Welcome to the December 2018 business report in which I show you how I made money online last month.It's time to look at this month's update and see how I did it.

If you're new to Making Sense of Cents, you may be wondering why I would want to publish my business report every month.

It all started as my extra income report because, in the beginning, it was all about the money I earned from my side jobs.In my income reports from the beginning, I included all the income I made, except for what I did during my daily work.

However, I quit my day job as a financial analyst in October of 2013 and now my monthly business reports consist of the many ways I make a living from my business.

Many have asked why I would ever want to speak publicly about what I'm working on every month.Some think I'm crazy, while others are happy to be open about what I'm doing.Whatever you think, I like to publish my monthly business reports and share them publicly for three main reasons:

  1. Before I started blogging, I didn't know anything about the hustle and bustle and online earnings.I didn't think side jobs were worth the effort, and I thought the only way to significantly increase your income was through increases in your full-time job.If it hadn't been for others to publish their monthly income reports, I don't know if I would ever have experienced the side hustle and bustle.I want to help show others the positive aspects of lateral frenzy and how it can change a person's life.There are many different ways to make money online and I like to share my story every month to motivate others to improve their financial situation by making more money.
  2. Secondly, I like to publish my reports on company blogs because it's a way to look back, learn from my mistakes, and see what areas need to be improved.I use my monthly blog reports as a way to keep track of how I did it and it helps me make myself accountable.
  3. Finally, I like to show others that it is possible to make secondary money and that there are many legitimate ways to make money from your home.

I know I say it every month, but it's the truth.Life is great now that I'm my boss and a full-time blogger.I look forward to every day and it's a wonderful feeling.I love waking up every morning.

Above are just some of the reasons why I like to publish my monthly income reports. I like to show others that you don't have to hate your job and hate your life. You can make changes to your life and make money in a way that allows you to truly enjoy the life you are living. I'm not saying you have to ADORE your job, I'm just saying that your work should, at the very least, allow you to do what you enjoy doing outside of work (whether it's spending time with loved ones, painting, hiking, etc.).


Is this the end of income relations?

I have an announcement to make in today's report.

In 2012 I started publishing income reports.You can read one of the first income reports here.At the time, it was all about the extra income I earned, such as selling textbooks, taking surveys, making mystery purchases, and selling items on eBay.It was from when I was a new blogger and continued to work full time in my daily work,

It is absurd to think of publishing income reports for so many years, for the whole world to see.

Back then, I had no idea I was going to be a full-time blogger.Making money with my blog was something I was barely thinking about at the time.

I was working as an analyst and I think Wes was still working as a package manager at UPS.

We were super young and we were just trying to stop living the paycheck for the paycheck.

At that time I was still anonymous on my blog and I don't think anyone knew except Wes (at the time he was called "W", haha!) And my sister.

My income reports at the time were very simple.They were mostly just for me to keep track of what I was doing.They were more of a lifetime update on my goals and what was going on financially in my life.

Over the years, my blog has grown and my income relationships have evolved over the years.

As you all know, for some time now I have been thinking about getting rid of my monthly income reports.However, whenever I would mention it in an income report, 99.9999999% of you have asked me to continue.For this reason, I want to find a happier way to continue with them.

Now, these will be "Business Reports" where I talk about how the business is going, my goals, etc. Basically, everything will be the same, except that there will be no more numbers.

So why am I getting rid of numbers?

There are several reasons why I will no longer publish my "traditional" income reports:

  1. I want to be helpful – I understand that my income reports seem unattainable now that the income level is so high.So, I want to take the numbers out of the equation so I can see exactly what I'm working on and how I'm improving my blog.
  2. You feel less pressure – I feel pressure to keep my income high every month and that's not how I want to run my business.I want my relationships to focus more on what I'm doing and the actions I'm taking, rather than on people just looking at numbers.Yes, I realize this is a personal finance blog.But, instead of just looking at the numbers every month, I want you to focus on what is actually being accomplished and what you are working on.
  3. Safety – Although I never worried too much about my safety with the publication of my monthly income reports, now that we are on a boat and it is extremely easy to find us thanks to today's location technology, I have decided that it is probably not better for me by passing on my earnings.
  4. Privacy – One big reason I want to stop posting my income reports is because I simply want more privacy.

