I said in our last income report this was going to be our breakout year with our blog.
Well, I think we can officially say we have broken out!
We started our blog just under three years ago and have grown it into a thriving six-figure online business.
Last month we made more money than I made my entire first year working as a Jail Deputy!
Now before I get into our blog update and income report I want to take a second and be completely transparent with you.
Many bloggers that share their income reports make it seem like running a blog and making money online is “easy” and “passive”.
Well, truth be told. This is by far the most challenging job I have ever had. More challenging than babysitting the 53 violent inmates like I use to do.
Brittany and I have hustled for three years to see these kinds of results. They did not just magically appear overnight as it might seem.
Now that’s not to say you can’t learn from our blogging mistakes and start making money blogging much faster than we did.
In fact, there is no better time than the present to start your own blog.
Had we have waited to start our blog we would NOT have been able to:
- Pay off our $25,000 of student loan debt in five months
- Grow our net worth over $100,000 at age 28
- Have extra time in our life to do the things we love like camping, hiking, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors
- Have the blessing of staying home with our daughter full-time
- Help thousands of families from all over the world take control of their finances and life
What am I getting at?
If you want something in life – if you know what your dream life looks like…
GO AND GET IT!
The only thing that makes dreams become reality is taking massive action and putting in the work.
Alright now that you are motivated to take complete control over your life let’s get into this income report.
Things this income report will cover:
- How to start a blog
- Traffic breakdown
- Income breakdown
- Expenses breakdown
- What’s been happening the last few months
- How many hours I worked
- What my blogging schedule looks like
- Favorite blogging resources
- Personal life update
- How to take action and build your dream life
Our Blogging Journey So Far
It is always fun looking back on our journey and see just how far we have come.
Our first year when we started our blog as a part-time side hustle we made ZERO money until our ninth month in.
After we earned our first $50, I went to Brittany and told her that I wanted to quit my job and become a full-time blogger.
Yup, that’s actually my time off request form before I quit my job and became a full-time blogger.
You can see I am a jump first and figure it out later kind of guy. I really had no plan b if this did not work out.
To be sitting here and writing up our blogging income report where we made a full years salary in a single month is absolutely surreal.
The graph below is a really good visual of what a blogging journey might look like when compared to Brandon Gallie’s blogging income case study.
- Year 1 – A complete grind and getting over the massive learning curve
- Year 2 – Starting to figure it out, building an audience, more consistent income
- Year 3 – Breakout year, massive growth, focusing on strengths, income skyrockets
Here are a few of our previous blog income reports if you want to follow our journey a little closer.
- How We Made $27,443 From Our Blog Last Month
- How We Made $11,358 In One Month From Our Blog
- How We Made $8,900 Last Month From Our Blog
- How We Made $4,089 in November Blogging
- How We Made $2,412 in January 2018 Blogging
Reason for Sharing Our Blog Income
We absolutely LOVE our fruvvy (frugal + savvy) family!
If you are not part of our private Facebook groups you’re missing out.
Since you all support us so much it only feels right to be transparent and share our blogging journey with you.
If we did not find others blogging income reports at the beginning of our own journey, chances are that we would have never started our blog.
They opened our eyes to the dream of “making money online” and motivated us to take action in making our dream life become a reality.
If you are interested in starting your own blog, we put together a new and improved in-depth step-by-step tutorial that will teach you absolutely everything you need to know.
May 2019 Blogging Business Breakdown
This month was a roller coaster of emotions. Much like most months being a blogger and business owner.
We started the month super slow as far as income coming in. We were about a week into May and I felt like we had little to show for it.
I sat down in the office one morning, in complete silence, and said a simple prayer.
The prayer was simply asking God to continue to guide our business and bless us so we can continue to bless others.
Within a couple of days, things started to pick up rapidly.
We had a great affiliate course launch, landed a few sponsorships, and traffic started to pick up.
Just when I thought we were going to have a very slow month it ended up being our best month to date making over $43,000!
It was an amazing reminder to trust the process and always put our faith in God to provide.
May Traffic Breakdown
Another awesome month for blog traffic! We had over 250,000 page views in May.
The great thing is more than 90% of that traffic is free organic traffic from Google and Pinterest.
In fact, our SEO traffic has more than 10x since taking the course Stupid Simple SEO.
And of course, we are still rocking an easy to use Pinterest strategy.
