Welcome to a new blogging income report here at Thrifty Self Employed! February 2016 offered an extra day to us, bloggers, and we’ll see here if I managed to make it count or it didn’t matter than much. So read on to check out my blogging income report for February 2016, find out what worked for me during this previous month, what didn’t – and also read about a project I am really excited about!
With January bringing in some record earnings (I earned $1,000 more than in January last year), I had great expectations from February, although the voice of reason inside my head was not to get too carried away. Unfortunately, the voice was mostly right! So let’s start with some…
February Ups & Downs
I had an amazing work flow in January: I started each day doing some physical exercises, I had a great schedule that I managed to stick to and everything was going great. For some reason, in February I completely lost focus: I started waking up late again, I rarely had any real schedule and worked chaotically, I skipped my exercises (and therefore my lower back pain is back and uglier than before) and my productivity rates were below par.
Even though, as I kept telling you, I promised myself that I will only focus on helping the blogs I already own reach their potential, I think I spend an entire week brainstorming, trying to come up with the “next big thing,” doing research and checking out millions of blogs in millions of niches. The worst part is that it was all time wasted because I didn’t really have a plan and I couldn’t come up with anything. It was bad, very bad and it was just yesterday that I realized I have to get things back on track and focus on what I have, on what makes money and maximize those profits instead of wasting time.
I am doing almost everything on my own when it comes to running my blogs, minus a couple of writers that help me with one of my blogs. After I did the counting, I have 12 blogs that I am actively working on. Out of these 12 blogs, I am not even trying to monetize 4 of them and two that I’m trying to monetize are making no money. Out of the 7 remaining blogs, 4 of them are making under $100 per month. Most of my income is coming from a single blog, with just two others making over $100 per month.
Yet, I am working on 12 blogs at the same time, most of them giving me nothing but headaches. It comes a time when you have to say: “too much is too much”. I can’t handle all that crap by myself and at this point I don’t really think that I could or should hire somebody to lighten up the load. So the best thing to do is to start cutting them off and work on those that I still believe in and those that still bring me money.
The biggest problem? The website that makes most of my monthly income is a blog that I hate running. So it’s a strange situation I’m in now: I could either sell it or let it die (first option makes more sense, of course) but then I would be left with blogs that didn’t really manage to take off and I have no idea if they will. On the other hand, working on something you don’t really like is not the dream job you hoped for when you quit your 9 to 5… it’s a difficult situation that I am in right now and I can only hope that I will be able to find the solution to this, because it’s getting more and more frustrating…
I also tried my hand with Facebook Ads – I am pretty much new to this and found out that, even though my ad was suggesting some great results, they were pretty misleading. So I ended up losing some more money here as well, but on the bright side, I managed to learn a valuable lesson: you have to look at your campaigns as a whole and not base your success rate on just a few factors. Even though I wasted some money on my campaign, I know now how to deal with them in the future for better results (or at least I won’t repeat the mistakes I did with my failed campaign). That’s still better than nothing!
In terms of highs, there’s not much I can be happy about in February. I finally managed to introduce my wife to blogging and for the past couple of months she started to run her own blog as a side-hustle and she’s really into it and I love the progress she’s made. She made her first $3 with her blog in the past month and seeing her so happy for what’s basically no money reminded me of my joy the first time I earned money with my blog. Those moments are priceless and this is what blogging should be about: the joy of doing something you love, not a chore that you just have to complete while feeling miserable!
February 2016 income report
If in January I was lucky with one of my articles going viral, things cooled down a bit in February and even though the article still got me some traffic, it wasn’t enough to guarantee a record month. I did try a few things on the affiliate income side – since that’s what I am planning to focus on this year – and the results were slightly better than they usually are, but I still have a lot of work to do here as well. The good thing is that, even though not impressive, there are results and it’s encouraging to see some movement in the affiliate earnings area (finally!)
Without further ado, here are my numbers for the previous month:
Advertising Networks: $2,043.58 (7 networks)
Affiliate income: $294.15
Private advertising: $659
My goals for 2016 are to make an average of $4,000 per month and right now I am pretty far away from those numbers, but it’s still achievable. Usually, it’s March and onwards that things start to move in the right direction and hopefully there will be a snowball effect on my earnings as well. But I really need to step my game up a bit this year, because tax has increased in my case and I pay 10.5% more this year for a total of a whooping 32% of my earnings. So yeah… looking at those earnings above is no longer too impressive after you deduct 32%, but it’s still a lot better than nothing!
Plans for March
I am and I will hopefully be able to remain extremely motivated throughout March and the months to come and there will be no more hiccups like my February. I have started a new project I am extremely confident in (wrote about it here) and it will surely be my last project for a while. I realized that I am just one person and right now I can’t take on so many projects. 12 is a bit too much to handle, especially when you have to deal with a lot of quality content creation, so those numbers will have to go down. Actually, I am sure that if I will stop working on the blogs that bring me no money and focus on those that do, I will actually end up earning more – a “duuh!” moment. So hopefully I will have even better news to share at the end of the month!
How was your February in terms of blogging progress and income? Did you manage to make that extra day count or you wasted it, just like I did?