How I Made $979,321 In One Year – My December Online Income Report and Annual Wrap Up

Welcome to December’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…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 16, 2022

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 December’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.

Here's how Michelle made $979,321 in 2016, as well as her December blog income report. 2016 was a great year! - made a great income and learned a lot too.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.).


2016 Business Year In Review

Before we begin with my monthly business income update, I want to start off with my 2016 wrap up. 2016 was a great year for many reasons and you will read why below.

2016 was a huge year for me and my business. Business income grew significantly:

  • In 2013, my business income totaled $116,519.
  • In 2014, it totaled $163,929.
  • In 2015, I made $320,888.

In 2016, I earned $979,321.

Yes, that means I TRIPLED what I earned in 2015.

2016 was an amazing year too. Not only did I completely smash my income goal, I also traveled full-time, learned how to manage a better work/life balance, started being healthier, tried new things, and more.

I attribute a lot of my business success in 2016 to several specific actions I took.

  1. I tried new things. Instead of doing the same things over and and over again, I finally started trying new things, such as podcasts, webinars, email lists, promoting better, creating a product, and more. This has helped me grow and accept more and new opportunities that before I was too afraid to do.
  2. I diversified my income. In 2016, I finally created my first for-sale product, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. This helped me to diversify my business and try a new form of income. Now, my business income primarily consists of affiliate marketing, a product, sponsorships, and advertising, which is a mix that I’m very happy with.
  3. I started posting less but spending more time on promoting and marketing my website. When I first started blogging over 5 years ago, I was publishing a new piece of content every single day and sometimes even twice a day. However, that was super draining. Now, I write just on Monday and Wednesday, and every other Friday is a side hustle interview. I found that this schedule works much better, as I can spend more time writing high-quality content and more time promoting that content. Before, I didn’t spend much time promoting my blog because I just didn’t have the energy to and I didn’t fully realize the value in promoting. This is a much better system for me now and I definitely think it’s working.
  4. I focused on my email list. I didn’t start taking my email list seriously until around April of 2016 when I switched to Convertkit. Convertkit makes sending an effective and efficient newsletter so much easier and better. I never really understood email marketing before, but ConvertKit makes it so easy and now I feel like I’m an expert! I now have around 30,000 email subscribers. One of my biggest blogging mistakes was waiting years to start my email list. If you don’t have one yet, you should start ASAP!
  5. I spent time figuring out Facebook. I started 2016 with just around 6,500 Facebook followers and ended it with 38,000. I owe a lot of that to the ebook Facebook Strategies Worth Sharing. Growing my Facebook page has allowed me to reach new readers, improve my blogging income, grow my email list, and more.

As you can see, these specific actions all changed my business significantly, and for the better. I’ve learned a lot over the past year and have been applying everything that I’ve learned towards my business.

And, I know that 2017 will be even better. I am learning more and more about improving my blogging business, so I have a good feeling that 2017 will be great as well.

My business income goal for 2017 is to earn $1,000,000 from my business.

I want to thank all of you for making this possible. Without my readers, I don’t know where I would be. Again, thank you!

My business-related goals for 2016:

  • Get at least three months ahead on Making Sense of Cents posts. I figured since I am currently two months ahead, I might as well work even further ahead. Being ahead in content makes life much more enjoyable because I can focus on other things knowing that the majority of my writing work is already done.
  • Grow Making Sense of Cents to 1,000,000 monthly page views. I would love to help more readers, see even more engagement, have higher traffic, and so on. I love my blog and I would love to see it grow! I’m hoping to see at least 1,000,000 monthly page views by the end of 2017.
  • Start doing more live interviews, such as podcasts and webinars. I’m not as shy as I used to be, but living in an RV and not always having an internet or a reliable schedule makes podcasts and webinars are a little more difficult. I hope to find a way around that (perhaps planning out a better schedule?) and dedicate more time to this area.
  • Create one more product to sell. In 2016, I created Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and that has completely changed my life and my business. I want to think about and create another product to sell in 2017 so that I can continue to diversify my income.

