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How Much Money Can You Make Blogging? A Detailed Income Report From 12 Months Of Travel Blogging


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One of the most popular areas of this site has always been my income reports. From the time I started earning income online until the end of 2015, I published detailed income reports of all aspects of my business.

I enjoyed doing this. I found it a valuable time of reflection and I know many readers enjoyed sharing my journey with me. It helped validate my message that it is possible to earn money online and that anyone can do it.

I would have loved to keep doing it regularly but it’s strange to have people in my day to day life know what I earn. It’s not something that is socially acceptable to talk about (in Australian society anyway) and I feel uncomfortable now that the numbers are big.

How much money can you make blogging?

When I surveyed my readers last year, many people responded how helpful they had found the income reports in getting their own business of the ground. This is fabulous! So I thought I would pop the lid one more time and tell you what I earned over the last year from my travel blog ONLY, wheressharon.com

How much money can you make blogging?

You only need to check out Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income to realise that it’s possible to make A LOT of income from blogging. The sky is the limit. It’s part of why I love working online on my own business as I know I am not going to hit any income limits.

Knowing how much regular bloggers make is much more difficult. Understandably, not many people share. And the ones that do aren’t always trustworthy.

 I can’t say how much can you make blogging, but I can say how much a blogger can make in my own experience.

Things to keep in mind

I actually haven’t worked much on my travel blog over the last year.

I had a baby at the start of June and I took 4 months off from that point. In the months leading up to that, I was in constant pain and unable to work much. Since returning to work in October, my focus has been on other aspects of my business although there would be a new post every week or two on my travel blog.

We did not travel much over this time.

I also work on this alone. Josh helps me with the occasional task but it is definitely my blog. We do not work on it together like many travel blogging couples. We tried for awhile when we were in Malaysia and it was the worst thing ever for our relationship. We won’t be doing that again!!

I don’t have a hugely well known blog. I get great traffic but I’ve never been in it for the fame. I feel uncomfortable marketing myself and you won’t see my blog name plastered everywhere.

I don’t say these things to show off. I want to illustrate how possible a passive income is for any blog and why you should try not to get caught up in the wrong things if you want a financially successful blog.

I hope it causes you to question some of your assumptions about blogging, what you need to do and how much you need to work.

You don’t have to be known by everyone or considered the authority in your niche to make good money. It frustrates me when I hear other bloggers saying this – and it’s usually only bloggers who consider themselves to be an authority and no doubt have a coaching program who like to perpetuate this myth.

You don’t need to spam everyone everywhere with your blog name. You don’t have to be on social media all the time. You don’t have to be constantly doing whatever it is your niche is about. You don’t have to be constantly publishing new content.

I also did have a sponsored hotel stay. We spent 4 nights in a resort hotel in Thailand with meals. I do not include this as earnings since I did not earn cash. We could do this far more often if we chose to which could potentially save us tens of thousands of dollars.

This is very popular among travel bloggers but I mostly avoid it. It’s often not a good return on my time and I find it ruins my travel experience a bit. I also think my travel blog is better because I am not compromised in this way. We used to do this a lot more often but thankfully we do have the luxury of being able to afford to pay for it now.

I point this out because, while it may not be income, it is another way you can receive value from your blog.

Anyway, let’s get started…

Income report Feb 2016-Jan 2017

Just to reiterate, this is for my travel blog ONLY. Not this blog, my other sites or related work.

February 2016

Advertising – $468

This is through Google AdSense.

Affiliate marketing – $6232

As a rough approximation, about half of my affiliate income is from hotel booking websites: HotelsCombined, Booking and Agoda. A third is from Amazon and the rest is a mixture of small ones like Wild Earth, eBay and Airbnb.

Sponsored posts – $0

To be clear, I NEVER sell a link on Where’s Sharon. It’s not worth the risk of losing all my other income to me. I only add nofollow links and I rarely do this anymore due to time constraints and preferring to concentrate on other things.

I could make a crazy amount of extra money if I was happy to do this. I get many requests a day for this service. However, it doesn’t align with my bigger goals for my business so I resist the temptation now that I can afford to avoid it.

ALERT: Click here to read my FREE guide to how to Make Money from Sponsored Posts

Related freelancing work – $0

This is writing work only directly related to my blog which I only have because of my blog (they want it to be by a blogger). Again, this is not something I like to spend time on anymore.

