My First 5-Figure Month! (January 2023 Blog Income Report)
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I just passed a huge milestone as a blogger! My first 5-figure income month! 😭🎉 In this post, I’m going to break down my income so you can see exactly how I made just over $10k in one month as a mom of 4, blogging and content creating.
P.S. I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I’ve done a blog income report so, in the spirit of trying to be as helpful as possible in your own blogging/content-creating journey, we have a lot to catch up on, so grab your coffee or diet dr pepper, and settle in!
But first some basics.
- Why do I share my income as a blogger/content creator?
- Blogger? Content Creator? What do you do exactly?
- But How do you make money as a blogger/content creator?
- Multiple Income Streams at Once
- Do you have to be on social media to make money blogging?
- Do you have to have an actual blog/website to be a content creator?
- How My Blog Makes Money
- How I Made $10,004.64 in One Month as a Mom of 4 Blogging/Content Creating
- My First 5-Figure Month! + What I’ve Been Focused on
- What’s changed since my last income report?
- My Blog Goals Going Forward
- Tips for New Bloggers or Aspiring Bloggers:
Why do I share my income as a blogger/content creator?
Well back in 2016, I was a brand new 20-year-old mom. Who had just moved across the country, away from her hometown, so her husband could attend law school. I got married at 19, became a mom at 20, and left everything I had ever known just 3 months before my 21st birthday.
Talk about a life change.
I had always planned on being a stay at home mom, but when I was finally there I felt like something was missing. I loved being home with my boy and wouldn’t sacrifice that for anything, but I couldn’t help but feel stagnant while my son and husband were progressing in life.
I remember thinking, “This is it? I’ve hit the pinnacle of my potential at 20? And now I just do this for the rest of my life?” It’s not that I wanted to work or have a career necessarily. I wanted to be home with my babies. But I also wanted more.
Then I stumbled on a pin on Pinterest that read “How I made $12,484.68 in one month as a stay at home mom” and it blew my mind.
In her blog post, this mom talked about how she made a full-time income blogging while at home with her kids. And the thing is, she wasn’t some IG model, or world traveler, or come from a rich family. She wasn’t exceptionally pretty or fashionable or have some super interesting life she was living.
She was just a regular mom making a full-time income, while at home with her kids blogging.
And that’s when I realized if she can do it, so could I.
If that mom would have never shared her income. I never would have started.
That mom sharing her blog income is what inspired me to start my own, and changed my life. It gave me that more I wanted WITHOUT sacrificing being home with my babies. So now I occasionally share my blog income as a way to pay it forward too.
Plus, right now as the blogging and the content creation space grows, I am more and more aware of how little is known about monetizing those platforms. So I believe the more I share, and others in the space share, the more we can all grow together.
That is why I share my income.
Blogger? Content Creator? What do you do exactly?
What is a blogger?
I don’t know about you but I’ve found when you say “blogger” nowadays, the image that comes to mind for most people is the Instagram influencer with the perfect house, perfect clothes, perfect life, etc. Someone that publishes “day in the life” posts mostly to Instagram or social media.
Not someone with a physical website that they actually publish written blog posts to.
But really, a blogger is technically someone (can be a small group of people) that publishes written material to a website or webpage regularly. And that doesn’t have to be journal “what I did today” type entries to make it a blog. For example, Buzzfeed is a blog.
So not all IG influencers are bloggers (we’ll skip over the fact that some people call themselves “Instagram Bloggers”.) and not all bloggers are IG influencers or even on social media at all for that matter!
What I am, is a blogger.
The website you’re reading this post on right now is my blog. And I publish new written content here regularly to help moms rediscover themselves after motherhood and create a life they love without sacrificing being the moms they want to be.
Hmm… wonder where that inspiration came from?🤔🤣
Anyway, I also have social media accounts for my blog (see my IG here: @CassScroggins), where I create content for that same mission.
Even though I publish content to my blog, and create content for social media, I typically just refer to myself as a blogger. Since that’s where it all started, the blog. And I only started those social media for, the blog.
But since I technically do make content for the blog, Instagram, Pinterest, and now TikTok all for the same mission of helping moms, I guess the term ‘content creator’ also fits. And in many ways is probably a more appropriate encapsulation for what I actually do for a living anyway.
My Job: Create content to help motivate and inspire moms to rediscover themselves after motherhood and create a life they love without sacrificing being the moms they want to be.
So now, while I will still probably just refer to myself as a blogger, I will accept the terms blogger/content creator, and if I have to… social media influencer. Since it all seems to overlap anyway.
But How do you make money as a blogger/content creator?
