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If you’re new to Finsavvy Panda blog, you may be wondering what this blog income is about and why I publish these reports.
I was skeptical about the idea of making money online and thought it sounded too good to be true but I kept an open mind and tried it out myself, which I’m very glad I did!
My blog income reports are a true reflection of the journey and progress of a brand new blogger, me, who started with no experience – you’ll know that I’m not lying or exaggerating when you read through my blogging archive. I’m a very emotional and highly sensitive person so I wrote things that truly reflect how I felt and what I did as a beginner.
As a brand new blogger, I started with $0 to making my first $100 in a few months. After six months, I made my first $1,000 and within my first year of blogging, I exceeded my goal of earning $5,000 per month. Eventually, in my second year, I was able to earn over $100,000 a year with this small and personal blog, which really surprises me!
Quick story of how I earn a full-time income online with no experience
If you’re someone who feels trapped at a job you dislike or you’re unsure of what you want in life, then you and I have something in common.
I was very unhappy and I DREADED going to work every day. I did not want to see or interact with anyone and it was very hard to get through the day.
To make things worse, I’m an extremely introverted and quiet person who had to put on an extroverted mask at work just to not feel like an oddball, or in a worst-case scenario, get let go in times of a company restructuring because I didn’t “fit” in.
I hated my job so much (actually all the jobs I’ve ever had) to the point where I was desperate enough to save as much money as I could and look for different ways to earn a full-time income online.
Working another job for another company wasn’t going to solve the problem either because I knew that I wanted to work on my own terms without having to deal with gossip and political BS.
Just like you, I was looking for ways to earn extra cash so I could increase my savings and hopefully quit my job one day.
Within one year of starting this blog, I made it happen. I reached my goal of earning a full-time income as a full-time blogger from home and I left my job.
Whether you want to earn money from home as a stay-at-home mom, quit the job you hate, or just want to make extra on the side to help you pay off debt and increase your savings, I want to help you achieve your financial goals.
I’ll be honest. When I first started this blog, I was confused and didn’t know what my goal was.
I just thought of giving it a shot to see if I could earn an extra $100 to $500 a month. I was already working on other side hustles to distract me from going nuts at work. 🙂
That’s why I started this blog income report series to keep track of my blogging journey and to show you that earning a full-time income online from home is possible.
It’s my way to have fun testing, experimenting, and sharing live with you on what worked and what didn’t work.
I’m very happy with my blogging progress and I would love to help beginners like you!
How to start a profitable blog: Many readers e-mailed me and asked me what I did to get the results I get. To help you, I created this FREE 7-day e-mail course that teaches you how to start your blog without having to be an expert at what you blog about (even if you don’t know what to blog about)! There has been a lot of positive feedback from many readers so I highly encourage you to sign up for my free course below if you want to learn how to start a blog and make money.
December Blog Income Report
Welcome to my blog income report for December!
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!
The year 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, you’ll know that this blog wasn’t making much money during the first half of the year.
Things only started to pick up after I published my first blog income report in July 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.
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.
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 interest 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.
Related posts to show you making money with a blog is possible:
- Febuary 2019 Blog Income Report: $7,498.94
- January 2019 Blog Income Report: $6,790.93
- November 2018 Blog Income Report: $5,532.13
- October 2018 Blog Income Report: $4,798.01
- September 2018 Blog Income Report: $4,509.50
- August 2018 Blog Income Report: $2,797.64
- July 2018 Blog Income Report: $703.57
If you like the idea of making an extra $1,000+ per month or even turning it into a full-time income, you can start your blog for cheap with my easy step-by-step tutorial. There’s also a low-pricing offer exclusive to through my tutorial when you sign up. On top of getting the low price deal, you’ll receive a free website domain name for the first year (a $15 value) when you purchase, at least, 12 months of blog hosting.
So many people asked me if you can making money blogging without going self-hosted. In other words, can you make money by signing up for a free blog.
I NEVER recommend you going towards the “free blogging” route. Instead, I always highly recommend investing in the basic hosting plan with Bluehost, which is exactly what I did as a brand new blogger, because 1) it’s very affordable to get started and 2) your blog will look more professional, welcoming and polished. Many blogging experts always emphasize that these factors will definitely help your blog make money!
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 this month.
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 for 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 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…
Tailwind scheduling and sharing on Tailwind Tribes, maybe?
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 this year.
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 decided to start learning how to use Pinterest several months ago.
I wasn’t expecting much (overall, it felt like I had almost given up on Pinterest), but within 2-3 months of implementing winning Pinterest strategies, everything changed!
I started with 0 traffic and this increased to 15,000 to 18,000 monthly pageviews after I created a Pinterset business account to promote my content. This is free to sign up for and use.
