One type of post many bloggers use on their site is an income report. But before you get lured into a false sense of believing them, make sure you know why these posts may not be all they are cracked up to be.
If you follow any bloggers, the first part of each month often brings a recurring post. The income report. But should you trust what they say? Are these really helpful?
What is a Blogging Income Report?
A blogging income report is a post or article where bloggers share with their readers, how much they made the prior month.
Why do bloggers share them?
There are several reasons why bloggers will do an income report. Some of them are just excited to share their journey. But most of them (not all) usually include links to courses or products that teach you how to blog.
They are a marketing style. Just like a gift guide or product review, they are used to encourage people to click to buy something.
Is it wrong to do an income report?
Of course not! If you feel like you want to share this with the world, then, by all means, knock yourself out. But, before you jump in and type one, you will want to make sure that you are helpful and not smarmy.
What do you find in an income report?
A well-written report will pull back the curtain on how to make money blogging. They will include information on advertising networks, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and product sales. Not only that, but they will also disclose their expenses.
And, if the blogger is honest, they will often include screenshots verifying income from different sources or detailed information about where they make their income.
Many times, these reports also include struggles or what the blogger changed that month to try to make more money. Those strategies can be helpful.
As stated above, they also include links to their courses, books or other products that people can buy so they too an make money. They are a marketing tool.
Do I hate these reports?
Honestly? I have a love-hate relationship with them. I love when bloggers are honest and helpful and are not trying to sell people. I don’t like many of them because I don’t think they are all they are cracked up to be.
For starters, I often feel that the titles are very misleading. They may say they made $20,000 blogging this month. But, once you start reading, you see they spend $15,000 in expenses (including advertising). That means they really only made $5,000. I wish that these reports and titles would be more accurate and say “Net Profit” rather than “Monthly Income.”
But, they don’t. Why? Because saying I made $20,000 blogging this month sounds a whole lot more interesting than to say you made $5,000 net profit. It gets people clicking and wanting to read.
Another reason I am not a fan is that I think they set new bloggers up with false hope. If someone is making $50,000 a month that is great. Heck – I’d love to make that too! But, the thing I know that is not something every person can attain.
Sure, it’s possible.
However, it is more the exception than the rule for most bloggers. You may get there over time, but the truth is most do not.
Just a marketing ploy
I also feel that all too often the reports are a way just to market other courses for readers to buy. It is a way to get more sales, which makes them more affiliate income, so next month’s report shows more money.
Don’t get me wrong! I use affiliate marketing myself on my site. And I understand why they do them. But when you say you made $25,000 and you took this course that is why they sign up. They want to learn too.
And learning is great. We all have to do that. But I would instead read about a blogger who says I took this course and when I started out I was making $20 a month. I was able to use those tools, and over 36 months, I finally made $25,000 a month. That is just being honest. Otherwise, it can come across in the wrong way.
No proof of income
Then there are those who can say they make any number without evidence to back it up. I could say I made $28,472 in affiliate income last month – but I’d be lying.
Unless someone shows you screenshots, they can say what they want. There is nothing to back it up, and there is no way to verify if what they say is true or not.
Can be encouraging
The only reason that I like them is that I feel those that are well-done (you know, share stats, aren’t being overly salesy, have proof to back up their claims) is that they can be encouraging.
If a post talks about where the blogger began and they are honest and open about the numbers they can be uplifting to help bloggers realize that the sky is the limit when it comes to blogging.
Are all income reports bad?
Now that does not mean that there are not some great reports out there to read. Not at all. Some bloggers do an excellent job and are incredibly transparent, and I commend them for that (and wish this were more the norm than the exception).
Why I won’t share my income
That all aside I don’t think anyone has the right to know how much money I make blogging. Success is more than just what shows on your financial statements. It is what you are doing every day that makes you happy.
If you blog and make $20,000 a month and are miserable, are you really happy? The money is great, but does your site bring you joy (beyond the money).
I’ve had my share of ups and downs over the past ten years I’ve been blogging. I’ve had times when I’ve wanted to quit. But I didn’t. And why was that? Because I genuinely love what I do. Helping others and being an inspiration for them is where I find my success.
Think about that. What defines success for you? I really hope that it goes beyond the dollar.