Monday, February 1, 2010

Can You Make Money Blogging - Month Five

It's actually month five and a half. My five month anniversary happened while my son was in the hospital, so I am going to go by the calendar month from now on. It's easier to calculate on my end anyway. Here are the ways I made money blogging in the month of January.

Swagbucks has always been and probably will always be my favorite revenue stream, simply because it is good. Swagbucks, for those of you who haven't heard me talk about it a million times already, is a search engine that pays you back a part of it's ad revenue. When you refer others, as I do through this blog, you get more. I refer, which means my blog readers are earning through their regular searching, and so am I. It is my favorite because I think I am doing a good thing by spreading the word about Swagbucks.
Total January Swagbucks Income: $205.00

BlogHer is the winner this month. I feel BlogHer is a great fit for my blog because I get paid based on how many people see the ads on my blog, not on how much anyone buys. For a blog with a decent amount of traffic that advocates not spending money, this is perfect. BlogHer is hard to get into, as they are not open to new bloggers right now, but if bloggers are interested, they have a waiting list.
Total January BlogHer Income: $1,044.53

Amazon Affiliates
Whenever I write about a book or product and it is sold on Amazon, I throw in my affiliate link. I then get a percentage of what is purchased by someone clicking on that link. I see this as being part of the inevitable, not pushing sales. We buy from Amazon, so I imagine others do as well.
Total January Amazon Income: $85.68

January Grand Total: $1,335.21

Yes, in the month of January, "Under $1000 Per Month" made over $1000. According to one survey, that is more than what 75% of income seeking bloggers are making, so these results are not typical.

What I've Learned

I get a lot of questions about making money blogging. First, my results aren't typical, or even desirable for many. I can't write anything without being attacked from one angle or another. I don't mind healthy debate, and I have learned a lot from readers who disagree with me, but some people go too far, way too far. Having said that this may not be for everyone, I have learned a few things about blogging.

First, don't blog for money. I don't blog for money, I blog because I want to share my ideas. I like my ideas, and I thought others might, too. Some do, some don't, but I think my readers in general like that I share them.

Second, don't be afraid of money. Even though I don't blog for money, I wanted to see if you could. When I started, I put up Adsense, wrote about Swagbucks and threw in some Amazon referral links. I found out that you can make money blogging. There are a ton of ways to do it, too, and I recommend ProBlogger to anyone who wants tips.

Some Personal Blogging Stuff

I missed the black and white. I'll still do color photos, but I missed my old background. For those of you without wide screen monitors, my background looks like this. It is my original background, and I'm glad to be reunited with it. I've learned my lesson and this should be the last time I change it. On another note, another "blog" has started plagiarizing my stuff, directly copying and pasting my posts on their "blog", advertised as: "so you don't have to give her a click." I read most blogs in bloglines, and I don't have a problem with people reading me through a feed. I provide a full feed for my feed reading readers. This feed is good for people who don't want me to earn money, or for people who like to read all their favorite blogs in one place, or for those who find my page loads a little slow.

As a recap, here are my past months' revenue:

Month One Blogging: $55.50
Month Two Blogging: $215.32
Month Three Blogging: $299.48
Month Four Blogging: $423.20
Month Five Blogging: $1,335.21

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Copyright Under $1000 Per Month, 2009-2010


Anonymous said...

You said: "I don't blog for money. I blog because I want to share my ideas." If that is the truth, why did you open your blog with Adsense? There is nothing wrong with admitting you opened this page for more than one reason. If you don't blog for money, but don't 'mind' making some from it, why not just state that? The wording you have chosen does not back up what the obvious states. That's probably why you have come under such criticism. Wording. Perhaps you can amend your wording. Otherwise, I'm afraid, this post seems hypocritical. You may not mean it that way...but it does come across that way.

Julie the Army Wife said...

That is really awesome!

Emily said...

Anon, if you had read the whole post, you might also have noticed that I wrote: "Even though I don't blog for money, I wanted to see if you could."

Julie, thanks!

Mrs. Money said...

HOLY POTATOES! You are doing so well. Keep up the good work!

Ria said...

Way to go! They money you made this month would cover my rent for 2 months and leave some money left over! Now that's the kind of income I'd love to be making!

Out of curiosity, when it comes to Swagbucks, how do you determine the monetary profit, since Swagbucks are more points than actual money.

Emily said...

Ria, It would cover two months rent, plus some left over for us as well. I measure my swagbucks earnings based on how much money in giftcards or payouts I order in a month.

Andrea said...

Great Job!! It is nice that you are able to earn money blogging and helping others at the same time.

Josie's friend said...

I've got to hand it to you Emily. You're making more money from this blog than many people do working outside the home. Good for you.

But, in order to do so, you have had people snickering at you behind your back, making fun of you and your lifestyle. So, there is a price to be paid for your putting your life out there for everyone to see.

I'm glad you are making money from the blog, since I hope you will use it to buy some healthy foods for your kids, and maybe move into a bigger place.

But I am sure you can understand why some people wouldn't choose to blog and show their home, family, where they live, etc. It's such a loss of privacy, and then to have people commenting on your every decision on top of it.

Anonymous said... have your 'belief' and I have mine. The 'even though I don't blog for money' is not a truthful statement for me, as it may be that you wanted to 'see if you could'. That means for me: you purposed by hooking up with adsense to 'make money' with this blog. The 'if' is irrelevant for me. If, honestly do not blog to make money, then you would not be hooked up with anything to earn you income through this blog. I'm black and white like that in my interpretations. Your idea of honesty is smoke and mirrors for someone like me. As I also stated, but will use a different term here: you are a contradiction of sorts. Whether or not you understand that doesn't make that contradiciton for myself 'not so'.

