Today I’m going to share with you something that many people consider very personal – my income.
Truth be told, I don’t quite understand why talking about your personal finances is such a faux pas. For me, I feel like we can learn from each other by sharing more. But clearly that’s why I started a blog about money – I’m very comfortable talking openly about it!
Why I’m Sharing My Blogging Income with the World
Honestly, I’ve read so many “How I Made $5K in My Second Month Blogging” posts over the past years, that I’ve found myself getting discouraged. I started this blog in October 2015 and I’m still trying to figure out how to make a full time income from it. That’s with 25K page views a month. With nearly 10K Instagram followers. With over 2.5K newsletter subscribers.
I have this love hate relationship with blogging. I love getting creative and feeling like I have a platform for teaching the world something. But I also find myself comparing myself to others and as the saying goes “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
So my hope is that with these income reports, I can share with you some of my proudest blogging accomplishments, my blogging goals, and even some of my struggles. And through it all, encourage you on your blogging journey.
Basically I just want to keep it real. (Is that still cool to say?)
How I Made Money Online in July
There are many ways to make money blogging. The very first way I ever made money blogging was through display ads, then after 6 months, I posted my first sponsored post. I’m now concentrating on affiliate marketing and freelance services like web design and virtual assistant work.
The numbers you see below will be the actual amount received in July. This means that although I may have done more campaigns and projects this month, I won’t post that income until it’s been deposited into my bank account.
- Display Ads
- Mediavine: $226.48
- Sponsored Posts
- Affiliate & Referral Marketing
- Ibotta: $175.00
- Amazon: $17.06
- Freelance Services
- Virtual Assistant: $40.00
Total Income: $783.54
- Bluehost: $0 (website hosting – paid in full once per year)
- Convertkit: $51.79 (email newsletter service)
- BoardBooster: $5.00 (Pinterest scheduling tool)
- Followers: $3.18 (Instagram analytics tool)
- ShortPixel: $9.99 (image optimization plugin – totally helped with my site speed!)
- Coffee Shops: $23.76 (because sometimes a girl needs to change up her workspace)
Total Expenses: $93.72
Estimated Taxes: $156.71 (about 20%)
Total Net Profit: $533.11
I started earning affiliate income! In the past, almost all of my blogging income has come from sponsored posts. However, I’m trying to decrease sponsored post income (you post once and earn once) and increase affiliate income (you post once and earn forever and ever).
I started with Ibotta because it was a natural fit for my audience. One of my most popular posts is How to Eat Healthy on a Budget. I updated this post to include a link to use Ibotta, a free grocery rebate app.
For every person who submitted a receipt on Ibotta through my link, I earned $10 (plus they got a $10 welcome bonus). I also got a $15 bonus for the first two people who used my link. This means that 16 people signed up for Ibotta through me, earning me $175. Not bad money for simply adding a link to an old post!
To see what it looks like when someone uses my Ibotta affiliate link, click here.
The biggest struggle for me in July was making time for my blog. When you’re your own boss and there’s no one but you giving yourself deadlines, it can be easy to let other things take priority over your blog.
I also found that when I was working at home, my mind would wonder and pretty soon I’d be obsessing over getting the dishes done and doing the laundry and oh, I’ve been meaning to call so-and-so…
Hence the coffee shop expenses. Sometimes it was just easier to get out of the apartment in order to get blog stuff done.
- Stick to a posting schedule. I’ve already created a simple editorial calendar in Google Calendar and want to fully complete it!
- Get two weeks ahead. I want to have two weeks of posts written ahead of time to help me stick to my schedule and reduce unnecessary procrastination stress.
- Update 10 old pins on Pinterest. I consistently get the most traffic from Pinterest, so want to update some old pins to hopefully revive them.
- Get dressed for work. Instead of sitting at my computer with unbrushed teeth in my pajamas when I blog, I want to make sure I actually get ready for the day. I think this will help me take my blogging more seriously (which will hopefully translate to more money!).
Do You Want to Make Money Online?
My first piece of advice is that you start a blog. My blog has created a platform for me to earn money in other non-traditional ways as well, like my virtual assistant work or by speaking at events. Here’s my super detailed tutorial on How to Start a Money Making Blog. If you have any questions or need help, email me!
Some tools I recommend when starting a blog:
- Hosting: Bluehost
- Theme: StudioPress
- Email Marketing Service: MailChimp (free) or ConvertKit (paid)
- Instagram Scheduler: Later
- Pinterest Scheduler: BoardBooster
- Photo Editing Apps: Facetune and VSCO
- Stock Photos: Pixabay (free) or Haute Chocolate (paid)
- Separate Blogging Bank Account: CapitalOne360 (completely online, no fees, and amazing customer service!)
I hope the transparency in this income report will help you and encourage you! We are all on our own individual paths in life and there is plenty of room for us all to succeed at our own pace.
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