How I Made $1,536,732 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…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: June 4, 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.

Here's how I made $1,536,732 blogging in 2017! #howtomakemoneyblogging #howtomakemoneybloggingforbeginners #howtomakemoney #waystomakeextramoneyWelcome 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 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.).

 

2017 Business Year In Review

Before we begin with my monthly business income update, I want to start off with my 2017 wrap up. 2017 was a great year for many reasons and you will read why below.

Two posts that I definitely recommend reading before we begin are:

2017 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 made $979,321.

In 2017, I earned $1,536,732!

As you can see, I made a huge leap over 2016’s income and even beat my annual income goal. Not only that, I also traveled full-time (including a fun sailing trip around the British Virgin Islands!), went on a ton of hikes and bike rides, and more. It was a great year where I finally started to manage a good work-life balance.

I attribute a lot of my business success in 2017 to several specific actions I took.

  1. I grew my email list. As you probably all have been experiencing, you can’t really count on social media such as Facebook and Pinterest for 100% of your traffic. I highly recommend spending time on your email list as that is YOUR list and it’s not impacted by any algorithms or anything like that. Plus, it’s easy. I know, I know, managing an email list can seem scary at first, and that is exactly why I put it off for so many years. 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 over 70,000 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! I spent time in 2017 creating new freebie optins, adding email signup forms to my most popular content, changing up the wording for the signup forms, and more, which all helped me to grow my email list.
  2. I accepted ALL interview requests. I accepted every single interview request in 2017, which led to probably over 100 interviews throughout the year. While this did impact work-life balance a little, they were all enjoyable and I have actually come to love being on podcasts!
  3. I continued to diversify 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. While I did not create a new product in 2017, I do have plans to do so in 2018. One thing I did differently in 2017 to diversify further is that I started slowly promoting and adding new products to the mix of my affiliate income stream, which will help me to earn passive income well into the future.
  4. I emailed my list about affiliate products more. So, I have always emailed my list, however, it wasn’t until 2017 when I did my first major launch for an affiliate product. Instead, I’ve always just passively emailed my list and occasionally mentioned products. That first major launch was like a lightbulb going off for me, though. I earned five figures from one affiliate launch to my email list and it was just by easily promoting a product that I used and thought was great! While I didn’t take part in a lot of affiliate product launches in 2017, I do plan on doing this around once a quarter in 2018.
  5. 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 or debt payoff story. Sometimes, I only write on Monday too – depending on how lengthy that Monday post is and if I really want everyone to read it before it is pushed down (haha, I don’t want anyone to miss out!). 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.
  6. I spent time figuring out Facebook. I started 2016 with just around 6,500 Facebook followers and ended 2017 with over 80,000. 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. I also created a free Facebook group community for the readers of Making Sense of Cents, in order to build more engagement and connect further with my readers.

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 2018 will be even better. I am learning more and more about improving my blogging business, so I have a good feeling that 2018 will be great as well.

My business income goal for 2017 is to earn $2,000,000 from my business, which is an average of $166,666 per month.

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 2018:

  • Get at least three months ahead on Making Sense of Cents posts. I am currently only one month ahead but I have plans to change that over the next few months. 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 2018.
  • Create two more products 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 2018 so that I can continue to diversify my income. I have some plans in store and I’m excited to finally start creating more products!
  • Grow to 150,000 email subscribers. I’m hoping to see at least 150,000 email subscribers by the end of 2018.
  • Work less than 40 hours per week. For the most part, I am working less than 40 hours per week. However, there are some weeks when I spend all day and night on the laptop, not even sure where the day went. Due to that, I would like to continue to work on a better work/life balance.
  • Have fun. Okay, so this isn’t really a goal that is quantifiable or something that I’ll track, haha, but I am really looking forward to 2018! 🙂

Now, here’s my December income report!

 

How was business income in December of 2017?

I earned $126,260 blogging and online in December of 2017, before expenses.

December was yet another amazing month for the Making Sense of Cents blogging business.

