Blog Income Report for May 2020: How I Earned $33,647.68 Blogging (Last Month)

Note from Ryan: If you haven’t read my thoughts around how and why I’m supporting Black Lives Matter, please head over and read this letter. I don’t often talk about my personal life here on this blog, but these monthly income reports are always my #1 most read articles… so I wanted to place this plea where you’d see it.

I ask that you join me in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement through the actions and organizations I’ve detailed here.


Here’s my blog income report for May. Income came in at $33,647.68. Traffic increased a lot last month too, bringing in 449,019 readers and 555,880 unique sessions.

Let’s dig into the numbers for May… blog income rose a good amount over the previous month, landing above my forecast range thanks to increased affiliate commissions from my guide about how to start a blog and another month of increased enrollments in my comprehensive blogging course, Built to Blog: How to Get Your First 10,000 Readers and Earn Six-Figures Blogging.

Overall, I generated $33,647.68 in blog income during May of 2020.

I kept me expenses relatively low last month, but gave my writers as much work as they wanted to take on—which is keeping my buffer of new content fully stocked for several months out. Profit for May came in at $28,152.62.

The Forecast ☀️For June, I’m expecting another increase in blog income, landing in the range of $33,000 – $36,000 (possibly higher depending upon the timing of some upcoming payouts). Income is likely to steadily keep rising a bit over the coming months as I continue benefiting from traffic gains, spend more time beefing up my existing content and weaving in new affiliate promotions throughout my content. My business-related expenses are going to remain relatively steady (possibly lower) as I dedicate a lot more financial resources and time to supporting important causes and organizations in the fight for all black people to one day be treated equally in our country.

Now, on to the details of my May blog income report…

Blog Income in May 2020: $33,647.68

In these monthly reports, I track my total income every month, including each individual source of that income, and associated expenses with running my business. This is the good and the bad.

Next, I break down the traffic to my blog which heavily impacts my income, including what’s performing best and how I’m working to drive in more readers. I also cover how many email subscribers I’m at, the number of new subscribers acquired during the month, and what that growth trajectory looks like.

Finally, I cover updates on any other side projects I’m working on for the month.


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Now, let’s do this.

Blog Income Breakdown for May 2020

Gross Income

$33,647.68

Built to Blog Course Sales

    $2,731.42

Freelance Clients & Sponsorships

    $0.00

$30,916.26

$17,300.00
$0.00
$0.00
$9,295.00
$100.00
$79.76
$250.00
$149.92
$155.62
$153.15
$2,271.84
$0.00
$0.00
$213.00
$64.51
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$355.71
$12.00
$0.00
$7.00
$125.19
$72.23
$300.00
$6.53
$4.80
$0.00

 

Expenses Breakdown

Total Expenses

$5,495.06

Web Services: Hosting and Storage

Kinsta
SmartWP Hosting
Dreamhost
Google Drive
ENOM (Domains)
GoDaddy (Domains)
Cloudflare

$703.93

$300.00
$40.00
$67.88
$9.99
$24.00
$23.16
$238.90

Online Tools & Subscriptions

ConvertKit (Pre-Paid Annual)
Teachable
Bluehost (Test Website)
Adobe Creative Cloud
Calendly
Quickbooks
Zoom.us (Video Conferencing)
PSDCovers (Design Tool)
DeBounce (Email Verification)
Apple (Storage & Apps)

$236.95

$0.00
$99.00
$0.00
$52.99
$10.00
$30.00
$14.99
$0.00
$0.00
$29.97

Professional Services

Freelance Writers
Technical Consultant
WordPress Development
Business Insurance

$3,909.83

$2,015.00
$1,000.00
$807.50
$87.33

Travel, Office Supplies & Misc

AT&T Service Plan (iPhone)
Internet (Comcast)
Health Insurance
Transaction and Processing Fees

$644.35

$115.66
$91.28
$400.42
$36.99

 

Net Profit Breakdown

Net Profit

$28,152.62


Now, on to my blog and email-related statistics for May.


2. Blog Stats for May 2020: 555,880 Sessions and 143,639 Total Email Subscribers

Blog Income Report Traffic Breakdown Google Analytics Report Screenshot (ryrob)

May saw a very significant boost in traffic over April, as almost all of my key organic search rankings climbed a bit higher (largely due to a Google core algorithm update that revisited some of their ranking factors—and at least seems to be favoring much of my content for now). If there’s any constant I’ve come to expect though—it’s that change and volatility are still the norm in today’s environment, so diversification is key 🙂

For the past several months now, a very positive signal I’m continuing to see is that almost all of my long-form, blogging-related content I’ve published over the course of the past year are still continuing to climb higher up the first page of search results for their target keyword phrases (suggesting there’s a lot of strong potential for growth throughout this year).

This is truly a long game… and I’m investing more than ever into a strategic content roadmap that should lead to stronger future performance around more profitable content (with less dependance on traffic to a small number of articles).

I was up in Sessions from April by 31.99% as traffic climbed dramatically. Pageviews rose to 726,695.

Despite these great figures, I’m actually down 4.97% in traffic year-over-year compared to May of 2019, which was one of my all-time best months ever in terms of top-level traffic. Still, my most read articles continue to deliver traffic from organic search—and my newest content is consistently climbing in organic search rankings as well, which has brought me back up to near all-time highs. I’m in a positive position considering my key priorities and focus on increased revenue from existing traffic.

Here are my top 15 most trafficked posts from May, ranked in descending order of which drove the most readers:

With the month of May seeing traffic rise in a major way, readers to my 25,000+ word guide, How to Start a Blog and Make Money increased significantly too—which still holds rankings in organic search for competitive terms like how to start a bloghow to blog and such.

