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Welcome to my 2017 income report! Here, I will share with you how much I earned online throughout 2017, which platforms I used as a source of income and the ups and downs of the year, as a blogger and online side hustler.
If you have been following E-riches Club from the start, you know this is only my second income report. If you’re curious enough, head over to my first income report was for 2016 – Income Report: 2016 Overview.
Income reports are one of those interesting blog posts that have become super popular but have also sparked some controversy.
Personally, I like to read income reports to have an idea of how bloggers and other online entrepreneurs actually make money online. Income reports give me a realistic view of what can be for me and a chance to see which platforms really bring in the dough.
There’s a Work-At-Home Summit happening later in the month (January 29th, 2018), spearheaded by Caitlin Pyle! It is free to join and you will learn from some of the best and most trusted online entrepreneurs like Michele Schroeder-Gardner and Rosemarie Groner (and that’s just two of the Greats!).
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On the other hand, these are also the kind of blog posts that leave me with a great deal of mixed feelings. I feel inspired by other people’s success, but I also get a little cynical and perhaps even discouraged. Strange? Yes, but the reality is I’m not making nearly 10% of what many other solopreneurs are making online. So, naturally, I get a little envious and wonder if it is real because I can’t seem to get there.
Income reports have another purpose though, for bloggers that is. Many bloggers publish their income reports as both a sales page and evidence that blogging for profit it real and has great income potential.
When you show the enormous amount of money you make as a blogger, you don’t have to do much more selling. The next step is natural – Where do I sign up?
From that point of view, I should be publishing an income report post at the end of every month of the year. Indeed, that’s my plan for 2018! But the truth is I’ve been nervous about publishing an income report this year. It seemed common sense when I first started planning my content for the year. As reality settled in, however, anxiety gradually took over, and I wasn’t so sure it was a good idea anymore.
You see, publishing income reports opens up a can of worms, in some ways. For one, it exposes you to the world as you share income information which may make you legally vulnerable. Second, you can unwittingly shoot yourself in the foot if your monthly numbers are not as inspiring as those of the pro bloggers.
The fact is, income reports work as sales pages and proof of internet riches for pro-bloggers because their numbers are astounding. But, for someone just starting out or whose income is less than ideal, these posts can actually dissuade people from following you or reading your content.
For these reasons and others, I shied away from posting any more income reports. Well, until now…
I recently realized that there is another purpose for income reports and a crucial one – transparency!
If it does shoot me in the foot, showing people the less than ideal picture of blogging and side hustling online, it is actually delivering on one of the promises I made: to share and explore both the ups and downs of trying to earn a living online, including the truth about blogging for profit.
So, I’m laying it bare for everyone to see. At the very least, you’ll get a realistic progress line of blogging and e-riches.
E-riches Income Report for 2017
According to my Paypal account, I made $1,377 in 2017, after conversions to Canadian dollars. That is what you see in the Paypal graph below. However, I did receive a few payments outside of Paypal, which I will include in my breakdown. So, the real total is $1,403 for the year 2017!
In the graph below, you can see a yellow line, which represents 2016. To be clear, what Paypal shows as sales, really is payments from the various platforms I used throughout the year. I didn’t actually sell any products or anything of the sort.
By the way, if your Paypal doesn’t give you these nice-looking graphs is probably because you have a regular personal account. I had to switch to a business/professional account to be able to receive payments from a particular affiliate program.
Anyways… I’m itching to go into an in-depth analysis of the graph (nerd much?). But I’ll keep it simple. Basically:
I made a little more than double of my online income in 2016;
I had a spike in revenue in April 2017, which comes from 1 client I got from Upwork;
April 2017 marked 1 year of earning income from my online efforts, hence the yellow line only starting in April;
From July to October, my earnings for 2017 was lower than my income for those months in 2016. This is because I began to focus more on E-riches Club – the blog – and put aside Upwork and the other online side hustles.
With that last point, I want to make something clear. Because E-riches Club is about earning money online and not about making money blogging per se, my income reports include earnings from any online work/effort, be it blogging or not.
I think it’s important to be aware of this little fact. Most income reports you see published in blogs are set up as “Blogging Income Reports”. While that’s not wrong, it can be a little misleading as not every penny made online is directly associated with having a blog.
In fact, in my case, E-riches Club as a blog made me exactly $0 for the whole year of 2017! (What?!) Yes, that’s right! I didn’t make any money from blogging this year. (Reminder: I launched the blog in May/June 2017)
Disappointed? I’m not! Well… no, that’s a lie. Yes, I would love to put here that I’m making 6 figures (or any figures really) from my blog, but being able to make money online without the blog means I have options. (See me trying to see the cup half full?!)
So how did I make $1,403 without a blog? See below for a breakdown.
How I Made $1,403 Online in 2017 Without a Blog
Believe it or not, income reports are a little pain in the neck to put together due to currency conversions and all those small details. So, for ease, my breakdown will look at it as $1 USD = $1 CAD, which obviously, is not accurate, but just makes life easy. Also, I will not include pending earnings, only paid earnings for 2017.
Now, enough with disclosures and let’s get on with the details!
2017 Income Breakdown:
Opinion Outpost = $40.10
Daily Rewards = $31.42
Triaba Panel = $8.45
LegerWeb = $20
SurveyLion = $10
Digital Rewards Platforms:
Swagbucks = $75 (part of the earnings is answering surveys)
MobileXpression = $15 worth of Amazon.ca e-gift cards (could have been much more but I had it uninstalled for most of the year)
Slidejoy = $11 (I stopped using this, for no particular reason)
Domain Group = $15
SpeechPad = $4.22
Upwork = $616.60
UserTesting = $270
Validately = $20
When appropriately converted at the different times I cashed out the money it all comes up to $1,403.
