$9,554 in August Extra Income – Looking for Affiliate Income

Hey everyone! I hope all of you had a fun and relaxing long weekend. On Monday, I published my August Goals and Life Update, and in it I stated that my goal was for $10K in side hustle income. I sort of reached this goal. Before fees and expenses, yes, I reached this goal, but once…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 25, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Find out how I made $9,554 in blogging in 1 month.Hey everyone! I hope all of you had a fun and relaxing long weekend. On Monday, I published my August Goals and Life Update, and in it I stated that my goal was for $10K in side hustle income.

I sort of reached this goal. Before fees and expenses, yes, I reached this goal, but once you account for fees and expenses, I did not.

August was a slower month than usual. I also took a vacation, so I will blame not being able to reach my $10K goal on that. However, I did receive an uptick in the amount of bids I put out. I received many emails from business owners who were interested in hiring me. Hopefully some of these pan out!

Since August was a slower month (but not horrible by any means), it did give me a slight taste of self-employment. I was able to take a vacation and still almost reach my income goal.

In August, I made $10,310 in extra income, before expenses. Just last August, I made $1,603 in extra income. I am definitely happy and proud of my progress.What a difference one year makes! I never even thought that I would be anywhere near this amount. I always thought that other freelancers who posted their income were just “lucky.”

I know that this is a lot of “extra income” but please keep in mind that I spend many, many hours every single day on my side hustles. This is definitely not passive income. I have also been growing this for quite some time, and for around one year I was not making a single dollar, but I was still putting full-time hours into my side jobs. Taxes also take approximately 30% to 40% of my extra income. This is something that not everyone thinks about.

There were some expenses, and they are listed below. In case you are new to my blog, “Extra Income” consists of all income that I make on the side, and does not include my office job that I have in the financial services industry.

Extra income also does not include any money that W makes either.

As I say every month in my income update posts as a reality check: this is still work. I spend enough time to make this a full-time job on top of my already full-time job. Luckily, I do enjoy what I’m doing so it’s not like I’m dreading anything. The goals that we have are also a great motivator. The fact that I plan on making the jump to self-employment is the biggest motivator that I will ever need! Read further on my Extra Income page.

As always, if you have any questions about my monthly extra income that you would like me to include next month, please let me know.



My extra income in August before expenses and fees.

This is for the month of August and before fees and expenses (expenses that lower the amount above include approximately $755, which includes payments for staff writing on my blog, work with FITnancials, PayPal fees, etc.) being taken out.

August’s number above includes a rent payment from my sister. So after all expenses and fees, I made approximately $9,554. In the amount above, I do not count the amount that I bring in to blogs that I help run, I only include the amounts that are my actual earnings from my services.

Blog News

I don’t know if I have much new with blog news to share. Everything is going great! Last month was my 2 year blog anniversary and I still cannot believe that it’s been two years since I started blogging. Like I always say, life has changed so much, and I don’t know what life would have been like if I didn’t start my blog.

My sister’s blog is still doing well. Please subscribe to FITnancials if you haven’t yet. Lots of new things are happening to her, and she is planning a move to Chicago soon. Follow her while she tries to plan her move to Chicago.

If you are looking to start a blog, don’t forget to read my post How To Start a Blog. It gives step by step instructions on starting your own blog. Also, one of my most popular posts this past month was How To Make Money Blogging.


Staff Writing

Lately, my staff writing has been decreasing, but I really would like to ramp it back up again. I really enjoy writing, and I have so many ideas for blog posts.

Many of you have asked how I am able to make $600 a month from staff writing. I have one lucrative job where I make a decent amount for staff writing, and that is how. Don’t undersell yourself!

So, here’s a shameless plugin: If any of you need a staff writer or just a random content writer, please let me know. Whether you need a couple of articles every week, or just a single post with no on-going relationship, I am your girl. I can write regular content, content to fill in gaps in your writing schedule, content for advertising and so on. My turnaround is fairly quick and I would definitely say that I am reliable 🙂

I made a post titled So You Want to Be a Freelance Writer?, so please read further about this topic in that post.


