August Income Report – the raw truth (2019)

August marks my 11th-month blogging and running my business. Eleven whole months. It hasn’t been easy. I’m not a millionaire. Heck, I’m barely paying my bills ( for some months, I kinda haven’t). However, I can say I’m truly blessed to have a great support system at home, rooting for me to get my business off the ground and to work doing something I love. That’s why writing an income report means something to me.

This is the 5th income report I’m sharing with you all, and it is as realistic as an income report can get. When others are trying to build something in a similar fashion as you are, what is the point in leading them in the opposite direction? 

I’m not saying I’m a blog monetization pro, but I can say that I am working and building the way I want to. You don’t have to take the same steps. In fact, I encourage you to take many more steps than I ever could!

Just remember – there is a difference between making money and paying yourself. Just because you’ve made tons of money in one month doesn’t mean all of it will end up in your bank account. 

Read further to see how I did in August, if I was able to pay my bills AND myself, and my goals for September.

my income and expenses for my va and blogging business

Start a business account

Income sources

I have a few streams of income, although they don’t always bring me money every month. I’ve learned that you should always have more than one income stream so that you can basically make money while you sleep! 

My streams of income include affiliate marketing, eBook sales, Etsy sales, ad sales, and money from services I provide to my clients. 

Affiliate marketing

My goal for August was to join more affiliate opportunities, and I did! I am now an affiliate for Amazon Associates. (I haven’t made any money from there yet.) For August, this is where I made my affiliate sales:

Tailwind: 2 credits, or the equivalence of $30. (This does not go into my bank account/pocket, as I recycle my credits to pay for my Tailwind subscription.)

Ebook sales

Another form of passive income for me is my eBook sales. At the beginning of July I compiled all my knowledge of social media marketing into a handy guide. I even included a checklist to follow. 

The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Guide: $40

social media tips, tricks, and hacks guide

Etsy sales

When I first started my own business I opened a store on Etsy selling bullet journal charms (I was reeeeeaalllyyyyy into bullet journaling at that time). It was a very slow business and I ended up with inventory that never sold. 

Eventually, I added printable planners (created by me) to my shop, and that helped sales. Ultimately, I ended up taking the charms off the site and making it strictly digital products. Every once in awhile I make a sale from Etsy (passive income) and I rarely market the listings that are on there. (They get found by search and SEO.)

In August I made 2 sales totaling $13.06, on this listing and this listing

Looking to start your own Etsy shop? Open your store with my link and receive 40 free listings on me! (Regular price is 20c per listing.)

open an etsy store

Ad revenue

I currently use Fomo ads for my website. They don’t require a minimum of pageviews a month, so they’re perfect for newer bloggers. Less than a week ago I applied for and am awaiting approval. Hopefully, by my next income report, I’ll have some good news!

Fomo ads: $5.31 (for the month of July)

Pinterest services

My main “gig” is Pinterest management. I assist entrepreneurs and solopreneurs in marketing their businesses on Pinterest strategically.

In August I gave an opportunity to an eCommerce shop that wasn’t on Pinterest yet, to get management services in exchange for a percentage of my prices given in their shop credit. I run this program once every 6 months and I build Pinterest accounts for newer shops that way. 

Pinterest management services: $149.67

Total value of incoming monies for August: $238.04

Total “useable” money for August: $124.98 (money that isn’t affiliate credit or shop credit)

Expense sources

Dropbox: $11.99 (cloud storage that I can access via computer, iPad, and phone)

SendOwl: $9 (houses my eBook and other digital products)

PayPal fees: $2.89

Etsy fees: $ .70

Tailwind: $15

Office supplies: $10.46

Siteground: $158.75/2 years

Bluchic WordPress theme: $109.75

My expenses were a little up this month because my hosting was up to be renewed (switched from Bluehost to Siteground – best decision EVER!). I also bought a premium WordPress theme, although it isn’t required for you to have one to have a functioning website. (It was on sale and I’ve been eyeing it since it was released so I splurged!)

