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Welcome to the FinanceSuperhero April 2017 Blog Income Report. In this post, I will be outlining exactly how I made money on my blog last month.
If you’re new to FinanceSuperhero, you may not realize this is the first income report I’ve ever published. And if you’re new to bloggers income reports in general, you may be scratching your head and wondering, “Is this really a thing?!”
Ever since I started earning money through my blog – a few cents and dollars here and there – I have had an ongoing internal debate with myself about whether or not I should post income reports. That’s one reason that this post was so hard for me to write!
On one hand, I’ve always felt that some (not all) income reports read a little bit like bragging (it is my sincere hope that nothing in this post will come across that way). But on the other hand, I’ve always admired the honest transparency of bloggers who post income reports and detail exactly what is working for them.
From reading others’ income reports, I have learned a lot about the ins-and-outs of how to blog for profit while still staying true to my beliefs and values as a blogger. After much reflection over the past several weeks, I decided in the middle of last month that it was time to pay it forward, so to speak, and share how I am earning money through my blog.
Moving forward, I plan to publish a monthly income report every month. To anyone wondering, “Why on Earth would anyone want to share their income publicly for all the world to see?“, I have 2 main reasons:
- First, my long-term goal is to begin earning enough money through FinanceSuperhero.com to replace my current teacher salary (and my wife’s salary, as well, not too long after). Just over a year ago, I had no idea that blogging could provide a viable living. Others’ income reports helped me see that it was possible. I hope that my reports will help others see the truth about blogging, as well.
- Second, I believe very strongly in the power of goals and accountability. These reports will be a very public way to hold myself accountable for working to grow and build my business. To be honest, it is scary and intimidating to be accountable to thousands of readers and blogger friends, but I know it will be good for me.
At this stage, I know I’m just reaching the tip of the iceberg as a blogger. Plenty of bloggers, even dozens in the personal finance niche, dwarf my monthly earnings every single day. This blog is still a small fish in a mighty large pond.
But to look up after one year of blogging and find that I am earning money is honestly exciting. I’m in no way special or unique, except perhaps for the fact that I didn’t give up during the tough times. I genuinely believe virtually anyone can start a money making blog with the right combination of passion, patience, and perseverance.
Related: How to Build a Blog and Get Noticed – a Comprehensive Guide
If you’ve been pondering making the leap yourself, please let me encourage you: now is the time to start your blog! As a FinanceSuperhero reader, you can start your blog with Bluehost for only $3.95 per month and receive a FREE domain for one full year (a $15 value). If you follow my step-by-step guide, you can have your new blog up and running in a matter of minutes. Once your blog is active, I’ll even walk you through the most important steps to take to write content that will get noticed and shared regularly!Click here to start your blog now!
How I Earned $1,070.40 Blogging Last Month
Each monthly income report on this blog will track all blog income on an accrual basis (i.e. income will be accounted for when it is earned, not necessarily when payment is received).
On to the details!
Monthly Page Views
April was the highest traffic month on FinanceSuperhero to date. As you can see in the graph from Google Analytics below, the blog received 51,208 unique page views for the month:
I have long maintained the opinion that page views can be a vanity metric, but I honestly value every reader who takes the time to visit FinanceSuperhero and spends a few minutes reading an article or two.
I attribute this growth in traffic to Pinterest. If you’re a blogger who is serious about growing your reach, you need to develop a Pinterest strategy NOW. My biggest regret as a blogger is that I ignored Pinterest for nearly my entire first year.
The secret to my Pinterest traffic is two-fold: joining high performing group boards and regularly pinning content to them using Board Booster. Thanks to Board Booster, I spend only a few minutes per day on Pinterest, yet my content is still seen by thousands of people each day. If you’re looking for a good tutorial or guide to getting started with Board Booster and Pinterest, I recommend checking out the video below from Rosemarie Groner, the mastermind behind The Busy Budgeter.
Board Booster Tutorial – Setting Up Your Group Boards
If you’re interested in taking your Pinterest game to the next level, Board Booster is a serious game-changer. If you sign-up using my link, you’ll get a $15 credit (and so will I!). If you have any questions on my strategy or how to use Pinterest or Board Booster, send me an email – I’d be happy to help you!
One of the biggest victories of last month, aside from earning extra money, was the growth of my subscriber list. Prior to April 1, I really didn’t pay much attention to my subscribers or put effort into reaching new subscribers.
