Hi and welcome to Boost My Budget’s latest income report!
This income report sets out all the extra money that I made in March from blogging and other side hustles, along with my thoughts and updates for the month.
You can see my previous income reports here.
What is this?
They say money is the last taboo. So why am I publishing my earnings?
Well, the Boost My Budget project has two purposes:
- To help me earn more money
- To help you earn more money!
By sharing honestly how much I managed to make each month and where it came from, I hope my income reports will be a genuinely useful resource for anyone else looking to make a bit of extra cash.
Also, sharing my income helps me hold myself accountable and motivates me to increase that figure each month!
I hope that seeing how a normal person like me with a full time job is managing to make a bit of extra money on the side will encourage you to do the same.
I probably never would have got started without some other bloggers’ income reports out there showing me what is possible.
Anyway, let’s see how I did this month trying to make extra money from home!
My extra income in March 2018
March is the fourth month running that I’ve earned over £1,000 from my side hustles! I’m also up around £200 on last month, so I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself.
The grand total of my extra income from March 2018 is £1,376.46.
Please note, this report only includes the money that was paid into my account in March. I don’t count my earnings until they hit my bank account. Some companies take several months to pay, and sometimes refunds happen before you get the money, so I only record the income I’ve actually received.
Here’s the breakdown of how I made it:
Affiliate marketing: £767.35
Affiliate income is when somebody purchases a product or service that I recommend, and I earn a small commission. I use affiliate links across my two blogs (Boost My Budget and my second blog on language learning ? ) and on Pinterest.
It’s hard to break down exactly how much I earned from each site, because I sometimes promote the same affiliates in different places, but I’ve listed the main place I promote each company below:
- Clickbank (languages site): £266.64
- ShopStyle Collective (Pinterest): £138.17
- MaxBounty (survey referrals on Boost My Budget): £102.92
- Profit Accumulator (Boost My Budget): £96.73
- Organize Your Biz Pinterest course (Boost My Budget): £66.15
- Innovative Language Learning (languages site): £38.28
- Skimlinks (Boost My Budget): £32.81
- Awin (Pinterest): £25.65
Paid posts: £480.00
Sponsored posts on my blogs. If you are looking to add sponsored posts to your site, I wrote a guide to making money with your blog which includes a list of several places to sign up for paid content.
Merch by Amazon: £71.79
Merch by Amazon is Amazon’s own print on demand service that lets you design T-shirts and other gear to sell. I have about 45 shirts live but I haven’t touched Merch in a couple of months so this is purely passive income, yay!
Prolific Academic: £51.46
Prolific Academic is the only survey site I bother with these days. This month I cashed out some earnings from surveys over the last few weeks. This total also includes some referral income.
Job Spotter: £5.02
Job Spotter is an app that pays you for pictures of hiring signs in shop windows. Very easy to use and pays in Amazon gift cards.
Citizenme is an app that pays you to answer very short, easy surveys on your smartphone.
Note: some of the above payments were in USD, but for ease of reporting, I converted everything to GBP using the exchange rate on the day I wrote this post.
I am so proud to break the £1,000 mark for the fourth month running!
As you can see, my blogs are making more and more money.
I’m especially pleased with much I made from affiliate marketing this month. I’ve always aimed to have affiliate marketing as my largest income source, because it can provide very consistent income, and it’s also semi-passive.
I’m also pleased with how many different income streams I have now. I received affiliate payments from eight different sources, as well as sponsored posts on my blogs.
But although blogging is my biggest source of income now, I also made money from selling T-shirts, survey sites and apps.
I want to show people that anybody can make extra money from home, even if blogging isn’t for you.
This month I worked really, really hard on Boost My Budget. You might not see many changes but I have done loads of behind the scenes stuff:
- Re-reading and implementing Pinteresting Strategies – more on this below!
- Working through a couple of courses in Billionaire Blog Club
- Writing and scheduling posts one month ahead
- FINALLY got my email list set up, and and set up this plugin to help grow my list. It turns any post into a lead magnet and so far it’s working pretty well!