Emily said...

Josie's friend, I agree. Having readers means being scrutinized. I am shocked that people devote so much of themselves to mocking me, and am kind of sad for them, that they have nothing else going for them.

Anon, so what you are saying is that I can have two co-egual purposes, and that is fine for you, but for me to have a primary purpose and a secondary purpose is a contradiction.

Anonymous said...

You did not state anywhere in this or any previous post that you have a primary and secondary 'anything' and I pointed out how one could feel or get a sense of contradictory 'prose' as it were. That's all. Here, in the comments, you clarify. Not in the post. Have to wonder why, and it is not even to be unkind. I came in to shed some light as to how wording can effect the reader. Thank you for answering me, as I do appreciate it.

Life More Simply said...

Well, to people being critical of this post (which I think is a bit ridiculous of you), think of it this way: if you lit a fire for light, you probably wouldn't complain about the warmth it brought, either.

A person who blogs "for money" will generally write compensated posts and only review products that also provide a monetary amount with it. She would also only do reviews if there were giveaways attached, as this would up her stats immediately, thus creating revenue through Adsense and Blogher.

Just saying.

Mary Jane said...

Do you have any plans for the money this month or is it all going into savings? This, IMO, is the perfect opportunity to do some things for yourself: perhaps buy half (or quarter) of a cow since you eat a fair amount of beef, maybe a dental cleaning for you and Dan, or some gardening supplies for spring.

With regards to one of your recent posts, I suspect that this is what people mean by "live a little." I don't think that anyone is suggesting you need to go out and buy a big screen TV or a new designer wardrobe, but you do now have means to do some simple non-materialistic things that would improve your quality of life.

On a side note, I can't remember whether you have Netflix, but if so I highly suggest watching "Food Inc." It's an eyeopener!

zerohousepaymentforever said...

Wow!! I think you have worked hard to earn that money. Good job. I really am amazed. You are a wonderful writer, thank you for sharing your life with us.

Simple in France said...

Congratulations! I think there's nothing at all wrong with earning a little money for something you'd do anyway for nothing. I may try it myself someday . . .but only when I'm more organized!

Most impressive work! I like the way you have always been open about the money aspect of the blog.

Domestic Goddess said...

I fail to comprehend how people can go to blogs, read it and then complain about something (i.e. split hairs) in the comments. Anonymously.

I do not agree with everything I read on every blinking blog I read. In fact, I read many blogs and say, "WHAT?" But I never, ever get into the comments and say, "You SAID this! You SAID that! You contradict yourself! You LIE! You ____ (insert insult here)" I just do not understand this. And then to do it anonymously, because they know someone will follow the link and blast them.

Emily, while I don't do everything you've done (and you wouldn't do what I do), that's the beauty of the world. We are all different. If people don't agree with me, oh well! If they don't like my writing style, oh well! I mean, this is printed word! We aren't all authors. It is nearly impossible to discern emotional tone and body language FROM A BLOG.

I say keep up the good work. The heck with them. They were probably picked last for dodge ball in grade school.

Tammy said...

Awesome. You will have the money saved for your dreams in no time!

Andrea said...

That is awesome!

I hope you reported the "blog" that is copying and pasting your posts.

Angela said...

Just a question for you about the income. How do you report this income on your taxes? Do the companies send you 1099s or are you responsible for keeping track yourself with monthly statements?

(I'm a business professor so things like this roll around in my head!)

Ria said...

I figured that must have been the way you measured the Swagbucks profit, since so many items have differing points values that it's not exactly easy to assign a dollar value to individual points.

Anonymous said...


I assume the huge jump in revenue you saw this month was largely due to the number of people continually checking your blog for updates during the week that Daniel was ill. I would suspect this amount will go down next month now that he is healthy. I am glad to see that at least one thing positive did come from his illness, as maybe the additional revenue could be used to cover any out of pocket costs your family incurs as a result of his illness.

Great job finding ways for your family to benefit from your talent/gift for writing. I think it's wonderful that you are able to do something that you enjoy and have an added benefit for your family as well. I, for one, have no problem with you earning money for every time I click on your's not coming out of my pocket, why would it bother me that you get paid for my visits? I don't understand why it bothers other people. In my opinion, if it bothers them so much, they should just stop coming to your site and leave you alone!

I wish I had more blog readers and had a way to get more swagbucks followers! I have been using Swag bucks since you first posted about it and in that time I have only earned 119 swagbucks and have 0 Not too profitable for me at all but then again, its not costing me anything either and eventually I will earn a gift

Keep on blogging, I truly enjoy your posts!


Rachel said...

That's so fun! If Dan is anything like my DH, I bet he's so proud of you that he could burst!

Ria said...

Additional comment - I can't understand why people get so hot under the collar about somebody making money from their blog. I personally see a difference between "blogging for money" and "making money from a blog". To me, blogging for money is creating a blog and tailoring the posts with the express purpose of financial remuneration, like doing sponsored product reviews and making sure that every post is SEO optimized and all that stuff. Making money from a blog is a side-goal, you're sticking up a few ads around the site but still sticking keeping blogging as your main purpose, blogging as though you're not doing it for the express purpose of making money.

I don't see anything wrong with a little financial compensation for a person's time and energy spent writing up blog posts every day and discussing things with commenters. How is it so wrong to have a little bit of side income, even if it turns into more than some people could make working elsewhere. Writing is work. It takes time, energy, creativity, and content. And even if blogging becomes a full-time job, then there's no problem with that either. Nobody in their right mind looks at somebody doing a job they enjoy and start ragging on them for "only working for the money."