As per usual, when more readers land on that guide… more are joining my free course, How to Build a Blog in 7 Days and are offered an opportunity to join my more comprehensive paid Built to Blog course that’ll help them level up their blogging journey even more.

Also in May, I published two new long-form articles for my growing audience of bloggers:

The majority of my “content time” has again gone toward updating and expanding my biggest, most important guides.

My plan is to keep publishing a steady stream of in-depth, highly actionable content for bloggers this month—and moving forward into the future.

This is all with the continued long-term goal of signaling to Google that my site is primarily about blogging and I’m expecting that to keep delivering more readers looking for tactical blogging advice over the long haul… and I have to remind myself that this is a long-term investment 💪

2. Email Subscribers.

Blog Income Report Email Subscriber Growth Chart Screenshot (ryrob)

I’ve used ConvertKit to manage my email subscriber community and deliver my emails for several years now and I absolutely love the product.

May saw the addition of 4,595 subscribers to my community with my total email list growing to 143,639 subscribers.

This was a pretty significant surge in subscriber growth compared to the past few months, with a few key articles getting more traffic than than they’d seen in the beginning of the year (due to the many Google algorithm updates, which send me fluctuations in organic traffic).

Still, many of my new subscribers came from my influx of blogging-related content and free downloads (like my blog business plan, blogging books, outreach email templates and blog post templates)—which is my ultimate goal to keep focused on, as that’s the niche I’m doubling down on serving.

Much of my new subscriber growth continues to be fueled by my free course, Build a Blog in 7 Days which is well-optimized for both affiliate revenue—and for offering my more advanced paid course (Built to Blog).

3. Blog Scholarship Update

It’s now been (almost) two months of working with the 6 people I chose to support with my blog scholarship program! The results we’ve been seeing in such a short period of time have been incredibly promising. And because this mentorship program has been going so well, I want to share regular updates with everyone here, each month.

I’m a bit crunched for time at the moment, so check back here tomorrow for a detailed update on everyone in my blog scholarship program!

That’s it for my May blog income report.

One little milestone I hit on my blog the other day is quite a landmark in my book… 10,000 comments (with only 273 published articles)! Thank you for playing such an active role in my blog 🙏

10,000 Blog Comments on ryrob

I’m still on a break from recording new podcast episodes as my attention goes full force into producing more standout written content (along with auditing & updating my existing content library) and eventually into more videos for my YouTube channel. Once the time is right though, my goal is to bring the podcast back with a new focus and format around providing the most actionable blogging advice out there. Stay tuned for updates on that!

As we touched on at the beginning of this report, I’m predicting blog income to rise a bit again in June, landing between $33,000 – $36,000 as I experience the downstream benefits of traffic increases positively impacting my revenue. My main focus still remains on publishing more in-depth blogging content that’ll pay off over the course of the coming months (and years).

If you’re looking for some additional reading to help grow your own blog, I’m always updating my ultimate guide to building and scaling a profitable blog right here that I’d love for you to read 😊

Hi I'm Ryan Robinson

Full-time blogger, podcaster and side project aficionado. Join me here, on ryrob.com to learn how to start a blog, make money blogging and grow a profitable side business. I also write for publications like Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, Business Insider and more. Let’s chat on Twitter about business and side projects.

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8 replies to “Blog Income Report for May 2020: How I Earned $33,647.68 Blogging (Last Month)”

  1. I know I normally leave a constructive comment, but this isn’t one. I’m more mind blown by the fact that you you made $33k with passive income alone.

    I mean, I know you still have to write the posts in order to put the affiliate links, but still. $30k from affiliate links is mind blowing.

    Reply
    • Thanks, man! You already know that it’s easy to look at someone’s highlight reel and not see the time & effort that goes into getting somewhere. The same is true with my blog here, it’s been many years of consistent effort in the making!

      Reply
  2. Ryan, great income report and very inspiring. I have a question about your Bluehost commissions though. If I’m understand correctly, you’re reporting income you earned in May (not what was paid out to you.) If so, do you find a number of your Bluehost commissions get clawed back due to cancellations? I’m a Bluehost affiliate as well and typically see 10-20% of my sales taken back as people cancel and get a refund within the first 30 days.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Dale! The Bluehost earnings are actually what I was paid out during May, so they were actually generated during the month of March or April. But yeah, I also find that around ~10% of commissions get clawed back due to cancellations.

      Reply
  3. i dont know how to say ryan. I have been follow you for a long long time. i’m from india an i’m 23years old now. i have been following you since i was 19 years. every blog and ever email newsletter i used to receive from you is just amazing and full of knowledge and information. I also want to blog in this blogging and affiliate marketing niche but seeing the sheer competition in this blogging space is just overwhelming and scary as well at the same time, So will you recommend me to start blogging in this niche? if yes then how, and if No, what is your recommendation

    Reply
    • Hey Rohit, thanks for the kind words (and for following along with me for so long here). I’ll be the first to tell you that this niche is extremely competitive and not one where you should expect to start earning very quickly—without having a lot of prior experience in blogging, first. My advice would be to choose a niche topic that you’re genuinely interested in, have some experience with and are excited to try and help others solve some meaningful problems in that space… use that as an opportunity to build up your skills and earn some credibility as a blogger. Then (once you have some real experience making money from a blog) you’ll be able to approach the niche of teaching other bloggers with much more of an authentic, genuine level of authority… because you’ll have already built some experience in growing a profitable blog 🙂

      Reply
  4. This looks unbelievable. The breakdown is quite good. But the figures are awesome. It is so inspiring.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    Reply