You’ve come by to see what we are up to in the world of online business. Honestly, this is a first for us to share our income generated from our site here. And to be even more honest, it’s quite scary to be so transparent as we share this detail with you.
But one thing that we have learned in this crazy, weird blogging life is that the more transparent we are, the more others are helped. And since our passion is helping (which was the reason and motivation for even starting this site in the first place) it seems necessary to move onto this next step of sharing our money-making life with you to help encourage YOU!
If you’ve been a reader of ours then you know how we’ve shared our frugal lives with you, our “How we got out of $100k of consumer debt” life with you, our annual budgets the past couple of years, our goals, our dreams with the goal of encouraging you and helping your towards your own goals.
One consistent theme that we have tried to communicate is to progress to that next stage of life no matter where you are at. First by getting out of debt, then with the goal of building a stable future and then ultimately passing an inheritance on to your children. And one critical piece to accomplish all of this is by generating extra income. Remember all the ideas – over 100 and counting – on how you too could generate extra income?
From all your feedback including your progress reports, your successes and even your failures, we have been encouraged to share even more. And so its time to do just that and take this next, crucial step and share the detail of how we are generating the extra income for our family.
First, we want to be very clear that although we have earned extra income in many ways in the past, in this stage of our lives, 90% of our additional income comes from our online businesses, with this site here at TheThriftyCouple.com becoming our #1 money-making effort and business!
We didn’t look at it as a business or a main, focal income generator until last year. Before then, it was more of an outlet and fun hobby to share our lives with you with monetary benefits. We started this site from the encouragement of a friend after we became debt-free because so many people wanted to know WHAT we did to pay off $100k of consumer debts.
It never had occurred to us before then that we could share via a blog, nor that by doing so this would ever become a lucrative money-making adventure with the perfect scenario: our site being free for others to read while advertisers and sponsors paid us to run ads on our site. How much more perfect of a business is that? People pay good money in the form of books, classes, magazines, workshops, personal consultations, and more to get advice! But here, it is free for you while at the same time we get paid for our time and effort. AMAZING! Even after doing this for a few years, it still blows my mind.
Going back to the idea of our goal of transparency, we want to plainly show you why you might want to consider starting a blog or website no matter what it is about as it could quite possibly be a surprising form of nice income.
And so we are going to share and detail our monthly income reports for you for a few reasons:
- Because we’ve woken up to the fact that we haven’t been treating it like a business. In many ways we’ve still been treating it like a hobby. So by sharing with you, it makes us more accountable and motivates us to take our site to the next level – all the while helping others in brand new ways!
- Because we share money-making ideas, it would be really insane for us to not share the details behind the most lucrative opportunity based on our experience.
- Because by showing you the real numbers, we especially hope you will be inspired, motivated and encouraged that you really can make actual money online no matter your story or experience.
- And because if we can do this (with the following limitations), then so can you – possibly even more so because of your own experiences:
- We have no prior business experience
- We don’t have an English (or other humanity) degree
- We’re not professional writers
- No marketing/business degrees
- Not professional photographers
- No investment nest-egg when we started
- One of us having a full-time job and the other as a very busy mom to six kids, while homeschooling full-time, and doing this as a hobby (working 2-4 hours per day)
- Having just about as busy or more of a life than you could imagine
Again…if we can do this – YOU CAN DO THIS!
I have to also be honest and say that I struggle through knowing how to keep that balance as we become serious about running this site more as a business. When we have stepped up and been more serious, the outcome of results in income has changed dramatically. However, at the same time, I really don’t have regrets because this hobby has brought more freedom and opportunity while still allowing me to be that stay-at-home-mom I have always wanted to be.
For this first post, we are going to share our income to this point in 2016. Then we will try to share monthly from this point forward.
Just a couple of final points to note:
- Note that we’ve always made money – but we haven’t been strategic on building this as a business.
- We really started getting serious about making this a business in September of 2015.
- Each month since we’ve become smarter and tried to build upon the month before.
Total Income for 2016 so far (Jan-Apr) – $19,113.64
- Ads = $1,963.88
- Affiliates = $734.29
- Sponsored posts = $300.00
- Miscellaneous = $100.00
- Products (our printables) = $21.98
- January total gross = $3,119.15
- Ads = $2,354.73
- Affiliates = $1,652.94
- Sponsored posts = $1,750.00
- Miscellaneous = $150.00
- Products (our printables) = $8.99
- February total gross = $5,916.66
- Ads = $1,581.26
- Affiliates = $866.64
- Sponsored posts = $1,591.67
- Miscellaneous = $0.00
- Products (our printables) = $3.00
- March total gross = $4,042.57
- Ads = $1,714.49
- Affiliates = $2,996.00
- Sponsored = $820.00
- Miscellaneous = $0.00
- Products (our printables) = $32.99
- Services (speaking fee) = $500.00
- March total gross = $6,035.26
Now we hope these numbers are very encouraging to you. But don’t forget there are expenses in operating a business. What we love about running our own businesses is that we are able to control our expenses, meaning we can increase them in proportion to our income. Yes, this means we (and you) can run a business debt-free!
