Ok, I’m biting the bullet on this one. In the almost 8 years I’ve been a pet blogger, and the 3 or so that I’ve been a full-time pet blogger, this income report is probably one of the scariest blog posts I’ve written.
To be clear, the blog referenced in this income report is my dog blog – You Did What With Your Wiener? (YDWWYW), not this blog.
On a larger scale, this income report is about my business I have BECAUSE of my dog blog. Everything I do in my business is related to, or because of, it.
Below, I highlighted the income directly from my dog blog business in orange.
So why is writing this income report scary for me? Two reasons.
One: Impostor Syndrome is strong with me. My life story is pretty much obsessing over the things I didn’t do right while barely acknowledging my accomplishments.
I recognize though that being afraid, and keeping my accomplishments under wraps, is minimizing myself and everything I’ve worked very hard for.
The truth is, most people will never know what you’ve accomplished unless you tell them.
I want to thank a small group of friends (you know who you are) who pushed me to finally thisn income report for my pet blog.
By sharing this breakdown of my blog-related income, it might give other aspiring professional pet bloggers hope that it really can be done.
Two: Being vulnerable is hard.
Look, I’m going to be up-front right now, I don’t make a ton of money (yet) as a professional pet blogger. In some metropolitan cities, it’s barely enough to live on.
But I do make enough that I was able to pay my bills and turn my blog into a successful full-time business.
Sharing my income report makes me feel very vulnerable because it opens me up for scrutiny, real or imagined.
I worry that people will think I’m lying, that they will think I’m bragging or full of myself, that they will compare me to others bloggers that make more and say, “This is no big deal.” The list of fears goes on.
I know that my fears are more imagined than not and also know that I have to do me. I can’t please everyone.
So here it goes: My first (and maybe last) pet blogging income report.
A Little History
I started my blog in November of 2010. I had no idea what I was doing. I mean, NONE.
About a year and a half later, in spring of 2012, I attended my first BlogPaws Conference because it sounded fun. That was the first time I became aware that I could actually make money blogging.
I started learning as much as I could about writing and marketing a blog. I put in about 30 hours a week on my “part-time business” outside of my regular 40-hour-per-week job.
I think I received my first email to review a bag of dog treats about 6 months after the conference and I hit 500 pageviews a day in spring 2013.
Eventually, I started making a little cash too and realized that it was indeed possible for my blog to at least pay for itself.
My efforts, and my income, continued to grow. I realized that, not only could I make some money, but I could possibly turn my blog into a business that provided a full-time income.
I changed my mindset from blogging as a hobby to treating my blog like a business.
Around 2015 there was a sudden death in my family – someone that was like a mother to me – and family took priority over a stable career. The truth is, I was burned out and frustrated anyway so I wasn’t devastated.
I cashed out my modest retirement fund and, after I was done taking care of family business, I went back to school to earn a masters in Digital Communications.
Part way through my degree program, I launched my consulting business PetTalk Media.
Note: Going back to school was not integral to my success. I do think it helped me in a lot of ways. However, I know many bloggers that did not earn an advanced degree in basically, blogging, and they earn way more than I do through their blogs.
Where I Am Today
The first year or so of making a living through blogging was really rocky.
I definitely don’t suggest quitting your day job like I did until you have a better idea if full-time blogging could be a viable business for you. Luckily, I had a little nest egg to help keep me afloat.
Today, I make, on average, as much as I did from my cushy government job.
Like all of the dog bloggers out there I am aware of, I don’t make all of my income directly from my blog.
I offer other services to bring in income but, except for the dog walking, they are all blog related and clients typically find me through my dog blog.
Without further ado, this is the breakdown of my blogging income:
Mediavine Ad Network: $3,385.00
Blog Mentoring/Coaching: $385.00
YDWWYW Brand Sponsors: $2,086.00
Dog Sitting (Rover.com): $404.00
Consulting/Contract Work: $3,885.00
Amazon Associates (Affiliate): $801.00
GROSS TOTAL $10,946.00
Mediavine Ad Network: $2,660.90
Blog Mentoring/Coaching: $385.00
Dog Sitting (Rover.com): $214.37
Consulting/Contract Work: $1,691.00
Affiliate – Amazon $800.27
GROSS TOTAL $5,751.54
Mediavine Ad Network: $2,980.99
Blog Mentoring/Coaching: $0.00
YDWWYW Sponsor: $745.50
Dog Sitting (Rover.com): $173.15
Consulting/Contract Work: $2,543.27
Affiliate – Amazon: $805.79
GROSS TOTAL $6,981.70
The Fine Print
I want to make a few disclaimers to the above.
You can see that my income varies wildly.
June 2018 has been my highest-earning month so far. What I made in July 2018 is more the average.
I hope to have more June’s than July’s in my future but running your own business can be very unpredictable in regard to income.
Also, I’m married so I am not responsible for 100% of the household bills myself.
If I was, I probably would live in a less expensive location in a less expensive house so, in reality, his contributions offset that “extra” cost.
My hubby’s employer does provide our healthcare at a reasonable cost, which is crucial for us.
My ultimate goal is to make enough to cover all of our bills myself, and our healthcare, in 2019. The way the trend is going, I believe that is possible.
Pet Blog Business Taxes and Expenses
I don’t get to keep a lot of the money I bring in.
Taxes take a 30% cut of what what I make right off the top.
Then there are significant expenses related to my blog and consulting work.
- Blog hosting and website maintenance
- Sub-contractors and virtual assistants to help me with my consulting projects (I’m a project manager)
- Computer and photography equipment
- Subscriptions and dues
- General supplies and equipment
- Continuing educations like eBooks, courses, and conferences
- An accountant
These expenses run me $3,000 – $5,000 a month. However, and luckily, fees for services and outsourcing primarily only reach the top of that range when my client load (and income) increases.
Let me know if you have any questions about this income report. I hope it’s helped you to see how you can turn your own blog into the business of your dreams.