DECEMBER INCOME REPORT: How I made $816 blogging (whilst working full-time)

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BLOGGING INCOME REPORT DECEMBER

First of all, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

You might already know by now that I started sharing income reports in July.

I’d been blogging for almost a year and a half, and this summer when I started to earn money from my blog I decided:

  1. I wanted to track my progress.
  2. I wanted to show other aspiring bloggers where my blogging income comes from, to show them making money blogging CAN be done.

So I started sharing income reports.

If you missed the previous ones, you can find them below:

EARNING OVER $1000 BLOGGING IN 1 MONTH

So you’ll see I made over $1000 blogging in November (whilst working 40 hours a week!).

Which I was absolutely thrilled with.

Making over $1k in a single month from my blog has been a long term goal of mine, and one I didn’t think I’d achieve until 2020.

So to earn that much in November was amazing, as I reached a long term goal of mine.

HOWEVER, I was pretty certain this was because of Black Friday and the various sales that were on.

And I had a gut feeling I wasn’t going to be able to make over $1000 in December blogging.

BLOGGING IN DECEMBER

…Well my gut wasn’t wrong- I did not make over $1k from my blog in December.

BUT, this is not to say I am disheartened.

Because it was Christmas (obviously!).

And this means 2 things:

  1. I knew that most people we’re going to be busy getting festive and spending their time with family and friends.
  2. I was also going to be busy getting festive. I had 3 Christmas parties with work alone! And I had loads of family to visit.

So I knew I wasn’t going to be able to spend much time on my blog, and I also knew that other people weren’t going to be spending much time on my blog either.

But despite this, I still managed to make over $800 blogging in December.

So here it is; my blogging income report.

MY BLOGGING STATS

Before I start my income report, I always cover my current blogging stats for other bloggers to see that you don’t need a massive following or loads of page views to make money!

PINTEREST STATS

My Pinterest account is the only social media account I focus on currently.

In December, I reached:

  • 7,063 (+423)
  • 1.5 million monthly viewers (-0.1 million)

(I’m aware it says I’ve only gained 415 followers this month, but I went off the number of Pinterest followers I had reached in my November income report and then looked at the increase between my follower count by the end of this month!).

My follower growth is slightly less than last month, and my reach is slowly decreasing (I previously had a reach of 1.8 million monthly viewers).

But positive thinking: I’ve reached 7k followers!

Plus I still have a reach of over 1 million, which is pretty cool.

I just know I’ve been neglecting my own Pinterest account now that I’m a Pinterest manager.

Well the good news is I’m still gaining positive results for my Pinterest client and growing their account, which I think is more important than my own account!

But I definitely need to focus on my own account a bit.

Perhaps I need to treat myself as a client, so I can prioritise time for my own Pinterest account…

But either way, my account is definitely not doing bad in my eyes!

MY BLOG VIEWS

I feel like a broken record, because every month I say my traffic has dipped and I want to do something about it:

But I’m cutting myself some slack because:

  1. It’s been Christmas. My blog traffic dropped massively over the week of Christmas (then picked back up a few days later). Which is understandable as everyone is busy, and my blog doesn’t really cater to festive interests.
  2. I’m still making money even with low traffic, so page views aren’t the deciding factor in how much money you make.
  3. I obviously want to grow my blog, but my priorities have shifted and I’d rather better monetise the visitors I currently have than spend all my effort into growing my blog! As sure, I can make more money from ads with higher page views, but I’d probably make even more if I were to focus that energy into making a new course or ebook for example (more on this to come!).

So there are lots of reasons for me not to stress too much over this…

…But I do still have the long term goal to grow my blog traffic as much as possible, so I can make more passive income from ads!

And I know I need to work really hard in the long term for this.

MY EMAIL STATS

Straight up- not a great month for me in terms of email.

I gained a lot less subscribers than normal (I normally get around 140 including unsubs).

And this is because my most popular blog post that gains me the most signups stopped getting as much traffic from Pinterest.

Now, this is a massive worry for me because when people subscribe to my blog is also when a lot of them purchase my Viral Pin Guide.

And I noticed straight away when that pin stopped getting as much click throughs from Pinterest, I stopped getting as many email signups (and then made fewer sales of my guide).

BUT this doesn’t necessarily mean my funnel is broken. As when people do actually go through it, I do make some sales.

I just know I need to find a better way to get people to my blog and through my sales funnel other than just a viral pin.

Thankfully this seemed to be a seasonal dip, and after Christmas I had days where 10 people a day where subscribing to my blog.

