Money Manifesto Blogging Income Report – March 2017

Welcome to the March 2017 edition of the Money Manifesto blogging income report.

As I always mention, there are two main reasons I share these blogging income reports.

First, I want to inspire others to start online businesses of their own.

Reading blogging income reports was one of my favorite things before I started my own blog.

They were inspirational and encouraged me to start my own blog. I want my reports to help inspire others like I was once inspired.

Second, I share these monthly reports to hold myself accountable. I need to make at least $3,000 per month to keep my family’s finances in solid shape.

These reports help keep me motivated to avoid dipping below the $3,000 per month level on a regular basis.

What I Learned About Self-Employment in March 2017

As I mentioned in last month’s blogging income update, I was working to get ahead so my wife and I could take a trip to visit some family.

I was able to get far enough ahead to go on the trip without working while I was gone, but I was surprised by a feeling I had while we were on the trip.

While we were there, I was still thinking about what I could be doing with my business while I was on vacation. I had worked hard to get ahead. However, while I was vacationing, all of that hard work was slowly slipping away. When I returned home, I was no longer ahead.

I really like the feeling of being ahead, so I’m going to continue to try to work as far ahead as possible in the coming months to give myself some breathing room.

Hopefully, when I get far enough ahead I can take some time off without feeling like I lost all the progress I made while working to get ahead.

As a business owner, you’re never truly on vacation from your business.

March 2017 Blogging Income – $4,452.13

March was a decent month for my online income, coming in at $4,452.13. This is great considering we took some time off at the end of the month. Let’s dive into the different ways I earned money this month.

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing continues to treat me well. I’m glad I stumbled into this source of income a few years ago. A client found my blog and asked if I’d be willing to write for their site as well. From there, I continued to grow my freelance writing efforts.

Today, freelance writing offers me a decent amount of semi-stable income. Even if I have a client with a slow month or I lose a client, I can always find more clients.

If you want to get started with freelance writing, I recommend taking Holly Johnson’s Earn More Writing course.

I’m about half way through it and have already learned plenty of tricks that easily will pay for the price of the course. It’s great for beginners and even has insightful tips for established freelance writers, too.

Affiliate Income

Affiliate income is something I hope to grow in the future, but makes me a little bit of money here and there for now.

One way I earn affiliate income is whenever someone signs up for a phone line with Republic Wireless. My readers save money, I make money and Republic Wireless gets a new customer. It’s win-win-win.

To work on growing my affiliate income, I will be taking Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course later this year.

She suggested I take it when I reach a certain portion of another course I’m currently taking. I’ve heard rave reviews from my blogger friends, so I can’t wait until I get to this point.

Branded Content

Branded content continues to make me money here and there.

When selecting who to partner with for branded content opportunities, I always make sure that my readers will have a positive experience. That’s why you don’t see branded content for investments I don’t believe in, such as forex trading.

I get plenty of offers, but I turn every single one down that doesn’t fit with my blog. This wasn’t always the case. When I was first starting, branded content was a quick way for me to make money. In fact, some months I earned thousands of dollars.

However, I decided it wasn’t worth the loss of trust if I posted something I didn’t believe in. I stopped accepting off brand posts a few years ago. If you accept branded content, make sure it fits with your blog and benefits your readers.

Traditional Advertisements

Traditional advertisements continue to deteriorate for me. I don’t make nearly as much as I used to and my traffic hasn’t been increasing enough to earn me the same amount of money.

Hopefully this changes as I work to improve my blog over the coming months.

What I’m Doing to Improve

I’ve made a big investment to improve my blog this year by purchasing Elite Blog Academy. The course costs several hundred dollars, but I think it will easily earn back that investment many times over. I’ve just gotten started with the course.

The instructor, Ruth Soukup, highly suggests going at your own place and completing all of the assignments, so that’s what I’ve vowed to do. So far, I’m impressed after completing just the first module. I’ll keep you all updated as I continue to progress.

How You Can Start Your Own Blog

Thankfully, getting started blogging isn’t very expensive. If you’ve wanted to start your own blog, you can do so by setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog on SiteGround.

I suggest locking in the $3.95 introductory monthly price for at least a year, but you can sign up for up to three years if you want to lock in your savings for longer. After your initial payment period, the price increases to $9.95 a month.