After this, my traffic increased from roughly 18,000 to over 40,000 page views per month after I got serious and focused my efforts on Pinterest. I was super ecstatic because I got accepted into Mediavine and now I’m able to make over $1,500 USD per month from just 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 – no one will know the exact secrets or how the algorithms work unless they are insiders!
I believe that being successful with Pinterest starts with investing in one or two Pinterest resources and putting your time and effort learning from someone who’s experienced with the platform.
This is just me speaking the honest truth. No one is a true “Pinterest guru” but you can check out the Pinterest resources I use and trust on my recommendation page. This definitely helped my blog generate over 100,000 monthly pageviews.
My blog traffic results after implementing Pinterest strategies:
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:
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. 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. Mediavine income report: the steep drop in ad revenue!
During the last week of December (post-Christmas), I saw that my Mediavine 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).
I learned that it’s normal for ad revenue to drop post-Christmas or during holiday and seasons.
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 temporary. 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 next month 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:
How much do you make from Mediavine?
Many readers generally ask me how much can you make with Mediavine, and how many pageviews are required to be qualified.
From what I learned, every blogger is different and it really depends on a lot of factors.
I’ve been a Mediavine publisher since August of this year, and so far, I’ve been earning over about $1,300 to $1,800 USD per month with less than 100,000 page views (roughly 75,000 sessions).
I honestly love Mediavine because of its exceptional support! I would 100% recommend them to any blogger!
How many pageviews do I need for Mediavine?
To answer your question, according to the Mediavine Application Requirements, Mediavine will require 25,000 sessions a month (usually around 30,000 pageviews), based on your Google Analytics.
UPDATE: Since June 2020, Mediavine has updated their requirements to 50,000 monthly sessions which is roughly 60,000 monthly pageviews.
I know many of you also asked me how long it takes to reach that many page views. I have to say again that it’s different for everyone. I’ve seen bloggers who say they’ve got accepted in less than 5 months of starting their blogs whereas some say it took them over 1 year.
Based on my own personal experience, it took me about 8 to 9 months of blogging before I was able to see results with my traffic. You can read more about this in my first blog income report when I was several months into my blogging journey.
Anyway, I know you’re here because you’re curious about the breakdown of my total earnings.
Let’s talk about my blog income for December…
December Blog Income
In December, 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
Money-saving resources (Checkout 51, Drop, Ebates, $5 Meal Plan, survey companies, etc.) – $3,188.88
Amazon – $63.33 USD ($84.24 CAD)
Blue Host – $425 USD ($565.25 CAD)
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – $320.40 USD ($426.13 CAD)
Pinterest ebook – $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 $1 million per year with her online business and one of her best selling courses is her affiliate marketing resource.
This is one of the BEST investments I made on my blog this year!
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 affiliate marketing strategies.
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 which you can read about my affiliate marketing results and review about it here. Many of my readers and followers who are beginners have thanked me for recommending this product to them which I am really happy about! They also said that they had no idea that you could make money online with this type of strategy.
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!
MY FREE GIFT TO YOU: If you decide to purchase this course using my link, send me an e-mail at [email protected] with a screenshot of your purchase and I’ll send you my Affiliate Marketing printable binder for FREE! Many people have e-mailed me and told me that my binder has helped them organize their affiliate strategies to reach their blog income goals. 🙂
Here are some quick screenshots for proof that implementing affiliate marketing strategies do work…
Total display advertising with Mediavine income – $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 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 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!
FAQs About Blogging
Since I receive many questions from readers daily about how to start their blogs and make money from them, I’ve decided to answer some of those questions in this section to help you.
How many articles should I write every week to make money with my blog?
If you’re a beginner with no experience in blogging, I recommend aiming to write at least one article per week to establish a writing habit. You can increase your writing frequency as you become a faster writer.
While doing so, it’s also essential to identify the right keywords to ensure that people can find your content when searching. For beginners, I suggest using free tools like Google Keyword Planner or Keyword Surfer. Aim for long-tail keywords; these are less competitive and give you a better chance of ranking.
Should I start a college lifestyle blog for teenagers and young adults? What do you think of this idea?
Yes, I believe a lifestyle blog targeting teenagers, college students, and young adults is an excellent idea.
Such lifestyle blogs can thrive when you cover topics like dorm room decor, fashion, makeup, skincare, Halloween costumes, and gift ideas. These topics are particularly popular keyword searches among this demographic.
By consistently publishing content centered around college and young adult lifestyles, there’s potential to earn a full-time income through display ads. I personally run a lifestyle blog focused on a female audience. Based on my own experience, significant revenue can be generated from this demographic, especially if you target high-volume keywords in your blog posts.
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! 🙂
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