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My January and February Blogging Income Breakdown

Posted By Darren Rowse 14th of March 2011 Blogging for Dollars 0 Comments

Today I spent some time looking at my monthly income figures. I wasn’t quite sure how the stats would look for January and February.

  • On one hand, after the record month I had back in December, I had a feeling things would look a little down by comparison.
  • On the other hand, we launched a new ebook on my photography blog late in January/early February, which saw a rise in ebook sales. If we’d launched that ebook all in one month, I suspect that month would have rivaled December, but as we did it over Jan/Feb the income is also spread out.

Here are the monthly trends in the different income streams (click to enlarge):


While both months were certainly down on December, it’s good to see that the upward trend we’ve had since last September continues. February is now our second-highest month in revenue ever, and ebook sales over the launch period of the most recent ebook would have eclipsed the spike in June (which was previously our most successful launch).

Note: “continuity” includes membership sites like ProBlogger.com and Third Tribe Marketing.

Here are the monthly splits of income:

blog income jan 11.png
blog income feb11.png

While affiliate income was the resounding winner in December, ebook sales took the #1 position for both January and February. Interestingly, we’ve seen a real shift in the revenue stream in #1 position over the last four months:

  • November: AdSense
  • December: affiliate income
  • January-February: ebook sales.

This only reinforces what I’ve been saying for months now: the income streams do vary from month to month depending upon seasonal factors, promotional activities, and so on.

Also worth noting was the big swing in direct ad sales in February. This is partly due to us not getting as many invoices paid in January (where they made up a very small amount of revenues), but it’s also a trend I suspect will continue for us. This is partly due to an increased effort to sell ads, but it could also be influenced by the increased budget going into advertising with the economy on the upswing a little.

Also note: I’ve now started calling the grey category “other.” It includes speaking, book royalties, courses, etc.—none of which are significant enough to really warrant a category of their own.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Always good to see an income breakdown especially when it is shown in such a nicely visual way

  2. I love that you are sharing this kind of info & find it hugely inspiring. I love brightly coloured pie charts, btw. :D

  3. Congrates Darren!

    However, what do you think on the best way/program bloggers should when thef first start blogging? Which one you would recommend?

    For me, it would be affiliate program. What about you?


    • I think it varies a lot from blog to blog depending upon topic, audience size etc. I say experiment with different ones to see which clicks.

  4. Congratulations Darren!

    I just started my blog in January and I’m up by 165% this month. I’m obviously not defining my blog by income, but rather through traffic.

    (BTW You spelt February wrong in your heading)

    cheers Steve

  5. Darren, love the graphs you posted.
    Could you tell me what you used to create them?
    Cheers from Germany!

  6. Great to see this breakdown. Posts like this always provide inspiration for those of us in the beginning stages. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Your Adsense income is almost stable every month :)

  8. Congrats on your success with your blogs! What affiliate programs work the best for you and how do you use them to your best advantage?

    • there’s no one program that will work for all blogs – for me I recommend photography teaching products (it relates to my audience on dPS). Tips on how to maximise affiliate earning are here and here.

  9. Shelley says: 03/14/2011 at 2:08 am

    It will be interesting to see if Google’s algorithm change in March made much of an impact on blog and AdSense income.

  10. Wow, I think that I need to create an e-book next. My traffic is also steadily increasing; yesterday was my best day since I started my blog in January 2011.

  11. Darren,

    This question is a bit off topic, but what are you using to generate the pie charts displayed in this post?

  12. Looks great! I am working on my first e-book, it is not a easy process but may be worth it in the end! Love these updates!

  13. e-books can earn a major part is the thing i learned today from problogger. and income break down is something that always attracts me.

  14. Good to have multiple streams of income and compare them like this. :)

    You can take advantage of whichever is in season. ;)

  15. This is a good report Darren. I hope I can share mine soon. Thanks for sharing

  16. I see that your Adsense income is reducing constanly the last months. Whats the problem???

    • not really – it increased for December as it always does (Christmas) and then has come down again – but if you compare it to before December its fairly steady. I think the Christmas increase makes the last couple of months look lower. Its seasonal

  17. in first two months of year Adsense publishers also notices less earning while highest in December.

