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Category: Income-Earning Ideas

This Month’s Blog/Business Income Report (September)

Our September 2016 blog income report is in! Come find out what September looked like for Money Saving Mom and what we've learned throughout the month.

 

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 September 2016:

September 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.

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All Revenue Streams

Interested in signing up with companies that will pay you to write underwritten or sponsored posts? Check out Erin’s post here for a long list of companies that will pay you to write posts.

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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.

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September Expenses

  • Taxes — 38.40%
  • Payroll expenses — 17.60%
  • Charitable contributions — 7.97%
  • Partner & affiliate payments (Sign up for our affiliate program for our products here.) — 7.46%
  • Computer, hosting, Internet expenses — 6.31%
  • Subcontracted services — 6.17%
  • Web-based tools (InfusionSoft*, Feedblitz, GoDaddy, Dropbox, Harvest, etc.) — 5.29%
  • Advertising & Promotion — 3.51%
  • Health insurance — 2.45%
  • Bookkeeper — 1.82%
  • Retirement — 1.09%
  • Merchant Processing Fees — 0.76%

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Percentage of Income Versus Expenses

As you’ll notice from the pie chart above, quarterly taxes ate a huge chunk into our income this month. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of running a successful business is that you have to pay a lot of taxes.
We set aside money every month for these, but we only count them as expenses on the months we pay them — which means that it kills our income versus expenses on those months. It’s just part of being self-employed and having your own business.
Our income was also down by quite a bit this month because we went to South Africa. Brian (one of our full-time employees) and I were offline almost two entire weeks because of that trip. Not only did we not really check or answer email (which meant that no deals were negotiated with companies we work with), I also did record on Facebook Live videos (something that impacts our bottom line) or do any Underwritten Posts.
So we had a lot less money coming in because of this. The trip was 100% worth it and I love that I have the flexibility to take time off, but I hope to eventually get to the point where we have enough passive income in place through our own digital products, that we’re able to prep for these types of trips and it won’t impact our income — even when we’re offline for a week or two.

Moving Our Email System to ConvertKit

After lots of thought and research, we decided to go ahead and make the switch from Infusionsoft to ConvertKit. We have some big plans in the works for 2017 and we needed a better email delivery system that was also simpler and less involved.

I am both excited and totally nervous about the migration because we have multiple email lists and a lot of moving parts, and I don’t want anything to get lost in the switch. However, because of what I know about ConvertKit, I know it will be MUCH simpler for myself and my team, while also maintaining the same great experience for all of my subscribers.

This platform is a LOT more user-friendly than Confusionsoft Infusionsoft, so if you’re a new blogger (or an established blogger looking for a better system), I highly recommend it.  Stay tuned for our upcoming income reports where I’ll keep you updated on how the migration goes and what we learn!

NOTE: ConvertKit is hosting a FREE online webinar on Tuesday, November 15th, at 2pm CST on How to Get Your First (Or Next) 1000 Email Subscribers in 30 Days or LessIf you’re looking for more practical ways to grow your email list, I definitely recommend checking out this webinar!

This Month’s Featured Question

Starting this month, we’ll be including a featured question in each of our monthly blogging income reports. We get a lot of questions when it comes to earning money from home with blogging, so we decided to answer the most common questions in our report each month. This month’s featured question is from Diane:

I have wanted to start a blog for years. A few months ago I was ready to do it, then I kept seeing a lot of posts about building e-mail lists so you could sell your products. I don’t have any products that I produce myself to sell of any kind, so I got fearful and delayed starting the blog again. I am a stay at home mom, and I do want to supplement my family’s income, especially to save for college and for giving. Can a blog make money without its own products to sell?

Absolutely, Diane! While we have created our own products to sell here on MoneySavingMom.com (such as Make Over Your Mornings and Make Over Your Evenings), a vast chunk of our income comes from other sources (see charts above).

For years, I made a full-time income from blogging and didn’t have any of my own products at all. I just promote affiliate links on posts, had ads on my sidebar, and also made money through sharing printable coupons and other freebies that I’d get paid when someone clicked and printed or signed up for.

