Ever since I did a webinar on affiliate marketing with SEMrush, I’ve got numerous requests to publish my monthly income reports. To be honest, I’ve always wanted to do that, but I was delaying the whole process till the time was right – till I felt I had reached a stage in my blogging journey where I could justify the existence of such reports.
As blogging is still a side hustle for me, I haven’t been able to join or promote as many affiliate programs as I’d like. Most of my time is still spent doing biz dev and managing existing clients at my inbound marketing agency. That said, I’ve been able to devote considerable time towards my blog over the past few months. It’s still not as much as I’d like it to be. But all things considered, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made and I’d be hoping from here on out, I’m able to publish at least 5-7 long-form blog posts per month.
While I’m doing this, I’m aware of the fact that a few prominent bloggers in my niche have suddenly decided to stop publishing their income reports. While there are several reasons why they’ve taken this decision, there are still many out there who publish their income reports on a regular basis. And one of my favorite bloggers, Pat Flynn, still does it consistently.
So here’s me taking this big step!
In addition to affiliate earnings, I’ll also be sharing a few important updates and milestones that occured each month and also share progress on my 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge.
This income report will not consist of any earnings from my digital agency, Startup Cafe Digital, as that’s an entirely different business altogether.
It’s my hope that by publishing these income reports, I’ll be able to motivate you to launch your own blog and live your passion.
Remember one thing: results will take time. Patience is the strongest virtue you can develop as a blogger.
So without further ado, let’s dive in 🚀
Table of Contents
My August 2018 Income Report
Welcome to my very first income report. Super excited to share these updates with you. Before I share my earnings and net profit breakdown for the month, here are a few important updates from August.
The Launch of 99signals Podcast
The most important decision I took at the start of the month was to launch the Marketing Mantra podcast. The podcast is now available on 9 platforms: Google Podcasts | Breaker | Radio Public | Spotify | Pocket Casts | Anchor | SoundCloud | Stitcher | Acast. The iTunes approval is still pending.
I’m using the Anchor iOS app and Audacity on Mac to record and edit the episodes and for the 3rd podcast episode, I used Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone. I’d recommend this nifty little portable equipment to anyone who travels a lot and likes to record stuff on the go.
View this post on Instagram
The podcast is still rough around the edges, so my sincere apologies if you had to deal with the popping sounds in the first three episodes.
For future episodes, I’ll be using a pop filter to eliminate these annoying popping sounds.
I’m hoping the podcast is listed on iTunes sometime in September. Fingers crossed!
There are three episodes in the podcast currently with a fourth one queued up. Click here to listen to all three and subscribe.
Would love to hear your feedback and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge
At the start of 2018, I made an audacious resolution to myself, i.e. to read 100 books this year: 25 of them to be business/entrepreneurship books. The 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge served as the perfect benchmarking tool to track my progress and to ensure that I succeed at my new year resolution. So far, I’ve read 36 books and I’ve a long way to go before I can achieve my 2018 reading goal.
In August, I was able to read three business books – all of them by Gary Vaynerchuk.
The book that struck a chord with me the most out of the above three was Crush It. Even though it was published in 2009 and some of the tools and social media platforms that Gary discusses no longer exist (Ex: Viddler, ustream.tv, etc.), the core principles and business advice from the book still hold up today. The fact that I read Crushing it! (published in 2018) immediately after finishing Crush it! must have amplified its impact on me even more.
Here are a few snippets from the book that resonated with me the most:
- It’s never a bad time to start a business unless you’re starting a mediocre business. – Crush It!, Chapter 1: Passion is Everything
- Think of building your brand in terms of a marathon, not a sprint. – Crush It!, Chapter 7: Keep It Real
- Successful entrepreneurs are like good chess players; they can imagine the various possibilities ahead and how each one will trigger their next move. – Crush It!, Chapter 13: Legacy is Greater than Currency
You can follow me on Goodreads if you’d like to check out my favorite books, recommended lists, reviews, and the progress on my 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge.