May Income Breakdown
Affiliate Sales: $3,739
I know what you’re thinking: “Holy smokes that’s a lot of money through sponsorships!”
You bet it is! Sponsorships have quickly become our specialty and one of our favorite ways to make money with our blog.
Last month we were able to land a handful of large sponsored partnerships which really fueled the fire for an incredible month with our blog.
Notice how I did not call them “sponsored posts“. No, you see I have completely changed the game when it comes to approaching companies and brands to work with.
It’s always great to land sponsorship deals with high-quality brands, that match our reader’s needs and provide incredible value to their lives.
We had a great month with our display ads from Mediavine making over $5,000! This income is the only thing that is “semi-passive” when it comes to blogging.
Our affiliate marketing income was much lower than normal at around $4,000. Most of our affiliate marketing income is generated through our email list.
One of the MOST important aspects of blogging that many bloggers fail to do is focus on growing their email list.
The moment we started focusing on growing our email list using ConvertKit (highly recommended) is when we started making over $10,000/month with our blog.
Here are some of our top affiliate programs:
- Stupid Simple SEO
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
- Six Figure Blogger
- Blogging Legal Bundle
- Facebook Side Hustle
We want to be in complete control over our business and being as diversified as possible is the savvy move.
May Blog Expenses Breakdown
Facebook Ads: $1,174
Email Marketing: $112
Tools & Software: $94
BigScoots Hosting: $35
Shopify Shop: $30
Our blogging expenses have grown quite a bit since starting our blog. When we first started all we paid for was $2.95/month for hosting from Bluehost.
But like all businesses you need to invest money into them to continue to grow.
Our three big expenses this month were Facebook ads, our incredible team of freelancers, and filing for our trademark.
My favorite expense every month is paying our Team Savvy freelancers. I love having the ability to help others earn money online and grow their own businesses in the process.
Blogging is a very nice side hustle and business to be in because the monthly expenses are extremely low, ranging anywhere from 10%-20% of your revenue. This leaves you with an outstanding 80%-90% profit margin.
Name one other business where you can see profit margins that high.
Never mind you simply can’t. Blogging can be an extremely profitable side hustle and business when done correctly.
Let’s Run the Numbers
May Income: $43,547
May Expenses: $3,862
May Net Profit: $39,685
*These are estimates and not exact amounts
Those numbers still seem a little unreal to me.
It’s about the same or more than both Brittany and I have ever made in an entire year having careers in law enforcement and teaching.
We, like other self-employed business owners, hold approximately 30% for state and federal taxes and take out a livable salary.
Quick side note about these figures. We use two methods of accounting for our business.
To calculate our income as it is earned in real time. We feel it is important to always have a close pulse on the business and how it is performing “right now”.
We use the Digital Monthly Blogging Income Tracker we created to do our tracking and make it as easy as possible.
Cash Flow Accounting:
This method is tracking cash flow when it actually moves from one account to another.
Most companies we get paid from have a “net 30, 60, or 90-day payout.” Meaning we earn the money and we won’t see it for another 1 to 3 months until it clears.
The delay in payments is the reason I like having two methods of accounting that work hand in hand.
To stay compliant and make tax season as easy as possible we use Quickbooks to track everything.
What’s Happened the Last Three Months
Three months in the online business world seems to fly by.
Here are the big project we completed.
- Successful launch of our course Bloggers’ Secrets
- Landed a handful of large sponsorships
- Completed most of our technical SEO site audit
Here are the big projects we are working on.
- Continue to grow our email list
- Create the next printable binder for our shop
- Focus on SEO traffic
How Many Hours Did I Work?
We all have super busy lives so making sure we are using our time efficiently and not wasting it is a must.
I have become absolutely obsessed with protecting my time and making the most use of it.
It is our most valuable asset we have in life. As a business owner, you have to be smart with it.
Over the last year, I have been able to take my effective hourly rate from $20/hour to well over $200/hour.
What other jobs can you do that with? Not very many.
This is one of the main reasons I love blogging so much. You are in charge of your own time and your own income.
Here is what May looked like after tracking my time as close as possible with an app called Be Focused.
I worked a total of 92 hours last month give or take a couple of hours. Which means I made over to $450/hour!
You could say I have been able to make my time very valuable when working on the business.
Now, of course, I am not doing this all on my own. Whenever Brittany has a few spare hours to help during the week she does.
We also have a team of amazing freelancers that average somewhere around 10 hours per week. They are such a blessing to have!
