Money Manifesto Blogging Income Report May 2017

Welcome to another edition of the monthly Money Manifesto income report.

I don’t share these income reports to brag that I’m making money online. This is my primary source of income.

I share my income reports to help keep myself accountable. My monthly minimum income goal is $3,000 per month, although I hope to grow that this year.

Sharing these reports helps me to make sure I’m doing everything I can to hit my monthly income goals.

I also share these reports to show others what is possible when it comes to making money online. I want to be real and show you that it isn’t always smooth sailing.

There are great months and awful months, but overall, earning income online is totally possible.

Hopefully this inspires you to start making money online if that’s something you have always dreamed about like I once did.

What I Learned About Self-Employment This Month

April was the first month I can remember when I didn’t hit my monthly income minimum of $3,000.

One of my clients unexpectedly ceased all communications with me, so it took me a couple weeks to realize I probably won’t be writing for them anymore. That meant April was a miserable income month.

As soon as I figured out that I probably wouldn’t be writing for that client any more, I went looking for new work.

Luckily, I was able to land a new writing position very shortly after I had started looking. I’m excited about this new client and can’t wait to get started writing for them.

What I learned about self employment in May is nothing ever goes as fast as you hope it will when things aren’t going your way. While I would have loved to have had my income rebound immediately in May, that wasn’t the case.

The onboarding process took longer than I would have ever imagined, which means I didn’t actually start writing for my new client in May.

I’m hoping I should be able to turn in my first assignment in June which will help show an increase in my income numbers.

Thankfully, these couple low income months shouldn’t last forever. Yes, it isn’t ideal. However, the extra freelancing client and work I’ll be doing behind the scenes on Money Manifesto should help bring my income back above my minimum in a month or two.

May Blogging Income – $2,159.38

May was another low income month. I’m not happy about it, but as I mentioned above, I have new work in the pipeline that should lead to increased income over the next couple months.

The main reason I decided to work from home rather than work a day job was to help raise my son. We didn’t want to send him to daycare right away, so my main priority is taking care of my son while my wife works.

That means I haven’t had as much time as I would like to dedicate toward making money online.

A my son gets older, I’ve been able to figure out ways to get more work done. I hope this trend continues and will give me more time to focus on earning more over the coming months.

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is usually a stable source of income for me. However, when you have a client unexpectedly stop assigning you projects, it does cause your income to drop.

Thankfully, there are plenty of websites that need writers to produce personal finance content. I found one of those websites and should begin writing for them in June.

If you want to make money online by writing, it’s totally doable. I never intended to be a freelance writer until someone representing a website emailed me and asked if I’d like to write for them.

I welcomed the extra income and gave it a shot. Now I make a decent amount every month by freelance writing.

If you don’t want to learn by trial and error like I initially did, you should check our Holly Johnson’s Earn More Writing course.

It teaches beginners how they can start writing. It also teaches people who have been writing for years some tips and tricks to help improve their writing business. I’ve easily learned enough to pay back the price of the course multiple times.

Traditional Advertisements

Traditional advertisements bring in a small amount of income, but every little bit helps. I did some experimenting in May to see if I could increase this income a little bit.

The results aren’t conclusive yet, but I will continue to try to optimize this source of income. Tweaking advertising only takes a few minutes. What takes a while is letting the result play out to see which advertisers work best.

Affiliate Income

Affiliate income is probably my ideal way to make money online. Companies pay me money when I send customers their way. The best part is, the products and services I recommend cost you the same amount of money. In some cases, you might even get a better deal.

Affiliate advertising is win-win-win. I earn income for my work here on the blog, you get a great product or service and the company gets more sales. Unfortunately, affiliate marketing is difficult to figure out.

That said, I’m still trying to learn. When I get to the appropriate portion of the blogging course I’m taking, Elite Blog Academy, I will also take another highly recommended course by my fellow blogger, Michelle Schroeder.

Michelle almost made $1,000,000 blogging last year and has put together a course on how she does it called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I look forward to learning from her.

If you’re a blogger interested in the course, I’ve heard great things about it so far.

Branded Content

Branded content continues to make me money here and there. Essentially, branded content is when an advertiser wishes to sponsor an article. They want to share their product or service with the Money Manifesto audience.

I get at least 50 to 100 requests per month for branded content. I turn down 99 percent of those requests. Instead, I only select the branded content requests that are a good fit for Money Manifesto readers. If it isn’t a good fit, I won’t run it.

Every once in a while there is a company that wants to sponsor an article that has a great product or service I’d share with Money Manifesto readers anyway. When those opportunities arise, I am happy to allow a piece of branded content on the site.

I’m not looking to grow this area right now, but if an opportunity lands in my lap, I’ll definitely take it.

Focusing More On Money Manifesto

Over the last couple years, Money Manifesto has been plugging along. I update with new posts and do a little promotion here and there, but it hasn’t grown much.

Recently, I’ve made an effort to change that. I want Money Manifesto to grow again.

Growing Money Manifesto won’t be easy, but I believe it is completely doable. One way I plan to grow is by completing Elite Blog Academy. This self paced course helps turn a regular blog into an extraordinary blog.

