How I Made $616.46 in February 2021 Blogging From Home

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

February was a good blogging month considering I made a little bit more than January over a fewer number of days. February was a shorter month and I worked more days in dentistry, covering for doctors who were on vacation. I wish I could have spent more time blogging and there were definitely a few goals that I did not reach, but overall, I am still happy with my earnings. In February 2021, I earned $616.46 blogging from home. Before I go into the nitty gritty details of this month’s Extra Income Report, which you are always welcome to scroll down to below, here is a little summary as to how I make money blogging, as well as a few recommended posts if you want to increase your income.

Related Posts:

I started blogging right after graduating from dental school without ever thinking I’d earn money from it. At the time, I turned to this blog as a place to record my daily life. Ever since teenhood, I have kept some sort of journal or diary, which has evolved over time from paper to Xanga to Melodramatic, and now onto WordPress. For almost twenty years, I’ve processed information through writing, but never once did I think I would earn money from it.

It’s been three years since owning this site but I am happy to say that it is now getting a little bit of traction and has started to earn me a little income. If I wasn’t working as a dentist during the day, I could see how this could become a steady day job. Still, even with my day job, it had turned into a fun side-hustle for me. I decided to log my earnings for my own personal tracking but also to share publicly how much one can make blogging from home.

Now that remote work seems to be in the near future for many, I do think that blogging is a good option for people who wish to work from home. Likewise, it is an opportunity to be your own boss and have your own space. Since you are writing your own content, you have the flexibility to work whenever you want to, which I know can be a good or bad thing. Of course, you can always practice habits that will separate work from home. Lastly, this is a great hobby or job for creative people. You have autonomy over how to execute your ideas and thoughts, making this a very freeing experience for those who don’t quite fall neatly into a traditional work environment or big company hierarchy.

But first, how did I start to monetize the blog?

If you are new to blogging, you may not know that you can earn income from owning such a space. I certainly didn’t. But then I took this course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketingand it changed my life.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is working with brands that you love in order to spread the word about their products and in return receiving commissions for any referred patrons. Sometimes these are physical products from almost any company you can think of. Other times, they are intellectual products such as courses or services that help improve other people’s lives. The best part is that you don’t have to “sell out” to do affiliate marketing. You don’t have to scheme or cheat people. For me, it’s really just promoting companies that I believe in. For example, the companies I choose to partner with are those that promote sustainably sourced products using fair trade and ethical factory conditions. I like to promote small name businesses trying to create social or environmental impact. I try to keep it to an exclusive few even though I’ve been approved for over 2,000 different companies (so far).

There are a few nuances to affiliate marketing and I didn’t know much about it prior to the course. But the course helped me to learn A LOT and it’s just another case of “you don’t know what you don’t know.” You could learn it all yourself, but it’s hard to without a guide to get you through the basics.

I highly recommend this course if you wish to monetize your blog but don’t know where to start.

Extra Income Report

Now, onto the numbers. In February 2021, I made $616.46 in extra income.

Of that, this is the breakdown:

  • $73 is from sponsored posts. I count the monetary value of products that I receive as “income”. I do not accept products for review without first learning about the company and product. As a minimalist, I also only look for products that we currently need. I am honest in all my product reviews and list both pros and cons because I want to be as helpful to the consumer and the company, both. Companies that have supported the blog this month include TushyMonk ManualLunettePact, and Everlasting Comfort.
  • The rest of the income ($543.76) was due to affiliate link commissions. These are links that I have posted throughout my blog prior which continually earn me commission for every successful sale.

This is the first income from the blog this year! So far, since March of 2020, I have earned $3,419!!

I know it doesn’t seem like much, but as something I do for fun, I think it’s a nice little additional income. Over time, I hope to continue posting more income reports. Maybe it will help others looking for a side-hustle get a feel for whether blogging could become an alternative for them.

