Ever wonder what bloggers make?
I sure did (and still do!).
I decided to be completely transparent with you guys on exactly how much I make as a blogger/influencer.
This way, if you’re following your dream to be a travel blogger or social media influencer, you can get a rough sense of what to expect.
At this point, I feel like I need to mention that everyone’s journey is going to be different.
Blog traffic and social media growth are unreliable (as you’ll see below).
And although I hope you can grow a profitable blog and social media profile faster than I did, please remember that comparison is (sometimes) the thief of joy!
The profitability of your blog and social media profile may take longer (or shorter!) than mine did, and if that’s the case, don’t sweat it!
Stick with it and try to remember that building a profitable blog and social media profile take a lot of time and effort.
Monthly Pageviews and ad income
I started my blog in April 2017, and only started earning income from blog advertising in June 2019.
In other words, It took me over two years to make any income from advertising!
I used to earn this advertising income through an ad network called Mediavine.
(Now I use Ad Thrive.)
Ad networks like Mediavine and Ad Thrive act as a sort of intermediary between bloggers and brands who want to advertise.
Although there are plenty of ad networks, Mediavine maintains high standards for both advertisers and bloggers such that bloggers can expect to be paid very well.
The way it works is, you sign up for Mediavine when you have at least 50,000 pageviews a month, and if they accept you, they serve ads on behalf of advertisers on your blog.
Then, each month, they send you a portion of the money that the advertisers paid them to be able to advertise to your audience.
Once I hit 100,000 monthly pageviews, I switched to an even higher earning ad network called Ad Thrive!
Earning income through ad networks is awesome because it’s passive income. I just get a monthly deposit from them based on the amount of ads that were served on my blog.
As you can see, my income from this isn’t quite paying the bills *quite* yet.
But it’s my goal to grow my blog traffic to the point where I’m making a full-time income for both Harrison and me from advertising alone.
I also started my personal Instagram in April of 2017.
I know- kinda late to get on the platform.
But as soon as I set up my Instagram, I knew I wanted to try to post every day!
And with the exception of a handful of days, I have kept up that schedule since April of 2017!
As you can see from the chart above, I didn’t receive any paid collaborations with brands until over a year of posting every single day.
But I’m glad I stuck with it, because now it’s a primary source of income for my business!
Well- except for during the first few months of COVID-19 when the pandemic really affected income from Instagram collaborations. Things are slowly picking up in regards to Instagram income, and hopefully it’ll get back to normal sometime over the next few months.
You also might notice the giant spike in December followed by nothing in January. That is because a lot of collaborations got paid off with the end of the year for tax purposes. And since collaborations get paid 30-60 days after you do them, any work I did in January got paid over the next two months.
Also, a lot of people want to know what my secret was/is to growing my Instagram profile quickly.
Here’s how it worked for me.
I put a TON of effort into my Instagram, working on it every single day for hours after I got home from my day job.
I also invested in a great camera, honed my photography skills, developed my own Lightroom presets, found interesting places to take photos, and trained my Instagram husband. 🙂
I think I also lucked into great timing with Instagram.
When I started, Tiktok wasn’t around like it is today, organic reach on Instagram seems like it was better, and the platform wasn’t crowded with IGTV and Reels.
Also, as you can see from the chart above, my Instagram growth has plateaued. I’m still putting a lot of effort into my content, but my profile just isn’t growing like it was before.
But that’s OK because I’m really focusing on my blog right now.
With my blog, I have better access to my audience and more freedom to do what I want. I also own my blog, which makes a huge difference.
On Instagram, you will always be playing by their rules without direct access to your audience.
But that definitely doesn’t mean you can’t grow on Instagram right now! Here are 31 tips for how to improve your Instagram in 2020– regardless of algorithm, these are crucial steps to making a good Instagram!
Show me the money
Total income earned so far in 2021*: $19,035.75
Total income earned in 2020: $36,975.21
Total income earned in 2019: $36,608.22
Total income earned in 2018: $6,656.49
(* includes current & future contracted projects)
Now that I’ve covered the sources of my income, I thought I’d give you an idea of the total income I’ve earned from being a travel blogger and influencer.
As you can see, there are plenty of full-time jobs I could get that would make more than I have made as a blogger and influencer.
In fact, I made more at my day job before setting off on my own as a full-time travel blogger and influencer.
(Until June 2019, I was working a full time job while doing my travel blogging business on the side.)
But I’ve had so much fun as a full-time travel blogger and influencer that I have never regretted my decision (and I loved my former day job)!
Even if I never make a high income as an influencer and travel blogger, I will still happily create content and capture beauty on my travels.
But it is exciting to think that, as a business owner, there’s no real limit to how much I could make!
I hope this information has inspired you. Send me a message if you have questions or comments, I love hearing from my readers!