April 2015 Blog Income Report – $40

I am so excited to share my second blog income report from April! It’s still a little shocking I am actually making money from this website.

My income is still very small, but it doesn’t matter to me. This blog started as an outlet and a way to connect to other bloggers, and I am happy it is slowly transitioning to a source of extra income.

It is 100% possible to earn money if you have a small blog. Each month I report my blog income and what methods I use that earn me money!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure for more info.

I paid for a domain and a WordPress website, used a free theme and had no idea what I was doing. I basically just started writing!

In January 2015, I decided to get serious about my blog and treat it more like a business.

I finally got confident enough to comment on other bloggers’ posts (shy, introvert here), join Twitter and sign up with Pinterest.

At the start of 2015, I committed to writing 2-3 times a week, improving my photos and making my website more user-friendly.

If you are thinking about starting a blog, this tutorial will help you start a blog today. You’ll also get a FREE domain name for a year! I was able to quit my job and blog full time, all within my first year of blogging. I am really glad I took a chance and started a blog! I invested around $140 to start my blog using Bluehost, and I made $13,000 in 6 months of blogging. That’s the best return of investment ever!

I knew I wanted to monetize my blog and earn blog income at some point, so I added Google Adsense onto my website. I read over and over again that blog income from Adsense would take time to build, so I wanted to find other ways to make money.

I recently added a few affiliate links based on products I used!

I was comfortable telling someone about:

My blog’s theme: This is a WordPress theme I installed myself (yes, all by myself!)

Rakuten: This is my fave company I use when I shop online. It’s free cashback on every purchase and the money gets deposited into my PayPal account. It’s really hard to turn down free money! Get $10 off your first $25 purchase with my exclusive link.

Ibotta is another free cell phone app. You use it after you go grocery shopping and use your receipt. It’s basically a rebate app, so you can earn anywhere from 50 cents to $5 off everything you buy.

My favorite part about this app is that it’s not always brand specific, like a lot of coupons are. So you’ll be able to scan “any brand of bread” for 50 cents off, etc. If you do coupon – you can STILL use Ibotta and get a rebate.

For the diehard couponers out there, this will often result in getting an item for FREE. Crazy, right?

The number one reason I was able to launch my blog and earn an income was through Elite Blog Academy. This course helped me earn over $13,000 in six months as a new blogger. I have earned blog income for the 2nd month in a row! I'm sharing how I started monetizing my website and earning online income!

Blog Income

  • Google AdSense – $0  (Even though I made $20.41, I wasn’t paid on this. Once I hit the $100 threshold and receive payment, I will count this. But I still made over $20 in one month. This is so exciting!)
  • Affiliate Sales – $40.00

I actually earned almost $190 in affiliate sales, but have only been paid $40. Some of the companies I am signed up with require minimum thresholds and/or 30-60 days to receive payment. Because of this, I only qualify income when I have been paid!

I really like affiliate earnings, mainly because I don’t have to rely on crazy high traffic to generate income.

The main reason my affiliate sales increased last month was because this post was shared over 4,000 times on Facebook. This is awesome, especially since I don’t even have a facebook account for this blog!

April Blog Traffic

 

I was very strategic about the post that went viral on Facebook and knew it had a chance to be seen by a lot of readers. Not only did it need to be a reflection of my blog for first time readers, but I wanted it to specifically help people make money! I think readers liked the article, especially when I was able to see how many people signed up for different services that I wrote about.

I plan on trying to implement this strategy every month or two, which would be huge for my blog!

Blog Expenses

  • Elite Blog Academy – $324

I am really excited to take Ruth’s class. It’s a 12 week course, but at my own pace. I’ve read so many amazing reviews with proven examples of what this course can do for a blog, so I decided it was worth the investment.

Plus it helped that my accountant managed to save me an extra $350 on my taxes I wasn’t planning on, so instead of saving like a responsible personal finance blogger I spent the money on the class πŸ™‚ I plan on improving this blog and implementing her tools for my niche site, so I’m going to pretend it’s a 2 for 1 deal.

