Here we are again at my favourite time of the month – it is time for the July 2016 online income report. July has been a wonderful month both in my personal life and our business, so much has happened and it has been a jam packed month! I have been working hard with my counsellor to create a work/life balance and to work on my depression and anxiety and the changes have been great. I've had some great days out this month, seen friends and I was also on BBC1 for something I filmed earlier this year. It really has been a great month!
Typically, July is a quiet month for traffic and website earnings – I have seen a slight dip in my affiliate income for July but I had earned more from advertising and sponsored posts – swings and roundabouts. I have also seen an increase in my traffic for July which has been great and completely unexpected. I honestly thought that I would be writing this income report telling you that I hadn't met my £3,750 goal. You'll have to keep reading to see whether I managed it!
There are lots of things that we have been doing in the background throughout July – changes that you might not necessarily see. One of these changes was to move to ConvertKit as our newsletter provider, from Mail Chimp. So far I have only hit the tip of the iceberg in exploring the features, but I am in love! Another change is the implementation of Pretty Link and I am slowly working on converting links using Pretty Link. I opted for the pro version across multiple blogs, so it is now working for all of our websites. I have also been updating some of my older posts, adding up to date information to them. There are also some changes that you will see, such as the introduction of my recommendations page. It is still in its infancy and I'll be adding lots of the resources I use both in my personal life and for blogging.
We were also lucky enough to get 2 free hours of business coaching this month, to see if business coaching is something that we could benefit from. In all honesty, the coach that we met with is more suited to traditional businesses, perhaps those that have actual stock to shift. It was great to bounce a few ideas around, but the actual coaching isn't something that we are looking to pursue at the moment – perhaps in a year's time.
The final thing to mention is that July has been expensive when it comes to business costs! It has been one of the most expensive months to date thanks to new courses and needing to renew my annual Profit Accumulator membership. Not to mention a few trips to London! I definitely want to get these costs down in August.
Let's get into the numbers then!
Why I publish our income
Publishing our income holds us accountable to you, my readers. We want to achieve, we want to earn and quite frankly, we want you to congratulate us! We are able to look back at previous months when we need some more motivation or ideas to continue. Most importantly, we want to tell you how you can be making money! You might just want to make enough to cover your holiday spending money or you might want to quit your job all together. Whatever your financial needs are, you can earn extra.
Previous income reports
Here are our previous income reports if you would like to look back on our progress:
December 2015 – £2,676.46 (on holiday for a week)
January 2016 – £2,888.17
February 2016 – £2,520.43 (on holiday for 2 weeks)
March 2016 – £3,194.82
April 2016 – £3,579.34
May 2016 – £4,293.54
June 2016 – £3,813.70 (on holiday for a week)
Affiliate earnings – £2,895.07
In June my affiliate earnings were just shy of £3,000, so it was a little disheartening to see them decrease by £69.64 in July. Then I remembered that July is a quiet time anyway, so I have come to terms with the lower earnings.
I have put together all of my affiliate marketing secrets into one place for you, in How To SMASH Affiliate Marketing as a UK Blogger. In this video and text course I cover everything from which affiliate programs to join to how to get over that fear of emailing your list. If you are interested in affiliate marketing then be sure to check out my guide to getting started with affiliate marketing.
If you are interested in generating your own income from affiliate marketing then be sure to check out my guide to getting started with affiliate marketing which has just been updated. My affiliate income has increased to an amazing number – in October 2015 this amount was just £581.59. If you are interested in making your own website so that you can start making an affiliate income then I have a great video guide to get you started.
My goal in July was to introduce 3 new affiliates throughout the month, which I have done!
Matched Betting – £689.52
July's matched betting earnings are down, and the truth is that there just weren't as many offers in July and I took a bit of time off waiting for football season to start, which will be later this month. I have managed to make £12,000 in 12 months from matched betting! This money is completely risk free and tax free, so I am happy with it! My earnings truly reflect the time and effort that I put in throughout July, which wasn't much. Matched betting is a risk free, tax free way to earn extra money by utilising the bookmaker's offers. Although the name can sound daunting, despite not being a sports fan I have managed to pick it up after a matched betting free trial. The free trial gives you some fantastic training videos and allows you to make anything from £40-£60 whilst deciding if it is for you.
If you are still on the fence about matched betting then why not consider giving matched betting a free trial? You can make anything from £40 – £60 and see if it is for you – you have nothing to lose. There are two approaches to take when it comes to matched betting – you can decide to work through the initial offers, bag yourself anything from £1,000 – £2,000 for a one off (maybe to pay off a credit card or have a holiday), or you can look to have a steady matched betting income every month.
You can see all my previous matched betting income reports:
- Month 1 earnings – £1,430
- Month 2 earnings – £1,619
- Month 3 earnings (including a Q&A) – £849
- October 2015 earnings – £1,105
- November 2015 earnings– £915
- December 2015 earnings – £1,347
- January 2016 earnings – £777
- February 2016 earnings – £393 (on holiday for 2 weeks)
- March 2016 earnings – £701.64
- April 2016 earnings – £622.36
- May 2016 earnings – £1,019.16
- June 2016 earnings – £447.18 (away for a week)
Remember that month 3 also overlaps into October – from now on I will be reporting the matched betting income per calendar month.
