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How I Made $3,422.83 Blogging This Month (September 2017 Income Report)

September flew by so fast!

I was so busy with my day job, my freelance clients, and just regular life stuff like grocery shopping (fo realz) that I can’t even believe it’s October already. Geez.

But, I am pretty proud of the fact that September was my highest earning month so far in my little biz! I made $3,422.83 through my blog and freelance writing services. WOO!

September 2017 Blog Income Report

This month I tried a few new things.

I earned some affiliate income (a grand total of $8.71 thankyouverymuch!), by promoting my genuine love of email marketing software ConvertKit.

I also earned ONE PENNY from Tailwind. I am not even sure how that’s possible. What did someone do for a penny?! I have no idea. But… thanks, random stranger.

This month I didn’t get as much done as I wanted to. I focused almost exclusively on client work and not my own big ideas, which was disappointing. But that’s how life goes sometimes!

I did get a chance to outline and start creating my upcoming course that I am SO EXCITED about. It’s called Blog SEO Bootcamp and dives into all the nerdy stuff I’ve learned in over 6 years of working at content marketing agencies, and through this blog.

I AM PUMPED to share it with the world. When it’s ready in like, 2020. 🙄

K but seriously, I plan to work on it over the next few months and unveil it either late this year, or early 2018.

Anyway, let’s dive into September’s numbers and stats in detail!

Income

  • Freelance writing clients: $3,414.12
  • ConvertKit: $8.70 🙌🏼
  • Tailwind: $0.01 (YES REALLY)

September 2017 Blog Income Report

Total Gross Income: $3,422.83

I recently had a comment asking about how I get my freelance clients and what sort of work I do. I plan to cover this in an upcoming post, but the short version is that I do freelance writing/blogging for marketing and software companies, focusing on list building and conversions. 🤓

aka. Nerd Stuff.

Expenses

Total Expenses: $485.21

Net Income: $2,937.62

So, I made almost the same net income as last month as I had some more expenses this month.

I also decided to invest in some education and take Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s class, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.

At first I thought the class was a bit too basic for me, but I actually learned a lot in the later modules. I’ll write a review about it another time, but what more can I say than it works? I did make $8.71 in affiliate income this month for the first time ever, right?! (Gotta start somewhere.)

One of my regular clients slowed down a bit, so that impacted my income a bit, too.

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How I Made $3,130.99 in 1 Month With My Blog (August 2017 Income Report)

I made $3,130.99 with my blog in August 2017.

Pretty crazy, right?

I’ve only been taking this blog seriously for about six months.

I remember reading income reports from other bloggers a long time ago and thinking it was insane. How could they make a full-time living by running a blog?!

Make Money Blogging: August 2017 Income Report

I thought I had blogged before. I’ve had websites in one form or another since I was in the eighth grade. I just liked building them, but eventually I got bored of them and abandoned them. I estimate I’ve created over 20 blogs in the past 15 years…

So why hadn’t any of them made money?

For starters, I wasn’t trying to make money. I blogged because I loved writing and meeting other people. I’ve made some pretty cool friendships online with people I would have never met otherwise.

Fast forward to 2017, it seems like everyone and their cat has a blog. (And yes, some cats do blog.)

It’s never been easier or harder to make an income online.

I say that because it’s easy in the way that starting a blog is easier now. You can setup hosting, get a beautiful theme, and start writing in like half an hour. (I even wrote a step by step tutorial to start your own blog right here!)

It’s also harder because there are SO many more people blogging now.

If you’re trying to stand out online, you have to compete with BILLIONS of other people. Legit, billions. There are over 1.2 billion websites online right meow.

make money blogging

At first, I wasn’t trying to stand out very much.

I started this blog in February 2016 as a fun side project to complement my day job as a Digital Marketing Strategist at an ad agency. I love marketing so I wanted to write about it and learn new content marketing tips with this blog that I could use for my clients.

By the end of 2016, I started to take the blog more seriously, though my posts were sporadic and not really cohesive.

In January 2017, I decided I wanted to turn this blog into a profitable business. I did a bunch of research and long story short, realized that research is nothing without action. #preach

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My Biggest Business Mistakes From the First 6 Months (And How I Fixed Them!)

I’m writing this post on a Saturday night after doing 13 straight hours of work, with only one break to inhale a few pieces of peanut butter toast.