I haven’t devoted a ton of time to it yet, but I’m slowly working my way through the course. By the time I’m done, I hope to see great growth both in the website and in my income.

You Can Make Money Blogging If You Put Your Mind To It

It’s still amazing to me that I can make money blogging. I remember sitting in my living room years ago reading income reports from other bloggers. I thought it’d be awesome if I could make money blogging, too, but didn’t think it’d ever happen.

Then, one day I decided to start my blog. It’s the best thing I ever did.

If you’re like I was and wanted to start a blog but didn’t think it’d ever turn into anything, stop doubting yourself. Instead, get started building your blog, your audience and your income. Everyone has their unique story to tell.

If you do decided to start a blog, which I hope you do, you’ll want to start the right way. That means getting a self-hosted WordPress based website.

Why A Self-Hosted WordPress Website Is The Right Move

Why? Nothing looks more unprofessional than having a blog at a free blogging service. People wonder if you’ll still be blogging in a few months and the website address isn’t your own.

Instead it you’ll have a web address of something like To make things worse, you have to play by the free blog service’s rules, too. If you don’t, they could delete your blog.

It’s so much better to have full control and simply have your own website address.

My personal recommendation is to get hosting through SiteGround. SiteGround offers affordable hosting at reasonable prices with great performance and customer service.

While other big name bloggers recommend BlueHost, their customer service and performance has gone downhill over the last few years.

Those big bloggers only recommend BlueHost because of BlueHost’s name recognition. They also recommend Bluehost due to the high affiliate payouts the bloggers receive for sending a large number of customers BlueHost’s way.

If I had never taken that leap of faith back in 2012, I wouldn’t be working for myself full-time today. I wouldn’t be able to stay home to raise my child.

I don’t want to imagine living in that alternative reality.

I’m always here to answer any questions you have. If you have questions about blogging, my income reports or just personal finance in general, leave a comment below. You can also send me an email.

April 2017 Money Manifesto Blogging Income Report

Welcome to another edition of the Money Manifesto blogging income report.

April was an interesting month. Unfortunately, it was interesting in a bad way.

Before we get to the details, I want share that I publish these reports to help you, the reader, as well as to help myself.

I hope to inspire you that anything is possible when it comes to making money online. At one point, I thought making money online was a complete scam. Now it is my full time job. It is totally possible.

Additionally, I use these income reports to help inspire myself to continue to make enough to support my family. My income goal is $3,000 each month. The idea of reporting a number lower than that goal keeps me motivated.

What I Learned About Self-Employment This Month

Sometimes self-employment stinks. April was a rough month in more than one way for my business. The month started out with a trip to visit family, which was nice.

However, when I returned I quickly had to work to get ahead again before taking a cruise vacation in the beginning of May.

I had to make sure everything was taken care of before the cruise because we never purchase internet on cruises. That made April a much busier month than usual.

April was a bummer month for another reason, too. It appears that I have lost a client as they quit communicating with me in any fashion. That means much time was spent stressing out in April figuring out how to replace the income I received from the client.

I spent a decent amount of time searching for new clients and more work in April and I’ll update you on the search in my May income report.

April Blogging Income – $2,269.30

April was an awful month income wise. It was the first time since being self employed that I didn’t meet my $3,000 income target.

We have an emergency fund that can help with these situations if they become long term. Thankfully, we didn’t have to dip into the emergency fund because I have so consistently beat my $3,000 per month target.

April’s income was lower for a couple reasons. My website earned less income than usual. Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, I believe I lost a client this month.

Much of the month was spent trying to figure out whether or not I lost the client, so I didn’t spend as much time as I should have looking for new work. Lesson learned.

May could also be low due to the loss of the client, the website slow down and taking time off for a cruise. However, I know I can easily get my income back above the $3,000 a month target within a couple months with a bit of work.

Here’s how I made my income during the month of April.

Freelance Writing

While freelance writing has continued to be a stable source of income for me, losing a client in the month of April hurt. Thankfully, I don’t make all of my freelance writing income from just one client, so I still made money freelance writing in April.

The search is now on for a new writing client. I’ll update you on how the search is going in the May income report.

If you want to get started freelance writing, I highly suggest the Earn More Writing course.

I’ve learned quite a few things as an experienced freelance writer by taking this course. Even if you’ve been writing for a while, the extra money you earn from the tips in this course will more than cover the cost.

Traditional Advertisements

My traffic has remained steady or slightly decreased over the months, so my income from traditional advertisements has followed. I’ll be playing around with which ad networks I use in the near future. Hopefully this improves this part of my income.

Affiliate Income

Affiliate income is something I plan on improving. I’ll be taking the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course when I get to the appropriate section in Elite Blog Academy. I’m hoping this will greatly improve my affiliate income in the months ahead.

Right now, I only have affiliate income opportunities in a few areas of my blog. That said, they’re products I strongly believe in.

These opportunities help you, my readers, by helping you find great products. It helps me by providing some additional income. It helps the advertisers gain more business. Affiliate marketing is something I’d love to increase since everyone wins with this method.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content used to be a huge money maker for me when I started my blog. Then one day I realized that the people paying me for sponsored content just wanted benefits in the Google search rankings.

