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Yo, yo, yo! And wedding week begins. 2016 has been nothing short of CRAY thus far, folks. I graduated from Wharton/UPenn, launched a business, bought a house, and am about to get married in T-minus 5 days. And Christmas is coming. Break out the PSLs cos it does not get any busier – definitely need all the caffeinated pumpkin I can get! Before the wedding whirlwind kicks in (I’m still in disbelief it’s here! It’s here!), I figured it was due time for another income report. It’s been awhile – the last update was April! – and quiiiiiite a lot has happened around these rosy parts since then.
Like becoming a full-time blogger. There’s that.
So for the newbies in the house, an income report is essentially the Glassdoor of internet jobs. It’s an arguably unnecessary but undeniably useful tool for anyone aspiring to make money online. Income reports (good ones, anyways) break down exactly where money is coming from during any given period of time, to help paint the picture of possibility for anyone else considering online monetization as a way of life, part time OR full time. How to make money blogging 101.
So, let’s talk August.
Sponsored social media: $477
Blog Meets Brand: $400
Other sponsored work: $1370
Affiliate Revenue: $231.78
Strategy Consulting: $2250
TOTAL before expenses: $4728.78
Giveaway participations: $141.50
Blog society membership: $35
FINAL TOTAL: $4527.28
Also, I need to point out the fact that A.) not all $5K+ was from blogging alone. Disclaimer: Very few bloggers are actually 100% full-time BLOGGERS, meaning full-time cashing in on their blog and social media posts with no other income streams. But honestly, it’s just not a smart business move for ANY entrepreneur to have only one form of income! Millionaires have on average 7 income streams. Yup, 7. How to make money blogging = diversify your income! So don’t freak out when you see full-time bloggers living their life and you just don’t get how they’re living on more than Ramen and Taco Bell…chances are, there’s more going on behind the scenes than meets the eye.
My biggest takeaways with making money this month:
- Not all sponsored opportunities are created equal. August was my most lucrative month to date with sponsored opportunities, but that’s mostly because it was hugely transitional in nature. I’ve shifted my own monetization model quite a bit now with transitioning to blogging full time, so this month was a combination of two methods. September will likely see a dip with the transition taking root, and then October will be up even higher than August. It’s all strategy and getting comfy and cozy with all of the crazy dynamic factors that come into play in creating sponsored content online for brands.
- Value yourself more. Point blank period. WAY too many bloggers have simply no clue how to adequately value themselves when it comes to working with brands. I get it – everyone and their mother is trying to get you to work for free. #BeenThereDoneThat. So when you price yourself where you actually should be, it will likely feel really friggin’ scary at first because it’ll be way higher than what you’re used to being paid. BUT. If it’s in line and actually fair, your whole life could change. Literally. Because when my rates became literally 10x what they were when I first started doing sponsored content of any kind, my life sure as heck changed with it.
- STOP DOING FREE. DUDE. SERIOUSLY. Every single time you accept free product alone as “payment” for your hard work, hours of time, quality, and influence, you’re not only cheating yourself – you’re cheating other bloggers by lowering the industry’s standard. You’re making it harder for bloggers who respect themselves by not respecting yourself. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again until I’m blue in the face – stop doing free. Stop believing the BS when companies claim to not have a marketing budget. Smart companies budget smartly, which means accounting for marketing. Of COURSE any company would take free press – but smart companies also jump at smart partnerships to make smart alignments with the right audiences. If you have the right audience and your own blogging smarts, you NEED to help companies capitalize on that – and that comes with a price tag. RELATED: Why you need to get paid to blog.
- Learn when to uplevel your whole dang game. My own rates doubled last month. It was scary and still is scary and makes me think I’m completely cray sometimes, but goshdarnit you just need to BELIEVE in yourself a little more, girlfriend! The dream is real and so is the work. When you want to uplevel across the board, it takes serious work across the board. Uplevel your income by upleveling your quality, better managing your time, upleveling your numbers, better engaging your audience…upleveling the whole dang game.
- Learn how to negotiate well. There have been multiple instances in recent months where I have upped my own income by hundred of dollars, simply by asking. When you can prove the value in what you do, the dollar bills follow. But you have to negotiate! Negotiating doesn’t just mean presenting numbers back and forth. Truly stellar negotiating involves presentation of real value and acknowledgement of both sides to really make everyone feel like you’re reaching the best possible outcome all around. It’s also not just about getting more for yourself…be willing to negotiate to give more, too. Learning how to negotiate well includes knowing when to give way more than you’re getting for the sake of the longterm relationship. That’s not the same as cheating yourself, though – make sure it’s a genuine, mutually beneficial relationship from the get go, and both parties will be willing to give and take for the sake of mutual betterment.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. When you say no to the lukewarm opportunities, you make room for the hot opportunities. Filling your calendar with lackluster doesn’t make you shine, and it sure as heck doesn’t help your audience shine. Be willing to say no to the good to make room for the great. Align with your own purpose and with your audience’s needs and wants, and get creative in content to truly make something standout. The extra mile is never crowded.
I hope this income report has been super helpful for any of you looking to up your own monetization game. If you’re on the edge of your seat like, “But Erica, I want MORE!!!!” then four fo’ you Glen Coco – you’re such a #boss. Get your MORE by opting into this email party of blog + biz + brand strategy goodness (you’ll get access to a free resource library, but no worries…it’s free only because I care THAT MUCH about you joining the party. You’re invited. Come. Grab yo’ coffee + champagne and stay awhile. 😉 )
ALSO, be sure to sign up under the “E COURSE” tab on the top navigation bar to be in the know about an upcoming launch that you will NOT want to miss, especially if you want to make more money online and/or go FULL TIME, too. Girlfriend, I’ve gotcha covered. 😉
When it comes to how to make money blogging…how do YOU do it?
Let’s chat $$$ in the comments below! Are you making what you wanna be making with your blog? What are your goals? What’s your dream? Let’s hear ’em all – the crazier and wilder, the better!