We’ve all seen blog income reports that showcase bloggers making $10,000, $15,000 or even over $50,000 per month…while these are very impressive (and I really hope that one day, I’m posting similar blog income reports with similar amounts), I like to keep tabs on bloggers who are at the beginning stages of blog monetization.
I love reading all types of blog income reports but I’ve been paying close attention to blogs who are posting income reports up to $1000 per month. I honestly don’t think that making up to $1000 per month from your blog is a crazy idea at all – I feel that it is a completely reasonable goal!
Painted Plum isn’t my first blog (I sold one of my blogs in April 2016) but it’s definitely a brand-new blog, meaning that I have almost ZERO traffic and I’m not making any money yet. So basically yes, I’m starting from scratch like many of you out there.
I also had another blog but it was a technical blog so I found it difficult to monetize (more on that below). My vision for Painted Plum is being a lifestyle blog where I can blog about different topics (not just techy geek stuff).
So now that I have my very own lifestyle blog, I’m attempting a little “reverse engineering” research and checking out different blog income reports in hope of finding out:
- How long has the blog existed?
- What kind of blog is it?
- How are they driving traffic?
- Different monetization methods
- What kind of tools/resources are they using?
Blog Income Reports Under $1000
Like I said earlier, it would be really nice to be able to post my own blog income reports of thousands of dollars – we can all dream can’t we?
In order to get to that point, I need to get traffic (lots of it!) in order to start generating some money.
The following bloggers have all posted blog income reports up to $1000 and I find these very motivational and helpful.
McKinzie from Moms Make Cents shares how she made $434.87 via affiliate marketing in only her second month of blogging.
In this report, she is reporting income of $434.87 (includes store credits) with a net profit of $341.97 after expenses.
In month 2, McKinzie also noticed a 97% increase in her page views (up to 9,656 page views) which is awesome!
The majority of her traffic is from Pinterest but there is also some traffic coming from Facebook and referral traffic. She’s already started to build her list and is talking about list segmentation which is pretty advanced for someone in their second month!
Tools used by Moms Make Cents:
- Trello for Business
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
- Blog & Be Legal
Out of this list, I’ve personally used MailChimp, Tailwind, BoardBooster and OptinMonster – my “To-Do” list now includes checking out Trello for Business, Screencast-o-matic (I find Camtasia is soooooo expensive), Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and Blog & Be Legal (this one sounds like a fantastic resource).
In June 2014, Cassie from Back To Her Roots posted total earnings of $801.84 and a net profit of $503.38 after expenses.
In her income report, Cassie only includes income earned from the actual blog and not from any freelancing which is good because freelance earnings are not really directly related to the blog.
Income sources include:
- Today’s Mama
- Amazon Affiliates
Out of this list, I only recognize Adsense and Amazon Affiliates. I’ve heard of BlogHer before but didn’t realize you could make money with them…so I will make a point of checking out possible different income sources.
Cassie makes a good point in her blog income report – keep your income sources diversified. So basically don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
I also learned more about RPM (revenue per mile). I had heard of RPM in the past but never really paid much attention to it – that’s going to change.
So basically RPM is a really handy number to know because it represents the amount of money that your blog makes per thousand page views. Typically blogs that have an RPM of at least $5 earn a decent amount of money so I’m making this a goal for Painted Plum.
For the month of June 2014, Back To Her Roots is showing page views just shy of 200,000! Wow! I can’t wait to get to that point – that’s frigging awesome!
Morgan from Mostly Morgan shares how she earned a net profit of $703.83 in February 2015. This is an older blog income report so I started doing some digging on Morgan’s blog and found the February 2016 report which shows earnings of $2029.65! So that just goes to show what can happen within a year! AMAZING!
Morgan also talks about doing sponsored posts which is a term that I’ve heard a LOT but I didn’t actually know what that meant so after a little digging, here’s what I learned about sponsored posts:
A sponsored post is when you get paid to publish a blog post (written by you or the advertiser) which includes at least one contextual link. It’s not a review post per se, it’s just a regular blog post, written in your own voice with one or two links in it.
How much do you get paid from a sponsored post? Well that all depends on many factors such as Google PageRank and traffic, and probably experience. I’ve read that most bloggers don’t charge enough and that advertisers will sometimes undercut you. Personally I have not written any sponsored posts yet so when the time comes, I’ll deal with these issues at that time.
Income Sources for Mostly Morgan:
- Millenial Bloggers
- Her Campus
- Host Gator
There are quite a few income sources that I don’t recognize so I will be checking these out.
Traffic for February 2015 is just short of 200,000 page views.
Recipe This is a blog run by a husband & wife team – in December 2015, they earned a net profit of $506.20. At the time they posted their income report, their blog was only 8 weeks old so I find it absolutely amazing that they’ve already generated income!
They mention that they launched a couple of ebooks on Kindle and Draft2Digital. Basically they repurposed old content and transformed it into saleable products. I really like the idea of using your content for different things.
Income Sources for Recipe This:
- Free physical products – UPDATE: Sam from RecipeThis explained that is when brands send them physical goods in exchange for a free review/social media mention etc…
- Google Adsense
- Content Ad
They’ve also started using Bing Ads to encouraging social sharing and grow their list. Personally I’ve never tried Bing Ads before but I’ve heard some really good things about them.
