Online Business

  • Online Income Report – September 2020

    Welcome to my monthly online income report for September 2020! Each month I share how much I make from my part time online content creation side hustle selling digital products and making videos about our personal finances on my YouTube channel.

    income reports pennies not perfection

    Each month here on the blog I go into more detail about what I earned from online endeavors like this personal finance blogmy YouTube channel, and my Etsy shop. These are all things I started as a hobby making no more so it’s fun now to earn an income from them!

    I like sharing real numbers to inspire myself and others who want to earn money online. I also value transparency which this report allows me to give my audience when they consume my content.

    Growing my online income has helped me achieve financial goals like paying off debt faster! I have used all of my income from these endeavors to pay off debt and helped eliminate $43,000 in loans.

    It’s been a lot of work in terms of a side hustle but I’ve enjoyed both earning income and helping people by sharing what we’ve done financially. Earning more money can sometimes be the key to succeeding financially and after having lots of job instability this year I know that it’s the key to my sanity. I never want to rely on just one income.

    Online Income Report

    Here are the main income sources broken down by what I earned for the month. I’ve included referral links to each if you want to join and make money too!

    I’m reviewing my online income earned for the month of September 2020 from my YouTube and printables ventures! You can check out last month’s online income report here.

    Advertising Income – $2,478.97

    Affiliate Marketing Income – $607.26

    Product Sales Income – $310.00

    • Etsy Sales
    • Website Sales

    Other Sources – $105.00

    • Patreon

    Total Online Income: $3,501.23

    This is the amount earned for the month before any fees, expenses, or taxes.

    I don’t keep all of it it and at least 25% will be gone for taxes before it hits my bank account. I also won’t be paid all of it in the month it is earned since each source pays out at different times. I do these reports based on what I earned in a month versus what was received because it inspires me most to grow the income created.

    Expenses List

    As I mentioned, I don’t keep all of the money earned each month. Besides paying taxes on that income I also have expenses to run this online business. There are multiple expenses I’m now paying for each month:

    All of these are minimal but they do add up so I still keep an eye on reducing expenses so that my income will keep growing.

    Online Income Report Thoughts

    Wow, wow, wow! My online income surpassed my previous month record by several hundred dollars! To say I’m blown away would be an understatement.

    This month I really had some videos do well and a lot of my older content was boosted a bit as well. The result was my ads earning was much higher than in previous months.

    The fact that it seems so easy to make videos and boost that ad revenue to amazing new levels makes me want to double down on it because it’s working. I have a huge problem with shiny object syndrome but when something is working… I should do more of that! Right now?

    Advertising revenue on my Youtube videos is WORKING.

    Popular Content

    Obviously YouTube content is performing the best right now and since I like to look at what worked in terms of content each month, here are my most popular videos, posts, and products!

    The most popular old content on my channel was:

    The new content I published included:

    The new content I published on my website was:

    The most popular products I sold this month:

    I definitely made more YouTube videos this past month which was helpful for advertising revenue, but most were community focused and not likely to have long term earning potential. This is something I need to focus on more when I’m working on new content.

    What I’m Working On Next

    I have been continuing to work on a few different priorities growing income sources and I even added a new one this month too!

    Creating More Videos

    Like I mentioned earlier, it makes the most sense to double down on what is working the best and that is videos on YouTube. Both channels have seen an increase in the income they are making so I’d like to continue making videos for both channels for the next couple of months.

    This means ignoring other projects I’d like to do but I think the wisest course of action is to work on what works. So I’ll be doing that!

    Recommended Online Biz Resources

    As my income continues to grow I want to share some of the resources and products I use to make it happen. These will include affiliate links where applicable but I love recommending them because I personally use them all myself!

    TubeBuddy – Before using this tool I manually did so much work but now I’m able to bulk edit videos, research keywords for SEO and set up all my videos for long term success. TubeBuddy has been the best tool I’ve used for managing and growing my YouTube account. It’s got multiple price level plans so you can grow as your channel grows. Try out TubeBuddy for free.

    Canva – Canva is one of the best free editing programs where you can create a digital products and the paid version is even better with bonus features that help take your work to the next level. I use it for creating all my Youtube thumbnails, my social media posts and my digital products! Try creating with Canva.

    Tailwind is the tool I’m using to grow my account and reach on Pinterest. Bringing in consistent traffic from Pinterest boosts any business and Tailwind allows me to schedule content and get results without spending all my time there. It also automatically pins at the best time for engagement and reach for major traffic growth. Get a free trial of Tailwind here.

    Why Share An Online Income Report

    I’m sharing my online income reports as a YouTuber, digital product creator, and blogger to show people that it is possible to make money online in a non-sleazy way that helps people.

    Lots of people want to know how much small YouTube creators make with videos and if you can make money from a small audience online. Fellow YouTubers want to know how I make money with affiliate marketing and digital products not just ad revenue because they know it is hard to survive on YouTube ad income.

    Income reports allow me to share what I’m doing with Etsy and YouTube while building my online income so other creators can benefit and it lets me be fully transparent with my audience about how much I am making.

    It’s amazing that we can earn money creating and sharing content online.