I was able to publish 6 blog posts last month: 3 long-form articles, 1 interview, and 1 news roundup (updated weekly). I also updated the AppSumo deals post with regular updates as and when new deals were added by the AppSumo team.
Here are the 3 long-form articles published in August 2018:
- 10 Best YouTube Channels for Entrepreneurs
- 9 Best Social Media Scheduling Tools That’ll Help You Save Time
- Instagram IGTV: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers
In addition to the blog posts, I was able to publish 3 new podcast episodes (details above), 1 Facebook ads tutorial video on YouTube, and SEO news roundup videos on Facebook, YouTube, and IGTV.
Michael Koral, co-founder and COO at Needls.com, contributed a guest post on “9 Tips to Increase Your Engagement Rate on Instagram“.
Interview with Ish Jindal
The highlight of the month for me was catching up with Ish Jindal, founder of TARS Chatbots.
We spoke about various topics: entrepreneurship, chatbots, the future of AI and chatbots, and the unique ways in which people are using TARS to design chatbots with all kinds of functionalities.
I strongly believe IGTV will compete with YouTube. It may not happen overnight, but in the coming months, you’ll notice a lot of creators uploading native content on IGTV. I’ve shared my perspective on Instagram’s latest feature in this in-depth article here and in the second episode of the Marketing Mantra podcast here.
- 99signals was featured in the list of the best blogging sites to follow by The Blog Frog. Check the complete list here
- My email marketing tip on “Offering upgrades for your most popular content” was featured on MailMunch
- My article “How Long Should a Blog Post Be?” was featured on Small Biz Trends
September 2018 Plan
In September, I’d like to achieve the following:
- publish at least 5 long-form articles
- upload 4 new podcast episodes
- publish at least 2 book reviews on the blog
- Publish at least 1 IGTV video/week (native to the platform)
- publish weekly SEO and SMM news roundups as separate blog posts and videos (there are many news stories for both these topics every week, so doing a monthly roundup just wouldn’t do justice)
- read 3 business/entrepreneurship books
- upload at least 3 tutorials/reviews on 99signals YouTube channel
- Spend less time playing Don Bradman’s Cricket 2017 on PS4 and Super Mario Odyssey on Nintento Switch (Ok, this one might be a bit difficult 😃)
Now let’s get down to the brass tacks. Here are my August 2018 affiliate earnings, followed by other income, monthly expenses, and net profit breakdown.
- SEMrush – 1975.14 (review / eBook)
- AppSumo – $531.79 (latest deals)
- AppSumo Briefcase – $180.64 (review)
- Ninja Outreach – $247.50
- KWFinder – $175.88 (review)
- Serpstat – $70 (review)
- ConvertKit – $64.80 (review)
- SendinBlue – $151.59 (review)
- AWeber – $58.8 (review)
- Instapage – $41.4 (review)
- Sumo – $61.20 (review)
- Sponsored posts – $550 (click here for more details)
- MailChimp – $50
- AppSumo Briefcase – $49
- Google Ads – $30
- Facebook Ads – $167
- Flickr Pro – $5.99
- Reddit Gold – $3.99
- AudioHero (Lifetime Access) – $39
- Logo Redesign + Podcast Cover Art Design: $150
Net Profit Breakdown
- Affiliate earnings: $3558.74
- Other income: $550
- Total expenses: (-494.98)
- Net Profit: $3613.76
That wraps up the income report for August. If you have any questions about this month’s income report, please feel free to ask them via Twitter.
Here’s hoping for an even better September; and to all the bloggers and solopreneurs out there, keep crushing it! 👊
To get frequent updates on all things SEO, blogging, and social media, follow 99signals on these platforms below:
If you’re interested to learn more about passive income, I reveal some of my affiliate marketing secrets in this article + webinar. Be sure to check it out!