What is going on savvy readers?! Welcome to our latest blogging income report.
Just a quick fair warning this is NOT your normal income report. Since this was our first “breakout month” in our blogging journey we wanted to make the most epic income report we possibly could that is super helpful and transparent.
Below is a video of us walking through our income report and talking about our breakout month.
At the bottom of the post, I answered some of the most popular questions we got asked in our private Facebook group Blogging with Purpose (you should join).
If you are new to our blog you might be asking yourself why we would share our income publicly online. Well, besides being primarily a personal finance blog where we talk about money all the time, it is a great way for us to show transparency with our readers, track our blogging progression, share our insights on what worked and what didn’t, and hopefully motivate others to start their own blog.
It has actually been quite some time since we did our last income report. To be honest, we stopped doing them because we felt like we were not providing value anymore. We just did not have the time to really dive deep and make them super helpful like we wanted.
It’s crazy to think it has already been a year after I quit my job and became a full-time blogger. It is the most incredible feeling in the world to wake up each morning and actually look forward to going to work!
I can’t thank God enough for this opportunity he has blessed me with! Without God in my life, none of this would have been possible. I would most likely be stuck in one of the several jobs I tried after college hating my life.
Wow, this feels surreal to be typing this. I dreamed of the day we would reach the five-figure club in a single month and my dream came true…
Last month alone we made $11,358 and had over 180,000 page views on our blog.
When we first started our blog:
- We did not understand the difference between a domain name and web hosting
- We had never heard of WordPress
- Affiliate marketing seemed like rocket science
- I hated to write (it is hard with dyslexia)
- We only had nights and weekends to work on our blog together
Luckily, we jumped headfirst into the blogging community and they helped us every step of the way. Seriously this community absolutely ROCKS!
If you have any interest at all in starting your own blog or just want to learn more about what it’s all about I HIGHLY recommend you join our Blogging with Purpose Facebook group.
Reason for Sharing Our Blog Income
We absolutely LOVE our savvy readers! 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 bloggers income reports at the beginning of our journey, chances are we would have never started our blog. They opened our eyes to the “make money online world” and motivated us to create the life we wanted to live.
If you are interested in starting your own blog we put together an in-depth step-by-step tutorial that will teach you everything you need to know.
Main reasons we share our blogging income:
- To motivate others to go after their dreams. We are firm believers that life is very precious and wasting time is not an option. God put each and every one of us on this earth for a reason. Find your calling and just GO FOR IT!
- Keeping track of our monthly blog traffic and income is a great way for us to see the progression of our business. It really helps us figure out what is working well and what still needs improvement. It is also a great way to keep track of our goals and stay motivated.
- Being transparent with our readers has always been a #1 priority. We feel that publishing income reports is a great way to really open up and build trust with our readers.
- When we first came into the blogging world we had no idea there were so many ways to make money online. Our income reports are a great way to help our readers follow how we built our online business from the ground up.
- To provide an overall summary of what we have accomplished and have been working on each month.
What it Feels Like to Make $10,000 in a Single Month From Blogging
It feels incredible! We are ecstatic that we reached this milestone and the fact we did it before our blog turned two years old make it even better.
Let’s be real $10,000 in a single month is a lot of money for most people. I never thought I would make this kind of money working for myself from the comfort of our home.
But here is the thing. The money is not all that exciting for me. A majority of it will get put right back into our business to continue to help it grow and succeed.
The “thing” I am the most excited and overjoyed about is the validation.
The validation that all this hard work I put in to make my dream come true was totally worth it.
The validation that leaving my “dream job” in law enforcement was the right choice.
The validation that I can overcome depression and I have found my identity again.
The validation that trying new things and failing is not the end of the world.
The validation that when you listen to God, follow his guidance, he will provide and give you purpose in life.
The validation that I can work from home, be a stay-at-home father and still provide for my family.
After years and years of struggling to find my identity and figure out what my purpose is in life, I can finally say I found it.
