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Real Life Blogging Income Report Over a 3 Month Period

Today I’m breaking the barrier, pulling back the veil, and offering a true, real life Blogging Income Report and what it looks like for a DIY blogger.

today I'm breaking the barrier, pulling back the veil, and offering a true, real life Blogging Income Report and what it looks like for a DIY blogger. 

This is by far the scariest post I’ve ever written.

The one thing that you never talk about or share with anyone.

You have seen the reports from all the rockstar bloggers and think – I’ll never get to that level!

Or at least that what I have thought.

But I’m listening to my readers and want to give you what you asked for!

My goal is that these income posts will offer hope to any newbie blogger and provide sources and ideas on how to grow your blog while showing you real life income streams.

Real Life Blogging Income Report

Affiliate links are provided for your convenience. You can read all about them here.

First, let me start with a brief journey of my blog.

I have broken my history down into seasons and how I am now finally earning income as a blogger.

Hobby Blogger

When I started Noting Grace back in 2010, it was mostly to share our projects with friends and family that lived far away and if I happened to inspire someone in the process – that was a bonus!  

I approached blogging as a hobby and treated it as such, only posting here and there. Nothing consistent and definitely not in the mind set to earn any sort of income from Noting Grace.

I blogged under this platform for 3 1/2 years. Honestly – I was surprised that I even had visitors and comments during this season!

From Hobby Blogger to Business-ish

Then in 2014, I decided to monetize my blog and wanted to try to approach blogging as a business and not a hobby.  

Still on the blogger platform, I monetized using Google Adsense.

Just 7 short months after I made that mental switch, we suffered a financial crisis and I had to learn to deal with a new problem – Panic Attacks.

This was following a huge cross country move and an adjustment period for the whole family.

Needing to find peace in our current situation, I took a break from blogging from May 2015 until February of 2016.

So with barely monetizing my site and taking almost a year hiatus -I was surprised to find that even with my minimal effort to make income – I still earned a teeny tiny bit.

Total Income during this period:

$129.21 in 23 months or $5.62 a month

From Business-ish to Business Minded

In the early Fall of 2016, I joined a blogging conglomerate where they hosted Noting Grace in exchange for paid page views – meaning I received income based on the traffic my posts brought to their site.  

It was a nice shift from going from barely any income to a small amount each month. During this time, I learned how to blog on wordpress and started educating myself on all things blogging.

While I learned a lot during my time on that site, it simply wasn’t the right fit for Noting Grace. I left and went to a self hosted platform on wordpress in July of 2017.

During this season, however, I did start pursuing sponsored posts as well as monetizing within my posts with affiliate links from Amazon.

My effort to make income was definitely boosted at that point, but I felt limited not being in control of my website.

Total Income during this season:

Paid Page Views: $472.20
Amazon Affiliate sales: $44.58
Sponsored Posts: $695.00

$1211.78 in 8 months or $151.47 a month

An increase of 2595% – that’s HUGE! But still not enough to pay the bills.

From Business-Minded to CEO

This is when I truly felt like my Blogging as a Business began – when I went all in! Put on the big girl pants and started working hard for this blog.

It was a scary decision to leave guaranteed income and go out on my own. It proved to be the best decision for my blog and even more, for myself personally.

I guess it’s the self employed freedom that I crave, but I wanted full control over how my site looked, acted and performed.

You can read all about the tools I used to set up this site over on my Blogging Resources Page.

I added Google Ads and Content.ad to my site. I also searched out other ways to monetize. You can read my tips on how to monetize your site from day one!

Total Income from July to end of year 2017:

Content.ad             $469.26
Google Adsense    $385.50
Amazon                  $182.87
Sponsored Posts   $998.10

$2035.73 in 6 months or $339.29 a month

That’s more than double of what I was earning 6 months ago and a 5937% growth from the start of monetizing! Yes, read that right! Almost

6000 % !!

But in full disclosure – I can barely feed my ever-growing boys with that much a month, so I’m not breaking the bank…yet!

So now that brings us up to date, as as promised, I plan to share with you a monthly income report, for the next three months and how I make my income to help you learn and glean from my choices – or my mistakes!

Let’s break it down for this month.

January Real Life Blogging Income Report

Income Earned:

Ad Network Earnings

Google Ads: $114.57

Affiliate Earnings

Hometalk Referral Program: $168.04

Sponsored Posts $0

Total profit: $282.61

I recently signed up for a few new Affiliate Networks, like CJ and VigLink and am waiting to cross the payment threshold to have money sent out. It varies with each network.

So as you can see, there is a lot of growth still needed in order to make this a viable business. There’s also loads of encouragement to see where I came from and where I am now.

But let’s move onto the next month.

February Real Life Blogging Income Report

Income Earned:

Ad Network Earnings

Google:                                           $73.95
Content.ad                                     $131.67

Total:                                               $205.52

Affiliate Earnings

Hometalk Pinterest Program:        $83.78
Amazon:                                          $  7.79
Viglink:                                            $  8.74
Shareasale:                                     $21.90

Total:                                                $122.21

Sponsored Post (instagram post)      $35

Total Profit:      $362.73

As you can see, my income was up, but so were my expenses, making my net $237.74, which is less than last month. But that’s the ebb and flow of the game.

How’d I do on my third month?

March Real Life Blogging Income Report

Since pay periods vary based on either time or amount, I separate out my report into income earned versus income paid.

