Here is my May online income report. I’ve been publishing income reports for a little over two years now! So much has changed over the past two years. Time is going by so fast and I can’t believe I am still writing online income reports.
If you are new to reading blog income reports, here’s a quick refresher!My most popular income report is still my very first one! Two years ago, I published my first income report proudly stating how I made $60.
It took me about four months to earn any income from my blog. I busted my butt to make that money. I was SO excited to know that my hard work was paying off and blogging was legit!
Since then, I’ve been sharing my online income reports each month. I haven’t missed one yet since sharing my first income report in April 2015. That’s just so crazy to even write because time has gone by so fast! Since publishing my income reports, for the most part, my income has increased.
Although there were a few months my income dipped down, I consider my overall experience with online income totally worth it.I really like going back through all of my online income reports to see what worked and didn’t worked. Every month I can look back at my income and figure out what worked, what didn’t work, etc.
There is so much knowledge in each post, so I find them super helpful! Whether I have a great month or so-so month, I’m happy to let readers know what I did wrong and the lessons learned. Running an online business is really rewarding, but also really hard. At the same time, I am super optimistic because I love this life!
May was another great month for my blog and business, but it was also the start of a transitional period for my blog and business.
Here are some previous online income reports:
- April 2015 online income report (my very first online income report) $61.83
- May 2015 online income report $61.40
- June 2015 online income report $66.10
- July 2015 online income report $515
- September 2015 online income report $1,530.94
- October 2015 online income report $3,634.28
- December 2015 online income report $4,238.99
- April 2016 online income report $5,920.52
- May 2016 online income report $7,268.68
- June 2016 online income report $9,700.11
- July 2016 online income report $9,566.15
- September 2016 online income report $6,682.24
- October 2016 online income report $7,157.04
- November 2016 online income report $10,736.55
- December 2016 online income report $11,195.28
- January 2017 online income report $26,288.57
- February 2017 online income report $15,170.31
- March 2017 online income report $19,752.67
- April 2017 online income report $30,442.32
I highlighted my May 2015 and May 2016 to show you my progress these past two years.Seriously, look at this!
- In May 2015, I made $61.40
- In May 2016, I made $7,268.68
- In May 2017, I made $22,006.28
Breakdown of my May online income report:
May was one of my most confusing months I’ve had since launching Believe In A Budget, which I’ll explain more in detail below. Basically, I’ve been having an identity crisis, which I’ll explain more below. It was also my nineteenth month I have been self employed. Yippee!
Two years ago, my life was completely different! I lived 3,000 miles away in a city I didn’t like, had a near one hour public transportation commute each way to my day job and tried to figure out how to blog in my spare time.
Today, I live in a city that I love, work from anywhere and am happy with life!
Here’s the breakdown:
- $923.48 Ad revenue (this amount has been down as I’ve been trying to reduce how many ads are on my site.)
- $500 Partnerships/Sponsorships
- $16,185.05 Affiliate Income
- $4,322.75 Courses + Products (Pinterest Presence, Become a Pinterest VA TODAY!, Pinterest Pin Templates, Side Hustle to Success)
- $75 Freelancing
GRAND TOTAL: $22,006.28
Overall, I’m happy with where I am with my income. Creating products has been vital for my blog. I also can’t stress enough about how important affiliate income has been for my blog and business!
If you want to keep track of your online income (which I highly recommend) check out Freshbooks! It’s what I’ve used to track business income, expenses, invoice clients, and more. Click here to learn more about Freshbooks.
I’ve made over $91,000+ so far this year and surpassed my 2016 total income!
In 2016, I made a little over $90,000 online in my first full year of working online. With my income from May, I’ve now made a little over $91,000. That’s a little crazy, right?!
I’m totally in shock that my income has grown so much this year. I didn’t really have any income goals this year expect to surpass my 2016 income, so this is great.
Here’s a few ways my income has grown this year:>
- Side hustles/make money
- How to save money/budget (Ibotta, surveys, Qapital, Digit)
- Blogger based (how to start your dream blog, pick a theme, select an email provider, etc.)
- Pinterest related (Tailwind, Pinterest Presence, Pinterest pin templates, Become a Pinterest VA TODAY!)
In terms of affiliate income in general, to this day I only recommend products, courses, and resources that I’ve personally used. I’ve pretty much been using the same affiliates since I started my blog.In fact, I used many companies before I had Believe In A Budget.
It wasn’t until after I started blogging, I realized I could recommend them to other people! So it’s been a nice, organic way to go about doing things. If you need help growing your affiliate income, take a look at this course.
Monthly Online Income Report Expenses
These were my May expenses:
$5 Google Apps
$141 VA work
$12.95 Canva for Work
$149 Drip I use Drip for all of my newsletters! It’s connected to LeadPages and makes integrating everything together a breeze for technology challenged people like me 🙂
$39 LeadPages I used LP’s a while ago, stopped, and now restarted again. I was really happy with my old pop-ups and opt-in forms with my previous newsletter provider MailerLite, but since I made the change to Drip, it made sense to go with LeadPages.
$1,697.14 I bought the domain name KristinLarsen.com. I also purchased a few other domain names.
$279.69 Facebook ad
$0 Tailwind. I pay for this annually. Tailwind is the scheduler I use when I do all my pinning on Pinterest. It’s my favorite scheduler I use for myself, recommend to clients and for my students.
