income report

March Traffic & Income Report

March Income & Traffic Report | Lemon and the Sea: How my business is growing even when my stats don't seem to be.

As I continue to grow my business (I officially left my full time job one year ago now), I can get frustrated at what seems like really slow, or even no growth. I've watched the webinars, created the freebies, and spent time on social media, and I still seem to be getting lost. If you're feeling the same way, I know how hard it can be to keep going, but there is good news. Even though my stats are lower, my interactions with potential clients has been increasing little by little.

WEBSITE VISITORS

According to Google Analytics, I had 941 pageviews this month (down by 28) and 303 visitors. The total bounce rate was 56% and 65% of my website visitors were new to Lemon and the Sea.

Out of the 428 sessions on my site, 198 came directly to my site, 104 came from social media, and 59 were referred from another website.  These stats are pretty average for me, but I have noticed an increase in the amount of visitors coming from search engines.

TOPS POSTS & PAGES

My most visited page this month was my home page, followed by my Services page (just like the past few months). After those pages, my portfolio and The Vault have also been popular.

NEWSLETTER

I've seen my newsletter stayed the same at 131 subscribers in March. The average open rate decreased to 47% and the average click rate is 7.8%.  Now that I've been in business for a year, I'm considering cleaning out my list so that I'm only sending newsletters to those who are interested.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter: 337 followers (up by 9)

Instagram: 155 followers (up by 2)

Facebook: 90 likes (up by 6)

Pinterest: 291 followers (up by 56)

INCOME & EXPENSES

March 2016 Earnings:

Freelance Clients: $2476.50

Project Clients: $833.33

Affiliate Links: $0

Total Income: $3309.83

 

March 2016 Expenses:

Education: $14.09

MailChimp: $10

Calendly: $10

Fees: $25.12

Office Supplies: $57.00

Design Supplies: $0

Business Expenses: $27.53

Accouting: $375.00

Tithe: $330.98

Total Expenses: $835.63

Total Profit: $2474.20 (before taxes)


I also paid my 2015 taxes, but I don't count those as an expense here because I had already been saving up each month for that.

LOOKING FORWARD

I'm excited for all the new clients I'll be working with in April and I'm thrilled to see who is interested in working with my starting in May. I'm also looking into donating a part of my profit each month to an organization that helps women who have escaped from sex trafficking. I need to do a little more research, but I plan to start that this month!


Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


February Traffic + Income Report

February Traffic & Income Report | Lemon and the Sea: slow growth and why it's a good thing.

As I continue to grow my business (I officially left my full time job one year ago now), I can get frustrated at what seems like really slow, or even no growth. I've watched the webinars, created the freebies, and spent time on social media, and I still seem to be getting lost. If you're feeling the same way, I know how hard it can be to keep going, but there is good news. Even though my stats are lower, my interactions with potential clients has been increasing little by little.

WEBSITE VISITORS

According to Google Analytics, I had 969 pageviews this month (down by 247) and 260 visitors. The total bounce rate was 56%, which is lower than it has been in the previous months. 62% of my website visitors were new to Lemon and the Sea.

Out of the 386 sessions on my site, 182 came directly to my site, 108 came from social media, and 44 were referred from another website.  These stats are pretty average for me, but I have noticed an increase in the amount of visitors coming from search engines.

TOPS POSTS & PAGES

My most visited page this month was my home page, followed by my Services page (just like the past few months). I'm planning to explore ways to get people from my home page to other part so the site more frequently, so hopefully that will be put in place soon.

NEWSLETTER

I've seen my newsletter decreased from 138 subscribers to 131 subscribers in February. The average open rate decreased to 49.1% and the average click rate is 8.7%.  These are actually pretty great stats compared to the industry average of a 16% open rate. As I'm starting to be more consistent with my newsletter again, I was hoping to see more growth, but I only had a few new subscribers.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter: 328 followers (up by 15)

Instagram: 153 followers (up by 27)

Facebook: 84 likes (up by 6)

Pinterest: 235 followers (up by 35)

INCOME & EXPENSES

February 2016 Earnings:

Freelance Clients: $115.50

Project Clients: $366.66

Affiliate Links: $0

Total Income: $482.16

 

February 2015 Expenses:

Education: $14.09

MailChimp: $10

Calendly: $10

Fees: $1.66

Design Supplies: $62.10

Networking: $3.93

Tithe: $48.22

Total Expenses: $150.00

 

Total Profit: $332.16 (before taxes)

As a note, I also traded $550 worth of design services for $550 worth of copy editing services. However, including these numbers in my calculations means that my tithe amount goes up and then the Total Profit amount doesn't accurately reflect the money I actually brought in.