After spending time back “home” visiting friends and family after not seeing loved ones for around one year, we finally head back out west. We’re currently in the Tucson, Arizona area soaking up the warmth.

I spent most of the month trying to catch up and work ahead before a busy travel season – such as our trip to the island of Eleuthera.

Currently, I am working on creating my next blogging-related product to sell, which will be about how to earn money through sponsored posts on a blog. You can sign up for the waitlist here.

Anyway, to get back to my monthly income…

This makes December my twelfth consecutive month with income over $100,000. I never thought that I would ever earn over $100,000 a month, especially with a blogging business, and it’s crazy to think about how I earned over $100,000 last month alone.

While my income levels are high, I do want everyone to remember that I started at $0 a month and have grown my income to where it’s at now through a lot of hard work.

Before you think that $100 or even $1,000 is out of your league, you should remember that it is not!

I, myself, used to think that it would be great to one day earn $1,000 online and through my blog. I looked up to many bloggers who were earning over $10,000 a month, and I thought it was impossible.

Now, I’m here to show everyone that it is possible! Through hard work and dedication, you never know where life may lead you.

As you can see, December was another great month. It was great on all fronts – blogging, course-wise, life, and everything else. 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 the next year, and I am very excited about everything. I really love my business and I don’t know where I would be without it.

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:

“Since taking Michelle’s course 5 months ago, my page view average has been 36,715 but my affiliate marketing income has grown from an average of $272.94 per month to $4,400.19 per month. That’s more than 1,500% growth! Within just 5 quick months, I’ve made more than $21,000 directly from the affiliate marketing tips in this course…. I made more than $10,000 in just March 2017 alone! Low page views is not an excuse for low affiliate marketing income. You don’t have to struggle to earn a few dollars a month. Invest in yourself & get educated to start building your business right away. Let Michelle show you how an expert does it!” – Saira Perl, Blogger, MomResource

And these as well:

  • 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 $2.75 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.

This chart only goes back to May of 2016. You can find all of my income reports here.

Breakout of December 2017 income – $126,260.51

In December of 2017, I earned $126,260.51 from my blogging business. Below is how my income breaks apart in the different blogging income categories:

Total: $126,260.51

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 $5,000 (rounded up), which include virtual assistants, Teachable course platform fee, technical assistance, newsletter expenses, PayPal and Stripe transaction fees, etc., however, this does not include taxes) being taken out. I also had expenses for the affiliates promoting my course, which totaled $7,983.85. After expenses and fees, I earned approximately $113,276.66.

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 2017 business income total:

  • Total income in December of 2017: $126,260
  • Total income in November of 2017: $110,656
  • Difference from the previous month: +15,604
  • Total in 2017: $1,536,732

 

Blog news 

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

I shared a TON of information in the “2017 Business Year In Review” section above. Much of it could have probably been placed here but please make sure you read that section to see the exciting blog news, including a new blogging course that I will be launching in Q1 of 2017. You can sign up for the waitlist here.

I am currently brainstorming some sort of personal finance product to create and sell on Making Sense of Cents. What would you like to see from me? I have a few products that I’ve brainstormed on the blogging side, but I’m really wanting my next product that I sell to be on the finance-side. Please leave some comments below to help me brainstorm!

Recently, I made the much-needed switch to HTTPS. Some months ago, I received a message from Google saying that Making Sense of Cents would start showing a “Not Secure” warning on my blog, along with many other websites that aren’t running on HTTPS with an SSL certificate. It’s a change I’ve been just passing over and not really thinking about. However, with this new message, I knew I finally just had to get it over with.

So, I hired Grayson (I use this genius to complete all tech-related things for my business). He was able to do it quickly and affordably. I definitely recommend hiring him to complete this very important task for you.

I switched from Shareaholic to Social Warfare Pro due to making the switch to HTTPS, so that I could keep my social media numbers. I don’t know why I didn’t make that switch sooner because I already like Social Warfare Pro 1,000 times more than what I used to have.

Overall, traffic for the month was around 600,000 page views.

