It’s been a sweet while since I’ve published a blog income report. I used to regularly post blog and stat reports. My first blog income report was in around 2016. But I stopped after a while as it was getting a bit mundane. Plus not a lot of people share their blog income reports so it wasn’t as exciting!
I’ve been making money from this website for a few years now, but I got a bit fed up with blogging around 2019. I gave up blogging daily because I felt like I was blogging for the sake of it and not actually because I had interesting things to talk about. It was a chore and I was just posting anything to keep my streak going.
While I am proud that I daily blogged for 5 years, it no longer served a purpose for me and I felt like I wasn’t really putting quality content out there. I decided I was going to focus on content that I was really proud of.
I got a new job in 2019 then fell pregnant in March 2020 so I was a bit lost with blogging, to be honest!
I’d fallen out of love with the community. I felt that the bloggers I knew had all stopped blogging and I felt like I had peaked in around 2016 and my blog had stopped growing. I also felt a bit old! The majority of bloggers were in their early 20s and I was over 10 years older!
While I was still making a few hundred pounds a month, my blog income did dip a lot! I was making anything from £800 – £1500 before! I stopped actively seeking out collaborations and was just costing by. I didn’t blog much at all! I went down to about once a week.
Leo was born in November and after a bit of soul searching during those hours of being trapped on the sofa breastfeeding, I decided I wanted to put more effort into my blog again. I had about 3 months of hardly even thinking about my blog, just focusing on my baby and recovering from my traumatic labour. But it was time to start being productive with my dead time!
My monthly blog income was probably an average of £400 a month over the 2019/20 and 2020/21 tax year, which was a big drop from what I have been earning previously.
Why the sudden urge to increase my blog income?
I’m due to go back to work in November and I am considering not going back. Childcare is just so expensive, but also the thought of putting Leo in childcare for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week really breaks my heart.
Nothing is decided yet, there is still lots to think about. Like my job has a good benefits package. I get a company pension where they match my contribution. Paid holidays, sick pay. Stability.
But I want to be able to be there for Leo’s first steps. I want to take him on adventures in the middle of the week. I want to be home during the school holidays so we can have days out. My partner is a teacher and I struggle to get school holidays off as everyone wants them off! Then when Leo is at school,, I want to be able to pick him up and take him to scouts, football, swimming, piano lessons or whatever he wants to do. My job wouldn’t allow for this and I’d still be relying on some before school and after school clubs.
Basically, I just want to spend time with him.
I’ve set myself a few blog income goals that I want to hit before I will consider leaving my job.
My blog income goals.
Save £10000 by November.
This is what I’d like to have in savings by November so I’d feel comfortable leaving work and have an emergency fund in case anything happened and I had some expenses that were unexpected. Or I was unable to contribute to the household bills.
I’m well on my way to hitting this goal and even beating it.
Ideally, I won’t need to touch any of this money and it can go into our next home. Either to increase the deposit to lower our monthly repayments, or on renovations.
Earn at least £600 a month
This would be what I’d need to earn to make it worthwhile financially, after childcare.
Earn at least £1000 a month.
This is my stretch goal of what I’d like to earn monthly.
So, I set these goals in February, which is why this income report is for my first few months really trying to work on my blog. March is when I really started cracking on with it!
Can you earn money on maternity leave?
One of the first things I needed to do was figure out if I was able to actually earn money while on maternity leave.
The answer to this is yes. You can earn money from a separate income from the one you are getting maternity leave from.
There are also keeping in touch (KIT days) which are for use at the place of work where you are receiving maternity from. This allows you to work up to 10 days during maternity. You should be paid for these.
Obviously, I must complete a self-assessment tax form to declare my earnings, which I have already done for the 2020/21 tax year.
Please see this link for more info on that.
If you are employed in one job and qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay, you can do self-employed work before and after the birth without it affecting your SMP, see below.
What I did next.
New blog theme.
I gave my blog a makeover, bought a new blog theme to get motivated. My old blog theme was looking a bit out of date. I much prefer my new one for now, though I’ll probably want to change it again, soon.
I also started putting more effort into my Instagram account. I was just posting fitness-related content before, mostly videos of my workouts. Since having Leo, I was posting a few photos of him too. Now I try to be mindful about what I post, I bought some presets for Lightroom and use them on both my blog and Instagram photos. I’ve gained about 800 followers since I started working on improving my Instagram account..
I’ve still got a long way to go when it comes to Instagram, I’m gaining about 200 new followers per month through commenting and liking posts that appeal to me. I find them through relevant hashtag. I’m also engaging with my current followers and returning comments/likes etc. I tend to do this when Leo is breastfeeding or asleep on me.
I kind of feel like everyone is in some kind of engagement pod when it comes to Instagram though. I’m also fed up with all the follow loops that crowd hashtags and the DMs from people wanting me to join some MLM scheme or something. Plus all these Amazon reviewers – what’s all that about?
I’d love to get to 10k followers for the ability to swipe up, but it’s not going to happen any time soon so I’m just looking at the short term goal of continuing my 3% engagement and 200 followers a month.
I would love it if you could follow me on Instagram! My profile is here.
Investing in stock photos.
I’ve bought some new packs of stock photos for my blog from Etsy. I do prefer to take my own stock photos but I just don’t have the correct props at the moment so I treat myself to a new pack each month!
