Blogging Income Report: November 2016

Read on to discover how much money I made with my style blog, The Modest Man, in November 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.

The Holiday Season

The fourth quarter is often the best time of the year for business, especially if you’re involved in B2C retail or consumer goods (home decor, fashion, beauty, etc.).

It’s the holiday season, which seems to get bigger every year – for better or worse. We have Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Hanukah, Christmas and more.

rStyle monthly commissions 2015
2015 monthly commissions through rStyle

Every store does everything they an to get their best deals of the year in front of potential customers. And their efforts trickle down to anyone who has an audience online, like bloggers.

During the holiday season, fashion bloggers can expect:

  • More ad revenue
  • More affiliate revenue
  • More sponsorships

I’m never sure what to expect in November and December, but I know these will be great months for business. January and February are usually good too, since most affiliate networks pay out at least 30-90 days after transactions.

This November was solid, although I did experience one setback that definitely had an impact on traffic and revenue…

Hosting Issues

Due to a hardware malfunction, my site was completely down for over 24 hours – the day after Black Friday. By my estimates, I lost about $350 revenue and 7,000 visits.

Website downtime
24 hours downtime

My hosting company is 100% to blame, and I’m still waiting on them to contact me about compensation (they said upper management is looking into it since it affected so many websites).

Needless to say, I was pretty upset about this. But I did learn a valuable lesson, and I immediate action to prevent future downtime (more on that in a separate post).

With that in mind, let’s look at the numbers…

Monthly Income for 2016

Just to give you a big picture view before get into the details for November, here’s a monthly revenue chart for 2016:

TMM monthly revenue 2016

Still trending upwards, which is great. I’m hoping December will be a record-breaker!

November 2016 Revenue by Category

My blogging revenue falls into three categories – ads, affiliate and products. Here’s the total revenue for each (for November):

  1. Advertising (banner ads and sponsorships) – $6,080
  2. Affiliate (programs like rStyle and Amazon Associates) – $2,604
  3. Products (ebooks, etc.) – $464

Now let’s look at each category in more detail…

Advertising – $6,080

  • Sponsorships – $3,851
  • AdThrive – $1,214
  • Direct – $750
  • Other – $266

Sponsorships, as always, are a big part of my business. I usually do a couple of sponsored posts and/or videos each month.

AdThrive is the network that manages my non-direct banner ads. They produced a $7 RPM in November, which is a record high for the site.

Affiliate – $2,604

  • Amazon – $1,566
  • RewardStyle – $328
  • Modern Tailor – $395
  • ShareASale – $281

This was a pretty average month for affiliate revenue. But remember: affiliate networks tend to pay out 30-90 days after transactions are made.

So even though November was a great month for earned affiliate revenue, those commissions won’t be paid out until January and February (after the purchases can be verified and any returns are made).

Also, it’s easy to see the direct impact of both holidays and website downtime on affiliate earnings:

TMM Amazon revenue
Amazon Associates earnings for November 2016

Looking at a chart like this, it’s obvious why website downtime is so painful!

Products – $464

  • TMM Style Guide – $464

I only have one product right now, which is my Style Guide (a digital “book” or guide about style for shorter men).

It’s not a huge revenue generator, but it is truly passive income. Once you create a valuable asset like a book – especially a digital one – it pretty much works on autopilot.

Total Revenue = $9,327 (up 4% from last month)

Of course, revenue is only part of the picture. We also have to look at expenses:


Total Expenses = $2,097

Notice that huge ConvertKit payment? They (my email service provider) offered three months free to customer who upgraded to an annual.

Basically, I saved $450 by pre-paying all of 2017. There’s no way I’m switching from ConvertKit anytime soon, and I have the cash, so this was a no brainer!

The other items are just the normal, monthly recurring expenses that help me run the business.

Profit = $7,230 (down 9% from last month)

So, down slightly from October, mostly due to that big ConvertKit payment. All in all, November was a solid month.

Got questions?

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!