I am excited to see where May takes me! I have a feeling I will be able to write another blog income report and I can’t wait to see how much money I bring in.

Blogger Question-When you have a blog income report, do you prefer to show earned income or actual paid income?

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52 Comments

  1. Hey! Thanks for the great information. I just started a blog and I’m trying to figure out how to monetize and get traffic. This gave me a few ideas on how to grow! Again, thanks for the info!

    1. Kristin Larsen says:

      Yay Mariah! CONGRATS on starting a blog!

  2. Thanks for this !i am just starting out and google adsense hasn’t even accepted my blog, so it’s refreshing to know that it can happen even if not BIG! We will see where my affiliate ads take me πŸ™‚ thanks again and I will be keeping up with your tips!

    1. Hey Chelsea! Don’t stress about AdSense yet. Just add more content to your site and apply again – I had to do the same thing when I first got started.

  3. Your post gives me hope! I’m a new blogger, and I found this post via pinterest. I’m still working on getting a following, and I’m less than two months into my blog. It’s really difficult, but I’m trying to get into the swing of things. I’m so glad I found your blog!

    1. Thanks Christina! Do a search on my site for Pinterest – that made all the difference and really launched my blog!

  4. I like how you wrote: “I earned this amoung but I received that amount so far” – it’s a pity that in our industry it takes a lot of time to get the hands on the cash that we earned, 30-60 days as you said, and sometimes even more!

    1. I know, it’s soooo hard to wait for that income! I feel like when I’m doing these reports they are really like 2 or 3 months old in terms of what I’m working on, but I just don’t know how else to do it. I could change it up, but I feel better reporting once I actually have the funds as it’s a bit more realistic to see how it’s done!

  5. Thanks for the honest income report. I just started blogging last month and it’s nice to see someone post an amount that isn’t in the $10k an up per month because I am assuming that isn’t the norm. I’m impressed you’re getting so many facebook shares when you don’t even have a FB account for this blog. Awesome!

    1. Thanks Amy! I would LOVE to make 10K a month from my blog- some day, right?!

  6. Are you using WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

    1. I use wordpress. org !

  7. Hello Kristin, good to see your beautiful blog and the theme too. Its really beautiful and you are doing a great job, I have also started a blog only a few months and I am yet to see a cent so it made an interesting read to me. I feel so motivated and encouraged.

    With regard to any of the courses, well I am having Erica Stone’s Extreme Reviewer and i am trying my best to follow that book, its also. Apart from that I am also a member of Pajama Affiliates which is helping me a lot in taking my blog in the right direction.

    Just a small question, are the images you are using your own? or are they paid ones, I love these and I am on the lookout for some. Hope to hear from you.

    Love and wishes

    1. Hey Shaddan! Thanks for the course tip! When I first started my blog I used Pixabay for free images. Now I use Bigstock. If you sign up for their free trial, you can download like 70 pics over the course of 2 weeks and then just cancel your account and it’s free πŸ™‚ I think I paid $39 a month after the free trial for 1 additional month and was able to grab a ton more. If you plan it out right and know what you will be blogging about, you should be able to use the free trial and be good to go for a long time with images πŸ™‚

  8. So how do you get your stock photos? I’ve been looking into a few sites. Do you have a subscription to a site or just buy them when you need them? What is your go-to site for stock photos?

    1. Hi Madison! Pixabay is a good, free choice, but a ton of people use those photos which makes them not as unique. Now I solely use Bigstock Photos. This link will get you a two week trial and up to 70 pics free (affil. link) After I did the trial, I did a 1 month plan with the promo code they sent me because it was a good deal πŸ™‚

  9. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Elite Blog Academy. I’ve heard of it, and wondered if it was something worth doing.

    1. Thanks for asking. I have a major review coming up in February, before enrollment starts!

  10. It’s so nice to see a post about making $40 rather than $10,000 for a change. It shows that you have to start somewhere and that it does not all happen overnight.

