Today, I’ll be talking about publishing monthly income reports.
If you don’t know what that is, it’s very popular in the blogging industry. Basically, a business owner shares their earnings and expenses for the month, what they worked on, the lessons they learned, anything else going on in their business and in their life if they want to, the mistakes they made, the best tips they can give their audience, etc.
This turns into this powerful piece of content that can inspire others, show them what’s going on behind the scenes of a business, what happens over the course of a month, how profitable a business venture can be, but also the ups and downs, because there are some low months.
Back when I was starting my blog, which was in 2013, I knew nothing about blogging. I didn’t have the confidence that I could make money online, and it just began as a hobby. But I was reading many of these income reports by other bloggers.
Some were making six figures a month, others six figures per year. Some were making a couple thousand and some just a few hundred. But from each of them, I learned something.
They helped me realize it’s possible. And because it’s possible for them, it’s also possible for me. They started from nothing, they weren’t any more special than me or than anyone else, so that was encouraging.
It was the type of content that kept me accountable month after month. I was seeing that they do the work, they earn the revenue, and I wanted to get there. So I kept working on my blog.
At the end of the day, it’s all about consistency, right?
Most people just give up before there are any results. But if you keep taking action in your business, month after month, eventually you’ll make profit. So I started dreaming bigger thanks to reading those income reports.
But also, I began thinking about the daily steps that were going to lead to the big vision. I started focusing on the day-to-day blogging activities that were ultimately going to lead to massive progress in a year or two or however long that was going to take.
The beginning of my income reports
Eventually, I started earning my first money from my blog in a few different ways, and then I began publishing my income reports.
At first, it was scary because you have to be vulnerable and brutally honest. In the beginning, you’re definitely not proud of the income you have, but by sharing it, you’re doing so much for others and for yourself.
First of all, any income matters, even if you earned one dollar or let’s say a few cents, which can easily happen even a few days after you start your blog, from advertising or affiliate marketing. Well, that’s a few cents more than the blogger who is just starting out and doesn’t know how to monetize at all. So you have something to share already, and by doing it, you’re doing others a favor.
Not to mention that one day, when your income is much higher than that, they can go back to that content from your early days and see that you started from nothing and how much you’ve grown. This is going to be encouraging for them. It’s going to keep them going.
So I was publishing my income reports and my audience really enjoyed that content. In fact, whenever I sent a newsletter about it, they were responding back to me and asking questions or congratulating me. There was just more engagement than with other articles I was sharing with them.
It was also doing well on Pinterest. Other people were finding it and they wanted to interview me for their blogs or to feature me on their platforms. They began seeing me more as an expert in the industry.
Looking beyond the numbers
My hope was that people would also look beyond the numbers though, because it’s not just about how much someone is earning.
It’s about how happy they are with it, what their income streams are, how much of that income is passive, how they feel about their business, whether they are living the life they want, and so much more.
The only people I want to learn from are the ones who are living the life they want.
So for example, back then I reached 5k months and that’s when things exploded around my blog, there were 1 million page views per year, the income got to 50k, most of it was passive, most of it was super easy, brands were contacting me all the time for sponsored content and so much more. But in the beginning I was also earning from freelancing.
I was writing articles for clients and that’s actually how I got started in online business. When someone sees those income reports they might be impressed. But actually I wasn’t really happy then.
I wasn’t satisfied. Freelancing is definitely not the best way for me to spend my time or creative energy. I was exchanging time for money.
We only have 4 productive and focused hours during the day and I had to invest those doing work for someone else, which is not how I’m designed to operate.
Luckily, later I could replace that with the blog income and only create content for my platforms, which brings me such deep satisfaction. So my point here is that whenever you see income reports of other bloggers, no matter how big the numbers are, look for the details.
Look how they feel about what they’re earning from. Because, for example, now my income is much lower than back then, although my hope is to get back to 5k months again. But I’m not going back to freelancing.
