Income Report – How I Made $1167 Blogging in December 2017
- Started earning traffic driven affiliate sales
- Freelance writing really taking off after just 6 weeks
- Learnt a lot about the digital marketing landscape
I’ve been meaning to do an income report for such a long time. I think an income report is CRUCIAL for bloggers for a number of reasons.
Firstly, It’s incredibly motivating for myself to show you guys exactly what I’m earning while living the digital nomad lifestyle and running a lifestyle business.
Secondly, It’s a great driver for pushing myself to earn more money in January than I did in December, or more importantly balance my time better.
Finally, an income report gives you guys, my readers, a clear insight into exactly what I’m doing to make money online, how much money I’m making and a transparent view of exactly what’s possible.
I actually did my first income report on June’17 but this is my first report since then, feel free to check it out!
Looking Back on My Progress
December was an incredibly exciting month for me, it’s when I’ve really felt like I’m winning. November was the first month that I had started to earn any money while freelancing. I started late on in the month in November while I was still in New York and still managed to earn around $340.
$340 might not sound like a lot, but for me, that was one of my first milestones on my bucket-list. Make over $300 in a month freelancing, I was thrilled!
To then go into December and blow my predictions out of the water made me feel incredibly happy, and honestly a little surprised. In this post, I want to not only share with you guys what is possible and exactly how much money I am making, but I also want to share and debunk a few myths about freelancing.
Within this post, I’m going to share in a little more detail exactly how I work, how I got to this stage and how you can get started doing exactly the same.
This post may contain affiliate products which I recommend, at no extra cost to yourself. If you decide to purchase these products, it helps to support me and grow my income so I can keep bringing you better content for free!
Best Ways to Get Started
If you guys are reading this post and want to find out how you can start your own blog and start earning money, I have written a full guide on how to start your own blog which you can check out.
I’ve also written a comprehensive guide on ways to make money online and how to get your first freelance client in 48 hours. These guides give you tons of useful information on how you can get started with your own lifestyle business and start earning money online, either as a side-hustle or as a replacement for your day job.
Why My Income Report Will Be Different to Other Bloggers
Posting income reports is hugely beneficial for many bloggers, it’s why you see so many of them throughout the internet.
Why they are so beneficial is accountability. Publicly talking about your earnings means you’ll want to strive to better your financial position every month.
But the real reason why many bloggers do income reports is a hidden reason, a big secret in the community. Not many people will tell you that income reports sell really well.
By seeing bloggers making money, you decide to start and buy your own blog hosting, buy a course or even a product the blogger is offering to help you get the same results.
Your purchase = money in that blogger’s piggy bank.
In the industry, we call this – social proof.
Done in the right way, this is simply affiliate marketing, and I think affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to reward bloggers and allow them to keep putting out fantastic content. The thing that really annoys me though is that tons of bloggers are misleading their audience or just straight up lying; dick move bro.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Many bloggers are misleading about how easy it is making money, how quick they make it and how much money they make.” quote=”Many bloggers are misleading about how easy it is to make money, how quickly they can do it and also how much money they are making.” theme=”style3″]
No bullshit here – blogging is f*cking tough.
I may have only started freelancing work in the last 6 weeks but remember, I’ve been blogging for around 16 months, learning the skills, growing and developing myself. I tell you this for transparency, honesty but most importantly because I want you to succeed.
Breaking down This Report
To help you guys know exactly what I’m going to be covering in this guide I’m going to share with you, not just my income and outgoings but also the individual sources of each bit of income. I’ll share with you the projects I’ve undertaken, where those projects have taken me into earning more money and also what my costs have been for the last month I’ve spent in Thailand.
FYI – My first month in Thailand has been way more expensive than the average backpacker, involving lots of socializing, too much indulgence and a lot of fun. I have to say though, it was an incredible first month in Asia.
For January I will be spending most of my time in the north of Thailand, in Chiang Mai and Pai, and my costs will be a lot more reasonable I predict. Feel free to subscribe below to get January’s Income Report directly to your inbox.
One thing to remember for this report is I am only accounting for money I have actually been paid, lots of blogs online will talk about ‘income they’ve made in a month’ and are also including affiliate payments which they haven’t received yet.
On top of the money I have received for this month I also have $165 queued in my Bluehost account, but since I haven’t actually been paid that yet (it generally queues for around 30 days) I won’t be including that in my income reports.
TLDR; I’m only showing you money that I’ve actually been paid.
Ok, let’s jump right into it!
How I Made My First $1100 Blogging in a Month!
