If you are new to our site we started tracking our blogging income a few months back. It’s a great way to track the progress of our blog after I quit my job to work on our site full-time.
It’s also a great way to follow along if you if you are planning on starting your own online business.
This month was obviously a huge disappointment for us. There were a plethora of reasons our blog took a dip this month which I will discuss below. This was the first month our blog took a major dip after surging for 5 consecutive months.
The great thing is all businesses go through ups and downs and we learned a TON! We are both really excited to have a fresh start with a new website design and many new strategies to implement into our blogging business.
It’s wild to think that I have been self-employed for close to 8 months already. I thought time flew by working a “regular job,” but time REALLY fly’s when you are doing something you love.
I can honestly say I have never been happier in life. It’s an amazing feeling waking up each and every day excited about “work”. I am so blessed to have the freedom to work from home!
A bunch of you have wanted to start your own blog after seeing the success that we have had, and we highly recommend it! If we had not taken the leap of faith in starting our own blog, I would still be stuck bouncing from job to job trying to find my true happiness.
When we first started blogging:
- We did not know the difference between a domain name and web hosting.
- We had never heard of WordPress.
- Affiliate marketing seemed like rocket science.
- Writing was not our favorite thing to do, especially with dyslexia!
- We only had nights and weekends to work on our blog.
Now after leaving my job, I am regularly earning a full-time income from our blog.
Reason for sharing our blog income
As much as I LOVE talking about money, sharing our blog income is still a challenge. It’s still very strange to strip down and share how much I make each month (especially slow months like this).
As weird as it sounds I am actually relieved that we are having a down month. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to continually beat the previous month’s income report.
I am happy to share that life will go on, a slow month is not the end of the world like I thought it would be.
It’s unrealistic to think our blog will continue to grow at the same pace it has the last few months. Blogging is definitely a long-term game. Having a macro picture of our blogging business has been very beneficial.
These income reports keep us extremely motivated and focused on growth. We hope that they are as valuable to you as they are for us.
If you are interested in starting your own blog we have a FREE 7-day email blogging course that you should totally check out.
Main reasons we share our blog income report:
- To motivate others to chase after their dreams.
- It will help us set goals and achieve them.
- We want to be as transparent with our readers as possible.
- To show that making a full-time income from blogging is possible.
- To provide an overall summary of what we have accomplished and been working on each month.
Life before blogging
Before we started blogging, I was unhappy with trying to find the “perfect job”. I tried being an insurance salesman, office manager, Amazon store owner, UPS driver, and jail deputy before I had finally realized I would never be happy with a “normal job”. Wait…being a jail deputy was NOT a normal job, take my word for it.
The one thing every job took from me was my FREEDOM. My freedom to be creative, set my own hours, work anywhere, and earn my OWN income. I was sick of feeling suffocated and forced to work for someone else’s money.
One of my favorite quotes of all time, “You either work for an entrepreneur or you become one“.
After leaving my job to run our site full-time, I replaced my income within a couple of months. It was an incredible feeling to have a dream and make it become a reality.
I like the mindset of never living with regret. But in all honesty, I regret not starting our blog sooner and chasing my dreams as an entrepreneur.
To chase your dreams you have to stop caring what others think of you. Life is way too short to have others dictate it to you!
How we made $1,431 in December 2017
Affiliate Sales: $495
Website Ads: $641
Freelancing / VIPKID: $20
E-commerce Sales: $200
Sponsored Posts: $25
Blog Coaching: $50
Honestly not much as far as income. We have a new site though! Do you like it?
On the opposite side of things, we learned a TON taking the courses we bought last month. The Perfect Pin is absolutely worth every penny after taking it!
We took this month to try different Pinterest strategies, some worked great, others were huge fails. This attributed in large part to our drop in traffic and consequently income. Excited to have a solid strategy we think is going to work great for us in the future.
We literally had half our business cut out this month (VIPKID & Sponsored Posts). I stopped teaching for VIPKID last month to focus 100% on our business.
