This is the first in a series of posts where I will show you what I earn from my blog on a month-to-month basis. The aim is not to brag but instead show you what income has been generated so that you can see the potential in starting a blog yourself.
As well as sharing my income I’m also going to use these series of posts to talk about what’s working on the blog, what’s not working, how much traffic the blog is getting and what my plans for the blog are going forward.
I believe anyone can start a blog like I have and earn money from it. I’m not overly educated, I didn’t go to university, and before September 2013 I had never written for anyone or on any platform.
What I did have though was the determination to keep working at the blog and learning not only from others but also learning from the mistakes I made along the way.
Below are screenshots from Google Analytics which show my blog traffic for the month of December, my top ten traffic sources and the top ten most read posts.
The traffic coming to the site was quite steady for the month but there was a spike just after Christmas on 28 December. Guessing there were a lot of people off work who were searching for money saving tips.
Looking at the details behind this spike, the bulk of people visiting came from Pinterest on that day so there could have been some big sharing on pictures happening.
Top ten traffic sources
The majority of people visiting the site are heading in from Pinterest, while people finding the site directly or putting a search term into Google were next on the list.
Top ten most viewed pages
Learning how to make money with your used toilet rolls continues to be a popular post this month. The home page was one of the biggest hitting pages and behind that, people were reading about unconventional ways to save money and finding out how to go to the cinema on the cheap.
Thoughts on traffic
In December 2014 the blog received 30,403 page views so to receive almost 82,000 page views in December 2015 is quite an improvement! That said, on closer inspection, you can see a large chunk of our traffic is currently for one post which has attracted a lot of attention on Pinterest.
Instead of being worried that it’s only one post driving so much traffic I’m excited to see the possibility of reproducing that on multiple posts.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve also seen our organic Google traffic grow quite substantially. For months we were lucky to receive 250 visits from Google per day but after adding a lot more valuable content to the site we’ve seen this double.
Although organic traffic is of course very much welcome, having someone subscribe to your newsletter, RSS or social media channels is to me much more valuable as you can connect to them directly.
This month has seen a gradual increase in followers across most of my different channels.
Here are my current subscriber numbers:
- Email – 3,313
- BlogLovin – 371
- Instagram – 6,607
- Facebook – 5,411
- Pinterest – 6,185
- Twitter – 7,550
- Google+ – 293
- YouTube – 1 (hello!)
So there are a total of 29,731 subscribers signed up over the different channels (and each one is just as important as the last so please remember to drop by to one of them and say hi sometime).
Monthly income for December – £2,893.95
For the month of December I earned £2,893.95. This is the money that I was physically paid, not invoiced. This amount is also before any tax or expenses are accounted for.
- Freelance Writing: £1,150.00
- Sponsored content: £975.00
- Affiliate Window: £467.68
- EBay Associates: £118.30
- Google AdSense: £115.31
- Tradedoubler: £67.66
Total income: £2,893.95
- MailChimp: £27.13
- MAXCDN: £26.56
- Facebook Advertising: £21.02
- SumoMe (List Builder): £13.47
- PicMonkey: £3.36
Total expenses: £91.54
Total income minus expenses: £2,802.41
Starting a blog of your own
If reading my income report has inspired you to start a blog of your own, head over and check out my step-by-step guide of starting a WordPress blog on Bluehost. Starting at just $3.49* per month for blog hosting you can set up and start creating your own income from blogging in minutes. Additionally, if you go through my Bluehost link and sign up to a minimum of 12 months hosting, you’ll also receive a free blog domain worth $13.
Starting your own self-hosted blog can seem complicated but if you follow my tutorial you shouldn’t have a problem. That said, if you do need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll by more than willing to help.
*If you’re in the UK you are able to take advantage of the stronger pound and pay even less!
Thoughts on December’s Income
Earning almost £3k in December is definitely an above average month for us and there are two reasons for this. Firstly I was waiting on an invoice which was paid for some freelance writing I had done over the course of a few months. Secondly I had a load of commissions confirmed from Affiliate Window which also meant quite a large payout from them.
One of the best ways a blogger can earn a consistent income from their site is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product or service on your blog and get paid a commission when someone clicks through and makes a purchase.