    Previous Online Income Reports

    If you’re interested in past income reports, you can see all of them here:

    As you can see from past income reports, my online income in the first few months of 2020 trended much higher than my income last year. The growth is not viral or explosive but it has moved up and is consistently over $2,00 each month.

    I’ve been consistently earning $2,000 a month now which is far beyond my original goal of earning $600 per month with my YouTube channel.

    I like sharing these numbers to show small YouTubers and other content creators what is possible without a huge audience. While that would be amazing, it is possible to still earn income as a small channel and blog.

    Read More

  • Online Income Report August 2020

    Welcome to my monthly online income report for August 2020! Each month I share how much money I make on YouTube and other sources of online content creation! This is my side hustle: selling digital products and making videos about our personal finances on my YouTube channel.

    online income earning money with computer - pennies not perfection

    Each month here on the blog I go into more detail about what I earned and learned from making money with this personal finance blogmy YouTube channel, and my Etsy shop. These are all things I started as a hobby making no more so it’s fun now to earn an income from them!

    I like sharing real numbers to inspire myself and others who want to earn money online. I also value transparency which this report allows me to give my audience when they consume my content.

    Growing my online income has helped me achieve financial goals like paying off debt faster! I have used all of my income from these endeavors to pay off debt and helped eliminate $43,000 in loans.

    It’s been a lot of work in terms of a side hustle but I’ve enjoyed both earning income and helping people by sharing what we’ve done financially. Earning more money can sometimes be the key to succeeding financially and after having lots of job instability this year I know that it’s the key to my sanity. I never want to rely on just one income.

    Online Income Report

    Here are the main income sources broken down by what I earned for the month. I’ve included referral links to each if you want to join and make money too!

    I’m reviewing my online income earned for the month of August 2020 from my YouTube and printables ventures! You can check out last month’s online income report here.

    Advertising Income – $1,938.88

    Affiliate Marketing Income – $377.11

    Product Sales Income – $236.59

    • Etsy Sales
    • Website Sales

    Other Sources – $66.26

    • Patreon

    Total Online Income: $2,618.75

    This is the amount earned for the month before any fees, expenses, or taxes.

    I don’t keep all of it it and at least 25% will be gone for taxes before it hits my bank account. I also won’t be paid all of it in the month it is earned since each source pays out at different times. I do these reports based on what I earned in a month versus what was received because it inspires me most to grow the income created.

    Online Income Report Thoughts

    Yet again I’ve earned well over $2,500! This is insane for me when I really only ever hoped to earn $600 a month to pay for my daughter’s daycare expenses.

    I did earn less than last month when I earned $2,900 and it’s a good reminder that this does not only go up. I can make less money some months and potentially a lot less money if something goes wrong.

    I’ve been diversifying with the income between both channels but I think I need to continue to diversify. I’d like to also increase my income sources to 6 full income sources. That means likley monetizing this website which I don’t currently do, and adding one more income source. I’d like to have multiple income sources so that if one drops or disappears it does not hurt me too much.

    Expenses List

    As I mentioned, I don’t keep all of the money earned each month. Besides paying taxes on that income I also have expenses to run this online business. There are multiple expenses I’m now paying for each month:

    All of these are minimal but they do add up so I still keep an eye on reducing expenses so that my income will keep growing.

    Popular Content

    I like to loook at what worked in terms of content each month so here are my most popular videos, posts, and products!

    The most popular old videos on my channel was:

    The new videos I published included:

    The new content I published on my website was:

    • Nothing! I did not publish any new content on the website.

    Clearly I’ve slacked off on new content creation this month. I mostly did my weekly Transfer Tuesday videos and did not add any new content to the website.

    Recommended Online Biz Resources

    As my income continues to grow I want to share some of the resources and products I use to make it happen. These will include affiliate links where applicable but I love recommending them because I personally use them all myself!

    TubeBuddy – Before using this tool I manually did so much work but now I’m able to bulk edit videos, research keywords for SEO and set up all my videos for long term success. TubeBuddy has been the best tool I’ve used for managing and growing my YouTube account. It’s got multiple price level plans so you can grow as your channel grows. Try out TubeBuddy for free.

    Canva – Canva is one of the best free editing programs where you can create a digital products and the paid version is even better with bonus features that help take your work to the next level. I use it for creating all my Youtube thumbnails, my social media posts and my digital products! Try creating with Canva.

    Tailwind is the tool I’m using to grow my account and reach on Pinterest. Bringing in consistent traffic from Pinterest boosts any business and Tailwind allows me to schedule content and get results without spending all my time there. It also automatically pins at the best time for engagement and reach for major traffic growth. Get a free trial of Tailwind here.

    Why Share An Online Income Report

    I’m sharing my online income reports as a YouTuber, digital product creator, and blogger to show people that it is possible to make money online in a non-sleazy way that helps people.

    Lots of people want to know how much small YouTube creators make with videos and if you can make money from a small audience online. Fellow YouTubers want to know how I make money with affiliate marketing and digital products not just ad revenue because they know it is hard to survive on YouTube ad income.

    Income reports allow me to share what I’m doing with Etsy and YouTube while building my online income so other creators can benefit and it lets me be fully transparent with my audience about how much I am making.

    It’s amazing that we can earn money creating and sharing content online.