After that day, I decided to only accept sponsored content that benefited my readers and followed Google’s guidelines.

Since that day a couple years ago, sponsored content income has gone down. However, I now am doing things the right way and helping my readers at the same time when useful sponsored content requests come in.

Do You Want To Make Money Online, Too?

Making money online isn’t easy, but it is totally possible. If I had to pin point one thing that led to me starting to make money online, it was starting this blog. This blog has led to many opportunities including freelance writing and monetizing my blog.

If you want to get started with your own blog, I highly suggest starting a WordPress blog that is self-hosted. You can do this by signing up for a hosting plan through SiteGround.

I used to recommended getting hosting through BlueHost, but over the last few months it has become apparent that BlueHost’s offerings are less than stellar. Big bloggers mainly recommend BlueHost because of the name recognition and generous affiliate payouts.

Instead, I recommend SiteGround based on their hosting service and great customer service for a reasonable price. While it can be slightly more expensive than BlueHost, if you’re going to be blogging for the long haul, SiteGround is a much better way to go.

I’m hoping future months result in a growing income. I know this won’t happen overnight. Losing a big client was a major blow, but I know I’ll be able to claw back from it. Check back next month to see how things are going.

Do you have any questions about earning money online? Feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

You Should Enjoy Your Side Hustle – Here’s Why

I like the idea of side hustles.

Doing something on the side of your main income gives you a bit of diversification should something happen to that main source of income.

Additionally, having a side hustle often gives you some extra money to work toward your major financial goals.

For many people, that involves paying down debt, affording extra luxuries, or working to become your own boss.

For people only side hustling for a short term boost, whatever brings in the money will do just fine.

However, if you want to side hustle for the long term, you should probably enjoy your side hustle.

Here’s why.

Your Side Hustle May Take Most Of Your Free Time

Side hustling isn’t easy. If it was, it wouldn’t be called hustling. Often, it takes quite a bit of time to get a side hustle running. In the beginning you could spend countless hours working on your side hustle before you make a penny.

Even once you get your side hustle up to speed, you’ll likely still spend time in the evenings and on the weekends maintaining or continuing to grow your hustle.

If a side hustle eats up much of your free time, wouldn’t it make sense to enjoy what you’re doing? Between your job and your side hustle, there would be very little time left for personal enjoyment if you didn’t enjoy at least one of the two.

If You Don’t Enjoy Your Side Hustle You May Give Up

Side hustling can be addicting in the beginning. You slowly see the side hustle you’re building turn into a real business. The growth and extra money are a nice boost toward your goals. But what happens after you achieve those goals?

Often, side hustling starts to lose its appeal. The sacrifices of free time you make to run your side hustle become more apparent. If you don’t enjoy your side hustle, it’d be easy to give up and lose that extra source of income.

That said, if you enjoy your side hustle, you won’t be as likely to feel burned out. You’ll continue growing or maintaining your side hustle and boost your income, as well.

Your Side Hustle Could Turn Into Your Full Time Gig

If your side hustle becomes very successful, it could turn into your full time job. While some people enjoy their full time jobs, many people simply work to make money.

If you’re building a side hustle that may become your full time job, it would make sense to do something you enjoy. Then, if your side hustle becomes successful enough, you can enjoy your new full time gig.

How And Why My Side Hustle Turned Into My Full Time Gig

I was extremely lucky and had this happen to me. I started this blog back in 2012 and through hard work over the years, grew it to the point it is at today.

This allowed me to make the decision to make blogging and freelance writing my main source of income while we started a family. In some months I make more money than I did at my old job, while during others I make less.

The important thing to my family is that we can raise our child the way we want. We aren’t forced to send our child to day care while my wife and I both head to work to earn money.

I quit my job before we started trying to have a child so we could make sure it would work out. Thankfully, it has.

Blogging Has Changed My Life

If you’re interested in starting a blog like I did, I suggest you start a self-hosted WordPress blog using SiteGround.

What many people don’t know is I tried starting a blog back in 2009. However, I used a free blogging program at the time. I quickly saw I was restricted on what I could and could not do on the platform.

I feel the free platform contributed to others not taking my blog seriously, since I did not have my own website. Instead I simply had my blog at

Having a self-hosted WordPress blog will allow you to get started on the right foot and avoid many of the issues I ran into.

The blog only lasted a few short months before I shut it down. When I started Money Manifesto, I started self-hosted, found a support group and grew to where I am today.

Of course, if you’re starting blogging as a side hustle, be aware you won’t be making thousands of dollars a month immediately. It takes time to build a good blog and a decent following.

In fact, it may take months before you see your first income. However, if you do it right, blogging can be a very successful and enjoyable side hustle that you can grow for years to come.

Find What Makes You Happy

Finding what makes you happy can be difficult. However, if you really analyze your life you should be able to find something you enjoy that you can get paid to do.

Work to grow that side hustle and you’ll have money coming in to help with your goals.

Do you have a side hustle? Do you enjoy it? Let us know what it is in the comments below.

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!

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 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!