I’ve been thinking about writing up this post for weeks, but I’ve decided to just go ahead and do it. Bite the bullet.
A year ago I would never have dared to write about these topics for the entire internet to see, but I overcame the fear and went for it. The feedback has been incredible. I’ve got lots of emails and comments from readers cheering me on, telling me that my content has helped them to improve their lives.
That makes it worth the effort already, and it’s more than I ever got at any of my 9-5 jobs. I’d be lucky if anyone thanked me, because you don’t need to thank someone for doing their job, right?
What’s The Point of Income Reports?
When I was working in my last 9-5 job I used to listen to lots of podcasts about online business and marketing. That was when the idea for Escaping to Freedom started to brew – without those podcasts and great blogs, this site would never have existed.
My favourite part of any site, however, were their income reports. It showed that what they were talking about really worked, as they were putting it into practice.
More importantly, it proved that they weren’t lying.
As wonderful as the internet is, it’s too easy to lie and hide behind a screen. We’re constantly bombarded by fake news and factoids, especially on social media. In a way, the internet has made us more untrusting.
The way I see it is that if someone’s going through the effort of detailing their earnings and business developments, I really doubt they’re lying.
This leads me to my main point:
Income reports are helpful because they prove to aspiring bloggers and entrepreneurs that earning money from online business is possible. It’s great to talk about the theory, but nothing is as effective as data.
You’ll know by now that I love data, as geeky as that sounds. If you have data, you can create hypotheses and draw conclusions. With data, you can prove and disprove things. #science
In my case, by showing you this data I’ll hopefully appear more transparent to you and to my future readers. It will also make me more accountable because, let’s face it, being this open is scary!
Asking For Your Opinion
Ok, so we’ve established that income reports are pretty sweet. But my question was whether I should start them myself.
After all, most income reports that I read are making 4, 5 or 6 figures each month and I’m definitely not even remotely close to either of those.
So I made use of my 15k Twitter followers and 331-strong email list and made a couple of quick polls. Here are the results:
Out of the 51 people who gave their opinion (thank you all!!!), 43 were interested in both monthly income and journey reports from me.
I was scared that most people would not be interested in this, and would think something along the lines of:
Come on Ricard, you’re a nobody. Why would anyone be interested in your journey?
This sounds over-dramatised, but it’s a feeling that I’ve always had. The feeling that I’m not good enough. It seems like even big guns like Pat Flynn still feel this, which is somewhat comforting.
To get such a positive feedback meant a lot to me, so thanks to everyone that responded! You rock. 🙂
What I Did In March to Grow My Business
March was the first month when I saw some encouraging results.
Blogging often feels like your efforts don’t yield any results for ages, so it feels amazing when you finally get some success from your hard work. You wouldn’t catch me complaining if this continued! 😉
One of the biggest decisions that caused this success was working hard on Pinterest. When I bought the amazing course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, I also got a quick step-by-step guide to dominating Pinterest.
After applying the lessons and joining several group boards I managed to get two of my posts to become viral! This completely skyrocketed the traffic to my site. Check it out:
You can see that towards the end of February the traffic is starting to go crazy and ends up hitting a peak at nearly 5,000 sessions in one day.
The best part is that, while the traffic didn’t stay consistently high, I’ve been averaging around 150-200 sessions per day ever since, which is big for this site!
To be honest, I’ve barely touched Pinterest since I set it up at the end of February, so when I update all my new articles I may even get lucky and get some more traffic peaks!
Besides Pinterest, I’ve been working hard on honing my article writing skills.
I feel that I’ve hit my stride recently, which has definitely happened because I’ve been publishing two articles each week, on Wednesdays and Fridays. Practice makes perfect and all that!
I really want to get far ahead with my writing – like, weeks or months ahead. This will let me take holidays without the website lagging, as well as free up time to work on furthering the growth of Escaping to Freedom.
A Quick Recap of My Yearly Goals
To start off my first ever journey/ goals/ income report, let’s see how I’m doing with my 2017 goals, shall we? I wrote about how I’m growing my business in 2017, so if you want to know more about why I set each goal, give it a read.
Make $1,500 a month from my business by the 31st December 2017
I’ve actually made some real, tangible money now, so I’d say I’m on track. 1.5k is a lot of money, but I’m confident that I’ll be able to reach it by the end of the year, especially if I can find some clients to offer my marketing services to.
Start a marketing services business and find my first client by
March 31stJune 31st, 2017
Oops! That date was so ambitious! You’ll notice how I’ve changed the due date to the end of June, so I don’t consider this a failure – yet! I’ve been lagging on this, which is crazy as it’s what’s going to bring in more money the quickest.
If you or someone you know is interested, drop me an email!
Have a month with 50,000 pageviews by 31st December 2017
I got 35,000 pageviews in March, which was incredible. There’s no way I’ll get anywhere close to that in April, but there’s still an upward trend. There’s still time, but I think I’ll be alright with this one 🙂
Have an “As Seen In” banner filled with 10 reputable media outlets by the 31st of December 2017
I’ve been applying to several media outlets as a contributor and got in touch with a handful of reporters. This one is hard to predict, but I hope that once I get featured somewhere big, the others will follow. We’ll see.
Publish 2 articles per week from now until the end of the year.
As soon as I put up my goals I had a week where I only wrote one article, so that was an instant fail!
Nevertheless, it’s likely that I’ll have a week when I put 3 articles to compensate. I really need to get better at writing quickly, as I hope I’ll soon have to write articles for clients.
Start a Youtube channel OR create a digital product.
