Ever since I started this blog just under a month ago, I have been introduced to the almighty blog income report published by many of my peers. I’ve also come to realise that these income reports are a very polarizing subject. Some people love them, some people absolutely detest them. Which category do you fall in? I’m somewhere in the middle but let’s break down what these are and what they’re supposed to convey.
What is a Blog Income Report?
As the name suggests, a blog income report shows what a blogger earns usually over the course of a month. Most income reports provide a breakdown of how this income was earned. It’s usually done by bloggers who either solely blog about blogging or they blog about things like personal finance, mommy-blogging etc and want to help their audience to create a side-hustle or work from home through blogging. The income report is a literal “see I do it, you can do it too.”
Blog income reports are super popular on Pinterest for the simple reason that Stay-At-Home-Moms (SAHM) are a large part of Pinterest’s user base and these SAHMs are probably looking for ways to earn a little money while staying home with their kids to contribute to their family’s income. The income reports are supposed to be tangible proof showing that blogging is a legitimate way to make good money working from home.
Why Bloggers Really Publish Blog Income Reports
Usually, bloggers publish income reports to show you that they are making money from blogging as inspiration to get you to start blogging as well. These income reports though, are actually big marketing tools to show that hey, I’m a pro at this blogging thing, look at all this money I make. So you should probably take blogging advice from me plus buy my ebooks and take my paid blogging courses. While you’re here, click on this affiliate link to my preferred web-host cause they’re paying me big bucks.
Some bloggers claim that income reports are a way for them to see their own progress month on month as well but hey, why publish it then?
The bottom line for me is that these bloggers are publishing income reports to gain your trust and make you feel comfortable spending your money with them. It’s their report card, their proof that their advice works and so you should pay to hear more from them.
The Problem With Blog Income Reports
Now look, I totally agree with publishing blog income reports as part of your marketing mix if you blog about blogging. I don’t think it’s a necessity, but I get that some readers would want to see that you’ve put your tactics to work and received success before they spend their money with you. I have no interest in publishing blog income reports as of yet. I think my advice is pretty solid and sells itself and the feedback (and income) I’ve received so far is comforting.
The problem I have with many income reports is that they lack the whole picture. I’ve seen quite a few blogging income reports that are simply a list of affiliates that the blogger was able to earn money from. I don’t believe it’s good enough to share that you’ve made X amount of dollars from Bluehost and Romwe without sharing how you achieved this success. You’re leaving me inspired but confused.
I have also seen many bloggers list services outside of their blogging that brought them money. If you are a VA or a designer or an accountant, I don’t think these should be listed there unless your blog had a direct impact on you landing that business in the month you’re reporting for. I’d also like to know how you managed that so I can try to replicate your success, since that’s the point of your income report, right?
Why Many Bloggers Aren’t Fond Of Blog Income Reports
I have come to realise that the reason many bloggers flat out don’t like blog income reports is that they feel that only bloggers who blog about blogging are making money. They may not be making much from their own blog, see all these income reports being published by how to blog bloggers and throw their hands up in the air thinking that’s the only way to make a fulltime income from a blog.
That couldn’t be further from the truth, however. The truth is that the only people who find value in publishing these reports are how to blog bloggers for all the reasons I listed above. They are trying to turn their readers into customers of some course and get you to buy the hosting/email service/theme they recommend by you clicking on their affiliate link.
If I run a food blog or a fashion blog or some other niche, why would I publish a blog income report? My readers don’t care about how much money I make from blogging and aren’t interested in that information. They came to see my delicious peppermint chocolate cookies in time for Christmas or how I rocked my polka dot jeans. Rest assured, however, the food and fashion and whatever niche bloggers who treat their blogs as a business? They are making money, honey. They just aren’t throwing it in your face as income reports. They’re doing that by way of your envy of their latest sponsored trip to Gucci headquarters in Milan. Which brings me to my next point.
