Every time I hit a big milestone in my business, I like to share what I learned with as much detail as possible through a blogging income report. In May, I hit my biggest milestone yet – my first five figure month coming in at a grand total of $10,541!
I woke up the morning of June 1st to find that a massive client payment hit my PayPal account the night before. That payment put me over the $10k mark and when I realized it, I nearly fell out of my chair!
Truthfully, I thought it would take me a while longer to have my first five-figure month. I saw it on the horizon but I couldn’t quite grasp it yet, so imagine the surprise I had when I tallied up the numbers. I swear I must have added everything up 60 times just to make sure that I had, indeed, brought in over $10,000!
This is the most amount of money I’ve ever made in a month and even after subtracting expenses (a little less than $3,000 last month but that includes my health insurance, phone and some expenses that aren’t monthly) and taxes (30% of the net. Ouch, I know. More money equals higher tax bracket.), whatever was left over was still more than double what I was bringing home from my last desk job. This girl is going to be boosting her savings and investment portfolio! Yasss!
The rest of this post will detail exactly where the money came from, what worked and what didn’t. And so, without further ado, here is my latest blogging income report.
Why would I publicly publish a blogging income report?
I personally find it extremely helpful when other people post their own blogging income report. It helps me see what’s possible. That’s my intention here with you. If I can do it, you can do it too.
Here’s the complete breakdown of the May 2016 business revenue:
- Sponsorship/Ads: $1400
- Coaching: $3000
- Affiliate Sales: $318.75 (Plus an additional $47.25 in affiliate sales made that hasn’t been paid out yet). I’ve taken Michelle Shroeder-Gardner’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing class and I’ve seen a major increase in affiliate sales.
- Amazon book sale commissions: $12.90
- Online store: $12.98
- Content Creation (Includes video and freelance writing): $5750
For the record, I don’t have stellar page views or hundreds of thousands of social media followers. In fact, I didn’t even start working on growing my social media following until relatively recently.
Making money online is a lot more about building relationships than it is about numbers. Numbers play a role, but they aren’t the end all be all. If there’s just one thing you get from this blogging income report, let it be that you don’t need to be internet famous to make money.
This is the part of the blogging income report where I detail what I find is actually working and helping me reach these milestones. It changes from time to time as I learn more about running an online business.
- I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but I can’t stress how important it is to build a solid brand online. Want people to come to you for quotes in the media? Want them to hire you? Then you must become the go-to person (or at least one of) in your niche. People know what they’re getting with me because I’ve worked hard to become an expert in three areas: millennials, marketing and money. In order to build a solid brand, you need your own site.
- Social media. It wasn’t until recently that I started investing some dollars into social media. So far we’ve grown our Instagram following by 2,316 and Twitter by more than 4,000 in the last few weeks. No, I don’t buy followers. What I do is outsource social media engagement to people and tools like Instagress. I also started experimenting more with Pinterest which is helping with traffic to the site. I’ve been using Boardbooster for Pinterest which increased my page views by 8,000 in less than a month! While I haven’t been able to equate this to any writing or coaching sales (at least not yet) it is helping me look extremely attractive to sponsors and advertisers. I already potentially have another huge sponsor lined up for the near future. Additionally, it’s also helped boost affiliate sales.
- Referrals. I got a couple of new high-paying writing clients thanks to referrals from old clients.
- The Make Money Your Honey Podcast. Okay, so I knew podcasts were popular for the finance and business niche, but boy I didn’t know how much! Every since launching the podcast our inbox has been flooded with questions and requests from listeners! This helps me connect with my audience, make some store sales, find coaching clients and helps me come up with more great content that is helpful to my community.
- Hustling. Yeah, I hustle. Recently that looked like traveling to another city to film some classes for a client. When everyone is at a Bar B Q I’m on Pinterest. If you’ve got time for a Bar B Q, you’ve got time to hustle.
- Following up. Again beating a dead horse, but the fortune is in the follow-up.
- Owning how good I am at what I do. This alone has worked miracles. Ever since I really owned my power about a year ago my revenue has continued to increase.
- Being of service. I’ve got money on my mind, but not in my heart.
- Acting with integrity. I terminated a contract I no longer felt aligned with and I turned down easy money because I could not support the company that wanted to purchase ad space. It is damn hard to do this sometimes, but everytime I do it I’m rewarded with far more money down the road.
- Investing in outsourcing. I outsource the tasks that don’t immediately lead to money. At some point in business, you’re going to have to put your money where your mouth is and put some cash into your business.
- Multiple sources of income. Okay so I’m beating a third dead horse. Having multiple sources of income is KEY to building wealth. Millionaires have an average of seven sources of income. It takes time to build but it is so worth it.
- My column for Inc. Instant online business street cred.
- Affiliate income. This is the most amount of money I’ve made in one month from affiliate income. I plan to continue to improve this. As I already mentioned, I took Michelle Schroeder-Garner’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Class which has been super helpful. Michelle makes over $50,000 a month with affiliate sales and the course almost paid for itself within a couple of weeks!
- My coworking space. I am a beast when I go to the office. I’m seriously amazed at how much I get done there.
What didn’t work:
Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I always detail where I can make improvements in my blogging income reports. This isn’t to be hard on myself, it’s just me being strategic so I know where I can improve and make more money.
- It may look like I’m on the ball with things, but the truth is I’ve been pretty distracted. I’ve been dealing with some family stuff which has thrown me for a bit of a loop. The good news is if I’m raking in $10k when I’m not that focused, imagine when I am. The other good news is my work is flexible enough where I can make adjustments to my life if need be. That’s why I went into business for myself to begin with. My team is also solid and they provide support when I have to take care of myself.
- I haven’t been that great about marketing the online store or creating new offerings. I’ve been so focused on client work that I’ve neglected products. Something to look at in the future.
Resources you may find helpful or add value to this blogging income report:
Blogging and Making Money Writing:
- How I Doubled My Freelance Writing Income in One Day
- 5 Proven Ways to Find Freelance Writing Clients
- How to Use Bluehost to Set Up a WordPress Blog
Previous Income Reports (in order from oldest to most recent):
- How I Quickly Made $3,490 Freelance Writing Without Killing Myself
- How to Rebrand a Business in 90 Days and Triple Your Revenue
- Make Money Blogging: How I Made Over $16,000 In Three Months By Blogging
On-demand classes you may find helpful:
- Blogging for Business Video Bundle
- Be Your Own PR Agent On Demand Workshop – Learn how I got my column at Inc and how I get regular media mentions.
- How to Double Your Freelance Income in 12 Months
If you’d like customized guidance on how you can build your own online business please fill out this application form. I have limited spots available and I expect them to go fast when this income report is published.
Overall I’m quite pleased with how things are going. This is a great way to celebrate my upcoming three-year anniversary of having quit my day job and I know it’s going to continue getting better from here.