This all started out as my “extra income” report because before October of 2013, I still had my day job. In those extra income reports, I included all the income I made except for my day job.
In September of 2013, I turned in my notice at my day job as a financial analyst, and my last official day at that job was in October of 2013. Now, my income reports consist of the main way I make an income each month, which is through my freelancing business.
Some think I'm crazy for publishing my income report each month and being so public about the whole thing. I even received some flack recently from someone who sent me an email telling me I'm crazy! However, I don't think I'm crazy (well, I hope I'm not). I publish my income reports each month for many reasons.
The main reason why I started side hustling is because I was reading other bloggers' monthly income reports and they had me interested and motivated in making extra money. Now, it seems like there are several bloggers out there who publish their income reports, and I love reading all of them. I read income reports from Smart Passive Income, Retire By 40, Matthew Woodward, and more.
Before I started blogging, I knew nothing about side hustling and making money online. I didn't think side hustles were worth the time, and I thought the main way to increase your income was through your day job. I believed the only way I could make money money was through raises and promotions.
Oh, was I wrong!
If it weren't for others publishing their monthly online income reports each month, I don't know if I would have even ever attempted side hustling.
Also, I like to publish my income reports each month because it's a way for me to look back, learn from my mistakes and see what I need to change or improve the following month. Just sitting here and typing up this month's income report is a great way to keep track of my business goals. It also gives me motivation because if I can see that nothing has changed in a few months I know what I need to start working on.
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 to do. I look forward to each and every day and it is a wonderful thing.
How was August?
August was another great income month, and it was my second best month after expenses. I did think August would be slightly better, only because I feel like I've been working a lot of 16 hour days lately. It was still a great month, and I hope it pays off in future months.
I have a lot of plans and I feel like I've been all over the place lately.
One area I need to work on is better time management and finding more time to enjoy myself. Instead, I usually feel like whenever I spend time doing something else, that I actually should have been working.
UGH! But that's the life of someone who works from home. It's hard to stop working.
That's really the only downside of working form home though. Everything else is very positive and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
In August of 2014, I made $15,051 in business income, before expenses.
This is for the month of August and before fees and expenses (fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $895, which includes VAs/staff writers for my other websites, technical assistance on my websites, PayPal fees, etc.) being taken out.
After expenses and fees, I made approximately $14,156. In the amount above, I do not include the amount I bring in to the websites I provide services to. I only include the amounts that are my actual earnings from my services. So, if a website I manage makes an income of $3,000, I only include my payment for my services- not the full $3,000.
To read my posts about extra income, click here. Below are my other extra income updates:
- $672 extra in May (2012)
- $994 extra in June
- $1,425 extra in July
- $1,603 extra in August
- $3,275 extra in September
- $3,700 extra in October
- $5,114 extra in November
- $5,770 in Extra Income in December
- $6,523 in January Extra Income (2013)
- $5,983 in February Extra Income
- $7,862 in March Extra Income
- $7,859 in April Extra Income
- $7,641 in May Extra Income
- $10,192 in June Extra Income
- $11,117 in July Extra Income
- $9,554 in August Extra Income
- $12,334 in September Side Income
- $11,927 in October Income – I Finally Left My Job
- $13,387 in November Income
- $12,160 in December Income
- $12,640 in January Income (2014)
- $13,454 in February Income
- $12,100 in March Income
- $13,493 in April Income
- $12,747 in May Income
- $12,787 in June – Site Redesign and More Motivation
- $14,937 in July – My Highest Income Month
I love self-employment, but this is still a job, a career, and a business.
One thing I have to remind others is that my freelancing business is still a job. I spend many hours every day, every week, and every month on my business.
This is not passive income, although one day I hope that much of my income is passive.
Taxes also take approximately 30% of my extra income. I also have to provide for my own retirement, health insurance, vacation time, and more. This is something not everyone thinks about.
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! I was a major workaholic, but thankfully it all paid off and worked out for me in the end.
You can find my 2014 goals update here.
As always, if you have any questions about my monthly business income you would like me to include next month, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail.
I don't have anything groundbreaking to share on Making Sense of Cents. I finally made my Instagram public, so if you want to follow me, click here!
One thing related to blogging I am excited for is FinCon though!
FinCon is this month and the conference is in New Orleans this year. We went to New Orleans last year and had a lot of fun. Wes is coming with me as well, but he won't be coming to the actual conference.
I'm excited to see everyone again from last year and to meet bloggers I haven't met yet. FinCon is also great because there are a lot of great sessions so I can improve my blogging skills.
Are you going to FinCon?
We're in the process of creating a blog for Wes.
We are still in the beginning stages of creating his blog, but we are chugging along. He has created a list of post ideas, he has written a few already, and we bought a domain name. Other than that though, we haven't done much.
We are hoping to have his blog ready soon and hopefully start publishing some posts. His blog is not personal finance related in any way, but that's all I'll be sharing for now 🙂
Working on the road.
