February Blog Income Report – $49,607

Welcome to February’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: January 9, 2021

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.

February Online Income Report - $49,607Welcome to February’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 (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.

Related articles:

 

February Income

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.

 

Blog news.

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 [easyazon_link identifier=”B00OPO5XO0″ locale=”US” tag=”maksenofcen0b-20″ link_id=”7533″ type=”link”]Verizon MiFi[/easyazon_link] 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:

 

February Online Income Report - $49,607Featured 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.

Yes!

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.

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 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!

 

Staff writing.

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.

Related articles:

 

Affiliate income.

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.

Annual income chart - February 2016
I started my income reports back in 2012. Please click here to find them all.

Breakout of the payments I received in February ($49,607):

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. 

 


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

    Looks like you have a good shot at meeting your goal of doubling your income this year. Great job!

  2. Hey there! Fantastic report Michelle! My hubby recently started using MOTIF and he loves it, cool to see that you’re getting a good chuck of change from being an affiliate for them. How are your MOTIFs doing? 🙂

    Also, you talk about increasing your FB traffic. What are your tips? I put together an analysis of 31 Facebook Groups to plan out a promo schedule during the week, and my readers loved it. Do you use FB groups to promote your blog? Or do you just post it on your blog wall?

    Thanks for all the tips above! Enjoy RVing. <3

    1. Currently, I’m just focusing on my own Facebook page. I plan on trying Facebook groups to see if it will help to improve my blog traffic 🙂

      1. Awesome! I have a few that I really enjoy. Blog & Business: Moms who do it all, Blog Beautiful and Persuasive Bloggers for connecting to other bloggers, and Blogging Boost for promoting my posts.

        I hate to link drop as I find it tacky, but if you need the links to these groups and see when their promo days are, I’ve consolidated the list here: http://www.startamomblog.com/maximize-your-post-traffic-with-facebook-groups-31-fb-groups-analyzed/.

        FB groups bring great spikes in traffic, but Pinterest is my constant source day in and day out. Where do you get most of your traffic to your blog?

        Thanks for replying so quickly! I hope the internet is speedy wherever you are. 🙂

  3. Dee @ Color Me Frugal

    Congrats Michelle! You are completely killing it. I’d say you are well on your way to meeting your goals by year end!!

    1. Ramona

      Wanted to say the exact thing, she’s clearly making a killing here 😀

      Phew, I had to check the numbers once again, since 50K is huge. Many people don’t make this in a year’s time. lest in a month.

      Congratulations for the amazing results.

  4. Hi Michelle!! Congratulations on the income!! You are rocking it!! I can’t wait for your ebook 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Question – you said you were backing off of promoted pins and instead going to focus on FB ads. Do you find those to be more successful?! Do you do “boosted” posts or ads? I’ve tried a few boosted posts on FB and have ran some promoted pins, but haven’t really had much luck (though, I haven’t spent much and it doesn’t look like you can tell if sales came specifically from the ad…at least not that I’ve figured out!!)

    Thanks!! Hope you are enjoying your day!! 🙂

    1. Hmmm, did I say that I was backing off promoted pins? Please let me know because that is a typo that I’ll have to fix. I’ve backed off all ads for now, as I really like organic and free traffic 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing! February was my second full month of blogging and it looks like I racked up $3 on Google Adsense 🙂 It all starts somewhere right?

    1. $3 for your second full month is higher than what I made! haha

  6. Great job on your income, Michelle! Killing it as usual! =)

  7. Monica

    This is so inspiring and exciting! As a new blogger, I want to thank you for publishing these details. It is a great motivational tool!
    I made $0.24 in February! Woot! 😉
    I’m excited to keep moving along!

  8. Catina

    UM, you made my entire annual salary in one month….LOL…I need to get on the ball! Love!

      1. Amber

        I agree, but even more so. You did more than double my annual income. I would like to start a blog after reading this and a few other articles, but I still have one question that no one mentions. What should I blog about? About personal stuff, my college life, work, money?

        1. I talked about this very question recently 🙂 I recommend scrolling to the featured question in this blog post of mine – https://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2016/01/how-i-made-300000-in-2015.html

          1. Amber

            Thank you so much!

        2. Liv Hammond

          Amber, I have been researching starting a blog myself for months and hope to launch mine next week. What to blog about was hard to decide. I can only offer this advice being in the same boat, write about what comes naturally. Kind of like what you would talk about with a friend or maybe what your friend might call and ask your advice about. Conversations with friends flow easily and shouldn’t feel like work. I have read almost all of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner blogs/info and she is by far my favorite blogger. I wish you all the best.

