May 2015 Blog Income Report – $61.40

I am so excited to share my May blog income report. This is my third blog income report!

Even though it’s not much, it’s still a little shocking I am actually making money from Believe In A Budget.

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 an extra source of income.

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!

At the start of 2015, I decided to get serious about my blog and treat it more like a business.

I started commenting on other bloggers’ posts, joined Twitter and signed up with Pinterest.

At the start of 2015, I committed to writing two to three times a week, improved my photos and made my website more user-friendly.

In April, I even earned income from my blog.

Last month was a success too! This month was my highest income yet, but I have a long ways to go before I can quit my day job.

Related Posts: April Blog Income Report, March Blog Income Report

Online Blog Income

  • Affiliate Income – $61.40
  • Google Adsense – $0 (even though I continue to earn money through this avenue, I still haven’t reached the $100 threshold)

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

My affiliates sources are pretty diversified. My income from May came from three different sources.

Rakuten (hello, free cash back when you shop online!)

Ibotta (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?

If you want to grab the Ibotta app and start making money off your grocery receipts, click here to get started. You will receive a cash bonus of $10 when you scan your first item! 

Studiopress (the Genesis theme you need to start a WordPress blog)  

Restored 316 Designs (the pretty theme I use for this blog)

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 a small amount of money to start my blog using Bluehost, and I made $13,000 in 6 months of blogging. That’s the best return of investment ever! 

It can be a little hectic having several different sources of revenue and keeping track of each one. Right now I have a simple spreadsheet I made that lists each affiliate, how much I have made and the threshold limit if there is one.

I have been working on expanding my affiliate networks. Last month I joined two more great networks to remain diversified.

I also signed up with IZEA and Cooperatize, so I am excited to see where these new outlets take me!

Blog Expenses

Blog Goals

In general, I’m a bit at a crossroads on where I see myself in the blogging world. I actually have a separate post on this and am hoping to get a bit of advice on the subject later on in the week.

I need to blog more. I have been only publishing two posts a week lately due to a hectic, real-life work schedule. I need to get back to posting three times a week.

I would like to venture out more into the blogging world and ask a couple of bloggers if I can write a guest post. I think I just worry about rejection.

I am happy with how my blog is growing. Each month I am increasing my page views and users, so that means I am doing something right. I just need to keep it up and work harder!

How do you keep track of all your blog income? 

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    Thank you for this wonderful information. You have really inspired me to keep moving forward with my blogging, and also with your very generous tips. When you are more than ready to quit your job, it helps to have someone that can keep inspiring you to move forward. And you have done that.


  2. Hi Kristin, thanks for sharing this blog post about how a small blog can make an income, blogs like your encourage small bloggers to keep on it.
    It is hard at the beginning, but keep on it, it might become a great online business in time.

    1. Thanks so much! I try to be honest – it can be really hard in the beginning, but if you work at blogging, it pays off. And this is coming from someone who didn’t know very much. If I could go back in time, I would have spent less time worrying about ads and more time focusing on affiliate income πŸ™‚

  3. Love your honesty, Kristin and congratulations on getting accepted to Blogher. I’ve been trying to monetize my site for awhile, but my topics are a little to broad. Need to work on narrowing my niche. Bottomline is providing value to our readers, right? Awesome job!

    1. Hey Erik! It took me a couple tries to figure out what I liked and didn’t like writing about. Now I blog about 3 areas that can all be intertwined, so it’s really working out. Good luck, you will do great!

  4. Loved reading this! I just started “seriously” blogging in the beginning of October. I’m planning on doing a traffic report every month even though it’s not much, it’ll be a way of me to keep track as well as to other small bloggers! My page views grew drastically and I’m excited to share πŸ™‚

    1. Awesome Carolyn! I was scared to share my traffic reports and was worried people would judge me, but it’s the opposite. It’s such useful information and a great way to look back at your blog!

  5. Kristin, I can tell that your growing blog income inspires others who are struggling.

    To help your own income, you might be interested in the free daily online newspaper I publish, called IM NewsWatch (

    We publish a lot of news to help bloggers and others wanting to earn income online to improve their business results.

    1. Thanks for the tip Phil!

  6. That’s awesome! I’ve always thought your blog looks super professional and the images are great, much better than mine. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Robin! I struggle with the images – I need to go back and start updating old ones, but it’s so hard to find the time!

  7. Nice transparent update here, thank you for sharing. It’s definitely a slow process but affiliate income can be really excellent when you find the right product/service and audience. Keep up the hard work and diligence and I’m sure it will pay off!

