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:
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.) — 67.38%
- Digital products (Sales of Make Over Your Mornings, Make Over Your Evenings, and Make Over Your Year) — 10.73%
- Banner ads (We mostly work with AdThrive for this. Erin lists more ad companies here.) — 20.10%
- Royalties (From the sale of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget.) — 1.39%
- Sponsored posts — 0.39%
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 — 57.93%
- ShareASale — 10.15%
- TopCashBack — 6.13%
- Bluehost — 3.72%
- Misc. (Dedicated Media, Escalate Media, DiscountMags.com, Grove Collaborative, ShopHer Media, Panthera, Rakuten, plus a few other random payments from small one-time affiliate deals) — 3.36%
- Commission Junction — 3.03%
- Impact Radius — 3.01%
- Live Your Truth — 2.69%
- iBotta — 2.56%
- Creative Trust — 2.55%
- 23 Publishing — 2.42%
- DiscountMags.com — 1.25%
- SecureN1 Transactions –1%
- 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%
Percentage of Income Versus Expenses
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 Less. If 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:
- Panthera Network
- Escalate Media
- ShopHer Media
- Commission Junction
- CenterPoint Media
- Glitter Network
- Coupon-printing (Coupons.com, RedPlum, and SmartSource)
- Pepperjam Network
- Impact Radius
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
- 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 Schwamberger
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.
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!
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