I used to recommend a different hosting solution, Bluehost, because all of the big bloggers recommended them. It turns out the main reason for the recommendation was the name recognition and the high paying affiliate income bloggers could earn.

However, Bluehost has gone downhill as far as performance and customer service goes, so I no longer recommend them unless you want rock bottom pricing for hosting.

In the beginning, Bluehost is fine. When you grow, you’ll start to see some growing pains. You really do get what you pay for. 

If you have any questions about starting a blog or my income report, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions!

Best Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses – April 2017

best credit card bonuses this monthSign up bonuses are one of my favorite ways to earn credit card rewards.

There are currently some great credit card sign up bonus offers, of over $1,000 or more, and I have used many of them myself.

Basically you sign up for a credit card with a bonus and meet the various requirements within a time limit to get the bonus.

Sign up bonuses are normally awarded in some form of credit card reward points which you can use for either a statement credit, travel, gift cards or other reward based on each program.

Each program values points differently so it is important to know your options before you cash out your sign up bonus.

This can greatly alter the value of the credit card sign up bonus reward points so make sure you know what you’ll use your points for before you sign up for a particular sign up bonus credit card to get the best deal.

Travel Credit Cards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardMy wife and I recently used two of these credit cards to completely pay for a 7 day Carnival Cruise! Essentially, you’ll earn 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

You can then use the 40,000 bonus miles plus 6,000 earned miles on purchases to redeem your miles against $460 of travel purchases charged on your Venture credit card.

You’ll earn two miles for every dollar in purchases you make no matter what category you make your purchases in, which essentially is 2% cash back when you redeem your miles for travel purchases. Your miles will never expire and there is no limit to how many reward miles you can earn with the card.

Just to clarify, Capital One considers the following as travel purchases: airlines, hotels, railroad tickets, cruise lines, taxi cabs, car rentals, limo services, bus lines, travel agents and time shares.

As an added benefit, you won’t have to pay foreign transaction fees and Capital One will provide you with your credit score monthly.

There is no annual fee for the first year, but you’ll pay a $59 annual fee for each year after the first.

Apply for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card today.

As with any card, please read all of the fine print and details on the application before you sign up. You need to completely understand the details to ensure you get your rewards!

Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®

barclay arrival plusYou can earn 50,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of having an account. When you redeem your miles for travel you’ll earn a bonus of 5% of the miles you redeemed.

This card offers an awesome 2 miles per dollar on all purchases you make, which will equate to 2.1% value if you redeem your rewards for travel after the 5% miles redemption bonus.

Bonus miles can be redeemed for a statement credit on travel purchases at $0.01 per mile and redeemed for a regular statement credit at a value of $0.005 per mile. Barclaycard considers the following as travel categories as defined by their merchant category codes:

  • Airlines
  • Travel Agencies & Discount Travel Sites
  • Hotels, Motels & Resorts
  • Timeshares
  • Campgrounds
  • Cruise Lines
  • Trains, Buses, Limos, Ferries and
  • Car Rental Agencies

After meeting the minimum spend amount for the sign up bonus, you’ll essentially have earned $588 in cash back if you redeem it all for travel. That’s pretty sweet! This card also has a EMV chip for overseas travel!

Keep in mind that while this card waives the $89 annual fee for the first year, you will have to pay it in the following years.

Apply for the Barlcaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard today!

As with any card, please read all of the fine print and details on the application before you sign up. You need to completely understand the details to ensure you get your rewards!

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

ventureone sign up bonusThe Capital One VentureOne rewards credit card is a great option for those looking for a great sign up bonus and rewards card with no annual fee.

This credit card will reward you with 20,000 miles, redeemable for $200 in travel credits, for spending $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.

You’ll earn 1.25 miles for each dollar in purchases so you’ll actually have 21,250 points after completing the minimum spend required for the bonus on this card and your points don’t expire.

This Capital One credit card has no foreign transaction fees, so it is a great card to take when you’re travelling abroad.

As I mentioned above, there is no annual free for this credit card so it is great for people just getting started with credit card rewards.

If you’re looking for a great no annual fee sign up bonus credit card, this is it.

Click here to apply for the Capital One VentureOne rewards credit card today!

As with any card, please read all of the fine print and details on the application before you sign up. You need to completely understand the details to ensure you get your rewards!