Now, here’s my December income report!


How was my business income in December?

I earned $91,764.63 blogging and online in December, before expenses.

December was a great income month. I didn’t spend much time writing for Making Sense of Cents (directly) in December, since I was already over 2 months ahead in content. Instead, I used the majority of my time to write guest posts for others (discussed further below), network, improve my blog, and, lastly, take some time off for the holidays.

I’m 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, December was another great month. It was great on all fronts – blogging, course-wise, life, and everything else.

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.

Here is my blogging income chart that displays my income for the past 2 years.
This chart only goes back to 2015. You can find all of my income reports here.

Breakout of December 2016 income – $91,764.63:

Total: $91,764.63

The income amount above is for the month of December 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 $7,569.05. After expenses and fees, I made approximately $80,696.

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 December of 2016: $91,765
  • Total income in November of 2016: $106,384
  • Difference from the previous month: -14,619
  • Total in 2016: $979,321


Blog news 

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

I’m starting to guest post on other websites in order to promote my blog better and reach new readers. I think I’ve only guest posted once or twice ever since I started blogging in 2011, so this is something that I’m looking to change. I submitted around 5 or 6 guest posts to other blogs in the past few weeks, and I’m excited to see them live! It was a lot of fun writing them as well – I think it was just nice to mix things up a little bit and try something new.

Overall, traffic slightly increased and I received around 400,000 page views. Pinterest traffic increased last month after several months of it falling, and organic and Facebook traffic each increased as well.

Below are several business-related updates:

  • 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 9,500 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 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.

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:

Where do you get your photos from for your blog? Here's a great stock photo site so that you can get beautiful pictures for your blog!

Featured Question: Where do you get your photos from for your blog?

Where do you get your photos from for your blog? Here's a great stock photo site so that you can get beautiful pictures for your blog!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. 

One question I receive a lot is about where bloggers can get photos from.

After all, photos are usually used a lot on a blog, such as within a blog post, on social media like Pinterest, on a homepage, and more.

I use three main areas for my blog photos:

  1. My own photos. These are usually found in my RVing-related content and Instagram. Photography is an area that I’m still looking to improve, so usually I use the two forms below for the majority of my pictures instead.
  2. Unsplash. Unsplash is great for landscape and other photography.
  3. Haute Chocolate. For my Pinterest photos (like the one to the right) and horizontal Facebook photos (like the one above this section), I primarily use Haute Chocolate.

Lately, I’ve been using Haute Chocolate the most. The pictures from this website are clean looking, appealing to the eye, and are perfect for what I’m looking for when it comes to my blog.

I have been searching for a good stock photo site for quite some time, and just a few months ago I found Haute Chocolate. This site has lots of photos for entrepreneurs, bloggers, and creative professionals.

With Haute Chocolate, you receive:

  • New images each month
  • Around 1,000 images to choose from
  • Instant access to their past photo collections and any new ones for the time of your membership
  • Unlimited downloads – this is a GREAT feature as you pay one price and can download an unlimited amount of photos for the time period of your membership

The price is great too.

The smallest package is $75 for three months. That means that you can download as many photos as you want (yes, you can download ALL of them), for just $75. This is the package I have and I know I have received a great value for it.

Where do you get your blog photos from? Please share in the comments below.

Past featured questions:


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 blog and content, and I’m noticing an improvement. I 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 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 currently have a few blog courses that I’m working through, such as one for Instagram and an SEO course that I’m finishing up.
  • Take part in more interviews.  I took part in several interviews in December as well as one webinar which went well.
  • Earn $1,000,000 from my business in 2017. This is a brand new goal for the new year.
  • 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 $55,878.63 in affiliate income in December of 2016, as outlined earlier in this blog income report.

I’m a very big 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 1,000 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 was December 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. Shannon // Style Emulator

    Congrats, Michelle! Totally amazing and inspiring. Thanks for always sharing these with us! It’s so interesting reading about your success and insight.

