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 that showcases many successful bloggers who are kind enough to share their income with the public each month.
I know I say this every month, but it’s the truth. Life is great now that I’m my own boss and a full-time blogger. I look forward to each and every day and it’s a wonderful feeling. I truly love waking up every single 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 May?
I earned $69,085 online in May, before expenses.
May was another great month in terms of income, work-life balance, and more. Page views are a little down, but income is still at a great level. This is why I always say that blog income is not 100% dependent on page views.
I do expect income (as well as page views) to go down at least a little for the next couple of months. The summer months are usually a slow time for affiliate marketing and advertising as everyone is, understandably, enjoying the better weather and school being out. Everything usually resumes towards the end of August, so I’m looking forward to that time.
Until then, I plan on working on my course, and possibly even taking a break from technology for a little bit in August to go on a long hike on the Colorado Trail (can’t wait!).
EDIT: My online course is live now! 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.
Anyway, my business is growing, income is increasing significantly, I have tons of awesome ideas for this 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.
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.
Breakout of May 2016 income – $69,085.03:
- Affiliate income – $53,661.53 total:
- Bluehost (check out my tutorial on how to start a blog) – $41,730.00
- Survey companies – $8,275.00
- Ebates – $1,000 (estimate as this is a tiered affiliate program)
- How To Work From Home Selling On Amazon FBA – $475.13
- MOTIF Investing – $460.00
- Izea/SponsoredTweets – $229.50
- $5 Meal Plan – $221.30
- 30 Days Or Less To Freelance Writing Success – $148.50
- Building A Framework – $70.00
- Digit – $70.00
- Aweber – $65.10
- Strategies Worth Sharing – $56.00
- Mystery shopping – $30.00
- Miscellaneous affiliates – $831.00 (smaller affiliate earnings from numerous companies)
- Sponsorships and advertising- $13,675
- Display advertising – $1,748.50
- Staff writing – $0
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 $1,400 (rounded up), which include virtual assistants, technical assistance, newsletter expenses, PayPal fees, etc., however, this does not include taxes) being taken out. After expenses and fees, I made approximately $67,685.
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 The Ultimate Guide To Making Money Blogging for all of the different ways you can make money through a blog.
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
Comparisons and 2016 online income total:
- Total income in May of 2016: $69,085
- Total income in April of 2016: $71,761
- Difference: -$2,676
- Total in 2016: $307,431
Making Sense of Cents is doing well and I’m very happy with everything.
Overall, traffic dipped slightly due to the summer (traffic always seems to go down in the summer months) and I received around 450,000 page views. I expect to hover around that traffic level until around the month of August.
Below are several blog-related updates:
- I released my How To Start A Blog FREE Course. If you’ve been wanting to start a blog, then check this out. I recently created an email course for those who are interested in starting a blog, but haven’t made the leap yet. It’s completely free, and over 1,600 people have already signed up. Thank you to everyone who has sent me kind emails about how great the course is. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner!
- I’m still working on my affiliate income strategy course. I expect that to go live this month. I recommend signing up for the course’s waitlist so that you can be the first to know about it! Also, I will be looking for affiliates for the course, and by signing up for the waitlist I will be able to easily contact you. EDIT: This is live now! 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.
- In April, I switched to ConvertKit. Aweber was great, but I’ve been hearing amazing reviews about ConvertKit from several bloggers. It sounds like ConvertKit will be much better for my business, so I’m excited to give it a try.
- In March, I starting using BoardBooster. Tailwind was great, but I needed something that would help me save more time. BoardBooster takes a moment to set up in the beginning, but then it runs very smoothly from there. I highly recommend checking out BoardBooster and using it for your blog! I love how much less time I now spend on Pinterest. Now, I only use Tailwind as a way to schedule other bloggers’ images to my board. Both are great services, so you can’t go wrong choosing one (or both).
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!
Top new posts on Making Sense of Cents last month:
- Yes, You Can Reach Financial Freedom
- How To Start A Successful Freelance Writing Career
- 9 Odd and Interesting Ways To Make Extra Income
- Downsizing Your Home? Here’s How I Went From A 2,000 Square Foot House To An RV
- How I Became A Successful Dividend Growth Investor
- 27 Money And Life Lessons I’ve Learned
- 31 Birthday Freebies You Should Sign Up For
- Family Budget Meetings – Yes, You Need To Have Them
- 10 Ways To Drastically Cut Your Budget And Household Expenses
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.