    Previous Online Income Reports

    If you’re interested in past income reports, you can see all of them here:

    As you can see from past income reports, my online income in the first few months of 2020 trended much higher than my income last year. The growth is not viral or explosive but it has moved up and is consistently over $2,00 each month.

    I’ve been consistently earning $2,000 a month now which is far beyond my original goal of earning $600 per month with my YouTube channel.

    I like sharing these numbers to show small YouTubers and other content creators what is possible without a huge audience. While that would be amazing, it is possible to still earn income as a small channel and blog.

    Read More

  • Making Money With Affiliate Marketing: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

    Whether you are a blogger or YouTuber or building an online business, you should try making money through affiliate marketing. It is one of the best and fastest ways to make money online.

    As a YouTuber I regularly earn $3,000 – $5,000 a month from affiliate marketing without a lot of extra work. It’s one of my most passive income sources yet earns me hundreds of dollars each week.

    Affiliate marketing is a great way to start earning money as a beginner. You can get started making money with affiliate marketing before many other methods like ad revenue.

    My Favorite Affiliate Marketing Platforms 

    If you are just here to get some places to sign up to make money, here are my favorite platforms where you can find affiliate programs to apply for and earn money with affiliate marketing.

    How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing

    If you want to start making money with affiliate marketing right now then you are in the right place.

    You have likely heard about affiliate marketing before. Maybe you heard of it in a sleazy way like influencers who take advantage of it or in an inspiring way like how Michelle from Making Sense of Cents earns  $50,000 per month from affiliate marketing. Or maybe you have no idea what affiliate marketing is and you just landed here because you know want to make money online.

    I wrote this complete guide to making money with affiliate marketing because it’s something I love doing and many of my fellow YouTubers continually asked for advice in masterminds. They wanted to know how I earned more in affiliate income than advertising most months during my income reports. Like me, they were inspired by people like Michelle who were making tens of thousands of dollars every month while only working 10 hours a week and traveling the world. They wanted to know how I got started and how I make money with affiliate marketing so this post is my answer.

    Making money with affiliate marketing is not hard and it doesn’t have to feel bad. You are providing a service of connecting people with services or products they need and your commission on a sale compensates you for that work – at no cost to the customer! 

    If you want to better understand what affiliate marketing is and how to make money from it then this post will be for you. I wrote this guide to share everything you need to know to get started as a beginner, share my best tips on making money, and give you actionable steps so you can get started earning as well. 

    What is affiliate marketing?

    Affiliate marketing is where you promote products to your audience and then earn a commission when someone makes a purchase through your unique affiliate link. 

    Basically you earn money by selling other people’s products.

    The commissions for those sales can range from 4% to 70% of the product sales price.

    As you can see, you can earn major amounts of money when you are earning 50% or more of a product price without having to create the product.

    Affiliate marketing works in the same way as many old school referral programs and allows people to earn money through their blog or social media platforms by talking about things they love. It actually works well for all parties involved because you are only paid when you make a sale, it does not increase consumer cost, and the company providing the product does not have to pay upfront in case you don’t provide sales. 

    What are affiliate programs?

    There are affiliate programs for all types of products and in every industry.

    There are affiliate programs where you can earn money promoting clothing, makeup, crafts, credit cards, bank accounts, ebooks, online courses and more. Regardless of what you plan to talk about online there will be an affiliate marketing program that will fit into your niche.

    Affiliate programs will pay commissions in three different ways:

    1. Pay per sale: You will earn a commission only when someone makes a purchase through your affiliate link.
    2. Pay per lead: You will earn a commission if someone signs up for a free trial or creates a free account or somehow otherwise gives a company their email address as a lead.
    3. Pay per click: This style of program is where you are paid money whenever someone clicks through one of your links.  

    There are many types of affiliate marketing programs but the most common one is pay per sale. That is what I will be referring to and giving tips to since it is what I use the most. 

    Is affiliate marketing scammy?

    Affiliate marketing had a really bad reputation for a while.

    This happened because some people abused the system in bad faith and were scammy about it. Now affiliate marketing is a much more popular and regulated industry. Legally affiliate links must be disclosed and there is more in place to protect consumers.

    It is a great way to earn money and to help your audience connect with the products they need that you do not provide. 

    By recommending products you actually love you are adding value for your audience. You are connecting them to something they need but didn’t know about until you made the introduction. 

    Personally I only ever recommend products I love or have used myself and think will add value to my audience. My motto is “if I wouldn’t recommend it to my mom, I won’t recommend it to you.”

    This lets an audience know that they aren’t stumbling through products by chance but instead are able to trust your recommendation.

    Yyou not you should promote an affiliate product, A great rule of thumb is to consider whether you would share it with your friends or family or not.

    Affiliate marketing is amazing because you get paid for telling people why you love something!

    Is affiliate marketing legal? 

    Affiliate marketing is a legal and common online practice where content creators and major companies earn revenue. 

    There are guidelines from the FTC about what you can and can’t do with affiliate links. You will need to include disclaimers on your site and disclose that your content has affiliate links included in the content. 

    The guidelines from the FTC mean you should disclose you are making a commision for the links on your site. It must be:

    • Clear and conspicuous where it can be seen
    • Easy to notice by anyone using your site
    • Easy to understand and not confusing legal jargon
    • Free of distraction

    As long as you are being upfront and sharing information about your affiliate links then you have nothing to worry about when doing affiliate marketing.