Below are several other business and blog-related updates:

  • My sister started as my virtual assistant in July and at the time of this writing, she has now been my assistant for a few months. It is going very well. Some of the tasks she is in charge of are adding Pinterest photos to older blog posts here on Making Sense of Cents, helping manage the Facebook groups I run, scheduling social media posts, and more. This helps free up more of my time so that I can create more products, reach more readers, and most of all, have an even better work-life balance.
  • I am thinking about adding some sort of group coaching session to my business sometime in the future. While I used to do individual coaching, my time was limited. Group coaching would allow me to help more people and to also create a great support group for bloggers.
  • I finally started a community group for Making Sense of Cents. This is a Facebook group in which you can seek advice from other readers on all sorts of topics such as finance, blogging, travel, running a business, and so on. There are already over 9,000 members!
  • I created a new series on my blog where I interview extraordinary people who are doing interesting things in life. First, I interviewed JP, who retired at the age of 28 with a net worth over $2,000,000. I’m extremely excited about this new interview series! If there’s anyone you would like me to interview, please leave a comment and let me know.
  • I released my How To Start A Blog FREE Course. 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 around 35,000 people have already signed up. Thank you, everyone, for the kind emails about how great the course is. Glad everyone is enjoying it!
  • Due to how well my first free course went, I also 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.
  • I have plans for my third free email course and I will most likely put that together sometime in the next month or two.

Just a quick note before we continue. I recently created a time-saving cheat sheet that can help you increase your affiliate income. Sign up below!

Popular new posts on Making Sense of Cents last month:

 

Featured Question: Is 2018 too late to start a website/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 often is whether it is too late to start a blog/website.

No, it’s not too late at all!

Trust me, people were saying the same thing when I first started Making Sense of Cents – that people who started in 2011 were starting too late and that no one would ever be successful with it.

However, that’s definitely not the case.

There is a lot of room for bloggers and there is plenty of room for growth well into the future. I believe that companies and advertisers are only recently starting to realize the value in online influencers, such as bloggers, which means that the blogging world will continue to grow well into the future and that income from blogging will continue to increase.

More and more companies are starting to advertise with online influencers on their blogs, social media accounts, and more, and I expect this to just continue to grow well into the future. Whereas in the past it was mainly celebrities that companies advertised with, it is actually shifting to bloggers and other online influencers (such as Youtubers and Instagrammers!).

The world is a huge place and the online world is just going to keep growing. Every blogger earns a living online in a slightly different way and everyone has a different message/story. Plus, there are TONS of different ways to make money through a blog and I expect this to keep growing.

Of course, blogging is constantly evolving and there are always new things to learn, which will probably always be the case for managing any online business.

So, if you are thinking about starting a blog, today is the day. Don’t let your fears hold you back any further! You can find my free How To Start a Blog Course here.

Past featured questions:

 

My plans for my blog and my business.

Plans and goals can help you 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 (this is just a repeat of the above):

  • Get at least three months ahead on Making Sense of Cents posts. I am currently only one month ahead but I have plans to change that over the next few months. 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 2018.
  • Create two more products 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 2018 so that I can continue to diversify my income. I have some plans in store and I’m excited to finally start creating more products!
  • Grow to 150,000 email subscribers. I’m hoping to see at least 150,000 email subscribers by the end of 2018.
  • Work less than 40 hours per week. For the most part, I am working less than 40 hours per week. However, there are some weeks when I spend all day and night on the laptop, not even sure where the day went. Due to that, I would like to continue to work on a better work/life balance.
  • Have fun. Okay, so this isn’t really a goal that is quantifiable or something that I’ll track, haha, but I am really looking forward to 2018! 🙂

 

Affiliate income results.

In December of 2017, I earned $64,828.51 in affiliate income, as outlined earlier in this blog income report.

December was another great month for affiliate income and I didn’t spend more than one hour on my affiliate marketing strategies for the whole month. Instead, it was nearly 100% passive affiliate income (which is my favorite form of affiliate income) and reliant on old content here on Making Sense of Cents.

