This article contains affiliate links.
Welcome to my March blog income report.
I publish monthly income reports to share the numbers (earnings and expenses) from my blogging business and the mistakes I made, the lessons I learned, and the new projects I’m about to work on.
You can find all income reports here.
I’m currently earning a few thousand dollars a month thanks to blog sponsorships, ads, and selling my courses.
Freelance writing was a big income stream I relied on before, but I’ve completely replaced that with my blogging income. The transition from a freelancer to a full-time blogger wasn’t easy, and I’m still leaving money on the table every month by not taking any freelance work. However, that doesn’t resonate with my principle to put freedom, flexibility and an enjoyable lifestyle over money and ‘security’.
Read on to see what happened in March 2019 on Let’s Reach Success and in my business (or scroll down for the numbers). You’ll see what new I’ve been working on, the new online course I’m taking, the new product I released, why I’ll be focusing on annual income reports rather than those on a month-by-month basis, and more.
If you haven’t started a blog yet, make sure you enroll in my free course Launch Your Profitable Blog Today:
Published some of my best interviews ever.
I keep contacting new bloggers and offer them to be featured in an interview on Let’s Reach Success and receive plenty of positive answers.
These people have all started hustling on the side a long time ago and are now earning a full-time income blogging. I admire them, follow their journey, learn from them, and now interview them for my blog.
Here are some great interviews I published in March:
How to Earn over $100K/Month Blogging and Travel The World: Interview with Six-Figure Blogger Alex from Create and Go
How Suzi Whitford Started a Blog as a Stay at Home Mom, Grew it to $30K/Month and Retired Her Husband at 30
How This Blog Boss Earns $10K/Month in Different Niches (And Sold a 1-Year-Old Beauty Blog for $50K)
From an IT Specialist in The Israeli Army to Running a Digital Marketing Agency: Interview with Itamar Gero
How This Mom Blogger Grew Her Blog and Income: Interview with Pinterest Expert McKinzie Bean
I’m taking a new course to learn more about Pinterest.
I’ve been neglecting growing my traffic through Pinterest (one of most bloggers’ favourite way to grow a blog) for a long time now.
I still don’t schedule Pins with Tailwind and instead waste a lot of time doing it manually. I don’t create 5 pins per post often. And if I do, I usually try to Pin them all over the course of a week or two. This is a mistake though and it should be 1 every few weeks or months (as it leads to the same URL).
Also, I don’t use Pinterest strategically, I’m having a hard time tracking my Pins, and – of course – don’t convert Pinterest page views to blog traffic.
I wanted to fix all this and finally do it right. This is the traffic source I believe in the most (as I don’t really like other social media platforms, Google takes too long, and Pinterest seems to be great for the content and niches of Let’s Reach Success)
So, I decided to take a course and finally learn all I need to know about Pinterest for bloggers. My choice was Pinterest Traffic Avalanche as I’ve heard plenty of good stuff about it, have checked out what the product contains many times in the past, and know the creators have seen success.
It’s by Alex and Lauren from Create and Go and as Alex says in the interview for LRS that I linked to above, it’s their most popular course.
Of course, simply going through it won’t help me grow my Pinterest account and convert that into blog traffic and income. It will take some work after that and adjusting my strategies.
But it’s a great course for anyone looking to finally leverage Pinterest and grow their blogging business thanks to that channel.
Learn more about Pinterest Traffic Avalanche here.
Became an affiliate for Alex and Lauren’s courses.
Not only did I interview Alex and purchase one of the Create and Go courses, but I also became an affiliate for their school.
So whenever I mention Pinterest Traffic Avalanche or Six-Figure Blogger, I’ll also be using my affiliate links.
Blog design changes.
If you head to the homepage of Let’s Reach Success, you might notice changes in design. Especially in the footer and the header on individual blog posts.
I focused on particular fonts and colors and gave the blog a rather minimalist but also classier look I think (which was inspired by some other bloggers I’m currently following).
Of course, the focus always stays on content.
Created my own affiliate program.
The Let’s Reach Success affiliate program allows anyone to make money from my online courses.
Even if you haven’t enrolled in one of the paid ones, you can join a free one, let me know and I’ll make you an affiliate. Once you get your affiliate link, you’ll also gain access to the promo materials and graphics I created so you can start promoting the courses and make money through affiliate marketing.
Learn more about the affiliate program or join directly here.
Plugin Vulnerability and Security Issue
When you’ve a site owner, there’s always this fear inside of you that tomorrow when you wake up the blog won’t be there. Of course, it almost never happens.
All bloggers I know are using WordPress and aren’t paying for any special products or taking security measures other than trusting the CMS and having the right plugins installed as well as an SSL and using a good web host.
But hackers get better and better and issues can come out of nowhere. In this case, it was ‘being redirected to a malicious website’.
Meaning that I click the articles on my homepage or any other through a link on my site, and instead it takes me to an Amazon page with an affiliate link or a spammy website.
That’s really unpleasant and although no one had actual access to my dashboard, it could make my host or Google see me as a malicious blog.
Search engines can mark a site as unsafe due to things like that. It’s possible that the hackers have masked the code they’ve inserted in one of the files and prevent the blog owner from seeing it. In which case you think everything’s fine when actually your users are being taken to completely different (and bad) pages.
The consequences can be many.
So I immediately contacted my web host and they opened a ticket for that.