This is a question I get constantly so let’s break it down. There are a variety of different ways to make money as a blogger and content creator. But in its simplest form, bloggers and content creators make money in 5 ways.
- Display Ads: on a blog, website, youtube video, etc. Usually, you get paid a certain amount per 1,000 views an ad gets. (Ex: The ads you’re seeing right now here on my site.)
- Affiliate Marketing: they make a commission on sales or leads made through their link. (Ex: A food blogger recommends and links a pan in a blog post. Someone buys it, food blogger makes a commission.)
- Selling their own products or services: coaching services, digital products, physical products, courses, etc. (Ex: a fitness blogger selling their services to create a custom meal plan and fitness routine for a client.)
- Sponsorships and Collaborations: A brand or company pays the blogger/creator to create content for them or even just mention the brand in other content. (Ex: the #ads you see on social media)
- Free Gifts: While this isn’t physical dollars hitting your bank account, many bloggers and creators receive free gifts in exchange for content or a mention. Or even with no strings attached just in the hopes of creating a relationship. These free products/events/services still technically count as income.
Multiple Income Streams at Once
While a regular job will cut you a single paycheck each pay period, a blogger or content creator makes their money through a variety of different income streams each month.
They may be an affiliate for many different products or services at the same time, while they have different ads hosted on their site than what they use for videos, make income from a couple different products or services they offer, and be working with multiple brands for sponsored content at the same time. All while being sent free gifts regularly.
While each blogger/creator is different in exactly how they make money and which types of income they pursue, it all fits within one of those 5 categories.
One may rely mostly on passive ad income to make their money, while another makes the bulk of their income through affiliate sales, while another is focused on brand collaborations and sponsorships, etc.
Anyway, the possibilities of how to make money as a blogger/creator are wide!
Do you have to be on social media to make money blogging?
This is a also question I also get a lot! The answer is no. You don’t have to be.
If you take away the money I made with my social media this month, I still made $4,341.54 and in my last income report (where I made $7,900) maybe $100 of that was from social media.
There are tons of bloggers who don’t focus on social media or even have social media at all (I’m not counting Pinterest as social media btw, I look at that as a search engine. Then visual Google if you will.).
Instead you can focus on making money directly through ads, affiliates, your own products, and sponsorships directly from your blog! However, I would highly recommend being on social media as a blogger. But again, it’s not a requirement to make money.
Do you have to have an actual blog/website to be a content creator?
To make money as a content creator? No.
To be a blogger? Yes, since that’s what a blogger is. 🤪
And for me I’ve found its been much easier to monetize my blog AND social media rather than just social media alone.
However, if you hate writing, blogging may not be for you. So then pursuing an income solely as a social media content creator might be best for yoy. You can still make money with all those income streams mentioned before, just not display ads since you don’t have a site to display them except YouTube.
For me I love doing both. I love having both facets of my business. Plus I truly love writing and find I am much more articulate as a writer than I am as a talker, so blogging is definitely for me. 😅
How My Blog Makes Money
I personally make money using all 5 different income streams listed above, but what makes up the bulk of my income has changed as I continue to blog.
I used to focus mostly on ad revenue mostly because it is all passive income, and it was easy to make a lot of money with them, especially during the pandemic. But as talk of a recession spread, ad budgets have been cut, and my pageviews are still down from taking pretty much all of 2021 off, altering my blog’s ability to bring in the same income as before right now.
Because of this, I’ve been experimenting with more sponsorship/collaboration opportunities to make up for it. Which you’ll see reflected in the income report below.
Especially when compared to my last income report, which was posted right when I started hitting the $7,000/mo+ stage. You can read that report here.
But before we dive in too deep, let’s break down my income and go from there. On to the report!
How I Made $10,004.64 in One Month as a Mom of 4 Blogging/Content Creating
**Note that I only include money that has actually hit my bank account. Not money that I earned this month but hasn’t been paid out yet. Which means most of this money was probably earned in a previous month but wasn’t paid out until this month.
Affiliate Income Total: $427.52
- AdThrive (ads on the blog): $2,921.28
- YouTube Ads: $112.88
Ad Income Total: $3,034.16
My Own Products:
- Blog Shop & Tripwires: $1,001.96
My Own Product Income Total: $1,001.96
Sponsorships & Collaborations:
(Income is listed by what platform the sponsorship was done on. Ex: the blog, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)
- Instagram Partnerships: $3,232.25
- Pinterest Partnerships: $2,308.75
Sponsorship Income Total: $5,541.00
January 2023 Total Blog Income: $10,004.64🎉
My First 5-Figure Month! + What I’ve Been Focused on
Last month, I made $10,004.64 in one month as a mom of 4, blogger and content creator! 🎉🤯 My first 5-figure month!