I am so excited to continue helping others change their life alongside us!
How Our Blog Made $11,358
It was obviously an incredible month for The Savvy Couple. We had our first breakout month and it came in perfect timing; a month before our little girl is born.
We were extremely blessed in the month of June to win a free blog coaching contest that Sarah Titus put together. If you don’t know who Sarah is you need to go check out her blog! She is an incredible woman who has helped us in more ways than we could have ever imagined. Seriously we are beyond blessed that she came into our lives at the perfect time.
When our blog was making $0 every month I remember saying to myself if I could just earn $3,000 – $4,000 per month and be a stay-at-home dad I would be the happiest man alive. But why not double that number or better yet triple it?
Below is an in-depth look at how we made $11,358 from our blog last month.
1) Website Sponsorships: $7,400
This was an absolutely stellar month for landing partnerships and sponsored posts on our blog. We were able to close a short-term deal and also a long-term deal with a couple big companies.
This is one of our favorite ways to make money blogging, but it does have its pros and cons.
For starters, I never in a million years thought it would be possible making $1,000+ per hour at any point in my life. The fact that I have done it many times over at the age of 28 is mind-blowing. Sponsored posts are a great source of income because they are normally quick to complete and pay very well.
On the other hand, it is not passive income and there is no guarantee that a sponsorship will come in each month. Meaning one month we might make $5,000 from a sponsorship and others we might make $0.
Over the past two years of running our blog, we have been very fortunate having the pleasure of working with some of our favorite brands.
We completely understand the importance of diversifying our income for our blog. Sponsorships are nice from time to time, but we will never rely on them.
2) Website Ads: $3,335
Since ditching Google Adsense last September and switching to MediaVine our ad revenue on our blog has skyrocketed. If I were to start a new blog I would not even waste my time with Google ads. I don’t think you should either. My suggestion would be to wait until you reach 25,000 sessions in a month and apply for MediaVine.
Mediavine has been a large component to our success. Their customer support is top notch and answers any questions/problems we have in-depth very quickly. I can’t say enough good things about them.
Last month our RPM (earnings per 1,000 sessions) hovered right around $21 which is pretty incredible. The previous month was even higher around $26!
I remember looking back seeing bloggers make $3,000 – $4,000 per month from just ads on their site. Now less than two years later I am here with them, crazy!
Ads are by far the easiest way we make money from our blog. It is super passive and something we can count on every month, almost like a fixed income. If we drive traffic to our blog we make money, it is that simple.
Being a personal finance & lifestyle blog ad placement can get a little tricky. There is always a trade-off.
- Run more ads and make more money. At the same time have a higher bounce rate and lower user experience.
- Run fewer ads and make less money. At the same time improve user experience and lower bounce rate.
We use the strategy of running more ads on our lifestyle articles that have more pictures and fewer ads on our high-density affiliate articles. This has worked well for us to maintain our ad revenue and keep user experience.
Like most blogger’s dream of, it would be nice to not have to rely on ads and completely turn them off. However, they make up anywhere from 30-40% of our revenue in a given month.
Plus, with running FB ads it helps offset the cost of running them. In some cases, we can actually make money on ads alone running FB ads to a specific article. Positive ROI without including affiliate sales and email subscribers is awesome!
3) Affiliate Sales: $623
This was a slow month for us with affiliate sales. We are normally at least above $1,000 with this income stream. This is an area of concern and something we are not taking lightly. We understand how important affiliate sales are for our blog and are making a bunch changes to improve this.
Things like focusing on growing our email list, focusing on specific affiliate programs, auditing old articles, running FB ads to high converting articles, etc.
We are hoping over the next few months this number can triple. Our goal would be to make $2,000-$3,000 per month in affiliate sales.