    1. Thanks! It’s been a slow journey, but a great learning process to fine tune things!

  8. I’m impressed you’re making affiliate income at all — I’ve tried to do a bit of that but so far haven’t actually made any money. In adsense, I’m up to $37, I think — not sure I’m ever going to get to $100! But obviously I don’t blog for the money, really, so it’s not a huge deal. I’d love it if I could figure out a way to actually make some affiliate income. Maybe sometime.

    1. I’ve been luck with the affiliate income. Much of it is due to a post going viral and I got a ton of hits and referrals. If only it would happen again!

  9. You’re doing a wonderful job! I started blogging in January and have yet to make an income, but I’m hoping that by the beginning of the fall I’ll receive my first adsense check. It’s kind of crazy spending hundreds of hours on a project that doesn’t make me any money, but I’m like you in that I have really enjoyed the experience overall and all of the wonderful connections I’ve made. It’s very fun!

    1. Thanks Christina! I can’t imagine getting a Google Adsense check, it seems like ages away. I think I will probably frame it πŸ™‚

  10. I really love this post and the fact that you are posting your blog income numbers. I literally just created a blog less then 2 weeks ago with zero experience on blogging. I cant even fathom the amount of hours ive put into it already just learning about how do this, write effective articles and even monetize the blog. Its very difficult. I would be happy to just break even on the amount it cost me to setup the blog but it would be nice obviously to make additional income. Years later of course! Im not expecting to make money for ways down the road.

    What ive gathered from my blog at least is that its keeping me super motivated to stay on track and on the road to financial freedom. I feel like I have an audience I cant let down and that keeps me ticking. Even though I really dont have much of an audience yet. But you know what I mean.

    Looking forward to your future posts.

    1. Congrats on starting a blog! I started blogging to document my spending and finances too. It has taken me a lot of time to get where I’m at, and I’m only in the beginning stages!

  11. I think you’re really smart for being content with slowly growing your blog into a source of extra income. It takes time and honestly I think people will be rewarded who “stick it out” with blogging long-term. I keep track of all my blog income in a few Google Spreadsheets and then reconcile it all each month (okay, it’s more like every 4-6 months…) in an Excel file.

    I actually had someone mention you were looking to do some freelance writing. I may be interested in having you write some on YAM, so if you are interested shoot me an email with your rate per post as well as a few of your “best” posts.

    1. Ok good, I’m glad you track everything using the same method. Excel seems pretty simple and all I need.

      That’s so nice someone mentioned my name! I’ll shoot you an email later, thanks!

  12. Congrats on the income!!! Especially since it’s affiliate income! For me, that’s been the hardest. But honestly I think it’s the best way to go. I’ve made over $200 from Google Adsense but I know that can be super annoying, haha. I need to find good products I want to promote! I found one – the Money Saving Mom course – and I’ve made a few sales!! I’m excited to continue trying this form of advertising!

    Good luck this month!! You’re doing great πŸ™‚

    1. I think affiliate income is fun to promote, especially if it’s something you use and can talk about! I’m hoping to reach the Adsense threshold this summer, but it sure has taken me awhile!

  13. Kristen – We’ve had a blog for a year now but only have Google Adsense for revenue. We were approve for Adsense in November but still haven’t reached $100. I’m now looking into seeing how I can monetize our blog through affiliates. With that said, can you reveal which affiliates you like best and why?

    Thanks in advance for you feedback.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I haven’t been blogging for that long either but am focusing more on affiliate revenue than things like Google Adsense. I’ll shoot you an email!

  14. Congrats on the blog income! You’re really motivating me to push harder. I’m interested to see how BlogHer works out for you. I was posting 3 times a week when I first started my blog, but unfortunately I have to stick to posting twice a week in order to get ahead and achieve other blogging goals. But I do post on other blogs about 3-4 times a week so that’s plenty of my writing to go around I suppose πŸ™‚ Since I don’t have any blog income yet, I have thought about tracking freelance income and sharing it through monthly updates to help keep me on track but I just don’t know yet.

    1. Hey Chonce! It’s hard posting 3x a week on a regular basis, but you’re killing it right now with all your writing for other sites! I would love to see income reports! I like when people break down what their blog makes versus being a VA or a contributing writer as I think it can be misleading! Great job!

  15. You’re doing great, Kristen! It’s so inspiring to see someone who started about the same time pulling in a bit of money. Keep up the reports, they’re fun to see. I’m on the fence about guest posting. Since I would want to put my best work out there, it just seems like too much work when I’m trying to make sure I’ve got great content on the home blog. Is that your same issue too? Let me know what you think of blogher. I’m curious if it brings in more than google adsense.

    1. Thanks Janeen! I just got accepted into BlogHer, so I’m not sure how long it will take before anything actually happens. I struggle with the guest posting thing too. I worry about having enough time to focus on my blog, but I know I need to put myself out there more. Maybe I just need better time management skills?

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