I just know I need to be putting more effort into gaining subscribers (especially diversify how I am gaining them).

I’m considering paid adverts even… But that will be far in my blogging future I think!

MY BLOGGING INCOME

So here it is: a breakdown of my blogging income for December!

(Side note: this is income before expenses. Some affiliate products have a 30-day refund policy, and this is income earned for the month, not necessarily paid out).

December 2019 Blogging Income report

Blogging Her Way (affiliates)$77.60
Bluehost (affiliates)$210
Tailwind (affiliates)$25.50
Advertising income $136.22
 Product sales  $220.26
 Services  $147.10
Total$816.68

So usually, I go into detail about each specific form of income.

But this month I thought I’d do it a little differently.

Rather than split out my affiliate programmes and comment on them each, I thought I’d group them together and then just comment on the most important things from each of my 4 income streams.

AFFILIATE MARKETING

I made almost $300 from affiliate marketing in December, which isn’t as much as November (when I made over $500!).

But it’s still a pretty good amount.

Whilst I’m happy affiliate marketing is an income stream for me, I still feel I am leaving money on the table with this (for example I only made 2 affiliate sales for blog hosting this month, but I recently surveyed my readers and LOADS of them don’t have a self hosted blog!).

So there is definitely room for me to grow my income through affiliate marketing.

I just don’t like using it as my main form of income, as I find it very uncertain.

(Example- I made almost $70 from the BHW affiliate programme this month, but some months I have only made $10 whereas in July I made over $140 from that affiliate programme alone)!

ADVERTISING INCOME

I love making money from ads, as it’s seriously passive (I literally have to do nothing for it. As long as people read my blog, I make money).

And I think an extra $100+ a month isn’t bad at all.

However, I want to massively increase my blog traffic in the long run so that:

  1. I can apply to the premium ad network MediaVine, which is one of the best for bloggers (and requires 25k sessions a month to get in).
  2. I can make more money from ads alone ($500+ per month ideally), as this will massively increase my blogging income!

PRODUCT SALES

This is one of my favourite ways to make money.

As it makes me feel more in control of my earnings, compared to when I make money with affiliate marketing.

(Plus it makes me happy to know my products are helping other bloggers!)

However you’ll notice there was a big period of time when I made no sales.

And this was because:

  1. As I previously mentioned, less people were going through my sales funnel from Pinterest when they subscribed to my email list, so less people were landing on the discount sales page to purchase my guide.
  2. It was Christmas so less people wanted to buy blog related stuff I suppose!

Thankfully you can see my sales pick back up after Christmas.

But it’s woken me up a bit that I can’t just rely on one method to get people into my sales funnel.

So I definitely need to work on this.

SERVICES INCOME

This is my third month providing Pinterest management for a client, and I’m absolutely loving it.

Each month I’ve managed to grow their reach and increase their engagement, which they are thrilled at.

And it’s made me super ready to take on more clients!

It’s also my other favourite way to make money, as I feel it’s more definite and secure than my other forms of income (once they’ve paid the invoice, the money is in my account).

So I want to get more clients ASAP as I know I can deliver them results, and so I have definite amounts of money coming in (I love my current client, but if they dump me for whatever reason I’d have no definite income each month!).

So hopefully in 2020 I will be gaining more clients, which I’m super excited for!

BLOGGING INCOME REPORT: EXPENSES

I always hate this bit, but here are my monthly expenses:

Blog Hosting $34.95 p/m
Tailwind $19.92 p/m
Mailerlite$15 p/m
SendOwl$15 p/m
Total$84.87 p/m

So these are quite high expenses for a blogger.

And whilst some things I absolutely need, others I pay extra for.

These include:

  • BLOG HOSTING: I couldn’t run my blog without this, but I recently paid for more expensive hosting to make my blog load faster. Blog hosting is definitely an essential expense, but you can start a blog for under $4 a month by following my start a blog guide here.
  • TAILWIND: I love Tailwind so much that I bought a plan with more features, which has helped to increase my reach. But you don’t need to spend almost $20 a month on it- you can schedule 100 pins for free.
  • SENDOWL: This is the platform I use to sell my guide on. I pay $15 a month to have the option to add more products and sign up affiliates, but the basic plan allows you to sell 10 digital products for just $9 a month.
  • MAILERLITE: Email marketing has become essential for me, and I wouldn’t be able to make money blogging without it. I recommend Mailerlite because you can add images to your email. Whilst I pay for mine, it’s actually free for up to 1000 subscribers. Plus you can get a $20 referral fee when you sign up here.