Our favorite affiliates this month:
- Bluehost (take a look at our free blog starter guide)
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
- ConvertKit (previously known as ConvertKit)
- Stupid Simple SEO
- FB Side Hustle
- Paid Survey Sites
4) Our Own Products & Services: $0
A few months ago we opened up a Shopify store. It turns out we got way ahead of ourselves. We are back to focusing 100% on building our audience and ConvertKit.
With our blog coaching from Sarah, she really drove home how important an email list is to the success of a blog. Take a look around at the blogs making five figures every month, each one of them will have a large email list. It’s where your die-hard fans live, it’s where you make your sales, it’s where you get really personal with your audience.
If you are not Seva as your email marketing platform as a blogger you need to be. Head over andConvertKit.
By the end of the summer, we are planning on launching a teachable school where we will offer all of our blog coaching services and courses we are working on.
Long term we want 50% of our blogs revenue to come from our own products and services we offer.
Blogging Expenses $2,819
Blogging is by far the cheapest business you can start. There is no overhead and the cost to start a blog is as little as $2.95 per month for website hosting. In fact, we stayed on Bluehosts basic shared hosting plan for almost two years until our blog traffic topped 100k and their shared servers could no longer handle our traffic.
Most months you can expect your blogging expenses to be between 10%-20% of your monthly income. This month we went heavy on the Facebook ads which is a large portion of our expenses.
We learned a TON spending so much on Facebook ads this month. We actually found a hack that can work for almost all bloggers to drive CPC (cost per click) way down. We’re talking under $0.03!
I actually put together a quick ten-minute video sharing the secret hack we used to get our CPC under $0.03. Subscribe below in the featured questions to gain access to the video and start using FB ads to drive traffic to your blog today!
- Website Hosting – $35 after switching from Bluehost to Big Scoots
- Internet – $55
- Facebook Ads – $2,499
- Buffer – $4
- Tailwind – $10
- ConvertKit (ConvertKit) – $37
- Canva – $10
- KWFinder – $21
- Blogging Courses – $118
- Home Office – $30
Total Month Profit – $8,539
Previous Income Reports
- How We Made $4,089 in One Month From Our Blog
- How we made $3,133 With Our Blog in One Month
- Our First Income Report How We Made $1,928 Last Month Blogging
Top Blogging Articles You Should Read
- On-Page SEO: 10 Simple Steps For Boosting Your Blog’s Search Traffic
- How to Become a Full-Time Blogger & Make Money Within a Year
- 10 Blogging Tips That Will Make You Grow Quickly
- 2018 Blog Income Report Research Study by The Blog Millionaire
- 10 Confession of a Full-Time Blogger
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.
Close to 500 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 you chase your dreams and succeed in life!
If you are apprehensive and have questions about starting your own blog join our FREE Facebook group. We have an awesome community of bloggers wanting to help each other succeed.
Blogging Courses We Highly Recommend
After spending well over $5,000 on blogging courses over the last two years we have a very good pulse on which courses are worth your time & money. Below are the courses that had the most impact on our blogging success.
1. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – This was the first course we invested in when we started our blog. It was a big mistake waiting to take it. Our blogging friend Michelle from Making Sense of Cents makes over $100k per month from her blog! This course teaches you everything you need to know about monetizing your blog and driving traffic with Pinterest. We made our money back within a month of taking it.
2. Flourish With Facebook Ads (Use code “Kelan50” to save $50) – This course is incredible! Designed specifically for bloggers to learn how to create optimized Facebook ads to drive traffic and convert sales. Monica is an absolute expert when it comes to Facebook ads. We used Facebook ads to drive close to 100,000 page views last month at costs as low as $0.02 per click.
3. Stupid Simple SEO – The long game in blogging is ranking in Google. Once you can be seen as an authority site in Googles eyes and they start ranking you on page #1 blog traffic will pour in. We took this course last month and it changed our entire mindset about SEO. It’s not as difficult, complicated, and time-consuming as you think.
What we are Focusing on Moving Forward
There are only two things we are truly focusing on over the next couple of months. Getting back to being “us” The Savvy Couple and growing our email list.