TOTAL – $6,700

March 2016

Advertising – $573

Affiliate marketing – $11512

Sponsored posts – $250

Related freelancing work – $300

TOTAL – $12,635

April 2016

Advertising – $589

Affiliate marketing – $11708

Sponsored posts – $300

Related freelancing work – $200

TOTAL – $12,797

May 2016

Advertising – $750

Affiliate marketing – $17032

Sponsored posts – $0

Related freelancing work – $0

TOTAL – $17,782

June 2016

I went on maternity leave from June 1 for 4 months

Advertising – $740

Affiliate marketing – $16899

Sponsored posts – $0

Related freelancing work – $0

TOTAL – $17,639

July 2016

Advertising – $677

Affiliate marketing – $11252

Sponsored posts – $0

Related freelancing work – $0

TOTAL – $11,929

August 2016

Advertising – $574

Affiliate marketing – $11538

Sponsored posts – $0

Related freelancing work – $0

TOTAL – $12,112

September 2016

Advertising – $569

Affiliate marketing – $8462

Sponsored posts – $0

Related freelancing work – $0

TOTAL – $9,031

October 2016

Advertising – $542

Affiliate marketing – $8027

Sponsored posts – $600

Related freelancing work – $400

TOTAL – $9, 569

November 2016

Advertising – $656

Affiliate marketing – $10736

Sponsored posts – $0

Related freelancing work – $100

TOTAL – $11,492

December 2016

Advertising – $704

Affiliate marketing – $14918

Sponsored posts – $0

Related freelancing work – $0

TOTAL – $15,622

January 2017

Advertising – $936

Affiliate marketing – $11712

Sponsored posts – $0

Related freelancing work – $100

TOTAL – $12,748

Summary

MonthAmount
Feb 2016$6700
March$12635
April$12797
May$17782
June$17639
July$11929
August$12112
September$9031
October$9569
November$11492
December$15622
Jan 2017$12748
TOTAL$150,056

I find it interesting to see how seasonal my income from this site is. I’m glad we are approaching the best seasons!

Costs

I have not included costs here as it is somewhat complicated. Many things I pay for I share with other sites, like GetResponse and OptinMonster. Since September, my brother has been working for me but he has not done much work on Where’s Sharon and I do not record how much time he spends on what part of my business.

The other thing is that many of my costs, like my brother’s income, are discretionary and not required to make this money. Thanks to the passive nature of my income, I would have made it anyway.

My only ongoing costs are:

If I approximated a share of GetResponse (email marketing service) and Optinmonster (plugin to grow email subscribers) then this is about an extra $38 a month.

How you can do it too

I don’t feel like I have the stereotypical measure of success for blogging – I can’t say I was in such and such magazine or I was interview by x news channel – but yet I still have gained everything I wanted from blogging.

I hope this income report shows you you dont have to follow a certain formula of success like some bloggers espouse (usually whatever formula of success would put them at #1!). Hell, you can be a travel blogger and not even travel.

If your aim is a financially successful blog then you don’t have to be the best of everything. You just need to find your path – for me it is affiliate marketing plus SEO. I don’t need 100,000 likes on Facebook or a feature in a magazine for this to work.

Neither do you.

I’m not saying you should take this same path but you do need to find your own path which won’t be exactly the same as anyone else. How do you do this?

  • Make solid goals. If you want to make money from your blog then your #1 goal should be something like “make $x a month from my blog by September”
  • Make a plan of how you will reach your goals. Break down your goals. Exactly how can you get there? For example, for the goal above, you might have tasks like :
  1. Look at my ten most popular posts and work out how I can incorporate affiliates
  2. Sign up for adsense and experiment with ad placement
  3. Sign up for some sites which have sponsored post opportunities
  • Break up these tasks further. Break up every task until they are lots of small tasks that aren’t overwhelming.
  • Remove everything else from your task list. There are so many aspects of blogging and it’s easy to waste time working on the wrong things. If a task doesn’t relate to your goals then just don’t do it. This is the easiest way to free up some time to work on income generation.
  • Buy my new book, How To Make Money From Blogging. In this book, I describe how to make money from 7 different areas of blogging with step by step instructions of how to get started. This includes making money from advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, products, feelancing, sponsored reviews and selling upgrades to your clients.

This book also has chapters on goal setting, setting your prices, creating a work with me page and media kit and a bonus chapter about making passive income. Click here for more information and how to make money from blogging.

Any questions? Feel free to ask what you like in the comments below 😀

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of them then I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

About the Author

Sharon Gourlay is passionate about working online and helping others to follow in her footsteps. She left Australia with her young family at the end of 2014 determined to grow an online business. She succeeded and now supports her family of 5 to live their dream lifestyle.

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