This is the monthly blog income and expense report for June 2017, in which I’ll tell you how I earned $12,605.73 last month (working from home, running my online business). Because this year, I’m going to drop real numbers in your lap to show you exactly what can happen if you stick with it.
And by the way, a big thanks to Art of Blog for recognizing Marketing Creativity in their list of the top 50 richest and most influential bloggers! That’s a good list to be on.
Since we’re mid-way through the year, I thought it would be a good time to remind anyone seeing this why I started publishing income reports in the first place.
I grew up with a very modest idea of “good money” in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA (as did my husband), and to us, $40,000 was an amazing salary. And when I say amazing, I mean, it was an eye-boggling, jaw-dropping amount of money to be earned in one year! In the area I grew up, $200,000 bought you a “rich” house, so at 40K a year you were living high on the hog.
In DC, where I live now, $200K won’t buy you a cardboard box in the city.
And what I’ve learned since then is what a very subjective topic money can be. I don’t know if you think $40,000 is a lot of money or a little bit, but trust me when I tell you that—even a year ago—I could not fathom that glorious amount of money spilling into my life in a single month (and it has topped that a few times). After all, I spent years desperately grappling to make 40K as an annual salary from my online business.
I felt very called to share my income reports this year, so I trusted my gut on this, even though money conversations make some people really uncomfortable—or worse, money conversations make them compare.
If you want to compare anything, compare where you’re at now to these income reports I shared back in 2014. That’s the year I felt stalled and unsure, and the struggle was real. Making tens of thousands of dollars a month is surreal, and the funniest part …
Everyone wants my business today! The vision is alive, and so they believe!
Nobody wanted my business in years 1-4 when I worked just as hard, scraping by, frustrated and ready to quit, but I refused to quit because I BELIEVED and my HUSBAND and CHILDREN BELIEVED in my calling and my message and my purpose.
Back in 2014, my income reports were my own private experiment in persistence that just happened to be publicly shared. The truth was, I was tired of the uncertainty and ready to quit.
What a scary thought that is to me now! What if I’d quit? Because don’t get it twisted, it’s been very tempting at times! What if I’d tucked my tail between my legs, left this blog because “it’ll never work”, and started all over in a more traditional career? What if I’d never created The Luminaries Club (my online group coaching program), written Your Best Year, or instructed on CreativeLive? What if I hadn’t pushed through the frustration to tap into my full potential?
How much of MYSELF would I have missed out on?
That’s a much scarier alternative to taking any of the risks I’ve taken or doing any of the hard work I’ve done. Even back then, I had a sneaking suspicion that I was *thisclose* to a profit breakthrough. Of course, I couldn’t be sure. Can we ever be sure in online business?
There was only one thing I knew for sure at the start and it was this: I knew how to make a specific annual salary ($28K), and I knew how to make it well. I’d been making the same amount for four years. Nothing more, nothing less.
I stopped sharing reports in 2015, and the next thing you knew: I announced my journey to six-figures and revealed the strategy behind one of my 40K launches (2016). And in those posts, I explained the changes I’d made to earn more income, but there hadn’t been any breakdown reports to see exactly what makes money and why.
This is the journey we’re on today. I’m committed to sharing these income reports to show you how important it is to barrel-roll through the uncertainty because hard work and persistence pays off.
Income report – June 2017
- Luminaries Club Membership Dues: $4,560
- Complete Copywriting: $3,762
- The Summer Shift: $3,285
- Amazon royalties (YBY2017 + MP): $393.21
- Direct sales Marketing Playbook: $381.76
- Direct sales Your Best Year 2017: $223.76
The Luminaries Club is currently closed to new members, but earned $4,560 in recurring fees and payment installments. It’s a thriving membership of inspired entrepreneurs. Please be on my list to be the first to know when it reopens!
Complete Copywriting is my signature course, and it re-opened for enrollment back in January. It continues to perform well and welcome new students.
