My income reports document my journey as a full-time blogger. I started posting them when I noticed that my efforts were paying off and I quickly went from making a few dollars a month to a few hundred to my first $1,000.
My monthly income was growing and my ultimate goal back then was to make $10,000 per month. In August 2016, I reached my goal and I was able to continue growing my income almost every month.
Now. It’s been a while since I posted an income report.
In 2018, my boyfriend Chris and I put all our belongs in a storage unit to travel the world, and that’s what we did for a whole year. Halfway through our trip, I posted my last income report.
It was a November report, which is a great month for online revenue (shopping season, higher ad revenues — there’s a good reason youtubers do vlogmas!). I decided to end it on a good note as November brought in over $17,000. (!)
I was in Florence at the time, and I remember telling Chris: “I think I’m going to stop posting income reports.”
He asked me why, and I responded that I’m not sure.
Looking back, there were a few different reasons: I wasn’t focusing on this website as much at the time, income reports were getting a bad rap for whatever reason, and I was starting to feel uncomfortable sharing so much private info.
But one of the main reasons was this: Income reports make it all about the money. And I was tired of measuring my progress in terms of followers, likes, and dollar signs.
Sure, the money is a reflection of how successful the business is. Of how well we’re building it, implementing ideas, creating something useful. But it’s not about the money itself. Rather, money is a good indicator of how well we’re able to execute our ideas.
It’s also a good way of keeping track of our progress when revenue is going up or down, and setting goals. Money goals are concrete and tangible. When I started, my goal was to make $1,000 a month in passive income. When I reached that goal, I quickly bumped it up to $10,000.
Today, I’m no longer focused on playing that game and increasing my income. Money was never the main goal, but when I stopped posting income reports, it went out of the equation completely. Today, my goal is to focus on what makes me happy to create when it comes to my online business, and to bring helpful content and innovative ideas that others will benefit from. It’s not about the number of clicks or virality. It’s about the quality and value of the content. How happy, excited, and proud it makes me, and how helpful it is to others.
I have to mention that once I stopped posting income reports, I also stopped looking at my revenue altogether for months at a time. That’s how tired I was of the dollar chase.
This was kind of counterproductive. On one hand, it helped me focus on better things like travel. But on the other hand, it removed that part of me that was in constant competition with my own self. The numbers really did keep me motivated to constantly improve and do better than the previous month.
Will I go back to posting income reports? Maybe in the future. I think what I need is a balance between the “money game” and more soulful things. Right now though, I’m more focused on sharing useful information beyond just my stats and numbers.
It might sound cliche, but it’s true. My income reports served their purpose, which was to show that growing a small blog into a business is possible. I hope they helped shed more light on how I make money as a blogger and what some of my processes are.