$13,387 in November Business Income

November was my first full month of self-employment and it went very well. November was also my highest month for self-employment income yet. It was a good month but I do think that I can make December even better. I want to end 2013 with a BANG. In November of 2013, I made $13,387 in business income,…

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 $13,387 in blogging income. This is a great list!November was my first full month of self-employment and it went very well. November was also my highest month for self-employment income yet. It was a good month but I do think that I can make December even better.

I want to end 2013 with a BANG.

In November of 2013, I made $13,387 in business income, before expenses. I’m hoping for a similar level or higher this month.

Just last November, I made $5,114 in extra income. Still a great amount, but each month I am still amazed by my progress.

Like I say every month, when I first started blogging, I didn’t think this level of income was possible. I read (and still read) income reports from bloggers such as Pat at Smart Passive Income and Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff and I thought their levels were just completely unattainable for me.

I’m sure many of you feel the same about your level of “extra income” and that my story is just a lucky story.  However, I read stories on other blogs and used them as motivation for myself.

I didn’t think their levels were possible for me, but it turns out that I was wrong.

And, I’m glad I was wrong. No, I’m not at the levels of Pat or Crystal, but I will keep trying everyday to improve my business.

 Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 5.30.51 PM

This is for the month of November and before fees and expenses (expenses that lower the amount above include approximately $1,500, which includes VAs for my other websites, a website that I bought, PayPal fees, etc.) being taken out.

November‘s number above includes a rent payment from my sister. So after all expenses and fees, I made approximately $13,387. 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.


I know that this is a lot of “extra income” (or business income as this is what all of this is to me now), but please keep in mind that I spend many, many hours every single day on my business.

This is definitely not passive income, although one day I hope that much of my income is passive. 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. I plan on creating a post about taxes as a self-employed person on Diversified Finances soon.

As I say every month in my income update posts as a reality check: this is still work. Some like to think that I quit my job and I do nothing, but I really do a decent amount of work. It does help that I have gotten much better at streamlining tasks and hiring others for certain jobs that I need done.

This is my full-time job, and for a few years I was working my full-time job while having my business as well. There were many sleepless nights!

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. Right now our main goal is saving for our two month trip (which we leave for in January of 2014) and for our wedding. Read further on my Extra/Business Income page.

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

Blog News

I have decided to do a website redesign, and I have someone awesome doing it. More news on that soon 🙂

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.

My self-employment/financial independence blog Diversified Finances is doing well also and I am so glad that I started this website. Being able to talk so much about self-employment and getting direct feedback from readers is great. Is there anything related to self-employment that you would like me to talk about? Please let a comment below if so.

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.


I’m still not doing great with keeping a schedule.

Keeping a schedule is probably the hardest part about being self-employed. I don’t even remember the last time that I woke up at 6 a.m. and actually stayed awake.

Here is my current schedule:

  • I have been working late into the night (anywhere from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. each night).
  • Wake up around 6 a.m. to answer e-mails and do whatever else needs to be done.
  • I then go back to bed at around 8 a.m. for a few more hours.
  • Then I wake up and seem to watch TV while doing all of my work.

AHH! That is not good. I need to create and stick to a better schedule. I also need to learn how to sit down and not turn on the TV.


What about my progress after FinCon 2013?

One question that I am asked a lot is what I learned from FinCon that I am trying to apply to my business. I learned many things at FinCon and I made a list of things that I need to do in my post My Plan For the Future. I really have not been that active in making improvements. I need to change that and I need to start making an action plan.

My plans include (in no particular order):

  1. Start an eBook. – I haven’t put any thought into this yet. It just really sounds scary to me right now. Are any of you in the planning stages of creating your first eBook? What tips do you have?
  2. Build my brand. – I don’t think I have actively done anything different from what I usually do.
  3. Promote more. – I have not been the greatest with that either.
  4. Accept more interviews. – I have been doing this! I have said yes to nearly every interview that has come through. I think I did 4 or 5 in November.
  5. Speak at a blog conference one day. – I haven’t put any thought into this at all either. Way too scary for me to even think about right now!


Staff Writing

I also added a few new staff writing gigs to my plate. Those include writing for the Any Option blog and Road to One Percent.

I am still looking for a few more staff writing gigs. I have found that I have plenty of free time and I’m just not productive unless I have something filling in those time slots. I also love writing and have over 100 ideas in my phone for new potential topics!

