I think it’s finally safe to say I am making a consistent income with my blog! March was an insane month with a lot of stress and dealing with the unexpected. But I was still able to make some money! Let’s take a look at my March 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!
- February Online Income Report – $1,200
- January Online Income Report – $1,000
- December Online Income Report – $690
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 this 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!
March ONLINE INCOME REPORT
March was crazy. Things with my job got a little overwhelming at the beginning of March. On top of that, Coronavirus started spreading here in the US at the beginning of the month. Because of all of those things, my mental health wasn’t great for most of the month and I had to put my sole focus on my day job.
Overall, my content levels were pretty low in March. I didn’t post any videos on my YouTube channel until the last week of the month. I was able to continue on with blog posts and keep up with my email list though, so that was a plus! The benefit of not having a lot of time for my business is I did get to see what sort of baseline income my business can make without me doing too much marketing.
One super, super exciting thing that happened in March was I enrolled in Elite Blog Academy! This course only opens once a year, and I literally set an alarm to wake up early and enroll. I was that excited about it. I have a lot of big goals for my business this year and I know EBA is going to help me take things to the next level.
My main focus for March has been getting into a new routine with working from home and working on EBA along with all my regular blogging tasks. It is a lot of work and a lot of hours right now, but I am taking advantage of not having a commute right now and staying up a little later to get more work done.
Before we get into my income breakdown for the month, let’s talk about what kind of traffic I had in March. You can see my Google Analytics below.
In February I hit a milestone and reached 50,000 pageviews for the month. In March, my traffic is significantly lower. I didn’t schedule pins to Pinterest and didn’t share on my Facebook page or in my group either. It was reassuring to see I was still able to get around 20,000 pageviews without continual posting!
HOW DO I GROW MY TRAFFIC?
While website traffic and growing your traffic is important when you run an online business, I have shifted my mindset around this a little bit. While I do want to continue to grow my audience, I am trying to check my analytics less and not worry so much about chasing pageviews.
That being said, I am still going to work on growing my traffic in April.
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!
Convertkit is also a major tool that I use. This is the automation system I use for my email marketing. I am focusing on improving my email strategy for April, so I have started learning as much as I can about ConvertKit and how I can better use it. Growing my email list is a major focus because that is the audience I really want to be growing!
Now on to the income…
March 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.
March ONLINE INCOME TOTALS
YouTube – $82.53
Printables Shop – $38.00
Amazon – $6.16
Share A Sale – $191.00
Total Affiliate Income – $197.16
Ezoic Ads – $88.17
Total Income – $405.86
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!
In my shop I sell printable budgeting products and planner stickers. I wasn’t promoting much during March so I didn’t make much, but I was happy to still have a few sales happening!
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 have made significantly more with Ezoic than I ever did with Google ads.
March 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. This month I had some unusual expenses that won’t be recurring. Investing in my business is important to me right now because I really want to establish a good foundation for growth in the future.
- ConvertKit – $49.00
- Askimet – $5.00
- Shopify – $29.00
- DepositPhotos – $54.00
- Product Membership – $30
- Amazon – $55.71
- Elite Blog Academy – $1,597.00
Total expenses: $1,819.71
I also changed my method for saving for taxes during March. In the past, I saved 30% of all my income to pay estimated taxes for my business. I realized that was going to be a huge pain… and I’m a CPA! I’ve paid estimated taxes for clients in the past, but it was just something I didn’t want to take the time to figure out right now. Instead, since I do work a full-time job, I changed my withholding. I’m having more money taken out of my paychecks in taxes instead of trying to directly pay taxes for my business. This enables me to use all the business income I bring in during the month! I’m interested to see how this goes in April.
GOALS FOR April
So, what am I going to be working on in the month of April? I’ve listed out my goals below. I am working on EBA one unit at a time and I’m hoping to start seeing some real improvements this month when it comes to my email list!
- Completely redo and setup new email strategy
- 2 blog posts and YouTube videos every week
- Make $650
- Grow email list to 1,600 subscribers (currently at 1,400)
- Grow YouTube channel to 3,500 subscribers
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!