Last Updated on August 28, 2020 by ellduclos
When I first started my blog in 2017 I used to read blog income reports all the time. I remember reading a few that claimed they made 5 figures monthly. At first I thought, yeah right. It’s so easy to read income reports that claim to make over $10,000 a month blogging and think “that will never be me.” I never thought that I would actually be able to say I make over $10,000 blogging every month.
This past June was my first $10,000 month as a blogger. I share that income report here. At first I thought it was just luck and that I wouldn’t be able to repeat that income the next month BUT, I DID!
Now it’s going to be September and I just had my highest month ever as a full time blogger. I reached $12,799.49 in August.
This is a quick screenshot of my business PayPal monthly overview. This doesn’t include a few payments collected via direct deposit. I personally love using PayPal to collect most of my payments. It makes it easy to track my income.
In this post I am going to break down where this income came from and how I got to this point. I will also share how much I saved for my taxes and what my monthly expenses are. Even though I made this much it doesn’t mean that’s how much I take home with me. A lot of blog income reports fail to mention taxes and expenses. I think it’s important to be clear about that.
Disclaimer: I am not trying to brag in any way. This is strictly for educational purposes. People seemed to enjoy my previous blog income reports so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to share another one.
Affiliate links are used and you can read my full disclosure here.
August 2020 Blog Income Before Taxes = $12,799.49
My income before taxes in August is $12,799.49. Taxes are extremely important and are not something to forget about. I recommend paying taxes quarterly to avoid any penalty fees. Usually I like to save 25% of my income for taxes. I don’t like any surprises and usually 25% is enough to cover.
If I take taxes into consideration I am then left over with $9,599.62.
Can I Make Money Blogging If I Don’t Talk About How To Blog?
This question is asked SO OFTEN! Here’s the thing, if you are reading blog income reports you might think that you can only make money blogging if you talk about how to blog. The reason why you might think this is because a beauty, lifestyle, fashion, craft blogger, etc. isn’t sharing their blog income report.
This is something that a lot of bloggers who DO teach how to blog talk about because it fits their niche. That doesn’t mean you can’t make money blogging about fashion, food or something else. Learn how to monetize your blog and implement those methods to fit your niche.
For example, when I talk about my affiliate income a lot of the products I mention have to do with blogging because that’s my niche on this blog that I focus most of my attention on. Find affiliate programs that relate to your niche and you can make money from them too.
I know food bloggers who make thousands a month just from ADs because they have a large audience. I also know fashion and beauty bloggers that have $10,000 months just from sponsorships with brands.
My point is, these niches don’t openly talk about their income in income reports which is why it’s easy to think you can’t make money blogging unless you talk about blogging. I promise that’s not the case. Cut that negative mindset out and start focusing on income streams that work with your niche. Continue to learn how to market your content so you can grow an engaged audience that wants to buy what you are recommending.
How Long Does It Take To Make Money Blogging?
The answer to this question varies. There is no set time line on when you should be making money as a blogger. Some bloggers make a full time income the first year while others it might take 5 years. It truly depends on how dedicated you are, if you are actually implementing what you learn, and how you connect with your audience.
I had my first $1,200 month 6 months into my journey. My first full year as a blogger I made about $40,000. I talk about this in my first ever income report here.
Don’t get discouraged if the income doesn’t come right away. Focusing on making money blogging is great BUT, it can easily burn you out. Just keep putting your best foot forward and remember why you started your blog in the first place.
It took me about 2 years to feel comfortable enough to quit my job and pursue blogging full time. It also took me 3 years to have my first 5 figure month as a blogger. Keep in mind I also had no previous experience beforehand. I started my first blog as a college dropout who waitressed tables full time. I knew nothing about marketing and taught myself along the way. Anything is possible. You don’t need to have a marketing degree to make money online.
Now let’s break down where my income came from.
How Do I Make 5 Figures Monthly Blogging?
