October 2017 Blogging Income Report: $12,007 – Everything that I did to make a full-time income working from home blogging.
This is insane. I can’t believe I get to write this post for you! It hasn’t been an easy few months, but this makes it all worth it! You get to see a behind the scenes look at my blogging business and how I make a full-time income working from home as a mom of 3 young kids.
It’s been just over 2 years since starting my blog and about 20 months since I started taking it seriously. In that time, I’ve seen my blogging income skyrocket after taking this class. We’re talking I was making $0.17 in my highest earning month before the class and now I’m making more than my husband makes at his job!
October marked the beginning of the last quarter of the year, which means that Christmas is in full swing by October and you need to be prepared! (Note for new bloggers: if you’re in a bathing suit and shorts, it’s time to start planning your Christmas posts! Yes, really!)
September and October were incredibly busy months. I had a whole mess to deal with in September while I was away for 2 weeks out of the whole month.
Thankfully, I had a great team who backed me up and managed to help me navigate those tough few weeks. Here in headquarters, we had to do a lot of damage control and new product creation FAST. And it all had to be done remotely since we all live all over the country.
At home, my oldest son started going to school and we had to deal with a huge schedule shift. Then my youngest 2 were changing their schedules, too (which, if you know 2 and 3-year-olds… it’s basically a pain).
To top it all off, I was lucky enough to travel to Portland, Oregon for the ACTIVATE conference from Elite Blog Academy at the beginning of September. And then I hit the road again heading to Dallas, Texas in October for FinCon (which, if you’re a finance blogger, you should DEFINITELY get there next year).
To put things in perspective, I haven’t traveled on a plane in close to 10 years. And I never would have gone to Portland or Dallas without the income from my blog.
If it weren’t for blogging I don’t think I would have ever had these opportunities. And this is honestly one of those “if I can do it, anyone can” kind of things. I’m just a regular mom trying to help people as best as I can. I never thought that when I started my blog that, less than 2 years later, I’d be making more than a full-time income! It’s craziness!
I didn’t figure all of this out on my own, though. There are some really great tools that helped me to get here. The 2 biggest ones are:
- Elite Blog Academy for the best overall class to get you set to start blogging. This is a full step-by-step guide to going from 0 to full-time as quickly as possible. If you’re a new blogger, you want to get on their waiting list right now!
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing helped me go from making $500 each month from affiliates to more than $7,300 in less than 9 months! This course is taught by Michelle from Making Sense of Cents, who earns more than $50,000 each month from affiliate income! She is a great teacher and will walk you through all of her best tips and tricks for affiliate income.
There’s no doubt in my mind that these 2 classes helped me get to where I am today. Elite Blog Academy built the solid foundation and Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing got me over my fear of selling (which was a big deal).
Looking to start a blog? Check out these posts:
- How to Start a Profitable Blog the Right Way
- Start a Blog on a Budget
- How to Start Using Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
- How Bloggers Make Money
- Can You Make Money Blogging in One Year?
Why am I sharing my October 2017 blogging income report?
There are a few answers to this, but honestly, it all comes down to you. I want to help you!
You need to know that this is all possible. That you can make it as a blogger and make more than a full-time income blogging.
It’s a lot of hard work and you don’t get to see me ignoring my wife and mom duties in order to get tomorrow’s post done. But no matter how hard it is, my whole family feels like the sacrifice is worth it because we have so much more than we ever could have hoped for thanks to this blog! And it’s possible for you too if you can work at it for yourself.
1. To show you that you can use affiliate income to really make money.
I used to think that big bloggers needed to have 1 killer, million dollar affiliate that made them their money. That’s not the case at all! If you have 10 affiliates who you earn $100 from each month, you have $1,000 of income!
Some of my highest earning affiliates are for things that people get for free. Ibotta and Ebates are my 2 favorite examples of this. They are totally free and never cost a cent for people to join them. But they still pay me $5 per referral.
People are more likely to join something that’s free, so I know that I’m very likely to make money each time I mention those products. Don’t think that a commission is too low if you know that the product will help your audience. (That rule doesn’t apply to high-ticket items for the most part, but a referral fee of $5 can still add up!)
2. To let you see the back end of blogging and lift the veil a bit.
I had NO idea how much work went into blogging when I started. People still ask me what I do all day that takes so much time.
Blogging is so much more than just writing posts all day. Yes, that’s a big part of it, but there’s also the planning that comes into everything. If you want to make money blogging, you can’t just throw links onto your sidebar and hope that people click on them.
Blogging is a lot more than that. Which is why you get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly each month in these income reports!
3. To share with you the things that worked for me and the things that didn’t so that you don’t need to make the same mistakes that I made.
Let’s be real: we’d all like to take the easy way if we can help it, right? That’s human nature!
We want to know exactly how to get the results that we want with the least amount of effort and time. And that’s where these income reports come in.
You can see what has worked for me and what failed miserably so that you can avoid mistakes or make the choices that have already worked. Learning from others is the best way to make sure that you avoid spinning your wheels and can actually grow your blog (which is why I loved EBA so much)!
1. Having a stellar team to help!
I’ve got a few amazing ladies and gentlemen who help me keep everything afloat here. When “IT” hits the fan, I know that I’ve got the support I need to get through!
So, Janelle, Sara, Lauren, Shannon, Grayson, and Asher, you are all amazing and I’d be lost without you!!
2. Creating more products!
Yes, I’m crazy. Because who in their right mind would be adding new products at this time of year?! Me, that’s who!
