*This post was originally published as monthly income reports on KristaAoki.com. They have since been combined into a six-month income report.
Society is changing: more and more people use the World Wide Web to reroute their lifestyle and make money online. There are plenty of ways to make money online. Blogging is one of them. In this blogging income report, I’ll go over how I made $2,274.38 in my first six months of blogging.
On my personal lifestyle and travel blog, I published monthly blogging income reports that detailed the money I earned every month from blogging. The numbers made me feel weirder and weirder as they got larger. This is due to in part my early choice to disclose income as I earned money as opposed to disclosing income as it entered my bank account.
But enter Reroute Lifestyle: a beginner-friendly, no bullshit website established to help aspiring entrepreneurs start building their dreams and be their own boss.
I feel the need to disclose: this is not a post bragging about how much I’ve made blogging. I say this with every income report I publish: if other bloggers did not post their income reports, I would not have started blogging.
Reading income reports inspired me to start a profitable blog of my own. So, I write income reports as a way to educate other bloggers and inspire novice and veteran bloggers to start making money blogging.
Plus, I’m someone who loves to experiment with new programs and new ways of promotion. As new bloggers, it’s so important to experiment like this! But some of us don’t have the time to learn about all these different ways of marketing, promotion, writing.
Income reports are a blogger’s way of spreading the word about different types of marketing and promotion methods we can all try.
So, here you have it: a straightforward and totally transparent look into the money I’ve been paid in my first six months of blogging.
This report does not include any of my pending payments from affiliate programs including Awin, ShareASale, and Siteground…which is hard to hold back, because I am definitely expecting huge payments to roll in next month!
Other Income Reports
- How to Make Money Blogging: Make Your First $1,000 Blogging
- July Blogging Income Report: How I Made $698.23 Blogging
- August 2017 Income Report: How We Made $873.78 from Blogging
What I Failed in Six Months
- I launched a Facebook group. Because it was all the rage. But, I realized that maintaining the Facebook group took way too much time away from producing content for my blog. Community management takes a lot of time! On top of everything else I had on my plate, I wasn’t ready. So I, unfortunately, archived the group. Since then, I’ve sweet talked my boyfriend into starting a Facebook group with me (click here to check it out). Having his support starting this group really helped me get the confidence to start another one!
- I didn’t niche down. I agree – you may not need a niche to grow a successful blog. However, regardless of whether or not you have a niche, you better have an audience in mind. Writing about everything under the sun (being a twenty-something, travel, blogging – the topics covered on my lifestyle blog) makes it harder for me to monetize my blog in the long term. My followers subscribed to me for different reasons, which makes it hard for me to create products for them.
- I launched services at a price below their value. As I tested the waters for certain services I offered, they were at a pretty low price. I undervalued myself. As a full-time worker with benefits including insurance and 401(k), I think about my time by the hour. When you start operating as an entrepreneur, you should charge for the value that your client is getting. So if you’re offering a service on your blog – really think about what your client’s Return on Investment is, and how much you’re worth based on that. Do not undervalue yourself!
What I Accomplished in Six Months
- I launched a free e-mail course to grow my e-mail list. So it took me like 4 months to reach 187 email subscribers. In months 3 and 4 (April and May), I collected an average of less than two new subscribers per day. In June (month 5), I knew I wanted to work on growing my email list. I started growing my list by five new subscribers per day, so I more than doubled the rate my email list grew. Since then, my subscriptions have teetered off. But I’m working on totally new strategies to tackle, promote, and grow my mailing list. Update: Click here to look at all the freebies on Reroute Lifestyle!
- I found networks that worked for my audience. When I first started blogging, I wanted to try everything to see what does and doesn’t work. Eventually, I found my groove and found partners that worked for my audience. Since I blogged to the twenty-something age group, my partnerships with LendEDU and Maven were vital to my success.
