February was the 8th month of Financial Flamingo being live! It’s gone so fast, and honestly, I am so amazed at how quickly I’ve been able to generate income. Let’s take a look at my February online income report!
Why am I sharing an income report? Since my website is primarily finance-based, I thought it would be helpful to some of you to show that blogging can be a viable side hustle. Even in 2020 when it seems like everyone is starting a blog! I’m going to share an overview of my milestones and income each month so you can get an idea of what really goes into blogging. It will also be great for me to look back on as my business grows!
I’m not sharing my income reports to try to brag about how much I’m making – blogging is a lot of work and I run my website and YouTube channel like a business. It takes long hours to build a profitable blog. I think sharing my progress and being transparent about what time commitment I’m putting in to get the income results I’m getting is a good way to show people the realities of blogging as a side hustle.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a commission off sales at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn on qualifying purchases. Check out my Disclaimer for more information!
SHOULD YOU START A BLOG?
I don’t agree with people who say you can’t start a profitable blog today! You don’t have to have any special skills or technical knowledge to get started, which makes it a great side hustle option. And don’t worry that there are so many other blogs already – that just means that it is possible to be successful at blogging!
I don’t blog full time and do have a pretty intense day job, so it definitely is possible to do as a side hustle. These blog income reports are a great way for me to share my experiences and real progress so you can get a realistic idea of what is possible! I read so many other income reports online before I started my own blog, and those are really what made me think this all could be worth it.
I want to be real about what type of time commitment blogging takes – it’s a lot. I spend most evenings and weekends working on my business. I do work a full-time job along with blogging, and I really don’t have much free time anymore. Blogging is also not a get-rich-quick type of business. I made pretty good money in my 8th month, but I know plenty of other bloggers that didn’t make any money in their first year. It all depends on what you’re able to put into your business and what monetization methods you use!
Blogging is a lot of work, but it’s been very rewarding for me so far! I absolutely love getting to talk to my followers and help people change their financial futures!
February Online Income Report
February was all over the place at the beginning of the month when it came to my traffic. I had another pin go viral, which made the beginning of the month go really great. It leveled off by mid-month and stayed pretty steady after that. Nothing crazy happened during February other than that.
In my January Income Report, I shared my goals for February with you:
- File as Financial Flamingo LLC
- Hit 50,000 page views for the month
- Grow email list to 1,200 subscribers
- Make $450 in affiliate sales
- Grow YouTube channel to 2,600 subscribers
How did I do with hitting those goals this month?
I hit my first goal, my business was officially filed as an LLC on February 5th! I told myself when I began my business that as soon as I started making a profit I would go ahead and file as an LLC. I hit profit in January so I went ahead and talked with a local attorney to get filed!
We’ll get into this in a second, but I did hit 50,000 page views this month! It was another great month thanks to Pinterest traffic. I am trying to improve other sources of traffic as well so I’m not as dependent on social media.
My email list did hit 1,200 subscribers in February! I am currently working on expanding my freebies and offers in March to provide more resources and opportunities to bring in subscribers going forward.
This is the only goal I didn’t hit during the month of February. I was very close! I talk about my exact traffic breakout below, but I ended up with a total of $431.25 in affiliate sales this month.
I did grow my YouTube channel to 2,600 subscribers! I had 2,801 subscribers at the end of February, which was way more than I expected!
Before we get into my income breakdown for the month, let’s talk about what kind of traffic I had in January. You can see my Google Analytics below for the month.
This has been my best month of traffic so far, and it was all thanks to the spike early in the month! I will be happy if my traffic stays at a level pace from now on, but it was exciting to hit the 50,000 milestone this month!
HOW DO I GROW MY TRAFFIC?
Traffic is an extremely important part of any online business, blogging included. Growing traffic is something that I have focused on a ton in the past few months. The main tool I use is Tailwind. I also highly recommend the ebook Traffic Transformations.
Tailwind is a great Pinterest scheduling program. I am able to schedule my pins ahead of time, set them up to post to different boards, and even use the interval tool to space them out. This has completely changed how I bring in Pinterest traffic without doing a ton of constant work. Click here to get Tailwind for your website!
My crazy growth at the end of November was due to one of my pins going viral. In November, I completely revamped my Pinterest account – I redid my board descriptions, updated my keywords in my pins, and set a better schedule for pinning going forward. The Tailwind interval tool is my FAVORITE. I started utilizing that when pinning from my website, and along with my new keywords based on keyword research, I was able to grow my Pinterest to around 1 million monthly viewers through the month of January.