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to get started making money from blogging. I recommend starting out with Amazon as it’s so simple to sign up for and to pull affiliate links from. Plus, they pay you up to 8.5% of any sale of any item that happens when someone clicks through your link.

Some of the Current Top-Earning Affiliates I Use:

Amy has a great list of many different affiliate programs here, if you’re interested. I also highly, highly recommend reading my post on 5 Strategies for Maximizing Your Earnings With Affiliate Marketing.

If you’re interested in more details on affiliate marketing, watch my video here where I explain more how it works and share posts and income reports. For more information on different ways to make money blogging, check out this post.

Have a question you’d love for me to answer? Comment below with your question and I’ll do my best to answer it either in a comment — or in an upcoming income report post!

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.

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Want to Make Money Blogging?

I have a passion to help beginner and intermediate bloggers take their blogs to the next level and impact many lives in the process. That’s why I’m thrilled to be offering a brand-new 4-Week Blog Coaching Program. Registration is only open through November 9, 2016.

I want to come alongside you and teach you how to increase your traffic, significantly boost your blog income, produce better and more consistent blog content, rediscover your joy and passion for blogging, all while still having a life outside of blogging. Go read more about this and register for just $97! But hurry, because it’s only open through tomorrow night!

See last month’s Blogging Income Report here.

More Posts on Blogging

My brand-new Blog Coaching Program is HERE!

Sign up for my brand-new Blog Coaching Program!

Today is the day!! And I couldn’t be more excited!!

After years of making a full-time income from blogging, and after years of people begging for me to start a coaching program, I’m thrilled to finally be launching my first-ever Blog Coaching Program!

This 4-Week Program is specifically designed to teach you how to:

  • increase your traffic
  • significantly boost your blog income
  • produce better and more consistent blog content
  • rediscover your joy and passion for blogging
  • still having a life outside of blogging!

You Have a Story That the World Needs to Hear

One of my greatest desires is to help women live up to their fullest potential in life. I believe that we were all created for a specific purpose, that all of us have a unique perspective on life, and that we all have a story that the world needs to hear.

But the world can’t hear it if they don’t know that you exist, which is why I designed this blog coaching program. I want to help you get your stories, your wisdom, and your perspective out to the world.

I want to give you the tools and the motivation you need to take your blog to the next level, to use your gifts and talents well, and to find the fulfillment that comes when your passion and your profession intersect.

I want to teach you the lessons I’ve learned from failure and success, share secrets I’ve uncovered for building traffic and monetizing your blog, give you encouragement and motivation for when you’re feeling exhausted and burnt out, and provide accountability and cheerleading to help you live out the purpose for which you were created.

Sign up for my brand-new Blog Coaching Program!

Join My 4-Week Blog Coaching Program!

For the first time ever — I’m inviting you to join me and a group of other bloggers for a private 4-Week Blog Coaching Program. This program is for you if you are:

  • A newbie blogger who wants to learn how to monetize your blog, produce consistent and
    inspiring content, and grow your readership.
  • An intermediate blogger who wants real, actionable advice to help you increase your income and
    develop a more effective social media strategy, all while having a great work-life balance.
  • Any blogger who is stuck in a blogging rut and paralyzed by the overwhelming noise of advice from “online experts” — who wants clarity and tangible steps to move forward and reach their blogging goals.

Ready to get out of the blogging funk and take your blog to the next level? Read all about the program & sign up here.

Any questions about the coaching program? Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them promptly!

I can’t WAIT to have you join me on this journey!

P.S. Registration is limited and is only open through November 9, 2016. This 4-Week Blog Coaching Program begins on November 14, 2016, and will run through December 16, 2016. After you register, you will get instructions on how to access the private Facebook Group, details on when the online workshops will be, along with a survey to fill out so we can assess your needs and tailor the program to meet them. Go sign up here!

15 Ways to Earn Money Online for the Holidays

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Check out these easy ways to earn money online for the Holidays! SO doable!

I LOVE fall for so many reasons — hot tea, scarves, boots, and fires in the fireplace while snuggling up with a good book — but all of the wonderful things about the upcoming holiday season might leave some of us feeling a bit unprepared financially. This can ruin the wonder of the season, but it doesn’t have to!