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 3,500 people purchase the course, and I’d love to have you as a student as well!

In the course 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 $500,000 from a single blog post
  • How to correctly pick affiliate products to promote
  • The steps to increase your conversion rate
  • 80+ Affiliate program ideas for different niches
  • 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. Amazing Michelle! If you keep up a 50% year-to-year income increase you will be in the Bill Gates/Mark Zuckerberg arena of wealth in a decade or so, mathematically at least 🙂

    My big victory with my new blog is that I just got a month ahead on posts and I’ve only been running for 2.5 months total. I wrote a lot over the holidays. I want to get 3 or 4 months ahead like you do so I can go on trips to places that aren’t connected at all, which make me feel alive. I love wilderness and the outdoors like you do and as much as I’ve enjoyed blogging, I also like being totally disconnected for periods of time. The brain and health demand it.

  2. Amazing!!!! Thanks for paving the way for all of us newbies and showing us how it’s done. I can only dream of earning 10% of what you have!

  3. Patty

    I’m so encouraged by your success and I love that you are willing to give credit to others. I use Grayson Bell for my tech stuff too. He’s always quick to help and knows his stuff! How interesting that you love doing podcasts. I kinda remember that was something you might have hesitated with before? Anyways, it goes to prove if we step out of our comfort zone amazing things can happen, Yay!!!

    1. I hesitated before mainly due to laziness. I am completely anti-schedule and a podcast interview requires a schedule, haha.

  4. It looks like you outdid yourself yet again! Keep up the good work!

    And I love these monthly and annual blog income reports. They’re very motivating, keep them coming 🙂

  5. Yaz | The Wallet Moth

    Congratulations on a superb result for 2017, Michelle.

    Your progress from an amateur blogger to a one-woman empire is one of my biggest sources of inspiration for building my own businesses, and I love seeing you grow and share these updates with us every month.

    2017 was the year I started my blog, and it has grown more than I could ever have imagined in just one year. I’m so looking forward to 2018 being the year that blog becomes a business.

  6. Robert Goodwin

    Wow! Very Inspirational!
    Hey Michelle, How do you feel about the monthly recurring commission programs like Clickfunnels, LeadPages & elegant themes?

    1. Not sure if I understand your question. Can you clarify? Sounds like a no-brainer – monthly recurring is great.

  7. I hope it’s a great 2018 for you too!

  8. Jeez! You are an absolute beast/machine/super human!!! Incredible earnings for working online. Very inspirational to read… I’m coming off of a serious health scare (nerve damage) that’s affected my ability to use a computer, but am extremely thankful that I’ve figured out a way to start doing a little bit of work each day.

    Because my blog is relatively new, I didn’t think there was much of a chance that it could survive and/or grow starting in 2018… I feel like I may have missed the wave of opportunity. Anyways, I appreciate your optimism in reference to the fact that you don’t think that starting a blog in 2018 is “too late!” (Your website absolutely rocks!) Keep working hard *high five*

    1. It’s definitely not too late! I really am not sure why people think 2018 is too late – blogging has really just begun.

  9. What a great post. These are gold, specially for bloggers that are just starting.

    Keep it up! Nice work!

  10. Congratulations Michelle! Last year you were just a little short to hit that million. This year you just absolutely nailed it. I’m inspired beyond words!

  11. Clarissa

    Congrats Michelle. Have been following your blog for several years watching it grow. I have been kicking around starting one for a while and eventually promote it and use affiliates. You are living the dream!

  12. Marie

    Very useful tips for a new blogger, so inspiring!
    Thank you so much! keep up the good work, Michelle.

  13. That’s so awesome, Michelle! After my first full year of blogging I made $4000. I started a blog from one of your posts so thank you!

  14. Good morning Michelle,

    So happy to hear about your blogging success in 2017. So my guess is that you write longer pages now? When you write content, do you have a specific goal in mind as to how many words you want every blog post to be? 🙂

    1. My blog posts are usually around 1,500 to 5,000 words.

  15. What an inspiration!

    I’ve loved watching your blog grow over the years, and I know you deserve all of the success you’ve gained and more. You’re AMAZING at what you do.

