Happy New Year and welcome to the new episode, the first one for 2023.
One annual tradition I can’t leave behind is sharing my income report. It’s about reviewing my year in business, the ups and downs and all the numbers – for every single month. I also dive into blog traffic, podcast downloads, email list growth, the offers I released, and so on. Basically, all the things that matter get quantified and summarized.
Tune into the episode below:
- How much I earned in 2022
- Breakdown of each income stream
- Why I earned less from blog sponsorships than I did last years
- What’s up with my ad revenue
- Where most of my time was spent last year and what that led to
- The negative sides of a digital product business
- What I’ll create now that I’ve completed my product suite
- How many page views the blog got in 2022
- Where that traffic came from
- Email list growth
- How the podcast did last year
- What I launched and when in 2022
- Things I won’t do again when launching
- What I’ve learned from multiple product launches
- What went well in 2022
- Epic Biz Year
- 2021 annual income report
- 2020 annual income report
- The Blog Sponsorship Boss
- Blog to Biz System
- Bold Business School
- The Master Blogger Bundle
- Blog Coaching
One of the most uncomfortable things in business is to follow up on something you promised, such as letting your people know how much you earned and how the business did at least once a year, when the numbers don’t look good.
As you’ll hear below, the income in 2022 was 25% lower than in 2021, and 37% lower than the year before. I’ll keep it real and say why that happened and what I’m going to do about it.
My intention with this year in review is that you see what goes behind the scenes of a 5-figure business, see that it’s empowering to share your numbers and maybe do the same, learn from my mistakes, be more kind to yourself because we can all have a bad year in business, and see that it’s not the end of the journey, just one chapter of it.
If you need a quick introduction to my income streams, they are 4:
- advertising which is directly related to blog traffic, and the ad network I’m partnering with is Mediavine;
- digital products which was my main focus last year;
- sponsored content on my blog, which is all about the relationships I have with brands;
- and affiliate marketing.
Before I dive into the numbers, I want to remind you that doors to Epic Biz Year are still open. So if you want to review your year in business in detail and take the lessons from it, map out your content and offers for 2023, and create a game plan for your most epic year in business, this is the mini training for you. Here are all the details.
You get lifetime access to pre-recorded trainings and a workbook with strategic exercises to help you create bigger and better results.
Inside, we get super actionable and combine energy + strategy to plan out your free content, new offers, launches and anything in-between for your business in 2023. Doors close in the middle of January as it’s time for action after that.
Now, onto the numbers.
Revenue for 2022
In 2022, I earned a total of $34,157.
To compare, in 2021 that was over $46K, and in 2020 – nearly $55K.
- January: $3342
- February: $2974
- March: $2939
- April: $3234
- May: $4349
- June: $2731
- July: $4048
- August: $3259
- September: $1983
- October: $2592
- November: $1809
- December: $897
- only 2 months were above $4K;
- 5 months above 3K;
- and in 6 of those 12 months, I spent more than I earned. So half of the year I was at a loss. That itself has little to do with the income being lower, it’s about my expenses being higher and me investing more in experiences in 2022, investing in business tools, having more taxes, and all the other reasons that we’re familiar with such as everything becoming more expensive.
- Sponsorships: $22,891
- Ads: $7,566
- Products: $2,338
- Affiliate: $1,361
As usual, blog sponsorships are my biggest source of income with the least amount of effort. I teach you everything you need to know about that blog monetization method in my course The Blog Sponsorship Boss. Thanks to it, you’ll learn:
- How blog sponsorships work
- Where to find brands to partner with
- What rates to choose
- How to write sponsored content
- What marketplaces to join
- How to create a page for sponsors + media kit
- How to reach out to brands
- How to negotiate prices
- How to immediately spot bad clients
- How to turn a one-time client into a long-term collaboration
- How to get paid hundreds of dollars for a sponsored post while staying true to yourself and your audience
- How to double your income by offering packages
- How to always get paid
This isn’t a topic that’s discussed enough as most bloggers don’t disclose their partnerships with brands, don’t share their earnings from this, and it’s just happening behind the scenes. That’s why many other bloggers believe it’s scammy and even illegal. But I love it and there are right and wrong ways to do it.
I created the Blog Sponsorship Boss to shed some light on this way to monetize a blog, to answer all your questions and equip you with what you need to know to actually find and pitch brands and get paid every time and on time.