Because this blog was so new, their page views for the month of December were at 5,371.
They also share a screenshot of their Google Webmaster Tools which shows that they are ranking for 29 different keywords. I don’t use Google Webmaster Tools a lot myself – basically I just submitted my site to Google and added my sitemap. I plan on checking this again in a few weeks to see if I’m ranking for any keywords at all – good to know!!!
In May 2016, This Fairy Tale Life is reporting earnings of $904.02 but there are no expenses listed. Google Analytics is showing page views of 73,760.
Income Sources for This Fairy Tale Life:
- Google Adsense
- Sponsored Content
- Affiliate Window
There are a few of these sources that I don’t recognize so I will be researching these for sure.
One thing that Mindy mentions is that she published 16 blog posts this month. This is a reminder for me to use some kind of calendar for my future blog posts and stay on a consistent schedule.
Smart Money Simple Life is a frugal living blog and as of April 2016, they are reporting earnings of over $500 (no expenses listed).
Reading this blog income report was a simple reminder that life events do sometimes get in the way of running a blog. It’s no secret that building a blog takes a LOT of time and dedication so how do you handle your workload when life throws you a curve ball? Just stick with it and that’s exactly what Diane did!
Also, sometimes technical issues can cause some issues. In this case, Diane from Smart Money Simple Life had problems with her blog template.
Another big reminder for me is to diversify your income streams! Diane talks about her Adsense revenue taking a nose dive in April so she has incorporated extra income streams.
Income Sources for Smart Money Simple Life:
- Google Adsense
Smart Money Simple Life also experienced a little jump in page views bumping it up to 88,726 page views for the month of April. Although Diane doesn’t have the traffic sources listed, she states that organic traffic continues to grow. I think this is very important because like diversifying income streams, you should also try to keep your traffic sources diversified – basically don’t just rely on Pinterest!
Christina is the blogger behind Embracing Simple and in her August 2015 blog income report, she is reporting earnings of $631.19 with a net profit of $616.52.
I can relate to Christina as she shares how she was experiencing a “blogging slump”. I totally get it – I’ve been there. Sometimes, it’s really really hard to stay motivated. It just seems that there’s not enough time to write, promote, create products, build a list, engage on social media, etc…it definitely can be overwhelming at times!
Income Sources for Embracing Simple:
- Google Adsense
- Amazon Associates
- Makeover Your Mornings
Christina also makes a great point in saying that it’s OK not to feel passionate about blogging 100% of the time. I happen to agree with this. Bloggers have ups and downs just like everyone else – the important thing to remember is to not give up. If you need to take a break to mentally recharge, then do it! Then, come back to your blog once you feel up to it.
Look at it this way – if you’re working on your blog in a mentally exhausted state, your work will be sloppy!!!
Organic Deal Diva is a lifestyle blog and this girl is definitely a busy bee! This blogger currently is working full-time, getting her Master’s Degree and working on her blog…so basically, it gives me hope that someone with such limited time can make it happen!
This blogger is reporting earning of $717 and a net profit of $693.50 after expenses.
Income Sources for Organic Deal Diva:
- Review Post
- Activate by Bloglovin
- Influence Central
- Impact Radius
- Find Your Influence
- Social Fabric
I have to admit that I’m not really familiar with quite a few of these income sources so I’ll be looking into these myself.
This blogger also includes a link to a Google Doc that lists all of her affiliate programs – this is handy dandy for sure!
Wow there was a LOT of info in this post! London (LB) is the blogger behind Gluten Free With LB and after a couple years of blogging, she has some valuable information to share.
Total income for May 2016 was $134.07 and net profit after expenses is listed as $36.57.
Income Sources for Gluten Free With LB:
- Google Adsense
- Gourmet Ads
- Sponsored Content
The traffic for May 2016 is 43,305 page views with a significant increase in Pinterest traffic. Other traffic sources include Food Gawker, Facebook, organic traffic and Yummly.
RPM is $3.10 – as I mentioned above, RPM is a number that represents how much your blog makes per thousand page views.
In mid-May, London started noticing a spike in traffic coming from StumbleUpon which is interesting to me because I just started researching how to use StumbleUpon. I haven’t used it yet so I’m really curious to see how it all works. Will report on this at a later date!
Tool/Resources Used by Gluten Free With LB:
- Food Blogger Pro
Lately, I’ve been complaining a LOT about not being organized so I’m really glad that London brought up Asana. Basically, Asana is a virtual organizer so that you can plan all kinds of stuff. Will be checking this out for sure!
Heart My Backpack is a travel blog – I love travel blogs but I couldn’t have one because I really don’t travel that much. Silvia, on the other hand, has been to over 70 countries and blogs about all of her adventures on Heart My Backpack.
Her blog income report for May 2016 is reporting earnings of $821 (no expenses listed).
Income Sources for Heart My Backpack:
- Sponsored Posts
- Affiliate Links (mostly Skimlinks)
- Passionfruit Sidebar Ads (not really sure what this is)
This blog started in January 2014 and as of May 2016 is showing 64,097 page views.