Not Many Bloggers are Treating Their Blogs as a Business
If you want to blog as a career, you have to treat your blog as a business. If you want to make money blogging you have to do more than write from the heart and share it in a few Facebook groups and Pinterest Group Boards. A lot of jaded bloggers spewing their hate of blog income reports usually also comment how much they write for passion and their reader. If you want to blog simply to express yourself and it’s nothing more than a hobby for you, that’s great. But the fact is that blogging is a great way to make a substantial living. A blogging career is something to aspire to and many of us are making a comfortable living doing what we love.
You don’t have to sell out your passion in order to make your blog a successful business. There’s a glorious line where passion and profit meet on blogs that profit. It means however that you will have to approach your blog as a business and put actual work into it. Starting a blog is just the first step. Making money from that blog takes real work. And though overnight success stories are touted everywhere, they are few and far apart. But a blog can be built up from zero to very lucrative business in a year, often in 6 months.
So How Do You Turn Your Blog Into a Business?
Firstly, if you haven’t actually started blogging yet then this post is for you. I break down how to get your blog up and running in 6 easy steps that leave you with a well secure, professional blog. The next step after starting your blog is doing a ton of research. One of the products I offer on this blog is a blog audit and one of the things I have realised after doing dozens of audits is that no one is doing any research in their niche.
Research is key. It is crucial that you know who the top dogs are in your niche. There are going to be many of them, there are, after all, millions of blogs out there. What you want to do is to narrow down your list to the ones you like. Every day make it a point of duty to find two blogs who are successful and their success you aspire to. How will you know if they’re successful? Things like their social followers and domain authority. If you Google top *your niche* bloggers and they come up on the first page or in a list like Top *Your Niche* Bloggers of 2017 that’s on the first page, then chances are, they’re pretty successful.
The first thing to do is to research what their most popular posts are so you can find out what kind of content readers in your niche want. This is called writing for your reader, not just writing all willy-nilly. You’ll also want to jump on these bloggers email lists to see what their email funnels are like. Stalk them on social media to see how often they share and what they’re sharing. What type of post gets the most interactions? Does their branding carry across all channels? What channels are they even on? I talk more about blog research here.
If you’ve already started blogging but you’re struggling to make money on your blog, this post is for you. I touch on the 4 main ways bloggers make money.
What to Take Away From Blog Income Reports
Blog income reports can be beneficial in showing you ways that are available to make money. I still read them every now and then because I’m interested in finding new ideas or maybe affiliate markets that I may not have known of. The point is to sift through all the information presented and determine how it can help you in your niche.
You should also be sure to look at those income reports that list their expenses. The higher the blog income report, the higher the expenses are, usually. If a blogger is making $100,000 a month, they’re probably spending a hefty some on things like VAs and Facebook ads. Even bloggers making $10,000/month are paying for things like web hosting, pin schedulers, graphics editors for pretty Pinterest Pins, email services and link cloakers.
I like to look at the income made from their own products in relation to their blog traffic and subscribers. This gives me inspiration for what numbers I can aim for when I’m ready to launch my own course.
Share Your Blogging Income Report With Us! (If You Don’t Blog About Blogging)
Here’s a blog income report that is totally awesome, different from what you’re used to. Rosemarie from The Busy Budgeter has built her budgeting blog to well over $100,000 monthly and has realised that this figure can be a little daunting for new bloggers. I’m quite sure there are lots of steps and many tiring hours between a $10k blog and a $100k blog. Many of us are still aspiring to $10k. So she decided to feature the income reports of smaller bloggers on her blog and provide them with some pretty awesome feedback in the process.
I loved this idea and scoured her blog trying to find the others but that was a futile process so I’ve decided to offer the same spotlight feature here with a twist. If you’re an established blogger in another niche, I’d love to share your story. Help me to extinguish the thought that only blogging bloggers make money blogging by sharing your blog income report with the Blog With Mo readers! A blogging income report is probably not a good fit for your blog so this is a great way to show others what’s possible in your chosen niche. Share with us how you’ve managed to build your business and offer us some tips to replicate this success to those of us in your niche.
Leave a comment below if you’re interested or drop me a line at mo at blogwithmo dot com For everybody else, are you a fan of blog income reports? Why or why not? What do you gain from them or why do you dislike them? Share in the comments below.