Here are all the details if you want to see what else we cover inside.
But the reason why even those earnings in 2022 are smaller is because I was so focused on the course business and convinced that I’ll start having big launches, that I left sponsorships behind. I raised my rates, stopped working with many regular clients that couldn’t afford me anymore, and stopped attracting new ones.
Also, as the metrics of the blog were getting worse and worse, such as traffic, for example, the site wasn’t as attractive to brands as it was before. All this combined led to fewer orders and fewer clients.
So what I did in the last weeks is turn this into a priority again. The first order of business was to do some networking.
I emailed most of my clients from the past 2 years, mainly the regular ones, and checked if they wanted to continue working together in the new year and if so, to discuss details. To the clients that I personally rejected in the last months, I said I’m open to continuing the collaboration with the old price and that they can consider me for new orders again.
I also updated my page for sponsors and my sponsored packages.
Now let’s talk about the ad revenue, which was less than $8K in 2022.
One of my goals was to eventually remove ads from the website, but the time for this hasn’t come. In fact, now I’ll be actively growing the income that comes from advertising. That happens by focusing on traffic growth.
I’m with Mediavine and many people in the industry say it’s not the best network to be using these years. It’s not what it was before, it doesn’t pay much. But the requirements for most platforms like that, Mediavine included, are high. In fact, if I leave Mediavine now, I likely won’t be accepted again as my monthly page views aren’t what they require as a minimum anymore. So it’s a tricky situation.
I have an ad blocker on my browser so I don’t actually see ads. I like the fact that anyone can turn them off this way and still only enjoy the content on my blog.
Read also: Make Money Blogging for Beginners: How to Earn $1000/Month from Your Blog with Ads
The revenue from digital products is just a bit over $2,000 and that’s the number I’m most disappointed about.
Most of my time in 2022 was spent creating courses and launching them, feeling bad about the result of the launch, dealing with frustration, perfecting sales pages, and learning about digital products and launches. I also spent way too much time trying to make Instagram work for my business.
The irony is that the income from digital products in the last 2 years was bigger than the current one, and yet now I know much more about that business model, have put way more effort and time into it, have optimized everything, have launched strategically, and so on.
With that, came a lot more pressure, being in the spotlight, comparing myself to others in the industry, feeling deeply disappointed and needing time to get myself back up after a failed launch.
I did complete my product suite, though, which is a pretty big deal. I created massive programs that were just as transformational. The content you find on the blog and podcast can’t give you that kind of depth and change. And yet, the results aren’t here, at least not yet.
Because all my focus was on that, I didn’t spend time growing the blog traffic, nurturing relationships with brands, publishing optimized content, sharing posts on Pinterest, updating old content, and all the other little tasks that were the reason why I once had plenty of page views and income coming, without having to worry about anything.
So, I’ll be coming back to that now. The good thing about digital products is that they exist already, are evergreen, I can keep updating and promoting them, and they are just as valuable as the day I created them. So they will remain an important part of my business this year and the best way to work with me.
I won’t be creating any more big programs as I’ve tackled the 2 big business models I teach – blogging and courses. There’s Blog to Biz System and Bold Business School where I’ve laid out all you need to know to create that kind of business.
What I’m interested in, though, is putting out masterclasses every now and then. Covering just 1 topic, a relevant and in demand one, and selling each training at a fraction of the cost of an actual course. These are actionable and accessible and people love them. What’s more, everyone has the time for a masterclass and quick wins come from them.
Finally, there’s affiliate revenue but there’s not much to say here. I stopped paying any attention to that a long time ago. It was a passive income stream for me and something that was part of every month of my business, but it’s not anymore. I’m not sure how I’ll go about this but as I focus more on the blog, this might also be something I work on as they go together.
Let me briefly mention some of my expenses in 2022, as I know many of you are wondering what it costs to sustain and grow a business, what tools are a good option, and what part of the revenue goes back to the business.
I won’t be talking about taxes here, that’s a whole other topic and it simply works differently in every country. But here’s a list of the tools I’m using:
- ConvertKit (email marketing tool): $790
- Teachable (online course platform): $772
- WPX (blog hosting): $674 [paid for 3 years]
- SiteGround (web host for other websites): $180
- Accountant: $844
- TypeForm: $260
- Canva Pro: $112
- Blubrry (podcast hosting): $144
- ElfSight (website widgets): $148 [paid for 2 years]
- PR: $47
Now, let’s talk about the other aspects of my business other than the actual revenue. That’s blog traffic, email marketing, and the podcast.