If you’ve ever wanted to start a blog you can get my free guide here. .
I had been playing catch up for all of 2022 from taking almost all of 2021 off as life got crazy after we had our 3rd son and my husband started working full time. But this month I finally saw some big fruits of my labor and hit a huge milestone!
A lot has changed since my time away, and with it, how my blog makes money. When the pandemic hit, I was making big money with big ad RPMs and high pageviews due to everyone spending time online and companies pouring into their online ad budgets to survive.
But with my drop in pageviews since then, which I’m still working to recover from, and the drop in RPMs. I’ve focused more on brand sponsorships and collaborations to replace that income in the meantime while I work to get that back up. Let’s look at the stats.
January Traffic & Stats
I always find it helpful to know the basic stats for a blogger when reading their income report, so here are January’s blog traffic and social follower stats.
- Blog Pageviews: 175,773
- Email subscribers: 30,252 (Get on my email list by snagging my free start a blog guide, free blog planner, or free mom planner!)
- Instagram: 27,789
- Pinterest: 21,153
- TikTok: 6,080
- YouTube: 5,871
- Facebook: 8,830
January is typically a really good traffic month for me because of my goal-setting content, weight loss story, fitness tracker, etc. And honestly, this month is the best month I’ve had traffic wise since the pandemic so it’s all going up!
Unfortunately, January also has the lowest RPMs across the board as ad budgets reset. So that traffic bump didn’t translate to more ad $$, but it’s still something to celebrate nonetheless. Still, traffic building is a big part of my business strategy so I’m continuing to work on that.
What I’m doing to build my traffic again:
- Working on staying consistent in my posting schedule, 1 post a week (I’m doing one post a week, since that’s honestly all I can handle right now)
- Focusing on SEO
- Relearning what’s working with Pinterest now
So while I’m working on that, I’ve been supplementing my income with more sponsorships and brand collaborations.
Sponsorships and Collaborations
I started really working with brands at the end of 2020, but up until then, I had no idea where to start. And in all honesty, I still don’t.
Towards the end of 2020 brands started pitching to me so that’s what I went with (if I liked the company, actually used their products, etc.). I’m so busy playing catch up that the last thing on my mind is pitching brands. Luckily I’ve been able to develop relationships with a few companies, and the opportunities keep rolling in.
Which is how, in November 2022, I was able to land quite a few deals at the same time making this month an exceptional month! Doubled what I typically make each month with sponsorships.
On the other hand that unfortunately means, for now, I’m not much help for you as far as tips go in that department. I will say though that content and connection is king! If you have good, helpful/valuable content and you’re building an engaged audience, those opportunities will come!
- Focus on what value you are bringing your audience.
- Why would someone want to follow you?
- What’s in it for them?
- How do you serve your audience?
- Remember it is not their privilege to follow us, it is our privilege to have them there.
- We need them, they don’t need us.
Brands will see that, making you a valuable partner to work with, no matter how large or small your audience is!
And going forward, you and I both need to learn how to pitch ourselves and the process for landing more brand deals that didn’t reach out to us first. So we can worth on that together!
What’s changed since my last income report?
I mean I know we both think the year 2020 was just yesterday but honestly that was 3 years ago, and like all things in the online space, things have changed, a lot. And a lot has changed for my blog/business and family in that time too.
So I’ll try to do a quick recap of the past 3 years to get you up to speed with me.
We Moved and Brian Started Working
At the time of my last income report (November 2020), my husband started working full time since finishing school, we welcomed our 3rd son, and we moved into a rental and out of my in-laws place.
Honestly, it was the death of my blog.
I was really hitting strides with the blog and growing quickly on social but going from having Brian home 24/7, plus me, and my in-laws to entertain just 2 kids. To then, just me as the full stay at home parent with now 3 kids, away from in-laws, and Brian gone 12+ hours a day (yeah that job was horrible…), I had no time for the blog.
As our family grew and with Brain working more than we expected, I didn’t even have nap times that lined up, or evenings and weekends to blog since my oldest was in sports.
So I took pretty much all of 2021 off from the blog.
That wasn’t new to me. I’ve regularly taken time away from the blog as I’ve grown it but I had never taken off so much time at once. I had just taken the entire first half of 2020 off and still hadn’t fully recovered from that, so I knew taking 2021 off too could devastate my blog.
Luckily, like in that first half of 2020, the blog can mostly run itself so even though I was away, I would continue to bring in a full-time income each month. But after so long of no new content, I could see my numbers falling fast.
