Blog Income: My First Check

by Kay Lynn

Mail Stack

A check came in the mail last week from BlogHer ads.  Thanks to email notification I was expecting it but it represented so much more than the dollar amount.

It was another first…my first blog income.  I haven’t even deposited it yet because it feels so great carrying it around.  (Don’t worry, I will cash it!)

If you’re a new blogger don’t despair that it will take you 11 months to earn money on your blog.  I didn’t have any advertising until late March.  I was learning so much about blogging in general that it wasn’t time for monetization.  It’s time now. 

 The only negative is I have to start tracking blog income and expenses. I’ll use a spreadsheet at least initially.

Right now the expenses outweigh the income so I do not have tax concerns.  There are more expenses than the obvious hosting, theme and domain registration fees. 

I’m attending two conferences this year (Savvy Blogging Summit and Blogher ’10) and need to keep track of all expenses.  Fortunately, I travel often for work and am used to tracking the minutia for reimbursement such as bottled water and bellcap tips.

If you blog, what other expenses do you track? 

photo credit: Dvortygirl 

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Financial Samurai June 23, 2010 at 6:48 am

Congrats! Hope it’s big bucks! 🙂

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Bucksome June 23, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Sam, it wasn’t big bucks this time, but I’m working up to it!

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Little House June 23, 2010 at 8:46 am

That’s wonderful! I just was approved for the BlogHer ads about 6 weeks ago so I’m not sure when I’ll see my first payment. But how exciting to know it really works! I’ve tried Google Adsense and am not making much more than a couple pennies a day, so I’m trying a few different things. As for keeping track of my expenses, I’m not really doing that yet. I have hosting costs and my own time and effort, but that’s about it for now. I probably need to create a category in my Quickbooks and calculate it that way. Thanks for sharing your great news!

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Bucksome June 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Little House, let us know when you get your first check and if you did the happy dance (like me)!

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laura@move to portugal June 23, 2010 at 9:25 am

Congratulations on receiving your first blog check and may it be the first of many 🙂

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Bucksome June 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Thanks Laura. I certainly hope so!

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Money Beagle June 23, 2010 at 9:25 am

I’ve been going for almost two years and haven’t made any true money yet, so I’m still waiting! Congrats!

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Bucksome June 23, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Money Beagle, just keep trying till you find right source. I’ve just started trying adsense as well to see how that goes.

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Kristia@FamilyBalanceSheet June 23, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Congrats on your check. I am so jealous that you’re going to the sbsummit. I didn’t even try to apply, because with 2 little ones and my husband’s work schedule there was no way that I could travel across the country. Maybe next year. The list of speakers look phenomenal. Have a great time.

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Bucksome June 23, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Kristia, I’m really looking forward to it and think it will help me move my blog to another level. I hope to meet you sometime at a conference!

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Financial Bondage June 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Congrats. Extra money is always nice. 🙂

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Money Reasons June 23, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I’ve seen Blogher around, and I think they have very well done ads! Good for you, I hope it works out well! I wish there was a Bloghim ad agency, perhaps Blogher will expand to cover guys too 🙂

Congrats, Good for you!!! 🙂

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Bucksome June 24, 2010 at 6:27 am

@Financial Bondage, thanks for the kind thought.

@Money Reasons, we’ll have to start a Yakezie ad network.

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Donna Freedman June 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I’ve only been doing this for six weeks and am just now setting the wheels in motion to run ads. Anyone have any old-pro tips to offer?
In anticipation of making some money eventually, I’ve been keeping track of expenses such as the domain name purchase and the postage needed to mail out the prizes for my Friday giveaways.
Here’s hoping I can actually list “blog” as an alternate income source this year.

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Bucksome June 24, 2010 at 6:29 am

Donna, I don’t have any tips but learning from the others has really given me the confidence to start focusing on generating some revenue.

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Rainy-Day Saver June 23, 2010 at 8:31 pm

That’s so neat, congrats! You can run AdSense ads with BlogHer ads, I assume? I thought you couldn’t have AdSense with other ad networks.

@Little House: I hear you about the pennies a day!

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Bucksome June 24, 2010 at 6:25 am

Yes, you can run other ads; the ads just can’t be above the BlogHer ads which must be above the fold.

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Rainy-Day Saver June 24, 2010 at 10:00 am

Thanks for clarifying! =)

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Jackie June 24, 2010 at 5:26 am

Congrats on your first check 🙂

I haven’t gone to any conferences (although I would like to at some point) so I don’t have those expenses to track. But in addition to the other things you mentioned, I track postage, bank fees, licensing fees, advertising expenses, insurance, and other things that are relevant because my blog is just one part of my business.

