Welcome to the February income report! As of February 23rd, my blog has been live for ONE WHOLE YEAR! I didn’t “announce it” to Instagram or Facebook until mid-March though, so I’m not really sure what an accurate “anniversary” date would be, so we’re just gonna go with February 23rd. It’ll be easier to remember a few years from now.. because I’m also officially a FULL-TIME BLOGGER!
It feels so weird to say that. I never in a million years would have guessed that would be my job. Never in a million years did I ever intend for it to be either. I loved my hospital job. For a while, I even really thought I would work 12 hour nightshifts forever. Eventually as my blog grew, I realized the things I loved about my job, aside from my medical interest, I am getting from my blog too.
The things that made me love working in the hospital, specifically the ICU, was learning something new every day, helping people, knowing that people can truly feel that I care about them, solving problems creatively, getting to know people’s stories, etc. my blog started to give me that too, and more.
With all of those things, I’m also 100% in charge of my time and as this job became more demanding of it, I started to really resent working 12 hour overnights. For almost a whole year, I would get up after only a few hours of sleep to make sure I had time to recipe test and photograph while the sun was still shining. I was using my breaks at work to catch up on emails, do backend work, and schedule content. Eventually, overnights and trying to flip sleep schedules on my off days was just burning me out while trying to dedicate full-time hours here too.
Read another one of the factors that played into why I left my job
So long story short, I never guessed I’d be here, but I’m so grateful and excited that I am. I love what I do. Just as I’ve always loved what I’ve chosen to do for work. It’s hard work, but I’m just still in awe that I get to do this.
Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?
Why I’m Doing Income Reports:
I really hope the information in this income report, and the ones that came before it, gives you a little insight and motivation if you’re new to this whole blog thing. And check out my post on how to start a blog if you’re interested in giving it a go too! If you’re worried about being a little fish in a big massive blogger pond, don’t be. There’s room for everyone to do well, and *cliché coming*… a rising tide lifts all boats.
If there’s one thing I’ve taken from this community, and the amazing group of bloggers who are now friends, it’s that:
Good Bloggers Inspire Themselves. Great Bloggers Inspire Others.
I want to help people. That’s the whole point of this blog. It makes sense to me to share this part of it too. I’ve been lucky in the last few months to connect to some really inspiring bloggers who have been more than generous with information, advice, and their time. I relied on other people’s income reports while I was researching starting my own, and we’re all in this together so I’m returning the favor.
That, and being transparent with the people who’ve helped me get here is *the* most important thing to me. I don’t want being transparent to come off as showing off. My goal for these income reports will never the latter, in fact, I’m almost embarrassed about it because money is so awkward. It’s not about the money. I choose people over money every single day in this business. Without your support and your trust in me, I wouldn’t be making my dreams come true every day.
I’m here for you and because of you. There aren’t enough minutes in a day for how many times I want to say “thank you” to you.
Prior to making any income from my at-the-time side hustle, I was working 12 and 16 hour shifts to make ends meet, putting my bills on credit cards, selling DVDs to make my student loan payments and legitimately felt stuck, while each month the hole I was digging was getting deeper. My goal is only to remain humble in the fact that I both love to and want to offer support and encouragement to anyone aspiring to make a side income, work for themselves and do something they’re passionate about while they’re at it.
Income is counted as what I have physically received in the month of February, not for the work I did. Typically sponsored posts don’t pay out for 30 days, affiliates don’t pay out for 30-60 days, and ad networks don’t pay out for 60-90 days. Meaning, I won’t physically have the money from February until next month or later.
Sponsored Posts: $4,350.00
*Gourmet Ads: $602.11
Blog/Marketing Consulting: $150.00
Income I don’t consider blog income or add to my income report is my coaching business. I probably could consider it blog income, but truthfully, it takes up so much of my time – time that isn’t spent on blog work, so I think of that as a different revenue source. If we’re counting that income as well, that totaled $971.81, after I pay the PayPal fees. That’s also as much as I’ll ever make in one month on coaching, because I limit the amount of clients I take on to make sure I can give them each the best of myself.
Learn How to start your own blog in a few easy steps!
*I’ve talked a bit about how ad networks work in previous income reports. This ad revenue that I got paid for this month was from all the way back in November. Since then, I have switched ad networks to Mediavine. February was my first full month with this network and I’ve never been happier! Best move I’ve ever made and I’m kicking myself for waiting so long! I won’t see any income from them until April, and even then it will only be for about 7 days of ad revenue, as I made the switch 3 weeks into January. My February total with Mediavine was over $1,500, which I’ll receive in May.
I’m trying to be better at keeping track of how much I spend on my blog and document them in the income report each month, but I typically just shove the receipt in my “taxes” binder and don’t think about it again. Excluding food, this month was an expensive month. I upgraded my tripod, purchased some new food photography surfaces, some new editing software, etc. In total I probably spent over $700.
In March I promise I’ll try to keep better track!
I’ll also add the new things I purchased to my Blogger Resources page that has everything I use and love for my blog.
Let’s have a chat about affiliate income. Each blogger has a different “strategy” when it comes to affiliate marketing. My strategy? Don’t do the things that annoy you when other bloggers do them.
Seriously. That’s my strategy. I told myself that from the day this blog started. From the day I realized my Instagram had become a “thing”. I unfollow people who are in my face with 6 different products every single day. While YES I love to purchase things that I know someone else loves, I also don’t like to be harassed about it.
There’s a fine line sometimes, and I’m just careful about what products and companies I take on as affiliates, and how I try to “sell” them. I won’t lose your trust, and I won’t work with a company I don’t LOVE or that wants me to post 24523 times a month, or sell a product I don’t really use. Trust is something you don’t get back.
