Welcome to November 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.).
My new course – Making Sense of Sponsored Posts
Before we get to my income report, I want to talk about my new course.
Making Sense of Sponsored Posts is now ready. Learn how I made my first blogging income, and how I'm now making $10,000-$20,000 a month with sponsored partnerships!
Are you a blogger but unsure of how to make money online? Or, maybe you've been blogging for awhile but haven't had much luck with sponsored partnerships.
For some reason, sponsored blog posts and sponsored social media ads seem to scare bloggers, whether they are brand new or have been blogging for years.
What do I charge? How do I find companies who will want to work with me? What are the rules?
There are SO MANY QUESTIONS when it comes to sponsored posts.
It makes sense – sponsored partnerships are something that probably 99.9% of bloggers want to pursue, but the problem is that they have no idea where to start.
Making Sense of Sponsored Posts is a step-by-step guide to creating and making money from your own successful sponsored partnership strategy. This course explains all the ins and outs of sponsored posts and working with brands.
Bloggers and online influencers can all successfully promote products to their audience and earn an income from sponsored partnerships, while being genuine and trustworthy.
I started Making Sense of Cents in August of 2011, at the age of 22, without any hopes of ever earning an income from it. It started as a hobby – just a way to journal my life and talk about my personal finance situation.
Then, around six months after I started my blog, a blogger friend of mine connected me with an advertiser and I earned $100 from that advertisement.
It wasn't a lot of money, especially considering the amount of time and work I had already put towards my blog. However, it was very motivating to see that something I absolutely loved to do could actually make money. I honestly had no idea that blogs could even make money when I started mine!
After that first $100, my blogging income quickly grew.
I now charge, on average, around $5,000 per sponsored post.
I am now earning around $10,000 to $20,000 a month from sponsored partnerships alone. And, they don’t take me a ton of time to write, publish, promote, and maintain. In fact, I spend 10 hours or less a month on my sponsored partnerships.
I've worked with tons of high-quality brands that I love, have received all-inclusive vacations for free, and have brands lined up out the door wanting to work with me.
Whether you are a brand new blogger or if you've been blogging for years, this course will help you with your sponsored partnership strategy.
I’ve talked to many bloggers about sponsored posts and the majority said they earn little to nothing from sponsored posts. I have also found that many bloggers were earning way too little for the value they provide to brands.
Throughout the modules in this course, we will go through everything you need to know about sponsored posts, from developing relationships with brands, legalities of sponsored posts, different strategies, and more. This is a course that will teach you anything and everything there is to know about sponsored posts.
How was business income in November of 2018?
I earned $159,592 blogging and online in November of 2018, before expenses.
November was an amazing month for Making Sense of Cents and the whole blogging business. I earned a great income and enjoyed my month.
I worked a ton in November, as I really wanted to launch my new course so I spent a lot of time working on the course and testing it. And, I launched it!
The course launch went really well, earning nearly $40,000 in just 4 days without any real promotion or marketing for it. The course has already seen great testimonials, with several bloggers already securing high paying sponsorship deals just days after taking the course.
I am super happy that I finally launched this course, and I'm so excited to see how it helps everyone.
I'm not completely done with the course, as I haven't created any funnels for it and I'm actually not promoting it in any way right now (you can barely even find it here on Making Sense of Cents right now even!). I really just wanted to launch the course and get it out to readers because I've been receiving so many questions about the topic of sponsored posts. So, I haven't focused on earnings sales on it yet, but I plan on focusing on the marketing of the course this month or in January.
Anyway, to get back to my monthly income report…
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, November 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 November 2018 income
In November of 2018, I earned $159,592.42 from my blogging business. Below is how my income breaks apart in the different business income categories:
- Affiliate income – $57,946.42 total:
- Bluehost (check out my tutorial on how to start a blog) – $30,240.00
- Survey companies – $10,192.50
- Six Figure Blogger – $2,282.00
- ConvertKit – $784.95
- Bookkeeper Business Academy – $766.75
- RVShare – $660.00
- Ebates – $500.00 (estimated, as this is a tiered affiliate program)
- $5 Meal Plan – $143.22
- Miscellaneous affiliates – $12,377.00 (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 – $38,018.00
- Making Sense of Sponsored Posts – $37,833.00
- Sponsorships and advertising – $23,500.00
- Display advertising – $2,295.00
The income amount above is for the month of November and before any fees or expenses (some fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $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 $8,347.00. After expenses and fees, I earned approximately $147,245.42.
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 November of 2018: $159,592
- Total income in October of 2018: $145,319
- Difference from the previous month: +14,273
- Total in 2018: $1,510,040
November was a crazy month with deciding to launch my course (we created the whole course in November, from start to finish!), and getting everything ready with our boat to leave in December. We had an insane amount of work to do on our boat in November, and it didn't help that a bunch of things decided to break in November as well. Everything, for the most part, is now fixed, but it was definitely a doozy.