Emily said...

Mary Jane, I've applied for a community garden plot, so if I get one, we might put some money into tools. That would be an investment type purchase for us, one that contributes to our homesteading dreams.

Andrea, I did report that other "blog."

Angela, I don't think swagbucks gives out 1099s, and I didn't earn enough in 2009 for Amazon or BlogHer to send one, so I'm not sure how that will work for next year's taxes. I'm keeping a record myself, though, just like I do with mystery shopping earnings.

MomToEight said...

I don't understand why some women seem to devote all their free time to stalking blogs they disagree with. Usually one click to a blog and I can tell if it's for me. I don't spend an ounce of time or effort on blogs that I find offensive. There are better ways to educate yourself on differening world views.
As for the revenue. Well, all I can say is you have earned it.

Clisby said...

"Josie's friend, I agree. Having readers means being scrutinized."

It's good practice for being a minister's wife.

Emily said...

sweetjenna, looking back over my pageviews chart, the major spike this month was before Daniel was sick. Things were relatively stable during Dan's hospital visit. But I think February will be less since there are only 28 days. I also predict my swagbucks earnings will start to decline as more of my referrals reach the max of what I can earn from them. Most of my referrals came from when I wrote about it, although new ones do trickle in.

Thanks MomToEight. (:

The Pittsburgh Pair said...

I also have to keep track of my own income with my own personal business. You may want to look into how this income will affect your taxes.

Also, do you have to pay income tax on your Swagbucks and other non-cash earnings? I do, so that is a huge hit financially.

You may want to consult a CPA or accountant as you are earning quite a nice chunk of change! Congrats to you! Perhaps Dan should put ads on his blog; you could be earning even more!

Carolyn said...

I'm happy for you that you've done so well. I wish you the best and hope your earnings continue to grow.

Linda said...

Emily, good for you earning some money from doing something you enjoy. I don't earn anything on my blog but believe me I'm not against it!!! I am so sorry so many people just seem to read your post and then dissect it and leave such rude anonymous comments. I have said before, I don't always agree with you but I will fight to the death for your right to say what you say and Live how you Live! I read you because I find you interesting and you make me think. So Good Luck with the February income.
Linda @ A La Carte

PS I like the Black & suits you.

Emily said...

Pittsburgh Pair, I'm pretty sure I have to report swagbucks, but it's less complicated than reporting mystery shopping since there are no deductions. I agree that Dan should put up ads, too, but it's up to him.

Linda, I feel more comfortable in the black and white again. And the color pics and ads, I think, go nicely with it.

Melissa said...

Congrats! Besides the garden plot do you have any other plans for your profits? How do you receive your money? Do they send a check in the mail? Just wondering how it works! (=

God Bless,

Tree Huggin Momma said...

Emily - I am going to sign up for swagbucks, if I click directly from your post do you get credit? and is there a swagcode? Thanks, just want to make sure you get credit for signing me up :)

Alicia said...

I think it is great that you made the extra income this month! I also don't think there is anything wrong with you writing about your life for money. Like you said, she isn't doing it FOR money, and any money she makes off of it, good for her. That's great! Even if you do have some different ideas sometimes, I am glad that your writing is helping your family.

Alicia from Coffee Mugs and Sippy Cups

Emily said...

Melissa, there are a few other investmenty-type purchases we've made, paying money now to save money down the road. Amazon pays through direct deposit, BlogHer thorugh Paypal, and swagbucks through giftcards and PayPal. I'm investigating savings rates to open an account just for this money.

TreeHugginMomma, yes, if you use the link in the post or the button in my side bar, I will get credit. You'll know I'm getting credit because it will say "emilykate84" at the end of the link. I don't have a swagcode, sorry, but I hope you can earn from it, too!

pennilessparenting said...

That's great Emily! To double your income via your blog is truly awesome! I hope that one day I'll be able to make money off my blog as well... Or at least get the 10 dollars back that I spent on the domain name...

Plane Jane said...


It's very interesting that you already know, to the penny, how much you're making this month from BlogHer. I'm assuming you logged into the associated system and did the math?

Oh and for those who asked about how those of us who run BlogHer ads get's every 45 days and it's based on a fairly intricate revunue sharing system. You can either get paid via PayPal or recieve a check, every 45 days...oh and they'll only mail you a check if you have made more than $25 in that time period. Otherwise they hang onto the money until you've got that much share revenue in your account.

Anyhow Emily, I did the math and WOAHHHHH! In order to have made that much money via BlogHerAds, you're right up there with Dooce...well near enough.

Do you plan on becoming more active with BlogHer, possibly cross-posting your posts to the BlogHer community site? Because, if indeed you're pulling in that kind of money, I'm sure one of the editors from BlogHer would be interested in your contributing to the community.

Despite having done the math myself after checking your stats via Alexa and a couple of other site monitoring sites, I'm going to go aheead and congratulate you on ONE MILLION PAGE HITS in January. I know for a fact that you'd have to have over a million hits in a one month period from AdSense to make kind of money, and BlogHer pays even less. Again, congrats!

Anonymous said...

Emily, that is fantastic! I'm both jealous and happy for you that you've made so much from your blog.
thanks for posting this, by the way. I'm always curious as to what bloggers actually make, and it's refreshing to have one be honest about their blog income.

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful job Emily!!!
I'm pretty sure next year you will just get some 1099 forms from these companies, so it shouldn't be hard to just figure that out.

The Pittsburgh Pair said...

