$20,635 in May – My Monthly Online Income Report

Welcome to May’s online income report where I show you how I made money online last month. It’s time to look at this month’s update and track how I did. If you’re new here, you may be wondering why I would want to publish my online income report each month. If you’re not new here then you can just skip…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 27, 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 $20,000 Last Month Blogging (1)Welcome to May’s online income report where I show you how I made money online last month. It’s time to look at this month’s update and track how I did.

If you’re new here, you may be wondering why I would want to publish my online income report each month. If you’re not new here then you can just skip to the next section 🙂

This all started out as my extra 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, I left my day job as a financial analyst in October of 2013 and now my monthly income report consist of the many ways I make a living each month.

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

  • Before I started blogging, I knew nothing about side hustling and making money online. I didn’t think side jobs were worth the effort, and I thought the only way to significantly 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. I want to help show others 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. I use my monthly income reports as a way to track how I’ve done, sort of like a journal.
  • Lastly, I like to show others that making side money is possible, and that there are many legitimate ways to make money from your home. If you are looking for information on the many ways to make money online, I published the article Monthly Income Report Roundup – My Favorite Income Bloggers that showcases many awesome bloggers who are kind enough to share their income with the public each month. Just a few years ago, I didn’t think making money online was possible at all. Now, I realize that it is possible!

I know I say this every month, but it’s the truth. Life is great now that I’m my own boss. I look forward to each and every day and it’s an amazing thing. I truly love waking up each morning.

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.).


How was my online income in May?

May was another great income month. If you don’t account for recent months in which I sold a few websites, this was my best month ever. It was also my best month ever for affiliate income.

After what seemed like almost 1.5 years of monthly income reports (except for recent months where I sold a few of my websites) where I felt somewhat stuck (several readers have even emailed me asking why my income hasn’t grown since I quit my day job), it’s nice to know that things are picking up and I actually believe that my income will continue to grow through the rest of 2015.

Yes, I realize I’m earning a good income, but self-employment can be very unstable so I would prefer to see things improving. I’ve seen others go down just as quickly as they go up, so I’m trying my hardest right now to continually improve my business.

It’s still very crazy to think about the income I made in May. I never thought I would be making over $20,000 a month, and here I am.

I’m NOT saying that to brag. I know there are many others who are thinking about blogging and freelancing but they don’t think it’s possible to earn an income. Blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme, but it is very possible to earn money through your blog.

Honestly, when I would read income reports from other bloggers years ago, I was always extremely surprised to see how much they were earning and I never thought I would be able to earn a similar amount.

Well, it turns out that it is possible! Many have asked me if it’s possible for them to reach a crazy goal too, and I definitely think it is. If you have a dream and work hard, you never know what positive outcome may come from it.

I’ve always been very excited about my business, but I am more excited than ever for the future. I have so many plans and everything is going very well.

I couldn’t be happier.

Also, I plan on publishing a “Day In The Life” post about my average work day and possibly even work week. Are there any questions you have for me about my schedule that I should include?

Anyway, in May I earned $22,735 in business income, before expenses.

If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own for cheap, starting at only $3.49 per month (this low price is only through my link) for blog hosting. In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free blog domain (a $15 value) through my Bluehost link if you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting. FYI, you want to be self-hosted. This is essential if you want to monetize your blog as you will appear more professional and this will help you monetize your blog tremendously. My blogging income did not take off until after I switched to self-hosting.

Related articles:


May Income Report

The number above is for the month of May and before any fees and expenses (some fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $2,100, which include virtual assistants/staff writers for my other websites, technical assistance on my websites, newsletter expenses, PayPal fees, etc., however, this does not include taxes) being taken out. After expenses and fees, I made approximately $20,635. 

Below are some of my other monthly side income reports. I publish an online income 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 from the past few years.


Blog news.

Making Sense of Cents is still doing well and I still love blogging 🙂

I had a new homepage designed which you can see here. Let me know what you think!

Page views have stalled in recent months, but I’m hoping to find new ways to promote my blog. I have been slacking when it comes to blog promotion lately so lets hope this changes!