  9. Congrats as always, Michelle! I still don’t know how you manage to do such a great job with your affiliate income. I’ve thought about doing it but I can’t lie, I’m intimidated by the work. I’ll just live vicarioulsy through your income reports for now;)

    1. You should try! I regret not trying it sooner.

  10. Another great month. Congrats!

  11. Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog

    You are doing great with affiliate income! I am a new blogger and hope to start earning money from affiliate marketing within the next year. You also earn a lot of sponsorships. I am curious: how many page views did you have before you started receiving sponsorships?

    1. I received sponsorships right from the very beginning. I was probably only getting like 5,000 pageviews a month.

      1. Can you possibly do a post about how to get started with sponsorships? Or, at least drop some resource links in a reply?

        1. Great question! I’ll definitely do a post on this 🙂

  12. fehmeen

    Those are some very impressive affiliate income figures. I’m glad you shared them because as I read the title of your post, the first question that popped into my head was, ‘how?!’

    I do have a question for you though. You said you were pausing the Facebook ads service and wanted to focus on organic traffic instead. How do you achieve that?

  13. I’m trying to get into the affiliate game and do some sponsorships, but I’m having to go slowly as I balance so many other things. I’m also trying to finally write my own e-book, though I have no idea where, exactly, I’ll find the time.

    I’m sure people will find your affiliate information helpful, given how well you do with it.

    1. Thank you! What type of ebook are you working on?

  14. I’m constantly amazed by your success. Also, I’m one of those people who jumped into the side hustle game partly due to your transparency with numbers. How can you not be tempted to try it out after reading your story?

  15. I think one of the great lessons in looking at your chart of your business income over time is that it was really steady for a while (about a year in 2014) then it shot up and grew exponentially. I think it’s a critical point to realize that if you put in the smart work and planning over time, your business should grow exponentially in the future if you’re doing it right. Way to go!!! 🙂

    1. That is really cool to see how it has grown exponentially.

      My question hopefully you can answer. Is how do you handle the taxes. I saw that you said it’s 30% but how do you go through that process.

      If you have a post already can you link to it. If not I’d be curious to hear more. Taxes are an important thing to understand as you earn side income or become self employed.

      1. Taxes are something I don’t discuss too much because taxes vary from person to person and it’s always best to contact a professional if you have questions. I do have a recent post on my site that may help you with it, though – https://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2016/02/blogging-and-taxes-what-you-need-to-know.html

  16. Melanie

    I look forward to your monthly income reports and hope you continue to share them. It is truly inspirational and I congratulate you on your success! Thank you for the tips 🙂

    1. Thanks! I think I’ll be sharing them for a long time 🙂

  17. You are such a rock star! And it’s funny because even though you are so detailed about how you do it, I still cant’ figure out how you do it! Or else I’d probably do it. LOL.

    1. Haha, thanks! If you want to make money blogging, my top tip is to switch to WordPress 🙂

  18. Amy @ DebtGal

    Fantastic, Michelle!! A huge congratulations on your success!

  19. Jack

    Wow, that’s some amazing progress.

    Never ceases to amaze me how lucrative BlueHost affiliatizing is. Might be time to write an article on getting started with your own blog.

  20. Oh yay, congrats! I really like the chart you do every month with all the colors 🙂

  21. Girl, you are doing awesome!

  22. Thanks for sharing! Your income reports are always an inspiration!

  23. Kristina Mercado

    You Blog is extremely motivating. Ive been thinking about starting my own blog for months and always come back to yours for inspiration. hopefully ill finally start the major stuff soon.

  24. Tyler @ Oddball Wealth

    Great job! It seems as though your income steadily increases every month, I’m sure you’ll easily reach and surpass your goal!

  25. Wow, awesome job. Your affiliate income looks to be diversifying more and more, which is what I know you said you wanted. I can’t wait for your ebook on affiliate income!

    1. I really need to start working on it, haha.

  26. What another incredible month!!

  27. Marko Zupanic

    awesome month for you… congrats 😀

  28. These are staggering figures and every time I check-in to review your income reports, I am left speechless and gasping for air as I try and stand back up.

    Could you share how much of your labor is outsourced to virtual assistants?

    1. Not much is outsourced. Maybe around 10-15 hours a month?

  29. Wow! Your income report is really impressive!

    Do you have a blog post showing how you find and create your images? They always look beautiful.

    1. No, I don’t, but I definitely should do that. I use Pixabay.com for images, or I sometimes use my own as well. I then use Picmonkey to edit them 🙂

  30. Daundra Becker

    So awesome!!
    There is definitely so much potential in blogging. I didn’t expect to make anything, but I made $65 not even a full month in. I’m actually putting together my first income report. 🙂 I want to keep track from the beginning so I can see exactly how far I’ve come!

  31. Wow! Michelle, you’re just going from strength to strength. I’m in awe!

    I’ve just posted my first income report… At some point in the future, I hope to post numbers like yours!