But those new products were a lot of fun and, even to the smaller audience that they were sent to, they performed very well!
Pinterest and I are friends. The algorithm changes aren’t throwing me off and I’m staying the course with my pageviews (that are increasing as the holiday season kicks off).
I won’t say that I’ve given up on Facebook, but right now it’s not worth my time. So Pinterest and SEO it is!
4. Affiliate launches!
OK – I’ll be the first to admit that I am still working on some SERIOUS limiting beliefs about selling. Sending emails for sales is still something that doesn’t come naturally to me.
This month I got over that and sent more emails that I ever had in a month. AND made more money from affiliate launches than I ever had. It was incredible!
Lesson learned: I will no longer be afraid of email marketing (within healthy reason, of course)!
5. Getting to write a guest post for Crystal Paine’s new blog!
Guys. This may have been, hands down, the coolest thing to happen this month. Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom asked me to write a guest post for her new blogging site, YourBloggingMentor.
The post is all about how to use group boards to launch your blog into success, and I am super excited to have it on her site! She is such an amazing woman and blogger, and I hope so much that someday I can meet her in person (#lifegoals)! Check out the post here!
What Didn’t Work:
Honestly, looking back on the month of October, there wasn’t anything that really didn’t work. I learned SO much from the conferences that I went to and really felt as though I came away with more knowledge and more ideas than m little brain could hold!
If I had to pick one thing that really didn’t work for me, it was that my schedule was still recovering and I hadn’t really carved out a whole lot of time for blogging and working.
I got back into the swing of going to the gym in the mornings for an hour. Getting up at 5:30 to get my son on the bus is still killing me, but it’s getting better. And adjusting to this new “normal” with me working 20-25 hours each week and the 2 youngest boys at home is getting slowly better each day.
It’s taken some time, but I think my poor schedule is finally on the mend!
Next month’s goals:
November’s goals are really more about pushing myself to the limit and really maximizing my ROI.
Income goals: $13,000 revenue
Time goals: 25-30 hours each week (that’s going to be a tough one!)
Email goals: minimum of 3 emails sent each week with at least $200 made from each (excluding major launches where sales goals per email are different)
Pageview goals: 150,000 monthly pageviews (currently: 125,000)
Expenses goals: cut expenses before the end of the year to start with lower overhead.
Product goals: launch at least 1 more product this month.
Income – Affiliates: $7,368
Survey Sites: $1,262
Proofread Anywhere: $498
$5 Dinners: $119
Cents of Style (who have THE cutest clothes! Plus they’re prices are so great!): $46
Other small affiliate income (there are a lot of programs that had small payouts, so I lumped them all into one here): $362
Income – Sponsored Post: $400
Truthfully, I don’t like doing sponsored posts. I prefer to have control over my content and what gets said and shared. But this one was fairly unobtrusive so I let it slide. Plus… I should be charging a LOT more for sponsored posts!
Income – Products Sold: $2,792
Pinterest Group Board Master (get 50% off here!): $1,029
Budget Binder: $792
Pinterest Graphics 101: $394
Income – Display Ads: $1,447
Total October 2017 Blogging Income Report Income: $12,007
Payroll expenses (worth every penny!!!): $627
- Grayson ( Tech Wizard / WordPress Whisperer / Chief of Chill When I Break WordPress at 2 am for the Third Time This Week )
- Asher ( Editor in Chief / new hire / the hubby )
- Janelle ( Chief Happiness Officer / Manager / Social Media Chief / Executive Assistant / President of Workflow )
- Shannon ( Social Media Expert / Executive Assitant / Chief Overflow Officer )
- Sarah, Leah, and Lauren ( Graphics Masters / Pinterest Professionals / Chiefs of Printable Creation / Masters of Turning my Babble Into a Printable )
Accounting: $1,400 (OW. But I hope it will be worth it!! And thankfully, it’s a 1-time expense!)
Facebook Ads: $592 (YIKES. A/B testing this upcoming month because the ROI on those was not the best, at around $.50 per click… I’d like them to be around $.10 per click.)
ConvertKit: $150 (worth it!)
Looking to the end of the year and next year…
The end of the year is just about here and it’s time to get my goals and schedule all lined up! I’m super excited about this since I started reading the 12 Week Year and I can’t wait to put it into practice (you need to go get that book RIGHT NOW. It WILL change your life, not just for blogging).
Almost all of the first quarter of next year is scheduled out and I can’t wait to add some more to it. You’re going to like what’s coming!!
All in all, my October 2017 Blogging Income Report was my highest-earning month yet and I can’t wait to see what comes in November and December (spoiler… November is ALREADY going to beat that record!!!!).
More blogging resources:
- How to Rock Affiliate Marketing When You Stink at Sales (Plus an Interview with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner)
- An Honest Review of Bluehost
- How to Frugally Start a Blog on a Budget
- Can You Make Money Blogging in One Year?
- How I Made a Full-Time Income From My Blog in 2016
- December Blogging Income Report
- November Blogging Income Report
- How to Start Using Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
- 5 Signs Blogging Isn’t for You (& 1 Sign You Should Start Today!)
- The Blogging Class that Made Me a Full-Time Blogger
- Surefire Ways to Promote Your Blog and Grow Your Audience
- How to ROCK on Pinterest as a Blogger
- Best Tips for a New Blogger From a Blogging Pro
What is your biggest struggle with starting a blog? Let me know in the comments and I’ll get you an answer! 🙂