So we have created systems in our business to help us focus our time where it needs to be and outsource the rest.
If you are not tracking the hours you work and what you are spending your time on every month, you need to be.
When it comes down to it, our effective hourly rate (EHR) is the only metric that really matters.
Increasing your EHR will allow you to work less and make more so you can do more of the things you love in life.
We have an entire bonus lesson in our course Bloggers’ Secrets on time management.
My Blogging Schedule
Is there really a set schedule when you have kids? Not all the time, but you can definitely make one work.
Luckily Brittany and I have our daughter Kallie on a great schedule and she seems to stick to it fairly easy.
Of course, it changes as she gets older but one thing stays the same. I get up early to work on the blog.
I find that those few hours in the morning uninterrupted as a must to continue to move our blog in the right direction.
Here is what my “normal” blogging schedule looks like Monday through Friday. I try to take the weekends off or only catch up on some things.
- 5 am – Wake up get right to work
- 6 am – Work
- 7 am – Work
- 8 am – Work
- 9 am – Kallie wakes and gets breakfast
- 10 am – Morning walk and learning time with Kallie
- 11 am – Kallie goes down for nap
- 12 pm – Work
- 1 pm – Work
- 2 pm – Kallie wakes from nap
- 3 pm – Learning time or second walk
- 4 pm – Brittany is home (tie up loose ends on the blog)
- 5 pm – Spend time with the family
- 6 pm – Dinner
- 7 pm – Relax or go to the gym
- 8 pm – Spend time with Brittany or work on the blog if needed
- 9 pm t0 10 pm – Read in bed lights out
As you can see those early hours are vital to working on the blog and getting stuff done.
I really try to get as much done early in the day so I can spend the rest of the day with Brittany once she gets home from teaching.
Favorite Blogging Resources
The fun part of blogging is there is always room to grow and learn! It’s always changing and evolving so staying up to date on your education is super important.
Here are some of our favorite blogging resources that helped us grow our six-figure blogging business.
- Bloggers’ Secrets
- Stupid Simple SEO
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
- Pinterest Traffic Avalanche
- Six Figure Blogger
- Facebook Ads For Bloggers
- Easy On Page SEO
- Easy Backlinks SEO
Future Income Reports?
Although we love sharing these blogging income reports this very well could be our last one.
There comes a point where the numbers don’t matter as much and the value to others diminishes.
Our goal is always to provide the absolute most value we can for our readers.
Which means transitioning to sharing more of the strategy and actions we are taking on our blog instead of the income numbers.
This will be a win-win for everyone.
Personal Life Update
We had an awesome family vacation in the Outer Banks a couple of months ago. We rented a massive house where my entire family stayed right on the beach. Totally doing it again next year if we don’t do an all-inclusive somewhere.
Brittany will be done teaching and off for the summer starting at the end of the month!
I am so excited to have her home and have help watching Kallie during the day.
This has been the most rewarding and challenging year of my life trying to juggle being a dad and continue to grow our online business.
We purchased a used camper this spring and have a ton of camping lined up for this summer. Including two weeks with no power or cell service in the Adirondacks.
It’s such a blessing to be able to travel and make money where ever we want together.
Lastly, we have been doing a good job sticking to our budget and saving/investing money like crazy since December when we paid off $25,000 of student loan debt in 5 months.
Now we have focused our attention on growing our net worth. We officially crossed the $100,000 mark a few months ago and it continues to grow faster than I ever thought possible.
A $41,000 swing over the last 6 months. Absolutely insane!
Blogging Income Report Final Thoughts
Taking the leap of faith and starting our blog has literally changed our lives forever.
I never in my wildest dreams thought we would have this much control over our time and money.
Just a few years ago I was trying to convince myself to stay at my job as a Jail Deputy for “only” 25 years until I could retire.
Literally doing time with violent inmates day in and day out just so I could collect a decent paycheck and have a pension.
I knew that was not the life I wanted. I knew my family was far more important. I knew I had so much more inside of me.
So I took massive action and started our blog, put in the hard work, and now we are reaping the rewards.
Take a second and visualize what your dream life looks like. If it’s not what you are currently doing you need to take action and make a change!
Life is short, really short! Don’t waste another second.
We are SO passionate about helping others make their dream life a reality.
This is the year YOU are going to take complete control over your life and make it everything YOU want it to be!
Head here to start your own blogging journey now.
What blogging questions do you have? Comment below!