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My Blog Income Report – The first 10 months
I decide to bite the bullet and write my very first blog income report. I was kind of terrified to put it down on paper, but now that's it's done I'm SO glad I did!
The good news is I've actually made money and that is something I was questioning simply because I've invested A LOT of money into my blog and as I am approaching my first year of blogging anniversary I was starting to think maybe I had spent more money than I have made – after I put it down on paper I was thrilled to find that I had indeed made more money than I spent = WINNING! I haven't worked out the exact amount of my expenses yet as I need to separate out some of the costs and assign them to projects but my quick calculations show I'm moving forward. Hooray!
What I've Invested In
I've had two semi-successful blogs in the past – I never monetized them but wrote for a small but engaged audience (both previous blogs were tied in with businesses I was running at the time). Through those experiences, I learned a lot about the technical side of blogging and building a following with social media. My second blog and business was built entirely on my efforts on Facebook. When I initially started Jams and Scones I was doing it as a part of my strategy for my Jamberry business but quickly found that my real passion lay in sharing the knowledge I had accumulated about blogging and using social media. So for the first 4 months of blogging, I wasn't even trying to make money from my blog.
During those first few months, I pretty much bought enough courses to get a degree in blogging. Pinterest, Instagram, Personal Branding, Affiliate Marketing, SEO, you name it I've probably done a course or at least bought an ebook about it! I also invested in a personal business coach to help me figure out my direction. Looking back now – every penny of it was worth it.
And yes, there are some affiliate links included in this post which means if you decide to purchase through one of my links I receive a small commission for sharing at no additional cost to you.
One of my biggest investments and the reason I'm writing this report now and not on the actual anniversary of my blog is because I'm about to start the Elite Blog Academy 3.0. I initially found out about this program literally weeks into my new blogging journey. I had just missed out on enrolling by about 2 weeks and after all the amazing reviews I had read I was really bummed. I put my name down on the waiting list and over the last year I have devoured pretty much everything Ruth Soukup (the brains behind EBA and Living Well Spending Less blog) has sent out in the lead up to version 3.0 opening up.
Just by implementing some of the tips in the information the EBA team has sent out of the last year – I've seen improvements in my blog traffic and income (and that's just from the free value that they give out). Because I got so much out of the resources I had received from EBA I made it a priority to have the money to enroll for EBA 3.0 this year. (PRO TIP at the very least get yourself on the mailing list so you can take advantage of the free value EBA gives out all year long!).
Which brings me to this income report. I wanted to know exactly where I was in terms of income before I started EBA so I could track my progress and be able to give feedback on the value of the course.
The $$$ Breakdown
I mentioned above that for the first 4 months of blogging I wasn't even trying to make money from blogging. My focus changed about 4 months in, so the income I've received has all occurred since August of 2016, basically, in the last 6 months.
Adsense – $7.25
I only have Adsense enabled for mobile – I don't have them on the desktop version of my site. Since you have to earn $100 before you can drawdown this is sitting in my Adsense account but I wanted to note it prior to making any change in tack with ads.
Affiliate Programs – $1534.08
I signed up for a number of affiliate programs for products and courses that I have done and gotten value from and I share these with my readers and clients. Many of them you will find on my resources page. I've also signed up as an Amazon affiliate (only recently) but I have not received any income from that as yet. I'm hoping with the new content direction I'm taking that will become a source of income down the line. I have to say I'm really pleased with the income I've received from affiliates. The income is ‘passive' and is simply me sharing things I love and get value from in my own life and business.
I have two tools that I learned pretty much everything I know about affiliate income and I highly recommend them – when you see the prices and compare it to what I've earned you'll see pretty quickly that they have more than paid for themselves! The first one is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and the other is How to Make Money with Amazon Affiliates. (Even though I haven't made Amazon sales yet this guide made figuring out HOW to get my site set up for Amazon a breeze).
Freelancing – $4499.56
As you can see freelancing has been my biggest (and most unexpected) source of income from blogging. Through my work on my blog and networking in groups, I've been approached by people to do freelance work for them. This has come in the form of website and social media development, ghostwriting, program and product development. I never anticipated this happening but it has and is a direct result of what I've done on my blog. The double edged sword with this – is the more time I spend freelancing the less time I have to work on my blog. Figuring out a balance and direction with this is kind of where I'm at – at the moment.
Grand Total $6040.89
So there you have it, that's how I made money from my blog over the last 10 months since I started. I've done it from home while being a full-time Mom to 5 kids (ranging in age from 2- 20). I had zero money to start with, every cent I put into the blog I had to earn first which I did through my Jamberry side hustle. When I earned money there I invested in my blog – that was the first few months, now the blog supports itself (thank goodness!).
I'm slowly starting to build up content on the blog that is more lifestyle related – simply because I love writing but I can only write so much about the business of blogging without getting bored. So, I decided to share more about our family life and dealing with our unique health challenges. That combined with starting EBA 3.0 makes for an interesting few months and I can't wait to share with you what impact it has on my blogging.
I get asked all the time if you can make money blogging and clearly, my answer is yes. But it's not ‘easy' money – you have to work for it. You need to educate yourself, be smart with where you spend your money and most of all in the early days, be willing to put in a lot of effort for what seems a very small financial return. Nearly a year into it I'm starting to gain momentum and I'm really excited to see what happens from here!
Here's to the future,