Now, if you're looking for real numbers, I've been publishing income reports for several years that talked about how much I earned from specific sources.You can find every single income report here.

I really don't think that's going to change too much.Instead, I want these monthly reports to be more useful, rather than just focusing on numbers.I will still answer readers' questions, talk about what I am working on, and so on, so I still think they will be extremely helpful.

If there's anything new you'd like me to add to these monthly reports, let me know in the comments below!


Financial year 2018 under review

2018 was a huge year for me and my business.Revenues from commercial activities grew:

  • In 2013, my professional income was $116,519.This was the year I quit my full-time blogging job.
  • In 2014, it totaled $163,929.This was my first full year of self-employment without daily work.
  • In 2015, I earned $320,888.I think it was the year I laid off all my freelance clients and started working on my blog.This helped me grow my revenue significantly because I was FOCUSED!
  • In 2016, I earned $979,321.This is the year I created my first product (Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing).
  • In 2017, I earned $1,536,732.
  • In 2018, I earned over $1,500,000 (as of November 2018, I had earned $1,510,040).

In 2018, my revenue grew by about 10% compared to 2017. And I worked a lot less, probably about 50% less than usual.

I focused for most of my time in 2018 on having fun running Making Sense of Cents and doing what I love most: writing articles and talking about personal finance, travel, hustle and bustle, and so on.

And, I plan to do something very similar in 2019. Actually, I'm not going to create new courses or products in 2019, except for a few smaller things, like printables and maybe something related to creating a budget.

2018 was a great year and I'm so happy that the business performed so well, especially with much less pressure than in previous years.

I attribute much of my business success in 2018 to several specific actions I undertook, similar to those I also focused on the previous year:

  1. I made sure to improve and grow my email newsletter. Social media is a great way to grow a website, but an email list is even better because it's yours and you own it!I highly recommend spending time on your email list as it is YOUR list and is not affected by any algorithm or anything like that.And, growing an email list doesn't have to be difficult.I'm sure it looks that way, especially for a new blogger, and that's exactly why I put it off for so many years.I didn't start taking my email list seriously until April 2016 when I switched to Convertkit.Convertkit makes sending an effective and efficient newsletter much easier and better.I had never really understood email marketing before, but ConvertKit makes it so easy and now I feel like an expert!I now have over 100,000 email subscribers.One of my biggest blogging mistakes was waiting years to start my mailing list.If you don't have one yet, you should start ASAP!In 2018 I spent time creating new free optins, analyzing/testing the wording on my email signup forms, and more, which helped me grow my email list.
  2. I continued to diversify my income. In 2016 I finally created my first product for sale, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.This helped me diversify my business and try a new form of income.In 2018, I finally created my second course, Making Sense of Sponsored Posts.Now, my business revenue consists mainly of affiliate marketing, two products, sponsorships and advertising, which is a mix that I am very happy with.If you're looking for some easy ways to increase your blog revenue, I recommend reading this free ebook – 7 Surefire Ways to Increase Your Income on Blogging Overnight.
  3. I sent more of my affiliate product list. So, I always emailed my list, however, it wasn't until 2017 when I made my first major launch for an affiliate product.Instead, I have only ever passively submitted my list and occasionally mentioned products.That first big launch was like a light bulb going on for me. I made five figures from an affiliate launch to my email list and it was simply easily promoting a product I used and thought it was great!While I didn't take part in many affiliate product launches in 2018, I plan to do so about once a quarter in 2019.
  4. I increased my sponsored mail rate. In order to work less and manage a better work-life balance, I increased my sponsorship rate.I did this so that I could focus on more meaningful/higher quality sponsorships, and even less of them.I still gained a lot from sponsored partnerships (I never said that, but I think it was more than the previous year), and this happened with significantly fewer partnerships.So, if you are afraid of increasing your rates, I highly recommend doing so!I found that almost everyone still said yes, even though my rates went up.

I hope to continue all of the above in 2019 and I have a feeling it will be a fantastic year!

Thank you to all my readers for being here with me on this journey!I'm so glad I can share everything with you.