We also traveled to Nashville in November, so that Wes could ride in Tour De Cure with his family, in support for finding a cure for Diabetes.
It was a great month, and I finally got some work done!
We bought SV Paradise 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.
My big goal for December 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 want to do this because I want to be able to focus more on our new sailing life next year, as much as I can. Working ahead will allow me to do this.
Overall, traffic for the month was around 400,000 page views.
Below are several other business and blog-related updates:
- I am working on 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?
- 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 50,000 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:
- The Best Money Advice I’ve Ever Received
- Reclaim Your Day With These 12 Time Saving Tips
- Cut The Cord And Save Over $1,000 Every Year
- Need Some Quick Cash? 10 Ways How To Make Money Fast
- How To Save Money This Holiday Season
- How I Repaid $65,000 In Student Loans and Invested at the Same Time
- 12 Strategies I Used To Avoid Getting Buried in Student Loan Debt
Featured Question: Can a new blogger start with sponsored 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.
In the past few weeks, the number one question I've received is from readers asking if a new blogger can start with sponsored posts.
Whether you are brand new or you've been blogging for years, you can start with sponsored posts right now.
Yes, that means even if you are on Day 1 of your blog, you may be able to find a successful sponsored partnership.
I personally know several people who have found high paying sponsored partnerships in the very beginning of their blog. They started with an easy pitch email and knowing how to approach the company – both are topics that are taught in my course.
Many brands are moving toward working with bloggers and social media influencers due to the kind of traffic and customers a sponsored post can bring to a brand. Brands can reach their desired audience with sponsored posts, then gaining authentic customers.
This is why we are seeing ads and sponsorships moving toward bloggers and Instagrammers.
Brands are only recently understanding the power of blogs and social media accounts, and the results have been great. Before working with bloggers and online influencers, brands would often rely on celebrities to promote their products. But in today’s world, people are more likely to be influenced by a blog, Facebook, Youtube, or Instagram account run by their favorite online influencers. This is because online influencers have been able to build a loyal following using an authentic and unique voice.
There is a ton of room for new bloggers to break into the sponsored post market, with plenty of growth well into the future. The fact that companies and advertisers are only starting to realize the value in online influencers, such as bloggers, means that the blogging world will keep expanding and offer more opportunities for sponsored partnerships.
And, the data supporting the continued success and growth of influencer marketing is out there. According to a study published on Social Media Today:
- 94% of marketers using influencer marketing found it to be effective.
- 48% of companies in the U.S. plan on increasing their online influencer campaign budgets in the future.
- 71% of marketers think that ongoing ambassadorships (such as with sponsored partnerships!) are the most effective form of influencer marketing.
This just proves that sponsored partnerships are here to stay, and they will definitely continue to grow well into the future.
As the online world continues to grow, so will the opportunities to make money blogging. There are many different types of bloggers out there, and we all earn money in a slightly different way. With a variety of stories and niches, the sponsored partnership opportunities are endless!
If you're looking to learn more about sponsored posts, I recommend checking out my new course Making Sense of Sponsored Posts. You can learn from my sponsored posts mistakes and learn the best ways to start making an income through sponsored partnerships. Through taking this course you are sure to grow a profitable blog quicker than the average blogger, as you'll learn exactly what you need to know about sponsored partnerships. So, even if you only have one blog post, you are ready to get started with this course!
- 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?
- How do you come up with ideas for new blog posts?
- What are the top things you've learned recently?
- What's your next favorite way to make money blogging?
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 a few months 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. In December, I will be working on finishing all of these.
- 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 just launched my second course, Making Sense of Sponsored Posts.
- Grow to 150,000 email subscribers. I'm hoping to see at least 150,000 email subscribers by the end of 2019. I didn't come close to this goal in 2018, so I am pushing this to 2019.
- 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 what 2019 has in store!
Affiliate income results.
In November of 2018, I earned $57,946.42 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 as lately I haven't been as active with it as I would like. Internet won't be as reliable very soon, and I'll be much busier dedicating my life to living on the boat, so being able to earn more passive income is always wonderful.
Some of the things I will be doing include:
- Working on creating a high-quality funnel. Funnels are something that I have never really spent any time on, but I would like to change that. I want to create a high-quality funnel where I continue to give valuable information to my readers, and keep them happy for the times when I may not have the greatest wifi.
- Having 2019 planned out for affiliate offers. I'm not really much of a huge planner, but I am changing that in 2019. I already have some affiliate promotions planned out for the first 6 months of 2019. This will help to keep me organized and better prepared.
- Continuing to grow the reach of Making Sense of Cents. Traffic has been a little stuck lately, and I want to change that! I want to see what I can do to grow the traffic, as that will help me to reach new readers.
- Analyzing popular affiliate blog posts to see how they can be improved for the future.
- Seeking out new affiliate products to promote, and seeing what my audience is interested in.
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 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 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 November for you? Are you interested in earning blogging income?
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