    How is affiliate marketing different from referral programs? 

    People are very used to “referral links” where someone recommends a product or service they use via a link inside their account. In return for the referral you may get a free month or other benefit from the referral. It’s a common way apps grow their user base.

    An example of a referral program I promote is Robinhood. They do not have an affiliate program but when I refer people to Robinhood I get a free stock and the new person signing up get a free stock.

    Affiliate marketing programs are different because they are special partnerships that not everyone has access to. Many have special requirements like a certain number of followers or website traffic and some even require a certain number of signups per month.

    Affiliate marketing programs most often give affiliates cash or a similar form of compensation for their work to create sales through driving traffic through their links. An example of affiliate programs are when someone signs up for a program I’ve shared and I receive $50 in return. 

    What are the benefits of affiliate marketing? 

    There are so many benefits to using affiliate marketing as a way to monetize your online business / YouTube channel / blog. It’s a great source of income for content creators like bloggers and YouTubers (I know from experience with both).

    A few of the benefits of affiliate marketing:

    • Easy to get started. It’s the easiest way to get started making money online. You find affiliate programs you want to join either directly or through affiliate marketing program marketplaces (many listed below). 
    • Passive income. Once you’ve created your content containing affiliate links you are done with the upfront work. You can create one piece of content like a blog post that continues to earn you money every month because it gets good amounts of traffic and has affiliate links. 
    • Great for newbies. Affiliate marketing is amazing because it is one of the best ways to earn money before you have a huge audience. If you have a very niche audience or just a small audience because you are new then you can still earn a decent amount of money with affiliate marketing. 

    Those are a few of the biggest benefits of affiliate marketing. It is definitely one of the best ways to monetize as a beginner and many people earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars withing a short time frame. 

    Why is this a great way to monetize for beginners?

    I always recommend beginners start monetizing with affiliate marketing. It is the best way to earn money quickly with the best risk and reward ratio.

    I say this because most new creators are not getting much traffic. Without traffic ads will result in very low rewards. It’s easy to implement but ads do not earn much without scale.

    Creating products is another method but much harder. Products require a lot of upfront work, and may flop because as a beginner you don’t have an audience.

    Enter affiliate marketing! You don’t have to create the product but can earn a large commission if you can sell the product.

    Affiliate marketing is also great because as a beginner it lets you try out different things. You can try multiple different affiliate programs and try promoting different products. Maybe you promote something and no one is interested. That is ok because it’s not your product and you can just move on to the next one.

    Once you find something that works you can replicate your success and continue to grow your income with affiliate marketing.

    The great thing is that all the things you’ve done in the past that worked can be passive income as you continue to grow! 

    How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

    Getting started with affiliate marketing is pretty easy. 

    If you are a YouTuber, add affiliate links to the description box and pinned comments on your most popular videos. 

    If you are a blogger, add affiliate links to your blog posts especially the ones bringing in the most of your traffic.

    Many people start their affiliate marketing with Amazon Associates program that allows you to link to Amazon products and earn a small commission from anything that customer purchases on Amazon. 

    The affiliate program at Amazon has low commissions and only a 24 hours cookie length but it can be a great way to get started and earn money ongoing.

    If you want to get started on Amazon, these tutorials can help:

    I use the Amazon affiliate program sparingly but still earn a couple hundred dollars most months.

    Finding Affiliate Marketing Programs 

    In addition to Amazon you can find many different affiliate programs within your niche.

    Niche specific affiliate programs are the ones where you will ultimately have the most success and earn the most money. There are so many affiliate programs out there and there are single products and services in each program. You can find products from fashion, beauty, travel, home goods, personal finance and more. 

    To find these programs you will want to use Google to search for things like “pet products affiliate marketing programs” or “fitness affiliate marketing programs” to find affiliate programs in your niche.

    When you search for affiliate programs you will come across both affiliate programs and affiliate networks when you are trying to find programs to use.

    Affiliate programs are independent affiliate marketing programs run by the company that you will be promoting.

    Affiliate networks are sites that give you access to many different affiliate programs in one portal.

    One of the most popular affiliate networks is Awin. Here you can join one network have access to thousands of affiliate programs in one place. Affiliate networks make it easy to try multiple programs and stay organized. 

    You should make sure that you are only joining affiliate programs that fit your audience and their needs instead of chasing every single shiny object and high paying affiliate program.

    My personal favorite affiliate programs have been ones I found within the affiliate network ShareASale but that is just worked for me and there are many others out there.

    Best Affiliate Marketing Programs & Networks

    If you are here and want to know where to earn money with affiliate marketing then you probably want to know what the best affiliate marketing programs are to join. I’ll be going over my favorite affiliate networks which give you access to many programs inside them.

    Affiliate Networks

    I have incorporated affiliate networks into my affiliate marketing strategy and it’s been one of the best strategies because it has allowed me to find more programs than I could have found on my own.

    These large affiliate networks connect you with many affiliate companies and products that will earn you money. You can also use these affiliate networks to search for popular products to promote. 

    ShareASale

    ShareASale: Affiliate Marketing Network

    This easy-to-use platform allows content creators to monetize platforms by partnering with brands. Earn money from your content by promoting products to your audience.