  32. This is a great article. Hopefully one day my Blog will get as much revenue as yours!

  33. Michael

    Congratulations Michelle! Thank you so much for sharing this level of detail on your income streams through various affiliate programs.

  34. Vanessa Jencks

    I saw you mentioned Facebook traffic. Do you follow Neil Patel? I absolutely love his brilliant work in marketing! You should check out his work.

  35. Wow thissite is mind blowing!!! I just want to say good on you!
    I have just started a blog to keep me accountable for my budget and spending, never even thought of it as a “side Hassle” Thank you so much for sharing Michelle, I have spent many many hours reading and learning from you.

    1. Congrats on starting a blog!

      1. Thanks Michelle :).

  36. Michelle great job! another month with record numbers. I’m looking forward to seeing you crossing $50+k per month.

    My best wishes with you, keep up the good work.

    1. That will be next month’s income report 🙂

  37. I love your quantifiable goals for 2016 because they’re realistic and SO big! I certainly will be following your progress and am totally encouraged by your example.

  38. I think it’s just a part of my theme? I could be completely wrong, though.

  39. Nevermind! It’s “Send email only on Reply to My Comment” plugin.

  40. It’s always a joy to read your monthly reports. I’ve just posted my second month. I’m not onto getting any income yet, but life has been a bit intense this month and I reckon I’ve done pretty well considering. Thanks for being an inspiration. I’m keen to learn more from you about sponsorship as per my reply further up.

  41. The Financial Tech

    Wow that’s inspiring. Hope one day I could do something near that 😉

  42. This is so incredible!! I would love to earn even more money from side hustles. I cannot believe just a few short years ago, we swapped holiday goodies! If you ever run a mini course or do sessions, let me know! I would love to learn more.

    1. Haha, yes, I remember! Blogging is so much fun 🙂

  43. Awesome job Michelle! You know I love these types of posts.

    1. Thanks! Hope you are doing well 🙂

  44. Wow! Way to go, Michelle! 🙂 This is AWESOME and very encouraging!
    I believe you will definitely hit your goal.

  45. Tomeka S

    Awesome Job Michelle! I’ve started a blog last month and still trying to get a hang of pulling everything together. There are so many areas to research starting out. I seen before that you had an article about your favorite income bloggers. Would you be opposed to updating your list to some current favorites and/or favorite personal financial bloggers?

    1. That article is just for bloggers who post their income reports, as that’s what the whole post is about. I could always do a separate list in the future 🙂

  46. divorcedff

    Great job on your income, Michelle! Keep it up!!

    Sharon

  47. Stockbeard

    A great month as always! I really need to look into bluehost affiliates!

  48. Kate

    You are killing it!!!

  49. Kylie

    Michelle this is incredible! I am so happy for you and all of your success, you completely deserve it! Thanks for posting these, it really helps me with all my planning and accounting! Keep killing it in the blogging world, you rock!

  50. So impressive! Great job Michelle. You are an inspiration for all personal finance bloggers. The progress you’ve made over the last year is unbelievable. Congrats! Congrats!

    Safe travels in the RV!

  51. Maggie

    I’m a little curious how you made so much money in the “Survey’s” category. I’m a part of a couple of survey sites and always do a couple surveys a day… But that’s A LOT of money to make. Any secrets?

    1. The survey income listed above is a part of the affiliate income section. Sorry that wasn’t more clear.

  52. Cam

    Michelle, thanks so much for posting your income reports. They are inspirational, and a pick-me-up each time I read one! Your posts are a source of constant encouragement, and a go-to for how to do blogging right :-).

  53. I would really love to see each month’s pageviews with these! 🙂

    1. I already do that 🙂 It’s under “Blog news.”

  54. Danielle Smith

    WOW MICHELLE!!!

    Your blog has been simply inspiring!! You were the one that opened my eyes to a world I knew nothing about with all this side income talk!! How did you make over $5,000 from Survey Companies?!? Is that largely from like referrals?

    1. That part is under affiliate income 🙂

  55. First off, congrats on killing the Bluehost affiliate revenue. Nice job. Question, I see you have an Investing Channel ads on your sidebar, do you know how many monthly pageviews a publisher needs to work with them?

  56. Hello Michelle,

    You have a nice blog and an very nice montly income every month. Making more then 40K a month is a very good and you are one off the top earning blogers. Can you please tell how much visitors is this site getting monthly?

    Thanks,
    Dragos

    1. I’m receiving around 300,000 monthly visitors.

  57. WOW!
    Great figures and a pleassure to read. I really enjoy your site and i haven’t thought that earning such a big amout of money by running a blog …

    Great job!

  58. This is simply incredible! Your income is growing exponentially! Every time I check in to see how your site is doing I have to sit down and take a breath because you are rockin it!

  59. Susie

    Wow I’m amazed