If you're new to Making Sense of Cents, 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 business income in September?
I earned $102,911 online in September, before expenses.
September was a great month. I was able to catch up on a lot of work that I had to put on hold while I focused primarily on my course over the spring and summer months. I'm now almost 2 months ahead when it comes to blog posts on Making Sense of Cents, which is a great feeling!
Also, I've now earned over $100,000 through my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course! I'm hearing such amazing reviews from my course such as:
- One blogger went from $87 a month in affiliate income before taking the course, to over $1,700 a month after!
- One blogger received their first affiliate sale just two days after taking the course (and they were a brand new blogger too!).
- Another blogger doubled their monthly affiliate income from $2,500 to $5,000.
Plus, many, many more.
If you're thinking about creating a course, then I highly recommend it. I thoroughly enjoyed creating my course and helping others. Yes, I was nervous and a little stressed creating it, but it was extremely worth it!
If you're a blogger, I recommend checking out my blogging course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. 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 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.
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 $2.95 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 September 2016 income – $102,910.93:
- Affiliate income – $56,414.93 total:
- Bluehost (check out my tutorial on how to start a blog) – $41,080.00
- Survey companies – $9,798.50
- How To Work From Home Selling On Amazon FBA – $1,378.11
- Ebates – $1,000 (estimate as this is a tiered affiliate program)
- MOTIF Investing – $782.00
- Credible – $450.00
- How I Grew My Facebook Page From 2,000 to 100,000 in Five Months – $404.80
- Izea/SponsoredTweets – $232.59
- $5 Meal Plan – $216.30
- 17 Strategies Used to Go From 17K to 350K+ Page Views in 9 Months – $210
- Make Money Proofreading By Becoming A Freelance Proofreader – $126.08
- Bookkeeper Business Academy – $92.75
- Digit – $90
- The Ultimate Pinterest Strategy Guide – $36.80
- Building A Framework – $30.00
- Miscellaneous affiliates – $487.00 (smaller affiliate earnings from numerous products)
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course – $36,418
- Sponsorships and advertising- $8,500
- Display advertising – $1,578
The income amount above is for the month of September and before any fees or expenses (some fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $4,500 (rounded up), which include virtual assistants, technical assistance, newsletter expenses, PayPal fees, Stripe fees, etc., however, this does not include taxes) being taken out. I also had expenses for the affiliates promoting my course, which totaled $924. After expenses and fees, I made approximately $97,487.
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 September of 2016: $102,911
- Total income in August of 2016: $90,188
- Difference from the previous month: +$12,723
- Total in 2016: $681,565
Blog news – I won Blog of the Year!
Making Sense of Cents is doing very well and I'm very happy with everything.
In September, I attended FinCon16 and that was a lot of fun. There were several great sessions, I met many great bloggers, hung out with old blogging friends, and more. FinCon is my favorite conference and I highly recommend every blogger attend it.
I also won a Plutus Award at FinCon for Blog of the Year. This past year has been a great one, and I can't wait to see what the next year brings. I'm sure it'll be a fantastic one. Thank you, everyone!
Overall, traffic remained around the same and I received around 400,000 page views. Page views are still down, but income is at a great level. This is why I always say that blog income is not 100% dependent on page views. I will be honest, though, I do hope that page views increase in the near future. I believe that they will eventually, but this is a great reason to learn how to diversify my traffic as well as increase my email list.
I'm finally well ahead when it comes to blog posts, so I plan on using the next month to complete some maintenance on my blog and spend time on a new SEO mastermind I'm in with a few other bloggers. This mastermind will last 3 months and since I've never spent any time on SEO, I'm excited to see how it turns out.
Below are several blog-related updates:
- I recently decided to lower the amount of blog posts I publish each week. I now publish two articles a week on Monday and Wednesday, along with a side hustle interview every other Friday. This gives me more time to work on high-quality content as well as promoting them better.
- 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 5,500 people have already signed up just in the past few months. 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!
- Due to how well my first free course went, in August I created the free Master Your Money email course. It's full of great money management lessons and financial worksheets (such as a free budget template), and I'm loving the positive response from this email course as well. What should I create next?
- Soon, I will be creating a free personal finance support group on Facebook. I'm extremely exciting for this to be live! This would be a place where everyone can talk about money freely, seek support and help, and so on.
- In April, I switched to ConvertKit. Aweber was great, but Convertkit just makes sending a newsletter effectively so much easier.. The switch has been going very well so far. I never really understood email marketing before, but ConvertKit makes it so easy and now I feel like I'm an expert! ConvertKit has really helped me to improve my affiliate income even though my page views have been down.
- In March, I started 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).
