Update: 2/21/17 If you’re looking to increase your blog income quickly, there’s a FREE Blog Training that’s extremely powerful (I did it last year) called A Simple Framework for Success. There’s a few problems, it’s LIVE (no replays) and you MUST be registered by March 2nd, 2017 and it’s also limited to the first 500 spots. (I’ll update you here when it’s sold out…. If you get a sold out message, can you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sign up for the FREE Blog Training here! (DON’T WAIT ON THIS! I expect it to sell out quickly!)
Blog Income Report- December 2015- $6,469.50
I’m a full time blogger. Less than 2 years ago, I had no idea that was an actual thing. To say the last two years have been a wild ride is the understatement of the year. I love being able to share what works for me and what doesn’t in my blog income reports.
If there’s one thing that I want to pass on to you, is that I am NOT special. I’m not crazy smart. I don’t have a writing degree and I’m certainly not a grammar expert (although a free app called Grammarly certainly helps).
I just love to write and I love to help people and I’m really good at reducing our spending. So, I blog about that and am able to support my family making far more than I ever could in my previous career.
Blogging means that I can work from home and spend more time with my family.
If that sounds like something you want to do, I can help you make that a reality with step-by step instructions (for free!). You can find instructions for how to start your own blog here (even if you aren’t great with computers).
The best part? Blogging is a super cheap (almost free!) hobby that makes you money! Starting a blog that makes you money while working from home starts at about $3.95/month!
December Blog Income Report:
This was a hugely exciting month! This was the first month that I could see the potential for passive income through the blog. Passive income means that you can make money without working. Usually I spend about 20 hours a week blogging, and that’s how I make my income.
We had some crazy stuff pop up last month, and our little girl needed some extra mom time so I ended up taking 3 weeks in December off from blogging. I worked 2-3 hours/week to write the newsletter and lead my Facebook group in the budget challenge, but for the most part I was just a stay at home mom. It was so exciting to me to see that my income didn’t really drop much considering the hours I put in.
Pageviews: 476,264 (up from 373,728 last month)
Income: $6,469 (down from $6,753.27 last month) plus about $200 credit to ThredUp (a designer clothing resell shop).
ThredUp pays in store credit but they sell almost every type of clothing imaginable and I’m obsessed with them. You can grab a free $20 gift card to try them out by clicking here. They sell used designer clothing in excellent condition, have free returns and amazing prices. Your $20 credit will be automatically added to your cart.
Income Broken Down:
$900 Sponsored Posts
$3,622 Ad Networks
(further breakdown of my strategy for each category below)
I started offering Pinterest Coaching on a case by case basis. I get almost all of my pageviews from Pinterest with a system (using Boardbooster) that only takes me 4 hours a month to maintain. That system has a lot to do with how I can grow the business with the number of hours that I work each week. You can email me at email@example.com for more information. Sessions are limited to 4/month at this time.
My goals for December were:
- Develop a solid launch plan for my own products.
- Complete my auto-responder series for email subscribers.
Usually I break these each down and report on how I did, but since I pretty much took off the whole month of December, these were both a fail. Brushing it off and moving on.
What worked this month:
Affiliates: I developed a plan at Fincon this year to concentrate really heavily on a small group of core affiliates that I think every single reader would benefit from. I chose affiliates that would fit 100% of my audience and that I thought everyone should have/use. Things like Ibotta, Ebates (both are free and they give you money! No brainer!) and Grove Collaborative (They have better prices than Target and they ship to your door – I can give you $10 to try them out here). That’s been working out incredibly well.
Site Speed: Grayson Bell from iMark Interactive came through for the win! We went from over 23 seconds as tested with Pingdom in November 2015 to 2.93 seconds now! Half of that was Grayson’s work and half of that is Adthrive’s new lightening load ads, which I love!
What didn’t work this month:
The Blog Success Planner: I actually love this planner and bought it as soon as it came out. I realized after a few months of using it that since I don’t usually work at a desk, it’s just too big to be practical for me. You may love it, but I switched back to my Erin Condren custom note book with an add on monthly calendar for blog planning.
Facebook Blogging Groups: This is one of the pitfalls of blogging. I realized this month that I spend too much time reading blogging Facebook Group posts. There are zillions of Facebook groups for bloggers and most of them are just a “time suck”. I stick with the three that benefit me: FINCON facebook group (for those that attended or have tickets to the next FINCON) is priceless! There are so many smart and successful people in that group that are happy to help out, and #Social Hack with Natalie Bacon. Feel free to tag me in those groups if you’re in them.
Goals for next month:
Goal Planning for 2016: Set a goal and then work backwards from it to create a road map to achieve it for 2016.
Increase Passive Income: Focus on growing passive income through affiliates.
My Income Strategy:
I earn income in three major categories with my blog. I’ll run over my strategy for each of them.
I should mention that I learned everything I know about blogging as a business from Elite Blog Academy. I like to give credit where credit is due. It’s an expensive course at $499, but was the single best investment of my life.
(Update: 2/22/16: Elite Blog Academy is only available to the public for 5 days out of the year, and that time is now. You can get Elite Blog Academy before Friday, February 26th, 2016 by clicking here.)
I focus most of my sponsored post efforts on reaching out to brands that I use and love and offering a sponsored post package at a rate that’s a little lower than “industry standard” (which is highly debatable). That let’s me increase the “yes!” emails I get in response, and ensures that I can count on making a certain amount every month on sponsored posts while still being really picky about which brands that I’ll work with. I also go through each of my brand networks (places like Tapinfluence and Clever Girls) to see if there are any assignments that would be a good fit for my blog.
In general, more pageviews equal more ad earnings. I use Adthrive (you can apply with them once you have 100,000 pageviews) and love them. My RPM (The ad revenue that I get per 1,000 pageviews) bounces between $6.40 and $10.00 depending on the season.
I increase my pageviews by marketing my blog content through Pinterest using a fantastic tool called Boardbooster. I a/b tested everything on Pinterest (and still do) for about 6 months until I figured out a system that works for me. My favorite thing about Pinterest (at least with Boardbooster) is that I spent only 4 hours a month running my Pinterest Strategy. That leaves me tons of time to grow in other areas.
Affiliates: I focus on a core group of affiliates that I think almost everyone in my target audience should be using. Since I run a budgeting website, I factor cost into the equation. If something is a great product, but is too expensive for my readers, I likely won’t add them to the core affiliates list. Having the core list lets me easily track special sale dates that my readers wouldn’t want to miss and lets me focus without getting overwhelmed from the barrage of affiliate “offers’ hitting my inbox daily.
If you want to see my full list of blogging resources that I use, you can find them here.