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I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to have made money from my blog in December 2017. This is not my first time making money though my side hustle, but it is my first time passively making money from my blog.
Last month, I created my first e-book for sale on my site (and it means everything in the world to me). I was terrified to actually create it, then I was terrified to hit publish because I always thought it could be better, I can add more, or no one would like it. Then, despite my fears, I decided to put my ideas into the world anyway - and my audience responded with their wallet. #ThankYou And I gotta admit, it's the best feeling in the world.
Never mind the fact that I put about 12 hours a week into my blog to make that $190.83 (that's about $4 an hour:). That $4 an hour taught me two things:
- I CAN add value to this world.
- Making money on line is possible.
If you've never made a dollar online, trust me, there is no better feeling than waking up from a great night's sleep only to realize that someone bought your product. (At my day job, we call it #SleepMoney)
Let's jump right into the dollars and cents, shall we?
There are three ways I made money this month:
This is the book that I created in November to help people build a vision board to map out their dreams and goals in a fun + visual way. It walks through planning out your goals, thinking through your problems and determining what you want to get out of your life. Then it helps you to create a vision board.
If you think it's about time you put yourself (and your future) first in your life, it might be time to create a vision board. Purchase the e-book here.
From December through January every year there are several vision board parties, conferences and corporate events - and I'm asked to be a speaker or run the vision board workshop. This month, I was asked to do two (one for a friend and another for a nonprofit). I love that I am able to speak at these events and nothing makes me happier than being able to help people in person talk through their goals and map out their vision.
An affiliate sale is when you make money for sharing a product that you love - and they buy the product through your link. Have you ever shared your Uber link with your friends and family and then you get $10 for referring them? It's the same thing. Many companies will happily offer you a referral fee for sending them new business.
To be honest, I didn't really believe in it until I made my first sale, without even trying. I was so shocked at the fact that I made money without trying that I decided to learn more about affiliate marketing by taking Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing email course.
Costs This Month:
ConvertKit is my email service of choice. I switched to ConvertKit around April 2017 and from the moment I made the switch my email subscribers have skyrocketed. With ConvertKit, I'm able to make beautiful landing pages, email forms and pop-ups for my blog (with VERY little effort). #winning
Making sense of Affiliate Marketing
After making a tiny bit of money by promoting a product I love without even trying, I decided to invest in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course to learn how the pros are doing it and how I can be more intentional about sharing products I love with the audience I love. (That's you!) #EverybodyWins
The Money Breakdown
- ConvertKit: $56.87
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: $159.00
Total: $406.70 (income) - $215.87 (expenses) = $190.83
Here's What Happened Behind The Scenes
How Much Time I Put Into My Blog
I'm going to be honest with you here. My friends and I HATE reading income reports where it seems like a blogger just starts a blog one day and ends up making $2000 in the first month of blogging. (Meanwhile we're at home banging our head up against the keyboard wondering where's our mystery thousands.)
Making just under $200 on my blog took work.
First thing to note is THIS IS NOT MY FIRST BLOG. I had two unsuccessful blogs before Thrive Lounge. One about arts and crafts that I was doing while I was too broke to put food on the table. I lost that blog after one year when I couldn't afford to pay my hosting. The second blog was a marketing blog, which I got about 2 good posts on before I realized I did not want to talk about marketing all the time. Thrive Lounge is blog #3.
I spend about 12-14 hours a week on my blog. I work a full time job from 9-5 and wake up daily at 5:30 to get two hours of work in on my blog Monday-Thursday. Every Sunday, I wake up early and walk to Starbucks to spend at least 6 hours working on my blog.
I say all of this to reiterate that it is not (and was never) my intention to start this blog with the sole purpose of getting #SleepMoney (thought that would be nice). I love sharing all of my tools and strategies for creating the life I love daily and helping others do the same.
Some of the time I spend weekly on my blog is put towards building more traffic to the blog. Getting more traffic allows me to get my message out to a larger audience, get more subscribers onto my email list (where I can share more about myself, my brand and also my latest products).
As you can see here, I got a huge traffic bump in December (after hovering around 3K pageviews for the past 3 months) because my blog is all about goal setting and that is a huge focus in December.
I don't focus too much of my energy on social media except for Pinterest - because that's where almost 95% of my traffic comes from.
Looking at my stats, I clearly haven't been able to break any huge milestones with my blog.
After bogging for a year, this could be discouraging that I still don't have a massive following to my blog. But I choose to look at it another way...
Even with a small amount of traffic, I am able to create value and make money with my blog.
No matter how small you are - it is possible. (And that's all that really matters right?)
My email list has been the primary source of sales for my book. People who come to my website and really like what I have here are most likely to sign up to my email list.
I am using ConverKit to manage my email list and email marketing so that once someone is on my list, they are immediately welcomed! I tell them more about who I am and why I do this. I give them more information based on the topics they are interested in and I'm able to offer them a product that might be relevant to their interests. ConvertKit allows me to do this easily and effectively (with zero tech skills!).
In December alone, 543 people signed up for my email list! This is because in December a lot of people are thinking about creating vision boards to mentally prepare for the new year and I give away several freebies to help people create their 5-year vision, build their vision boards or host a vision board party with their friends.
Goals For Next Month
This month, I enrolled in (and went through) the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course, I want to put the things I've learned into practice. One of the biggest reasons for people not reaching their goals, even when they have put energy into learning about the subject is that they don't immediately implement what they have learned.
My goal is to implement exactly what I've learned from this course - and increase my affiliate sales. (That shouldn't be very hard since I only made one affiliate sale :) but you never know!)