Wanderlust Story Tellers started their blog in June 2015 with a goal of making $1,000 per month by the end of June 2016. Not sure if these bloggers reached their goal or not (This blog income report for March 2016 is the most recent report that is posted at the moment).
So the reported earnings for this blog as of March 2016 are AUD $585.16 plus $2,517 in credits for accommodations and tours.
Income Sources for Wanderlust Story Tellers (for cash in hand):
- Social Media Influencer Posts
- Blogger Network Ads
- Amazon Affiliates
- Agoda Affiliates
Expenses for March 2016 are AUD $364.74 so the Net Profit is $220.42. There is no indication on how much traffic they are getting to their blog but they are continually growing their numbers and as of March 2016, they have over 45K combined followers through all their social media accounts.
Tool/Resources used by Wanderlust Story Tellers:
- Pay per Post
- Blogger Network
Paula from Easy Baby Life has been blogging for 10 years now and this is her first blog income report! Despite admitting that she ignores any type of marketing for her blog, she seems to do awesome for traffic anyways with page views of 393,806 for January 2016!!!
Most of her traffic is organic and one of her goals is to increase her social media traffic.
She is reporting earnings of $772.46 so after expenses her Net Profit is $731.55.
Income Streams for Easy Baby Life:
- Google Adsense
- Sovrn Ad Network
- RhythmOne Ad Network
The RPM is $1.96 which Paula admits is quite low and can be improved with different monetization methods.
Food Marriage has been around for about 4 years now but BA (the blogger behind Food Marriage) admits that she never really tried to make money on her blog. It seems that the time to monetize her blog is now and January 2016 is her first blog income report.
Her reported earnings for January 2016 were $25.45 from ad revenue (The Blogger Network) so after expenses, her Net Profit is $15.45.
BA signed up for the Blogger Network (which is called Monumetric now) in 2015. Apparently they have a program called the “Propel” program for bloggers who have at least 10,000 page views per month. When I get to that point, I definitely plan on checking this out!
Her traffic sources are not listed but the blog received 18,744 page views for January 2016.
Cody and Shay are the couple behind Living Chirpy and it sounds like they had a busy month. Not sure if they were relocating/moving back to the US from South Africa, but they were able to keep promoting their blog despite running out of recipes/photos at the end of February.
The March 2016 blog income report is showing earnings of $188.51 with an RPM of $6.25. No expenses are listed.
Income Sources for Living Chirpy:
- Gourmet Ads
There was an increase in page views from February (22,160) to 30,152 in March! The main traffic stream seems to be from Pinterest and other traffic sources include Facebook, organic traffic, Yummly, Food Gawker and Huffington Post.
They’ve also seen an increase in their social media followers – at the time of this report, they had over 4K combined followers across 4 social media accounts.
Jessica Slaughter is a lifestyle blog that started a little over 3 months ago (from date of income report). It seems that I have a lot in common with Jessica. I too had another blog prior to this one and found it difficult to monetize – as Jessica puts it “I soon realized that a blog all about blogging wasn’t exactly the easiest to monetize without spending a ton of time making e-courses and e-books and whatever else starts with an “e””.
I can totally relate to this because I tried the same thing….which is why I started Painted Plum as a Lifestyle blog because I don’t want to be stuck just blogging about blogging.
Jessica’s April 2016 blog income report is showing total income of $223.14 with expenses of $24.86 so a net profit of $198.28 (which I hope I can achieve after 3 months!).
Income Sources for Jessica Slaughter:
- ShopStyle Collective
Her traffic is very impressive coming in at 38,285 page views for this particular month – traffic sources are not listed.
What I’ve Learned From These Blog Income Reports
WOW! That was a lot of material to cover and I’m so glad that I did! Even though I’ve been working online for the last 6-7 years, I learned so much. As I’ve said a few times, Painted Plum is not my first blog but it is a new blog so at the moment, I want to focus on 1) creating content and 2) driving traffic to my blog.
By dissecting each of these blog income reports, I discovered new tools, resources and ad networks. I’m not going to worry too much about ads at this point because I’ve barely got any traffic so obviously this requires immediate attention.
Because I need to focus on writing more content, building social media followers and promoting my content so I really need to have some kind of calendar to keep track of everything. At this point in my blogging career, I’m trying to stick to free tools as much as possible so I decided to check out Trello.
Believe it or not, I never knew what Trello was…sure I had seen many bloggers bring it up on group boards but I never really knew what it was (don’t laugh). So anyways, I created a free account today and I will use it as my blog post calendar, social media calendar and general to-do list.
Things To Remember Every Day
After studying all of these blog income reports, I’ve come up with a few key points:
- It is possible to make money from your blog within a few months
- Keep income streams diversified
- Keep traffic sources diversified
- Don’t give up – take a break from blogging if you need it but don’t ever give up!
- Stay organized
I hope that you enjoyed my roundup of these blog income reports and I hope you learned a few things, especially if you’re new to this whole crazy blogging scene! If your blog currently earns a few bucks and you’ve just started posting your own blog income reports, let me know in a comment down below – I would love to feature you in this post!