Here’s a link to my favourite stock photos on Etsy that I’ve either bought or am planning on buying. I actually really like saving my favourite Etsy products as it lets you know if they go on sale!
I’ve also been spending a bit of time on Pinterest, but I’ve not had much success yet. I”m still using Tailwind as it’s just a simple way to get lots of pins out there. Although it’s better to schedule pins on Pinterest itself, I find that so time-consuming and I find that click-through rate from Pinterest is about 1% of your unique monthly views so it’s not something that’s worth investing my time in yet, but something I would like to focus on in the future.
I’ve also bought some Pinterest templates from Etsy that I can edit in Canva.
My SEO plan.
I’ve been changing the way I do SEO on my blog. I’ve written about my SEO plan in detail in this post.
I now target keywords and track their performance. I’ve been doing this for about 3 months now and it can take a few months to really see results. Some of my posts have ranked quickly, some are a bit up and down.
This is another thing I’ve been working on, trying to drive some affiliate sales through my blog for some extra income. I’ve made a few sales with my affiliate links but nothing to write home about yet. I have lots of ideas for affiliate marketing but I’m struggling to find the time to balance everything I want to do while looking after Leo. I’m hoping that the work I am putting in now will pay off in the future!
When I have more time and once I’ve tried all my ideas, I may invest in a bit of coaching around this.
A new blog.
I’ve bought a new domain name and started a new website called Mum Making Money. It’s aimed at mothers making money while pregnant/on maternity (though anyone can use the ideas on there!). I shared how I made over £500 in May doings other than blog collaborations, so it’s going to be things similar to that as well as looking at saving money and keeping things nice and cheap.
I’m excited to turn it into a bit of a personal finance blog as well as show how I’m making money online.
It’s early days on that blog yet and I only plan on updating once or twice a month until I have more time. I’m hoping I’ll able to make some money on this website in a year or two.
I also want to bring back to life my fitness and tech blog, which I’ve sadly left to waste away. But again, too many ideas and not enough time!
Of course, any blog needs traffic! My page views did drop to around 3000 a month but I’ve managed to get them over 10k for the past three months!
Blog Income Report:
So, here’s the stats you’ve all been waiting for. How much money I’ve actually made from blogging. This just includes cash I’ve earned through blogging and not any money earned through Numbrs Payday or other things such as surveys or the Etsy competition I won.
March Blog Income Report:
March Blog Income Report:
March Blog Income Report:
Where has this money come from?
First of all, I’m quite happy with this! In February I made £330 so it was good to get to over £1000 when I started putting effort in again! I used to earn over £1000 quite regularly until stopped putting some much blood, sweat and tears into my blog. I didn’t expect to pull it back so quickly!
The money I’ve made through blogging has come through collaborations with brands (some including social media coverage, some just a blog post). I’ve also accepted some sponsored guest posts on this blog and my fitness blog and a couple of link insertions in existing posts.
I pitched to one brand which got me a paid collaboration. I really need to do some more pitching!
Here are some of the paid posts I’ve been most proud of:
- Taking Leo swimming with Halocline
- Starting a gallery wall in my living room
- Are Tiktok and Instagram killing blogging?
- 25 affirmations for new mothers
Where did I find these blog opportunities?
Most of them come in my inbox. There are a few long term collaborations, where I get repeat work from a few different companies.
I’ve joined a few blogging opportunity networks, although most of them are pretty poor and seem to only offer gifted items which you need to jump through hoops for. Like there is one that I used to use a lot but now they ask for things like a blog post, so 10k on Tiktok and so over 3% engagement on Instagram. Plus they want lots of content for nothing. If you don’t get the criteria for one (like I don’t do Tiktok) you can’t even apply.
They’re all gifted too so I’m not really that bothered, but it is a bit frustrating as I do like gifted items that are something I need or would use!
I also am a member of a few blogging opportunity Facebook groups so actively read those. I apply for things on those groups, as well as to opportunities on Twitter.
So, what’s next for me?
I’m happy to maintain this level of income for now. Ideally, I’d like to grow it but I know I need to put more time to do that. This is why I’m doing bits of work on my new blog, affiliate marketing, other blogs and Instagram. I hope to be able to diversify my income streams.
I do not need loads of money, I just want to have loads of time with my family and not to be stressed about money. I am lucky that if I didn’t make enough money one month, my partner can cover the mortgage and bills, but I still would like to contribute when I can. I also want to put some money into some investment for the future. Whether that’s a private pension or something else.
As I said, I’ve still not decided what I will do yet. It would be a big decision to leave a company I’ve worked for almost 20 years. But they do offer career breaks, so I could take a year out to test the waters and then return if it didn’t work for me. I would only be able to apply for vacancies though so my job would not be kept open. But it is a safety net in case something happened with my partners’ job! I wouldn’t have to start at the bottom salary-wise.
I’m probably not going to do monthly income reports but may update from time to time. Being a full-time blogger has always been a dream of mine. Since I realised I could make money blogging, it’s something I’ve been working towards and this is probably my now or never opportunity.
So I’m hoping I can make something of this little online business of mine.
Hope you enjoyed this blog income report. Sorry, it was a long one!
Let me know if you have any blogging goals in the comments below, or if you have any 2021 blogger income reports to share!