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How this Blogger Made $62,964 in Three Months

Two blogging income sources alone made almost $42,000 in the first three months of 2020

With unemployment surging from the shelter-in-place orders, starting some kind of a side hustle or online business has never been more important. More than ‘getting rich’ or reaching financial independence, even a small online business can provide the kind of income insurance you need when a recession hits.

I started my blogs in 2013 and have been making money online since a few years before that. It wasn’t an immediate money-maker but I’ve grown it to a six-figure business and it’s something anyone can do…believe me if I can do it, anyone can!

I do these income reports not as a way to show off how much I’m making but to motivate you to get started yourself. I made more in the first three months of 2020 than most people make all year and again, if you knew me…you’d know I’m definitely not some business genius.

Let’s look at how the online business has evolved over the last three months and how you can get started on your own six-figure business.

60 Months of Making Money Blogging

This month, it’s been exactly five years since I started making money through the blogs and my own online assets. It was another six months before that when I got started on the blogs.

Two things I want to point out there,

  • Don’t think you have to wait to start making money online. A lot of people will tell you to just focus on building your blog and growing traffic, that you shouldn’t think about making money for at least a year. Bull$h!7…if you have one visitor to your blog, you can start making money.
  • Don’t think it’s immediately going to make you rich. Do your blogging part-time at first or have a side hustle to pay the bills until you start making enough online.

I started with three blogs, all in different topics and posted once a week to each. After a year, I bought two blogs and flipped them and have recently started building the YouTube channel as well.

  • There’s not one ‘best’ business model for making money online. You can have one blog or many. I think everyone should have at least one blog to help build a community around your brand. You own your blog website and will have more control versus other online assets like a YouTube channel or Facebook page.
  • Just like any business, your strategy needs to evolve over time. It might start as just a blog but constantly be watching how other online entrepreneurs are working to get ideas like adding a YouTube channel or other assets.

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I’ll share my monthly income in a graphic below and you’ll see that it’s been a gradual increase over those five years. Don’t expect it to make you rich quick but this is the fastest income source I’ve ever seen. Where else can you expect your monthly income to grow by at least 28% each year?!?

I want to use this post as an update and provide more detail so use the index below to follow my journey from zero to six-figures.

How I Grew My Online Income by 126% in 2020

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m using the term ‘blogging income’ pretty loosely here. It’s a holdover from the days that all I did was blogging but now I consider it much more an ‘online income’. From YouTube to courses, books and sponsorships, much of my income isn’t necessarily directly from the blogs.

Income from the first quarter 2020 averaged $20,988 [$20,709 January, $24,349 February, $17,906 March] versus an average of $9,281 in the same three months last year. That’s more than double last year and if I keep up the pace, I’ll crack a quarter million this year.

Online Income through March 2020
Online Income through March 2020

The big increases in online income over the last three months, which I’ll detail below and show you how to get started were:

  • Income from Courses and Products grew 258% to $818 per month
  • Ad revenue from the YouTube channel grew 119% to $7,432 per month
  • Sponsorships grew 447% to average $3,279 per month

I did see a pretty nasty drop in March income, falling almost $6,500 from the month before, and it reminds me of two more rules in online income,

  • Make sure you develop multiple income streams; i.e. books, courses, ad revenue, affiliates and sponsorships. Income month-to-month in any single source can rise or fall a lot but the group will usually smooth out those ups-and-downs.
  • Always be looking for other income sources or different ways to make money within each. For example, affiliate programs get dropped all the time so don’t think you’ll be making thousands on that one affiliate forever.

A lot of the drop in income during March was due to the Coronavirus. Ad revenue through YouTube fell considerable and many affiliates dropped their programs. I’ll talk more about this at the end of the post.

How I Get Sponsorships for My Online Business

When I started the blogs, I was happy to get $100 for a sponsored post. As the blogs and YouTube channel have grown, along with the social media profiles, I’ve been able to get much larger sponsorships.

Video sponsorship packages regularly net $2,000 – $5,000 each and I’ve got one long-running sponsor that has produced nearly $14,000 in income.

The biggest change here has been adding the YouTube channel, now at just over 180,000 subscribers. Sponsors love video because it’s a more personal medium than text on a blog. You can deliver a brand message visually and through audio and the click-through rate on links is about twice what I’ve seen on blogs.

