Smutlancer Revenue Report: March 2021
March went by in a complete blur. Multiple projects needed finishing touches, and I went through a bit of exhaustion — professionally and personally. You’ll have noticed if you pay attention to when posts are scheduled here on the site or if you follow us on social media. Hell, I even forgot to send the Smutlancer newsletter in March!!
I hit a wall at a certain point and couldn’t do anymore. Imagine my surprise when I started looking into the numbers below. When I feel chaotic and out of sorts, I assume the money has gone down when, most of the time, the opposite is true. See for yourself.
March Revenue Streams
This is a breakdown of all the ways I earn money as a Smutlancer (vanilla income not included). No expenses are included, so these are gross totals. It represents revenue generated during the month even if I haven’t received the cash yet. I differentiate between income and revenue this way: Income is money that’s hit my bank account that I may or may not have earned during the month. Revenue is money earned before fees that may not have paid out yet. In some cases, like affiliate sales, workbook sales, product sales, and sponsorships, it’s technically both because I’ve already been paid.
Kayla Lords, Sex Writer
Freelance sex writing: $4,450.00
Self-published erotica: $19.43
The amount of time I’ve gained for every other project listed below as a result of a slight decrease in freelance work has been amazing — both in terms of productivity and my headspace. More and more, I’m learning that I want to move away from freelancing and focus on my own stuff. Even a small amount of extra time gained has been great. In multiple places over the past few weeks (podcasts, blog posts, videos), I continue to hear advice along a very similar vein: Learn how to say no. Say no to the things you don’t really want to do so you can say yes to what you want to do.
I’m learning for myself how true that can be. Saying “no” doesn’t always mean giving up on something completely. Sometimes it means backing away little by little, where you can. I can’t afford to give up my freelance income right now, so I’m finding ways to do less and buy back my time. By doing so, I feel better, more energized, and ready to get to work building up the rest of these revenue streams.
As Loving BDSM, we generate revenue 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: $305.67
Workbook sales: $19.96
Podcast sponsorship: $100.00
YouTube AdSense: $17.50
March was a great month for affiliate sales, although I expect this to decrease in the months ahead as I’ve cut ties with a brand I worked with for several years over misogynistic and ablest statements the owner made. Part of my philosophy on affiliate partnerships is that a company needs to be one that I feel comfortable sending my audience to, and that brand no longer fell within those parameters. I expect a dip going forward, but I’m fine with that.
As you can see, Patreon also went back to “normal” for us after January. What I’m finding is that even with so many annual sign-ups, people continue to join, and our revenue stays fairly steady over time as a result. It helps that we have our Patreon set up to charge at sign-up instead of waiting until the first of the following month.
The Kinkery is John Brownstone’s 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. March started out very slow for the shop, and we were concerned that we’d hit a slump, but the numbers are great compared to last month AND last year.
Product sales: $762.05
The really exciting numbers (to me) will be April’s total because we just launched a new product line on April 1 — kinky stickers! They’re my pet project, so it’s even more personal than our regular product line-up. We also have a few more products coming this spring that I’m helping with, which means (ideally) sales should continue to grow.
Molly and I technically “split” this revenue. 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.
It’s important to be transparent not just in good ways but also when you get big goose eggs. We thought we might be able to use Instagram ads to promote Obscene Ideas after they let the first ad go through in February. But Facebook poured cold water on that by denying all future ads after “reviewing” the first one — after it ran for the full week. At the same time, we also spent March working on the next release — coming in late April — so that took our focus away from promotion.
Total March 2021 Revenue: $6,731.70
I’m pleasantly surprised to see an increase over February’s revenue.
Get Your Graph Kink On
Let’s look at the numbers for March, starting with a month over month comparison for total revenue:
It’s not as good as January but better than February and that works for me! Now, for the breakdown in terms of percentages:
My freelance work still makes up the bulk of my monthly revenue, but its share of the pie continues to trend downwards. In January, when I had the big payout from Patreon, it was 54 percent, but last month, it was nearly 69 percent. My goal for 2021 is for this section to steadily decrease towards 50 percent without giving up my overall revenue total of at least $6000 per month. I might not have much control over that at this point, but that’s what I would call success.