    Congrats on such an amazing 2017, and I hope 2018 is even better!

  16. Congrats, Michelle. You are KILLING it, and you deserve it! I predict you will exceed your 2018 goal by far! 😉

  17. Awesome job reaching two commas in one year! I only made it to one comma last year with side hustles, and only a tiny amount of that was from blogging.

    Looking forward to more posts!

  18. Kilah Kathleen

    I enjoy reading your income reports, Michelle! Thanks for the inspiration and for breaking things down so we can see what we should be focusing on. I am planning to publish my second income report which doubled from my first income report (not talking about much money here). I want to keep blogging and building an audience. I also enjoy your course and online Facebook support group. Great job!

  19. Great post Michelle. I have been following you for about 18 months now so it’s super exciting to see you hit your 2017 goals – and I have no doubt you’ll make your 2018 ones as well.

  20. Oh nice! So crazy, I used to read your blog back when you were still at your day job so this is great! (I don’t think I even have a blog back then). Pretty awesome growth each year!

  21. Melissa

    Great job, Michelle!! You definitely deserve this, you’re a hard worker!!

  22. Yieldgoals.com

    Posting everyday!? Kudos to you! I’m currently aiming for twice a week, and even that is difficult to manage while working full time. Congrats on the big year!

    1. I think you may have misread what I wrote 🙂

  23. Hey Michelle! Viktor from picjumbo.com here, I opened your blog via your Entrepreneur interview and saw this post with my photo in your cover! YOU MADE MY DAY! I’m founder of picjumbo free stock photo site and author of the photo featured in your pinterest image. I’ll be happy to see more my photos on your blog. Good luck! PS: what affiliate program would you recommend for my site? Right now I’m thinking about Bluehost and Mailerlite. THANKS!

    1. I recommend taking my affiliate marketing course to figure out what you should promote 🙂 makingsenseofaffiliatemarketing.com

  24. Tyisha I debtstodiamonds

    Hi Michelle,

    I just read your income report AND wow that’s amazing. this is my FIRST month where I am getting serious about blogging. My blog is basically my journey to getting out of DEBT. I am so inspired by your blog… I can’t tell you that enough. but happy 2018, I hope you have fabulous year!!!

    Tyisha

  25. Maya

    You continue to KILL the blogging world and blow your income goals out of the water! Congrats–you are a great example to anyone who wants to monetize their blog and create multiple revenue streams.

  26. I wish comments had GIF capability! Congratulations Michelle!

  27. Ryan Bannister

    Congrats, Michelle!

    This is super inspiring. I’ve recently just finished your course on starting a blog and have been a reader for a few months. It is awesome to see the potential that is out there. Thanks for posting these!

    Ryan

  28. A huge congratulations to you Michelle! A lot of definitely appreciate this transparency as well. You don’t HAVE to do it and you do anyway. It is helpful and a huge motivator for all of us newer bloggers.

    1. Thanks! I really enjoy publishing these.

  29. Amelia Sands

    Amazing amazing blog, you learn so much from these blogs, thank you for inspiring others and putting content out there that helps people to motivate themselves each day! Huge respect for you and your blog

  30. Income Master

    Congratulations! They are amazing figures. Thanks for the itemised list, I’m checking out a few of those sites now.

  31. Tyler DeBroux

    Hey Michelle,
    Great job on another successful year for your blog and online business. I’m looking forward to continuing to follow you and your business in the years ahead, as your business grows!

  32. Wow, this really is amazing Michelle, Congrats.

    Ramit (from I Will Teach You To Be Rich) says that a lot of Personal Finance Bloggers who go on to be successful then struggle to relate to their original audience. E.g. it’s hard to talk about ‘Making Money On The Side’ when you don’t need to do it any more and have $1m+ income.

    What do you think, have you experienced that at all?

