Over the past four years I’ve worked on this website as well as my freelance business. To say that my income growth has been slow and steady would be absolutely correct. Well, until last month, that is, when I made almost double what I’ve been averaging for the past year.
If you would’ve told me four years ago that I’d go from making $1,800 per month to more than $10,000 in a month I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Heck, I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me I was going to earn $5k per month. At the time those numbers felt so far and away.
But lo and behold I’ve finally reached my very first five figure number and you may need to pinch me because I still can’t quite believe it!
Instead of doing a regular income report for this month I thought I’d break things down into more detail to show you all of the sources of income and how those work for me!
Freelance Services – $1,400
When I first became self-employed almost all of my income came from freelancing. I created this blog and chronicled all the different things I was doing to earn money online to keep myself on track.
While I had tried many different money making ideas (you can see a list of early failures here) writing for other blogs is what seemed to stick. About a year after starting this blog in 2012 I was making enough money from freelance writing, which was only around $1,800 per month at the time, to quit my job.
Since I always earned a fairly low income and had stashed away enough money in an emergency fund to fall back on, I was comfortable going full-time when I hit the $1,800/month milestone.
I still do a little bit of freelance writing and virtual assistant work for some of my earliest clients, which is where this figure comes from each month.
If you’re interested in becoming a freelance writer I have a step-by-step guide detailing what worked for me when I was just getting started and had no experience: How to Find Freelance Blogging Jobs When You’re Starting From Scratch.
I do many different things as a virtual assistant including scheduling posts in WordPress, creating graphics and scheduling social media posts. If you’re interested in learning more about virtual assistant work here are over 30 services you can offer as a VA.
Blogging Income Sources – $8,768.15
Blogging is where the bulk of my income came from in May. Increasing my blogging income has been a slow but fun journey. This month is higher than it typically is, mostly due to the timing of payments.
A lot of the money I make from blogging can take 30-90+ days to receive. This month a slew of payments all happened to come in at once.
Here are the income breakdowns as well as further explanations of these income sources.
(P.S. If you currently have a blog but are having trouble building traffic or making money you can get Ruth Soukup’s free e-book 7 Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight for free here.. Ruth is the creator of Elite Blog Academy which is the course that helped me 10x my traffic and income.
Elite Blog Academy is not currently open but you can still download the free e-book and get on the waiting list for the next enrollment.)
Affiliate Sales – $5,084.47
Affiliate sales occur when I post a special affiliate link (many times that will get you a better deal than normal) and I earn a commission when someone clicks through my link and signs up for a service or purchases a product.
I only promote companies that I personally use along with courses I believe are really beneficial and offer a lot of bang for your buck, like Elite Blog Academy or Bookkeeper’s Business Academy for example.
For May my income from affiliates was strong due to receiving payment from a couple of courses I had recommended months ago. Again, these were courses I believe to be great and very beneficial to anyone who takes them and really applies what’s been taught.
My affiliate income has been getting stronger and I predict that this will be a good source of income for me next month as well.
Ad Networks – $2,674.68
Ad networks would be the ads you see on the sidebar of this blog. These ads go to third party websites and I get paid either when someone clicks an ad or just visits my website.
Over the past year my income from ad networks has grown and then finally plateaued. I use three different ad networks on this blog: Google Adsense, Media.net, and the Blogger Network.
If you have a blog and are interested in earning more with your ads I have a breakdown on what has worked the best for me. You can find that post here.
Sponsored Posts – $1,000
Sponsored posts are posts that I write in partnership with a company. (Example.) I am very selective when it comes to sponsored posts and I pass up on around 90% of the opportunities that come my way.
I feel like a broken record here but again, this income was high for May because I received payments for 4 posts that were written months ago. (Plus another from this month.)
Product Sales – $9
As a blogger or online business owner creating your own products like guides, ebooks and courses is a popular way to earn money.
I only have one product, an SEO guide for bloggers, which I rarely promote. The guide costs $9 so obviously, I made one sale in May.
For a Total of $10,168.15 for May
When you tally up all the different income sources for May the total comes to just over $10,000. I’m still a little bit in shock, but also feeling super grateful.
I am so glad that four years ago I decided to start this blog and was crazy enough to believe that I could make it work. That belief, a lot of hours writing, and support from all of you has been what’s made this possible.