It was a beautiful sunny day outside, and I didn’t see any of it.

This is not how I want to run my business.

All hustle, no balance.

It’s taking a toll on me.

Luckily, I am smart enough to realize when I’ve made some pretty awful mistakes and how to fix them. Today I want to get a lil’ personal with you and share my biggest struggles and failures over the past 6 months and how I’m overcoming them to become a better blogger and business owner.

I hope you can learn something from this post. Here goes.

Biggest Business Mistakes

 

1. No time for fun.

Talk about overscheduled.

Even my husband knows that if it’s not on my Google calendar, it’s not happening.

I’ve lost touch with several friends. Some of them understand, and others don’t. I even feel bad with how little time I’m spending with my dog.

It’s super depressing.

I ended up getting so burnt out, I didn’t want to do anything.

And that was my solution.

I realized that I procrastinate a lot. Not because I dislike my work, I love it, but because I’m too much of a perfectionist and I want “the perfect idea” before I start working.

Well, that just doesn’t exist.

I’ve learned to just start, and edit shit later. I’ve learned to be more productive with my time so that I can get more done in less time.

Ya know what the big magical secret to all that is?

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How to Start an Online Clothing Business for $0 with Printful and Etsy

I did something crazy about a month ago. I started an online clothing business.

And it’s actually going really well.

Am I a designer? No.

Am I an Etsy pro? Nope.

Do I even know what DPI is, or what the difference is between CMYK and RGB? Not really.

But if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past year as a serious blogger, it’s that sometimes you just gotta try new stuff and do it. Jump in with both feet. Don’t overplan. Just follow your heart and see where it goes.

Easier said than done, especially when following your heart could cost thousands of dollars in upfront costs.

Not so bueno.

But, I really wanted to do this. So I found a way of getting started that was totally FREE, and in this post, I’ll show you how to do the same thing.

Create an Online Clothing Business Free

I create t-shirts, iPhone cases, leggings, skirts and other small items, and I don’t have to pay a single cent for inventory or expenses until someone buys one of my products. aka guaranteed profit! Isn’t that amazeballs?!

For example, here are a few examples of my humble creations. 😬

[etsy-shop shop_name=”NerdyOrganized” section_id=”21350310″]

Wanna win an item of your choice from my shop? Just enter the contest at the end of this post! 👇🏼

 

It’s really easy to start your own biz this way. So let’s jump right in and get started…

Create Your Free Etsy Store

For this post, I’m going to assume you want to sell your stuff on Etsy! It’s a great choice. Etsy is a solid network of handmade sellers, and a trusted shopping destination for millions of people around the world. You can’t go wrong.

So, if you don’t already have an Etsy account, sign up for free here.

When you’re all signed up, click on the You tab to go into your settings. From there, you can choose to open a new shop.

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Once you’ve created your shop, you’ll be taken to the Shop Manager area. It’s pretty straightforward, but you’ll want to go into Settings on the left-hand menu to ensure everything is set up.

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Here you can set things like your tagline, top image banner and logo. Here’s what my shop looks like with all those things added:

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Go through all the Settings fields and make sure everything is filled in. Don’t worry about making it perfect right now. You can always change it later.

Remember: DONE is always better than perfect. ✌🏽

 

Create Your First T-Shirt

Mmk, switching gears to product creation now. Woo! This is where the magic happens, people.

Already have a good idea for a t-shirt, mug, or other product? Great! If not, just think of a silly saying and follow along with this tutorial. You can always redo these steps when you have a “real” product idea later on.

Not sure if your idea is good or not? Let the market decide! Remember, this is all free so you’re not out any money by testing your ideas.

To create your first product, you’ll need to sign up for Printful.

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Printful is a print-on-demand dropshipper, which means they print your designs onto merchandise and ship it from their location to your customers. It’s worldwide, and the products look like they’re coming from you, not Printful. Basically… it’s awesome.

Once you sign up, you’ll be taken to your Dashboard. It’s your order portal.

Creating a product on Printful isn’t like an actual thing you create on there. You create your artwork files in a design program, like Adobe Photoshop, and then upload those files to Printful to store until you’re ready to print them.

I use Photoshop, but you could also use Illustrator, or a free option like Canva.

For this example, we’ll make a simple text-based t-shirt, but you can get as crazy and colourful as you like. If you can draw, go wild! I… can’t draw.

