MoneySavingMom.com
FREEBIE LIBRARY!
Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

Tag Archive: Blogging Income Report

How I Made More Than a Full-Time Income from Blogging in March

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! You can also sign up for my free cheat sheet: 10 Ways to Make $100 With Your Blog.

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 March:

March 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

Want more information and ideas for making money from blogging? Sign up for my FREE cheat sheet: 10 Ways to Make $100 From Blogging.

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.

March Expenses

  • Payroll expenses — 44%
  • Retirement — 20%
  • Web-based tools (InfusionSoft, Feedblitz, GoDaddy, Dropbox, Harvest, etc.) — 8%
  • Subcontracted services — 6%
  • Computer, hosting, Internet expenses — 6%
  • Other (Office space rent, PayPal fees, shipping/postage fees, merchant account fees, bank service charges, utilities, travel expenses, wifi, etc.) — 5%
  • Health insurance — 4%
  • Professional fees (for our CPA, payroll management, etc.) — 4%
  • Advertising and Promotion — 3%

Percentage of Income Versus Expenses

Recent Experiments

1. The Homemaking How-To Course + Facebook Group

You’ll notice the payment listed from Humorous Homemaking above. That was from promoting Stacy’s Homemaking How To course.

We did something different in promoting this course and it turned out to be a smashing success! I offered a Facebook Group and we all went through the course together. People were super excited about it and I loved going through the course with a number of you in the Facebook Group.

I’m hoping to take what I learned from running this promotion to implement it into other promotions in the future. Stay tuned!

2. Your Blogging Mentor

Okay, so the biggest development from this past month was that we officially launched Your Blogging Mentor + our first blogging course. The response has far exceeded what we’d hoped for and I am loving getting to share all sorts of lessons and tips related to blogging through that new blog + the Your Blogging Mentor Facebook Page and Your Blogging Mentor Instagram Page.

3. Instagram Stories

Oh friends! I have fallen in LOVE, total LOVE, with Instagram Stories. Not only is it fun to get to share behind-the-scenes videos and photos from my day and to let me sort of quirky personality shine on my personal Instagram, but I’m also loving getting to share daily pep talks and tips for bloggers over on the Your Blogging Mentor Instagram.

This Month’s Featured Question

This month’s featured question is from Rebecca, one of our readers at YourBloggingMentor.com:

I was recently encouraged to share my blog on social media. I’ve been writing there for months but have not wanted to share it for two reasons. First, I am terrified because social media is basically a stomping grounds for offenses. The person that encouraged me to share it helped me see past this first one.

Second, I have kept it private for the reason that this is real life and my posts are irregular. Now I feel the day I’ve dreaded has come and honestly feel God has asked me to take this step. And even though I am still terrified and still have days and maybe weeks I don’t post, I’m ready to step forward.

What would your advice be for someone in my position? How do you “introduce” a blog on social media?

This is a fantastic question, and one that many new bloggers face. While posting regularly is important, sometimes you have to work up to that. Here is the advice I offered to Rebecca on how to start your public social media profiles for your blog (even if you aren’t posting regularly … yet!):

Do you feel like what you have to share would bless and impact others? If so, then by not sharing it, you’re not stewarding what God has given you to share, right?

Also remember that you have something valuable and important to share — something others need to hear. Let this fuel your passion and motivate you to post. The world needs your voice.

Starting from this frame of mind really helps me. It’s not about me; it’s about blessing and helping and inspiring other people — and using the gifts and skills God has given me to impact others.

Now, that said, I’d recommend setting up separate social media for your blog and sharing new blog posts there. I know this is more work, but here’s why I think it’s important to have separate social media for your blog: It allows those who really want to read what you have to share to follow you and for you to freely share your posts there — without having to worry that you are annoying people who don’t really want to follow your blog or be notified when you have new blog posts up.

You don’t have to set up all the different forms of social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). Just pick one to start out with and focus on that. I’d suggest picking the one that you either feel the most comfortable with or the one that makes the most sense for the audience you are seeking to reach.

