I had no clue that when I started my Shopify online store June 1, 2017, I would make $52,060 that very first month and hit 6 figures/month within just a few short months.
But pretty soon I knew I was onto something….something bigger than I had ever imagined.
My Shopify ecommerce store paved the way to my path of making 7 figures/year online, consistently, but it’s not about the money for me.
It’s about proving the world wrong!
It’s about doing something I love and creating the lifestyle I want to have, regardless of what anyone else thinks or says.
14 years, I was married. My ex-husband went off and started having a bunch of affairs and got a few other girls pregnant. He just up and abandoned us one day. I woke up and he was gone. It was a tragedy. I had been a stay-at-home-mom all of my kids lives. I had no income. No means to support myself. No child support, he was gone without a trace. No family to help me out and so, me and our two little ones ended up in a homeless shelter.
Everyone told me to get a job outside the home, including the judge in my divorce, but I stood my ground. I said, “NO!” I refused to leave my kids. Month by month, year by year, I worked from home and figured out a way.
I felt called by God to start a blog and obeyed that conviction. My blog did very well right from the start. I grew a platform and have been doing what I love.
Things change over time, we change and grow and I simply wanted a place to put my new Blogging Binder to sell. I tried a couple other options and they didn’t work well, meaning, they didn’t get good sales. When I put my Blogging Binder on Shopify, the thing started selling like hotcakes! Something about that platform, just WORKED!
I added another product and another and another. To this day, I have 72 products in the store and plan on listing a ton more as time goes on.
While my income is fantastic and I get to do something I’m REALLY passionate about (printables), I want to start creating income reports for my Shopify store mostly because I feel the need to track my OWN progress.
I’ve come SO far in such a short amount of time. From homeless to now making 7-figures/year. I don’t want to forget who I am and what I’ve been through or the steps along the way in my little road to success, you know. I want to always remain humble! That’s important to me.
And while I keep really good and accurate records of what works and what doesn’t each month, there’s nothing like, getting the FULL, detailed picture of a month. To really dive deep into what’s working, what’s not working, what I’ve tested, what I didn’t test and some months are better than others, some months are not as good. But I feel like having that in-depth information handy for my own future reference as well as to help YOU know what works and what doesn’t, so you start out already ahead of the game, is so incredibly valuable.
I hope you’ll join me in this journey. I hope that you’ll enjoy seeing not only my successes, but also my failures, and how I jump those hurdles all along the way.
Shopify Store Income Report – $129,541 (April 2018)
I’ll be honest, this month was a slow month and not as profitable for me. The store didn’t do as well as it usually does.
I think the reason is because I focused on creating smaller priced items this entire month, instead of focusing on the bigger ticket items. I did this purposely, going in, and I plan to continue working on smaller items next month too (cue the lower sales next month). Even though, I’m taking a pay loss, even though, it’s making me less money overall in the month, I think that setting up these new categories in my store will do well over time and lead to more income being made in the long run.
In my Shopify store, I take the position that this is a marathon, not a race. I don’t need to race to the top. What I need to do is create a sustainable, consistent income stream on as much of autopilot as I possibly can and in doing that, in building up my empire, I need to work on different types of tasks, not always the most expensive ones, but I’ll talk more on that a little later. Let’s get into the details of the income.
Shopify income report total for April 2018 (Shopify store only; doesn’t include blog/misc. income) – $129,541
Traffic total (to my Shopify store only) for April 2018 – 17,074
Stats per product:
This is my favorite part of researching analytics. Figuring out which products sell (or get downloaded for free) the most. Stuff like this tells me EXACTLY what to create more of in my store and what to stop creating, so it’s something I gauge very heavily.
If you have the $79/month Shopify plan, which I do, you’ll get FANtastic analytics reports that will give you all this information broken down by product. I then go into my newsletter (I have ConvertKit and love them) and compare the two in order to get conversion rates.
Scripture Writing Binder
My new binder out this month was my Scripture Writing Binder.
Every 3 weeks, I like to release a new binder. I almost always (95% of the time) release my binders as FREE for the first few weeks. I do this because I love to pour on the value to my audience. It also sets up the binder nicely promoted and off to a great start. I feel that releasing your digital products for free when you first create them is really the only way to go. The exception is that if it’s a large bundle of products or something. I have blogging bundles that I’ve never given for free. Things like that, I want to sell straight off the bat. And that’s okay to do, because everything else I’m starting out as free.
For the Scripture Writing Binder, its first week released, I got 1,418 clicks from my email newsletter to the product. 893 people downloaded. I have not promoted the binder anywhere else as of this point, although, I will create a post on the binder on my blog and promote that post the end of next month.