    1. I side hustled for so long and it’s so much a part of my story and life, that I think it’s still applicable 🙂

  33. Hi Michelle,

    I just read your article which I found while on Pinterest. You have done amazingly well for yourself.

    Your success is an inspiration for every blogger, both probloggers and newbies as well.

    Looking at your income report, it give you the will-power to want to do more.

    Thanks for sharing!

  34. Hi Michelle

    Whenever I feel low, I come to your blog and check these income reports to boost myself(see it’s possible) I just have to hang in there and figure it out. It is POSSIBLE.
    You truly inspire many bloggers. You are the queen of Affiliate marketing.

    Have fun and keep inspiring!!!

  35. Hi Michelle!

    I’m happy to say you’ve gained a new reader today. I ran across your blog and now I’m hooked and inspired! Thanks for your hard work to educate us readers!

  36. Wow Michelle! Your posts are so inspiring!! Did you ever think back in 2012 when you made $672 that you would be a millionaire in 5 yrs? You are the reason I started blogging so thank you for being so transparent.

    1. Haha, no I never thought that 🙂

  37. Wow! this is unbelievable but with dedication and a strategy its possible for any blogger to reach such levels. This as inspired me, thanks for sharing.

  38. Congratulations!!! I used to get frustrated when I read posts like this because I am working so hard and not seeing the results I desire with my online business. However, these days, I use it as motivation and validation that I am on the right path. I know I can get to a place where my journey will become an inspiration for others. Thanks for the openness. All the best in 2018.

    1. I hope it’s a great 2018 for you.

  39. Lynda

    Hi, I’m just trying to get into the whole blogging and found your site. I love it, you truly are an inspiration. Finding a good name seems the hardest part. But I’ve asked this of many bloggers and can’t seem to get an answer. Can you help?? Everyone talks about an email list. Should I create an email account just for blogging or does it come set up through like Word Press or Bluehost?? And I see to use facebook, do you recommend bloggers getting a account for blogging updates and traffic or just posting on your personal page?? Thanks if you can answer these it would be appreciated.

    1. I talk about how to come up with a blog name in one of the Featured Questions above :). Here’s a quick link to that – https://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2017/09/how-i-made-135110-in-august-2017-blogging.html

      An email list is not what you are thinking – think newsletter, like one that you’d sign up for at a retail store.

  40. harish

    These reports always make me feel, I am on the right track. These reports are a tight slap to those little people always trying to pull you down. I can feel the pain that you went through to those hights.Thanks for being transparent.

  41. As a new-ish blogger, it is so inspiring to see where I can take my blog. I sincerely appreciate you posting these month after month to lead us!

  42. Sunny

    Congrats! I appreciate your transparency. This is amazing and I am inspired!

  43. Cinthia

    Love your post and congrats!!! I always look at these articles where people post their income but I have never seen such tempting amounts!! You really are an inspiration, I have a quick question, I know you mentioned all the areas where you earned money, and Im wondering, what about international bloggers? I know you are in the US and im really starting to get the hang of this, I have noticed that many of the Sites that pay you for your blog only apply to US based bloggers, do you know where I can find guidance on that? Or is most of it applicable to everyone? Im located in Central America, and I travel around the world every year and have soo much to share with people, so I find This a bit saddening.. let me know if you course also applies internationally too! Thanks again

    1. There are affiliate programs all over 🙂 There are people from all over the world who are taking my course.

  44. This absolutely blows my mind the kind of money you are turning blogging. Congratulations! I have been in eCommerce now for the best part of 7 years and have only just started a blog this month. I have built an incredible network of powersellers, app developers, fulfilment companies and agencies that all are contributing content. I am incredibly excited about it’s potential as a lot of these companies have massive lists associated with them which will be promoting each time they contribute.

    I’d like to thank you for sharing your income reports, as you’ve said, without it some people wouldn’t start and that’s exactly where I’m at.

    I look forward to seeing more of your articles.

    I’d love to also speak with you should you have some spare time.

