How I Made $33,960.39 Blogging in 2015

Thanks for reading my income report!

When I started Retired by 40!, I simply wanted to carve out my own little piece of the internet.

To document our debt payoff journey.

And to achieve some killer financial goals.

But in the last 2.5 years, I’ve discovered that blogging is so much more than that.  Blogging has helped me make money, work from home, embrace my creative side, create many valuable friendships, and of course pay off $24,000 of debt in 2015.

Since it’s the middle of January, it’s time to recap my online income from 2015.  Generally, I do these on a monthly basis, but I felt like it was time to do a yearly recap to see how far I’ve come, and to help me set goals for  next year!

I believe that more bloggers should reveal their income, but I personally do so for several reasons:

  • To Inspire: No, I’m not narcissistic, and I don’t believe that what I’m doing is even inspirational at all, but just when I think about stopping these posts about how to make money blogging I remember how inspired I was by reading others’ blog income reports when I was just starting out.
  • To Be Transparent: I’ve committed to complete transparency, both in my Budget and Net Worth reports, and completing a monthly report like this completes the transparency packaage.  I believe that transparency breeds trust, and as such it’s something that I am committed to.
  • Accountability: I can’t even begin to tell yo how much it hurts to complete a post at the end of the month and not meet all of the goals that I set for myself.  These reports help me push myself and stay accountable for always moving forward and improving.

This is my actual blogging income, folks.

Let’s get started!

Anyone can make money blogging. In 2015, I made more than $33,000 from blogging part-time. Here's how I did it.

How I Make Money Blogging

I make money blogging through a variety of different means: Ad Networks, my business, The Pinterest Assistant, Affiliate Sales, and Sponsored Posting.

2015 brought some crazy ups and down in income – especially when we break it down by source – but overall my income grew dramatically, as you’ll see in a moment.

In October 2014, I made $247.42 (this was my very first blog income report)

I made $1,623.03 in March 2015

In May 2015, I made $4,640.97 in blogging income

And in October 2015 I made $4,580.77 with my blog

{You Can Read All Of My Blog Income Reports Here}

For those of you that are new here, in January of 2015, I started working on my blog and business full time after I lost my job.  My husband, who had previously been a stay-at-home dad, went back to work, so even though my blog isn’t our only source of income, it does make up about half, so it is not at all insignificant.

I was talking to my husband on New Year’s Eve, and we were reflecting on the last year – something we don’t usually do, but since he wanted to I was all ears – and he remarked at how much my stress level had decreased.  In December of 2014 (just on month before I took this blogging thing full-time) the stress at my accounting job was through the roof.  I can honestly say it was the worst month of my life, and it didn’t make for a very enjoyable Christmas or New Year’s.

But in 2015, as I embraced the work at home mom, self-employment, and being my own boss life, I grew to really love the freedom.  There is truly nothing better than being your own boss, controlling your own schedule, and loving what you do!  Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the income potential is virtually unlimited….

If you want to start your own money-making blog, you can do so very cheaply.  I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own in about 10 minutes, and very cheaply, with prices starting at only $3.95 a month.  This low price is only available through my Bluehost link, and when you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting, Bluehost will even throw in a FREE domain name (a $15 value).  Again, this pricing + free domain name is only available through my link, and if you want to make money with your blog, then self-hosting through a company such as Bluehost is essential.

 Time Spent Blogging-

I believe in a couple of things related to hours worked: efficiency and hourly rate. Obviously, these are tied to each other, and while the reality of owning a business like mine is that the hours I work, and the amount I make for each hour will fluctuate – sometimes a lot – but what I want to see are slow and steady gains over time.

This is why I try to make sure that I am spending my time wisely.  Even though my time earns money, when I am working I am not with my daughter, so I am very careful to keep both motherhood and blogging in balance.

I’m not going to take the time to detail out my hours every single week, but if I add up the hours worked in my blog income reports, they totaled 1,232 hours.  And since I made $33.960.39, this was my hourly rate.

Gross Hourly Wage: $27.56

This put my daily income at $93.04, a rate which I am incredibly proud of!