Here’s my monthly shameless plugin: If any of you need a staff writer or just a one-time content writer, let me know. Whether you need a couple of articles every week, or just a single post with no ongoing 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 am reliable.

I created an article titled So You Want to Be a Freelance Writer?, so please read further about this topic if you are interested in staff writing as well.



Buying websites

I bought my first website last month. It is a personal finance blog that didn’t have many articles, but it has been around for a little bit. This is my first time doing this, but luckily the price was low and I have already increase most of the statistics and rankings for the website.

Do you have any questions about buying a website? Or, have you bought a website? I plan on covering this more soon.


Update On My Blog and Social Media Management Services

My website and social media management services are still doing well and are a large part of my business income each month. I manage different aspects of several different blogs, and that is what has helped me ramp up my business income in the past few months. All of my new services are a lot of fun, as I really enjoy blogging and social media, and all other areas of managing a website.

I am hoping to renew a contract this month for a long-term contract, and I’m hoping to add a few more before the year ends.

If you need a blog or social media manager, please let me know. I can manage your blog for a short period of time as well. If you just need one week, one month, or some other time period off from your blog (such as for travel, to unplug, a vacation from your website, to start a family, to start a new job and so on), I can help with this. E-mail me with any questions.

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


Affiliate income – Still no changes.

This is something that I haven’t touched in a while. However, I do want to change that for December. I know, I know, I say this every month. However, I have some awesome affiliate products that I have been asked to review and I’m looking forward to finally starting that.


Offline side hustles.

Searching for an offline side hustle has been a large FAIL lately. I haven’t even thought about anything in the past month.

My sister’s boyfriend also plans on moving into our house this month. They were going to find a short-term place before they move to Chicago in 2014, but they can save more money if they live with us so I thought that was a better idea. We aren’t charging him much, just $125 per month. This way they both can also watch our house and our dogs while we are gone on our long trip. It’s a win-win for everyone.

What offline side hustles do you have?


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Business and Extra Income in November (after expenses)

  • Staff writing – $1,430
  • Website-Related (managing websites for clients, my blogs – direct advertising & Adsense) – $11,132
  • Affiliate Income – $500
  • Virtual Assistant tasks – $0
  • Selling Items From Our Home – $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


Some of you have asked me to break out my website-related income, but I’m not sure how to do that and protect myself and my clients. I will say that around 40% is from me managing websites for others though.


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

  • Total extra income for November: $13,387
  • Income in October: $11,927
  • Difference: +$1,460
  • Total so far in 2013: $104,359



How did you do in November? What are your extra/business income goals?


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. Jessica

    Wow, congrats on your awesome first month of self-employment! Very inspiring for newbie bloggers like myself!

    1. Thank you Jessica!

  2. James W

    I’m curious how are you capitalizing from blogging, I don’t understand how people make money? Please help me understand

  3. Great job Michelle!

    I didn’t realize you were going full-time self-employed. How awesome for you!!

    One suggestion to help you get through your affiliate block, is to pick one copy that you’re comfortable with and open an account with them or use their service.

    I had a hard time with affiliates in the beginning, too; but then I decided to open an account with Scottrade and basically documented the entire process. To this day, they have been one of my best performing affiliates.

    I’ve basically replicated that process and will continue to do so.

    Hope that helps some!

    And I have no doubt that you end 2013 with a BANG. πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you Jeff! Self-employment has been great!

      Thank you for the affiliate tip. I do just need to get out there and pick something.

  4. You are doing so great. Nice job in November.
    Self employment is the perfect fit for someone driven like you.
    Staying so late every night can’t be that good for you though. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Joe πŸ™‚

  5. chelsea

    that’s amazing! congrats on your success and first month of full self employment! it’s so encouraging to see someone follow their dreams, doing what they love (albeit, working their butt off doing it!) and doing really well at it!

    1. Thank you Chelsea!

  6. Liz

    Wow you are doing amazing! I have heard other bloggers talk about buying and selling websites. I am super interested to learn more!

    1. Hopefully I have more to share! I hope to start buying more πŸ™‚

  7. I would LOVE to hear about your experience buying a website. I have a solid plan for a website totally outside of the pf niche that I plan on building from the ground up (I’ve owned the domain for over 2 years believe it or not) but I also would love to buy up another personal finance blog if the price is right. Looking forward to your post(s) on that.

    1. Thanks DC! I’m definitely not an expert in buying websites, but I am learning πŸ™‚

  8. DANG! You are amazing and an inspiration. You really are. Way to go girl!!! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Allison!

