Blog Income Reports From A Multi-Million Blog (My Real Reports!)

If you’ve ever wondered how I make money, then this is for you – it’s dedicated to my blog income reports! I absolutely love blogging, and I am so glad that I randomly started this site a little over a decade ago. Blogging has taught me so many things, and I have helped countless people…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: August 10, 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.

If you’ve ever wondered how I make money, then this is for you – it’s dedicated to my blog income reports!

I absolutely love blogging, and I am so glad that I randomly started this site a little over a decade ago. Blogging has taught me so many things, and I have helped countless people improve their finances.

Plus, I have been able to earn a great income doing something I truly love to do!

One of the things I started doing in the early days of Making Sense of Cents was to publish personal finance blog income reports. They were a monthly breakdown of how much money I made and where it came from, such as affiliate income, sponsored posts, etc. I also answered FAQs and talked about different things happening in my life and business.

If you’re interested in blogging or simply want to learn more about my site, my income reports include a ton of information.

I’ll explain more shortly, but I no longer publish my income. However, I still have a lot of people asking where they can find my old income reports. That’s why I decided to put together this page. 

My income reports started because I wanted to share how much money I was earning from my side jobs, which included blogging at the time. These reports included all of the income I made outside of my day job. This included income from mystery shopping, answering surveys online, selling items on eBay, and more.

Eventually, I quit all of my side jobs and focused solely on Making Sense of Cents. That’s when my reports really changed, and they became blogging income reports and showed the many different ways that I earned money from this site.

My Making Sense of Cents income reports have sparked a lot of questions and comments over the years!

Many thought I was crazy for publicly sharing my income, but there were a lot of people who really appreciated how transparent I was about my business. 

However, I had three main reasons for writing my income reports each month:

  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 by getting a raise 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 wanted to show others the benefits of side hustling and how it can change your life. There are many different ways to make money online, and I enjoy sharing my story because it motivates others to make more money and improve their financial situation.
  2. Secondly, I liked to publish my business blogging reports because it was a way for me to look back, learn from my mistakes, and see where I could improve my blog. I used my monthly blogging reports to measure my success, and they held me accountable.
  3. Lastly, I shared them to show others that making extra money is possible and that there are many legitimate ways to make money from your home.

Honestly, I really enjoyed writing my income reports too!

The reason I quit publishing my income reports is because they put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself to keep earning more and more money every month. What I realized was that my income was just a number, and it couldn’t quantify my quality of life. I also felt like I was repeating the same thing month after month about my income. 

Having more privacy became more important to me too. People can be really weird about money, and sharing such personal details about my financial life started making me feel unsafe.

I would love to find a way to bring back some form of my income reports, but I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do that. Let me know in the comments below – what would you like to see?

Before I share links to my income reports, here’s a little more information about my blogging journey:

How much have I earned over the years from my blog?

Here’s a quick summary of some of my income years:

  • In 2013, my business income totaled $116,519. This was the year I quit my job to become a full-time blogger.
  • In 2014, it totaled $163,929. This was my first full year of self-employment, meaning I had no day job.
  • In 2015, I made $320,888. I think this was the year where I “fired” all of my freelance clients and started working only on my blog. This significantly helped me grow my income because I was FOCUSED!
  • In 2016, I made $979,321. This is the year where I created my first product (Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing).
  • In 2017, I earned $1,536,732.
  • In 2018, I earned over $1,500,000 (as of November 2018, I had earned $1,510,040).

 

How To Start A Blog Free Course

If you don’t have a blog, then I recommend starting off with my free blogging course How To Start A Blog FREE Course.

Here’s a quick outline of what you will learn in this free course:

  • Day 1: Reasons you should start a blog.
  • Day 2: How to determine what to blog about.
  • Day 3: How to create your blog. In this lesson, you will learn how to start a blog on WordPress. My tutorial makes it very easy to start a blog.
  • Day 4: How to make money blogging.
  • Day 5: My tips for passive income from blogging.
  • Day 6: How to grow your traffic and followers.
  • Day 7: Miscellaneous blogging tips that will help you be successful.

I’m a little biased (obviously, haha!), but this is one of the best free blogging courses you can take. It’s delivered directly to your email inbox, and you will learn how to grow a blog from scratch.

You can sign up for free by clicking here.

 

How did I build a million dollar blog?

I created my blog on a whim after reading about a personal finance website in a magazine. At first, it was just a hobby to track my own personal finance progress. When I started in 2011, I honestly didn’t even know that people could make money blogging!

My interest in blogging quickly grew, but like I said it was all just a hobby. I wanted a space to write about my personal finance situation, have a support group, keep track of how I was doing, and more. I did not create Making Sense of Cents with the intention of earning an income, but after only six months, I began to make money blogging.

A friend I met through the blogging community connected me with an advertiser, and I earned $100 from that first advertisement deal.

That one deal sparked everything. It made me want to learn more about monetizing my blog and to take my blog more seriously.

I now earn a great living from my blog, and it all started on a whim and not even knowing that blogs could make money.

I recommend reading How I Successfully Built A $1,000,000+ Blog to learn more.

 

How did I make money by creating and selling my own product?

I created Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, my first online course, in July of 2016. Since then, I have helped over 8,000 students and have earned over $1,000,000 from it.

This was without any webinars, Facebook Lives, any guest posts, a “launch” period, or anything else. It’s an evergreen course that has mainly spread through word of mouth.

I recommend reading How I’ve Made Over $1,000,000 From My First Course Without A Big Launch to learn more.

In that blog post, I share exactly how I’ve earned income through my course.

 

My blog income reports from over the years

As I said earlier, I have published many, many income reports over the years.

In my monthly income reports, I wrote about what I worked on that month, exactly how I earned money (and the sources), what my business goals were, answered common questions, and more.

