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How I Made $86,770 Last Year and 2018 Work from Home Goals

It’s time to set your 2018 work from home goals and how you’ll create the future you deserve

I’ve gotta confess, I’m not a big fan of these year-end reviews. Sure, they help see what worked and what needs improvement but I’d rather look forward to the new year and new goals.

The upside to these reviews is they help spark a conversation. I get more engagement and more feedback from these blogging income reports than any other posts. It’s all worth it to be able to talk to people in the community about what works and what new bloggers can do to reach their own work from home goals.

What are your 2018 work from home goals? Are you a new blogger or looking to grow your websites? What income sources have you tried, which have worked and which maybe could use a little improvement?

What Worked in 2017 for Work from Home Businesses

The economy is shifting to a freelance, independent contractor system of work. Employers are finding it cheaper and easier to outsource their work to individuals. That’s good and bad for workers.

Freelancers get more control over their income and time. That control has helped me make more money than I ever did at a traditional 9-to-5 job.

It comes with drawbacks though. Not having a boss also means you don’t have a steady paycheck. The idea of paid holidays and sick time goes out the window. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.

You also have to take care of all those things a traditional employer does like health insurance, retirement plans and other benefits.

Despite the downside, I love this work from home lifestyle. It continues to surprise me how much you can make and the feeling of pride you get from growing your own business. In my third year as an online entrepreneur, I was able to grow my income by 43% over 2016.

A 43% raise isn’t bad.

I made a total of $86,770 from blogging and freelancing last year. That’s in a job that has no barriers to entry. You don’t need a degree and you don’t need thousands of dollars to start…really not bad.

2018 work from home goals

Work from Home Income and 2018 Goals

I launched three new books in January for a total of 10 self-published books on Amazon. Self-publishing income grew 37% in 2017, even after leaving it for the rest of the year and doing almost nothing to promote the books.

I love self-publishing as a passive income source. It’s a natural fit for bloggers and is so easy to set up.

I had a virtual assistant helping me market the blogs for sponsored posts during the first half of the year and was able to grow income by 144% from that source. Sponsored posts are where a company pays you to post an article on the blog.

Sponsored posts are a small part of my income, less than 10% of the total, but can be a large part of other blogger’s income. You can charge $100 per post even on a small blog and I’ve seen bloggers get $500 or more for larger blogs.

I started the year with a freelancing contract to produce a monthly investing newsletter for a client. The contract was a big one but only lasted through March. I still work for the client but only for a small weekly article.

I’ve shifted away from freelancing work over the last two years. Freelancing is a great income source, especially for new bloggers. You can make $50 to $100 or more per hour for different services. In fact, the virtual assistant that was managing my sponsored posts makes over $10,000 a month and recently launched a video course for new VAs.

I still made $18,150 last year freelancing, down 25% from the year before, so it’s a sizable chunk of my income. The problem with freelancing is that you don’t own the assets you create. Any writing or work you do for someone is theirs to use for their own business.

You get paid well for your time but you’re always looking for that next job.

Shifting away from freelancing and to working on my own products and blogs puts me in greater control. Spending my time creating my own products means I’ll earn an income off them for years to come.

Freelancing is a great way to start your work from home business. It can provide the income you need to pay the bills while you build your own websites and products. I couldn’t have built my blogs to a $5,000+ monthly income without freelancing, it’s just time to move on and work more on my own assets.

The biggest increase in income sources last year, and the biggest single income source, was from affiliates. This is where you partner with a business to market their product or service. You place a link in your blog content. If a reader clicks through and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

Affiliate income jumped 147% last year to over $36,000 with commissions coming from 31 different affiliates.

Understand though that just six affiliates accounted for 93% of that income. That’s typical for a blog to make the vast majority of its affiliate income from just a few partnerships and it’s important for how you set up the income source.

Focus on just a few affiliates that really help serve your readers, great products that help solve a problem specific to your blog’s niche. You’ll need to diversify your income in other sources though because affiliate income is very volatile. Affiliates drop their programs all the time or a popular post can fall in Google search ranking.

The loss of just one or two big affiliates can cause your income to plunge so diversifying you income sources is critical.

That’s an important lesson in any income source. A good friend of mine lost her top freelancing client last year, a client that accounted for two-thirds of her total income. Losing that income almost meant she had to go back to a 9-to-5 job.

How I’m Evolving and Growing My Work from Home Business in 2018

Like any business, resting on past success will put your future success in danger. Blogs and self-publishing can produce income even if you slow down but growing your income means you always need to be improving.

2018 goals for online income sourcesVideo courses have long been on my list for growth. I love self-publishing but who wants to make $3 per sale forever? Why not make $100 with a video course?

My goal is to launch four courses this year, two for investing and two for work from home strategies. I was an investment analyst for nearly a decade and still enjoy helping people make their money work for them. I love this new work from home lifestyle and can’t wait to help people develop strategies of their own.

I’m also launching a YouTube channel in 2018. Writing comes naturally for me and I love blogging but I wanted another way to interact and engage with the community. Creating videos for the blog has been tough, you wouldn’t believe how many hours go into editing, but it looks like the new channel is going to really help people launch their own money goals.

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What are Your 2018 Side Hustle Goals?

This time of year, everyone is talking about New Year’s goals. Everyone waits for this time of year to set goals and put their plans into action.

Owning your own business, online or otherwise, makes New Year’s resolutions a non-event. You’ll be thinking about goals and new plans so often that the beginning of a new year means nothing more than changing the calendar.

I want to challenge you on one goal this year. I want to help you reach for that one achievement, that one summit you want to top. Whether it’s building your blog, a freelancing side-hustle or launching a self-published book – I want to help you build your online business.

Drop me an email or subscribe to the YouTube channel. Let me know what your top goal is and the questions you have to get started.

Last year was a great leap forward for work from home entrepreneurs and 2018 could be even better. Remember to diversify your income through different sources and never lose that hunger for growing your business.

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