If you are checking out savings rates for this money, pretty much does all the work for you.

Check out a MMA or a high-yield savings account.

Hope that helps!

Jennifer said...

Wow - I must say I'm a little bit jealous that you made that much from BlogHer! I think I made 1/6 of that. Then again, I don't know if I could handle the same scruitny that you do for your blog.

Emily said...

Penniless, that made me laugh. I hope you get more than your $10 back as well.

Plane Jane, according to the BlogHer reporting, I got 496k ad impressions, so not quite Dooce territory, but not bad.

Pittsburgh Pair, thanks, I'll check that out.

Plane Jane said...


your "slip" is showing.

Your site meter says your TOTAL hits (and I know you've had it on your site for a while, I've seen it there as far back as two months ago), are 189,987,000.

Why the discrepancy?

Taurman Inc. said...

Unfortunately the internet is filled with copy cats. My husband builds inexpensive websites for people to make money for our families basic needs and folks are always stealing his ideas. Hopefully your loyal followers will keep coming to the original. I do have to say I admire your hard core stand for your principals.

Anonymous said...

Can you explain more about Swagbucks and how they work? I attempted to sign up for them but gave up quickly because I just didn't understand if I had to be logged into the site everytime i surfed the web or what?
Also, I signed up for Survey Spot but couldn't figure that one out either, I did a few survey's and earned "points" but had no idea what those points mean.

Christie said...

I think you do a great job with your blog and I enjoy reading it. I think it's ridiculous that there are stupid, spiteful people out there who intend to boycott your blog, probably just out of jealousy. You can know that i'm a faithful reader!!

And I have a question, Emily, and that is how do you sign up for BlogHer?

Lisa said...

You'll have to spend most of the money , instead of putting it in savings or you will lose your medical cards through the state. The taxes will take some though as you will have self employment taxes &regular taxes. Good job on the amount you made this month. It's what we live on take home a month for 3 people. Glad your son is better. Have they found out any other test results.

Happily Frugal Mama said...

Holy Canoli Emily! That's AWESOME!

Making money blogging ROCKS... and if you keep up at this rate, you can definitely set aside money toward future goals!

Of course, if your blog income becomes part of your daily budget (as most of us end up doing)... then you'd have to find a different focus... but if you set it aside for future plans... all I can say is WOWSA.

marie said...

I read in a reader, not because I don't want bloggers not to earn money, quite the contrary, but otherwise I would not read the same volume as I would forget to check a lot of them. One little feature that google reader offers though is a 'next' button that you put in the toolbar, and it brings you to the actual webpage of the next blog to read. That way you still have the convience of not remembering url and so on, but you get to visit the page.

Devorie said...

I love your ideas, and I love that you are getting paid for sharing them with me! Whether that is your primary purpose, or secondary purpose, or accidental purpose doesn't really matter to me. I know blogging is time consuming and takes effort, especially creating an interesting, well written, relevant blog. I'm glad someone recognizes your hard work and is rewarding you for it. I hope February is even better!

Jennifer said...

Emily, congratulations! I'm sure that earning so much was unexpected. :) We live on more than $1000/month, but we're making much more and saving a whole lot, so I understand you! I've been reading your blog since I found you on We Are That Family's blog.

I started an online savings account with ING Direct 6 years ago and love it. No minimum deposit, all electronic, and high interest rates. Their rates have dropped, just as others have, but they are still ahead and will return to high yields again. I sent you an email referral from them. If you sign up through my link, you'll get $25 for free and I'll get $10! I just thought I'd pass along the word, but no pressure! :)

AT said...

I am so happy that you are making some money by blogging and I am doubly happy that you are doing so in spite of those dark-hearted people who are still trying to thwart your efforts. (Sometimes I pray that they will find some peace and happiness in their lives. I know that you are doing well in that department.)

I used to have a community plot when I lived in an apartment. Now I have a yard and enough room to grow pretty much anything but I still miss the community that came with the plot. We shared veggies and tools and tips and I made some very good friends. It was a lot of fun.

Lindsey in AL said...

Just wanted to say how gorgeous I think the blog looks now! I liked the new set up/background thing but I always liked the black and white borders. I didn't care for all the black and white pictures either. I think you've hit just the right balance now. Beautiful!

Emily said...

Plane Jane, site meter records visits, I reported the impressions according to BlogHer. There is a difference between visits and impressions. Considering you know a little about BlogHer, I would think you would have known that.

Thusa, there is an option to stay logged in to swagbucks all the time. It's a box you can check right under where you log in that says "Remember Me."

Christia, when you go to, there is a tab on top that says BlogHerAds. You can get on the waiting list through that.

marie, that's why I read in a reader as well. I frequently click through to comment or read comments, too.

Jennifer, thanks, I'll look into that. It seems ING has a great referral program, so if I go with that, I'll do it through you're email. (:

Mama Melissa said...

what i don't understand... is how are you still living under 1000 per month, then? you alone are making more than your husband a month, and buying/using gift cards to buy things (hence swagbucks).

unless you're still doing it but haven't said so, or how you are "spending" the $1300 you made this month. or any month that you've coem in over the 1000.

Heather said...

Have you tried Inbox Dollars? You get money for clickin a link in an email, playing games, shopping online, etc.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the field of communication, and from my standpoint, I think you like the controversy your blog creates. (This generates more readers and more money for you.)If your blog wasn't so controversial, you wouldn't be receiving the amount of income that you do. Is this entirely a bad thing? Not really, it's a smart "business" move.