Bank AmeriCard Travel Rewards Credit Card

bankamericard-travel-rewards-credit-card-tiltedThe Bank AmeriCard Travel Rewards credit card is a great basic rewards credit card with no annual fee.

Simply spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of card membership and you’ll earn 20,000 points worth $200 in travel credits.

You’ll also earn 1.5 points per dollar in purchases so you’ll have 21,500 points after you complete your sign up bonus spending.

You can use your points for the following travel purchase categories: airfare, car rentals, hotels, airline baggage fees, campgrounds, cruise lines, tourist attractions, zoos, amusement parks and exhibits.

You won’t have to pay any foreign transaction fees on this card and the points that you earn never expire.

If you have a Bank of America checking or savings account, you’ll even get a bonus 10% extra points. If you’re a preferred rewards customer, you could even earn a points bonus of 25% all the way up to 75%.

Points must be redeemed in 2,500 point increments for a $25 statement credit against travel costs.

As with any card, please read all of the fine print and details on the application before you sign up. You need to completely understand the details to ensure you get your rewards!

Hotel Credit Cards

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

starwood preferred guest credit card from american express

The Starwood Preferred Guest credit card is often cited as one of the best hotel credit cards you can get. Currently, the card offers 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months.

You’ll have over 1,200 hotels and resorts to choose from when you’re booking your stay. Nights start at just 2,000 points for a category 1 weekend stay all the way up to 35,000 points for their swankiest hotels. There are some great values available and there are no blackout dates.

You can earn up to 5 Starpoints for each dollar of purchases at qualifying SPG hotels depending on your SPG status. Additionally, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees on this card.

As a cardholder, you will get free in-room, premium internet access.

If you want to transfer points, there is a very long list of airlines you can transfer your points to, mostly on a 1 Starpoint to 1 airline point ratio.

Unfortunately, some hotels may have mandatory service or resort charges, but that’s the case with almost all brands these days for their higher end or big city hotels.

The annual fee is waived the first year and will be $95 in subsequent years.

Apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express today!

As with any card, please read all of the fine print and details on the application before you sign up. You need to completely understand the details to ensure you get your rewards!

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card

marriott rewards premier credit cardThe Marriott Rewards Premier credit card currently offers 100,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of opening your account.

If you want even more points, you can earn 7,500 bonus points for adding an authorized user and making a purchase on that card in the first three months of opening your account.

Additionally, each year on your card account anniversary, you’ll earn 1 free night stay at a Category 1 through Category 5 hotel.

You can earn unlimited Marriott Rewards points with no maximum limits. You’ll earn 5 points for every dollar you spend at Marriott locations, which also include any stays at The Ritz-Carlton hotels.

You earn 2 points per dollar spent on airline tickets purchased directly from airlines, at car rental agencies and at restaurants. For every other purchase, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar.

As long as you make a purchase on your credit card once every 2 years, your points will never expire, which is pretty sweet.

There is an $85 annual fee for this credit card.

As with any card, please read all of the fine print and details on the application before you sign up. You need to completely understand the details to ensure you get your rewards!

Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Credit Card

citi-hilton-hhonors-reserve-credit-card-sign-up-bonusIf you like fancy hotels then the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve credit card might be worth checking out. You can earn two weekend night certificates, each good for one weekend night in a standard room with double occupancy at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors portfolio.

To receive this sign up bonus you must spend $2,500 in eligible purchases within the first four months of card membership.

In addition to the sign up bonus, you will earn 10 bonus points for every dollar spent on hotel stays within the Hilton HHonors portfolio, 5 bonus points for every dollar spent on airline and car rental purchases and 3 bonus points for every dollar spent on all other purchases. These are in addition to the HHonors base points you may earn for your stays.

You can earn an anniversary bonus of one weekend night at select hotels and resorts if you spend $10,000 or more on eligible purchases in each card membership year.

The Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve credit card features no foreign transaction fees and a Citi chip to assist in making global travel easier.

Finally, you will be rewarded complimentary HHonors gold status as long as you’re a Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve cardmember and can earn an upgrade to HHonors Diamond status by making $40,000 or more in eligible purchases during each calendar year.

Like many of these stellar sign up bonus cards, the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card has a $95 annual fee.

As with any card, please read all of the fine print and details on the application before you sign up. You need to completely understand the details to ensure you get your rewards!

