January 2018 Income Report

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Welcome to this month’s blog income report! I’ll be sharing an update each month, both for accountability to keep working on my blog and also an encouragement for those just starting out.

I’ve been blogging for over 12 years now. When I first started this blog over 4 years ago, my goal was to make money from it. Somehow, even after reading countless income reports and “how to make money blogging” articles, how to make consistent and significant income didn’t click until early November 2017. When I shared my new income with my friends, so many asked how I was making money with my blog that I wrote an ebook with my top 5 tips. Download it for free and learn from my mistakes!

Blogging Basics

Since this blog isn’t about blogging, blogging tips posts are limited to these monthly income reports. If you would like further tips and info about blogging, please join my blogging email list and receive my free ebook as a thank you for joining!

To get started making money from a blog, you need to have a blog on a self-hosted site. This opens you up for opportunities like joining ad networks, the ability to customize your site with your choice of plugins, and protects your blog from being deleted by outside sources (yes, it happens). You can start a blog for as little as $3.95 per month, so the investment for starting your blog is minimal. I use Siteground for my hosting and recommend it to anyone wanting to start a blog (set up through the free WordPress.org). The customer service is the best in the industry. I’ve used the other popular hosting site and found them confusing and difficult to work with, but I have had nothing but great experiences with Siteground.

After you purchase your blog hosting space, then it’s all about the set-up. Setting up your email list is absolutely critical for success, as you can build relationships with your readers and learn what kinds of things they would like to read about as well. All of social media is based on algorithms, so not all your readers will be shown what you post on Facebook or Pinterest, but you can reach them all by email. I’ve tried several email list programs and found the easiest to use is Mailerlite. They have a free program for lists under 1,000 subscribers, and all features are available. You will find that other companies might have free programs, but some features are unavailable with the free option. Mailerlite also has a drag-and-drop newsletter feature, which is great for non-techy people such as myself.

Okay, so now that you know my two favorite tricks of the trade (and how inexpensive blogging really is!), be sure to download my 5 top tips for blogging for profit. It’s free!

For even more resources on how to make money from your blog, check out my Resources page. 

January was extremely hard for my family, and that’s reflected in the smaller income – it’s actually bigger than I expected! In the first week of the new year, Peter came down with the flu. Halfway through the week, both boys had a fever and just as they were getting better, I got the stomach flu. I am so thankful for my mother-in-law, who spent the night so she could help with the boys while Peter and I were both down for the count. We have finally turned the corner back towards health and I am so grateful!

January 2018 Income

Here’s the breakdown:

Amazon: $0.96

This amount seriously makes me laugh to even include it, but it’s income, so it counts.

Google Adsense: $3.50

This is passive revenue just from having a few ads on my site. I just got approved for a better paying ad network, so I am excited to change that over to the new network, and I hear it pays better.

Shop Style Collective: $2.85

I didn’t even put out any fresh affiliate post through SSC in January, and this network pays per click. Again, it counts!

FlexOffers: $4.92

I’m liking this network, I get affiliate links for places like debt relief companies, Groupon, and Macy’s .

ShareASale: $1.60

Everyone really likes ShareASale as a network, I’ve only found a few brands that fit my mission statement. My current favorite is IdealRaw organic vegan protein powder.

Commission Junction: $50
Siteground: $50
Private agreement: $10
Total: $123.83
Total earned in 2018: $123.83

In December I was able to re-invest some of my income into the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing class. The instructor, Michelle, makes over $130,000 per month from her blog, with a large percentage of it coming from affiliate marketing. Her course is absolute brilliance, and I am going through all my old posts, applying the material. There are several bonus courses included, as well as a mastermind Facebook group. I’ve learned so much and am excited to see how much our income increases as a result of applying everything I’m learning with this course. As you can see, the majority of my blogging income this month came from affiliate marketing, and I thank Michelle’s tips for keeping my income up when I wasn’t able to complete any sponsored work this month.

I am also learning and applying analytics-focused tricks I learned from the ebook Pinteresting Strategies, and I’m loving the growth of my Pinterest performance as a result! My traffic is now up over 50% and about 70-80% of all views are from Pinterest!

I set a lot of goals for January which didn’t end up happening because of our recurring illnesses. For February, I’m going to finish the revamp of older posts, and create two new big resources for you all. I put out polls on Instagram and Facebook to get an idea of what people are interested in, so I’m excited to put those together. They will be time-intensive, but I think it will be an important use of my energy.