Update on my newest side hustles – Blog and Social Media Management

My blog management side hustle is going well. I manage different aspects of several different blogs, and that is what has helped me ramp up my extra income in the past couple of months. All of my new services make me extremely happy. Every little thing all make the switch to self employment possible. I would still like to help more website owners, as I have time open for that, and it is something that I truly enjoy.

I have started bidding on more social media management jobs as well. I’m really hoping that some of these come through, as social media is something that I am very interested in.

Lately, I have been receiving many, many emails on readers and other bloggers who are wanting me to be a blog consultant for them. I receive at least a couple of emails each week, and I have been thinking about starting this back up again. I do have a question: what is something that you are looking for if you were looking for a blog consultant? What value would you see in it?

Also, I am thinking about starting a niche site. The technical terms and everything sound so confusing but I’m very interested in seeing whether or not I could create a successful niche site. Can anyone recommend any really good articles on niche sites and starting one? Do you have one? What do you think?

Are you interested in becoming a virtual assistant? Don’t forget to also read about what exactly a virtual assistant does.


Affiliate income – I’m on a quest.

Affiliate income has definitely been on my mind lately, but I haven’t done anything related to affiliate income in quite a while. Thank you all for clicking on my links from months ago, and I’m glad readers are still finding helpful information in my older posts. However, I would really like to increase my affiliate income by publishing new posts.

I have been looking into more and more affiliate programs, and I have received many emails in the past month about different affiliate programs that I can join and review for you all. I will only review products and insert affiliate links for products that I think are useful.

What would you like to see more of? Reviews on budgeting programs? Classes? Maybe credit cards? Let me know!


Offline side hustles.

I have been thinking about offline side hustles a lot lately. There are a lot of things that I would like to do, but it will have to be a secret for now.  I have tons of ideas but I’m not sure about anything. They would be more of a hobby, with the hopes of making a couple of dollars while I am at it.

Once I make the switch to self-employment, I definitely want to ramp everything up as much as I can. I want to work my hardest towards earning income and I really want to get my freelancing services out there.

What offline side hustles do you have?


My Extra Income over the past year.

Extra Monthly Income in August (after expenses)

  • Staff writing – $600
  • Blog (managing other bloggers’ websites, my blogs – direct advertising and Adsense) – $8,204
  • Affiliate Income – $425
  • Virtual Assistant tasks – $0
  • Selling Clothes – $0
  • Miscellaneous (not related to blogging and online income) – $0
  • Mystery Shopping – $0
  • Rent (we rent a room in our house to my sister) – $325


Comparisons and 2013 Extra Income total (after expenses, but before taxes)

  • Total extra income for August: $9,554
  • Income in July: $11,117
  • Difference: -$1,563
  • Total so far in 2013: $66,711 (WOOHOO!)



How did you do in August? What are your extra income goals?


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Nice! I am trying to have online income pay for my 2 month European vacation (and my BF’s) and looking for affiliate too, although many programs are US based only…

    1. That would be amazing Pauline!

  2. Gary @ Saving Money & Living Better

    Congrats on a successful month, and I wish you the best on your side hustle pursuits. To answer your consultant question. I think a good blog consultant is someone that can help the blogger understand their audience and assist in developing a content strategy to meet their goals. In addition I think a good consultant will keep the blogger accountable to help them overcome obstacles.

    Best of luck!

    1. Thank you for answering my consultant question! I really appreciate it.

      1. Gary @ Saving Money & Living Better

        Anytime! Hope it all works out.

  3. WOW – you are totally killing it!

    I have had no success with affiliate, though I’ve put in about 0.1 percent effort. Just had my Commission Junction account tell me I’m about to be deactivated (funny, because I applied aaaages ago and never knew I even got accepted; I spent ages waiting and checking after first applying, then eventually gave up when nothing seemed to happen)

    1. Thanks!

      And yeah I haven’t been putting much effort into it. I need to start doing it again!

  4. Mark Ross

    You’re really doing pretty well Michelle. Keep it up and good luck on your goals, especially your affiliate search. I really enjoy your blog.

  5. Great job on the side hustle’s Michelle! I think its great that you put it out there how hard you are working. This is one of the reasons I want to make more money from online but using affiliate marketing. One of the things I do offline is flip cars. I don’t flip as many as I use to but the profits margins are great.

