January is, for me and most bloggers I know, an incredibly slow month, following the usually great month of December. Well, I did start 2016 with a real bang – a surprising and unexpected one that I have no reasons to complain about: the income was a bit more than what I managed to make in December and a bit over $1,000 more than what I earned in January 2015.

If you want to know what happened and what were my January’s numbers, read on for Thrifty Self Employed’s…

January 2016 blogging income report

It was an atypical month where I simply got lucky. I am one of the few bloggers that admit that luck plays a major part in this business and even though it’s a lot easier to get lucky if you know what you’re doing, there’s still a huge unknown or even random factor that decides how much or how little you’re going to earn.

My January started pretty much as expected: slow, sluggish even and completely unspectacular. Until I published one article that I didn’t even put too much time in it, gave it a push to Reddit, shared it on Facebook and, somehow, it went viral. And a viral article can boost your earnings a lot and indeed it had that effect on this month’s income. Let’s check it out!

Advertising Networks: $2,757.21 (7 networks)
Affiliate income: $231.92
Private advertising: $500
Youtube: $6.05
TOTAL: $3495.18

So why am I so happy since it’s just around $200 more than last month? Because this is January, a month that was notorious for me and very low income, so managing to make more than I did in December 2015, which was also my second best month of the entire previous year, gives me all the reasons I need to be happy. No, I’m not rolling with the big guys out there, but I am making money I am extremely proud with and if I can do that, everybody can!

January stats & thoughts

After taking a break from blogging for a large chunk of December, I started January focused and ready to roll. I am switching my strategy completely and moving to writing articles that are longer, better researched and more helpful – and I really hope it will pay off in the long run. My desire for a while now and the plan I want to focus on in 2016 is to create a more passive stream of income and increase affiliate earnings greatly.

Until now, I was producing mostly average content that was consumed and forgotten, mostly in the entertainment niche. This meant that I had to work and produce content on a daily basis and as soon as I stopped, earnings started to drop. Although I was satisfied with the earnings, I saw ad revenue dropping more and more and I understand that the future lies in affiliate marketing and big price items.

So I did the following: reduced my work on my main entertainment website to a minimum, trying to work smarter and compensate the numbers with quality (in that niche, that’s not always the best option) and then I started working on projects of mine that were on standby or vastly ignored in the past. Of course, one month of focus didn’t result in any spectacular changes, but I am going to give each of these projects three months each before deciding what to do next. Hopefully, it will be an easy decision for me and a profitable one.

Important thing I did in January: I cut the costs!

For one of my websites, I was paying an author to produce content. Although he was cheap and the content was not that bad (as much as you can expect to get for $1 per article), I was losing money on him: $500 in 2015, to be precise, simply because poor content no longer works. So I had to cut him off and kill that website because it was crap. I also stopped writing for my last insta-success website which was not generating any income (it was in the video games niche and the CPM rates there are insanely low) and basically reduced spending time and money on everything that I couldn’t really focus on or I wasn’t sure had the potential to make any money. It’s difficult to cut costs, but when those losses affect your budget, it’s time to do it. It was hard for me, but I am sure it will be better in the long run.

For February, I am planning to stay focused and produce constant high quality content for the blogs that I have big plans for in 2016 and hopefully some movement will start to show, because I really need that!

How was your January? Just as slow as the month usually is or it was surprisingly good, like mine?


  1. Great month and nice earnings!!

    One question I do have, is when you say you gave one of your posts a push on Reddit, would you be willing or able to give more details?

    I have considered sharing links to my blog on Reddit but was not sure if the self promotion may get me slapped?


    • Thanks, Carl! Self promotion usually gets slapped hard on Reddit, but I am fortunate enough to have an account since 2008 and I also make sure to post non-links as well, so if somebody checks my profile they don’t see just link submissions. Find subreddits directly related to your niche and submit just one link there, comment on other posts and be useful and you should be fine.

      If not, do what everybody else is doing: new account, get banned, new account, get banned… :)) It still works!


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