The Income Reality of Blogging – My earnings during the early years

I’ve seen a few posts recently talking about income earned from blogging. People sharing income of thousands within a few months. I want to share the truth and manage those expectations with the detail on my income from 2015 until 2017. The income reality of blogging.

Lets face the reality, most bloggers will earn very little in the early months, even years. To become successful financially in this world requires much time, dedication, authority and dedication.

Detailed records

I have kept detailed records to the penny of all income earned since I started earning from Mrs Mummypenny. I left my full time employment as a commercial manager for EE in June 2015. After a couple of months off I became a full-time blogger and my sole focus was on building my business. For the last few months of 2015 however I earned just £207. This was mostly referral payments where I recommended a brilliant therapist that I had been using successfully.

First Full Year of Mrs Mummypenny Full Time £4,889

2016 was my first full year of trading and it started off slow from an income aspect. Q1 is a time when income is at its highest. But not in the early days. I worked on two review posts for which I charged £100 each and I earned some referral income. Yes there was a time when I charged tiny amounts for work. I soon learnt this had to change.

Q2 saw me earn £271, slightly more than Q1 but not much more. Again there was a couple of £100 review posts, a £50 piece of content and some skimlinks income.

Bare in mind that I was working super hard on my brand here, writing lots of content, meeting up with PR agents and brands, working hard to get me and my expertise out there. But it was not turning into much paid work at all.

My baking estimation challenge with Smart Energy GB

Second half of 2016 saw an upturn

Q3 of 2016 saw a couple of positive campaigns and I knew that it was the start of something big. I worked on campaigns for Standard Life and Compare the Market during the summer months. I earned £800 for both of these, I vastly under quoted for these projects but you live and learn, I didn’t really know what I was doing then!

I remember the excitement of getting that Standard Life job, it was my first official campaign. They immediately accepted my small fee and I knew at that point I could have gone much higher. A big first learning in negotiation and fee setting.

I worked on a small business project with lots of small businesses in my village, promoting them on social media and on my blog, I made £250 from this.

September looking back was a great month with income of £1500. I did my first ever piece of work for PensionBee, plus an insurance company and my long term collaboration with Smart Energy GB began.

I ended Q3 earning £2400.

Q4 followed on with lots more campaigns with companies including Asda, Scottish Power and an accountancy firm, another £2100 was received.

By this point I was earning virtually all of my money from sponsored posts not affiliate revenue. This is something that started to build up to more substantial numbers once my traffic and social media grew.

I knew by the end of 2016 that I had reached the point where companies were beginning to know who I was. Its a tipping point, the more sponsored work you do the more other brands see you. As time progresses you are added to the PR form blogger lists and they start to come to you.

Aldi Christmas Range 2017 - Here is a Special Preview

Second Full Time Year of Mrs Mummypenny £27,800

A clear memory of early Jan 2017 was a panicked meeting with my friend Heather. By this point I had been working on Mrs Mummypenny full time for nearly 18 months and I had only earned a few thousand. This was not enough money to survive and pay the mortgage and the bills.

I was considering looking for a job back in finance, the role I had left in 2015. We talked about the difficulties of focussing on two big things, a job and a business. One would suffer and after all the hard work of the past 18 months, why chuck it in now. I took this as a sign to focus extra hard on Mrs Mummypenny.

My focus and change of mindset had an immediate effect. Jan 2017 saw a great month for income £2,155. The bigger amounts in January include work with a savings app, Poundstretcher and 20 cogs, It was definitely a month of many smaller pieces of work that added up. I also made £350 from sales of my first book Blogging Your Way To Riches, which has always been my intention!

My Poundstretcher Shopping Haul - Christmas Presents for the Boys

Q1 was lucrative and saw income of £5,800. I knew by this point that things would work out, I could see income was growing over time it was worth it to keep going. I did my first filming work and earned £300 for it. I did more work with PensionBee including a photoshoot. And referral/ affiliate money was starting to be earned at around £100 per month.

I also started to work more closely with Aldi at this point and was regularly receiving vouchers to pay for my shopping. I was also doing regular press case study work for Smart Energy GB.

Q2 grows further to income of £6,600

I did a big YouTube and blog feature for an energy company in this quarter and charged £1500. They agreed to the fee straight away, this was a lovely chunk of income for Q2. There was more work with PensionBee, my first piece with Fidelity, Zurich Insurance and Xero.

And then it was summer Q3 £6,050

July and Aug were terrible months, and I remember feeling very panicked. My income had consistently been more than £2000 each month until the summer months hit. Those two months saw me earn just £2700, but then September saved me with a nice return to normality of £3,300.

The highlight from the summer months was my now regular work with PensionBee and some work with Whiskers where I had to write about what job my cat would do if he was a human. Yes really. which paid £400.

kitten kollege

September, like January is traditionally a good month for income. 2017 was no exception. There was campaigns with an estate agents, subsequently not here any more, Confused.com and Poster Lounge. There was a few hundred in referral fees and a good month for book sales.

Q4 £ 9,400

Things really took off in Q4. Perfect timing for an expensive time of the year, in particular November, a brilliant month of £4,700. This also meant I was able to make some big debt repayments, as during this time was repaying £16k of credit card debt.

So many exciting project to mention, Bean app, Co-op, my work with Octopus Energy began, Habito, Asda finance. I also tried some blogger outreach, really not my favourite thing to do, although it earned me £600. I’ve not done it again!

Dec also saw me do some paid work with newspapers and magazines with The Sun and Womans Own.

I can safely say that by the end of 2017, I knew this career would only grow and grow. Three years later as I write this in 2020 I am doing well, so well this year that I could finally put a large chunk of money into my pension and am completely debt free.

I hope this gives you a realistic view of the potential of blogging, the time it takes to grow and build, be unique, be determined and give it ALOT of time and energy and you can make money from blogging.

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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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