February blogging income took a hit but I learned the importance of multiple income streams
I started posting my monthly blogging income with January’s stellar $2,000 month and was hoping to blow it away with February blogging income. Well, last month was absolutely crap-tastic with one of my income sources falling by two-thirds. Thank goodness for multiple sources of blogging income that helped me manage to make nearly $1,500 for the month.
It goes back to something I talked about in January’s blogging income report, that having more than one stream of income is critical. Many bloggers are dependent on a single source for most of their income. When Google comes out with a change and crushes their search traffic, they’re left with months of almost no advertising income. Conversely for people depending on Amazon sales for all their income, what happens if your account gets penalized or something happens to destroy your product rankings?
Having a balance between blogging income sources is the only way to stay in the business and not letting a single event force you back into the rat race.
On the upside, I did reach a milestone with February blogging income. Since beginning blogging November 2014, I’ve made $10,144 on the two sites. Blogging is just one of the passive income myths I highlight in The Passive Income Myth: How to Create a Stream of Income from Real Estate, Blogging, Stocks and Bonds. It can be a great source of business income but don’t count on it providing passive income until several years developing your websites.
February Blogging Income by Source
February blogging income took a nose-dive last month with a decrease in two of three sources. Selling books on Amazon proved to be the savior with $1,102 for the month. I converted all six of my books into audiobooks and published on Audible. I sold 441 copies of the six books in February, 130 of which were audiobooks and only in the last 15 days of the month. I added a new book, From Zero to Business, on the last day of the month and will have the audiobook available by mid-March so I’m expecting over $1,300 in sales this month.
February blogging income from Google Adsense took a hit with just $34 booked after I took most of the ad boxes off the site. I still have a few text link ads and banner boxes on category pages but I’ve really been trying to decrease the source over the last few months. Google Adsense is a great way to start making money on a new blog but you make peanuts compared to other sources and the ads are intrusive to readers. If affiliate income doesn’t pick up over the next few months, I might put a few Google ads back on the site but hope to keep them off.
Affiliate income is what really hit me last month, falling from $1,039 in January to $349 in February blogging income. Affiliate income had already fallen from a high of $1,390 in November and I think it’s largely on the decrease in personal loans. Consumers were taking out Personal Loans for Christmas shopping and consolidating high-interest credit card debt through January but then all but stopped in February.
I still booked decent blogging income from Motif Investing and GoDaddy in February. I’m excited about the low-cost investing model on Motif and have created four investing funds on the site. The four funds have gained an average of 10.1% since each was created, beating the S&P 500 index by 4.2% over the period.
Books became the largest source of February blogging income and will likely be the biggest chunk in March. Not only is self-publishing one of the strongest sources of income for a blogger but it’s much more stable compared to affiliate sales which can jump around from month to month.
Affiliates still make up a little over half of my total blogging income so far though self-publishing is quickly catching up and Adsense will be a smaller part in the future.
Total February 2016 Blogging Income: $1,486
Freelancing is still the largest part of my total income, bringing in $4,790 last month. I manage two other blogs and write investment analysis and commentary for several financial advisors and websites. I’m launching a making money blog towards the end of March and plan on posting monthly income reports for freelancing income there.
Can I Still Reach My Goal of $4,000 in Blogging Income this Year?
I’m still hopeful that I can reach my goal of $4,000 in monthly blogging income by the end of the year. Book sales are doing well and I plan on releasing three more books before the end of the year, including a co-authored book.
I’d also like to diversify my income sources a little more by creating Udemy video courses. Just as self-publishing is a natural fit for bloggers, creating video courses are a great complement to self-publishing because you can repurpose your books into videos. Udemy just changed their course pricing, a move that could improve course demand dramatically.
The biggest push to meet my blogging income goal will come from the launch of two new sites this month. I’m launching an investing blog and a home-based businesses blog to better focus content. I’ll still post to PeerFinance101 but topics will be more narrowly focused to debt, saving money and general personal finance. Breaking off the investing and making money topics to the other blogs will help readers find what they’re looking for more easily. Writing on a more focused set of topics also helps a blog rank better in Google search, so I’m hoping the combined traffic of the three blogs is greater than the one alone.
Seeing my blogging income drop so quickly over the last month crushed my spirit for a day or two but I put it in perspective. I’m still a relatively ‘new’ blogger and there are going to be hiccups along the way. The total traffic to both blogs is still just 20,000 visitors a month so a slight change in click-through or buying patterns can mean a big change in income. A lot of other bloggers helped get me through with good advice and motivation.