How I Make Money Online – January 2016 Income Report – $4,160

Want to make extra money at home? Find out how I earned $4,160 in one month working at home online in January 2016 in my income report on Hint: I make money blogging and you can, too.This is my first public income report about how I make money online.

First, a bit about how long I’ve been working online and my journey so far.

I’ve been blogging on for just under four years.

I recently made the jump to self-employment in November of 2015 to focus on my online endeavors full-time.

What You Should Know

I’ve made money on my blog starting a few months after I launched

How I make money online, including through my blog, has changed drastically over the last four years.

I’ve spent countless hours building up this blog and now devote a majority of my time toward working on it.

I didn’t get to this point overnight and while there have been times I have made even more money in the past, I didn’t always make this much money each month.

Unfortunately, the ways I used to make money were not sustainable (mainly through selling certain types of sponsored posts) and I only took part in them to pay off my wife’s student loans faster.

After my wife’s debt was paid off, I shifted to a more sustainable model which led to a decrease in income in the short term, but afforded me the ability to build my business for the long term.

With that in mind, here is my online income for January 2016.

January 2016 Online Income – $4,160

In January 2016, I earned $4,160 online. This was a good month for me, although I hope to grow my income to a much higher level in the coming months and years.

How I Make Money Online

I make money online in a few different ways. Below I detail the types of income I earn.

Banner Advertisements

The most obvious way I make money is from the banner advertisements throughout the blog.

The rate varies depending on the advertisements shown and a few other factors. As I continue to grow the site and more people visit Money Manifesto, this revenue should grow as well.

Affiliate Programs

I also make money through affiliate relationships. One easy way to understand what affiliate programs are is my affiliate relationship with Republic Wireless. Here’s how it works.

Whenever someone signs up for a new Republic Wireless phone line through a link on my blog, they pay me a fee for sending that person to them.

The company figures they would not have been able to obtain that customer without me referring the customer to them, so they pay me for my time.

Of course, I only recommend Republic Wireless because my wife and I personally use their service and love it. We think they’re great and they can save you a ton of money at the same time.

Related: My Republic Wireless Review (includes reviews of the phones they offer)

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is a way I make money online that isn’t directly through my blog. However, without my blog, I never would have gotten involved in freelance writing at all. My very first client was a reader of my blog.

The reader emailed me to see if I’d write for one of their corporate clients. I said yes, and now I freelance write for multiple companies.

I enjoy freelance writing, but there is a very clear relationship between time spent freelance writing and money earned freelance writing.

This isn’t a bad thing, but if I can grow my more passive blog related income, such as advertising and affiliate income, I think I have more potential to earn more in the future.

Branded Content

I rarely make money from branded content, but it does happen occasionally. Basically, a brand will ask me to write an article and include them within the post.

I only do this for brands I feel fit with the goals of Money Manifesto and my readers. I would also need to feel comfortable with their offerings.

Sometimes, companies just want me to state that an article was inspired by them and have a link to them at the beginning or end of the post. These links are called nofollow links, which comply with Google’s linking requirements for paid links.

How You Can Make Money Online

I started my blog after reading income reports on other personal finance blogs. They inspired me to realize that there is money to be made online. You can earn some of this money for yourself, too.

If you want to get started making money online, I highly suggest you start your own self-hosted WordPress blog. Being self-hosted gives you the most options and makes you look more professional than the free blogging platforms out there.

While you probably won’t make much, if any, money in the first six months to a year, the internet favors those who stick with blogging and survive the first year. For that reason, I recommend signing up for a self-hosting package for at least a year.

You’ll save money, too, because you’ll get a discount for paying for 12 months at once.

If you want to get started today, you can get your own self-hosted WordPress blog through Bluehost.

Well, that’s about all there is to say about how I made money online in January 2016. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed getting a peak behind the curtains of the MoneyManifesto blog!

What questions do you have about how I make money online? Leave them in the comments and I’ll answer the best I can, if I feel comfortable answering the question.

Like What You See?

Join the other readers who have signed up for our email newsletter! No spam, just periodic updates to help improve your finances!

About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. Wow, congrats with your tremendous success Lance! Branded content seems like a good avenue to pursue. Thanks for the motivation!

  2. Lance,

    Wow – that is a very impressive monthly amount that you are making! How much would you say is coming from freelance writing? I would love to get started with this, but I’m not really sure how to get my foot in the door. I have seen some sites out there offering up to $15 per article, but this seems incredibly low to me! Maybe my standards are set too high? I would appreciate any help/advive you could give in this arena.

    • Derek, I don’t think your standards are set to high. While you may have to take some lower paying jobs to get a portfolio going, after you’ve proven yourself you can make hundreds of dollars per article. I know because I have friends that do it every day! You’ll probably have to start writing for other bloggers in the beginning, but the real money comes from big companies with advertising and content creation budgets.

  3. I’ve been blogging for a little over six months now. I mostly do it as a method of creating personal accountability and tracking my progress. Of course, I keep reading about online income and think this would be a really good idea. Since I’m blogging already anyway, it seems a shame to turn down potential revenue.

    • I would just make sure that you don’t start earning income in a way that will detract from your mission of why you blog. There is no shame in making money from your hard work!

  4. Ah, the good old days of branded content! I haven’t published one of those in years. Do the opportunities still come up as often?

    I’m finally planning on discussing online revenue streams now that my online revenue is greater than my passive income that took 15 years to build. But I plan to do so not in the income report format. Should be fun to make some extra money online about making money online! 🙂


    • Sponsored posts and branded content both do still exist today. Most people still want to go the sponsored post route with spammy websites and dofollow links, which I refuse to do. However, if a company like HR Block or Chase wants to share some financial information with my readers that I feel they will get value out of and pay me at the same time, I see that as a win win.

Share Your Thoughts