If there is one thing you take away from this income report it’s that paid advertising absolutely rocks and you should absolutely consider it.
December was my HIGHEST REVENUE MONTH EVER.
And it’s all thanks to Facebook ads!
Huge thanks to Bobby & Mike of Laptop Empires for opening my mind to paid advertising. More to come on that later..
The above income report is pretty standard for what I’m seeing for Fall 2018 on my site.
I don’t really crush it with one particular program and instead my income is pretty evenly distributed.
The majority of this income is from affiliate marketing.
I did one thing differently this month though and you can see it in the expenses.
I spent nearly $2,000 on Facebook ads and it paid off because my net income was $4,000.
I was running Facebook ads to two of my best posts as well as a third seasonal post which was a gift guide.
What are gift guides?
A gift guide is a post that helps give already shopping readers ideas of what to buy.
The best gift guides are:
- specific to certain keywords (Best lego gifts for kids under 10 versus top toys for kids)
- use the word “best” since that attracts the people just about to buy
- have at least 10 products with clear pictures
I paid Virtual Assistants to write these gift guides for me in November. See my November income report where I shared I made over $5k in revenue.
What’s so great about gift guides?
Gift guides do really well in December especially when you link to Amazon. Amazon Associates will provide a commission to you even if the person clicking on the product link from your post ends up buying another product (with some exceptions).
People buy things in December so my strategy was just to give people already shopping what they wanted to buy in the post and benefit from their broader holiday shopping on Amazon.
Note that I keep italicizing already shopping because you can totally make a gift guide for your regular readers but I’ve found that you’ll make the most money trying to find new readers looking for that specific gift list with paid ads.
And no one likes to “sell” something to someone so I personally prefer to attract someone already in the mood to buy.
Example of a gift guide: 13 Best Board Games to Give as Gifts
Tip: Sometimes it takes gift guides time to season. If you put one out and it doesn’t convert the first year, that is OK. My top gift guide for Google traffic is from 2016. Be patient!
How do you run Facebook ads to gift guides?
I learned how to run Facebook ads from Bobby Hoyt and Mike Yanda’s course, Facebook Ads Side Hustle.
Their Facebook Ads for Bloggers course opens this week. I didn’t take this one because it wasn’t available at the time I joined but I think it could be a better fit for bloggers.
I have my Facebook Ads Side Hustle course review here if you want more info about what the experience was like taking the course I took.
The purpose of the course I took is to help you learn how to run Facebook ads for other people as a side hustle but I took the course so that I could learn how to run them for myself.
I like that I can always pick up clients and run them for other people now that I have the knowledge.
I do think though that the bloggers course will be a better fit if you are a blogger. I just didn’t have the option at the time because they hadn’t launched that one yet.
I ran some Pinterest ads this month too.
Specifically I targeted keywords such as “best lego gifts” so that I can find readers shopping for these exact products.
I ran less Pinterest ads this month since my strategy was to have my Pinterest virtual assistant pinning my Christmas stuff to group boards and submitting to tribes. And I was spending so much on Facebook ads and it was working.
What did I pin in December?
Seasonal stuff of course!
I used Tailwind’s smart loop feature to loop my two Christmas boards I pinned during the season last year.
This means that Tailwind pinned seasonal stuff for me that I already pinned last year again every day so I didn’t have to repin them manually. Win!
If you use my link above you’ll get your first month of Tailwind free.
Etsy was super slow this month
I sell flamingo themed bachelorette party printables in my Etsy shop and December is just not the month that people are going on these type of bachelorette parties.
The good news is that I already have orders coming in every day in January and things are picking up.
If I had the time, I would work on making my product selection stronger in the winter season. The majority of my sales come in the Spring, Summer & Fall.
There is SO MUCH potential with Etsy and digital downloads are the absolute best.
I love getting the notification on my phone that an order came in and not having to do anything about it.
Learn more about my journey with Etsy digital downloads here.
Changes coming to these income reports!!
I will not report monthly income reports in 2019. This is my 24th report since I started writing income reports in January of 2017. Check out all of the other reports here.
Instead, I plan to send all of the details of my experiments to my ADVANCED blogging email list ONLY.
I may publish quarterly reports but not decided yet.
What are your blogging goals for this year?
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