Then, once you have set up the separate social media, invite those who follow you on social media to come follow you over on your blog-specific social media platform(s). Let them know why you’re setting it up, what they can expect, and why you’d love for them to follow you.

You can occasionally mention your blog on your personal social media posts — when you have a post you’re really excited about or when you’re launching a new product or have something else to share that you think everyone who knows you personally would love to find out about. However, I recommend doing this sparingly… say no more than once a month or every other month.

Highly Recommended Blogging Resources

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, be sure to sign up for my free Cheat Sheet: 10 Ways to Make $100 With Your Blog.

Previous Income Reports

See all Previous Income Reports here.

More Posts on Blogging

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

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

Make full-time 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 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.

Learn how to earn money as a blogger!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 January 2017:

January 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.

January Expenses

  • Payroll expenses — 38%
  • Partner & Affiliate Payments (Sign up for our affiliate program for our products here.) — 13%
  • Web-based tools (InfusionSoft, Feedblitz, GoDaddy, Dropbox, Harvest, etc.) — 12%
  • Subcontracted services — 11%
  • Computer, hosting, Internet expenses — 8%
  • Other (Office space rent, PayPal fees, shipping/postage fees, merchant account fees, bank service charges, utilities, travel expenses, wifi, etc.) — 5%
  • Health insurance — 5%
  • Professional fees (for our CPA, payroll management, etc.) — 3%
  • Advertising and Promotion — 2%

Percentage of Income Versus Expenses

Recent Experiments

Different Email Formats — This year, one of our big goals is to really get a handle on how to effectively use email. It’s something I’ve been wanting to figure out for years and finally have the breathing room and team in place to really make it happen.

Right now, in addition to really cleaning up our email lists and being very focused and intentional in our email newsletters, we’re testing different email formats — HTML only, HTML + Plain Text, and Plain Text only. We’re tracking how it impacts open rates and deliverability. So far, Plain Text is winning out big time, but we want to continue to test for another month before we can make a conclusive decision.

Instastories — I finally jumped on the Instastories bandwagon and am having so much fun with it! It’s a way I can really connect with my followers in more of a real-time way and give them peeks behind-the-scenes into my every day life.

Instagram — I’m also putting a lot more effort into Instagram as I feel like that’s a platform where people are really connecting with me at a deep and more personal level (Follow me here, if you aren’t already!). We’re promoting Instagram heavily when you sign up for my coming-soon site, CrystalPaine.com. (Sign up for the Crystal Paine email newsletter here for personal emails from me and then you’ll see what I mean about how we’re promoting Instagram after you sign up.)

New Sites — Both of the new site designs are really close to being completely done and now we’re working on content and email strategy for them. We plan to launch both of them at the end of March/beginning of April. Want to see a sneak peek of the design? Check out YourBloggingMentor.com and CrystalPaine.com.

This Month’s Featured Question

This month’s featured question is from Kaitlin from The Simply Organized Home:

I’ve suddenly been seeing a ton of growth in my blog traffic and subscribers. My subscribers have jumped from a daily gain of ~20 a day to over 150 a day in the past week. It’s all relating back to a post I did which gave away a budgeting printable pack.

My blog expenses are growing rapidly with my increasing subscribers but I’m not sure my income is going to do the same over the next month.What would you do in this case?

I’m thrilled to see my subscribers and page views increasing, but I’m a little scared by the financial commitment I’m making to pay out a larger sum of money without the money guaranteed to back it up.  – Kaitlin

This is a fantastic question! Seeing blog growth is a HUGE indicator that you’re doing something right. But what most people don’t think about in the early stages of growing a blog is that your expenses WILL grow as your audience does.

If you have a blog and you’re worried about your expenses exceeding your income, I totally get it. I’m constantly having to be strategic and plan ahead to make sure that our income is growing faster than our expenses! And there are definitely times when it can produce stress — especially during periods when your blog has a huge growth spurt!