$0 Bluehost. I pay for my hosting annually. This is the company I used when I first started my blog and still use today! Here’s some ideas on what you can blog about and a tutorial on how to start your dream blog.
TOTAL EXPENSES: $2,382.78
I still have to deduct around 30% of my income for taxes as well. I pretty much do everything myself, except for major tech issues. I think it’s really important that I know what I’m not good at doing! It’s definitely worth outsourcing tasks that I know someone can do better and quicker.
Fortunately, I’ve been pretty self sufficient and haven’t had to outsource too many things. As things get a little busier, I might start outsourcing a couple of things to save time. Overall this was a high spending month, but the investment will be worth it!
Here’s some highlights from May:
- I negotiated back and forth and was finally able to purchase my domain name KristinLarsen.com. It was originally listed for a little over $2,200 and I was able to get my domain for a little under $1,500. Initially, I was really against spending this much money for my domain name, but after some great advice, owning my name will be worth it down the road 🙂
- I was invited to become a Tailwind ambassador! I’m really excited about this because in my course Pinterest Presence, I share tutorials on how to use Tailwind and recommend it to everyone. I’ve also been a featured public speaker on Pinterest and Tailwind, so I’m excited to partner with Tailwind. I’ll be sharing more content on Tailwind, speaking more, etc. Yippee!
What’s next – am I going to have two websites?
If you receive my emails, then you know that I get much more personal in my emails than on this website! I’ve been contemplating having two websites for a while. Originally, I was going to move everything over to KristinLarsen.co because I didn’t own KristinLarsen.com.
I made the switch for about a week, retired Believe In A Budget, and then realized this was a horrible idea lol.
Here’s the struggle:
- When I launched Believe In A Budget, I was strictly a personal finance blogger with a focus on side hustling
- Once I wrote a blog post or two on how Pinterest helped my blog traffic explode, I started side hustling as a Pinterest virtual assistant.
- Out of nowhere, I start attracting a new audience. Many readers have found my income reports helpful, and this new group of people want help learning how to side hustle, including how to make money blogging and having an online business.
- My audience also starts to split as many of these side hustlers want to go a step further and start a career as a Pinterest virtual assistant (here’s the course to teach you how!). This same audience also wants to learn how to use Pinterest (using this Pinterest course)
Based on the audience being pretty diverse, part of my audience is Pinterest related only, so many of them know me as just Kristin, not Believe In A Budget. On the flip side, part of my audience that wants to learn how to side hustle and make money aren’t interested in Pinterest.
That’s where KristinLarsen.com comes into place! While I haven’t decided on the clearest path yet for KristinLarsen.com, I want Believe In A Budget to stick to primarily side hustles.KristinLarsen.com might be a better platform for all my Pinterest material. I currently have:
- Pinterest Presence
- Become a Pinterest VA TODAY!
- Pinterest Pin Templates
I might also use this site to write more about Pinterest, Tailwind, share Pinterest success stories, etc. I also plan on releasing Pinning Mastermind this fall, which will be a short but intense bootcamp for bloggers and business owners. It will be a mastermind group where students can have better access to me, live Q+A sessions, etc.
There’s a lot to think about and I’ve been a little overwhelmed. I’ll save the details for a future post as I could write an entire post about products, plugins and platforms I’ve been testing out.
What do you think about splitting up into two websites? Are you working on any goals for summer?
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I am so happy I found your blog! I am just starting to play with the idea of starting my own blog, and your breakdown of earnings was very informative! Thanks for sharing!
Suzanne G. McClendon says
I think this is amazing. You always hear that it will take years to start making money from your blog. But, it didn’t take years for you. That’s great! I wish that I could figure out what would turn it loose for my husband and myself. My oldest blog is over 5 years old. 🙂
Keep up the good work and have a blessed weekend!
Kristin Larsen says
Thanks Suzanne! I went into blogging wanting it to make money, so I always treated it as a biz, not a hobby, which I think helped me change my mindset. I also am always researching and learning how to do things better, so I think that’s helped too!
Always nice to see your reports. It’s a nice theoretical carrot that keeps me plugging forward. Keep churning and disregard those negative folk. Life’s too short…
Kristin Larsen says
Thanks so much!! Glad you like reading them!
I have struggled with the idea of blogging (I’m a rather private person) and my side hustles are somewhat divergent from my primary job. I really appreciate that you have shared your struggle and owned your mistake/concern about switching your branding. I haven’t yet been able to focus my blog in a way in which I am comfortable and thus, have yet to seek affiliate links. It is helpful to note that others struggle with similar issues! I look forward to reading about your progress.
Kristin Larsen says
Thanks Michelle! It can be hard juggling a job, side hustle and blog – I totally get ya!
I like it to read you income reports, because you don’t make a list with earnings and expenses. You give us more information like some other bloggers. That makes these reports more personal.
I hope you continue with this in the future.
Kristin Larsen says
Thanks so much!
Nicole | The Professional Mom Project says
Congrats! I love these income reports b/c they are so inspirational as someone starting to monetize.
Nat @Simple Family Crazy Life says
Wow! This is so inspiring! Keep up the great job! 🙂
Francesca - From Pennies to Pounds says
Congrats Kristin! These are so inspiring. What made the affiliate income jump so much?
Kristin Larsen says
Thanks! I went through almost every post and added pretty much the same affiliate links to products, courses, apps, etc. over and over again. I’ve also added more backlinks to my popular posts, which has also helped a ton!