Freelance Illustration & Blog Report

It's already time to look back at my third month (ok, second month plus a couple of days) of blogging here!

March, in short, was full of nice freelance work and freshly-created printable files. I'm still taking baby steps when it comes to digital files on Etsy, but I love playing around with formats that I could never reasonably print and ship around the world myself. 

Blog Traffic Report March 2017:

New posts: 8    Total posts on blog: 17

Pageviews: 1624

Users: 432

Bounce Rate: 55.7%

I'm really, really happy with those 8 posts I managed to write! Especially since I think that they touched a variety of different themes (from Korean customs and traditions to a sticker making-of) - in that way, my blog now actually resembles what I had in mind, with a mix of daily life, illustrations, how-to's and journaling. 

So while the pageviews were lower than my goal (I'd hoped to hit 2000) I'm still really happy! 

Social Media Traffic Percentages:

Social: 57%

Direct: 25%

Referral: 9%

Organic Search: 8%

I'm glad that both Organic Search and Referral went up! Last month, they made up less than 12% of my social traffic together. Social is still dominated by Pinterest (52%) but I hope that this balances out the overall ratio. 

On that note: Pinterest had a huge lull during the 3rd week. I personally couldn't enter anything into its search engine and am still not sure if maybe the whole site had problems. There certainly was a huge dip in pageviews during that week! I still love Pinterest personally, though, since I use it a lot when looking up reference images, art tutorials, printable files, calligraphy tips, recipes... anything really!

Compared to last month, Twitter made up a much smaller percentage of my views. I guess that's mostly due to me using Twitter to share sketches, dumb cat pics and to send traffic to my Etsy shop, not my blog. 

On that note:

Etsy & Illustration Income Report March

March was a nice month when it came to illustration work! I had a couple of commissions I loved painting, and my usual freelance storyboard job had no hick-ups, leaving me with enough time to actually work on those commission pieces. 

Commission illustration income: 820$.

Etsy sales income: 82$

Together with my freelance income (only two jobs remaining; the mentioned storyboarding gig that I'll keep and graphic design for a company) I actually hit my ideal income goal this month! Now I'll only have to shift away from freelancing to more commission work and everything will be fine. (Right?) (Right??) (Sometimes I still feel like an idiot because I should maybe use the time I spend blogging, doing little Etsy projects etc for freelancing instead. But I really want to move towards a more passive, creative sort of income...!)

On Etsy: 

Yes, my income there is still low. But I also get commission requests from people that discover me through my Etsy shop, so for that alone, it's already an amazing platform! And every single listing I put up is something born from my passions: Drawings in watercolor, cute illustrations, whimsical designs and stickers... So every single sale just brings me joy. :)

And there's definitely an upward trend in my Etsy shop! As I get to focus more on creating products, more views trickle in. In March alone, I had more views than in the whole year of 2016 combined! I'm optimistic that, if I just keep doing my thing, that trend will continue and Etsy will become a more stable side-income source.

Did I reach my goals for March?

Let's have a look:

  • Hit 2k pageviews. That's not much compared to other blogs, but I think my blog is weird, so that would already be a huge amount for me. :)  Not there yet. 
  • Total of 8 new blog posts. All with illustrations and sketches. YUP!
  • 5 new printable listings on my Etsy. (Two down already!) More like eight?? 
  • Launch my Aquamarine Gemstone StickersOut and about, and I'm thinking about adding more colors. 
  • Lots of OH SO SECRET new work! I'm especially excited for a series that will be spread out over a couple of months... and some new blog illustrations, too. Finished all those commissions, and the series is under-way.
  • Stop another regular freelance gig (storyboard artist) and instead cross 800$ in side business income. Well, I did hit that 800$ number, but ... the storyboard job kind of became a lot more comfortable thanks to a bit of workflow restructuring. So for now I'm sticking with it...
  • Probably move house. WE DON'T KNOW YET. Not yet. We'll see. This is so annoying. I did learn how to do tile patterns and how to build a bed from scratch out of wood, so that's that. #renovationskills

Goals for April:

  • Those 2000 pageviews. I'll get there. 
  • Total of 6 new blog posts. Less than last month, but all the posts I'm preparing are long and work-heavy. A tutorial for scanning illustrations is coming up, and sketch-diary entries. 
  • 10 new Etsy listings, digital or physical. 
  • Re-activate my old Redbubble account. Since I've been making print files for Etsy, I might as well offer them on Redbubble on tote bags and similar things I can't print and ship myself. 
  • PRACTICE! Drawing cute illustrations is fun and all, but thanks to working freelance, I've not really practiced realistic drawing for the longest time. I'll be doing the #100daysofportraits (part of #the100dayproject) on Instagram, with that in mind.
  • Publish my 'Historical Dresses' coloring pages (4 pieces) and a new Korean Hanbok sticker set.

That's it for my March report and April goals! I'm trying to keep this short(-ish) and to the point... 

I have so many doubts, from day to day, about going self-employed and cutting back on freelance jobs - sometimes I feel like I'm ditching responsibilities as a financial provider since I now focus more on drawing things I love than drawing for, well, putting food on the table. But at the same time, I feel so energetic and can't stop myself from drawing more and more! This is wonderful yet terrifying!