- There is currently a GREAT Pinterest bonus that you receive if you purchase Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I learned my Pinterest strategy from Rosemarie at The Busy Budgeter. She is currently selling her Pinterest strategy for $46 (great value!), or you can also get it for free if you purchase Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Rosemarie is a Pinterest consultant and helps bloggers increase their Pinterest traffic tremendously. Because I am a huge believer in how Pinterest can help you to improve your affiliate income, I asked Rosemarie to share her Pinterest strategy for my course as a guest instructor lesson. I use this same exact strategy for Pinterest, and it has helped to increase my traffic tremendously.
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!
Popular new posts on Making Sense of Cents last month:
- How To Quit Your Job And Become A Full-Time Blogger
- What I Learned By Donating And Giving Away Nearly All Of My Stuff
- 30 Incredibly Easy Ways To Be Happier, Wealthier, and More Successful
- The Ultimate Guide To Getting Started RVing
- Do You Know Your Net Worth?
- Are You Better Than Average?
Featured Question: How can a blogging conference help me?
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.
Last month, I attended FinCon16. This was my 4th time attending FinCon, and I actually already bought my ticket for FinCon17 as well!
If you're thinking about attending a conference, I recommend you give it a shot, especially if you want to take your blog more seriously, professionally, and/or possibly even blog full-time. If you're blogging full-time, then definitely attend blog conferences as they can help you grow even further!
Conferences are great for many reasons:
- The networking – You really cannot beat the networking that a blogging conference brings. This is the main reason why I attend FinCon – the connections you make and the people you meet are great! From running into people in the hallways to late night dancing and conversations, it is all a great way to connect with other bloggers. You just never know what you may learn from them or the collaborations that may come from it!
- The experts – Anyone can attend FinCon, you don't need to be a personal finance blogger. The experts that you learn from that speak at FinCon are the best of the best. This is true for many of the other great blogging conferences as well. There is so much to learn and there are so many experts out there that will help you to improve your blogging game.
- The motivation – Whenever I come back from a blogging conference, I come back more motivated than ever. My brain is always running around like crazy with so many amazing ideas. I have so many ideas and plans for the future, and it's all because I attended FinCon16!
- Meet sponsors or clients – There are always numerous companies at conferences who are looking to partner with blogs or hire them for some sort of service (writing, freelancing, etc.). Without the conference, you may never be able to connect with certain companies/clients or tell them who you are!
Are you interested in attending a blogging conference? Which is your favorite one and which one are you going to next?
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?
- What should you do when a blog post goes viral?
- What is affiliate marketing?
- What did I learn from launching my course?
- What should you do when you're feeling blogger burnout?
My plans for my website and making money online.
Plans and goals can help you to run a successful 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 175,000 clicks to my blog just in the month of September. I would like to see this number be at 500,000 or higher by the end of the year. Considering that the end of the year is very close, I don't think I'll reach this goal, but I'm definitely going to keep trying!
- Diversify traffic. A lot of my traffic comes from Pinterest, due to this, I would like to spend more time diversifying my traffic.
- Continue learning. I recently joined a new SEO mastermind and I am doing a ton of reading on SEO. It's a topic I've never spent time on, but that will be changing over the next few months.
- Accept more interviews. I took part in quite a few interviews in September due to the release of my course.
- Double my business income. Yes, I said double. I would love to double 2015's income. I have actually already BEAT this goal for 2016!
- 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 by Summer 2017. My plan is to focus more on Pinterest, Facebook, and SEO. Wish me luck!
Overall, I earned $56,415 in affiliate income in September, as outlined above.
I'm a huge fan of affiliate income, of course. It's something that I enjoy 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.
Affiliate income slightly decreased in September, but it was still a great month. This is interesting because it's also one of the lowest months for page views that I've had in quite some time.
As I always say, blogging income is not dependent on page views. If you know the correct way to promote a product, you can succeed at affiliate marketing. This is something I teach heavily in my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.
My affiliate strategy course went live on July 5, 2016. I've already had over 600 people sign up for the course, and I'd love to have you as well!
In Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, there are 6 modules, over 30 lessons, several worksheets, bonuses, an extremely helpful and exclusive Facebook group, and more. I go through everything that you need to know about affiliate marketing, such as:
- What affiliate marketing is and how it works
- Why affiliate marketing is great
- The exact steps I've taken to earn over $300,000 from a single blog post
- How to pick the right affiliate products to promote
- How to increase conversions
- How to build trust and not lose followers
- Required disclosures that you need to know about
- The one major tool you need for affiliate marketing
- Different strategies to use to promote your affiliate products
- How to use Pinterest to succeed at affiliate marketing (yes, this includes the newest Pinterest affiliate rules!)
This course is anything and everything about affiliate marketing. This course is perfect for you whether you are a new blogger or if you've been blogging for years, no matter what topic your blog is about, where you live, and so on. I wrote this course so that it would benefit everyone, and there is so much to learn from it!
How was September for you? Are you interested in earning income online?
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