Anyone can make money blogging. In 2015, I made more than $33,000 from blogging part-time. Here's how I did it.

Quick Statistics Update

Social Media is very important to the growth of this blog, so if you already follow me on any of these social media channels, thank you!  You are what drives this blog!  {Shameless plug: click on any of the social media channels below to follow me for awesome updates + content!}

My  main social media channel is definitely Pinterest…..so much so, that I started a business from it, The Pinterest Assistant.

In 2016 my goal is to work on Instagram and Facebook.  I currently have a solid amount of followers but I want to at least double them by the end of the 2016, and have 100+ visitors to the website each day  from both Instagram and Facebook.

 2016 Highlights

I get a lot of  questions about the day to day of working from home, managing a blog, and what tools I recommend.

For Pinterest scheduling, I personally use Tailwind.  Since Pinterest generates 60-70% of my traffic (about 120,000 page views each and every month) I rely on tailwind because of its reliability & flexbility!  Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduler, and you can schedule unlimited pins for $10 a month.  Also, their customer service is beyond fantastic.  I am part of a couple of beta testing groups for new features, but even if you’re a new user you will be blow away by the depth of analytics, control, and easy of scheduling you get with Tailwind!

In November I also purchased a Karma wifi hotspot and am loving not only their great service but the affordability of  it.  For $50 a month, you get unlimited data, or you can choose to buy data by the GB, for $14 each.  You do have to pay up front for the device, but I found the price to be very reasonable, especially as I rely on a hotspot more and more while I work on the road.

Also, Retired by 40! got a new look at the end of December, and I decided to embrace a little more of myself in the blog – and share it with you!  I’m blogging every single day, bringing you articles about personal finance of course, but also home decor, fashion, fitness, and much more!

Income

In total, in 2015, I made $33,960.39

In 2013, my blog income was $3,699.62

2014’s Income was $13,071.18

As you can see, I more than doubled my online income in 2015, and I’m not going to lie, when I saw that number, I did a little dance (in the privacy of my own home, of course, because I’m really very shy!)

  • Ad Networks: $5.439.04
    • The Blogger Network (highly recommend them!) $3.873.69
    • Sovrn: $56.27 (I want to diversify among ad networks in 2016)
    • Media.net: $480.39
    • BlogHer: $455.05
    • Infolinks: $125.85
    • Google Adsense: $447.89
  • Affiliate Sales: $6.359.59
    • Commisison Junction $1790.15
    • Tailwind: $410.86
    • Amazon $367.58
    • BestMark: $105.00
    • Elite Blog Academy: $3.399.60
    • Personal Capital: $200
    • $5 Meal Plan: $11.40
    • eBates: $75
  • Sponsored Posting: $2,928.48
    • Kasai Media: $427.50
    • Clever Girls: $900
    • iSway: $200
    • TapInfluence: $85
    • Moms Affiliate: $188.54
    • BlogHer: $200
    • SheKnows: $452.44
    • Private Sponsored Posts: $475
  • The Pinterest Assistant: $17,283.28
  • Freelance Projects: $1,950
  • Total Income: $33,960.39

2016 Goals:

  • Reach 400,000 page views
  • Start developing more affiliate revenue streams.  I would like to hit $1,500 monthly in affiliate income by the end of the year
  • Double Total Income
  • Generate at least 100 page views daily from Facebook and Instagram.  I currently have a solid number of followers, but not much interaction.
  • Start promoting my Etsy shop.  This little project was born out of the prints I designed for my office, and after a few people on Instagram asked me where they could buy them, I launched my store!
  • Launch my blogging course, Your Blog or Your Life. I am passionate about blogging because of the freedom that it provides for moms, so I am in the final phases of developing an affordably-priced course for moms that will teach you how to start a blog easily, quickly, and make $1,000 – $3,000 monthly with it.  The course will teach moms how to make extra money in just a few hours a week.  It will NOT be for moms who want to make their blog a full-time job (although it will be a launching pad for those type of goals) I want to have 10,000 emails (at least) on the launch list.  If you would like to be notified when the course goes live, you can check it out here.
  • Host 3 sponsored posts per month, through private sales as well as networks such as Clever Girls, Pollinate, Rivet Media, etc…
  • Embrace paid Facebook and Pinterest promotion for viral posts.
  • Invest 30% of my overall income back into the business.
  • Watch HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and take on more interviews