I am now going to be calming down my matched betting efforts whilst I focus on other areas of income. We are starting to get serious about saving towards our financial goals, and getting a mortgage means that it is more important to have a taxable income, which matched betting isn't. It is already hard enough to get a mortgage being self employed, so we are focusing on other earnings that can be shown on tax returns.
Website earnings – £371.70
To make up for the shortfall in July's affiliate income, I took on a few more sponsored posts, which has led to an increase in the website earnings. I also earned a little bit more from Adsense in July. I would love to see this amount increase to a consistent £500! I recently increased my sponsored post fee meaning that posts have been higher paid and more relevant to my blog. We currently have six websites between us, and plans to launch another two but this has been delayed. We are really keen to continue to diversify our income and not rely too heavily on one website for an income.
Gift cards – £120
I love earning gift cards, although I don't always include them on my income reports. These were all paid out in Amazon gift cards, from Receipt Hog, Instagc, Buzzoole and Gift Hunter Club. I prefer to earn cold, hard cash but there is something nice about seeing my Amazon balance increase every month – especially seeing it increase for Christmas. This amount is NOT included in my total for the month.
Online surveys – £114.15
I'm very happy with July's survey earnings – whilst they have been above £50 for a few months now, hitting £100 is amazing. Now that I am making a decent amount of money from matched betting and affiliate earnings, I don't really want to sit completing online surveys for a few pence. However, I really enjoy the surveys on Prolific Academic and MintVine, so I keep doing those whilst watching tv and I have also started completing more surveys for OnePoll. I view surveys as a way to unwind and get away from anything too heavy for a few minutes and the income is now just an added bonus.
Did you spot me on BBC1 earlier this month telling you about how I make money from surveys on the go?
Everything else – £990.01
My main focus at the moment is definitely to grow my affiliate income, which means that I am not actively seeking out much other work. I did a few mystery shops, sold a few bits on eBay and did a tiny bit of freelancing work.
My other earnings consist of
- Blogger to WordPress transfers
- Attending a focus group
- Rent profit
- My book sales
- Mystery shopping
- eBay sales
- Money earned for searching the web with Qmee
Subtotal before expenses £5,060.45
Remember that this amount doesn't include tax, national insurance contributions, holiday pay and sick pay – for which we are putting aside 20-30% of our monthly income (excluding matched betting earnings as they are tax free).
Expenses – £1,108.15
July has been such an expensive month, one of the most expensive by far! Here's why:
- Bought my place on Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing e-course.
- Bought the Pretty Link Pro plugin.
- Switching to Convert Kit for my mailing list.
- Paying my annual Profit Accumulator subscription. Did you know that you save a massive £125.88 if you pay it annually?
- Paypal fees (when I have received payment).
- Landlord costs (mortgage).
- Board Booster – I have been using the free Board Booster program for a few months now to help me manage my Pinterest account, but I have now upgraded to a paid account which has really helped to increase my Pinterest referral traffic.
- Staffing costs including my virtual assistant.
- Postage for competition prizes and eBay sales.
- Travelling to London.
Total for July 2016 (after expenses) – £3,952.30
5 new posts in July
Here are some of the top new posts from July 2016:
- 10 weird things that sold on eBay in July 2016
- A year of matched betting
- Make over £130 with these cashback deals
- Making a passive income with Pedlar
- 10 awesome thrifty wedding gifts that any couple will love
Towards the end of July I honestly thought that I would be writing about how I didn't make my income goal of £3,750 – in fact I actually just about made it on 30th July with an affiliate sale. I have always said that my goal is to reach £5,000 by December 2016 and I can't believe that I am this close to it and consistently hitting my goals!
I am much happier and I have a lifestyle that I enjoy a lot more. I love helping others to earn extra money too, and seeing this happen in front of my eyes is absolutely wonderful!
It is my long term strategy to keep growing my passive income – this is money I earn whilst I am sleeping or otherwise not actively working. There has been a slight decrease in my passive income for July, owing to the small decrease in affiliate sales.
My passive income comes from my book sales, affiliate marketing and my rental property. Taking the time to grow our passive income in the winter months means that I am really looking forward to having more time off in summer – time to go to the beach, go on day trips and just enjoy being outside. As a result of my passive income increasing I have started to introduce more posts about passive income and how you can grow your own.
My plans for the next month and beyond
I am loving the work/life balance I have found in July, so in August I hope to continue this! I need to finish implementing changes that I have learned from various courses and think about a new product to launch later this year. I desperately want to get ahead with my blog posts after finding out that a fellow blogger is currently two months ahead! There are some time sensitive posts that will never get ahead, such as my income reports, but I definitely want to work on that. By September I want to be back up to 3 posts a week, which means a lot of writing throughout August! I have also been helping Tony with his content plan for Thrifty Husband, and he is going to be posting 3 times a week from September.
We are going to be away for the majority of December (watch this to see how Disney ruined the surprise trip I had planned for Tony's 30th birthday) which means that I really need to think about how I am going to reach my target in December. I know that I will need to rely heavily on a passive income throughout the month, and of course having my content written ahead of time!
My goal is always to bring in more income – by December 2016 I want to be making £5,000 a month, which I have broken down in to monthly targets. Trying to find an extra £250 a month is a much easier challenge than trying to make £5,000 in a month from where I currently am!
As a reminder, here are my financial goals for the rest of 2016.
- August – £4,000
- September – £4,250
- October – £4,500
- November £4,750
- December £5,000
Do you like this income report? Would you like to see more of them in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments – we would love to hear from you.