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Welcome to my monthly income report. I publish these online income reports to share not just the revenue from my blog and freelance writing business, but also the mistakes, lessons and new projects.
I’m currently earning a few thousand dollars a month thanks to sponsorships, freelance writing and ads but I’m also working on 2 other income streams (affiliate marketing and selling online courses).
Read on to see what’s been going on over the past month. Hopefully, this will inspire you to add a new income stream to your business, start a profitable blog, make your first money freelancing, or simply work on a new business idea.
What Happened in July 2018 on My Blog and in My Business
It’s vacation time. And while I’m not part of the 9 to 5 lifestyle which includes 2 paid vacations during the year, I did arrange something many months ago with good friends.
2 weeks prior to hitting the Croatian coast, I told all my freelance clients I won’t be available for any writing assignments in the first part of July.
A real vacation is a big distraction for me as it means:
- Being a bit more stressed before traveling as there are many things to prepare related to the blog and online business;
- Not making money and missing out on opportunities while there;
- Not having my laser focus for at least 10 days after coming back.
In terms of money, that means my monthly income is less and this can even affect the money earned in August. That’s okay, of course, as this is one of those moments when it’s best to look at the big picture.
I had an amazing time in Croatia and created memories for a lifetime. Also, a break from work is beneficial and leads to working on new things and maybe finding a new approach to business after that.
Happy with my new bookkeeper.
I wasn’t satisfied with the first bookkeeper I hired after relocating my online business to the Netherlands and starting a company there. Then, I tried a second one, this time from my city – Amsterdam.
While we don’t need to meet in person, emails can say enough about a person. Especially when they arrive on time, are friendly and with the necessary information.
So far, so good. Luckily, I won’t have to worry about accounting anymore and will just leave it to the experts.
This is the first aspect of my work I’m officially delegating and it’s a challenge. However, it’s also one of the most important areas and it’s definitely worth having a specialist take care of the numbers.
Working Minimum Hours
One of the good things, once you work for years to create the foundation of an online business, is that it’s working for you when you leave it for some time.
The summer isn’t the best time of the year to work longer hours, start new projects or be disciplined. And that’s okay.
I worked minimum hours each week, simply updating the blog, publishing new content, and doing some freelance work here and there.
The income might be lower with close to $1,000, but it was all worth it as I didn’t do any work I didn’t feel like and I was and am living the good life.
Administration is key, though, as well as answering email and keeping in touch with clients. So that’s one thing that should be done every time of the year.
Some bloggers and freelancers might feel guilty they are leaving behind the business and not making work a priority during the summer months. But that guilt isn’t making you any more productive.
Instead, you’re still being lazy and distracted but also feeling upset. Let go of the guilt and know that even if you’re stuck behind the laptop when the sun is shining, it’s too hot to focus and you’re thinking about the time with friends you’re missing out on right now, you won’t actually do a good job.
I like to keep in mind the fact that in a month or so I will be back on track, more motivated to catch up with work and start the new projects I’ve planned.
Then, I work more than some people with a regular job. So at the end of the year, it’s all balanced.
My New, Big Goal
While this summer was full of distractions, I did take what could be one of the most important decisions in my life.
I will write a separate post about it and maybe it can help you decide what next steps to take in your situation too.
I have a vision for the future like never before and it’s related to my location – Amsterdam – where I’ve been living for 1,5 years now and where I’ve also registered my business.
After testing the relocating, I know for sure it’s where I will be spending the rest of my life. So it makes sense to invest what I earn in this place, knowing I don’t really trust institutions to take care of my money and won’t really start investing in stocks or else.
The only logical step in my case is real estate.
The rest estate market in Amsterdam is out of control and everyone wants to buy, prices are high, and people use their own savings to meet the requirements of the owners/investors. However, whoever has bought a home here, whether it’s 20, 10 or 2 years ago, is now reaping the benefits.
So buying one now or in 1 or 2 years makes absolute sense.
I will consider this my pension plan too. I first want to buy a small and cheap place where I’ll live comfortably and on my own for a few years, as I’m single and it’s not yet time for family life.
Then, I will move to my next home (one I buy on my own again, together with a partner, or else) and start a family. This first purchase, however, will be something I will begin renting.
Once I pay off the mortgage (which I might manage to do earlier than most people depending on how the business is growing), I still start receiving money from it on a monthly basis by a tenant.
After a certain number of years, that will pay me back all the money I invested to purchase the property.
From then on, it’s passive income for the rest of my life. It’s also a good investment as whatever I buy it for now, it will be significantly more in the future and the rent could be much higher as well.
The next months of my life will be dedicated to saving money, researching and talking to local people who are buying or have already done it (that’s priceless information).
I need to have been paying taxes here for 1 whole year before I can even apply for a mortgage, so I will need my first financial statement from the Netherlands.
This will be available in January 2019 so no actions have to be taken until then. Which is good as the research and preparation phase is key for big decisions like that!