    Pennies Not Perfection earns a commission if you join, at no additional cost to you.

    ShareASale – ShareASale is an affiliate network which means it is a platform where you can sign up for multiple affiliate programs within it. There are many great programs within ShareASale.

    An example of how to use programs within this network is how my niche of budgeting planners use the Erin Condren affiliate program in ShareASale

    The Erin Condren affiliate marketing program gives you 10% of each sale you refer to them which is often quite high since their average sale is $73.71 and your viewers are likely to be planning to buy there anyway because planner YouTubers are promoting products from a planner company.

    It’s a great program and I routinely earn money from it even though I don’t use Erin Condren products! If you do you should get paid for your efforts instead of only getting free products through referrals. 

    I’ve also created a video about how to create affiliate links in ShareASale to make it super easy for beginners:

    To promote Erin Condren, Etsy, or any other program they offer, you should go start an account with ShareASale.

    Awin

    Awin: Affiliate Marketing Network

    Partner with the world's leading brands to promote relevant products and earn more from your content.

    Pennies Not Perfection earns a commission if you join, at no additional cost to you.

    Awin – This is another affiliate network where you can sign up for multiple programs in one place. There are many good programs here and Awin consistently earns me hundreds of dollars monthly.

    Making Money With Affiliate Marketing Network Awin

    An example of a company I promote in this network is Etsy.

    That’s right, Etsy has an affiliate marketing program! They offer their affiliates 4% of anything someone purchases through an affiliate link. While 4% isn’t much, it can really add up if people are buying many items.

    (I signed up for the Etsy program with Awin, but it is also offered by ShareASale now too.)

    I highly recommend you use the Etsy affiliate program to link to your favorite shops on Etsy. It is a great way for you to earn money by promoting small businesses on Etsy.

    To promote Etsy shops or any of the other programs this huge network offers you should go start an account with Awin.

    FlexOffers

    Flex Offers: Affiliate Marketing Network

    FlexOffers is an affiliate marketing network where you can join programs to earn money promoting products in your content. FlexOffers access to over 12k affiliate programs.

    Pennies Not Perfection earns a commission if join, at no additional cost to you.

    FlexOffers is an affiliate network that has many high paying affiliate programs so it’s a great option if you have a channel about budgeting or any financial topic and want to get into some higher paying affiliates or promoting credit cards.

    Making Money With Affiliate Marketing Network FlexOffers

    Within FlexOffers there are a number of financial programs on multiple topics.

    They have so many programs for any niche. There are over 12,000 to choose from at FlexOffers.

    This network works really well for me in the personal finance niche. They have affiliate programs on money management, budgeting, credit repair, mortgage loans, and more.

    FlexOffers is the place to be if you are talking about personal finances and need affiliate programs to promote! In my opinion it’s one of the best personal finance affiliate networks.

    To promote these financial products you should go start an account at FlexOffers and search for any of the programs in the

    Impact Radius

    Impact Radius is another affiliate marketing network that works very well for YouTube creators.

    Making Money With Affiliate Marketing Network Impact Radius

    On this affiliate network you can find a lot of companies like:

    • Canva
    • Harry’s
    • FuboTV
    • And more.

    To make money with this network you can sign up for Impact Radius here.

    Affiliate Marketing Tips

    No matter which content platform you are using there are some general tips for promoting products and making money with affiliate marketing.

    Here are some general affiliate marketing tips:

    • Explain the benefits of why someone would want to purchase the product you are promoting.
    • Share personal experiences about using the product or service. This is the best way to do affiliate marketing – sharing your experience about what you already use and love. Personal experience build trust and increase conversions.
    • Show proof of success or that the product actually worked or improved your life. General benefits won’t sell people on buying a product but seeing actual proof helps.
    • Be honest about your reviews when talking about products you are promoting. Never lie and always share both the good and bad of a product.
    • Don’t over do it or be too salesy. You don’t want to be the pushy annoying person that only promotes links to earn money. It’s not effective and it also just comes off as annoying and will turn people off you in general.
    • Include a call to action so people know what to do in order to take the next step. This leads more people to actually purchase the product. Call to actions are things like “grab your copy today” or “click here to sign up”.
    • If you are promoting a high price product, you can also offer an incentive for purchasing with your link. Explain to buyers that you will give something extra to anyone that uses your link.
    • Always disclose that you use affiliate links no matter which platform you are using. Stay up to date and in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

    Those are a few tips to get you started!

    Tips For YouTubers

    Are a YouTuber and want to start making money with affiliate marketing? Here are some of my favorite tips:

    • Mention your links in the video and direct your audience to your description box.
    • Include an affiliate disclaimer link in your description box that is clear you will make a commission.
    • Link to specific products you use instead of the general page. The less steps between a buyer and the purchase the better. Specific links convert better than generic ones.
    • Use products in the programs that you are promoting as an affiliate. If you have a choice to use products in the program or not, use the ones you can promote as an affiliate. People always want to know where you got things.
    • Leave a link to what you used in the video in a pinned comment.
    • Respond to any questions where people ask where you got something and give them the affiliate link. (This is just polite practice as well that builds trust with your audience.)

    Those are just a few of my best tips for how I’ve managed to share products I love. As an example, I share my favorite budget stickers shops and earn income for doing it!