With that said, I think you are a good person, and probably do live the things you blog about. It just bothers me, not that you make a profit, but that you act as though when you write your blogs you are doing it solely from the perspective of just sharing your thoughts, and not with any intent to write something in such a way that more people would be interested to read.

Diana @ frontyardfoodie said...

BlogHer definitely sounds amazing! I wonder how they make money if they're paying so much out for page views.

It is really crazy how many people criticize you. I'm always surprised. Even though many of your practices are something I would do I've gotten tons of good ideas from you!

Is your savings boosted now with this months income?

Anonymous said...

Emily, way to go! I don't think I can put ads on my blog, but I did sign up for Swagbucks under you and that seems to be paying off so far. Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer, can you send me a link for ING? You can send it to my "junk" email Thanks!

Devon said...

This may seem like a stupid question, but does Swagbucks have a cash payout, or just cards? If so, how are you putting gift cards in savings??

Like I said, stupid question.

Molly said...

That is awesome! Remember, there will always be people who mock you as you give your testimony. Good practice in turning the other cheek. As an entertainer once said about his detractors, "I cry all the way to the bank."

By the way, I think Dan looks great. No way is he starving. He just looks thin compared to the majority of Walmart shoppers. Or the obese spouses of snarkers. :)

Emily said...

Mama Melissa, just because I've earned it doesn't mean I've spent it, or even recieved it.

Heather, thanks for the link.

Anon, maybe I make my blog interesting because my thoughts are interesting. Just a thought.

Diana, BlogHer actually made more from the blog than I do. Of the income the ads make, I get 45%, they get 55%. The savings account hasn't changed much since I got some of the Adsense money. I haven't seen any of the BlogHer money yet, just earned it.

Devon, they have a PayPal payout, which I use sometimes, but I use Amazon cards for budgeted for purchases, like Christmas and textbooks, so the money we had budgeted for that stays in savings.

Jennifer said...

Emily, thanks! I forgot to mention that my husband is also in seminary, finishing his M.Div this year. :)

MoreThanAMom2Four, I just referred you. Thanks a bunch!

ING has a few stipulations for getting your sign-up bonus, but there are no minimums after that and their company is terrific to work with!

Anonymous said...

There's no doubt that your lifestyle is interesting because it is unusual, but I think there is a motivation there that goes unmentioned. That motivation being that you know your thoughts are interesting, and you know you will attract controversy, thus high readership, and thus you can make a profit off of it. I believe you are writing what you actually live, but I do not believe that you are not also feeding the controversy more so that you can maintain the interest level of your blog, and the income from it.

Gianna said...

I tried to find the answer, but do you (plan to) claim the value of swagbucks, items you buy/eat from mystery shopping, as well as all other incoce sources from your blogs? If not, you really should.

Items received "as a benefit of doing work" such as a "free" meal in addition to or in lieu of payment" for mystery shopping is taxable. The true value of the meal is the amount you are "paid".

I am asking because I have started/stopped a few blogs (more because I cannot define my focus) and my husband suggested monetizing it if I reach a certain level of readers. I can no longer work because I am disabled, but I can write (used to be a journalist and copywriter). It makes sense to try to make some money if people like what I read.

So, any suggestions or tips are appreciated.


Emily said...

G, with mystery shopping, required purchases must be reported, but they are all deductible, since purchases are a job requirement. I'm reporting swagbucks as well, although I don't know all the laws around it.

I would monetize your blog before you have readership. I think throwing ads up a month or so in might give the wrong impression. Adsense seems to work for a lot of people, but it didn't for me, so it's a place to start.

Anonymous said...

This blog has certainly been an eye-opener for me, and I appreciate reading your opinions.

That's excellent you've been able to do something so few people seem to manage with the blog; what a blessing for your family.

Jennifer said...

As happy as I am for you, it is a little depressing to know that I have been blogging for over 3 years now and have never made anywhere near that amount in a month. Ugh! But it is great for you and you should feel good.

Susan said...

As you know you are Razing Ruth are my inspiration. I have monetized my blog from the get go. No income yet, I'm at the 3 week mark right now. I am hoping.
Congrats to your new income! Will you be changing your title or lifestyle (I can see it now - trips to Burmuda, a fancy car, nannies for the kiddies, spa vacations ;) )
Keep up the good work!

PS Let your readers know to go with a three column template. I went with two and am a little sorry I did. My next blog, a review of books and movies will be three column.

Mama Melissa said...

I understand you might not have gotten the money yet, but where on swagbucks can you take payout instead of taking gift cards? or are you using the gift cards for budgetary items and putting your regular (husband's) income in savings to account for the revenues? i'm just confused...

That $1300 is a lot of money a month, and maybe you're not tempted to go over your normal $1000 a month, but it seems to me that by using gift cards you'd be doing that... unless, again, you're putting the other $ in savings instead?


Sue. said...

I can see where people are saying you are being contradictory by saying you just aim to share your information/thoughts but are not being driven by $$ rewards. You said you wanted to ‘see’ if you could make money-so one of your goals was to make money. Call it what is and don’t try to dance around it.

I think you tend to bite the hand that feeds you when you are belittling peoples’ responses with how you address them in return. And by belittle others who do not live the same lifestyle you do. Same with the one post about ‘living a little’- you demean women who DO work outside the home and come off like you feel they don’t care about their kids. No one knows what is better for their family then the parents themselves. You know what works for you and others know what works for them.

It’s great you are making money while you are at home but you can’t act as though $1000+ is chump change in your guys’ income level. It’s just getting hard to stay tuned in when you really have a pompous air about yourself more and more.

Georgi said...

I am glad you went back to the black and white, I prefer it. Good job on the income.

Anonymous said...

