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 (or leave a comment) 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 blog income in February?
I wasn't sure how February would go due to moving (we live in our RV full-time now!), but it went very well.
My business is growing, income is increasing significantly, I have tons of awesome ideas for the rest of the year, 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 $49,607 online in February, 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 February and before any fees and expenses (some fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $4,700 (rounded up), which include virtual assistants/staff writers for my other websites, technical assistance, Facebook advertising (I spent $3,000 on Facebook advertising alone in the month of February), newsletter expenses, PayPal fees, etc., however, this does not include taxes) being taken out. After expenses and fees, I made approximately $44,907.
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 area I am working on right now is increasing the amount of traffic I receive to my website. I tried Facebook ads last month and spent a nice chunk of change on it, but I'm pausing that this month. I really like organic (free!) traffic and I'm going to continue doing that. With that being said, I'm going to try my hardest to improve the amount of traffic that I receive from Facebook because I did like seeing the traffic from there.
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've decided that I'm going to give BoardBooster a shot because it seems like many other bloggers are having great success with it. I'll let you know in next month's income report about whether I like it or not.
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. It really comes in handy because you can't always trust free wifi. Sometimes free wifi is slow, hard to find, or not safe. I don't know what I would do without this device!
Overall, traffic increased in February and I received around 550,000 pageviews.
Top new posts on Making Sense of Cents last month:
- 7 Items You Should And Shouldn’t Buy Used
- What To Do After You Pay Off Debt
- Make Money Online As A Freelance Writer Or Virtual Assistant
- The Complete Budgeting Guide: How To Create A Budget That Works
- The Complete Credit Score Guide – Improving Your Credit Score Has Never Been Easier!
- How Much Does It Cost To RV?
- 8 Items To Sell Around Your Home For Extra Money
- What To Do When You Can’t Pay Your Bills
- How Blogging Saved My Life
- How To Work From Home Selling On Amazon FBA
- My Opinion Of The Great Renting vs Buying Debate
Featured Question: Should my blog be self-hosted?
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.
If you want to make money blogging, the first thing you will need to do is make sure you have a self-hosted blog, such as through Bluehost.
I recommend you start on self-hosted WordPress (this tutorial will help you start your blog the correct way). I cannot say this enough, but I do not recommend Blogger or WordPress.com (you want the self-hosted version, which is WordPress.org – confusing, I know). Buying that $10 domain name from Blogger or GoDaddy does not mean you own it either.
Advertisers, companies, and readers will know you are still on Blogger or free WordPress, which can look unprofessional. Plus, your blog can be deleted at anytime and for no reason when on a free version, and it even happened to me. This can hurt your chances at earning your income online.
Seriously, just trust me. Go with self-hosted WordPress, and it will significantly increase your chances of monetizing your blog.
If you want further proof, take a look at my past income reports. You can tell that my income through blogging didn’t take off until just as I switched to WordPress. Right there is a lot of proof that being self-hosted on WordPress is the way to go!
So, to recap, the positives of being self-hosted on WordPress through Bluehost include:
- You have a more professional website meaning you may be able to make more money on WordPress.
- The ability to have complete control over your blog.
- You own your blog, and it can’t be deleted for no reason.
- 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?
- How can a blogger increase their pageviews?
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 170,000 clicks to my blog just in the month of February. I would love to see this number triple or quadruple before the year ends.
- Accept more interviews. I only took part in a few interviews in February. February was a crazy month due to the move, so I'm fine with that.
- 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 diversify my affiliate income and have more sources.
- Create an ebook. I'm in the very beginning stages of creating an ebook to help others increase their affiliate income. What questions would you like me to answer in my ebook? Eventually, I plan on expanding this further into a course, but for now I'm starting with an ebook.
- 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 two articles for clients in February. I have a few planned for March, but I'm taking it slow. This is because I'm trying to spend more time on creating the ebook 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 generated around $55,000 in affiliate income in February.
It was a great month, and I still can't believe how quickly my affiliate income has grown in just the past year. Affiliate income is something that I really love due to how passive it can feel. It makes full-time traveling much more enjoyable when I know I can bring in an income while having a ton of fun exploring new places.
Anyway, I won’t see the payments I earned in February 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.
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 payments I received in February ($49,607):
- Affiliate income – $36,179 total:
- Bluehost (check out my tutorial on how to start a blog) – $20,285
- Survey companies – $5,078
- MOTIF Investing – $5,060
- Ebates (this is only paid once every 3 months) – $4,190
- Digit – $520
- Izea – $345
- 30 Days Or Less To Freelance Writing Success – $297
- $5 Meal Plan – $174
- Miscellaneous affiliates – $230 (various affiliate payments of $100 and below)
- Sponsorships – $10,571
- Staff writing and client work – $1,469
- Display advertising – $1,388
- 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.
Check out How To Make Money Blogging for all of the different ways you can make money through a blog.
Comparisons and 2016 online income total (before taxes):
- Total income in February of 2016: $49,607
- Total income in January of 2016: $44,782
- Difference: +4,825
- Total in 2016: $94,389
How was February 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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