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It is officially 2023! Which means it is time for my 2022 yearly income report!
This is something that I love to share because I want to be transparent about where my income comes from and what it’s actually like to run a blogging business.
When I was first starting out, and even now, I find income reports so interesting. I love seeing how people are making money for themselves online!
2022 Yearly Income Report: My Income Sources
Let’s get to breaking down my income sources! I had quite a few this year, some of which were much more successful than others.
I’ll start out with the smallest income source first, and work my way up to the largest!
Blog ads are an income source that I didn’t work very hard on growing and ultimately decided to leave in 2022.
I used to offer blog advertising where you could pay to have your links written in a blog post, displayed on my sidebar, sent to my email list, and on my social media.
But, I learned a bit later that Google doesn’t like when you pay for links to be placed on someone’s blog!
I never really looked into this much, I just saw that so many other bloggers were offering this service, and they’d be booked out months in advance!
I never really got much interest in my blog ads, much to my disappointment.
And then on top of that to find out Google doesn’t like that style of linking anyway, it was a no-brainer to leave this income source in 2022.
With this income source, in just 6 months (I stopped this service in June) I only made $30.15.
So in the end, it wasn’t really worth it anyway!
Digital products are something I have been going back and forth with.
I started on Etsy, which did well for a while until I got knocked out of the first-page rankings. Then I moved to Gumroad, and that seemed to do okay.
I’m very much the type of person who is always moving the goalposts, changing what I’m doing, and experimenting.
Which clearly hasn’t worked that well for me!
So with Gumroad sales this year, I did okay in digital products sales. But definitely not as good as I would like!
I made $80.40 in digital product sales. The screenshot below is off because Gumroad doesn’t include its fees with this number, so it looks like I made $116.
I also decided to release a course in 2022 as well!
I worked extremely hard on creating a Pinterest course for my YouTube audience that I thought would love it.
I created videos and created worksheets to read off of… I thought it was going to go over so well since Pinterest was my main traffic driver to my YouTube channel.
I even made sure to ask my audience if it was something they would want, and they said yes!
So I worked my butt off for months, finally launched the course, and… made one sale. Just one.
It was pretty discouraging.
I didn’t really know what to expect, but I expected a better response than just one measly little sale.
Pinterest is still the main driver of traffic to my youtube channel, so to only make sure a small amount of sales (I made 3 in total months apart) is still a bit mind-boggling to me.
Because 0f this, and many other reasons, I decided to take the course down for 2023.
It wasn’t worth keeping up or promoting since clearly, people are only interested in the free content I offer. Which is a major letdown.
In total, I made $133.71 in course sales.
Another reason that I took down my course was because of affiliate marketing doing better for me.
Of course, this includes a lot of different sales, but the main one that did well was a Pinterest course.
I was selling Pinterest with Ell as an affiliate way more often than I was selling my own course for.
My hope was that I could direct the sales of that course to my own, and then get more of the profit thanks to being the owner of the course.
And while in theory, this would be true, in practice it was not.
So I decided to take down my course and work on being an affiliate for Pinterest with Ell again since that’s what was converting better anyway.
In terms of other affiliate income, this source has always been hard for me to get off the ground.
And I think it has to do with me being in such a competitive niche.
My main topics are blogging, content creation, social media, and productivity. So I promote a lot of blogging products.
But, there are a ton of other bloggers promoting the exact same products as me, meaning my chances for sales could potentially be lower.
I hope to change this in the future, and we’ll talk about my plans soon.
All in all, I made $147.50 in affiliate income, with the last two quarters of the year being $0 in income.
I think this is mostly due to me launching my own course and making sales from that, instead of towards affiliate marketing.
Now on to the biggest source of income for me, my freelancing services!
I offer a few different Pinterest services like management, account audits, and pin creation. These have been doing well for me for years.
Even though I’d like to be doing content creation full time and get rid of these services at some point, for right now they are working and clients are enjoying it!
I made $1303.87 in freelancing
And honestly, I could have done a lot better but there were many months I took down services to focus solely on my content over the year.
2022 Yearly Income Report total
All in all, I had a pretty good year with my business. Although, I think it could have gone a lot better.
I did a lot of testing out things this year, like Gumroad over Etsy, trying out a course, and taking down services to focus on my own content.
So the total income I made for my business this year was $1.695.63!
At the end of the day, I am grateful to have made any profit in my business at all, but when compared to last year, I didn’t do as well.
Last year in 2021, I made more in just freelancing than I did in total for 2022.
However, I also hit some big milestones this year that I was far off from last year. For example, a huge goal I hit was monetizing my YouTube channel!
So, you win some, you lose some.