I have ads on both of my blogs and in August I got paid for ads from the month of May. This amount was a whopping total of $600.02.
This was one of my weaker months when it comes to ads. The RPM was still low due to COVID-19 and my blog traffic had dropped slightly as we shifted into summer months. It’s still income so I can’t complain. For reference I use Mediavine ads on both of my blogs.
2. Affiliate Marketing
The next source of income is affiliate sales. Whenever someone made a purchase via my affiliate link I would receive a small commission from that sale. Some commissions are higher than others but, it definitely adds up! In August I made $2,229.09 from affiliate marketing.
Here are the programs that I received affiliate income for:
- Siteground – My hosting company that I love
- Pixi Stock – this is one of the stock photo memberships I use and absolutely love.
- Legal Bundle – This is a legal templates bundle that I use and always recommend to make sure you are protecting your blog with privacy, disclosure policies, etc.
- Amazon – I use amazon a lot on my lifestyle blog. The commission is a lot smaller, keep that in mind.
- Share A Sale – There’s a few affiliate programs I am a part of on Share A Sale. A great affiliate network to check out!
- Keysearch – This is a keyword research tool that I use and love.
- HerPaperRoute Courses
- Blogger ToolKit that my course was a part of this month.
- Stupid Simple SEO – A huge investment but, this course is a game changer for anyone who needs to learn SEO. I bought it back in the beginning of the year and there’s SO MUCH info packed in this course.
These are most of the affiliate programs that I earned with in August.
3. Pinterest Managing Clients
If you didn’t already know, Pinterest is “my thing.” I focus heavily on Pinterest marketing and I find it to be a lot of fun. Since I know how to market content on Pinterest and grow blog traffic doing so, I offer Pinterest managing services. A lot of my clients have been with me for a while now.
In August I made $2,425.70 managing my clients’ Pinterest accounts. If you enjoy Pinterest marketing then this is a service you can offer to make money each month too. You can also learn Pinterest marketing here and offer Pinterest managing as a service once you know how to do so.
Offering a service that is related to your niche can be helpful. Maybe you talk a lot about mindset and personal development on your blog, you can offer mindset coaching. Perhaps you blog about health and fitness, you can offer fitness & wellness coaching.
It’s really important that whatever service you offer, you know how to do it properly.
4. Digital Products
The last way I made income blogging in August was through selling my own digital products. This was by far my most profitable source of income this month. I made $7,544.68 from selling my own digital products.
I currently sell 3 products:
- My Pinterest with Ell course which is my number one selling digital product.
- My Mastering Sales with Ell course
- Pinterest templates
I sold $513.13 worth of Pinterest templates in August and the rest of my digital sales income came from selling my Pinterest course and a few sales of my Mastering Sales with Ell course.
What Did I Do Differently This Month?
I added my Pinterest templates in July which helped boost my income a bit. Not by too much but, it definitely helped! I personally love having digital products to sell because most of the time you only need to create the product once and then you can sell it on autopilot! It’s a great source of passive income.
If you aren’t sure how to create and launch a digital product you can check out this post. If you struggle to make digital product sales I have a post here that shares a few reasons why that might be. You might also want to take your digital product selling to the next level and this affordable course will help you do so.
I also changed my affiliates’ commission. Instead of my affiliates’ earning 30% of each sale when they sell my courses, they now get 50% of each sale. I think this made my affiliates more likely to want to promote my courses. Just being honest.
I also have an affiliate program for my Pinterest templates. You can sign up here and get 30% of each sale.
My blog traffic stayed the same for the most part. Usually in the fall/winter months I get over 100,000 monthly blog views. In the summer my blog traffic is around 80,000 – 100,000 monthly blog views.
I made sure to promote my course on all platforms. When it comes to selling your products you need to talk about them. You can’t just “hope” someone will find out about your product. Don’t be afraid to talk about your product and MARKET it.
Lastly, I have been focusing on my blog income goals a lot more than usual. I have a post here about how I set and achieve my blog income goals that might help you.
