This post contains affiliate links.
November seems to have gone by in a blur. I thought that things would slow down in the copywriting and freelance world, but it seems that it was even busier than the last two or three months! I turned down of a lot of work in order to enjoy spending some time at home with family and I don’t regret it one bit. I still managed to hit my target for the month and I did a ton of great networking that will hopefully see me having an even better December.
My goals for December were very simple yet again, but I am happy to say that despite taking two weeks off, I still managed to accomplish most of my goals. I really like setting these small monthly goals that build toward my bigger overall goals. I know it sounds obvious, but by breaking down my goals for this blog into small tasks it makes it all feel so much more achievable.
- Publish at least one SEO-focused blog post on Eternal Expat every week. I did this for every week except the last week of the month.
- Create at least one affiliate marketing-focused posts on Eternal Expat this month. I sort of did this month, but I want to be better about single products that focus on SEO keywords in the coming months.
- Create at least one video a week for Youtube (subscribe here to see them all!). I’m so happy with my Youtube progress this month. I put out a ton of content at the start of the month and then I took the second half of the month off, so technically I didn’t publish one video a week, but I did publish more than four and I’ve jumped to almost 800 subscribers!
- Schedule posts and social media content for the week of Christmas and New Year so that I’m not glued to the computer. I scheduled a few posts, but in the end I was quite happy to step away from the computer regardless of how much content I created. The blog has ticked over really well without me needing to babysit it over this holiday and I couldn’t be happier about that. I really got to relax and recharge and I am SO freaking excited about January.
- Organize everything for my ebook and finish at least one chapter. I did this and I have a whole outline ready to be filled in for this ebook I’m creating. This is going to be a huge part of my month this month and I’m looking forward to getting tons done.
I didn’t really focus much on the blog this month. After a few months of tweaking, I’m happy with this new blog theme that you see now, so I made the payment for that this month. I also had a few of my regular expenses.
I’ve said it before, but I’ve noticed it even more this month. Keysearch has seriously changed the game for me. Keysearch is a tool that helps you find good keywords that you are likely to rank for on Google. Before I started using Keysearch I was kind of guessing when it comes to how well I would do ranking for keywords. While Google Console and Google Adsense are somewhat helpful, Keysearch is seriously unbeatable, especially for the low monthly fee. This month I spent $17 on Keysearch. Learn more about Keysearch here.
I continue to pay a writer to create content for my site, Collecting Labels. If you’re interested in becoming a writer for this site, head over to the site and click on the contribute tab. This month I spent $60 on content writers.
I’m happy with how the blog looks, but I’m not 100% happy with how long it took or all of the emails I needed to send in order to get it completed. In total, I spent $350 on the site redesign, which is cheap for a custom design, but I still feel a little bit ripped off if I’m being honest.
TOTAL EXPENSES $427
December was a great month for my blog and side business. As I suspected, things quieted down a lot with my copywriting work this month, but I made up for it with a huge increase in Youtube and Ad income this month. It’s so cool to see these passive income sources growing as my blog and Youtube channel gain more traction. It meant that I could take the last two weeks of the month off and still earn enough money to enjoy our time in the UK.
I did a little bit of copywriting work this month, but for the most part, said no to a lot of things and enjoyed completely stepping away from the computer for two entire weeks!
This month I made $500 on copywriting.
I pitched for a bit more work with a new client that I’m excited about continuing with in the new year as well as a few other regular clients that kept this number up this month.
This month I made $450 on freelance writing.
I’m happy with the sponsored content that I published this month and although I didn’t do much, I managed to keep my rates up and find companies that I’m happy to share with you all here on Eternal Expat.
This month I made $500 on sponsored content.
While this wasn’t as big a month for affiliates as last month, I’m still happy with the amount of income I’m making from this. I’m seeing a lot more organic traffic and I’m focusing a lot on making sure that I am including affiliate links in almost every post I write without pushing things onto people that I don’t already use and love. Growing this source of income is one of my biggest goals for 2018.
This month I made $150 on affiliate marketing.
This is my biggest month by far for Youtube ads and it just shows that creating more content really pays off (quite literally). I’m really excited to see this channel grow so quickly and now I really feel like I understand the sort of content that does well, so I’m looking forward to seeing it prosper in 2018. Subscribe here if you want to keep up.
This month I made $46 on YouTube.
This month has been my largest traffic month of all time and my ad revenue, while still nothing enormous, has continued to grow. I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much since I know that December and January are busy times for people to search for travel information, so I’m sure it will dip a little bit after the new year, but for now I’m enjoying the ad revenue while I sit back and enjoy my vacation in the UK.
This month I earned $30.50 on ads.
TOTAL INCOME $1,676
Even though this was one of my lowest income months of the year, I am happy to see that without much copywriting income, I can still earn enough to stay afloat on the road. It has me so excited about the new year and it means I’ve ended the year earning more than double what I earned in 2016 when I first started this whole digital nomad thing. If you want to have a look back at income reports from 2017 and older, you can find them all here.
Lessons Learned in December
This month I caught a glimpse of the life I’m trying to create for myself. I worked from my apartment for two weeks before taking almost three complete weeks off. I popped onto my emails, replied to people, kept up with my social media, but other wise, I haven’t worked at all and yet I still managed to make plenty of money to stay afloat and much of it was “passive” thanks to work I’d been putting in all year. It was pretty exciting and it has really made me think about how I can increase these forms of revenue in the coming months.
I also learned, once again, the importance of stepping away to see things clearer. I don’t think I have taken this much time away from my blog since I started it two years ago and it has been really valuable. Not just for my mental health, but for my ability to really understand what I want 2018 to look like.
The time away has made me so excited for the next few months and I’m really looking forward to getting back to work on Monday with tons of new ideas and endless possibilities.
GOALS FOR 2018
I’m going to start changing these income reports around in the new year, so I thought I would leave you all with a few of my larger overall goals for 2018.
- Publish an eBook (preferably by the end of February).
- Get to 50,000 page views (currently at roughly 25,000).
- Join better paying ad companies.
- Build my Youtube channel and begin earning $500+
- Increase affiliate income to regularly earn over $300 a month.
- Increase freelance income and reduce copywriting work to a minimum (with the goal of eliminating it completely by the end of 2018).
- Begin regularly earning over $3,000 a month.
I am SO grateful to all of you for reading, for clicking, for following along on this journey. I know the year isn’t over yet, but I feel so damn lucky for all of you and for these past 11 months. Without you returning to this blog each month, whether it’s for these income reports alone or for other travel related posts too, I would never be able to do what I do.