Here are my goals for 2019:

  • Get at least three months ahead of Sense of Cents posts. Being on the cutting edge of blog posts makes life much more enjoyable because I can focus on other things knowing that most of my writing work has already been done.This is one of my main goals for 2019!
  • He works less than 40 hours a week. For the most part, I work less than 40 hours a week.However, there are some weeks when I spend all day and night on my laptop, not even sure where the day went.For this reason, I would like to continue working on a better work-life balance.
  • Be more present. My main goal in 2019 is to be more present and I published a blog post about this goal in about 2 weeks.I am excited for the year of travel and sailing that we have ahead of us and I want to enjoy it as much as possible.I've been so focused on business for the past few years, that this year I want to focus on life outside of the business.Don't get me wrong, I LOVE racing with Making Sense of Cents, and that's what makes it so hard to pull away and be more present outside of work.
  • Read 6 books. In recent years I have only read one book that was not about work or sailing.I would like to go back to reading books that have nothing to do with trying to learn something, haha.
  • Enjoy. Okay, so this isn't really a quantifiable goal or something I'll follow, haha, but I'm really looking forward to 2019!

Now, here's my December income report!



My New Course – Sense of Sponsored Posts

In case you haven't listened yet, my new course is here!

Find out how I made my first blog revenue and how I'm making $10,000 – $20,000 per month with sponsored partnerships!

Are you a blogger but not sure how to make money online?Or maybe you've been blogging for a while but haven't had much luck with sponsored partnerships.

For some reason, sponsored blog posts and sponsored social media ads seem to scare off bloggers, whether they're brand new or they've been blogging for years.

What should I upload?How do I find companies that want to work with me?What are the rules?

There are so many questions when it comes to sponsored posts.

It makes sense: sponsored partnerships are something that probably 99.9% of bloggers want to pursue, but the problem is that they have no idea where to start.

Making sense of sponsored posts is a step-by-step guide to creating and earning money from your own successful sponsored partnership strategy.This course explains all the details of sponsored posts and working with brands.

I started making sense of cents in August 2011, at the age of 22, with no hope of ever earning anything.It started as a hobby – just a way to record my life in the diary and talk about my personal financial situation.

So, about six months after I started my blog, a blogger friend of mine connected me with an advertiser and I made $100 from that ad.

There wasn't much money, especially considering the amount of time and work I had already put into my blog.However, it was very motivating to see that something I absolutely loved doing could actually make money.I honestly had no idea that blogs could even make money when I started mine!

After those first $100, my blogging income grew rapidly.

I now charge, on average, about $5,000 per sponsored post.

I've worked with tons of high-quality brands that I love, I've received all-inclusive vacations for free, and I have brands lined up outside the door who want to work with me.

Whether you're a brand new blogger or have been blogging for years, this course will help you with your sponsored partnership strategy.

I've talked to many bloggers about sponsored posts and most have said they earn little or nothing from sponsored posts.I also found that many bloggers were earning too little for the value they provide to brands.

Throughout the modules of this course, we will look at everything you need to know about sponsored posts, from developing brand relationships, legality of sponsored posts, different strategies, and more. This is a course that will teach you everything and everything there is to know about sponsored posts.

Blog / life news

December was a fantastic month for the entire blogging business.There were no big changes in December, instead I mainly used the month to try to get ahead in the work.We hope to spend several months in the Bahamas on our boat, and to spend more time enjoying it, I want to be as far ahead as possible!

December was also a great month for us.We left the St. Pete right after hurricane season ended (and our boat insurance would let us go!) And we took a solo ride to Key West – just me and Wes.It took about 33 hours and we sailed all night.It was a beautiful sailing and I'm so happy to have a business that allows me to move my home wherever I want, haha.

It's been an amazing month and I've done a lot of work!

I'm currently about two months ahead in blog posts and hope to finish a few more to do with the first quarter of 2019.

Overall, the month's traffic was about 400,000 page views.

Here are several other business and blog updates:

  • I am working on a series where I will help readers with specific financial questions and tutorials to follow them.Topics such as: How to open a bank account, How to write a check, Find an online bank, Build and create an investment account, etc. What other topics would you like to see me cover?
  • My community group for Making Sense of Cents continues to grow.This is a Facebook group where you can ask other readers for advice on all kinds of topics such as finance, blogging, travel, running a business, and so on.There are already over 13,000 members!
  • I published my FREE course on How To Start A Blog.If you'd like to create a blog, check this out.I created this email course for those who are interested in starting a blog, but haven't done so yet.The course is free and over 50,000 people have already registered.Thank you all for the kind emails about how great the course is.I'm glad everyone is having fun!
  • Because of how well my first free course went, I also created the free email course Master Your Money.It's full of great money management lessons and financial worksheets (like a free budget template), and I also love the positive response of this email course.
  • Other freebies I have included 10 simple tips to increase the income of your affiliate and 8 simple tips to make money from sponsored posts on your blog .