Every two years or so, I clear my schedule to take on private clients. The Summer Shift 2017 launched in May, and it is an aggressively dedicated service that offered very little availability. It sold out, earning $3,285 this month in installment plans. It will appear in income statements for one more month.
My latest book, Marketing Playbook: Scale Your Online Business to Outrageous Success is now fully available on Amazon. It sees its first royalties (in addition to my own direct sales) this month.
Your Best Year 2017 earned $223.76 at its end-of-season rate.
Total income for June 2017: $12,605.73
Y•T•D Total: $131,908.99
When the Slow Months Hit …
If you’ve been following along all year, you’ll notice this income report is noticeably lower than the others—I made less than half my normal earnings. That is the nature of my business model. My products and courses are sold as one-time fees or (typically) 10-month payment plans. I sell them for a short period (no more than two weeks), and then close sign-ups.
In marketing, there’s good reason for doing this: if you’re not launching a course and talking about it all of the time, it’s hard for potential clients/customers to even remember it exists. (This is true for products as well.) For example, when Complete Copywriting opened in January, it earned $15,852.96 in one week (a combination of 1-time fees and payment plans). As an experiment, I left it open to enrollment rather than close it post-launch. A handful of people have enrolled on their own accord, but nothing compared to the hundreds of sign-ups it gets during a sales push.
The downside to this business model is a month like this one (where income drops in half), but I knew it was coming. The inaugural launch of Complete Copywriting took place last May, which meant the highest percentage of my list enrolled back then and recurring income (payment plans) ended abruptly in February.
My next big launch isn’t until August 2017 (a Luminaries grand-reopening!), so my annual strategy was built to offset the lull. I released Marketing Playbook in April and launched my final coaching concentrate, The Summer Shift in May. Because of the enormous success of both projects, you may have never noticed that recurring payments dropped from almost $20K per month to an average $10K. Thankfully, I was prepared for this.
I love to take a casual pace in the summer, and I’m happy to have predicted this draught (and potential loss) so I can keep focus on my clients at work and my children at home. I’ve stored profits from previous months to cover this dry spell. I believe July will be more profitable, but I may see numbers like this again.
- Staff, salary, and contractors: $10,570
- Payment, host, and shipping fees: $692.40
- Infusionsoft: $299
- Office Supplies: $408.69
- Education + Training: $110.24
- Web hosting + software: $55.56
- Meals, accommodations, travel: $555.11
- Advertising: $1.21
Total expenses this month: $12,692.21
(Monthly loss in the amount – $86.48)
Y•T•D Total: $90,738.57 (includes my salary)
As with most months, staff, salary (mine), and contractors were my biggest expense in June. I recently wrote an absolutely *epic* guide to hiring. Please be sure to check it out! My hires help with …
- shipping and handling (physical books)
- video editing and production
- webinar moderation
- customer support
- text editing
- product creation
- tax preparation
- branding, website design, and development (coming soon)
- office organization and cleaning
- business management
Etsy fees and shipping take up the bulk of the second line, but I’ve also included Paypal and credit card processing fees there.
Infusionsoft is my email and customer management software, as well as the host of my private membership and training programs.
Office supplies cover everything from pens and notebooks to office equipment (computers, tablets, etc.).
My web hosting is by Pagely, and my bill is only $24/month (sadly, that amazing price is no longer available to new customers; I love this service).
Meals, accommodations, and travel is a rare category for me, but it does happen occasionally. This month, I sampled an array of local restaurants with private rooms. I was looking for the perfect location to host the Your Best Year 2018 launch party this fall! I had several “My job does not suck” moments while tasting delicious foods all around my new neighborhood.
During a month where I was trying to keep expenses low, this was such a decadent splurge!
Marketing Playbook is Here!
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Thank you for posting this. I also slow in the summer months and refused this year to freak out about it. It puts me in complete paralysis normally. Like you, I just tried harder this year to to prepare for the slower months with a bit more savings and I also am actively out of the office more and enjoying the summer season. I did have to consciously make this decision and the last two summers have been way more fulfilling. Thank you for sharing this. I love what you do, lisa!