Why is it that so many of the people I talk to about blogging still insist on looking down their noses at me and cocking their heads to one side as if to say “Oh, how cute! Another blogger. But really…what’s your real job?”
Haters, they be hatin’
But blogging isn’t “just a hobby.” For many of us, blogging is our chosen career path–and yes, I just used blogging and career in the same sentence.
I’m convinced that making a full-time income from blogging is accessible to anyone who wants it, and that’s exactly what I’m trying to demonstrate by going out and doing it myself.
But if I hadn’t read blogging income reports like the ones below, I might not have believed I could. I appreciate the bloggers who open up their finances for all to see because they show me what’s possible and inspire me not to give up.
Still don’t believe me that blogging is more than “just a hobby?”
These 10 income reports will prove it once and for all.Blogging's not just a hobby...and these income reports prove it #makemoneyblogging Click To Tweet
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10 Blogging Income Reports Worth Reading
1. Millennial Boss
Millennial Boss makes her side income in a variety of ways, and loves her blogging income in particular because it’s largely passive.
I like this income report because it’s easy for beginner bloggers to imagine themselves reaching this point and gives some great ideas for how to get there.
2. Well Kept Wallet
Deacon writes blogging income reports to inspire others and show them how they, too, can make money blogging.
I love that he breaks down his income streams so it’s easy to see exactly how he’s earning from month to month and what’s working the best.
It also highlights the value of diversifying. Some of his top income sources include native advertising, Google Adsense, and affiliates.
3. The Budget Mom
Kumiko’s income reports are particularly interesting because she uses a strategy most other bloggers don’t–she sells her own physical products. Furthermore, she doesn’t use display ads.
Due to her designations as a finance professional, her blog monetization options are limited, yet she proves that those obstacles won’t stand in her way.
Even though she considers her blog a side hustle for the time being, there is real potential for a comfortable full-time income here.
4. Believe in a Budget
I like Kristin’s blogging income reports because you can see her whole monetization journey starting from January 2015, when her blog earned her roughly $60. In just 15 months, she was able to dramatically grow those earnings through ads, affiliate sales, ebook sales, and sponsored content.
She also began freelancing as a Pinterest manager and creating Pinterest graphics for busy bloggers. (Sound familiar? This was my exact monetization strategy for nearly two years.)
Digital Nomad Wannabe
Sharon Gourlay has multiple blogs and writes prolifically on how to earn money online.
Her first blog, however, was dedicated to travel, and I wanted to include at least one travel site in this list for my fellow travel bloggers (I had trouble finding them–apparently travel blog income reports are fairly scant around the web).
The income report below, which shows earnings for her family travel site WheresSharon.com, is fascinating because Sharon admits she didn’t work on the site much during 2016 and was still earning a decent amount of money from it.
HELLOOOO PASSIVE INCOME.
So, how does she do it? Sharon focuses much of her time and energy on optimizing posts for search engines and strategically creating content to generate affiliate sales. This helps explain why affiliate marketing is her top income stream month after month.
5. The Busy Budgeter
Rosemarie Groner began posting her blogging income reports because she says reading other bloggers’ income reports had provided her with so much value and inspiration that she wanted to pay it forward.
She has relied on three major income streams including sponsored content, ad networks, and affiliate sales.
Her chosen ad network is AdThrive, which has one of the highest page view requirements I know of (100,000/month before you can join). The good news is, the Mediavine publisher network has a requirement of only 30,000 monthly page views and brings in a similar RPM (rate per 1,000 impressions). The latter is what I personally use.
She’s also an open book about what didn’t work each month so you can learn from her mistakes.
6. Chasing Foxes
Silas and Grace are living proof that sometimes, it’s best not to listen to the naysayers. When they first started blogging, everyone around them said they’d need at least a year to start making any real money. So what did they do? Proved them dead wrong.
By their eighth month of blogging–hold on to your hats–they had reached 1.4 million page views and were making nearly $20,000 a month. WHAAAT?!
They blog about a wide range of lifestyle topics with broad appeal, which is something most blogging “gurus” warn against. What’s even more interesting is that they have just a handful of income streams (three, to be exact). But hey, if it ain’t broke…
If you want some powerful secrets to blogging success, you need to read these guys’ income reports.
7. Create and Go
Create and Go is a blog written by Alex and Lauren, the power couple also responsible for the wildly popular fitness site Avocadu.
Their blogging income reports on Create and Go are all about how they’ve monetized Avocadu, which I appreciate–they’re not writing a blog about blogging and then telling everyone how to monetize a blogging blog–they have real experience from running a niche site.
Plus, they really dig into what they did right and wrong each month, so you’re bound to learn a TON about the business side of blogging when you read these posts.
Alex and Lauren make the majority of their money through product sales. You’ll also notice that they have much higher expenses than many other bloggers; they spend money to make money, and it works.
8. Pinch of Yum
Pinch of Yum, as you might expect, is a food blog. And a seriously impressive one at that. In November, the site (run by Lindsay and Bjork, a dynamic husband-and-wife team living in Minnesota) saw a whopping 4.2 million page views.
Their ultra-informative income reports are great because they show you a detailed traffic report alongside their earnings. And because recipes are such a hot item on Pinterest, I expected the majority of their traffic to be from Pinterest but nope, the overwhelming majority comes from good ol’ organic Google searches.
With a team of people working to run this site, their expenses are significant, but they still bring home a pretty penny every month–click on over and see for yourself!
9. Making Sense of Cents
Many of you are probably familiar with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner by now. I had the pleasure of interviewing her about her location independent RV lifestyle, and I’m always raving about how her amazing affiliate marketing course helped me earn enough that I could begin blogging full-time.
Her site is primarily about personal finance but she often sings the praises of travel and a location independent lifestyle, too–in other words, she’s my kinda girl.
But on to her blogging income reports–they’re detailed, informative, and downright incredible. And because she’s been writing them for years, you can see just how far she’s come and what it took to get there.
The cause of her latest jump in income? The launch of her affiliate marketing course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
A Few Takeaways
So, what can we glean from the above income reports?
One thing we can clearly see is that there are as many ways to monetize a blog as there are bloggers to write them. Every path to blogging income success will look slightly different, and that’s okay.
Another common thread I’ve noticed among the blogs that are crazy successful? Pinterest.
Pinterest is a huge traffic driver for just about every blogger I know. It’s been a powerful tool for growing my own site’s traffic as well as turning readers into subscribers and eventually customers.
The other common thread among these and other successful money-making blogs? Value.
Bloggers who go from hobbyists to professionals are the ones who understand how to provide their readers with value, time and time again.
In fact, it was Chasing Foxes who introduced me to the concept of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). The large majority of readers aren’t coming to your site hoping to catch up on your life’s happenings. Before they ever click on your post, they want to know what they’re going to get out of the deal.
Especially if they’re coming from Google or Pinterest, they’re looking for the valuable info and they want it fast. My point here is, get to the point. Save your life updates for your die-hard fans and create the majority of your content with the new reader in mind.
Do you earn a blogging income? Would you ever create blogging income reports?