My October Blog Income Report – $99,607.18

Welcome to October’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 see how I did. 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…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: December 14, 2023

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.

Welcome to this month's blogging income report where I show you how I made money online last month. I earned $99,607 last month blogging and I share exactly how in this income report!Welcome to October’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 see how I did.

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:

  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 business income in October?

I earned $99,607.18 blogging and online in October, before expenses.

October was another great month. It was great on all fronts – blogging, course-wise, life, and everything else. Due to how far ahead I am with my posting schedule, I was able to relax a little more and focus more time on other things on my to-do list, such as learning more about SEO.

October of 2016 also marked three years since I left my day job. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been self-employed and a full-time blogger for that long!

In the past three years, life has changed dramatically:

  • My income is around six figures per month.
  • We travel full-time in an RV with our dogs – being location independent and a digital nomad is amazing!
  • I have a much better work-life balance.

The past three years have been amazing, and while self-employment may not be for everyone, I definitely know that it’s for me. If you have an interest in being your own boss, I recommend seeing what you can do in order to make that interest a reality!

My Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course is still going very well and sales continue to come in. I think a lot of this has to do with all of the amazing reviews that I’m hearing about 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, I’ve heard many other great reviews.

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 to check out this course.

Anyway, my business is growing, income is increasing significantly, I have tons of awesome ideas for the rest of 2016 and 2017, 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.

Monthly Blogging Income Chart
This graphic only goes back to 2015. You can find all of my income reports here

Breakout of October 2016 income – $99,607.18:

Total: $99,607.18

The income amount above is for the month of October and before any fees or expenses (some fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $3,500 (rounded up), which include virtual assistants, Teachable course platform fee, 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 $8,749.40. After expenses and fees, I made approximately $87,358.

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 October of 2016: $99,607
  • Total income inSeptember of 2016: $102,911
  • Difference from the previous month:  -$3,304
  • Total in 2016: $781,172

Blog news 

Making Sense of Cents is doing very well and I’m happy with everything.

I’m still around two months ahead when it comes to blog posts. I’m still focusing time on the SEO mastermind that I’m in. It’s going very well so far and there is around one month left of it. Some of you have expressed interest in knowing what we are doing. What we are doing is that we are going through the two courses below together, as well as taking an instructor-led course once a week by the same authors of the two courses. So, in total, we are taking three courses together (including the two below):

The other thing I hope to focus on in November is to guest post. I’ve only guest posted a handful of times since I started blogging back in 2011, and I would like to start doing that more in order to get the Making Sense of Cents name out to more people.

Overall, traffic remained around the same and I received around 400,000 page views. Pinterest traffic dropped dramatically last month due to different Pinterest changes, but organic and Facebook traffic each increased significantly.

Even though page views are down, 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.

Below are several blog-related updates:

  • I’m currently trying out Haute Chocolate for my blog images with a 3 month subscription. The price is great and I love the images as well. If you’re looking for images, I definitely recommend checking them out. Both of the “Pinterest” images in this blog post are from Haute Chocolate.
  • I released my How To Start A Blog FREE Course a few months ago. If you’ve been wanting to start a blog, then check this out. I created this email course for those who are interested in starting a blog, but haven’t done so yet. The course is free, and over 7,000 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 topic should I turn into a course next?
  • This month, I will hopefully be creating a free personal finance support group on Facebook. I’m extremely excited 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.

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:

Featured Question: Why does a blogger need an email list?

Do you have an email list for your blog yet? If you don't, then you must read this!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. 

My biggest blogging mistake is that I waited YEARS to start an email list, and then even longer to take it seriously. I started my email list around 1.5 to 2 years ago.

Yes, I waited that long!

And, I didn’t get serious about that actual email list until just a few months ago, when I switched to Convertkit. I didn’t really use my email list because I didn’t really understand newsletters, and I also didn’t realize how having an email list could help me. Due to that, I didn’t start trying to grow my email list until just this year.

Wow, was that a huge mistake.

I really wish I would have spent more time on my newsletter, but I’m glad I’ve learned from my mistake.

Due to this, I recommend that all bloggers spend time growing their email list.

