Home Decor blog passive income report
Hi, it’s Debbie. I decided to go back and do some of my past income reports from my flooring blog. This way you can see what things looked like before I hit $20,000/month and my journey. I’m hoping that this will be helpful.
As you’ll see, virtually all of the income was from home decor. If you want to see my whole story on this journey and how I feel about income reports, you can read that here.
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how I got to where I am (Dec 2016-October 2018)
So as you probably know by now, blog income doesn’t appear over night. It takes a while to grow and to learn how to monetize.
Thankfully when I “started” in December 2016, I already had an established blog and knew how to do SEO.
But, I had no idea how to monetize and most of my articles were not set up well for monetization. Sure, I went back to them and added affiliate links, but it didn’t get me too far.
At the beginning, most of blog income came from advertising revenue. I think I was making around $300-$400/month on affiliate marketing. I had taken a course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing which helped. It was a good course and the networking with the other members was awesome. But still I was a slow learner.
It took me around 11 months before I started to really get it.
If you look at my income in the early months, it was pretty flat, and that was pretty frustrating.
I had to learn that I really needed to write different types of posts. My articles were helpful for my target, and they did well on google and they solved my target’s questions and problems.
BUT, they weren’t articles with commercial intent. In other words they didn’t lead to affiliate sales. They got me ad income and not much more.
So I started shifting gears a bit based on what I noticed others were writing. They were writing them in different categories. I just needed to write them for mine…and give them time to simmer with google. That’s because SEO is the key with affiliate sales!
Solve a problem, write a well SEO optimized post, wait a few months and voila! Affiliate sales.
By the way, I now have 2 SEO ebooks to help you.
So, in November of 2017, 11 months into my journey, things started to work and I earned $3,167 (net profit)! Yay!
Then, I invested in one of the best ebooks I ever read. One of my smartest investments. And very reasonably priced (less than $50).
The ebook paid for itself within 2 weeks and I was then off to the races with Amazon and affiliate marketing.
As you can see, I then went on an upward trend for many months…in fact for 9 months in a row until I got a bit over $10,000 (in net profit…I write everything in net profit).
Back then, my expenses were very low because I could afford very little. I probably in the $100/month range in Year 1 and then scaled up from $100/month to a around $200/month until my 18th month mark.
AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED?
Yes, the bottom fell out.
Okay I’m exaggerating. But, basically google had an algo shift. Yes, it happened on August 1st, the day after I hired my first VA.
Right along with that traffic decline, my income went down..from $10,500 down to $7,700. Ouch.
Now while some of you may feel that $7,700 isn’t so bad (and it’s not), you do need to understand that I’m in a high cost of living area and paying off debt. So that $7,700 was not enough to even pay my bills let alone the debt.
I was devastated. I had been working so hard for so long, and I just felt crushed.
I took on some extra freelance work (not reflected in these numbers) to help make up some of the difference. I cried a bit, but more than that, I just got depressed and frustrated. You see this blogging thing is not smooth sailing.
I couldn’t deal w/ SEO during the month of August and instead concentrated on Pinterest. I revisited SEO in September. You see when SEO goes down the tubes so does your affiliate commissions, so it was a double whammy to my income (ads and affiliate revenue).
Thankfully, I got lucky and on September 27th (yes, I remember the day), a new algo shift and this one was in my favor. All of my traffic was restored.
Phew! That was lucky!
But it also showed me that I needed to diversify my income streams further.
OCTOBER ACTIVITIES AND PROGRESS
So I was pleasantly surprised, in fact thrilled with October results. It as an all time high for me (after my SEO traffic was restored). I continued to get better at Amazon and affiliate marketing.
I hit an all time high on Amazon as well as RewardStyle. I just continued to learn and get better.
It’s also interesting that I caught 2 colds and was kind of out and/or very unproductive for 10 days and yet my blog continued to work for me. I love passive income!
October was the month that I started my 1st SEO ebook. It was a way to diversify and grow my income. You can find my SEO bundle here.
In addition, I couldn’t keep up with SEO phone consults. I was making money on those (numbers not shown here as it was active income) and I had a long waitlist…3 months long. So it solved 2 birds with one stone.
The ebook took much longer than I expected. It took me 2 months from start to finish (including landing page and figuring out how to use SendOwl). I really like SendOwl as it’s the cheapest platform to sell digital products with affiliates. All the others take out additional fees when products are sold, and that really eats into your profits.
My traffic for the month was about 322,000 pageviews.
I decided to upgrade my hosting plan to the next level (as my site speed was starting to top off). I use BigScoots now and it has done wonders for my site speed. They brought my site from 8.2 seconds down to 1.2 seconds. Totally worth the investment. I highly recommend them to bigger bloggers. They are amazing and my pageviews continued to grow with the faster site speeds. (#smartmove)
Note: Go for the managed hosting plan (the intro one)
So without further ado, let’s get to the specifics.
