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December 2018 Blog Income Report
Welcome to my blog income report for December 2018!
I’m actually really nervous (and a bit hesitant) about publishing this post because of how personal it is!
Before we dive in, I want to say Happy New Year to you all!
2018 flew by extremely fast. In fact, it feels like the shortest (and fastest) year for me and I think it’s because I got really involved with my blog for the most part.
If you followed me since the beginning of my blogging journey (in November 2017), you’ll know that this blog wasn’t making much money during the first half of 2018.
Things only started to pick up after I published my first blog income report in July 2018 where I made $703.57.
I had put in a lot of effort, struggled pretty badly, faced A LOT of roadblocks, and failed a lot of the times within my first year of starting this blog from scratch with no prior experience! Just an FYI, there are still a lot of things I’m doing wrong without realizing.
As I always say…
Until today, I’m still struggling in different ways. I still feel no different from the newbie blogger who just started her blog. It’s just the same ol’ me who’s always learning and testing new things. Despite the struggles, I still appreciate the wins I’ve had since launching this blog.
Unless you’re an established blogger who has built a good amount of loyal and true followers, no matter where you are in your blogging journey, you’re probably always going to feel like you are struggling to a degree.
Not to mention, many bloggers including myself fear that we will wake up one day to see all our traffic and income vanish! This seriously crosses my mind all the time…
Well, despite those fears, the good, bad, ugly, whatever… we just gotta keep swimming and learn how to mitigate those risks going forward.
Pin this for later!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more information.
I quit my job!
The exciting news is that I finally left my job! At the same time, there’s also some really bad (and sad) news, which you can find out about if you continue reading.
I saved enough money (and feel grateful that I’m making just enough from the blog) to quit my job so that I could try it out full-time.
Over the last several months, I realized that I actually enjoy blogging and studying about them!
Having that said, there is really no point in me staying at my day job since my heart was no longer there.
Now, this ISN’T a post where I say: “Yay! I quit my job and now I’m off to the beach because my blog is making a full-time income on its own!” NOT.EVEN.CLOSE! I still consider myself a “beginner” and I’m nowhere near that!
Why did I quit my job?
My fiance and I had thoughts that life is too short and precious, so we decided for me to leave my day job to grow this blog and do other side hustles for extra income going forward.
He’s really happy that I started this blog over a year ago. Again, I want to say thank you to Eden from Mint Notion. She totally inspired me and changed my life within a year!
I’m also extremely happy that my fiance gave me that push and support to believe in this blog when I was afraid of publishing one of my first blog posts.
Despite our decent combined incomes from our day jobs, this extra money from the blog helped us tremendously with our financial position. It gave us the option for me to say bye to my job so that I could pursue other opportunities that truly interests me.
After seeing the results of this blog (along with the bad news below), my fiance is hoping he could help me with this blog or start his own one soon. Only time can tell so we’ll see what happens.
Either way, I can’t believe that my blogging journey has inspired him to do something different.
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On top of that, I want to say thank you SO much to those who support me through my affiliate links. Although most of my income doesn’t come from blogging-related content, it still helps keep this blog running! So really, THANK YOU! 😊
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Related posts to show you making money with a blog is possible:
July 2018 Blog Income Report: $703.57 (Perfect read for new bloggers or bloggers who are struggling)
Monthly passive income:
This is probably the first time I actually feel that my blog has been generating passive income (almost hands-off).
Other than publishing a few posts during the first two weeks, I barely did anything new to my blog in December 2018.
Now, I’m not saying that to make it sound like I didn’t do any work nor put in any effort.
I had so many exciting plans for December such as creating a free 7-day Master Your Money e-mail Course, a free blogging cheat sheet for my subscribers, optimizing my posts, and learning more about Google SEO.
Believe me, I was REALLY looking forward to starting these mini projects, but unfortunately, I didn’t.
I just couldn’t… and it’s not because of the jolly holidays (quite the opposite actually).
Here’s the bad news…
My fiance and I recently found out that his father is diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. My fiance took a lot of vacation days and had his father move in with us so that we could keep an eye on him. He was constantly in and out of the hospital and frequently feeling intense pain. It was hard to sleep at night because we were constantly worrying that something bad would happen. Overall, it was just a VERY emotional and stressful month.
