January 2016 Income Report – $35,319

Melyssa Griffin

6 min





This is my digital home, where I offer unfiltered advice and offerings about how to choose self expression, inner healing, ancient wisdom, and alignment as the pathway to real and lasting abundance.

I’m Melyssa Griffin





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Hey all! I’m back with another income and traffic report to share with you today. I started doing income reports as a way to be more transparent about my business and hopefully shed some light on ways that you can grow your own online business, too.

January 2016 Income Report

I know that sharing one’s income online, for the world to see, is kind of a strange thing to do. Trust me, it took quite a bit of courage (and convincing from my friends!) to share this data with you. In fact, I held back from sharing my income reports in the past because I never (ever!) wanted to appear like I was flaunting my results. Rather, I do this because I genuinely desire to help you grow your own business and want to provide some behind-the-curtain results of how I’ve grown and tweaked my own. I want to show you both what worked for me and what didn’t so that you can apply those lessons to your own dreams. My overall hope is that my income reports inspire or inform you to create and grow your own online biz. 

Thank you for traveling with me, behind-the-scenes, while I take you through my income and traffic reports each month. I’m grateful that you’re here. And if you’re working on growing your own business and blog? Best of luck to you, my friend. Now, let’s get into it!

Hey friend! Glad to have you here. January was interesting, as it came immediately after I finished the big launch of my course, The Blog Hive. I didn’t have much of a plan for January (and honestly felt really tired after the launch), so it was hard for me to focus on “the new year” until January was halfway over. But I’m happy with how things turned out, and 2016 is off to a kickin’ start so far. Let’s chat about what went down. 

January Income

  • Passive Income: $3,087
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue: $10,379
  • Income from Webinars: $13,871
  • Affiliate Income: $7,982

Total Income: $35,319

January Expenses

  • CPA: $1,600
  • Business Coach: $1,500
  • Virtual Assistants: $1,072
  • PayPal + Stripe Fees: $881
  • Infusionsoft*: $398
  • Web Hosting: $348 (annual)
  • Facebook ads: $246
  • CAOC E-Course Installment Payment: $97
  • GoDaddy: $38
  • Zapier: $20
  • Google Apps*: $17
  • MotionMail: $10

Total Expenses: $6,237 (Anything with an * next to it is an affiliate link)

Net Profit: $29,082

So, with all that said, let’s chat about these numbers and what they mean for me, and for you.

Dividing up my income

Normally, I just tell you how much income I made, without dividing it up into different categories. From now on, I’m going to do my best to keep track of these five categories of income streams:

1. Passive Income

This refers to income that I didn’t have to lay a finger to make. It was earned organically from people discovering my products on their own or because my evergreen funnels were working. Bottom line: it was earned completely passively.

2. Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

MRR includes any kind of income that I receive on a monthly basis. Essentially, this all comes from payment plans. So, the MRR that you see for January is from students of The Blog Hive who enrolled in the payment plan system.

3. Income From Webinars 

As you’d guess, this is simply income that I earned from doing live webinars.

4. Affiliate Income

Finally, affiliate income is any income that I earned from affiliate programs…simple! In most cases, this is very passive, too. My affiliate income tends to come from old, high-traffic blog posts that have affiliate links in them.

5. Misc. Income

This one isn’t included in my income report above because I didn’t have anything that falls into this category. But, typically this would have the income that I earn from promoting a new product, speaking at events, etc.

So, given those categories, here’s the breakdown of how much of my income came from each source in January:

  • Passive Income: 8.7%
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue: 29.4%
  • Webinar Income: 39.3%
  • Affiliate Income: 22.6%
  • Misc. Income: 0%

So, if I combine my passive income and affiliate income (both were earned passively), then that would be about 31%. Also, my MRR was kind of passive for January, since I did the work of earning that income during my launch in December. Which would bring my passive income percentage to about 60%.

