My intention in creating this blog was to chronicle and share my thoughts, experience, and a pinch of wisdom on personal finance. I did not realize my blog would grow fast in such a short time. I am still testing things (i.e. blog layout, write-up format, and advertisers) to learn what really works best for my blog. These testings resulted in both blogging mistakes and successes. This post contains affiliate links/ads. See disclosure policy.
Welcome to my November 2016 income report. This is my monthly post where I show you how I made money, where the earnings came from, what I did and didn’t do, what my triumphs and/or mistakes in blogging, and, of course, my monthly goals.
Previous Months’ Blog Revenues
Before I go to the meat of my income report, I’d like to show you my income progression month after month. I compiled all my income reports for easy access and just to give an idea how I have done (money-wise) with my blog. This past November 2016, I made $5,858.90. This means that as of November 2016, I have made over $29,379.40 in just 10 months.
- October 2016 Income Report (9th month of blogging) – $5,765.11
- September 2016 Income Report (8th month of blogging) – $5,243.17
- August 2016 Income Report (7th month of blogging) – $4,010.00
- July 2016 Income Report (6th month of blogging) – $3,430.89
- June 2016 Income Report (5th month of blogging) – $2,972.33
- May 2016 Income Report (4th month of blogging) – $1,441.87
- April 2016 Income Report (3rd month of blogging) – $657.17
Most Visited Posts
I credited my traffic and income to several posts I published these past couple of months. I did not know these posts would be seen by so many people. Here are my most read/visited blog posts for the past month:
- Tight Christmas Budget: 10+ Low-Cost and Free Christmas Gift Ideas – 32,492 visits
- 25+ Survey Sites That Will Add $600/Month or More – 21,826 visits
- Get Free Cash: Make $30 Or More In 30 Minutes – 21,145 visits
- Save More Money and Be Richer By $14,000 A Year – 14,498 visits
- What To Do When You Are Behind With Your Bills? -12,766 visits
Before I show you my blog traffic and earnings for November 2016, let me tell you why I wanted to blog my income.
Income Progression. I like to see my income progression from one month to another and want to share it to other people. When I say income, I mean income from just blogging. I don’t count my day job income, freelance writing, side hustles, and everything unrelated to blogging. This way, readers exactly know that this income report is just about blog income. You will see survey money in this report. This survey money is affiliate money and not the money I earn from taking surveys.
Trials and Errors. I’ve only been blogging almost a year now and have had triumphs and failures (actually a lot) in those months. Almost everything you see in my blog is all of my doing. If you see something off, then, that’s my doing. If you see something nice, then, that’s my doing. If you consistently visit my blog, you’ll see that it keeps on changing and it has a lot of flaws. I’m still figuring out what works best for me and my site.
If you want to create your own blog, I created a page where I detailed a step-by-step guide on how to setup a blog in 15 minutes or less with Bluehost. If you use my link, you can start blogging for just $3.95 per month… can’t beat that. Never in a gazillion years did I think I would make great money from blogging. Ten months into blogging, I’ve made almost $30,000.
Reward. I want to show people they can earn money through blogging. For those who want to start blogging, you will see a lot of posts stating it’s a scam. If you have not seen them yet, you eventually will. I tell you it is not a scam. I have earned at least $30K in 10 months just by sharing my thoughts on personal finance and experiences. Please don’t get me wrong. Blogging can be rewarding but is not easy. You need to put in your patience, time, and dedication to make blogging work for you.
If blogging were easy and you could earn money right away, then, everybody would be doing it. That said, you could earn money from blogging. I took a risk and paid $100+ to get my blog up and running. It paid off.
If you want to learn if blogging is for, please check this post “Is Blogging For You?: The Truths About Blogging”
Inspiration. I like to serve as an inspiration to those who started or think of starting their blogging journey. I did not think it’s possible to earn money this early on but it has happened. I know it will only continue to be better from here. I can sense it. I want to share to the world earning this early is possible.
I believe my willingness, perseverance, commitment, high risk tolerance, and a ton of luck continuously help me with my blogging success. As my mom always say, it is not what you do but what’s inside you that help you become better.