Income Earned:

Ad Network Earnings

Google Adsense and Content.ad – $281.25

Affiliate Earnings

Hometalk: $137.01
Amazon: $21.12

Total Earned:  $158.13 

Total Profit: $439.38

Decor Purchases for Blog Hops: $59.48
Domain Name re-up: $36 for 3 years
Equipment for upcoming DIY: $404.23 (OUCH!)

Total Spent: $499.71

Total Profit after Expenses: -$60.33

I hope this gives you the realistic boost you needed to see what you can make at a small time blogger level like myself.

If you have any questions or want more details – please let them in the comment section below and I will answer them!

Let’s do this!

UPDATE! 5/2020

It’s been 2 years since I first published this report, and I thought it would be neat to give an update of how I grew.

In September of 2018, one of my blog posts ended up going viral, which allowed me to jump to a higher paying ad network called Mediavine. I started getting paid in February of 2019 on the new ad network.

I also attended the Haven Conference in 2019, which opened up new doors for more sponsorships.

While I won’t go into month by month detail, I thought it would be fun to see how I did over the entire year of 2019.

Blogging Income Report for 2019

Income Earned:

Ad Network Earnings

Mediavine: $6718.12

Affiliate Earnings

Shareasale: $889.19
Amazon: $546.59
Broadspring: $68.85
Hometalk: $519,92
Sovrn: $48.65

Total Earned: $2073.20

Sponsored Posts: $5401.62
FMV of Products: $7217.56

Total Earned: $12619.18

Total Income Earned: $21410.50

That’s an average of $1784.21 each month. Now that doesn’t reflect expenses. As a DIY blogger, you always have to buy materials to do the renovations. Our 2019 expenses were $10082.95, bringing that monthly average down to $945.

Still much better than where I was 2 years ago.

Blogging is a slow game, but when you take a step back and look at the numbers over time, you can’t help be see the growth!

I hope this real life blogging income report encourages you to keep going, even when the numbers are as large as you would like.

today I'm breaking the barrier, pulling back the veil, and offering a true, real life Blogging Income Report and what it looks like for a DIY blogger. 

Here’s some inspiration from other bloggers:

Just a Girl and Her Blog
The Shabby Creek Cottage

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20 Comments

  1. Hi Jerre! Thanks for all the wonderful encouragement and support! I plan on going into more detail on my blogging expenses in my next post and you have brunt up some wonderful points to cover. It means so much that you took the time to comment and help me along in this process. My best to you and I hope you stay tuned for more posts to come. Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Just a question or two? Are you counting your hours of time in creating a post in your blogging expenses. I would suggest you keep track of your expenses such as cost of your computer, laptop, etc. Expense of the crafts you post on your blog. These will go against your income, but if you turn this into a business a portion of your home office is deductible, a portion of your phone bill is deductible, cost of acquiring advertisers. Your time is also valuable so you might want to put a monetary value on per hour costs to do the blog. Just ideas. You may have already done this but you did not mention your expenses in blog only income.

    JM

  3. Donna – your words mean so much to me! I cannot express enough how grateful I am that you took the time to comment and encourage me! We’re in this together, so lets help each other along as we go!

  4. It is nice to read an update from a blogger who is at the same level as my own journey. I am currently working hard to increase my traffic and monetize at the same time. Your post is very encouraging. Keep working at it! Visiting from the Show & Tell blog hop.

  5. Thank you Stephanie! It encouraging to know I’m not alone and I appreciate all your encouragement!

  6. Hats off to you girl!! Congrats on making your blog actually produce an income and also for being so brave!!

  7. Thanks for sharing this Jen. It is always nice to hear other blogger stories. It is a strange ‘hobby’ we have. It really takes a long time to make any money. 🙂

  8. Trish – you have shared such wonderful points! I hope to outline affiliate marketing in more detail in each post coming up and would definitely share this insight! Thanks for providing that tip – I know my readers truly appreciate it!

  9. Thank you so much Debra – it’s scary indeed and I’m in it for the long haul! I truly appreciate your encouragement!

  10. It is scary to be so transparent, but I have the same reaction – either the eyeball, or complete defeat feeling like I’ll never get there. Thank you for the encouragement to keep sharing.

  11. Jennifer. Thanks for the realistic look at blogging income. It’s been my experience that income increases with page views. You may want to let new bloggers know that Amazon affiliates will close their account if they don’t have a qualified sale within 180 days of opening it. If you’re brand new, you won’t have enough page views for a few months to justify opening an affiliate account with amazon. But google adsense works well for new bloggers.

  12. Thanks for the detailed questions! I’m planning on going into more detail regarding affiliate networks in my February post. I know there are virtual assistants out there who are willing to set up blogs and all you will have to do is post and go! I’m more of a hands on person and watched youtube videos to learn how to set up Noting Grace.

    Thank you for asking such awesome questions! I will be sure to address these coming up!

  13. Thank you Martha! It certainly was scary putting it ALL out there! I appreciate your encouragement!

  14. Such an interesting post! Love your blog, wishing you the best of luck in growing it to be what you want it to be.

  15. Would love more info on signing up for affiliate networks.

    How often do you blog

    Thank you for being so aggressive

    What if someone wanted to hire you to set them up? Maybe a column in your blog. Or a link to their blog
    Or to set them up completely. For a percentage of their earnings

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