Personally, I love doing active things like webinars. And I get bored easily if I don’t have a new project to work on. Buuuut my ultimate goal is to earn a majority of my income passively each month so that I have time to create big projects, work on more free stuff for my peeps, and to just relax and travel. As much as I love working and find joy in my job, my goal is definitely NOT to be working on weekends or constantly feeling like I “have to be working.” The ultimate goal is to create a self-sustaining business where I can pop in and produce things when I want to and not because I have to.

The cool thing though, is that my passive income from January (combining my affiliate and “passive” income categories) is still slightly more than I made as a web designer. So basically, I make as much money doing nothing as I did when I was busting my booty working for clients. #bizarre

The soft launch of List Surge

One of the big things I did in January was launch a new course called List Surge, which includes all of my best list-building strategies along with the tech tutorials to put them into action. Initially, List Surge was going to be taught as a paid, live workshop, but then I started coming up with more and more content ideas and decided it would be better off as a course.

The difference between List Surge and the other courses I’ve launched?

This one was only $97.

(Compared to my other major courses, Pinfinite Growth at $297, and The Blog Hive at $497).

$97 is pretty inexpensive for a course, so I didn’t know how it would turn out profit-wise (as I would need a lot of customers to earn any significant amount of income). However, I was actually very pleasantly surprised by the soft launch. I didn’t officially launch List Surge to my email list or followers until February, but in January I held two webinars where I pitched it at the end to anyone who attended. Altogether, those two webinars brought in about $18,000 in revenue and almost 200 students (Note: You only see $13,000 in webinar revenue because one of the webinars was on the last day of January and the promotion lasted into February).

But I was stoked for a couple reasons:

1. I created a product that was more accessible to people. I completely believe in the power of my higher-priced courses, too, and I think their pricing is fair for the results you get from the courses. BUT just because something is valuable doesn’t mean everyone can afford it. So, I was happy to see that a lot of my audience members who couldn’t afford my other paid courses could get in on this one. It definitely makes me want to do more $97 products so that they’re more affordable for people.

2. My ROI was high. For example, when I launched The Blog Hive in December, I earned about $100,000. That was awesome, but it took an absolutely incredible amount of work to pull off. It includes eight modules, plus a bonus module and lots of Q&A sessions. Altogether, I’d estimate that it took me about 200 hours to market and create it (spread out over roughly 10 weeks). Whereas List Surge was MUCH easier and quicker to put together because it’s far less content (since it only focuses on one topic: list-building). It probably took closer to 20 hours to create and launch.

Currently (including February’s earnings), List Surge has brought in about $30k. So, considering that The Blog Hive took 10x as much time to create, but only brought in about 3x as much revenue is interesting to me. On the other hand, now that TBH is finished, I have a very solid $497 asset that I can launch again and again without much additional work.

Anyways, just some things to think about! But I’m glad I tried out a lower priced offering and I have a feeling I’ll be doing more of them in the future.

Working with my first business coach

I’ve been following a particular online business strategist for a few months and always found his emails to be really valuable. He specializes in creating evergreen email funnels, which is something I want to incorporate more of into my biz. He was going to be in San Diego for a conference, and had a few spots available for a “funnel day,” which is four hours of email funnel masterminding and creation. I immediately jumped on the chance, and I’m really glad I decided to!

Not only was meeting with him helpful because he has a lot of experience with building funnels (unique ideas I’d never thought of before!), but it was also very motivating for me. I’m going to meet with him on a monthly basis to strategize a bit more, and it’s nice to have some additional structure with someone I respect and can ask questions to.

Bringing on another assistant

I decided to bring on another assistant toward the end of January. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past few months (and am still learning!) is that delegation is insanely important for growth. There is lit-rally (Chris Traeger voice) no way that my business would be growing the way it is without the support of the two online assistants I have.

I used to be so squeamish about paying other people to help me, but I’m so glad I’ve started to see the light. It’s saved me sanity and allowed me to focus more on the things I enjoy doing and am best at. #Halle-frickin-lujah 😀

Good news about taxes!