I’ve had ZERO progress with this. I also keep changing my mind about which one to do. Right now I’m actually thinking of doing both: YouTube in June and the product around September.
Youtube would be a lot of fun (which is important for a business!) and it would tap into a different kind of audience. I know lots of people who prefer to learn stuff by watching a video, rather than reading an article – myself included.
As for the course, it would mean that I have a product to sell and would make my business more legitimate. I could then justify spending serious money on advertising! 😛
Overall, I’m on target with all of them, even if I’ve had to modify a few of them – hehehe! 😉
Let’s now get into the more numerical side of my business, which I bet is what most of you want to see!
March 2017 Income: $548.50
Ok, there it is! I’ve earned a total of $548.50 during March 2017.
This is gross income, so I haven’t accounted for taxes or expenses. I’ve done this for two reasons:
- It’s a higher figure! Haha!
- I’m not entirely sure how much I’ll pay in taxes for this income. I assume it’ll be around 20%, though.
Escaping to Freedom Income: $180.49
Oh yes! This site is finally making money! I’ve been working hard at it since July 2016, and it was only last month that it made its first income – someone bought Hostgator hosting through my affiliate link, which felt amazing!
Since that was last month, I’m not including it here. This is what this site earned in March:
Affiliate Sales: $30.49
I sold a copy of the course I used to learn Kindle publishing, K Money Mastery. You’ll see below that I’m still earning income that’s completely passive from the e-books I published months ago – I haven’t touched them in months!
If you’re a blogger looking to monetise your site, check out Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. It’s the best course on the subject and it’ll pay for itself with a couple of affiliate sales – it just did for me! 🙂
Sponsored Posts: $150
This was great! I published an article that I didn’t write and charged $150 for it. This is something I’m happy to keep going for now: $150 for an article that I haven’t written and $250 for on that I write myself, promoting a product or service that will help you, my readers.
I remember that during a coaching call I had with Bobby, from Millennial Money Man, he said sponsored posts were very sporadic. This means that I’m not sure if I’ll put any up next month. Luckily I’m not desperate for the money, so I’m not about to sell out and publish less-than-ideal content!
Other Income: $368.01
I debated whether I should only include income that’s come directly from this site, but I quickly thought that it wouldn’t tell the entire story. I’ve talked about these other sources of income before, and they are very relevant to what I teach on this site.
Besides, the $180 that I earned from this EtF alone aren’t very impressive, so I need to beef it up with my other sources! 😛
Kindle Publishing: $79.12
I started publishing e-books on Amazon Kindle while I still had a 9-5 job. I’ve not revealed this before, but my initial plan consisted on growing my Kindle income until I could cover all my expenses with it and then quit my job.
That’s how powerful this business model is, and I know several people who are earning thousands each month from this. The only reason that I haven’t continued working on this is because I want to concentrate all my attention to EtF, which I see as a much longer-term project.
If you’d like to learn how to start earning passive income by publishing on Kindle, I highly recommend the K Money Mastery course. It covers everything you need to know to start earning money in the next few days – it’s really that quick!
Buying stocks that have a long history of paying rising dividends is a cornerstone of my financial strategy.
I introduced the concept of Dividend Growth Investing here, so be sure to give it a read. It was actually one of the articles that went viral on Pinterest!
These $288.89 came from 8 different companies in which I’m invested in – including big names like Unilever, Target or Qualcomm.
I love this income, as it’s 100% passive. I could sit on the couch playing the new Zelda game for weeks (I wish!) and I’d still get paid. What’s even better is that all of these companies will increase what they’re paying in dividends next year – and hopefully every year for decades to come.
Expenses & Net Income
A few of the kind email subscribers that answered my poll also mentioned that they’d really like to see my business expenses, which is often ignored in other income reports.
I want to be fully transparent as always, so here are my expenses!
Hostgator: $17.49 – This is how much I pay for hosting, domain name and WhoIs guard. I pay this yearly, but this is the equivalent monthly cost.
GetResponse: $15 – This is the service I use to run my email list. It’s a great service and a great bang for your buck.
BoardBooster: $5 – This is the service that I use to automate my Pinterest pins. It’s a set-and-forget kind of program, which is awesome.
Robotwity: $5 – This is a Chrome extension that automates your Twitter following. I’m not sure if this is 100% in accordance with Twitter rules, but it’s been incredibly handy at increasing my Twitter followers up to almost 16K.
Paypal Fees: $4.90 – Boo! Paypal fees… 🙁 Enjoy, Mr Musk!
Total Expenses: $47.39
Net Income: $501.12
So that wasn’t so bad!
As you can see, my expenses aren’t too high right now, so I’m not haemorrhaging money through my business.
Now, next month I suspect will be lower in terms of income. March is often a great month for dividend investors because lots of companies pay their quarterly dividends then. I know that April will be lower on this front.
As of yet, I’m not sure how much money I’ll earn from affiliate sales or sponsored posts – it could even be zero next month… While that’s scary, I kinda want it to happen.
You see, most bloggers that reveal their income, only do so once they are already earning thousands of $ a month. But that’s not how it works. Nobody starts earning that much money.
By sharing my income now, I hope to help more people to see the entire journey, and how they can follow my path and create their own online business that lets them live the life they want to live.
If you’re ready to take the leap and start your own website, I’ve got you covered. Check out my tutorial showing you how to start your own blog in less than 30 minutes. This could be the best career decision you’re ever made!
If you’ve made it this far, you’re the best. This is the longest post I’ve ever written, so thank you for reading 🙂