Here’s what I’d recommend to Kaitlin:

  • Promote your own products to new sign-ups and regularly in your email newsletter (if you don’t have any of your own products, it’s time to create at least one or two!). As soon as people subscribe, send them a series of 2-3 emails that introduces yourself, introduces what you do, and offer a special coupon code for your products.
  • Make sure you are emailing out at least one or two affiliate links/promotional-type things every month. Of course, be sure you really love and feel you can get behind these things wholeheartedly. Email marketing is highly, highly effective when it comes to being able to actually encourage people to click through and buy something. Plus, when you’ve built a relationship with a reader and they trust your opinion and experience, they are much more likely to pay attention and take your recommendations very seriously. (Read more about affiliate marketing here and here.)
  • Set up a good followup sequence when people sign up for your email newsletter that sends them an email every few weeks that points to one of your top posts on your blog from the archives. Make sure that these top posts have great affiliate links in them.
  • Maximize your potential with sidebar advertising so that when people come to your site through links in your email newsletter, you are getting a payout for the traffic. (Read more about how to set up sidebar advertising here.)
  • Remember: Quality over quantity. A large email list is great, but if you aren’t nurturing your list and increasing your readers’ engagement by providing them good content and opportunities, your list numbers won’t reflect well in your payouts.
  • Network! Getting to know other bloggers and the strategies that work for them is a great way to increase your income-earning arsenal.
  • Never stop experimenting! If one idea doesn’t work well, tweak it and try again. Or, go back to the drawing board and try another idea. The more you’re willing to keep experimenting, the more chance there is that you’re going to find something that really, really 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.

Previous Income Reports

More Posts on Blogging

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

Make full-time 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 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.

Learn how to earn money as a blogger!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.

Are you a newer blogger? If so, you’ll find this January 2017 Blogging Income Report from The Simply Organized Home to be very thorough, helpful, and inspiring. And I love seeing how she made $1700 and the breakdown of her income!

Ready for the numbers? Here’s our income and expenses report for the month of December 2016:

December 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.

December Expenses

  • Payroll expenses — 55%
  • Subcontracted services — 12%
  • Web-based tools (InfusionSoft*, Feedblitz, GoDaddy, Dropbox, Harvest, etc.) — 8%
  • Computer, hosting, Internet expenses — 6%
  • Partner & Affiliate Payments (Sign up for our affiliate program for our products here.) — 4%
  • Health insurance — 3%
  • Other (Office space rent, PayPal fees, shipping/postage fees, merchant account fees, bank service charges, utilities, travel expenses, wifi, etc.) — 3%
  • Professional fees (for our CPA, payroll management, etc.) — 3%

Percentage of Income Versus Expenses

Recent Experiments

1. Launching 15 Days to a Healthier You

At the end of December, we launched 15 Days to a Healthier You. We ran this course somewhat differently than most other courses I’ve done in that we released a workbook but then all of the lessons were recorded live via Facebook Live every evening.

Overall, it was a success. We had some hiccups along the way, not everyone loved me doing live videos versus pre-recorded videos, and there were a few technical glitches. However, I was happy with the end result. We ended up have over 2200 people who went through the course live and we got a lot of very positive feedback overall.

The one thing I learned, though, was that it took a toll on me and was hard on our family’s schedule to do a live video at 8 p.m. every single week night for 3 weeks straight. If we do another live course like this down the road, I’ll likely either do the videos earlier in the day or will only have a few per week versus five per week. But live and learn, right?

2. Combining Our Email Lists

We’ve been hard at work behind-the-scenes to re-organize our lists and clean up a lot of things in InfusionSoft (we decided to stick with InfusionSoft instead of moving to ConvertKit). In the past few weeks, we merged two of our mailing lists so that we now only have a mailing list for each of our soon-to-be three sites.

This has made things much more organized for us and made it easier to figure out which list we should send which types of newsletters and offers to. We’re still working on cleaning up and culling the lists, but we’re getting close to having things all in good order — and just in time for the launch of the new sites.

3. Working on New Opt-ins

A few weeks ago, we also defined our ideal subscriber for each of our email list and mapped out plans to do a better job of growing our email lists specifically with these target markets in mind. We’ve been working on new opt-ins for these lists and we’re getting ready to launch and test these over the next few months. I can’t wait to see how it affects our email growth!