Find out how I successfully created a $1,000,000+ blog for all the different ways you can make money with a blog.

Below are some of my monthly online income reports.I post an online earnings update every month, but I only include a few below, as that would be a very long list.If you go to my earnings page you can find all my monthly earnings reports for the last few years.

  • $672 more in May (2012)
  • $6,523 in January Extra Income (2013)
  • $11,927 in October Income – I Finally Quit My Job (2013)
  • $12,640 in January income (2014)
  • $23,758 Revenue in February – My Monthly Income Report Online (2015)
  • How I Earned $300,000 Online in 2015
  • How I Earned $979,321 in 2016
  • How I Earned $1,536,732 in 2017


New popular posts on Making Sense of Cents last month:

  • Setting goals for 2019: let's make this year the best!
  • 45 ways to live life to the fullest in 2019
  • 105 tips of money that will change your life
  • Wondering why you need life insurance?Here are 4 reasons why
  • How to simplify your life in 2019
  • How is early retirement possible?
  • What are we doing now that we no longer have a car
  • 8 Easy Tips To Make Money From Sponsored Posts On Your Blog
  • How much did my 401k loan cost me $1 million dollars
  • How I Made $90,189 Tutoring in a Year on Part Time


Featured question: Is it too late to start a blog in 2019?

In every monthly income report I have a question from a reader.Please leave a comment below if you have a question you would like me to answer. I answer this question all the time, but I want to raise it again because lately I have received A LOT.

No, it's not too late.And you didn't get lost.

2019 is a great time to start a blog.

Trust me, people were saying the same thing when I started making sense of cents – that the people who started in 2011 were starting too late and that no one would ever succeed.

However, this is absolutely not the case.

The online world is still so new, and there are new ways to monetize and grow all the time.

There is plenty of room for new bloggers and there is plenty of room for growth in the future.I believe that only recently are companies and advertisers beginning to understand the value of online influencers, such as bloggers, which means that the world of blogging will continue to grow well in the future and that the opportunities to make money from a blog will continue to increase.

More and more companies are starting to advertise with online influencers on their blogs, social media accounts, and more, and I expect this to continue to grow in the future.While in the past it was mainly celebrities that companies advertised with, but now it is actually moving to bloggers and other online influencers (like Youtubers and Instagrammers!).

The world is a huge place and the online world will continue to grow.Every blogger makes a living online in a slightly different way, and everyone has a different message and story.Also, there are many different ways to make money through a blog and I expect this to continue to grow.

Of course, blogs are constantly evolving and there are always new things to learn, which will probably always be the case with running any business.

So, if you're thinking about starting a blog, today is the day.Don't let your fears hold you back any longer!You can find my free course How to Start a Blog here.

Past applications:
  • How much does it cost to start a blog?
  • How can I increase my affiliate income?
  • Do I need millions of page views per month to make money blogging?
  • How do I create websites to sell them?
  • Do only celebrities make money owning websites?
  • How much money can a blog person make?
  • Where does the blog income come from?
  • Is there enough room for new bloggers to make money?
  • How can a blogger increase page views?
  • Should my blog be hosted alone?
  • What blogging tools or resources do you recommend?
  • What should you do when a blog post goes viral?
  • What is affiliate marketing?
  • What have I learned since launching my course?
  • What should you do when you feel exhausted in the blogger?
  • How can a blog conference help me?
  • Why does a blogger have to have an email list?
  • Where do you get your photos for your blog?
  • What are the easy affiliate programs for new bloggers?
  • What are some affiliate program ideas for different niches?
  • Which e-blogs and blogging courses do you recommend?
  • Did you start your blog to make money?
  • Do you mind sharing a detailed list of what processes you have with new blog posts?
  • How should a person come up with a name for the blog?
  • How can a blogger make more money during the holidays?
  • How to track accounting and taxes for your business?
  • What are your biggest blogging mistakes?
  • What should I blog about?
  • How can I learn how to use social media for my blog?
  • How do you handle a blogging crisis?
  • What's the best topic to write about so you can make money blogging?
  • How can a blogger build relationships and network?
  • How do you come up with ideas for new blog posts?
  • What are the best things you've learned recently?
  • What's your next favorite way to make money blogging?
  • Can a new blogger start with sponsored posts?