If you have followed our blog for a while you have seen our blog make some major changes over the past two years. Some good changes and some bad. I have never been a person who is scared to try something new and totally fail. It sucks, but we learn from it and move on.
So we are committing to stop writing terrible articles just to publish something each week. We are getting back to the roots of why we started our blog in the first place, which is to HELP OTHERS.
Our mission at The Savvy Couple is to help YOU Live Life Better!
At the beginning of this month, we started doing a complete in-depth site audit. We are making sure every piece of content we publish is personable, high quality, and extremely helpful. If it does not help our readers Live Life Better through managing their finances, improving their lifestyle, and finding purpose in life then it is getting deleted.
We are so excited about the direction our blog is heading so make sure you stick around and sign up for our weekly newsletters.
Personal Life Goals & Update
If you are not following us on Instagram yet make sure you go and do that now. This is where we like to get personal with all of you guys and really let you into our lives.
We are currently around two weeks away from being first-time parents! This has been the longest month ever! We are so excited to meet our little girl the anticipation is killing us!
So if we are a little less active on social media or posting to our blog I am sure you will understand.
Other than the exciting news of becoming parents, we have decided to stop paying off Brittany’s low interest (~4%) student loans off slowly and attack them with a vengeance. We currently still owe around $25,000 and our goal is to become debt free by next summer.
Since graduating we have been stacking money into our investment accounts (6%-8% return) while slowly paying off Brittany’s student loans. Originally, we planned on using a loan forgiveness program that was going to pay off half of them, but it is more difficult to get approved than we thought. So now it’s time to crush our last bit of debt and start living debt free.
Do you want us to share our progress along the way?
Featured Readers Questions:
Since we had such a big breakout month with our blog we wanted to make sure we put together an incredibly helpful and transparent income report. We have found income reports to be very helpful to our own growth and want to return the favor for others.
So, we asked our blogging friends in our FREE blogging Facebook group to ask us as many questions as they want about our breakout month. I took the most popular questions and answered them below.
1. What are the key points on how you got to where you are now?
As soon as we realized you can actually make money blogging we changed our mindset. Instead of treating our blog as a hobby we turned it into a business. We started investing more time and money into growing it and seeing where we could take it. Investing in courses like Making Sense of Cents, Stupid Simple SEO, and Flourish with Facebook Ads truly had a HUGE impact on the success of our blog.
Another big factor in our success was me quitting my job and committing myself to make our blog successful. It was super scary to leave a job and start working for myself with ZERO money coming in at the time. I quickly learned that making money online and becoming an entrepreneur is not as scary as everyone thinks it is. Getting over that fear and actually taking action is the hardest part.
2. How did you grow your traffic so much from your previous months?
Facebook ads! This is the first month I fully committed to running Facebook ads and figuring out how to make them as cheap and profitable as possible. We got AMAZING results with our average CPC under $0.03 on all of our campaigns!
I have found it is fairly difficult to track ROI on Facebook ads as closely as I would like. So started tracking our earnings per page view from a month to month basis and keep a running average.
Right now, we are averaging over $0.04 per page view. Meaning if I can get Facebook ads to cost less than $0.04 per click I am profitable. I personally shoot for less than $0.03 CPC to be on the safe side.
I’ll go back two years and talk about the hustle when we first started our blog. Brittany and I use to wake up at 5 am and work on the blog together before work. Most nights instead of watching TV we would work on the blog a couple hours before bed. On the weekends we would start our day off working on the blog.
We quickly became addicted to being creators instead of consumers. Both of us get far more pleasure creating something we are passionate about rather than vegging out watching Netflix.
It was a hustle, but we loved it! It actually brought us closer together working on something that we knew could change our future forever. I still can’t believe Brittany let me quit my job after making only $50 from our blog though. #BestWifeEver
Now that we have some good groundwork for our blog I rarely put in more than 40 hours a week. The whole point of starting an online business for me was the FREEDOM to live life the way I want it to be.