I’m not adding coaching or other things like that to my services, because it’s not what I’m passionate about and it’s not how I want to work with people and it’s not what makes me happy. Instead, I do the work I want to do and I do what I’m good at and what I enjoy.
At some point, my income reports became repetitive.
The income streams were the same, even the percentage coming from each.
There were four main things happening. That was the revenue from advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsored content and digital products.
And of course I was working on new things every few months, I was sharing that inside those reports, but still it became repetitive. It became boring for me and I wasn’t passionate about it anymore, so it was time to stop.
When I told that to my audience they were actually disappointed and many of them were asking me to bring the income reports back, but it just wasn’t the time for it.
Now the time has come. This time I’m doing it more privately, though. I’m only releasing that content for members of Blogger Playground.
That’s my new membership and community for bloggers and I just opened its doors. The launch is happening right now. You can even grab the early bird prize till January 31st.
Get more details about it here.
What’s Blogger Playground?
It’s the best way you can work with me this year. It’s where I’m going to be sharing strategic content for bloggers – my best strategies and tips. Anything I work on in my business, you’re going to be the first one to know about it and just anything that I find valuable – you are going to get access to it.
That’s going to be released in the form of posts inside the membership. You can comment on each, there is also a separate topic where you can ask me questions anytime you feel like. You can introduce yourself and connect with other members. I’m also going to be sharing downloadable files, trainings, special bonuses and so much more.
There is a lot coming. It feels great to publish income reports again. Even though my income is lower now than when I was last doing it, it doesn’t matter.
I have so much to say, I’ve learned so much and of course the whole blogging industry is sort of down right now. Big Google algorithm updates have happened, especially after the last one at the end of 2023 when so many expert bloggers that I know have lost nearly 50% of their traffic and a lot of their income. But now I’m building niche sites, I’m using AI to create content, I did a massive content audit on Let’s Read Success.
I’m learning more about SEO, I’m trying new tools, I’m learning from experts. There is a lot going on and the traffic is growing again. All the little things I learn about or when I test something new and it gives me results, I immediately share it in the membership. So you’ll get a lot of value if you join.
My 2023 annual income report
There are already three monthly income reports there and just the other day, I published the annual one for 2023. It’s a massive post with so much value in it and it was such a joy to create it. It was actually my motivation to sit down and reflect on each month of the past year and also look at the big picture.
I worked on so many different things, so much happened. I might share some of the things in another episode but the numbers – I’m gonna leave that only for members of Blogger Playground.
One of the members actually left a comment today and she said: ‘Thank you for sharing your journey. It was an eye-opening read. As a beginner blogger, it’s nice to see the highs and lows of a full-time blogger’s life. Your can-do attitude is contagious.’
Why start publishing monthly income reports?
So that was nice to hear. But the reason why I’m creating this post now is to encourage you, or actually to challenge you, to give this a try – to publish monthly income reports on your website.
For me, now it feels amazing. It makes me look forward to the end of the month again.
It makes me feel in control of my income. It makes me want to work on things more strategically knowing I’ll be sharing about it in a few weeks.
Also, in the last year I wasn’t really happy with my numbers but that negative attitude – there is just no place for it in business.
You can’t constantly compare your income to that of other people or to how much you were earning before. There is a reason why you earn what you earn. And yes, sometimes it could be due to outer factors such as the economy, Google algorithm updates, the fact that for example I focused too much on my course business in the last two years and literally left blogging behind when it has always been my main source of income and now I’m getting back to it.
Now I’m on the right path again. It feels like it. These are not excuses. This is just part of my analysis and I’m deeply grateful for where I am now, the lessons I learned in the last years and I’m so excited for what’s to come.
The monthly income reports helped me with that. They helped me become more open again and not hide my income but show it in an empowered way, to own it, to own my numbers and not give my power to them.
I know this can be scary.
I know that probably you never thought about publishing income reports but just give it a try. There’s nothing wrong with it.