 

Highly Recommended Blogging Resources

This Month’s Featured Question

This month’s featured question is from Christy from The Harper House:

I just hit the one year mark with my blog and am blessed to have phenomenal growth; however, I can barely keep up and am running myself ragged. Do you have any tips on when and how to hire VA’s? I would love to start outsourcing some things that I hate doing and spend my time focused on what I’m good at. How did you find your team? And what is a good rate of pay to offer VAs? Thanks so much! -Christy

This is a fantastic question! If you’re a blogger and you’re finding yourself stretched with all of your blogging to-do’s, it may be time to hire a VA.

What is a VA? A VA is a virtual assistant — someone who can help you keep your blog running smoothly while taking some of the work off of your plate.

It’s important as a blogger to understand that you can’t do it all. Really let that sink in for you. Your time is valuable and is better spent doing things in your business that sparks joy and feeds your passions.

Don’t risk burning the candle at both ends, all the while sacrificing your quality of content and quality of life for the sake of growing your blog. Know that for all of those tasks that you don’t enjoy whatsoever, there’s a skilled VA out there who does! So if you’re teetering on becoming overwhelmed and burnt out, it’s time to start looking for help.

My first recommendation before you start looking for your ideal VA is to figure out what types of tasks would be the most helpful for you for someone to do. Think about which tasks take you the longest, bog down your time, drain your energy, and are ones you feel overwhelmed by. Make a list of those tasks.

Then, make a list of what your ideal candidate would look like. What are their strengths? What experience would you want them to have? What are the non-negotiables you are looking for? How would you want to work with them (by email, by video call, by phone, by Voxer, by Slack, etc.)? Think through how this is going to work and what this is going to mean for you as far as changes you may need to make in your own work systems and processes.

When considering these things, I’ve found it helpful to know what my own strengths and weaknesses are. I highly recommend taking the Meyers-Briggs personality test to find out what your personality type is. 16Personalities.com is a great place to start (and it’s free!).

Once you find your personality type, you’ll be able to find what other personality types you’re compatible with. For instance, I’m an INTJ so I know that for certain positions, a VA who is an INFJ will be the perfect match for me and other personality types will drive me batty in those positions!

When vetting your VA applicants, knowing their personality type can help you have a really good idea of their basics strengths and weaknesses from the get-go. If they don’t know their personality type, send them on over to that quiz on 16Personalities.com and help them find out! This has been a game-changer for me and my team.

Next, I recommend starting with a very small project. Working together on an trial basis using a small project or two will help you get to know whether or not the chemistry is there. Chemistry is very important when it comes to building a team, which is what you’re doing.

By starting with a small, short-term project, you’re able to see if it’s a good fit for both of you. You’re able to discover their strengths and weakness, see how prompt they are to complete tasks, determine if you like working with them, learn how well they respond to critique, and get a feel for whether this is a relationship that would work long-term.

Remember this: Your VA is going to have an important role in helping you structure, organize, and run your business. Pick someone whom you know you’ll enjoy working closely with long into the future. Going into the hiring process with this in mind will help you be much more realistic and objective in who you choose. And it will likely save you a lot of drama and headache down the road.

Once you’ve found someone you feel like will be a good fit for you long-term, begin with minimum hours — not a full-time position! Ask them to help you for 2-5 hours per week with the projects that are most pressing. As you need to, you can add more hours and/or tasks. But keep it simple at first.

I currently have 3 full-time employees and all of them started with just a few hours per week that morphed into more and then more and then finally a full-time position. This natural progression allowed for both of us to get to know one another, to make sure it was a good fit, and made the transition so much smoother.

Do keep in mind that it usually takes a good 2-3 months before you really start to see a lot of fruit from making the hire. At first, it can be frustrating that you’re spending MORE time training someone, answering questions, critiquing their work, and helping them get inside your brain. Do not skimp on the training part. Trust me, it will pay off!

Finally, let’s talk about pay. There are SO many variables when it comes to the rates you pay your VAs.