  2. Huge congrats, Michelle!!! SO happy for you and your success. You deserve it!

  3. Apathy Ends

    Still. Loan away by your reports! Congrats on a great year!

  4. Congrats on a great year. Your reports help keep me motivated.

  5. Congrats on having another stellar month and year. Wow. Once you get to a certain point (and you are there), you really can start to venture into new things to really accelerate growth. I hope to be there one day.

    Smart move on the guest posting. I haven’t done this for a while and am to do a bit more (very selectively…and my time is limited) and about to accept accept 3 guest posts on my site over the next couple of months (again very selective).

    I have really enjoyed your course and the FB group. Hoping to implement more this month. And, I may have found 2 other flooring affiliates to try out. One should be ready this week, the other is in process of setting up affiliate marketing. I met that person via a shared group in pinterest.

    1. Thanks Debbie!

      Glad you’re enjoying Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing 🙂

  6. Congratulations Michelle you’ve done amazing over the years.

  7. So crazy inspiring. Thank you for continuing to share your journey, sources of income and goals publicly. I also used to blog a lot – 5 times a week. I’m committing to a twice a week schedule in 2017 with more promotion as well.

  8. Michelle, this is amazing! I’ve been a fan and follower for the last few years and it baffles me to see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown your blog and business! Congratulations!! I can’t wait to see where 2017 takes you.

  9. Congratulations on a great year! Best of luck to you in 2017!

  10. I just fainted.

    Good lord almighty!!!

    This is amazing.

    You inspire Carrie and I. Thanks!!

  11. Stephen

    Incredible year for you! Too bad it was just shy of a million! That’ll be an easy target for you next year I’m sure. I’m hoping to make a fifth of that next year but not off my blog unfortunately.

    1. Thanks Stephen!

      Are you not a full-time blogger?

      1. Stephen

        God no, my blog is an infant compared to full time bloggers. I’m a project manager for a construction company. No full time blogging for me, not for a long time I would guess.

  12. Maya

    That’s fantastic! I bet if there weren’t so many holidays at the end of the year you would have cleared a million dollars. But certainly your numbers are excellent and something to aspire to. Congratulations!

  13. Ian Bond

    You are offering a ton of value and you richly deserve the rewards. Thanks for all of your insights.

    Your transparency and honesty are refreshing and compelling!

  14. I love reading your monthly reports. I’m excited to see what 2017 brings you. Thanks for letting us follow along.
    I’ve currently been using BigStock for photos but will definitely check out HauteChocolate. Those stock photos look gorgeous!

    1. Thanks! I hope 2017 is great for you 🙂

  15. It’s incredible to see the momentum! It seems a lot like compound interest, slow to start but then the ball really gets rolling! It’s exciting to see where next year will take you!

  16. You rock Michelle! Congrats to an amazing year!

  17. Loving this post it is real inspiring, well done!!!

  18. Lindsey

    I get my photos from Big Stock photo they are really great and I’ve loved using them, I’ve never heard of your stock photo site until you posted about it. Where did you come across it?

    1. I’ve heard of HauteChocolate a lot from other women bloggers, so I decided to use their photos. I love the styling and they are perfect for Pinterest.

      1. Lindsey

        I’ll have to look into that!

  19. Just awesome, Michelle. Congrats! You will exceed your 2017 goal by far!!

  20. This is amazing, Michelle! Seriously, this is insanely amazing! 😀

  21. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    Way to go with that 2016 income! That’s amazing! I think it’s really beneficial to be several months ahead on posts. It’s much easier to focus on strategic planning that way. And Unsplash is the best place for good stock photos. I also like going to different photographers and downloading their freebies, too.

    P.S. I told my husband your course is my birthday present to myself, so next month I’m totally signing up. 🙂

    1. Yay! Glad to have you as a student next month 😉

  22. Stefanie OConnell

    Mine was just over 116k this year, so if I follow your trajectory, I should be rounding in on these numbers in the next few years 😉

    1. Yes, for sure! You’re doing great!

  23. TJ

    Mad props MIchelle, these are some absolutely ridiculous numbers.