My plans for my blog and business.

Plans and goals can help you run a successful business.I believe that working towards a goal can help keep a person motivated as well.

Below are some of the areas I'm currently working on:

  • Get at least three months ahead of Sense of Cents posts. Being on the cutting edge of blog posts makes life much more enjoyable because I can focus on other things knowing that most of my writing work has already been done.This is one of my main goals for 2019!
  • He works less than 40 hours a week. For the most part, I work less than 40 hours a week.However, there are some weeks when I spend all day and night on my laptop, not even sure where the day went.For this reason, I would like to continue working on a better work-life balance.
  • Be more present. My main goal in 2019 is to be more present and I published a blog post about this goal in about 2 weeks.I am excited for the year of travel and sailing that we have ahead of us and I want to enjoy it as much as possible.I've been so focused on business for the past few years, that this year I want to focus on life outside of the business.Don't get me wrong, I LOVE racing with Making Sense of Cents, and that's what makes it so hard to pull away and be more present outside of work.
  • Enjoy. Okay, so this isn't really a quantifiable goal or something I'll follow, haha, but I'm really looking forward to 2019!


Affiliate marketing results.

The income of the branch was at a similar level to the previous month.But everything will change soon!

It will increase significantly from January to May, as usual.These are the popular months for my blog, as people seem to be more focused and refreshed in achieving their financial goals.

Some of the things I'm working on include:

  • Working to create a high-quality funnel.Funnels are something I've never spent time on, but I'd like to change it.I want to create a high-quality funnel where I continue to provide valuable information to my readers and make them happy for times when I may not have the best wifi.
  • 2019 planning for affiliate offers.I'm not a great planner, but I'll change it in 2019. I already have affiliate promotions planned for the first 6 months of 2019. This will help me organize and prepare better.
  • Continuing to grow the reach of Making Sense of Cents.Traffic has been a bit blocked lately and I want to change that!I want to see what I can do to increase traffic, as this will help me reach new readers.
  • Analyze popular affiliate blog posts to see how they can be improved for the future.
  • Looking for new affiliate products to promote and see what my audience is interested in.

And more!

Earning an affiliate income is something I'm extremely grateful for, especially lately.We've been so busy over the last few months and haven't spent as much time as I need for business as I normally would.

Even though I'm spending less time on the company, I'm still earning a big income every month and this allows me to focus on a better work-life balance.

I'm a big fan of affiliate revenue, of course.It's something I enjoy because of how passive it can be.It makes it much more enjoyable to travel full time when I know I can earn an income while enjoying seeing new areas.

As I always say, blog revenue doesn't depend on page views.Even brand new bloggers can make money through affiliate marketing.If you know the correct way to promote a product, you can succeed in affiliate marketing.This is one of the main things I teach in my giving a sense of Affiliate Marketing naturally.

My affiliate marketing course went live in July of 2016. I have already had over 5,000 people enrolled in the course and I would love to have you as a student too!

In the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course, there are 6 modules, over 30 lessons, several spreadsheets, bonuses, an extremely useful and exclusive Facebook group, and more.I go through everything you need to know about affiliate marketing, such as:

  • A quick introduction to affiliate marketing and how it works
  • The exact steps I took to earn over $500,000 from a single blog post
  • How to correctly choose affiliate products to promote
  • Steps to increase conversion rate
  • Over 80 ideas for affiliate programs for different niches
  • How to build trust with your readers (this is MUST!)
  • The required information you need to know
  • The different strategies to promote your affiliate links

My course is all about affiliate marketing.This course is perfect for you, whether you are a new blogger or if you have been blogging for years, regardless of the topic of your blog, the country you live in, and so on.

I wrote this course so that it will benefit everyone, and there is so much to learn from it.

How was 2018 for you?Are you interested in earning revenue from blogging?

By ibdi.it