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3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Six-Figure Blogging

My Monthly Blog Income Reports

Each month, I share the blog income reports from my wellness blog Root + Revel to show you exactly how I make money blogging. My goal is to teach you exactly how you can earn money from your blog, too!

Click here to skip the intro and jump to the next section: How Do Bloggers Make Money?

Kate Kordsmeier headshot, woman in blue button down shirt sitting at a laptop at a white table and white background

Blog Income Reports Introduction

If you’ve been following along, you may remember that in my very first year of blogging (2016), I made just $6,500. In 2017, I went full-time with R+R and I earned $75,000. And in year 3, I made $150,000 (AND I took a whopping 4 months off for maternity leave that year). By January 2019, I had my first $20,000+ month… from my freakin’ blog! And now I am on a mission to become a 7-figure entrepreneur by 2021.

I know sharing my income with you might seem a little crazy, but let me explain.

For years, I’ve been reading the income reports of many successful bloggers, like Pinch of YumMaking Sense of CentsSmart Passive Income and Show Me the Yummy.

And they’ve inspired me so much, not only to know what’s possible in the world of blogging as a business, but also with their incredible ideas and generosity in sharing their mistakes and successes along the way.

And now, I want to return the favor. I have something valuable to share about making money online, something that I hope will help you learn how to make money doing something you love, something that lights you up every day and makes you excited to get to work, something you’re passionate about, something that impacts others for the better, something you can do from your couch in your jammies or on a beach in the Caribbean or at a desk in a co-working space at whatever dang time you please because YOU’RE YOUR OWN BOSS.

Kate Kordsmeier with glasses looking into a computer.

Please know, the goal of these income reports is not to brag or show off or pat myself on the back (though it’s always a good idea to celebrate your own successes, too!). Rather, my goal with these income reports is three-fold:

  1. to help anyone interested in starting a blog learn the ropes and find inspiration and motivation to be successful and change your life, whether that’s simply finding an outlet for your passion, improving your financial situation by making some extra money, or finally quitting your job and making six figures working for yourself. I hope that by sharing my own journey, my transparency and story might help you to achieve your dreams.
  2. to show fellow skeptics (hi, I used to be one of you when I was a full-time journalist who wrote for real publications and turned my nose up at bloggers who were running their blogs without integrity, transparency and a business mindset) that it IS possible to make money online and to do so while keeping your soul intact.
  3. to help myself. Yes, I’ll admit it. I do have some selfish motivation for publishing these income reports. Because quite honestly, it’s a great opportunity for me to reflect on my business, to look back and see what worked and what didn’t, to learn from my mistakes and to track my achievements.

I’ve been self-employed for nearly a decade at this point, but since I began blogging full-time in January of 2017, my life has exponentially improved.

I’m finally writing the stories that I want to tell, I’m finally helping others to live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives, and I’m doing it ALL on my own terms.

I’m so proud and happy to report that life is so much better now that I’m truly my own boss and a full-time blogger. I look forward to each and every day–I wake up excited to work, I’m always learning something new and I love the challenge of running your own business, constantly coming up with new ways to monetize and help people, simultaneously.

Table of Contents:

Kate Kordsmeier on chaise lounging with her iphone.

How Do Bloggers Make Money?

There are three main revenue streams on Root + Revel:

1) Display ad revenue

Display ads are great because it’s completely passive income, and you can get started with ads right away. You literally put up the ads and have your ad network manage them for you to optimize your earnings. I use AdThrive Ad Network and couldn’t be happier with them.

On the downside, ads can impede your user’s experience, so as a blogger you need to decide what amount of ads feel right and most natural to you. I don’t want my blog to be overrun with ads, but I’m also providing valuable, free content to my readers, so having ads really helps bring in extra revenue. To me, it’s worth it!

2) Get Sponsored by Brands

Sponsored content is content that resembles your blog’s editorial content, but is paid for by a brand/company/advertiser and intended to promote their product.

In practice, sponsored content looks like this: A brand pays you an upfront, agreed-upon, fixed and guaranteed amount for you to promote their product on your blog. If you want to see some examples of sponsored content on Root + Revel, click here.

On the plus side, you can work with companies that you authentically love and personally use, helping your readers solve a problem and make their lives easier or better. However, paid sponsorships are a ton of work, give you less control over your content, and you need a certain amount of pageviews and/or social media following before you can get lucrative paid sponsors.

If you want to learn how to increase your blog’s revenue by working with brands and sponsors, read our detailed Guide to Sponsored Content: How to Get Paid Working With Brands as a Blogger.

3) Affiliate marketing programs

Affiliate marketing is by far my biggest revenue generator!

What is it? Affiliate marketing is when you receive a commission for promoting someone else’s product, service or program. You promote that thing to your audience with a special link. When anyone who has clicked your link proceeds to buy, you get paid either a percentage or a flat rate for the sale.

I love affiliate marketing because I get to promote brands and services that I truly love, trust, have personally tried, and are in alignment with Root + Revel’s mission. You can also get started with affiliate marketing right away, which is another plus!

The downsides are that you don’t control the program, meaning it could change or disappear at any time, along with your revenue. You’re also directing traffic away from your blog in order for people to buy, and there’s no guarantee you’ll earn anything (unlike sponsored content).

Ready to increase your income with affiliate marketing? Check out our 10 Strategies to Increase Your Affiliate Marketing Revenue here!

Of course, there are other ways you can earn money blogging like selling e-books, physical products, courses, or services, but nearly all of my income comes from the three monetization strategies listed above.

How much money can you make blogging?

Monthly Blog Income Reports

Monthly Blog Income Reports for 2020:
Monthly Blog Income Reports for 2019:
Monthly Blog Income Reports for 2018:
Annual Blog Income Report for 2017:

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