January Online Income Report – $44,782

Welcome to January’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 income report each month. You can simply skip to the next section if you’re not new…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: October 21, 2020

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.

January Online Income Report – $44,782Welcome to January’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 income report each month. You can simply skip to the next section if you’re not new here.

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.

However, I left my day job as a financial analyst in October of 2013 and now my monthly income reports consist of the many ways I earn a living.

Many have asked why I would ever want to publicly post my income each month. Some think I’m crazy, whereas 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 at your full-time job. If it weren’t for others publishing their monthly income reports, 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 actually see what areas need improvement. I use my monthly income reports as a way to track how I’ve done and I treat it 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 successful bloggers who are kind enough to share their income with the public each month. I’ll be publishing an update to this post soon, so please send me an email if you would like me to include your income report.

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 a wonderful feeling. I truly love waking up every morning.

Above are just a few of the reasons for 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 January?

January of 2016 was my best month ever! I hit the $40,000 a month mark and I still can’t believe it.

Another crazy thing to think about is how I earned $15,396 last January (2015). This means that just since last year, my monthly income has nearly tripled!

As you can tell, January was another great month for business income. My business is growing, I have tons of amazing ideas for the future, and I am just extremely excited about everything. I really love my business and I don’t know where I would be without it.

The business is doing well and I’m very happy with it. I’ve been catching myself saying “Life is really good” a LOT lately. And, I mean it – life is really good. 

Anyway, I earned $44,782 online in January, 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 website domain (a $15 value) through my Bluehost link if you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting. FYI, if you are asking yourself “can you make money blogging?” – my top tip is 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-hosted WordPress.

Related articles:


January 2016 Income

The number above is for the month of January and before any fees and expenses (some fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $3,200 (rounded up), which include virtual assistants/staff writers for my other websites, technical assistance, Facebook advertising, accountant fees, newsletter expenses, PayPal fees, etc., however, this does not include taxes) being taken out. After expenses and fees, I made approximately $41,582. 

Below are some of my other monthly online 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 income page you can find all of my monthly income reports from the past few years.


Blog news.

Making Sense of Cents is doing well and I’m very happy with everything.

One thing I am working on right now is that I am publishing more side hustle interviews. Recently, I’ve published one about freelance writing and another about proofreading. I also have many other income ideas scheduled that are about making money on Amazon, becoming a bookkeeper, voice over acting, transcribing, and more. I’m excited about all of these!

Pinterest is still one of the main ways I receive referral traffic each month. I’m still using Tailwind and it has saved me a ton of time. Plus, even though I am automating a lot of my Pinterest tasks, I am actually seeing an increase in traffic, which is great.

However, I’m thinking about switching to something else that may save me even more time. BoardBooster is another Pinterest scheduling service and I am currently testing it out on my sister’s blog (FITnancials) to see if I like one better. They each have their pros and cons, so it’s a tough decision.

Also, I have received many questions recently about how I’m staying connected to the internet so that I can work and travel in my RV at the same time. I use a [easyazon_link identifier=”B00OPO5XO0″ locale=”US” tag=”maksenofcen0b-20″ link_id=”7377″ type=”link”]Verizon MiFi[/easyazon_link] and I am able to stay connected pretty much anywhere with it. I don’t know what I would do without this device!

Overall, traffic increased in January and I received around 500,000 pageviews.

Top new posts on Making Sense of Cents last month:

Tips For Increasing Your Blog's PageviewsFeatured Question: How can a blogger increase their pageviews? 

I feature one question from a reader in each monthly income report. Please leave a comment below if you have a question that you would like me to answer.

There are many different ways to increase the number of pageviews you receive on your blog.