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Bucksome June 24, 2010 at 6:26 am

Jackie, you mogul! Both you and Red reminded me about postage. I’m also planning a self-funded giveaway next month to celebrate my one year blogiversary and will need to document postage AND the actual prizes.

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frugal zeitgeist June 24, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Congratulations!!

I just do private ads. I started with AdSense, but a well-meaning blog acquaintance thought it would help me if he clicked on all my ads every day, and as a result I was permanently banned in about a month. I tried using AdBrite after that, but some of the ads were distasteful so I just got rid of it. For the few private ads I have, I track everything on spreadsheet so I can report it to the IRS. I don’t have any blog expenses because I’m not doing much of anything to promote my blog or get more deeply involved in the blogging community, so there’s nothing to offset. If I end up doing my own giveaways, though, I’ll probably start offsetting.

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Bucksome June 28, 2010 at 5:50 am

I’ve heard about people getting banned from AdSense and it seems more common than one would think.

Thanks for the good wishes.

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James June 25, 2010 at 9:33 am

i don’t blog but i do enjoy reading and commenting on other blogs. Congratulations on your new found income. Best of luck 🙂

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Bucksome June 28, 2010 at 5:53 am

James, I’m glad to have you comment on this one! I guess what the check represents to me is more important than the modest amount.

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Cheapskate Sandy June 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Mmmm. Extra money. I’m jealous. I’ve been getting requests for ads lately and hadn’t been responding because I was clueless as to what to charge, etc. I just revamped the blog a little to include fees so I hope I get someone interested! It I can just pay my cell phone each money ($30) that would be beyond awesome. Adsense, like someone already said, is only making me a few pennies a week. 🙁

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Bucksome June 28, 2010 at 5:55 am

Sandy, the check wasn’t enough to pay my cell phone bill but it’s a start! I’m just now getting the confidence to set ad rates and respond to inquiries.

One offer disappeared when I told him he couldn’t place his ad above the BlogHer ad. Didn’t even counteroffer. Oh, well.

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Bodaciousboomer June 26, 2010 at 10:43 am

I’m happy to hear that you’ve made the leap into the paying side of the blogging. I haven’t as yet. I’m going to BlogHer also. Are you going to the People’s Party party on Thursday night? If so, perhaps we might finally meet.

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Bucksome June 28, 2010 at 6:00 am

Bodaciousboomer, I am registered for the People’s Party and will definitely try to make it. I have a few other parties I’m signed up for that night as well. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for you!

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Fig June 26, 2010 at 4:13 pm

wooohoo! Congrats on your income! Blogging income is the best. It’s actually what carries me through between “real” jobs.

I also track fees for products I sell, bank fees, postage for giveaways, advertising, hosting, domains, and travel to conferences. I went to BlogHer last year and it was great fun but unfortunately this year I won’t be going because I’m moving during that time!

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Bucksome June 28, 2010 at 6:04 am

Fig, thanks for the good wishes. I hope to meet you next year at Blogher (I think West coast).

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Funny about Money June 27, 2010 at 11:14 am

I run all the blog income through my S-corporation, which also receives income from the editing business. Thus all business-related expenses are paid by the corporation, out of its own checking account. The corporation has its own credit card, too. This makes it very easy to keep track of income and expenses.

An S-corp has a number of advantages. You might find it worth looking into.

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Bucksome June 28, 2010 at 6:05 am

Funny, I’ll have to research S-corporation. Once I start earning more (hopefully soon) it might be a better avenue.

Thanks for the information!

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Mandy June 29, 2010 at 8:15 am

It took me six months to earn my first check from Blogher. I copied it and framed it! Then it took four months for my next check and this month I’ll be paid out for this month alone. So as long as your traffic is increasing, the payouts will increase.

Other expenses I track? My internet service, any software/computer hardware I buy, parking and food expenses for meeting with interviewees, domain hosting, domain registration … and yes, right now my expenses far exceed my income 🙂 I did get sponsored to go to the Savvy Blogging Summit so that is a huge help.

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Bucksome Boomer June 29, 2010 at 11:49 am

Mandy, good to know the payout will come faster as I get more traffic. It took 3 months for this check.

I didn’t think bout internet service as being an expense, but I can calculate the percentage of use for the blog. Thanks for the idea!

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