How Much Are My Monthly Blog Expenses?
I might have made over $12,000 blogging in August BUT, I do have monthly blog expenses. When I first started my blog I had a mindset of “I am not spending money until my blog makes me money.”
Well, that mindset was extremely limiting and didn’t get me very far. Once I started to invest in my blog that’s when I noticed my income increase. I’m not saying go out and throw thousands of dollars into your blog. Instead, make smart investments. I also can’t stress this enough, when you invest in a product especially, a course… IMPLEMENT WHAT YOU LEARN.
I find a lot of bloggers will buy courses and never read or watch the course in full. They also will take what they learn and do nothing with it. That’s a waste of money. Make sure you implement what you learn and take your learning seriously.
When it comes to learning how to blog and monetize I also recommend learning from 2-3 bloggers whom you truly trust. There are so many ways to make money online and it can quickly become overwhelming if you are trying to learn from multiple sources. It’s less stressful if you pick a few bloggers that you trust and implement what they teach and go from there.
Here are all of my monthly blog expenses from August.
Site speed with Renee – $150
My blogs were extremely slow. I had a GTMetrix score of LITERALLY – F. Renee was awesome to work with and she took my score up to As and Bs with a loading time of under 5 seconds. It used to be 27 seconds. This is great considering I also have ads on my blog! I definitely suggest checking her out if you struggle with site speed.
Domain – I usually pay this annually so I took the annual price and broke it down. It would be about $6.60 a month for both of my websites.
Siteground Hosting – I also pay for hosting annually for both of my websites and if I break that down it comes to about $25 a month for each, equalling $50 a month.
Haute Stock – This is a stock photo membership site that I use and pay $99 quarterly which equals $33 a month.
Ivory Mix – Another stock photo membership site I use which I pay $24 every 2 months for which equals $12 a month.
Pixi Stock – As you can tell, I have a lot of stock photo memberships. They are essential to my business and blog. Pixi Stock is one of my favorites and I pay $197 annually which equals $16.4o a month.
Styled Stock Society – Lastly for my stock photo memberships is Styled Stock Society which is $75 quarterly and equals $25 a month.
Tailwind – This is my favorite Pinterest scheduling tool. I use this for both of my websites and it costs me $240 yearly so, $20 a month.
Cloudflare – I purchased Cloudflare through my hosting this month to help speed up my website and that costs $14.95 a month.
Send owl – This is what I use to sell my Pinterest templates. It’s super easy to use! Costs $15 a month.
Mailerlite – I use Mailerlite for my email list builder. I currently pay $25 monthly. The first 1,000 subscribers are free and then prices go up from there. I love how easy it is to customize and send out emails to your subscribers.
Podbean – This is what I use to host my podcast. It’s $14 a month. I am hoping to create more podcast episodes again soon!
Canva – I pay $12.95 a month for Canva Pro and I absolutely love it!
Health Insurance – Something a lot of full time bloggers won’t tell you is that you need to get health insurance since you no longer have a job that offers it to you. This is a hefty monthly bill for me. My health insurance costs $328.75 a month.
P.O Box – You need a mailing address in order to do email marketing. I invested in a P.O Box instead of using my home address. It’s $8.99 a month.
Teachable – I host my 2 courses using Teachable and the fee I pay currently is $39 a month.
ADs – A lot of full time bloggers invest a good chunk of money into social media ads. I personally HATE paying for ads but this month I did spend $47.88 testing out some Ads on Instagram and Pinterest.
Keysearch – This is the keyword research tool I use and absolutely love which costs $17 a month.
This brings my monthly expenses to $836.52. The great thing about blog expenses is that you can claim them during tax season. It’s important to track your monthly expenses for this reason.
Additional things you can claim come tax season
- Affiliate fees – if you have affiliates for your courses/products you can claim any income you paid your affiliates.