And you might be looking at that number and thinking, great! Profit made, money in your pocket. Time to go home.
Sadly, that isn’t how a business works. Let’s take about my business expenses next.
I spent a lot this year on tools for my business, courses to learn more, and even a splurge on a new laptop.
So, that means the money wracked up pretty quickly.
I spent $2,349.17 in business expenses this year.
And if you’re looking at the math, you likely see the same thing I do.
My business was in the negative this year. By $653.
Thankfully this is not the only thing I have going for me so I still actually make a profit. But that is separate from my business as a whole.
So in terms of my blog and youtube channel, my income for 2022 was -$653.54 exactly.
This is obviously a huge letdown to see. Each month I thought I was making a profit, but I really wasn’t in the end.
And this is likely due to me stopping Pinterest management services for so many months in a row while not raising any of my other income sources.
- Why do I share this with you?
So, why am I sharing this failure with you? And the answer is because many other creators don’t.
Income reports don’t get into the nitty-gritty. They tell you the income made and that’s it.
You will rarely ever see income reports that are small or show you the expenses.
Income reports tend to share the wins and give an unrealistic expectation of what it’s like to start a blog. No one shares the lows, losses, or expenses.
So that is why I do this.
To show newer bloggers who see little to no income coming in each month that you aren’t alone.
I share this to show you what it really means to own a business.
Many content creators will see losses in their business for the first few years before they really start to take off. But you rarely see them say that.
So I hope this was helpful in some way!
My business plans and goals for 2023
I would like to leave this blog post on a more exciting note.
Since my yearly income report was overall a negative balance, what do I plan to do to improve for next year? What are my goals?
Let’s break them down.
First of all, the overall goals. I’ve decided on 3 main ones.
- Make $600 consistently each month
- Post 2 videos and 1 blog post a week
- Expand my Etsy shop products
Making $600 consistently a month has been my goal for a long time, and it is honestly harder to achieve than it looks!
This would be easy with client work, however, ideally, I would make the income somewhere else.
I also want to stay consistent with the youtube channel like I was in 2022, and add on blog content. Because 2022 was a bad year for my blog.
I also want to expand my Etsy shop with more products. One of the things I noticed when researching successful Etsy shops was they all had 200-400 products in them.
And while I doubt I’ll make it to the end of the year with 200 products, I need to list more things!
The max my shop has ever had was 6 or so, and that is not a high enough number!
In 2022 I really left the blog behind.
I didn’t see many results, and I ran out of steam when it came to the upkeep of the blog.
At one point I really thought I was going to quit blogging altogether.
The lack of motivation really came from seeing low pageviews with the blog, but on the flip side, seeing high numbers with my youtube channel.
So for quite a few months I gave up on the blog and switched my focus to over there. It ended up paying off, and I got monetized at the beginning of December.
In total, I posted only 19 times on the blog and 4 of these were paid blog ads. So, really only 15 blog posts when live.
I believe I may have written more, but I did a blog post purge at some point and get rid of quite a few I no longer liked.
Either way, that is a pitiful amount of content to put out. So, next year that is going to change!
I’d like to put out one blog post a week. And I’ve also redirected my niche as well.
When I first started the blog, I was Business Women Thrive. Two years ago I made the change to Sarah Marie, with the intention of being a lifestyle blogger.
However, I still really talked about content creation with the occasional “lifestyle” type post. In 2023 this is going to change.
“How to Blog” posts are going to take a backseat to the lifestyle/personal development content I plan to create.
This is more of a mindset shift for me since the blog was trending that way anyway.
I noticed which content performed the best in 2022, and will continue that through 2023.
I think this will also help me raise affiliate income as well with a more broad variety of products being available to me.
On top of the niche being a broader audience over content creation.
My big goals for the blog in 2023 are:
- Post 1 time a week and stay consistent
- Change the blog direction to personal development/ lifestyle content
- Create a steady affiliate income from the blog
- Get 10,000 pageviews a month by the end of the year
As for YouTube, I did really well in 2022.
I went from 1 video week to a consistent 2-3 a week. And this was because I really wanted to get monetized by the end of the year.
YouTube monetization is not easy, and I wanted to hit that before the end of last year.
I realized the best way to do this was by upping the amount of content I put out.
And, finally, in the first week of December, I got the email that the requirements had been met!
So with that goal out of the way, here are my YouTube goals for 2023:
- Hit 3,000 subscribers
- Make $100 a month in ads in order to cash out 1x a month
- Consistently post videos 2x a week
I hope this 2022 yearly income report was helpful or interesting to you, and let me know what some of your goals are down below in the comments section! I’d love to hear them!
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