    1. Thanks Thomas!

      We have done a little bit of car flipping as well. We are thinking about selling our truck (a 1961 Apache in great condition). I do have an attachment to it though, so I just can’t decide!

  6. As always your extra income posts are interesting and a good motivator. I have a little idea for a side hustle but haven’t had the time to put a ton of effort into it yet. Or maybe I’m just scared! LOL

    1. Thank you Christine!

  7. You did great, Michelle! August was kind’ve a crazy month altogether for us.

  8. Wow; great job on your extra income this month, that’s awesome! For niche sites, the blog smart passive income has a ton of details on how to create a niche site, if you haven’t checked it out already I think it’s very helpful!

    1. Thanks Ann! I have been looking at that. I need to dive into it.

  9. Wow; great job on your extra income this month, that’s awesome! For niche sites, the blog smart passive income has a ton of details on how to create a niche site, if you haven’t checked it out already I think it’s very helpful!

  10. I’m sure it will be πŸ™‚

    What are you doing for extra income?

  11. Thanks Nell! I got into social media management just by chance. I had a couple of companies ask me to manage their social media (after looking at my stats), and it has just grown from there.

  12. Great job on the income. You are doing big! I’m currently doing better, but I’m nowhere near you yet.

    1. Thank you so much! What all do you do for extra income?

  13. You are crushing it as usual Michelle! I am working on increasing my staff writing as well as helping some blog owners setup their blogs. You are an inspiration, but I certainly don’t have enough time each day to do all that I want. I guess that is what happens when you have a baby!

    1. Thank you Grayson! And that’s awesome about your side hustles. And yes, having a baby would make all of this probably impossible haha.

  14. That’s only a slight miss from your stated goal, Michelle. And technically, if you round to the nearest thousand you actually achieved it! $9.5k side hustle money is still nothing to sneeze at! Congrats!

  15. I’m amazed that the taxes for freelancers is as high as it is for traditional employment. With the amount of things freelancers have to finance on their own- healthcare, retirement, etc- I feel like the tax rate should cap at 20%

    1. Yes, taxes are so high! That’s the big negative of it all.

  16. Leslie and I spent August building good financial habits and keeping each other accountable. Go teamwork! I would like to look into affiliate incomes a little more down the road so I hope you keep us posted on your quest. As far as offline side hustles go, Leslie and I do some direct sales as part of our side business.

    1. Sounds like you two are doing great!

  17. Josh from CNAFiannce.com

    Wow, 10k in extra income in 1 month. Who cares about the cost…you hit the gross! You’re an inspiration to me and I’m sure tons of others who would love to see those goals as realistic for us one day!

  18. Congratulations!!! This is so awesome, and it’s so cool you were able to go on a vacation as well! πŸ™‚

  19. Lyle @ The Joy of Simple

    Wow Michelle…just WOW!!! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for the inspiration and for breaking everything down for your readers. I do realize it is a lot of work and it is greatly appreciated.

    Take care and all the best.


  20. That’s awesome…you’re doing great. I’d be interested in starting a niche site as well but I’m still learning and I really don’t think I know what I’m doing yet. Which leads me to your question about blog consulting…I guess it depends on the blogger but for someone relatively new, I’d probably want help as to design/layout, managing content, and social media tips, as well as advice on how to better monetize the blog.

    1. Thank you for answering my question about blog consulting. Appreciated!

  21. $9,000 + is amazing, considering you managed to squeeze a vacation in this month too! For info on niche sites, definitely check out Smart Passive Income and Niche Pursuits- lots of helpful information on both of those.

  22. Romona @Monasez

    Great post. I hope to make that much money with my blog soon. As for side hustles, I’m working on getting started with that but I’ve hit a couple of stumbling blocks. Anyway I always feel motivated after reading one of your income posts. It lets me know that making good money online is achievable.

