Welcome to my December 2018 blogging income report. This post will show you how I made money online last month. I will go over what I did, what worked and what didn’t and any plans/goals I have moving forward next month/year.
If you are a current reader or subscriber to my blog, you may be wondering why I have decided to publish an income report. Honestly, the answer is two fold.
Firstly, I am notoriously bad at keeping my financial reports for my blog up to date. In December, I had to go through the entire year and prepare statements for my accountant in anticipation of filing my income taxes.
What a headache that was! I am hoping income reports will force me to stay on top of money going in and out so that next year I won’t have to spend a whole week gathering information. Not to mention, avoid all the moments of, “What the heck was that for?”.
Secondly, I know there are a lot of income report posts from bloggers around the web. It can be really dis-heartening as a midlife blogger when all the real money makers in the online community seem to be millennials.
I want to show, specifically to women over 50, that you can start late, make money blogging and do it in your own unique way. Midlife bloggers have so much work and life experience to offer to each other and younger bloggers. Remember, we are the generation that brought home the bacon and fried it up in a pan. We can do anything!
I know you have probably heard this from me before but I absolutely love blogging. In fact, I mentally divide my life into two parts: before blogging and after blogging.
Working full-time for someone else seems like such a long time ago to me. I don’t know how I did it. I do recall being stretched for time and stressed a lot.
Life is awesome now that I am my own boss. One of my big goals for 2019 is being financially able to let my husband retire early. Life is too short and we have had many losses this past year that have only made that abundantly clear.
I am sure looking back at when you were in your twenties, you imagined your fifties to be settled and financially stable. In reality, I didn’t meet any of those expectations when I hit fifty. Not. Even. Close.
But my life post starting a blog is getting there. I actually love my job plus I don’t feel tied down to it which I guess, is better than anything I could have dreamed of. And showing other midlife women how to follow their passion AND make money too is definitely the cherry on the top.
Now before I get into the details of my income, I want to give you a little bit of my blogging journey background. If you are new to my blog and blogging, I don’t want you to think that this was some sort of overnight success.
Conversely, if you have been blogging for awhile, I want you to feel inspired to keep going. Success comes from consistency and I dare say, endurance. I am proof of that.
I originally started blogging for someone else’s blog in October of 2014. I found it fun and supportive. Especially since the blog was in the mental health niche. Eventually, I took a leap of faith and started my own blog along the same genre but from the very specific point of view as a spouse of someone who suffered from bipolar disorder.
I no longer have that blog. Since my husband has been stable for years (knock on wood), I found it hard to write content for it.
Because I was so addicted to blogging, I started, wait for it…two more blogs!
Hence, this blog and makingMIDLIFEmatter™ were born.
These two blogs allow me to indulge in both my passions: teaching women over 50 to make money online and sharing tips for living your best life in your second half.
I know even that short ramble makes it look like I had a straight line to success and was confident in everything I was doing. Far from it. I have learned a lot over the past 4 years. More from my mistakes than anything.
For a long time, it seemed I would take one step forward only to take two steps back. I second guessed myself all the time and thought about quitting a lot.
I am so glad that I didn’t!
Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
My blogging income for December 2018
I earned $4549.17* blogging before expenses for all three of my blogs combined.
*This amount reflects money received. In other words, deposited into my banking account.
This is an important distinction to make because some earnings are paid 60 days out. A majority of this income was actually “earned” in September. If you are a fan of income reports, be aware of which kind of income is being reported, “earned” or deposited.
I find reporting the money I have received as authentic because believe it or not, “earned” can change for many reasons. Especially with affiliate income as product can be returned and commissions accordingly adjusted down.
I have to admit that every time I add up my actual income received, I am shocked. Never in a million years when I began blogging did I think I would make any money from it.
And once I decided to start monetizing my blogs, it felt like I had to work so hard for every dollar earned.
But I have to tell you, making money blogging is like a snowball. It does pick up steam. So if you are struggling to make a $100/month right now, just keep going. Keep learning. Keep tweaking. Keep blogging. It will pay off if you are willing to put in the work and not quit.
Breakdown for December 2018
These are the sources of my December 2018 income:
- Display Advertising – $3840.44
- Sponsored Posts – $155
- Affiliate Income:
- Bluehost (check out my tutorial on how to start a blog) – $225
- Ultimate Bundles – $58.80
- Amazon – $169.93
- Misc. Other Affiliate Programs – $100
My total expenses for the month came to $2747.87*. Whoa! I know right? This month was particularly high as I have had to pay legal fees to trademark one of my blogs.
My expenses regularly include VA’s, consultations, courses, renewals, hosting, as well as business tools I use daily like ConvertKit, Tailwind and stock photography.