My conversion rate for the Scripture Writing Binder was almost 63%, which is really high. The average conversion rate is 1%-3%, which I rarely ever see anything lower than 22% on something I SELL. The reason this conversion rate is so high is because the product is free and of course, more people would gladly love something free over paying for it.
My Million Dollar Shop®
If you are new in your store or it’s not making what you want, carve out the time for it, and check out my Million Dollar Shop® courses, here.
They have all the tips and tricks that I’m using to crush it in my store, and it goes into massive depth of all the ins and outs of what to do. I hope you check them out, and I hope your store flies!
I’d like a 30 day series for each topic that I have on my blog.
No one knows this yet, but very soon, I plan on creating a new 30 day hand lettering series. I’ve already created all the printables (that was the fun part!), now it’s just a matter of having one of my assistants help me create all the 30 posts for it. Definitely look for that series coming soon as well as more series’ topics ideas!
I really want to focus on getting more in-depth content on my blog. I’ve been building wide for so long, my whole blogging career, now it’s time to build deep based on the success of those “wide” topics. I’m super stoked!!!!
Over the next year, I’ll be working on several more series’ to release. It’s going to be a lot of fun!!! If there’s a particular series topic you’d like to see that goes into major depth, do let me know in the comments!
I promoted my Recipe Binder this month.
Originally, this product was released (never for free, only for sale to start at $1) on 3/14/18. To this date, I have sold 664 copies at $1 each. I plan to keep this at the $1 mark for a little longer, then move it up to full price.
Mother’s Day Binder
This month, I promoted my Mother’s Day Binder.
I started this binder out for free for a few weeks, like I always do, and then moved up the price to $1.
It’ll be $1 through Mother’s Day and then after that, I will hide the product in my store so it’s not available for purchase (to hide something, I just delete all collections it’s in. Customers can still search for it, but it’s not anywhere being actively seen without running a search).
Next year, I’ll start this out, probably at $7 on sale. But THIS year, I set up the foundation in promoting it and getting reviews and stuff so that next year, it’ll be established and sell well.
Kids Prayer Journal
I promoted my already existing product, a Kids Prayer Journal. I promoted it once in my newsletter and it made me $43. Since this is already an existing product and I only mentioned it once in one link, I feel like that’s a pretty good success rate.
I basically just turned on the faucet and water came out and that’s how selling in a Shopify store SHOULD be. You create products, then you just turn on the faucet. You mention it in a link or something and you make a super quick $43.
Imagine for a moment, if you had 20 products in your store and you made $43 every time you put in just one link. If you have a monthly email list, you can simply mention 5 products a week, get $43 per product and in one months’ time, you’re looking at $860. It’s the easiest eight hundred bucks you could ever make!
And if you did that, and only that, for one year, you’d make over $10,000! That’s enough to buy a great, used car, pad your savings account, or take that vacation you’ve been dreaming of. It’s a lot of money and it’s not a lot of work. It’s really simple. Just turn on the faucet.
So for me, I feel that’s worth it.
Coloring Gratitude Prompts Binder
This is the exact same thing as what I did with the Kids Prayer Journal. I simply added in ONE link in ONE of my newsletters for my Coloring Gratitude Prompts Binder. I made a quick $1,064.
Again, if you have 20 products and you promote 5 links a week, and hypothetically, let’s say you make $1,064 per linked product, that’s $21,280/month. In one years’ time, that’s $255,360.
Guys, that’s a quarter of a MILLION dollars for adding in a few links.
And people wonder why I don’t add in a lot of affiliate links anymore. I promote my own store products. Because I make a boatload more money! And it’s not like the products are expensive either. The Coloring Gratitude Prompts Binder is currently only 7 bucks.
Like the Coloring Gratitude Prompts Binder and the Kids Prayer Journal, I promoted the Handwriting Binder once in one link in one email newsletter I sent out.
I got 288 clicks and made $100 on it. Not too bad for one link, one time.
New Monogram Signs
I created a bunch of Monogram signs this month and posted them at a dollar each set. This is a type of product that didn’t sell very well for me personally. I promoted the monograms in one email and only got 138 clicks. This tells me that my audience is not all that interested in them. So, I won’t be creating more of them.
I had originally put a link to these monogram wall signs in my nav bar in the store and so, I’ll let this phase out for a few more weeks, and then delete the link. It’s not popular, so I don’t want to get people clicking on something they WON’T buy rather than something more popular that they WOULD buy.
For the monogram wall signs, I only made $19 total. I consider that a fail. So, moving forward, I won’t create more and I won’t promote them again, BUT I’m still glad I did. I’m glad I created them and TRIED something new! 🙂
Win or fail, at least I tried something new and I think that’s the point of it. We have to try. Not everything we try WILL be a success. That’s okay. It’s okay to fail, because we keep trying and we DO see successes in other places. EVERYONE fails. If someone says they don’t, they are a liar.
