$12,100 in March Business Income

Happy April everyone. I can’t believe it’s April already, and this means it’s now a brand new month to improve my business and beat a new income goal. March seemed like a busy month, but it didn’t live up to February even though there were three more days in March. In March of 2014, I…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 28, 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 $12,100 in March from blogging and working at home.Happy April everyone. I can’t believe it’s April already, and this means it’s now a brand new month to improve my business and beat a new income goal.

March seemed like a busy month, but it didn’t live up to February even though there were three more days in March.

In March of 2014, I made $13,119 in business income, before expenses. This is still a great amount, do not get me wrong, however, I thought it would be a little bit higher.

It is still motivating to read my past income reports.

In May of 2012, I made $672 in extra income. $672 is still a great amount of extra income to be making, but my progress over the past 2 years is something that I am very proud of. This August will mark three years of blogging for me, and when I started I never thought this is where I would be.

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 it always gives me crazy motivation to do better.

I still can’t believe I’m self-employed.

When I first started side hustling, I used it as a way to earn extra spending money and so that I could also put extra money towards my student loans. I never thought that I would leave my day job and pursue full-time freelancing.

I am so glad that I am self-employed. I was terrified back in September of 2013 when I told my employer that I would be leaving. I debated what I should do every single day, and there were many restless nights because I was afraid about what would happen if I made the wrong decision.


$12,100 in March Business Income

This is for the month of March and before fees and expenses (expenses that lower the amount above are approximately $1,020, which includes VAs and writers for my other websites, PayPal fees, etc.) being taken out.

After all expenses and fees, I made approximately $12,100. In the amount above, I do not include 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. So, if a website that I manage makes $2,000, I only include my payment – not the full $2,000.


Even though I love self-employment, this is still a job.

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

This is 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% of my extra income. This is something that not everyone thinks about.

I finally created an article titled The Blogging Business and Taxes, and hopefully other bloggers and freelancers will find that helpful. Taxes are due soon, so many online freelancers are starting to realize how real taxes are.

Like 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 sit around doing nothing all day. That is not true though. 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!

The other day someone asked me if I can call what I do “work” since I do enjoy it. I wasn’t sure how to answer that question. Yes, it is still “work,” and I don’t think that the word “work” always has to have a negative meaning. What do you think?

Luckily, I do enjoy what I’m doing so it’s not like I’m dreading anything. I no longer have that Sunday night dread like I used to. The goals that we have are also a great motivator. You can find my 2014 goals update here. All of my past income updates can be found here as well. Read further on my Extra/Business Income page.

Like 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

My main website is Making Sense of Cents (this one!) and I don’t have any breaking news to share about it. I’m still happily chugging along and I still love writing 🙂

I do have a blog makeover coming soon, and I love what I’m seeing so far. I can’t wait to share it all with you. What do you want to see in a blog makeover? Let me know and I will try to incorporate it! I know that with my last blog redesign, that many people said it wasn’t as personable and seemed too business-like. I want honest feedback, so please leave it below.

My sister’s blog is doing well. She plans on getting more into blogging once she completes her move to Chicago – right now she is just so busy so I don’t blame her on slacking a little bit. Please subscribe to FITnancials if you haven’t yet.

My self-employment/financial independence blog Diversified Finances is doing well also and I am happy I started that website.

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, read How To Make Money Blogging.


My plans for my blog and my business (in no particular order):

  1. Start an eBook. – I have a few topic ideas for an eBook, but I haven’t really sat down and made any progress. I’m thinking over the next few months I will decide on a topic, and then try to write around 30 pages each month. How long are ebooks usually? I should probably start reading some personal finance or blogging-related ebooks so that I know what I’m doing.
  2. Build my brand. – This is something that I am still working on but I’m not even sure where to start.
  3. Promote more. – I have been doing much better with promoting my articles, but I want to do more.
  4. Accept more interviews. – I took part in three more interviews in March, and they were a lot of fun. I have two more planned for April.
  5. Speak at a conference one day. – I’m actually talking to a few other bloggers about the possibility of doing this. It’s a secret for now though!


Staff Writing

In March, I added one new staff writing gig and also was rehired for a staff writing gig from months ago (they put the website on hold during their slow months).

Nearly every week I receive the same question – What should I do to find a staff writing job? 

These website owners usually find ME! So, how does that work?

Usually website owners find me through my Contact/Hire Me tab above, and this is something that I think all bloggers should have on their website. Start one now! That is my number one tip! No one can hire you if they don’t even know that you are looking for a staff writing job.

Anyway, I am still looking for a few more staff writing gigs. I know that I still have plenty of time to staff write.

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 Do You Want to Be a Freelance Writer?, so please read further about this topic if you are interested in staff writing as a way to make money online.


Buying websites

I bought my very first website in November of 2013 and I bought a second website in February. I think for now I plan on waiting to buy any other websites, but I am still open to the idea. I’m trying to get the websites that I currently have under control for now.

Do you plan on buying websites in the future? Why or why not?


Update On My Blog and Social Media Management Services

In March, I managed around four to five websites for others.

