It's time to review my online income report from last month. This report only includes income I received from the month of April. If the money isn’t in my bank account, I don’t put it in this income report. This is the best way for me to track how much money I am making on a monthly basis.
While this isn't my favorite way to report things, it's the most accurate. It's getting harder to do this because I have been having some great months lately where I'm making more money, but just waiting on the payment. Some payments take up to 90 days, so it stinks having to wait that long to report how well things are going. So even though this income report is for April, this income dates back to February.
April was my sixth month freelancing full time. I still can't believe I quit my job, moved across the country and now work for myself. It's a great feeling! Sometimes I feel like I have been freelancing for a lifetime, and other times I am just like, holy crap, am I really doing this?!
A year ago, my goal was to get 5,000 monthly pageviews and had my first blog income report of $61.83. It's INSANE how much has changed! Today I get over 200,000 page views a month and my income is the best it's ever been. That's crazy!
The number one question I get each week is how I get so many pageviews. I tell everyone that it's 90-95% traffic from Pinterest – which is true. I've figured out how to master Pinterest for my blog and have been helping clients for several months with my Pinterest management company.
I only spend an hour a week planning my Pinterest strategy. If you want to grow your traffic or start utilizing Pinterest, my Pinterest Presence course details EXACTLY how I've grown my traffic.
Here’s a recap of some of my online income reports:
- June 2015 online income report $66.10
- July 2015 online income report $515
- September 2015 online income report $1530.94
- October 2015 online income report $3634.28
- December 2015 online income report $4238.99
- March 2016 online income report $5041.85
HERE IS THE BREAKDOWN OF MY ONLINE INCOME REPORT FROM APRIL
- $406.05 Ad revenue
- $775 Partnerships/Sponsorships
- $925 Affiliate Income
- $449.48 Side Hustle Book
- $3,365 Freelancing
GRAND TOTAL: $5,920.53
This amount is the grand total before I deduct taxes. Right now I am putting away 30% of each paycheck I receive. If I break this down:
- 57% freelance income
- 43% passive income
I think it's really important to mention that I could be making a lot more when it comes to freelancing. I turn down more work than I'd like to admit. I've even added a waiting list for some of my services. I've worked really hard on my passive income just as much as my freelance income. My goal is to work less and have more passive income in the long run, so I spend a near equal amount of time on my own brand as I do for my freelancing services.
I also turn down sponsored posts because I panic about brands not being a good fit with my brand. Ironically, when I started blogging my goal was to do more sponsored posts as I thought it would be an easy way to make money. This is an area I should be making more money, right?! Now I stress every decision I make to make sure it's best for my company and my readers. If you'd asked me a year ago if I would be turning down businesses and people wanting to give me money, I would have laughed and said yeah, right!
One of the best things I have done for myself is reduce my blogging time. When I first started blogging, I felt this pressure to write a new blog post three times a week. I succeeded in this for over a year, and wrote around 160 blog posts last year.
This year I changed my strategy. Now I write one blog post (if that) once a week. I'm focusing on writing really great content, narrowing in more on my niche and providing better value for readers.
I really stressed this would hurt my page views and guess what – it did the exact opposite. My pageviews are higher than ever. Instead of relying on a high reader following every time I publish a post, I rely on traffic from Pinterest to get traffic.
This was the best decision I have made for my blog. I've reduced my stress level of feeling like I have to publish a post all the time or worry about what to write about. There is much less pressure now and I've freed up several hours a week to pursue projects that make me money.
I've said it before – I'm not a writer – so writing blog posts takes me longer than most other people. Limiting myself to one really helpful blog post a week has been the way to go!
This is my last full month of using Google AdSense and Media. I switched over to AdThrive, so I expect this number to go down for a month as I transition into a new payment system (which generally means I won't have an ad payment for a month until I get on the new payment cycle)
I chose not to do any sponsorships my first year of blogging. I wanted to focus on writing good content and establishing myself. This year I have opened the door to this area of revenue. What's most surprising is that I have found it much easier to reach out to brands directly than use a third party platform. Looking back, I probably could have accepted more sponsored posts instead of turning everything down. But I am ok with this decision!