Starting with the traffic of LetsReachSuccess.com:
Blog Traffic in 2022
- Page Views: 397,407
- Sessions: 319,761
- Users: 278,076
I got nearly 400K page views on the blog in 2022 and that’s still amazing. Nowhere near the million I hit years ago, but still amazing.
I got nearly 400K page views on the blog in 2022 and that’s still amazing. Nowhere near the million I hit years ago, but still amazing. Traffic has only been going down since then because I stopped doing anything about it. That doesn’t mean I didn’t publish new content, I kept doing that and always will. But it wasn’t strategic and it wasn’t optimized. So it doesn’t rank, it doesn’t boost the rest of the content on the blog in search engines thanks to internal linking, and it doesn’t bring me any traffic.
91% of the visitors were new ones.
50% of the traffic is organic, which means it’s coming from search engines. And the new metric is that 25% of it is direct traffic. That’s when a user enters the URL directly in their browser, uses a bookmark to access the site or comes from another source that Google Analytics simply can’t determine. That could also be a tracking issue, of course, and that might still be organic traffic, but it hasn’t happened previous years. So if you have any idea why, let me know.
18% of traffic was from socials, and as usual, that’s Pinterest. I started pinning again last year and recently I went through a course I have on Pinterest (if you’re curious which one, it’s Pinterest Traffic Avalanche) to see what’s new with the platform and what my strategy should be moving forward.
I’m doing the same with SEO now. Going through a great course I have on the topic, doing a content audit, updating old content, and making changes in the design and structure of my blog so it’s optimized better. And just remembering what Google wants from a website to rank it higher, trust it and give it authority.
- New subscribers: 1,241
- Cancellations: 907
- Net new subscribers: 334
In 2022, I got a total of 1,241 new subscribers. 907 of them cancelled, which is mainly due to the reason that they were added to my list from bundles of courses they joined. I was a contributor so they also joined my program, and with that were automatically added to my list. Most of them don’t want to receive many emails from people they don’t know so they just unsubscribe.
At the end of last year I did an email list cleanup, which is something we better do once a year or we end up sending emails to many inactive subscribers.
One of my goals for 2022 was to keep things simpler in my business and to not add new lead magnets. So I did just that.
I also made some big changes in the second half of the year such as updating all my opt-in forms, removing some old freebies that didn’t feel aligned anymore, updating all my sequences, and using segmentation better. That was a lot of work behind the scenes but I’m happy I did it as now things inside my email marketing dashboard are pretty organized.
Currently, there are 3,800 people on my email list.
Now let me share some quick stats related to the Free and Fearless podcast. The show got 2,253 downloads in 2022, which is its record in one year. I published 32 new episodes. Most months, I published 3 times, and that’s more compared to the year before that.
Next, I want to discuss the different offers I released this year.
Offers & Launches Breakdown
In January 2022, I published the Master Blogger Bundle, which is all you need to launch your blog, grow the traffic and income, create a remarkable content marketing strategy, build your sales funnel, turn your blog into a full-time business, have passive income streams, get your blog audited by me + get a personalized growth action plan.
After spending years creating products that help bloggers at every stage of their journey, I now combined them in a bundle so you can grab them all at a reduced price.
In February, I had a birthday flash sale.
In May, I opened the doors to Bold Business School, but only to those on the waitlist first. The official one was in June, and then another one at the end of August.
I found out that having a theme for the launch helps me stay focused and not be all over the place. I realized a 4 day launch feels better to me than longer ones. And it’s easier to send more emails to those who clicked in previous campaigns and not feel like I’m selling too much to the rest of my email list.
Energetically and mentally speaking, I often gave up in the middle of the launch, didn’t have time to show up due to life happening, excitement was up mostly after purchases, and often I was checking email all the time to see if there were new sales. All of these are a big no.
I was also reminded that creating course content while launching isn’t a good idea. That I shouldn’t launch right before a big life event, I need time in-between to recharge and re-focus. That I need to organize coupon codes and payment plans better so I don’t stress about it. And that I need to find the best practices for managing old and new waitlists for the same offer.
