My intention in creating this blog was to simply chronicle and share my thoughts, experience, and a pinch of wisdom on personal finance. I didn’t realize that my blog would grow fast in such a short time. As I said in my previous report, I am still testing things (i.e. write-up format, advertisers, and blog layout) to learn what really works best for my blog. Of course, in the process of doing this, I have made several blogging mistakes. This post contains affiliate links/ads. See disclosure policy.
Welcome to my September 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 been doing (money-wise) with my blog.
- 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:
- 25+ Survey Sites That Will Add $600/Month or More – 61,785 visits
- Save More Money and Be Richer By $14,000 A Year – 34,478 visits
- What To Do When You Are Behind With Your Bills? – 10,600 visits
- 11+ Extra Income Ideas for Introverts – 5,315 visits
- Jeestream Review: Never Have To Pay To Watch Again – 2,039 visits
Why Blog My Income Report?
Before I show you my blog traffic and earnings for September 2016, let me tell you why I wanted to blog my income.
Income Progression. First, I like to see my income progression from one month to another and want to share it 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. Second, I’ve only been blogging for 8 months 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. Eight months into blogging, I’ve made more than $17,000.
Reward. Third, 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 them yet, you eventually will. I tell you it is not a scam. I have earned at least $17K in 8 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. I say that I earn a full-time income on a part-time hobby. I really don’t call blogging a job but more like a hobby.
Inspiration. Fourth, 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, 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. Fifth, 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.
September 2016 Blog Income Report
September 2016 is the best month for me for both income and traffic (sorta kinda for traffic because my traffic deep by less than 1% but still a decent amount of traffic). My blog income increased substantially from August 2016 and it’s only my 8th 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.
I have read a ton of posts about courses that show bloggers how to increase their income and traffic. However, many of these courses come with costs. I have seen a lot of bloggers who praise them and stated that they started seeing increased traffic and blog money after they adopted the lessons taught in these courses.
I tell you that I am really tempted to jump in. But as hard-headed person as I am, I like to explore things on my own and/or try those FREE courses, first. It’s just the frugal, hard-headed person in me that’s talking here. I do keep in touch with my friends who have taken or are taking these courses and am consistently asking them for their honest reviews.
For now, I’m good with the whole exploration and trial/test things for my blog.
Income and Expense Strategy
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 have ad networks included in this section.
- 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.
American Consumer Opinion: $1,102.00
- My wife and I earn around $175.00 a month just by taking survey. For many, it’s not a lot of money but it does pay a few of our bills.
- 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 $17,000 on my first 8 months of blogging. For $3.95/month, you have little or nothing to lose but, potentially, a ton to gain.
- IGain is one of my newest found treasures. 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?
- 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.
- I’ve been using Jeestream and loving it. With Jeestream, you NEVER HAVE TO PAY TO WATCH AGAIN. With Jeestream, you get more TV shows, movies, sports, non-US based shows, and radio stations than Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Redbox combined. If you don’t like it, send it back within 30 days, and you’ll get a refund. Read my full review in this link.
Offer Juice: $22.50
- 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, you will see a post on international surveys in a week or two. I’m so excited….
- Swagbucks is one my new affiliates though I’ve been using it 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.
- TopCashback helps you earn money through purchases you make on the web. Just like EBates, you can use TopCashback to search for stores you like to go to. For me, the best feature of TopCashback is the sign up, which is FREE, and the cash back. I recommend it for those who buy things online and want to save or earn money in the form of cash back.
Vindale Research – $325.00
- 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: $230.05
NewsMax: $70.00 (rough estimate based on historical data)
Smart Asset: $80.00 (rough estimate based on historical data)
Sponsored Posts/Mentions: $1,673.55
Total Income: $5,243.17 (with $0.00 in expense)
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.
My Pinterest presence is really great. Since I started using it three or four months ago, I have gained a lot of followers every day. As of September 30, I had 8,536 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.
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.
- 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.
- AOL. After a couple of days or weeks of filling out information for the AOL, I am now part of its Finance Collective. You can view my spot here. This past month, one of my posts entitled “5 Clever Techniques To Trick Yourself Into Saving” was republished.
- Pinterest Boards. My Pinterest collaborative boards has been gaining a lot of contributors. In the past month, at least 50 people became contributors. I consider it as an accomplishment because three months ago I only had a handful of contributors and few pins. As of September 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 assistance resulted into sign-ups for products that I promote throughout my blog.
Did not do but should have done
- Posts. In the past month, I only published a few posts of my own but I should have published more. Some of the posts in September were guest posts. I took some more time off from blogging to focus on more important personal matters. Having said that, I was able to make more money without spending more time. This proves you really can make money out of blogging.
- Reviews. I planned on creating reviews for some of the products I have been using 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. As a consolation, I did create a review of Jeestream, which is what I consider as one of my most favorite products. Why? Because I save a lot of money by not paying for Hulu and Netflix and still able to watch more TV shows and movies that cable and other streaming services combined. Read my full review in this link.
For the month of September, I had 174,882 views, which is a 0.18% decrease from last month’s 175,189 views. It would have been more if not because of my traffic report around the week of September 11th. I accidentally messed up my Yoast plugin, resulting in my posts not getting search in Google. I think that’s the reason but I am not sure.
October 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 August are both easy and challenging to achieve.
- 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. (Sept Goal: 7,000/day ; Result: 5,829/day) – Failed.
- Income. I want to double my income for September. Yes, double the amount it is. (Sept Goal: Double my May’s income of over $4,014.49 ; Result: $5,243.17) Didn’t reach it. But, of course, I am more than happy to earn additional money.
- Email subscribers. I like to have 600 subscribers by the end of September. (Sept Goal: 600 ; Result: 503) – Failed but close to the target.