This article contains affiliate links.
Welcome to my May 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 course Financial Freedom Through Blogging.
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 May 2019 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:
New Blog Design
I felt like it was time to re-design the blog, which means choosing a new premium theme.
The content, direction, monetization methods and philosophy of a blog change over time so the design should be aligned with all this. While I really loved the theme I was using – Mag by Theme Forest – I knew it was time for something else.
It was a theme with way too many features, which is great but only if they are being used. I now wanted a theme which could allow me to design my homepage in a new way, which is made for bloggers, and which brings the reader’s attention to my products (in particular, my free online courses).
My courses have become a huge part of my brand and business in the last year. Over 1,500 students have enrolled in them and every day new ones join.
Each course helps a beginner in blogging/online business to solve a problem (to start a blog, monetize it, or earn their $1000 freelancing). Also, these courses introduce me, my blog and my story to the reader in a practical way which leads to engagement.
My affiliate links are there as I recommend only resources I trust and use. I allow anyone taking my courses to become an affiliate. And last but not least, people hear about my paid course Financial Freedom Through Blogging.
So I found the right premium theme for me. It’s called Victoria and it’s by Bluchick.
I’ve heard of that company plenty of times from other bloggers, but was sticking to Theme Forest up until now. This wasn’t necessary, though.
So, I switched to Victoria and used its features to design my homepage, feature my courses at the bottom of each page, use the right colors, create a minimalist footer, update the main pages of my blog as well as the menu and sidebar.
Hope you like how it looks!
I’m still experimenting with the image on top of the homepage, so this is not its final version. It’s called Hero image and allows you to create a great first impression and let the reader visit your most important page or get access to a freebie.
Below it, you can see the Press Logo, where I display the big platforms online I’ve been featured on.
Next, is the ‘How Can I Help You’ section.
There, I decided to include a short paragraph showing the reader 3 big parts of my site and brand. That’s my About page where they can learn more about my story. Another key thing I’ve been doing lately is interviewing successful bloggers and entrepreneurs and featuring their stories, which are truly inspiring. And last but not least are my free courses.
Here are the footer and the courses which can be found on any page of the site now.
The next update I have to share with you is not that business-related.
I will be moving to my new home!
On a more personal note, I finally found the ideal studio that I will turn into my new home office.
I’ve been living in Amsterdam for almost 3 years now. I relocated here as it’s my favorite destination in Europe and the last years have shown me it is indeed the place for me to be. However, the real estate market here is crazy. And while I’m not ready or financially prepared to buy, even renting a place of your own can seem like a pretty impossible thing to do.
I first had to see how my life here goes, set up all documents, move my business from my home country Bulgaria and register it in Amsterdam, and also wait 1 more year so I can have my first financial statement from the Netherlands. Oh, and I also had to make sure I’ve saved a lot of money and increased my income enough to be able to afford a good place.
Once that happened, I started applying for all those wonderful projects that are currently being built in the city for young professionals.
I really wanted a new building in a good neighborhood. While it might sound like a dream to live in the centre of Amsterdam, it’s not actually a good deal (old buildings, many tourists, ridiculous prices, etc.)
So I wanted to be in the East part of the city. Not only did I get this, but it’s in a business area, close to all other areas I’m interested in.
The studio comes with a kitchen and a bathroom so I will only need to furnish the rest.
Till now, I’ve been renting a room in someone else’s apartment. I believe that living on my own and having a much higher rent to pay will be directly related to my personal and business growth over the next few years.
Followers: 2643 (+ 193 from last month)
In May, I reached 500K monthly Pinterest page views. However, by the end of the month they dropped so I’m ending May with 377K page views.
That’s mostly due to taking the course Pinterest Traffic Avalanche 2-3 months ago.
Posts that did well on Pinterest in May include:
- The Only 10 Ways to Become Rich
- 25 Helpful Google Calendar Hacks You’re Probably Not Using
- How to Become a Self-Made Millionaire with No Money
Read also: How I Increased my Pinterest Traffic by 778% in 2 Months
Another record month for Let’s Reach Success in terms of traffic. To compare, last month I got 83,010 page views, 68,074 sessions and 59,455 users.
It’s mostly organic traffic and the rest is coming from direct traffic sources, referrals, social media and email.
At the same time, as you know, I’m trying to grow my traffic from Pinterest.
Social media traffic this month has been around 6000 pageviews, with 5,550 coming from Pinterest.
Mobile traffic is now 60% of all pageviews, which means more and more people are reading blogs from their phone or tablet. That’s yet another reason why I’m changing the design of Let’s Reach Success.
Here are the blog posts that brought the most traffic this month:
How to Become a Self-Made Millionaire with No Money
12 Things I Believe In
How to Plan Your Life and Never Be Stuck Again: 5 Steps to Succeed
25 Helpful Google Calendar Hacks You’re Probably Not Using
How to Become a Millionaire Online in 2019: 8 Realistic Million-Dollar Business Ideas
How to Write and Publish a Book in Less Than 30 Days
The Only 10 Ways to Become Rich
The Bubble Boom: How to Open a Bubble Tea Business That Really Pops
Let’s start with the interviews I published in May on Let’s Reach Success.
The first one is with Abby Lawson from JustaGirlandHerBlog.com
She started doing this as a hobby, but what was a blog about girly things (organization, home improvement, printables, etc.) turned into a huge family business (6 figures).
Her husband, Donny, is now on board and they both work from home running the blog and creating new products for their audience while raising their 2 sons.
To see how it all started, read How Abby Lawson Turned Her Hobby into a 6-Figure Family Business.
The next interview is with Caroline Simmons from Swaddles n Bottles. She is not just a mom blogger, but the owner of a parenting blog that earns $100K/year.
She really seems to have it all figured out and I believe all women have the potential to balance family, business and everything else in the same manner.
According to Caroline, the best combination for an online business is to have a blog, use Pinterest to drive traffic, and monetize through affiliate marketing.
Read How Caroline Used Pinterest and Affiliate Marketing to Build a $100K Parenting Blog
The third interview for the month is with a travel blogger but in it, she doesn’t focus that much on the online business as she does on the travel life.
That’s Nora Dunn and she’s been traveling full-time and in every possible way for 12 years now (solo, with a partner, while volunteering, while house-sitting, while earning money on the road, etc.)
You can read the interview here: How This Former Financial Planner Traveled Full-Time for 12 Years and Saved $100K on Accommodation
Here are just a few of the extraordinary things Nora shares in the interview:
- she sold her business and hit the road knowing she will travel full-time
- she was one of the first travel bloggers online;
- she’s had different free accommodation gigs;
- she lets her destinations choose her;
- she learned the hard way that slow travel is better;
- she was a digital nomad before the term was even invented;
- she apprenticed with a shaman in Peru for 2 years.
Pretty awesome, right?
As last month I earned my first $1000 in 1 month thanks to ads (which means passive income), I decided to write an article about it. Read How to Earn $1000/Month from Your Blog with Ads.
I also wrote a post summarizing the biggest Pinterest mistakes I was making that were slowing down my progress so far. They are some of the most common ones, so if you want to get some traffic from Pinterest, check out this article.
How I Made Money Blogging Last Month – This is my April blog income report where I share what pins of mine went viral and how much exactly I earned from my blog.
Copy Former NFL Player Chris Gronkowski’s Morning Routine for an Effective Day – this is a guest post by the former NFL player Chris Gronkowski in which he shares exactly what he does every morning to stay on top of his game.
6 Tips on How to Get Paid to Write – another guest post but for those who want to earn some money online writing.
How to Turn Your Travel Blogging Hobby into a Business – this detailed guest post will show aspiring travel bloggers where to start.
