How Much Money Do Bloggers Make? January 2019 Income Report

how much money do bloggers make

I once thought that my income report would be a monthly feature. (Let’s all take a moment of silence for my optimism.) It’s been six months since my last post, so bi-annually isn’t too bad, right?

Things have changed so much since my July 2018 income report, which is why I’m so excited to update y’all! First things first: I’m incredibly proud of myself. Along with my full-time job as a digital marketing manager, I made $1,500 from side hustles this month. More than half of that was from sponsored Instagram and blog posts! It feels weird to share because I worry that it seems like I’m bragging, but I want you to experience the same success — hence my commitment to radical honesty.

As always, I made some mistakes and have a lot to learn, but who doesn’t? I know you’re here for the numbers, so we’ll get right to it.

Revenue

Sponsored posts: $795

Affiliate marketing: $204

Freelance work: $425

SEO workshop: $75

Total Income: $1,499

Expenses

Instagram props (flowers, cups of coffee, etc.): $50

Giveaways: $160

LLC Setup: $0 (Gifted by my dad)

Photography: $0 (Vagner Lage is the best husband ever.)

G-Suite: $5

Adobe Lightroom: $14.99

Profit: $1,274 (NOTE: I suck at math. Drop me a comment if these numbers are wrong.)

  1. I take extreme pride in what I publish. Sometimes that means taking a break for a few days if I don’t have anything to post. You’re supposed to post as often as humanly possible to beat the Instagram algorithm, but I’d rather have a sometimes-stale feed than upload new content that I don’t love. I also try to stand out from other bloggers, which has helped me land some pretty fun contracts with less than 10K followers.
  2. I’m picky about sponsored content. I said “no” more times than ever this month. There was a time when I was thrilled to have anyone wanting to work with me and I’d work for free or in exchange for a very low fee. I decided that I wanted to only work with brands whose missions I absolutely loved and who were willing to compensate me fairly. This meant saying no to $40 and $50 campaigns from brands I like a lot — but it also meant saying no to companies that promised $$$ but whose products I felt sketched out by.
  3. I re-evaluated my calendar. My dad is the best entrepreneur that I know, and he gave me some wise advice about events — you have to ask yourself, “How will this help my brand?” Don’t get me wrong — I love Tampa, and this blogging community is top-notch. Going to swanky places and making new friends is literally my dream night out, but I began to RSVP “no” to have time to recharge and remain energetic about content creation.
  4. I began freelancing again. $425 of this month’s income came from freelance projects including portrait photography, social media management and writing. It’s not as profitable as blogging, but I genuinely enjoy freelance projects and it gives me a way to stay creative when I’m feeling “blah” about my blog. As time goes on, I’ll begin to scale back my freelance work (or only take on work that has an ROI that’s worth it).
  5. I’m incredibly privileged in a lot of ways. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it a million times — having familial support is a game-changer when it comes to how much I spend on my brand. My husband takes all of my photos, and my parents will occasionally offer to pay for big expenses to help me chase this entrepreneurial dream. If you don’t have friends or family in your corner, it’s still possible to “make it” — but it’ll take significantly more resources.

Some Of My Wiser Choices

Almost all of this month’s campaigns came through CLEVER and InfluenceHer Collective, and I didn’t send one pitch to a brand via email. Otherwise, brands found me through hashtags or while looking for Florida bloggers. (I’ve learned to ask — it’s usually really interesting info!)

Let’s talk giveaways! Okay, so if you’re not a blogger (and even if you are), it may sound wild to spend nearly $200 on giveaways. I also know a lot of bloggers who feel like it dilutes your brand or takes the easy way out. I think that participating in random giveaways all the time won’t provide much value, which is why I instead participate in one or two a month and pay more money to reach my target demographic of American millennial women. I saw an impressive return in January and gained nearly 1,300 followers through giveaways and organic growth.

What I’ll Do Differently

One thing that I want to do in February is to take time off. I’m miserably sick right now, and I honestly think that sleep and stress are huge contributors for me. I’m determined to take more time off this month, even if it means saying no to paid opportunities. At the end of the day, my focus is on my day job, and anything else is just a bonus. The exciting news is that I’ve signed contracts for $900 worth of work in February, so I’m on pace to outearn myself significantly next month!

Questions? Comments? Let’s hear ’em!

Leave a Comment

12 Comments

  1. Keyanna wrote:

    Ayana! I am seriously so proud of you! These are incredible accomplishments! I don’t see it as you bragging at all and I appreciate the honesty and openness. You deserve all of the success girl and I am even more inspired by you now! Keep killin’ it! <3

    xx,

    Key

    http://www.keyannajara.com

    Posted 2.2.19 Reply
    • Ayana wrote:

      Key, thank you so much for reading! I LOVE your content and am honored that you took the time! xox

      Posted 2.4.19 Reply
  2. Kiva wrote:

    Nice! Thanks for sharing.

    Posted 2.2.19 Reply
    • Ayana wrote:

      Thank you for reading!

      Posted 2.4.19 Reply
  3. Kasi wrote:

    This is such a great post! It was really helpful to me as a blogger, thanks for sharing!

    Posted 2.2.19 Reply
    • Ayana wrote:

      Kasi, thank you SO MUCH for reading! Xox

      Posted 2.4.19 Reply
  4. I am SO proud of you, Ayana!!! This is amazing news. Please keep us updated on your income reports, I love reading them and checking up on how things are going with you.

    Also — feel better SOON! 🙂
    xo Amanda || Affordable by Amanda

    Posted 2.3.19 Reply
    • Ayana wrote:

      AMANDA! Thank you – your December income report inspired me! Xox

      Posted 2.4.19 Reply
  5. Sarah wrote:

    Ayana, this is SUCH a great post!! I love your honesty and I truly appreciate that as someone who is beginning to really look at a variety of ways to monetize myself. Thank you thank thank you! Keep up the fabulous work, you’re the cutest and I love watching your journey!

    Posted 2.4.19 Reply
  6. That’s so awesome how you’ve grown over just the past few months in your blogging journey. Love this post and the information it gave. Such an inspiration for me to keep going on my blogging journey as well. Congrats! https://www.lolanicole.com

    Posted 2.5.19 Reply
  7. Jerlissa wrote:

    Yyyyeeeessss Queen! I love it!

    Posted 2.5.19 Reply
  8. Chaniece wrote:

    Wow! So inspirational. I love seeing black women succeed. May your next month be even better than your last.

    Posted 3.18.19 Reply