It was nice making $20/hr setting my own schedule, but I still feel like the opportunity cost was not worth it. The time put on our site now is going to be worth well over $20/hr down the road (fingers crossed). The great thing is I can always go back and open my schedule back up and start teaching again tomorrow.
This is the first month in a while that we did not land a sponsored post. Compared to the previous two months that accounted for almost 25% of our monthly income.
We bought a new theme for our site (currently using) and tried to install/customize it ourselves, bad idea! We are not tech savvy with coding at all. I basically caused our site to be down for countless hours and almost lost everything we have worked on. Luckily Bluehost rocks and got us back up and running with a 10 min call.
Lastly and probably the biggest impact on our income this month was dealing with an excruciating back injury. After 4 doctors appointments, MRI, X-Ray, and 10 physical therapy appointments I found out that a herniated disk was causing the problem. Dealing with this was very distracting and took up a ton of my time going to and from appointments.
I am 95% healed now and so blessed to have finally received an answer to what was causing the pain.
Starting your own blog
If you have been thinking about starting a blog there is no better time than the present! Our biggest regret is not starting one sooner.
More than 200 people have taken our FREE 7-day email blogging course and we have received incredible feedback. We go over everything you need to know to start your blog, drive traffic, and earn your first income.
From the bottom of our hearts, we want to help others chase their dreams and succeed in life!
If you are apprehensive and have questions about starting your own blog shoot us an email at [email protected]. We will be more than happy to chat with you!
Top affiliate companies
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
- Pinecone Research
- $5 Meal Plan
Courses worth taking!
1. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing ($197) – This was the first course we ever decided to take. Honestly, this course should be one of the first things you invest in when starting your blog. Michelle put her heart and soul into this course to help new bloggers learn the in’s and out’s of monetizing a blog.
One of the best parts of this course is the lifetime membership. We refer back to this course month after month to review and implement more tactics to increase our blog income.
- 6 modules, 30+ lessons on affiliate marketing
- What affiliate marketing is and how it works
- Why affiliate marketing is great
- The exact steps Michelle took to earn over $300,000 from a single blog post
- How to pick the right affiliate products to promote
- How to increase conversions
- How to build trust and not lose followers
- Required disclosures that you need to know about
- The one major tool you need for affiliate marketing
- Different strategies to use to promote your affiliate products
- How to use Pinterest to succeed at affiliate marketing
- In-depth Pinterest marketing strategies
- PDF worksheets to easily plan out your business
- BONUS – Acess to Facebook Mastermind group
- BONUS – Weekly free group coaching sessions
- BONUS – Pinterest Strategies to drive hundreds of thousands of monthly views to your site
2. Flourish With Facebook Ads ($399 save $75 using code “Kelan75”) – This course is awesome! Designed specifically for bloggers to learn how to create optimized Facebook ads to drive traffic and convert sales.
Monica is an absolute gem when it comes to Facebook ads. She has many years of experience under her belt and lots of very successful clients including Deacon Hayes from Well Kept Wallet.
We are still in the process of completing this course, but it’s already been worth way more than we paid for it. Excited to share some of our results in next months income report.
- Step-by-step strategy for Facebook ads
- Finding the right audience and targeting
- Creating creative ads that drive traffic and sales
- How to test and optimize ads for extremely low costs
- Course designed specifically for bloggers
- 2 group coaching calls per month
- Monthly hot seats to optimize your current ads
- Lifetime membership
Blog traffic & social media review
We always like to remind our readers that blogging is 20% content creation and 80% marketing it to the right people.
If you are struggling to gain traction with your blog we offer 1-hour blog coaching sessions that are very beneficial. Since time is limited we are not cheap ($95 per hour), but we guarantee we will provide an immense amount of value.
Be sure to join our FREE Facebook groups!
Below is our monthly breakdown of our blog traffic and social media growth. This is another great tool we use to analyze our efforts and to ensure we are spending our time effectively.