But actually launching and finding all this out is indeed the best way to learn what doesn’t work and go get better at it before you launch again. Because all the theory in the world can’t prepare you for what actually happens in the middle of a product launch, especially in your head and body.
Then I released my Blog Coaching offer with different payment plans. It didn’t have an official promo period. It was around Black Friday actually and then I was already promoting other stuff. But I just felt like getting it out there.
Then in December, I opened the doors to Bold Business School one more time, this time with an event leading up to it – free access to the Bold Niche Masterclass for a week or so. I also offered an upsell – BBS Premium. I like how the masterclass created engagement. It was fun to analyze the metrics around it and see who signed up, if they entered the giveaway that was part of it, who clicked BBS in the next emails, and so on.
My best tips for your launch
So you can see how with every next launch and offer, I’m trying one or a few new things to see how they go but also how I feel about them.
There’s so much going on behind the scenes with all the payment plans, emails, tracking, tagging subscribers who clicked so you can include or exclude them from the next email, testing sign ups, automating emails, managing waitlists, then many actions related to closing the doors of a course, and many more if you have an event before it. I teach all of this inside BBS, and I have a lot more learning and testing to do.
After so many launches, here are some of my best tips for you:
- Detachment from the result is required so you can keep taking action. Don’t define yourself based on whether on not someone purchased, when, and so on;
- Have fun and be relaxed during launch week;
- Have the sales page ready before you open the doors;
- Give people a reason to buy and tell them why they should buy now (that’s the incentive). Have both scarcity & urgency;
- Prepare the promo graphics and emails in advance. It’s okay to adjust during the launch, but have the main content by then;
- Have clear dates, decide what to post and when;
- Don’t create course content during a launch;
- Focus your energy on the launch. Don’t do a launch right before a big life event, for example, or when you have a lot going on in your life.
Also, even before 2022 I let go of setting specific revenue goals for my launches. I found out it creates too much pressure and too much disappointment for me. I see them as experiments, there’s always a lot to learn.
If you want to analyze your offers, launches and content for the past 12 months and create the vision and strategy for those in 2023, then you should definitely check out Epic Biz Year, the new program I told you about. I opened the doors to it in the last days of December and will keep it open till mid January.
I’m excited to see what magic you’ll create in the new year, and I wanna help you make it your most epic year in business yet. So if you need help with that, Epic Biz Year is for you.
As to what I’ll do differently about my offers in 2023, for a start, the new ones will be low-ticket masterclasses and I’ll get back to teaching blogging again. As I focus more on growing Let’s Reach Success, I’ll also have a lot to say on the topic again. So stay tuned.
What Went Well in 2022
And to wrap up the 2022 annual income report and year in review, here are a few things.
I wouldn’t have it any other way. The lessons I was supposed to learn were only gonna come this way.
This is more of a negative income report compared to the others because I didn’t get the result I want, and I got distracted from the path that already felt good. But that’s totally normal and I won’t love myself any less on the journey.
I did dream bigger than ever last year, though. I imagined a vision that was something the old me wouldn’t have dared to dream and that’s a win on its own.
I started investing and will continue doing so.
I lived a very good life and spent money on beautiful experiences. I ate good food, visited places I’ll never forget, and said Yes to many more things.
I reframed many limiting beliefs. I manifested a lot of the things I wanted too, and quickly for that matter.
While the focus was less on my business, it was more on my love life and I had more growth in that aspect than ever. The progress I made will stay with me every next year and was totally worth it.
I challenged myself, experienced emotional growth, overcame fear, and managed my anxiety well.
I also uncovered some childhood wounds and started working on them.
I increased my capacity to give and receive love, which was one of my goals as part of the expansion experiment. Expansion was my word of the year and it worked well in a few ways.
I spent a lot of time outside of my comfort zone and that’s always a win. So is self-love and I welcomed more of that in 2022, especially love for my body, my inner child, all versions of me, and anything that I’m about to become.
So this was the beautiful part of the year. And of course, I’m still here, doing what I do best, doing what I love, learning and sharing my lessons, creating content, and being of service. Nothing can ever replace that.
Thank you for listening till the end, thank you for being around, and here’s to our best year in business ever, 2023.