One thing that I attribute my success in December to is something very simple, a strategy that I’ve recently started adopting. It comes from the man, the legend Gary Vaynerchuck.
That strategy: Show the fuck up.
For months and I mean Months I had toyed with the idea of freelance writing, and in my article all about landing your first freelance client in 48 hours, I talk about the dawdling process I adopted. The big reason I’ve started earning a reasonable amount of money from my blog is: I’m taking action.
The end of November saw me start to get to work and In December I accelerated that growth even more.
Freelance Writing Income: $907
My Income from freelance writing this month was broken down into 3 different sources of income.
Freelance income #1: $536
In November I applied for a writing job through the Problogger job board to a digital marketing agency. The company is an SEO agency which takes on work from clients, creates topics and then gives the work out to writers who then write and produce that work.
In the industry, we call this SEO writing, and you can learn more about SEO writing in this post. The beauty of writing for this agency is they have very high, rigorous standards for writing. This has pushed me to write with a lot more detail, attention and care.
FYI – my grammar and proof-reading still sucks sometimes, sorry about that guys!
Completing work for them consists of writing 5 articles a week, of varying lengths, either 500/1000/1500/2000 word articles. Although 5 articles are the minimum, many writers complete much more than this, and they provide the writers with a pool of content and topics to write about, usually varying from 100 available articles to 500 articles in the queue at any one time.
Articles are paid at different levels:
- 500 word articles pay $16
- 1000 word articles pay $28
- 1500 word articles pay $38
- 2000 word articles pay $50
Although the price per article may not seem that high, once you start writing every day the time it takes to complete these articles can be heavily reduced. I worked out how long it took me to complete each article compared to how much I earned and on average I was writing at around $30-$35 per hour.
I worked out that for the amount of work I completed for them In December I spent around 4-6 hours per week on these articles. This was largely due to me being in ‘Holiday Mode’ for my first month in Thailand.
I predict in January I will be able to complete a much higher level of work for the agency and this will lead to higher earnings.
Freelance Income #2 – TSBMag: $108
TSBMag was the first freelance gig that I ever got. I first started writing for them in November and in December I was commissioned to complete an article a week for them.
I actually only managed to submit 3 articles due to a mess-up on my part at Christmas, which is why the income looks so low. TSBMag commissioned me to write one article a week of around 1000 words on everything to do with male dating.
The articles I write for them vary in topic and I get to select the topic myself such as:
- How to Fly Solo, Any Bar, Anywhere: 3 Steps to Going to a Bar Alone
- How to Quickly Build a Strong Relationship with Anyone
- The 5 Types of Tinder Pictures Guaranteed to Make Her Swipe Right
- Why Monogamous Relationships Are so 2017
TSB pays at the rate of $0.035 per word, which equates to around $35 per 1000 word, so slightly higher than what I would get writing for the SEO agency.
Speaking to the editor he advised me that after two or three months of writing they re-evaluate their writers and increase many to $0.040 per word and also increase the articles they write to twice a week.
One great thing that came out of writing for TSB and only after 4 weeks was the opportunity to write a much bigger, higher paid post, which leads us neatly into freelance income #3.
Freelance Income #3 – TSBMag Stand Alone Article: $263
I speak to the editor of TSB on a fairly regular basis when invoicing my work every week, and I enquired about other types of writing work that could be completed for him. A few weeks later he commissioned me to do a 2500 word article on a more niche topic around dating, paying me at a rate of $0.10 per word.
To put this in perspective, this meant that I would be paid over $250 for just the one article, almost 10x what I was getting paid for the regular articles. This article required a much more in-depth writing style, including research, links and covered a much broader scope of a specific topic.
What’s fantastic is that this doesn’t look like it’s going to be a one-off job either, as the editor has commissioned me to do a further 2500 word article this week. It goes to show that what may seem initially like not great paying jobs can evolve into some incredible writing opportunities.
This is only in my first 6 weeks of writing also, I can’t wait to see what kind of opportunities come my way in 12 months time!
Affiliate Sales: $260
My blog at Let’s Get Jobless has taken a bit of a step back in content being produced in December as I was focusing all my time and energy into freelance work, (and perhaps a few cocktails on the beach).
My main source of Affiliate income via my blog is through recommending my website hosting provider, Bluehost. Personally, I didn’t want to have lots of different affiliate products on my blog as I’m more interested right now in providing value with my blog and growing an audience.
One of the biggest contributors to this affiliate success, however, is I finally got around to writing an in-depth guide on starting your own blog. I called it ‘The Beginners Guide to Creating Your Own Kick-Ass Blog’. This is a full guide on how to get started with your own hosting and WordPress blog and can be done in under half an hour.