Here are my tips:

  1. Publish high-quality blog posts – Your blog posts should always be high-quality and helpful. This will lead to readers coming back for more and more. I always recommend that a blog post be at least 500 words, but more wouldn’t hurt either. The majority of my blog posts are around 1,500 to 3,000 words.
  2. Be active on Pinterest – Pinterest is one of my top traffic sources. I recommend creating great images, making sure the description and title of your images are catchy, pinning regularly, and only pinning long images. In case you are wondering, I use Picmonkey to edit all of my images and Tailwind to schedule them.
  3. Find other social media sites to be active on as well – Besides Pinterest, there are several other social networking sites that you may want to check out. This includes Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Periscope, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, and others.
  4. Post regularly – For most blogs, you should publish something at least once a week. Going for weeks or months at a time without a blog post can lead to a reader forgetting about you.
  5. Network with other bloggers – Too many bloggers see other bloggers as competition. However, you should see them as friends and colleagues. This means you may want to interact with them on social media, reach out to them via email, attend conferences, and more. Of course, be genuine with it all, though, and give more than you take.
  6. Guest post – Guest posting can lead to new readers checking out your blog and subscribing to it. This can be a great way to reach a new audience.
  7. Make sure it’s easy to share your content – I love sharing posts on social media. However, it gets frustrating when some blogs make it more difficult than it needs to be. You should always make sure that it’s easy for readers to share your content. This may mean making your social media icons easy to find, having all of the info already input that needs to be shared (title, link, and your username), and so on. Also, you should make sure that when someone clicks on one of your sharing icons, that the title isn’t in CAPS (I’ve seen this too many times!). No one wants to share a blog post where it sounds like you’re screaming at them.
  8. Create catchy headlines – The title of your post is a major factor that may influence readers to click over or not.
  9. Learn SEO – SEO (search engine optimization) is not something I could teach in this small section of this blog post. I recommend doing your research and learning more about what it is and how it can help you.
  10. Make it easy for readers to browse – If you want more pageviews, you should make it as easy as possible for readers to read other blog posts of yours. You may want to make it easy for readers to find your blog homepage, categories, tags, search bar, and so on. Also, I recommend including links in every single one of your blog posts, so that readers can find related topics easily.

I recommend purchasing my friend Lena’s book, How I Went From 17K to 350K+ Monthly Page Views In 9 Months. It’s very affordable and informative, and I’m sure you’ll get your money’s worth. I bought it myself and have implemented many of her tips on my blog.

Past questions:


My plans for my website and making money online.

Without plans and goals, it would be very hard to run a business. I believe that constantly working towards something can help keep a person motivated.

Below are some of the areas I am currently working on:

  • Promote more. I am doing much better at promoting my articles and I’m noticing a huge improvement. One area is still Pinterest, and it brought around 172,000 clicks to my blog just in the month of January. I’m currently testing Facebook ads and I’ve noticed somewhat of a difference, but I’m still deciding if they are worth it or not. Facebook ads can be pricey!
  • Create a book. Still working on this.
  • Accept more interviews.  I only took part in a few interviews in January, but I’m happy with that considering how crazy January was.
  • Double my income. Yes, I said double. I would love to double 2015’s income and I think it’s possible considering how well 2015 ended. That means I will need to average around $53,000 a month. It won’t be easy, but it will be fun to attempt.
  • Diversify my affiliate income streams. My goal is to increase affiliate income from other sources so that they are equal to or higher than what I’m earning from Bluehost.
  • Create a course. I’m in the very beginning stages of creating a course to help others increase their affiliate income. What would you like to see in this type of course? What is your favorite course that you’ve already taken?
  • Increase my pageviews to 1,000,000 each month. Okay, I realize this is sort of a superficial goal, but it’s quantifiable and that’s what I like about it. I would like to hit one million pageviews a month before the year ends. Wish me luck!


Staff writing.

I only wrote one article for someone else in January. I have a few planned for February, but I’m taking it slow. This is because I’m trying to spend more time on creating the course I discussed above, as well as my improving my blog.

Related articles:


Affiliate income.

Overall, I earned around $60,000 in affiliate income in January. Last month was the biggest month ever for me for both total income and affiliate earnings.