So realistically if you were looking at expenses for a new blogger, whilst I pay almost $85 new bloggers would spend less than $20 a month (as Tailwind isn’t even a necessity! And you would only need SendOwl if you wanted to sell a digital product).

Plus some payments are annually, not monthly (I pay for Tailwind up front for the year for example).

BLOGGING REVIEW: WHAT WORKED

So this month, these are the things that worked for me blogging:

  1. Working smarter not harder and prioritising tasks that will make me money blogging without burning myself out (the same as last month, it’s pretty awesome I can make money whilst working full-time!).
  2. Engaging my audience: this month I sent a big survey to my readers and a lot of them filled it out, so now I have a good idea of what I need to give to them to help them with their blogs and for me to start making more income.
  3. Understanding and the steps I need to make more money blogging. That might sound a bit weird, but now I am blogging as a hobby (a profitable one at that!) and because I’ve been doing it for a while, I can step back with hindsight and see what actions I need to take in order to continue to grow.
  4. Learning what methods of making money blogging I enjoy/ make me feel secure. Again slightly different to what I normally put, but now I’ve been making money blogging for 6 months I’m starting to lean what methods I enjoy and make my income feel secure. And hopefully in 2020 I can start making more money through the methods I enjoy the most!

BLOGGING REVIEW: WHAT DIDN’T WORK

  • Growing my blog. Getting more traffic and gaining subscribers etc has been a massive fail for me this month.
  • Making more money blogging. Obviously I’m thrilled to be making this much money whilst working, but it’s kind of gutting to have a $1k month then go back to earning under $1k. But it’s a reality of earning online- the income isn’t consistent or guaranteed, and aspiring bloggers need to know!

BLOGGING GOALS

Now I normally write down monthly blogging goals.

But because I don’t have much time to work on my blog, I haven’t been very ambitious with my goals. Plus I wasn’t achieving even the easy goals I was setting myself sometimes, and it was getting me down.

So rather than share monthly blogging goals, I thought I’d just share my long term blogging goals!

  • Have consistent $1k – $2k months. I still can’t believe I’ve had a month earning over $1k! But now in 2020 I want months consistently earning that as a minimum amount.
  • Gain 4 (or more) Pinterest clients. Making money through Pinterest management is one of my favourite ways to make money, as I love growing Pinterest accounts for other bloggers and I feel this income stream is the most secure. So getting this many clients would make me feel my blogging income is really legit!
  • Gain 10k sessions from SEO. I want to be getting loads of organic search traffic, as I rely on Pinterest for my blog traffic too much currently. I’m saving up for an SEO course that loads of bloggers love, so hopefully I will be able to achieve this!
  • Reach 50k sessions a month. Mediavine (a premium ad network) requires you to have 25k sessions per month before you join, so getting this amount consistently long term will mean decent money from ads as well as the rest of my blogging income. Plus I can then give other blogger tips on how they can do it too.
  • Become THE website for blogging ebooks, courses and resources. It took me ages to create my first ebook, but I’m thrilled to say I am now starting to work on creating my next blogging resource!

This is massive for me, as I know I should have done this a while ago…

It just took me so. long. to make my first ebook, that I’ve been having to psyche myself up to go through it again.

And I was really nervous when I launched my first ebook (like CRAZY nervous- so much so that I didn’t mention it to anyone for months, ha!).

So it took a lot of courage for me to do it.

But now:

  • I’ve sold over 100 copies of The Viral Pin Guide
  • I’ve had loads of positive feedback on it, and people who have been through it have gotten results
  • Plus I’ve made over $1k from sales of that guide alone!

All from an ebook I was too scared to launch in the beginning.

But now I know it’s time for me to make a second resource in order for my blog to progress (readers are actually asking me for it!).

And now I’ve done it once before, I’m kinda excited to do it again 🙂

BLOGGING INCOME REPORT: FINAL THOUGHTS

I hope you enjoyed my December blogging income report!

I’m really happy to have earned this much, again without burning myself out around working and over the Christmas period.

And if you’re an aspiring blogger, you should now realise that whilst making money blogging is awesome and I do love it, it’s not a guaranteed stable income like a normal 9-5 is.

But if anything, that makes me want to work harder and earn more! And hopefully you’re the same.

I’m so excited to work hard in 2020 and see where me and my blog go!

EXTRA BLOGGING HELP

Remember if you need more help making money with your blog:

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DECEMBER BLOGGING INCOME REPORT 2019

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