For some, I completely manage the website (everything from e-mails to fixing old articles) and I try to make money for the original website owner, and then I forward their share of what the website made. I am in complete control of these websites, and the blog owner sits back and enjoys some passive income.

For others, I just manage a few aspects. I might help them answer emails, monitor their website to make sure nothing happens, or I handle their social media.

Blog and social media management are something that I would like to keep growing. I have seen many blog owners who are interested in having me manage their blog while they are on vacation or if they need a break. This is something that I love to do, and you can sleep easily while you are taking a break from your website because I believe I can successfully manage your website.

I also know how it feels to go on vacation. You might be hesitant in hiring help because your blog means so much to you. However, that is why I love offering this. I truly know how much a website means to a person, and I try my hardest to make the transition (no matter how short) a smooth one. A vacation from your blog might be needed – and I’m here to help!

Pricing is on an individual basis because no two websites/blogs are alike. If you are interested, shoot me an email and I would love to help you out!

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 services are a lot of fun, as I really enjoy blogging and social media – and all other areas of managing a website.


Here are various services that relate to blog and social media management:

  • Manage and approve comments. If you are really busy, then you want your blog to continue on just like if you were still there. I get rid of any spam, and approve real comments. I also reply to comments on your posts if that is something that you normally do.
  • Watch to make sure that your website does not go down. I check multiple times throughout the day to make sure that your website is up. With all of the hosting problems that I have been seeing lately, this can put your mind at ease because I can find it and hopefully fix the problem instead of you ruining your vacation.
  • Monitor e-mails and reply when/if necessary. If you want a total break from your website, then e-mail management is something that most of my clients sign up for.
  • Make sure postings go live when they should. Sometimes they won’t, and this is where I come in. I will make sure that everything is scheduled and actually happens.
  • Write articles while you are away (including ghost-written articles). You never know when something will come up.
  • Manage social media – this includes looking for new followers and engaging with current followers.


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


Affiliate income – I am actively working to change this.

Affiliate income is something that I am still failing with. I have added a few new affiliate products to my website but I haven’t been doing my best to actively promote any new affiliate programs.


$12,100 in March Business Income

Business and Extra Income in March (after most expenses)

  • Staff writing – $960
  • Website-Related (managing websites for clients, social media management, and my websites – advertising & Adsense) – $10,265
  • Affiliate Income – $550
  • 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


Something that I am asked every time I publish my monthly income report is whether or not I can further break down my Website-Related income.  This is something that I don’t think I’ve ever done, mainly to protect myself and those that I provide services to.

I will say that website related income includes all of my websites (I have a total of six websites that I own), and it also includes income that I make from my freelancing services. So, if I provide social media management or blog management for someone, that amount gets put into my “Website-Related” income. Around 65% of the income is from my websites, and the other 35% of the $10,265 figure is from websites that I work for.

Also, please keep in mind that I work for myself. This means that I have to cover all taxes (which are around 30%), health insurance, and all other benefits that an employer would normally provide.


Comparisons and 2014 Business Income total (after expenses, but before taxes)

  • Total extra income for March: $12,100
  • Income in February: $13,454
  • Difference: -$1,354
  • Total in 2014: $38,194



How did you do in March? What are your extra/business 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. I made more in March than February but moving from pennies to almost a dollar isn’t really an improvement.

    I can handle the writing but I may need to break down and pay for help with the technical aspects of my blog. I have to decide if I will put money in to it in an attempt to make money or just keep it as a hobby. This would be taking a big chance for me because I don’t have any extra money to put in to something that may not pay for itself.

    1. It’s a hard decision. I’m sure whatever you do will be great ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I really like your blog and social media management business. It’s definitely in demand! I had Peter from Bible Money Matters watch over my blog while I was on a cruise last year and it felt great knowing someone else was managing it while I was gone. I haven’t reconciled my March finances yet so I’ll have a better idea after this weekend how it went. I also would like to ramp up affiliate income and in an ideal world would consistently make at least $1k/month from it. Maybe that should be my next goal?

    1. I had no idea that there was another pf blogger who offered this service, that is great! I would like to make at least $1K in affiliate income as well, we should keep each other motivated ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. We should! I think I mainly need to spend more time researching affiliate programs and formulating a strategy. I think one really well-written/planned post that ranks high in search engines or is shared a lot is much better than randomly placing links. I need to work on that.

        Also Peter did it for free and only asked that I do it for him at some point in the future. Now that my site is a little bigger it will be more work so I definitely plan on paying someone to manage it while I’m gone.

        1. Yeah, I need to work on writing one that will rank high in search engines. My system right now isn’t the smartest.

  3. Great job, Michelle!

    My income has remained somewhat stagnant, but relatively high. I suppose I’m happy with it because I don’t want to spend any more time working then I already do! =)

  4. tom

    When you say you are buying websites, are you buying the sites and working on them or just domain names?