As always, my goal with this blog is to promote intentional living. Writing is a way to create a lifestyle that is in tune with what you want to do. Sure, it may not be the perfect job, but if working from home and having flexibility help allow you to live your dream life (one that includes traveling the world or becoming a stay-at-home parent), then I hope this space brings you that value.

If you are interested in starting a blog, I use WordPress. Feel free to sign up using my affiliate link.

If you already have a blog, I want to refer you to the course that helped me monetize mine. It’s a really great starting point. It’s called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.

How Skillshare Can Grow A Blog

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Skillshare is a platform wherein solopreneurs can learn skills taught by other like-minded folk. Fellow bloggers are teaching courses on the site, as well as learning from each other. I, myself, have a Skillshare account and have written about how it can help one stay productive during times of quarantine. I have been able to grow my blog tremendously since enrolling in their membership program, which gives unlimited access to all the classes available on their platform. As you can see from my monthly income reports, I have made more than a few thousand since we first shut-down for COVID-19 in March! I attribute my blogging income to this course for Affiliate Marketing by Making Sense of Cents and Skillshare. Today, I will be sharing with you guys a few classes that bloggers can take in order to help them grow.

Classes on Skillshare That Will Grow Your Blog

There are many classes you can take on Skillshare that will grow the blog. Skillshare is divided into the categories “Create”, “Build”, and “Thrive”. All three categories have something to offer to solopreneurs, but bloggers especially.

Create

Bloggers are creatives by nature. Our work requires the making of something-out-of-nothing, balanced with making something-worth-reading. For the written aspect of blogging, there is a sub-section for Creative Writing which bloggers may find useful. For example, courses on how to write your own personal story can help one start to find their voice for a blog or book. Speaking of books, there’s a course on how to format eBooks in Adobe, as well as courses on how to self-publish. There are even courses to get one out of writer’s block, wherein prompts and topics are suggested to get the juices flowing. Sometimes, we need that, too.

However, we do more than write. We create imagery for our posts as well. The sub-section Photography will contain tips on Still-Life Photography, How to Get Paid Doing Travel Photography, and even How to Take Photos for Instagram. Capturing visual stories is important if Instagram is your line of work. Likewise, it is important if your blog is photo-driven. And if you’re like me, capturing everyday objects of the mundane nature, such as coffee mugs and nail color, then these courses may help you elevate the imagery from boring to something that draws someone in.

In the Creative section, you will also find courses for Web Development. I personally use WordPress, which allows me to design this blog in a simple way, but if you wish to make a blog from scratch, this section may be for you! There are courses on CSS, Javascript, Python and more.

Build

The Build section, in my opinion, is the most useful for bloggers. This is where I’ve spent a majority of my previous month. Business Analytics is a fairly new concept for me, but I am obsessed with it! I never realized before that all this work I was putting into the blog space was unfocused and gave less return than it can. It is still far from optimized but I am learning. I took courses on Google Analytics and have learned how to use Google Webtools to see if what I was writing was leading to engagement with my audience. I started this space to write for my own sake, but over time, a community of readers has been created through this space and I want to start writing for my audience, too. By using analytics, I am able to better cater to my readers as well as grow my blog.

Another sub-section is Freelance and Entrepreneurship. This area is a more general section where bloggers and non-bloggers can learn how to price their products, make a living as a creative, and start a successful business. This goes hand-in-hand with the Marketing sub-section, where the focus is more on growing an audience rather than improving content, although I have found that the latter can drive the former.

Thrive

Viewed by some as the least useful section, I would consider Thrive to be my favorite one. In here, you will find ways to organize life for increased productivity as well as meaningful work. I have met many entrepreneurs who can’t seem to get anywhere, not because of a lack of creativity but because of a lack of structure and focus. Creating a business requires both. It can be difficult especially after being trained for many years by the school system to follow structure. As you know from this space, I am all about creating an intentional lifestyle. It may not surprise you to find out that I am even more arduous in creating the ideal work life. I utilize a combination of creating monthly goals, planning my day, and maintaining a peaceful WFH environment to drive productivity. Without it, I would be helpless.