Income Report – OCTOBER 2018
- Amazon $3,575 this is the month when my Amazon income started to really accelerate. (See: How I earn $7,000/month from Amazon Associates for some helpful tips). This compares to $2,400 in July (before my temporary SEO drop).
- RewardStyle $1,362 (a new record. This compares with $1,226 in July)
- Hometalk $1,185 (not a program I’d recommend as I’m now only making $150-$400 and it takes a lot of ongoing work).
- Pinteresting Strategies and Affiliate Marketing for bloggers $32
- Shareasale $18
- ShopStyle $14
Total Affiliates $6,186 (a record..thanks to Amazon. I’m starting to get the hang of this thing.)
Ads $4,823 (Monumetric). Just slightly above July results, but slightly below June results. June RPMs are typically high July and October are typically lower as they are the start of a new quarter.
Buy me a Coffee $321…and yes, I have over 1,200 coffees that people bought for me
All other $3
TOTAL REVENUE $11,332
- Hosting (BigScoots) $92…worth every penny
- Additional Paypal fees $35 (for one of my affiliate programs -annoying)
- Pictures $49 (app sumo deal)
- I forget $50
TOTAL COSTS $225
NET PROFIT: $11,107
- Please note that the majority of my income is from Home Decor (not from blogging about blogging).
- Please note that this income is all from my blog. It does not include freelancing, design consultations, sponsored posts or any sort of active income or offline income.
- I’m in the process of compiling/filling in reports from Nov 2018 to-March 2019. For current reports, I will share my income reports with my email list. I will post some previous reports on here, so you can see my progression and learning along the way
ADDITIONAL INCOME REPORTS
Blogging resources to jump start your blog traffic and income
- Amazon – I love affiliate marketing on Amazon. For the last 2 months, I’ve been earning over $7,000/month just from Amazon. Here are 2 super helpful Amazon ebooks that allowed me to leap frog my previous results.
- Cracking the Code on Amazon – This is for beginners and really covers the types of articles you should be writing to drive Amazon commissions It’s for beginners.
- Niche Post Conversion Strategies – Seriously, I think this is the best ebook/course I’ve ever taken. I can not recommend this enough. You will not find these tips anywhere else. It skyrocketed my sales on Amazon.
- PINTERESTING STRATEGIES: – Pinterest is one of the easiest and most effective ways to drive massive traffic to your blog, especially if you are just starting out. I generally get 140,000 to 180,000 pageviews a month from Pinterest. If you want a jump start on how to use this amazing platform, check out Carly’s course. It is simply awesome. She is so down to earth and straightforward, and you’ll see that in her writing. I LOVE this course (it was formerly an ebook, but now it’s new and improved.
- SEO – As you know, I’m hugely into SEO and it has been the key to my success. I generally get 300,000+ SEO pageviews per month, and this traffic converts much better than Pinterest and other social media channels (especially when it comes to affiliate marketing, products and email sign ups. I estimate that every pageview from organic traffic is worth at least 3x as every pageview from Pinterest! Yes, 3 times as much! And, it’s much steadier, more sustainable and more passive. Check out my 2 SEO books.
- Affiliate marketing – I love affiliate marketing and have been earning over $7,000/month just from affiliate marketing. I highly recommend Carly’s affiliate marketing course. It’s amazing and half the price of some of the bigger bloggers’ programs…and I think it’s much better, too.
- Email marketing – Learn from the master, Jennifer Maker. She has over 100,000 subscribers in around 2 years. She’s an incredible teacher. Her ListLove course is amazing. Or get started with her FREE email course here.
- Sponsored Posts – Sponsored posts can be a great way to supplement your income, especially during the first few years. Many just don’t even know where to get started or how much to charge or how to create a media kit or where to find the best sources. Well learn from a master, Tracie Fobes. She’s been doing this for 10 years! And, she charges well over $2,500 + per post. Her course comes complete with a media calculator and templates to set you up for success. Check out Sponsored Success here. If you just need the sponsored post calculator, you can purchase it a la carte here.
- Getting started/setting up your blog – If you’re a very beginner and need help in just setting up your site and getting everything set up, check out Tracie Richmond Fobes’ FREE intro course. She goes over all that critical stuff at the beginning that no one seems to cover, but everyone needs to know such as site structure, how to set up google analytics correctly and google search console, which plugins to use (and which to avoid). She is a wealth of information. (and she has may other courses that are soooo good).
Related blogging articles:
How I earned over $11,000 from my blog – Income Report OCTOBER 2018 (Passive income report)