My May Blog Income Report – $69,085

Welcome to May’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 16, 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.

My May 2016 Blog Income Report – $69,085Welcome to May’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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


May Income Chart

Breakout of May 2016 income – $69,085.03:

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.


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


Blog news.

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:


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!Featured Question: What should you do when a blog post goes viral?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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:


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!


Staff writing.

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.

Related articles:


Affiliate income.

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?


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.

Like this article?

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. WOW it is been a great month I’m sure you’ve done a great job and I’m sure you’ll keep it!!!

      1. Elisabeth Shaffer

        Hi my name is Lisa, I’m just starting looking into blogging & side hustles. I have a question on surveys you posted over $8,000 earned for the month, curiosity has me how did you do that much? That’s awesome, any tips Thanks

        1. Hello! The survey income is under affiliate income, so it’s all income from referring people.

  2. Michelle, I am so freaking proud of you. I love getting these emails in my inbox. I remember when we both started around the same time, and you were so encouraging and deserving of all this good fortune through all your hard work. Keep rocking it, chica!

    1. Wishing you the best in your blogging career. Are you currently creating blog posts everyday or every other day as a means of building up your online business?

  3. Another great month, well done! You mention the summer months being slower in terms of traffic on the blog. With this being said would you suggest new bloggers not to launch during that time? Or better yet, is there a time of year you suggest to launch?

    The Green Swan

    1. I think a blogger can launch at any time, there’s no right or wrong time 🙂 Just because it’s slower doesn’t really mean much.

  4. Truly inspired about your blogging strategy and consistence income via blogging with affiliates.

  5. Anything incredible month Michele! Continues success. Thanks for the tips!

  6. These are always so great to read. I’m excited for your affiliate course!

  7. Oh wow, congrats! This will be my real first summer blogging where I would notice if there is a drop off, so I’m curious how much things slow down. Does it get hard tracking all the different affiliate income? Right now I still feel like it’s a surprise everytime I receive a payout 🙂

    1. Lol, same here Kristin. It’s like receiving a present or special package from the postman. I’m hoping it becomes more regular.

      1. Latoya,

        Great way to stay inspired by blogging. Keep going!

    2. Things don’t drop significantly, but I’ve found that most bloggers notice somewhat of a drop, especially in the personal finance niche.

      Yes, it does get hard to track it all haha!

  8. Lindsey

    Congrats! This is my first summer as a blogger so hopefully I don’t have a slow summer, but I’ve been warned. I’m considering do a course or series or something during the summer months to help retain traffic

  9. Congrats, Michelle!! This is awesome. I didn’t realize you also have a lot of income from surveys and sponsorships. I think I need to charge more for my sponsored posts! As always, it’s amazing to see your income every month!

    1. The survey income is all under affiliate income 🙂 I don’t take surveys anymore as I don’t have the time to.

  10. Monica@wellideclare

    As always, I look forward to this post so thank you for posting. Quick question about the survey income: Which survey companies would you say are the most appealing/better paying? I’m guessing this income might be a combination of many but I can’t quite figure out how to convince people (including myself) to have all that information flooding into the inbox daily. Thanks and way to go!! Taking time off to go hiking sounds wonderful! Good for you!

    1. The survey income is all under affiliate income 🙂 I don’t take surveys anymore as I don’t have the time to.

      My favorite survey company is probably Pinecone Research.

  11. Awesome month, Michelle! I was using Board booster and I finally gave Tailwind a shot and I like that too. I find it interesting that you use Tailwind to schedule other content and Board Booster to do your content.

    I might try that as well too because it does seem like a lot of work to set up different group board requirements in Tailwind vs using the secret grout boards in Board Booster. I will have to do some research on that.

    I’ve also been interested in taking on some staff writing too so I’m hoping to land a few opportunities by mid fall. Cheers to another great month and I cannot wait for your affiliate course!

    1. I have Tailwind paid for the whole year, so I was trying to find a way to use it without wasting money. I like it this way a lot!