Even if you earn a hundred dollars or just a few, why not create a post about it? The focus can be on your blog traffic, for example, and you can just add a bit about the income or any expenses you have or courses you’re taking.
You can share what you worked on last month, what new content you published, what new SEO technique you are trying or anything else. You can also talk about the challenges of being a blogger, how you’re growing your email list, how you do keyword research. And one day you can go back to this and you can reflect on what you did right.
A year from now you can see how you’re at a completely different place and smile about it.
This is going to help you become more resilient and more neutral in terms of numbers. There will be good months, there will be bad months but you still gotta show up, do the work, grow the blog traffic, create the content, grow the email list and all the other things we do as bloggers.
I challenge you to give this a try.
When you start doing it, a few big things will happen.
You’re gonna build more discipline in your business because you won’t leave a whole month of the year go without doing any actual work on your blog. Then you wouldn’t have much to say in your income report and you wouldn’t feel good about it.
It’s going to be a reminder to actually put in some work, create some content, read about blogging, take courses or whatever you want to do. Invest the time every month to do it.
It can be really uncomfortable when you sit down at the end of the month and calculate everything. It’s often not what we want to see. It’s less or there is no progress. Or we can set some target numbers but be far from them or even further than we were last month. But what you do about it and how you handle this is gonna show whether you are 100% committed to your business and whether you are actually made to be self-employed.
No matter what happens in my business, I know I am. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So at the end of the month when you sit down to gather the numbers, even though it’s not your full-time job yet, even if you still have a day job and are far from quitting it, it doesn’t matter. You’re a blogger and you have to do your monthly income report.
You have to face the growth – or the lack of any – and analyze why that was. Based on that, to then set new goals for the next month or to keep working on some things because ranking your content, for example, can take months and months.
I always say that if you just started your blog, please give it at least one year. Don’t give up before that because there are a million outer factors that play a role in this. And while you could be doing things wrong, it just needs more time to get some traction. So that’s how you’re going to build discipline thanks to the income reports.
That’s how you can also get some new traffic and new readers, especially by sharing that content on Pinterest because it does well there. This also helps your brand because this is 100% authenticity.
If people want to get to know you, they can read your about page, but also thanks to the income reports, they can really get to know you as a business owner, how your month goes, what you’re working on, and what’s happening behind the scenes.
They will thank you for it. They will learn a lot, they will leave some valuable comments if you have those enabled on your site. Or they’re gonna contact you and just thank you for it.
I’ve had that many times and it’s so nice to hear it. Also, because I was so inspired by other people’s monthly income reports, I felt like I haveto return the favor to the industry.
Now that same type of content exists on my blog even though it’s from years ago. Anyone can still find it and see that it’s possible to make 5000 a month from a blog that you started a few years ago when you knew nothing about blogging.
That’s super encouraging, especially knowing that my education had nothing to do with it. I didn’t have any connections in the industry, I didn’t have any initial capital. As you can hear, English is not my native language. So many things actually made it harder for me, but it was possible then, it is possible now even though many more websites exist now than when I started, but you can’t use that as an excuse.
The snowball effect
Another big thing that will happen when you publish income reports is that you’ll have something exciting to share with your email list. Even if you email them once a month with the new content that you published on your blog, you can include the income reports. And believe me, some people are going to follow you just for that, just to see your numbers. Also, this is your personal motivation to grow the numbers faster than you would normally do.
At some point you also start calculating how much you’re going to make for the whole year. When the numbers get bigger, you get really excited about it and you just start thinking of new ways to generate income, new ways to grow traffic or your Pinterest account or you start investing more in your business because you see some results.
Then comes the snowball effect. Then you can’t stop the growth – literally – unless you leave your site behind for some time.
If you want to see my income reports from back in the days, go here. And if you want to learn more about Blogger Playground, go to this page.
Want to listen to this post instead? Tune into the podcast episode below: