She did what?! Read about how this #GIRLBOSS built her blogging empire and earned over $2,500 in her FOURTH month of blogging. | monthly income report, make money blogging, monetize your blog, blog for business, solopreneur success stories, blogging income report

Fourth Income Report: How I Earned $2,681.22 in May

June 1, 2017

I’ll be real: at the beginning of May, I had absolutely no idea what to expect for my fourth income report. After all, my boyfriend and I left the country for two weeks. The entire time, I faced limited WiFi connectivity and even less time to dedicate towards my blog.

Despite spending half the month out of country, I’m very fortunate to say I doubled the $1,134.25 I reported from my third month of bloggingI earned $2,681.22 blogging in May. And this doesn’t include the products we received from sponsors.

Most of my income was earned while we were abroad. So the passive income earned through affiliate marketing was really and very truly passive. One day we explored the Principality of Monaco and found ourselves stranded in Villefranche sur Mer on our way back (I talked about our experience stranded in this coastal town on Instagram). And my blog was earning me money at the same time.

She did what?! Read about how this #GIRLBOSS built her blogging empire and earned over $2,500 in her FOURTH month of blogging. | monthly income report, make money blogging, monetize your blog, blog for business, solopreneur success stories, blogging income reportIt’s very surreal to think about.

I still constantly think back to the conversation with my friend last year, when she asked me if I made money from my personal blog. The personal blog that served as an emotional outlet as I coped with feeling homesick after making the decision to move and change careers.

My answer to her was a simple “no,” but in my head, I thought, what?! You can make money blogging?!?! I became obsessed with the idea because I’ve had a growing affinity for writing since Montessori school where I wrote short, two-sentence stories.

A part of me feels weird about sharing this income report as my numbers continue to grow. Another part knows that people (like myself) learn by seeing how others accomplish their goals.

After all, if other bloggers did not post their income reports, I would not have started this blog. Reading those income reports inspired me to start a profitable blog of my own. 

Starting this blog turned out to be an incredible journey. It serves as a creative outlet for me and gives me so much to be excited about with each day.

While it’s a lot of work, I never feel like I’m working.

Let’s get into how I earned $2,681.22 blogging in May.

This post contains affiliate links to help keep this blog running.
To learn more about affiliate links, click here.


Because programs each have different payout terms or minimum payouts, bloggers report their income in (primarily) two different ways.

Some bloggers report their income as it enters their bank account. Others report their income as they earn it.

I choose to report my income as I earn it. This helps me identify what is a successful (or unsuccessful) month. That way, I can specifically target what works and areas of improvement.

Another important disclosure is I chose to report my Awin income as it is tracked. My Awin income, which is the highest amount of income for the month, will take a significantly longer time to reach my bank account.

All commissions resulted from my efforts in May, which is why I’m including them in this report.

Top Posts in May

Total Page Views in May: 11,362

Previous Income Reports

What I Accomplished in May

I spent the last week of April, and the first two weeks of May, traveling. So I anticipated a slow start to my blog for May. But I still managed to accomplish a few goals!

  • Collaborated with tourism boards in France. While we were in France, I collaborated with three different tourism boards. For the first post in my France Travel Series, I wrote about the Principality of Monaco. Check it out here.
  • Started drafting a 10-day blog success course. Per the (insightful!) recommendation of others, I started working on a free 10-day blogging ecourse to help others turn their passions into profits. Update: This eCourse is now complete. Learn more about it here!
  • Focused on learning how to use Tailwind. Last month, I purchased an annual Tailwind Plus plan. But I had no idea how to use it. After stumbling through the platform, I finally found a strategy that works (click here to read it). Since starting my Tailwind Pinterest strategy, my repin rate has improved immensely. Repins are important because it increases the likelihood of someone seeing your pin and visiting your blog

She did what?! Read about how this #GIRLBOSS built her blogging empire and earned over $2,500 in her FOURTH month of blogging. | monthly income report, make money blogging, monetize your blog, blog for business, solopreneur success stories, blogging income report

Social Media

I was happy to see the way my social media following grew, too. Although I didn’t make every goal, I still managed to reach my overall goal of 2,000 followers across social media platforms!