Skillshare really is a great platform for new bloggers and beginning entrepreneurs. It also serves as a starting place for those who want to become a creative without having the experience. If you find that your current 9-5 job isn’t giving you meaning, then this is a way to dabble in a side project that could turn into a line of work.

If you are unsure, you can always try Skillshare for FREE for 14 days. If you really like it, receive a 40% OFF discount from an annual membership using my affiliate link and the coupon code ANNUAL40AFF. This code is available until March 31, 2021. I highly recommend signing up if you are serious about growing your own business and don’t know how. There are many avenues to take, and you can learn about the topics that interest you.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

How I Made $475 in January 2021 Blogging From Home

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

As you all know, I took November and December off from blog work in order to focus on my family during the holidays. It was a practice that I always wanted to do (set aside dedicated family time during the holiday season) but I had not been able to accomplish, until last year. I was finally able to become financially independent to quit my job and call the shots at work, including when I wanted to work. This is why there were no income reports posted for November and December. However, now it is the New Year and I am back to work. January was a slow month because I only started to get the ball rolling again. Despite that, I was pretty happy with the result – $475 additional income from doing what I love, which is writing my musings on this blog. Before I go into the nitty gritty details of this month’s Extra Income Report, which you are always welcome to scroll down to below, here is a little summary as to how I make money blogging, as well as a few recommended posts if you want to increase your income.

Related Posts:

I started blogging right after graduating from dental school without ever thinking I’d earn money from it. At the time, I turned to this blog as a place to record my daily life. Ever since teenhood, I have kept some sort of journal or diary, which has evolved over time from paper to Xanga to Melodramatic, and now onto WordPress. For almost twenty years, I’ve processed information through writing, but never once did I think I would earn money from it.

It’s been three years since owning this site but I am happy to say that it is now getting a little bit of traction and has started to earn me a little income. If I wasn’t working as a dentist during the day, I could see how this could become a steady day job. Still, even with my day job, it had turned into a fun side-hustle for me. I decided to log my earnings for my own personal tracking but also to share publicly how much one can make blogging from home.

Now that remote work seems to be in the near future for many, I do think that blogging is a good option for people who wish to work from home. Likewise, it is an opportunity to be your own boss and have your own space. Since you are writing your own content, you have the flexibility to work whenever you want to, which I know can be a good or bad thing. Of course, you can always practice habits that will separate work from home. Lastly, this is a great hobby or job for creative people. You have autonomy over how to execute your ideas and thoughts, making this a very freeing experience for those who don’t quite fall neatly into a traditional work environment or big company hierarchy.

But first, how did I start to monetize the blog?

If you are new to blogging, you may not know that you can earn income from owning such a space. I certainly didn’t. But then I took this course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketingand it changed my life.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is working with brands that you love in order to spread the word about their products and in return receiving commissions for any referred patrons. Sometimes these are physical products from almost any company you can think of. Other times, they are intellectual products such as courses or services that help improve other people’s lives. The best part is that you don’t have to “sell out” to do affiliate marketing. You don’t have to scheme or cheat people. For me, it’s really just promoting companies that I believe in. For example, the companies I choose to partner with are those that promote sustainably sourced products using fair trade and ethical factory conditions. I like to promote small name businesses trying to create social or environmental impact. I try to keep it to an exclusive few even though I’ve been approved for over 2,000 different companies (so far).

There are a few nuances to affiliate marketing and I didn’t know much about it prior to the course. But the course helped me to learn A LOT and it’s just another case of “you don’t know what you don’t know.” You could learn it all yourself, but it’s hard to without a guide to get you through the basics.

I highly recommend this course if you wish to monetize your blog but don’t know where to start.

Extra Income Report

Now, onto the numbers. In January 2021, I made $475 in extra income.

