Smutlancer Revenue Report: January 2021
I’m trying something new this month and turning the income report into the revenue report. My expenses rarely change from month to month (other than a one-off or annual purchase that pops up). I’m kind of bored sharing those same details over and over again. So let’s focus on revenue instead of income especially as that aligns more with my business goals.
Revenue, for these purposes, is the dollars earned from each venture I have as Kayla Lords, including my freelance life, during the month. Not all of this makes it into income as I don’t “pay” myself from some projects (yet). But it all represents the efforts I put in as a smutlancer each month. Unlike my previous income reports, not all of this hits my bank account in January but it is what I/we earned in January.
For two years, I shared a breakdown of income and expenses to figure out my net income (look back at any report from before 2021 to see them). I know for some people it’s very interesting information. And I think it’s important to see what kind of expenses you might have when you work for yourself. But my personal focus is on growing revenue in different places, not to have a higher income (at least not right now) but so I can shift income so no one source bears all the weight of sustaining me. So that’s what I want to track.
If something drastic changes in expenses and income, maybe I’ll bring back the old version. For now, let’s try this…and see if I can get creative with different graphs.
January Revenue Streams
This is a breakdown of all the ways I earn money as a Smutlancer (vanilla income is not included). No expenses are included, so these are gross totals.
Kayla Lords, Sex Writer
This is fairly simple. Most of the income I make as “Kayla Lords” that’s not part of a separate brand is my freelance writing as well as income made from my personal site (KaylaLords.com).
Freelance sex writing: $4,500.00
Self-published erotica: $22.46
As Loving BDSM, we generate income in multiple ways: Patreon, affiliate sales, podcast sponsorship, and more. This section may change from month to month based on available revenue opportunities.
Affiliate sales: $218.01
Workbook sales: $29.94
Podcast sponsorship: $45.00
YouTube AdSense: $12.57
In January, we held a membership drive through Patreon including discounts for an annual membership. Annual members pay one time when they join. Next month, we expect fewer annual members and so the Patreon revenue will consist primarily of recurring monthly members and new members who join in the month. This number (no matter how impressive-looking) will decrease but it’s nice to look at!
Also, I’m going to start tracking AdSense money we earn through our YouTube channel. We do not get paid until we reach a $100 minimum — I believe we’re at approximately $53 as of the beginning of this month which includes November, December, and January. For the record, it took a year to get the first $100 payment and it might take about six months to get the next. As slow as it is, that’s definitely still progress.
The Kinkery is John Brownstone’s new shop for his BDSM products. As his business partner, life partner, as well as the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and Shipping Department, I have a clear vested interest in the growth of this source of revenue.
Product sales: $766.07
This was our first January at The Kinkery but not our first with an online shop. When compared to the old shop, this was an excellent month! Normally January is very quiet around here.
Molly and I technically “split” this income. If we chose to pay ourselves, we would each receive half after all fees and expenses. Currently, the only income the Smutlancers produces is from our Patreon community. We hold onto that money to pay our contributors and pay Obscene Ideas expenses. Eventually, we hope Obscene Ideas will make enough money to cover its own expenses.
Again, Molly and I technically “split” this income and would pay ourselves half after fees and expenses if we actually paid ourselves. But we don’t.
31 Days of Erotic Fiction: $7.50
31 Days of Self Reflection: $52.50
Obscene Ideas launched in October 2020 with 31 Days of Erotic Fiction. In early January, we launched our second workbook: 31 Days of Self Reflection. We also offer a deep discount to members of the Smutlancers Community as an additional perk of membership.
Total January 2021 Revenue: $8,375.23
I love this number, especially since I know I kept expenses down in January, cutting wherever possible. But I also know this amount will change next month because the Loving BDSM Patreon Membership Drive is over.
For Those with a Graph Kink…
Remember, my ultimate goal is to balance my revenue streams so that if one drops off, I can still survive and pay the bills. That’s what this comparison looks at — the percentages.
Okay, so let’s start a new bar graph to see how total revenue shifts from month to month.
So, those are the numbers. What do you think about this new format?
Ooh, a new format! I’m very excited for this and I love your explanation for *why* you want to do it this way right now (though am a tiny bit sad that you’re no longer going to be adding to those bar graphs that had a full TWO YEARS worth of data on them – what I took from them is less that you always need to be growing your income but that your income can fluctuate and that’s ok but something to be prepared for, if that makes sense?).
Fuck, I’m such a slut for these kinds of posts (as you know). I love the details about YouTube AdSense – I didn’t know that that only got paid out when you hit the $100 mark. Do you have some videos that are viewed more and thus generate more AdSense? Does the livestream, which I think runs without ads but I would assume is hugely popular generate much AdSense, or am I incorrect and the majority of viewers watch it after it’s already up when I assume ads do run on it?
Also, I feel like you need to make yourself a plaque for your desk that says ‘Chief Operating Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and Shipping Department for The Kinkery’.
The Patreon revenue number is HELLA impressive – do you think you’ll lose money from offering a discount for annual membership, or do you think it will ultimately mean that people who might have supported you for six months have now paid up front of an entire year so you’ll now get eleven months of membership money from them? Do you have a high turn-over in Patreon supporters generally? Did you get a load of new folks signing up for annual membership, or was it your long time supporters?
You don’t have to answer all of that, I’m just being curious and sharing my probably-unnecessary thoughts with you! Oh, but one thing I really WOULD love to know is the expenses that go into having stickers made up for the membership drive. Did you do that through the Patreon merch option or do you have the stickers printed yourself? Did you do a cost-benefit analysis for this, even more as a thought exercise/based on experience rather than an actual financial numbers thingy? I have no idea how one would go about doing a cost-benefit analysis, just FYI – I suppose what I’m really asking is if you found the membership drive successful, which you obviously did so I’ll shut up now.
I’m super into the ‘Graph Kink’ section, but I’m wondering if next month you’d share the fabulous pie-chart of your February revenue streams next to last month’s (January’s) fabulous pie-chart so we can get excited about them hopefully balancing out along with you – does that make sense? I also think I need to go back and read some of your old income reports to work out the difference between ‘what hits my bank account in January’ and ‘what I/we earned in January’.
The question I now want to know the answer to (which I know you won’t be able to tell me) is how many of those Loving BDSM affiliate sales come from people who ALSO subscribe to your Patreon – do you think those folks are more likely to buy through an affiliate link or trust your recommendations because you’ve built that connection and community? Right now I’m going back through old erotica to insert affiliate links and I’m trying to work out if it’s a waste of time or not, or if someone *might* click through and make a purchase and even if two people buy a set of Lovehoney cuffs then it might only make me £3 but it’s worth it.
This has become a VERY long comment – I want to reiterate that you don’t have to answer all my questions! I just wanted to share my excitement at reading through all of this: thank you for sharing all of these (very personal, tbh) details with us so we can go on this journey with you.