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.
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:
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 advertising (See a detailed breakdown of all affiliates we earned income from below.) — 48.2%
- Digital products (Sales of Make Over Your Mornings, Make Over Your Evenings, and Make Over Your Year) — 23.45%
- Underwritten posts (We work individually with companies, as well as with MediaKix & Mirum.) — 12.75%
- Banner ads (We mostly work with AdThrive for this. Erin lists more ad companies here.) — 11.85%
- Speaking income — 3.68%
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.
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.
- Amazon affiliate income — 21.98%
- CenterPoint Media — 21.62%
- Ultimate Bundles — 14.87%
- ShareASale — 9.19%
- Federated Media — 5.34%
- iBotta — 3.83%
- Bluehost — 3.31%
- Rocky Mountain Oils — 3.15%
- Inbox Dollars — 3%
- Commission Junction — 2.77%
- Survey Sampling (Opinion Outpost) — 2.21%
- Misc. (Dedicated Media, Escalate Media, DiscountMags.com, Grove Collaborative, ShopHer Media, Panthera, Media.net, Rakuten, plus a few other random payments from small one-time affiliate deals) — 8.73%
- 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!
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!
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
- How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup
- Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook by Abby Lawson
- Brilliant Pin Promotion Course by Beth Anne Swamberger
- FB Brilliance: The Ads Course for Business Builders
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.
More Posts on Blogging
- Help! I Want to Start a Blog, But Isn’t the Market Already Saturated?
- Help! I Want to Start a Blog, But I Can’t Figure Out What I Should Blog About!
- The 3 Most Important Things You Should Do After You Start a Blog
- Why I Think You Should Break the “Blogging Rules”
- 5 Questions to Ask When You Feel Like Quitting Your Blog
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