Here is why all bloggers should have an email list:

  1. Your newsletter is all yours. Unlike with social media websites like Pinterest and Facebook, your newsletter and email subscribers are all yours, and you have their undivided attention. You don’t have to worry about some social media algorithm not showing your content to your readers, as they are your email subscribers so you aren’t fighting with anyone else to have them see your content.
  2. The money is in your list. I believe that email/newsletter is the best way to promote an affiliate product. Your email subscribers signed up specifically to hear what YOU have to say, so you definitely have their attention. Your email list, over any other strategy, will almost always lead to more sales.
  3. Your email subscribers are loyal followers. If someone is allowing you to show up in their email inbox whenever you want, then they probably trust what you have to say and enjoy listening to you. This is a great way to grow an audience and to grow a loyal audience at that.
  4. Email is a great way to deliver other forms of content. With Convertkit, I am able to also create free email courses that can automatically be sent out to my subscribers. This makes life easy because all a reader has to do is sign up, and then Convertkit sends out all the information that they need and drips out the content day by day (or whatever timeframe I choose).

Well, there you have it. Do you have an email list? Why or why not?

Past featured questions:

My plans for my website and my business.

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 better. I am doing much better at promoting my articles and I’m noticing a huge improvement. I recently started focusing more on gaining traffic from Facebook, and I’ve been very pleased with the results. I used to only see around 100 visits a day from Facebook, but in the past month I have been seeing anywhere from around 2,000 to 3,000 visits a day from Facebook.
  • Diversify traffic avenues. A lot of my traffic comes from Pinterest, due to this, I would like to spend more time diversifying my traffic. This is why I’m starting to spend more time on Facebook and learning more about SEO.
  • 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 over 20 interviews in October due to the release of my course. I also took part in my FIRST podcast last month!
  • 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!

Affiliate income.

Overall, I earned $54,432.18 in affiliate income in October of 2016, as outlined earlier in this blogging income report.

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 fun seeing new areas.

Affiliate income very slightly decreased in October, and it was 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. Even brand new bloggers can make money through affiliate marketing. If you know the correct way to promote a product, you can succeed at affiliate marketing. This is one of the main things I teach in my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.

My affiliate strategy course went live in July of 2016. I’ve already had over 800 people purchase the course, and I’d love to have you as a student too!

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:

  • A quick introduction to affiliate marketing and how it works
  • The benefits of affiliate marketing
  • The exact steps I’ve taken to earn over $400,000 from a single blog post
  • How to correctly pick affiliate products to promote
  • The steps to increase your conversion rate
  • How to build trust with your readers (this is a MUST!)
  • The required disclosures you need to know about
  • The major tool you need for affiliate marketing
  • The many different strategies to promote your affiliate links

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, what country you live in, and so on. I wrote this course so that it would benefit everyone, and there is so much to learn from it!

How was October for you? Are you interested in earning blogging income?

How To Start A Blog Free Email Course

Want to see how I built a $5,000,000 blog?

In this free course, I show you how to create a blog easily, from the technical side all the way to earning your first income and attracting readers. Join now!

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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. Lisa

    You’re doing well Michelle! I’ll have to look at the “DOMINATE The Search Engines” and SKYROCKET Your Pageviews.” Have you found that they offered you good ideas to add to your blog? I love trying out e-books and courses, but I’m always disappointed when I don’t learn anything and it’s stuff I already knew.

    1. Yes, I enjoyed both ecourses/ebooks. I learned a lot from each!

      1. Lisa

        Thanks! I’ll book mark this for the future. I’ll be saving my money for your Affiliate course for Black Friday. 🙂

  2. Amanda-LivingFullyandFree

    You keep teetering back and forth on the $100k a month edge. Next year I think you are going to have consistent 6 figure months and that is incredible! Way to build and grow and I’ve started to really see new areas of focus from you so keep it up! As always thanks for sharing and inspiring!

    Amanda

  3. You’ve done really well and are an inspiration to us all. I’m probably one of your few non-financial followers but I still like to read, and follow your blog.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Gaurav

    Great going, Michelle. Your income reports are always a great source of inspiration to so many budding bloggers. The detailed reports are really really helpful.

  5. Lindsey Mozgai

    My blog has finally started making some money! Last month I got my first affiliate payout and this month I did my first sponsored post! I can’t wait to see what this month holds.

  6. Im always so amazed reading your income reports. You are living my dream life right with the whole RV thing too. You are a rock star!

  7. Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog

    Inspiring as always. I recently took the leap to blogging and freelance writing full-time. So I’m definitely taking note of your tips.

  8. Way to go on another great month, Michelle!

  9. Wow, Michelle! This is fantastic. Thanks for sharing so much so openly. 🙂 You’re doing incredibly well, and I suspect it’s a payoff from a TON of work that came earlier? I’ll definitely check out your course.

