Years ago, when my abusive ex-husband left me and my kids with nothing, I didn’t know what I was going to do to support my family.
I had lived this cushy lifestyle for so long. He worked, I stayed home with the kids. I didn’t worry about money because he took care of it. I was very blessed in that.
But all the sudden, when he left, my world came crashing down all around me. I was suddenly homeless.
One thing I did know though – I did NOT want to work outside the home. My kids had just lost their dad, I refused to ask them to lose their mother too, just so I could earn money outside the home.
I started picking up free stuff off Craigslist to provide for our family during that hard time and quickly fell into reselling (getting something for free or buying it cheap and flipping it to make a profit).
Everyone laughed at me. “You can’t make money reselling,” they’d say. But, it turned out, one of my friends, did the same thing. She flipped books. Said she made 5 digits a month doing this. Immediately, I began into this world of reselling and made enough to pay all our bills.
I got REAL good at reselling. I was able to support myself and my kids and no one even knew what I was doing. It never came up in conversation. It was just something I did, like a job, but from home.
Later down the road, when friends would come to my house, their jaws would literally drop…THAT’S when I started getting questions.
“UHM!” they’d say, “You are single, you have no roommates, how can you POSSIBLY have ALL THIS (nice home, nice furniture, nice stuff, nice life), when I MAKE $60k/year and don’t have as much as you?! How much do you make?”
I told them I made $18k/year.
I had so many friends asking me questions about how I was able to achieve all that on “only” $18k/year, I decided to post my answers online and make a blog. It was set up with a password, so only they could see those posts. But come to find out, they were sharing the password with their friends (!!) and the blog started to grow, bigger than I ever expected.
And now, my blog has grown to the point where I make a considerable amount of money online (in fact, I was just featured by Foundr!)
All from someone the world never believed in.
All from someone that no one understood.
Mocked, teased, laughed at, persecuted, for my dream.
Until…they realized I was LIVING MY DREAM!!!!!
Make money doing what you love.
Have you ever had people laugh at you?
Tell you that wanting to be home with your children is a foolish dream?
That you can’t do that and will never be able to make any sustainable income while you’re home?
Do you want to prove them all wrong, the way I did?
You have something to share. Your voice matters. Don’t let others devalue you or tell you that you can’t do something. Do it and prove them wrong!
Along my journey, I’ve been posting income reports, you can see some of them here:
- How I Made $10,015 Last Month Blogging
- How I Started Making Over $23k My Second Year Blogging
- How I Started Making Nearly a Million Dollars My Third Year Blogging
But this income report is EXTRA special to me personally, because it’s the month that I officially hit 7-figures a year!
Income Report – $233,476 (January 2018)
Network marketing – $333.82
I am a part of a network marketing company in which I quite literally do absolutely NOTHING in it all year long. That’s right, no sales, nothing. But, because I’ve been a part of the company for about 7 years now, they pay me some good money for my doing nothing (I did originally work it for a couple years). This is completely passive income, my favorite kind of income!
Affiliates – $1,654.81
Love me some affiliate income! Yes, please!!!
My favorite affiliates at the moment that I go through are…
- ING Image
- Share A Sale
- Creative Market
- Zyto Compass
This month, I made the most affiliate income from: Bluehost, OfferJuice, and ShareASale.
If you want to up your game on your affiliates income, write down where you make the most money and then research that company’s information thoroughly. They will tell you either what item you’re selling the most of or what link you get the most sales from.
Having that information is crucial.
Last year, I did this and found out that through ShareASale, I THOUGHT I was making a lot of money from selling one thing and I was totally wrong. It was two other products that were selling far more (for me, WordPress themes do best). I started mentioning those two products MORE. Obviously my audience is interested in them. In mentioning them more, that income has gone up. I create more posts that can feature those products and it makes more overall.
With that said, if you see one product you’re selling as an affiliate that does super well for you, consider creating your own version of it. While, yes, affiliate programs CAN be generous, you don’t make 100%. Last year, I did this with one of my early products I launched. I have literally made tens of thousands of dollars on that product now and was only making less than a thousand (for the year) as an affiliate to someone else’s product.