Transparency. I believe in transparency. While I blog about everything under the realm of personal finance and its endless relationship with family and life, my blog is also a monetary vehicle for my family. When you see ads in my blog posts, those are income-generating ads.
When you see companies I recommend or use, those companies may provide me commissions. That being said, I only recommend products and services I use and I believe will provide beneficial effects to my readers.
I have been fortunate to receive a ton of offers from different companies. While it’s really tempting to take those opportunities, I choose to limit those offers simply because I don’t want to share products and services that I don’t think are good or beneficial to my readers. If my intentions were primarily to make money, I would be able to make more because of those offers. But that’s not my main intention.
8th Blog Income Report: November 2016
November 2016 is the best month for me for both income. My blog traffic, however, decreased by 7% to 162,640 views. Despite such decrease, I am still happy because my traffic is still really good and that my blog income increased substantially from October 2016 and it’s only my 9th month of blogging.
I believe I earned this money because of the determination and the hard work I put it to make blogging work and because of luck. I always put luck in the mix because I am still figuring out which strategy works.
Just month, I requested a quote from a couple of Pinterest coaches. I did that because my traffic from Pinterest has stayed around upper 4000ish views everyday. I was shocked on how much they charge. Most of them charge around $150 per hour. That’s per hour.
There’s no way I would pay that amount per hour. This is because I always think that if they can become great at finding tips and tricks on how to best use Pinterest, so can I. This is where I told myself that I need to find my own ways to improve my Pinterest traffic on my own, which is what I have done since day one. Again, it’s just the hard-headed person in me that’s talking here.
I’ll see how my Pinterest strategies work out for me. I’ll let you guys know what these strategies are when they work. 🙂
Income and Expense Strategies
First of all, I didn’t have any expense last month. Yes, my expense for this past month was zero, nada, zilch.
In order to improve my income from one month to another, I employ several income strategies. These strategies include working with ad networks and becoming affiliates for product and services I constantly use, which help me earn commissions when people sign up for those products and services. I also allow businesses to guest post in my blog or to be mentioned in my post for a set fee.
I don’t promote products that I won’t even use or recommend to my loved ones. As simple as that. Actually, I turned down a lot of great income opportunities from many companies because I didn’t feel that I or my readers could benefit from what they offer. I just won’t compromise my beliefs.
Here are the products and services I highly recommend for those who want to save money, make money, and better manage their finances. FYI, I do get these offers mostly from my ad networks. I recommend Share-A-Sale and FlexOffers. These two ad networks have a ton of offers for just about any product out there in the marketplace.
- Do you have CENTS TO INVEST? I have had Acorns for months now and I can’t believe how much I have saved so far using it. Now, you can invest as little as $0.01 through Acorns. Acorns will roundup your purchase and invest the spare change. It invests your spare change automatically. If you sign up via this link, you will get $5 BONUS. With Acorns, who says investing is difficult and costly? Not me.
- I did not know anything about coding, WordPress, and other things related to blogging. With Bluehost, you can create your own blog in 15 minutes or less. I took a chance and it paid off. I earned at least $29,000 on my first 10 months of blogging. For $3.95/month, you have little or nothing to lose but, potentially, a ton to gain.
- IGain has exclusive surveys that pay really well. If you are looking for other surveys, I highly recommend you stop by the following survey sites. Did I say these you can sign up for these surveys for FREE?
- Pinecone Research (Earn $3 per survey) – Pinecone is where my wife and I first started before we focused more of our survey time to ACOP and ProOpinion. Surveys from Pinecone Research generally take 15 minutes. Sign up for Pinecone Research is FREE.
- EarningStation ($10 bonus after 5 site signups) – Similar to Swagbucks in that you can earn by watching videos, taking surveys, using coupons, and shopping online.
- VIP Voice Panel (Automatically enters you to $1,000 sweepstakes) – This survey is on a tiered reward system, which means that the more surveys you do, the more points you earn. For your 1st survey, you can earn 3X the points.