During the month of April, I launched two campaigns to help readers Take Back Control of Life and Money. The first is a FREE guide titled “5 Keys to Taking Back Control of Your Life and Money.” The second is a FREE 10 page guide to improving your budget titled “The Money Values Toolkit.”
I use MailChimp and the FREE MailMunch plugin to offer these resources to readers. (You can receive one or both in your email inbox by filling out the forms above and below.)
All told, these two new free resources helped me connect with nearly 550 new subscribers to the blog in April. I plan to continue A/B testing these offers and may roll out a new offer sometime in May or early June based on the results.
As previously mentioned, I earned $1,070.40 through blogging in April. Below is a breakdown of how I earned this income.
If you’re newer to blogging, you may or may not have heard of affiliate marketing. Essentially, affiliate marketing is the process of earning commission by promoting products and services. Each time a purchase or sign-up occurs, an affiliate marketer receives a portion of the profits based on a negotiated agreement.
I only recommend products and services which I feel will genuinely help readers Take Back Control of Life and Money. In the past, I have turned down several opportunities to form affiliate partnerships simply because the product or service did not provide a high value.
That said, here is a breakdown of my affiliate income, sorted by partner:
ImpactRadius is one of my favorite affiliate programs. Currently, I’m partnering with them to help readers make extra money by driving for Uber and UberEATS.
FlexOffers is one of the most well-known affiliate programs for a reason. They offer great value, are a pleasure to work with, and have a great offering of affiliate programs for all niches.
If you’re a blogger, you should definitely sign-up with FlexOffers. You can click here to get started today.
I recently joined the iGain network after discovering that they offer high value survey opportunities for readers. There are many poor survey offers out there, but iGain offers many of the highest payouts for those who are interested in taking surveys.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to earn more than $200 per month by taking simple surveys in your free time, check out the post below:
The Best Survey Sites to Make an Extra $200+ Each Month
$5 Meal Plan: $7.50
Meal planning is a surprisingly simple key to maintaining a healthy grocery budget. $5 Meal Plan removes the hassle and frustration by doing the planning for you. I’m proud to recommend them because they offer a tremendous value at a very low monthly price of only $5.
Zaycon Fresh: $30.00
For most families, meat is the most expensive category in their grocery budget. Zaycon Fresh is on a mission to change that by offering farm-fresh meat at a fraction of the cost of your local grocery store. They work with local supplies to provide the highest quality meats directly to you while helping you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.You can sign-up for Zaycon Fresh and begin receiving offers in your area here.
If you are a blogger and would like to join the Zaycon program as an affiliate partner, you can sign-up here using my link.
Budgeting for Budget Haters: $28.50
My friend Adam Hagerman, CFP, has put together the best interactive course on budgeting I’ve ever seen. If you’ve tried everything and still can’t seem to create a budget that works for your family, I recommend checking out Adam’s course, Budgeting for Budget Haters. It even has a risk-free, money-back guarantee.
In the course, you’ll learn how to
- Gather the right information needed to create your budget
- Set smart financial goals and use them to avoid the debt/savings roller coaster
- Create an annual budget and plan like you’ve never planned before
- Budget for periodic expenses
- Budget for the fun stuff and incorporate guilt-free spending
- Budget with a variable income
- Prioritize debt repayment
- Use budgeting software (with on screen instructions!)
- Talk money with your honey
- Set up your budget so it requires low maintenance
Click here to sign-up for the Budgeting for Budget Haters course. You literally have nothing to lose! This is one of the few $98 investments that could change your life forever.
Total Affiliate Income: $197.95
I use two types of display advertising on FinanceSuperhero: Google Adsense and MyFinance. Both produce fairly unobtrusive ad blocks and do not seem to take away from the user experience. In fact, many readers seem to value the supplementary content provided by MyFinance based on the number of daily click-throughs.
Google Adsense: $323.54
Display Advertising Total: $379.09
Sponsored Posts and Mentions
Each month, I receive many requests for sponsored posts and turn down nearly every proposal. However, when a quality proposal comes along, I am always happy to provide value for readers.
Sponsored Posts/Mentions: $410.00
Odds and Ends
From time to time, I like to recommend products and apps to help people save money without doing anything extra beyond normal day-to-day life. Ibotta and Digit are two of those apps.