I still need to go through many of my posts here on Making Sense of Cents and fix the formatting, change the pictures to Pinterest-worthy images, and more. I have only done around 15% of my posts so that means I still have a lot more to go! I actually didn’t work on any of this in May as I forgot yet again.

Top new posts on Making Sense of Cents last month:


How do I feel after selling three of my websites?

I have been asked by a few readers how I feel now that I am down three websites.

Well, I feel great!

I still do not regret my decision and I believe this was the best decision for my business. I now have much more free time and I do think having more time to devote to more important areas of my business is what is helping me grow my income.

Just in case you are new here, I sold some of my websites so that I can spend more time on Making Sense of Cents. I have many plans for Making Sense of Cents, and those websites on the side were not exactly at the top of my to-do list. I was being lazy with the other sites and my heart was not in them.


Featured Question: Do only celebrities make money through owning websites?

For this monthly income report and all future income reports, I will be including at least one featured question from a reader.

Recently, I received very similar questions from a few different readers.

They all believed that only celebrities or somewhat famous people could make money blogging, and they were surprised that others, such as non-famous people like myself, have been able to make money through blogging.

While making a living through blogging isn’t easy, it definitely is possible whether you are famous or just a regular person.

No, you do not have to be a famous celebrity. All of the bloggers I know are not celebrities (sorry guys, you’re all famous to me though!).


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

  • Create a product to sell – I am slowing preparing to create an ebook. This summer is a crazy one for me though, so I will most likely not be able to devote time to it until the fall of 2015.
  • Promote more – Pinterest alone brought around 59,000 clicks to my blog just in the month of May. I have been stuck at this level, but I’m still happy. Just a few months ago I was only receiving a few hundred visits a month from Pinterest, so being at this level still feels crazy. Some bloggers receive millions of hits a month from Pinterest and it would be amazing to be at that level one day.
  • Accept more interviews. – I wasn’t too active with interviews in May. May was a busy month and June is even busier so I don’t think this will improve until a few months from now.
  • Stop being shy – This is one of my goals for 2015. I am such a shy person, and it’s something I need to work on if I want to grow my business.


Staff writing, blog, and social media management.

In May, I had one main staff writing job that I worked on. I plan on writing several articles for them in June which will most likely make June my highest income month for staff writing in a long time.

Blog and social media management is still a service I enjoy providing to my clients. I plan on keeping the clients I currently have but I am no longer expanding this service to new clients due to time constraints though.

My goal right now is to further grow the sites I currently manage and own, spend more time on my blog/website coaching service, and grow my income here so that I can be more of my own boss. This will mean that I will be less diversified as most of my income will be coming from this website and related services, but I do think this is what I am truly after with my business.

Related articles:


Affiliate income.

Last month was my best month for affiliate income yet. I earned around $14,000 in affiliate income just in the month of May.

I’m still sort of slapping myself in the face for not trying affiliate programs sooner.

I won’t see the payments that I earned in May until July and/or August for most of the affiliate programs I am in, so you won’t see those amounts reflected in my monthly income reports until then.

My main form of affiliate income is through Bluehost with my How To Start A WordPress Blog On Bluehost tutorial. However, I am looking to diversify my affiliate income and I have been researching other affiliate programs so that everything isn’t so reliant on Bluehost. I have been doing somewhat well with diversifying my affiliate income so far though, with around $3,000 last month coming from other affiliate programs.

EDIT July, 2016: I recommend checking out my online course for bloggers, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I earn over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing and I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger, then you NEED this course.


Breakout of the actual payments I received in May ($22,735, before expenses):

  • Staff writing – $1,000
  • Managing websites and social media for clients – $2,515
  • Blog coaching and consulting – $1,315
  • Website-related (From the 3 websites I own – advertising and partnerships) – $7,205
  • Affiliate income (from Bluehost (main source), Republic Wireless, etc.) – $10,700
  • Selling items from our home – $0
  • Miscellaneous (not related to blogging and online income) – $0
  • Mystery shopping – $0

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


Comparisons and 2015 online income total (before taxes):

  • Total extra income for May: $22,735
  • Income in April: $34,174
  • Difference: -11,439
  • Total in 2015: $111,214

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

If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own for cheap, starting at only $3.49 per month (this low price is only through my link) for blog hosting. In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free blog domain (a $15 value) through my Bluehost link if you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting. FYI, you want to be self-hosted. This is essential if you want to monetize your blog as you will appear more professional and this will help you monetize your blog tremendously. 