  45. Mary @ All Day Mommy

    I always look forward to your Income reports. I am nowhere near your success, but I am holding on to the hope that someday I will be. I will continue grinding. I look forward to more income reports!

  46. Janet

    I read a past post of yours where you are totally upfront and honest about how long it takes to make money blogging and that you have to keep at it.. success doesn’t happen overnight. I’m so tired of seeing blog posts where people boast about making hundreds of thousands of dollars their “First month” or “Second month” of blogging.

    Thanks for keeping it real!

  47. Amazing, it shows us what is possible with smart work and dedication.

  48. You’re definitely making great things happen as a “side hustle millionaire,” Michelle. I’m inspired by your motivation to go above and beyond. I admire your humble beginnings as a side hustle blogger. Don’t change anything! 🙂

  49. Wow! I am so inspired and amazed by your blog income. Thank you for posting and showing the different sources your monthly income comes from. 🙂

  50. Luciie

    My Question is – How on earth do you have time to earn almost $13,000 in monthly survey sites and not spending all day every day doing surveys? :O

    Also, I’m really interested in joining PineCone research but every time I click the link it doesn’t actually go through to a sign-up page. Is there some special way to get ‘invited’ or something?

    1. The survey income is all listed under “affiliate income” 🙂

      For Pinecone research, it could be that they are full. Are you located in the US?

  51. I am totally impressed about how you make money. I am also trying to do something like you

  52. Amazing, it motivates us to work hard and smart to achieve our goals.

  53. Alex Cole

    Wow! This is amazing, I wish I could make that much money blogging. Can these tips be used today in 2019? Do many people make lots of money blogging?

    1. Of course they can be applied in 2019.

  54. Jovanni

    Michelle! Wow. . . Thank you so much for your effort. I can see it in your genuine words – how you articulated the website – the design and order. I love it. There’s a ton of information and detail you cover. I love that because I’m a detailed person. Thank you for your time, you deserve all the more coming your way. Blessings Michelle. I hope to meet you someday to shake your hand and thank you. I’ve always wanted to reach thousands of people and I think blogging is a beautiful way to do it.

    I’m here because of Jeff Rose 🤙🏽

    Thank you!

  55. Superb Michelle. You really inspired me a lot. Thank you for sharing your income report. It really motivates me.

  56. Miles A. Carson

    Thanks for sharing your income report. It’s a great inspiration for person like me who is constantly searching for the right track.

  57. Very thought out! Wow love it! Would definitely implement some ideas. Thanks.

  58. Shajid

    Your article just inspired me a lot. Thank you so much for sharing! I really appreciated.

  59. Amazing, it can be done with hard work and dedication. This inspired me to keep going.

  60. Thanks, Michelle for always keeping it real.

    I’m learning a whole lot from your experience here.

    You make making money blogging super easy to model.

    Thanks a lot for sharing.

    – Emenike

  61. You motivated me to start a blog! I made my first $700!! I know that’s nothing after taxes, but considering I’m only 3 months in and it’s just a little side hustle, I’m excited to keep going! =)

  62. Hi Michelle, Hello from Indonesia! I am glad and enjoying your income report, it make me on fire now. Many Thanks sist 🙂

  63. Bob

    This is fake. The number of shares on the article is faked. The income is fake. There is no way you are getting these commissions based on website traffic. You would need 500 completed sales on Bluehost to make $45,000. Click through rates are only 1% so that means your website traffic would need to be in the millions per month.

    1. Hey Bob,

      1) How would I fake the shares on the article? It’s a plugin that is owned by someone else who I do not even know – I have no control over it.
      2) I have had over 178,000 people take my free blogging course alone, which means that they personally subscribed to my How To Start a blog course and read the tutorial. That doesn’t even include the amount of people who read my tutorial or my blogging-related blog posts without subscribing (which is several hundred extra alone just on the one tutorial each day).
      3) Where did you get that click through rates are only 1%?

      My main income now is no longer just Bluehost, instead, it’s a mixture of many different affiliates and products. But, at the time, I definitely earned a very healthy income from Bluehost.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.