Business Credit Cards

Many people think they don’t qualify for business credit cards. However, if you run any type of business, such as selling things on eBay, rent out a property or freelance write on the internet, you can try to apply for a business credit card.

If you don’t have a business structured, chances are you would be classified as a sole proprietorship and would use your social security number in place of an employer identification or taxpayer identification number.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business Credit Card

capital one spark cash for business credit cardThe Capital One Spark Cash for Business credit card offers a hefty $500 sign up bonus after spending $4,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.

This card also offers a great 2% cash back on every purchase you make.

Your rewards will never expire. There are no category limits and your cash back is unlimited. This card is really simple and offers great rewards for a business credit card.

Additionally, this card has no foreign transaction fees. You can even get free employee cards if you wish!

There is no annual fee the first year, but an annual fee of $59 per year kicks in after the first year.

Apply for the Capital One Spark Cash for Business credit card today.

As with any card, please read all of the fine print and details on the application before you sign up. You need to completely understand the details to ensure you get your rewards!

Capital One Spark Miles for Business Rewards Credit Card

spark miles for business sign up bonusThe Capital One Spark Miles or Business credit card offers 50,000 bonus miles, worth $500 in travel credits, if you spend $4,500 in purchases in the first 3 months of card membership.

This card is very similar to the Spark Cash card except it awards miles instead of points and miles can be redeem for travel purchases at a penny per point.

You’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent in purchases on all of your purchases regardless of what spending category they would fall in.

There are no foreign transactions fees on this card, your points never expire and you can get free employee cards which are all super convenient benefits for business owners.

The annual fee of $59 is waived the first year, but you’ll have to pay it each year after that.

Apply for the Capital One Spark Miles for Business rewards credit card today.

As with any card, please read all of the fine print and details on the application before you sign up. You need to completely understand the details to ensure you get your rewards!

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card offers one of the largest sign up bonuses I’m aware of at 80,000 sign up bonus points but it comes with a large spending requirement of $5,000 in the first 3 months from opening your account.

You can use those 80,000 points for $1,000 in travel rewards when redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

This credit card offers 3 points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, telecommunications purchases (internet, cable and phone), and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. You earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

It also offers no foreign transaction fees. There is an annual fee of $95.

As with any card, please read all of the fine print and details on the application before you sign up. You need to completely understand the details to ensure you get your rewards!

Airline Credit Cards

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus and Premier Credit Cards from Chase

If you fly on Southwest these cards offer some tremendous sign up bonus values! Both credit cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus and Premier, are currently offering a higher 50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months of opening an account, but you have to do some good Google searching to find these offers.

Those 50,000 points can be redeemed for over $700 in Wanna Get Away?® fares which can be redeemed for a round trip flight.

In addition to the sign up bonus you earn 2 points for every dollar spent on Southwest Airlines® when you book directly with the airlines and 2 points for every dollar you spend on Southwest Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar spent.

Both versions of the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card have anniversary bonuses. The Plus credit card has a 3,000 point anniversary bonus and the Premier credit card has a 6,000 point anniversary bonus.

The Premier version boasts no foreign transaction fees which can save you a ton of money if you commonly use credit cards in foreign countries.

Unfortunately, both credit cards have annual fees. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus annual fee is $69 and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier annual fee is $99.

If you use all of your points each year, the extra $30 for 3,000 extra anniversary bonus points is actually worth $40+ in Wanna Get Away?® fares so it might be worth it to splurge for the Premier card.

As with any card, please read all of the fine print and details on the application before you sign up. You need to completely understand the details to ensure you get your rewards!

General Rewards Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

sapphire reserve sign up bonusThe Chase Sapphire Reserve is currently offering 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points for spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.

Those points can be redeemed for $750 in travel credit through Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

In addition to the sign up bonus, you get $300 in travel credit for purchases such as hotels and airfare each calendar year you own the card.

For your regular spending, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent on all travel and dining purchases and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Additionally, there are no foreign transaction fees with this card.

Unfortunately, with all of these great benefits there is a massive annual fee of $450 per year. You’ll definitely earn that back with all of the benefits this card offers in the first year, though.

As with any card, please read all of the fine print and details on the application before you sign up. You need to completely understand the details to ensure you get your rewards!

