$15,396 in January Income – My Monthly Online Income Report

Welcome to January’s online income report where I show you how I make money online. It’s time to look at my monthly income update and track my progress once again. Background information on my monthly income reports If you are new here, you might be wondering why I publish my income reports each month. This all started out as my side income…

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.

How I made over $15,000 in January 2015 #blog #blogging #incomereport

Welcome to January’s online income report where I show you how I make money online. It’s time to look at my monthly income update and track my progress once again.

Background information on my monthly income reports

If you are new here, you might be wondering why I publish my income reports each month.

This all started out as my side income report because in the beginning it was all about the money I was earning from my side jobs. In my side income reports from the beginning, I included all of the income I made except for what I made at my day job (that was a fixed amount and boring anyways).

However, in the beginning of September of 2013, I turned in my notice and my last day at my day job was in October of 2013.

Now, my monthly income report consists of the many different ways I bring in an income each month.

Many people have asked why I would ever want to publicly post my income each month. Some have called me crazy, and some are glad I am open about what I’m doing. Whatever you think, I enjoy publishing my monthly income reports. I publish my online income reports for three main reasons:

  • Before I started blogging, I knew nothing about side hustling and making money online. I didn’t think side hustles were worth the effort, and I thought the only way to dramatically increase your income was through raises and promotions at your full-time job. If it weren’t for others publishing their monthly income reports each month, I don’t know if I would have ever tried side hustling. This is why I like to publish my income reports. I want to help others see the positives in side hustling and how it can change a person’s life. There are many different ways to make money online, and I like to share my story each month to help motivate others to improve their financial situation by making more money.
  • Secondly, I like to publish my income reports because it’s a way for me to look back, learn from my mistakes and see what areas need improvement. It’s also entertaining to go back to older income posts and read about the funny things I did to make extra money. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?
  • Lastly, I like to show others that making side money is possible, and that everything is not a scam. If you are looking for information on the many ways to make money online, I created the article Monthly Income Report Roundup – My Favorite Income Bloggers that showcases many amazing bloggers who are kind enough to share their income with the public each month.

I know I say this every month, but it is the truth. Life is great now that I’m my own boss. I look forward to each and every work day and it is a wonderful thing.

Above is exactly why I enjoy publishing my monthly income reports. I like to show others that you don’t have to hate your job and hate your life. You can make changes to your life and make money in a way that allows you to truly enjoy the life you are living. I’m not saying that you have to LOVE your job, I’m just saying that your job should at least allow you to do what you like to do outside of work (whether that be spending time with loved ones, painting, hiking, etc.).


$15,396 January Income – My Monthly Online Income ReportHow was my online income in January?

January was a great income month. I think it was my highest month yet.

Even though it was a great income month, I am actually working less than usual. I’m still putting in a decent amount of hours, but I am getting better at managing my time better and outsourcing so that I can spend more time relaxing, doing what I want to do, and focusing on important parts of my business. It’s a great feeling!

Anyway, I am extremely happy with my monthly income, but I do want to keep trying harder and harder to increase it, while also attempting to make it more passive. I am currently making major plans to increase my income, and I should see at least some results from this planning in just a few months.

I’m excited to see what 2015 brings! I hope it’s a great year for everyone.

Anyway, last month I made $16,896.46 in business income, before expenses.

If you are interested in starting your own blog, I have a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own for super cheap, at only $3.49 per month for blog hosting (this very low price applies if you pay for 36 months upfront). Plus, you will get a free blog domain if you sign up through my Bluehost link as well.

Related articles:


$15,396 January Income – My Monthly Online Income Report

The number above is for the month of January and before any fees and expenses (most fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $1,500, which includes virtual assistants/staff writers for my other websites, technical assistance on my websites, PayPal fees, etc.) being taken out.

After expenses and fees, I made approximately $15,396. 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.

Below are some of my other monthly side income reports. I publish an update every month but only included some of them below as it would be a very long list. If you head on over to my extra income page you can find all of my monthly income reports.


Blog news.

There is nothing too news worthy to share about Making Sense of Cents right now. I’m still chugging along, I still love blogging, and the blog is still growing.

My page views right now are the highest they’ve ever been, and it’s a great feeling since I was stuck at the same level for about one year. A lot of this has to do with me creating better images for Pinterest. If you aren’t using Pinterest for your blog yet, you need to start ASAP.