    Have you calculated how much you need to “never work again” to sustain your ideal lifestyle?

    I bet you are getting close.

    Especially since you could easily sell this place for a few million if you got bored of doing it.

    I think one of the things that encouraged me to be a little more open about publicly disclosing areas of my finances was seeing you briefly in person. Here you have someone who wasn’t afraid to mention pulling in $300k last year walking around in public at a hotel conference like a normal person. No bodyguard. No armed security detail, just a normal person who happens to be successful.

    I think I have this like irrational fear of getting shanked when I am awkwardly open about money, but I think that most people really just don’t care all that much.

    1. I’ve very loosely calculated it, but yes, we are close 🙂

      Haha yes! There is one thing I won’t do. I’ve had a few people tell me to put a Making Sense of Cents decal on our RV, but I’m too nervous to openly tell everyone on the road how much I earn. I’m sure it’d be fine – but something about that makes me not so sure.

  24. Ashley Gaura

    I hope one day to bring in as much traffic as you! I just started this month after many starts and stops and hope to make it a full-time job (current high school teacher).

    Thanks for being so transparent! It definitely gives me hope!

  25. So impressive! I am a new blogger, trying to learn to make money online. You are the embodiment of my goal! I want to travel and blog full-time. Wish I could take your paid courses, but I lost my site-based job and don’t have the money to purchase them. I love reading your free stuff, though!!!! Keep it up! You keep me motivated!

  26. Sylvia @Professional Girl on the Go

    Amazing.. Simply amazing! I am so happy for you and what you have accomplished during 2016. And I know you are going to crush 2017!

  27. Financial Panther

    Such an awesome 2016! These numbers are just astounding to me, but totally makes sense when you think about how many people you reach in a given month. A brick and mortar business can’t reach the number of people you do.

    It was also great to see your guest posts on some other blogs! Shows that even at your level, you still are out there promoting and hustling! A good lesson for everyone.

    1. Thanks! And yes, it was fun guest posting. I think I’ll do a few a month from now on 🙂

  28. Mrs. BITA

    Your numbers are insane! Let me echo everyone else and say thanks for sharing them. It is funny to hear you talking about ‘figuring things out’ or ‘getting better at marketing’. When the rest of us see someone be as successful as you are online we assume you already have it all figured out. It is a good reminder – we need to keep learning, and trying new things and growing.

    1. Yes, there are ALWAYS things to learn! 🙂

  29. Wow!!! This is so inspiring!! Great job, Michelle!! Can’t wait to see where this year takes you 🙂

  30. Congrats!! It sounds like 2016 was an incredible year for you. My life got busy and my blog was put on the back burner for months, but I have some serious goals for 2017 too! I am considering your affiliate marketing course, it sounds like a great value. Good luck with everything!!

    1. Thanks! I hope 2017 is a great year for you.

  31. Michelle, I am so happy for you and you deserve it!!

  32. Shannon

    Awesome, Michelle! Thanks for always sharing your tips and tricks. I’m going to check out that Facebook strategy book.

    1. You should – it’s a great one!

  33. Great year for you Michelle. Inspiring to read as always. And I know you will reach your 2017 goals!

    1. Thank you Craig! I hope 2017 is amazing for you. Heading to the USA soon? 🙂

  34. Matt

    Have you done a post analyzing where your traffic comes from? I’d definitely read it!

    1. Not really, but I should! 🙂

  35. Vicki@MakeSmarterDecisions

    You rock Michelle! I’ve loved reading your guest posts on other blogs too. You’ve diversified in so many ways – and I really appreciate your focus on learning and growing. You can tell that this is truly your passion!

  36. Awesome post! I have been reading since you were still working in an office full time and just starting out on side hustles. It’s so cool to see how far you’ve come! Every single time I read your blog it motivates me to keep writing and keep trying to make my blog better. I really want to take the affiliate marketing course but I’m going to be a good girl and save up for it. 🙂 Can’t wait!