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

chase_sapphire_preferred_credit_card_sign_up_bonus I personally signed up for this card a couple years ago. The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card has a 50,000 point sign up bonus after you spend $4,000 within 3 months of opening your card.

You can also earn 5,000 points by adding your first authorized user and having them make a purchase within the first 3 months.

The 50,000 points can be applied as a statement credit or direct deposited into your bank account for $500 with each point being worth a penny.

If you use the rewards through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program you can get $625 worth of value. However, there are some even better ways to use your 50,000 point sign up bonus.

Advanced card users will likely transfer their points to another rewards program at a 1 point to 1 point value to some of these amazing rewards programs: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus®,  Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, British Airways Executive Club, Korean Air SKYPASS, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer,  Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Hyatt Gold Passport®, IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®.

I transferred my points to the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® program because each Chase Ultimate Rewards point is equal to 1 Rapid Rewards point. I can exchange 100 Rapid Rewards points for roughly $1.42 in Wanna Get Away?® fares which essentially increases the value of my points by roughly 42%! Not shabby.

You also earn points for your purchases. You earn 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

A couple of the other great benefits include no foreign transaction fees and the card has a chip for when you’re traveling internationally.

They even have a customer service number answered directly by real humans! You don’t have to go through any computer automated prompts and that is pretty awesome if you ask me.

There is an annual fee but Chase will waive the $95 annual fee on the Sapphire Preferred card for the first year. You’ll have to pay the fee each year after that.

P.S. This card is pretty cool because it is made of metal and heavier than normal credit cards.

As with any card, please read all of the fine print and details on the application before you sign up. You need to completely understand the details to ensure you get your rewards!

Keep These Thoughts In Mind When Considering a Credit Card

Credit cards can be great tools and make you a ton of money, if, and only if you play the game correctly. I ALWAYS pay my credit card off in full every month and you should too. If you can’t do this I would suggest against getting credit cards.

If you have a problem with debt and/or credit cards I would suggest you not sign up for new cards. The cash back benefits do not outweigh the interest charges you will pay.

Credit card interest rates are normally higher than most other loans and the interest can add up fast. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

What sign up bonus credit cards have you used in the past? Are there any other offers I should be aware of or add to my list? I’d love to hear your input below in the comments!

The information in the article is accurate to the best of my knowledge as of March 30th, 2017. It will be periodically updated as offers change. As with any offer, make sure to read all of the details on the application site as those are the terms and conditions that will govern any credit card you sign up for. What you have read here is simply a summary and does not contain all terms and conditions.

Picture by: 401kcalculator.org Text added by: Lance Cothern

Money Manifesto February 2017 Blogging Income Report

Welcome to the February 2017 edition of the Money Manifesto monthly blogging income report.

February was another decent month for my self-employment efforts.

Not groundbreaking, but more than enough to cover our family’s expenses.

Just a quick reminder of why I share these income reports.

I don’t do it to show you how easy blogging and self-employment is, because it definitely is not easy. Instead, I share these reports to show you what is possible and inspire you to live the life you want.

If that life includes blogging, you definitely can make a full time living by blogging, freelancing and other self-employment efforts online.

The second reason I share these reports is to keep myself accountable. Putting my income numbers out for everyone to see helps keep me motivated. Hopefully, it will help me grow over the coming months, as well.

What February Taught Me About Self Employment

February was a quiet month as far as blogging goes, but I knew March would be a busy month for my family on a personal note. As such, I decided to try to get ahead with both my blogging and freelancing duties.

The feeling of being ahead is just as great with work as it is with your finances. Having an emergency fund so we don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck was very freeing financially.

Similarly, I worked to get a week or two ahead with as many clients as I could, as well as on my blog. Not all clients allow me to work ahead, but being ahead with the ones I can allow me to spend more time with my family when needed.

Of course, then I have to work harder to get ahead again.

Thankfully, as a self-employed person, I can choose to work when I want and as much as I want. I never had that freedom with my day job.

February 2017 Blogging Income – $4,394.17

February was another solid month income wise with $4,394.17 in income. I continued to earn money blogging the same ways I have in months past, but hopefully that will slowly start to change over the remaining months of 2017.

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is a nice source of income for me. Thankfully, I have a few stable clients that have my write for them on a regular basis. This helps me with planning both my time and my income each month.

