through it ourselves, especially given the amount of time it would have taken.
Total Expenses: $1,735
NET REVENUE: $5,144
It’s been really exciting over these past few months to watch our revenue grow. We’ve had two monthly revenue bests in a row. And if everything shakes out as planned, September will also be another revenue best (fingers crossed).
Now of course our two best revenue months have also been our two biggest months of expenses which offsets things somewhat. But going forward we’re not expecting to have any huge outlays for the foreseeable future. We’ve just completely overhauled our YouTube camera gear, which is one of the biggest expenses YouTuber’s typically have. We shouldn’t have to replace any of our camera gear for at least another two years, though there are a few lenses that Joseph has his eye on for our big camera.
Despite the elevated expenses, this month’s net revenue makes us pretty darned happy. If our profits stay this high (and we think it will be pretty close from now on), that means we are officially making a full time income online which is amazing and kind of unbelievable at the same time.
When we started OBH nearly two years ago, our goal was to see if we could just build it up to where it would generate $2,000 a month to cover Alexis’s college in 2020. So we gave ourselves four years to build OBH up to $24,000 a year in profits and we did it in less than two!
Our next big goals is to grow OBH to having $10,000 a month in net revenue. At that point, I could quit my job with only a moderate impact on our finances. We have a plan to make that happen through multiple revenue streams using both YouTube and the blog. The blog is the weakest link right now and the thing that I’d love to be able to devote more time to building up.
Page Views: 11,402
New Visitors: 4,555
We launched our blog at the end of October 2017, so this is only our tenth full month of blogging. At the beginning of the year we set a goal of reaching 100,000 page views this year. At this point I feel pretty confident in saying that that probably won’t happen. I’m a little disappointed but the truth is that when we set that goal we had no way of knowing what this year would have brought us.
One of the things that we’ve had to come to terms with as entrepreneurs is that there are never enough hours in the day. Our to-do lists are always full. As much as we would love to be able to do all the things, the fact is that we can’t. Some things have to take a back seat while we prioritize the things that are either helping OBH to grow faster right now, bring in extra revenue, or where the return on investment is higher.
Over the next month or two, we will be working on creating systems to streamline the other projects we have started. We have also been talking about hiring out some of the work so that I can have more time to focus on writing for the blog–which is actually the thing that I want to do most right now (it just is also the thing that doesn’t necessarily have the highest ROI right now, which is why it keeps getting pushed to the side).
EMAIL AND SOCIAL MEDIA STATISTICS
Email: 3080 (+400)
YouTube (OBH): 80,000 (+9,000)
YouTube (Being Alexis): 4,380
Instagram: 9,823 (+700)
Pinterest: 843 (+50)
Our YouTube channel has had some pretty explosive growth over the past two months thanks to a semi-viral video. We are in a pretty good position to reach our stretch goal this year of hitting 100,000 subscribers. I thought it would take us years and years to reach this point so I am just so happy with the progress that we have made.
But I wouldn’t be being fully transparent here if I didn’t say that there is a dark side to focusing on subscriber growth. When it’s booming it feels amazing. But YouTube is a platform that is all about highs and lows. And the lows can be hard to push through.
After a few weeks of getting 300-500 subscribers a day, slowing down to around 100 new subscribers a day can feel pretty jarring. When that happens, we remind ourselves to measure our success in our ability to continue to create helpful content and we enjoy making and that our audience enjoys watching. The rest will work itself out.
That’s it for this month’s income and traffic report! How was your month?