*this post contains affiliate links

Welcome to my first ever Income Report where I show you how I have made money in my first 6 months of blogging.  I have been hesitant to hit “publish” on this post because it dives into my personal income and expenses.  However, I know that there are people out there who might want to start a blog one day and I want them to see that it’s possible to make some (even if it’s just a little) money doing it.

Before we get started, I want to be transparent and let you know that most of my income comes from my Inspired Budget Etsy Shop.  However, I believe that my blog drives traffic to my Etsy shop.  I also want to share that I am completely aware that my blogging income is not a sustainable income.  Although my goal is to one day work full time sharing with others about managing their money, I’m not there yet.  Thankfully, I love this little blog and it brings me joy, so I’m happy to work on it as a side hustle while I continue to be a full-time teacher.

So why am I sharing my income from Inspired Budget?

  • I want to be able to look back years from now and see where I started.  Of course, I hope to continue to produce an income from Inspired Budget and I hope that income grows over time.
  • I want others to know that it’s possible to blog and have an Etsy shop as a side hustle!  So often people need extra income to pay off debt and save money. I’ve been there and I sometimes wonder if we could have become debt free a lot sooner if I had started this blog 5 years ago.
  • I want to inspire others to go for their dreams!  This website has been in the back of my mind for a while, but it always felt like something that I couldn’t do.  I’m so thankful that I didn’t let my insecurities win and that I went for my dreams.  I hope you too can set and reach your goals.




My first 6 months Blogging Income

I earned a total of $447.85 in my first 6 months of blogging (before expenses).   

A majority of this income comes from my Inspired Budget Etsy Shop, but I know that it wouldn’t be close to this amount without my blog.  Some of the money I earned hasn’t hit my bank account yet, so I’ll fill you in on all those details below.

First 6 Months Blogging Income Breakdown:

  • Etsy: $390.61 – I made just under $400 by selling my budget and finance printables on Etsy.  Before I created Inspired Budget, I designed printable budgeting worksheets and bundles to help people stay organized financially.  This income is directly from those sales and has already hit my bank account.  Although these sales weren’t made directly from my blog, I feel that they were made because of my blog. There is no way that I would have made even half the sales without being connected to my readers.
  • Google Adsense: $49.59 – I made right under $50 from Google Adsense in my first 6 months of blogging.  I still have not received this money because you have to hit a $100 threshold before Google will pay you.  However, this money was earned in my first 6 months.
  • Amazon: $7.65 – Lastly, I earned almost $8 from Amazon as an Amazon Affiliate.  I had a blog post about Christmas gifts for teachers and a Christmas gift guide for the whole family.  In total 3 people purchased through my link and I received a very small percentage from Amazon.  I have not looked into how to claim my money yet, but it’s on my to-do list.




First 6 Months Blogging Expense Breakdown

I paid $355.71 in expenses during my first 6 months of blogging.

It’s almost impossible to have a self-hosted blog without expenses, but the good news is that expenses usually aren’t too high!  Here is the breakdown of all my expenses in my first 6 months of blogging:

  • Etsy Fees: $34.21 – I had to pay this much in seller’s fees to Etsy.  This covers the cost of listing my items.  Seeing as I earned right under $400 from Etsy sales, I’m okay with paying them this much for helping me put my product in front of people!
  • Siteground: $67.20 – I paid Siteground to help me set up a self-hosted blog.  This is the cost for the entire year, so I won’t be charged again until June.  If you are interested in starting a blog, then I’d highly recommend you use Siteground.  I cannot even count how many times I reached out to their team for help when I was just getting started.  They have support available 24/7 and there were moments this summer that I was talking with them at 3 o’clock in the morning because I had no clue what on earth I was doing.  Seriously, Siteground is the best.
  • Squarespace: $20.00 – I originally bought my domain name (http://www.inspiredbudget.com) for $20.00 from Squarespace.  If I could do it over, I would have purchased it through Siteground.  
  • Best Buy: $135.30 – I bought a small computer to work on Inspired Budget.  This kept my husband and me from arguing over who got to use the family computer.  If you’re starting a blog and you already have a computer then you wouldn’t have this expense.  
  • Target: $25.00 – Back when I reached 500 followers on Instagram, I held a giveaway.  I mailed off a $25 gift card to someone.
  • Styled Stock Society: $69.00 – I held out a long time before becoming a member of a stock site to download photos.  I love Styled Stock Society’s clean and beautiful images.  Being able to log into my account and find photos quickly has saved me time and energy.  And as a mom with a full-time job, kids, and a side hustle, I always need extra time! I purchased their membership by the quarter, so I won’t be charged again for about 2.5 more months.
  • BoardBooster – $5 – It wasn’t until December that I started paying BoardBooster to schedule my pins on Pinterest.  I still have a lot to learn about gaining traffic from Pinterest, but BoardBooster has helped save me time and gain pageviews.




During These 6 Months

I’m proud of where Inspired Budget has come in these past 6 months.  When I started I knew absolutely nothing about blogging.  There were times that I would receive only 18 pageviews a day and I questioned why on Earth I started a blog.  Thankfully, I knew that there was a learning curve involved and my passion for helping others outweighed my disappointment at times.  In the first 6 months of blogging I have:

  • Exceeded my pageviews goals: When I first started blogging, I wasn’t sure how many page views a month was a reasonable goal.  I hovered around 850-1,200 for a while and then right before Christmas, TheFigureMaker on Instagram shared one of my posts.  Within the next 5 days, I gained 2,000 followers.  This was when I saw a spike in my pageviews.  December was my highest month with over 13,000 page views in those 31 days.
  • 1,600 people on my email list:  I have over 1,600 people signed up to get emails from Inspired Budget.  I currently have three opt-ins on my blog that include my Debt Free Bundle, Christmas Budget Printable, and Budgeting Basics Email Course.  They are all free and are the reason why I have had so many people sign up for emails.  Through these emails, I have also promoted my Ultimate Budget Binder Bundle.  I have no doubt that part of my income was generated from my email list.
  • Budgeting Basics Email Course:  I am very proud of my first course.  This FREE 6 day email course teaches people how to make a budget, save money, and become debt free.
  • Debt Free Bundle: My very first email opt-in was my debt free bundle which included printables such as cash envelopes, debt snowball tracker, and a debt free thermometer.  All these printables can now be found in my Budgeting Basics email course.
  • 36 blog posts:  I’ve published a total of 36 blog posts.  That’s about 6 posts each month.  

So What’s Next?

I have sat down and made several goals for Inspired Budget’s future.  I’m always scared to publicly share my goals because I know that I’ll be insecure if I don’t meet them.  However, I want to be honest and transparent with you, so here we go!

  • Page views: I would like to reach 25,000 page views in one month by the end of the year.  I might be undershooting this goal, but I still feel new to this, so I don’t know what to expect.
  • Email List: I would like to have 4,000 people on my email list by the end of 2018.  I honestly need to go through and remove people who haven’t opened an email from me in months.  I’m not sure if there is a certain email etiquette on how to do this.  If you have the answers, please let me know!
  • Budgeting Course: I would like to create and launch my first paid course by the end of the summer.  I probably won’t get to work on it until summer since I’m a teacher, so I think August is a reasonable launch date.
  • Blog Posts:  I’d like to continue posting at least once per week on Inspired Budget.  I want the posts to be meaningful to my readers that provides great information instead of publishing a few short posts each week.  Quality over quantity, right?!

So there you have it!  Six months down and so many more to go!  Do you guys like reading these blogging income reports?  If so, I can start doing them more often.  Let me know in the comments.



25 Comments on First 6 Months Blogging Income Report

  1. Hi!

    So happy you shared this and looking forward to seeing your progress! Last month was the first month I tried to monetize and made $12! Gotta celebrate all the wins! You’ve inspired me to publish a first 6 month income report.

    Thanks again for sharing!

  2. Wow you have done so amazingly well!!!! 13,000 pageviews in December is incredible!!!

    In regards to clearing out your email subscribers a bit, depending on which email service provider you use there should be a way to email everyone who hasn’t opened an email from you in the past month or months. I send an email to this group of people and just explain that I noticed they haven’t opened any emails lately and I will remove them from the list unless they reply back (I do say it nicer than that haha just keeping it short!)

    Then I delete anyone who hasn’t replied!

    • Thanks Sammy! I think I’m definitely going to start emailing those people. I currently use MailChimp, but I’m considering switching. I’m trying to decide between convertkit (sooooo expensive) or mad mimi. I’ve heard that mad mimi is great and not as expensive.

      • Okay I’m definitely going to have a look at Mashshare!

        So I was on MailChimp to begin with, then I moved to Mailerlite and now I’m on ConvertKit. And I’m kind of considering moving back to Mailerlite because it’s just sooooo much cheaper and has pretty much the same features as ConvertKit it’s just slightly harder to do things like tagging on Mailerlite, but still very possible!

        But ConvertKit is awesome, just yeah the cost is crazy!

  3. Awesome report! Always wanted to blog and had several challenges and didn’t believe I could do it! Now reading your report gave me some much needed motivation! Thank you 😊

  4. I enjoy all your posts Allison. I started following in December and you have so many helpful tips and tricks. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Your budgeting course has opened my eyes and I just got my first $20 from ibotta just because you mentioned that app on Instagram. Please keep sharing.

  5. Thanks so much for this post! I’ve considered throwing my hat into the blog ring but am very reluctant to start. This information is super informative! Thanks!

  6. Seriously, this is so insightful! I graduated from college almost 2 years ago and am trying to pay off as much college debt as I can! I’m also trying to start a blog and side hustle as well so seeing and reading that both can be done is really refreshing. It’s hard being on a super tight budget, but so rewarding in the end!

  7. Hi Allison! I just discovered you this week. *I* have no advice for *YOU* but I’m so appreciative of you sharing all your wisdom! I’m currently taking copious notes and can’t wait to start applying these principles to paying off my TON of debt. Just wanted to say I’m proud to be one of your 4,000 email subscribers’ goal for 2018. Best of luck to you, and THANK YOU!!! ~Andrea

  8. We started our debt free journey this past February and your instagram page and blog have really helped us stay on track. I’m a teacher and a mom to a three year old, so you know my time is limited. Know that you are really helping by doing your blog and the fact that you are making money is amazing. Thank you again and keep those posts coming!!!

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