Welcome to my February blog income report where I give you all the juicy on how I made money online last month. Since I’m now a full-time freelance writer, these reports will include freelancing income (again), including any blog management tasks I’ve performed for other bloggers online.
If you’re new here, you are probably wondering why I would share the income earned on the internet for everybody to be all up in my business. I mean, it’s not like it’s normal to tell folks how much money you’re making, but it’s a little more than that for us bloggers.
- For starters, it’s easy to grow when you’re documenting the process. Many bloggers (not just me) don’t do this to brag or show off, but we’re doing this to document our growth. I guess we’re trying to prove ourselves wrong every month. Like seriously, when I graduated from college I never said I wanted to be a blogger who earns a full-time income online.
- Second, I do it for accountability. Having folks reading your business helps keep you in check. It makes me look at my goals and actually get my butt to work. Remember, I’m trying to prove myself (and probably many of you) wrong every month. I want to show the proof that it’s possible.
- Last, I do it to help you. You could be working mama who is tired of clocking in for someone else and wants to start her own business so she can be more available at home. Or you could be married, no kids and want to start building a passive side hustle before having kids. I want to share how I’m getting there so others can do it too.
These income reports started off as side-hustle reports in 2015 where I documented how much I earned as a freelance writer online. Now, these reports have turned into blog income reports where I share how I’m increasing my online income through affiliate marketing, advertising, and sponsorships.
I never imagined things would be progressing the way they have, but I’m glad I finally stopped sitting on the sidelines and started writing. My finances continue to improve with the more I learn and I’m able to help so many other people improve their finances too. It’s a win-win!
If you’re interested in starting a blog, I’ve written a detailed guide on how to start a blog starting at $3.95. Plus, if you sign up for a 12-month hosting plan, you’ll receive your domain name ($15) absolutely free through this Bluehost link. I highly recommend having a self-hosted blog if you’re serious about earning money online and being taken seriously as a blogger and/or freelancer.
February Blog Income Report
LAAB earned $556.26 for the month of February (before expenses).
So, how do you go from over $1,400 to a little over $500 the next month? Simply put, it’s the time of year.
In January, everyone is on their new year resolution grind. They are focused on ways to get their money straight for the upcoming year. They’ve made declarations that they are going to do better which results in massive traffic for personal finance bloggers.
In February, we know what happens so I’m not even discouraged. I knew the first or so week in February things were going to be different for the month, so I readjusted my goal of earning $1,600 to a more reasonable number, $450.
I figured $450 was on target with the normal growth of LAAB if you take out the busy holiday months and January. In November, LAAB income was $418. I figured if I acted like December and January didn’t exist, $450 would have been more normal as far as progress goals.
Well, I’m glad to say I was right because I exceeded the new income goal I created in February by a little over $100. Once I add in the income earned from blog management, my total online income was $616.26.
I still owe my success with my growing affiliate marketing income to one course. The course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing was created by a personal finance blogger who grossed over $900,000 last year from affiliate marketing on her website.
It’s pretty safe to say I’m learning from someone who knows what she is doing and I’ve been incorporating and studying the knowledge she pours into this course. If you’re a blogger and you want to increase your affiliate income, I highly suggest checking out Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Income Breakdown for February 2017
Google Adsense: $24.89
Media Vine: $76.67
Other Survey Sites: $12.55
Blog Management: $60
Expenses for February 2017
Stock Photos: $75.00
Facebook Ads: $18.22
Freelance Course: $199
Etsy Shop Fees: $.82
Pinterest Avalanche: $97
Difference (Income – Expenses) = $274.08
If you’re interested in reading some of my other blog income reports, I’ve listed a few below. The rest can be found on my side-hustle income page.
How to Stay Motivated When Your Blog Income Drops
Total income in January 2017 was $1,446. This means my income dropped, but like I explained before, it’s not anything I’m worried about. Across the board, it seems most PF bloggers had lower traffic this month and for some of us that means a dip in income too.
