How I Made $145,319 in October While Traveling

Welcome to October’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: March 27, 2021

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.

How I Made $145,319 in October 2018 While Traveling #makemoneyblogging #howtomakextramoneyWelcome to October’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.).


How was business income in October of 2018?

I earned $145,319 blogging and online in October of 2018, before expenses.

October was a great month for Making Sense of Cents and the whole blogging business. I earned a great income and enjoyed my month.

I did work a little more than usual in October, as I’ve been working on launching a new course, which will be ready very soon. I’m also trying to get ahead in content, catching up on emails, and trying to plan blog-related tasks for the first few months of 2019.

Currently, I am finishing up 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’m expecting this to launch in the next few weeks!

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!

I want to mention that I never thought I would 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, October 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.

This chart only goes back to May 2017. You can find all of my income reports here.

Breakout of October 2018 income – $145,319.74

In October of 2018, I earned $145,319.74 from my blogging business. Below is how my income breaks apart in the different business income categories:

Total: $145,319.74

The income amount above is for the month of October and before any fees or expenses (some fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $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 $8,488.80. After expenses and fees, I earned approximately $132,830.94.

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 2018 business income total:

  • Total income in October of 2018: $145,319
  • Total income in September of 2018: $104,814
  • Difference from the previous month: +40,505
  • Total in 2018: $1,350,448

Annapolis Boat Show in October 2018 – Please follow me on Instagram to see more travel photos.

Blog/life news

October was a crazy travel month for us. We went to the Annapolis Boat Show (and that was absolutely amazing!), attended a wedding in Rochester, New York, had visitors on our boat, and sailed to Key West on a friend’s boat (a 39-hour sail).

It was a fun month and I even got some work done.

October was another 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!

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 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.

We leave the marina where we’ve been prepping our boat at in just a few weeks, so we are fixing and improving as much stuff as we can. It’s crazy to think about how fast the last few months have gone!

My big goal for November is to finish writing blog posts and hand them off to my editor all the way through the end of the first quarter of 2019. I don’t know if that’ll happen, but it’s a nice big stretch goal that I’m giving myself.

Overall, traffic for the month was around 400,000 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 13,000 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:


Featured Question: Other than affiliate marketing, what’s your next favorite way to make money blogging?

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. 

As you all know, affiliate marketing is my favorite way to make money blogging.

Affiliate marketing is great because I can create a blog post and earn money from it years down the line. So, this is especially great because I travel full-time, and I don’t always know when or if I’ll have internet.

But, affiliate marketing isn’t the only way that I monetize Making Sense of Cents.

I also earn a great living through sponsored posts. These are also called sponsored partnerships, advertising, collaborations, etc.

Sponsored posts are paid promotional articles on a blog or social media account (such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc.). These posts are paid for by brands and are typically written by a blogger or social media influencer, though in some situations, the brand will already have an article ready to post. The goal of sponsored posts is to bring new customers and business to a brand.

I actually made my first blogging income with a sponsored post. And since that first sponsored post, I continued to grow my blogging income and was eventually able to leave my day job to blog full time. 

I typically earn around $10,000 to $25,000 a month through sponsored partnerships.

I enjoy sponsored posts because:

  • You can get paid to promote products or services that you genuinely believe in.
  • You can work from anywhere.
  • Sponsored partnerships are easy to find.
  • More and more companies and marketers are seeing the value in sponsored partnerships through blogs.

As you can see, sponsored partnerships are great, and this is why I enjoy monetizing Making Sense of Cents with them.

Making Sense of Sponsored Posts will be launching soon. You can sign up for the waitlist here.

If you have any questions about sponsored posts, please ask them below. I’d love to help answer any questions!

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:

  • Get at least three months ahead on Making Sense of Cents posts. I am currently less than one month ahead, kind of. I have some content written and scheduled already through the Spring of 2019, but everything is kind of scattered right now. 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.
  • 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 have one product that will be for sale very soon, and I have plans for 2019 for a few more (although, they won’t be courses – they will be smaller items).
  • Grow to 150,000 email subscribers. I’m hoping to see at least 150,000 email subscribers by the end of 2018. I won’t reach this goal in 2018, as I am just above 100,000 right now. However, I am super happy to cross the 100,000 email subscriber mark!
  • 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 the rest of 2018 and beyond! 🙂


Affiliate income results.

In October of 2018, I earned $72,042 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 our 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 busier 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 October 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. Hey Michelle

    such a great design of your website.
    Which Theme are you using on this blog.

    Thank You!

    1. It’s a custom design on Genesis.

      1. I am getting started with my blog and I decided I am going with Genesis Pro. I have heard good things, and I heard you really keep the sales coming in with Genesis Pro. I am so optimistic about my new blog!