- Harris Poll Online (Earn while you surf online) – You do not earn cash with Harris Poll but you earn rewards. For some survey sites, you don’t get anything if you fail to qualify for surveys. Not with Harris Poll Online because you will earn 15 HIpoints as well as entry into the HIstakes draw with Harris Poll Online.
If you ever want to take surveys, you can view this link. It has over 30 survey sites you can use to earn possibly earn $600/month or more every month. If you live outside the US, you can view this link.
Offer Juice: $52.30
- Offer Juice is my newest affiliate treasure. Roughly 20% of my readers come from outside the US. In the past months, I have been asked by my readers about survey opportunities outside the US. After a couple of months of research, tests, and trials, I have found those opportunities… thanks to Offer Juice. I can’t wait to share these surveys to the readers. If you live outside the US, here’s the link to the best surveys outside the US.
- I have been using Swagbucks as one of my search engines for some time now. Every month, my wife and I make $70, which is good for gas and some groceries. When you sign up via my link, you will receive $5 bonus right away.
- I improved my Pinterest presence and traffic because of Tailwind. Yes, Tailwind is the reason that my traffic has dramatically increased. I’ve only been blogging for nine months but my traffic per month is already around 150K. I credited that, mostly, with Tailwind. If you sign up through my link, you will also get $15. You can subscribe for just $9.99/month when you sign up for a year. Also, if you need any help, you can always contact me for FREE. I don’t charge for helping bloggers but if you wish to donate, you can certainly do that as well. 🙂
Vindale Research – $175.00
- My wife I earn around $45/month and so, can you. After you sign up and answer a short introduction, you will automatically receive $2.00. It’s that easy. Signing up for Vindale Research is FREE.
Google Adsense: $181.72
Impact Radius: $62.50
Pinterest Coaching: $853.50
Smart Asset: $77.38
Sponsored Posts/Mentions: $2,780.00
Total Income: $5,858.90 (with $0.00 in expense)
My Pinterest Coaching Side Hustle
I happened to earn extra income by providing Pinterest coaching service to other bloggers. Just so you know, I don’t charge for helping others improve their Pinterest traffic. Well, that’s my original intention. One blogger told me that he’d like to pay me to help him with his Pinterest traffic. I didn’t give him my price but I gave him my PayPal email address. A couple of weeks after helping him, I saw extra $200 in my account. That amount came from him. In total, I helped around 16 bloggers and made $853.50 in November.
So, to make the story short, I get paid by donation. I don’t ask for payment but I do ask for donation. If those bloggers who I help give donation, then, that’s good. If I don’t get anything, then, I am fine with it as well. Why do I do that? The answer is simple, that is, I like to help without expecting anything in return.
The bloggers who I helped told me that I could make a lot of money publishing e-courses. I think they are right but I don’t want to invest a lot of time. I assume that if I do go for e-courses, I have to dedicate hours to create that e-courses. I also have to dedicate time entertaining questions about e-courses from current and prospective subscribers. I want my part-time blogging to be a part-time blogging. I spend an hour everyday on blogging and spend the rest of my free time with my family. I like it to be that way.
For me, money is good but my time with my family is priceless and is more important. That’s the only reason that I want to keep my blogging time to a minimum.
Social Media Strategy
I have been asked time and time again what my strategies are to increase my traffic. The only and shortest answer I can say is that I heavily focus on social media. When I am not creating my post or working on my blog design, I focus my time on using Pinterest. Yes, I don’t pay a ton of attention on Twitter and Facebook.
I did pay attention to Twitter and Facebook a couple of months ago but I didn’t get a lot of traffic from those sites. So, I decided to focus on Pinterest. I made the right call.
If you want to know more about how I was able to increase my traffic from 0 to over 170,000 in just 9 months, please follow the blog post below.
My Pinterest presence is really great. Since I started using it a couple of months ago, I have gained a lot of followers every day. As of November 30, I had 10,124 followers.
How did I improve my Pinterest presence in such a short time period? I credited my Pinterest success to Tailwind. I cannot stress enough how Tailwind has helped me improve my blog traffic in such a short time.
