April was a busy month, and it was also my best month of my freelancing career.
April was an extremely busy month for me. I also had a ton going on in my personal life as well, so the month was like a mad house for me.
Anyway, in April of 2014, I made $14,468 in business income, before expenses. It's not one of my best months before expenses, but it IS my best month after expenses. I also have a good deal of payments waiting to be paid, and those should be coming through within the next 30 to 45 days.
I am still extremely motivated whenever I read my income reports from previous months.
In May of 2012, I made $672 in side income. $672 is still a great amount of extra income to make, but my progress over the past three 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.
I know I say this every month, but it is the truth. Life is just so great now that I am doing what I want!
I started my blog just as an outlet. I never thought it would turn into a side income or into my full-time career. If you would have told me this a few years ago, I never would have believed you – I probably would have even laughed at you!
This is for the month of April and before fees and expenses (fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $975, which includes VAs for my other websites, PayPal fees, etc.) being taken out.
After all expenses and fees, I made approximately $13,493. In the amount above, I do not include the amount that I bring in to blogs that I provide services to, 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, a career, and a business.
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.
April 15th was also the tax due date, and let me say that I definitely wanted to cry when I found out that I owed a lot more than I expected. I'm going to try to do better and put more towards quarterly taxes from now on.
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!
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.
My main website is this one and I don't have any breaking news to share about it. I'm still happily writing and I still love blogging. My sister's blog is doing well still also. 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. I do plan on writing more on that website, instead of once a week like I am right now. I am thinking about increasing that to twice a week in the near future.
My plans for my blog and my business (in no particular order):
- Start an eBook. – I really haven't given this much thought over the past few months. I'm hoping to really sit down and start researching in July of 2014.
- Build my brand. – This is something that I am still working on but I'm not even sure where to start.
- Promote more. – I have been doing much better with promoting my articles, but I want to do more.
- Podcasts? – It seems like everyone these days is getting into podcasts, except for me. What do you think of them?
- Accept more interviews. – I took part in four more interviews in April, and they were a lot of fun. I have a few planned for May as well. Bring on the interviews! 🙂
In April, I added one staff writing gig. This one has the potential to become a fairly big writing gig, so I am excited for it. It's also for a travel website so it's nice to branch out of personal finance even more (I have a few other travel writing jobs as well).
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 the 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.
I have bought two websites so far, and I have built four. I also manage a handful of other websites. For now, I don't think I plan on buying or building any other websites, but I am still happy with the websites that I have. They are all bringing in some income each month, and are paying for the costs to run them, which is great.
Do you plan on buying websites in the future? Why or why not?
Update On My Blog and Social Media Management Services
In April, I managed a few blogs for website owners. They all went well, and blog/media management is something I really enjoy.
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.
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.
Affiliate income – I am getting more serious about this.
My goal for 2014 is to get more into affiliate income. Affiliate income is great because it can be a lot like passive income – in that I can create an affiliate article, do little things to maintain it, and hopefully it will continue to bring in income for me.
Business and Extra Income in April (after most expenses)
- Staff writing – $1,300
- Website-Related (managing websites for clients, social media management, and my websites – advertising & Adsense) – $11,203
- Affiliate Income – $665
- 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
One thing that I am asked nearly every time I publish my monthly income report is whether or not I can further break down my Website-Related income. This is something I have never done, mainly to protect myself and those I provide services to.
I will say that website related income includes all of my websites, 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. In April of 2014, around 60% of the income came from my websites, and the other 40% of the $11,203 figure came from websites that I provide services to.
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 April: $13,493
- Income in March: $12,100
- Difference: +$1,393
- Total in 2014: $51,687
How did you do in April? What are your extra/business income goals?
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