Lastly, I decided to reach out to an accountant (first time!) to help me with my taxes. My business is registered as an LLC, but he told me that because of my income, filing as an S Corp would save me about $10k. I have no idea what all of these letters really mean, but saving $10k is definitely in my vocabulary. 😉 Anyways, I was really glad that I hired an accountant and had no idea about the potential savings here. Woo!

Well, peeps, that’s a rap! I hope this report was interesting or helpful for you. I’m really looking forward to March (as it’s already the end of February, say whaaa?) because I’ve got some suuuper exciting things in store. Hollaaaa.

If you want to see more income reports, click here.

Got any questions? Comments? Insights? I’m all ears! Let’s chat down below.

I also have a private Facebook group where I’d love to chat with you and answer your Qs! Click here to join.

  1. Tianna

    February 26th, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    wow that’s insane! Great job! Love your emails and hope to sign up for one of your courses soon! ♥

  2. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:15 am

    I’d LOVE to have you Tianna! 🙂

  3. Morgan Timm

    February 26th, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Melyssa, you are fab! I love your openness in sharing your income! Know that it is inspiring to so many people, and it really proves that hard work and a dream goes a far way. You deserve every penny – you are making a massive impact. The Blog Hive has been changing my blogging game so much and has set a lot into motion for me. Thank you for creating it!

  4. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:16 am

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying The Blog Hive! Thank you so much for your awesome compliment, I really appreciate it >_<

  5. Seasonly

    February 26th, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing this information, as always Melyssa! Posts like this keep me going when it starts to get hard. I’ve been putting your advice in practice and while it’s been tough to do everything, I’ve been improving. And I hope you realize the lives you’re changing. If I didn’t come across TNC, I’m not sure what direction I would’ve taken my blog in! Thanks for sharing your talents with us all 🙂

  6. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:17 am

    You’re so sweet! I’m so happy this post was motivating for you >_< Keep creating!

  7. Kyah

    February 26th, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing! It’s always so interesting to see how you absolutely kill it, Melyssa!

  8. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Aw, thanks so much Kyah! >_<

  9. Ankit Agarwal

    February 26th, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Melyssa. One thing though, I have always been intersted in knowing that what kind of work do you delegate to assistants. and now that you have two, how do you decide who will do what work?

  10. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Good question! My virtual assistants help with small projects, emails, and some social media management. I work with their schedules and strengths in deciding what to delegate to who.

  11. JasminCharlotte

    February 27th, 2016 at 12:59 am

    This is really interesting and exciting to see how you earned it and your successes!

    Jasmin Charlotte

  12. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Thank you Jasmin!

  13. Jessica

    February 27th, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Thanks so much for sharing! I have just started blogging and seeing income reports help me to put my all into my business. I know it takes a lot of time and work but this gives me hope!

  14. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:19 am

    That’s so exciting! Good luck with your blog, it’ll be great! >_<

  15. BloggersStand.Com

    February 27th, 2016 at 9:03 am

    This is really Impressive for anyone..who wanna start blogging..keep motivating us !!

  16. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Thanks so much!

  17. Narendra

    February 27th, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Great to see this. I hope this will More better Next time :). Your blog site really big motivational for me. 🙂
    Best Regards,

  18. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I’m so grateful and glad! And yes, always moving onward and upward! >_<

  19. Daisy | Fistfuls of Life

    February 27th, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Nice how you experimented with a lower price offering & analyzed the results. Though the customers of both types of products overlap in interest, their income levels & disposable money actually turn them into two different markets. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Exactly, well said! Thanks for commenting >_<

  21. vonny

    February 27th, 2016 at 10:22 am

    WOW just WOW. I’m blogging from 2011, but my audience is still not that big. Thank God that I finally found your blog. Hopefully I can make things work with my blog.


  22. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:21 am

    I know you can do it and your blog will be even more amazing!

  23. Andrea Jones

    February 27th, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Even more proof that I need to get my booty in gear and start working on some courses. So inspired! Thanks for sharing this, Melyssa.