Of that, this is the breakdown:

  • $396 is from sponsored posts. I count the monetary value of products that I receive as “income”. I do not accept products for review without first learning about the company and product. As a minimalist, I also only look for products that we currently need. I am honest in all my product reviews and list both pros and cons because I want to be as helpful to the consumer and the company, both. Companies that have supported the blog this month include Tushy, Monk Manual, Lunette, Pact, and Everlasting Comfort.
  • The rest of the income ($78) was due to affiliate link commissions. These are links that I have posted throughout my blog prior which continually earn me commission for every successful sale.

This is the first income from the blog this year! So far, since March of 2020, I have earned $2803!!

I know it doesn’t seem like much, but as something I do for fun, I think it’s a nice little additional income. Over time, I hope to continue posting more income reports. Maybe it will help others looking for a side-hustle get a feel for whether blogging could become an alternative for them.

As always, my goal with this blog is to promote intentional living. Writing is a way to create a lifestyle that is in tune with what you want to do. Sure, it may not be the perfect job, but if working from home and having flexibility help allow you to live your dream life (one that includes traveling the world or becoming a stay-at-home parent), then I hope this space brings you that value.

If you are interested in starting a blog, I use WordPress. Feel free to sign up using my affiliate link.

If you already have a blog, I want to refer you to the course that helped me monetize mine. It’s a really great starting point. It’s called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.

Financial Advice to Battle COVID-19

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

I think it has become apparent to all that the up-hill battle which we face against COVID-19 has only just begun and will not go away any time soon. When whispers of a lock-down first spread two weeks ago, I truly believed that it was a wave we were all going to ride out, and normalcy will once again return within a week, maybe two. But the summit still has not been reached, so I believe it is time to talk about planning for the long haul.

I originally published my Mastering a Budget course here for free when I first heard of people halting work in order to protect the majority. That course will continue to remain free, but apart from budgeting, there are a few other financial topics to be discussed. Advice, if you will.

As always, take it or leave it as it pertains to your particular situation. I do not claim to be a financial guru, neither do I believe in one solid path. However, for the general public, these are my thoughts.