    My October was solid due to some income property values rising. I’d love to increase cash flow, however.

    Congrats again on an awesome month. Keep rockin’ it!

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, a lot of work 🙂

  10. Congratulations Michelle! I truly enjoy reading you income report and your amazing course is what I needed so I thank you for that. What I am worrying very much so is the decline of pageviews and something I am focusing on because I am getting worried. The good news that affiliate sales are increasing so I am very happy about that! 😉

    1. Page views seem to be down for many. That’s why it’s so important to focus on diversifying your traffic – Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email, etc.

  11. The thing I hear over and over from long term bloggers is that they wish they would have focused on their email list sooner! I really didn’t do anything with mine for the first 4 months. But as I came closer to my 6 month goal, I knew I wanted to fix that. I had about 30 poor souls receiving crap auto sent emails from me (I have no idea why they stuck around!) So first goal was to hit 100. I gave myself a month to make that happen. Then I decided I wanted to double it to 200 by Dec 1st. I just hit 200 yesterday! I’m so happy. I would love to have 1000 by the end of my first year. I’m really trying to make these emails awesome. A free pdf, an insider guest post option, group skype chats, and little updates they don’t get on my blog. I want it to reward the subscribers with my very best! I might even do a Christmas gift drawing with awesome Montana products. The huckleberry hot fudge is the bomb!

    1. Yes, for sure! I waited so long to take my email seriously. I can’t believe I waited until just this year to do so!

    2. Nayeli @ Serenaome Blog

      Hello Ms. Montana,

      Please be so kind to share your secret to these email subscribers. I am a newbie, but seem to get nowhere with my current efforts 🙁

      By the way your pictures are awesome!

  12. Congratulations on another stellar month!

    October was the first month I earned money! I WAS SHOCKED! I’ve been at this since July and I am finally starting to make progress. You’re right – views don’t matter as much as your audience trusting you and coming back to you. I am so excited for my blog’s future!

  13. Emily

    This is just so amazing and inspiring! It must feels so good to be able to do what you love and travel and spend time with your family. Congratulations! I’m a new blogger and I love to hear stories like this especially yours! I wish you continued success!

    Emily@happymomblog

  14. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    Wow, congrats on three years of working for yourself! That is freaking awesome!

    And I’m totally taking your Affiliate Marketing course as a birthday present to mahself here in a few months. 😉

    Have you also considered Twitter traffic to boost your views? I’ve found that Twitter has been pretty awesome for finding new audiences. On the flip side, my Pinterest traffic hasn’t been very high! I just recently started overhauling my blog images, so hopefully that will get some Pinteresters to come on over.

    If you’re interested, I’d love to have you guest post over at Picky Pinchers; just shoot me an email if that sounds like fun to you!

    1. I spend some time on Twitter but I don’t believe that Twitter can give a blogger anywhere near as much traffic as Pinterest or Facebook can. I’m also not a huge fan of Twitter either, haha.

  15. Awesome! This may be a strange question and maybe even too personal, but I’d love to know how you take the income from this blog and use it for reinvestment in your business, do you hold some in cash?, do you support any non-profits?, how much do you invest and if so what investment routes do you take. 🙂 Even if only in general terms. Have a great rest of your week!

    1. This is a tough question to answer. I purchase what I need and want for my business – I don’t have a strict spending plan that I go by – I just do things as I need it or as I come across a new idea of mine. I know that doesn’t really help, but that’s how I am with my business 🙂

      1. Definitely a tough question. 🙂 Thanks!

  16. AWESOME job, Michelle!! I am definitely going to check out those courses you’re taking and your photos!! Love them; thanks for sharing!

    Keep up the great work!!! 🙂

    -Sarah http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  17. Ricky Figueroa

    Loving it, Michelle! You are a great inspiration for all of us.

    I found interesting that your Pinterest traffic went down, but Facebook’s traffic went up. Regarding FB, did you leverage advertising, the FB group or your fan page? (maybe a combination?)

    I’m curious about something: have you ever leverage the Blogger/Influencer Outreach technique?

    Thank you again for the inspiration.

    Ricky

    1. I don’t have a Facebook group yet, unless you mean for my paid course. I don’t use that for my blog at all. Yes, I have been leveraging Facebook advertising lately and it’s been going pretty well.

      Nope, I’ve never done the outreach technique. Can you explain what you do?

