It's time for my monthly online income report where I detail how I make money blogging, how much I spend, and everything in between.After dabbling with reporting my income in early 2015 during my $8k in 90 day challenge, I decided to start recording it publicly in April. Yes, it's scary and weird to talk about openly when I see folks “in real life”, but I'm getting more and more comfortable talking about it.
For those who are interested, here's how my income has progressed over time.
- January 2015 Side Hustle Income Report ($3,216.51)
- February 2015 Side Hustle Income Report ($2,928.92)
- March 2015 Side Hustle Income Report ($3,750.00)
- April 2016 Online Income Report ($7,400.00)
- May 2016 Online Income Report ($6,430.00)
- June Income – $8,001.35
I'm excited for the increase in this month's income, although July and August are typically very slow (if last year is any indication.) Unless something earth shattering happens in the online income front, I probably won't report what I make for July and August. I haven't booked any new campaigns, and since these make up the lion's share of the money I bring in each month, I likely won't report these months since it's looking low. Idk, I want these to be sexy and fun!
How I Make Money Blogging…. $8,001.35 in June 2016
Two notes about the income numbers you see below:
- The number below includes staff writing I do as “Lauren Bowling” or “L Bee and the Money Tree”, for sites like Student Loan Hero and Grow by Acorns, but doesn't include writing I do for my private business clients. That's separate, I track it separately. The income reports I do are strictly what I make from being a blogger and is meant to demonstrate how you too can make online income from home by blogging and other avenues.
- Also please note this is income earned and not paid out. Sometimes affiliates take between 60-90 days to pay out influencers.
- Someone emailed to ask me this after last time: My blog income now vastly outpaces the income from the freelance copywriting business I had before. Right now it's split about 80% (blog income), 20% private writing clients.
The breakdown for June 2016 is as follows:
- Native Advertising (Sponsored Posts) – $0
- Direct Ad Sales (in sidebar on site) – $30.00
- Ad Networks (Google Adsense, BlogHer) – $35
- Staff Writing – $1400.00
- Brand Campaigns (Like Sponsored Posts, but with multiples) – $3,700.00
- Speaking – $0
- Affiliates (Bluehost, Commission Junction, Shareasale, and MSB Cheatsheet) – $1891.00
- Digital Product & Coaching Sales – $945.35
Total = $8,001.35
Native Advertising/Sponsored Post
Another good month for this stream of income and I've loved some of the sponsored campaigns I've had the chance to work on lately…particularly with Wela and Xfinity Business, who allowed me to just be myself and write about my everyday life.
But as I said earlier, last Summer 2015 was super quiet on this front, so I probably won't see such large dollars amounts for campaigns until the Fall.
I've steadily been decreasing the time I spend writing each month, and I wrote in last month's income report that I've started charging more for the pieces I do contribute. Glad to see this is paying off!
Coaching and Product Sales
Product sales are down….but coaching sales are back up and I just on boarded three new clients in the last 30 days (my “Class of 2016” as I call them…), which is the lion's share of the number you see above. I need to rethink my product marketing strategy during my summer down time.
What it Costs to Be a Full Time Blogger: June 2016
I don't get to keep all the money I make. (Uhm, I wish). And even though running a digital business is one of the most low-cost businesses/side hustles you can start, it still costs money.
The numbers below don't include what I spend on insurances and taxes as a self-employed business owner, so don't think I just roll around taking baths in my money.
Sometimes it goes out just as much as it comes in. Although to combat the summer low months, I'm trying to save where I can.
Here's what I spent in June 2016.
- Graphic Design – $90.00
- Writing Assistant – $461.50
- Publicist – $250.00
- Gumroad – $10.00
- Mailchimp – $50.00
- New Plugin – $57.00 for annual subscription
- Business cards – $128.75 (yes! bloggers need these too!)
- “Continuing Education” (E-book and course) – $60.00
- Parking & Ubers (@ Meetings and Meetups, hello write-off!) – $50.51
- Office Supplies – $85.00 (Really, it's just candles. I love my candles. See this video for proof.)
Total = $1,242,76
The list above does not include technologies that I use monthly but pay for in one lump annual sum (My Bluehost hosting, Tailwind, and a few others).
More Cool Things that Happened in June
I'm meshing my “About L.Bee post” and my income reports because June was such an amazing month. Not sure a whole post can completely capture everything, but here goes.
In between starting rehearsals for a new show and work I also participated in FOUR financial literacy related events. First, I spoke at the Atlanta chapter of the Rising Tide Society's Tuesday Together event on June 14th. We gabbed about pricing your business and how to talk money.
Photo Credit: Laura Barnes Photography
I spoke at Phroogal's Road to Financial Wellness 2016 event on June 29th.
Mid-month I also joined three of my favorite bloggers (Erin @ Broke Millennial, Stefanie @ stefanieoconnell.com, and bad-ass Robert Farrington @ The College Investor) for a new event with Fidelity Investments called #FidelityLabs.
It was seriously one of the best trips I've had all year. I got to see all of their cool new apps and technologies, and have deep discussions on millennial money matters such as the state of student loan debt and how we're all going to save for retirement.
I also had the most mind blowing experience with virtual reality while I was there.
But perhaps the biggest and most exciting thing that happened to me in June was being named one of Atlanta's 30 Under 30. I got to wear a fancy dress and meet some cool folks for the evening and take home a very shiny award. You can read the full press release on the award here.
It's nice to feel the love back from the city I love so much.
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