I went on one trip in August, and that was to Colorado again. We still love the idea of living there, but we plan on visiting a few more times before we start to look for homes. We want to be sure with our decision because selling a home honestly gives me nightmares. I don't even want to think about selling the one we already have. If you haven't noticed yet, I get stressed easily haha!
We are still thinking about getting a travel trailer so we can travel more. That will most likely wait until 2015 though so that we can save more money for it.
Working on the road has still been great. There has only been one bump in the plan so far, and you can read about that in Monday's post When Being Cheap Backfires – My Hotel Mistake.
My plans for my website and my business:
- Start an eBook. – I haven't done much for a future eBook yet. This is on hold for now.
- Build my brand. – This is still slowly happening.
- Promote more. – I have been getting better at promoting, but I would really like to work on this more. I have noticed that working on improving the images I use has led to more clicks from Pinterest, which is good! I received a little over 4,000 clicks from Pinterest last month which is my best ever.
- Accept more interviews. – I had five interviews in August. I'm still taking advantage of using HARO and accepting interviews.
Staff writing was slightly better in August. I am in the process of securing a new client and I am hoping to get it. I still have not actively searched for any new clients though, and that is something I would like to change.
What should I do to find more staff writing or virtual assistant jobs?
This is now a permanent feature in my monthly business income posts because it is such a popular question every month.
There are two main ways for you to find staff writing and/or virtual assistant jobs – either they find you or you find them.
A client finding you can be more difficult, as there is nothing really too active that you can do to speed up the process. So, if you want another job sooner rather than later, then you should go out there and try to find a new staff writing or virtual assistant position yourself.
If you are wanting new clients to find you, then there are actions you can take. 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 freelancing job.
You also might want to post in related forums. There are online job forums out there, you just have to search for them. You need to let your services be known and possibly even ask others to spread the word.
If YOU are wanting to find clients, then there are a few different ways you can do this as well. You can search job boards, reach out to publishers that you want to work for, and more. Check out my article How To Find A Writing Job for more information on this.
Here's my monthly shameless plugin: If any of you need a staff writer or just a one-time content writer, please let me know. Whether you need a couple of articles every week, or just a single post with no ongoing relationship, I am your person. I can write regular content and be hired as a staff writer, content to fill in gaps in your writing schedule, content for advertising and so on. My turnaround time is 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 and built four. That means I have a total of 6 websites I own myself.
I also manage a handful of other websites. I am thinking about adding a few more websites to my portfolio so I can grow them and hopefully one day make an income from them. If you have a website for sale, feel free to shoot me an email because I may be in the market again soon.
Do you plan on buying websites in the future? Why or why not?
Update On My Blog and Social Media Management Services.
In the month of August, I managed a few different websites for other owners. They all went well, and website/social media management is a service I enjoy providing.
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 through advertising and affiliate income, and then I forward their share of what their website made. I am in complete control of these websites, and the blog owner sits back and enjoys some passive income.
For others, I manage just a few aspects. I might help them answer emails, monitor their website to make sure nothing happens, or I handle their social media.
Pricing is on an individual basis because no two websites/blogs are alike. If you are interested, send me an email and I would love to help you out. If you are interested in the different services I provide, you can find them here.
Affiliate income – Still slow.
I am starting to get more and more into affiliate income, but it has been a very slow process. I am afraid to review too many programs because I don't want this blog to turn into one large advertisement where all I'm doing is pushing products onto my readers. I want a healthy balance.
Would one review each week be too much? What would you like to see?
Business and Extra Income in August ($14,156, after most expenses)
- Staff writing – $965
- Managing websites and social media for clients – $6,498
- Website-Related (From all 6 of the websites I own – advertising, partnerships & Adsense) – $6,240
- Affiliate Income – $415
- Selling Items From Our Home – $38 (I sold some clothes!)
- Miscellaneous (not related to blogging and online income) – $0
- Mystery Shopping – $0
- Rent – $0. We no longer rent a room in our house and won't be adding roommates.
One question I am asked nearly every time I publish my monthly income report is whether or not I can further break down my income. I have never fully broken everything down line by line, and I do this mainly to protect myself and those I provide services to.
I know some of you are waiting for me to break it apart down to the very exact amount from the very exact source, but I do like to keep it private for now because I do need to protect the income that I am making since this is my livelihood.
Also, most of the bloggers who completely break apart their income have most of their income coming from affiliate links, while I do not. Keep in mind that a majority of my income comes from private clients.
Anyway, Website related income includes all of my websites I own. So, if I provide social media management or blog management for someone, that amount gets put into the “Managing websites and social media for clients” income instead and not in the “Website related income” category.
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 August: $14,156
- Income in July: $14,937
- Difference: -781
- Total in 2014: $106,314
How did you do in August? What are your extra/business income goals?
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