I love reading income reports from bloggers around the internet and over the years I’ve toyed with the idea of sharing my own but it wasn’t until recently after lots of discussion with my husband that I finally got comfortable with the idea. I’m generally a private person but I’ve found the reports of others so insightful that I want to help others that may be hoping to make a full time income blogging as well. Plus, I get SOOO many questions from people who have no idea how bloggers actually make a “real” income that I figured this would help answer those questions! (For a list of the resources I use to run the blog and make money please see my Blogging Resources page.)
First, a little history of the timeline on making this a career since I’ve never shared this before. (And some fun archived screenshots of the blog over the years!)
I started this blog for fun in 2011 while pregnant with my 3rd son and my husband was in Iraq for a year long deployment. In April of the following year I decided along with my husband (who was now home-yay!) that I wanted to pursue making my blog an income producing website. I started treating it as a business with more regular posting schedule, planning posts ahead of time and a constant pursuit to improve my writing, internet and photography skills.
My first sponsored post brought me a whopping $10-it was for Miracle Gro, they didn’t even send me product! I was so proud of that $10 though! By the end of 2012 I was averaging 48,000 visitors a month to my blog and I had made $300 total, as a stay at home mom who had not worked outside of the home in 6 years it was amazing to be able to surprise my husband with a watch for Christmas with the money I had made from my blog!
At the start of 2013 my goal was simple-I wanted to make $400 a month from my blog to cover my aggravating student loan payments. I had not finished my graduate degree due to moving overseas with my husband so that bill was a reminder every month of wasted money. In 2013 though I learned so much and grew the blog to 200,000 visitors a month by the end of that year and made about $18,000 that year total. Big improvement over that $300 the year before, right??
In 2014 we moved to Washington DC and I began to homeschool my children. I was concerned that I wouldn’t have time to devote to my blog but I managed to multitask and work far ahead of schedule and take advantage of the weekends. By the end of 2014 my blog had grown to 500,000 pageviews per month and I made $30,000.
Last year I continued to grow albeit a little slower depending on season and hovered just over 600,000 pageviews at the height of the holiday season at the end of 2015. I netted $55,000 in 2015 from my blog.
Now before I go into current income I want to show you a snapshot of my pageviews since I installed Google Analytics in 2012. You can see that there was a significant jump in growth at the end of 2014. You can also see that over the last two years I have significant variations seasonally in my traffic. I share this because while my traffic was over 630,000 pageviews in December of 2015 it was just under 270,000 for April 2016. And you know what-that’s okay! If you blog, like I do, about recipes and crafts and decor you have to expect seasonal variation and know that it’s common and nothing to worry about!
On to the April breakdown:
- $2462 Ad Networks
- $2255 Sponsored Posts
- $299 Amazon Affiliate Commission
- $312 Subscriptions-this includes website hosting, social media tools, and photo editing software
- $350 Tax Preparation
- $195 Blog technical work I hired out
- $25 Facebook advertising
- $211 Supplies-craft supplies, recipe ingredients, etc
This was a lower month for me but we expected that and know that based on history my income will go down further until the fall when I expect a sharp, dramatic uptick in pageviews. In contrast we netted about $7000 in January due to the holiday blog traffic. And to compare, last April my income was $4024 and the traffic was about the same that time of year-this was a bit of a disappointment to me to realize as I’d like to focus on growth and I was hoping my traffic was higher this year than last.
- My blog has had some technical issues for the past six months or so and I’m finally investing in having it professionally handled so this will hopefully result in higher traffic in the coming months due to improved performance and loading time.
- I’m also changing my blog design to make it easier to navigate (as you might have noticed on my recipe page.) This is with the goal of improving reader experience and hopefully result in better pageviews as well.
- We are moving to England in July and I anticipate this will have a dramatic effect on my income due to more limited sponsored post opportunities with the companies I currently work with. The move should be temporary however and I will continue to focus on pageview growth and working to better serve my email subscribers during that time.
I hope this was helpful to you, I plan to continue this series in the coming months and perhaps even convince my husband Randy to chime in as he’s has started to take over the bookkeeping and accounting side of the business.