Here is my October online income report. October was another great month for my blog and business! I attended FinCon and got to hang out with some of my favorite people ever! I've been publishing income reports since April 2015. Nearly two years ago I was still at my day job and using my blog as a side hustle to earn extra income. A lot has changed since then! If you are new to reading blog income reports, here's a quick refresher! My most popular income report is still my very first one! In April 2015, I published my first income report proudly stating how I made $60. My first income report is still incredibly relevant! If you are a new blogger, you should definitely read my first income report to help you make money online!
If you haven't started blogging, this blog post will provide you with a list of blogging ideas, tips and teach you how to set up your blog in 15 minutes. Read the post here.
It took me about four months to earn any income from my blog. That was the hardest four months ever because I was so new to blogging and wasn't sure what I was doing.
Earning that first paycheck was the best feeling ever and confirmed that my hard work was starting to slowly pay off! Since I started blogging and reporting my income reports, my income has overall steadily grown from the previous year.
I'm at an exciting point with my income reports because I can look back at 2015 and 2016 and compare how much my income and expenses have changed. I consider my overall experience with blogging and my online business totally worth it.
I also am glad my income reports are fairly personal. I really like going back through all of my online income reports to see what worked, what stressed me out and what big decisions I was making at the time.
I also love the shift my blog and business has made. For example, most of my income in the early days came from freelancing.I have always used ads and done a sponsored post when I felt it was a good fit for my blog.
Today it comes from affiliate income and my own products and courses. It wasn't an easy shift – it took a large part of 2016 to accomplish this – but I am so glad I documented the journey! I really like blogging in the fall.
There is a much different feel working and blogging in the fall compared to blogging in the summer. For myself, I would describe it as a fun sense of urgency. There's a need to get organized, plan for the holidays and get to work!
It's a really good feeling, especially when you see other bloggers working hard too. It's not a competition feeling; more like a ‘let's all rock our blogs and businesses together' feeling! Here are some previous online income reports:
- April 2015 online income report (my very first online income report) $61.83
- May 2015 online income report $61.40
- June 2015 online income report $66.10
- July 2015 online income report $515
- September 2015 online income report $1,530.94
- October 2015 online income report $3,634.28
- December 2015 online income report $4,238.99
- April 2016 online income report $5,920.52
- May 2016 online income report $7,268.68
- June 2016 online income report $9,700.11
- July 2016 online income report $9,566.15
- September 2016 online income report $6,682.24
- October 2016 online income report $7,157.04
- November 2016 online income report $10,736.55
- December 2016 online income report $11,195.28
- January 2017 online income report $26,288.57
- February 2017 online income report $15,170.31
- March 2017 online income report $19,752.67
- April 2017 online income report $30,442.32
- May 2017 online income report $22,006.28
- June 2017 online income report $29,268.78
- August 2017 online income report $18,010
- September 2017 online income report $68,856.02
Here's the breakdown of my October online income report
$713.35 Ad revenue
$10,853.91 Affiliate Income
If you want to keep track of your online income (which I highly recommend) check out Freshbooks! It's what I've used to track business income, expenses, invoice clients, and more. Click here to learn more about Freshbooks.
Grand Total: $29,954.89
October was an interesting month. Work-wise, I continued to work on a lot of things behind the scenes. This includes some mini projects, like:
- Updating the functionality of my website. I don't know if I'll ever 100% be happy with my blog design – maybe it's the designer or OCD in me that makes me always want to mess around with things.
- Worked on new workbooks for my courses, products and freebies to offer.
- Spent time working with students who recently enrolled in Become a Pinterest VA TODAY!
- Worked to improve the overall flow of projects. This means learning how to be more efficient on projects and my time. I feel like I am getting better at time management, but I'll always be a work in progress.
- Worked with my VAs to figure out who needs to be doing what. Secretly, this was probably more beneficial for me as sometimes I need to get my butt in gear and get to work harder, ha! Plus they keep me accountable so I can't slack off 🙂
- Created a plan to blog more (and even wrote out my blog post titles) for the end of 2017 and going into 2018.
I highlighted my 2015 and 2016 October online income reports to showcase my progress!
- In October 2015, I made $3,634.28 (this was my first major increase and bump in monthly income!)