    Want to learn more about monetizing YouTube? Check out these posts:

    Tips For Instagram & TikTok

    If you are running a TikTok or Instagram account, affiliate marketing is a great option for making money. Here are some of my favorite tips:

    • Use your affiliate links in your bio or within a linktree or similar platform to share multiple products
    • Use your stories to ask yes/no questions about whether someone is interested in something and then respond to the yes answers with useful info and your link
    • Pin comments with important info for the product you are promoting
    • Utilize the “swipe up” in Instagram stories where you can include affiliate links
    • Use / show / review items and tell the viewer where the link is to also get the item (bio, swipe up, etc.)
    • Have items in your videos both as the main focus and in the background
    • Create storefronts on sites like Amazon or Etsy to promote all the products you love

    Those are just a few Instagram and TikTok specific affiliate marketing tips!

    Tips For Bloggers

    Blogging is the traditional king of affiliate marketing. Some bloggers have made millions of dollars in affiliate marketing income.

    Michelle the blogger behind Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing has earned over $100,000 a month from her blog. That’s crazy amounts of money and she is not the only blogger who has done it with affiliate marketing.

    Blogging is a great way to earn money with affiliate marketing. Here are a few of the ways you can earn money through affiliate marketing through a blog:

    • Use affiliate links in your blog posts. This is the easiest way to do this as a blogger.
    • Use Lasso if you have a WordPress blog to make the affiliate links easier to manage. It creates custom, pretty links and tracks your clicks which is useful. You can also create beautiful displays for products and services.
    • Write how to posts that show readers how to use the product. Then you can link to the product or service they need to make it happen. How to and tutorial posts are very high converting types of affiliate posts.
    • Use attention grabbing clickbait style headlines that people will click on. You need to get people to your posts to get them to your links.
    • Write review posts where people are searching for the product you are trying to promote. These visitors are at the stage right before buying just before clicking your affiliate link. You can write reviews about all sorts of products. Make sure you are doing an honest review with good and bad parts about the product.
    • Create a round up post of multiple affiliate products. This can give your readers extra value by sharing the best of a certain category or a list of products.

    More Frequently Asked Questions

    I get a lot of other questions about affiliate marketing so I’ve shared some of them and the answers below!

    Do I need a blog for affiliate marketing?

    Nope! You don’t need a blog to do affiliate marketing. You don’t need any certain platform to get started with affiliate marketing. 

    What you need is a platform where you excel and plan to invest in building an audience. Your audience is what will earn you affiliate marketing income so cultivating an audience on any platform can work for affiliate marketing. However, you should be aware that certain platforms do better than others when you are trying to earn affiliate income.

    While you don’t absolutely need a blog for affiliate marketing it will make it easier because having a blog is one of the easiest and most profitable ways to make money from affiliate marketing. Even if you don’t fully utilized your blog and plan

    How do you get paid? How much can you make?

    Before you get started you probably are wondering how much you can make and what types of ways you can get paid.

    Flat rate is one of the ways you can get paid. As an example, website hosts like Bluehost will pay a flat rate of $65 per sale when someone signs up with your link.

    Percentage of sale price is another way you can get paid. This is the most common and commission rates vary widely. If you are promoting a product that costs $100 and you will earn a 10% commission with that affiliate marketing program then you would earn $10 per sale.

    Do you need a lot of followers or traffic?

    Nope! That’s the best part of affiliate marketing! You don’t need a lot of traffic or a huge following to be successful!

    In fact, some people with huge followings can hardly sell anything with affiliate marketing because their audience doesn’t trust them or isn’t connected. Often with a smaller audience you are more connected with your followers and they are more connected to you which means they are also willing to support you by trusting your opinion on products and using your affiliate links.

    I made my first affiliate sales with less than 500 followers and not that many views. It was because I was sharing products I actually loved and was happy to be using. I never promote things I don’t like or don’t feel comfortable with because being real is what works with affiliate marketing.

    As long as you are providing value with your recommendations then you will be able to earn money with affiliate marketing with a small following and feel good about it.

    Why share which affiliate programs I use?

    The affiliate marketing programs I shared here are the top two programs I’ve used to monetize my budget planner channel and they’ve worked very well for me. I’ve made thousands of dollars over my two years of being on YouTube from these two programs in those affiliate networks.

    Yes, giving them away does mean I have more competition for the links but I’ve also found that helping more people eventually benefits me as well. I will earn a small amount if you sign up for those affiliate networks as well which will help make up for some revenue I’ve lost. Plus, I like having good deeds on my side.

    I also, really, really like helping people figure out ways to earn income online and improve their lives through doing things like affiliate marketing or making digital products. I’ve got a passion for helping other people make money! 

    How can I be successful with affiliate marketing?

    While I have covered everything you need to know as a beginner starting affiliate marketing, to be successful you will need two things:

    1. Try and test things to find what works.
    2. Learn from people who have been successful.

    If you want a deep dive into how affiliate marketing works for both bloggers and YouTubers too you can take a more in depth class: Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing I took Michelle’s course when I wanted to grow my affiliate income on YouTube and it’s helped me grow that income source a lot even though I already understood the basics of affiliate marketing.