I still wake up early, around 6 am, and put in a majority of my work hours before lunch. After lunch, I normally take a power nap and work on the blog until Brittany gets home. Then, we both “turn it off” and have OUR time.
4. Talk about how you use The Pareto Principle (20% of your work gives you 80% of your results)?
This is a tough question because I am always trying to figure this out and answer it for myself.
I listened to a podcast a few months ago and they talked about “the big domino”. If you can figure out how to knock down the big domino that is holding you back all the rest of them will fall down with it.
I think the best advice ALL bloggers should listen to is stop worrying about publishing something every week just to publish and start really making incredible content. This was obviously something we struggled with big time as well. Just remember ONE incredible post can bring you tens of thousands of page views month after month, even year after year.
I use this rule of thumb in blogging, only 20% of your time should be writing and the other 80% should be on marketing, education, and creating products to sell.
5. How did you more than double your income from other months?
I worked on outreach to companies I knew would be a good partnership for our blog. One of the sponsorships we landed came from a company we have worked with in the past. I made sure to keep track of all the emails we sent back and forth and details from the previous partnership.
Once I updated our media kit I reached out to the company and explained our blog had grown significantly from the last partnership we had. They seemed very interested and we negotiated a long-term deal with a few sponsored posts for over $5,000. This is our largest partnership to date.
Lesson learned is when you drive a lot of traffic to your blog and keep the previous relationships you have built intact, landing sponsorships become fairly easy.
6. What does your daily/weekly schedule look like? How do you manage your time?
I will admit managing my time is one of the most difficult tasks I face each and every week. Everyone is given the same 24 hours in a day and it’s how you use them that separates yourself from others.
I do a few things that have really helped me manage my time and become efficient at running our blog.
Batch Work – I have a set schedule throughout the week I try to follow. It helps me minimize distractions moving from one task to another. It looks like this:
- Monday – Writing
- Tuesday – Editing
- Wednesday – Social Media / Marketing
- Thursday – Education
- Friday – Auditing / SEO
I don’t follow that schedule to a tee, but just having it on our whiteboard in the office definitely helps. I highly suggest getting a whiteboard even if you just use it for brainstorming.
Three Important Tasks – This productivity hack is HUGE! Before you go to bed every night, make sure you write down three tasks you want to complete the next day. When you wake up and start working on your blog focus only on those tasks until they are completed. This makes you prioritize your tasks and focus on getting the hard stuff done first thing in the morning. How many times have you put something off because you don’t want to do it? I do all the time! This productivity hack helps minimize that.
Be Focused – This is an app I use on my iMac that breaks up my day into segments. 50 minutes of focused work with 10-minute breaks. Our minds can only focus and be super productive for about an hour (less for me with ADHD). This app has been a complete game changer for me.
Trello – Brittany and I started using Trello almost 6 months ago. It is a project management software we use for everything. After realizing that we were working IN our business and not ON our business, we needed a solution to get systems into place. We started making workflows, editorial calendars, blueprints, swipe copies, etc. all on Trello. The best part is it links directly to Google Drive so you can access everything all in one place.
6. What were your biggest takeaways from this month?
My biggest take away from this month is realizing if you want something in life you have to make the decision to go and get it.
When I was dealing with depression and loss of identity, I was so scared to make any type of change in my life. I felt super trapped and it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We all deal with different things, but the one thing you are always in charge of is your attitude.
Have a positive attitude, be willing to put in the work, and your options are in life are limitless.
It’s YOUR choice to Live Life Better.
Are You Ready to Start Your Own Blog?
Just remember a year from now, you’ll wish you started a blog today. Seriously, I promise you will!
Do you want to be stuck at the 9-5 job you dread going to, a job with little upside, and 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 independence in the future.
Instead of going on a Netflix binge tonight why not start your blog?