I’ll be real here: Mike and I spent pretty much all of July preparing for Reroute Lifestyle’s launch. Other than an income report, I published one post on my lifestyle and travel blog in July!!! Um, what?!?! And other than perfecting Pinterest, I didn’t do much to push it forward.
But I started my blog partially because the idea of earning passive income really fascinated me. Still getting paid in addition to the paycheck I bring home from my day job…after neglecting my lifestyle blog for the first time (ahh, forgive me!)… earning passive income is definitely a reality!
But I still need someone to pinch me.
The only reason why I started publishing my monthly income reports in the first place was somewhat of a pay-it-forward act. By reading other bloggers’ income reports and seeing the potential to make money blogging, I felt inspired to start a blog of my own.
I turned a $1,000 profit in my first five months of blogging alone. Last month, I hit a milestone of completing six months of blogging! I’m proud to have made what I did last month and am excited to continue writing for months or years to come. As a blogger, the work never ends, amirite?!
If you’re in the realm of bloggers who publish blogging or online income reports, please feel free to check out our Income Reports group board on Pinterest and apply to become a contributor. Or, if you’re obsessed with reading income reports (like I am), click here to follow along.
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A Little Background
I started writing income reports on my lifestyle and travel blog to show it’s truly possible to make money blogging. The numbers grew larger and larger every month, which in reality felt pretty freaking weird. Because, if you’re unfamiliar with the blogosphere: when it comes to receiving payments from other companies, girl, they really make you wait.
Depending on the companies you choose to work with (sponsored campaigns, affiliate programs, advertisers), the minimum payout can be different. And, every company takes a different amount of time to pay you. For example, even if you meet the minimum threshold of $10 needed for an Amazon Associates direct deposit…you might not see that money in yo’ bank for another 30-60 days.
So I started feeling weird about the way I initially chose to report my income. I reported all income earned, including small commissions from companies like Amazon, and larger “tracked” income from affiliate programs like Awin. But when would I actually see the money?
Enter Reroute Lifestyle: a website to document my journey making money online with my boyfriend so we can help and inspire others do the same.
We’re rerouting our lifestyle from the daily 9-5 grind (actually, we work in hospitality, so it’s more like 3-11 grind) to a lifestyle that empowers us to work from anywhere in the world on our own schedule.Reroute your lifestyle: work anywhere in the world on your own schedule. Click To Tweet
If you want to learn more about our goals and the two tryhards behind Reroute Lifestyle, click here.
Downsides to Reporting Income as it’s Paid
Maven is one of my favorite affiliate programs. Although they have a minimum payment threshold of $20 (which I met), the payment didn’t roll until the 1st of August (and in the previous month, they paid on June 30th).
And with Ebates, I don’t anticipate receiving that income until November. If you don’t know about Ebates: they practically pay you to shop online. For bloggers, you get $5 for every referral, and higher payout the more you refer. As a bonus, you get $10 just by using my link and making your first purchase!
In an effort to stay consistent and transparent, I’m only reporting 1) income paid to my Paypal or bank account between July 1st and July 31st and 2) referral credits I can use.
Months 1-5: How Much I Got Paid Blogging
So prior to this I’ve never really reported how much I actually got paid blogging (aside from this post where I talked about how I turned my first $1,000 profit blogging). Here’s the total amount I was paid each month (before expenses including Paypal fees):
- February (month 1): $0.00
- March (month 2): $60.00
- April (month 3): $230.00
- May (month 4): $324.00
- June (month 5): $962.15
Crazy, right? When you’re blogging everything adds up. Even though it takes time. So trust me when I say you CAN do this. Don’t be dissuaded if you’re not seeing numbers. Try figuring out how you can improve.
Related Reading: How This Blogger Made Her First $1,000 Profit Blogging
July Blogging Income Report
Siteground Hosting: $375.00 (I freaking love Siteground. Their customer service is just on point and they’re so quick to help a non tech-savvy gal like myself. Click here to get a 60% discount on your first hosting plan with Siteground!)
Linqia: $30.32 (if you have either 2,500 social media followers or monthly page views, definitely sign up for Linqia so you can start collaborating with brands!)
LendEDU: $80.00 (pretty much the coolest application for millennials looking to save money by paying less on their interest rates by refinancing their student loans. LendEDU compares rates for up to 6 of the top lenders using a totally free and easy-to-complete application that doesn’t affect your credit.)
The She Approach to Boosting Your Blog Traffic: $17.85 (I learned so much from Ana’s ebook for both newer and more seasoned bloggers on boosting your blog traffic. She gives invaluable advice on headline writing, audience growth, and soo much more. Click here to learn more about Ana, and her ebook!)
