Hey and welcome to my monthly income report for February 2018. The efforts and focused work (smart, not hard) over the last few weeks paid off and I had my highest income ever, more than $3,500.
Let’s break down the earnings. And, most importantly, let me share what I did differently and what new I’m working on, as this is the foundation of anything I earn from my online business. Together with that, I’ll mention life lessons, goals for next month and little details from daily life that somehow affect the big picture of lifestyle design and the monthly income itself.
Make sure to check all my monthly income reports (especially the new ones, as things get more interesting there.)
Switched from Bluehost to WPX Hosting.
That’s something technical I was a bit worried about. But there was absolutely no downtime, additional costs or any hassle on my side.
I rarely say this but I wish I had started using WPX hosting for my site earlier. Better late than never, though.
I couldn’t be happier with the results. Although Bluehost is one of the most popular names in the web hosting industry and great for beginner bloggers, it’s not for those scaling.
I often needed their customer support and had specific questions or requests. And I was never satisfied with the experience. But customer support should be key to any company offering a software product.
That’s why I knew it was time to switch. Plus, I’ve been paying more than $400/year for a premium package and wasn’t getting the quality product I was looking for. There was also downtime. If you’re a site owner, you know there’s nothing worse than that.
So, did a research over the last few months and knew the transition would happen some time at the beginning of 2018.
I chose WPX Hosting who are famous for their 99.9% uptime, the best customer support team possible, and a quality product designed specifically for WordPress sites.
What’s more, they take responsibility for moving your site from your old hosting provider to their servers, for free. All that got me convinced.
I contacted them a few times and was always happy with the response. The interesting thing was that the company is based in Bulgaria, my home country, and everyone on their team (except for the founder) is local. That didn’t surprise me, though, as Bulgaria has built a name for itself as one of the leading countries in Europe in the IT sector. Combine knowledgeable workers with low prices, and you got a good destination to start an international company at.
Anyways, I filled out the form on their website the same day I wanted to start the transition to their servers. I would have been okay with some downtime as they were changing the location of the site, after all. But even that didn’t happen. I’ve never been happier with a hosting package.
I now pay $25/month and don’t need to worry anymore that I’ll wake up and my site won’t be available. Here’s my WPX Hosting review.
My new interview went live.
I did an interview for Failory.com, a site sharing the stories of failed startups or bloggers and business owners who made some mistakes in the past. While I’ve never had a failure that cost me much but each was a learning experience, I did talk about the challenges and some things that went wrong.
You can check out the interview here.
I started doing interviews on Let’s Reach Success too.
So many CEOs, successful bloggers or their assistants reach out to me via email (be it for a free guest post or another form of collaboration), that I realized they can share their stories on my site.
I asked a few times if it sounds good. Once they gave me a heads up, I sent them around 10 questions or less based on what I’ve read about them on their website, for example.
Whenever they returned it, I’d post that as an interview-style post. It’s a nice way to present interesting people, what they do, their best advice, and how they built their business.
Here are 2 interesting ones:
Let me know if you think you have a story to share :)
LRS is performing great, according to GTmetrix.
Last month’s website performance test on GTmetrix showed great results. Hitting 97% for page speed and having a 91% YSlow score is what many bloggers want to see. Good to know it can be done by an amateur and SEO beginner like me who isn’t paying for any professional services and isn’t even tech-savvy.
More focus on design.
The biggest proof that I care about design was the new theme for Let’s Reach Success. I’ve taken it to the next level now and make sure all other elements resonate with the brand.
Both on mobile and desktop, you’ll see a cool email opt-in form, yellow buttons, images on top or inside the content that are created with a tool like Canva. The same goes for images on social media.
I’m trying to create a platform with a strong message, that provides a smooth experience on every device, and with a sense of a brand.
This income report is a good example too. Below, you’ll notice a Pinterest-friendly image created specifically for it. The same goes for the featured image on top.
So, enough updates for February. Let’s get to the numbers and see how I joined the 3K club.
February Monthly Income Report
In February, I earned a total of $3,687.
To compare, my latest monthly income goal was around $2,500 (which in Euros, my currency, is a bit above 2000).
In January, I made $2,068 (lower than my new monthly goal).
This Month’s Revenue Breakdown
Sponsored posts: $1,884
Others: $42 (books and affiliates)
It’s good to see I managed to diversify my income.
That means 50% of my money is coming from freelance writing and hours directly invested in actual work. Also, that income depends on other platforms, such as Upwork or clients I communicate with via email.
The other 50% comes from sponsorships. That income stream depends on my site and takes almost none of my time (I simply publish the paid guest post, which is something I enjoy).
Obviously, these 2 are my strong sides, while selling books and earning from affiliate marketing is something I struggle with.
I have a ton of new ideas on how to land more freelance gigs and get more clients for sponsored posts. So, I can see the money from these 2 income streams increasing.
As for the future, I’d like to start earning from the other 2 things I mentioned, which will bring financial security to my life. Also, it’s mostly passive income.
