Blog Income Report for May 2020: How I Earned $80,188 This Month
While most Blog Income Reports are from bloggers who started 5+ years ago, here’s one for my blog that launched 17 months ago in January 2019.
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Let’s dive into my blog income report.
1. Blog Income in May 2020: $80,188
May brought new highs for my blog in terms of traffic and revenue. Website traffic increased from 414,389 sessions in April to 444,461 in May. My blog’s revenue increased from $74,484 in April to $80,188 in May.
As many people have asked, this revenue is from organic traffic and I spend $0 on advertising.
I’ve seen a lot of blog income reports recently that state revenues of over $100k, but they don’t disclose how much they spend on Facebook and Google Ads, which can often be upwards of 70% of their stated revenue.
While I spend money on my freelance assistant, content creation, and tools, I spend $0 on advertising and this traffic is all free via Google organic search.
Let’s move on to my blog’s income streams.
Affiliate Marketing Programs:
Overall, I brought in $63,373 from 64 different affiliate programs – a 6% increase over April 2020.
This is a 2,180% increase compared to May of last year (when affiliate revenue was just $2,906).
Some software categories rose and some fell, but overall I increased my affiliate income by $3,590 in May.
This led to a realization that I think I’m in the best (and most competitive) blogging niche – software as a service (SaaS).
While Amazon recently slashed their affiliate commission rates and travel bloggers are taking huge revenue hits due to Covid-19, SaaS companies are growing as more people take their businesses online.
Plus, many SaaS affiliate programs pay their affiliates on a recurring basis: when you refer a customer via your affiliate link, you get a 20-30% payment every month for the lifetime of the customer.
This is a pretty great setup and shows how affiliates are in the driver’s seat:
- SaaS companies have to hire full product teams and customer success agents to reduce their churn rates and keep their customers. They also rely on digital advertising budgets and a team of sales managers to close deals.
- As a blogger, all I have to do is rank on Google for their software terms and I get a recurring commission on every sale. Plus, I can diversify the number of software categories I blog about. If one SaaS company has a product issue and customers churn, I can rely on the 50+ other SaaS companies I promote.
The Importance of Diversifying the Affiliate Programs You Join.
Let’s take a quick look at an example of what I mean.
- In May 2020, my articles on webinars and online conferencing tools saw a $5,000 revenue drop compared to April. This wasn’t due to a drop in search rankings, but a drop in overall search volume and some customer churn from one platform. People are going back to in-person work and searched for these tools a little bit less last month.
- However, to make up for this, my articles on online courses and online learning saw a $6,000 revenue increase in May compared to April. More organizations are searching for online course platforms and learning management systems (LMS) to move to eLearning.
As Thinkific’s #1 affiliate, I generated $32,256 in sales (and $9,681 in commissions) in May:
And this is just one SaaS company out of many.
If I had to guess, I’m generating over $200,000 in sales per month for SaaS companies.
Tip: By diversifying the number of affiliate programs you’re in and looking for programs with recurring commissions, you can increase your revenue each month and shield yourself from fluctuations in both search volume and customer churn.
Let’s look at my affiliate income by the individual company.
Please note: I must keep a few affiliate programs hidden due to their requirements and personal deals we have together.
