With the growing number of bloggers and “income reports” going around in the marketing and blogger communities, I feel the need to give my two cents on the income reports that should be followed. I found myself in a bit of a loop the other day trying to FOLLOW ALL THE LINKS (Hyperbole and a Half joke – get it? I hope you do.) from income report roundup to income report roundup, just to get an idea of who is doing what and why they think they’re successful, and if I think they’re successful or not.
Honestly, other than the big names out there, I came across a few blogs that I really don’t think should be doing income reports, and I was almost embarrassed for them. If I have 5 affiliate sites and they each make me a dollar a month, I’m not going to write about that – it’s not going to educate or inspire ANYBODY to take action. Honestly, that’s depressing. So I decided to give them all a good look (though I already knew of my favorite ones) and pick out the 5 that I think should be required reading for new marketers and veteran marketers alike.
The 5 that I chose each have different ways of being helpful – from posting about income just from the blog the report is on, to posting about income from multiple sites, to posting about income from multiple streams (ie, publications, software, etc.) – traffic sources from organic to paid, and even a non-SEO blog, these are the 5 income reports that really stand out to me as leaders in the pack. They are all extremely inspiring, some even awe-inspiring, and all should be educational in their own way. So before I blabber my head off.. here they are!!
Okokok, everybody knows of Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income (if you don’t, welcome to the world of internet marketing, my new friend! ;)) – and yes, he is already on every other roundup list of income reports not to miss out there. I think his reports are essential for newcomers to blogging and marketing though, mostly because he started at the bottom just like the rest of us, and you can literally watch his progress month by month with each activity extremely well documented, down to the smallest details. His income is impressive, varied, and a great example to learn from.
If you can read Pat Flynn’s blog and not gain any actionable advice from it, you’re doing something wrong. It’s just a huge inspiration and definitely required reading for newcomers.. especially series like the Niche Site Duel (with 2.0 going on now!). I’m just sayin’, if you can’t get any ideas or inspiration from his income reports, you might want to consider going back to your day job!
I first came across Matthew Woodward’s site when digging for opinions about AHrefs vs MajesticSEO, which he did an amazing (and amusingly dramatic) write up on – but we can talk about that later. Mostly, I love that Matt really knows his shit (he follows legitimate SEO publications and truly knows how to use the tools he totes) rather than being another guru product pusher. I also love that he started this particular site less than a year ago, and is now SO close to hitting his goal of 10k in a month with it.
His site is actually helpful and has tons of useful information, so he deserves to make money off of it. I also really appreciate the detail that he goes into, always using cold hard data as he says. The only thing I would like to see added to his income reports would be income from other sites as well, since he seems so well versed in SEO. Matt, you should include this someday, even if you don’t include the site names!
Tom from Leaving Work Behind is another blogger who includes income from sources other than the website the report is on. He also includes life events so you know what’s going on and you get to know Tom a bit better, rather than just facts and numbers. Also, his main income reports page criticizes the fact that most marketing blogs wait until they’re in the black to offer income reports – as his always has offered them. Good for him! What I love about this is the admirable quality of posting income reports from the beginning means he knew he was going to succeed because he made the decision to do so. Hashtagawesome.
Although I wish Tyler’s income reports were more specific, this is another case of too inspiring to miss. His most recent profits were over 50k in one month. This is something everyone can reach with enough work, so it’s important to see people actually doing this kind of stuff.
I chose to include Tyler’s site because he actually buys traffic for affiliate offers – something which I don’t do and most marketers that I’ve followed before don’t do. I prefer to rely on organic traffic and SEO/rankings for my marketing, so his site is a great example of how to make it as a marketer who buys traffic.
This is actually a food blog that I felt was really important to include here in case you are into SEO and affiliate marketing, but not in a start-a-marketing-blog kind of way, rather more of a I-already-have-a-blog-how-do-I-monetize-it kind of way. Lindsay and Bjork, the couple behind this blog, make some really impressive numbers each month as you can see! If you want to monetize a fun blog that you write because you enjoy, you need to check out their income reports.
One great thing to note about their reports is it’s not just a list of what numbers they made from where – at one point, they did a site re-design and their income got cut down by almost half – at which point they did some analysis, figured out the problem, and came right back up in the next month! Now that’s what I like to see!!
After everything is said and done, no number of killer income reports will help you become successful – only you can, and only by taking action. Take these, bookmark these, read them each month, and try to actually learn something you can apply for each one.
Hope this was helpful!