This Month’s Expenses Breakdown
The new monthly business-related expense is $25 for hosting. I may eventually pay that for a year upfront (and get a discount). But started like this as I’m still testing the new platform (although I’m pretty sure I’ll become a loyal customer of WPX Hosting).
Podcast hosting is not part of my expenses anymore. So that’s $12 less (talking about recurring payments here, which I’m not a fan of).
You too can make money blogging!
I wouldn’t be earning over $3K/month if it wasn’t for this blog and monetizing my writing skills by freelancing. It takes some time and effort but it’s absolutely worth it. Because blogging and freelancing are the reason why I wake up whenever I want to every day to do what I love. It’s why I’m location independent, have no boss, moved to another country, started a new chapter and took my online business with me.
For that to happen, you need to have a blog and start monetizing it. Here are some resources to help you out:
Make Your First Money Online Freelancing [Free Course] – I created a free course sharing my journey to making more than $4,000/month blogging. It all began with freelancing and you can use this course to follow the steps I took to become a freelancer with no experience and earn my first income online.
How to Start a Profitable Blog – This step-by-step guide to starting a blog is a must for everyone who wants to start earning online and become self-employed. Having your own blog is the first step to selling products, making money from affiliate marketing, building a name for yourself, getting traffic and monetizing that attention.
Blogging Resources – To build a powerful site that turns visitors into buyers and monetize it well, you will need the right tools. In my Blogging Resources page, I’ve gathered the best of the best and the exact tools I’ve used to grow Let’s Reach Success and be able to make a full-time living as a location independent freelance writer.
4 Ideas for Side Hustles – Check out 4 side hustles you can start on your own and no later than this weekend that can be your chance to achieve financial independence.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – If you’re not earning money through affiliate marketing, then you are leaving money on the table. This step-by-step affiliate marketing strategy course shows you how to increase your affiliate income and make more money blogging. It’s by Michelle from Making Sense of Cents who went from $0 in affiliate income to over $50,000 per month (and also the first online course I’ve ever taken).
How I Became a Location Independent Freelance Writer – In this post, I outline the exact steps from shifting my mindset back when I didn’t believe I could be making any money online to finding my first client, making my first $1,000/month, moving to another country and becoming location independent.
How to Write and Publish Your First Book in Less Than 30 Days – Check out my guide on how to become a self-published author in less than a month. I’ve published plenty of eBooks and have included all the steps you need to go through, from choosing your niche and word count and committing to writing the content to editing, formatting and marketing the book.
How I Make a Living with Sponsored Posts – My monthly income reports won’t be complete without sharing the how-to of sponsored posts. That’s how I earn half of my income. In this post, I share more about how I started with it and what I charge.
What I Learned This Month
Daily focus is powerful.
This time last year, I wasn’t working on the right things. Now, it’s about the things I do online that provide value and bring me money. So that’s what I begin with every day when I get to my desk.
Raising your prices can help you double your income.
That’s what happened to me. I say no to so many opportunities for sponsored posts or freelance work. In the past, I would have taken these, but they would have cost me a lot of energy and time and I would have ended up being underpaid.
Now, however, saying no means I have higher standards. I know who my ideal client is thanks to the smooth communication and whether or not they are ready to invest as much as I require for our collaboration.
It’s worth paying a little more for the foundation of your blog.
I’m happy to pay monthly to WPH Hosting because of the great product and customer experience they are providing me. They are an example of what a good software company looks like and how clients should be treated in any business.
Buying a WordPress theme from ThemeForest was also a great investment that will pay off for years to come. If you’re interested in something similar to the premium theme I have for Let’s Reach Success, it’s this one.
Tracking finances is one of the best habits I built in the last 2 years.
In the beginning, I was doing it all wrong. Slowly, every few months I was adjusting my approach. Checking the income reports of other bloggers in different niches helped me understand what else I should be analyzing. Eventually, that became the reason why I started earning more, spending less, and saving the difference.
It all began by having a budget and knowing where every dollar goes and comes from.
Goals for March
Write proper affiliate reviews.
Starting with WPX Hosting, I finally wanna create solid blog posts, reviewing my most favorite products and services online. It will be only trusted names.
Update pages on the blog.
I will re-design all pages on the site so that they resonate with the brand. Will also use more of the features of the new theme.
I’ll go to the top performing posts on the site (which are from at least a year ago and even more) and update them.
Will make changes to the About and other important pages, as these need to be updated frequently.
Research for a few big ideas.
I’m full of new ideas. Not the ones that distract us, though, but those who fit well into my overall vision and can turn into a great addition to my brand and business.
So in March and April, I’ll start small by doing a research, outlining things, seeing what the first steps are, and then making an action plan. No need to talk about them yet as it’s just thoughts now. But that’s how it all starts.
Thanks for checking out my income review for this month.
I publish these not just to stay accountable, but to show others it’s possible to start from nothing and level up in small steps month after month. Also, reading the income reports of others has helped me so much and led to new ideas for my business, that I hope my reviews can do the same for you.