Speaking of which, if you want to test your audience to see what they like, so you can up your game or create your own product, I ALSO have an affiliate option for my store. You can learn more and sign up here…..and speaking of my store…
It’s my baby… 🙂
My Store – $229,871
The store (I go through Shopify) made a BOATLOAD of money this month. It also did really well last month, but typically, it makes around $140k/month, so last month and this month are really, really high for what normal is. I want to be completely transparent in that. Projected, I think I’ll clear 2 million this year in revenue with everything going on.
This month, my store got 20,939 traffics. My repeat customer rate is a high 45.55%, which means, people are loving my products and coming back to purchase more. I love that! My store conversion rate is 20.75%.
My biggest money making day was January 23. I made $40,354 that day. I looked it up in my newsletter to see if I could tell why that was the biggest money making day for me and it was the day I released my Valentine’s Day Binder. In that email to my email list, I also gave a code for $40 off my Household Binder and I remember selling a ton of those binders that day.
That day also scored me a lot of income because my audience members were coming to the store for the Valentine’s Day Binder and purchased a lot of other things too, which I find to be pretty normal. Having a well-stocked store is super important if you want a lot of sales.
You wouldn’t walk into, say, Macy’s, and find empty shelves. So online stores with 5 or less products never have a chance really. You need lots and lots and lots of products. I’ve been working on producing a lot of products for 7 months now and had a couple to start with when I started the store back on June 1, 2017.
Right now, my team is all hands on deck to create as many products as we can in as little time as we can. Most all of these products will be completely free to my newsletter list.
You may be wondering at this point, why I spend so much time, energy, and money into creating all these massively-in-depth products, just to give them all away for free.
Well…there’s a few reasons for that. First, I’ve been an incredibly generous person since I was homeless. I received so much help during that time in my life that it was then and there, I changed my life immediately, and began being generous to others. The Bible talks about how we should pool and share our resources and that’s not just money, but also time and skills. I have the skills to create something others will love and it’ll help them organize their lives, saving them time, helping them feel less stressed, it’s absolutely my JOY to do that.
Secondly, I have always been a REALLY good salesperson. In my banking career, I was the leader in sales everywhere I went, whatever position, whatever job. I always thrived in being good at sales. And the NUMBER ONE thing I know about sales is that you DO NOT SELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
EVER. EVER. EVER.
When you sell, you don’t get the sale. It’s that simple. In case that sounds completely ludicrous, lemme explain.
You never sell something to someone. You LISTEN, first of all, for their problems. If you know of a solution, you tell them. That’s called, being helpful, not selling. Whether you get something out of it or not, you help! My audience loves organizing. They love printables. They love my binders. I create more. I give the binders and a lot of products away for free because I’m simply meeting their needs and helping them. I like to give discounts away too. It helps them save money, which if you know ANYTHING about me, it’s that I’m all about saving money!
Whatever they decide to do in that store is their own business once they are there. Most people, if you are generous with them, they are generous back. I’m not pitching. I’m not selling. I’m not cramming some product down their throats. I’m simply giving them something for free that I worked hard on, no strings attached (well, other than they are on my email list.) 🙂
I’m not selling to anyone. I’m simply helping. If they see something else that they want that will help them, they will buy and they do. Most of the time, for much of my audience, they will grab the free item I give and put something else in their cart and buy. Even if that’s only $5 or even $1, it’s a lot of people coming and it all adds up very quickly. If I give my audience something free every week, you can imagine the amount of traffic coming in and buying things. Because I’m always adding products. Big products, small products, etc.
My store is my baby. I’m building an empire, one product at a time. It doesn’t MATTER if it’s free or for sale. All that matters is that I’m helping people. When you start looking at sales like that, you will sell more than all your peers. Guaranteed.
Because most people are looking at the money and I’m not. That comes across in everything I do. And it’s not just because I make so much now I don’t care. I’ve always been like that. It’s the biggest key to selling more than anyone else: DON’T SELL! Offer such great stuff, people are beating down your door to buy from you. And I’ve always had that way about me, no matter what I do. Whatever endeavor I do, whether I make money or not, I’m found helpful.