Blog Traffic: 40.2k page views (38.8% decrease from 65.7k)
Facebook: 1,558 page likes (1.5% increase from 1,535)
Twitter: 10,956 followers (0.5% decrease from 11,005)
Pinterest: 2,536 followers (3.4% increase from 2,453)
Instagram: 2,417 followers (0.7% increase from 2,400)
Email List: 1,880 subscribers (3.5% increase from 1,816)
Monthly blog goals
This upcoming month we want to get back to crushing our blog goals.
We have two courses we are going to be finishing up which should really help us take our blog to the next level. Branching out into offering digital marketing services to small businesses is still right around the corner. Very excited about this.
Now that we have the website design and upgrade done we can focus on pumping out some killer content.
Since we have changed our Pinterest strategy we have a bunch of work to do going back and making new Pinterest pins for older articles.
Next months blog goals:
- Reach $3,000 in blog income
- Grow blog traffic to 60k monthly views
- Increase our Pinterest followers to 2,800
- Twitter following to 11,500
- Grow Facebook page to 1,700 likes
- Increase Instagram to 2,450 followers
- Grow email list to 2,100 subscribers
- Get interviewed on another blog/website
- Finish Facebook course and start running ads
- Lock in a paid sponsored post
We have a hefty goal this year for our blog that I am going to share publicly. In 2018 we want to grow our blog $10k per month in income. We clearly have a big mountain to climb, but without setting high goals you will never reach them.
Life goals & update
It’s just as important to set life goals alongside our business goals. This section is designed to let us get intimate and share a little of our personal life.
Last month I bragged about our old cars running great and not needing repairs. Well, I jinxed it because our 2005 Toyota Camry needed a new exhaust installed costing over $700. We might be purchasing a car from a family member so getting the Toyota fixed to sell is a must. Still loving having no car payments!
We had an incredible week with family and friends over this holiday season. It’s always a blessing to have Brittany home for an entire week so I can force her to work on the blog….and, of course, spend quality time together.
We have a bunch of personal goals we have set for ourselves this year. To follow along with our lives journey check out our Instagram page.
Old income reports
- How We Made $4,089 in November 2017 Blogging
- How We Made $3,885 in October 2017 Blogging
- How We made $3,133 in September 2017 Blogging
- How We Made $1,928 in August 2017 From Blogging
- July 2017 Blog Traffic and Social Media Update
- June 2017 Blog Traffic and Social Media Update
- May 2017 Blog Traffic and Social Media Update
- April 2017 Blog Traffic and Social Media Update
- March Blog Traffic and Social Media Update
- February Blog Traffic and Social Media Following Update
Featured question of the month
We will be featuring one question from a reader in each monthly income report. Please leave a comment below if you have a question that you would like us to answer!
How do you know how much to charge for a sponsored post?
The simple answer is however much you want. It’s a little more complicated than that though.
A great starting point is using Social Blue Book. It’s a free service which will take your analytics, social reach, and history into consideration before providing you a price you should charge for a sponsored post.
We have found the price they give you is about 30%-50% too low. So always ask for more than what they say.
Last month is a great example to share. We had a company we reached out to about a sponsored post and they came back with an email telling us their budget was $900. We were STOKED, but knew that the negotiation just started. I emailed them back stating that “we normally charge $1,500 for a marketing campaign like this”. They responded saying they could meet in the middle at $1,250!
Lesson learned is negotiate everything and charge what you are worth. A 1 min email netted us another $350!
Final thoughts on starting a blog
Just remember that a year from now, you’ll wish you started a blog today.
Do you want to be stuck at your 9-5 job you dread going to, a job with little fulfillment, working for someone else’s paycheck?
Or would you rather be making money from multiple income streams working from the comfort of your home? Or traveling full-time with the luxury of being able to work anywhere you want?
Put in the work now so you can enjoy your financial freedom in the future.
Instead of going on a Netflix binge tonight why not start your blog.