I also read through Traffic Transformation. This is a fantastic ebook from Lena of Adventures in Blogging. It has given me so many great tips that have helped make my blog posts more shareable and attractive to potential readers. I highly recommend it to anyone who feels like they are stuck with low traffic numbers and want multiple strategies to grow! She goes over a lot of strategies that I hadn’t heard much about anywhere else – I totally think it’s worth the investment.
Now on to the income…
February Online INCOME BREAKDOWN
For my income, I am going to be sharing what was earned during the month, not what I’m actually paid out. That’s going to be easier to keep track of for these posts. So everything I report in these income reports is what my reported “estimated earnings” are for the month for these different platforms. Most of this money will be paid out around the 20th of the following month.
February 2020 Online INCOME TOTALS
YouTube – $173.49
Printables Shop – $194.85
Amazon – $1.57
Share A Sale – $431.25
Total Affiliate Income – $432.82
Ezoic Ads – $425.82
Google Ads – $0
Total Income – $1,226.98
All of my affiliate income is through Share A Sale, and all of it is from promoting Erin Condren! I use an Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly Planner for my budget planner and sharing that through my website and YouTube channel has helped me make quite a bit of money so far. I absolutely LOVE Erin Condren products, so I’m really happy about being a part of this program. The majority of my income for the month came from Share A Sale. If you’re unfamiliar with what that is, it’s a network that you join to find affiliate merchants to work with. I have had a great experience working with them so far!
I am also an Amazon Affiliate. While I don’t make much money from this yet, I honestly haven’t focused much on promoting products from Amazon. I have plans to utilize this program more in the future. I did make a little bit from it this month!
If you’re new to the idea of affiliate marketing, I highly recommend Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. It is 100% worth the money! I am working through it again and updating my site based on the lessons in the course, and I think it is already helping me increase my income a little bit. Michelle definitely knows what she’s talking about when it comes to affiliate marketing (she makes A TON of money this way!) so I love that she has a course that walks through exactly what steps to take to be successful with this income stream! You check out the course here if you’re interested!
I was accepted into both Monumetric and Ezoic ad networks in January. I chose to go with Ezoic because they advertise to optimize the reader experience as well as increase revenue. So far I really enjoy working with them. The setup was extremely easy, someone actually set up all my ads for me once my site was approved and I did the first few steps to integrate my site. Any issues or questions I’ve had, they’ve resolved within a few hours! I made significantly more in February with Ezoic than I ever did with Google ads.
February BLOG EXPENSES
Something that can be hard for a lot of people that are thinking of making the jump into blogging is that it costs money. It actually can cost quite a bit depending on what all you’re into. I think this is an important side of blogging to talk about because if you run your website like a business then you are going to have to put some investment into it to really make it work.
I have chosen to pay the majority of my business expenses on a yearly basis so I don’t have to worry about keeping track of a bunch of monthly expenses. I currently only have a few recurring monthly expenses for my ConvertKit (email service) and for the spam blocker on my website (which is SO worth it btw!). In January, I also paid for the first month of my Shopify plan for my new printables store!
- ConvertKit – $54.31
- Askimet – $5.00
- Shopify – $29.00
- Amazon – $53.98
- Walmart – $52.36
- Product Membership – $30
Total expenses: $224.30
It’s nice that my monthly expenses are pretty low. They increased a little bit in February. ConvertKit charges based on the number of subscribers you have on your email list. Since I went over 1,000 at the end of January, my cost for this went up this month. I also bought some office supplies for my home office to improve my set up a little bit and keep everything functioning well.
The fee for my Shopify store stayed the same. I also signed up for a membership service for learning to make paid products, but I will probably be canceling this as I have since signed up for other courses that I will be focusing on significantly more.
One thing I did want to bring up is the tax aspect of running a business – and my blog is a business for me. Right now, I am saving 25% of everything I make to pay taxes. In the future, I plan to withhold from my normal paychecks so I don’t have to worry about paying in for my business expenses, but until I have a better idea of what consistent income I can expect, saving works for me.
I did not make a profit in 2019 with all the start-up costs for my business, but I am researching the tax stuff needed to do everything correctly in 2020 since I am hoping to continue making more money. I’m a CPA so I do all my tax work myself, but I would highly recommend working with a professional if you don’t have any experience with tax planning! I don’t see a lot of bloggers talk about planning for taxes in their income reports, so I wanted to mention it!
GOALS FOR March
At the time I’m writing this article, it’s already over halfway through the month of March. I won’t be setting goals for this month. Things have been crazy so far this month, I foresee a huge decrease in my income because of how work and just the world, in general, have been lately, but we will see what happens.
I will be sharing these blog income reports each month from now on, and I’m excited to see where my business goes in 2020!
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