Welcome to August 2018'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 business income in August of 2018?
I earned $110,284 blogging and online in August of 2018, before expenses.
August was a great month for Making Sense of Cents and the whole blogging business. I earned a great income and enjoyed my month.
I don't think I spent more than 10 hours working each week in August, which was nice but I definitely miss working!
I have big plans for the rest of the year, but I need to buckle down and actually start working. I've found myself lately spending/wasting so much time on social media not actually getting anything done. And, this has held me back.
The last few months have seen a similar income level (around $100,000) due to the normal summer blogging slump. It should pick up again sometime around the fall. This is for many reasons such as me just being busier over the last few months (we had visitors almost all of July and August!), as well as the summer months usually just being a little bit slower for personal finance websites.
My biggest goal for the year is to still improve my work-life balance. I'm getting better and better, but I'm still nowhere near perfect.
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. I was supposed to launch this earlier in 2018, but since we found the boat sooner than expected, I haven't had much time to work on it. Things should become more “normal” with the boat soon, which means that things may start to slow down (they won't slow down completely but that's just #boatlife for ya!).
EDIT: November 23, 2018 – Making Sense of Sponsored Posts is available! Learn how I made my first blogging income, and how I'm now making $10,000-$20,000 a month with sponsored partnerships!
Anyway, to get back to my monthly income…
I never thought that I would ever earn over $1,000,000 a year, especially with a blogging business.
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, August 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, I have tons of amazing ideas for this 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 as I had many new students join the course recently. It's still not showing any signs of slowing down – and this is still without any guest posts, webinars, etc.
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.
Breakout of August 2018 income – $110,284.31
In August of 2018, I earned $110,284.31 from my blogging business. Below is how my income breaks apart in the different business income categories:
- Affiliate income – $59,516.31 total:
- Bluehost (check out my tutorial on how to start a blog) – $35,280.00
- Survey companies – $10,372.50
- Stupid Simple SEO – $5,401.30
- Six Figure Blogger – $1,695.59
- Credible – $1,050.00
- Personal Capital – $900.00
- Bookkeeper Business Academy – $596.50
- Ebates – $500.00 (estimated, as this is a tiered affiliate program)
- ConvertKit – $430.20
- Internet Scoping School – $387.02
- $5 Meal Plan – $142.20
- Miscellaneous affiliates – $2,761.00 (affiliate promotions that I've been asked not to publicly share the exact figure of for company privacy reasons, as well as some small affiliate earnings are mixed in here).
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course – $38,706.00
- Sponsorships and advertising – $9,000.00
- Display advertising – $3,062.00
The income amount above is for the month of August and before any fees or expenses (some fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $4,000 (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 $5,350. After expenses and fees, I earned approximately $100,934.
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
- How I Made $979,321 In 2016
- How I Made $1,536,732 In 2017
Comparisons and 2018 business income total:
- Total income in August of 2018: $110,284
- Total income in July of 2018: $113,235
- Difference from the previous month: -2,951
- Total in 2018: $1,100,315
Making Sense of Cents is doing very well and I'm happy with everything.
August marked 7 years since I first started Making Sense of Cents. It's crazy how much life has changed!
You can read more about my 7 year blogiversary here – My 7 Year Blogiversary: What I’ve Learned And Love About Blogging.
I will be honest and say that I have not been working on the business as much as I would like. Yes, I have been replying to comments and emails, but I have fallen so far behind when it comes to writing, brainstorming new business ideas, and more.
But, I have plans to change that. I plan on spending a lot of the next week catching up on writing, and then after that, I hope to get started on some business ideas that I have.
And, I PROMISE to myself that in next month's income report, I will be able to say that I have caught up on work.
This month, I'll be attending FinCon in Orlando, Florida, and I'm super excited! It's the only blog conference I've been to, and this will be my 6th time attending. If you'll be there, tell me in the comments below what your goals are. I'd love to hear what everyone plans on working on while there!
August was another extremely busy month for us (I can't wait until I can stop saying that, haha!). We closed on our sailing catamaran in May and have been working on something boat-related the majority of pretty much every single day. Things will slow down eventually, but there is definitely a lot of stuff to do when you buy a boat and move onto it!
It was a crazy month, which meant that not much work was done on the business.
And, I know that the craziness of living on a boat has only just started. Due to this, I'm working on getting further ahead with more content. I realize that we will be extremely busy moving aboard and getting the hang of everything, so being ahead in content is key right now so that I can focus as much time as I can towards #boatlife.
Overall, traffic for the month was around 500,000 page views.
Below are several other business and blog-related updates:
- I am creating a new series where I will help readers with specific financial questions, and tutorials to go along with them. Topics such as: How to open a bank account, How to write a check, Finding an online bank, Building and creating an investment account, etc. What other topics would you like to see me cover?
- 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.
- My community group for Making Sense of Cents is continuing to grow. 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 12,000 members!
- 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 over 40,000 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.
Just a quick note before we continue. I 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:
- My 7 Year Blogiversary: What I’ve Learned And Love About Blogging
- When was the last time you did something that scared you?