How I Use MonsterInsights to Analyze My WordPress Site
How to Get More Conversions with Conversational Forms [WPForms Review]
How to Create and Send an Invoice for Your Online Business
How to Scale Your WooCommerce Store with The Best Google Analytics Tool
May 2019 Blog Income Report
I earned a total of $3,440 in May 2019 from my blogging business. (Last month that was $2,665).
Please keep in mind that’s gross blog 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.
Blog Income Breakdown
- Sponsorships: $2636
- Ads: $460
- Affiliates: $200
- Freelancing: $120
- Books: $24
TOTAL (Gross Income): $3440
Here’s proof of my ad revenue from Mediavine:
Blogging Expenses Breakdown
WPX Hosting – $0 (paid yearly)
Teachable – $0 (paid yearly)
Tailwind Plus – $0 (paid yearly)
Tailwind Tribes Max – $0 (paid yearly)
Accountant – €0 (paid quarterly)
Mobile Plan – €27
Health Insurance – €118,50
PayPal fees – $137
Upwork fees – $14
New WordPress theme (Victoria by Bluchick) – $67
What I’ll Be Working on in June
Updating my free courses
Over 1500 people have enrolled in my 3 free courses:
- Launch Your Profitable Blog Today
- The Passive Income Boss
- How to Earn Your First Money Online Freelancing
I know from experience that online courses are a fantastic way to engage a blog visitor and let them learn more about a specific topic. It’s also a way to form a relationship with the reader as the creator can share their story, refer them to affiliate products, mention their paid ones, provide screenshots of real results they’ve achieved so far, and link to relevant posts on the blog.
If done right, a free course can help you:
- Provide even more value in a format people love online
- Bring back traffic to your blog
- Get more email subscribers
- Make product sales
- Grow your brand
- Earn from affiliate marketing.
The more online courses you release, the higher your chance to achieve all of this.
Of course, there’s plenty of competition as so many bloggers out there have free courses on the same platform (Teachable) covering the same topics and most often promoting the same affiliate products.
Still, though, you need to create such content from your point of view, organize it well, and update it frequently.
As things in my business are changing and I’m learning more, I also need to go back to my free online courses at least once a year and update a lot.
That might mean adding new sections, uploading better images, updating links, sharing my new traffic numbers or any other aspect that’s going well, etc. Deleting paragraphs that are no longer relevant. Linking to new and detailed posts on my blog. And so on.
It’s not bad to create a new free cheat sheet either to provide even more value. These are downloadable so people can print them out and engage with your content even offline.
Updates refer to the sales page and how you promote the course too. So you might want to create new Pinterest images for it and schedule them or link to the courses from new important pages on your site.
So, what I’m planning to do in June includes:
- Adding lessons about Pinterest to my blogging courses.
In the last few months, I completed a Pinterest course (Pinterest Traffic Avalanche), started scheduling Pins (using Tailwind), got my Pinterest page views to 500K, and reached 90K visitors on my blog thanks to this. So I’d like to share this with my students and give them tips on how to make the most out of Pinterest for their blog too.
- I will link to new content on Let’s Reach Success.
A ton of practical content (including the inspiring interviews I publish) has been created since I last updated my free courses. So I’d like to link to some pieces that might be just what the students need to take action.
- I’ll try to add a lesson or two more wherever possible to make the course more comprehensive.
- I’ll recommend more products and services for anyone looking to grow their blog or freelance business as I’m now familiar with more great resources in the niche.
- I’ll work on creating a sales funnel.
My 2 free blogging courses (Launch a Profitable Blog Today and The Passive Income Boss) are a fantastic way to create a sales funnel for my most detailed course Financial Freedom Through Blogging. There are many ways to use the free courses to build awareness about the paid product and get people interested in it, so I’ll try to work on that too.
- I’ll update the images.
So all this combined will take a lot of my time in June.
Thanks for reading my May income report and see you in the next one. Until then, you must be ready to start your blog or make money blogging.