  • Pinterest (aimed for 900): 750 -> 945 Goal for June: 1,200
  • Facebook (aimed for 250): 234 -> 271 Goal for June: 300
  • Twitter (aimed for 350): 290 -> 333 Goal for June: 375
  • Instagram (aimed for 500): 466 -> 500 Goal for June: 525
  • Bloglovin (no goal in May): 87 followers -> 118 Goal for June: 150

My social media goals are ridiculously ambitious. After all, I’m self-proclaimed #awful when it comes to posting on Instagram.

For June, my main goal is to focus on somehow achieving 1,200 followers on Pinterest in June.

Income for May

Products from Sponsors: $274.29
I did not include products from sponsors in my total income (since it’s not money earned). But, to be transparent, this is the calculated value of products I received in May while we traveled. So far, I’ve only published one sponsored post detailing an amazing two days exploring Monaco.

Affiliate Referral Income

Awin: $1,650.00
Awin stands out simply because of its partnerships with Etsy, Trusted Housesitters, Swagbucks, and Fiverr. It’s $5 to sign up, but you get the $5 back in its entirety when you receive your first payment.

Share-a-Sale: $10.04
Share-a-Sale is a big winner for bloggers because of the diverse types of affiliate programs they offer. I personally use it to promote Tailwind (click here to read about my aggressive Pinterest strategy), Grammarly (click here to read about how Grammarly will improve your writing and thus captivate your audience), PicMonkey, and Pura Vida Bracelets.

Linqia: $5.00
Linqia is an influencer marketing program that connects influencers to brands. They have requirements to join (e.g. 2,500+ social media followers or unique monthly visitors), but once you meet that threshold, they approve you to start working on campaigns.

Affiliate Income

Siteground: $675.00
Earlier this year, I invested in my own self-hosted WordPress blog with the intention of making side income. Do you want to start a money-making blog? Use this link to get a 60% discount on your first hosting plan!

LendEDU: $80.00
Refinancing your student loans becomes simple: fill out a free, three-minute application and LendEDU shows you what student loan refinancing rates you could qualify for. LendEDU’s free application doesn’t affect your creditIt’s amazing how much you can save simply by refinancing (hint: it can be thousands of dollars). LendEDU does the grunt work for you at no cost to you! Read this article to learn more about student loans. Or, click here to see for yourself what refinancing can save you!

Maven: $48.00
Maven is Pinterest but on steroids. You basically get money by pinning products to boards using Maven. These boards are shareable via email, your social media networks, or your blog!

Tailwind: $19.48
I use Tailwind to manage my aggressive pinning schedule. Click here to read about my Pinterest strategy. Or, click here to sign up for and try Tailwindfor free!

Grammarly: $0.80
I’m proud of my writing, but Grammarly helps me daily. Read this article to learn about how to improve your writing with Grammarly. Or sign up for Share-a-Sale to partner with Grammarly!

Trusted Housesitters: $0.50
Being able to housesit in exchange for free lodging is freaking fantastic for travelers, especially budget travelers. Sign up for their affiliate program through Awin!

Etsy: $5.31
Although my income from Etsy is small every month, it adds up! I love Etsy products (I bought my theme from this shop on Etsy) and it’s fun to promote products small business owners create. You can use Awin to promote Etsy products. 

Swagbucks: $4.40
Although known as a survey site, earn points called SB watching videos while you clean or do errands. I joined their affiliate program through Awin. Sign up using this link to get a free $5 bonus, start earning points called SB, and redeem SB for gift cards (including Amazon!).

Amazon Affiliates: $1.54

Other Income

Blog Coaching: $17.00
Sometimes, I open blogs and immediately see where it may need work. So, I decided to offer blog consultation to diversify my income. I write detailed reports with targeted areas of improvement for bloggers! If this sounds like something you’re interested in, contact me here.

MediaNet advertisements: $4.15
I only have advertisements at the bottom of a few posts. I think it’s a subtle way to showcase advertisements, but not in an aggressive manner. Hopefully, this leads to a more fulfilling guest experience!

Ebates: $0.00
Although I did not earn from Ebates this month, others have signed up for their first $10! You have to make a purchase to get that free $10 from Ebates into your bank account.

Tailwind: $105.00 referral credit

Boardbooster: $5.00 referral credit
Boardbooster is the smartest Pinterest scheduler on the market. Although I don’t pin aggressively with Boardbooster, I still use its campaign feature to post regularly to group boards. Their plans start out at $5 per month, and you can try it for free!

Airbnb: $50 travel credit
Sign up with Airbnb to get $40 travel credit towards your next trip! This credit never expires so if you haven’t signed up, use this link to claim your $40 travel credit.

Total Income: $2,681.22

Hosting through Siteground: $0.00 (prepaid the $3.95 for this month)
G+ suite for Business: $5.00
Boardbooster: $5.00
Tailwind: $0.00 (pre-paid for an annual subscription)

Total Expenses: $10.00
Total Income (after expenses): $2,671.22

Affiliate Programs I Want to Focus On

  • EbatesI seriously need to brainstorm ways to promote Ebates. I think it’s a great way to get cash back when you shop online, and every penny counts! I earned cash back on gifts for my mom for mother’s day and items I purchased for our trip to France. Quite a few have signed up, but the hardest part is probably remembering to visit Ebates before you purchase online. FYI: Ebates does give you $10 for free when you make a purchase, on top of the cash back they’ll give you! It’s basically free money you’re missing out on if you don’t use it!
  • MediaNet advertisements: As a new blogger, I prefer MediaNet advertisements over Google AdSense. I enjoy the minimalist design. To increase my MediaNet income, I’d love to research best and most effective ways to implement MediaNet advertisements on my blog.
  • Maven: I love Maven! This website is seriously just Pinterest on steroids because you can “pin” products to boards. But then, when people actually click your links and buy the products on your boards, you get a commission! Since I found so much success using Maven in May, I’d love to find ways to continue earning from Maven in June.

Important Takeaways

  • Track as much as possible. Last month, I earned an unusually large amount from my web host, Siteground. At first, I thought commissions might be because of a Facebook advertisement I ran using free Facebook ad credits. Once we returned from France, I started tracking potential income from Facebook advertisements using a tracking link. To my surprise, I did not earn any commissions from Facebook after I started tracking. After about two weeks of zero Facebook-specific referrals, I have a gut feeling my Facebook advertisement was ineffective and I don’t feel guilty about canceling the subscription. I still don’t know where those leads may have come from, which frustrates me.
  • Sometimes, you just need time. A few months ago I wrote a post about How to Make and Save Money in Your 20s. I didn’t really earn much after publishing it. At the time, I felt crushed. However, I’ve recently received a couple Swagbucks referrals as a result of promoting this post via Pinterest using Tailwind. Sometimes, you just need to give your posts time before you start earning affiliate income.
  • Have a game plan, but roll with the punches. I haven’t earned anything from Ebates despite promoting their online cashback program since the inception of this blog four months ago. Then again, I never really developed a plan for it. I understand there are some things that might not work for your audience. But sometimes you gotta take those crickets and figure out 1) what you’re doing wrong and 2) how you can make it work.

Goals for June

  • Rewrite older, high-performing posts. There are some posts I wrote when I first started blogging that bring in views, but don’t keep people on my blog. They’re subpar and I’d like to rewrite them to improve viewer experience and blog stats.
  • Work on a 10-day blog success course. In May, I started working on my free 10-day blogging ecourse to help others turn their passions into profits. If you want to receive an update the moment this is completed, click here!
  • Create a “Work with Me” page. I know my blog income can’t grow every month, but I’d like it to remain consistent. So, I want to create a “Work with Me” page to showcase my blog coaching and Pinterest services. If you’d still like to work with me, feel free to use my contact form to get in touch!
  • Reformat Blogging Resources Library. This has been on my to-do list since April. While I decluttered my Blogging Resources Library and eliminated unnecessary links, I’d still like to touch it up a bit more.

Related Blogging Posts

First of all, thank you for joining me on my blogging journey! Check out these posts for other blogging tips and advice:

Or, browse the Blogging archives.

She did what?! Read about how this #GIRLBOSS built her blogging empire and earned over $2,500 in her FOURTH month of blogging. | monthly income report, make money blogging, monetize your blog, blog for business, solopreneur success stories, blogging income reportMost importantly, remember that blogging is definitely a “learn-as-you-go” activity. At first, you might feel overwhelmed by the tasks you have to conquer. After four months of blogging, I can confidently say that to build a successful blog, you first need to conquer your fears and stop worrying!

Starting a blog can be intimidating. In fact, I felt apprehensive before I started this blog. So many questions ran through my head. Would people think I’m weird? What if I’m unsuccessful? Now, in retrospect, I’m only overwhelmed by all the fantastic, positive support I received!

Even better, blogging is a great way to make money on the side. You can really turn your play-thing into a pay-thing. To learn how to start your own blog, use this guide. Or, you can jump start and use my link to sign up for web hosting at only $3.95 per month!

If this helped you out, please pin or share!

Considering starting a blog? Or, are you already blogging? What are your goals for the upcoming month?

Do you have any questions about affiliate marketing? Drop them in the comments below!

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  • Marina

    Hi Krista!

    I am currently trying to monetize my blog, grow my audience, so I love seeing your income reports to see what fellow bloggers do. I’m a fashion and travel blogger and wanted to ask you how you ended up collaborating with the French Tourism Boards?

    June 1, 2017 at 8:45 am Reply
    • Krista

      Hey Marina!

      I reached out to these tourism boards. I introduced myself, my blog statistics (page views, social media following), and what I could offer them. Since I don’t have a large social media following, I did not ask for monetary compensation. Instead, I asked for tourism-related tickets (e.g. city pass) for my boyfriend and I in exchange for social media posts and a blog review.

      I received a couple of polite nos. Many boards also did not return my email. But I ended up with three opportunities that are more than I can keep up with!


      June 1, 2017 at 8:53 am Reply
  • Jason Butler

    Congrats on a great month. I make the majority of my side hustle income from freelancing. I set a goal to start making more affiliate income.

    June 1, 2017 at 10:03 am Reply
    • Krista

      That’s amazing! I’ve felt curious about getting into freelancing, but to be honest I don’t know where to start. Good luck on your affiliate marketing journey and please let me know if you ever need any help with that!

      June 1, 2017 at 11:29 am Reply
  • Rubi

    I signed up for Awin but I 100% do not understand how that site works. It’s unlike all other affiliate referral websites, so if you ever release a guide on how to use it, I will promote that post EVERYWHERE lol

    June 1, 2017 at 10:31 am Reply
    • Krista

      Wow! Thanks for letting me know Rubi. I’ve had quite a few questions about Awin’s interface, so I will definitely definitely have to work on a tutorial for it!

      June 1, 2017 at 11:30 am Reply
      • Janna

        Would love to see a tutorial as well <3!

        June 3, 2017 at 10:19 pm Reply
  • Sami

    You are KILLING the blogging game! I can’t wait till you finish your course because I will definitely be signing up to take it!

    June 1, 2017 at 12:28 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Yay!! I’m glad you’re so excited. I’d feel complete if I just helped one blogger out. <3

      June 2, 2017 at 8:37 am Reply
  • Shashi Chamling

    Hi Krista,
    Thanks for sharing! Your income report is really inspiring. My blog is now 6-7 months old and I haven’t yet monetized it. What methods are best according to you for a non-US resident to monetize a blog?
    Many thanks!

    June 1, 2017 at 12:40 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Hey Shashi! What country do you live in? Awin certainly has programs located outside the U.S., and Share-a-Sale might. I don’t have a method per-se, but try adding advertisements to your site! And then search via Google “affiliates in (country)”. Good luck!

      June 2, 2017 at 8:39 am Reply
  • Ana

    Krista, this is amazing!!!
    I love how on top of your game you are and that you don’t rely solely on one income stream!

    Your income reports are a true inspiration!

