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.
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.
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):
- 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?
- Build my brand. – I don't think I have actively done anything different from what I usually do.
- Promote more. – I have not been the greatest with that either.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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?
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?
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