It’s time for another monthly round up and dig into how the blog and business went in May 2018. If you’ve read my series of posts so far you’ll know I’m documenting my blogging and work journey through the year in order to showcase the ups and downs of a full-time freelance blogger.
So far this year it’s been very positive; the months have been good, the income strong and the growth, particularly in my Pinterest business, has been solid. BUT then we rolled into May! Let me tell you more.
Giveaways are still going strong since the blog turned 6 this year and in May I had some fabulous Wax Lyrical candles and fragrances, plus a very stylish Lamp from Dusk Lighting. Both have finished now but I’m continuing the trend and keeping the giveaways a feature on the blog each month.
Collaborations were slow and rare in May. It’s just the way it goes sometimes but obviously I want to keep creating great content. One of my favourite brands, Brabantia worked with me to showcase their new Bo Pedal Bin and that photo shoot was good fun. AND I went back to my roots with a Wallpaper Wednesday blog post (this was one of the first features I ran back when I started 6 years ago and I still love putting these together today).
Instagram continues to be a source of pleasure for me (and some pain!). We completed another #SUYHome prize run in May thanks to Darlings of Chelsea and their outdoor rugs, and Instagram Stories allows me to connect with those businesses who want to some Pinterest ideas and those who love seeing the behind the scenes of my home.
The latest blog post over at jenstanbrook.com/blog
My Pinterest Power Hour is really taking off and in May I ran 8 sessions to some lovely businesses and bloggers. They are so inspiring and I come away absolutely buzzing – and very excited to see how they will take their pinning forward.
Such success from these sessions (and a repetition of many aspects) inspired me to create some online Masterclass workshops, which I’ve now started delivering and whilst they don’t offer the tailored agenda that a Power Hour does, they do allow for a similar training at a fraction of the cost. You can keep an eye on upcoming Masterclasses (and book Power Hours) on my Pinterest Business website HERE.
Income vs Expenses:
Income was very low this month compared to previous months and to the target I like to set myself. Luckily I’ve cut my expenses this year to maximise profits so the bank balance still grew.
My personal income is steady as I take a wage and dividend from the business each month, which I’d highly recommend to keep your sanity. At least then, when there is a slow month, there’s money in the pot to still pay you the income you need. Whether you’re a limited company or not, do adopt this approach.
The company accounts were finalised and I’m thrilled to say the we had a very good year! I’m not going to share the exact figures, but suffice to say it’s a solid turnover where I could support my family and be financially independent of my husband.
In a rollercoaster of a year it’s important to focus on the positive aspects like this even when the current downward trend is worrying.
I’ve worked hard on creating multiple income streams and building my freelancing work – now I need to manage the workload, finding ways to keep it simple and straightforward, giving me more of the time off I want.
With the positive company accounts to one side, back in April I suggested that taking some time off (I had two weeks off that month) could have a knock on effect to the following months – that could certainly be what contributed to a slow May. But chatting to others in my field there is a general trend of more slower months and I firmly believe we are a saturated market right now.
My thoughts on this are:
Stay Relevant – keep one step ahead if you can. Be the solution for your readers and brands alike, be creative and imaginative in creating the best content that helps you stand out in a crowded online market.
Be Flexible – Be prepared to offer something a little different to both your audience and collaboration opportunities. Whether that’s multiple sites, a new and varied angle to a project or a way to enhance the deliverables that benefits both reader and brand.
Focus on Goals – Even on a quite month stay focused on your goals, keep delivering for your lovely readers and look forward to bigger and better things. Use the time to create plans for keeping your income and content steady and don’t just disappear because new opportunities are drying up.
Even when current trends seem demoralising focusing on the bigger picture can help you move forward, be creative and keep your business afloat in an unsteady market.
Do you see your blog as your business? Do you want more structure, more income and a steadier stream of collaborations, or are you happy with your current levels?
I’d love to hear from other bloggers out there. And from non-bloggers, does this behind the scenes view of a blogger surprise you?
Until next month!