This post contains affiliate links. All opinions and statements are 100% mine and links are only placed to help you with your own blogging journey.

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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. Totally awesome accomplishment Michelle. Lots of hard work is paying dividends. And, truly inspiring.

    I hope you make sure you have a little fun with it!


  2. WOW Michelle this is awesome!!!! You are such an inspiration!! I’ve been trying to wake up earlier and this morning when I saw this post in my inbox, I hopped right out of bed lol!

    Thank you for being so detailed and open/honest about where your income comes from!! I have one question – how long did you have this blog for before it started making money consistently?

    Also – excited for your day in the life post, as those ones are always my favorite!

    Hope you have a great day!! Keep up the awesome work! 🙂

    1. Haha, glad my post could make you hop out of bed 🙂

      I can’t remember the exact timing, but I believe I made my first $100 from my blog around 6 months after I started it. After that first $100, it seemed to grow quickly from there.

  3. Outstanding work at maxing out those Bluehost affiliate commissions! That’s a pretty incredible haul!

  4. Good for you Michelle! Maybe it’s okay that you didn’t start affiliate stuff until now. Maybe 2015 was when you audience was ready to be receptive? Everything in due time, right? You continue to be an inspiration!!

    1. Ha very true! Thank you Gina. I hope things are going well for you 🙂

  5. Amy @ DebtGal

    Michelle, you are a money-making machine! Congratulations on a fantastic month!!!

    I love the new look of the homepage, and I’m excited to read your day-in-the-life post.

  6. Another great month for you! Congratulations 🙂

  7. Bluehost is a really great company to be an affiliate of. It’s pretty incredible the amount they are willing to pay people for conversions. I suppose it makes sense, though, because I don’t know anyone who likes to switch hosting companies once their site is established.

    1. Yes, I agree. Their affiliate program is very easy to use and my affiliate manager is great!

  8. Great job, Michelle!

    I love how you don’t get any negative comments on your income reports. Must be nice!
    Another great month – you are killing it! =)

    1. Ha I’m glad I don’t get any negative comments! At least not yet. 🙂 I hope that day never comes though haha.

  9. Great question. I will answer that in the post.

    To quickly answer it, I spend a ton of time doing that. I mainly do it just because I love reading blogs though!

  10. Amazing work! Seems affiliate commissions are the way to go.

    1. Thanks Brian! Yes, I believe they are.

  11. Sounds like another great month! I know what you mean by falling behind on creating pin-worthy images for all your old posts. I keep forgetting as well and falling behind. I know it’s something I really need to do though to boost my traffic so I can start getting involved with affiliate marketing.

    1. Thanks! Yes, it can be difficult to stay on top of things like that.

  12. I’d love to hear more about how you sell websites/build them up to sell them. I have 3 right now but would love to sell one of them in a year or so once it’s built up some search presence/traffic, but I’m new to that “scene”. Thanks!

    1. I will add this to next month’s post if I can!

      I had it a little easy with my websites. I sold all three of them to the same person, and it was actually a freelance client of mine. So, I didn’t have to do any marketing or anything like that.

  13. You are my blogging role model! ! Thanks, as always, for sharing your monthly income reports and more–it’s super helpful to new bloggers like me! 🙂

  14. Another great month, congratulations! Looking forward to seeing your day-in-a-life post 🙂

  15. Congratulations, Michelle. Your work is inspiring to all of us readers – it’s proof that this life is possible. Thank you for sharing and way to kill it!! OH and I LOVE the new home page!!

  16. Love the new look to your site and huge congrats on the income! Keep up the good work 🙂

    1. Thanks Michelle! I hope you are doing well 🙂

  17. Congrats! I’d love to see your day in the life of a blogger post. I’m so glad you break down your blogging income vs your blogging services. It’s nice to see two different methods of earning money instead of lumping it together, thanks!

