SEPTEMBER INCOME REPORT: How I made $512 blogging

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MY BLOGGING INCOME FOR SEPTEMBER

Wow, what a month!

I’ve recently started sharing blogging income reports on my blog.

Why?

  1. To show you that you can. I didn’t actually believe you could make money blogging until I read multiple blogging income reports (and then started earning myself!)
  2. To track progress for myself. If I can reflect on my blog in these reports, hopefully I can grow from it.

I only recently started sharing blogging income reports, but if you missed the last ones:

BLOGGING IN SEPTEMBER

So I went into September gutted with my income drop, and wanted to work harder to earn more this month.

But my back had other ideas.

Yep, despite being in my early twenties, my back decided it would behave like an OAP (I actually couldn’t sit down for a few days).

This was at the beginning of the month, and was a bit of a wakeup call for me that I was pushing myself to work on my blog too much.

So instead of working more this month, I actually worked less for the sake of my poor back!

I made sure to have days off, and instead of just working for the sake of doing work (like I normally do), I only did tasks that would help me move towards my blogging goals.

And I’m so pleased to say that despite working way less hours, I actually earned more than the month before!

I earned $512 blogging in September, working less and doing more of what I enjoy (I sent 8 emails in August but only 4 in September because I wasn’t feeling email marketing as much, and shared 4 blog posts because writing is the part of blogging I love!!).

So despite me believing that you need to constantly be hustling in order to grow a side income, I’ve proven to myself in September that actually you can grow without working too hard and burning yourself out like I have done before.

And if you want to find out how I earned $512 blogging (whilst working LESS), read on below!

make money blogging

MY BLOGGING STATS

Before I dive into my blogging income, it’s important you know my blogging stats.

BECAUSE it’s easy to look at bloggers getting almost a million page views a month, or with email lists that have tens of thousands of subscribers, and feel like you’ll never make as much as them because they are so successful.

But I’m here to show you that you CAN make money, even as a small blogger.

PINTEREST STATS

Okay so despite just saying my blog is small, my Pinterest account definitely isn’t anymore!

In September, I reached:

  • 5,661 Pinterest followers (+623)
  • 1.4 million monthly views (+0.2 million)

Again, I’m thrilled with this growth.

I really feel I’ve mastered Pinterest now, and this month I actually spent less time on it to focus on other areas of my blog.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that without Pinterest. my blog wouldn’t be where it is now.

As Pinterest is responsible for most of my blog traffic (more on this to come).

So if you haven’t started using Pinterest for your blog, my best advice is to definitely start using it now!

If you need help getting started, I have a free course called Easy Pinterest with Emily that will teach you how to start using Pinterest to get more blog traffic.

So sign up below!

MY BLOG VIEWS

So I’m a bit disappointed with my blog traffic this month.

Because my long term goal is to grow my traffic… But this month it dipped.

However, I’m pretty happy overall because:

  • Even though my traffic was lower, I earned more income. This goes to show more traffic doesn’t equal more money.
  • My traffic is increasing from other sources

That last point is really important because I want to diversify my traffic sources as much as possible.

I really want to be getting steady traffic from pretty much everywhere. So that if for whatever reason one platform goes down, I can still get steady traffic from other sources

So hopefully I can continue to grow my traffic through other methods, like direct and organic search traffic!

MY EMAIL STATS

So in previous income reports, I’ve noted I have a crazy high unsubscribe rate.

I think it’s mostly because people want the freebies I offer (like my Pinterest course and passive income course), but don’t want to stick around to hear my other emails!

But this month, I had:

Considering my blog is small, I think a solid 200 subscribers a month is a pretty good amount!

I’m just hoping to eventually grow my list at a much faster rate.

MY BLOGGING INCOME

Okay so below is my blogging income!

(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).

September 2019 Blogging Income report

Blogging Her Way (affiliates)$15.60
Bluehost (affiliates)$160
Advertising income $92.62
Product sales $244.15
  
Total$512.37

So you can see some big changes to my income which I will go over now!

BLOGGING HER WAY AFFILIATES: $15.60

(I used to go through and screenshot every time I made a sale in SendOwl, but for this report I have just included my unsettled earnings! As this is my affiliate income from BHW in September, and will move from unsettled earnings to secured earnings in October!)

Now, this is a crazy drop in affiliate income when you consider I made $136.80 from this affiliate programme in July!

But I think that’s because in July, I collaborated with Dale (the blogger behind bloggingherway) to promote some of her products that I love for the month. Especially when my audience wanted to know how to make money on Pinterest, I would direct them to her guide Get Paid to Pin.

Plus I know lots of my readers are interested in making money on their blogs too, so I also started suggesting her second guide Amazon Affiliate Affluence.

Dale also gave me a discount code for both her guides, so my readers can get 20% off any of her guides using the code EBE20.

BUT I have been awful at promoting her products and the discount code I have this month.

So I definitely need to think how I can promote her products using an evergreen system, so I am consistently making affiliate sales for her.

BLUEHOST AFFILIATES: $160

So this affiliate revenue increased from the $80 I made last month!