There are SO many ways to increase your holiday budget, and today, we’re going to dive into 15 different ideas to help you earn extra cash for the holidays — without even leaving the house!

#1: Swagbucks

If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I’m a big fan of Swagbucks. And you probably signed up a long time ago and have been earning gift cards ever since.

For the handful of you who have yet to sign up for Swagbucks or for the many others who have signed up but feel like you’re not earning much from it, you can go here to learn more.

#2: Ebates

Ebates works with online stores to offer you a percentage — usually somewhere between 3-10% of your total purchase — back as a rebate. While this might not seem like much, it can really add up over time. And if you’re already going to be making the online purchase, you might as well get a little kickback, too, right?

They currently offer cash back at over 1800 stores including Walmart, Target, JCPenney, Staples, Lands’ End, Sephora, and many, many more.

One of the oldest cashback sites, Ebates has an easy-to-navigate website and, in my personal view, is the best cashback program. You only have to earn $5.01 in rebates in order to get a check or Paypal payment.

#3: Amazon Trade-In Program

Amazon’s Trade-In Program is wonderful for two reasons: 1. You can earn extra cash for the holiday, and 2. You can declutter your house at the same time! This has to be one of the best ways to get ready for the holiday, right?!

Find out more about how to earn cash by trading in your unused things here.

#4: Sell your used books

Selling your gently used books is a great way to build your holiday budget! Books can be expensive, so selling your used books to companies like Cash4Books.netMyBookBuyerAmazon Trade-In Store, and Half.com can not only help you get the extra cash you need, but it can also help others get great deals on books. Win-win!

#5: Fiverr

Fiverr is a great place to earn cash for doing simple tasks for people who are looking for specific services. It can be as easy as writing a 300-word article (Note: This post has 417 words at this point, so 300 isn’t all that much!), recording a short video, proofreading, etc. People generally pay $5 for these small tasks (or more, depending on the job), and that can really add up!

Check out this guest post by Lisa of The Frugal Batavian that outlines all the need-to-know facts about how Fiverr works and how you can make money doing things you’re already good at!

#6: Online tutoring

Working as an online tutor is a great way to make extra cash in your free time, and it doesn’t take much to get started. Check out what Alaina of Telecommuting Mommies has to say about the different options available and how you can start earning in time for the holidays in her guest post here.

#7: Freelancing

The idea of freelancing can intimidate some folks, but the truth is, most people have skills they can monetize that they don’t even know about. Sara of Omaha Moms shares her story of how oDesk (now Upwork) helped her and her family recover from financial challenges — and how she got her first client within 24 hours! 

You can read her full guest post here. So inspiring! Other options are Guru.com and Lionbridge.

#8: Become a virtual call center agent

Seasonal work as a virtual call center agent is a fantastic way to earn some good cash before the holidays. Hear what Alaina Forbes from Telecommuting Mommies shares in another guest post she did for MoneySavingMom.com about the ins and outs of getting started and what companies are hire seasonal agents!

#9: Take online surveys

This definitely won’t make you rich, but I can say that in our lean years, I was able to earn extra cash to help us pay for the things we needed with online surveys.

Check out this post that lists the survey companies I recommend the most!

#10: Listia

Another fantastic way to earn free gift cards is with Listia. Listia is an online auction website similar to eBay, except that no money is exchanged. With the credits you earn, you can cash out for gift cards among other things.

You can go here to learn more about what Listia is and how to use it.

#11: Write basic articles

Textbroker works with people from all over the United States to write very basic articles on a wide variety of topics. If you have good basic English grammar skills, this is a great way to earn extra money for the holidays!

Find out more about Textbroker from Miranda of WAHadventures.com in her guest post here.

#10: Get paid to listen to music

SliceThePie is another money-making website we learned about from Miranda. If you love listening to new music, this is a wonderful opportunity to earn cash doing what you love.

Find out more from Miranda here.

