October 2015 Online Income Report – $3,634.28

When it comes to online income, October surpassed my expectations and then some. This was my best month ever, which is something I feel like I have been saying every month. I still can’t believe I’m actually making money from home – or at the coffee shop – or on the go.

As I mentioned a couple months ago, I renamed this report to my monthly online income report. Originally these monthly posts started off as solely blog income report, but now that I have made the leap to freelancing full time (eek!), it makes more sense to change the title.

This is my eighth online income report to share! This report only includes income I received from the month of October. I don’t include any money that is pending. If the money isn’t in my bank account, it doesn’t make it in this report. This is the best way for me to track how much money I am making on a monthly basis.

October was also my first half month freelancing full time! I decided to leave my job and my last day of work was October 5th.

To recap, making money from my blog has been a slow, but steady one. I started blogging a year ago, but didn’t get serious about my blog until January of this year. I made the smart decision to stop treating this blog like a hobby and turn it into a business.

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! 

In March, I had my first online income report! Since then, I have been slowly making money each month. Here are a few of my other online income reports:

I made over $3600 online last month. I detail exactly how much money I make from ads, freelancing and affiliate income. I have been blogging for almost a year, so this is so exciting! I also include my page views for reference.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure for more info.

Here is the breakdown of my online income report for October

  • $106.29 Google Adsense
  • $102.79 Media.net
  • $30 Affiliate Income
  • $3,395.20 Freelancing

Grand Total: $3,634.28

This amount is the grand total and before I deduct taxes. Right now I am putting away 30% of each paycheck I receive.

Can you believe this? I was adding up the total and kept asking myself, is this right?! One year ago I was reading income reports from other bloggers and trying to figure out how they did it, and now it’s actually happening for me. I’m so excited!

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.

So how did my online income more than DOUBLE from September? Let’s break down each category above.

Ads on my website

Google Adsense

It took almost a YEAR to earn my first paycheck from Google Adsense. Last month, I made more in one month than the first nine months. That’s crazy! I have now earned two paychecks in a row. I chalk this up to an increase in traffic and page views.

Media.net

This was my first paycheck from this advertiser! Media is great because they have some amazing customization features. You can create ads to matching your blog when it comes to hex color, font, style, etc. The downside is I earn 25% – 40% less a month than Adsense. I’m all over the board with this advertiser and need to take a hard look at the numbers. Perhaps I’ll do a future post about page views versus income between the two advertisers.

Affiliate Income

I recommended Building a Framework to a couple of people (it’s one of the best books out there on how to start blogging) and received a referral fee for this!  

Freelancing

October was way above normal for freelance income. I expect my freelance income to go back down in November.

Part of my online income boost was accepting a big freelance job that I had no business accepting. It was a four week project that started in mid September. I knew it was going to end in mid-October, which was exactly around the time I would be packing and moving across the country. Even though I set my inbox to VaCa mode for the move and let all my clients know I would be unavailable for a week, I kept this job going.

I won’t lie; it was tough. During the move, after checking into a hotel having just spent 12-15 hours driving, I was up late on my laptop and hustling hard. I pretended everything was normal so there wasn’t a break in my work flow. Smooth, right?

Second, I had a spike in consultations. On my Hire Me page, I offer a $60 consultation to review a blogger’s Pinterest board, their photos on their blog and give them specific tips, advice and guidance on how to improve key areas.

This has blown up lately and it’s so exciting. I think for many bloggers this is an affordable price that offers instant actions to take, so it’s a win-win for everyone. It takes a few hours for me to put everything together though, so I need to learn to work faster or raise my prices. Let me know if you need help!

Third, bloggers have sought me out for customizations and monthly help with their images and managing their Pinterest accounts. I have done very little pitching, so when people reach out to me it’s very exciting. I’m pretty shy about this kind of thing and pitching is one area that totally freaks me out I really need to work on.

If you’re a blogger or a small business and need help, check out my Hire Me page or shoot me an email. Need something a little more done for you? Check out these Pinterest pin templates

Niche consulting

I am also providing consulting services related to my career niche. When I decided to leave my full time job, I was determined to find a location independent job. I knew it was possible, but really had to scour the internet to see what was out there.

