I am interrupting the regular paper doll content to share some numbers in the first ever Paper Thin Personas Blog Income Report. Paper dolls will resume tomorrow.
I went back and forth and back and forth about today’s post. I was raised in a family where you do not talk about money, so talking about money and business openly is pretty counter intuitive for me. However, when I first started blogging I saw some really distorted income reports and I wanted to share one that wasn’t from someone who was trying to quit their day job. (Seriously, I adore my day job, why would I want to quit it?)
Let’s start with expenses.
Expenses for Paper Thin Personas
The PTP’s expenses I keep in three categories- fees, advertising and blog expenses.
Fees are the costs Etsy and Patreon both charge for processing payment. Fees cost me about 72 dollars this month.
I chose to try out Pinterest advertising for the first time this quarter. It was most a bust with a click-through rate (how many people who saw it and then clicked) of less then 1%. I also promote the Etsy Store and that costs a little too.
Total expenses for advertising were 43 dollars.
Blog expenses include the server hosting costs, paying for social media management tools, security and backups. My hosting is super cheap and very bare bones, but I really should switch companies and/or upgrade. Once I do that, my hosting costs will jump from about 12.00 per month up to the 30 to 40 dollar range.
I also pay about 21 dollars a month for a security company to monitor the blog (it was hacked last year), provide a firewall, cacheing and daily backups. All things I really need.
Blog expenses cost me about 144 dollars this last quarter and this will increase if I change hosts.
You will note I don’t have supplies in this pie-chart. I am horrible at tracking my supplies, but my resolution for next quarter is to get better at it.
Income For Paper Thin Personas
My income was a little odd this quarter. I got my last payout from a licensing deal with HP Printers, which was for 497 dollars. I also got a deposit for a commission which I’ll be finishing up this April. That was 100 dollars.
The Etsy store debuted and actually did better than I expected. I made 12 sales and a total of about 88 dollars.
The most important income piece is Patreon. Patrons donated 290.00 dollars this quarter. They paid for the blog to stay on the internet and there was a little left over to do some ads. In short, I am very grateful to all of them. You guys rock!
If you want to join… here’s the link to do that.
To sum up all the numbers, it cost me 258 to run the site. I made about 948. The net income is 690.
However, this includes 497 dollars from HP which will not happen again, plus commission funds, if you take out the one-time payments, the net income becomes 93 dollars.
A slightly less impressive number for sure.
Paper Thin Personas Sales Data
The most popular clothing sets have been the black and white Steampunk clothing set, the black and white Medieval Princess Gowns set, the color Medieval Gowns Set (red & blue color scheme), all having sold three copies.
The most popular dolls have been the redhead with the orange base and the blond with the orange base. None of the black and white dolls have sold more than one copy. I think it is interesting that the clothing sells in black and white, but the dolls don’t seem to move much.
As you can see from the chart above, clothing sales far out pace doll sales.
Paper Thin Personas Site Stats
I am averaged 36,000 views per month, 5368 users per month and 9,000 sessions per month. These numbers aren’t bad, per say, but they haven’t changed a great deal in the last few years. Last year, for example, I averaged 5,018 users per month and in 2015, I averaged 4750 users per month.
Not bad numbers, per say, just not great numbers. If I want to grow PTP, I need to get more eyes on the blog.
I have 3462 Pinterest followers which is steadily growing and remains my highest social media referral site. The Facebook page had 46 likes at the start of April. The twitter feed is… well, it remains pretty unpopular, but I am trying to not totally give up on it.
Where to Go from Here?
I’ll admit the math has made me do some thinking. I swore long ago that I wouldn’t put advertising on the site and I still don’t want to do that. I stand by my belief that keeping the site ad free is important, but it massively reduces sources of income.
Affiliate programs are another option for income streams, but I need to discuss that with a lawyer. The blog is in a strange position as far as the Child’s Online Privacy Protection Act is concerned. I need to make sure I am not running afoul of that law.
It is my belief that the only way to really increase my income is to get more eyes on the blog and that means gritting my teeth and paying something for advertising, even though I hate doing it. I just need to decide what the best form that would take.
Pinterest remains my top referrer with Facebook coming in close behind. The possibility of a Facebook ad has occurred to me, but I’m not sure if I want to spend the money. I have heard mixed things about Facebook ads.
So, I think that’s everything. Regular paper dolls with resume tomorrow. 🙂
Thoughts? Questions? Let me know in a comment. This is my first ever year to track all this stuff. I don’t know if I’ll do a report like this every quarter, but it was a really healthy exercise I think.