While a client could need to cut back or drop me for various reasons, I doubt all of my clients would drop me at the same time. I’d just need to look for new freelance writing work.

Usually, when I look for new work I get paid a higher rate than I’m currently making, so it may not be a bad thing if someone eventually does need to move on.

If you’re looking to get started with freelance writing, I highly recommend Holly’s course Earn More Writing. She’s a powerhouse freelance writer.

I’ve taken half of the course so far and have learned many things to apply to my freelance writing that have already paid for the price of the course.

Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising revenue relies heavily on my traffic. My traffic has been pretty steady, but advertising rates seem to have been declining lately. Hopefully this picks up as I’m work to grow my site and gain access to new traditional advertising partners.

If you’re just starting your own blog, I recommend starting with Media.net ads. They pay better than Adsense, at least for me, and will accept you even if you don’t have a ton of traffic to your site yet.

Affiliate Income

I continue to struggle with affiliate income, but that’s because it isn’t my focus yet. I’m currently taking Elite Blog Academy and I haven’t gotten to the monetization sections yet which should partially address affiliate income.

When I do, I’ll also be taking Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. I have had several friends rave about their increased affiliate income after taking her course. If you’re interested in Michelle’s course, you can learn more here.

Branded Content

Branded content continues to work well for me. I have some great ongoing relationships that have continued to pay off. As always, I only promote branded content that I agree with and that can help my readers.

I may work on branded content more after reaching the appropriate portion of the Elite Blog Academy course.

Want to Start Your Own Blog?

If you want to start making money online, I highly suggest you start a blog of your own.

Even if you don’t end up making money directly from your blog, you can use it as a platform to advertise your services. That’s how I’ve gotten many of my freelance writing clients in the past.

In the past, I’ve recommended you should get a self-hosted WordPress site using Bluehost, as that is what the most popular bloggers recommend. However, after a bit of investigation, it turns out Bluehost doesn’t have the best track record or customer service.

Instead, big bloggers recommend Bluehost because they are relatively inexpensive, have good name recognition and have a good affiliate program. I did some digging around and found an even better solution for my readers.

If you want to start your blog, I now recommend getting a self-hosted WordPress blog using SiteGround.

SiteGround offers introductory pricing of $3.95 per month for your first invoice, so stock up  with 12, 24 or 36 months if you plan on blogging for a long time. After that, hosting with them is just $9.95 per month.

While this is slightly more expensive than Bluehost, the service and hosting is much better. You get what you pay for.

That’s it for this month. Come back next month for yet another monthly income report.

Do you have any questions for me after reading my income report? If so, leave them in the comments below!

Money Manifesto January 2017 Blogging Income Report

Welcome to the January 2017 Money Manifesto blogging income report.

Thanks for checking in this month to help keep me accountable when it comes to making money online.

As I mention every month, I share my monthly blogging income numbers to keep myself accountable for earning a decent living online.

At the same time, I share to inspire you that you, too, can make money online just like I have.

What I Learned in January

January was another interesting month. My wife and I are still adjusting to being parents. To make things even more interesting my wife had to return to work toward the end of January. To say this was a challenge is an understatement.

Thankfully, I’m still able to complete all of my essential blogging duties and still watch our son while she returns to work. That was a major part of our plan when I decided to quit my full time job to work for myself.

On the business side of things, January was a relatively quiet month. I didn’t have any huge plans other than to maintain my blogging efforts while adapting to our new life as parents. Thankfully, I had an opportunity come my way thanks to my blog, which I’ll detail below.

Here’s what you’re really reading this report for, my income for the month of January 2017.

January 2017 Blogging Income – $4,730.50

January was another solid month by my minimum income standard since I ended up making $4,730.50 and my minimum income goal is $3,000 per month. Here’s how each category of income performed for me this month.

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing continues to be a solid contributor to my blogging income.

In fact, I picked up a new client this month that found me through my blog. Hopefully they’ll end up being a recurring client for me in the future. After all, recurring writing clients allow me to add a significant amount of stability into my monthly blogging income.

That said, I know freelance writing clients can also end our working relationship at any time. While I’m not currently looking for new clients, if the right person approaches me with the right opportunity, I won’t turn it down.

If I do lose a client or two though, you can bet I’d be going out to look for new writing work.