Most VAs will present you with their pre-set rates. You can always negotiate with them, but remember that what they charge depends largely on what services they’re offering. Many VAs do general work (formatting and scheduling posts, content development, email management, etc.) while others specialize in one area (content management, project management, PR, etc.).

It’s important for you and your VA to have open conversations about pay. Generally, you can expect VAs to charge anywhere from $15/hr to upwards of $100/hr (and everywhere in between!). Keeping the lines of communication open will ensure that there are no miscommunications AND that you are both on the same page.

Hiring a VA can be the best decision you’ll ever make for your business. Choose well!

Note: Interested in becoming a VA? I highly recommend starting by reading The Boostrap VA.

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

Have any questions for me about this income report or about making money blogging? Leave a comment!

All the details on how I made a full-time income blogging in November

Make a full-time income blogging!

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 November 2016:

November 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.

November Expenses

  • Payroll expenses — 33%
  • Advertising and Promotion — 20%
  • Subcontracted services — 12%
  • Other (Office space rent, PayPal fees, shipping/postage fees, merchant account fees, bank service charges, utilities, travel expenses, wifi, etc.) — 10%
  • Web-based tools (InfusionSoft, Feedblitz, GoDaddy, Dropbox, Harvest, etc.) — 9%
  • Computer, hosting, Internet expenses — 7%
  • Partner & Affiliate Payments (Sign up for our affiliate program for our products here.) — 5%
  • Health insurance — 4%

Percentage of Income Versus Expenses

Once again, I was very excited to have a good revenue to expenses ratio. We’ve been working hard to diversify our income and think outside the box and it’s really been paying off!

Recent Experiments

Blog Coaching Program

In November, I launched the 4-Week Blog Coaching Program as an experiment to see if there was enough interest in me doing group blog coaching to possibly put together some products and launch a dedicated blog on this topic.

I’ve blogged for so long that sometimes it feels like I’m a Grandma Blogger instead of a Hipster Blogger and that I’m so old-fashioned about how I do things that I’m not up-and-coming enough to really teach new bloggers. 😉

But I have a passion to help other bloggers and I love to share what I’ve learned and the mistakes that I’ve made. So I just jumped out and put the 4-Week Blog Coaching opportunity out there.

My big hope was to hit 100 sign-ups in 3 days. The cost of the program was $97 and I knew that was a lot of money to ask people to pay — especially kind of on the spur-of-the-moment. But I also knew that if I was going to prove that there was a market for me to teach other bloggers about blogging, I needed to be able to find 100 people willing to pay $97 in 3 days.

Well, I was shocked and thrilled that over 300 people signed up!!! And I ended up have the best time ever doing the blog coaching and can’t wait until I can do something like it again!

ConvertKit Versus InfusionSoft — What a Wild Ride!

So, I told you all that we were switching from InfusionSoft to ConvertKit. We set everything up and starting making the switch. We decided to test it out and learn the program by running all of the Blog Coaching Program through ConvertKit — including all of the sales and the emails related to the program.

Well, we ended up running into all sorts of glitches and issues. It wasn’t with ConvertKit, but with other programs we needed to use in order to run a launch and coaching program.

A lot of people didn’t get their emails or even get on the email list. We had to manually go in and fix all sorts of things. We had issues with payment processing. And we saw some huge holes in the overall system that would cause headaches for us in big ways for future launches.

My team spent a lot of time on the phone with ConvertKit and the other programs we were using to connect everything to run a launch. Ultimately, because of all of the issues and problems and the fact that there didn’t seem to be any fixes for some of them with our set-up and how we wanted to run things for future programs, we decided to go back to the drawing board again.

As of right now, we’re moving forward with trying to clean up everything currently in InfusionSoft and learn InfusionSoft to see if possibly we can make it work for what we’re wanting to do. It’s been hours and hours and hours of effort from my team, but they are making some headway and I’m hopeful that we’ll have a good email/course download system in place in the next few months.