I agree that if you are using gift cards that you earn to pay for things, then your income is over 1000.00 a month, unless you are taking the money in-kind from your husband's pay and transferring it to your savings account.

Emily said...

Susan, you can still change it to a three column after it's set up.

Melissa, they have a PayPal payout option in the giftcards. ALso, we have a bunch of unspent giftcards. The gift cards we have used have been mostly for stuff we had saved for anyway, so that money gets to stay in savings.

Sue, I agree that everyone has a different way of doing things, as they should. I just wish my readers would understand that about me.

Mama Melissa said...

true about the paypal payout... but, here's my next question then... why get a paypal gc for 70 for $5 when you could get amazon or something else for that same dollar amount... for practically half the points? (90=$5 as opposed to 70=$5)

just wondering?? or was there another way? i'd love to know, so i could do it too!! lol i love SB and usually just use the cards. as they seem the best bang for the buck.


Anonymous said...

I am so confused. I have thought, for quite a while, about monetizing my blog. I wasn't sure which direction to start, this post inspired me to start researching a bit on what I want to use and where I want to head with that. However, I do have a question for you. You said one of the companies doesn't count page hits but "impressions". What's a page impresion? (think that was the word you used)

Mama Melissa said...

ps. i think it's a good idea to use the gc's and keep the other money in your savings... i'm wondering how you budget that. do you have a budget you could share? (i keep mine in excel with all the bills/etc i have for each month, including incidentals)


Emily said...

Melissa, swagbucks limit you to five $5 Amazon giftcards per month, so after that, I go with either $50 Amazon giftcards or Paypal. There comes a point where I am earning more Amazon cards than I will use. I posted my budget here:

Food varies based on whether or not we are stocking up on sales, or buying something in bulk month to month, and gas varies based on my husband's class schedule, so we don't have a fixed number for those.

Our Family, BlogHer counts ad impressions, so that is each ad that is seen by a reader. For me, that is page views doubled, since I have two ads. Then, site meter, on the bottom of the screen, is counting visits. So, if you come to my site and look at three pages (3 page views), BlogHer will count that as 6 ad impressions (you saw 6 BlogHer ads) and site meter will count it as one visit. Does that make sense?

Sara Coats said...

Really? Someone started a blog so that you don't get clicks? Really? People are strange!

I love your blog... I could never live as fugally as you, but I love reading about how you do it. Thanks for showing us so much of your life.

And way to go for making so much money from the blog (and sharing that info too). Why shouldn't you get paid for the time you spend educating others on how to spend less?

Anonymous said...

Gotcha. I just signed up for Swagbucks (googled that one, thanks) and put it on my blogs. I will research more as I have time. Hey, if we get a few bucks to help pay for the boys therapies (down the road when we start to bring in money via the ads), large medical bills, or medical foods, wahoo and priase God.

Minn said...

Wow! That's wonderful!

I signed up with Blogher a while back and still couldn't get to put their ads on my blog. My adsense is slowly trudging forward but still very slow. It's frustrating.

Katie said...

I guess your title is kind of inaccurate now that you're making so much! Don't forget you'll have to pay taxes on all the blog income. I'm pretty sure even the Swagbucks count.

Catherine said...

Congratulations, Emily! You are one smart woman! Continue to live under $1000 and save the excess amounts. When you have children, and you do, and expect to have more, there are ever so many things that can arise where a nest egg is essential to keep things from rolling down hill.

Anonymous said...

Emily, I thought you would enjoy this off grid farm site and how they are going NT and even having free monthly meetings for it.

I pray the "miserables" don't attack their site though.

ClaireJ said...

I just wanted to let you know that you have lost a long-time reader. First of all, I dislike when internet figures complain about other internet figures stealing their intellectual property. If it truly is happening, then get a lawyer and take care of it in private. Don't bring the drama to a place where it doesn't belong. Be the bigger person and turn the other cheek.

Secondly, from what I know of blogHer and a few other inconsistencies in your story, I believe that you are breaking the Ninth Commandment. I am not one of those crazy people who stalk your blog and research and document every single thing you've ever written. I just have a good memory and have been reading, like I said, for a while.

I know you won't post this, and I really don't care. I'm telling you this for your own personal information. If I'm leaving, I'm sure there are others who won't be as kind as I to tell you. And there goes the money that you obviously desperately need for a nest egg. The truth is always the best.

Amy said...

I'm sorry if my comment is a little off topic, but I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog and my family is living a lot like yours. I also wanted to let you in on the irony of how I found your blog- which is new to my favs list- I am part of an online forum that was recently invaded by trolls from sybermoms and freejinger. They don't like us either I guess :D. While I was clicking through their sites to read all the interesting things they have to say ;-), I found the many threads about you and a link to your blog. So basically, through their trolling of you, you have gained a larger fan base and more clicking which equals more money! Keep up the good work!

KimC said...

Congrats on the great numbers!
I'm guessing that your critics are bringing in a good deal of traffic. Generating controversy is one method that Problogger recommends for increasing traffic, and your blog and lifestyle choices seem to generate controversy without any effort on your part.
I guess that's one perk to being pestered by trolls. Keep up the good work.

Strange Knit said...


Just keep living your wonderful life with a happily family. It seems so many people have lived in a "me first" lifestyle that miss the point completely. This is about you being able keep your family fed, clothed, and happy with less while being fulfilled and joyful.

Congratulations on your upward stream of revenue. Your blog gives great information which leads me to researching via swagbucks search engine. I have been reading up on fermenting and soaking aspects of your cooking. We eat various types of beans with grains to provide complete proteins. The soaking information lead me to sprouting dry beans which provides much more nutrition along with soaked grains. The sprouted beans are supposed to be easier to digest which is always a good thing!