In August I made a free course on how to make passive income blogging to help drive sign up sales…

And it didn’t really make much difference. As I can see the different pages on my blog people are signing up to Bluehost from, and nearly always it’s my how to start a blog guide (and not from my free passive income course).

AND not only is my free course not driving the sales I thought it would, but I currently have a segment of my email list that do not have their own blogs yet…with over 200 people in it.

And if I could get all 200 to start their own blogs with Bluehost, that would be around $16k in affiliate income!!!

So I definitely need to work on making my subscribers take action to help my affiliate income grow.

A NOTE ON AFFILIATE MARKETING

So after a few blogging income reports, I am coming to realise that affiliate marketing isn’t my favourite way to make money.

Because sure, it has the potential to make me a lot of money if I could hack it.

But in all honesty, in my blogging niche I do not use a lot of products.

The ones I do use, like hosting, are quite lucrative products to promote.

BUT compared to a niche like beauty where people really want to be buying multiple products naturally and want product recommendations to go and buy, I find that blogging people just…wanna blog.

NOT necessarily spend money and invest in their blog (unless they want it to one day be their business).

So yeah, I’m totally not giving up on affiliate marketing. I know I could make a lot of money from it, and there are a definite handful of services and products for blogging that I absolutely LOVE and couldn’t run my blog without. So I will be working to promote these more.

BUT it’s been a wake up call that it’s not exactly a “Treat yoself!!” niche where people really want to spend their money.

AD INCOME: $92.62

So this is a totally new income stream!

In my post about why bloggers need multiple income streams, I highlight how important it is to be earning money in multiple ways. So if for whatever awful reason one stream runs dry, you are still getting money (I’m looking at you affiliate marketing!).

So in my last blogging income report, I said I really wanted to put ads on my blog as another income stream.

And I managed to get round to it at the end of August! Ready for a full month of earning ad income in September.

Check out my ad earnings for September below:

I’m not feeling great about ads, really.

And this is for 2 reasons:

  1. I HATE how they look on my blog. They don’t look too bad in my blog posts, but on my homepage and blog pages in general they look really tacky.
  2. The income is really inconsistent. Like what IS that massive drop at the end of the month?!

It’s really frustrating that it’s out of my control, and now I’m earning so little every day with ads I don’t even know if it’s worth having them on my blog.

But I’m glad I had them for this month, as they increased my income and I can now talk about what’s it’s like to have adverts on my blog!

PRODUCT INCOME: $244.15

I am absolutely THRILLED with my product income.

Because I’m completely new to selling a product (and the first month I made no sales whatsoever). So to make a considerable income each month from selling a product I made from scratch is honestly amazing.

Plus, last month I said how difficult I found it to reach 20 sales (and I doubted I would make that many In September).

But I did it!

And even better is I made 7 of those sales over 2 days!

This is why when I said in my last report that I was getting a bit fed up of email marketing, I knew I was just going to cut down and not quit it completely.

Because after sending just 1 email, I made $63!

AMAZING!!

So I’m definitely not going to quit email marketing, as it helps to drive sales of my guide.

BUT I do now have a Facebook group that is much less formal and chattier, so make sure to join it below!

>> JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP HERE

BLOGGING INCOME REPORT: EXPENSES

I hate this part because it always shocks me how high my expenses are.

But I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t share it, so:

September 2019 Blogging expenses

Blog Hosting $7.90 p/m
Tailwind $19.92 p/m
Mailerlite$15 p/m
SendOwl$15 p/m
 Adobe Photoshop
 $12.12 p/m
Total$69.94

It’s worth noting:

  1. Some payments are annually, not monthly. I paid for Tailwind and blog hosting upfront for the year.
  2. Not all of these payments are necessary. Most people can start a blog for under $4 a month, but I pay slightly more so I can have multiple sites.
  3. Not all are purely blogging related. (I used Photoshop for my degree for example).

Here’s a closer look at my expenses:

  • BLOG HOSTING: I couldn’t run my blog without this, so it’s 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 here.
  • 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, plus it’s free for up to 1000 subscribers. You can get a $20 referral fee when you sign up here.
  • 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, as I think it will benefit me in the long run. But you can get the basic plan and sell 10 digital products for just $9 a month here.
  • PHOTOSHOP: I really need to cancel this! I barely use it since I finished my degree.

BLOGGING REVIEW: WHAT WORKED

This was a strange month, as I feel like I had a lot of wins:

  • I worked less, but earned more. Like what?! It’s definitely made me realise I should be working smarter, not necessarily harder.
  • I received lots of positive reviews on the guide. I used to be so anxious when trying to sell The Viral Pin Guide. But all the good reviews I’ve been receiving have made me feel awesome, and much more confident in promoting it (you can read some of the reviews here).
  • I had better sale days, making the most sales I ever have in a single day and selling a full priced copy of the guide when I added the good reviews to the sales page!
  • I just generally feel better about blogging this month!!!

There were some definite things that didn’t work this month however.

BLOGGING REVIEW: WHAT DIDN’T WORK

  • Affiliate marketing. I just don’t feel like I’ve mastered this yet, and need to look at my strategy next month.
  • Getting more traffic. I’m glad I’m getting traffic from different sources, but I want to keep growing my blog so I can make substantial income from well placed adverts, completely passively.