LOOKING FORWARD

I'm going to spend March really digging into my social media, especially Facebook and Instagram. I want to start making sure that I'm visible and valuable where my people are instead of just hoping they find me. I also want to start taking a look at how I can use my analytics to my advantage to reach more people and encourage more people to visit my website.

January Traffic + Income Report

January Traffic + Income Report | Lemon and the Sea: How my business and blog has grown in 2016 and what's coming in February.

January was an interesting month for me because there were a lot of changes in my business and personal life. I took the first week of 2016 off from working for my freelance clients so that I could concentrate and updating my website and focusing on my design clients. This was super refreshing, but did make for a bit of stress coming back to those emails that had been sitting in my inbox since mid-December.

I launched my website updates (you can read more about them here). I also updated my services and started working on a brand new Welcome Packet full of important information for people interested in working with me (hopefully that's coming soon!)

On the home front, we got a new puppy and are working hard to house break him, which has been very frustrating at times. We also got almost 12" of snow, which meant that schools were closed for 4 days and we couldn't get out of the house very often. 

WEBSITE VISITORS

According to Google Analytics, I had 1,216 pageviews this month (down by 666) and 534 visitors. The total bounce rate was 63%. 64% of my website visitors were new to Lemon and the Sea. Even though I posted new blog content for most of January, my overall website traffic was down.

Out of the 534 sessions on my site, 172 came directly to my site, 168 came from social media, and 136 were referred from another website. 

TOPS POSTS & PAGES

My most visited page this month was my home page, followed by my Services page (just like the past few months). I've been updating my home page with the new website look, so I'm excited to see how those changes affect these numbers. My top about was again Goal Planning for Your Business. Check it out and get a free 36 page planner download.

NEWSLETTER

I've seen my newsletter grow from 117 subscribers to 138 in January. The average open rate decreased to 50.8% and the average click rate is 10%.  These are actually pretty great stats compared to the industry average of a 16% open rate. Unfortunately these numbers aren't a great reflection of what happened in January, as I didn't send any newsletters out. (Totally my bad.) I need to get into the habit of writing my newsletter emails in advance so I don't forget them.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter: 313 followers (up by 23)

Instagram: 126 followers (up by 6)

Facebook: 78 likes (up by 8)

Pinterest: 200 followers (up by 45)

INCOME & EXPENSES

January 2015 Earnings:

Freelance Clients: $1,419

Project Clients: $25.33

Affiliate Links: $0

Total Income: $1677.33

 

January 2015 Expenses:

Office Supplies: $26.30

MailChimp: $10

Calendly: $10

Fees: $23.89

Design Supplies: $65.10

Website Hosting: $15.99

Tithe: $167.73

Total Expenses: $319.01

 

Total Profit: $1358.32 (before taxes)

Looking Forward

It was actually kind of discouraging to look at these numbers. While my social media has been growing, my website views and visitors were both down significantly. I want to get back into scheduling my social media (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) and see how that affects growth. I also need to make sure to schedule my newsletter emails in advance so that they get sent out. I also haven't found any new design clients for February, so I'm disappointed that I don't have a project on the books.

While it's easy to get down about slow growth and small months, I'm trying to remember that it's all a part of the journey. Everyone (no matter how big their business now) had to start out small. Some grow faster than others, but many take years to get to where they are. I have faith that God has a plan for my business and that as long as I keep showing up, big things will happen.

December Traffic + Income Report

December Traffic + Income Report | Lemon and the Sea:  See my traffic and income for December 2015 (even when I took two weeks off).

It's 2016 y'all!

I can't believe that 2015 is already over. It's been a huge year for me and for Lemon and the Sea. It was in December of 2014 that I first started Lemon and the Sea as a blog over on WordPress. I was writing infrequently about DIY projects and my life. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far I've come, considering that Lemon and the Sea is now a legitimate (registered LLC) design business with paying clients and is my full time job.

I had thought about running my own business for a long time. I love exploring new things and spending my time creating and most office jobs don't allow for that. I dreamed of opening a successful Etsy shop or a brick and mortar store for local artists. Although I never considered running my own design business, I'm so glad that this was God's plan for my life.

As I look back on 2015, it's easy to gloss over some of the things that I accomplished because I have so much more planned for the future, but it's important to take the time to really acknowledge all the ways that God is at work and all the things I worked hard for. My biggest accomplishments in 2015?

  • Leaving my full time job to start freelancing and blogging
  • Becoming an official business (I started a business - that's huge!)
  • Getting my first seven clients in the first six months that I offered design services
  • Learning Squarespace and building my own website
  • Making awesome connections and friendships

WEBSITE VISITORS

According to Google Analytics, I had 1,882 pageviews this month (down by 371) and 657 visitors. The total bounce rate was 67%. 73% of my website visitors were new to Lemon and the Sea, so I'm excited to see this growth!