- In October 2016, I made $7,157.04 (I had to step away from my blog for a couple months to handle some personal things in fall of 2016, which reflected a noticeable decline in my income. It was tough!)
- In October 2017, I made $29,954.89. Yippee!
October online income report expenses
Unfortunately, not all this income gets to stay in my bank account. Here are my expenses from October. It's amazing what a longer list it is compared to my income report breakdown, ha!
- $10 Google Apps
- $1,002.99 VA work + professional services
- $99 Teachable This is where I keep all my courses
- $12.95 Canva for Work
- $153.01 Facebook ad
- $36 USPS PO Box. I renew this every six months.
- $10 Deposit Photos
- $149 Drip I use Drip for all of my newsletters! It's connected to LeadPages and makes integrating everything together a breeze for technology challenged people like me
- $20 Zapier
- $11 Post Planner This is my new favorite way to schedule my Facebook posts. I prefer it over scheduling in Facebook because I can recycle previously published content, which saves me a ton of time. I can literally publish a month's worth of content in under 30 minutes
- $0 SamCart I have an annual plan. This is my #1 favorite checkout / credit card processor and it pretty much paid for itself within a few weeks of purchasing. It's made the checkout system was faster for customers, and also the easiest way to set up affiliates.$0
- $0 Quickbooks Self Employed I currently have the Quickbooks Self-Employed version and it has worked out great as a new business owner. The self-employed version is perfect for someone who is a sole-proprietor or a single person LLC.
- $0 Tailwind I pay for this annually. Tailwind is the scheduler I use when I do all my pinning on Pinterest. It’s my favorite scheduler I use for myself, recommend to clients and for my students.
- $0 Bluehost. I pay for my hosting annually. This is the company I used when I first started my blog and still use today! I was able to buy my domain name for FREE and use Bluehost to host Believe In A Budget.
Regular expenses: $1,503.95
I also have to pay taxes, which is not included in the above. That's usually around 30% of my income!
Gina (my course partner for Pinterest VA) and I also paid ourselves, paid out affiliate and we have to pay fees from every purchase. Also, if an affiliate of mine receives credit from a sale, that has to be paid out as well.
This is taken out automatically with PayPal or Stripe and it around 3% of every sale.
This amounted to around $9,500 in paying ourselves, affiliates and fees!
The past few months were busy travel periods. I travelled to Vermont, Las Vegas, Portland and then to Dallas.
All but one were work trips, but my work trips were loaded with tons of fun!
I'm also heading back to Vegas next month, so the travel continues!
I attended FinCon for the first time. I wasn't able to go last year, so I made sure it was on my list of things to do in 2017. It was a blast!
It's hard to believe that I haven't met all my online blog buddies in real life yet. I got to meet almost everyone at FinCon which was super exciting. The conference was a little overwhelming in terms of size – there were a lot of people!
Fortunately, I got to have 1-on-1 time and small group time with my favorite people.
Some of my friends from the EBA conference were there as well, so we got to pick up where we left off! It's been extremely important to develop close relationships with fellow blogger friends. It's such a relief to be around these other women who help each other and don't try to one up someone. I trust them completely!
Blog topic: Annual vs. Monthly Subscription Billing
I am getting tired of having so many different expenses each month! As you can see above, although my monthly average expenses are quite reasonable in my opinion, it's quite a long list of expenses. For the past few months, I've been researching annual vs. monthly subscription billing with all of my regular expenses. To save money, I am going to bite the bullet and try to switch from having monthly plans to annual plans for my monthly deductions. While it seems cheaper to pay for a monthly subscription each month, it's actually more cost efficient to pay for an entire year's worth upfront. It seems like I can save enough money to where I get two or three months for FREE by paying annually instead of monthly. This is a huge chunk of money to save over the course of a year! If you are a brand new blogger or just starting to have monthly expenses, I would stick with a monthly payment plan. It's taken me over two years to be comfortable getting to this point where I feel like this is a good investment, plus I have more income to work with. As a beginner blogger, I couldn't afford to pay for annual plans without having to use personal money and go into debt with the blog. Now that my blog is doing well, this seems like a smart move going forward. I'll keep you posted what I do next month!