    1. Thanks! Are you making any money with your blog right now?

  23. I haven’t tried that. I am signed up so I need to start inserting links!

  24. Yes, get back to it! What do you do for extra money?

  25. Thanks Jordann! I hope September is great for you for freelance income.

  26. Great job! I’m sure you’ll break 10k in September.
    How many hours do you put into your online gigs? Must be 40+ hours/week.
    I want to do some offline side hustles too, but I don’t have any time right now. Maybe in a couple of years.

    1. Thanks! And I definitely put around 40 hours each week. I used to put more but I’ve been better with streamlining certain tasks.

  27. The Norwegian Girl

    wow! thatΒ΄s amazing! earning that much in extra income, while also having a vacation, is great work!

  28. Rob

    I think this youtube video is the best example of a good way to earn affiliate income (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkOC0gbNF20&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLBsP89CPrMeOA6Ypzvu4hfZigZIRBclY-). Basically he highlights great bargains and has an affiliate link to each. It doesn’t feel like advertisement…it actually kind of feels like a service.

    So, I would say that well-written “Top 5” posts would be great.

    1. Thank you so much!

  29. You are INSPIRING! I would love to see a post about how you market yourself and your blog through social media when just starting out!

    1. Thank you! And will do πŸ™‚

  30. Congratulations, you are inspiring!

    I would love to see a post about how to market yourself and your blog through social media when just starting out! Just a suggestion πŸ™‚

  31. Thank you! I still cannot believe that just one year ago I was making so much less, but still a great amount!

  32. Thanks Karen! And yes, that is the common question πŸ™‚

  33. Great work once again Michelle! I too would be interested in learning more about what you would classify as a blog consultant – though I think it would be geared towards helping bloggers with making sure their content is meeting the needs of their audience and such. I had a great August, especially in terms of affiliate income and now managing another blog. I just need more time in the day, Lol!

    1. That’s awesome John! And congrats on the affiliate income and blog management!

  34. Nice job Michelle! I had my first affiliate sale in August, so I’m pretty stoked about that!

    1. That’s awesome! Congrats πŸ™‚

  35. Good work! Keep it up. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Kathleen πŸ™‚

  36. Wow, that is awesome. Congrats on the nice income.

    1. Thank you Kyle! Do you do anything for extra income?

  37. Jaclyn

    Great job for August, Michelle! When will we be hearing about the switch date?!

  38. Wow! That’s great! I hope you get to relax one of these days. I can’t imagine doing two full-time jobs– just one kicks my rear end.

    No extra income goals for me, though I did get summer money this year so I guess I got a month salary in August that I had to do extra work to get, so maybe that counts.

    1. Yes, it is definitely tiring! It will be really nice when things calm down.

  39. Thanks Catherine!

  40. charles@gettingarichlife

    Amazing side hustle as evidenced by your income. I know that’s a lot of hard work, you’re like the James Brown of blogging!

    1. Thank you so much!

  41. Latoya @ Sisters’ With Bank

    I’m definitely looking for some freelancing opportunities and possibly staff writing opportunities. Question: How long were you blogging before a staff writing position came along?

    1. I hope you find some! Are you looking for extra income or to eventually replace your day job income?

      Hmmm, I think it was about a year. I wasn’t actively looking at the time, it just came about.

  42. charles@gettingarichlife

    Hi Michelle,
    Great work on the side hustle! I know that’s a lot of work, you’re like the James Brown of blogging.

  43. Big Dave

    That’s outstanding, Michelle. You are certainly an inspiration and a source of motivation. What you make per month isn’t the only thing that inspires so many….your transparency, your will, and your desire to “get it done regardless” speaks loudly. I just fell short of $1,000 pure profit in August, but considering that I only made $13 in March, I’m happy. So, I do understand how much effort you need to put in to “make it happen” and I certainly commend your efforts. Wishing you the best. Keep it up!!!

    1. $1,000 is great process! Good job.

  44. You had another great month and what I like the most are your plans. I definitely think that starting a niche site could be a good idea – I never had any major luck with small niche sites, but in the end, even MSOC is a niche site, so your choice of what to write about matters a lot. Do the research and try it – there are so many that make so much money with niche sites. Not to say that they tend to work perfectly with affiliate income πŸ™‚ Good luck and keep us posted!