  9. You are kicking the crap out of this self-employment thing! My guess is you’ll have to fiddle around with the schedule a little bit before you find something that works. But don’t beat yourself up too much as long as your still getting everything you want to get done (don’t forget to include the personal stuff though too!)

  10. That’s incredible.

    Each month I read your progress and am just blown away. I know you work your tail off. You are becoming the new Pat Flynn as you just put your head down, plug forward and come out on the other end with even bigger numbers each month.

    Well done.

    My suggestion regarding working late into the night yet watching TV during the day, I’d say you should try to go to a coffee shop for 2-3 hours each day around noon or 1. When I do this, I get twice as much done. Sure, you might spend $3-4 each time on coffee or whatever, but you might be able to go to bed by midnight. πŸ˜‰

    Great job again!

    The Warrior

    1. Aww thank you! I wish to someday be at the same numbers as Pat Flynn. He does a LOT more than what I do though.

      I would do the coffee shop thing, but I can get lost for hours people watching. I am a weirdo like that.

  11. Great work Michelle! Like a few others, I’d be interested in hearing more about your blog buying experience. I’ve been approached a few times recently and just haven’t pulled the trigger on any yet. I’m really interested in doing so though. In regards to the schedule issue, it takes some time to get used to it – I know it did for me. You’re getting your work done – which is what matters. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks John! I will try to talk about it soon. I don’t have a ton of experience but I hope to have more soon πŸ™‚

  12. Connie @ Savvy With Saving

    Wow, amazing! Congrats on your first full month of self employment! Your blog was one of the first personal finance ones I’ve read and you’ve definitely introduced me to a whole new world of extra income possibilities! πŸ™‚ I’m sure you’ll end 2013 with a bang.

    1. Aww thank you Connie!

  13. You are awesome! I think you’ll be able to grow your business even more. My first month of self employment was lackluster income wise but I think I learned my lesson. And, the first week of December is looking promising for new gigs πŸ™‚ Yay! I want to end 2013 with a bang (well, my little bang) too. Remember me if you ever need help with anything! I’m here for ya!

    1. I hope December is great for you! Why do you think your first month wasn’t so good?

  14. Tanya

    I’ve been following your blog for several months now and congratulate you on your success. I thank you for your openness in allowing us to see where and how you are making your money. You’re a real inspiration to me but I just can’t take those steps to get more successful.

    As for your e-book – that is one thing that I’ve done – my advice would be to do something on it EVERY DAY – even if you just write one paragraph or start an outline you have to visit it EVERY DAY. It took me 2 years to write my ebook because of my procrastination. If I would have just started, it would have been a lot less painful!

    Again, I look forward to more inspiration from you and your blog!

    1. Thank you Tanya! What is your ebook? Tell me about it πŸ™‚

  15. Kelsie

    So inspirational! I love how you mention your doubts about making money in the beginning. I have the same ones! But, hopefully 2014 will be my year.

    1. Yes, don’t let doubts hold you back!

  16. Wow you had a GREAT November. Your blog motivates me every time I read it. My offline hustle is selling items on craigslist and ebay. I had a pretty good month.

    1. That is great that you had a good month with your offline side hustle. Do you sell items that you already have, or do you find items?

  17. Thank you Kelly! And yes, a schedule is hard πŸ™‚

  18. I need to do that!

  19. Way to go! I am really interested in reading more about taxes when you’re self employed. I have no knowledge on anything in that area, as well as how to deal with business expenses. I feel like if I were to ever work from home, I’d become a night owl again. I used to stay up really late, but starting an office job changed that.

    1. I’m definitely more of a night person than a day person. Waking up is just way too hard for me!

  20. You’re doing such an amazing job. I really can identify with what you wrote about bloggers like Pat and Crystal, I completely look at them as “the big guns” πŸ˜‰ This year I’m going to focus more on side hustles and trying to increase my income at my full-time job. For now blogging is a hobby (a very time consuming hobby that I really enjoy)

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

  21. Wow! Congratulations Michelle! As someone who is new to blogging, I am amazed at your success, and always appreciative of the information and helpful tools you provide to help others. Thanks!

    1. Thank you Shannon!

  22. This is so, so amazing and inspiring, Michelle! If I could make even half of what you do in a month, I’d consider myself set. That’s incredible that you’re able to have this much success with your business – as always it keeps me motivated to keep working hard too.