Keep up the great blog. I enjoy reading about your journey to homesteading from apartment dwelling.


Olivia said...

Congrats! Well deserved :)
I hope it only continues to grow!!

Emily said...

ClaireJ, I'd love to know what it is I'm lying about.

Amy, I'm glad you found me. Some sybermoms actually tried to direct me to your forum, or I assume it was your forum. I didn't want to give them a larger ground to criticize me on, but I thought it looked like a nice forum.

KimC, thanks, I hear from many trolls who turn on themselves and start to like me, which is even nicer than getting clicks from those who don't like me.

Terri, I am loving sprouted beans myself, but a reader tipped me off that they have to be thoroughly cooked or they can be toxic.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the income! I'm sure it will be a big help, however it's used. Just be prepared at income tax time, as you may have to pay in, rather than receive the EIC. An extra $1000 month is way better than the EIC, but still, you may want to be ready and have funds set aside just for taxes.

Also, a previous commenter mentioned your medical cards. If you run the risk of out-earning them, maybe you could pick up the medical from Walmart?

Either way, congratulations and good luck with the future of your blog.

Rebecca said...

I just recently started reading your blog. You have some really great ideas. I loved your idea of the cooking crates. I have recently begun cooking more at home due to in decrease in income and may do something like that as my kitchen space is also limited. Too bad there are people who just have negative things to say...I find your blog inspiring and creative. I also think it's great that you're able to stay home with your kids. Good luck with your blogging and take care.

Anonymous said...

Yep, a blog name change is in order. 1000$ a month would be 12.000$ annually, but, actually you've lived beyond that annual income at least this last year...with the EIC of 3 0 6 thousand that amounts puts you over the 12, 000$ annual. THE EIC allows you to live on 1000$ monthly . Without that money you would have to figure in books/tuition/tithes/etc on Dan's income alone and wow! you'd be truly living on less than $1000. You blog name is misleading even more so now with the income earned from blogging.
Don't imagine you'll post this one either but hey, maybe I'll be wrong!
I don't have anything to link to but I'll sign..

connie said...

As long as you are really spending under 1000 a month for your expenses, I agree with your title, regardless of your additional income. I don't count financial emergencies as a regular expense.

My husband and I might be considered upper income - we net about 250k per year. I live frugally when I can. I believe the things money buys does enrich our life, but I don't believe in waste. There are some things I am cheap about. I do buy some food (not meat) from the dollar store. Although I don't agree with some things here, there is something in your blog for me.

Good work on the extra money. Keep it up. I do think money provides some motivation for the blog even though you say it's not. It's not a bad reason, just bad if you're not true about it. JMO.

Amber said...

Congrats! I'm happy to see how much you made :) I don't even care about the name change... keep blogging, even though many (including me) do not agree with a lot of what you do :)

heather said...

wow! you had a great month-congrats! our lives are worlds apart but i do like reading your blog-it's one i look forward to each day. i read via a reader, but of course to read comments i'll go ahead and visit your blog. it doesn't cost me anything (other than the time i waste online LOL), and if it helps you out-great!

i was never going to monetize my blog, mostly because i know i don't have the readership to make it lucrative. but then i checked into blogher. i do wonder how you got approved so quickly as i've been watching and i know the wait list was going before you started to really branch out and i've been on the list. i continue to check on it, especially since you were approved so quickly...and there's nothing that i'm seeing. i assume you had an "in" or perhaps just have a much larger readership that would benefit blogher more.

i have added a couple smaller commission based things to my blog-from sites that i use. and swagbucks. i also wonder how you do so well with swagbucks? i've had a few friends sign up under me and i guess they thought that was all that they needed to do-not use the search, etc. as i've not seen any extra bucks. also i have a feeling i'm missing out on some of the tricks of the trade.

on the plus side, you have motivated me to try and remember mypoints when i shop online. that site has given me a good pay out. but i'd forget to log in through them and get frustrated. now i'm trying it again. of course it's not too great for those who don't shop like i do, though there are other ways to earn points.

anyway, congrats again! and if you have any helpful hints you wouldn't mind sharing you could always email me =) you are one of two bloggers that really have done a whole lot in a short amount of time, and i'd love to hear more about how you've accomplished that!

Mary K. Martin said...

Off topic post but possible for a fact friday or you can respond in a different way. What do you do for baby food, I mean for when the young ones get to the soft solids stage. Do you buy gerber (just example) or grind your own? If so do you steam the veggies and use a mill? Just curious, it is one subject you have not talked about before.

Anonymous said...

Hi Emily, I'm a newish reader but I wanted to pass along this book recommendation. I've had trouble commenting so I'm sorry if this comes through twice. I'm going to have to sign in as anonymous because I keep losing my post ... Anyway here's a review of the book, I thought of you when I read it (I was looking for polenta recipes). Inexpensive, healthy and coupon free! She has 10 kids so obviously it would be much cheaper for you.


Elad D said...

Great blog post, those are indeed some great ways to make money from blogging.

Besides Adsense, more and more bloggers and webmasters are finding in-text advertising, such as with, to be a great second stream of revenue. The script analyzes the text on your site and double-underlines high CPC words. When your readers hover over any of those words, a small ad appears in a bubble. You may have already seen this around. The best part is that it works well alongside Adsense, and doesn't take up any additional real-estate on your site.