  18. Hi Darren,
    I’ve followed you on Twitter a long time and while I am sure I pored over your blog posts in mid 2008, it’s been a while since I’ve been back at your blog, and even longer since I’ve found myself wide-eyed and saying out loud “oh my god” at the someone’s navel-contemplating charts (difference in Direct Ad Sales)… I haven’t begun to advertise at all yet in my own social media consultancy, but this month began advertising for interns, so I was especially focused on that number & happy to see yu pointed it out as I carried on.
    With so many frequent bloggers pushing out drivel content that is in congruent with their brand, its a real breath of fresh air to return to your blog and see this post so honest and ego-free!~
    Thank You!

  19. Boy, if I could only bend time like everyone else. Here it is Sunday the 13th almost 3:30pm and I’m behind everybody else. At this rate I’ll never catch up!

  20. congratulations! and I only wish that was happening for me. I don’t use any type of ads, but have ebooks although they are tutorials and such, i was hoping for a boost since I did that. good for you I am looking into getting advertisers to post to my site…if you have any suggestions let me know. thanks

  21. Is concentrating on Affiliate programs and eBooks are more effective than wasting ad space on Adsense. I think it’s a good strategy what about you?

    • really depends Arjun – I think it’d vary from niche to niche quite a bit and also probably vary depending upon the life stage of your blog. At different times in my own business’s development I’ve found ad sales to be #1 but other times its been lower.

  22. There is no way that a professional can add such advertising to his site without looking unprofessional.

  23. Hy darren, congrats for your earnings i wish if i were you!

  24. Looking good! I love to see how the different income streams compare to one another — fascinating. And interesting to develop hypotheses for why things play out this way.

  25. Ohhhh eBook earnings more than AdSense & affiliate! Learned a lot and the the take away was – build a brand and then go for eBooks…The way you have presented the information is good.

  26. Always interesting and it all goes to show the importance of diversifying your blogging income. That way you can balance your income out even if one area does poorly hopefully others will pick up. Bit like the stock market really:) Thank you Darren. All your constant analysis of performance shows why you’re so good at the business as well as everything else!

  27. Well done Darren, sometimes I wonder how you get those 125×125 adsense ads as I don’t see them on my dashboard

    • John – they’re not AdSense ads. They ads we directly sell to advertisers. We use Google’s Ad manager system though to serve our ads – so if you hover over them they might look like AdSense as they’re served by Google :-)

  28. Thank you for sharing this information. It is very motivational and I think inspiring to a lot of bloggers out there. That is the most important thing ever.

  29. Thanks for sharing this Darren! Reminds me of this quote:

    That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Would you say this applies to your success?

  30. Then next time before you launch your e-book , you can do lot of affiliate marketing to show your ebook will launch soon.Then January of the year , you can launch your e- book. After that you can continue to write blog about your e-book and call to action to purchase your e-book. So there you can earning money of adsense as well.
    This allow you to earn money for the whole year .

  31. darren what about your adsense earning in comparision to other programs? I am regular reader of your blog from 3 month. Nice blog.

  32. Thank you so much for sharing this! How inspiring, and I love how diversified your income streams are! This is great encouragement to continue creating more income earning opprotunities through blogging. It doesn’t stop with Adsense.

  33. Google Adsense – the best way to make money online

  34. Very inspiring Darren. Thank you for sharing this. I have not had a good idea for an e-book yet, but that is something I want to flesh out before May.

  35. I think I’m becoming resigned to not making any real money from Adsense on my blog, and just relying on the static ads which I’ve negotiated…

    Despite having a one to one with a Google Adsense exec last month, and changing the way that I serve ads on the blog as a consequence, I still only get a click-through rate which represents a fraction of one percent of page views. It’s enough to make me want to walk away from the whole thing!

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