Little Successes and Lessons - 5th Month of Blogging
This is my blog recap for May, my fifth (or fourth? I started during the last days of January...) month of blogging here about illustration, freelancing, creativity and productivity.
So how did May treat me? Let's compare to the previous month, get into the nitty-gritty details of my Etsy shop and income.
My Long-Term Goal as a Freelancer and Blogger:
- Work on (client and personal) projects I enjoy and that reflect my art style.
- Expand my existing selection of stickers and art prints on Etsy.
- Build a blog that shows behind-the-scenes & tips for creatives and artists
- Create digital downloads for my Etsy - both to get around the long shipping duration from South Korea to pretty much everywhere and to have a bit of a passive income stream.
- Having fun! Mostly with blog posts that show my different interests, all illustrated.
I'm aware that this won't all happen by tomorrow, or even in one year.
But each step away from work-for-hire freelancing where I don't retain rights or don't like the style and theme, and each step towards more financial independence is a step in the right direction.
- First Month of Blogging! A fresh start.
- Second Month of Blogging: Slow Progress & Freelancing Income
- Third Month of Blogging: Feeling Creative, Motivated, but Taking Baby-Steps
- Four Months of Blogging and Four Lessons Learnt!
My blogging recap for April wasn't the most optimistic of my blog reports. Everything seemed to be stagnating and I had quite the learning curve still ahead of me!
But May is promising! While I'm still not leaping into large amounts of passive income (more like tipping my toes in...) from my art and printables, and while my blog is still small...
... the blog and income numbers are looking up!
"evydraws" Blog Stats for May 2017
Well, look at that, I finally managed to get to 2k pageviews! Not only that, but there's a lot of new visitors and I'm generally happy with the upwards trend.
I have no illusions for this blog - I don't really have a "niche" or blog often enough to see huge growth, but still, the more of you readers tag along, the happier I am! <3
This meant another flower in my bullet journal blog views tracker:
Social Media Followers and Growth
With my traffic being balanced right now - I really like how the different channels are all well represented - I still wanted to show some details for my social media accounts below.
I've been taking it slower on social media in May since I had a lot of commission work that took all my focus. But I hope to post (and grow) more in June!
Creative Business Income Report
After the low in April (the short version of that: Family visit kept me from working more than the bare minimum of commissions and freelance jobs and threw my schedule on its head) May was a welcome change!
I finally hit the 1k income goal with my illustration work! Yay!!
Combined with my work-for-hire freelancing income, that actually would make for an acceptable monthly income to live on here in South Korea. So this definitely is a huge step in the right direction! BUT: I know that hitting this goal every single month consistently will be hard. Commissions are an irregular affair and monthly earnings as an illustrator can vary a lot.
My Take-Away Lesson: Prices need to go up.
My commission rates are very low if counted by hours of work, a decision that comes from me living in South Korea and being used to local pricing from my freelance jobs - but as a perfectionist and with a detail-rich art style, my commission pieces atm are underpriced. I can't work substantially more than I do right now (I'd have to quit my steadier freelance work completely for that, which scares me!) so I'll be adjusting my prices gradually during the summer. Still doing research on that!
Etsy Stats & Income:
Etsy changed their seller's tools in May, and I'm still adjusting to the new statistics. Pageviews have been replaced with unique visitors for the long-term overviews, to I'll have to change things up in the future.
But anyway, I made 64$ (after deductions/fees etc) this month. Still peanuts compared to what most Etsy sellers make - but more than half of my income was made from digital downloads (mostly my printable planner stickers)! Since I want to shift to mostly digital sales in the long run, that's encouraging.
My Take-Away Lesson: More Digital Products & More Sets
By sets, I mean printables with several pages or otherwise more elaborate. While small, single page printable sticker sheets are easier to make and fun little projects for when I have time off, they also do rack up listing and renewal fees on Etsy that are disproportionate to their revenue.
- Selling a printable file for 1.60$ gives me a 0.20 listing fee.
- Selling a printable file for 3.00$ gives me a 0.20 listing fee.
- Selling a printable file for 10$ gives me a 0.20 listing fee.
Guess what would be the better passive income choice in the long run? ;)
But other than that, I'll continue on the same track and steadily add new digital listings while I let my physical ones run out. I'm at 37 digital listings right now, up 7 from April.
Passive Income / Affiliate Income / Small Fry
I'm not big on actual blog income and affiliates, but I did have another drop into the bucket from both Amazon Associates and Society6, for a total of 4.20$. So proud. Yup.
That's it for my income! Leaving out the work at the cafe/rental house and my freelance work, this is my total for what I lovingly call "My Creative Business":
68.20$ in Passive Income, 1080$ in Commission Income.
Looking forward, here's what I hope to accomplish in June, on top of continuing my freelance work, adding in new commissions and working at the cafe (which is getting busier in summer!).
Business and Blog Goals for June:
- 8 new blog posts, again
- Up the total of printable/digital products on Etsy to 50!
- Launch my Korea illustration series (coloring pages, stickers, vocabulary...)
- Hit 2500 pageviews on the blog
- Hold a big giveaway on my Instagram
Here's my planning process and bullet journal setup to make sure that I hit those goals - plus how I plan on adding a bit of relaxation and self-care into my schedule for June!