This is one of the most rewarding areas, but most frustrating, ha! I've been working so hard on this area of income. I went through older blog posts, have worked on updating them with affiliate links, etc. I'm still not anywhere where I need to be and this is something I'm going to be working on the following month.
Affiliate income continues to increase from multiple streams, but it can take anywhere from 30-90 days to get paid. This income is from February and March. I “made” a lot more in April but since I choose not to report it until it's in my bank account, I just have to wait to write about it 🙂
Side Hustle Book
At the end of January, I launched my book about side hustling. I’m really excited about this! Aside from the first week of February, I have done very little promotion of this book and still got sales. This is truly passive income and makes me so happy! Sales were up from the previous month and I love having a helpful product that brings in income.
I provide Pinterest management and image services to clients. This niche is keeping me busy and it's been really growing the past couple of months. I recently stopped taking on new clients and had to put up a waiting list. Surprisingly, this has brought me in even more inquiries for help.
I'm still in the process of training my Pinterest VA to help me with more tasks so I can take on additional work. I've definitely struggled with how much control to give up, but right now I'm holding myself back because I just don't have time to do more. I can't grow unless I get help.
Fortunately, I spend zero on advertising and rely on word of mouth. I'm really grateful other bloggers and businesses recommend me and that makes me so happy! It’s hard to complain when I get to spend my days on Pinterest or creating images for blogs and businesses.
At the end of April, I launched my Pinterest Presence course. I share exactly how I run my Pinterest management services, but allows students to go at their own pace. The main reason I created the course was because I'm not able to assist every client that wants to hire me and this is the next best thing.
In the Pinterest Presence course, I share exactly how I went from 1,000 page views a month to 160,000 page views a month and how Pinterest drives in 90% of my traffic each month. Today I get over 200,000 page views, and my traffic continues to climb!
This income report does NOT include any consulting income that I make that is related to my career niche outside of this blog. Even though this income is made online, it's not really related to the blog, so I don't share the income.
I love being able to continue to work in my field of work outside of the blog and Pinterest management company, and it's a great balance. I've been in the same field of work for around 12 years (eek!) and love it.
These are my April expenses:
- $5 Google Apps
- $85 VA work
- $35 PO Box renewal (6 months)
- $73.07 PayPal fees (this sucks!)
- $111 LeadPages
- $29 Teachable
- $79 ConvertKit
TOTAL EXPENSES: $417.07
My expenses were around 8% of my budget. I’m still a DIY blogger for the most part, so I’m pretty budget conscious with my expenses. This was an expensive month for me since I invested in LeadPages and Teachable.
Using ConvertKit and LeadPages together has been amazing. I've created some really great newsletters, course sequences and sign up forms, and LeadPages has skyrocketed my email subscriber list.
If you are thinking about starting a blog, this tutorial will help you start a blog today. You'll also get a FREE domain name for a year! I was able to quit my job and blog full time, all within my first year of blogging. I am really glad I took a chance and started a blog! I invested around $100 to start my blog using Bluehost, and I made $13,000 in 6 months of blogging. That's the best return of investment ever!
I am most excited about my brand new Pinterest Presence course.
It's an in-depth 3 part course that is geared towards bloggers and businesses that are interested in learning how to create better images, effectively use Pinterest and learning how to schedule pins in under an hour a week.
I've already been getting feedback from students that are starting to see results and that makes me so happy!
I want everyone to rock Pinterest and drive traffic to their blog, and Pinterest is one of the best ways to do that.
Since launching the course, I've already held a webinar and Blab on how to use Pinterest as well.
I'll be going into more details on this in the May income report and can't wait to share what I learned, how it went, etc.
Are you blogging? Have you started your own website or thought about it? Do you use Pinterest?