This Month’s Featured Question

This month’s featured question is from Catherine:

Hi, Crystal! I’m a newbie blogger. I’ve started a chart for tracking things like email signups, Facebook page likes, Instagram followers, etc., to see how they’re growing each month. When it comes to Google Analytics, what should I pay the most attention to? Pageviews or users or something else?

This is a fantastic question, Catherine! First, let’s talk about what Google Analytics is and how bloggers use it.

Google Analytics is a Google service that helps website owners track the traffic they get to their website. Using Google Analytics, you can find out how many people have visited your website, what they’ve looked out, how long they’ve stayed, and where they came from.

This is very important information because it helps you get to know your audience better, and knowing your audience is key to running a successful blog.

Here is a quick breakdown of a few of the most important metrics to look at in Google Analytics:

  1. Pageviews — This metric shows the total number of pages that were viewed on your site. (More pageviews = higher traffic.)
  2. Sessions — This shows the number of times visitors are actively engaged on your site. As Google Analytics puts it, “A session is a group of interactions (pageviews, purchases, etc.) that take place on your website within a given time frame.”
  3. Users — This is the total number of visitors that have had at least one session on your site.
  4. Bounce Rate — Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that stopped by, but only looked at one page before leaving your website — meaning they bounced in and out again without exploring your website further. If your bounce rate is high, it might mean that your content isn’t grabbing their attention OR that you’re marketing to the wrong target audience. TIP: Statistics show that visitors to your website will decide if they want to explore your website further in the first 6 seconds of their first visit. (Note: We actually have a high bounce rate because most of our posts are encouraging people to click off our site and go to another site to sign up for a freebie, download an ebook, or get a great deal. So for us, because that is the nature of MoneySavingMom.com, I don’t worry as much about the bounce rate.)
  5. Average Session Duration — This shows the average length of time each user spends on your website. This is valuable in learning whether or not your visitors are engaged. (Longer sessions = more engagement.)
  6. Pages per Session — This metric shows how many pages your users are looking at during their time on your website. (More pages = more engagement.)

We keep records of how our pageviews, sessions, and users are compared to last year and the year before. We also pay attention to where visitors are coming from so that we can make sure that what we’re doing is performing.

For instance, right now we’re working on increasing out Pinterest traffic. So we’re paying close attention to which posts are performing the best on Pinterest and then we make sure to promote those the most often on our boards, as well as promoting posts that are similar and keeping what is working in mind when planning and writing new posts!

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

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

How I made a full-time income blogging last 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 October 2016:

October 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.

october-income

All Revenue Streams

affiliate-income-octoberAffiliate 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.

expenses

October Expenses

  • Payroll expenses — 37.2%
  • Advertising and Promotion — 13.4%
  • Subcontracted services — 11.8%
  • Web-based tools (InfusionSoft*, Feedblitz, GoDaddy, Dropbox, Harvest, etc.) –11.1%
  • Computer, hosting, Internet expenses — 8.3%
  • Health insurance — 5.1%
  • Partner & Affiliate Payments (Sign up for our affiliate program for our products here.) — 4.9%
  • Other (Office space rent, PayPal fees, shipping/postage fees, merchant account fees, bank service charges, utilities, travel expenses, wifi, etc.) — 4.5%
  • Professional fees (for our CPA, payroll management, etc.) — 3.6%

rev-vs-expPercentage of Income Versus Expenses

We have had a huge increase in companies wanting to partner with us for sponsored posts. While I’m still really, really picky about what opportunities I’ll take, I’ve been excited for this additional income stream — especially since our income from sidebar advertising has gone down pretty significantly this year as I have said no to pop-up ads and other ads that I felt like would be annoying to my readers.

We also have made some changes in how we’re promoting Amazon deals and been more strategic in tracking which Amazon deals are performing the best and focusing on sharing more of those deals here. In addition, we’ve been doing more with Facebook Ads to promote these to audiences on Facebook that aren’t seeing them through organic reach.

This has really begun to pay off and it’s exciting to see Amazon being such a strong income stream for us again!

Overall, October was a really great month for us — which was an encouragement after such a dismal September.

