I had a feeling that income for September might be down slightly from August.
In September, I took off a few days from work to go on a trip to New Orleans with my family. Since I did very, very minimal work while I was gone, I knew that my income would probably be a little lower in September.
That combined with a high expense month did make it a little stressful at times. But, overall things are still going well with my business.
First I’ll give you a look at my income and expenses for September, and then I’ll share a few more behind-the-scenes reflections at the end.
Why Share My Online Income?
Sometimes I get strange looks when people hear that I share my business income and expenses, and my personal budget online. They think it’s strange that anyone who reads my blog can easily know how much money I earn, spend, and how much debt I have. However, I really like being transparent with you guys.
Sharing the details of my finances helps me stay accountable for my financial goals. It makes me want to keep working hard to pay off debt, build savings, and grow my business. Being transparent about debt is the whole reason why I started blogging in the first place!
Here’s a look at my income and expenses for September.
VA/Blog Management Services – $7,247.45
Freelance and Ghost Writing – $2,630.00
Coaching – $147.00
Other – $650.00
Advertising and Affiliate Income:
Survey Junkie – $30.00
Opinion Outpost – $4.50
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – $67.60
Direct Advertising – $488.19
Learn how to make affiliate income on your blog with Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I highly recommend it!
As I said before, I value transparency. This is why I like to share my business expenses with you too! I think this helps create a complete picture of what it really costs to run my online business.
The expenses listed below are only what I paid out of my business account this month.
You won’t see a line for internet because that is something I would pay for even if I didn’t have an online business. (But yes, I do get to deduct most of it now that I have an online business.) So, keep that in mind.
Also not included are my quarterly taxes, which were due in September.
Contract Services – $3,316.47
PayPal and Other Fees – $51.27
Facebook Ads – $267.32
Board Booster – $10.00
Dropbox – $9.99
Dream Host – $119.40
Meals – $25.45
Vista Print Business Cards – $25.80
FreshBooks Annual Subscription – $107.46
Deposit Photos – $98.00
Donation/Sponsorship – $300.00
Total Expenses: $4,331.16
Income less Expenses: $6,933.58
I’ve been making an effort to lower my business expenses, but they didn’t make much of a difference from last month to this month. 🙁
In September, I did have to pay for a few things that are out of the norm, like my business cards. I decided to get new ones before FinCon since the ones I had were from before my re-brand. I also had my annual FreshBooks subscription come due in September, and I took advantage of the sale to get some more Deposit Photo credits too. At least I’ll get my money’s worth out of these things!
For example, I know that my PayPal fees would be way higher if I didn’t use FreshBooks for invoicing my freelance clients. They have an agreement with PayPal to make the fees only $0.50 for transactions of any size, as long as the payment is from a US client. You can try FreshBooks for free for 30 days with my link.
At the beginning of the month, I traveled to speak to a high school class. I took along my assistant (my brother!) and took him out to lunch on the business. It was fun to share my story and knowledge with a group of high schoolers. I’m hoping that they can learn some of the lessons I had to learn the hard way before they make big money mistakes!
While I was gone on vacation in the middle of the month, my site had a TON of errors and technical issues. Luckily, the team I work with for these kinds of things helped me get it taken care of without me having to do much of anything.
During this process, I did decide to switch hosting companies from HostGator to Dream Host. My site is so much faster now! We also got it converted to https to make it more secure for my readers.
Finally, I decided to sponsor an award category this year and I paid for it in September.
I’ve been talking about business changes for a while and in September, I made some progress toward my changing up my business.
Leaving clients behind is always difficult, but it’s even harder when you’ve grown close to them over the months and years of working together. Even still, I took the time to self-reflect on my business and client list. After a lot of thought, I ended up giving my notice to three clients in September.
I don’t think this will have a huge impact on my income moving forward as these three were some of my smaller clients. The reason I decided to move on from working with them was that I want to slowly start getting more of my time back to work on building this blog and the community around it.
I know that I can’t put the time and energy into growing my own brand if I’m constantly working on client work and putting off my own blog until last. But, I can’t quit all of my freelance work in one shot because I still have bills to pay, and debt to pay off!
So, that’s what’s going on with my business transition and a look behind the scenes at some of the thought processes behind running a freelance business and blog business online. 🙂
If income reports get you jazzed, you can see all of my online income reports on this page!
Just to see how far I’ve come, I averaged my monthly online income for the 39 months I’ve been freelancing. Even with the part-time months at the beginning, my average monthly online income (gross) is $6,221.18. My 12 month (gross) average is $11,104.07.
Did you make any income online last month?