Also, I am still working on improving old blog posts. It’s been a long process and I didn’t dedicate enough time to finishing this task in January. I am hoping to have this completely finished by March. It’s a very tedious process to go through old posts, especially when there are so many of them!

I’m still working on building my new email list as well. I haven’t sent out a newsletter yet, but I hope to do that soon. By the way, Aweber is a must if you have a blog. It is a way for readers to subscribe to your blog posts and your newsletters. If you are currently using a free service such as Feedburner, then you should switch immediately because that is a BIG mistake that many bloggers make. It’s a mistake I made and I still regret it. Most bloggers say it’s their biggest mistake as well. Aweber is only $1 for your first month so you can always test it out and see if it’s for you for pretty cheap.

If you are wanting to start a blog of your own, read my post How To Start a WordPress Blog. It gives step by step instructions on starting your own blog. It starts at only $3.49 per month for blog hosting. Plus, you will get a free blog domain if you sign up through my Bluehost link.


IZEA – A way to make money through your blog and/or social media accounts.

Today, I am including a little plug in my monthly income post. I am often asked how a person can make money blogging. I haven’t mentioned Izea in a while, but signing up for this company can help you grow your blogging income.

IZEA is a company I used a lot when I first started blogging. If you already have a blog or social media accounts such as Twitter, then signing up for Izea is a great way to make some extra money. All you have to do is sign up and wait for opportunities to come your way. It’s easy, but if you have any questions just shoot me an email and I can try my best to help you out.

With Izea, you are getting paid for whenever a company wants to advertise themselves through your blog and/or social media accounts (such as your Twitter account). You get paid electronically, and they always pay. They partner with big name companies such as Marriott, Netflix, Walmart, Kraft, Lego, and more. It’s an EASY way to make money through your blog, so I highly recommend you check Izea out.

Click here to sign up for Izea. It is free to join and free to use. To get started, sign up, connect at least one social media account, and validate your email so that you can start earning extra cash.


Wes’s website.

We made some progress on Wes’s website, but not a ton. We did set up all of his social media accounts and his website though, which are things I am definitely happy to be done with.

Our goal over the next month will be to start scheduling posts, brainstorming ways to market his blog, and outlining future blog posts.


My plans for my website, online income, and making money online:

  • Publish an ebook – I haven’t made any progress on this. I keep going back and forth about how important this is to me in 2015. It’s a TON of work!
  • Promote more – I have been doing much, much better when it comes to promoting. I have seen an increase especially when it comes to Pinterest. Pinterest alone brought around 43,000 clicks to my blog just in the month of January! This is a huge increase from December’s number of 19,700.
  • Accept more interviews. – I conducted a few email and phone interviews in January, all of which I am very excited to see live. For February, there most likely won’t be as many because we are planning a big move, but I still hope to do some interviews.
  • Stop being shy – This is one of my goals for 2015. I am such a shy person, and it is something I need to work on if I want to grow my business.


Staff writing.

In January, I was hired on for two new staff writing jobs. They will begin in the next few months and are exactly what I’ve been looking for lately. I’m excited to start these new writing jobs!


Update on my blog and social media management services.

In the month of January, I managed a few websites for others. I’m still enjoying providing this service and it’s an area I hope to continue to grow. I enjoy trying to find new ways to improve a website.

If you are wanting to start a blog of your own, read my post How To Start a Cheap WordPress Blog. It gives step by step instructions on starting your own blog. You can also get a free domain by signing up through my link.

Related articles:


Affiliate income.

January was a great month for affiliate income. I received payments totaling $1,485 from affiliate reviews and I am extremely excited about that. It is all relatively passive income and it makes me happy that the actions I am taking are actually working. February should be a better month as I made a good amount in January from affiliate income and should be receiving those checks this month or the next.

I am still only reviewing products I have used myself and products I actually believe in. I never want my blog to be annoying or untrustworthy, and this is something I always think about before I decide to review a product or service.

I only published one affiliate post for January. I would like to increase that to two or three per month. What do you think is too many to see on a blog? What products/services would you like me to review?