After a lot of searching through different job boards, I found a job board related to my field of work and have been successful at landing small freelance jobs. The job boards I searched included a huge array of career fields, so I think it’s possible to find almost any job online these days.

If you want to start earning online income, there are so many different niches to choose from. Many bloggers are writers and provide general VA services, but don’t think you are limited to just this.

If you are great at taking photos, start selling them on Etsy or some other online platform. If you are ahead of the curve when it comes to making killer newsletters, go for it.

These niche specialities are amazing to offer to bloggers who are working independently and trying to do everything themselves. This can not only help free up their time, but provide awareness about niche help they might not have realized they need.

Change things up, be different and go after what you are good at. This helps you stand out and get noticed!

Here’s a breakdown of my monthly expenses

  • $5 Google apps
  • $50 Darling theme from Restored 316 Designs
  • $26.50 on Fiverr for implementing my new theme
  • $19.42 in PayPal fees

Total Expenses: $100.70

I spent less than 3% of my income on business expenses! Just because I am freelancing doesn’t mean I need to have outrageous costs. Right now I’d rather work longer hours if that means saving money. In the future, I will have to think long and hard about how to invest my money if it means getting a large return.

This month I remembered to cancel Board Booster as I use Tailwind full time for my Pinterest strategy. I will save $10 a month or roughly $120 a year. There is no Pinterest scheduling tool better than Tailwind and the analytics provided is off the charts.

PayPal fees are something I forgot to include in last month’s online income report. I lose a small percentage with clients that pay me through PayPal. Some clients pay me directly (and without me asking) as a “Friend or Family Member” so I don’t lose a percentage of the sale. I get nervous asking my other clients to do this, so it is what it is. I might need to look into a better system of invoicing so I can keep more of my hard earned money.

I don’t include Bluehost as I have paid up for the next three years. 

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! 

Let’s talk about traffic and page views

Because I figured I might as well overshare, here is a snapshot of what my traffic looked like in September.

Online Income Report Monthly Page Views

This was my highest page views to date. Clearly I’m not an overnight success story or have 100,000+ page views. But if my blog can grow a little each month, I’ll take it.

{Resource: 10 Ways Your Blog and Business Can Benefit from Pinterest}

My plans to improve my blog

I need to:

  • Increase my affiliate income. I have spent zero time on this the past few months. I barely write about companies or services that I really believe in, but I’m thinking about creating more tutorials about why they are awesome and perfect for people who like to blog.
  • Guest blog on a few websites about how useful creating amazing images are for Pinterest, the importance of a pinning schedule, etc. If you think your blog would benefit from this, contact me!
  • Pitch more. Ugh, this is so not my thing but I need to get over this fear and try. Even if someone says no, I’ve put them on alert about my services incase they need me in the future.
  • Create a free useful .PDF that readers can download directly in this post. This side hustle post is from last year, but it’s my most popular post to date. I get weekly emails asking for more help on this. If I created a worksheet and guide that people could use to know the exact companies I worked with, it would be really helpful for them. Plus it might cut down on my inbox and responding to emails.
  • I am in the beginning stages of creating an ecourse for bloggers that is similar to my Pinterest and image consultations. It would be a workbook of sorts and I could reach more people. Customers could go at their own pace, but have total guidance with the process. I would also add a private Facebook group where bloggers could have a forum to ask questions, share ideas, etc. I am really excited about this and plan to have the ecourse available in late January or February.

Update: This course is available!

Pinterest Presence Learn More

Well, if you have read up to this point, thanks for sticking with me πŸ˜‰ This might have been information overload. I like being able to provide a transparent review of what’s working, what’s not working and how to improve this blog. We are all in this together, whether you are already a blogger or thinking about starting a blog.

Ok November, let’s do this!

Do you find online income reports useful?

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29 Comments

  1. Awesome job, Kristin! I’m happy for you πŸ™‚ And just my unsolicited two cents here but I think it’s probably worth it to keep Media.net. My Media.net earnings used to be about a third of what Google Adsense was but since my blog has grown it’s a tight race between the two. I earn almost exactly the same from each ad network and the Media.net ads are so much nicer looking.