Since I am self-employed, I also put away a percentage of my income for taxes.
*My expenses may be higher than some other bloggers report but honestly, I would rather spend money building my business than pay more taxes.
What worked on the blog in December 2018
One of my big wins this month came from a broken link. Not mine but someone else’s.
I had a link to another blogger’s post in one of my most popular posts. I sent them a ton of traffic. All of a sudden, I noticed that their link was showing up on my broken link report. I thought it was odd. When I manually checked the link, the whole site was down.
Things happen. I thought eventually it would be back up.
But after a week, it was still down. I decided to write my own post and link internally. That post is now bringing me tons of traffic and in my top ten every single day. Winning!
Since a majority of my income is dependent on display advertising, pageviews are extremely important to me at the moment. I have been spending time updating old posts which is also paying off in higher traffic.
Let me tell you, going through old posts is scary! What was I thinking when I wrote that comes to mind a lot. lol
What didn’t work on the blog in December 2018
Affiliate income has always been a second thought for me and that is clearly reflected in my affiliate income. I know it isn’t smart to rely heavily on one source of income. Diversification is high on my goal list for 2019.
Goals for my blogs for 2019
- I really want to capitalize on my traffic and increase my income through affiliates. I really feel like I am leaving money on the table. That is why I purchased Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing last week. I am zipping through the course. I am learning tons and will begin implementing the strategies as I go through the course a second time. I have a quick/slow process for tackling courses. I find that the accelerated first go through gives me a great overview and direction while the second go through helps me then focus on concentrated action steps.
- I need to connect more with my readers. I get emails from them all the time and I do respond to those immediately but I am embarrassed to say, that I rarely produce regular broadcast emails. I want to be more consistent with emailing my subscribers.
- Bloggers love my blog journal printables and want more! One of my goals for 2019 is to bring all of my printables together for a complete blogging journal ebook.
- I struggle with creating an editorial calendar and am one of those free spirits that post when the inspiration hits me. That is great when I am at home but when I am away, like in February/March, my blogs feel abandoned. I want to get ahead and have posts ready to publish in advance.
- Updating old posts has so many benefits and I hope to go through all of them in the next six months.
Overall, December 2018 was a really great month for me. How was yours? Are you earning a blogging income?
I hope you found this post inspiring but if you find it lacking or need more clarity on any of the content, please do not hesitate to comment or send me an email.
Here’s to a prosperous 2019 for all of us!
This is something I need to research and implement with my blogs – generating money from my hard work would make so much sense. Thank you for your openess.
You’re certainly rocking the whole monetizing thing Elena – I’m secretly a little envious, but also reluctant to take things to the next level because I enjoy tinkering along and not spending hours on SM and all the stuff necessary to up my views. I think if I ever quit my day job (which is always possible!) I’d seriously want to start seeing if I could take things to the next level – I’m always really interested to see how others do it successfully.
Believe it or not, I spend less time on SM now than ever before. I think that is a huge waste of time with very little pay off. I hope you are able to quit one day! It is life changing.
I’m so impressed Elena, I’m trying to learn more about monetisation/affiliation etc as I’d love to earn a living from blogging, but I realise it’s the traffic and content I need to concentrate on right now and as you said to Jonno, I need to spend more time on Pinterest. Well done on your achievements!!
One step at a time. Content is definitely the ground a successful monetization strategy is built on.
This is so cool! I’m trying to monetize my blog right now and your post had some great ideas!
What are you going to try?
I think I’m going to try ads!
There are a few ad networks you can try. The obvious one is Adsense and the one most people start with but the money is pitiful. Medianet is better. Once you hit 25,000 sessions, I recommend mediavine. That is who I am with.
Thank you! I’ll have to check those out!
It sounds like a lot of money but I know its based on a lot of hard work. I assume your Display Advertising is so high due to your site stats being so good. What a great way to make a living.
Yes, I get on average about 150k views a month. The key to pageviews is really honing in on what your reader wants and then producing it, over and over again.
Pretty impressive figures, we’ve been blogging for 3 and a half years and haven’t hit 100k in total yet so very impressed.
Are you using Pinterest?
I do use it but don’t really know what I’m doing. Just post a pin to my latest post.
You need to do more research and up your game. Pinterest is a huge traffic referrer for bloggers.
Ok thanks I’ll try and do some research and find out what i should be doing.
Honestly, this is the best resource I have ever found and she updates the information all the time. Plus for a small upgrade, she will do an audit of your Pinterest profile. It is an affiliate link. https://transactions.sendowl.com/stores/7497/46330
Thanks Elena I will definitely follow this up, really appreciate the advice.