$15,396 January Income – My Monthly Online Income Report Chart

Business and extra income in January ($15,396, after most expenses)

  • Staff writing – $275
  • Managing websites and social media for clients, as well as blog coaching- $6,278
  • Website-related (From the 6 websites I own – advertising, partnerships & Adsense) – $7,358
  • Affiliate income – $1,485
  • Selling items from our home – $0
  • Miscellaneous (not related to blogging and online income) – $0
  • Mystery shopping – $0

$15,396 in January Income – My Monthly Online Income ReportOne question I am asked nearly every time I publish my monthly online 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.Most 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 that I work for so sharing their name and what they pay me wouldn’t be the correct way to run a business.

Also, when you see my monthly income each month please keep in mind that I work for myself. This means I have to cover all taxes (which are around 30%), health insurance, and all other benefits/expenses that an employer would normally provide.


Comparisons and 2015 online income total (after most expenses, but before taxes)

  • Total extra income for January: $15,396
  • Income in December: $13,673
  • Difference: +1,723
  • Total in 2015: $15,396

How did you do in January? What are your extra/business/online income goals? Why do you work towards making extra money?

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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. Way to go Michelle! Another great month 🙂 do you have a yearly target in mind for total income? Your views from Pinterest are amazing – would you consider doing a post on that?

    1. Thanks! Yes, I will have to do a post on that soon 🙂

      1. Yes, please! I could really use some help figuring out how to use Pinterest to help my blog.

  2. Wow! That’s truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

    And don’t worry about being shy. I’ll bet you feel that way but don’t appear that way to others. Just keep doing what you’re doing. It’s obviously working!

  3. Hey Michelle another awesome month!! It really shows that you can not only make a living from blogging but a good living. Loving your numbers from Pinterest – it’s something I’ve been working on for the last month and if you get it right it can really drive traffic (as you’ve shown).

    Can’t wait to see how you progress through 2015!

  4. That’s the results of your side hustling? I am very impressed. Honestly, I wouldn’t earn that money in my job alone. So I’d better start looking for side hustles. Thanks for being honest and letting us know how to get some and to do so.

    1. No, I don’t side hustle anymore. This is income from my business.

  5. Holly Thomas

    Very impressive, it shows that it is possible to make good money at home.

    1. Yes, it is definitely possible!

  6. Very interesting! I’m slowly learning about ways to increase my income, so I will be perusing through your articles to educate myself..

  7. Another great month, Michelle! I can only dream of making as much as you.. My income is slowly increasing, I will get there eventually!

    Well done on getting the two new staff writing jobs, I’m never really sure where to find them!

    1. Both of these companies found me, so they made it easy! 🙂

  8. Paula

    Congratulations for the excellent results and thank you for sharing

  9. Fantastic results! What a great way to start 2015. Wishing you all the best for the rest of the year 🙂

  10. Amy

    Congrats on another great month, Michelle! I’m excited to hear about your plans for increasing your income even more, and making it more passive. Thank you for being so open and letting others learn from your experiences.

    I’m going to make this my last year with my small business selling children’s books, toys, etc. It has been a good source of additional income in the past, but it’s a lot of work and events are mainly on weekends, when I want to be spending time with my family. It’s also been a money drain the last few years, because I WAY over-stocked at the end of 2013, and have not been able to sell all of the inventory yet. Therefore, this year, I’m focusing on selling all of my remaining inventory. So far, it’s going well. It’s amazing how many customers come out of the woodwork when you tell them you’re not restocking, and offering a discount!

    1. Good luck with selling your remaining inventory. I am sure you will do well!

  11. Great job, Michelle!
    I am glad to hear you have had more free time due to outsourcing. I am the worst at outsourcing anything.

    1. Yes, you should start doing it more! It’s a lifesaver.

  12. WOW as usual, my friend!! I can’t believe it’s been over a year since you went full time into blogging. Time flies so fast!

    1. Yes, time does fly fast!

  13. Michelle, you’re a rockstar! Your income reports were one of the first ones that inspired me to start a blog!

  14. Hello! Your story is so inspiring. I’ve been reading through some of your pro blogger tips and I’ve definitely been inspired to looks at some side-hustle options. Switching to wordpress is on my horizon, as well as a couple other things. Thanks for the honesty and encouragement!

    1. Welcome Brianna 🙂

  15. Great job, Michelle!! And thank you so much for sharing these with us! They are so inspiring! I hope to one day bring in a five-figure a month income but I’m still learning. Keep up the great work and good luck with your move!!!!

