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December 2011 Blog Statistics and Income Update PLUS 2011 Annual Totals

It was the best month yet!!!  Whoo-hoo for a crazy 3 weeks and a little time off too!!!

I wanted to blog full time by 2012. To reach that goal, I thought I needed a bunch of traffic on all of my blogs. Specifically, I was aiming for 25,000 unique visitors a month at BFS by August 2011 and needed to be making $30,000 a year total by 2012.  Well, there was a change of plans. I literally got too busy with my online work to keep my day job, so I quit as of July 15th, 2011! Self-employment is rocking so far!

I figured the best way to keep my eye on the prize is to hit monthly targets, so I started posting here. Between that and the fact there seems to be major interest in the subject, I started an update around the 1st of every month of my blogging stats and income generated. I’ll also do a huge 1 year update at the beginning of every January.

Here were my goals for December 2011 followed by the results:

  • Alexa Ranking: 32,500 / 36,938 (inching up…)
  • Visits: 19,000 / 16,994 (holiday month…I think I shot too high)
  • Unique Visitors: 15,000 /13,348
  • Pageviews: 30,000 /25,074
  • RSS subscribers: 800 /650
  • Twitter followers: 1000 /1070
  • Traffic breakdown: 7000 from Referring Sites (3548), 3000 from Direct Traffic (2304), 8000 from Search Engines (10,363), 1000 from Other (779)
  • Blogging Income: $10,000 / $24,880.95 (Seriously, I danced a freaking jig, double-checked, and danced again!!!)

Monthly Income Breakdown

  • Advertising on BFS: $3542.39
  • Advertising on My Other Blogs: $1605.00
  • Writing (Staff Writing and Freelancing): $410.00
  • Blogging Services (Running advertising on other sites and freelance tasks): $19,323.56

I had $2596.64 in expenses as well which included $921.97 in Paypal fees, my basic expenses, and blog empire expansion.  That came to 10% in expenses.  If you’d like to see my exact blogging expenses breakdown for this month, check out How I Make Money Blogging. I have been attempting to keep them at 15% or less of my overall income. That said, my net profit this month before taxes was $22,284.31.  WHOO-HOO!!!

As I mentioned at the start, my traffic was down this month due to the holidays and because I stopped commenting as much.  But December is awesome for blog advertising!!!  Every advertiser contact seemed to have an end-of-year budget that needed to be spent!  I am still so glad I quit my day job!!!

In the meantime, I am paying myself $3575 a month / $1650 every 2 weeks (a third of that goes to taxes…), so I better darn well keep bringing in at least that. The extra money is currently being divided up with 75% going to our mortgage and 25% going towards investments – we’ve suspended extra additions to our fun money and vacation accounts until the mortgage is completely paid off, which may happen in less than 6 months at this rate!

My goals for January:

  • Alexa Ranking: 35,000
  • Visits: 19,000
  • Unique Visitors: 15,000
  • Pageviews: 30,000
  • RSS subscribers: 800
  • Twitter followers: 1250
  • Traffic breakdown: 7000 from Referring Sites, 3000 from Direct Traffic, 8000 from Search Engines, 1000 from Other
  • Blogging Income: $10,000

2011 Totals

Total Online Income from 2011:  $99,334.14
Total Expenses from 2011:  $15,201.74 (15.3%)
Net Profit from 2011 before taxes:  $84,132.40

Any questions, comments, or advice? As I mentioned, I go into more detail with my income and expenses on the 1st of the month at http://howimakemoneyblogging.com/, but feel free to ask anything you’d like at either site!!!



FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 a year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, a rental home, and professional pet sitting.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you).  I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. This all gives me the time to be with my aging family members, the flexibility to stay close with my friends and family, and it should help if we finally get pregnant too!  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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46 thoughts on “December 2011 Blog Statistics and Income Update PLUS 2011 Annual Totals

  1. That is so amazing! I am really excited to find out when you will be paying off your mortgage. I can’t even put in to words how awesome it is that you’ll be paying off your mortgage this year. Congratulations, your hard work is paying off.

  2. I am speachless with admiration (could this be; well yes!). Well done and keep it up.

  3. Once again, awesome work! It has been fun to work with you. The exciting thing is that the way your business model is setup, all of the money made from your blogging services also means that many other bloggers are happy with more advertising income.

  4. Well done!

    I’d say I’m jealous, but the only category I’m working in, you only only beat me by $1000.