    If you’ve signed up for the affiliate networks above and still feel lost on how to seamlessly use affiliate marketing you might want to try the course. It’s great for beginners to walk you through how to use and grow your affiliate marketing income. I will say that it is geared toward bloggers but the basics are the same for bloggers and youtubers.

    (If you do decide to buy Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing through my link send me a copy of your receipt and I will send you all of my online income related printables!)

    Congrats on learning about and using affiliate marketing to grow the income!

    More Affiliate Marketing Tips & Tutorials

    Affiliate Marketing Networks Tutorials

    Want to learn more about affiliate marketing? Check out these useful tutorials on Pennies Not Perfection:

    Affiliate Marketing 101

    Affiliate Marketing Tutorials

    Check out more affiliate marketing tutorials or request a new tutorial by reaching out on Instagram!

    If you want to say thank you, you can Buy Me A Coffee.

    Affiliate Marketing Resources

    Here are some resources that can help you grow your affiliate marketing income:

    The All-In-One Affiliate Marketing Plugin for WordPress | Lasso

    Increase affiliate revenue by 30% with Lasso. Fix broken links, find new affiliate opportunities, and create product displays that convert to commissions.

    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
    ShareASale: Affiliate Marketing Network

    This easy-to-use platform allows content creators to monetize platforms by partnering with brands. Earn money from your content by promoting products to your audience.


    Pennies Not Perfection earns a commission if you join, at no additional cost to you.
    Awin: Affiliate Marketing Network

    Partner with the world's leading brands to promote relevant products and earn more from your content.

    Pennies Not Perfection earns a commission if you join, at no additional cost to you.
    Flex Offers: Affiliate Marketing Network

    FlexOffers is an affiliate marketing network where you can join programs to earn money promoting products in your content. FlexOffers access to over 12k affiliate programs.

    Pennies Not Perfection earns a commission if join, at no additional cost to you.
    Lasso Brag

    Read More

  • Online Income Report July 2020

    Welcome to my monthly online income report for July 2020! Each month I share how much I make from my part time online content creation side hustle selling digital products and making videos about our personal finances on my YouTube channel.

    online-income-report-how-much-a-blog-and-youtube-channel-make

    Each month here on the blog I go into more detail about what I earned from online endeavors like this personal finance blogmy YouTube channel, and my Etsy shop. These are all things I started as a hobby making no more so it’s fun now to earn an income from them!

    I like sharing real numbers to inspire myself and others who want to earn money online. I also value transparency which this report allows me to give my audience when they consume my content.

    Growing my online income has helped me achieve financial goals like paying off debt faster! I have used all of my income from these endeavors to pay off debt and helped eliminate $43,000 in loans.

    It’s been a lot of work in terms of a side hustle but I’ve enjoyed both earning income and helping people by sharing what we’ve done financially. Earning more money can sometimes be the key to succeeding financially and after having lots of job instability this year I know that it’s the key to my sanity. I never want to rely on just one income.

    Online Income Report

    Here are the main income sources broken down by what I earned for the month. I’ve included referral links to each if you want to join and make money too!

    I’m reviewing my online income earned for the month of July 2020 from my YouTube and printables ventures! You can check out last month’s online income report here.

    Advertising Income – $1,761.19

    Affiliate Marketing Income – $838.06

    Product Sales Income – $287.00

    • Etsy Sales
    • Website Sales

    Other Sources – $58.96

    • Patreon

    Total Online Income: $2,945.21

    This is the amount earned for the month before any fees, expenses, or taxes.

    I don’t keep all of it it and at least 25% will be gone for taxes before it hits my bank account. I also won’t be paid all of it in the month it is earned since each source pays out at different times. I do these reports based on what I earned in a month versus what was received because it inspires me most to grow the income created.

    HOLY MOLY I earned over $2,900! That’s almost $3k. For the second month in a row!! I feel like I had just cracked the $2,000 earned in a month online recently and now I’m earning almost another $1,000. It really shows how quickly things can grow and how much it can change as you continue to work on it.

    Expenses List

    As I mentioned, I don’t keep all of the money earned each month. Besides paying taxes on that income I also have expenses to run this online business. There are multiple expenses I’m now paying for each month:

    All of these are minimal but they do add up so I still keep an eye on reducing expenses so that my income will keep growing.

    Popular Content

    I like to loook at what worked in terms of content each month so here are my most popular videos, posts, and products!

    The most popular old content on my channel was:

    The new content I published included:

    The new content I published on my website was:

    It’s great to see what is working with new content I’m producing and where I can grow! This month I did not add much website content and in fact only got one blog post listed. I did however make a lot of new videos!

    What Worked This Month

    I have been continuing to work on a few different priorities growing income sources and I even added a new one this month too!

    Creating More Videos

    The thing I did best this month was creating new content. Content is king as they say and I continued creating content across my main platforms.

    I published multiple new videos on YouTube across both channels and that was really my only main activity this month. I made a few new videos but also saw increased performance across some of my older videos.

    Recommended Online Biz Resources

    As my income continues to grow I want to share some of the resources and products I use to make it happen. These will include affiliate links where applicable but I love recommending them because I personally use them all myself!

