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 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.
- How To Make Money Blogging
- How I Make Working From Home Work For Me
- How To Become Financially Stable and Keep The Job You Love
- Becoming a Work-Life Balancing Master
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.
- $672 extra in May (2012)
- $6,523 in January Extra Income (2013)
- $11,927 in October Income – I Finally Left My Job (2013)
- $12,640 in January Income (2014)
- $23,758 in February Income – My Monthly Online Income Report (2015)
- How I Made $300,000 Online In 2015
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 Verizon MiFi 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:
- 40+ Side Hustle Ideas and Tips From The Experts
- Become A Brand Ambassador And Make Extra Money
- Common RV Questions – Yes, I Even Talk About What We Do With #2
- Early Retirement Myths Busted
- Make Money Proofreading By Becoming A Freelance Proofreader
- Things You May Feel When Paying Off Debt
- 30+ Ways To Save Money Each Month
Featured 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Create catchy headlines – The title of your post is a major factor that may influence readers to click over or not.
- 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.
- 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.
- How do I increase my affiliate income?
- Do I need millions of pageviews a month in order to make money blogging?
- How do you build websites up to sell them?
- Do only celebrities make money through owning websites?
- How much money can a person make blogging?
- Where does blog income come from?
- Is there enough room for new bloggers to make money?
- What should a person blog about?
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!
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.
- So You Want to Be a Freelance Writer?
- Staff Writing is the Perfect Side Hustle
- How To Become a Virtual Assistant
- What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?
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.
Breakout of the payments I received in January ($44,782):
- Staff writing and website management – $1,721
- Website-related (from the 3 websites I own – advertising and partnerships) – $8,886
- Affiliate income (from Bluehost, Ebates, survey companies, etc.) – $34,175
- Miscellaneous (not related to blogging and online income) – $0
- Mystery shopping – $0
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.
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