As my website grows I hope to help more people start their own blogs so they can learn the necessary skills to be successful online. Blogging has been the biggest contributor to my success and I’m 100% convinced it’s the reason that my writing is the standard it is today.
Outgoings and Costs
I’m going to break these outgoings into two sections; the first section will look at business costs that I have paid for in December that can be attributed to the blog, my freelancing business and whatever else I’ve been putting money towards for the website.
The second section I will cover off the costs of what I’ve spent in Thailand, I know many of you are interested in knowing how much you spend while travelling.
FYI – I’ve seen how much I’ve spent in Thailand so far and it’s way over budget, like WAY OVER BUDGET. I’ve actually managed to spend more in Thailand so far than I did in New York City, go figure…
Outgoings #1 – Related To my Business: $89
In terms of general outgoing costs for my business, I have very low monthly commitments as most of my products I pay for annually. This month I invested in Grammarly premium, I got it on a special offer for $71 for the year.
This grammar app keeps me in check while writing and also points out synonyms for overused words and when my sentence structure doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
I also invested in a logo for my jamieatkinsonfreelance.com site which I’ve yet to get going live, that cost me $18.
Outgoings #2 – Costs of living in Thailand In Dec: $1446
Oh my god, are you sitting down for this one? Although not quite as high as my costs for New York City which hit $1500 for a month, these costs are much higher than I anticipated for my first month in Thailand.
The good news? I’m now in the north where it’s not only cheaper, but I’m far away from the temptation of the beach, the beach bars and
tequila questionable drinking habits.
To give you guys a rundown of some of the biggest expenses by looking through my daily spending log, I can give you a rough breakdown of pricing.
Flights, buses and transport – $160
Miscellaneous expenses– $170
(including new years 4-day festival, replacement trousers and a ticket for the elephant sanctuary)
Accommodation costs – $430
Food/Fun/Drinks/other costs – $686
Obviously, this is living up Thailand to the fullest including going out drinking 16 times out of 31 days, that’s a lot! But hey, It’s the start of my holiday, go wild right?!
End Result: Income – Outgoings for Thailand = $279 Total Cost
To conclude, I’ve managed to earn enough from working around 6 hours a week to make an excessive month in Thailand only cost me $279.
I predict that this month I should be able to bring in enough money that I’m not eating into my savings. Overall for a month where I didn’t work all that much and lived life up to the max, I’m pretty happy with that result!
Goals for January
I’m going to set myself a few goals for the blog, I do these every month in my bullet journal but maybe making them public will help me strive to push to achieve those goals.
Goal #1: Begin Instagram 30-Day Challenge
Coming 16th January I’m throwing myself headfirst into the Instagram community and I’m going to document the whole process. I’m going to be figuring out what Instagram Influencers do to grow their following. I’m going to be interviewing and asking questions to people with bigger followings about what their process is for growing their following.
I’ll be trying out what works and what doesn’t work and sharing my findings with you guys. I’ll be getting others to join along in the process to share their results, getting everyone interacting within a big Facebook group.
I’ll also be putting a roundup post each week on this blog to share my biggest findings for the week and to share progress from people involved with the challenge.
The personal goal for Let’s Get Jobless is to double the page audience, so to go from 400 followers to 1000 followers by the end of the 30-day challenge. I’ll be encouraging everyone to get involved by sharing the hashtag #JoblessNation and sharing wins in the group and on the blog.
Make sure to sign up for the prompt below so I can keep you up to date with everything happening with the Instagram challenge.
Goal #2: Grow My Income in January to $1700
This seems like a tall order, especially considering how much time I’m going to be putting into the blog and content for Instagram, but if you don’t shoot for a big goal then you’re going to fall short. The plan is to freelance write for the SEO agency much more frequently and to put the time in to grow my income.
Goal #3: Begin Experimenting with Dropshipping by 31st Jan
I’ve long been interested in online marketplaces, and I want to this month look at setting up a Shopify dropshipping store and begin the process of failing and learning. I’m partnering up with a buddy back home so this gives me the motivation I need to really dig in and start working on this.
Where Are You up to in Your Blogging Journey?
I always love hearing from you guys in understanding where you are up to in your journey. Have you started blogging? Are you wanting to start? Are you already making money from your blog? Are you getting good views but don’t know how to monetise?
Let me know in the comments what stage you are at, and make sure to sign up below to join the 30-day Instagram challenge. I guarantee there will be incredible value shared amongst not just myself, but the community. I’ve already had so many people tell me they’re interested in being involved.