You can start a website for virtually nothing and operate with very low expenses. Then when the incomes increases, you can increase those expenses (the old adage that it takes money to make money) because you have the income to justify it! So, we hope you see that its a type of business that requires very little investment, especially for the return on investment as you will see below! Tell me how many businesses are out there where the expenses are this low for this type of income return?
- Virtual Assistants (paying others to help with tasks) = $385.85
- Tools/Widgets/Plug-Ins/Webservices/Hosting = $380.67
- Marketing = $5.50
- January total expenses = $772.02
- January Net Income =$2,643.98
- Virtual Assistants (paying others to help with tasks) = $645.95
- Tools/Widgets/Plug-Ins/Webservices = $80.26
- Marketing = $294.60
- February total expenses = $1,020.81
- February Net Income = $4,895.85
- Virtual Assistants (paying others to help with tasks) = $233.14
- Tools/Widgets/Plug-Ins/Webservices = $141.17
- Marketing = $88.52
- March total expenses = $462.83
- March Net Income = $3,579.74
- Virtual Assistants (paying others to help with tasks) = $523.65
- Tools/Widgets/Plug-Ins/Webservices = $758.94
- Marketing = $323.89
- Further Blogging Education = $494.00
- Materials for workshops = $233.79
- April total expenses = $2,254.01
- April Net Income = $3,781.25
Okay – there you have it!
Now, there may be hundreds of questions and there’s a hundred more things I can say. But I can’t address it all here because it would require a book – this post is already too long as it is. 🙂 However, feel free to ask specific questions about any of this and we will try our best to answer.
Be watching for future posts as I will be breaking down the details about our expenses and income where I will detail each line item. So with that you will want to subscribe to our How To Make Money Online newsletter as this will be the best way to get this information as we write about it.
And if you’ve read this long so far, then CONGRATS! You are SERIOUS about wanting to make money online too.
That’s why we’ve recently created our How To Blog page that will walk you through being able to start and operate a website for less than $5 a month! Which is what you want when you start – very little expenses and investment to start.
In fact, the ONLY thing you need to do to start is to get a domain name (website name) and host. That’s it. The BEST thing to do is to get your domain name and hosting through Bluehost where it will only cost you $3.49 per month to run your website through a special sale through THIS LINK HERE (this link gives you 50% off!). We have secured this super low price for our readers who are budding online entrepreneurs. You’re welcome. 🙂
They provide you with a domain name as well. Once you sign-up, they will walk you through the set-up of your site so that you can start writing and sharing. We’ve also created a number of video tutorials that are only a few minutes long each. Your site will be up and running in about 15 minutes!
I would like to end this post today with this thought: this site has been a hobby. We have not always treated it like a business, but we are becoming more serious to turn it into a full-time business. And as we do so, we will do so with the goal of maintaining a balance between business, family and life.
And that’s an important thing you need to consider now. As you move forward with building your dream business, you’ll need to consider how to achieve a balance and not allow your business to overwhelm your life to the point where you are sacrificing important time that you will never be able to recover – whether with your faith, your family and/or life.
I don’t have regrets that I only spent 10-20+ hours on this site per week – those other 150+ hours per week have been well spent with our faith, family, children and life! What a blessing it is to have made the most of those handful of hours per week to “redeem” the time, but also not let it control our lives.
We will share as we progress how we are working on maintaining that balance as well. Its true, we have high goals for the upcoming year (I will share those in a separate post). We are going to plan to be more serious with the time we have set-aside to make this a more serious business. But if we don’t make it our goals…it’s okay! And if we do – YAY! Either way, we will keep moving forward. Remember that slow progress is still progress. I’d rather have it slow and have a family and life that I cherish than have it fast and lose everything along the way!
We hope you have been encouraged and gained some new insight, motivation and ideas as you look at the best options for you to generate extra income. Remember, we are all working towards that 2×2 plan!
What do you think about this? Would a blog or website help you in your situation? If you are not sure what you would write about….read this post!
Additional links to help you get started earning money online:
- How I make $3,500 a month as a Stay-At-Home-Mom
- How To Blog: Easy Step-by-Step to Start in 15-minutes
- Blogging Resources Page: additional tips, tools and tricks to help you make the most of your business.