Welcome to November's business 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:
- 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 November?
I earned $106,383.89 blogging and online in November, before expenses.
But, before we talk further about last month's income, can you believe we're in the last month of the year?
For the past 11 months of 2016, I have earned $887,556 altogether. It's crazy how great 2016 has been. 2015 was a great year, but 2016 has definitely blown the previous year out of the water!
I'm so close to earning $1,000,000 in 2016 and I won't lie – I'm going to try my hardest in order to get there.
I'm also very excited for 2017. I know it will be another great year! The business is doing well and I'm very happy with it. I've been catching myself saying “Life is really good” a LOT. And, I truly mean it. Life is really good!
My business is growing, income is increasing, I have tons of amazing ideas for 2017, and I am very excited about everything. I really love my business and I don't know where I would be without it.
Anyway, November 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 spent most of November learning about how to improve my page views. I plan on going over that in a featured question soon since many of you have been wondering how to improve page views as well.
My Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course is still doing very well and I had many new students join the course last month. 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 $0 in Amazon affiliate income to over $1,500 after taking the course.
- 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 and read many other great reviews about my course.
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.
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 November 2016 income – $106,383.89:
- Affiliate income – $52,324.89 total:
- Bluehost (check out my tutorial on how to start a blog) – $31,850.00
- Survey companies – $11,389.50
- Teachable – $3,015.00
- Ebates – $1,000.00 (estimate as this is a tiered affiliate program)
- Credible Student Loan Refinancing (and an affiliate payout from SOFI) – $900.00
- MOTIF Investing – $874.00
- Ultimate Bundles – $800.40
- Uber – $380.00
- Izea/SponsoredTweets – $377.35
- $5 Meal Plan – $264.29
- Bookkeeper Business Academy – $243.75
- How To Work From Home Selling On Amazon FBA – $221.80
- The Ultimate Pinterest Strategy Guide – $180.40
- Digit – $155.00
- MaxBounty – $110.40
- Make Money Proofreading By Becoming A Freelance Proofreader – $95.52
- Amazon – $95.09
- EarnMoreWriting.com – $79.60
- 17 Strategies Used to Go From 17K to 350K+ Page Views in 9 Months – $70.00
- ConvertKit – $52.20
- Aweber – $34.20
- How I Grew My Facebook Page From 2,000 to 100,000 in Five Months – $32.00
- Miscellaneous affiliates – $104.39 (smaller affiliate earnings from numerous products)
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course – $37,872.00
- Sponsorships and advertising- $14,325.00
- Display advertising – $1,862.00
The income amount above is for the month of November and before any fees or expenses (some fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $2,900 (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 $7,019.55. After expenses and fees, I made approximately $96,464.
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 November of 2016: $106,384
- Total income in October of 2016: $99,607
- Difference from the previous month: +6,777
- Total in 2016: $887,556
Making Sense of Cents is doing very well and I'm happy with everything. One thing that just happened is that I was finally verified on Twitter! Having that checkmark next to my name sure is nice 🙂
I'm still around two months ahead when it comes to blog posts. I'm using this extra time to focus on completing stuff from the SEO mastermind that I just finished. Some of you have expressed interest in knowing what we worked on. What we did is that we went through the two courses below together, as well as took an instructor-led course once a week by the same authors of the two courses. So, in total, we took three courses together (including the two below):
I've learned a lot about SEO from these courses and have been applying everything I've learned to my blog posts. I highly recommend taking these.
The other thing I hope to focus on in December is to start guest posting. 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 last month due to different Pinterest changes, but organic and Facebook traffic each increased.
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 business-related updates:
- Up until just a week or two ago, I never spent any time on Twitter for my blog. Instead, I just used it to talk with others and I hardly ever shared my own blog posts on there. Well, I recently changed that. I want to see if Twitter is worthwhile when it comes to traffic, so I have started scheduling Twitter posts for my blog for a month at a time (I like to batch my tasks together, so scheduling a full month worth of blog posts is what I like to do). It doesn't take long to do and so far for the work that I've done I would say that it is worth it.
- 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 8,000 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 of 2016, I switched to ConvertKit. Aweber was good, but Convertkit makes sending an effective and efficient newsletter so much easier and better. 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:
- The Truth About Making Money Online
- Are You Going To Spend Over $1,000 This Holiday Season?
- What It’s Like Living In An RV
- 13 Retail Store Tricks That May Be Causing You To Spend More Money
- You Don’t Have To Go Broke For Your Kid’s Education
- Yes, Personal Finance Should Be Taught In School
- Why Paying For A Storage Unit Is A Waste of Money
- How To Make $25,000 – $45,000 A Year As A New Photographer
Featured Question: How can I make more blogging income around the holidays?
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.
This question was recently asked by a student in my course and I decided to turn it into a new lesson for Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Below is a quick summary of that (you can see the full version if you purchase the course or if you are already a student in the course).
The holidays are a big time for shopping, which means it's also a great time for affiliate marketing!
November and December are the biggest shopping months of the year and are often the biggest income months for bloggers and affiliate marketers.
One important thing to note is that according to the 2016 Deloitte holiday shopping survey, a BIG change will occur- during this holiday season, stores will see an EQUAL amount of shopping online as well as offline. Before this, the majority of holiday shopping happened in-person at the store, but this year will be different.
This means that the 2016 holiday shopping season will be the biggest year for online shopping.
Below are various ways to promote affiliate links during the holidays.
- Publish holiday gift guides. Holiday gift guides are one of the most popular ways to promote affiliate links. Readers love gift guides, as it can help them decide what to purchase for their family and friends. And, trust me on this, we’ve all searched for something like “What to get mom for the holidays,” “What to get a nephew for the holidays,” or something else along those lines. Here's an example of a holiday gift guide: 10 Frugal Gifts For The Traveler Under $20.
- Share sales, discounts, coupon codes, and more. The holiday season usually means that there are sales and deals everywhere, so you should be sharing them on your blog and social media accounts! By doing so, you'll create urgency, and you'll also get your readers more interested in a specific product since they know that they'll be getting a deal.
- Share affiliate links on social media. Social media is another great place to share your affiliate links. And, for the most part, it takes less work than creating a whole gift guide or blog post about a specific product.
- Mention affiliate products in your newsletter. The next time you send out an email to your newsletter subscribers, you may want to think about adding a few affiliate links to it (as long as that's allowed by the affiliate program).
Well, there you have it! I hope this holiday season is great for you.
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?
- Why does a blogger need to have an email list?
My plans for my blog 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 too.
Below are some of the areas I am currently working on:
- Promote the blog and business better. I am doing much better at promoting my articles and I'm noticing an improvement. I recently started focusing more on improving my 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 sources. 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 and improving. I'm currently learning about SEO.
- Take part in more interviews. I took part in over 10 interviews in November due to the release of my course. I have one webinar planned for December (I can't wait to share that), as well as a few other things.
- 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 even more on Pinterest, Facebook, and SEO. Wish me luck!
Affiliate income results.
Overall, I earned $52,324.89 in affiliate income in November of 2016, as outlined earlier in this blog income report.
I'm a huge fan of affiliate income, of course. It's something that I enjoy due to how passive it can be. It makes full-time traveling much more enjoyable when I know I can bring in an income while having fun seeing new areas.
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 marketing course went live in July of 2016. I've already had over 900 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
My 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 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!
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates and get access to the free course.