Meanwhile, I started doing my research. The best thing I did though is contacting my web host again in order to chat with another person from the team and ask again.
That turned out to be quite helpful as he mentioned plenty of sites were hacked from a social media plugin I was using – Social Warfare. He said that deleting it might not change things as the code is already on my site and somewhere in my files. I immediately removed the plugin, though, and saw results.
My pages were no longer redirecting to any other domain.
WordPress combined with a good web host such as WPX Hosting (and using the security plugin Wordfence) is a safe enough way to do business online. But all kinds of attacks can still happen and you should be familiar with the different ways hackers can access your database or insert malicious code in different places on your site.
Here’s a good article to check out if you’re interested.
Although Social Warfare is one of the most popular and reliable social media sharing plugins out there, most bloggers no longer recommend it after this security issue and vulnerability as it caused serious problems on many sites.
March Blog Income Report
I earned a total of $3,080 in March 2019 from my blogging business.
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.
You can see the progress here together with all other income reports.
More Focus on Annual Blog Income as Opposed to Monthly Income
For the past couple of months, I’ve been distracted by
But with no more freelance work, with new projects such as mastering Pinterest and creating and selling courses (things that will pay off in the long run), rejecting more sponsored post opportunities coming my way, and continuing to focus on how I make money rather than how much I make, keeping in mind the annual blog income makes more sense.
Otherwise, I end up getting a bit worried as the end of the month approaches. I also chase certain numbers that are only vanity metrics. And money earned this month through ads, affiliate marketing and course sales, for example, will only arrive in my bank account in 1-3 months.
With this in mind, every time the 1st day of the new month comes, I’m anxious and under pressure as I need to start chasing a minimum number again. By the end of the month, I’m hoping the income report would look better than the one from the previous month, which isn’t possible most of the time.
All this affects my focus, vision and energy negatively. Taking courses, working on new projects, and choosing long-term blog and business growth instead of quick and easy money is a much smarter way to keep being a full-time blogger and enjoy the lifestyle that comes with it.
That’s why I hope you use these monthly income reports as a way to see what’s working and what isn’t and avoid my mistakes, but keep in mind that the real numbers are the yearly ones.
With that being said, let’s proceed to the earnings and expenses for March.
Blog Income Breakdown
TOTAL (Gross Income): $3,080
This month I earned less than the previous ones. The reasons for that include:
- No freelance work
- Creating a new product
- Creating an affiliate program for all my courses
- Updating all products
- Taking a course on Pinterest for bloggers and applying the strategies
- Rejecting most of the sponsored post opportunities coming my way as they aren’t the right fit for the blog and audience.
As you can see, I’ve been quite busy but that’s not directly related to profits in the last or the following month. Instead, it’s something that will pay off in the future and any blogger should be playing the long game.
Blogging Expenses Breakdown
WPX Hosting – $0 (paid yearly)
Teachable – $0 (paid yearly)
Accountant – €0 (paid quarterly)
Course (Pinterest Traffic Avalanche) – $157
Mail Storage – $43 (Zoho mail)
Mobile Plan – €27
Health Insurance – €118,50
Transaction fees – $110
I’m really happy I paid for my hosting provider (WPX Hosting) and online course platform (Teachable) in advance as I don’t need to worry about them each month.
The new expenses for this blog income report are the Pinterest course I bought and the mail storage upgrade (which is a first time for me).
The new things I’m gonna spend money on related to my blogging business in April are Tailwind Plus and paying for my domain name (for 3-4 years instead of 1 as I’ve been doing it so far).
What I’ll Be Working on in April 2019
Completing Pinterest Traffic Avalanche
Obviously, my main focus will be Pinterest and the first step is completing the course. I’m taking notes while doing it and will go through them carefully after that.
There’s a ton of work to be done and the real hustle begins only after the course
Scheduling with Tailwind
I started scheduling with Tailwind only in March and am still figuring it out and getting used to it. It’s a new thing for me as I don’t really use many tools for my business. From now on, however, I will be relying on Tailwind to grow my Pinterest account and blog traffic and income as a result.
Joining more group boards and Tailwind tribes
I will apply for more group boards on Pinterest (especially in the Finance niche as most of my current ones are in the Blogging category).
In addition, once I purchase Tailwind Plus, I will begin joining Tribes and posting my Pins there to get more views and engagement.
Helpful Blogging Resources
Financial Freedom Through Blogging – My Ultimate Course for Bloggers Looking to Start, Grow and Monetize a Blog and Become Their Own Bosses
Launch Your Profitable Blog Today (Free Course for Beginner Bloggers Looking to Quickly Set Up a Blog)
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.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (The Ultimate Affiliate Marketing Course for Beginners, Created by Michelle from Making Sense of Cents Who Earns $100K/Month Blogging)
The Passive Income Boss (Free Course on How to Earn Passive Income from Your Blog)
How to Start a Profitable Blog and Make Money: A 6-Step Guide for Serious Blogger’s Only
How to Make Money Blogging
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Blog (+ My Blogging Expenses)
How I Earned $250 from 1 Sponsored Post on My Blog
How I Made $47,479 Blogging in 1 Year
WPX Hosting – my recommended hosting provider
Mag – the premium theme I’m using for Let’s Reach Success.
Teachable – best place to create and sell your online courses.
The Only Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review You’ll Ever Need to Read
WPX Hosting Review: The Many Positives of Using WPX Hosting for Your WordPress Site