I won’t see the payments I earned in January until 60-90 days later for most of the affiliate programs I’m in. Due to this, 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’ve been doing somewhat well with diversifying my affiliate income so far, though, with around $15,000 earned last month coming from other affiliate programs. I have major plans to ramp this up over the next few months as well.


January business income chart
I started my income reports back in 2012. Please click here to find them all.

Breakout of the payments I received in January ($44,782):

Please keep in mind that I work for myself when you read my monthly income report. 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 2016 online income total (before taxes):

  • Total income in January of 2016: $44,782
  • Total income in December of 2015: $39,292
  • Difference: +5,490
  • Total in 2016: $44,782

How was January for you? Are you interested in earning income online?

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. 


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. Michael

    You are living the dream my friend. I can’t even conceive earning that much in a month. That’s about what I earn yearly. I’d be happy to get my blog to the point that I could pay my future mortgage solely with blog revenue. Great work! You’re definitely an inspiration.

  2. Wawawewa! What a great month to start the year, Michelle. 🙂 You’ve earned in one month what I pull from my full-time job in an entire year lol. But part of this is because my domestic currency ($CAD) is very weak relative to the US dollar at the moment. Also, 500K pageviews is a lot. Nicely done.

    1. Thanks! There are a lot of Canadians in the RV park that we’re at right now and they’ve been complaining about the week $CAD right now.

  3. Michelle, this is crazy!

    Congratulations on your best month ever. And even better being January, one of the most difficult months after Christmas.

    From your tips I totally agree in particular with the SEO, it doesn’t give you quick results but is more focus in long term.

    Also, I’ve updated your income in the favourite bloggers list at http://passiveincomewise.com/favourite-bloggers/

    Thank you very much for sharing and keep up the great job!


    1. Thanks so much for adding me 🙂

  4. Wow! You just keep going from strength to strength with your blog related income. Congratulations!

    Your achievements are an inspiration. And, I always pick up something new to try when I read your income updates so thank you for sharing.

    Here’s to another record month in Feb!

  5. This is truly amazing, Michelle! It’s really exciting and hopeful to see you continue to make steady progress each year!

  6. Hi Michelle,
    Really great figures for a slow month like January. It’s a reward of hard work last year, I guess. Thanks for being an inspiration.

    1. January is a great month for finance blogs, actually. I think it’s because everyone has goals for the year and they jumpstart them in January.

  7. Great job Michelle! The report is just awesome! And it’s mind blowing to see you crossing $40k+ per month.

    I have best wishes for you ahead! Good luck

  8. AMAZING results, Michelle!!! This is an insane amount of money!! Please, please write a course!! Teach us your ways hahaha! 🙂 Congratulations!!!!

    1. Haha, I need to start working on the course!

  9. Allie

    You are such an inspiration Michelle, thank you for sharing and being so open with your readers.

  10. Amy @ DebtGal

    Wow, Michelle – congratulations!!!

    Thanks for the list of tips for getting more pageviews. Must learn to tolerate Pinterest, grrr…

    1. Pinterest is great. I love it!

  11. Okay — you’re hired!! 😉 Just kidding – but seriously, way to go!! I would love to get there – I think after my CFP exam I am going to work from getting from $1.5k to $5k this year. I also love your graphs / charts – the visualization is awesome to see. Congrats girlfriend!!

    1. I definitely think you can do it!

  12. Awesome job, Michelle! You’re rocking it! So proud of you =)

  13. Ree Klein

    I love that you share your income data with us, Michelle, it’s inspiring and motivating! Because I’m trying to build a reliable income stream from my business, I know how hard it is to accomplish what you’ve made happen.

    You deserve every. single. penny. 🙂

    With respect and admiration!

    1. Thanks Ree! Income reports are what helped me get to where I am today. I’m so glad that others had income reports when I was first starting out!

