I guess you could also call this: Blog Income Report: How I Made $387.96 during my 8th Month of Blogging.
Hello friends! I am finally getting back into the groove of things after taking a much needed break during the months of March and April. I was still working here and there, but with the stress of the pandemic and lock down, my blog and side hustles were put on pause. I focused on dealing with my anxiety about these unprecedented times, as well as my children and homeschooling.
After having a record-breaking month in February for traffic to my blog, my traffic took a dive as I focused less on my blog, and more on my family.
I have finally gotten back in the swing of things, and my traffic is finally back up again to where it was in February. YAY!
As I mentioned in my how to start a blog tutorial, blogging for money is a slow burn. Despite what some bloggers may want you to believe, it can take up to a year to get good traffic and thousands of page views a month. And that’s only if you are working hard and continuously putting out quality content and promoting your blog.
The reality of blogging
I will tell you right now, that making nearly $80 in my second month of blogging was a complete stroke of luck. I had decent traffic in November and December because of the holidays making some of my very first posts (and Pinterest pins) take off.
But because this was a new blog as of October 2019, come January my traffic completely tanked once the holiday rush was over.
I also have another blog and am not new to the blogging world. I knew the ins and outs of blogging before starting this website.
I believe in complete transparency. I have been fooled by “top bloggers” in the past who only earn money from being dishonest to naive beginners who don’t know any better.
Some of my links in my posts are affiliate links. I do recommend blogging as a way to earn money from home. But I only recommend products, services, or jobs that I have used myself and believe are worth the price tag.
My income reports will not only include blogging, but also other side hustles that I use to earn money as a stay-at-home Mom. Because I want to help my viewers know that while blogging can lead a great full-time income (YES, it is possible…), it may take months before you can shout “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” like Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry Maguire. (Maybe I’m showing my age, now).
I believe it’s important not to put all your eggs in one basket (the blogging basket). That is why I work on building my blog, while earning money from other income streams as well.
Why would I show my income report to strangers on the internet?
(The infamous question on every blog income report).
- To keep myself accountable and to push me to reach my goals.
- To show you that it is possible to make money from home and inspire you to do the same. To show you that while blogging is a long-term game, it can bring money eventually; but that you can still earn money from other sources while building your empire.
(Because once your blog takes off, you most likely won’t need these other income streams because they won’t compare to the money you could* make with your blog.) *Not everyone will be successful with blogging. You have to be willing to put in the hard work, the time, and the research to succeed. Most new businesses end up in the red at the end of their first year.
You have to be willing to look at blogging as a business you are starting and to expect to put more money into it at first until it becomes a success. And yes, that means there may be months without seeing much money, if anything. But if you continue to work hard, and promote your content properly, you will get there.
Many people get frustrated after a few months of not earning any money. But if you can be patient and work diligently for 6 months – 1 year, you will finally start to succeed.
No, I will not lie to you and tell you that you will be making thousands of dollars on your second month of blogging. Because it’s NOT possible. And those that try to sell you a story of how they are doing it are bullshitting you because they want to sell you a product. So that they can make the money they are claiming they are making.
Even if by some minuscule chance a blogger did manage to gain success from the first few months, it’s not going to happen for almost every other blogger who tries.“Sow the seeds of hard work and you will reap the fruits of success. Find something to do, do it with all your concentration. You will excel.” - Israelmore Ayivor Click To Tweet
Those that work hard and stick to it for months on end, will be the ones who succeed and make the money they are yearning for.
Here’s the breakdown of my online income from side hustles in May 2020.
Lionbridge – $502.73
I evaluate search engine results and landing pages for a popular and well-known search engine. The job is relatively easy and it is one of the side hustles I constantly recommend to those looking for jobs that can be done from anywhere.
You are able to work up to 20 hours a week, and set your own schedule. Lionbridge and Appen both offer these positions which are called “raters,” as well as other similar hourly positions.
The only drawback to working for these companies is that there is a maximum amount of hours you can work, which means you can only earn a certain amount of money each month. It’s a part-time gig and won’t replace a full-time income, which is why I supplement it with other side hustles as shown below.
The hours are not guaranteed either, and during certain times of the year such as holiday weeks, you can almost be certain to have no work to complete (Fourth of July weekend, I’m looking at you!).
Lionbridge also requires a 3 part exam in order to be hired on, and the exam is very difficult. I passed it on the second try, and many people never pass it.
But it is a good way to earn some extra cash from home while setting your own schedule and without having to find childcare for your kids. I do recommend supplementing it with other side hustles though to bring more money in and to have a fallback on those weeks when there is no work to do.
Learn more about how to become a search engine evaluator:
Teachers Pay Teachers – $3.40
Teachers Pay Teachers is a website that I use to find lesson plans and other teaching resources for my kids and online students.
