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This Month’s Blogging/Business Income Report (February)

Thinking of Starting a Blog? Over the years, I’ve received many requests from folks for help on how to start a blog and how to make money blogging. That’s why I put together this comprehensive guide on How to Make Money Blogging with updated information and links.

It includes step-by-step help on how to set up your blog, get started, and make money from blogging. Go here to learn how to make money blogging and get started today!

In 2005, I discovered this thing called “blogging” and decided to try it out. I was a brand-new mom at the time, had recently quit working as a nanny, and was hopeful I could make enough on the side through online ventures to be able to replace my income and be able to stay home.

My husband was in law school and we were living on a beans and rice budget, trying to stay out of debt. We never, ever dreamed that my little blog idea would grow into what it has become.

In all honesty, when I started MoneySavingMom.com, I remember telling people that I hoped to make a side income from it. I never could have imagined that by the end of 2008, I’d be making full-time income from blogging!

And in all my wildest and craziest dreaming, I never would have envisioned that this blog would allow my husband to come home full-time, would provide the means for us to support ministries we love dearly (in the US, in the Dominican Republic, and in South Africa), and would enable us to provide incomes for our small (but amazing!) team.

How I Make a Full-Time Income from Blogging

Over the years, I’ve heard the question again and again and again: How do you actually MAKE money blogging??

People seem intrigued by the idea that our family actually makes a really good income from this blog and other related online ventures. In these monthly posts, I want to give you a comprehensive and detailed look at our different income streams and expense streams to give you a better idea of what’s working, what’s not working, and how I actually make money blogging.

I always find these posts fascinating and inspiring when I read them from other bloggers. It helps me to learn the real nitty-gritty details of what is and isn’t working, how bloggers are diversifying their income, and what they are experimenting with.

Some bloggers share these types of posts and include specific numbers of exactly how much they make every month. I’ve opted not to do that because I feel like sometimes people can get hung up on numbers and miss the bigger picture.

Instead, I want share detailed percentages of our income and expenses — not only will this give you a very accurate picture of our earnings, but it will be something that is relatable, no matter the size of your blog or the income you make.

My hope is that these detailed reports not only help give you a better picture of how I make money blogging, but I hope they inspire you with new ideas on how you can increase your income or improve as a blogger or online entrepreneur.

Ready for the numbers? Here’s our income and expenses report for the month of February 2017:

February Income

Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. All of the products listed below are products and services we’ve used before. If you have any questions about any of the income or expenses, you can leave a comment and we’ll do our best to reply.

All Revenue Streams

Affiliate Revenue Streams Detailed Breakdown

Want to know more how affiliate programs work? Be sure to check out my post on How to Make Money Blogging.

February Expenses

  • Charitable contributions — 33%
  • Payroll expenses — 25%
  • Partner & affiliate payments (Sign up for our affiliate program for our products here.) — 10%
  • Subcontracted services — 9%
  • Web-based tools (InfusionSoft*, Feedblitz, GoDaddy, Dropbox, Harvest, etc.) — 7%
  • Other (Office space rent, PayPal fees, shipping/postage fees, merchant account fees, bank service charges, utilities, travel expenses, wifi, etc.) — 6%
  • Computer, hosting, Internet expenses — 5%
  • Health insurance — 3%
  • Professional fees (for our CPA, payroll management, etc.) — 3%

Percentage of Income Versus Expenses

Recent Experiments

New Sites Coming Soon!

We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes putting the final touches on my brand-new sites, YourBloggingMentor.com and CrystalPaine.com. The designs are almost done and now I’m working on putting together content, posts, and more. I cannot WAIT to unveil them very soon!

We’re also hard at work putting together strategic email series for those who sign up for our email newsletters. We’ve never been very strategic in the past with our on-boarding process for new email subscribers and that is one thing I knew I wanted to make a big priority if I were to ever start a new site.

Working Smarter, Not Harder

One thing I changed in the last two months was delegating even more of my usual MoneySavingMom.com responsibilities so that I could have good boundaries with work and home life and also be able to devote time to the two new sites.

My sister, Gretchen, has been helping Meg with posts here every day and they’ve been doing a fabulous job of finding, vetting, and posting the deals.

This has allowed me to spend a lot less time in the nitty-gritty daily details and a lot more time in the big picture details. It’s also freed me up to have more time to devote to writing — both for blog posts and for other projects (see below!)

Brand-New Courses Are in the Works!

One of the BIG things we’re working on is putting together a series of courses for beginning bloggers which we’ll be offering on YourBloggingMentor.com. We batted around a LOT of ideas as a team for what digital products we wanted to offer on YourBloggingMentor and I’m super stoked about the final result of all of our ideas and brainstorming.