- I found a small network of other bloggers to support me through my blogging journey. And it’s not just other bloggers supporting me. Relationships are a two-way street, and you really have to think of networking as a blogger like that. If I saw a blogger going out of her way to support me, I made an effort to do the same. Not only has this truly helped my blog’s brand, but I’ve made some incredible friendships from this! Like I’m excited to see all my DMs or tweets from you guys, thank you for always making me smile. <3
✔️ sales page
✔️ affiliate program
CAREER IN THE MAKING: coming to you 9.11 💕🍾
(keep your eyes open for a special surprise tmrw) pic.twitter.com/pQ55Ftnote
— Krista Aoki (@kristaaokiblog) September 7, 2017
Blogging Income Report
So this is the total amount I was paid in my first six months blogging. Keep in mind that every affiliate network is different and operates on different terms. So even if I earned something (like I’m seriously still celebrating my first Ebates referrals!!!), it won’t be here unless it was paid to me via Paypal or direct deposit.
Maven: $130.15 (lifestyle network where you earn affiliate commissions)
Blog Services: $294.00 (blog audits)
Awin: $20.24 (a combination of commissions from Etsy and Swagbucks)
Total Income: $1,949.38
The referral credits below are credits I received over six months.
It’s pretty incredible because that $90 Airbnb credit in its entirety was used to treat ourselves when we visited France earlier this year. We gave ourselves a $60-75/night budget fo
r accommodations, and the Airbnb credit allowed us one free night in Grenoble. It also gave us a little extra “free money” to spend so we treated ourselves to a couple nights in a medieval hamlet in one of France’s wine regions – Burgundy.
(P.S. It’s like totally free for you to sign up with Airbnb if you haven’t, and when you use my referral link you get $40 to spend towards your first stay. This credit does NOT expire so you can click here to snag this deal now!)
Airbnb: $90.00 travel credit
Tailwind: $225.00 Tailwind credit
Boardbooster: $10.00 Boardbooster credit
Total Credit: $325.00
These are my expenses for my first six months blogging. Because Mike and I started planning and investing in Reroute Lifestyle around my fourth and fifth months of blogging, those expenses are included in there as well.
Siteground: $121.75 (prepaid for domain & hosting for two years)
G+ Suite for Business: $24.28
Tailwind: $74.88 (prepaid for an annual subscription)
Olivia theme by Cityhousedesign: $29.00
Paypal Fees: $20.02
Awin: $5.00 deposit
Reroute Lifestyle expenses: $184.92
Pinterest ad campaign: $40.00
Total Expenses: $534.68
How to Make Money Blogging
There are 181 days between February 1-July 31. Let’s estimate I put in about three hours per day for my blog (some days I put in much more, some days I put in less). So if I did the math as to how much I’ve been paid hourly, that’s…well, that’s a little over $4 per hour. Before expenses.
I didn’t start my lifestyle blog with an intent to get rich quickly. Nor did I start my lifestyle blog with the intent to turn blogging income into full-time. But I definitely wanted to supplement my monthly income in order to pay off my debt and live more comfortably. And I truly believe that with the right work ethic, anyone can do that.
But how do you make money blogging?
There is no one answer. The shortest one: a lot of hard work, a mindset that bounces back from failures, and the determination to change your strategy based on what works for you.To make money blogging, you need a lot of hard work & a mindset that bounces back from failure. Click To Tweet
One of the easiest ways to start making money blogging is by implementing affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you connect with other companies to promote their products or services. When someone clicks your designated affiliate link to make a purchase, you get a share of the sale (at no additional cost to the buyer)!
Related Reading: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
It’s easy because you don’t have to fuss with the time it takes to make a product of your own – you can focus your energy on promoting products you love. This helps you, as a novice blogger, practice your marketing skills and determine what may or may not work for your readers.
Get Access to My Exact 6-Month Strategy
If you’re ready to put in the time to take your blog from hobby to business, or you’re interested in learning more about the exact, month-by-month strategy I used to build a profitable lifestyle blog, check out my new eBook: Career in the Making.
I outline my mistakes (so you don’t have to make the same ones) and successes (so you can implement similar strategies on your blog) when striving to make $2,200 with my blog.
You can get the exact marketing formula I used to post viral Facebook posts. And the exact affiliate strategies I used to make nearly $500 from lifestyle affiliates in my first six months of blogging.Are you ready to take your blog from hobby to business? >>> Click To Tweet
Plus, if you like the book (you will), you can join the affiliate program and make 40% of every sale!