    I think the longer you’re with them the better they get at displaying the right keyword blocks and also customizing your ads for maximum effectiveness. They’ve changed my ad style/colors twice this year with good results.

    You’re doing great and I can’t wait to see you keep growing. And I LOVE the new blog design.

    1. Thanks Alexa! That’s really helpful with Media; some days it does better than Adsense so that’s interesting those two are similar for you. I probably need to reach out to my ad manager and make sure I’m optimizing the best πŸ™‚

  2. Wow, this is inspiring! I’m starting to think I should just stop blogging and do freelance work instead. πŸ™‚

    I just discovered your blog through Frugally Blonde who shared one of your posts on Pinterest. But I love what I see and hope to be a regular reader.

    Just curious, what plugin do you use for the newsletter sign up box that you include in your posts? I like the clean look much better than the one I’m using.

    1. Hey Lydia! I use Magic Action Box and it links to my Mailchimp πŸ™‚

  3. I remember when you just started to working your way to making the big bucks online and I am so proud of you! This is really awesome and you are proof that you can really make it if you try in this business.

    1. Thanks! I think it’s all from Pinterest πŸ™‚

  4. Wow! Sounds like you’ve been hustling hard and going far! Congrats on a great month!

  5. Congrats Kristin on your October income and the increased traffic! I’m excited about the ecourse! Love the new theme!

  6. Wow! Thats fantastic! How do you find good freelance work? Freelancing is something I would like to get into, but I don’t know where to start.

    1. Thanks Veronica! I’m still figuring out where to look too because there are so many different sources out there. What kind of freelance work do you want to do?

  7. Congrats! I’m glad I can contribute to November’s numbers. I’m even *more* glad that you’ll be hand-holding me through Pinterest and then some.

    I’m not sure if you included a link to your 40k hits with Pinterest article. If not, you need to mention it and link to it. And make sure it’s in your bio somehow for any guest posts you do. “Kristin blogs at Believe in a Budget” and saw her hits jump 35k [link] when she got serious about Pinterest. Frankly, that’s the article that sold me.

    Maybe you can pitch some sponsored posts to image editing websites like Cana or PicMonkey? Or at least some ads?

    I thought about Media.net but I hate getting the post’s flow interrupted by ads. That’s the major stumbling block for me.

    1. Thanks Abby, that’s such helpful info. I am so shy about having a bio and putting myself out there, but it might be time πŸ™‚ Media net is also in my sidebar, maybe you could put yours there?

  8. Again, I love your new theme πŸ™‚ My main blog income comes from consultations as well. I’m almost done finishing my first online course as well and it is so exciting! This is definitely a great way to go πŸ™‚

    1. On congrats, you’ll have to let me know when you ecourse is ready so I can share the news!

  9. Hi Kristen,

    I love the look of your blog, so fresh and easy to use. Congrats on your successful month and super kudos for keeping those expenses so low!

    1. Thanks Latoya! I’m all about saving money πŸ™‚

  10. Wow great job in October lady!!!

    I am really loving your new theme too, it is so pretty and welcoming! I have no doubt that you are going to kill it in November too, this is so awesome! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Christina! I hope to finish the theme over the next week, it’s taking me forever πŸ™‚

  11. Kristin!!!! Holy moly you are killing it!!! Also, I LOVE the new theme!! Also, congrats on deciding to create a course!! I’ll have to email you some questions haha. I’m in the process of creating an eBook and it’s a little more time consuming than I thought. My goal is to get up early every day until it’s done, but I’m so hit or miss with actually waking up when I should :/

    Hope you have a great day!! Congratulations again!!! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Sarah! Yes, I need to email you! Can’t wait to read your ebook πŸ™‚

  12. You are doing awesome! I love reading how successful “newer” bloggers are and what they are doing to make an income from their hard work. Before you know it you’ll be over that 100,000 page views you mentioned. It sounds like you have a solid plan for success. :o)

  13. Congrats on the income last month! It sounded like quite a bit to juggle with moving and all but it’s great that your page views increased as well.

  14. Awesome job, Kristin! The new site looks great. I love Restored 316’s designs. They’re so cute, it makes it hard to decide to finally put up the money for a custom design when it’s only $50 (and a few hours of work) for a fresh new design. It’s always fun to read your reports.

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