Ahh makes sense to do an income report for June at the end of July, right? 😉 But for real here, I’ve considered sharing income reports for awhile now and it took me this long to muster up the courage. I’m actually transitioning my business to something totally different right now, so I thought this was as good a time as any to start sharing my income reports so that we can both see how my income fluctuates as my business model changes. More on that down below!
But first, why am I sharing this? Well, like I mentioned, I’ve thought about sharing these behind-the-scenes income reports for a long time, but hesitated because I didn’t want to come off in the wrong way. After some thinking, I realized that the reason I wasn’t sharing them is because I was letting my fear of what people would think overshadow how much I could be helping people by telling them how I earn money.
See, for most traditional jobs out there, you get the opportunity to google “(Job Title) Salary” and find tons of information on how much money you can make in a certain career. You could also just as easily look at real job postings to find the same info. But for blogging or running your own online business? There’s no benchmark to compare yourself to. There are plenty of articles about making money online, but few that give specifics as to what income you can expect or achieve — and how.
I know that tons of TNC’s readers yearn to make some moo-lah through their blog or online business, so I want to share these monthly income reports as a way to educate and (hopefully) inspire you about what is possible. So, my friends, today I’m sharing the breakdown of my income and expense report for June 2015. Let’s party.
- Web Design Clients: $9,374.39
- Affiliate Commissions: 1673.50
- Sponsored Post Payments: $480
- Google Adsense: $164.18
- BlogHer Ads: $141.09
Total Income: 11,833.16
- Independent Contractors: $405
- Final Barclay Card Payment (for MacBook Pro): $280
- TNC Contributors: $250
- MyFonts.com: $249
- Credit Card/PayPal Transaction Fees: $198.82
- Wishlist Membership Site Plugin*: $197
- Bluehost*: $143.88
- CAOC E-Course Payment: $97
- Plugins: $54
- Mailchimp: $50
- Contractually: $49
- Misc. Business Purchases on Amazon: $43
- Facebook Ads (Boosted Posts): $40.79
- Freshbooks* Invoicing Software: $29.95
- Final part of LLC registration: $20
- Google Apps*: $12.50
- Creative Market* Graphics: $11
- Hootsuite: $10.99
- Death to the Stock Photo: $10
- Buffer: $10
- BoardBooster*: $5
Total Expenses: $2,166.93 (Anything with an * next to it is an affiliate link)
Net Profit: $9,666.23
Now, before you say, “dayummm you spend a lot of money,” I’ve got to tell you that my expenses this month were pretty high. I actually had to chuckle at myself while compiling this, because my list of expenses is so dang long! Now, a couple of these expenses (Bluehost and Contractually) are annual expenses. Others, like Wishlist Member and MyFonts.com are big purchases that I don’t typically make, but which were needed for some new projects. I’m also prone to experimentation. I really enjoy testing out new things to find what works best and most efficiently for me.
How I doubled my income
Now, as an income comparison, in June 2014 (one year ago), my income was $5,989.74 — about half. Also, my monthly income in 2014 was typically in the $5,000-6,000s. In 2015, my monthly income has consistently been in the $10,000-11,000s. It’s very interesting to me, and I have a few theories as to why my income literally doubled:
- I increased my web + blog design prices. This is the easiest and probably most accurate reason. There was only one month toward the end of 2014 when I made over $10,000 and it also happened to be the month I felt totally overworked and overwhelmed. You should see how many clients I juggled that month — it was bananas. The bottom line? I realized that if I wanted to make more money and not go totally insane, I needed to raise my prices. So I did. And it worked. I know there’s a lot of fear in raising your prices (and there were times when I raised them and then dropped them because I was just too nervous), but it was one of the best things I did for myself and for my clients. So long as you’re conveying to potential clients how much VALUE they’ll be getting with you, your prices will feel merited.
- The new year breeds some voodoo magic. That’s my highly scientific hypothesis. In December, 2014, I earned around $6,000, which was typical for me at that time. All of sudden, once January, 2015, came, I hit $10,000+ every month. Perhaps it has to do with SEO — maybe Google recalibrates its system at the beginning of the year? I’m honestly not too sure! But I’ve heard of other businesses who see a spike in traffic and income at the start of a new year, too. Something to look forward to? 🙂
- I started to focus this blog on a specific niche. This brought more readers and potential clients to my site. My blog and design business work in harmony, since my ideal blog readers also double as my ideal clients. They’re related. So, as my traffic grew, so did the number of people who wanted to hire me. Basically, #2 on this list.
How I’m Changing My Business Model
For the past 2+ years, a majority of my income has been made from doing web and blog designs for clients. I really enjoyed it and, to my complete surprise, was able to build a six-figure business out of it. (Say whaaaaa??). So, naturally, I’m quitting. *Insert crying laughing emoji.* (Or maybe just the crying emoji? Not sure yet). But really, over the past few months I’ve been feeling more and more of a push to start teaching and creating helpful products and workshops for my peeps (that would be you).
I know that feeling well. It’s the same one I had when I first started my business — that feeling that I needed to just quit my day job and hope that things work out. So, midway through July, I stopped accepting new clients. It feels crazy to walk away from a business that has brought me an income I didn’t realize was possible, but I also knew that if I didn’t make the space to start this new venture, it would never happen. I’m nervous and a little scared, but I’m also feeling really good and optimistic. I really enjoy feeling like a newbie again — there’s so much to learn and experiment with. Totally my jam.
I’m also looking forward to continuing to share these reports with you as I shift my business. It will be interesting for the both of us to see how things fluctuate, especially in the beginning. ‘Til next time, my friends. Thanks for being here. F’real.