- 6 Things That People Finance That Leave Me Speechless
- We Spent $43,486 To RV For One Year – How to Spend Way Too Much Full-Time RVing
- Personal Capital Review 2018- Manage Your Money For Free
- Is A Credit Card Emergency Fund A Smart Idea?
- The exact template that helped my site earn $95,000 in affiliate income last year
- 11 Real Ways To Make Money Before The Holidays
- Would you risk your relationship and finances to cosign for a friend?
- 10 Easy Instapot Recipes – My New Favorite Gadget!
- Ditch Your Car And Walk More
Featured Question: How do you come up with ideas for new blog posts?
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.
Here on Making Sense of Cents, I have published nearly 2,000 articles. And, I'm not running out of ideas any time soon.
I currently have a few hundred blog posts ideas that are just waiting to be written and published. Plus, nearly every single day, I add at least one more to the list.
This makes me laugh, because if you would have told me just 7 years ago that I would really, really enjoy writing and that I would write millions of words for a living in the future, I would have called you a liar!
I didn't enjoy writing when I was in school at all.
But, it's pretty much one of my most favorite activities today.
Two questions that I receive quite often from readers include: 1) How do you come up with ideas for new blog posts and 2) How are you constantly coming up with new blog posts after 7 years of blogging?
One of the most difficult parts of blogging is creating new content, and sometimes you may feel that you have hit a brick wall and can't find any inspiration.
For me, though, I have a system that has worked quite well, and due to that, I don't think I will EVER run out of ideas for content.
So, how do I still have things to write about after several years of blogging?
I find topics to write about through:
- Life experiences – Here on Making Sense of Cents, I generally don't like to write about topics that I don't have personal experience in. I think this is what helps set me apart from others. I also receive the best motivation and inspiration from taking financial topics that I personally come across in day-to-day life and turning them into fun and engaging content.
- Reader questions – I receive a ton of emails and comments each day from readers, and most are questions. I like to turn these questions into blog posts if they are a topic that I feel I have personal experience in. This way, I can share my knowledge and expertise on a subject, and also help a reader by diving further into a subject than a simple email. Plus, if one person has a question, I know that many other people probably do as well! So, this is great because the next time I receive the question, I can easily just send the link over to the reader so that they can be helped.
- Research that I've done and articles that I've read – I read a lot of articles every single day simply for fun, and sometimes I come across something that I feel should be expanded, a topic that I think the average person doesn't understand, things that boggle my mind, and so on. For example, if I see a crazy statistic that I find interesting, I may turn it into an article.
- Brainstorming – Occasionally, I will simply sit down and have a little brainstorming session. While I do have a long list of possible content ideas, I do still like to keep my list fresh and update it often. Some of the things that I will do in these brainstorming sessions is that I may read older content of mine and see how I could possibly expand further on a subject to make it better, think of new blog posts that I could write about on a subject that is popular on my site (I may look at Google Analytics or Pinterest Analytics to determine this), and more.
- Survey readers – On a few occasions, I have asked my readers what they wanted to read from me. This has always led to a ton of topic ideas and can be a very quick and easy way to add to your content list.
As you can see, there are many ways to come up with new content to write.
Also, if you're looking for even more ideas, I recommend checking out this freebie – 120 Awesome Blog Post Ideas from a blogging friend of mine, Ruth Soukup. This is a free resource that will help you come up with new blog content!
Past featured questions:
- Is 2018 too late to start a website/blog?
- How much does it cost to start a blog?
- 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 by 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?
- How can a blogger increase their page views?
- Should my blog be self-hosted?
- 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?
- Where do you get your photos from for your blog?
- What are easy affiliate programs for new bloggers?
- What are some affiliate program ideas for different niches?
- What blogging ebooks and courses do you recommend?
- Did you start your blog to make money?
- Do you mind sharing a detailed list of what processes you have with new blog posts?
- How should a person come up with a blog name?
- How can a blogger make more money around the holidays?
- How do you keep track of accounting and taxes for your business?
- What are your biggest blogging mistakes?
- What should I blog about?
- How can I learn how to use social media for my blog?
- How do you deal with a blogging slump?
- What's the best topic to write about so that I can make money blogging?
- How can a blogger build relationships and network?
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:
- Get at least three months ahead on Making Sense of Cents posts. I am currently less than one month ahead. I've definitely fallen behind ever since we got the boat! I plan on using September to catch back up in content. 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 create two more products 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 20 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 August of 2018, I earned $59,516 in affiliate income, as outlined earlier in this blog income report.
I have some ideas and plans to improve affiliate income further over the next several months. Soon, we will be done outfitting out sailboat, will be leaving the marina that we are currently at, and will start cruising full-time (sailing and not staying in one place). And, when that happens, internet won't be as reliable and I'll be much more busy dedicating my life to living on the boat, so being able to earn more passive income will be wonderful.
Earning affiliate income is something that I'm extremely grateful for, especially lately. We have been so busy the last several months and I haven't spent as much time towards the business as I would normally like.
Even though I am spending less time on the business, I am still earning a great income each month and this allows me to focus on a better work-life balance.
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 5,000 people enroll in 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 August for you? Are you interested in earning blogging income?
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