Affiliate Income

Affiliate income is in theory my favorite way to earn income blogging. The sad truth is, I’m not the best at it. I only have myself to blame. I have been telling myself I need to take Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course but haven’t carved the time out in my schedule. More on this later.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content continues to do decent for Money Manifesto. I don’t actively seek out sponsored content opportunities at this point, but that may change in the future. For now, I take the good opportunities that come my way.

At the same time, I avoid publishing the massive amounts of awful opportunities that would make Money Manifesto unfriendly. I only take sponsored content opportunities that will benefit you, my readers. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising is something that makes a small amount of money for me at this point. However, as I grow the site, I hope that the traditional advertising dollars grow with it. Once my site gets large enough, there is another ad network I want to test that may offer the improvement I’m looking for, but first I must grow.

Improving My Blogging Business

While I’m currently in maintain mode, I’m getting ready to shift into try to grow mode. To do so, there are three things I think will help me enormously. The first is Elite Blog Academy, which I’ve signed up to take. It starts soon and I’m ready to dig in to start taking Money Manifesto more seriously.

Once I get the foundation laid with Elite Blog Academy, I swear I’m going to finally go through Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. This should allow me to improve upon my affiliate income once I get a good handle on Money Manifesto from Elite Blog Academy.

Finally, I need to finish going through the Earn More Writing course by Holly. I’ve already completed half of it, but need to finish going through the course.

From what I’ve seen so far, it can help people who want to get started freelance writing as well as people like me already making thousands per month from freelance writing. If you want to take Earn More Writing, you can get it here.

You Can Start Your Own Blogging Business

My online income business started with one simple step, starting my blog. It led to great things. It helped pay down my wife’s student loan debt, provide extra income for the down payment on our home and eventually turned into my full time career.

If you’re interested in starting your own blog, you can get started by setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog on bluehost. Once you’ve started blogging, make sure to send me a link to your site. I’d love to check it out!

Do you have any questions about my income report from this month? I’d be happy to answer them. Just shoot me an email or leave a comment below.

Money Manifesto Blogging Income Report – December 2016

Welcome to the December 2016 edition of the Money Manifesto blogging income report.

As a quick reminder, I use these income reports to both hold myself accountable as well as to inspire others that you can indeed make a decent living by working online.

Lessons Learned in December 2016

The biggest lesson I learned in December about self employment was having a baby makes self employment a whole lot more interesting. I now have a little person that relies on me for everything so it’s super important that I continue earning the income I need.

It’s nice that I can work from home and watch the baby when my wife returns to work, but I’ll definitely need to carve out time to work on my business when she’s home watching the baby.

We’re very relieved we can raise our child ourselves for the first few years, but I have a feeling I’ll be a bit more productive when the baby starts school and is out of the house.

Until that happens, I need to get better at managing the time I do have available to work on the blog. I imagine I’ll have some lessons learned on that topic coming in the following months.

Blogging Income Total for December – $4,779.36

December was a decent month for my blogging income. I still have not entered a major growth mode, but I’m maintaining a very reasonable income to help support my family.

It’s amazing to me that I was still able to make this much money during one of the busier months of the year for my family. My wife and I were still adjusting to life with our new son, we moved into a new home and celebrated the holidays with family.

That said, I still continued earning income in all of the usual ways for both my freelancing and Money Manifesto.

Freelance writing has been a stable base of income that I’ve thankfully been able to rely on throughout the last year. I’m always aware that a client could no longer need my services, so I’m prepared to go find more freelance writing work when I need to do so.

However, I’d like to focus on growing my income directly from Money Manifesto in 2017, so I’m not actively seeking new writing clients. I still seriously consider any opportunities that come my way, I’m just not out looking for more freelance writing work.

If you’re interested in earning money from writing, I suggest taking Holly Johnson’s Earn More Writing course. I’m about halfway through it and have already picked up a lot of great tips and I’ve been freelance writing for years.

Sponsored content has continued to work well for me based on the deals I have currently arranged. I’m always open to new opportunities, but only if they’re the right fit both for myself and my readers.

Traditional advertising still isn’t a big winner for me. However, I have hope that once I start growing my site I can work with a higher paying ad network to help boost my income in this area.

Finally, affiliate income continues to be an area I’d like to expand. I do make some money from affiliate income, but I know others are killing it.

That’s it for December’s income report. As always, if you have any questions shoot me an email or leave a comment below.