Clearly, it is not a fortune, but it is pocket money that helped a little with credit card payments and small bills here and there.
NOTE: Those are only the ways I, personally, make money online, there are many other ways and I encourage you to try other things out. I will be posting more about each of these and other income streams, but if you’re still not convinced about online work, why not hear it from the most trusted top online entrepreneurs!? Check out the Free Work-At-Home Summit happening at the end of the month! It’s free!
2017 in Review
If I had to put 2017 in one single word, I’d label it as interesting! It went by super fast, and there weren’t any major events, but it was a great learning curve and filled with little milestones.
Starting the year, I had a few little goals, and I was able to reach a few of them:
Goal #1: Earn substantial Income on Upwork for proof
I had been trying really hard to land gigs on Upwork for quite a while and for 2017 I wanted to really focus on it and make at least $500 on this platform.
I spent most of the first quarter of the year focusing on Upwork, and it paid off. I mean, $616.60 is the most I have been paid on Upwork, but what’s important to note is that 93.33% of that income was from 1 single client, for 1 project, in 1 month.
It’s also nice that I actually went over my initial goal, making over $500 on Upwork.
I know there’s a bit of a controversy surrounding Upwork, but I do think this is a great platform for beginner freelancers if you know how to use it.
Goal #2: Launch the E-riches Club
As I have mentioned before, I registered the domain in May 2016 and tinkered with different blogging platforms and hosting for about a year. My goal for 2017 was to launch the blog once and for all.
When I finally got the right platform for the blog – WordPress – and the right hosting service – Bluehost – I launched the blog in June 2017. (Finally!)
Blogging took a lot of my time starting from May/June, and I must admit it had a negative impact on my earnings outside of the blog. I spent a lot of time trying to come up with quality content and learning the technical side of blogging (which, by the way, is a pain in the ass) and put aside other sources of online income.
It wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but blogging takes a lot of effort and time in the beginning, and I couldn’t keep up with both blogging and other side hustles.
Goal #3: Earn Money Online Outside of the Blog
When I first started tinkering with blogging (pre-launch), it became clear to me that making money from blogging was not going to be an easy feat. I decided that I needed to find a way to earn side income outside of the blog.
My initial goal was to make about $500 a month online in side income, outside of the blog. I was thinking of Upwork, transcription work, surveys, Swagbucks and UserTesting. Back in 2016, I was making an average of $80/month, so I thought that $500/month was attainable.
Well, I clearly didn’t reach my $500/month goal, but I wasn’t too far either – $1,400 is still an average of $116.91 per month! I got sidetracked with the blog, but I still managed to increase my earnings for this year to more than double of the earnings from 2016.
Goal #4: Make Some Money on the Blog
I knew blogging was going to be a long-term commitment, for long-term profits. I didn’t fool myself thinking I was going to make a substantial income from blogging in the first year, but I was hoping to make some money.
Obviously, this didn’t happen, and there are a few reasons for that:
1. I learned the technical part of blogging after launching the blog, as opposed to doing it before launching;
2. Spent too much time obsessing about the looks (i.e. theme, colours, etc.);
3. Changed my mind too many times in terms of content, looks, etc.;
4. Hesitated too much in promoting the blog.
There are a few more things I can pinpoint as to why the blog is not bringing in money, but I also know that it is still in its conception stage. (Once again, cup half full – I’m really trying here!)
A few other things:
Although it wasn’t part of my initial plans for 2017, I spent the last quarter of the year focusing a lot on affiliate marketing through Pinterest.
Pinterest is an addiction of mine, and I found out I could make money directly from pinning, so I went for it. You may have noticed I mentioned Pinterest quite a lot lately. I’m really excited about this stream of income, but I’m still working out the kinks.
Another little (unplanned) milestone I have accomplished this year is networking. I consider this a milestone because it is one of the most difficult things for me to do.
Being an anxious introvert, networking is really not my forte. This year, however, I was able to network a little through social media and was quite successful!
For instance, through networking this year, I was able to take a premium course for free as a beta student. Not only it saved me well over $200, but I was also able to contribute to the improvement of that course by providing feedback. I say that’s a nice win!
If there’s anything I learned over the course of 2017 is that I desperately need to find a balance between working on the blog and doing freelance work outside of the blog. So, I would say that’s my main goal for 2018 – getting organized and being more efficient at doing both things (while still working my regular part-time during the day).
Another thing I want to work on for 2018 is to stop hoarding online courses, e-books, and guides and start putting all that knowledge into action!!
It’s ridiculous the amount of money I spent on online courses and guides this year. Yet, I barely scratched the surface when it comes to implementing all that knowledge!
Despite all the work it takes to put an income report together, I must say I feel really good about this post. It allowed me to have a hard look at where I started and where I am right now, which is a pretty neat thing.
I also like the feeling of transparency in this post. I’ve always taken the stance that is super important to share both the high and the lows and show where income is really coming from. I just was worried it would bite me back somehow. (Yeah, I worry too much sometimes)
I really hope that this report has shed some light on the different ways you can earn a side income online, even if you don’t have a blog or are a super newbie at it. I find that, usually, you see the pro-bloggers reporting thousands of dollars in monthly income and it just feels that there’s a disconnect somewhere. Almost that feeling of “Yeah, that’s great, but I can’t seem to get there!”
So, feel free to drop some questions or suggestions in the comments if you have any. Income reports are a great gateway to discuss obstacles and strategies on how to monetize your online efforts.
Happy New Year!