Emily said...

heather, I don't know why BlogHer chooses who they do. As far as swagbucks, I would say about half of my referrals sign up but never use it. I saw on your blog you wrote about it once. Maybe you could do an update, tell them how much you've made since you started, or show what (if anything) you got with your gift cards. I write about it all the time, each time picking up more referrals.

Amelie, thanks, that looks like an awesome resource!

AnnMarie said...

I'm not a tax pro, but I investigated the tax implications when I was earning $600+/year with surveys, MyPoints, and such places. Whether or not you get a form from the company (only sent when you are over $600 from that company), you report the income (gift cards count just like income). You do it as self-employed income. (BTW, you might be able to get a deduction on your computer if it is used primarily or solely for income generation.) You can group multiple things together--I worked as a test proctor and did online stuff and it all went in one place on my tax forms.

I do my taxes with TurboTax, which makes it pretty easy to put it in where you are supposed to. If you don't, you might try one of the online sites (I use TT online) where you only pay when you file, so you can make sure you are hitting everything correctly, then do it on paper. (Or pay and eFile anyway.)

I read in Bloglines. I wouldn't find if you included ads in your feed to get a little money from me. Would be happy to help support your family as I enjoy your blog!

The profiles usually don't work for me, so I'll sign as well. --AnnMarie

Emily said...

AnnMarie, thanks for the tax info. I read in Bloglines, too. It simplifies my life. I don't know how to monetize a feed, but I'll keep that in mind.

Teaching Money to Kids said...

Congratulations on a great month. Makes me jealous, and apparently the green monster has sturck at other more critical than I.
It makes me worry though that so many people think you are ocntroversial. Cause I think similarly to you in so many ways. Does that make me controversial, too. I hadn't ever thought I was. Different maybe...
I like the Black and white look better, too.
I don't think you should really have to worry about taxes, especially now that you have 3 kids. Cause we are living on $2000 a month, and we are still expecting over $6000 in tax money to come in.
Which reminds me, when appropriate, would you be willing to post what your tax income (or expenses) is and how you plan to spend it. Or save it?

Anonymous said...

Hey, good for you! You ran the blog long before you ever tried to make money from it, so I'm not sure what the other stuff is about, but I bet you can't even hear your detractors on your way to the bank, can you? I hope that doubles for you next month.

Emily said...

Teaching Money, I too wonder what they think about the readers who agree with me much of the time. They probably think you're as crazy as I am, just not as outspoken about it. Our tax money is usually split between tithes and Dan's tuition. It's next year's taxes that will be a big boost to savings, as Dan will be finishing school.

Anonymous said...

It makes me happy to know that you benefit each time I visit your blog (which I enjoy, thank you!).
I'm curious and a bit clueless about the feed business. If i read someone's entries via google reader, does that mean that the blogger does not get any clicks/impressions/traffic whatever you call it? in other words, they don't benefit from it? while i'm happy for you and many others to benefit from me simply reading your/their blogs, there is one or two that i read for the sheer horror/fascination factor that i'd rather not contribute to or encourage (let's just call it an exercise in social anthropology). not very charitable of me, i know, but the truth.
hmm, commenting problems, i'll try again, apologies if it comes through twice or more

Emily said...

kali, it really depends on how their feed is set up. Some people (like me) don't monetize the feed at all. But having a decent sized feed readership does contribute to my peace of mind about the blog. Also, my affiliate Amazon and swagbucks links come through on the feed.

For those you don't want to help, it depends on how the feed is set up. If there are ads at the bottom of the feed, you are probably giving them something like a thousandth of a penny each time you read them, even if you don't click. Also, a blogger can't tell the difference between a feed reader who likes them and one who doesn't.

Mommy Musings and Meditations said...

That is amazing, the amount of money you are earning per month! I do enjoy your blog and am glad you are regulating comments again...whew. Thanks for all the interesting information so far. Even if I don't agree with absolutely everything you write (I agree with most of it), it has given me a great understanding of another's perspective which keeps me from easily becoming judgemental. Also, I'm very glad your little guy is doing better now!

Holly said...

Thanks for allowing the full read on the feed readers. I think it's a nice thing to do!

Organizing Mommy said...

Wowza!!!! You are REALLY doing well. Blogher ads at $1,000 + are you kidding??!! I get about $30.00 every two months...!! (maybe) Amazing.

I am glad you are doing so well. I appreciate your comment on my blog also. Your outside of your family adventures (blogging) keep you and your family happy. Some of my adventures take me out of the home... and not so happy with family.

OtherBlogger said...


It seems you always take a lot of heat when you post about income (actually, you take a lot of heat about a lot of posts) so I commend you for being so transparent and open about you income. I really hope you continue to do it because it's inspirational to other bloggers who wonder if they can make money doing this.

My blog is in a completely different niche, so different I won't even link it here, but I still appreciate your honesty in sharing your earnings.

Thank you so much, and it's too bad other bloggers wouldn't choose to be a little more transparent in their earnings.

-Thankful Blogger

Ricki said...

Wow, I couldn't even read all of the comments. I'm sorry some people have nothing better to do than to critisize you for making and/or saving money.

People, if you don't like something, MOVE ON. There are millions of blogs out there, find one you like!

Kuddos to you, your blog is lovely! :)

BeeHive said...

Good for you! Keep it up.

Debbie said...

Hi Emily, I just found your blog, I have one as well and my husband works at walmart as a maintenance associate also so I do know how it is to make very little money! I must admit I havent mastered living on it and am still struggling as I cannot work at the moment, I have severe fibromyalga and am in pain especially in winter! I will be reading and keeping updated on your progress and would appreciate any thoughts on how to get my family out of the deep hole we are in hahaha

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