I have created a few of my own worksheets, printables, and rewards for school and online teaching that I added to my store on Teachers Pay Teachers.
I don’t focus on this venue of income too much, as I rarely update it, but do see some money come from this source here and there. It tends to pick up around the holidays when I make resources related to the season.
Etsy – $4.70
Etsy is an online marketplace that you can join to open your own store. They sell a wide variety of items such as jewelry, clothing, printables, toys, etc.
I have a few items (digital printables) posted on my Etsy shop, but I never update it anymore. I rarely make any sales from there. But I do have some that trickle in throughout the year.
Affiliate Marketing – $387.96
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when a blogger or influencer promotes a product or service that they love and value as a consumer. If their fans or visitors decide to purchase that product through their link, then they earn a small commission at no extra cost to them.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn money from your blog and there are many different networks and companies you can work with.
Not only do bloggers use this revenue stream, but even all those fashionable Instagram influencers who tell you to swipe up to purchase those adorable flats they are wearing.
There are a few networks that I recommend for bloggers to join in order to get started with affiliate marketing. These networks allow you to apply to work with many different companies, all from one place, which makes it easier to keep track of.
The affiliate networks that I use and recommend for bloggers are:
Flex Offers has some great programs that I recommend regularly such as:
- DoorDash – Get paid to deliver food
- Postmates – New customers get $100 in delivery fee credits for your first 7 days. Use code ‘GETFOOD’ to start your free delivery.
- Swagbucks – Earn money and gift cards by taking surveys and watching videos
- Rover – Get paid to play with dogs
- Credit Karma – Sign up to monitor your credit score – completely free. I have been monitoring my credit report for years through their website at no cost.
Personal Capital Offers free financial tools to track your spending, retirement accounts, and give you an investment checkup. You can sign up for free without enrolling in their paid products.
- Acorns – Start investing your spare change. Every time you use your credit card, the extra round-up to the nearest dollar is invested into an Acorns account. (I only recommend using this if you can manage to invest at least $50/month through spare change of your purchases.)
- Hulu – Sign up for streaming services starting at $5.99/month to ditch those high cable bills.
- Sitter City – Sign up to be a babysitter or nanny to make extra cash
- Shipt – Try Shipt grocery delivery free for two weeks
- Instacart – Get a free trial of Instacart Express
So as you see, while I am helping others by finding ways to make or save money, I also earn a small commission at no charge for promoting these above products.
All of the above products and services I have used and believe are high quality and worthwhile for those who are looking for financial freedom and to pay off debt. But through the use of affiliate marketing, I am also earning money for helping others. (At no extra cost to them).
Flex Offers is definitely my favorite affiliate network because there are so many companies that are helpful for personal finance. Sign up with Flex Offers here.
Other affiliate networks and programs that I recommend for bloggers or influencers:
Share a Sale – Some of the companies I use or recommend from this network:
- Tailwind – Tailwind schedules your Pinterest pins so that they go out at the correct times each day. They also offer Pin analytics to see which pins are gaining the most traffic for your website, as well as Tailwind tribes which are similar to Pinterest Group boards except that their members are required to re-pin others’ pins. Get your free trial of Tailwind here.
- Pic Monkey – This is a popular photo editing software that many bloggers use.
- Grammarly – This helps you proofread your posts and checks your grammar and spelling for you. It’s absolutely free and I use it everyday! (Love it!)
- Cricut – I don’t use this program, but it would be a great one for a craft, DIY, parenting, or homeschool blog.
And some more companies/networks to also try:
Amazon Associates – You can recommend any product that you would find on Amazon.com through this program.
Rakuten – Earn cash back anytime you shop online by signing up for Rakuten. You will also be notified of any available promo codes that exist before checking out online. Rakuten works at most popular stores such as Target, Amazon, Walmart, Nike, Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Disney, Old Navy, etc. (Up to 2,500 stores). I do all of my online shopping through it, and especially love when I get to make a large purchase or do my holiday shopping using it. (That’s when you really get a lot of money back!) Get $10 at Rakuten by using my affiliate link.
Bluehost – Check out my how to start a blog tutorial.
Survey Junkie – Earn rewards to redeem for e-giftcards or Paypal.
What happened to VIPKid?
If you have read my previous online income report, then you know I have been a long-time teacher with VIPKid and Qkids. I still highly recommend both companies to earn extra cash by teaching online.
With the pandemic, the lock down, and homeschooling, I took a big step back from teaching online and from working on my blog. That’s why you will see I haven’t posted much in the past few months. My traffic definitely suffered from my break, as well as my usual income.
Related posts about online teaching:
Qkids Teacher Review: Is QKids Legit?
How to Become an Online ESL Teacher
However, I just signed up to teach with Outschool in place of VIPKid and Qkids. The earning potential is much higher because you can decide what to charge and how many students you would like to teach. You do not need any degree or teaching credentials to teach with them, just a passion for a specific subject that you want to teach.