  18. Another incredible month! Congratulations!

  19. Mustard Seed Money

    Wow what an impressive month. I am definitely going to have to check out the mail list and save up some money so that I can buy your affiliate program. I would love to be able to make some money from my blog down the road 🙂

  20. Nayeli @ Serenaome Blog

    Michelle, as usual you are such an inspiration, I am so happy for you and your success!

    I think that your income sources are very diverse and I am glad you are exploring other traffic driving options, let us know how that goes.

    What you said about email lists is so very true. It’s something that I hear every blogger that I follow say.

    All in all, thank you for sharing your experience, knowledge, and success.

    Best,
    Nayeli

  21. claudia

    This is awesome, thanks for sharing!

    Claudia

  22. Great job, Michelle! Your income reports are so inspiring. Keep spurring us on!

  23. Wow! What a great month, Michelle! It’s amazing how much progress you’ve made these past few years. Thanks for being transparent!

  24. I’m so glad to have discovered your blog. I am going to soak up every bit of information you have in here and hopefully bring my blog to life and monetize on it as well. I’ve always enjoyed blogging, but I feel like I’m always doing something wrong.
    Thanks for sharing what you know!

  25. Whoah! This is so inspiring Michelle. There is a lot of confusing information out there about affiliate marketing, so I really appreciate your course. I actually found your course first and then your blog. I appreciate the breakout of your monthly blog income and look forward to seeing you hit the 1 million pageview goal!

  26. Oh my! this is absolutely incredible.
    I always though affiliate marketing was a bit of a waste. Never realised how much it could pay. $50k+ per month is ridiculously good!
    Well done!

    1. Thanks! Affiliate marketing is great.

  27. Wow! Congrats on another great month Michelle! And congrats on being a full-time blogger for over 3 years now. That’s quite the accomplishment. Good luck on the 1,000,000 page view per month goal!

  28. That is so great to hear! 🙂

  29. Era

    Your site is very appealing, Congrats Michelle. This is something I am also looking forward to doing, but I am more into entertainment.

  30. Awesome job yet again Michelle! I continue to be flabbergasted as to how much you make month in and month out. Truly inspiring!!

  31. Living Free

    Wow, I’m totally amazed by your monthly earnings report. I’ve started my blogging journey 6 months ago and I didn’t have a clue to what I’m doing. This month I’ve got a little spike in traffic which meant that I’m doing something right. Your income report is totally inspiration to me.

  32. I just recently started following your blog. You are an inspiration! I love reading stories about women who are living the life they dream. Thank you for sharing your income report to show the rest of us what is possible.

  33. Karen

    Where do I begin? What can I blog about?

  34. Stephen

    Absolutely blown away by your stats and hustle to get so much affiliate income coming in. Truly incredible.

  35. Michelle (or anyone who reads this), do you have any suggestions as to where I can learn about SEO? I am lacking the knowledge, and need some suggestions.
    Thank you!

    1. The “Dominate” ebook that I mention in this blog post is a great place to start 🙂

  36. Appreciate Goods

    I truly love your transparency and willingness to share your blog income story! I am truly inspired 🙂 I hope I can be like you one day!

  37. The Dame Intl

    Michelle, I cannot imagine earning a good yearly salary in a month! My income this entire year just hit 15K… And I dream of living the location independent life, earning a living from living!

    So, my question to you is, what do you do with all this money? Do you save it? Invest it? Buy houses and resell them? Buy yachts? Islands? I cant even imagine what I would do with all that money! I’d probably be a philanthropist (after buying myself and my mother a house of course!).

    Perhaps a blog post idea? “What to do with all that money when you’re earning a lot” 😀

    1. Thank you 🙂 We’re saving a LOT of this money. We also paid for our RV in cash, which was a large chunk of money. A lot of our income also goes towards taxes too, of course.

  38. Wow… I did not know blog can earn that much. I am very impressed. 😉

  39. Robert@OUR FINANCIAL JOURNEY

    Wow great job with making your income online! We inspire to reach this level. Thanks for sharing your monthly income report. Hope to check out some of your training soon!

  40. Tosin Moji

    Thank you for this information. But how did you make that much doing surveys in 1 month? Surveys don’t pay that much..10k in one month seems a lot. So sorry don’t mean to sound skeptical. Just interested

    1. I don’t make that amount of money from surveys. If you take another look at my income report, the survey income is listed under “affiliate income”

  41. Still Learning

    Looks like your income has really been growing. Congrats! I hope I can quit my day job someday. I can’t imagine traveling around and making five figures!