  24. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Hop to it, chica! Haha, thank you so much Andrea >_<

  25. Kamil Glapiński

    February 27th, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Wow! It’s way more than my annual income 😮 great job! 🙂

  26. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Thank you!

  27. jackie jade

    February 27th, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    You are kicking some butt! You’re such an inspiration and hope to have even a fraction of your success this year!

  28. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:22 am

    You can do it, Jackie! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

  29. 益群网

    February 27th, 2016 at 7:56 pm


  30. Brittany

    February 27th, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    I hope you get some good rest to recover from your launch!

  31. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Yes! Resting whenever I can >_<

  32. fashionandfoodandotherstuff

    February 28th, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Wow, you are doing it well my dear!

  33. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Aw, thank you so much!! >_<

  34. Ariane Kuijt

    February 28th, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Wow it’s crazy reading these numbers. Wonderful you and your business are doing so well! Your blog is a great source of information for me and I am always heading to your site when I want to know something. Keep it going, you rock!!!

  35. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I’m so glad! This seriously makes my day >_<

  36. Suze @LuxuryColumnist

    February 29th, 2016 at 6:47 am

    Some very impressive stats and it sounds like the business coach is a great investment

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  37. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:24 am

    I really love having a business coach! Absolutely worth the investment.

  38. Christy Purington

    February 29th, 2016 at 10:54 am

    It would be awesome if you could talk a bit about how big your email list is, so that we have a benchmark for readership translating into profit. (Sorry if you have this info posted elsewhere!). Thanks! 🙂

  39. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Hey Christy! I actually just held some free workshops all about this and my new course, List Surge! I’ll definitely keep a post like this in mind >_<

  40. Natalie @ Natalie Was Here

    February 29th, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Very insightful. I love these posts. Keep up the amazing work, girlfriend!

    Natalie | Natalie Was Here

  41. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:26 am

    You’re so sweet Natalie >_< Thank you!

  42. Hayli De Jong

    February 29th, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    It is so crazy (crazy as in freakin’ awesome) to me that you make more passive income than I make in an entire month working as a teacher 😛

  43. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Thanks for commenting Hayli! Passive income is so great to work on and set up, and anyone can do it! >_<

  44. Emily Cretella

    March 1st, 2016 at 3:42 am

    I am so interested in learning more about your process in hiring your virtual assistants. How did you find them? Do you pay them hourly or monthly? What do they help you with! Future blog post?! 🙂

  45. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 9:30 am

    This is a great question! I’ll definitely keep a post like this in mind for the future. Be sure to check out these posts, too:



  46. Taylor Davis

    March 1st, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Love that you showed us this! You mentioned that List Surge did extremely well compared to TBH, and I feel like that’s because it was only $97. I would totally buy a ton of courses like yours at $97, plus the bonuses were amazing!

    These make me happy to see because I can see that you’re doing it! Thanks for sharing the tax info, too!

  47. Melyssa Griffin

    March 1st, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Hey Taylor, thanks for commenting! You are oh so welcome, and I’m so jazzed to have you in List Surge! >_<

  48. Aukele | SheBuilds.Biz

    March 2nd, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    This post was the push I needed to join List Surge. First course ever. With 24 minutes left to spare on the bundle. #procrastinators

  49. Melyssa Griffin

    March 3rd, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Hey Aukele! SO glad to have you in List Surge! Eee 🙂

  50. Fayann D'souza

    March 3rd, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Wow, Melyssa you’re killing it! #inspired xx

  51. Melyssa Griffin

    March 4th, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    You’re so sweet, thank you! >_<

  52. Ksenia Lukanova

    March 3rd, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    wow, that’s so great, you’re killing it Melissa! One question: are you still using LeadPages (haven’t seen it in the expenses list)? If not, what are you using instead?
    ps. thanks for all your amazing content!

  53. Melyssa Griffin

    March 4th, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks so much, Ksenia! Yep, still using LeadPages >_< It's an annual expense, so it just hasn't shown up for a while!