- WebinarJam $XX,XXX
- Thinkific $9,681
- Bluehost $8,820
- Buzzsprout $5,000
- Teachable $X,XXX
- Demio $2,781
- PodBean $1,899
- Adobe $1,753
- Kajabi $1,736
- Learnworlds $1,624
- Constant Contact $X,XXX
- Shipbob $1,380
- WebinarNinja $1,240
- LearnDash $1,051
- FlexJobs $1,050
- Transistor $904
- Simplecast $900
- Fiverr $XXX
- Final Draft $666
- GoToWebinar $600
- ClickMeeting $579
- Sendinblue $440
- Spreaker $345
- Canva $308
- Livestorm $300
- BigCommerce $300
- GetResponse $267
- Hubspot $250
- Skylum $215
- Hostinger $210
- Captivate $204
- Site123 $168
- Corel $148
- Skillshare $126
- GreenGeeks $125
- LinkedIn Learning $110
- Wix $100
- Academy of Mine $90
- Knack $90
- Resume IO $77
- Castos $68
- IPVanish $65
- Swag Bucks $62
- Siteground $50
- NordVPN $50
- Podia $47
- Leadpages $47
- Themeisle $43
- Automizy $42
- SEMRush $40
- Easy Webinar $39
- Shopify $29
- Aweber $23
- LiquidWeb $20
- Acorns $20
- WordPress.com $19
- ConvertKit $17
- Namecheap $13
- ExpressVPN $13
- Gist $10
- SimplyBook $8
- 3dcart $4
- AccuwebHosting $3
- Amazon Associates $1
Other Revenue Sources:
- Digital Product Sales: $4,515
- SEO and Link Building Consulting for 3 B2B Clients: $12,300
Total revenue in May: $80,188
Expenses in May 2020: $6,089
Besides my fixed expenses, the only ones that increased were my new subscriptions to Brandstrong for graphic design and a bonus I sent my awesome freelance assistant. Here are my expenses for May 2020:
- Freelancer $2,200
- Content $1,540
- Fiverr $399
- Clearscope $350
- WP Engine $290
- BrandStrong $259
- CPA $245
- ConvertKit $210
- Ahrefs $179
- Development $155
- Elementor $74
- BigCommerce $64
- Adobe CC $56
- G Suite $38
- Cloudflare $30
Total expenses in May: $6,089
Profit: $74,099 (92.41% Gross Profit Margin)
Here are some interesting blog financial statistics and other leading indicators:
- MoM Revenue Increase: $6,124
- MoM Revenue Increase %: 8.26%
- Passive Revenue: $67,888
- MoM Passive Increase %: 10.86%
- Passive % of Revenue: 84.7%
- Revenue Trailing Quarter: $178,932
- Revenue YTD: $294,166
- Gross Profit YTD $270,867
Now, onto some traffic stats and a May recap.
2. Traffic for May 2020: 444,461 Sessions (+36.3%)
Overall in May 2020 compared to April 2020, I increased my blog traffic from 414,389 to 444,461.
Compared to last year (May 2019), sessions increased by 1,235.8%
With a huge May 2020 Google Algorithm Core Update being released, I saw a slight dip in week-over-week traffic some days but still increased my overall traffic in May. Here are my monthly traffic metrics so far, dating back to January 2019 when I launched my blog:
- January: 1,147
- February: 2,055
- March: 7,672
- April: 16,920
- May: 34,261
- June: 46,355
- July: 76,926
- August: 105,056
- September: 133,391
- October: 141,348
- November: 143,705
- December: 178,021
- January: 248,910
- February: 231,524
- March: 303,960
- April: 414,389
- May: 444,461
4. Email Subscribers for May 2020: +3,654
As of May 2020, I have over 25k subscribers on my email list.And as this part of my business is about 5% of my revenue, I’m ready to start opening it up to other revenue streams. In the next few months, I plan to launch an in-depth video course on blogging like a business, including keyword research, SEO, using WordPress, and affiliate marketing.
But for now, just know that I’m adding around 150 email subscribers per day and my list is now over 25k.
5. Tasks Completed in May:
- Created a new logo for my site.
- Published 8 new blog posts on the following topics:
- Best Event Management Software
- Best Document Management Software
- How to Download YouTube Videos
- Best Drawing Software
- Best Learning Management Systems
- Best Grammar Checkers
- 19 Mailchimp Alternatives
- 17 Best Dropshipping Suppliers
- Added new infographics to my posts on how to start a blog and the best web hosting.
- Published guest posts for WP Dev Shed, The Digital Project Manager, New Breed Marketing, and Boingnet.
- Increased my Alexa Rank from 15,444 to 13,432.
That’s it for my Blog Income Report for May 2020.
The purpose of these new blog income reports is to showcase that with the right strategies, it doesn’t take years to make a substantial income.
Thank you so much for reading – I’m very grateful you found your way here.
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Finally, if you want to start treating your blog like a business and make life-changing money in months, not years, join my email list for a free 10,000+ word, 7-day email course, a 15-page WordPress blog launch checklist, and you’ll get access to our Private Facebook Group of 2,000+ new bloggers.