Recent Experiments

1. Moving Our Email System to ConvertKit

As I told you about last month, we’re still in the process of making the switch from Infusionsoft to ConvertKit. The move has proven to be more complicated than we expected and we’ve had to work through a number of hiccups and glitches that have happened along the way. We’re still pressing forward with this, but I think it’s going to be a more time-consuming process than we’d hoped.

2. Setting Up a Featured Instagram Account

So, I have been mulling over this Instagram idea for a few months and finally decided to go for it. And I’ve been completely shocked by how well it has done!

What was the idea? Well, it was to set up a very targeted niche Instagram account.

You see, I have around 67,000 followers on my main Instagram account and I love that account. It’s my happy place. It’s where I share things that don’t necessarily fit on MoneySavingMom.com but that I’ve been mulling over, learning, or that I’m excited about. I’ll share quotes I’ve loved, lessons I’m learning, books I’m reading, peeks into our life, and musings on topics such as motherhood, marriage, and more.

I’ve carefully protected that Instagram account and don’t promote many deals or sales on there. However, when I do promote deals, people love them and they always do really well.

For the past few months, I’ve been contemplating how to share more deals on Instagram without overloading my personal account with promotional stuff. I briefly considered just posting more. I average around 4-6 posts on Instagram most weeks, so I thought that maybe I could double or triple the amount I was posting and then have 1/3 of my posts be deal posts.

But the more I thought about the realities of that, the more I realized that it just didn’t sit right with me. It would require a lot more work, it would mean that I wasn’t able to let some of my really thoughtful and heartfelt posts sit there for 24-36 hours like I like them to, and it would mean that I’d be completely changing up what people had come to expect from me on Instagram.

So instead of trying to produce more content posts just so I could also include more deal posts, I decided to instead set up a separate deals-only Instagram account. I picked a name that clearly told exactly what my intentions were for the account (@AllTheBestDeals). And then I decided to tell people exactly what they could expect from the account:

This Month's Blogging Report

As you can see, while the account name uses keywords, I branded it by including my name followed by MoneySavingMom. I also made it clear that I’m personally curating these deals myself — to give more value to them. I added info about texting for deals as this is something that’s been really effective for us since we started offering it recently.

I set up a Link In Profile account so I can link each individual post to a separate affiliate link and can post multiple links every day. And then I went in and added six posts to start things off — so people could get an idea of exactly what I’d be posting. Plus, I always think it’s good to have at least 5-10 posts before you announce things to world.

I then posted about it on my Facebook Page and my Instagram account letting my followers know I had set up this account. I had set a goal to grow the list to 2,000 to 3,000 within a week. It’s always hard to get something brand-new like this off the ground and I’ve found that once you have a few thousand followers it seems that gives it enough legitimacy that it will then start to take off on its own. 15157029_10154327824128227_3230140387480512330_o

I’ve been thrilled that so many people are interested in following this deals-only account! So far, I’ve only had it for 10 days and I’ve already passed up the 3,000 mark! (If you’re interested in great deals, be sure to follow the account here.)

But I’m not just excited that I’ve been able to grow the following so quickly, I’ve also been thrilled (and a bit shocked!) at how well the idea is working. Over the past 10 days, at least 5-10% of all our affiliate sales have come through the links on this really small (compared to the rest of our audience) account!

How cool is that??! Plus, I’m having so much fun seeing what posts do best on it, what people are interested in, and what types of products convert.

This Month’s Featured Question

This month’s featured question is from Johanna:

“Hi! You’ve been talking about being an Amazon Affiliate, but unfortunately I live in Missouri. Yep. Can’t use it. Do you have any suggestions for other affiliate networks?”

YES, Johanna! I do! While it’s a really unfortunate that you can’t use Amazon Affiliates as a source of income, there are so many other affiliate networks out there that can help you diversify your income well. Here is a list of some of my top-earning affiliate networks:

Amy has a great list of many different affiliate programs here, too!

I also highly, highly recommend reading my post on 5 Strategies for Maximizing Your Earnings With Affiliate Marketing.

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