But there are definitely more things that worked this month than didn’t!

And I think that’s because I spent less time blogging.

Which I know sounds counterproductive, but I made sure I only focused on tasks that would be truly beneficial for me. So my income could grow and I didn’t get burned out!

BLOGGING GOALS

I always add my blogging goals, so hopefully I can look back and see how far I’ve come.

(I write them out and put them next to my bed, so I can see them every day and do tasks to try and reach them.)

So these were my goals for September:

  • Share X4 beneficial posts- SUCCESS. I shared 4 posts! Although if I’m honest, they weren’t all the posts I wanted to share in September and one was a guest post from another blogger. But still, 1 post a week is pretty good, and they all were pretty beneficial for generating traffic or income.
  • Make X20 ebook sales- SUCCESS. I’m so happy about this! Especially as it’s been getting really good reviews, and my sales are a mix of new people signing up and current subscribers buying it.
  • Diversify my income by adding at least 1 income streamSUCCESS. I did this right at the start of the month, so I could have a full month of earning from it. BUT it kinda turned into a fail, as I ended up earning less than $1 a day towards the end of the month.
  • Open a shop and add 1 product- FAIL. I just couldn’t be bothered, if I’m honest! But now it’s at the top of my to do list for next month.
  • Get 2k sessions through SEO- FAIL. This was pretty ambitious, but I really wanted to start increasing my organic traffic. And whilst I didn’t reach 2k sessions through Google, it did increase it by 290 sessions.
  • Start a Facebook group- SUCCESS. I finally did this, after putting it off for AGES! It’s quite small at the moment, but it’s very engaged. You can join the Facebook group here.
  • Gain 1 client- SUCCESS. Finally! I’ve been wanting to take on some clients to manage their Pinterest accounts for them, as this would make my income more stable and it’s a skill I can definitely do. And I finally gained my first client!

So not 100% successful, but much morewins than last time.

BLOGGING GOALS FOR NEXT MONTH

These are my blogging goals for October:

  • Get 2k sessions through SEO. I’ve just purchased an SEO guide and I’m already seeing the benefits, but I want to reach 2k sessions a month through organic search traffic before I discuss it.
  • Open a shop and add 1 product. I’ve got my guide listed on my site, but not my other product(s). Adding a shop should hopefully help sales.
  • Reach 100 members in my Facebook group. This seems ambitious as there are currently only 30 members! But it is growing slowly. I want to try and reach 100 members this month (and that they’re active!), to increase my blog traffic from Facebook.
  • Gain X5 Bluehost affiliate signups. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to about this, but I know I’m leaving money on the table here with my Bluehost affiliate earnings.

BLOGGING GOALS LONG TERM

Just to finish off my blogging income report, these are my long term blogging goals.

I’m writing these down because this time next year, I’m hoping me and my boyfriend will be on a gap year, and I want to achieve these goals so my blog can help support us!

  • Earn $1k – $2k a month from my blog. I’m already going to be working towards saving ready for when we go, but earning $1k- $2k on top of my savings would be so amazing.
  • Gain 4 Pinterest clients. This used to be “gain some Pinterest clients”, but I’ve already got 1! And having 4 I think will be ideal for having work to do and consistent income when I’m abroad, but not too much to overload me.
  • Gain 10k sessions from SEO. SEO is already a short term goal, but eventually I want to be getting lots of organic search traffic!
  • Reach 50k sessions a month. This will mean I can try out another premium advertising network to make income from my blog. As Mediavine requires you to have 25k sessions per month before you join.

BLOGGING INCOME REPORT: FINAL THOUGHTS

I really hope you’ve found my September blogging income report to be beneficial (if you did, please share it on Pinterest!).

As if I’m honest, I’m already finding it draining writing them.

But I want to try and at least keep them up for 6 months (maybe even a year) so you and I can see my progress with my blog.

EXTRA BLOGGING HELP

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

RELATED MAKING MONEY BLOGGING ARTICLES

SEPTEMBER BLOGGING INCOME REPORT 2019

2 thoughts on “SEPTEMBER INCOME REPORT: How I made $512 blogging”

  1. Hi Emily!

    Congratulations on gaining your first client! I strongly believe that offering a service on your blog is the best, and fastest way to earn from your blog. It’s great to see that your client seeking efforts are already paying off.

    And congrats on boosting your income by 56.1%. I said you’d do better in your last income report, and you did just so.

    Your Pinterest growth is literally crazy! It’s amazing that you’re already averaging 1.7M views on Pinterest. You have some of the highest impressions on a profile in your niche.

    That’s just more proof that the strategies that you talk about in your blog and eBook work.

    Cheers!

    1. Hey Wilson!

      Thank you so much- I’m really enjoying working with them too so I definitely want to gain more clients in the future. And I completely agree, especially if you offer a service that is in demand.

      Thanks for working out the percentages- I’m sure your encouragement has helped me earn more!

      And I can’t quite believe it myself that my Pinterest account reaches over 1 million people a month!!

      Also I have seen your email- I’m going to change the link to your new site right now 🙂

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