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
The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale started this month. This was projected to be our biggest month of the year, possibly hitting 6-figures in gross commission, but we didn’t even come close.
July turned out to be a tremendous letdown- and there was one major reason for this.
Our commission rate for the above mentioned sale was reduced by about 30%. As we ran things, this resulted in a loss of about $18,000. The true loss was MUCH greater though. You see, we run a lot of ads during this sale at a very fine profit margin. Basically, we put in $100 and make maybe $130-$150 back. Well, a 30% reduction in commission made running ads much, much less profitable and in some cases, not profitable at all. The goal of a 6-figure month was more than realistic, but sometimes things are out of your control.
This is a good lesson to not keep all of your eggs in one basket. As you’ll see in the reports, we did make a decent amount of money in other areas, which was a good thing!
Prime Day was also in July, but this time (unlike the previous 2 years we’ve covered both) it was during the Anniversary Sale. Because of this, we were not able to set as much time aside for Prime Day and our earnings suffered. Again, out of our control.
On this report, you’ll see a large amount for free products. We partnered with Overstock.com for our living room in our new home. Again, the amount we put there is the realistic amount that we would have spent on these items. For example, an $8,000 couch is not worth $8,000 to us- it’s worth $1600 because that’s what we would have paid for it- so that’s how much money is being kept in our pockets.
We also bumped the “returns” deduction up to 20% in the below report- as return rates are particularly high from the Anniversary Sale.
You’ll see a huge ad spend for this month. We tried to combat the reduced commission with more ads and it doesn’t appear that it worked very well. Back to the drawing board on this one!
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 – $150
- Retail affiliate income (Nordstrom, Shopbop, Macy’s and other affiliates. We love VigLink for beginners) – $35,038.56
- Amazon affiliate income – $1761
- Sponsored blog posts – $1500
- Free Products (see note above) – $3000
REVENUE EARNED FROM BLOGGING CONTENT
Total Revenue – $45,802.86
- 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
- Aweber– the best email service for creating, building and managing email lists! – $29
- Social Media Advertising – $24,342.85
- Developer Costs – $100
- Giveaway prizes (this falls under our marketing budget) – $762
- 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 – $25,347.85
TOTAL PROFIT – $20,455.01
Very disappointing month this month to say the least. We made about $80,000 under our projection. That said, when you put aside our projection, we still made over $20k from blogging- so not to shabby!
We have meetings with affiliates about commission rates (don’t just sit back and accept changes- demand answers and make sure people hear your side of things) and are re-thinking some key strategies going forward. Looking forward to getting these numbers up!
This income report makes ONE YEAR that we’ve been doing them! In that 12-month span, we’ve made just under $245,000 in profit. To say that is exciting to read and type here is an understatement. Hard work really does pay off!
If you’re feeling motivated after reading this income report, head over here to get your blog started right away!