Every blogger and/or online influencer dreams that their brand, social media post, or blog post will go viral. However, your brand or post going viral doesn’t mean your work is finished. It actually means your work is just beginning!
Here are 9 things you must do when something goes viral.
- Reread – No matter what type of post it is, you should reread it as many times as you can so that you know it’s perfect, especially if you don’t have an editor. You want to check for typos, grammatical errors, broken links, outdated information, and more.
- Add monetization methods – When something is going viral, you will want to find ways to monetize it. After all, this could be a big money maker for you! I recommend inserting related affiliate links, placing additional advertisements, and more. Of course, don’t promote a product, company, or service that you don’t believe in, and try not to bombard your new readers with too many advertisements.
- Link to related content – If a blog post of yours goes viral, you will want to link to other related content within that post. This way, your new readers will stick around a little longer and see what else you have to offer.
- Convert them into subscribers – A viral post may bring thousands or even hundreds of thousands of readers to your brand, and you don’t want it to just end right there. You’ll want to find a way to convert these new readers into loyal subscribers. I recommend placing a subscription box within the post, possibly even a subscription pop-up on the page, and more. In order to convince them to sign up as a subscriber, you may even want to add a freebie so that they are more inclined to sign up. The freebie could even be somewhat related to what went viral, such as a pdf, ebook, or something else.
- Watermark your images – If you haven’t already, then you will want to watermark your images. When something goes viral, there is a good chance that others will try to benefit from this and possibly take your photos.
- Make updates – A viral post will bring lots of new readers to your blog, and many of them may scroll around your website. This means that you should update your “About” page, any recent blog posts, any posts you have linked to within the viral post, and so on.
- Promote it – Yes, it’s viral right now, but you may be able to help it stay viral for a little longer by promoting it even more. Promote it on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and anywhere and everywhere else that you can think of. You may even want to pay advertising fees to promote it even more on your social media channels!
- Make sure your hosting company can handle the traffic – The worst thing that could happen with your viral post is for your website to go down. Depending on the amount of traffic you are seeing, you may want to contact your hosting company and see if they recommend upgrading your hosting package. Yes, it will cost money, but that’s much better than your site going down and losing out on all of those new visitors.
- Have fun – Something going viral is a dream for many online influencers. Whether “viral” to you means 1,000 new visitors or even 1,000,000 new visitors, be sure to have some fun and enjoy it.
Past featured questions:
- How do I increase my affiliate income?
- Do I need millions of page views 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 page views?
- Should my blog be self-hosted?
- How should I launch a new blog?
- What blogging tools or resources do you recommend?
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 working towards a goal 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 180,000 clicks to my blog just in the month of May. I would like to see this number be at 500,000 or higher by the end of the year.
- Continue learning. Other than the BookBoss course I am taking, I am also still reading Strategies Worth Sharing.
- Accept more interviews. I took part in a few interviews in May, but for the most part, I have been mainly focused on my course. I hope to resume this in July, after my course has launched.
- 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. Currently, I am on track with this goal!
- Diversify my affiliate income streams. My goal is to diversify my affiliate income and have more sources.
- Create a digital product. 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.
- Increase my page views to 1,000,000 each month. I realize this is a superficial goal, but it’s quantifiable and that’s what I like about it. I would like to hit one million page views a month before the year ends. Wish me luck!
I didn’t write a single staff article in the month of May. I received many emails asking me to staff write, but for the most part, I have been referring these potential clients to other people.
As you can tell, I’m taking staff writing very slowly. This is because I’m trying to spend more time on creating the affiliate income strategy course discussed above, as well as improving my blog.
Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy staff writing. I do enjoy it, but only in limited quantities.
I believe that making this change and focusing more on my blog instead of freelancing has really helped me. Ever since I made the shift to focus on my blog and my own business, I have seen an increase in the amount of income I am earning as well as a better work-life balance. I think this is because I am a lot less scattered now that I have one main focus.
- How To Start a Successful Freelance Writing Career
- So You Want to Be a Freelance Writer?
- How To Become a Virtual Assistant
- What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?
Overall, I earned $53,661.53 in affiliate income in May, as outlined above.
Affiliate income was nearly the same as the previous month, and consists of a significant part of my business income. It’s 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.
I’m also excited to release my course on my affiliate income strategies. Be on the lookout for that soon! You can sign up for the waitlist here.
EDIT: This is live now! 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.
How was May for you? Are you interested in earning income online?