  37. Sounds like a great month! I’m so impressed, before starting to read your blog I didnt think it was even possible for someone to make a huge amount of money, and not be a doctor lol. I have so many ideas now, and motivated to get there! It would be cool if you traveled the country and met up with viewers or podcasters in 2017 (as a blog post idea).

    1. I used to feel the same way too! 🙂

  38. Sonia

    This is superb. Your article always inspirational and motivational. I made $3.59 from blogging through AdSense. I started two months back and learning day by day. Recently I have learnt from your blog that monetization is most important rather than writing articles consistently. I am arranging some money to get your affiliate course and will move ahead with that. Thanks, Michelle again for the awesome post.

  39. Oh my gosh Michelle! You are absolutely killing it! Congratulations on a fantastic year! I’ve been reading these reports since you started blogging way back in the day and I love that you’ve grown so much and are doing so well. <3

  40. Way to go Michelle – you continue to be a HUGE inspiration. I also like seeing 30DOL move up the ranks on your list. 😉 Keep living the dream. 🙂

  41. Cody

    Wow! Your results for 2016 are absolutely amazing. I have been reading for some time now, but not a frequent commenter. You offer so much value on your blog and you deserve every bit of your success. I too have also enjoyed your recent guest posts on other blogs. May 2017 be even more incredible for you than 2016!

  42. Rebecca Parker

    All I can say is WOW! Your income is incredible and definitely something to aspire to. I’m just starting out and haven’t monetized my blog yet but hopefully will be in the near future. You truly are an inspiration! I do have one question about photos. How do you create the ones on the right sidebar? I would like to add some to mine but am not sure how to do it. Thanks in advance! Keep doing what you are doing…you are amazing!!

    1. Those are all done through Picmonkey – same with all of my photos.

  43. Boom! Now that’s some serious coin. Nice job in 2016. It’s great to see how spread out your affiliate income is, not too much from one source.

  44. Yaz

    Another super inspiring post Michelle – I spent an afternoon trawling through your website the other day (slightly stalkery haha) and it is so great to see how much your blog has grown over the years.

    Thanks for being an inspiration!

  45. Wow, this is amazing Michelle! Congrats on such a successful year, and I hope you continue to go up!

  46. That’s an incredible achievement, congratulations. Tripling your income in one year is pretty awesome. I really need to focus on building my own list. I’m still on the posting every day stage (I have more than one blog though) but I think think I need to downsize and also start focusing on promoting my content.

    1. Yes focus on the best idea.

  47. Well done on an awesome year Michelle! And doing it all from an RV lifestyle! Just shows you don’t have to be stuck in a stuffy office to create a successful career/lifestyle.
    Looking forward to reading about your successes and experiences in 2017 whilst working on creating some of my own!
    All the best!

  48. Crystal

    So, I am an aspiring blogger but have yet to start my blog. I have recently become a stay at home Mom but am looking for seasonal work in order to have a little extra $ to start and support the beginning of my blog business. This post was inspiring as well as informative. I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this and have pinned many of the suggested post. I am definitely looking forward to reading them thoroughly. Thanks you so much for this!

  49. Hi Michelle,

    I wish you great luck this year. You will hit your target. Keep it up. I’d like to interview you too on my blog, . Let me what you think so that I can send the questions to you.

  50. Hey Michelle,
    This is really good that you have achieved such great success over the last few years. You are not only helping many of the work from home moms, dads, students and others, but also making good money using different ways. This will surely encourage others to be their own boss and start something on their own.

  51. JP at TheMoneyHabit

    Congratulations, Michelle! Your story is inspiring.

    On your question about blog pictures, I currently use pixabay but am not totally happy with the selection. I haven’t ventured into paid photos yet but I may need to soon.

  52. This is so amazing! I love how in depth you are with where you are at with your blog and where you want to go. I just started using Haute Chocolate a week ago and LOVE IT! It’s perfect for my frugal lifestyle blog. Before that I was using unSplash and still do but I hate seeing my Pinterest image the same as someone else’s! Hoping it won’t be the case as much with Haute. We shall see! Can’t wait to see next month!