  14. Love it!! Am always surprised that you still do some staff writing…

    1. I will only do it for great clients and for the right price 🙂

  15. Stefanie OConnell

    Incredibly inspiring (as usual). I’m really missing the affiliate income piece. Just too many things to focus on 🙂 I got to 9200 in January, would really like to be hitting a consistent 10k. I’ll keep coming back here for inspiration!

    1. Oh yes, way too many things to focus on. I love what you are doing, though. I wish I could be as comfortable speaking and being on TV as you are!

  16. Tabitha

    These are goals right here! Congratulations! We can all aspire to learn from all your hard work!

  17. A big hell yes to your course! Haha you are doing so awesome, I really want to learn how you are accomplishing these amazing things with your blog!! 🙂 Congrats on a great January, what a wonderful way to kick off 2016! I’m sure you’ll easily be able to double your 2015 income and reach your goal!!

  18. Great job! That’s more than than we make in a year. You always inspire me that big things will happen for us if we keep working hard!

  19. Norman

    You are an amazing inspiration to me!

  20. Congrats on the record setting month! This is really inspiring. I really like how you mentioned some of the expenses it costs to run your business such as account and advertising. I don’t see a lot of income bloggers doing that. Very detailed and thorough post.

    1. Thanks! Soon, I’ll break that out to the exact amounts. I keep forgetting to do that each month.

      1. Even better 🙂 That would be really helpful.

  21. Cintia

    Michelle, I like your list of goals, that is best way to set up goals. Few easy ones, few hard ones, and one ultimate. Million visitors is ultimate goal for any blogger but it can happen with hard work. wish you good luck!

  22. Yeah this pretty ballin. I did my first income report this month (mentioned you as one of my $$$ blogging heroes in it). Kinda scary listing it for the first time but I think it will be worth it in the long run! Congrats!

  23. Everyone has to start somewhere 🙂

  24. Jay

    Always a pleasure reading your income reports. I fully believe you will reach all your goals – and probably faster than you think. Blogs tends to grow exponentially! The nice thing about a finance blog is that there are many many affiliate products to promote. Good luck 🙂

  25. It’s really crazy to think about.

  26. Heyyyyyy thanks so much for the shout out in the Increasing Your Page Views section!! I was so surprised and honored to see that! I’m glad you liked my tips. 🙂

    Love reading these – keep ’em up!

  27. I’m finally getting serious about growing my blog. Over the past 9 months or so, I’ve gotten better at networking (though still not great), and I’m just now finally dealing with Pinterest. I should probably have someone do my images professionally, but I can’t afford that right now. Still, I’m definitely seeing a boost in visits.

    I agree that interesting titles are key, as it making it easy to share. Each person who shares on social media is helping you reach potentially hundreds more people than you might on your own.

    1. Definitely be active on Pinterest. It was a game changer for me!

  28. Congrats on another great month.

  29. Oh wow, congrats! I totally agree bloggers should be friends and help each other, instead of worrying about being competitive (probably because I am so not competitive, ha!) It’s much more fun that way!

    1. I agree! I’m so glad that finance bloggers are all so friendly. I’ve heard some crazy things about some other niches!

  30. Dang, girl! Every month you are killing it. Keeping us on our toes!

  31. AMAZINGGGGG!!!!! Your blog was one of the reasons I started my blog! Sooooooo inspiring!!! 🙂 🙂

  32. Wow… What a great month!! Thanks for all of your tips and inspiration, it’s what keeps me going on those tough blogging days

    1. Thanks! How’s your blog going?

  33. Megan

    Love the featured question section! I definitely agree with learning SEO. It’s a dense topic but I’ve seen it make a huge difference in blog traffic. If anyone is looking for somewhere to start, Moz has a great free Beginner’s Guide to SEO that I highly recommend! You can find that here: https://moz.com/tools

  34. That’s insane Michelle, well done! I just got through my first “official month” of blogging and published my first online income and traffic report just the other day. I’m not pulling in any income just yet so I perhaps should have called it a success report but I’ve hit some milestones that I’m pleased with, a drop in the ocean by comparison to your month for sure.
    I’m not sure if being sat at the bottom of the mountain looking up enables me to appear on your income report roundup that you mentioned. I’m hoping people will be able to follow my journey from the very beginning so it’d be truly wonderful if you’ll consider including me, even as the starter in the group. 🙂
    Looking forward to reading more successes from you to keep me inspired!