On this failure of an item, I still got a 13.76% conversion rate, so that is great. Again, normal conversion rates are between 1%-3%.
New Coloring Sheets Packs
I really rather enjoy creating coloring sheets and so, this month, I created a bunch of coloring sheets packs for my store and set the sets at $1 each. I promoted them in two emails.
The coloring sheets packs do very well for me. I got a total of 555 clicks for both weeks. I made $360 just out the gate. I have them set up at $1 now, so they will continue to sell in my $1 section quite nicely and a lot of customers add in coloring sheets to their orders, so it bumps up the price per shopping cart quite nicely. I’m pleased with the decision to create them.
It takes me 30 minutes to create a coloring sheets pack and about an hour total to set up all the ads. I created 7 packs, so about 3 1/2 hours plus 1 hour of set up. For 4 1/2 hours of initial work, I made $360. That’s pretty dang good in my opinion. It’s $80/hour. Ain’t no job you get outside the home gonna pay you $80/hour!
Plus, again, they continue to sell for life now. It’s all residual income (on autopilot) that I don’t have to do anything more for over time. I still get sales. I don’t have to even promote them because customers see them and add them to their carts.
New Monster Alphabet Handwriting Practice Sheets
I created the first page of these Monster Alphabet Handwriting Practice Sheets and then handed everything over to one of my assistants to create the rest of them for me. She works super fast and it was really easy to set all that up.
It was promoted one time in my newsletter and given away for free for 48 hours. The purpose in me doing that is that I was wanting to see if I gave away a lower priced item for a short period of time, how many people would download them. This was part of a new test.
Here’s my results….
1,849 people clicked from my email newsletter to look at the practice sheets. 480 customers downloaded this product for free. 12 customers purchased at $1 each.
My total profit this month only from this one product was $12. 492 people downloaded them total.
I consider this a huge success. When you can get 500 people to download something free and you are helping others, it’s a success. I’m giving my email list value, something they want and enjoy, something they will use…something their kids will use.
Over the life of the store, these will sell more over time and make me more money. But keep in mind that, a lot of people who got these free, also added a lot of other things in their carts too. So, I didn’t just make $12 from this one item I gave away for free. I made more, though there’s no way to really see how much I made from giving this away for free as I’m not going to go through nearly 500 orders and add up all their carts manually. 🙂
I will say that I plan to begin to start giving away smaller NEW products like this away for free in my email newsletter, because it’s clear my audience likes it, but I will continue to gauge its success over time.
This month, I also tested my email newsletter audience to see what they wanted to see more of and less of.
I asked them this simple question…
The purpose of this was to find out if they even liked me talking in the intro of the newsletters. I feel like, because I give so much free stuff away (the value), is it really necessary I do a short encouraging post as an intro? Because those short encouraging posts are hard for me to write. When I write, I either write a lot or nothing at all. So, making something that is about 300-500 words is difficult for me and I struggle with it. I wanted to know if they even wanted to see that stuff.
Here were the results…
- Free binders and printables (1,110 clicks)
- Encouraging posts within the email (220 clicks)
- New announcements and posts (38 clicks)
I do feel this is an accurate representation of what is going on within my platforms and what my audience wants.
See, my blog (SarahTitus.com) traffic HAS gone down considerably since I moved to doing more in my Shopify store. Because of that, I make a lot less money in ads revenue, affiliate marketing, etc. However, my Shopify store income more than makes up for it and it’s what I’m more passionate about in this season of my life.
Yes, I still absolutely run my blog and do my absolute best to provide great, free information. I’m still running it like always, still creating great posts, etc. However, my blog is not my #1 marketing focus anymore. My newsletter email list is #1, followed by my Shopify store at #2, and then my blog at #3.
So it stands to reason, that my audience is not all that interested in my posts. They want free stuff. They want binders and bundles. They want printables. And I’m more than okay with that. I still love to run my blog AND Shopify store.
Secondly, in the test I see that the encouraging intro post in my newsletters are not really necessary. So, moving forward, I plan to continue to do them WHEN I’m inspired and have something to say. If I’m not, now it won’t be such a struggle for me to come up with something great to say. I know that my audience mostly wants free stuff and for me to focus my attention on creating products and giving them what they want. This was really an incredibly helpful test.
Next month, I plan to run a test to see which products in particular they want most. This will be a fun test to create and see the results of as well.
My top 5 products
You can see this months’ top 5 products by clicking the links below:
- Financial Freedom Bundle
- Household Binder
- Happily Ever Blogger Bundle
- Blog Optimization Critique
- Blogging Binder
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