For the very first time, it didn’t feel like a festive season to us.
I’m not expecting the upcoming month to improve either, but our family is going to remain strong. 🙁
Something like this can really affect a person emotionally and physically — the feeling and emotions are REAL and it’s a lot worse than one could imagine. It can really drain your energy and make you cry and lose sleep.
While being extremely devastated about the situation, I was also getting a bit worried (somewhere in the back of my head) that I wasn’t creating any new content or material for my blog for almost a month! Overall, there were a lot of thoughts going through my head.
Due to these unexpected circumstances, it was very hard for me to focus on this blog.
However, to distract myself from unhappy thoughts, I talked to my coworkers about the holiday, responded to my subscribers’ e-mails, wrote a couple of newsletters, and read a few feeds from Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Private Facebook group to gain some valuable insights about blogging.
I am trying to slowly get back to blogging (now that it will be my full-time), but I can’t see myself spending a lot of time on it for now. I WILL TRY my best though!
After all, I did quit my job to spend more time on this blog!
With all that said, that’s why I’m really shocked about the numbers for December…
I never expected this blog to make $6,804.00 for the month (almost entirely on its own)… I still don’t know how this happened…
Lucked out with higher traffic (somehow)?
A result of all my hard work from the earlier days (I’m guessing it’s more of this)?
Either way, I can’t expect my traffic or income to just magically increase if I don’t push out new content or come up with new ideas going forward. With all that’s going on with my family, it will be a challenge, but I really hope things go back to normal in the months ahead.
Traffic increased (again)!
In terms of blog traffic, I haven’t done anything differently since the summer of 2018.
I am pretty shocked that my page views hit 108,912 (84,811 sessions) for the month.
I’ve mentioned this before but I’ll mention it again…
It was spontaneous, also somewhat of a fluke, when I purchased Ana’s e-book, Making Pinterest Possible back in the spring/summer of 2018.
I wasn’t expecting much (overall, it felt like I had almost given up on Pinterest), but within 2-3 months of implementing these winning Pinterest strategies, everything changed!
🌟 My traffic increased from roughly 18,000 to over 40,000 page views per month in July 2018. I was super ecstatic because I got accepted into Mediavine. Thanks to Ana’s Pinterest tips, this is how I’m able to make over $1,500 USD per month from ads alone!
In the following months after the summer, my page views increased to ~80,000 and remained somewhat consistent.
Now, this is my very first time seeing my blog hit more than 100,000 page views in a month!
I get e-mails from many bloggers asking me what my secrets are. I honestly don’t have any secrets and I’m far from being any Pinterest expert!
To be blunt, I don’t think anyone really knows 100% either despite their claim to be Pinterest gurus! But whatever it is, I know that following the EXACT tips from Ana’s e-book, Making Pinterest Possible has been working well for me so far. This is me speaking the honest truth.
My blog traffic results after implementing Ana’s Pinterest strategies:
❤ Ana was sweet to provide me a special voucher for my readers. For a limited time, you can use the code, TSA5OFF, towards her e-book and get $5 off when you purchase her e-book here! The price is honestly very affordable and you get a TON of value from Ana’s resource!
On top of that, you get over $50 worth of FREE bonuses!
Tailwind schedule helped a lot!
Since I couldn’t attend to this blog for the month, I was lucky that I had scheduled a set of pins on Tailwind near the end of November, so I didn’t have to worry about having an empty queue for most of December.
I also did some manual pinning at random times to de-stress a bit. Pinning is a pretty mindless activity, so it helped me shift my mind away from sad thoughts.
To further distract myself and to keep my mind off things, I made some new pins yesterday and inputted them into the queue for the upcoming two weeks.
🌟 You can get a FREE Tailwind trial through my link and get a FREE $15 credit if you ever decide to purchase the Tailwind Plus plan.
A few blogging things I learned in December 2018:
Despite not being able to create new material for this blog and having to go through an emotional and stressful month, there are still a few things I learned.
1. Google algorithm update again.
In the previous months before December, I followed Mike’s tips from his SEO course and worked really hard to optimize my posts for Google.
I was seeing slow and steady results with my organic traffic. It wasn’t a lot but it was definitely improving! Along with that, my page rankings for many posts increased from around page 15 to page 3 and even at the top or middle of page 2. Some had even made it to page 1!