  53. You’ve built up an incredible online business, Michelle! I’m just over a year into my blogging journey and am now beginning to see opportunities to make money come in. Looking forward to your 2017 results. 🙂

  54. Nathan

    Wow Impressive… You were so close to 1M for the year! I’ve had my blog for 2 years now and is nowhere close to comparing to the numbers you have and had in the past. A lot of it has been because of consistency problems. I guess getting a couple months ahead in content really helps with that!

  55. Chelsea @ The Johnsons Plus Dog

    I’m always soooo blown away after reading your income reports. It’s really inspiring! Thanks for sharing. Best of luck to you with your 2017 goals. You can do it!!

  56. Bobby Kombuch

    This is so inspirational!
    I am definately going to sign up for your affiliate marketing course. You give us new bloggers hope!

  57. I love your income reports! Keep the awesome Instagram pictures coming.

  58. WOW
    Thats so inspiring.
    Good to see how many income blogs from other countries generate.
    Good job, keep going!

  59. Marko @ Live Your Dreams

    Your 2016 was truly successful. The financial results are getting better and better each month, and I just love the way you’re building your business. I hope that I’ll be making that amount of money thanks to my blog one day. I wish you all the best in 2017.

  60. This is fantastic achievement! Can’t wait to see how you overcome new challenges this year.

  61. Nabankita @ Virtually Money Wise

    Congratulations for earning such a wonderful blogging income in 2016. You have truly proved that everything is possible in life.
    Great work!

    Wish you all the best for 2017!! 🙂

    Happy Blogging!

  62. Your blogging experience is really inspiring and it provides very good information. My goal is to start blogging on the topic of nutrition and wellness in general. My husband and I are Herbalife Wellness Coaches so we want to promote our business through blogging and inspire people to have a healthy life.

    My question is: What is the initial investment to start start a money making blog?

  63. How much do you spend on your site? I can’t see that kind of income with no expense. Can you go into the expense side. Where you spend your money and how much and the return from each approach.

    1. FinancePatriot

      I was thinking the same thing, that’s not net income and she MUST spend a lot to generate that kind of income (advertising mostly)

      1. The expenses are included in every income report. It’s less than 5%.

  64. FinancePatriot

    This is a great update, thanks for sharing. I have very high quality articles on my blog about early retirement strategies, but I am not very good at promoting it YET. I can’t wait to quit my job and try new things.

  65. I just started my blog this month and you have been an amazing encouragement. Keep up the great work and here’s to a successful 2017 to both of us!

  66. Your e-course is amazing. I’ve had my blog for the longest time but rarely made money from it. It was a few coins here and there that didn’t add up. But, going through Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing has put me on the right track. A month or two from now I should have a success story. Keep doing what you are doing. You’ve inspired a lot of people.

  67. Those numbers are a absolute dream. My Goal right now is 5 figures a month. That would be more then enough.

  68. Joe Wilder

    Are these numbers real ? It just sounds too good to be true. Please excuse my skepticism, but wouldn’t everyone be doing it ?

    1. I never said it was easy…

      Yes, the numbers are real.

  69. Ebony | Living Lapiz

    I really need to work on promoting my blog more, I don’t have that many posts yet since I just started but I’ve noticed that is one of my weaker areas. I also want to focus on being active in the Facebook groups I’m a part of because I’ve read they can be a really good place to get steady traffic which is what I’m going to need once I place ads on my site (don’t want them there for nothing you know?)

  70. […] Blogging is a lot of work. Don’t start a blog with the sole intention of making money. You have to really want to do this. You have to be passionate about blogging first. Then, you might make money. […]

  71. It’s very encouraging to read about your success. I’ve been cranking along at a few hundred a month and am *slowly* taking to the next level.

    This may be answered somewhere, and I’ll search your site, but do you get most of your traffic organically or via ads? Thanks!

    1. I do hardly no ads. Most of my traffic is social media, direct, and referral.

  72. Canelo Forum

    This is so inspirational!
    I am definately going to sign up for your affiliate marketing course. You give us new bloggers hope!