It’s March 2020 and people in every country in the world live in fear, as every next week presents new scary numbers due to the coronavirus outbreak, and parliaments are taking drastic measures to limit exposure to the virus and avoid damage.
As the world is facing something that hasn’t been seen by our generations, I wasn’t sure if I should publish yet another income report. But I also see many people losing hope, not having anything to look forward to, and needing a spark again. And I myself am eagerly awaiting my fellow bloggers’ monthly income reports to see what they’ve been up to. It’s not really for the numbers anymore, just to see that someone out there keeps putting in the workday after day and sticking to their original plan.
So I decided to go ahead and publish it. Read on to see what happened in February 2020 on Let’s Reach Success and in my business.
If you haven’t started a blog yet, make sure you enroll in my free course Launch Your Profitable Blog Today:
February 2020 Blog Income Report
I earned a total of $5,437 in February 2020 from my blogging business.
Please keep in mind that’s gross income. A lot of it goes for fees I pay to other platforms, transaction fees, paying my own taxes (close to 30% of my income), insurance and pension. You can see all income reports here.
Proof of Income
Here are some screenshots showing some of the revenue:
- Ad revenue from Mediavine
- Course sales
- Affiliate income from Teachable
- PayPal earnings
Earnings from each income stream:
Sponsored content – $3,612
*My income from sponsored content is earned through online marketplaces for bloggers and advertisers (2 examples include ValuedVoice and SeedingUp) as well as networking with brands via email.
Mediavine – $1,404
(See How to Make Money with Mediavine)
The Pro Blogger Bundle – $194
Total Affiliate Income – $194
Books – $30
Courses – $197
Financial Freedom Through Blogging
Total Sales: $227
TOTAL (Gross Income): $5,437
- WPX Hosting – $0 (paid yearly)
- Teachable – $0 (paid yearly)
- ConvertKit – $0 (paid yearly)
- Tailwind Plus – $0 (paid yearly)
- Tailwind Tribes Max – $0 (paid yearly)
- Accountant – € 0 (paid quarterly)
- Mobile Plan – €27
- Health Insurance – €0
- PayPal fees – $132
- Teachable fees: $16
Email Subscribers Update
New Subscribers: 482 (246 more than last month)
Total list size: 3,142
Wow! Nearly 500 new subscribers to my email list last month. And for March, it seems it will be an even higher number.
Because I now went over my ConvertKit plan for 3000 subscribers (which was already paid for the whole year), they automatically upgraded my account and I’ll have to pay around $200 more. But it’s worth it.
At some point, I will be cleaning my email list as I don’t need the so called ‘cold subscribers’ on it, who don’t engage with the emails but only stay on the list (and they cost me a lot).
Do I still recommend ConvertKit as an email marketing tool for bloggers? Absolutely!
Your email list is your biggest asset and you need to make sure you use the best provider to keep in touch with your subscribers.
One of the tasks I had to complete after enrolling in the course Stupid Simple SEO was to create silo pages for the most important topics on my site.
It’s a page representing themed content and experts have been recommending silos to every blogger for a long time now. It’s great for SEO as silo pages help Google understand what your site is about and prefer it over other sites in the same niche as it’s better organized.
What’s more, it’s easier for visitors to navigate through your content as you’re clearly defining the main sections of your site and giving each a purpose.
Now, I explored many blogs and some of the top sites in certain niches to see how their silo pages look like. You can do the same.
Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that each must:
- Be optimized with a keyword
- Replace the standard category page you have related to that topic (No one needs category pages that include a list of recent posts. Instead, a well-designed silo page can have the most important content on it.)
- Be added to the menu
- Include visuals
- Have a killer title and a clear introduction
- Show your best content on the topic
- Be a completely new page on your site and your go-to resource on that specific topic. After which you should redirect your related category pages to it (with the ‘Redirection’ WordPress Plugin, for example)
- The page can contain some content too (like my examples below) but should also link to your top blog posts (recent ones can be added too) on that topic as it’s a resource
So, here are my silo pages. I spent a long time deciding on the best structure. Once I found it, I used it for all silos on LRS.
The following pages are also in the Menu and organized by category.
Cowork cafes and productivity
I’m tired of working from home and want to feel busier, so I knew what I had to do: start going to cafes or coworking places with my laptop again.
The city I live in is literally made for that, so it’s a wasted opportunity not to do it.
I chose a few favorite ones in my area and started going to one every day of the workweek. It helped me get 4-6 hours of focused work done while being around people, enjoying my city more, and being outside of the house.
I also feel like I’m going to work and coming back from work, which makes my business a bit more real, other than just working on it from home.
Because of that change, I got more work done that usual! While for some the noisy environment in cafes can be distracting, for me it’s refreshing.