  12. Amanda-LivingFullyandFree

    I love love love reading your income reports! I wait anxiously at the beginning of every month until you do! It is kind of stressful to know that I just started a blog two months ago and that my traffic could start going down when I am trying really hard to build it up. However, I see that you never gave up so neither will I. Very exciting months! Your email course was great and had a lot of useful information for people who have already started a blog as well!

    I’m excited for when your course becomes available! I hope you get to hike the Colorado Trail, but when you do please be sure to share some pics with us because I bet it’s beautiful!

    Look forward to this month’s progress!


    1. Don’t give up! Thanks for the great feedback on my course 🙂 I’m thinking about making it even longer (after my affiliate income strategy course goes live).

      Yes, the Colorado Trail is my favorite. I’ve only hopped on and off of it, but I would love to be able to camp on it for a little longer with our dogs.

  13. Apathy Ends

    Impressive as usual!

    It’s great to see this much success from someone who enjoys what they do!

  14. Amanda

    Thanks for sharing your income and goals, Michelle! I love following along. You provide so much inspiration to those of us just starting out!

  15. I know the monthly income #’s you give us are the absolute truth Michelle. So so proud of you for never giving up in your blogging journey. It is a struggle for anyone starting out a business blog because you have to build it up with lots of blog posts and keep the content interesting so your target audience keeps coming back.

    Would love to do an online interview with you someday. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I’m always accepting interview requests 🙂 I’m swamped right now but please email me in July if you are still interested.

      1. wonderful. Will do. Thank you Michelle! 🙂

  16. Congrats on another great income month. Your Bluehost affiliate revenue is more monthly than many make at regular jobs in a year. This is truly inspiring.

  17. Michelle-

    Another great month. You are inspirational for folks like me who are just starting out. I haven’t spent much time working on monetization yet. Maybe someday soon.

    Thanks for your updates. They do give me something to look forward to.

    Best Regards,
    Financial Slacker

  18. divorcedff


    Another great month, you are such an inspiration to me, I’m 1 year blogger and still very little online income from adsense, I’m trying to do affiliatte but not much so I’ve left it and kept only adsense.


    1. Are you signed up for my affiliate strategy online course’s waitlist? –

  19. Natasha |

    Great report and thanks for sharing as always! Will you give me a tip on how I can reach more people in my niche group – single moms? Thank you!

    1. Thanks! Have you tried Pinterest?

  20. nicole

    What are the best money makers for the survey companies?

    1. I LOVE Pinecone Research 🙂

  21. Congrats on another great month. May was good for me. My debt is getting lower and my side hustle income is growing. You can’t beat that!

  22. Such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 It’s amazing how impossible it feels until you start. I am seeing progress with survey dollars, freelance writing, ads and affiliate income. I still have a long way to go. But may have never considered putting myself out there without reports like this.

  23. Izy Berry

    So amazing and inspiring. Love reading your reports!

  24. Congrats on another great month and launching your Start a Blog course! I’m hoping to do some hiking this summer as well. Can’t wait for the affiliate course!

  25. Congrats on another amazing month!
    I subscribed to your How to Start a Blog series and found it really informative!

  26. I won’t be talking about outsourcing in my course, but I do recommend signing up for the waitlist –

    1. Yes, you’ll receive a list of what is covered in the course before the purchase 🙂

  27. Wow, you are absolutely breaking out! When I first checked in on your blog you were hustling for $17k. Now you are at $70K! So fantastic…super congrats and keep the content coming!

  28. Another inspiring income report! I always enjoy reading the income breakdown. Looking forward to the affiliate course. Have you set a price for the course yet?

    1. I think the launch price will be $147, then it will increase after that.

  29. Khalid zidan

    Hey Michelle,

    I wonder how may survey you have completed in May to earn $8,275.00? it must be thousands! or is there something I am missing?

    cheers and good list by the way…

    1. That’s under the affiliate income section. Thanks!

  30. ZJ Thorne

    This is incredible. I’m really glad that you share this information. You are an inspiration.