    1. I would love to include you. I just added you to the list. Thanks!

      1. #highfive

        Thanks Michelle.

  35. WOW. Awesome.

    I have no idea how you’re doing this (growing your income SO much) but it’s amazing.


  36. Connie

    This post is so motivating! I love it!

  37. Daundra Becker

    Wow! This gives this newbie hope! Congrats!!

  38. Tyler @ Oddball Wealth

    That’s awesome Michelle! Your success is truly inspiring and motivating. Keep up the great work!

  39. You are killing the game! It’s so fun to see how much you were making in years past compared to now. Just crazy!

  40. Congrats on the income Michelle! Way to start the New Year off right!

  41. Awesome job Michelle! You are totally rocking it! 🙂

  42. Monica@wellideclare

    Thank you so much for such inspiration! It gives me so much hope. I am reading and studying all of your posts and have already implemented many of your suggestions. Thank you again for sharing your success stories and your experience with those of us what are just getting started.

  43. WOW it sounds amazing I am glad you share these post because I find them inspirations for myself 😀

  44. Fantastic! Congrats and thank you for being an inspiration to us all. 🙂 What do you use for Pinterest? Do you use Tailwind or any other auto scheduleres? <3

  45. Gen

    I came across your blog through Pinterest. I read some of it and was immediately inspired.
    I have been curious about blogging and sharing information with others.
    I am really happy for you and how passionate you are about the growth of your blog and everything else.
    I would love to start a blog but I am very intimidated by it at the same time. Do you have any advice? Should I just jump into it and learn as I go?

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your information and being so inspiring. I am determined to do this, I just need more confidence.

  46. Allison @ Frugal on the Prairie

    Michelle, you are amazing as always. Congratulations! Yes, please do an affiliate course and sign me up. I want a front row seat to your strategies!! 🙂

  47. Hung Thai

    Oh my… And here I am making $5 since November 2015 when I started with my website. Well I guess greener pastures are ahead. I’m wondering if you are doing mainly affiliates from cj.com or shareassale.com only or is it paid posts and other things?

    1. Most of my blogging income comes from various affiliate sources, such as blogging resources, personal finance companies directly, and more. I don’t make much from CJ. I make around $2K a month from Shareasale.

  48. Jennifer

    Wow! There is a lot of helpful information on your site! Can’t wait to read through it all. Thanks for sharing your success, it is very motivating!

  49. Wow, I Saw you income report on Matthew Woodwards Blog and All I can say is that I’m impressed with you level of success,keep it up

  50. GFRT

    Got referred by mathewwoodward blog. And I guess, it is really inspiring.

    you guys are the real inspiration when anyone wants to give up when they do not see any desired results.

    gonna subscribe to your blog for more info.. 🙂

    thanks for sharing the income reports.

    have a great time.Keep sharing.. 🙂

  51. Congrats. Your income reports are very inspirational.

  52. Sube Singh

    You are great inspiration for the bloggers .Thanks for sharing your income reports.

  53. Arsh Sethi

    This is so amazing! $44k+ income, so awesome!
    Just loved it, Really inspiring!

  54. Brilliant post. I was unaware about these extensions. Just tried, it;s awesome.

    Thanks a lot for this writing.

  55. Hi, Michelle

    How are you? I hope you are doing great.

    Just came across your site and found this post. Well, I must say, the income is pretty impressive.

    it feels good that you are making money by providing value to people and that is what we call real marketing.

    I hope you get more success and continue to keep us motivate to work hard, provide real value to people and therefore make money. 🙂

  56. Whatever you do Michelle, keep that positive blogging energy going. Thank you for just being you! 🙂