Ibotta is one of the best tools available to help families save money on groceries without clipping coupons. It coordinates with your local grocery store and learns your shopping habits, then provides money-saving offers. You can sign-up here.
Digit is an automated savings assistant designed to make saving money as easy as possible. They will be moving to offering a paid service soon, so I may not be recommending them in the future.
Odds and Ends Total: $83.00
When I started blogging, I had no idea that I would make over $1,000 after just one year blogging. It goes without saying that I would love to see my income trend upward, but as in all things in life, there are no guarantees. However, I am thrilled to be doing what I love – helping people gain control over their life and money – and earn an income at the same time.
Mrs. Picky Pincher saysMay 5, 2017 at 8:04 AM
Your site metrics are interesting! It looks like you’re doing a great job of pulling in new readers. That’s been my challenge lately, although I’m really pleased to have a majority of loyal readers on the metrics. But great job bringing in that blog income! That’s nothing to scoff at, my friend. 🙂
Hero saysMay 5, 2017 at 10:47 AM
Thanks, Mrs. Picky Pincher! The metrics are definitely unique. I’d like to see the bounce rate decrease significantly next month, but that’s a goal that’s pretty far down the list in terms of importance.
Francesca - From Pennies to Pounds saysMay 10, 2017 at 4:27 AM
Wow, you’re doing so well! I really need to work on a strategy for Pinterest. What affiliates do you use through FlexOffers?
Hero saysMay 10, 2017 at 8:03 AM
Thank you, Francesca! Pinterest has been a revelation over the past couple months. Facebook, on the other hand, is an area I need to improve on greatly.
So far, I’ve had the best conversions on FlexOffers with AirFareWatchdog, Esurance, Swagbucks, several different survey offers, and Lending Tree. Trim is a new affiliate that I think will perform well for me down the road, also. My affiliate strategy is still very much a work in progress, mostly because like most bloggers, I’m not willing to promote junky offers just to make a few dollars.
Mike saysMay 11, 2017 at 12:39 PM
Congrats…i need to up my Pinterest game too…i have ignored it…recommend any boards? Take care, Mike
Hero saysMay 11, 2017 at 12:42 PM
Thanks, Mike. My best advice would be to take a look at the boards I am pinning to and see how many you can get on yourself. I reached out to bloggers I already had developed relationships with to request addition to their boards to get my feet wet. It’s a good idea to get a feel for how Pinterest works before going after some of the bigger boards so you don’t accidentally break any rules and get kicked off the board.
I also can’t say enough great things about Rosemarie’s tutorial on BoardBooster. It is a huge time saver!
Ryan - JustAnotherDollar saysMay 25, 2017 at 4:30 PM
Awesome results! Thanks for taking the time to share both the income and info on your process. As we start to accumulate more and more content, having these resources to draw more readers will be a huge help. Keep up the great work and we’ll see you around!
Hero saysMay 25, 2017 at 6:33 PM
You are welcome, Ryan. Hang in there. Blogging is a truly rewarding experience all around when you stick with it. And you guys have a great blog!
Jaswinder Kaur saysJune 6, 2017 at 1:34 PM
Beautiful Blog and Rewards, I’m impressed from your hard work.
I knows with my own experience with being blogging for one year and almost seven months, I’m making around $1000 monthly with only Amazon Affiliate Links.
By seeing the Success of my Ease Bedding Dot Com Blog, now I started another Blog recently, where I can share my blogging experiences.
Thanks a lot for sharing your Experiences and Income Report.
Hero saysJune 7, 2017 at 9:56 AM
Thank you, Jaswinder. That’s an incredible sum with Amazon!
Mr. Atypical saysJune 12, 2017 at 11:59 PM
Thanks for your income report. It is refreshing to see one recent where you are making a reasonable amount compared to some of the ridiculously high amounts that the most popular bloggers bring in. I too am trying to create an income outside of a “real” job. Nice work so far. I look forward to following your progress.
When did you make your first income from your blog?
Hero saysJune 13, 2017 at 4:17 PM
Thanks, Mr. Atypical. I’m happy you found this post useful!
I agree that some of the income reports from high earners can be hard to relate to early on. Obviously, it would be great to earn that kind of income, but everyone starts somewhere — even the Rosemarie Groners and Pat Flynns started relatively small.
I think I made my first real income (other than a few cents here and there from Google Adsense) about six months into my blogging journey. It was affiliate income earned from a post about saving money on travel.