Ups & Downs - 6 Months of Blogging

I can't believe it's already July - which means nearly six months have gone by since I started this little blog!

Here's a look at my progress so far. I've been posting income reports and blog stats for the last months and love how those keep me accountable and motivated! I might not present any overnight success stories, but there's a general upward trend in everything - most of all my personal freedom. Which was the main goal, after all. 

Let's go with the bad first. Here are a couple of things that didn't go as planned...

  • Time constraints. Even during the calmest weeks I barely managed to post twice. Lately, with an influx of private commissions, it's become even less. Bad blogger.
  • Income. This really is a minor part of it, since I always planned on keeping my main focus on earning my income with illustration and design projects. But I've found that trying to include affiliate links and the like just doesn't suit with my blogging style. I've got only a few areas where I'm really comfortable in recommending products (art supplies, Korean cosmetics, books...) and even then, I'm not a big shopper. I tend to stick with what I love for months and years, so there's not that much variety - and most of the stuff I use is pretty cheap, on top of that. I also don't want to put ads on my blog. So, for now, I just forget about passive income via blogging (Etsy is a different beast entirely, though!) and keep doing my thing.
  • Finding a Niche. How even. I can't. I've played with the thought of reducing the variety of my posts. I know it would be a wise decision number-wise and probably less erratic to look at... But it takes the joy out of blogging for me. I've got a couple of serial posts going, but the rest will stay a mess. 

The positives - some of these were totally unexpected!

  • Writing Practice. I love writing, but it's been reduced to short notes, emails, letters and the occasional comic script scene (NaNoWriMo anyone?). Blogging "forces" me to write longer pieces on a variety of subjects, and with English being my third/fourth language, I really need regular practice. 
  • I look forward to blogging SO MUCH. It's like a visual & digital diary. I might feel like I've not done much besides commissions in the last half year, but then I can scroll back through my posts and find little sketches, art projects, tutorials, travel tips, doodles... and every week or so I add another piece to that patchwork of posts. 
  • Blogging gives me an excuse to be lazy. As the sole income provider (most of the time) AND working from home AND in a foreign country, I'd gotten caught up in a mentality of always needing to be productive. But since I started blogging, I find myself taking an afternoon off here, and even took a complete Sunday off once or twice - so that I could travel about, sketch outdoors or in cafes, take pictures of Jeju Island or just doodle and draw for private projects. I feel less guilty about taking a moment for non-work related stuff!
  • New Directions. When starting this blog, I'd never imagined that I'd get into bullet journaling, for example! But after taking my first hesitant steps there, presenting my journal online gave me even more inspiration and motivation to try new spreads, layouts, and ideas! Same goes for just blogging about Jeju Island.

All in all, my situation feels different compared to the past two years of "just" freelancing. I'm less stuck, have the freedom to pursue a variety of interests and still get a new platform out of it! There has been an increase in lovely commission requests via this blog and I love how I can transition slowly away from my more boring freelancing jobs to fun, creative, colorful illustrations!

"evydraws" Blog & Income Stats for June

As for the numbers, I'll keep it short! I've not blogged much in the later half of the month because of a sudden influx of deadline-sensitive work...

How well did I stick to my goals for June, though? (Spoiler: NOT WELL AT ALL.)

  • 8 new blog posts, again      NOPE. It's been my lowest number in a while, just 5 posts. The latter half of June really killed me with work and a quick trip to Seoul.
  • Up the total of printable/digital products on Etsy to 50!     NOPE, again. I'm at 44...
  • Launch my Korea illustration series (coloring pages, stickers, vocabulary...)   NOPE. (Buuut it's all ready to go, so yay!)
  • Hit 2500 pageviews on the blog     YES! The one I expected least... 3500!
  • Hold a big giveaway on my Instagram      NOPE. I'm terrible. I barely posted there, too!

I did double my income from commissions, though! 

Wouldn't have expected that, but I went over 2.3k for my commission/illustration income. A lot of serial work that was fun to make and a bit less time-intensive than my watercolor illustrations contributed to that boost. Combine those 2.5k with my last two regular graphic design freelancing jobs, and I'm totally happy at this stage. Now I actually want to cut back on the commissions a bit - because you can see how the crazy schedule messed up my blogging, Etsy and pretty much everything else. I NEED SLEEP.

Etsy was a low-key success. My total income was identical with last month, at around 65$ after all the fees were deducted. BUT! More than 80% came from digital products, and that definitely made life easier. Etsy is, at this point, paying for all my Korean transfer fees on Paypal haha... which is kind of sad, but a necessity! 

Blog & Etsy & Work Goals for July

  • 6 blog posts total. 
  • Hit the 50 digital products on Etsy!
  • Maybe get to 4000 pageviews...?
  • Work for more Korean clients (It's just so much more convenient haha...)
  • Don't get overwhelmed by new shiny projects, stick to my plans

Keeping it simple because, if you've seen my business planner spread for July, it's a similar situation as in June with lots of deadlines rearing their heads. But six blog posts should be doable, right? RIGHT??

Thanks for following along! Stay productive! :D