  18. I always love reading these. I am still only making btw 2 and 300 from my site, but I’m hoping to ramp that up soon. I know that the blog game can be slow but I’m hoping to not have to wait forever! 🙂

    1. Thanks Erin! How long have you been blogging? It took me a little bit to get over that hump so I’m sure you will too 🙂

      1. About a year and a half. It’ll be 2 in Sept of this year. Most of my money comes from freelancing right now and my ad/affiliate income is way less.

        1. I would still have faith then! I’m not sure what your numbers are at, but if you improve them and network like crazy, companies and affiliate programs will find you 🙂

  19. Ali @ Anything You Want

    I would love to see a “day in the life post”! I’m taking some time off from work right now and blogging is my main focus, but i’m really struggling with managing my time without the constraints of a 9 to 5 job. I’d love to hear how you make it work!

  20. Thanks for the continued inspiration. Your posts were a huge help with starting my blog and you always give me ideas for new ways to market and make money with my site.

  21. “Page views have stalled in recent months…”

    Haha at a quarter million! Ain’t too shabby! 😉

    1. Haha I’ve been stuck though!

  22. Sarah

    Congrats on another great month. If I could just make a small portion of your what you make, I’d be a happy camper. 🙂 I’m really looking forward to your e-book.

    1. Thanks Sarah!

      I used to always say the same thing. You just never know what’s in your future 🙂

  23. Susan Johnston

    I feel inspired and hopelessly inferior at the same time! 😉 Wow, that is impressive. Keep it up!

  24. Thank you for continuing to post your monthly online income. It definitely is inspiring and motivates many to try it out rather than think that it’s not possible. I enjoy blogging and need to work harder and smarter to monetize it.

    1. Thanks Andrew! I like writing them each month so I don’t see these ending 🙂

  25. Foodlove Girl

    Michelle Congrats! That is so awesome! You are truly an inspiration! As for your day in the life post, I would love to hear you break down how much time you spend on posts/research versus social media management and even the specifics of your time spent on the different media outlets. That would be super informative to us bloggers out there – to see how you divvy up your time on all of that. Thanks so much!

    1. I’ll add this to the post 🙂

  26. Wow $14,000 in affiliate income is great. Congrats. My May was great. I had another couple affiliate sales. It felt great. After going 11 months without one I’ve had a few in back to back months. I have to keep this trend going this month.

  27. Thanks Elise! Yes, it would definitely be tougher with little ones running around 🙂

  28. Kim

    Bluehost must love you! I think we’ll probably see you on the Today show or something someday. Your income is incredible and although I’m sure everyone envies you a bit, you have somehow managed to avoid all the haters as well. Congrats again on another great month.

    1. Haha I don’t know if I will ever have the courage to go on TV!

  29. You’re so inspiring Michelle! Congrats on yet another awesome month. Seeing your success is really such a great encouragement to me 🙂

    1. Thanks Christina! I hope June is a great month for you.

  30. Way to crush it Michelle! Those pinterest stats are fanastic, way to go.

  31. Congrats on your first affiliate payment. It’s such a great way to earn money!

  32. absolutely incredible – GO girl!!

    xo welltraveledwife.com

  33. Michelle, your May is all about results! Congrats! I feel inspired now to do better for this month of June. 😀

    1. I hope June is a great one for you!

  34. Oh wow. This is SUPER inspiring. Thanks for posting. I need to spend some time studying this. Also looking forward to your Day in the Life post!

  35. Congratulations! It’s exciting to hear how well you did last month.

  36. Happy to read this! Congrats, Michelle.
    You remind me of my Pinterest. Been ignoring it for a long long time.

  37. Raj – Monthly Income Report

    Hi Michelle,

    Been going through your last few income reports and i’m really impressed with your figures.

    I’m currently putting together a big list of income reports which is due out on my blog shortly and would love to include your figures if I may?

    In the meantime, keep up the excellent blogging!


    1. No problem at all. I would love to be included.

  38. Dane Hinson

    This is really impressive. Side hustling is fairly new to me… at least online. I’ve always had some side income from teaching accounting and consulting. However, I had no idea the potential to earn such a substantial income online. Hope that I can turn my new blogging passion into something as successful.