Blog Services: $65.00 (I didn’t push blog services this much, but still found both a blog audit client and a client who wanted some WordPress website customization.)
Tailwind referral credit: $45.00 (I seriously love, love, love Tailwind. It’s seriously monumental to my blog’s traffic growth. With all the Tailwind credit I have, I will buy a second subscription for Reroute Lifestyle.)
Total Income (without referral credits): $653.23
Total Income (with referral credits): $698.23
July Blogging Expense Report
Siteground Hosting: $0.00 (I prepaid for two years of hosting with Siteground in January, and I wish I pre-paid for three)
Tailwind: $0.00 (I prepaid $74.88 for an annual subscription to Tailwind)
Pinterest advertising campaign: $40.00 (I know what you’re thinking – what! But this $40 investment actually helped me boost sales by $425, so a $385 return on investment aka ROI. I’m sure there are more reputable marketers out there who can accomplish better results, but I like to experiment.)
Paypal fees: $3.65
G+ Suite for Business: $5.00
Total Expenses: $138.65
Total Income (after expenses): $474.52
It’s actually a little difficult to look at these numbers because I know I earned a lot in July (like, I’m pretty proud of turning $40 into $385) but it won’t be paid until August. So I’ll talk about those strategies more next month!
Goals for August
- Publish 2 posts on my lifestyle & travel blog, KristaAoki.com
- Publish 3 additional posts on Reroute Lifestyle
- Mike & I have a goal of responding to every comment and email we receive
- Start conversation in our Facebook group, and post at least 1 weekly promotional thread for members
- Grow our Pinterest group board to 50 subscribers.
Lessons Moving Forward
Anyway, I love ending my blogging income reports with a few takeaways:
- Take your wins, and move past your losses. Sometimes it’s hard to focus on your losses. Last month, I made nearly $1,000 blogging so I consider July to be a slow month. But I made some significant accomplishments and milestones this month (seeing my first few Ebates referrals, experiencing my best month on Maven). So don’t let one thing bring you down!
- When it comes to making money blogging, patience is key. OMG it took me forever to start making money with Ebates. People signed up for the program but didn’t use it, for the longest time. I constantly reevaluated and changed how I promoted it. Sometimes you just need to allow time for your posts to gain traction on Pinterest.
- Diversify your income. I can’t emphasize this enough. Try to vary where your money comes as a blogger. Some months (especially when you’re starting out like I am) will be slow in terms of affiliate marketing, and some months you’ll be able to nail more clients. Come up with a monetization plan for your blog and figure out how you’re going to promote different products/services.
But most importantly: if you want to make money blogging, go self-hosted! Oftentimes free blog hosts limit your capability of monetizing your blog. And don’t think that just because you’re a new blogger you can’t start monetizing immediately.
I earned a $0.44 commission from Amazon Affiliates less than a week after I launched my blog. It gave me the motivation to keep pushing and keep learning. I made a ton of mistakes in the beginning – but it’s better to make some serious mistakes in the beginning with a smaller audience, and learn as you grow. If you want to learn more about starting a self-hosted blog, click here to read more. Or, click here to immediately get 60% off your first hosting plan with Siteground.
Now, I want to know what you think!
Do you feel skeptical? We didn’t include payment proof in this post… but would you prefer to see that? We’re 100% writing for you, so let us know if you want something more!
- How This Blogger Made Her First $1,000 Profit Blogging
- How to Make Money Using Pinterest
- The Secret to Make Money and Build Your Mailing List
Also, how are you making money blogging online? Our favorite discussion about the topics we write happen in the comments. So let us know your secrets in the comments below!
Resources for Bloggers
- Free Facebook community for aspiring blogpreneurs: Join our absolutely free Facebook community full of people determined to make money blogging. Whether you’re thinking about starting a blog, or want to learn how to make money blogging, you’ll love this community. Get first access to resources like our list of affiliate programs for bloggers, and join our weekly promotional and pin-all threads to boost your blog growth!
- Tailwind for Pinterest: We absolutely love Pinterest and think it’s a monumental resource for new bloggers. With Tailwind’s free version, you get access to detailed Pinterest analytics to help you assess your Pinterest strategy and a free membership to Tailwind Tribes. If you use our link to sign up for Tailwind, you get your first 100 scheduled pins absolutely free – no credit card required.
- The She Approach to Boosting Your Blog Traffic: If you’re serious about making money blogging, you’ll need to drive people to your website. This book focuses on ways to improve your blog traffic, including tips on writing headlines, social media and genuine ways to grow your audience.