That means a new passion and hobby for me.
What a fun journey that will be!
So far all my goals in life have been slightly short-term. But this one requires a decade (and probably more until I actually start getting money back from the investment).
Whatever happens, though, I will feel good knowing I’m not just paying another high rent in Amsterdam for a crazy small place, but am actually working my way to owning it.
All the things I’ll learn from researching and experience along the way will inspire me to write about it more and help others doing the same.
Investing in real estate is a serious topic and a profitable niche.
All this is closely related to lifestyle design too. I’m thinking long-term financially but also how to have even more freedom when I’m older.
Owning your home in an expensive city might go together with hidden costs, but at the end of the day, your accommodation is settled for the rest of your life and that gives you peace of mind.
Renting is a completely different income stream from the way I make money now, and it’s also passive income.
Once I get there, I will know enough to advise others through my blog and the products I create. And, hopefully, help them be braver, ask for more and decide to invest in property too.
Needless to say, that will become my hobby and passion too.
Here’s a cool story that can inspire you: How This 34 Year Old Owns 7 Rental Homes
July Monthly Income Report
I earned a total of $3,646 in July 2018 from my blog and freelance writing business, as compared to $4,252 last month.
Please keep in mind that’s gross income. After extracting fees I pay to other platforms, transaction fees, paying my own taxes and insurance and covering my pension as a solopreneur in the Netherlands, there’s much less left for me to spend.
It took a while till I got to over $4K/month blogging and freelancing. You can see the progress here together with all other income reports.
This Month’s Revenue Breakdown
Total Revenue (Gross Income) – $3,646
FREELANCE WRITING: $600
Clients outside of any platform
As you might have noticed, I’m earning much less from freelance writing for months now and it’s for a reason.
I’m minimizing the work I do for clients because I don’t enjoy it anymore and prefer to invest my time and energy into blogging, sponsorships, working on my courses and experimenting with affiliate marketings and ads.
I’m literally leaving money on the table by not looking for new clients and even rejecting some due to low rates or too many requirements.
Freelance work is what helped me get started with making money online and I always encourage people to use it as a stepping stone for that too.
However, once you get a glimpse of what passive income looks like and have an idea of what you should be working on exactly (such as a blog or your own products), helping other people by completing their projects isn’t fun anymore.
If you haven’t yet started earning an income online, please check my free course on freelancing. I share how I started and you can follow my exact steps.
This Month’s Expenses Breakdown
Teachable – $39
Accountant (Q2) – €181.50
Office Supplies and Misc.
Mobile Plan – €27
Health Insurance – €102
Upwork fees – $25
PayPal fees – $163
July’s best content on Let’s Reach Success
55 blog posts were published in July. Here’s some of the content worth checking out if you haven’t already:
The Newbie Guide to Passive Income Online: What Is It and How to Get Started
How to Let Go of Everything to Achieve Anything: 12 Things to Free Yourself From
6 Profitable Business Ventures You Can Start from Home
This is How Millennials Are Changing The Property Market
5 Best Ways to Write a Successful Self-Development Plan
How to Prepare for Your First Overseas Solo Trip: 6 Tips for Traveling Alone
A Business Owner’s Guide to Paid Social Media Advertising
The 6 Biggest Challenges Every Location Independent Entrepreneur Encounters
9 Essential Money Saving Tips for Expats
3 Proven Ways to Make Money from Real Estate Investing
Things I Want to Get Done in August
I want to get back to doing more freelance work.
That’s because it gives me discipline. Back in the days, I would wake up and do that first thing in the morning. After it, anything else felt like a reward, such as blogging.
I want to write content for one of the 2 paid courses I’m creating.
I want to update the first book I ever published.
That’s The Tao of Happiness. Recently checked it and saw the formatting isn’t good. So it needs an update which is quite a time-consuming task.
Resources to Becoming Your Own Boss and Making Money Online
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.
The Passive Income Boss [Free Course] – That’s another free course I released on the topic of earning passive income through blogging. You’ll learn what passive is exactly and how it works, how to get started with blogging and make your site powerful, and the 4 main passive income streams you can create using your blog.
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.
How I Gained 100K Pinterest Views: 8 Pinterest Tips for Bloggers – If there’s one social media I’d recommend that will transform the way you bring traffic to your blog and make money online, it’s Pinterest. I recently doubled my Pinterest views a month after I got active on the site. In this post, I share the strategies I learned from experts that worked for me.
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).
You can also read my detailed Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review.
How Bloggers Can Make $10,000 a Month from Home – Curious how bloggers get to 10K/month working from home and what you need to do differently? In this article, I discuss why it’s possible for everyone to make that much on a monthly basis and how to get there.
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 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.
Thanks for making it this far. I hope sharing my earnings, life lessons, and new goals and decisions inspires you to think of a way to start an online business yourself or add a new income stream.