#12: Transcribe other people’s voicemail

QuickTate hires entry-level transcriptionists to transcribe audio files into text. Miranda explains in her post that they mostly deal with voicemail recordings, which sounds like an interesting way to make extra cash. This job won’t make you rich, but it will help boost your holiday budget just in time for Christmas!

#13: Sell your junk mail

Harmony of Creating My Kaleidoscope recently shared her experience with a company who will pay you to send them your junk mail. Sounds scary, right?! Well, Harmony did her research and has some great things to say about the company who conducts market research using her junk mail.

You can learn more about it here.

#14: Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk)

Jason of Home Life Organized shared a tip with us last year about how to earn money with Amazon Mechanical Turk by taking surveys and completing small tasks, like verifying information on a receipt or text in an image. These are tasks that can’t be done by computers, so Amazon pays people from a few cents to a few dollars per task to get these jobs done.

Find out more about how to earn cash with MTurk here.

#15: Usability Testing for Websites

Ever hear about usability testing for websites? Well, Anna of Real Ways to Earn Money Online says that companies are willing to pay good money to have their websites tested by people like you and me to better understand what improvements could be made. If you enjoy surfing the web and visiting new websites, this is a great way to earn some extra cash doing what you already enjoy!

Check out Anna’s list of companies hiring website usability testers here!

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Looking for additional creative ways to add to your Christmas budget this year? Check out this article on How to Fund Your Christmas Budget in Just 15 Minutes Per Day!

Other Articles You Might Enjoy:

Do you know of any other easy ways to earn extra cash from home? Comment below and share your tips!

How to Fund Your Christmas Budget — In Just 15 Minutes per Day!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Psst! Want access to all the HOTTEST deals this holiday season? Be sure to sign up for our Hot Deals Newsletter to make sure you don’t miss any of the hottest Black Friday and holiday deals!

Fund your Christmas budget in 15 minutes a day! By participating in just a couple of these activities each day, you can add a pretty significant amount of cash to your Christmas budget!

If you’re looking for simple and legitimate ways to stretch your Christmas budget just a little further, you’ve come to the right place! By participating in just a couple of these activities each day, you can add a pretty significant amount of cash to your Christmas budget!

Take Surveys

While participating in surveys won’t make you rich, it is a great way to make a nice little side stream of income if you have extra time on your hands.

It takes a little while to learn what types of surveys you enjoy most and which ones are worth the effort. If you’re patient, persistent, and thorough, you will definitely earn some money. Don’t get discouraged if you end up spinning your wheels and not making a lot of progress in the beginning. Stick with it and you’ll get a much better grasp on where the best return on your investment of time is when it comes to surveys.

Hint: Be sure to use a separate e-mail address for your survey companies. Your inbox will be very full with surveys, and you don’t want it clogging your regular inbox. Plus, it makes it much easier to set up a separate email address for all your survey companies, so that you can just log into your inbox once per day and read through the emails/take the surveys versus having to wade through your regular inbox to find all of the survey opportunities.

If you’re looking for legitimate survey companies to sign up with, here are the tops ones I recommend:

1. Pinecone Research – This one is my favorite survey company, because I’ve found that it offers the most surveys for the best pay — $3 for each survey completed. This one can be competitive to get accepted into, but they have currently opened their doors to more of a general population for a limited time only! Go here to apply and get started.

Reader Ali shared her testimonial on Facebook: “I love Pinecone. It’s what helps with my Christmas Stocking shopping. I earn around $200-$250 per year!

And Amy shared her great experience, too: “I have been using Pinecone for several years now, and I make about $100-$150 per year. It’s a great income booster.

2. Opinion Outpost – This reputable survey company pays in point rewards for every completed survey. You can choose to get paid at $5 for an Amazon gift card or at $10 for cash.

3. Inbox Dollars – You’ll get paid to read emails, search the web, take surveys, and more. I loved earning free gift cards from Inbox Dollars when Jesse was in law school and I had a lot more time than money.

4. OneOpinion – This company gets really great reviews and is known for their availability of quick and easy paid online surveys, their amazing 24/7 customer service with a smaller customer-focused team, and super quick payout when you redeem your points. Once you reach 25,000 points, you can cash in for $25 in the form of PayPal funds, a VISA gift card, or an Amazon gift card!  Go here to sign up.