It comes down to this…if you take care of everyone around you, you will be well taken care of. You won’t HAVE to push sales. Honestly, I love creating binders and printables, I’m just happy my audience loves them as much as I do!
My 5 biggest selling products this month were:
- Honest Bloggers Bundle
- Household Binder – per the January 23 email
- Happily Ever Blogger Course
- Financial Freedom Bundle
- Blog Optimization Critique
The Blog Optimization Critique sold well for me this month. It’s something that I don’t advertise and really, the only way someone can even find it, is if they search for it happenstance-like. But, I did put out a 50% off code for it, and that’s what made it do well. I’m going to try creating a Store Optimization Critique as well and see how that does. Mostly because I’m nosey and wanna see other people’s stores and get in there and help. I LOVE analytics. I’m like an analytics junkie. 🙂 Update: I created the Store Optimization Critique. See it here.
This month I got SO many sales that my review app stopped working. They stopped sending out emails to ask for reviews because I went over limit and sold too much. That’s never happened before, but I take it as a good thing. 🙂
Ads – $460.45
I just started ads up again on my blog late last year. I had them down for quite a long time. So, this figure is very low because when you just start up with ads, they pay pretty crappy. I’m working on getting on with MediaVine at the moment, so that will increase that income, I’m sure.
Sponsors – $0
I also don’t do sponsored posts and haven’t for years. I feel they don’t line up with my brand and I have little control over what goes into those kinds of posts. Nothing wrong with them for others; they just go against what I want my blog to be.
Misc. income – $1,156
Miscellaneous income came in at over $1,000 this month, which is on par for normal, but it’s proof that little income amounts here and there, can add up to a lot of “cha-ching, cha-ching!”
Total income for January 2018 – $233,476
The one thing that you’ll notice, is that much of my income is PASSIVE! This frees up my time drastically and allows me to be able to work on projects that are more in-depth and helpful to my audience.
My top 10 posts this month:
- The Perfect Tuna Melt
- Top 50 Essential Oil DIY Recipes
- 40+ Things to Sell Right Now to Make Money
- My “Thank You for Subscribing to My Newsletter” Page
- 2018 Calendars
- Top 5 Habits to Create a Better Life
- Household Binder
- 2018 Coloring Calendars
- 15 Top Tips to Make Parenting Easier
- The Best Free Printable Cleaning Checklists
While I won’t go into detail of all my expenses, I did want to show you a few main ones so you can kinda get a more clearer idea of the whole picture.
First, the one that takes the most money and I personally hate the most is taxes. Taxes are a good 30%. I’m an S-Corp, so this does relieve a little bit of taxes, but it’s still no fun! I have to pay quarterlies and it’s a nightmare, believe me. Ahhh, the simple days of paying once a year…or even getting a refund!
There’s also hired help costs. I now have three assistants. They work a combined total of 80 hours a week. Now that I am making so much, I want to not only give back and help provide for other moms so they can stay home with their kids, but also invest back into the company and grow faster.
Design elements/graphics/fonts. I spend a BOATLOAD of money on these things in order to provide you printables, etc. It is not uncommon to spend at least $250/month in this area. In fact, there’s a current fonts deal going on right now on Creative Market. 63 Handwritten fonts for only $15. It’s an insane amount of savings for a really cool fonts package! Definitely be sure to check it out if you like fonts!!!
Office supplies. Because I create printables and run an office from home, this can get spendy as well. The Tombow pens alone that I use are $150 each set for 96 pens and I have two sets. They are seriously worth EVERY PENNY, but, they are a nice-sized investment. Not to mention card stock for the printables (here’s what I use), other pens, printer ink (here’s the printer that I use and LOVE), and so on.
Stock photos. This month, I spent $324 on stock photos. I use a combination of my own photography and stock photos, both in my store and on this blog, as well as all social media.
My Shopify store. Again, I absolutely ADORE Shopify. This year, I upgraded to the more expensive plan because of the more in-depth analytics reports and I’m very, very pleased with them. I pay $79 for my store and $79 in apps each month currently.