Brian Quit to be a SAHD
In November of 2021 we welcomed our 4th son to the family 🤪, bought a house, and Brian quit his horrible job to be a stay-at-home dad so I could bring my business back to life before it got to the point where it might actually be on the path to death. 😅
So for the next 10 months I worked full-time on the blog, basically just trying to catch up on what I missed and what had changed in the blogging space in a year. Having to relearn what stuff was still working since my time off, and what didn’t any more. All while attempting to catch up on content.
Eight months in I also went back to school to finish my degree, which took a little time away from the blog but that’s a whole other story for another post.
Then, right as I was feeling like I was catching up with what I’d missed in my year off and starting to get into a rhythm, our oldest started school. Which was our marker for when Brain would head back to work so he didn’t have a massive gap in his resume. Since, although he loved staying home with the kids, he did want to work and loves his industry.
The problem was, we knew I couldn’t run the blog to the capacity I wanted to while at home with now 4 kids. But again, like all those years earlier, I also didn’t want to sacrifice being home with them.
Daycare didn’t feel right, and a nanny could work as I’d be home too, but I didn’t want my kids just watching TV all day. But having a nanny take care of 3 kids and plan outings and fun activities would cost me some big $$.
We Found a Permanent Solution for The Blog
Then the stars aligned, like seriously, and we found an amazing childcare and co-working space called Skyluna Space that was brand new and had just opened in Vegas.
One side of this space is a preschool/childcare where the kids all have lessons, learn, and play, and the other is a co-working space for parents with desk space, a lounge, etc. There’s a big window down the middle so we can see our kids the entire time from our side while we’re working.
It’s truly amazing. I am there, watching my kids have their lessons and play with other kids, but I also get to do the work I love!
I’ll even come out to eat lunch with them or say hi to them throughout the day. But they’re at the point where they are more focused on playing so they quickly say hi and run off to their next activity.
So now we go there in the mornings 3 days a week. The kids love it, and they are learning so much! To them, It basically feels like I take them to an indoor play-place 3 days a week while I work. Then I’m at home with them full time the other 4 days a week! It’s the best of both worlds.
Plus everyone in the family is done with school/off work at 3 so we now all have the entire evenings to spend together! I truly couldn’t have asked for a better situation for our family.
I get to stay home and be with my boys, but I also get to work on the blog and cultivate this community of moms I’ve built. And my kids are thriving with learning, friends, and extracurriculars all along the way too.
So now that we’re caught up, let’s look at my goals going forward for the blog.
My Blog Goals Going Forward
Now that we have a permanent solution for all of our family to thrive where I can stay home with the kids and work, here is what my goals are for 2023:
- Stay consistent with my content (Blog, Social, emails, etc.)
- Grow Traffic back up to 200k+ pageviews a month
- Grow my IG and TikTok to 50k followers
- Hire Help
- Restart the Podcast
- Start maintaining 5-figures a month
- And, as always, help moms rediscover themselves and create a life they love!
I found myself in motherhood. Through learning that you don’t have to choose between you and motherhood to be a good mom. That I’m allowed to have dreams for myself while also having dreams for my kids and family. And that you don’t have to settle for one or the other.
I want that for every mom. That’s why I continue to run the blog and create the content I create. It’s what pushes me forward.
Tips for New Bloggers or Aspiring Bloggers:
1: Just do it.
- If you’ve been afraid to start or try to start a blog, you’ve got to just do it. You don’t have to have a super interesting life, or a bunch of money, or a Pinterest worth house to be successful. You are enough. You can get my free guide here .
2: Invest in good blog training
- I’m telling you this is what made the difference for me. Yes, it is possible to find all the information out there about how to make this successful, out there on the internet for free. But what you’re paying for in a course is the road map of all those things. Something that says, do this, now this, now this that leads to a successful blogging/content creating business faster than on your own. And as a mom I don’t have time to waste spinning my wheels.
3: Treat it like a business.
- If you’re looking to make money just doing things here and there, or whenever you feel like. Or aren’t willing to invest in a course or tools that could help you be more successful, it’s not gonna happen. You aren’t going to just wake up one day and have a successful blog or social media account all willy nilly. I know it looks like some of the most successful online just “throw things together” and are successful but if you peeled back the curtain, you’d see that isn’t the case. So if you want to actually build a successful blog or life as a content creator you have to start taking it seriously. You’ve got to treat it like a business, and you’ve got to put in the time and effort consistently.
- If you treat it like a hobby or creative outlet that is all it will ever be.
It’s not too late to start, it’s not too late to pick it up again, it’s not too late to do something for you mama.
You’ve got this mama.
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