5. Swagbucks – This is my number one recommendation for earning money with surveys, but it’s SO much more than a survey site! (Read more below!)

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Other Easy Ways to Earn Each Day

1. Swagbucks – If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you probably know how much I love Swagbucks. This is one of the easiest ways to earn gift cards to go towards your Christmas budget each year, and it’s a company I’ve been using to earn gift cards for years now!

Like I mentioned above, Swagbucks is not just a survey site. It’s much more than that! In fact, Swagbucks started out as solely a search engine, but they’ve morphed into much more over the past decade. They now offer many different ways to earn more Swagbucks — making it much easier to earn enough Swagbucks to cash in on their prizes. Some of the most popular ways to earn Swagbucks are doing online searches, signing up for offers, printing coupons, completing special offers, or taking polls.

The Swagbucks that you earn can then be redeemed for a variety of different free items, such as Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, and much more!

Be sure to check out our complete Swagbucks guide, which includes my full Swagbucks review. And don’t miss all of the real Swagbucks Success Stories from MoneySavingMom readers!

2. Shopkick – This is something I recently got back into, and it is such an easy way to earn gift cards! To get started with Shopkick, you simply download the app, turn on Bluetooth, and walk in to stores.

You’ll get “kicks” just for walking in and/or scanning products, which you can then trade in for all kinds of different gift cards, including Starbucks, TJMaxx, Target, Walmart, Old Navy, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, and more!

I love Shopkick, because it’s something you can do on the side while you’re already out running errands or getting shopping done.

Check out our full Shopkick review, plus an exclusive Shopkick promo code that gives you a FREE $5 gift card just for signing up!

3. Ibotta – This is one of my favorite money-making apps, and it’s a great way to save money on groceries and more — without clipping coupons! With this app, you’ll get cash back on grocery and retail purchases. Go here to learn everything you need to know about Ibotta.

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How to Make it Work For You

So what’s the trick to funding your Christmas budget in just 15 minutes per day? Don’t try to do too much. Pick a few ways to earn, and stick to them consistently throughout each week. Over time, the trickles of earnings will add up to multiple gift cards per month to add to your Christmas fund!

Here is just one example of how to easily add $25+ to your Christmas fund each month:

1. Spend no more than 5 minutes each day using Swagbucks to easily earn enough to trade in for a $5 Amazon gift card each month.

2. Spare an extra 5 minutes to Shopkick at stores that you are already shopping at or that you’re nearby. You can easily earn at least one $5 gift card per week with Shopkick by walking into stores and scanning products — without putting hardly any extra effort or drive time into it.

3. Download Ibotta and cash in for rebates on products you’re already buying when you grocery shop! Earn at least $20 in rebates before Christmas to cash out, and add it to your Christmas fund! This requires very little extra time each week when you shop.

4. Sign up for one or two legitimate survey companies, and carve out 10-15 minutes each day to take surveys. Try for the ones that have the most earning potential for the time put in.

As you can see from this example, you’ll earn at least $25 in gift cards each month by investing 15-20 minutes per day at the most! And if you have extra time and you’re pretty serious about funding your Christmas budget, you could really up your earning potential!

Related:

National Consumer Panel: A testimonial from a 3-year panelist!

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Looking for creative ways to stretch your budget and earn a little extra? The National Consumer Panel (formerly known as Nielsen Home Scan) is accepting new applicants in many locations right now!

I loved this testimonial that reader Shannon sent in about her experience as a 3-year panelist:

“I have been an NCP panelist for 3 years.   You are asked to scan anything you purchase, using their handheld scanner.  For some smaller stores you need to enter the purchase price for each item and for other larger stores you do not need to enter prices.  Once all items are entered you enter the total bill amount and payment that was used.  It can be time consuming, depending on how much you buy.  It typically takes me no more than 30 minutes a week to scan in all my purchases.