I’m going to make a shirt that says, “I Work So My Dog Can Have Nice Things”.

(It’s true. 🙄)

Printful has a template for everything on their site so you always know how to size it. The t-shirt print area is 10 in x 12 in, so all you need to do is open up a new Photoshop file at 150 DPI sized 10×12. Also make sure you’re using RGB colour.

If you’re using Canva, open up a new file that’s 1500px x 1800px (or larger).

Create Online Clothing Business Free

Then add your text to the file. Make sure your background is transparent. This can be done in Canva as well, but I’m using Photoshop in the screenshots below.

Create Online Clothing Business Free

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The Difference Between Digital Strategy and Digital Project Management

My name is Michelle, and I’m a recovering Digital Project Manager.

The Difference Between Digital Project Management and Digital Strategy

 

You see, I was a digital PM for awhile, back in the heady days of 2015, a distant blur now. And then I became a digital strategist. “Cool,” I thought. “A totally different job, how exciting!” And then weeks and months went on and I found myself thinking, “Hmm. This seems an awful lot like what I was doing before. What gives?”

Months turned into almost a year and I became more disillusioned and confused than ever.

cat confused gif

So what is the actual difference between a digital PM and a digital strategist? It’s taken me awhile to learn.

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Losing Your Way on A Winding Path (This Is A Metaphor for Getting Shit Done)

Oh, hello.

Remember when I said that when you feel like you’re fed up, and burnt out, you should connect with other humans that remind you why you love what you do? Wellllllll, that worked for me once. But now I have new advice: be a hermit.

How to Get Shit Done (fo realz!)

 

Seriously. The best advice I received for dealing with feelings of burnout was a few days ago, and that advice was: when you are so fed up that you just don’t care anymore, actively attempt to care less. Like just really get all the giving a shit out of your system. Stop caring at a molecular level. Split the atoms of the fucks you do not give, and then split them again. Create a nuclear meltdown out of all the energy that you’re not caring with. Enough metaphors for now…

In my situation, I could never focus on what I was supposed to be doing, due to a number of factors, some of them complex and one of them just being that I am an insane, quality-obsessed, control freak bitch-ola. I was so used to responding quickly to everything that came my way — emails, Slack messages, carrier pigeons — that people expected it of me, and I felt like I owed it to them.

But then my boss told me something radical. Like some life-changing shit right here. She said, “Just… don’t.” That’s basically what she said. There were more words and it sounded better than that, but that was the gist of it.

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When What You Love to Do Gets Shitty: Fighting Creative Burnout

Hustlin’ be hard, bitches.

How to Fight Creative Burnout - When What You Love to Do Gets Shitty

 

Whatever your hustle may be — design, coding, strategy, project management, writing, something unmarketing related — you started doing it because you loved it. You continued because you loved it. You can’t imagine yourself doing anything else with your life, but yet, you hit a point where you just want to quit. What’s going on?

It’s not a lack of passion for your work. It’s not because of boredom. It’s not because you want to do something else.

So whyyyyyy.

But Why GIF

When you feel that feeling of loving what you do and being convinced that you’ve never been more connected to and passionate about your work, coupled with a feeling of absolute dread about going in the next day or doing any of the tasks on your list, congrats — you’re in creative burnout.

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Learning to Care Again When You’re Out of F*@ks to Give

I think the hardest thing about working in an industry you’re really passionate about is the eventual feeling of “Is this worth it?” that creeps into your mind. If you’re like me, you’re a 110% kind of person. All in or all out, there is no in between.

Learning to Care Again When You're Out of F*@ks to Give

 

I’m happy and proud to be doing something I love for a living. I love the sense of accomplishment my work provides, and being surrounded by so many talented people with big ideas. It’s fantastic and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. But sometimes, it still gets tough like anything else.

And while I wouldn’t change a thing, sometimes I think, “Can I keep going?”

Field of Fucks lol

I guess some people call that burnout, but that’s not really what it is. To me, true burnout is when you are literally so done that you cannot be any more done. You know it’s time to walk away, find a new path, burn bridges to the ground, whatever. You want out of where you are.

But that’s not what I feel sometimes at all. Like I said, I wouldn’t change a thing. So it’s not burnout, it’s just a temporary case of a lack of fucks to give.

Once your supply of fucks to give is restored, all is well.

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