    Just a question, to be part of google Adsense, you needed to invest money into your blog first for a certain type of account, correct? I use wordpress and want to use Google Adsense but I think I need to purchase a certain type of account in order to be able to place the plug-in. Just wanted to confirm that.

    Thank you for the post!

    1. Hey Joanna thanks for stopping by! Adsense is FREE. But to put ads on your blog it needs to be through WordPress.org not wordpress.com. Basically, if your blog is free, you probably can’t put ads on it. If you have more Q’s, shoot me an email – happy to help!

  11. This is really inspiring – thanks for writing about your blogging income. Even an extra $40-50 a month is awesome and I would be really happy with that, as I have started blogging as a hobby/stress outlet, rather than a source of $$$. Good job so far!

    1. Thanks Samantha! I started blogging as a stress/outlet as well, so earning ANY income from it was icing on the cake.

  12. I love reading an income report like this. It seems so much more attainable like this. Seeing the beginning of an awesome blog gives me hope that I will be able to do the same.

    Thank you for the very inspiring message and the awesome post!

    1. Thanks Sofie! I definitely have a ways to go πŸ™‚

    2. Thanks Sofie! You can definitely do this!

  13. This is great! Congratulations on getting income for your blog!! I too have read Abby’s book and found it incredible! I just downloaded the updated version and I’m very interested in the new chapters! I just signed up for my first affiliation with Amazon. Have you had a good experience with Abby? I need to look in to her program for my site. Also did you have a pretty good following for Google Adsense? I’ve read differing reports…

    1. Abby’s book was amazing – it helped my blog grow immensely! It seems like the more pageviews I get, the better my ads perform. It took me months to get to my first paycheck, and then I hit the threshold again the next month!

  14. This post is so refreshing! I keep seeing posts by bloggers already making thousands each month, yet I’m still just starting out so can relate more to your journey. What affiliates are you using and have you noticed that any are better than others? Happy for your success so far and wish you all the best going forward. I will be following your journey!

    1. Ha, I will definitely be a blogger on the lower end for the time being πŸ™‚ I have spent so much time with affiliates, I need to write a post. I’ll email you!

  15. Great article and very helpful. I enrolled in Ruth’s class this last April, but family emergencies out of state intervened so I am rapidly trying to make up for lost time. I have a couple of questions: to give some idea of perspective, how many blog articles do you have published? And how did you get bigger bloggers to share your post on FB? I hope to launch my site later this month, and it would be encouraging because it’s been extremely hard work up to this point.

    1. Hi Melissa! I have around 120 articles published (about 1-2 week). Bigger bloggers actually came to me so I didn’t have to really market myself. I think once you have some articles published, you could always email them and ask if they would share one of your articles!

  16. I just hit the 6 month mark since I switched my blog to self hosted and started treating it like a business. So far, I’ve made pennies, which is discouraging. I know that this is a traffic thing, and despite doing everything that people recommend to get traffic to your blog and optimize SEO, the traffic still isn’t coming. I intend to just keep working at it, but it is so encouraging to see others making money with a smaller blog. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Thanks Jessica! My income from Google Adsense only started increasing a couple month ago once I made a leap in page views. It all began when another popular blogger posted one of my article’s on their Facebook page. It definitely brought in a ton of traffic and got the ball rolling for me!

  17. Tabitha May says:

    I LOVE that you so openly talk about income! This is great! I am currently in the process of launching The inspirational entrepreneur both on facebook and on Pinterest! I currently do not have a website but hope to have it up soon! I enjoy reading posts like these!

    1. Thanks Tabitha! Good luck with your website!

  18. I love reading income reports! I’m still new to having a blog and as of yet still haven’t made a penny πŸ™‚ But I’m hoping to add a few more things to my blog to hopefully generate a small income and then to be able to grow it from there! These income reports my fellow bloggers so wonderfully share with us just helps to keep me motivated that I will get there one day myself! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Rebecca! My income reports are small, but that’s ok πŸ™‚ I love reading income reports as they are so motivating for me too!

