I’ve been seeing quite a few blog income reports for a while now. At first, I thought I didn’t really need to jump on the band waggon and share what I’d made, except that I found so many of them useful in learning new ways to make money and keep track of it all, that I thought maybe it’d help my blogging readers as well if I shared. I am in no way one of those “here’s how I made six figures last year” bloggers. I really wish I was, but at this point my blog is just one of those “I make pretty good money for a side hustle” blogs. Yes, I want to make it more, but it’s up significantly from what I claimed last year on my taxes, so one can only hope it’s up from here, right?
So today, as I sit down to start my taxes, I’d like to go over my blog income and expenses so you can see exactly where I made money and and how much I spent. This is also helpful for my records, as I haven’t been keeping exact track of everything previously so I can’t give you an exact idea of where the differences are from the years prior.
2015 Blog Income – $2,887.14
Blog Sponsorship Program – $1116.69
I’ve been running my sponsorship program for a few years, but none have been quite so successful and lucrative as 2015 was. I fine-tuned this program a lot over the last year, and while my prices didn’t increase too much on what they were before, I was able to offer my sponsors more because I narrowed it down to only a few big and beautiful sizes. If you’re interested in sponsoring me, check out some testimonials and my current statistics, and then snag yourself an ad.
Sponsored Posts from Other Sources -$1770.45
SheKnows/Momentum – $1100.00
I signed up for the SheKnows/Momentum Social Media sponsored social media posts back when it was just BlogHer, but it’s been wonderful and I was so shocked when I got the 1099 in the mail telling me how much I made from them last year. Basically I just post things to Facebook, Twitter, and occasionally an Instagram for them.
Various Sponsors – $597.05
These are the sponsors I just worked with who contacted me directly via email. They typically ask you to post something, some are one time partners, and some contact me regularly to post.
Linquia – $73.40
Linquia is one I wish I’d done more with, though they seem to be a little more difficult to make straight-up money thorugh since you only get paid per click. But, I did have a few really fun campaigns where I tried great new products with them.
2015 Blog Expenses – $1603.37
Hosting & Domain Expenses
Godaddy – $227.41
I use GoDaddy for all my hosting. I think there are cheaper options, but I just don’t have it in me to go through a switch right now.
Blogging Tools Expenses – $285.86
PassionFruit Ads – $50.00
I have the grandfathered account with Passionfruit ads, so it only costs me $50 a year to run my sponsorship program through PF. I kind of wish I could find a better option, because the creator has gone completely AWOL and getting a refund now requires hassling them through Paypal until Paypal just pays us back, but I have yet to find a real competitor.
InLinkz – $19.99
Used for hosting linkies, it’s a once a year charge that happens in January for me.
Photobucket – $29.99
I pay a yearly fee for hosting photos in Photobucket which I use on the blog or when doing design for clients.
CoSchedule – $90
I know this is a steep price, but man I cannot live without CoSchedule. It’s so wonderfully glorious when it comes to planning out my calendar, scheduling, auto-publishing, and even sharing to social media without a hitch. I don’t know what I’d do without it, it’s completely revolutionized blogging for me.
Rafflecopter – $95.88
Rafflecopter is another one I’m super lucky to have gotten in on and ended up with a grandfathered price. This is what I use to host giveaways and it makes my life so much easier.
Design Expenses – $341.00
WordPress Plugins – $10.00
I paid $10 to get a key for the Use Any Font plugin.
Blogger Template – $48.00
Before I switched to WordPress I invested in the White Space Template for Blogger from Envye.
WordPress Themes – $97.00
When I first switched over to WordPress I bought the same design as I’d had with Blogger, I just got the White Space Theme for WordPress from Envye instead. I then picked up a couple other themes before settling on the one I’m currently using.
Fonts – $178.97
Last year I purchased hundreds of fonts to use for design work here on the blog and for potential printables and clients.
Stock Images – $41.00
I do occasionally use stock images on the blog, mostly via Canva, and paid this amount for it.
Advertising Expenses – $844.98
Ads on Other Blogs – $277.80
In addition to allowing advertisers on my blog, I put forth the expense to advertise on other blogs to increase my traffic and reader reach.
Promoted Posts on Facebook – $117.87
Really, the only way to get many eyes on a Facebook post these days is to pay to promote it. I do this occasionally with posts I really want attention on.
Giveaway Prizes – $449.31
This is just a total of prizes I paid for myself straight up (non-group giveaways) and prizes I contributed to on other sites/blogs/loops. The reason I do these is that it’s great publicity to have your information in a giveaway that really takes off.
Income vs. Expenses – How Much I Actually Made
So our formula is INCOME – EXPENSES = TOTAL MADE. Which comes to $2887.14 – $1603.37 = $1283.77. Not bad, but next year I plan to totally up my game and make WAY more than that. 2016, here I come! I also plan to have less expenses, since I wont have to make the switch to wordpress again next year.
Where I Could Have Been Making Money in 2015
Unfortunately there were quite a few missed opportunities for me financially in 2015. Luckily, I’ve learned my lesson and 2016 will be a better year for it!
I swear, I tried so hard to make money via Amazon and other affiliates and had ZERO luck. It wasn’t until I read Kimi’s post The Big Secret to Making Money on Your Blog Using Affiliates that I kicked up my game and joined Affiliate Window. Seriously, they are the BEST to work with-and my favorite has been their Etsy program. But I didn’t start utilizing them until December, so I started seeing income from that in January, so next year I’ll have more to report on this.
Better Sponsorship Sites
Seriously, there are so many great sites out there. I mentioned a bunch in my post Everything You Need to Know About Accepting Sponsored Posts and there are a few there that I belong to and haven’t yet used. Social Fabric is one I really want to get in on, because they pay really well, but I have to actually sit my butt down and take their huge course and I haven’t done it yet. This weekend I should get my butt in gear and do it.
Other Services I Plan to Add in 2016
I’m going to be opening up design work again for bloggers on Blogger and WordPress, or who need logos, Etsy banners, etc. I always loved doing it, so I’ll be doing it again very soon.
I want to help you make your blog the best it can be-and so I’ll be doing one on one blog consultations (at varying levels) for bloggers who want a little help upping their blogging and design game to start being more legitimate. If you’re interested in being one my first (at a discounted rate) please reach out to me!
Printables & Adult Coloring Books
I’ll be sending free printables out every month to my Newsletter sponsors (sign up below the post) but I’ll also be offering ones for sale too. 🙂
Note: This post does contain a few affiliate links, that’s another way I’m upping my game in 2016 to help make my dream of supporting myself via my blog a reality. I may receive compensation in the form of money or reduced costs (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase via my links. Thank you SO much for your support!