The Summer Income Report – I made $10,073 in Six Weeks in Summer 2016

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In June, I wrote about how I probably wouldn't do a Summer Income Report because they're generally the lowest income months of the year. But I was inspired by Paula Pant's recent real estate income report, where she reported a loss because she wanted to accurately display the ups and downs of being a real estate investor. This is good information for those considering such a path to know and I so admire her honesty. You go Paula girl!

So, for the sake of transparency, I'll admit that I smooshed together July and August and titled it with the five figure headline for virality purposes (LIKE YOU'VE NEVER DONE IT!! DON”T JUDGE ME).

Honestly, I made ~$5,000 each month for July and August, which is equivalent to what I made monthly at my former full time job.

So here's two big feelings I have about my less-than-ideal summer income report:

The fact that I'm able to – at minimum- pay myself what I made before (and often – much more!) while being the master of my own time and destiny proves I was right in leaving my full-time job a little over a year and a half ago.

But since I basically took two weeks off at the end of August to cope with all the crazy of my recent move, I thought I'd give a depiction of what you can make with an online business that allows you to only work part of the time and pick and choose when you work. In “slow” months (like July and August) I worked perhaps ~20-25 hours per week so take that into account of the amounts above as well.

A lot of it is passive income: from digital products and affiliate advertising. 

When things get crazy in September – November and March-May I work between 40-45. That's the way the cookie crumbles.

And I'm very lucky, I know that. But if I can do it. So can you! Trust me. These income reports will show you how.

For those who are interested, here's how my income has progressed over time.


How I Make Money Blogging…. $10,073.16 in June 2016

I make money from my blog. Click here to find out how I do it, or read how to start a blog of your own with HostGator.

I'm grouping them together, but for all you money nerds I made $4,584.00 in July 2016 and $5,453 in August 2016. With the exception of January and February what I make now working for myself vastly outpaces what I made working 40 hours a week for someone else. I consider each month that I'm able to “out earn” my old salary (~$5,000/month) . Woo hoo!

The breakdown for Summer 2016 is as follows:

  • Native Advertising (Sponsored Posts) – $1,100
  • Direct Ad Sales (in sidebar on site) – $0
  • Ad Networks (Google Adsense, BlogHer) – $152.58
  • Staff Writing – $6,251.00
  • Brand Campaigns (Like Sponsored Posts, but with multiples) – $0
  • Speaking – $0
  • Affiliates (Bluehost, Commission Junction, Shareasale, and MSB Cheatsheet) – $800.80
  • Digital Product & Coaching Sales – $1768.78 (numbers from my e-book launch aren't quite in yet!)

Total = $10,073.16

Native Advertising/Sponsored Post

Summers are always slow for Sponsored content, but I am currently booking campaigns for this Fall and Winter.

Staff Writing

This is the lion's share and reflects how I'm raising my prices AND spending more time on projects I really connect with, like my posts for MyBankTracker. I'm pleased with this number because I'm still spending significantly less time writing than I did a year ago.

Product Sales/Affiliates

These are lower because my traffic goes way, way down in the Summers. See? Influencers have cyclical sales cycles too! I think my online store is looking pretty good though, and I am still pretty happy with Gumroad (for the most part). You can check out my super swank store, here. 

What it Costs to Be a Full Time Blogger: Summer Income Report 2016

I don't get to keep all the money I make. That's probably the largest misconception people have had since I started doing these income reports.

Peeps see a big flashy number on Facebook or Pinterest, think I make a lot of money, don't bother to read the article, and fail to realize that just like every other business owner – I have expenses and taxes and have to pay for my own health insurance.

Even though running a digital business is one of the most low-cost businesses/side hustles you can start, it still costs money, particularly as you grow. Here's a look at what I spent this summer:

  • Tech Help – $42.00
  • Graphic Design – $67.50
  • Writing Assistant – $872.25
  • Technology (Gumroad, Hosting, Mailchimp, Boardbooster, Adobe, HelloSign…basically all the tools I need to run my business!) – $619.36
  • “Continuing Education” (#BookBoss course) – $100.00
  • Office Supplies – $60.09 (Stamps for mailing notes, etc.)
  • Marketing – $98.82 (I spent a little on Facebook and Pinterest Ads for some campaigns in August.)
  • Travel $439.90 – I'm making trip preparations for #FinCon16 (usually the only conference I do each year. Yup, I'm a homebody.)

Total = $2,299.92

The list above does not include technologies that I use monthly but pay for in one lump annual sum (My HostGator hosting, Tailwind, and a few others). It also doesn't include what it cost to build my latest product, The Millennial Homeowner E-Book + Workbook. 

Fall season is easily my craziest time of year and I'm planning on taking time off to travel for a bit this month and next too, so we'll see how that affects September's income report. Until next time!


Even while I was out having summer fun, I was able to make money! How you ask? Take a look at my summer income report to find out!

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  • From Pennies to Pounds
    September 14, 2016 at 10:18 am

    It’s still seriously impressive to me! Where did you find your staff writing jobs? 🙂

    • Lauren Bowling
      September 15, 2016 at 9:09 am

      TBH — all the staff jobs I have now were things people reached out to me about because they saw my site!

  • Giulia Lombardo
    September 13, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Yes Summertime could be slow but I think you had a successsful season considerino moving and other things (balance lifeworkfree time). Thanks for sharing!

    • Lauren Bowling
      September 13, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Yes, I still feel crazy, but I already feel so much more productive in my new space!

  • Colin // RebelwithaPlan
    September 12, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks for breaking down your expenses. I always like seeing that. What does your writing assistant do for you? proofread/edit your posts? I can’t wait for FinCon! I’m coming all the way from Thailand! ah!

    • Lauren Bowling
      September 13, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Yes and yes. She’s also going to start adding her voice to the blog so you’ll get to “officially” meet her soon. I hope we can meet up at FinCon!