  54. Karissa Ancell

    March 4th, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    I love reading income reports. They are such good motivation to keep building my blog and business so I can earn at this level someday.

  55. Melyssa Griffin

    March 7th, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Absolutely, I know you can do it Karissa! Thank you so much for commenting 🙂

  56. Abby | Lace & Lilacs

    March 6th, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Thank you so much for sharing! <3

  57. Melyssa Griffin

    March 7th, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Thank you Abby!

  58. Scarlett | Petite Suitcase

    March 6th, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Great information Melyssa! Thank you again for your transparency. Taxes are a real bear!

  59. Melyssa Griffin

    March 7th, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Amen! Thanks for commenting Scarlett 🙂

  60. Jessica | eFlair

    March 11th, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your site! This is so helpful and motivating for all aspiring business owners. I haven’t come across anyone else who is so open about their business finances. Thanks for sharing & congrats on your success!

  61. mediamarmalade

    March 12th, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Great to see another update, thank you for being so honest and transparent. It’s so helpful 🙂

    Mel x

  62. Paul

    March 14th, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Uhh save $10,000 on a S Corp eh? I would suggest you think long and hard before going that route. There you are, with a growing business, growing tax payments… a S corp sounds like such a nice loop hole. But S Corps have a lot of paperwork attached to them, as well as payroll tax. The payroll tax machine doesn’t play around, missing payments with them can land you in hot water and penalties fast. Of course all that extra paper work and billable hours might just benefit someone else? Yeah, maybe that new CPA who suggested it to you. Don’t ask the barber if you need a haircut… Want to save a bundle of money on your taxes this year? Open a SEP IRA and max it out. You have till April 15th to contribute, and it will save you more than $10K THIS year…though maxing it out would require contributing $53,000 just a heads up…

  63. Melyssa Griffin

    March 15th, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Hey Paul, thanks so much for the advice. I’ll definitely keep it in mind with my accountant!

  64. Julia Slike

    March 18th, 2016 at 4:50 am

    At what point did you decide to launch your programs? Was it after your list hit a certain number?

  65. Melyssa Griffin

    March 29th, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I waited a LONG time before launching any of my programs, mainly because I was running another business at the time. So, I might not be the best example in that regard! For others who want to create courses and digital products, I’d recommend focusing on growing an engaged list of about 1,000 before launching an online program. 🙂

  66. Julia Slike

    March 29th, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Thanks! I’ve heard 1,000 is a good starting point! I’m at 200 now but I recently switched niches and haven’t been as consistent as I want to be. My goal is 2,000 by 9/1/16 and then I’d like to launch a course on how to build a sustainable & profitable business online through Soul Marketing and Authentic Automation 🙂

  67. Melyssa Griffin

    March 30th, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Thats an awesome goal! You’ll get there 🙂

  68. Shelsey Jarvis

    April 9th, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Thanks for being so transparent, Melyssa! It’s definitely inspiring to see your success, I’ve only started my blog in the last couple months. I was a little unsure about launching my course at $97 because it seems so inexpensive for the content, but this post shows me that it’s worth a shot 🙂 Keep up the good stuff!

    Shelsey (thescrappyentrepreneur.com)

  69. Melyssa Griffin

    April 19th, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    That’s amazing that you’re already launching a course even though your blog is only a couple months old. I love that! Best of luck, Shelsey. 🙂

  70. chad hatten

    May 27th, 2016 at 6:37 am

    you are killing it

  71. Melyssa Griffin

    May 30th, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Thank you Chad! Best of luck to you 🙂

  72. Monique Philogene

    May 31st, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Hi Melyssa, amazing results. May I ask who your business coach is? This is something I would like to do also. Thank you xx

  73. Melyssa Griffin

    May 31st, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Hey Monique! I My coach’s name is Jeremy Reeves and he’s great 🙂

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Melyssa Griffin

I believe that an unstoppable mindset can be your #1 business tactic. So, my job is to lead you back to yourself and to help you reprogram the limiting beliefs and patterns that are keeping you small. 

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