July 2016 Blogging Income Report
I took the month off from blogging in July, and boy did I get behind! I’m thinking this will be my last month off until next year. That’s also why this report is a month late (sorry guys!) so you’ll be getting August’s income report in just 2 weeks.
Why post an income report?
If you’re wondering why I post a blog income report, it’s because this journey was only made possible by other bloggers posting their blog income reports and inspiring me to give it a shot on my own. This is kind of my way of “paying it forward”. Plus, I love the fact that I work in the only industry where it’s totally normal to post your income every month.
If you are a blogger or end up being a blogger, I would love to see you post your blog income report too! You can actually link to them in the comments below.
As I said above, I had planned to take the entire month of July off. Summer is pretty boring for personal finance bloggers, so I took advantage of our family vacation and grabbed one more month off before the busy blogging season starts (September starts to pick up and it peaks in January for me).
I actually expected income to plummet to 12k this month (since just shy of half of my income comes from my Core Affiliate Strategy) and was pleasantly surprised that we came in over that.
One of the benefits of these months off (this is my third: I took December 2015 and March 2016 off as well) is that I get to see what my passive income is. Meaning, if I were to stop working right now, what would my income be?
I use that number to help me create my business budget. I take the amount I can expect to earn in passive income, reduce it a little, and that’s what I’m allowed to spend.
Let me know in the comments below if you’d like to see a more in-depth post describing how I determine my business budget.
But first… About me…
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.
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 walk people through the baby steps that we took to completely transform our finances. I’m able to support my family making far more than I ever could in my previous career.
Want to start your own blog?
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 your own blog isn’t very expensive! Starting a blog that makes you money while working from home starts at about $3.95/month!
July 2016 Blog Income Report:
Pageviews are still down for the summer, but they’re up from last summer and starting to recover.
I wish I had more to update you on, but I didn’t really work. 🙂
For the first time, I didn’t even track income through the month like I usually do (I track it weekly so I can see if I need to pivot in an area before I get surprised at the end of the month).
When I explained to my husband that I wasn’t even looking at income, he looked a little horrified (I think he was worried that my income would plummet if I didn’t track it?) But the truth is, blogging income is a lot more stable than most people think.
That doesn’t mean that it won’t go down or up, but it means that if you diversify your income streams (so some comes from ads, some from sponsors, some from affiliates, some from your email list, some from Facebook ads, etc.) then it would be almost impossible to go from 20k to 2k a month. (Knock on wood!)
The biggest threat (or reason why you would want to check stats routinely) is to make sure that your site doesn’t crash or your pageviews do something nuts (like if you lost half your traffic overnight and it doesn’t recover- we would need to figure that out).
When I hired Grayson Bell from Imark Interactive, I negated that threat since he would tell me if that happened and I check my adthrive dashboard (which also gives me pageview info) once a week or so to see if there have been any major issues with pageviews.
Believe it or not, I get A LOT of criticism for taking time off from blogging. I can definitely understand where they’re coming from, but I don’t think they understand where I’m coming from.
I love this business. I mean, I truly love it. Blogging to me is like bubble baths and fall boots and warm brownies. It’s everything that I love and it makes me so happy to be able to do this and make money from it.
But I also love my family, and I sacrificed a lot that first year to make this happen. I probably wasn’t the most attentive mom, and I definitely wasn’t the most attentive wife. And while I love this business, and would happily work 40 hour weeks until I’m 100, I also know that I’m in a position where I don’t have to choose.
I can make time for my family and still have a thriving business. And that’s the best part of blogging. I came from a job where days off were hard to come by and working 15 days in a row wasn’t unusual. The only thing you could predict was that your schedule would be unpredictable and subject to change at any time.
So as soon as I “made it” in blogging, I made myself a promise not to get lost in it. That as important as it is, and as awesome as having that income is, it doesn’t replace my family.
Because this is a fun business and left unchecked, I totally have it in me to become a workaholic. Which would defeat the whole purpose of me starting the blog.
Pageviews and Income:
Pageviews: 373,397 ( up from 359,091 last month)
Income: $16,173 (down from $20,557.28- remember I took the month off)
Income Broken Down:
$0.00 Sponsored Posts
$4,156.15 Ad Networks
$1,383.20 My Products (The Pinterest Strategy Guide – See below)
(further breakdown of my strategy for each category below)
Step-by-Step Pinterest Strategy Guide
Because I’ve stopped coaching, I released my Pinterest Strategy Guide in PDF form to you. Which means that you can spend a fraction of the price that coaching costs and get my step-by-step Pinterest Strategy Guide direct in your inbox right now.
My goals for July were:
None! I was on vacation remember?
What worked this Month:
**These are the things I’m currently trying. If you need the full resources of the tools that I’ve used to get me to this point, you can sign up here to get free instant access to the full list of the tools and resources that have worked for me this far. **
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing:
While I didn’t officially work this month, I spent about 10 hours this month poolside on vacation implementing parts of this course. Michelle (the creator) makes over $50,000 a month on affiliate marketing and she BLEW MY MIND because what she does is the exact and total opposite of what I do.
So I spent some time going through and learning her methods, implemented a few things here and there, and have been thrilled with the results. I highly recommend the course, you can get it here.
Batch blogging: The only way you can take a month off from blogging is if you work ahead of your schedule. I’m about 1-3 months ahead on everything. That makes a huge difference in how my days go, and takes almost all pressure off of me. The only downside to blogging is that awful “I have a sponsored post due tomorrow and 2 kids just came down with a stomach bug” feeling.
Batch blogging completely eliminates that.
Batch blogging means that I write all of the posts needed for the next month in one or two days. So 10 hours straight with no distractions of writing. It’s awesome! I love those days. Then another day for graphic design, etc.
What didn’t work this month:
I didn’t track anything this month, so no new “fails” this month.
Goals for next month:
Complete the Core Affiliate Strategy Guide (update- since I’m way behind in publishing this income report- it’s already done! You can get it here).
Like the Pinterest Strategy Guide, the goal of this product is to give you easy-to-follow (and quick) action steps to completely implement the strategy that I use for affiliates. It’s only a few pages and walks you step by step through my entire strategy. I’d like to have this completed and for sale next month.
Expand my virtual assistant’s position into a full-time job.
This is long overdue, and I had a coaching session this month that made me realize it’s time. I’d like to have all of the pre-hiring planning done, to know exactly how I’ll use her, what my goals from the expansion are, and rewrite my business goals for the year to include that change.
My Income Strategy:
I earn income in three major categories with my blog. I’ll run over my strategy for each of them.
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 lets 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. I a/b tested everything on Pinterest 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. You can get a copy of my Pinterest Strategy Guide here which teaches you my system step by step.
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 should miss and lets me focus without getting overwhelmed with the barrage of affiliate “offers’ hitting my inbox daily.
To me, the key to affiliate marketing is to never ever promote anything that you haven’t used yourself and you don’t love. My philosophy is that if you only promote companies and products that you would tell your best friend about enthusiastically, then you’re doing it right. You can get the step-by-step action steps needed to implement my Core Affiliate Strategy here.
If you want to see my full list of blogging resources that I use, you can find them here.
Need a step by step guide on how to start a blog? You can find one by clicking here (you don’t even need to be great with computers!).
If you publish your own blogging income report, link to it below in the comments so we can all see!
FTC Disclosure of Material Connection: In order for us to maintain this website, some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and/or believe will add value to readers.