Some of the features of Tailwind include:
- Pin scheduling (Optimize pinning schedule based on your audience’s engagement)
- Time management (by allowing you to do multi-board pinning, bulk upload, and others)
- Content discovery on Pinterest right from Tailwind
- Results Measurement (see which pins are working and which aren’t)
- Pinterest Management, Analytics, and Marketing Tool
- FREE trial. I recommend you opt for a year subscription for only $9.99/month with unlimited pinning ($119.98/year) versus monthly subscription of $15.00/month with 400 schedule pin limit per month.
- If you sign up through my link, you will also receive $15.
What I Did and Didn’t Do
I decided to permanently include this section because I know a lot of my fellow bloggers and those who want to begin blogging would love to see what I did to earn money and increase my traffic as well as the things I didn’t do or failed to succeed on.
- Food blog. I created a new blog. This time it’s a food and DIY blog. I promised my wife when I first stated that when the blog is in a good state that I will create a food blog for us. For us because I like to cook and eat too while my wife likes to cook. I have a couple of posts already published. I am still learning how to take great pictures. So, pardon me if the pictures are not up par with those of other food blogs. Just in case you want to visit, the name of the blog is The Handy Foodie. You will see some cross postings from time to time between this blog and the new blog.
- Blog layout. I changed my blog layout to a simpler one. I like this new layout because it’s cleaner than my previous blog layout. It also loads faster than my previous one. I have had great reviews or compliments from my readers and co-bloggers regarding this new blog layout. It also has the same format as that of The Handy Foodie.
- Adthrive. Adthrive is an ad network similar to Google Adsense. Since my monthly views is in the upper 100,000s, I was able to get into the ad network. The ads that you see on the sidebar are ads from Adthrive. If your blog’s monthly views are 100,000 or above, then, I highly recommend that you apply so you can take advantage of the benefits of the ad network.
- Pinterest Strategies. I am seeing some positive traffic improvements using the Pinterest strategies I applied in October. I will keep you updated on what these changes bring to my Pinterest traffic. The reason I changed my strategies is that my traffic has consistently been around 4000ish per day. I like my traffic to increase and I expect these changes will help me gain more referrers from Pinterest.
- Pinterest Boards. My Pinterest collaborative boards has gained a lot of contributors. In the past month, at least 25 people became contributors. I consider it as an accomplishment because a couple of months ago, I only had a handful of contributors and few pins. There are a ton of people who emailed me or messaged me stating they want to join. I haven’t really gone through all of them, unfortunately. But I will. As of November 30th, the statistics for these boards are:
- Follow-up. I followed up with people who needed help whatever questions they have. In general, when people ask me questions, I not only answer their questions but also offer help. I built relationship by doing this. Better yet, this help resulted into sign-ups for products that I promote throughout my blog.
Did not do but should have done
- Reviews. I planned on creating reviews for some of the products I have used in the past. I have been asked by a lot of people what I thought about Acorns and Bluehost, to be specific, but was not able to create these posts.
- New products. I have so many products to try and/or review in my inbox right now. I have not had the time to get through them for a couple of reasons: (1) I created a new blog and it took me more time than I anticipated; (2) My family and I took time for some needed vacation, and (3) I worked on some honey-do list this past month (It was a long list).
December 2016 Goals
I always believe in setting goals. Going through life, in general, without a goal is like walking on unending road without a foreseeable end in sight. The blogging goals I set for this December are both easy and challenging to achieve. I’m not going to set a lot of goals because between Christmas, day job work, and something else, I may not have time to focus on blogging this December.
- Page views. I want to see 7,000 views a day, at least. Maybe it’s impossible to achieve it but I will try my best to make it possible. (Nov Goal: 7,000/day ; Result: 5,845/day) – Failed.
- Income. I want to double my income from November. Yes, double the amount it is. (Nov Goal: Double my October’s income of over $5,765.11 ; Result: $5,858.90) Didn’t reach it. But, of course, I am more than happy to earn additional money.