    Also – your images ROCK!!! I can tell you’ve been putting work into them and they look great! 🙂

    1. Thanks Sarah! I hope you have a five figure month soon 🙂

  16. Robin @The Thrifty Peach

    Way to go on having so much relatively passive income with the reviews! It gives me something to strive for. :). And Im with you on the being shy thing- I’m the same way, but it’s not so easy to get over sometimes.

  17. Elroy

    So awesome. Would you say you spend about as much time as a full time job, more or less?

  18. Barrie

    Michelle, you are a true inspiration! My money is made all offline as a mystery shopper and a few other part time jobs that take up a few hours a month.

    1. That’s awesome that you mystery shop! How long have you been doing that for?

      1. Barrie

        Wow, quite a while…10 years maybe? I have an idea for a blog but not sure I would be good at it. I’m sending my teen to your site! Much she can learn 🙂

        1. Hope she enjoys it 🙂

  19. Great job Michelle! Although it’s literally an extremely small fraction of this amount, January was actually my best income month yet since my daughter was born in June. I really hustled last month and it paid off! It was a fantastic way to kick off my work year 🙂

    1. Good job Christina!

  20. Great month Michelle! Awesome to see your Pinterest and Affiliate efforts paying off! Thanks for sharing as always:-)

  21. alicia szemon

    Lol this is very confusing! I have never really been good at finances.

    1. What’s confusing? I can always help 🙂

  22. Congrats on having your best month ever! Here’s to having your best year ever!

  23. Pamela Gurganus

    This was a very interesting, informative and impressive read! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Welcome Pamela 🙂

  24. Yes, it is definitely a great way to promote 🙂

  25. Thanks Thomas! Looks like you did well last month as well 🙂

  26. Glad to hear you’ve been getting some down time all while your blog continues to grow!! 🙂

    1. Yes, it’s nice! 🙂

  27. Wow! Your doing an amazing job generating income! Great job! I’m enjoying reading your interesting post. I am a new personal assistant and hoping to build a clientele. Thank you for sharing your work and advice.

    1. Thank you Shanna! 🙂

  28. Are you at $10K/month yet?????? (after taxes) because that would be amazing!

  29. Paige

    I needed to read this!! Thank you!

  30. Another awesome month! You are just crushing it–congrats!

  31. Congrats on another great month. January was GREAT for me. I made the most money that I’ve ever made on Ebay. I’m looking forward to a wonderful February!

    1. I’m glad January was great for you. I hope February is even better!

  32. Susan Osborne

    Yay! Congrats on another great month. I love that you are proving to others that making money as your own boss from home is possible – and can be very lucrative. Continue the great work and inspiration!

  33. nicole dziedzic

    Wow pretty impressive, love how you have it all setup here, I will be checking Diversified Finances too, and I also love your plans.

  34. Yes, you should definitely publish a monthly income report. These are some of my favorite things to read 🙂 It provides great motivation!

  35. Lisa L.

    Dumpster diving…stores around me just toss new things with tags! I either keep or sell them for a little extra money.. You live at my old stomping grounds..Grand Junction. Great place! ( seen on instagram)

    1. Glad to hear from someone who is from the area 🙂

  36. Adam @ AdamChudy.com

    Fantastic results. I certainly have a long way to go on monitization.

  37. Yeah, I’m not sure. I’m assuming it’s just random. I’m hoping for an increase next month though 🙂

  38. Very impressive. I think you are my hero! Worked less and made more. Nice combo to have. Congrats and here’s to January being the beginning of your 2015 income trend. Prost!!

  39. Lesa

    I’m definitely going to read through your blog and all these posts. With two kids in college and another one to go I’m so in need of side income and would love to learn to navigate this blogging world! Thanks for your openness and your willingness to share all that you have learned!

  40. Denice L

    Wow this is very inspiring!!

  41. Michelle L

    Impressive numbers Michelle

  42. Thank you Dan! I will share that soon 🙂 One of them I had to sign an NDA though so I can’t share that one.

  43. Ray @ Squirrelers

    Very impressive, as usual. Thanks for the sharing your strong recommendation on Aweber. I’ve been thinking of going that route, but haven’t taken the plunge just yet.

    1. Yes, definitely look into Aweber.

  44. wow, your “side income” is many times more than my full time income.

    1. Well, this isn’t my side income anymore. It’s income from my business that I work on full-time now. It started out as my side almost four years ago but I quit my day job to focus on this 1.5 years ago.

  45. Michelle,

    This is inspiring! I have only been blogging for a month, but it can get discouraging at times. This is great to see!