If you are a new blogger or even someone who is considering starting a blog, I can’t WAIT to share what we’re putting together. It will be affordable, step-by-step, go-at-your-own-pace, customizable, and simple. Stay tuned for more details!

This Month’s Featured Question

This month’s featured question is from Lauren at Funky Monkey Children:

Do you have recommendations for where to find VAs?

This is such a great question! In all honesty, I can’t give you a simple answer, because there are so many variables.

I think you first need to determine what type of VA you are looking for (Someone to do admin work? Someone to help format blog posts? Someone to oversee your inbox? Someone to help with social media? etc.)

Once you know who you are looking for, then determine how many hours of work you think you have for them to do and how much you can budget to pay them.

I personally start by thinking of people I know would be a good fit — usually someone who has some experience online, is someone I have a relationship with of some sort, or someone I know and trust has a relationship with. I will sometimes ask others I know and trust for ideas or names of people they’d recommend, too.

You can also use a VA service (these are usually more expensive, but you’ll typically get higher quality work) or find another blogger who has experience with blogging and who has some extra hours to devote online. Jessica commented and said that she has found great VAs through this Facebook Group.

Don’t ever hire someone whom you haven’t vetted well ahead of time. I prefer to have met face-to-face, have had some phone calls, and have some recommendations. I also always start with smaller, short-term jobs first before moving to a more permanent working relationships.

Remember, that it’s very important to vet your VAs to make sure they’re a good fit for you. See my recommendations on this past income report.

Note: Finding a good VA isn’t always about finding the most experienced person for the job. If the chemistry isn’t there, it can end up being a total flop hire. Hire the person who is reliable, willing to learn and grow with your business, and who comes through for you — even if they aren’t an expert! 

Highly Recommended Blogging Resources

Make Money Blogging

Want to Start Your Own Blog?

I’m here to help! Check out my comprehensive guide on How to Make Money Blogging with updated information and links. It includes step-by-step help on how to set up your blog, best practices for blogging, and all the details on how to make money from blogging.

Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up for my FREE 5-day course on How I Make a Full-Time Income From Home. This video course will give you an inside peek into my blogging and business journey, will share lots of inspiration and hard lessons I’ve learned in the process, and will encourage you with ideas on how you can make a part-time or full-time income from home, too.

Previous Income Reports

More Posts on Blogging

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12 Comments

  • Rita says:

    That is jaw dropping. I know there had to be a ton of work that went into all of that, so it’s well deserved. Congratulations on an awesome month!

  • agatha says:

    For those of us maybe not so active in blogging: what’s a VA?

    Thanks!

  • Susan says:

    I’m curious how your health insurance is only 3% of your expenses. I’m trying to figure out what my husband and I are doing wrong.

    • That’s because some of the other expenses are a LOT higher. It costs MUCH more to run a blog of this size than most people realize. As in, thousands and thousands of dollars every month for the behind-the-scenes technology and personnel for things to run smoothly.

      We have three full-time employees now + multiple subcontractors + many expenses related to systems and technology + lots of other little monthly expenses. So even though we don’t have insurance that is incredibly cheap & we pay for half of the insurance costs for our employees, it’s still only 3% of the overall expenses because the other expenses are just a lot higher than they were when we were first starting out.

  • Sarah says:

    Thanks for sharing this!! I like that you use percentages 🙂 I might have to switch over to that method. It’s actually more helpful and the you’re right – it makes it so you can’t get caught up on the numbers.

    My favorite thing about making money blogging is how diversified it is. If you have a low affiliate month, your product sales may be higher. Or, ads may go up. I love that you don’t just rely on one stream of income!!

    Thanks for sharing!!

    -Sarah http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  • Julie says:

    I don’t see Cents of Style mentioned….isn’t that a large affiliate?

    • Meg says:

      It’s run through the ShareASale affiliate program, so it’s included in that percentage. 🙂 -Meg, MSM Team

    • We love the company and their products (and we know many of you do, too), so that’s why we promote them as often as we do, but they are not usually one of our larger affiliates. Their prices are so low and their sales are so good, so the 10% payout we make on sales usually isn’t at all as significant as some of the other companies we work with.

      During the holidays or when we have a big launch, their sales definitely do better for us, but they aren’t usually one of our larger affiliates because we work with a number of different affiliates through the ShareASale program.

  • I love that over 50% of your “expenses” is going to other individuals via charitable giving and payroll – I hope to accomplish that same feat one day!

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