    1. Hello Tom. I am buying full websites and working on them ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Thanks Bex ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Congrats on another awesome month! I actually love your blog design. It’s super clean and easy to read and navigate. I was reading your blog one day when my boyfriend walked in and said “that’s a pretty website” lol Which is the first time I’ve ever heard him say someone has a “pretty website” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Thanks Alexa! And haha I love my current design as well. My new one is pretty similar in terms of layout, so I hope you like that one too ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Candice

    I’m looking into buying websites! The first one I looked at didn’t work out so now I’m monitoring website boards for the perfect fit. I’m really excited about it. Congrats on your income this month!

    1. May I ask what happened with your first one? I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Candice

        I was negotiating with the owner and she decided to sell to someone else. It was a little disappointing but I just decided it wasn’t meant to be.

        1. Sounds like it wasn’t meant to be. You’ll find something better one day!

  7. Jacque @ dollars AND sense

    Wow, this is amazing! I am just getting started in the blogging world and am happy to see such success with all of you. I am definitely an entrepreneur and always have my side hustles going, but this will be my first time starting and trying to grow a blog/readership. Congratulations on your success and hoping April is even more profitable.

    My goal for April is to make $1500 in additional income.

    1. Thank you Jacque! Good luck with your income goal ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Wow! Sometimes I read your updates Michelle and I get tired just thinking about everything you do and manage every day. How do you keep all of the sites and the projects straight on any given day? Great job on another great month!!

    1. Haha thanks Shannon! It can be hard to keep track of everything. I have a notepad that tells me what I need to do each day.

  9. jackie

    wow this is so amazing! I would definitely love to do more freelance work in my free time as well ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Lisa E. @ Lisa vs. the Loans

    You are KILLING IT – as usual! Don’t be too discouraged since you were hoping for a little higher, you’ve still got a great amount in March!

    1. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Congrats on the income! That’s awesome. Very inspiring ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Christopher

    Does your fees include your taxes??? Just curious of how much of that you actually get to keep….uncle sam has his hands in my pocket more than i do.

    1. Nope, my amounts are pretax ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. My goal for this month is to make an additional $200.

    1. You can do it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. You blow my mind every month, Michelle! Amazing!

    1. Thank you Lauren!

  15. Aww thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Thank you Dan! I have 6 websites – MakingSenseofCents, DiversifiedFinances.com, FITnancials.com and the other ones are secret for now ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Anneli @thefrugalweds

    Michelle, that is awesome and so inspiring! ๐Ÿ™‚ The Hubs and I would be ECSTATIC with that kind of side income with our blog. (You shoulda seen our happy dance when we made $5 in a month from AdSense! LoL!) Hats off to you – we know how much work you must’ve put into your blog/website to get that return. We are absolutely big fans! Keep posting these great articles – it’s made my evening, heck my month!

    1. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Wonderful job. This is not a ‘side income’ anymore, it’s really a great pay. Congratulations and keep it up ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Nope, this is my full-time income since I left my day job in October ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Thank you Jeff ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Thanks for pointing that out. Making money online takes time, and too many people like to believe that it’s an easy and quick way to make money – and that is just not true.

  21. Katielake

    Like Jane in the first comment I made more this month than last topping out at $2.87 HA! I’m not shooting for full time status but I would love an extra $100 a month to put in my Roth IRA. Priorities people!

    1. You can do it ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Alicia @ Financial Diffraction

    Your numbers always blow my mind! You’re killing it. I know you’re so dedicated and such a hard worker, but I can never imagine getting to that level of income as your “extra” (now main source) income. Boggles my mind in the best possible way ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep it up!

    1. Thanks Alicia! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. I’m around $500/month now. Would love to be at 13k in two years. My unemployment just ran out from my last gig, I wish I could double the freelance income now!

    1. Good luck Stefanie! Sorry about your unemployment ๐Ÿ™

  24. Very cool as always Michelle! I can relate to the not believing you’re self-employed. I feel the same way regularly and have been at it for almost two years ago. While it is a ton of work, I think I’ve been spoiled for the corporate world. ๐Ÿ™‚ That said, my March was good. Just plugging away and seeing nice increases over time.

    1. Glad you had a great March John! ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. I love these income updates! Keep up the good work.

  26. Does most of your blog income come from AdSense? Or website management?

    1. Hello!

      Around 65% of the income is from my websites, and the other 35% of the $10,265 figure is from websites that I work for.

  27. Glad that you enjoy what you do…as they say, if you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life!

    1. Thank you Andrew!

  28. Thank you Catherine ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Taylor

    Hi Michelle!

    Great motivator as always!… Sending this straight to my mom so she knows exactly why I’m always talking about blogging. LOL it’s so hard to explain what I do to non-bloggers. Do you have a post about the benefits of buying websites? I’m just clueless to how buying a website would generate income.

  30. Nuno

    Great job! Just find your site! I’ll be a regular around here. Pretty amazing what you acomplished here. You created your job, I admire you!

  31. Kathryn Dilligard

    That income is just.. wow! Congratulations. That’s really awesome.

  32. Naveen Kulkarni


    This is great.

    eBook is great idea as well. Curious to see updates on the same.

  33. I love reading these updates ๐Ÿ™‚ I feel like I learn a lot.

  34. Dave Nicosia

    Awesome job Michelle! Very inspiring. I hope to join you soon on Mathew Woodward’s roudup list. I love your detailed reports, keep it up!