$55,612 in one month!
$40,000 from blogging last year!
$3,854 in AdSense revenue this week!
We’ve all seen the graphics on Pinterest of income reports from bloggers who are killing it. They are jam packed with huge numbers from Google ads, affiliate programs, Amazon, products, and consulting.
When you see people post their income reports you must remember the truth about those reports and don’t lose your focus for your own site. Discouragement rides around on the coattails of income reports. If you are going to read those reports you need to know how to read them properly, use the best information for your own success, and shut the door on discouragement.
A blog income report can tell you a lot about a blogger and their site if you know where to look. Subtle clues about how they spend their time and energy will tell you a lot about how they make their money. When you read between the lines you can unlock helpful secrets to help with your own success and keep moving forward with your goals for your blog.
So how do you read an income report?
1. Look at the pageviews
After reviewing numerous online income reports ranging from several hundred dollars to the tens of thousands I found some surprising similarities that can help you grow a profitable and successful blog of your own.
The numbers from these sources were as low as $0.32 and as high as $23,000. This automatically led me to look for those who were really being transparent and posting their pageviews as well.
One of the higher reports had over 225,000 pageviews in one month.
The highest had over 810,00 pageviews.
The lowest had just under 55,000.
So, what does this tell you?
It shows that traffic matters. Income is directly correlated with the traffic coming to your blog. If you want to make money focus on driving traffic to your site.
The basic rule of thumb is that 2000 pageviews will afford you $5-10 per month in ad revenue. This does not include your own product sales or consulting. This is just for ads from someplace such as Google AdSense.
More traffic equals more money.
2. Check the sources
Each report I looked at had different sources for revenue from Google AdSense to Amazon and other affiliate partners to consulting and products. These sources can tell you a lot because they tell you if the income was passive or active.
Passive income comes from ads and affiliates. Readers click the links embedded on your site and you make money when they click or buy. You are not part of that process other than initially putting the ad on your site. It happens passively – while you sleep, eat, write, and drive carpool.
Passive income can also come from products you have created. However, there is more of an upfront investment in these because of the time and energy you have spent to create, market, and sell it. These are always a great way to create a steady stream of income.
Active income comes from things like managing other’s websites or social media, design, consulting, speaking, and paid writing gigs. These all require an large time and energy investment from you.
The largest income report I viewed received it’s largest income stream from business consulting, speaking engagements and webinars. The bulk of the income required a large time and energy investment from the blogger including phone calls, Skype interactions, travel, and in-person meetings.
One of the larger reports I looked at showed significant income from coaching, social media management, and website design as well as passive income from 5 or 6 owned websites. This means this person is running 5 or 6 additional websites that need at least some attention in addition to the main one where the income report was published.
So what does this mean to you? It means while there are definitely passive ways to make an income from your blog the bulk of money comes from active sources that require time and money to pursue.
Bloggers are not just writing fun posts and then watching the money roll in. They are actively pursuing opportunities and working extremely hard every single week to produce money-making results.
Blogging takes effort. It is not a build-it-and-forget-it endeavor. If you want to make money blogging be ready to invest your time and energy to make it happen. And not just a little time and energy, but rather a lot.
3. Notice the elevator effect
Most bloggers who report their income make note of whether it is up or down from the previous month. Boy, did I see a lot of up and down movement as I studied different reports. Some months were significantly higher than others. Some showed how each income stream was different each month, like a bank of elevators in a high-rise building. They all went up and down at different levels.
None of the income reports I viewed were always on an upward trajectory. However, each showed steady growth over time as pageviews also increased.
This is important to note for anyone looking to make money from their blog. It shows that as you work and grow your audience your income will also grow. Just don’t expect it to be exponential growth. It fluctuates.
4. Take note of the diversity
Every report I viewed was different. Each blogger made money from different sources and no two reports were alike. One blogger made the bulk of her income from YouTube videos. Another made her money solely on products she had developed. Still another made quite a lot from affiliate sales.
If you are looking to make money from your blog make sure you have diverse streams available. These may be streams you will need to try to see if they work for you or not. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Have lots of options.
- Google AdSense
- Amazon Affiliates
- Affiliate programs – Share-A-Sale, web hosting, etc.
- Ad networks – IZEA, Pollinate Media, Sverve, etc.
- Private ads
- Sponsored posts
- Special Projects
- Products – ebooks, ecourses, training modules, etc.
Trust me, these are just the tip of the iceberg but will give you an idea of where you can look to diversify your income streams.
This is where reading the income reports of other bloggers can help make you better. See what they are doing. Look for new ideas and opportunities. Try new things on your own blog and see what works for you.
Don’t be afraid to try new things either. No advertiser works with only one blogger. They are always looking for more ways to spread their messages. You might be just who they are looking for.
Depending on your niche some options will be a great fit while others will not make you any money. Keep tweaking your personal formula until you find what works best for you.
You should have a clear mission statement. You should have clear goals. You should know your audience and what they expect from you. In doing so you will know which opportunities to pursue and which ones to leave behind.
Reading income reports can either be a drag, or it can help make you a better blogger. When you know how to read them properly and are looking for the right information you will be able to make calm, rational decisions about what the numbers really mean.
You will be able to set realistic goals for yourself based on your blog, your audience, your level of commitment, and your time and energy quotient. Don’t let an income report discourage you. Instead, find ways to take the information and use it to your benefit.