My kids have been taking classes on Outschool for over a year because we have always home-schooled. But Outschool is not just for homeschoolers.
The reason I am making the leap from teaching ESL to teaching on Outschool is because
1. I can make more money.
2. I can teach a subject I enjoy.
3. They have teaching hours throughout the day instead of just early morning or late evenings, because of the limits of teaching only during Beijing time for ESL companies.
You don’t have to teach academics in order to teach online either; there’s a plethora of subjects you are allowed to teach in. Some of the classes my kids have taken are:
Music & Move: Dinosaurs,
C++ Background and Intro,
Spanish PreK Circle Time,
Electricity – Building Circuits (Hands On),
Guess the Feelings with Daniel Tiger,
Let’s Get Moving! Fun Fitness for Friends,
Responsible Fun on Social Media,
LEGO Engineering Club,
and so many more.
I plan on teaching classes for the Preschool age group and I am excited to share with other kids the things I do with my own son at home.
To get a $20 credit towards your child’s first class, sign up for classes using my affiliate link. Sign up for Outschool classes.
To read more about signing up to teach with Outschool, you can read my post about it:
So to recap my online income for the month of November:
BLOGGING ONLY TOTAL: $387.96
ALL ONLINE INCOME TOTAL: $898.79
Expenses this Month
- Bluehost – $0 (Billed annually)
- Tailwind – $14.99 -Tailwind helps us grow our traffic by automating our posts to Pinterest. It’s great because you can schedule as many pins as you want (I usually schedule 20/day) and they will pin them for you at different times during the day when you’ll see the most growth. You can also pin to different “tribes” which is just like Pinterest group boards (but easier to join!). My traffic has gone up tremendously since I signed up for Tailwind. I still pin manually when I feel like it during the day but it’s a relief to not be chained to my phone pinning all day long. I credit Tailwind for my traffic not completely tanking during my blogging break, because of the loops I had signed my pins up for already. They kept my pins out there while I wasn’t uploading more pins to be scheduled during my break. If you’re interested in trying out Tailwind, they offer a free trial for 30 days.
- Mailer Lite – $0 – They offer a free plan for beginners!
TOTAL ONLINE INCOME: $883.80
Blog Posts this Month
The 32 Best Summer Dresses Under $40 On Amazon
Appen Review: Work from Home
25 Ways to Help During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Most Popular Pin on Pinterest – 79 saves, 1.74k link clicks
Social Media Growth
- Pinterest 1,612 followers
- Instagram 123 followers
- Twitter 174 followers
What about ads?
You might notice that I don’t use many ads on my blog. I only have one ad placement in my right sidebar on my blog, because I am not a big fan of ads. I feel that they bring the user experience down, and Adsense doesn’t pay very much either for those clicks.
Google Adsense is a great company to start with as a new blogger until you build a solid audience. Then I recommend to go with a company such as Adthrive or Mediavine once you meet their traffic requirements, because the pay out is better. Once I qualify for one of those, I will most likely start using more ads.
Mediavine just recently changed their traffic requirements from 25,000 sessions a month to 50,000 sessions a month. (This must be tracked by Google Analytics on your blog. If you have not signed up for Google Analytics, I highly recommend it to track your page views, and what pages your visitors favor the most. It’s free to use.)
2nd month – 78.73
8th month – 387.96
Thoughts from this month:
I pretty much have stopped using most of my social media with the exception of Pinterest. I find that they sucked a lot of my time and I wasn’t seeing much return on that investment in growth or traffic to my website. I figured I can slowly post once a week until I get things going more through Pinterest and organic traffic from Google and Bing.
I finally purchased my first blogging course a few days ago on implementing SEO.
I’m not a big fan of paying for things that I can find on the internet for free, which is why I never purchased a course to learn how to blog, how to use affiliate marketing, how to use Pinterest, etc. I taught myself how to do all of these things over the last few years.
Many of these things can be found by doing a search on Google, and you won’t have to pay the $100 – $500 price tag included. (Yes, it might take a little more time this way, but I couldn’t invest hundreds of dollars on something that’s out there in the world for free).
I was worried I wouldn’t learn much from the SEO course, but after getting about halfway through it, I’ve realized it was worth the money I spent and more.
After I finish going through the course and implementing the strategies, I will wait a month or two to see if it helps grow my organic traffic (the traffic you get from Google and Bing searches). Then I will make sure to do an updated post if there is any substantial growth because of that course.
Find my previous income report below.
Previous Income Reports
How I Made $1,552.50 from Side Hustles in November
Read more about how to start a blog, including how to get your blog set up, and learn the steps to take in order to promote your blog and monetize it.
Do you have any questions about our online income report? Leave a comment below!