Social media helpers. I pay for platforms that help me with social media. For Instagram, I ADORE Grum. For Pinterest, I use Viraltag and now use Boardbooster. For Twitter, I use Hootsuite (they are free).
Misc. expenses. There are a lot of other, smaller expenses, that add up very quickly as well.
What I’ve been up to this month:
- Training new team-members. I love having a bigger team. I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle it, but it’s actually going a lot more smoother than I had imagined. Everyone has their own skills and what they bring to the table and so we all work on the tasks we enjoy and are good at. This makes a much more rounded blog and a lot easier on me. I’m beginning to let go more (control freak) and the team is really doing well to take on the extra responsibility. I feel incredibly blessed! As a single mom, sometimes, I feel very alone. But having a team to remind me I’m not alone and we work well together, has been so awesome.
- Upped my email list game. I started with ConvertKit and LeadPages last year and got those things connected and started really focusing more on my email list. Currently I get about 8,000-10,000 new subscribers every month (this month, I got 9,085 new subscribers), but I also delete cold contacts regularly too (about every 3-6 months). I just deleted 17,000 subscribers off my list in December. I really love my email list. I try really hard to give something free in it every single week, whether that be a binder or something else really cool.
- Praying. I want to make sure that everything I’m doing is exactly according to God’s path for me. I don’t want to veer from it. I want to stay smack dab in the middle of His will for this blog and my life and this month, I’ve been praying extra hard for Him to lead and guide me toward that endeavor. In my blog, I have SO many opportunities and I want to make sure that the ones I take, are the ones He would have for me to take, opportunities that best serve you and my overall goal for this blog, to help moms stay home with their kids, regardless of their income level.
- Branching out into more printables topics. I recently started up handlettering as a personal hobby and I was incredibly surprised at how many of my audience members also are very interested in learning. It’s been fun to learn together. I love to color (another new hobby), so the same is true of coloring sheets. The more types of printables I can offer, I feel, the better. Right now, I’m currently working on trying to add a lot of free printables posts to the blog and with as many printables as I offer, both on the blog and in my store, Google and social media still ranks me on the topic of blogging. I think it’s kind of funny.
What my goals are for next month:
- Stick to the plan. I have my goals sheet all filled out, all the things I want to provide for free each month and what I’ll be launching during the year. My goal is to simply stick to the goals sheet. Right now, I have extra time on my hands, so I’m working ahead. I have Jan, Feb, March, and April’s free stuff all done. I have Jan and Feb launch stuff done and now I’m working on the launch product for March. My priorities for projects are always get the free stuff done first, THEN the launch/paid-for products done.
- Work up my Instagram account. I just started on Instagram and dang, I am LOVING that platform. It’s really, REALLY cool. There’s a lot to learn, but I’m having fun learning it.
- Continue dedicating time for fun projects like coloring sheets and handlettering, two things you guys really love and I’m passionate about. I try to personally color every day! That means creating coloring sheets TO color. 🙂
- Continue improving on my photography. I know it seems a little far-fetched and far away, but one day I dream of having a membership site where I can provide something for my audience. I’m not sure what to make it about. There are literally so many options. But I have considered strongly one day having a stock photo site available to other bloggers. Right now, there’s not many options out there for that sort of thing and the GOOD stock photos, they are REALLY, REALLY expensive. The ones that aren’t expensive, everyone goes through and so, everyone’s blog all looks the same with the same photos and that’s NO GOOD at ALL for branding! Even if my photography is just for personal use as a hobby, I want to continue improving it.
- Hire more out to my team, so I can be free to do more of the stuff I personally love to do: printables, photography, handlettering, coloring, organizing, and so on.
- Buy a house. This is something that I’ve been planning to do for THREE YEARS and the time has finally come. I’m totally scared to go it alone (single mom), but…I’m praying God’s will be done and I can buy my dream house that I’ve been renting for 3 years now.
Have you ever considered how much blogging income you can bring in? Has this post helped show you what’s possible? How does it inspire you in your blogging journey?
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