  2. Sara Michaels

    These are my favorite posts! I look forward to them every month and seeing what’s new!

  3. While $150k a month seems completely out of reach, these income reports are still inspiring for me as a new blogger. Also like the more personal life updates!

  4. What an exciting month Michelle! I’ve been working on being more strategic about the content I write and creating funnels of: freebie > email sequence > product to purchase. Hopefully it will help me sell more!

  5. Wow, so wonderful! I love seeing these posts! I’m taking your course right now and I have learned a lot already (this is my 4th month of blogging). I hope to be in your boat some day, income-wise. Thanks for everything!

  6. I am not making much off my blog yet, but reading your income reports make me stay positive. I just need to be more focused and consistent.

  7. Janet

    Excited for the new courses! Thanks for this post.

  8. Mind blown again – haha! Even though I know what’s coming because I’ve been a reader for a while, I’m still always blown away by your income reports. Glad you’re loving sailing! πŸ™‚

  9. You are such an inspiration. There is so much I am learning from you. Thanks

  10. My site is small but looking at these reports does keep me going forward. Thanks for sharing Michelle!

  11. Rachel

    Do you make $9,000 just from TAKING the surveys, or from referring people/using an affiliate link? I’ve
    Signed up for the ones you recommended but I barrly make anything from taking them. Thanks!

    1. I don’t take surveys anymore. If you look at my income report again, you’ll see that survey income is always listed under “affiliate income.”

  12. Insane! What a year it’s been. Great work and breakdown as always!

  13. Leah

    I recently signed up to receive your emails and love reading your blog! Thank you for the vulnerability and honesty of how you are doing what you are doing. It has opened my eyes to possibility and been truly inspiring.
    I couldn’t help but notice your goal to balance work/life. One of my favorite mentors has been extremely successful with this and I wanted to pass on her info if case you want to look her up: Dani Johnson at She has an amazing story and has not worked more than 5 hours a week since she was 24 (if I remember correctly).
    You’ve got this! I’m cheering you on! Thanks again for all you do!

    1. Thank you! I’ll have to look her up.

  14. Great update Michelle! So inspiring

  15. It’s challenging nowadays to keep up with the search engines with producing fresh content if you’re multitasking and trying to get your online side hustle to take off. The good news is, you prove to us time and time again that side hustling with affiliate marketing and blogging actually works and enables anyone to quit their day job and take up side hustling as a full time online job if they dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to making blogging work for them as a 24 hour cash machine portal. Good job on getting that $145k in $ gUaP $ ! πŸ™‚

  16. Congratulations on this superwoman achievement (150K is insane!). Anyway, the more personal life updates make you feel human… ;))
    Wish you all the best.

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ I am human, haha.

  17. Lots of great information. Thank you. Are there any bad affiliate sites out there…ones that don’t pay?

  18. Manoj Prasad

    Thank you so much for sharing your income proof. Really your income proof give us a motivation for keeping up in blogging field. but I want to know your on post seo strategies. If you have any blog post link on that then please let me know.

  19. Sara

    This is inspirational- I enjoy reading these!

  20. This is good news for the next course. Thank you !

  21. I love these reports! Thank you for being so transparent. Every month, I read the new one and it’s a reminder that I need to get my act together and create a course of my own. I have an outline, but I really need to move it up on my list of things to do. I think I procrastinate because I KNOW I’m going to have to dive into a bunch of things I don’t know how to do (video editing, etc.) and my comfort zone is…well…comfortable. πŸ˜‰ I appreciate the regular reminders!

  22. Minimum

    Sometimes it’s easy in practice, but it’s theoretically hard stuff. This is one of them πŸ™‚ .

    1. I never said blogging was easy πŸ™‚

  23. DNN

    does it matter how long it takes to make that cool million. If Michelle can do it, so can anyone else. Thank you for being a true affiliate marketing, blogging & side hustle millionaire inspiration to the online masses.

  24. Tiffany@shirts

    wow, such an inspired post. I like how you describe things in detail. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  25. These reports are so inspiring. It has taken five years for blogging to become a full time job for me and deliver the income I need and I’m always interested in the revenue break down to see what is working for different bloggers.

  26. I admire your achievements. I thought it’s need to be brave to do this, but following your post, it took time and plan to make it come true. Great job! Thanks for sharing.

  27. rook

    It’s great you detail all your routine, I need to set my goals and make it come true. Your post make me have more motivation. Thanks a lot for the article.

  28. Carol V. Muse

    My site is small but looking at these reports does keep me going forward. Thanks for sharing Michelle!

  29. Hi Michelle, It’s really amazing to see your reports that will keeps me going forward! My little bowling ball blogging site is just a kid’s site, so when I read your reports it inspired me to go my way! I hope so, i will share my report with you later. Thanks!