One thing I’m especially excited about for this month is welcoming my husband Peter on board as my social media manager! Preserving family time is very important to us, and with the growth and goals of the blog for this year, I just wasn’t going to be able to get everything done without sacrificing family time. I’m so excited for his strategic mind and his vision! Last month I mentioned I wanted to rebrand. He has started working on rebranding and I’m hoping to start the transformation over the weekend.

As I said in my post about why I’m not setting New Years Resolutions this year, I mentioned that I am returning the blog to its original purpose, and I have created a mission statement. I have been working with several brands to bring you incredible content this year, all relating to living a natural lifestyle on a budget. I am so thankful and humbled for all of you readers, and I want to bring you the very best content for your very best lives!

Happy February!

Are you getting ready to start a blog or know someone who is? Share this post as an encouragement that you can make money blogging!

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How I Made $674.88 on Black Friday: November 2017 Blog Income Report

Everything I do to make money affiliate marketing, how to maximize affiliate marketing,how to make money blogging

Have you read blog income reports before? The super amazing inspirational ones where top bloggers lay out exactly how they make over $100,000 per month? Yeah, I love those. I try to read 1-2 a week. They are so inspiring!

Why I like affiliate marketing

I’ve done several direct sales in my day. We still love and use and share essential oils and my beloved salad bar capsules, but I find my sharing is more authentic (for me) when I’m not trying to reach a new rank.

Affiliate marketing is different. With affiliate marketing, I post links to things I love, and when purchases are made through those links, the companies pay me a small percentage. The way I see it, you’re going to buy diapers and cold medicine anyway, I just share links to them and make it easier for you. I don’t have to tell you they work. You won’t ask to see studies. It’s less pressure on all of us – and it doesn’t cost you anything! Win-win, amIright?

I’m still a small blog, but since I’m now working on increasing my Pinterest presence and am determined to get a firm handle on this crazy opportunity they call “affiliate marketing,” I thought I would share my results from my first month truly applying everything I’ve been learning.

The Blogging Aspect

First off, while you can make money from Pinterest alone with affiliate marketing, to make money blogging, one needs to first start with a blog. I have my favorite resources listed for starting a blog and where to go to host on my resource page.

About Black Friday

It is absolutely no secret how much I love my Instant Pot. I firmly believe everyone needs to own at least one (I’m still trying to talk Peter into getting me an 8qt as well so I can make big cheesecakes, but kitchen space is limited so he wins. For now).

In the week leading up to Black Friday, I wrote my post about why I love my Instant Pot. I shared it on Pinterest and it got a few repins. For me, any engagement over 5 is a big deal, and this one is at 146 at the time of this writing.

Since all the deals go live on Thanksgiving now instead of Black Friday, I wrote a round-up of my favorite Black Friday deals and how to use Ebates to save an extra $10+ off your purchase. When I got word that the 6qt DUO (the model I have) dropped in price, I re-worked the numbers, edited my post, and shared my strategy with the Instant Pot community.

I had over 100 people sign up, and of those, 39 made their purchase through my Ebates link, which gave them each a $10 bonus rebate.

I shared my link on several threads, on posts where people were asking for help finding the best deal. I saw a huge spike in traffic every time I posted “here’s how to get one for less than $40!” This seemed to work well, and it wasn’t just spamming people with affiliate links.

As the stores started selling out, I shared my Facebook page link and letting people know I would be watching all  weekend and posting every link for Instant Pots and accessories still in stock. I got over 130 new followers, and a few new blog subscribers!

Throughout my blog posts and on my Facebook page, I used Amazon affiliate links.

Here’s the breakdown of my Black Friday earnings:

Ebates

Ebates has an incredibly generous referral program (more on that later this week). $470

Amazon

$171.46

Flexoffers

This is an affiliate program that has several of my favorite stores on it, including Kohls and Groupon. $4.01

Google Adsense

This is set up through Google, and they currently run most of the ads on my site. $23.56

ShopStyleCollective

This program is amazing because it makes sharing links so incredibly easy! Plus, it pays per click as well as per sale. $5.85

Grand total: $674.88!

I definitely lucked out with my first month seriously making money from my blog was also during Black Friday. However, I am very excited to continue learning and growing this into a steady income! I’ll be posting income reports each month as a way to keep myself accountable, as well as hopefully answer the questions I’ve been getting recently on how to actually make money blogging. This will not become a blog about blogging, but these income reports will point to the best resources I find along my journey!

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