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!

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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. Congrats, Lance. It’s wonderful that you continue to make money while you’re away. Excellent point about Bluehost LOL.

  2. Interesting to see under the hood of your business, Lance! And I hear you on trying to get ahead. With writing and blogging there always seems to be one other thing I could do too.

    I had a question about Republic Wireless affiliate program. I have been a long-time fan and user of Republic, and I’m touching my toe in affiliate sales on my site with a few products I love and use. I tried to sign up for Republic with Commission Junction and got rejected. Lol. Any tips there??

    Keep up the good work. I hope life with the new baby is treating you all well! Will the whole family be at FinCon Dallas?

    • Hey Chad! Good to hear from you.

      As far as the Republic Wireless affiliate program, the easiest way to get in would probably be to chat with the reps at FinCon. They’ve come every year so far, so I imagine they’ll be there for this year, too.

      New baby is great. It will just be me at FinCon this year.

      • Ok. Yeah, FinCon will be a good place to chat with them. I’ll just work on some other channels in the meant-time. If one of their reps happens to talk to you sometime, tell them they’ve got an easy affiliate source with a responsive list if they want to get in touch:)

        Glad to hear family life is great. I look forward to hanging out again at FinCon!

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