You’ll also notice I didn’t post a budget review either. While I will be posting a budget review of my wedding expenses later, I decided to do away with my monthly reviews since my husband and I combined everything and I fear it would be too much to try to follow. It’s still an adjustment for me at this time but trust me, we’re still budgeting and enjoying the benefits of it.
I will however, continue to share debt progress and I’ve updated my debt updates page to show our combined debt total. Unfortunately, since we share each other’s debt now, my debt total has went up quite a bit but that just gives me more motivation to hustle harder.
If You’re New Here
Last year I started publishing the income I earn outside of my full-time job through online side hustles as a way to motivate myself and others to earn more to meet financial goals and work toward financial freedom. I officially landed my first freelance writing client in March 2015. At first, I attempted to start earning an extra income as a way to help me pay off my debt and got hooked. I paid off more than $11,000 of debt last year and wouldn’t have been able to do so without earning an extra income.
I also publish these income reports to demonstrate a true and transparent way that people can earn an honest income working online.
I recently decided to quit my job this year to freelance full-time because I reached a point where I don’t know how my online income will grow significantly if I don’t put in more hours. My side income has also been competing with what I earn at my day job so that’s nice as well.
I probably never would have gotten to this point and made so much progress with paying off my debt if I hadn’t started a blog. If you’d like to start a blog as well to help you earn extra income on the side, there’s never been a better time to do it. Check out my tutorial guide to starting a professional self-hosted blog with Bluehost in just minutes.
Now let’s dive into the fun stuff.
In April I Earned: $3,219
A little down from last month, but still great for me depending how crazy April was. I spent a lot of time doing last minute wedding stuff and trying to work ahead with my current clients so I could take some time off so nothing new really happened.
Also, this income is not taxed so I usually set about 25-30% aside for taxes each month so I’m not stuck with a huge bill I can’t pay at the end of the year.
How My Income Breaks Down
Freelance Writing: $2,609
Virtual Assistant Work: $410
Check out how to get started as a Virtual Assistant
Sponsored Posts: $100
Affiliate Income: $100
Blog help and VA: $171
I decided to start including my expenses in my reports to show how much I’m spending to keep my blog and business going. I don’t include hosting fees because I’ve already paid for them into 2018. I started outsourcing a bit last year and it’s been great. Freeing up more of my time is a good thing. I have my sister do some basic VA tasks for me each month and my friend Kristin who is a whiz at Pinterest has been creating photos for my posts and managing my Pinterest account since last year.
So far she has done a wonderful job and helped me increase my pageviews by quite a bit which will only help me increase my blog income this year so I’m excited about that. My pageviews have more than doubled since I outsourced Pinterest with Kristin and they continue to climb. If you haven’t started marketing your blog seriously on Pinterest yet, I’d recommend you start ASAP.
Kristin works with a ton of other bloggers and recently created an affordable course to help other bloggers who she can’t work with directly so they can increase traffic to their site via Pinterest too. Kristin’s page views have jumped from 1k per month to 160k per month by implementing the strategies she shares in her course. To me, the course is worth the investment because more page views = more ad income, more affiliate income, and more sponsors which can help diversify your blog income and make it more passive. Who doesn’t want that?
Hours I Worked in April
Running a successful blog and freelancing isn’t all passive though and you can expect to put in a significant amount of hours during the beginning stages. I like to track my time spent blogging and freelancing each month to make sure I’m spending it wisely and becoming more efficient.
Since I still work full-time for the moment, I can only dedicate a limited number of hours each week but the results are really worth it each month.
April 1-3: 9 hours
April 4-10: 13 hours
April 11-17: 16.5 hours
April 18-24: 18.5 hours
April 25-30: 6 hours
Total: 63 hours
Goals for My Blog and Online Income:
Send a few pitches: I actually like pitching a lot. Whether I get a response or not, it makes me feel accomplished in a sense (yeah I’m a weirdo). Even though we are already halfway through the month, I’m almost done playing catch up and would like to pitch a few brands and potential clients this month.
Start working on my rebrand: It’s crazy how it took me over a year to really narrow down the purpose of my blog. I love writing about personal finance and my debt repayment journey, but I decided to really start focusing in deeper on the passion behind starting this blog and really turn it into a brand. With the intent that I’ll have a little more time this summer, I plan to start working on a complete rebrand which seems like such an overwhelming task to take on since I want to redo my logo, site design, content strategy, and basically everything. I’m just going to take this goal one week at a time and provide some updates along the way.
Ramp up my social media pages: The extent of the work my VA (sister) has been doing these past few months includes helping me improve my social media presence. We’re tackling Facebook and Twitter and now I want to start focusing on Instagram. Right now, my Instagram is mainly a personal account, but I want to start infusing it with my blog somehow and just have fun with it for the most part. I think the more social networks I’m active on, the more exposure my blog will get.
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