  31. Great job on another awesome month!

  32. Zascha

    I think I’ve been doing really well financially lately – then I look at your monthly income reports and I feel like I’m back to square one again! 😀
    Well done, Michelle. Keep up the good work. X

    1. Oh, I’m sure you are doing well!

  33. Wow, congratulations! This is FANTASTIC!

  34. I’m on the wait list for the course. Can’t wait!

  35. Amazing, as usual!

    I look forward to reading your income report every month and thanks for continuing to publish it. It is very motivating!

  36. Francesca – From Pennies to Pounds

    Crazy amazing! I hope you are having the best time travelling too 🙂

    I was wondering if you have any tips for growing Facebook fans? I’m on the grand total of 10, lol.

  37. Wow. You always amaze me with your blog income. I love reading your income report all the time. You truly are an inspiration to a lot of bloggers especially the ones like me. Thank you.

  38. Roopa Sinha

    Congratulations ! I am really inspired seeing your blogging income.

  39. Wowzie! I had a moment of seeing the underpinnings of the universe when I realized you made all that money from surveys, but weren’t, like, TAKING surveys. Ha!

  40. Tennille @ Two Kids And A Budget

    I know you hear this all the time, but you really are an inspiration! I think it’s amazing to see how far you have come in just a few short years. Keep up the amazing work and you give us “little bloggers” something to aim for!

  41. mat

    Hi Michelle,
    I’m a serious follower of your blog, congratz.
    I see you are writing every single month that you earned $ from advertising or display advertising and also sponsorship but i couldn’t see them i haven’t even seen any goods that you promote it in order to get commission.may be i missed them.
    i’m confused,where dose this affiliate income come from?

    1. Affiliate income comes from people purchasing items through my links. If you don’t see them, that means I’m doing it right 🙂

      1. Mat

        But i dont think so if your followers couldn’t see them so no purchase happens nor commission will get.
        In this case i wonder how you tell your doing it right!

        1. I carefully place all advertisements and affiliate links to improve user experience. They are there, trust me 🙂

  42. Heather

    Holy smokes! My fiance and I don’t even make that in a year! That’s incredible, and completely inspiring! I really love that you share your monthly income reports. It gives babies like me (started my blog about a month ago now) encouragement and motivation to keep pushing, that anything is possible if you really stick to it and give it your all! Thanks for sharing!

  43. Very inspirational! I look forward to seeing more of your success :o)

  44. Congrats, this is amazing!! As a young professional one year out of grad school, aggressively paying off student debt, your blog has been such an inspiration for me to keep going and even start a blog based on my own financial journey (thanks for the link to Bluehost, btw!). I love that you regularly post your earnings and how you achieved them. Keep up the great work (and also the awesome travel pics on your IG)! 🙂

    1. Thank you Emily 🙂

      Be sure to sign up for my affiliate income waitlist –

  45. Welcome! My affiliate marketing strategy course is live too 🙂

  46. Hello, I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now. I am excited to see you launched a course about how you make money off your blog and I am strongly considering signing up. I have been at a crossroads with my blog for many months now because I am not sure if it is worth the time and effort to continue to maintain. I see that more than 50% of your affiliate income is from BlueHost. If BlueHost went under would your income as well? I’ve had it happen a few times with smaller affiliates already. That’s one thing that makes me nervous about investing a lot of time and energy into trying to make money off my blog. Being dependent on these advertisers or affiliates and never knowing when the blogging ship may sail. Thanks.

    1. No, my income would still be fine. I would still be earning nearly $30,000 a month from my blog without Bluehost 🙂 I just focus on Bluehost because that’s what my readers like to hear about. If Bluehost went away, I would just focus on some other affiliate program and I would be able to get back to $70,000 a month rather quickly and easily still.

  47. Congratulations!!!. You have done so well. When I see success stories like these I get the feeling that surely one day I’ll share my story with the rest of the world. Even though it’s a long journey I will never give up.