I started publishing blog income reports back in 2012, all the way through 2019. You can find them below:

 

What blogging courses do I recommend?

While I have learned a lot about blogging through trial and error, I have also taken many blogging courses over the years.

The best courses helped me grow my blog’s income and page views by learning specific strategies that have worked for other bloggers.

Many of you have wondered about the tools and resources I use to improve my blog. I believe that in order to be a successful blogger and to learn new ways to make money blogging, you will need to invest in learning new strategies, such as through ebooks, webinars, courses, and more.

Blogging courses can help you save a lot of time. Instead of guessing what your next step and strategy would be, use one of the resources below to learn more.

Some of my favorite blogging courses include:

  • Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – This is my affiliate marketing for bloggers course, and I have already had over 8,000 students take my course. I show you exactly how to make passive income from blogging, even while you’re sleeping.
  • Making Sense of Sponsored Posts – Here’s one of the best blogging courses for learning about sponsored partnerships. I launched this course with my sister, Alexis of Fitnancials, to help bloggers earn money through sponsored posts. We teach finding sponsorship deals, maintaining partnerships, and how to always make sure that you are helping your readers.
  • Traffic Transformation: 21 Strategies I Used to Increase My Monthly Page Views from 17,000 to 400,000+ in 10 Months – This is a great guide full of actionable strategies that you can put into place on your blog right away so that you can learn how to increase your blog’s page views. If you are feeling stuck or if you are a new blogger, check out this resource!
  • Pinterest Traffic AvalancheThis is one of the best blogging courses on Pinterest traffic! You can learn how to get 10,000 to 100,000+ free monthly visitors to your website through Pinterest with this course.
  • Stupid Simple SEO This is my favorite overall SEO course, and one of the most popular for bloggers. I highly recommend taking it. I have gone through the whole course, and I constantly refer back to it.
  • Easy On Page SEO This is an easy to follow approach to learn on-page SEO so your articles can rank on Google. I have read this ebook twice, and it is super helpful.
  • Site Speed Course – This is one of THE BEST blogging courses for site speed. Your blog’s speed is extremely important, as it can impact your SEO, how long readers will stay on your site (no one likes to read a slow website), and so on.

I recommend reading Best Blogging Courses & Resources That Helped Me Make $100,000+ to learn more.

 

Do you have more questions about blogging?

If you want to learn more about blogging, I recommend reading What Is A Blog, How Do Blogs Make Money, & More. Here, I answer questions such as:

  • How do I come up with a blog name?
  • What blogs make the most money?
  • How do you design a blog?
  • How many views do you need to make money blogging?
  • How many blog posts should I have before launching?
  • How do I get my blog noticed by Google?
  • How long until a blog makes money?
  • How do blogs make money?
  • How do bloggers get paid?

And more.

 

Blog income reports summary

I am so glad that I published so many of my income reports over the years. It allowed me to see exactly what I was working on each month and reflect on the previous month’s work.

I definitely believe that it helped me to grow significantly over the years and helped to keep me motivated.

Plus, I know that my blog income reports have helped so many people over the years. I have received countless emails from readers who personally benefited from my income reports and found them helpful.

Do you want to make money blogging? What do you think of blog income reports?

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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. Amy

    Hi Michelle, I’ve always been a huge fan of your income reports (I spent so many lunch breaks at work looking over them and dreaming about doing the same!), so I hope you don’t mind a few questions…that is, are you still earning similar amounts as when you last gave figures in 2018? For instance, I believe you relied a lot on Pinterest, but a lot of bloggers have seen their Pinterest traffic drop a lot over the last few years. Have you seen that have an impact on your income?

    And is there any chance you would do a year-end summary again with actual figures? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hey Amy!

      Thanks for your comment and thank you for being a reader. Since 2018, I have been working a lot less and focusing more on passive income on my blog. Due to that, my income is lower but I completely expected that to happen. Whereas before I was working 40-100 hours a week, I am now usually working less than 5 hours a week. I am still earning a high income and very happy with it.

      I don’t think I’ll share actual figures again, but who knows, haha.

  2. Stephanie George

    There’s no possible way to thank you enough for this wonderful post and there’s no way you can tell how incredibly your journey has inspired me to keep pushing and never give up.

    I recently started a blog and would say that this your post came as email notification to me at the right time.

    Warm regards!

  3. Ling

    This is an awesome round up! Your affiliate marketing course has helped me generate a great income and I want to say thank you for all your helpful tips! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Yes! It was a great decision.

  5. Jim

    Is it too late to start a blog from scratch as there is so much competition now, more than when you started. Appreciate your feedback

  6. Hi Michelle! Instead of actual numbers Iโ€™d love to hear percentages about your income. Like what percent comes from affiliates, ads, products, etc. and what your top affiliates are and how you market them. Thanks!

  7. Very inspired by your story, Michelle, as I did my MBA before (food) blogging too ๐Ÿ™‚ Still a long way to go before I can do it full-time but it’s great to read your posts and know it’s possible!

  8. I love reading blog income reports! It’s the reason I dared to start my own blog about three years ago. Posts like this light a fire under me. Thank you for inspiring me to do better and think bigger.

  9. A

    If I sign up for BlueHost using your discounted link and use a free WordPress site, will I still be allowed to use affiliate links on the site? Even if it is discounted/free? Thanks for providing such great content!

    1. Yes, you can use affiliate links! You will be self-hosted if you follow my tutorial here – https://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2014/08/how-to-start-a-wordpress-blog-on-bluehost.html

  10. I been following your journey. I like the blog posts you have where you interview others or have features about other business owners.

  11. Could you do future income reports by percentage only? or that you met your financial goal? just something to show that you are progressing. Just giving out ideas if you are uncomfortable with exact numbers…