We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Don't hate me...I am just getting to my February blogging income report!!! At least it's up now, right?!
Every month (well...I try haha) I share how much money I have made through my blog.
Why? Because it's pretty dang impressive that in just over a year I have been able to turn this website into a business that brings me thousands of dollars a month AND that I can do it around my full-time college schedule.
Seriously, all college students should start a blog. It's the best thing I have ever done.
For those of you that are new to By Sophia Lee, I start off every income report telling you a little about myself.
If you don't know much about me, I am a junior in college studying interior architecture. I've had this website since I was 17 but basically restarted the whole website in September 2017 (when I was a sophomore in college) in hopes to generate an income from it.
I am completely paying for college on my own and knew I needed to find something that made me money and would work around my college schedule (that changes every semester and stays with me when I live at home during the summer/winter break). Let's just say, it was nearly impossible.
I stumbled upon a blog that posted income reports where the blogger was making over $100,000 A MONTH from her website. Like what?!
I knew I wanted to start a website of my own that would make me money, so that's what I did. I ditched my old blog and created a new one in September 2017.
In just a year, I have increased my income to make $9,349.60 in ONE month while being a full-time student and having a social life.
After semi-figuring out this blogging world and all it entails, I am here to tell you that ANYONE can start and be successful with a blog. It is not hard to do.
However, it took and still takes a lot of work. If you're a hard worker, you can get the same exact results as me.
It took me about 5 months after starting my blog to earn consistent money and those months were really hard.
I was constantly overwhelmed and had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I was so desperate to make it work that I continued to Google everything and anything about blogging.
Once that first $100 dollars hit my bank account, I knew that all the hard work I had been putting in was going to pay off.
Little did I know a year later, I would be making more in one month than I EVER had in a year!
Here are some of my previous income reports:
By Sophia Lee Income & Traffic Report:
The screenshot below is the exact money deposited into my account (with all the important info blocked off ). Some companies deposit into Paypal and then I transfer into my personal bank account.
Affiliate Income: $3,581.38 total
- Amazon Associates: $3,422.06
- Bluehost (check out my tutorial on how to start a blog): $75.00
- ShopStyle Inc: $54.58
- Shareasale: $29.74
Display Advertising (through Mediavine): $2,471.86
Total Income: $6,053.18
Okay, here's the problem I have with how I've set up my income reports in the past. The money I make blogging almost always takes three months to hit my bank account. For example, I actually made this $6,000 dollars in November but it just hit my bank account in February.
I've done my blogging income reports so I share the money with you once it HITS my bank account to be able to prove I've made that money.
But, there's an issue with that.
I made that money three months ago and I don't remember exactly what I was doing with my blog that long ago! So next month on I've decided that I am going to be sharing my income I earned that exact month. It won't have hit my account yet when I share it but I'll be able to explain what I am doing way more accurately than before. If you want proof, I'll update the income report three months later with a screenshot 😂.
Back to the current income report...
My blogging expenses are very small right now but last month they increased. Why?! Because I opened an online store (whoop whoop!! 🎉🎉🎉) and it was way more expensive than I thought. Probably my most expensive month I've had blogging so far TBH. But at this point in the game, I am making enough money where these expenses make sense.
I try to pay for all my blogging expenses annually so I don't have to pay them monthly and it saves me some cash because the companies offer me better deals. Right now for a recurring monthly expense I have Convertkit (email provider) which costs me $79.00 a month. This went up because I increased my email subscribers by a lot (good thing I guess!).
I also pay $14.99 for a Shopify plugin that helps me get better reviews on my products. I got that the last day of the month so I don't even think it charges me until this month though. I should probably go check that! haha
These expenses come up once a year but I do set aside money for them monthly to prepare for when I have to buy them:
- Bluehost - hosting company I started with!
- Tailwind - the best Pinterest scheduler EVER and how I manage to survive blogging while being a full-time student (they actually gave me a free month to give my readers with this link)
- Shopify Yearly Payment (new! This is where I have my store hosted on)
If you haven't started a blog, this blog post will show you the exact way I started and designed my blog (it takes less than 30 minutes).
So, how did I do it?!
(remember, I am talking about March because it will be more relevant about how I am currently making money!)
Last month I worked hard and played hard . I had the genius idea to take TWO spring breaks this year. One with my college girlfriends and one with my family. Let's just say I was stressed beyond max and cursing myself out for thinking I could miss that much of school.
Even with all of that going on I managed to open my store and release my first product!!! This has been on my goal list for MONTHS! I poured myself a big glass of malibu and sprite the night my website went live and nervously checked my phone 24/7 scared half to death that it was going to be a total failure!
Wellll, I had over 200 sales in two days! OMG! I actually didn't really make that much money on it yet (around $200 in two days...then it turned April haha) because I had everything go out for free.
My goal with putting it out for free is to build up reviews so that people will have more reliable feedback and want to purchase it for actual payment.
The reviews were so nice I almost cried 😭. My boyfriend's dad was joking with me that all the reviews are from my family members because they were so nice hahaha. The lowest review I got was three stars and the comment was "Awesome" so I guess I'll take it 😂 .
Here's what I've been focusing on:
- Opening my Store
- Creating Freebies
- Finalizing My Editorial Calendar
Breakdown of what I did to open my store:
Not much to say about this other than I decided to open my store on Shopify! I researched this a ton and decided it was the best option for me.
So far I love it!
I am planning on at least one new paid product go out every month and have a new free product put into the store every week.
I am in the process of getting rid of my resource library and having all my free products uploaded to my store. You don't need to put in your credit card if the product is free and I think it's just a way better visual experience.