    1. Thank you Kali! You can do it πŸ™‚

  23. Andy | Income by Example

    For the website related income, I think people just are curious what exactly you’re doing for other people, not necessarily who they are. I’ve always wondered this since it’s the majority of your income and you say you manage other people’s websites. I guess some way to break it down without revealing who is what people are asking. Like, are you writing articles for them regularly? Their social media? Design work for their website? SEO optimization? How much time is spent on those and then how they pay you: hourly, monthly, etc. and do different aspects pay differently. It’s something I’d be interested in looking into more to boost my online income.

    Great month though! And for the tv, just never turn it on πŸ™‚ Easier said than done I suppose, but I work from home and never have the tv on during the day.

    1. I believe I have talked about my social media management and website management before (in the past few months, I have talked about it in my income reports each month).

      I will discuss it one day even further, but I do need to protect myself of course as well πŸ™‚

  24. WAY to go, kid! I have the opposite sleep schedule you do, so I have NO IDEA how you work until 4am! I get up at 4am to do side gig stuff before heading into work. Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks Kathleen πŸ™‚ I am just not a morning person!

  25. Haha the main reason for me not getting enough sleep is because I have been watching so much TV. I need to throw them all away! haha

  26. Amazing. Congrats on your progress and success!

  27. Awesome Michelle!! I love these posts πŸ™‚

  28. Girl, that’s insanely awesome! Congrats on your progress and good luck this month!

  29. Susan C

    Do you feel like you need to be on a “normal” schedule just because it’s normal ? Or is it so you and your fiancΓ© are more on the same schedule? If it’s the latter, that seems like a good goal. If its the former, I think working when you work best is one of the advantages of working for yourself.

    My goal for December is to decide whether or not I’m going to start a PF blog an actually start it if that’s the decision.

    1. I want t more normal schedule so that I can have a normal sleep schedule haha. I either sleep too much or not enough.

      Good luck with your December goal πŸ™‚

  30. You clearly did amazing. Can’t wait to see the new design in place, updating a site’s look from time to time is always a good idea πŸ˜‰

  31. Yes! I didn’t even think about that. I’m doing a dance now! πŸ™‚

    Some of my writing gigs are included in my website management income. I think I have around 5 writing gigs πŸ™‚

  32. Did you purchase the website just to have the domain name?

    1. That and to build it up πŸ™‚

  33. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living

    what a great month for income! I’m trying to do more mystery shopping myself as I feel that’s a way where my skills are better utilized.

    If you are, I’d definitely love to see a chart at the end of the year to show the change in side income, I think that’d be interesting.

    1. Thank you Tara!

      Also, do you mean a chart similar to the one above?

  34. Peter

    Very inspiring, but not sure if it’s all too encouraging. How do you do it?

    1. Awww why isn’t it encouraging?

  35. Well done Michelle keep up the good work. I’m sure you are going to blow December out of the water. CBB

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  36. Yes, I procrastinate a lot. It seems to be working though!

  37. Good job on the business income Michelle. I remeber the old days when we both were on blogger. LOL. I think the dedication you have towards working online is reflected in your great income.

  38. Alicia | Jaybird

    Wow, you are such an inspiration! I love seeing your diverse income streams and somehow you make it sound realistic + easy (though I am sure you are hustling and working hard!) Thanks for your open sharing; it’s very inspiring.

  39. Squirrelers

    Awesome! Congrats on the success. Please get some sleep though! πŸ™‚

  40. Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans

    Killer November, Michelle! I can’t help but be inspired every single month whenever I read these updates. I may have some questions for you eventually… πŸ™‚

  41. Gregory Smith


    One heck of a article. You put a lot of time into your blog, which is great. I do the same everyday of my life. I have been browsing your blog to see if there are some bits and pieces that I can take with me, and all I can say is “WOW”!

    Good work achieving your desired monthly income goals and the best of luck for 2014. Hope to talk with you sometime.

    -Greg Smith

  42. Michelle,

    Congratulations on your income from the blog! It is really inspiring to see the level of success that you have achieved online. Can you provide more details on how you generate visitors to your blog?

  43. Just dropping in to say hello. Congrats on your blogging success. Glad to hear Michelle achieved side hustle millionaire status in 3 years blogging. This goes to show anyone can go from broke to online millionaire if they believe and do the transformation business work and get that $ gUaP $ 24 hours a day! πŸ™‚