Update: As of March, that’s no longer possible as cafes and restaurants all over the country (Netherlands), as well as most other European countries, are closed due to coronavirus and it’s advised to remain at home. I only leave home when necessary.
Updated my sponsored post packages
I do a lot of negotiation via email with brands interested in sponsored posts. As that’s my biggest income stream for now, I’m also constantly refining my process and updating my page for sponsors.
I finally offered my packages and re-considered my rates again. For the first time, I added an option with a starting rate of $1,200.
You can check it out here if you too want to have a page for sponsors on your blog.
Outlined all my current and future sales funnels
Sales funnels (creating a step-by-step process that takes people from signing up for your newsletter to buying your products, and automating it) are where the real magic happens. And it’s also one of the hardest aspects of blogging.
I learned a lot more about them (and finally created my first sales funnels) in the course Six-Figure Blogger. The information there was truly helpful and Alex and Lauren (who earn over $100K/month) share the strategies they use.
Here’s what I did in the last few months:
- Switched to a better email marketing tool – ConvertKit
- Created new freebies and optin forms
- Wrote the emails for my welcome email series and created sequences (in ConvertKit)
- Set up automations (so the moment a visitor signs up through a specific optin form, they are immediately added to one of my sequences and start receiving a series of automated emails, giving them more freebies, introducing myself and sharing my story and more of my content, and – ultimately – offering my products)
- Created 2 smaller products (Blog Printables and The Life Planner Kit)
- Added one-time offers for visitors signing up to some optin forms (they are immediately redirected to a page offering them a cheap and relevant product at an even lower price)
- Outlined all this (that wasn’t easy as I’ve already done all the work prior to writing it all down in one place)
So, from here on, I’ll be tweaking each of the elements of the funnels. There’s so much to work on and the only sign of success is a higher conversion rate.
It’s amazing to see people purchase my course Financial Freedom Through Blogging and also those first sales I saw in the first days of releasing my printables were awesome. That’s validation of an idea right there.
Here are some interesting blog posts published in February 2020:
- Interview with a successful influencer and blogger
Posting on Instagram and getting brands to pay you for that? Sounds too good to be true!
Well, it is true. While it’s not my thing, I just interviewed Maria from Chic Pursuit – a successful (small) Instagram influencer who made some good money with 50,000 followers.
She’s also dominating Pinterest (10 million page views) and now earns over $8,000/month with her fashion blog.
But the point is that she didn’t know anything in the beginning, she just needed a side hustle to earn an extra income. She chose Instagram and it worked.
Read the story of Maria here to see what it takes to get 50K Instagram followers and also make money blogging.
- Interview with financial guru Jim Wang
The next interview I published in February is with a big name in the Finance niche – Jim Wang, who once started a personal finance blog that he later sold for the crazy amount of $3 million. That website was once called Bargaineering, but today it’s known as Bankrate.com – one of the most popular and trusted sites in the world.
Read the whole interview with Jim here.
- Interview with a best-selling author and TED speaker
The third interview I had the pleasure to publish was with Joshua Spodek. Learn how he created an Amazon bestseller.
- New content for bloggers
How to Choose a Blog Name You Won’t Regret
How Much Money Can You Make Blogging
SEO for Bloggers: How to Rank Higher on Google in 2020
How to Drive Social Media Traffic as a New Blogger
- Other articles
How to Invest Money to Make Money
How to Make Money Teaching English Online
How I Made $5,267 Blogging Last Month (this is the January 2020 blog income report)
How to Start an Online Business on The Side
Featured Readers Questions:
Is it possible to earn six figures per year through blogging without any videos or podcasts?
I never believed I’d earn 5 figures per year either. And the bloggers I follow who earn 6 figures are also doing it in simpler ways than producing video content.
But there are 2 critical things you can’t go without: email marketing and selling your own digital products (which means a great sales page, using a software like Teachable to sell and offer the content, creating a quality product, forming connections, having affiliates, building a whole sales funnel. etc.) These are the things I’m getting into now and they are ‘the real deal’.
What I see from experience and what I hear all other bloggers confirm is this: earn 5 figures with ads, sponsored content (and a bit of affiliate marketing maybe), but get to 6 figures with affiliate marketing and selling your products.
No one says video or audio content has anything to do with that.
However, an online course is more useful with videos in it. That’s why in my premium blogging course I have some for the technical aspects of blogging, but my face isn’t in the video, it’s just the screen and my voice giving instruction. Anyone can do that.
Do we have to apply for an affiliate program within our country? Can’t we apply for a company partnership like in the USA?
Many affiliate programs are only for US-citizens, yes. In that, we in Europe are a bit restricted. So just see which ones of the programs you want to join are okay with your location. The rules are strict and we should follow them.