I know that’s not a clear “strategy” but it’s working for me. And it might take you a while to find what works for you. Maybe you’re great at sales and are totally comfortable with the in-yo-face approach. DO YOU! I’m happy with the affiliate income I receive, because I can go to bed at night knowing I got it for the right reasons, and without selling my integrity. Best advice there is to focus your efforts on a few products/companies, instead of jumping on every affiliate opportunity at once.
If you’d like more of a breakdown on affiliate income, how I promote it, or how I choose which ones, leave a comment so I can include that information for you!
My Focus This Month:
This last month has been mostly about automation, automation, automation. I’m trying to experiment with ways to streamline some of my processes. This means I’m setting things up in advance, to reduce the amount of time I spend in front of a screen. Which… is a lot.
Of course I still do even with setting up posts, Pinterest pins, Facebook posts and Instagram posts. The difference is that it’s not feeling rushed, playing catch up, and I get more time to work on the things I want to, or do backend blog work.
Each post still takes the same amount of hours, but by working ahead and setting it up to self-publish, I’m freeing myself up to have more of a work-life balance, which is something I talked about in last month’s blog income report. I haven’t had much of it lately, and my hour count spent on work in some way, shape or form is astronomical. Automating things like Pinterest pins has helped me set a schedule and boundaries (Tailwind has been a godsend for growing my account, my pageviews, and automation!). Knowing I have my blog content for the week set to go and self-publish to different platforms is proving to make the whole thing just more manageable.
I just started figuring this out, so next month I’ll report back with any new developments or better processes I’ve come up with ;).
Next month I’ll also be discussing different types of partnerships in that income report, and a new type of partnership I did this month! If you have any questions on brand partnerships, I’d LOVE for you to leave a comment and let me know!
Can You Make Money Blogging?
Yes! While there’s been lots of failures, lots of hours spent figuring out how to do one single thing, lots of learning and humbling experiences, it’s all been worth the effort. If you’re wanting to start a blog, DO IT. More than ever before, online is the place people go to for information, and where money is made and spent. Plus you’re spending time doing something you truly love. The time is now!
Like I mentioned earlier in this post, there’s room for everyone. I’m still SO NEW at this compared to a lot of people and even I’M telling you, go for it! I’m more than happy to help you, too! I have a really detailed step-by-step guide to setting up a blog, and a growing list of blog resources that I use on my own blog. If you need any further help, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments!
’til next month, my friends!
This post may contain some links that are affiliate links, though products are ones I use personally and recommend. When you purchase anything using my links, it costs you absolutely nothing extra, but it does give Paleobailey.com a little financial support which helps to keep this blog running. Thank you for your continued support, both with your dollars and your interest.
Reader Reviews & Comments
I am with all of the women above, these posts are so inspiring. I just have a few questions 🙂
About how much was the startup cost of your blog and about how much (on average) do you spend on it each month? Like what are the costs you know you are going to have each month?
You are accomplishing what you set out to do and more and it really is encouraging 🙂
Hi there! Start up costs were pretty minimal at the time. Probably under 300 once said and done for my hosting and theme. I didn’t purchase a “fancy” camera until I had made enough money from the blog to pay for it.
As far as my expenses go – this varies month to month and started off very minimal. However, as the blog as grown, so has my expenses and the investment I put back into the business. I’m going to start writing my monthly expenses in with the income reports going forward, but they didn’t start off with much! Now I’m putting hundreds of dollars into it but as they say, “gotta spend money to make money!”
Thank you for posting these reports! I always find them so interesting. Also, your posts on blogging inspired me to finally launch a blog I had been contemplating for years. Thank you!
Ahh! That’s so awesome! Congrats to you! It’s a big step but I so wish I would have started when I first started contemplating it too so I’m proud of you for hoppin’ to it!
Wow, I feel like this is a sign! Or at least a fun coincidence. I finally launched my blog on February 23 this year after over a year of thinking about it and wondering if I could create something worthwhile. Your blog was what finally pushed me to actually do it – reading your story and all the encouragement you provide convinced me that I can do this, and I may even do it well! I’m pretty sure I’m the only one actually reading it right now but I kinda like it that way until I get in a groove and start producing content I’m happy with. Thank you so much for the inspiration
WOO! Congrats!! I have seriously become that person who tells everyone to start a blog. My friends get so annoyed! But I can’t help it! It’s so awesome to have a place to do whatever you’re passionate about however you want to do it. And you WILL do it well, just takes time and learning and experience! Thanks for reading <3
How many posts do you think is too many posts for an affiliate product? Like at what point would you cut off the deal? I.e. if they wanted you to post more than once a day about the product ect
Hey hey! Great question – it really depends on you and your brand, and what you’re comfortable with. For me, if they’re requiring more than 2-3 stories a month, and really, even two posts a month is pushing it for me. With that, it depends how often you post too. If I only post 16 Instagram posts a month, and two of them are affiliate pushes, then factor in maybe 3 sponsored posts too, those branded content posts are going to be VERY visible and a turn off to people looking at my account. If I post 50 times a month, that branded content won’t be as big of a deal.
And, if it’s a product I actually DO use every day, like Vital Proteins (who doesn’t require me to to post my affiliate info) and I WANT to show the organic use of it, that’s different than say, posting a screen shot of bars/protein powder/insert-product-here and just leaving your affiliate code every day.
Love these blogging resource posts! Thank you for sharing everything – it’s super helpful for those just starting out (me)!! I would love to read more information on affiliate links as well as sponsored posts and how you get involved in that (from either side: brands contacting you as well as reaching out to brands yourself). Even the thought of automating blog posts is way over my head… so any & all tips are most appreciated!! Thank you x100 !!
Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoy reading them! And those are great topics! I think it will be helpful if I do a whole post on sponsored work, and one with affiliate stuff in the near future! It’s a lot of ground to cover 🙂