I am at a platinum level (3 years), which means I earn 245 points every week I scan.  If you scan every week during a month, you earn 350 a month.  On your anniversary date you earn 1,000 points.  I also signed up to participate using my Amazon purchases, so once a month I download those and earn 1,000.  I do not always do surveys but there are probably 8-10 surveys a month I could answer, with each one usually earning 150 points.  Based on the above points, if I were to scan every week and do every survey offered (assuming 8 a month), in a year I would earn 12,740 points for weekly scans, 4,200 points for scanning each week, 12,000 points for submitting Amazon purchases, 1,000 on my anniversary date and doing 96 surveys would net me 14,400 points.  This would be a grand total of 44,340 points for the year.

When you first sign up for NCP, you earn 150 points a week.  I always purchase the Amazon gift cards with my points. A $25 gift card is 21,000 points and a $50 gift card is 41,000 points.   

They also have contests throughout the year where you can earn extra points.  NCP has great sweepstakes (although I have never won anything) and gives away weekly, monthly and quarterly cash prizes.”

You can go here to read another reader’s testimony about how she uses NCP to get AT&T discounts and earn Amazon gift cards!

Sign up here to get started with National Consumer Panel.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

This Month’s Blog/Business Income Report (August)

Learn how to earn money as a blogger!

 

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 this would grow into what it has become. In all honesty, when I started MoneySavingMom.com, I remember telling people that I planned to update the blog three times per week and 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.

Learn how to earn money as a blogger!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.

For a few months now, I’ve been kicking around the idea of doing a comprehensive post on 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. 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 August 2016:

August 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.

How I Make a Full-Time Income Blogging

All Revenue Streams

Interested in signing up with companies that will pay you to write underwritten or sponsored posts? Check out Erin’s post here for a long list of companies that will pay you to write posts.

How I Make a Full-Time Income Online

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

How I Make a Full-Time Income BloggingAugust Expenses

  • Charitable contributions — 24.61%
  • Payroll expenses — 22.58%
  • Subcontracted services — 8.27%
  • Travel expenses — 7.59%
  • Web-based tools (InfusionSoft*, Feedblitz, GoDaddy, Dropbox, Harvest, etc.) — 7.43%
  • Facebook ads & other promotion-related expenses — 7.04%
  • Computer, hosting, Internet expenses — 6.17%
  • Partner & affiliate payments (Sign up for our affiliate program for our products here.) — 4%
  • Health insurance — 3.6%
  • Professional fees (for our CPA, payroll management, etc.) — 2.54%
  • Misc. expenses (PayPal fees, shipping/postage, merchant account fees, bank service charges, utilities, etc.) — 6.19%

*We use InfusionSoft & Feedblitz for our email newsletters. If I had to do it over again, I would go with ConvertKit as I have heard so many good things about this program from friends who use it… and it’s much less expensive and user-friendly!

How I Make a Full-Time Income Blogging

Percentage of Income Versus Expenses

I try to shoot for a 60/40 difference in income versus expense. We don’t always hit that, but that’s my goal! As you can see, we were pretty close to that range — which I was happy with!

Recent Experiments

Facebook Live Videos — I started trying out Facebook Live on an almost-daily basis in the last 3 months and we’ve seen incredible results from it. Not only is it a great way to increase the engagement on our Facebook page and build a more personal relationship with people, but it allows me to personally talk about the current deals and promotions and link to them right there in the comments on the Facebook Live post.

People love being able to click right through and go check out the deal or post I was talking about. Plus, it makes the deals more interesting than just a blog post. We’ve found that it has made a big difference in our affiliate sale conversions and gives a much more personal feel to my Facebook page. It also allows people to connect with me personally — which I love! You can see all of my recent Facebook Live videos here. 

Link in Profile — I also recently changed out my Instagram profile link to be a Link in Profile link. This service costs $10 per month and allows me to link pictures directly to affiliate links or posts on my blog.

We’ve found that this is not only something very helpful to readers as they can click through and find the direct links for multiple pictures, but it’s been a lot more effective in our affiliate marketing. We rarely use Instagram to promote something, but when we do, we’ve noticed a big uptick in affiliate sales and a more long-tail affect. You can see my Link in Profile page here to see how it works.

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.

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