Out of the 822 sessions on my site, 193 came directly to my site, 249 came from social media, and 326 were referred from another website. 

TOPS POSTS & PAGES

My most visited page this month was my home page, followed by my Services page (just like November). I've been updating my home page with the new website look, so I'm excited to see how those changes affect these numbers. My top about was again Goal Planning for Your Business. Check it out and get a free 36 page planner download.

NEWSLETTER

I've seen my newsletter grow from 115 subscribers to 117 in December. The average open rate decreased to 51.1% and the average click rate is 9.9%.  These are actually pretty great stats compared to the industry average of a 16% open rate.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter: 290 followers (up by 16)

Instagram: 120 followers (up by 6)

Facebook: 70 likes (up by 2)

Pinterest: 155 followers (up by 33)

 

INCOME & EXPENSES

December 2015 Earnings:

Freelance Clients: $3,220

Project Clients: $700

Affiliate Links: $0

Total Income: $3,920

 

December 2015 Expenses:

Office Supplies: $0

MailChimp: $10

Calendly: $10

Fees: $15.20

Design Supplies: $27.82

Networking: $10

Website Photography: $700

Tithe: $330.35

Total Expenses: $1,103.37

 

Total Profit: $2816.6 (before taxes)

What I Learned

While my increases weren't huge, I did take the last two weeks off to concentrate on spending time with family and preparing for the 2016. I'm ready to get back into providing great content after a much needed rest.

I've learned a lot over since March about running a business, blogging, and working with clients. Now I'm excited to start finding my own way and cultivating a business based on faith.

November Traffic + Income Report

November Traffic + Income Report | Lemon and the Sea: Why it's important to have savings and not focus solely on the numbers.

Now that holiday season is upon us, things have been getting crazy over here at Lemon and the Sea. I took off a few days for Thanksgiving and came back to almost 100 emails from clients with things that needed done. Clearly, I'm still catching up on all of that and I have a few big projects in the works.

I've also been hard at work behind the scenes to get a new layout ready for launch in 2016. I'm working with an awesome photographer, Julie Renner to get some new pictures for my site and I've been cleaning things up. I'm excited to launch next month!

In addition to the site design, I've been content planning, beta testing, and brainstorming some ideas for new courses, workshops, and e-books. While they won't all see the light of day, I've got tons of great stuff planned, especially focusing on creativity, faith, and business. Check out the #creativity21 challenge that will be launching in January!

Website Visitors

According to Google Analytics, I had 2,253 pageviews this month (up by 122) and 127 visitors (up by 127). The total bounce rate was 66%, which means that almost half of the people visiting my site were taking long enough to explore. 33% of my website visitors were returning visitors, so thanks to all you loyal people who keep coming back!

Out of the 1,011 sessions on my site, 205 came directly to my site, 356 came from social media, and 402 were referred from another website. 

Tops Posts & Pages

My most visited page this month was my home page, followed by my Services page. This has remained consistent over the past few months and make the importance of a great home page really clear. My top about was Goal Planning for Your Business. Check it out and get a free 36 page planner download.

Newsletter

I've seen my newsletter grow from 101 subscribers to 115 in November. At the end of the month, I released a Goal Planner download that I plan on promoting further. Check it out here. The average open rate decreased to 51.7% and the average click rate is 10.6%.  While this may seem discouraging, it makes sense. As more people subscribe, the open and click rates are bound to decrease a but. Both stats are high compared to the industry average.

Social Media

Twitter: 274 followers (up by 17)

Instagram: 114 followers (up by 14)

Facebook: 68 likes (up by 5)

Pinterest: 122 followers (up by 23)

 

Income & Expenses

November 2015 Earnings:

Freelance Clients: $83.50

Project Clients: $0

Affiliate Links: $0

Total Income: $83.50

 

November 2015 Expenses:

Office Supplies: $5.64

MailChimp: $10

Calendly: $10

Etsy Fees: $0.80

Tithe: $8.35

Total Expenses: $34.79

 

Total Profit: $48.71 (before taxes)

So, What Does this Mean?

If you've seen my other income reports (you can see them here, here, and here), you'll notice that this month saw a huge decrease in profit for Lemon and the Sea. Why? Because I base my income reports on the payments that actually hit my bank account during the month and not the amounts that I bill. Basically, I am waiting on a payment from my biggest client and haven't received the check yet.

This is where savings is crucial, both in your personal and business accounts. If I didn't have savings, a delayed check could be devastating to me and might mean that I couldn't pay my bills. Luckily, I was raised to save at least 10% of my income of emergency expenses and bigger purchases. I've rarely had to tap into this fund, but it's there for times like this.

I also know that I'll be receiving that check soon, so I don't have to panic (although I did send an email checking on the payment). Just wait - next month is going to look fantastic!