Welcome to another income report on the blog! This month’s report is a little late, because I’ve just come back from a holiday in Dubai – more on that later.
January was another record-breaking month for me. I truly didn’t expect to make as much as I did, because you often hear that December & November are the money making months in blogging. Well, as I discovered, this isn’t always the case!
In January, I made a total of $11,576, which was mostly driven by an increase in people starting blogs through my Start A Blog series. I didn’t do anything different than I had before, but it became apparent that more and more people were in the “new year, new me” mindset. Many people, who had put off starting a blog for a while, suddenly wanted to start a blog in January, which in turn increased my affiliate commissions.
Proof Of Income
Here’s a few screenshots from my accounts. There’s too many to include them all!
Bluehost Earnings Screenshot:
Amazon Earnings Screenshot:
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of my earnings:
Amazon US & UK – $1,712.29.
Amazon Ca & Europe – $90.83
Fashion Affiliates – $754.65
Hosting – $5,610
Six Figure Blogger – $118.80
Pinterest Traffic Avalanche – $78.80
Bluchic – $19.75
Divi – $177.5
Ultimate Bundles – $155.79
Total Affiliate Income: $8,718.41
If you want to learn more about making money with affiliate marketing, I highly recommend signing up to Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle from Making Sense Of Cents. She makes $50,000+ from affiliate marketing every MONTH, so she’s the best person to learn it from.
Display Ads & YouTube – $1,925.31
Own Products – $412.5
Instagram Sponsorship – $320
My expenses include things like office rent, premium hosting (Pressable), Tailwind, ConvertKit and paid advertising. This month, I also bought the Genesis Framework from Studio Press along with some WordPress themes, which was pretty expensive at $499. *Taxes and PayPal/Stripe fees are not yet included in this figure.
Total Income: $11,376.22 / Income After Expenses: $9,667.22
What Worked In January
Switching Hosting To Pressable
If you’ve been reading my income reports, you will know that for 2-3 months now, something has not been right with my hosting. While everything had been smooth previously, my theme (Divi) had undergone some updates that completely blew thing out of the water.
At one point, I wasn’t even able to publish a blog post. Personally, I think my hosting issues came down to two things: 1) any updates that Divi had done and 2) I had outgrown my plan and had “too much traffic” for it.
Since then, I’ve decided to switch to Pressable – it’s a premium hosting service that currently costs me $45/month – expensive, but totally worth it. Pressable improved the speed of my website a lot, which even led me to gain about 40% in Google traffic. That’s HUGE!
While I still recommend Bluehost to new bloggers, when you start reaching the 100,000 pageviews /month mark, you’ve probably outgrown your hosting, if you’ve started out with an affordable host. At that point, you should probably look into premium hosting, like Pressable, WP Engine, or others.
Note: DON’T change your hosting if you’re in the middle of a busy period for your blog, like launching a new product, etc. There’s a plethora of things that could go wrong with switching hosts. That’s exactly why I decided to wait until my busy period (November-December) was over before switching over.
Taking A Holiday
While I technically didn’t take a holiday in January (I was away for the first week of February), the holiday was still on my mind and pushed me to finish projects that I had started before going on holiday.
Taking holidays at least once a quarter is something that I’m definitely looking forward to doing more this year. Many entrepreneur and coaches teach that the best way to structure your year (if you’re in charge of your own hours) is to break the year into quarters (about 90 days or a little less), and do a week long holiday between them.
This way, you can come up with specific goals for each quarter. There’s enough time to focus on a specific area in your business, but not enough time for you to get sloppy. In my experience, this model works much better than setting annual goals – often, you can over- or underestimate what you can achieve in a year, so I’m a big fan of also having Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 tasks and goals.
Personally, I’ve also found the aspect of taking a week long holiday to be extremely important. As an online entrepreneur, it’s really hard to completely switch off from work, even when you’re on holiday. If you leave your hometown or your country, it’s much easier to get into peaceful state.
I took my laptop with me on holiday to Dubai just in case I got bored and wanted to do some work, but in the end I didn’t do anything. I just rested and spent time with my mom, which was amazing.
Breaking the year up to 90 day intervals is going to be really challenging, given that various holidays happen at very random times of the year and my boyfriend isn’t completely in charge of when he can take some time off. With that said, I’ll do my best to take at least 3 more weeks off this year, and if there will be more holidays, so be it 🙂
Now, Let’s Talk About Traffic!
Pageviews: 135,301 (down 19% from last month)
Email Subscribers: 2236 (+218, thanks to ConvertKit!)
I knew that my traffic was going to tank in January, because December was such a good month for traffic, but in reality, I wasn’t hit too hard: just 20%. Furthermore, my display advertising earnings weren’t completely terrible either. In January,
I earned $1,661.81 from display advertising, which is a LOT higher than the $442.62 that I made from ads in January 2019. Increased traffic isn’t the only reason: I also increased the number of ads shown to my readers. If you’re looking to bump up your ad earnings quickly, this is a surefire way to do it, no matter what ads platform you are using.
If you are wondering where I drive most of my traffic, it’s from Pinterest. If you’re looking for a good course that dives deeper into Pinterest strategies, I recommend going for the Pinterest Traffic Avalanche course by Create and Go.