Aspiring bloggers often ask me if I actually make a living from my blog. First things first: my husband is our family’s main breadwinner, while I am, primarily, a stay-at-home mom. I consider our family very privileged to be able to make ends meet on one salary, as long as we stick to a careful budget.
I have not worked full-time outside of the house since Cub was born, aside from some part-time work as a substitute teacher and private tutor during leaner times back in Montreal. Therefore, building my blog began as a hobby, one that didn’t need to generate revenue (nor did I expect it to). I spent plenty of time having no idea what I was doing, but just having fun doing it.
I would say that I started my foray into monetizing my blog in January 2014. My income would’ve been around $50 at the most, if I had a particularly good month for affiliate sales. I am happy to report that the amount of time I am now putting into my blog has remained steady while my income has increased exponentially.
My blog is now a full-fledged business operation which I manage every day in between caring for my three-year-old and 6-month-old children. I am registered in Alberta as a business and file business taxes. On average, I spend a minimum of three hours per day (every day) working on my blog. Not included in this report is income I earn as a Social Media Manager, which is not directly related to my website. My work is done in stolen moments throughout the day: when Little Miss is napping and Cub is either playing independently or watching a show, in the evening when they are both asleep (often, Little Miss is in the carrier) or weekends when my husband takes over childcare for a few precious hours.
It’s also worthwhile to note that this income is billed but not necessarily received in December. Most ad networks have a three-month delay in paying, and it’s not unusual for sponsored posts to pay out a couple months after publication.
So without further ado, let’s look at my Blog Income for December 2015:
Page Views: 36,205 Unique Visitors: 19,759
I am an affiliate for two Canadian cloth diaper shops and also for Well.ca. This income comes from people clicking through my on-site links (or social media posts) and making a purchase.
Lagoon Baby: $9.61
My ads are supplied by SheBlogs Canada and by Media.net. I earn this income based on a few cents per page view. I also sell advertising at a monthly rate, and currently have two businesses that advertise monthly.
Monthly ads: $80
I am paid to write posts for a variety of brands and companies. I usually receive these opportunities through PR agencies. This month I had two such promotions. I also created a Boxing Day Sale Directory with This West Coast Mommy, and we charged shops to participate.
Sponsored posts: $800
Social Posts for CMR: $50 Amazon GC
I charge a fee for running giveaways. I ran two Facebook giveaways this month.
Facebook giveaways: $100
Grand Total: $1720.89
Note that I do at times accept product in exchange for a review. I do not count this in my income because I cannot pay bills or buy household goods with a product. This month, I reviewed the GroVia AIO diaper, First Alert Smoke Detectors, the Lulla Doll, a Pellicano wrap, Thirsties cloth diapers, the Moa Po Mei Tai and the Naked Nursing Tank. The retail value of these products would be roughly $700.
It takes money (and time) to make money. These are my monthly blog expenses. For many services, you save when paying for a year or more in advance, so I’ve calculated a monthly rate when applicable. I’ve used an affiliate link for any services that offer this perk!
McAfee Anti-Virus software: $2.91
Vault Press Website Back Up Plug in: $6.23
Web hosting by Green Geeks (3 year subscription): $8.33
PicMonkey Royal Image Editting: $3.91
Freshbooks accounting software: $24.50
InLinkz Linky service: $1.67
This month I participated in a Tula giveaway in which each blogger chips in to cover the cost of the carrier: $13.64
Mad Mimi Newsletter Service: $37.12 (thanks, low Canadian dollar!)
Cell phone & internet: $142.21
Drop Box subscription: $9.08
Co-Schedule social media scheduler: $3.34*
*Thanks to many successful referrals, I saved a great deal on my annual Co-Schedule subscription last year. (In case that amount seems really low.)
Total Expenses: $111
December 2015 Gross Income (minus expenses) $1610
My Blogging Goals for 2016
- Hold steady at 20K unique visitors, hopefully reach 25K by December 2016;
- Evaluate offers carefully to avoid working for free or undervaluing my services;
- Attend the Las Vegas Baby Show in September;
- Purchase and learn to use a REAL camera;
- Update my cloth diaper reviews to reflect new experiences with Little Miss Cub;
- Write more thoroughly and frequently about mental health issues.
Fellow bloggers, do you see any spots I can save money? Make more money? Newbie bloggers: any questions?