My 2017 Blog Income Report

A couple weeks ago I decided to crowd-source some blog post ideas that I had swirling around in my head. I posted a few polls on my Instagram stories and overwhelmingly what people wanted to read about was my blogging income.

Although this blog has been around since I left for Uganda in 2009, blogging for profit is an entirely new ballgame for me. I didn't receive any kind of payment for blogging until the latter half of 2017. I feel like I need to mention this for a couple reasons:

  1. Because I'm still learning. I can't provide any kind of advice for other bloggers looking to make an income because I'm still figuring out how this all works myself. 
  2. I have no idea how my experience compares to other bloggers my size. In the grand scheme of the blogging world, I am still very small. I have no idea if what I've brought in is normal for bloggers my size or not.

Here's what I earned from my blog in 2017:


Although I know a lot of bloggers find success with affiliate marketing, I am not one of those people. I signed up for Amazon's affiliate program so basically, if anyone ever decides to click one of my book links and purchase something on Amazon, I will make a small commission. Ironically, I just made my first commission on December 30.

Example: My 2017 in Books

TOTAL 2017 INCOME: $2.55


Sponsored posts are posts written promoting a product. Pretty straightforward. It's kind of a weird grey area in blogging. Because being able to earn an income from doing what you already love to do is awesome. But it can be really unattractive when a blogger starts only doing sponsored posts and lacks original content. The trick with sponsored posts is balancing them out with genuine, quality content. It's a balance I like to think I've managed over the last few months.

The other tricky part with sponsored posts is advertising products that fit in seamlessly with your voice and lifestyle. The products I've advertised on my blog are genuinely ones that I would seek out in real life, regardless of whether I was being compensated or not. On the other hand, if you start seeing me post about things like pet food (I have no pets) or cigarettes (I hate smoking with a fiery, burning passion), you have ample justification for assuming I've sold my soul.

In only one instance was I approached by a company to publish a sponsored post. In every other instance, I have applied for the "campaign" through a third-party marketing company. So far, I have signed up with three different marketing sites. I've had tremendous success with one, and little to no success with the other two (for different reasons).

Example: On Marriage Goals + Day Dates in Cincinnati

TOTAL 2017 INCOME: $1,678.00


This category is also tricky. For those who aren't blog-savvy, basically a company will reach out to you and ask you to publish a post that incorporates their product. They won't pay you, but will compensate you with free product. More often than not, these are shitty companies offering shitty products who want free advertising. I get several email inquiries per month and rarely if ever do I follow up with them unless it's a product that I'm actually interested in and/or is from a reputable company.

In 2017, I was approached by a few companies that were fantastic, solid businesses. I received a framed family portrait, a custom-made dress and a few other goodies and services.

I also reached out to several companies. Most of whom never contacted me back. However, I did partner with a company for the paint to do Crosby's nursery and I received tickets to a local attraction.

As a contributor to Dayton Moms Blog and Cincinnati Moms Blog, I also occasionally get "perks." Most recently, I got to take Charlie, his Aunt and cousin to see Cinderella at the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati, as well as free admission to a local Christmas light display.

I also won a DSLR camera through one of the marketing companies I work with. They had a giveaway, so I submitted an essay and I was one of six winners. I've wanted a DSLR for ages, so this was especially exciting. I'm hoping to use my new toy to up my blogging game in 2018!

When I refer to "income" in this category, please know that I'm referring to the monetary value of the product and not actual income.

Example: HOME TOUR | Dining Room

TOTAL 2017 INCOME: $1,808.00


I didn't install any ads on my page in 2017, but it's something I'm going to try in the new year. However, I haaate when I stumble upon a new blog and I have to click out of three different pop-up ads before I can see their content. Since I'm smaller, I don't anticipate this will contribute much to my blog's overall income. I also don't want to ruin the aesthetic of my blog, so I'm going to install a small banner ad and see what happens.


If you did the math, in 2017 I earned $3,488.55 from this blog. That's a combination of both free product, commission, and compensation. Just about half of that amount ($1,678) was actual money to be put toward paying bills and fun grown-up stuff. If I was a smart, business-savvy blogger, I would probably take a much larger percentage of that earned income and reinvest it into marketing my blog. In reality, our family needed the money so it was put to good use and I probably only spent about $100 the entire year on marketing, as well as my redesign.

GRAND TOTAL 2017 INCOME: $3,488.55

Moving into 2018, with this newfound knowledge of how to generate income from my blog, I hope to step up my affiliate income. I want to continue taking on sponsored blog opportunities and my goal for next year is to earn $2,500 in compensation (not including product). I also want to spend more money on advertising to bring more page views and some fresh eyes in. I've primarily done this with Facebook thus far and will probably stick to that since I've had the most obvious results. However, lately I've been seeing a lot of my traffic coming from Pinterest, so I need to learn more about how to optimize my Pinterest account.

I'm still very much a blogging amateur and I'm way out of my league with people who blog full-time. However, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit proud that I've managed to take a hobby that I love and do for fun into something that contributes to our family's income. For non-bloggers, I hope I've satiated your curiosity about what blogging for income looks like. For bloggers, I hope I've demonstrated what is possible for someone even as teeny, tiny as me. Stay tuned for more financial reports coming in 2018. I'm hoping it will be my best year yet!

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