December Income Report – $1369.02

Happy New Year, everyone! This income report marks my first full year tracking my blog’s income, and I am still in a bit of disbelief over my being able to turn this into a full time job for myself! If you’ve been around for a while you know why I do these posts every month, but in case you’re new, let me explain:

  • To monitor my growth. I take blogging seriously, and it’s something I hope to do for the rest of my life. It’s exciting and inspiring to be able to track my numbers and see what does and doesn’t work!
  • To be transparent. Ok, guys. There are a million and one ways that you can make money on the internet and most of them are pretty sketchy. I like to be clear about where my income is coming from so you don’t think I’m taking advantage of my readers!
  • To inspire. Ok, lets be honest here. There are so many amazing girl bosses and business mavens roaming around the internet world, but a lot of them are tight lipped on how they are making money. And of course, to each their own. A lot of people think it’s rude to talk about money so they don’t, but my philosophy is: if my talking about money helps people then I’m going to do it. When I started monetizing I’d kill to have someone telling me that it was possible and showing actual proof. So that’s what I’m trying to do for you.

December Income Report

DECEMBER

Now we can get into it: December, oh what a month it was. With finals and moving and big changes galore I took it easy when it came to the blog. Most of my blogging energy went to my new launch, but I still managed to post ten times, which falls a bit short of my 15 posts a month goal (which is now updated, I’ll tell you all about that later!) but I was still happy with that given the circumstances.

What I did this month.

I’m going to be honest and say my main focus was on not losing my mind, really. I did a few exciting sponsored posts, and I went back and re-optimized SEO on old posts to get traffic flowing. I focused on SEO in preparation of my new launch, because I redirected my all time most popular post from Mostly Morgan over to Morgan Timm and I knew that it was going to cost me around 2000 daily page views.

The good news is that the optimization really paid off! Two posts that used to get around 50 views a day are now getting around 300, which is a massive increase in a short amount of time!

How I optimized:

  • Added new (better!) images that had alt tags containing my focus keyword for the post. Then I pinned these new images to Pinterest!
  • Revamped headlines to draw in readers.
  • Added links to related posts to decrease my bounce rate and give my site some more Google juice overall.
  • Made sure my Yoast plug-in was giving me a green light!
  • I added more value – a lot of my old posts had good information, but they were really short. On MM I strive for my posts to be at least 500 words, and some of them were only 300.

I focused on posts that were helpful, but had a lot of room for improvement. To find the posts I wanted to fix I went on Google Analytics and clicked through to find posts that weren’t getting many views but had great content. I’m still fixing a few posts a week!

December Income:

Her Campus – $485
Host Gator (from this post, where I show YOU how to make a blog!) – $450
Tap Influence – $400
Blogher Ads – $194.42
Amazon Affiliates – $20.98
YouTube – $2.73
Total: 1553.13

December Expenses:

The Blog Hive – $166.67 (I’m dividing the cost of this (amazing!) course by the 3 months it spans)
Hosting – $6.83
Adobe Lightroom – $10.61
Total: $184.11

Total Income: $1369.02

I am really happy with this month’s income, given the circumstances! It it had been a month full of crazy blog stress and hustling, it wouldn’t quite meet my expectations, but given that I was a mess of stress and not babying my blog the way it deserves, this is fabulous!

As always, I calculated how many hours I would have to work at a minimum wage job to earn what I did blogging, and it came to 166 hours. That breaks down to 41 hours a week, or working 8 hour days 5 days a week. Blogging has been one of the biggest blessings in my life for a million reasons, relieving the stress of working while in college is just one of them. If you’re looking to start a blog (at a discounted price!) I walk you through the process here.

CAN YOU MAKE MONEY BLOGGING?

Yes! If you are interested in making a profitable blog – I would be more than happy to help! I have an incredibly detailed guide to setting up a blog here, and from there you can check out my blogging tips (there are a lot!) and if you need any further help – email me! I absolutely love talking about blogging (my friends and family are sick of hearing about it!) so do not hesitate.

A giveaway!

And, of course, I promised y’all a double doozy giveaway on last month’s income report! That means two(!) people can win a mini-blog consult with me! What that means for you is a complete blog + social media audit and thorough, actionable steps that you can take to improve your blog, drive more traffic, and work with brands!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Blondes & Bagels

    Hi Morgan! I’ve applied to BlogHer (still pending) and have been on Tap Influence for a while…but have never gotten any campaigns? Do you have tips and tricks for this?

    • Fingers crossed on BlogHer! And have you completely filled out your profile? That’s the only thing I can really think of!

  • Hi Morgan! I’m also a student at the University of Illinois and I recently decided to reboot my blog. I followed you a few years ago and I LOVE seeing how much your blog has grown! So excited to be back in the blogging community 🙂

    • Woohoo to another U of I student! That is so exciting that you’ve started back up again! I think I remember checking your blog out a long time ago!

  • Hi!!
    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Beauty Blogger Award!
    Make sure to check out the post on my page! 🙂
    Hayle

    http://www.hayleolson.com

  • So awesome you are able to monetize your blog! I feel like I’ve spent the last year creating okay-but-not-great content and I’m so desperately trying to step it up so I can eventually monetize when I’m (hopefully) in grad school next year. I can’t wait to follow along with your new blog (and this one, obviously!) and hopefully I can pick up on some of your tips and tricks 😉

    Also, I know you’re an SLP major…are you applying to grad schools yet? I always forget if you’re a junior or senior 🙂 I just applied for grad school and I’m freaking out!

    • Thank you so much! And good luck, that is awesome! Monetizing is tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a fantastic way to make money!

      I haven’t yet! I’m a junior but I am taking this semester off!

  • Mariya

    Hey Morgan! Always inspiring to see how your blog is growing and how you’re earning money from it. As a new blogger it’s really great to have this information!
    I’m also doing The Blog Hive and it’s so great! We learn so many things, and I see you’ve implemented some of them on your blog already, so yay you 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Hey Mariya! Thank you so much, I’m glad to hear it!

      And woohoo to the Blog Hive! It really has been fantastic – definitely worth the investment! Melyssa is fab!

  • Income reports are always so fascinating! I admire the bloggers that are so open in sharing their numbers. It’s fascinating to see the different ways they make money and what works. Thanks for listing all your optimization techniques too! I need to go through my posts and work on optimizing them soon.

    • Thank you so much, Robyn! I agree, I love reading income reports! They are among my favorite posts to read! Good luck optimizing, I hope it brings you a lot of new traffic!