Here’s how you can stay motivated when your blog income drops:
- Join FB groups with like-minded individuals and ask questions! Some groups that totally help me is the EBA group for Elite Blog Academy Students and the group for Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing students. Other groups that are available to bloggers that provide me with a lot of insight are Social Hacks, Inspired Bloggers Network, and Bright Bloggers + Business.
- Consider last year’s trends. If you haven’t been blogging a year, this is where asking around in your niche will come in handy.
- Re-evaluate your current marketing strategy. Maybe something that previously worked isn’t working any longer.
- Make sure there are no changes to the social media platform you use the most. Did Pinterest have an algorithm change? Did one of your profitable blog articles drop off of Google? There are many things that could contribute to a loss in traffic which will directly affect your income.
- Keep going. Seriously, don’t stop and don’t get discouraged. Keep readjusting your plan. The same way you’re making money online may not be the same from a year from now. That’s why it’s important to diversify your online income.
- Which brings me to my final point – diversify. Don’t rely on one type of online income. Right now my eggs are in freelance writing, affiliate marketing, and ad revenue baskets. Before the end of the year, I plan to create my own products.
I’ve officially begun Elite Blog Academy and I must say it’s hard work. I wrote about the LAAB EBA Success Series in this article. I explained how I will chronicle my journey through the course and I should have the first update in a couple of weeks after I finish an assignment in the unit I’m currently working on.
Last month, I also dropped a bomb that I got fired from my full-time 9 to 5 and honestly, I couldn’t be more happy about it. I’d been employed with this company for almost 10 years, 7 of which I spent working from home as a telecommuter.
Well, management started changing and the requests being made were disruptive to my home life, not to mention my finances. So ish just didn’t work out. They weren’t willing to work with me and I wasn’t budging either. I needed to work full-time from home with the flexibility I’ve always had (that was the main reason I stayed there for so long).
My goal was to quit at the end of this year, but…here I am! I’ve always stressed the importance of having an emergency fund. I had one of those in addition to a fully funded quit fund.
Now I can devote my attention to building up my writing clientele and income with this blog without worrying about how the bills are going to get paid. So, if your job situation is stressing you out, making you sick, and you’re ready to bail — create a plan now!
Other LAAB updates:
- Life and a Budget has a new tagline! The best part about Elite Blog Academy is they give you pre-assignments to make you think about things before the course even beings. After much deliberation over the last month, one of my pals from undergrad and I came up with the following tagline, “Better finances. Carefree living.” This tagline captures the very essence of what I’m trying to achieve on this website. I want to encourage people to have a Life and a Budget — to create better finances so they can live a carefree life. That’s my ultimate goal when I work on my family finances and I want to help other people do it too. Money doesn’t have to be stressful. As a matter of fact, money should be a fun tool you use to live the life you want. Look for more changes soon.
- I released my first free e-course, How to Start a Blog, a couple of months ago. If you’re interested in starting a blog, check it out. I share a few tidbits in the course I’ve never shared here on LAAB.
- I’m considering creating a new free e-course in the coming months, but I want to hear from my readers about the content they are interested in. A free course about money management, free budgeting course, I dunno…y’all tell me! What do you need a free course on?
- In October, I switched from MailChimp to Convertkit and I LOVE IT! It’s so easy to use and understand. MailChimp was free, but I never felt like I got answers to questions that popped up. There was also a downfall to someone who subscribed to two different mailing lists. For instance, if someone wanted my blogging emails and my money emails, they were counted twice. If you’re over 2,000 subscribers, you would be charged twice for one person who joined multiple lists. Convertkit makes it easy to send different emails to different lists.
- Last month I invested in an e-book that really had me curious titled, How to Make Your First Affiliate Sale Using Pinterest in 24 hours. I was skeptical as hell, not going to lie. I bought it really because I was nosey and wanted to see how the person was able to do it. Then once I read it, I wanted to see if I could do it too…you know, to prove the author wrong and all. Well, to my surprise, I made a sale the very next day using her strategy. So, I guess it wasn’t a bad investment for twenty bucks.
- I’m considering offering affiliate marketing consultations. In these consultations, I can brainstorm affiliate opportunities you can pursue with your blog and if you’re already using affiliate links on your website, I could give you pointers on things you should try to increase your income. If this is something you would be interested in, let me know. I would be glad to help!