If my subscriber list begins to decrease I can always go back to my resource library but I am going to test this out for a month or two!
Like I said, I am in the total testing phase of the store!!! I want to see what works and doesn't work before I have my largest amount of traffic in summer.
My Pinterest went up to 10 MILLION month viewers!!!!!
TBH though, your monthly viewers really mean nothing. Mine have fallen now (it's 4/4 when I am writing this) and my monthly views have fallen to 7.2 million but I am getting more actual blog page views than when I was at 10 million.
Who knows but nonetheless I was pretty dang excited!
If you need help getting traffic from Pinterest, I recommend doing the following:
- Grab this free guide on how I use Pinterest to bring traffic to my blog
- Use this 7 Step Checklist to make sure your Pinterest account is set up correctly (this is HUGE in getting traffic to your blog)
- Buy this course which taught me everything about Pinterest (You can read about it more on my recommendations page...it's the #1 course I recommend to people who just started a blog)
If you haven't started a blog, this blog post will show you the exact way I started and designed my blog (it takes less than 30 minutes).
Breakdown of what I am doing for creating freebies:
I am taking a new approach to my website and am trying to give as many freebies as possible.
It will mostly be printables but my goal is for me to increase my email subscriptions and give as much value to my readers as possible. Like I said above, I am trying to give at least one free thing to my readers per week.
I am also testing this out because honestly, who knows if this will even help! I'll report back to you next month or in two months on this one!
My last income report I had 2,493 subscribers and as of today (4/4/2019) I have 5,507. EKK! I am happy with that 🤩. Next step: 10,000 subscriber mark!
Breakdown of what I am doing for my editorial calendar:
If you read my blogging posts, you know I am obsessed with planning my content out in advance.
I am a huge planner (with everything I do...school, social life...it's almost to an annoying point haha) and I just FEEL better when I know what's coming up.
I have not been ahead on blog posts in forever but this is the month I am going to do it. I hired two super sweet girls to help me with my website so I am increasing the amount of posts going up every week.
So far, I have three blog posts per week planned until the end of June! Those posts are not written yet but I am trying my hardest to get at least a month ahead on everything.
I have such a hard time with this because I will randomly have a super hard school week and I have to put blogging to the side (unless I want to fail out ) and it always ruins my blog plans. If I am a month ahead, it won't screw anything up since I already have all my posts planned.
By next income report, I am crossing my fingers that I am able to tell you I am a month ahead! It is crunch time month for school right now so we will see...
Let's Talk About This $6,000 Dollars:
Honestly, the fact that I was able to make $9,000 in one month from my blog is CRAZY but then to be able to make $6,000 the month later is EVEN BETTER!! Why?!
Because honestly, I thought my $9,000 month was going to be a one hit wonder type of thing. I had NO idea that I would make $6,000 the month later. TBH, I was planning that it would be around $2,000.
Which brings me to the point I brought up last income report...
Do I think I will be able to make this much from my blog every month? No.
Here's what I have learned so far blogging this year. Some months I will make a lot of money and some months I won't make as much. I am basically working on "commission".
Here's how I think my income will go this year:
PS: I am going to have to update this chart next month because I have this set for when it HITS my bank account. Next month, all of these totals will be moved up three months (aka the $12,000 I have planned for Jan will be moved to October and so on).
January: Very high income (at least $12,000 earned that month)
February and March: $4,000 in February (HIT THIS & Went over by $2,000!) and at least $6,000 in March (nope! Around $4,000 hit my bank account in March. I had an affiliate payment hit my bank account in Feb that I thought was coming in March so that's why).
April and May: Lowest income months of the year (hoping to make at least $2,000 per month)
June: Starts to get a little better (would be really happy making $2,500)
July-November: Very high income (goal is to hit at least $5,000 per month with two months hitting at least $15,000 per MONTH!)
December: Not as high as July-November but still decently high (maybe $3,000 earned this month)
If all goes as planned, that would have me making nearly $80,000 in one year. AS A FULL-TIME COLLEGE STUDENT (taking 18 credits per semester).
Just last year I was nannying and only making $300 dollars a month. Even my low blogging income months are more than I could have imagined!!
Did I Hit My January Goals:
- Get 9 blog posts published and marketed (NO. Whoops, I only got 4 posts up . That's when I knew I had to hire two gals to help me manage it all)
- Get 3,700 email subscribers (YES! At over 5,000 baby!!!!)
- Grow Pinterest to 8,000 followers (YES!!!! AT 12,000!! OMG!)
- Create a product (Yes! and opened a store!)
I've been trying to make that dang top bullet point black for five minutes now...giving up!!!!
My April Blogging Goals:
- Get 15 blog posts published (gulp)
- Get 6,500 email subscribers
- Grow Pinterest to 15,000 followers
- Upload a new product and 4 freebies
My FREE 7 Day How To Start A Blog Email Course
I always get so many questions about how I make money on my blog and how they can start a blog that does that same thing that I decided to put it into an easy to follow email course (you can sign up below).
Here's the thing...everyone tries to sell you SO much when starting a blog. It can be super overwhelming.
This email course is FREE. I don't try to sell you anything. I show you exactly what I did and what I bought when I started my blog.
I give you the steps that will allow you to start a successful blog of your own.
It's easy to follow but I do NOT sugar coat anything. I share real tips that I used. I share how I organize my time to juggle school and blogging. I share the products I believe helped exponentially grow my blog to where it is now (and how it is growing every month).
I'm giving you the inside secrets that have skyrocketed my blogging success and have grown my blog to making thousands of dollars a month in less than a year.