The majority of companies that have an online presence have an affiliate programme you can join, but instead of running it themselves they employ the services of an affiliate network such as Affiliate Window and Tradedoubler.
This month my main affiliate commissions have come from promoting Groupon, Everything5Pounds, eBay and Tesco.
Earning affiliate commissions is something I’m going to concentrate on increasing over the next few months. I’m still on a steep learning curve and because of this I believe there is massive scope for Skint Dad to increase this income stream.
Although not directly earned from my blog, freelance writing makes up a large part of my income most months, but without creating a blog initially I wouldn’t have been approached to undertake the writing in the first place.
Most recently I’ve been working with Mirror Online, Homeserve on their Ketchup blog and MoneyWise. By showcasing my writing skills on Skint Dad, it has automatically opened up the opportunity to write on other platforms and get paid for it.
Check out my freelance writing page which showcases some of my previous work.
Sponsored content (working with brands)
Once your blog becomes popular and starts attracting a decent following, it will open up the opportunity to work with brands who want their products or services in front of your readers.
I work with brands in a number of ways from promoting them on my social media networks, publishing sponsored content on Skint Dad and even taking part in round table sessions.
Most recently I’ve been working with NatWest and comparethemarket.com.
I currently have Google AdSense and Media.Net adverts running on my site. Having adverts such as these on your blog means you can start earning straight away without too much effort.
You can also sell space on your site for direct banner placements and this is something I hope to do in the coming months.
What’s been happening?
December was a quiet month in terms of writing for me as I wanted to try to have a bit of time off (especially over the festive period while the family were off school and work). Considering it was in December the year before that I got married, I also wanted to spend some more quiet time with my wife.
Having some time to really get my mind clear has let me have a strong focus on what Skint Dad will look like and how it will grow in 2016 so expect some exciting stuff this year!
I have a tendency to take on so many tasks at once that I end up getting none of them done. Because of this, every month I am going to set realistic goals to hold myself accountable and allow me to plan more effectively.
By setting goals not only will I have something to work towards but it will give me the motivation to improve. It will also allow me to have a look back at what happened in the previous month and see if I need to shift my focus to make things better or adjust the way I am working.
Some of the goals I set may get ticked off in the month but others may need some extra time to achieve.
Here is what I hope to achieve going forward.
- Change newsletter and be consistent – the newsletter was created in its current form in May of last year. In it I share things that aren’t included on the blog as well as some of the best content from the site and some special deals. It is well received but I still think there is plenty of room for improvement. My target going forward is to test different newsletter layouts. I am also conscious that I haven’t been overly consistent with when the newsletter is sent out so I will make sure that my time is managed more efficiently so it gets sent out each and every week.
- Business plan – it’s all about the planning! For Skint Dad to really grow, I need to make sure that the plans are fully in place. I know what direction Skint Dad is heading in and I know how I’m planning to get there but I want to get this down on paper.
- Reader survey – it’s about you as well! I want to ensure that I am creating the content that will help you the most. With this in mind I am putting together a reader survey that will be sent out via email and allow me to get a better understanding of want you really want from this site.
So that was my first of many income reports I will be sharing with you going forward. Hopefully, by doing so it will give you an idea of what can be achieved and earned through blogging.
Two years ago I would have never dreamed of writing a post like this but it just goes to show you what can be achieved through hard work.
Finally I want to ask you for some advice. I don’t confess to knowing everything about running a successful blog so if you think there is a way I can improve this site that I’m not already doing then please let me know.
If reading my income report has inspired you to start a blog of your own, head over and check out our step-by-step guide of starting a WordPress blog on Bluehost. Starting at just $3.49* per month for blog hosting you can set up and start creating your own income from blogging in minutes.
Additionally, if you go through my Bluehost link and sign up to a minimum of 12 months hosting, you’ll also receive a free blog domain worth $13.
Starting your own self-hosted blog can seem complicated but if you follow my tutorial you shouldn’t have a problem. That said, if you do need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll be more than willing to help.
*If you’re in the UK you are able to take advantage of the stronger pound and pay even less!
Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.