How to Read This Income Report
Every month, we share our blog’s income in posts like this one. We do this to motivate and inform you. If you’re ready to start a blog of your own, click here and follow the steps to get started.
These reports will include money earned and expenses from the given month. Some affiliate income gets adjusted due to returns and we factor in a 10% loss for that in these reports. We also take the difference out of the next month’s affiliate income on the next report.
Also, the number you see in the title is our take-home amount after expenses. Most income reports you see with a big number in the title is a number that comes before expenses. We feel this is misleading, so we don’t do that. Please also note that none of this money is taxed yet. We make monthly payments to the IRS based on our income and tax projections and recommend all bloggers making thousands per month do the same.
On rare occasions, we will include free products in our profit line. We don’t normally include free products into our income reports unless is is 100% something that we were planning on buying anyway. In these cases, we look at it as profit because it is keeping money in our pocket. We do not count the retail price of the product, we count the amount that we were planning on paying for it- since that amount is what we saved. I hope that makes sense!
Important Happenings This Month
This is it! Black Friday month and the beginning of the holiday shopping season! We landed more sponsored posts than ever before by a longshot this year. One thing we did that I think really helped was make a professional, cleaned up media kit and rate card. We found a template on Etsy and I highly recommend you consider doing that to really give it a polished look.
This month also gave us a friendly reminder to not spend your earning before they have passed the approval process. We had over $7,000 in income disappear (we completely expected it) due to returns from this month alone. The actual number is reflected below, not the “before returns” number.
We had a couple of sponsored post contracts that included work in November and December, so we split those numbers evenly between each month.
On the blog, we made a couple of large announcements this month. Sadly, we lost out long-time cat Buddy. We subsequently adopted two new kittens a short time later. We also announced that we are expecting baby #3!
One thing that happened that I debated talking about, but I think it’s important.
We had email communication about a sponsored opportunity go sour. Basically, we expressed interest in the job but took things no further than that. After not hearing from the PR company for 20 days, they touched base again and we said we were still interested. Still, to this point, no money, post dates or scope of work had been discussed.
They sent an official offer through their platform in mid-November. The offer was for about 1/3 of our rate. We responded with our rate, which they said they couldn’t match, but pushed us to go through with the job “as we agreed” to. There was never an agreement. No contract, not even a “yes” over email.
This set off our alarm bells right away. The PR person further said she was “disappointed” that we wouldn’t go through with it after “we corresponded” about it.
This turned into a great learning experience that I can talk about here. When you’re a blogger or influencer, YOU are your boss. You make the decisions like this. Do NOT let someone try to pressure you into something that you don’t want to do. Unless you’ve officially agreed and/or signed a contract, you are not obliged to anything.
The email discussion in this case continued, with them eventually upping the dollar amount closer to our rate. Due to the unpleasant nature of the person emailing us, we ultimately decided that we didn’t want to work with them on the job- no matter what the pay was- so we declined and ended communication.
Again, this is a bit of “drama” but it does provide a learning experience.
The links below are affiliate links. When you click them and make a purchase, we earn money. Thank you so much for all of your support!
LIFESTYLE BLOGGING REVENUE
- Sponsored Instagram posts – $350
- Retail affiliate income (Nordstrom, Shopbop, Macy’s and other affiliates. We love VigLink for beginners) – $7,407.73
- Amazon affiliate income – $560.41
- Sponsored blog posts – $9500
- Mediavine Ad Revenue – $553.05
REVENUE EARNED FROM BLOGGING CONTENT
- HostGator (start a blog today!) – $1,750
- Studiopress – $150.42
- Aweber – $20.10
- Convertkit – $8.70
Total Revenue – $19,952.41
- WP Engine – our current host. We outgrew HostGator and a couple of other hosts and we found the BEST one for high-traffic sites. Our site’s speed is unparalleled with WP Engine and their security and support is amazing. $65
- Convertkit– the best email service for creating, building and managing email lists! – $59
- Social Media Advertising – $2694.57
- Developer Costs – $100
- Giveaway prizes (this falls under our marketing budget) – $100
- PicMonkey – the best online image creation and editing software – $5.00
- Long Tail Pro – keyword research software that helps us show up better in Google. $25
- Optin Monster – create beautiful optin forms to collect email addresses – $9
- US Global Mail – online PO Box to use with our email service so we don’t have to use our personal address – $10
Total Expenses – $3,067.57
TOTAL PROFIT – $16,884.84
Another month where we fell short of affiliate income projections, but were held up by sponsored content. Our relationships with brands and reputation for producing high-quality content and generating sales for brands helped us land a significant amount of our sponsored jobs this month. This is why we value those things SO much.
Going forward in 2019, our focus will be on producing more quality, evergreen content and building relationships with brands and PR agencies.
If you’re feeling motivated after reading this income report, head over here to get your blog started right away!