  19. Yay! Thank you for sharing. This is so encouraging. I see so many posts all the time about people earning thousands or tens of thousands from their blogs — it’s hard to relate to those posts and they rarely have any insight to offer those starting out or who aren’t yet generating any blog-related income. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I would love to be one of those bloggers…maybe someday πŸ™‚ My blog income is definitely small and slow growing!

  20. Paid income is my preferred way to report. I don’t report blog income on moneybacon.com mostly because it doesn’t move the budget. But I have another site that’s fun. It builds strong ties to affiliate marketing with Amazon in a very nitch area of gardening. Who would have though that would be popular? I just wish more people ordered bacon online. I’m new in the space maybe it will take off.

    1. Oh wow, I love hearing about these niche sites! I’m in the process of relaunching mine and hope to have it done in a couple months. I’ve never ordered bacon online, but I have ordered a bacon seasoning mix online πŸ™‚

  21. Congratulations on the earnings ! Nice work on earning so much from affiliates, too. I find it is way, way easier to report income when it is received, as things tend to get complicated or take forever to hit minimums. I am rather curious about your niche site.

    1. Thanks Anne! I think you’re right, it’s much easier to report if it’s in my bank account πŸ™‚

  22. Kristin, so glad to have found your blog, via Twitter! Thanks for the income report. I’m trying to figure out how to monetize my blog. I’ve just recently started Google ads. What do you suggest I should do to help it along?

    I got a surge of traffic when I was featured on Money Saving Mom this past Monday and gained new subscribers. Just trying to figure out how to get them to stay around. I’m posting about 3 times a week.

    How did you get that much income in a month!?

    1. Hi Kelly! I am definitely focusing more on affiliate income because Google AdSense seems to be taking forever since I just don’t have high traffic. The affiliate income gives me a lot more options to earn money because there are so many more directions I can take blog. I’m glad you asked, I think I might do a post on this and break it down more.

      1. Thanks, I would love to hear more about the affiliate part. I’m not sure I follow it! Thanks! I love budgeting too….debt free living is the way to go! πŸ™‚

  23. Great post. It’s refreshing to see someone willing to talk about income. Sounds like I am where you were last year, I’ve just started my blog (free WordPress, and bought domain name yesterday!). Would be great to keep in touch, any advice would be great fully received. Keep up the good work.

    1. Hi Richard, your blog looks great! I will be posting my income report every month now, even if I don’t make money πŸ™‚ At least I will be able to report what works and what doesn’t! Great job with starting a blog. I didn’t upgrade any features until a few a months ago. I wanted to take my time and just focus on writing for a little bit. Your blog looks really nicely done and is off to a great start!

  24. Congrats on the income for this month and the affiliate sales! I’ve heard so many great things about Elite Blog Academy as well and I’m excited for you. I definitely think it was money well spent. Most income reports that I read from other bloggers include the income they actually received that month as opposed to the work completed/sales made/Google Adsense payouts that have yet to come. I think it works out well once money starts coming in consistently each month

    1. I agree with you and Sarah – I feel more comfortable reporting my income once I receive it. Even though the amount is pretty low, it feels really good to know I have made more and it’s just sitting there waiting to be paid out.

  25. YAY for you income!!! It looks like you are on an awesome path for really turning this blog into something very successful! I’m so happy to follow along. A lot of blogs I read already make thousands per month, so it’s nice to read one that is where I’m at! I need to start working on affiliate income – that’s the toughest for me for sure!!

    I was thisclose to buying EBA, too, but ultimately decided not to because we’ve had a very expensive month. You’ll have to keep us posted on how you like the class! Did you read her book – How to blog for profit without selling your soul? I read that when I first started blogging and it was amazing. I actually need to go back and re-read it!

    Also – to answer your question – I count income when I RECEIVE it, not when I earn it. It’s way easier to keep track of actual payments!

    1. Hey Sarah! I read Ruth’s book and it was awesome. I probably should re-read it πŸ™‚ If I hadn’t had the extra funds, I probably wouldn’t have gone for it – it was really good timing between my accountant savings me money and the class opening up. I will DEFINITELY be writing about the class. I’m on week 2 and it’s really hard, lol.

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