  45. I also have been thinking about affiliate income and how I want to make it a bigger piece of my income (right now it’s a tiny, tiny, tiny chunk of my monthly take). It would be cool if you wrote a few posts (when you have more time to look into it) about how to find the best affiliate programs, how to effectively write a post for affiliate income, etc. I know I’d be interested, at least πŸ˜‰

    1. Those are all great ideas for new posts. Thanks!

  46. I have been thinking about affiliate income too. The problem is finding that perfect product that you feel really good about promoting that also has a good payout! That’s hard to find!

    As for niche sites I used the backlinking strategy from Smart Passive Income with mine and it worked really well. I also read empireflippers and Niche Pursuits.

    1. Good to know. Thanks Alexa!

  47. Financial Independence

    Congratulations – you’ve kept around the 10k mark of extra income for a few months now. That’s significantly more than I make working my day job! Do you mind if I ask what percentage of your blog management income is from advertising on your own blogs compared to the work on others?

    1. Thank you! Around half is from my blogs, and the other half is from others πŸ™‚

  48. Wow – what a wonderful graph!! Truly inspiring progress – well done.

  49. You rock! You’re doing outstanding. It’s really very impressive.

    1. Thank you so much!

  50. This post gives me hope that I will be able to work my way out of debt someday and have a job that I enjoy. What an inspiration! I don’t know how you have the time to do all this Michelle but somehow you manage it! Totally amazing!

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

  51. Welp, if this doesn’t prove that being focused and consistent leads to success, I don’t know what does.

    Keep up the great work. Love watching the progress here.

    The Warrior

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

  52. Thank you Marissa πŸ™‚

  53. Tie the Money Knot

    Awesome! A time management post would be a good to read, to see how you’re able to pull off all of this!

  54. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living

    I agree with Tie the Money Knot… I’d love to know your work schedule and how you do it all!

    I’d also know more about how you set your pay for different consulting gigs and how you got into them in the first place. I like the idea of commenting for others as that too is something I enjoy.

  55. Nice work Michelle! It’s nice to know that you can take a vacation and still have a great month. Affiliate income is definitely something that’s been on my mind recently as well. I think it’s great to be able to recommend a product you love and make some money from it. And if you do it right it can become somewhat passive. I’ll be interested to hear your experiences with it.

  56. I would love to make more passive income in the form of affiliate.. that’s my next goal

  57. Athena

    Congrats on the extra side income! I made $330 last month, only short of my $500 per month goal. I did start a staff writing position which will be helping me get my name out and add to my resume! I also scored a part time second job after school which should add a nice cushion.

    I have a question if you wouldn’t mind. How do you bid for social media jobs?

    1. Sounds like you are doing great Athena!

      And for the social media jobs, I was asked directly to bid on projects.

  58. Good job! I wish I can also take a vacation and earn that much. I’m so jealous but very motivated at the same time. I’m also interested with Affiliate Marketing. It’s something worth considering and looking into. I’ll be noting that in my list as well.

  59. Great job on the side income!!! It’s amazing!

  60. I always look forward to your extra income updates – so inspiring! If you were to pick up some more affiliate posts, I’d like to see maybe some book reviews or personal finance tool reviews. Not so much credit cards, but that’s just me πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  61. Michelle, you’re doing great, such an inspiration!

  62. TB

    I am so happy I discovered this blog! I can’t wait to dive in and hopefully come out with some helpful tips.

    1. aww yay πŸ™‚

  63. Alexandra @ Real Simple Finances

    For offline side hustles, I have been using care.com and sittercity.com to find babysitting/petsitting gigs. So far I have only secured one, but with my busy school schedule that’s sort of understandable! I’m meeting someone else tonight, so cross your fingers it leads to something. πŸ™‚ I also just get a job teaching at a local YMCA on Saturdays. The job comes with a membership, so that’s just an added perk!

  64. rosie

    Awesome, Michelle. On the moth they call ‘ghost month’, you managed 10k! I’m working my way through affiliate marketing. Glad I find your blog.

  65. Chad | The Stock Market and I

    I am doing this backwards but it is nice to see the progression month to month. I also like to see all of the different ways you are looking at monetizing your side business. It gives the rest of us a lot to think about.