Read on to discover how much money I made with my style blog, The Modest Man, in December 2016. I’ll also break down the income by category and list all of my business expenses so you can see how much of the income is real profit.
How do fashion bloggers make money?
If you’re totally new to this world, you might want to read this post first to get a sense of how exactly a blogger earns revenue from their website.
This income report won’t go into as much detail about each revenue stream. It’s really just a list of revenue, expenses and profit.
Finishing the Year Strong
November and December are usually great months for bloggers who make money from advertising and affiliate marketing.
Between consumer spending for the holidays and advertisers trying to make the most of the season, it’s a great time of year for bloggers (especially fashion bloggers).
This year (2016) was no exception, with December being the third highest month of the year for total revenue.
Monthly Income for 2016
Just to give you a big picture view of the year, here’s a monthly revenue chart for 2016:
So, December wasn’t the record-breaker I was hoping for, but it was still a strong finish to a great year.
December 2016 Revenue by Category
My blogging revenue falls into three categories – ads, affiliate and products. Here’s the total revenue for each (for December):
- Advertising (banner ads and sponsorships) – $6,601
- Affiliate (programs like rStyle and Amazon Associates) – $2,525
- Products (ebooks, etc.) – $494
Now let’s look at each category in more detail…
Advertising – $6,601
- Sponsorships – $4,130
- AdThrive – $1,413
- Direct – $900
- Other – $158
Just to give a quick explanation of each category:
Sponsorships are sponsored content (articles and videos), or content that I create and publish on behalf of a brand (or after having been paid by a brand).
AdThrive is an ad network that handles almost all of my banner ad inventory, other than the “direct” inventory, which is…
Direct ads are banner ads that I sell directly to a client. In other words, they pay me and I place an image or gif of their choosing on my site (and link it to their site).
Other includes networks like Google AdSense, etc. Some of these networks prohibit publishers from sharing revenue data, which is why I won’t say things like, “I made this much from Google AdSense last month.”
Affiliate – $2,525
- Amazon – $1,573
- RewardStyle – $465
- Modern Tailor – $290
- ShareASale – $197
Affiliate commissions are pretty reliable (i.e., they don’t change much from one month to the next). But they grow very slowly.
I’m sure affiliate marketing could be a bigger part of my blogging business. I just haven’t really figured it out yet.
Products – $494
- TMM Style Guide – $494
I only have one product right now, which is my Style Guide (a digital “book” or guide about style for shorter men).
It is, by far, the most “passive” part of my business. Once you create an ebook and set up a sales page and/or funnel, it pretty much works on autopilot.
Total Revenue = $9,620 (up 3% from last month)
To get a more accurate idea of the business, you also have to look at expenses.
- Macbook Pro – $3,134*
- Assistant – $240
- WP Engine – $124
- Phone – $118
- LeadPages – $67
- Edgar – $49
- Internet – $40
- PayPal Fees – $40
- Adobe CC – $21
- Bluehost – $20
- Canva – $12
Total Expenses = $3,865
The big non-recurring expense this month was my new laptop: a brand new, fully spec’d out Macbook Pro. It was very expensive, but I’d been using a 2011 Macbook Air for years, and I really needed a new machine.
I do photo and video editing, and my entire livelihood depends on my computer, so it’s a worthwhile investment (something I wouldn’t want to skimp).
Plus, it’s a depreciating expense, so it’ll help out come tax season.
I also switched to WP Engine (from Bluehost). It’s a much more expensive hosting plan, but when your livelihood depends on your site being up, fast and secure, you need the best hosting.
I still think Bluehost is a great option for newer sites (less than 100k visits/month).
Profit = $5,755 (down 20% from last month)
Seeing a decrease in profit doesn’t really bother me, as long as the overall trend is in the right direction (which it is).
As they say, you have to spend money to make money!
I’d love to hear from you. What do you want to see in these monthly reports? What would make them more helpful?
Leave a comment to let me know!
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