This shift to video is only going to accelerate and it’s why I say, every blogger needs a YouTube channel as well. I still think you need a blog to put everything together, to have a place to send your YouTube community and to collect emails. A YouTube channel gives you that 21st century growth on top of the traditional online assets like a blog.

Click to reserve your spot at the FREE YouTube Quick-start Webinar! I’m sharing three strategies that helped me grow my YouTube channel and double my business income and I guarantee they WILL work for you. Seats are limited for the webinar so make sure you reserve yours.

How to Make More Money Blogging with Affiliates

Even though my affiliate income ‘only’ grew 95% over the last year, it was still $20,000 in the three months so I feel like I should highlight a few tips to get you started.

  • Get active in a blogger network; either through a group on Facebook or an annual conference of bloggers in your niche. I’ve found my best affiliates through referrals from other bloggers.
  • Go to at least one annual conference of bloggers or related to your niche and write down the name of every sponsor. There’s a 100% chance they either have an affiliate program or are looking to promote the company.
  • Create a list of 5-10 blogs in your niche. These should range from smaller blogs to the very large and check in regularly to see what products or services they’re promoting. You can also check out their resources page or get on their email list to see their best affiliates.

Don’t forget, affiliates come and go. I’ve seen thousands of dollars in monthly income evaporate with an email that an affiliate is ‘pausing’ its program. You can’t let it get you down and quit. Accept it as the way the business works and constantly be looking for great affiliates to promote.

How to Make Thousands Blogging with Courses and Products

The second biggest increase in my income was from my own products and this one is going to be huge in the months to come. I booked an average of just over $800 in the first quarter…but am on track to book over $3,000 in April alone.

How I Make Thousands Blogging with Courses
How I Make Thousands Blogging with Courses

What most bloggers get wrong when they start creating online courses or other products is they immediately think these have to be super-long video courses. It takes them months and even years to create a course…then they’re disappointed when they don’t make as much as they thought.

I know because that was my experience.

I created two awesome video courses and then found out, you don’t make money on these unless you constantly market them through videos or blog posts. It sucks but even the best course in the world won’t make a dime unless you get it in front of people every month.

For my third product, I created an investing spreadsheet in Excel. It’s got some pretty awesome functions but I was able to hire a developer to help me and it only took three months to create and test. I’m selling it for $35 (versus about $200 for the video courses) and the response has been amazing!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t create video courses. These are some great high-value products and you can make a lot of money. What I am saying is experiment with different product ideas and different price points.

  • You can put together a one-page printable or even a 60-page booklet in no time and make $3 to $5 a copy
  • Spreadsheets and budget calculators are another easy and quick product to produce and you can find developers on Upwork to help create them.
  • Video courses don’t need to be 5+ hours long. Create a mini-course of 2-3 hours first and see how that sells.

How the Coronavirus is Affecting Blogger Income

I feel a little odd talking about the Coronavirus in terms of money and business but we can’t give up on our livelihood or the virus wins. The shelter-in-place and lockdowns hasn’t affected online workers as much but there are some changes you’ll have to deal with.

Ad revenue has decreased and affiliate programs are being paused as companies pull back on spending. The drop in per view income has been partially offset by the increase in views though. I read a report last week that said ad spending is down 38% over the last month even as traffic is up 60% on some platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

I’ve definitely seen this in YouTube ad income, dropping from about $0.014 per view to half that over the last month.

How Coronavirus Affects Blogging Income
How Coronavirus Affects Blogging Income

Affiliate programs seem to be the biggest hit I’ve seen with many of the programs cancelled or paused. I’ve lost two programs over the past month and what could be a couple thousand dollars in monthly income. This kind of thing often happens during the slow summer months but the pace and timing this year has been amplified because of the virus.

It just reinforces the rule that you need to diversify your online income and work through the challenges. If you constantly look for ways to evolve and grow your business, you can make A LOT of money online. If you rely on one income source and one source of traffic forever, you’ll quickly see your income fall to zero.

FREE 5-Day Build-a-Blog Course…Get Your Free Checklist and Video Course Now

Starting an online business is becoming the de facto career path anymore and you need to get started. Anyone can do this and I guarantee you, follow just a few basic rules and you WILL be successful. I wish I had the words to tell you how AVERAGE I am and prove to you that anyone can start making an online income. Take the leap, click through to the free video course above and you will make money.

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