- Transaction fees – I use PayPal business which takes a fee every time I get paid via Paypal. I also can claim the fees that Teachable takes out from each course sale. Sendowl takes a small fee as well that I claim.
Total blog income after expenses and taxes = $8,763.10
I hope you find this post helpful and motivating! REMEMBER, I was once sitting there reading how bloggers made 5 figures a month and I didn’t believe it could happen to me. If you are feeling the same way, know that it CAN happen. Shift your mindset, be patient, continue to work hard and celebrate all of your wins both big and small!
Before you go, you can check out this step by step post on 6 different ways to make money as a blogger.
Previous Related Income Report Blog Posts
- How much money I made my first year blogging
- 2020 Quarter 1 blog income report
- How I tripled my monthly blog income
- How I set and achieve my monthly blog income goals
Thank you for the full disclosure. This is really inspiring to new bloggers like me. Its motivating to work harder
So glad to hear this! Thank you so much!
I was originally planning to read this tomorrow but when I got your email, I couldn’t resist. Wow, Ell. I like reading blog income reports because they are so motivating, but yours is just so detailed and honest. I really appreciate your honesty. I come away feeling so motivated & inspired! I also wasn’t aware of some of the deductions you mentioned, so thank you for adding that. I have bookmarked this post for future reference, too! I can’t wait to invest in some of these stock photos memberships pretty soon!
It makes me so happy that you’re doing so well with your blog! I can’t wait to have these results too! <3
Thank you so much Gabby! That means a lot to me. It’s been quite the journey but it seriously pays off to keep going! You have been crushing it so far so keep up the good work 🙂 I also think you will love those stock photo memberships!
Thanks Ellie, this has been really helpful
So glad you found it helpful!
Awesome post, Ell! Your income reports are always detailed and helpful. Thanks for being so honest and transparent! 🙂
Thank you so much! I really appreciate that 🙂
This is one of the most honest and transparent incime reports I’ve read so far. Thanks for sharing! It’s truly a motivation for me as a beginner blogger!
Thank you so much! That means a lot to me!
Thank you for putting so much thought and detail into this income reports, especially including things like monthly expenses and taxes. I remember coming across your blog about two years ago and it’s so cool to see how you’re growing! I’ve been inconsistent with my blog, but I’m putting more effort into it again. Blogging is a tough game mentally when you don’t see the results you want when you want them, and advice to keep moving forward anyway is encouraging. Thanks again!
Thank you so much Joy! That means a lot to me! It’s been quite the journey and your support means the world to me. Blogging really is a tough game but, don’t give up! I believe in you 🙂
Christina Henry says
You are a inspiration Elle. Well done
Thank you so much Christina!
Macy Sarbacker says
I love reading your income reports! They are so inspring! Thank you for always being so detailed and honest!!
So happy to hear this! Thank you so much Macy!
Mylene I Be Empowered says
Very inspiring Post. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much!
Randy Withers says
I just happened upon your website and am really impressed with it. I found it on Pinterest, so I’m guessing you know what you’re doing! Your income reports are inspiring to say the least. I wish you much more success!
Thank you so much Randy!
Regards for all your efforts that you have put in this.
Very interesting info.
This piece of writing is genuinely a nice one it assists
new web viewers, who are wishing for blogging.
Thanks so much!
very inspirational. i hope this is me one day!!
Thank you so much! It definitely can be!
This is a very motivational post! I like that you say that it’s weird seeing people claim they earn 6 figures their first year blogging. Of course, it may be possible, but definitely not the case for the majority of bloggers.
Thank you so much! 💗
This is such an inspiring post and I think you are allowed to brag about your earnings.
It takes a lot to get to that point where you earn five and six figures from your blogging efforts.
I also use Pinterest, but unfortunately, Pinterest blocked my other URL.
Keep being real. You are one of the people that inspired me to keep at it when I hit that roadblock with Pinterest and saw my traffic plummet.
Thank you so much Natalie! This means a lot to me!