    June 1, 2017 at 2:20 pm Reply
  • Justine | The Iridescent Wings

    Girl, you are CRUSHIN’ it! I know I say every month I’m going to start monetizing, but I think June will be the month. Can’t wait to see your next income report. I might start writing my own monthly goals and income reports. 😛

    June 1, 2017 at 3:59 pm Reply
  • Kaity

    Loving your blog-related posts so much—thank you for sharing your progress, Krista! 🙂

    June 1, 2017 at 7:38 pm Reply
  • Jade

    I love reading these breakdowns of yours! You’re really killing it and giving me so many ideas to work into my own blog! Thanks ☺️ Keep up the great work x

    June 1, 2017 at 7:54 pm Reply
  • Aga

    Hi Krista, this looks great! I have few questions:
    – how much time do you normally spend on working on a blog and everything around it?
    – I can see the links to your affiliate marketing programs here and there, but is your income coming directly only through the blog or you are promoting those links in different places as well (such as facebook groups etc) and how big part of it is there and how much on the blog? I’m just trying to figure out how efficient can be the conversion of blog visits into clicks and if you do any more promoting outside 🙂
    – I’m new to blogging and don’t have big traffic yet, but I was recommended to start with affiliate marketing early, regardless of traffic to figure it out. I am a bit concerned about it, because I don’t want to flood my visitors with ads – so far I just put one ad on the side and planning to put one search box in the post – do you think it’s ok, or it’s better to build the audience first and then work on affiliate marketing?

    Here’s my website if you want to check it out:
    Many thanks!

    June 2, 2017 at 5:26 am Reply
    • Krista

      Hi Aga,
      – I spend a lot of time working on my blog. Like I said, I didn’t get to work on it at all during the first two weeks of May. So I fell slightly behind, but I still earned money because I scheduled pins via Tailwind and tweets via Hootsuite. I also tried keeping my Instagram story updated so I received a few redirects from Instagram. Yesterday, when I published, I spent a couple hours promoting. This included replying to comments and scheduling pins for this post to Pinterest. Hope this helps!
      – My affiliate links are promoted on my blog, on Pinterest, and sometimes in Facebook groups. I prefer to leave advice and link an article I wrote in a Facebook group. Like I said, I tried promoting a post via Facebook using free advertising credits, and I am not sure if it converted because I didn’t track links! So I definitely diversify where I promote.
      – I think you should start monetizing as soon as possible. I did it. It helped me see what works, and what doesn’t work. P.S. For a travel blog, definitely definitely focus on good SEO in your blog posts! It will be amazing for you to get search engine traffic in the long run. I research keywords using Jaaxy which is free for the first 30 words. Then you get 10 keywords for every referral. So essentially you can use their researcher for free. Seriously, I’ve seen successful travel bloggers who really know SEO and that’s one way they grow their audience.

      June 2, 2017 at 8:49 am Reply
      • Aga

        Thanks a lot, I appreciate you took time to answer 🙂

        June 6, 2017 at 5:45 am Reply
  • Melissa @ Think About Such Things

    Girl, you are killing it! I’m getting clicks on my affiliate links but no purchases yet. Only my first month in, so I am hoping something changes soon. I did sign up for Awin, and not really sure the best way to promote it. I guess I will need to write a blog post. Thanks again for the inspiration…

    June 2, 2017 at 8:15 am Reply
  • Katherine

    Girl you are SO killing it as usual. Your content is always so on point, and I really appreciate the genuine connections you make. It never seems fake or not real…just voice always comes across so strongly in your writing.


    June 5, 2017 at 2:20 pm Reply
  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance

    Wow you’re so impressive! I just started my blog a bit more than two months ago and really look up to you in terms of your marketing and income strategies. Keep it coming! =)

    June 7, 2017 at 11:43 am Reply
  • Catherine | My Work Money Life

    Girl, you are for real crushing it! I’m so inspired not only by your useful comments but your fun tone of your writing. Blogging can be lonely and it’s awesome to see such a playful, friendly tone. It’s almost as if you’re in Starbucks here with me, lol.

    June 21, 2017 at 12:53 pm Reply
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