Recent Popular Posts on Retired by 40! last month:

21 Things Frugal People Don’t do

5 Things I’m Giving Up To get Out of Debt

10 Money-Saving Challenges To Kick-Start Your New Year

How We Paid Off $24,000 of Debt in 2015 {On A $30,000 Salary}

The ONE Thing That Saves Me $1,400 a Year

If you want to start your own money-making blog, you can do so very cheaply.  I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own in about 10 minutes, and very cheaply, with prices starting at only $3.95 a month.  This low price is only available through my Bluehost link, and when you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting, Bluehost will even throw in a FREE domain name (a $15 value).  Again, this pricing + free domain name is only available through my link, and if you want to make money with your blog, then self-hosting through a company such as Bluehost is essential.

How was your year making money at home?  I would love to hear about it!

Singature (2)

Did you enjoy this post?  Share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest for an entry into this month’s drawings!!

This post may contain affiliate links.  See my disclosures for more information.

Anyone can make money blogging. In 2015, I made more than $33,000 from blogging part-time. Here's how I did it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Wow Gretchen! Congrats!!! What a great year! I’m glad that blogging worked out so that you didn’t have to go back to your stressful job. How do you manage blogging with kids? That is the difficult thing for me. Thanks for sharing your income report, I always find these so inspiring. :) Hope you are having a great day!
    Cheers,
    AJ

  2. I love reading posts like this and I appreciate all the details you shared. I’d love to learn more about your affiliate success (especially Amazon), and just your efficiency in general! I love blogging so far, but it is VERY time consuming and I have two young kids at home.
    Congrats on all of your successes! :)

  3. Oh wow! You are my hero!

    This is the kind of income I would like to make on my blog. I know it takes time and effort though. I’ve been good with budgeting my time and making “office hours” but I want to branch into product creation though.

    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring, thorough, and transparent post (and for linking up to the #SHINE Blog Hop).

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    xoxo

  4. Wow looks like you’re progressing quite well compared to previous years. I think you’ve probably passed the hardest part when it comes to growing a blog. Most people don’t stick with it. I love looking at other blogger income reports, allows me to see what’s working for everyone and definitely motivates me. Keep it up!

  5. Wow! So very wonderful!! Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring us! I am really looking to develop my blog more. I’m a mommy of 4 (homeschooling 3 and 1 is a freshman in college). I really am in desperate need of income through my blog. I’m working on trying to develop it more, but while I wait I am having to do some transcription (work which comes and goes) and I am thinking of opening an etsy shop for some crafting that I do. I don’t know how you manage it all! I can’t seem to develop the blog enough to really make any money with it, because I am stretched thin trying to work. Loads of help on blogging on the internet, but most of it is not free. I know it takes money to make money, but I just don’t have any right now… You’re inspiring me to persevere. Thanks!

  6. I took a look at you blog report, and decided to check out The Blogger Network because you did such great with the ads. But I have to pay $99 to join, money I dont have. Urgh :(

  7. You’ve done really well!
    Thanks for sharing your successes and your best tips!
    I love Tailwind too!
    I found your post today on Saving 4 Six.
    Hope you have a blessed day~
    Melanie

  8. This is great! I am new to your blog but am sure you have put in a lot of hard work that is finally paying off! We are just starting off on our debt repayment journey (we have $79,000 left to go) and I am much further behind than you are, but that’s okay – you always have to start somewhere!

  9. Love the new look Gretchen, and great income report! I haven’t been able to visit this blog much since when I’d visit, it would take too long to load – and freeze my computer. Now, no problems with the new blog design. It has really sped things up!

  10. Wow – sounds like you killed in in 2015! Very impressive that you’ve started another off-shoot business based on Pinterest. You are a true inspiration to me with your income as I am just doing this part-time for now, but I have dreams of making the move to full-time blogger at some point :-).