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 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.
Breakout of October 2016 income – $99,607.18:
- Affiliate income – $54,432.18 total:
- Bluehost (check out my tutorial on how to start a blog) – $35,040.00
- Survey companies – $10,565.25
- How To Work From Home Selling On Amazon FBA – $2,168.03
- Ultimate Bundles – $1,110.10
- MOTIF Investing – $1,104.00
- Credible (and an affiliate payout from SOFI) – $1,050.00
- Ebates – $1,000.00 (estimate as this is a tiered affiliate program)
- Bookkeeper Business Academy – $573.50
- Uber – $340.00
- $5 Meal Plan – $258.60
- Izea/SponsoredTweets – $200.80
- ConvertKit – $162.90
- How I Grew My Facebook Page From 2,000 to 100,000 in Five Months – $155.20
- Make Money Proofreading By Becoming A Freelance Proofreader – $126.08
- 17 Strategies Used to Go From 17K to 350K+ Page Views in 9 Months – $88.00
- Digit – $65.00
- The Ultimate Pinterest Strategy Guide – $55.20
- Amazon – $50.52
- Miscellaneous affiliates – $319.00 (smaller affiliate earnings from numerous products)
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course – $30,987.00
- Sponsorships and advertising- $12,275.00
- Display advertising – $1,913.00
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.
- $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 October of 2016: $99,607
- Total income inSeptember of 2016: $102,911
- Difference from the previous month: -$3,304
- Total in 2016: $781,172
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:
- You’re Not That New Pair Of Shoes – 9 Ways Buying Things Won’t Make You Happy
- Do You Know These 8 Important Things About Your Money?
- 7 Ridiculous Phone and Online Scams People Are Falling For
- How I Started a Pinterest Consulting Side Hustle
- 12 Easy Ways To Earn Free Amazon Gift Cards
- 16 Smart Ways To Save Money On Groceries
- The Ultimate Guide To Starting A Side Business
- 16 Ways To Treat Yourself Without Going Broke
Featured Question: Why does a blogger need an email list?
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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?
- How can a blogging conference help me?
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!
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
In this free course, I show you how to create a blog easily, from the technical side (it's easy - trust me!) all the way to earning your first income and attracting readers. Join now!