Suddenly, most of my rankings disappeared — I wasn’t even on page 15, 20, or 23! Everything just vanished after Google went through another algorithm change in December 2018. When I found out, I felt VERY hopeless and didn’t know how to react.
I really Idk what happened…
For now, I won’t be making any more changes because I’m not sure if I somehow got penalized for constantly making changes to my published posts almost all in one shot. I will just let it be and see how it goes in a few months… 🙁
2. The steep drop in ad revenue!
During the last week of December (post-Christmas), I saw that my RPM dropped from around $25 to $11. It was even as low as $7 for two days!!!
That means my daily ad earnings went from maybe $50-$70 per day down to about $25-$35 per day (despite having somewhat consistent sessions/page views as before).
Still, something just doesn’t seem right (other bloggers saw a drop but not as significant as mine), so I reached out to Mediavine and the team has been very supportive! They informed me that although they expect a drop after the holidays and into Q1, they said my earnings are lower than expected so they will get back to me ASAP once they find out what’s causing my steep drop. *I’m keeping my fingers crossed!*
If my RPM continues to be $7-$11, I may consider displaying very little ads or even taking them off completely. My settings are currently at high density and I just don’t think it’s worth it. I’m not sure what to do yet, but what do you think? 🙁
There’s definitely going to be a huge impact on my blog income for January 2019 if this continues. I’d be lying if I told you I’m not terrified about my earnings for next month.
At this rate, I’m not even expecting to make $700 from ads for the upcoming month. :'(
Here’s a screenshot of the steep drop in my RPM and earnings according to the blue line:
Anyway, I know you’re here because you’re curious about the breakdown of my earnings.
Let’s talk about my blog income for December 2018…
December 2018 Blog Income
In December 2018, I earned $6,840.01. Please note that this is in Canadian dollars before any expenses or fees. Payouts are before any expenses and occur 30-60 days.
In my past income reports, I’ve been a little conservative (i.e. understating my earnings just slightly) by using $1 USD=$1.28 CAD when I probably should’ve used $1 USD=$1.30 CAD since the exchange was around $1 USD=$1.33 CAD.
Today, the exchange rate is about $1 USD=$1.36 CAD (the U.S. dollar has been stronger which means it’s good for my blog income I guess, lol), so I will use $1 USD = $1.33 CAD to remain a bit conservative. Some affiliate programs convert automatically at the FX spot rate.
Affiliate income – $4,399.10
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you look at my affiliate earnings, I want to highlight that ALL earnings from affiliate networks such as FlexOffers, iGain, Impact Radius, MaxBounty, and Shareasale, etc. are 100% from money-saving tools, cash rewards, survey sites, work from home jobs, and money-making/cashback apps that I personally use and verified. There are OVER thousands of affiliate programs to partner up when you sign up for those networks. You just need to find the ones that fit your niche and audience.
I learned A TON about these affiliate networks and how to effectively increase my conversions via Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing e-course here. Her course is all about applying the right affiliate marketing strategies whether your blog is about DIY, home decor, travel, parenting, mommy blogs, money/finance, investing, technology, homemaking, productivity, etc.
$5 Meal Plan – $51 USD ($67.83 CAD)
Amazon – $63.33 USD ($84.24 CAD)
Caddle – $15
Checkout 51 – $35
Ebates – $200 USD ($266 CAD)
FlexOffers – $126.70 USD ($168.51 CAD)
iGain – $4.19
Impact Radius: $2,345
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – $320.40 USD ($426.13 CAD)
MaxBounty – $6.38
ShareASale – $211.25 USD ($280.96 CAD)
The She Approach – $134.60
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing e-Course:
Overall, my affiliate earnings increased for this month thanks to Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing e-Course! The course instructor consistently makes over $50,000 per month alone from affiliate marketing, so she definitely knows her stuff!
This is one of the BEST investments I made on my blog in 2018!
Initially, I wasn’t sure about purchasing Michelle’s course, but I’m really glad that I did!
This is my monthly blog income result (all from affiliate marketing and advertising display) after implementing Michelle’s winning affiliate strategies:
SALE ALERT: Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course is on sale for a limited time! Between Apr. 25 to Apr. 29, 2019, you can purchase the course here and apply coupon code APRIL2019SALE20OFF to get 20% off the course. This will make the course $157.60 after the discount. This special coupon only applies for the one-time payment option, not the monthly payment option.