I’ve got some great momentum going and I hope it will continue to pay off next month!
When I started writing these income reports, I was making extra income from all kinds of different side hustles – matched betting, surveys, mystery shopping, website testing and more.
I still do some of these things, but now the biggest part of my income comes from blogging. So, in the interests of transparency, I thought it might be useful to share a bit more about the blogging stats and strategy I have to make this income.
For some reason I feel really shy about sharing my blog stats – it seems way more private than sharing how much money I make!
But I’ve had a really good month this month as you’ll see, so I’m going to be brave.
Here is a screenshot from Google Analytics for Boost My Budget and I’ll talk about what happened below:
March blogging results
You see how the first half of the month is basically just a straight line? That’s how it’s been for ages. My traffic was in a total rut and couldn’t get it to move at all.
For context: in February I only had 10,876 page views and 7,346 sessions.
In the second half of March I saw a MASSIVE increase in page views thanks to my new Pinterest strategy! (More on that below ?)
I had my first ever post go viral on Pinterest (this one!) and several other posts saw a boost in traffic.
I started implementing my new Pinterest strategy on 12th March.
A few days later, you can see my traffic started to rise. About a week later I passed a milestone of 1,000 page views in one day. A few days after that, I passed 2,000 page views in a day!
After the viral spike, things died down a little, but my new ‘lows’ are more than double my previous daily page views and it seems to be heading back up again in April.
If there’s one thing responsible for my traffic increase and viral post this month, it’s the ebook Pinteresting Strategies by Carly from Mommy On Purpose.
Carly has a unique strategy for manual pinning on Pinterest (no Tailwind or Board Booster). As you can see, it WORKS!
I first bought Carly’s ebook in October last year and implemented a kind of ‘Pinteresting Strategies-lite’. I saw some results at the time but when I went through the book again recently I realised how many pieces of the puzzle I was missing.
This month, I faithfully implemented every piece of advice in Carly’s book and the results are insane!
Here’s a screenshot of my Pinterest analytics, showing how many clicks to my blog I got from Pinterest in March 2018:
Pinteresting Strategies increased my page views by more than 1,000%!
The things that helped most are:
- Manual pinning only, following the exact strategy set out in the book
- Paying close attention to Pinterest keywords in my pin titles and descriptions, again identified using the strategy in the book.
- Making LOTS of new pins – I’ve made 5-10 new pins for each new post published in March, plus new pins for several older posts. Interestingly, my new pins are doing the best at the moment (although some of my old pins have had a revival too)
With my increased page views, I am almost ready to apply to a better-paying ad network and I’ve seen a boost in affiliate commissions too.
We’ll see what happens next month but I expect this book is going to pay for itself many, many times over.
March goal review
Last month I set myself the following goals:
- Schedule weekly Boost My Budget posts until end of April – yes
- Schedule affiliate pins on Tailwind until the end of April – hmm. My actual goal was to create 5 new pins per day. I didn’t manage that, but because I schedule each pin to several boards, I do actually have a full Tailwind schedule until June now.
- Work through Pinteresting Strategies to increase blog traffic – Yes!! See above 🙂
Not too bad, and I also worked through some blog courses and did some other things that I expect to show longer term results.
From tomorrow I’m off on holiday for two weeks, and when I get back we are hopefully completing on the purchase of our first home!!
We won’t actually move until May because we need to do a lot of work on the house first.
So my April goal is just to survive!
I’ve been working extra hard in March to get things scheduled ahead so that I don’t have to work during my busy month. Since I am doing so well with my manual pinning strategy, I want to try and maintain it as much as possible (it takes about 30 minutes a day), but I won’t be doing anything else while I’m away.
When I’m back in the country, I would love to get another couple of blog posts scheduled and written so that I can stay ahead of myself, but I’m not going to sweat it as the house stuff will take priority.
How did everyone else get on blogging and making extra money last month? I would love to know what’s working for you.
Have a profitable April!