- And finally, I landed my first social media management gig! Woot woot! We will see how it goes, but it may be another service that I add to my hire me page. As always, if you’re looking for a personal finance writer or blogger to add to your team, I’m available!
Last month’s goals:
- Plan and complete all of March’s content (Fail)
- Reach 60,000 pageviews (Fail)
- Earn $1,600 in affiliate revenue. Revised goal was $450 in affiliate revenue. (Pass)
- Reach 1,500 email subscribers (Fail)
As far as February goals go, I didn’t achieve them. This was my first time coming into the new year as a personal finance blogger who earns affiliate income.
With that said, I didn’t know what to expect and I created goals out of touch with reality. Now that I know how things work, I can create different goals next year around this time. Just rolling with the swing of things…
Page views were down across the board based on discussions in a few Facebook groups I belong to. I’m also noticing that some Pinterest strategies I was using before just aren’t cutting it anymore.
I have access to Rosemarie Garner’s Pinterest Strategy through the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course. But every time I try to set it up, I become overwhelmed by the technical aspects of it.
See, her strategy obviously works with her getting over 500k page views and all, but it involves Boardbooster. I like using Boardbooster for looping content but every time I try to set up campaigns or do other tech advanced things, I end up messing it up.
My strategy so far has been to loop other people’s content and to manually pin my own content or schedule it through Tailwind. It was working beautifully, but my traffic is stalling.
I may just have to put my big girl undies on and devote A LOT of time to completely implementing Rosemarie’s complete strategy using Boardbooster. I believe it’s the only way to break this traffic stall I’m experiencing.
I didn’t get a month ahead with March content for good reason, I was working EBA. It really is an intensive class and I’m not rushing it. However, the assignment I’m working on right now should give me the opportunity to get through March and a little of April’s content without a problem.
Right now I’m halfway complete with March’s content. I’m happy with that because it gives me time to make sure my content is long-form (800 to 1000 words) and is good quality. If there is any content you would like to see more of on LAAB, don’t be afraid to drop me a comment or email.
I’m going to have to go back to the drawing board on how I build my email list. I only missed my goal by around 400 subscribers, but I know I have the traffic and should be converting more subscribers. I’m beginning to think the traffic I’m receiving isn’t my target audience. If that’s the case, that means I’ll need to work on finding my tribe.
- Finish March’s content and mid-way through April.
- Reach 35,000 pageviews.
- Target income of $1,000 in online income.
- Reach 1,500 email subscribers.
This month my goals include completing all of March’s content and working mid-way through April, going for 35,000 pageviews again, and 1,500 email subscribers again. Instead of an income goal, I’ve created a target income that I want to achieve – $1,000.
This target income includes freelance writing and affiliate marketing. I’m going to focus more on a target because regardless of whether I hit or miss it, I will know what I need to work on. It’s much better than having a goal because I can’t exactly create an action plan to achieve a certain amount of affiliate income.
I have a higher income target since I’m now including blogging and writing again. However, I’m using my blog income as a supplement.
My writing income target will have to reflect the income I need to bring in to contribute to my household responsibIlities. However, I won’t start factoring this in until I do some more pitching and have enough clients under my belt.
Right now I’m trying to establish a daily grind and learn how much content I’m capable of creating each day. Once I settle into a routine, I will be able to iron out those income targets.
Basically, I will come up with how much I need to earn on any given workday and go from there. Since my work hours vary based on my husband’s schedule, I can’t give any exact details about how that’s going to work out at the moment. Stay tuned.
Wrapping Thangs Up
Again, I really want to thank all of you! I love getting feedback on how you’re succeeding with your own individual goals.
It’s not easy writing these income reports every month. And now that my income depends solely on my online work, I’m not sure it will get any more comfortable moving forward.
There may come a time when I do these income reports through email only, but I will let you know if and when that day comes. So far I love using these reports to encourage other beginner bloggers.
Thanks again for reading. I hope you’ll subscribe to the LAAB mailing list below so you join me in creating better finances for carefree living.
How was your February hustle? Do you make money blogging?