Hello and welcome to May 2016's online income report. I wasn't too sure what to expect from May – it is a typically bitter sweet month for me, being both the anniversary of my mum's death and my wedding anniversary. I had set my financial goal to earn £3,500 and then two other goals – to complete the money making bootcamp training and to launch two new websites. I am pleased that I more than hit my income target, however the other two targets were lacking! I was away from home three times in May, for a funeral, Blog Camp and our wedding anniversary, and it also hasn't been the easiest month for me, so I am still astonished that I have exceeded my target.
It is months like May where I am extremely grateful for my passive income. I cannot tell you the number of days I lost to being a vegetable in front of the tv – I am not proud of it, but I struggled a lot throughout May, and the recent rubbish weather hasn't helped! I can't imagine what it would have been like to have to drag myself into an office and I am aware of how blessed I am to be in this situation. May also marked my 6 month self employed anniversary, and I have never looked back!
In May I finally got round to doing something I had been considering for ages and hiring a virtual assistant. I have been working with her for just two weeks now and so far it has been one of the best things I have done. It has really freed me up to work on bigger projects and use my energy in areas that would make me the happiest.
May 2016 has been my best earning month to date, having completely SMASHED £4,000. I won't keep you waiting any longer – let's get stuck in!
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:
Affiliate earnings – £2,600.45
I love affiliate marketing (if you haven't seen it yet then check out my guide to getting started with affiliate marketing) and I love seeing this figure grow every month. In October last year this amount was just £581.59, so I am more than thrilled to be earning almost 5 times that amount just a few short months later. In April this amount was £2,182.35, so I have increased it by £418.10. I am finally seeing some traction from SEO work and a few new affiliates I have introduced lately.
I see lots of Facebook groups with hundreds of thousands of “likes” promoting deals with affiliate links, so this is something my husband and I have been exploring for a few months. We found that it wasn't working for us and decided at the start of May to stop posting offers to the Facebook groups we had created. It was taking us an hour a day to find offers and upload them, so throughout May we were able to spend our time better and see our affiliate income grow. It just goes to show that what works for some people doesn't work for everyone!
I am still looking at diversifying our affiliate income and I have lots of ideas around that. Now that I have my virtual assistant on board I have more free time to start these projects and explore increasing our affiliate income.
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.
Matched Betting – £1,019.16
I decided at the beginning of May to set the matched betting goal high at £1,000 and I am so thrilled to have smashed it! 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
Remember that month 3 also overlaps into October – from now on I will be reporting the matched betting income per calendar month.
Since July 2015 I have made over £10,000 from matched betting, completely tax free! This amount has been completely life changing for us.
Website earnings – £579.64
Website earnings include money received from sponsored posts and advertising. I am pleased to see an extra £100ish on this total, despite my Adsense earnings being lower. 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 this month, time permitting. We are really keen to continue to diversify our income and not rely too heavily on one website for an income. The plan here is to keep growing traffic and looking at extra revenue streams for the existing websites.
Gift cards – £55
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.
Online surveys – £55.06
My survey income seemed to remain solidly around the £40 mark, so I am happy with £55 in May. 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.
Everything else – £902.31
With my affiliate earnings growing, I didn't feel the need to pursue much other work throughout May. I am pleased to see these earnings increased from April though.
My other earnings consist of
- Rent profit
- My book sales
- Mystery shopping
- A small eBay sale
- Money earned for searching the web with Qmee
Subtotal before expenses £5,156.62
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 – £863.08
Okay okay…my expenses are massively up in May…however, my income has increased too! I have taken on my virtual assistant, travelled to London a few times for events and also offered my small team a bonus payment thanks to reaching a fantastic target. I have definitely learned the value of growing your team and the difference it has made to my income.
- Paypal fees (when I have received payment)
- Landlord costs (mortgage, nothing else this month)
- 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& bonuses
- Postage for competition prizes and eBay sales
- Travel to London for events
Total for May 2016 (after expenses) – £4,293.54
5 new posts in May
Here are some of the top new posts from May 2016:
- Cooking with Gousto and a 50% off discount code
- May's £100 household budget challenge
- What's Awesome in Poundland in May 2016
- 10 weird things that sold on eBay in May 2016
- Earn money with Clickworker
Wow wow wow!!! 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! I am completely blown away by this amount and I have kept checking my spreadsheets and invoices to make sure it is correct. I cannot believe how far I have come and I already feel as though I have achieved so many victories! 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!
My passive income continues to grow and is almost £400 more than April 2016. I cannot believe that I have surpassed over £3,000. That's over £3,000 I earned without actively working – it is how I managed to earn money despite having a bad mental health month! The 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
Our money making bootcamp is launching on Sunday 5th June (registration is now closed) and over 400 people are taking part! I have absolutely no idea how much time this will consume, as well as trying to complete Elite Blog Academy and another course I signed up for – Making Money Mindfully. Throughout June both Tony and I are attempting a new way of working, which is to work from 9am – 1pm (4 hours) a day, then spend the rest of our time away from the computer – going to the gym, filming for YouTube, gardening and just being away from our computers. I will have to pop on for the money making bootcamp, but I am hoping that this new regime will help us to be focused for those 4 hours, instead of just refreshing Twitter all the time! It will also give me a chance to finish up some other things that I want to get done, such as decluttering, gardening videos and making my own bath bombs.
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! I have already hit my earning target for September, which means that I can take time to finish the projects I keep meaning to get around to.
As a reminder, here are my financial goals for the rest of 2016.
- June – £3,500
- July – £3,750
- 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.