Financial Advice to Battle COVID-19

  • Start saving, if possible. For some of you, this is beyond what’s possible. Many people have filed for unemployment insurance with the EDD(which I highly recommend if you have suddenly found yourself temporarily or permanently laid-off), and saving is a ship that has long sailed. I understand that. For those who are still fortunate enough to work, I would highly recommend saving every penny possible. Now is not the time to go on an online shopping spree. These are volatile days, and no one really knows what tomorrow holds. For those who are without work, you still can save the dollars you have. Just because you have more time doesn’t mean you should be scouring the internet for sales (there will be many, I would presume). And this advice doesn’t apply to saving just dollars. Start saving pantry items, start saving worn-out clothes, learn to mend your way through. My favorite blogger who writes about working with what you have is Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves. Work with what you have, and save what you can. Which brings me to my next point…
  • Reduce spending. I am a strong advocate for frugality, and if there was ever a time to practice frugal muscles, well, now would be it. I have published a plethora of frugal challenges, as well as an Ever-growing List of Things I Have Given Up In the Name of Frugality (which happens to be my most viewed post!). Reducing spending is easy, once you get used to it. Like I said above, this is not the time to spend your days-off browsing the internet for sales and new clothes. This isn’t even the time to order delivery for fancy dinners at night. I know you already aren’t paying your cleaners (in the name of social distancing), and hopefully you stopped paying for gas and transportation now that you’re working from home. The stay-at-home mandate actually makes it easier to reduce spending if you are wise about it. Cut where you can, and put what you would normally spend into your savings.
  • Stop extra debt payments. This advice is what kills me most to say, but it is actually the smart thing to do if you are without work or find yourself with less income. If you continue to work like normal and earn the same amount as before the pandemic, maybe you can maintain extra debt payments. However, be sure you have enough in your savings first! You never know if tomorrow you will be so lucky to have the same job as today. Perhaps you will be without work, regretting spending what you thought was “extra money” on paying down debt that didn’t need to be paid. As many of you may well know, I derived my nickname “TheDebtist” after graduating with an astounding student debt – $575,000 to be exact – and deciding to pay it down aggressively. I am here to say that even I have decided to pause extra debt payments during this time of uncertainty. Currently, the President has mandated that federal student loans be waived their interest fee for the next sixty days after March 13, 2020. Therefore, deciding not to pay down the debt right now is a good move because I store that money as liquid cash, available for emergencies. We do not lose anything because the interest is waived and therefore the loan amount isn’t growing. When this is all over and the interest resumes, I can pay that lump sum that I haven’t been paying now towards loans and not prolong my trajectory towards freedom. This isn’t to say, “Don’t pay off debt and spend the money instead”, by the way. Overall, to me, stopping extra debt payments make sense. Now, this is different from not paying down credit cards in full every month. Barring severe emergencies or a shortage of funds, I think that credit card payments are not considered “extra” payments. They are actually the reflection of what you already spent. If cash is tight or if there is no interest rate, then I get it. But if possible, do pay off credit cards in full, otherwise you will simply be accruing debt and make life harder for your future self. Other areas where you may be aggressively paying down debt include but are not limited to: home mortgages, auto payments, and medical debt.
  • Use time wisely. I know, I know. I have been saying this past week that this time off is a much needed gift, something the world has been craving for ages. This is the time we need to take for ourselves. However, this does NOT mean “use this time to turn into a vegetable as you watch Netflix on the couch, scroll through Reddit or Instagram, constantly chat with your friends on Zoom or Skype, create dance videos on TikTok (twenty times over until it’s just right)”, et cetera. This time is meant to be used wisely. A time for self-discovery and introspection no doubt, but also, a time for growth. I shared an ability for my readers to access Skillshare for FREE for two months so that they could learn something new. Some of the skills on there can create a new job for you. If you are recently jobless, it would behoove you to discover what skills you have to share with the world. Create a business walking dogs on Rover. Or make money blogging (here’s how). Read plenty of books, some self-help to inspire you to create a new job position, some fiction to inspire creativity itself. Organize your home, thus organizing your mind, priorities, and the self. Take care of the paperwork you’ve been neglecting, or set yourself up for financial or professional success. Update your resume, or look into refinancing your home to get a lower rate. The world is yours for the taking.


  • Don’t touch long term investments. I cannot say this enough. Do NOT, DO NOT touch long term investments such as a 401K. Try all avenues before even thinking about doing this. The effects of touching these long-term investments are grand. It would make imaginary losses a reality. It would hurt any financial goals you’ve worked on building. Please, if you can, do not pull money out of these investments at all!
  • Create a budget. Off course, with the extra time on your hands, you can FINALLY sort out your budget. If you don’t have one, then I suggest making one ASAP. I personally use YNAB to budget (get your first 34 days FREE here), but if you take my free Mastering a Budget course, you will learn multiple other ways to budget without having to sign up for an online budgeting tool.
  • Stay Calm. Lastly, stay calm. Panic will lead you to rash decisions and regrets. Do not sell all your stocks at once. Do not hoard stuff because you are afraid. Do not sell the house or the car. Just. Stay. Calm. Think about the life you want after all of this is over. Then work backwards and think of how to make that happen using what you have today. Get help, if you must. I am here, for anyone who wants to talk.

Don’t know what in the world to do with student loans? Get help! Student Loan Planner is my number one recommendation for student loan help. Although this is an affiliate link, I am honest when I say that I would not recommend ANYTHING that I do not personally love or have not tried. Travis Hornsby saved us thousands of dollars! Scheduling a call today would be a very smart move. The financial frontier is daily changing, and you definitely need someone with the most up-to-date expertise to navigate through these waters.