  39. Greg Nunan

    Wow stellar month Michelle. This is the first time visiting your blog and I kinda feel like I’ve been missing out haha. Going to take a look around for a bit. 🙂

  40. Kristi

    Wow, what an inspiration this is, Michelle! Thank you for being willing to share the hard numbers. I am hoping to make the leap to a self-hosted platform soon. This post is definitely pushing me to make the change sooner rather than later.

  41. Nikhil Bille

    Today, I visited your blog first ever time.. I saw your income report and read other articles; you wrote a informative as well as valuable information. Congratulation to getting huge success in Internet Marketing.

    I am doing Blogging since last two years, but now days I lost my earning.. Looking for inspiration.. Finally I found it… Once again Congrats..!

  42. I love reading your posts especially the ones about the monthly income reports but I have a question. What work from home jobs would you recommend? I’m not that great of a writer…so I believe freelance writing is out of the question. I want to start small with whatever it may be. I have dabbled in various survey sites and online rewards programs but it isn’t enough. I have a part-time job and I’m a full-time college student so finding a second job is challenging. Any recommendations or suggestions would be greatly appreciated 😀 Thanks!

  43. Brittany

    Great job! I love seeing income reports. I have been thinking about including mine in my monthly blog goals and updates, but haven’t actually done it yet.

  44. Congratulations on a great month! Any insights on getting such great results with Pinterest? Are you using a pinning service like Tailwind or pinning a certain amount of times a day, pins to group boards? What works best for you?

    Do you remember how many times you posted a week when you first started and if you think that made more of a difference in traffic or just promoting your posts made a bigger difference?

    Thank you, again, Michelle! Here is to making each month better! Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you reach your goals.

    1. I pin myself, but I have been thinking about using a scheduling service. I don’t really have a Pinterest method – just good images and pinning both my posts as well as others 🙂

      When I first started, I believe I was posting 5 times a week. I think promoting posts makes a bigger difference.

  45. Grant Willey

    Wow, Michelle, what an achievement! Congratulations on your success and I know it doesn’t come easily. The site looks great and I think you give away a ton of little tricks and tips and probably don’t even notice it!

    Best Wishes, Grant

  46. Rosalind

    What a fantastic achievement! These reports really are inspirational, I can’t wait to go out and do more with my blog!

  47. You are rocking 🙂 that is an awesome amount of money. I wish I will be earn the same amount one day.

  48. nina

    Hi michelle im very intrested u blog..im from malaysia want 2 learn about this can u teach me..

  49. Eddie Gear

    I just have one question for you.

    Where do you get these gigs from?

    Managing websites and social media for clients – $2,515

  50. Michelle,

    What a a joy to be here today.

    So glad to see your notification on Pinterest and to read your income report.
    It’s indeed a great report and an Amazing one!

    You have a wonderful and informative page, will come back again to read more.

    Have a great week ahead!

    Keep going

    Keep informed
    Best Regards

    ~ Philip

  51. Impressive stats Michelle! I just started as an affiliate with Bluehost, incredible opportunity. Now I just need traffic! Your writing is powerful and I like how you have many font sizes and colors to keep the reader engaged. Also, I like how you have a list of other related posts, which keeps people on your site. I need to decrease my bounce rate, asap! Thanks again.

  52. Wow Michelle!!! I am so happy i stumbled up to your blog, yes it did it through pinterest. I have recently started blogging (http://allthatsmom.co.in) though bloggers in my niche don’t consider pinterest as a way to earn hits but i believe it does. After reading your blog my faith has been restored, while i am going to do this and explore more, thanks for being an inspiration 🙂

  53. A Happy Lifestyle

    Such an awesome and insightful blog! Thanks for sharing!

  54. That’s a huge jump in side hustle millionaire $ gUaP $ since 2015. I’m loving how you hold yourself accountable for blogging income reports. Please keep us updated because sometimes, I do get a little discouraged. I keep going because this is something I truly do from the heart. I know every side hustle millionaire has challenges in their business. So this is why I stay the course. 🙂