When you purchase her course, you also get FREE access to 9 helpful bonuses. Here are a few of my personal favorites!
1. Access to the private Facebook Mastermind group ($250+ value).
I recently joined and I love it!
2. Free Group Coaching Sessions ($100+ value).
Ask Michelle your questions in the Facebook Master group and she will respond. This is opened two Saturdays a month.
3. How to Always Get Approved To An Affiliate Program
This is a great bonus that teaches you how to always get approved to an affiliate program!
👉 You can read here for the full list of high-quality bonuses that Michelle offers!
Some quick affiliate screenshots for proof…
Total display advertising – $2,440.91
Mediavine – $1,835.27 USD (~$2,440.91 CAD)
I think it’s important to invest money back into your blog if you’re serious about making money from it.
For this month, I didn’t incur any expenses. There are a few courses I’d like to finish before I invest in anything else. I’m nowhere near being done with the 2018 Genius Bloggers’ Toolkit!
I already paid for the Tailwind Unlimited Scheduler plus the additional Tailwind Tribes package sometime back in the summer, which I mentioned in one of the previous income reports. I like to do one-time charge expenses instead of breaking them into monthly payments.
Also, some readers will probably think I forgot to mention the Bluehost hosting plan, but I also charge that only once with a one-time payment.
Oh BTW, if you’re wondering… I’m still on my free trial with ConvertKit, so $0 expense for now. 🙂
I was able to get a FREE 2-month trial because it came as a bonus when I purchased the Genius Bloggers’ Toolkit a few months back.
You can read my October 2018 blog income report for a review of the toolkit — I really do believe it will bring new and intermediate bloggers a TON of value at a really great price (definitely not exaggerating)!
Blog income after expenses = $6,840.01
Thank you for reading this far. I really hope you learned something new today!
Before you bounce, I would like to leave you with some freebies that can help beginners grow their blogs. They are the awesome stuff that I use as well!
Dig in! 🙂
Free Blogging Resources to Boost Your Blog Income
1. Ana’s FREE blogging resources
As you already know, I love Ana’s tips and she gives AMAZING quality content all the time. She never fails to impress. If you’re tight on cash, she is offering some FREE tips to earn your first income here.
2. Lena’s FREE Traffic Resource
Grab her FREE Blog Bonus Traffic Guide e-book here. There are many different ways to increase your page views beyond Pinterest and that’s why I implemented Lena’s secret strategies to learn how she increased her page views from 17,000 to over 400,000 in 10 months.
3. Mike’s Stupid Simple SEO Strategies
You can enroll in Mike’s FREE 5-day SEO Bootcamp. You will see that his webpage mentions his paid course, which is currently closed, but you can still gain FREE access to his 5-day SEO Bootcamp at no charge!
I mentioned that learning SEO is my next step and so far, Mike is my favorite go-to person for tips. It’s literally stupid simple for beginners who don’t know anything about SEO! No fluff and no BS! If you’ve been relying 100% on Pinterest or any other social media for your traffic, then this freebie to boosting your long-term traffic with Google is perfect for you! Again, I want to say thanks to Alexis from Fitnancials for guiding me to Mike!
4. Tailwind Scheduler (FREE trial)
This Pinterest scheduler app has changed my life! I’ve been using Tailwind for many months and I see a huge improvement with my traffic! The app has some limitations and it’s not perfect, but it sure saves a ton of time because you can schedule your pins to pin throughout the day! Plus, it’s the only pinning scheduler available that most bloggers use. You can get a FREE one month trial plus a $15 credit with Tailwind by using my link here.
I don’t want to overwhelm you with too many blogging resources because I believe in quality over quantity. I’ve been blocking a lot of noise and just focusing on a few resources for help. As a result, all of this has helped me generate some blog income outside of my full-time job. It hasn’t been easy and it won’t be easy, but I believe you can do it when you stay focused on YOUR own goals. Again, don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Instead, be inspired and learn from them.
Readers, how has your blogging journey been? Do you share your blog income report? If you’re looking into starting a blog, don’t forget to sign up for my FREE 7-day course below where I provide you with valuable information! 🙂
Other Blog Income Reports:
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