    You rock.

  5. Wow, you’ve been a superstar from the start, but WOW!!!

    Nice to see that it’s possible to make big money online!

    It’ll be interesting to see how high you go, thanks for sharing your details.

    I would have never guess that it was possible…

  6. Congratulations on such great numbers! As has been said, you are an inspiration to us all – you’ve definitely given me hope for the coming year that if I keep at it, I can make some money out of this blogging biz. 🙂

  7. Thank you everyone for the very kind words!!!

    @Niki, I’m super excited about the mortgage payoff too. We are down to $42,000 and I want to hit it hard.

    @Jai, I am shooting for $10,000 because I think that is realistic. December was an end of year push but November was around $10,000. 🙂

    @Maria, thank you!

    @MoneyforCollegePro, I LOVE THAT – when I make $20,000, that means I made $80,000ish total for my clients. How cool is that?! Thank you for the support and for trusting me with your ad placements. 🙂

    @SB, I hope my traffic numbers increase in January – holidays are understandably rough.

    @Michelle, thanks!

    @Tim, yep, $0 to $100,000 in less than 2 years, woot!

    @Jason, thanks boy! You rock too!

    @Daniel, thanks!

    @Evan, thank you!

    @Newlyweds, lol, we can dance together. 🙂

    @SPF, I will work on getting more interest in the sustainable niche in 2012. 🙂

    @Don, ME NEITHER!!! I couldn’t have imagined this a year ago…not in my wildest dreams. This would be right up there with hitting the lotto, lol.

    @Jeff, YES. 😉

    @Amanda, cheers to that!!!

    @Jana, thank you so much. It is totally worth the 12-14 hour days during the busy weeks and 8-10 during the others! It’s been awesome watching you grow too!!!

    @Little House, it’s supposed to look easy for my clients or I’m not doing my job correctly, lol. 🙂

    @Fig, send me an email!

    @Emily, it took me about 6 months to get to $500 a month with just BFS, 12 months to start hitting $1000-$1500 regularly, and about 18 months to start hitting $2000 or more on a normal basis. There is definitely money to be made with a blog.

    @Sunil, I was actually getting wishy-washy on doing these updates anymore because I didn’t want anyone to think I was bragging. I am purely disclosing and celebrating. I am glad so many of you are on the same page with my thinking!!! Thank you!!!

    @David Hunter, you win best comment of the day!!! I really did laugh out loud and then showed the laptop to my husband to get him to laugh too. 🙂

    @LaTisha, having Mr. BFS help with the records in December was a blessing. My brain would have exploded otherwise. So yes, things will only get better now that I have that help. Now to talk him into helping me full time at some point…

    @Free, thanks!

    @Miss Wallstreet, thank you! You too!!!

  8. Awesome! What’s my prize?! Hehe

    Ok everyone, I hope you all saw that Crystal works 12-14 hour days. Hard work DOES pay off. She’s not sitting around on the couch watching T.V. waiting for clients to knock at her door like the rest of us.

  9. @Aloysa, thanks!

    @Saving Money Today, woot!

    @David, it’s only 12-14 hours a day for 5-10 days a month max (usually towards the end-beginning week – old budgets out and new budgets received). The rest are usually around 8-10 and every once in a while, I put in another few hours on the weekend. I am hopefully going to get help soon and we should both be able to get by with 6-8 hours a day Monday-Friday and that’s it. 🙂 That’s my dream for the last half of 2012 at least. 🙂

    @Marissa, thanks!

    @Steve, yay for an awesome 2012!

  10. That is very impressive. I hope you can teach me how you did. Learning this wants me to quit my day job. I have to spend some time learning this stuff first though. I would 12 to 14 hours a day with that salary. Great job Crystal. I hope you can visit me at derivative as well.

  11. Hi Crystal,

    It’s not the first time I’ve read your blog, but it’s the first time I leave a comment.
    Congratulations, I wish you more success this 2012, keep the good job up. I’m sure your income will increase in the forthcoming months 🙂

    Best Regards

  12. Wow this is really amazing and inspiring.

    I can’t believe you make that much off advertising.

    Crystal do you mind me asking, where do you find advertisers for your blog if you haven’t been contacted (or if the niche is more “lifestyle design” / entrepreneurship ?

    And how do you calculate how much each ad is worth monthly?

    So cool!

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