Also, I didn’t have to pay for Tailwind as I had the referral credits.

Total expenses for August (less Tailwind): $303.54

As you can clearly see, I am in the red again for August, although I wouldn’t have been without the “extra” expenses (hosting and theme). (-$178.56)

Clearly, since I am not in the black, I cannot contribute to my taxes (I usually save 30% on the side), nor can I “pay” myself. 

august income report

August Stats

Curious to learn what my social media and email subscribers numbers were for August? 

Email subscribers: 243 (compared to 197 in July) Current open rate: 25%

(Note: at the end of every month I clean out all inactive subscribers on my email list.)

My most popular opt-in freebie is this content calendar, and I added 2 new freebies this month: a blog post outline and 3 free Pinterest templates

My goal for August was to reach 250 subscribers, and I almost got there!

Blog subscribers: 3 (compared to 3 in July)

My August goal was to get up to 5 subscribers this month, and I didn’t. 

Pinterest: 182k monthly viewers (191k in July), 5.6k engaged (vs 4.4k), 2,567 followers (vs 2,388). 49% link clicks. 

My August goal was 250k viewers, with over 50% link clicks. I didn’t get the viewers, but I got 67% link clicks!

august link clicks

Facebook business page: 215 likes (vs 198) 

August goal was 220 likes – almost made it!

Instagram: 1,555 (vs 1,553) There seemed to be A LOT of follow/unfollow in August!

The goal I set for IG in August was 1,650.

Note: I think I will be putting my Instagram aside for the moment. I do not know enough about the platform and its algorithm changes to keep up with it. (On a side note, if you are just getting started as an Instagram manager and would like a practice account, contact me and let’s talk!)

Pageviews: 1.3k users, sessions compared to 1.2k users in August. 

My goal for August was 2k pageviews. My website was down for about a day or 2 at the end of August due to me switching hosts and trying to switch themes (I honestly didn’t know what I was doing.) I want to believe that is the reason I didn’t get 2k pageviews this month (lol). 

Most of my referrals come from Pinterest! If you’re not marketing on Pinterest, it’s time to get your business going! It does take about 3 months to get your profile in traction, and with daily consistency, your profile can be one of the biggest drivers of organic traffic! 

Clients: 3, compared to 1 in July

My August goal was 3! Yay.

Related posts: Why I’m not worried about my Pinterest views declining

Real-life + September goals

Obviously expenses got paid in August (hellooo credit cards), but my goal is to make money in my business, and not rely on credit.

Even though I have my passive income funnels in place, there is still room to market some way, somehow!

I usually participate in daily threads in my Facebook groups, utilize Pinterest (#1 traffic referral source!), and mention my business whenever/wherever I can. 

Mid-august I set some business goals to accomplish within a month (August 15th-September 15th). Those goals are:

  1. Make $150 from affiliate sales
  2. Start my Pinterest-based Facebook group and recruit at least 10 members
  3. Generate at least $500 in income 

By the end of September I hope to have:

  • 300 email subscribers with a 35% open rate
  • 5 blog subscribers
  • 250k Pinterest viewers with 75% link clicks
  • 245 Facebook business page likes
  • 30 Facebook group members 
  • 2k pageviews on my website
  • 4 regular clients

Final thoughts

And there you have it! This is how I benefit from my business of blogging and Pinterest management. This month (September) will mark 1 year of being in business! 

I do aspire to give beginner bloggers some hope and reassurance that it might be a slow process, but you can definitely make it if you put your mind to it!

Let me know in the comments what you thought of my income report, and if it helped you in any way.

Planner Wishes by Lori

Lori Silva was born and raised in Hawai'i, on the beautiful island of O'ahu. She is a coffee-guzzling, tell-it-like-it-is person who decided she could not only just stay home with her daughter, but work from home, too. Lori's passions include helping others, organization, and of course, Pinterest. Her dedication to her work along with her communication and systems creation make her an excellent candidate for managerial tasks.

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