    TubeBuddy – Before using this tool I manually did so much work but now I’m able to bulk edit videos, research keywords for SEO and set up all my videos for long term success. TubeBuddy has been the best tool I’ve used for managing and growing my YouTube account. It’s got multiple price level plans so you can grow as your channel grows. Try out TubeBuddy for free.

    Canva – Canva is one of the best free editing programs where you can create a digital products and the paid version is even better with bonus features that help take your work to the next level. I use it for creating all my Youtube thumbnails, my social media posts and my digital products! Try creating with Canva.

    Tailwind is the tool I’m using to grow my account and reach on Pinterest. Bringing in consistent traffic from Pinterest boosts any business and Tailwind allows me to schedule content and get results without spending all my time there. It also automatically pins at the best time for engagement and reach for major traffic growth. Get a free trial of Tailwind here.

    Why Share An Online Income Report

    I’m sharing my online income reports as a YouTuber, digital product creator, and blogger to show people that it is possible to make money online in a non-sleazy way that helps people.

    Lots of people want to know how much small YouTube creators make with videos and if you can make money from a small audience online. Fellow YouTubers want to know how I make money with affiliate marketing and digital products not just ad revenue because they know it is hard to survive on YouTube ad income.

    Income reports allow me to share what I’m doing with Etsy and YouTube while building my online income so other creators can benefit and it lets me be fully transparent with my audience about how much I am making.

    It’s amazing that we can earn money creating and sharing content online.

    Previous Online Income Reports

    If you’re interested in past income reports, you can see all of them here:

    As you can see from past income reports, my online income in the first few months of 2020 trended much higher than my income last year. The growth is not viral or explosive but it has moved up and is consistently over $2,00 each month.

    I’ve been consistently earning $2,000 a month now which is far beyond my original goal of earning $600 per month with my YouTube channel.

    I like sharing these numbers to show small YouTubers and other content creators what is possible without a huge audience. While that would be amazing, it is possible to still earn income as a small channel and blog.

    Read More

  • How To Start A Shopify Store For Digital Products

    Shopify is a popular online platform that allows you build your own online store to sell physical or digital products. Selling digital products on Shopify can seem overwhelming for beginners, but is actually quite simple. In this tutorial on how to sell digital products on Shopify we will cover:

    • how to start a new Shopify store
    • how to set up your Shopify to sell digital products
    • Shopify apps to sell digital products
    How to Start A Shopify Store To Sell Digital Products Online

    Shopify manages to make creating your online store easy. It’s also a robust e-commerce solution which is why it’s trusted by over 1 million businesses.

    Shopify offers customizable themes to make your storefront look just the way you want it. There are also apps and tools that allow you to manage it professionally. From inventory management to email marketing, Shopify gives you the tools to make your store a success.

    I recently covered why beginners might want to use Shopify and in this post I’m going to cover how to start a Shopify store and how to set it up so that you can sell digital products for passive income.

    How to Start A Shopify Store For Digital Products For Beginners

    How to Setup A Shopify Store For Digital Products

    Starting a Shopify store is really quite simple and can be done in less than 30 minutes. In this tutorial I get a new store up and running with the first product listed in that time.

    In the video above I walk you through everything you’ll want to know about selling digital products Shopify. It covers how to get started with your own Shopify store selling digital products.

    I am a Shopify affiliate so you can use this link to open your store which will help support my work here.

    The best way to use this tutorial is to click the Shopify free trial link and follow along as I go over the steps.

    You can follow along and do it with me. You can pause and rewind as needed but I’ve found with most tutorials on Shopify it’s best to act as you watch instead of watching then either forgetting details or never opening your shop.

    Sell On Shopify

    Shopify takes care of everything from marketing and payments to secure transactions and shipping. Sell digital or physical products with ease.


    I earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    Selling Digital Products On Shopify

    Selling digital products is a bit more complicated on Shopify than just selling physical products.

    You have to install an additional app in order to serve digital products to customers automatically.

    The most popular option called “Digital Downloads” is created by Shopify and allows you to store your digital download files in this app which is then linked to the product sales page.

    It is a little bit less intuitive than digital sales platforms that have everything on one page like selling on Etsy.

    Best Shopify Apps For Digital Products

    There are other apps you can use to sell digital products on Shopify including:

    Which app you should use to sell digital products on Shopify will depend on the type of product you are planning to sell. Each one will have slightly different requirements.

    You can view a full break down of all the apps you might want to use in this post: Best Shopify Apps For Selling Digital Product.

    How To Move From Etsy To Shopify

    If this post has convinced you on how easy it is to start a Shopify store, then I suggest you also look into moving your Etsy shop to Shopify to make more money and keep more of your profits.

    Many Etsy digital sellers also open and use Shopify to sell digital products successfully.

    The video below shows you the process of moving from Etsy to Shopify. The process is super simple for a regular Etsy shop and only slightly more work for a digital products based shop.

    I highly recommend Shopify to sellers these days not only because I’m an affiliate but because I’ve seen how easy it is for beginner sellers to get up and running. Shopify has eliminated many barriers to selling online and offers it all at one low monthly price which is a great deal for anyone planning to sell online full time in the future.

    Etsy has proven great for beginners but fails many large sellers which is why it can often be best to start with Shopify from the beginning. If you are going to put work into building an online shop then it should be one that you completely own and control. You will get to make all of the decisions and celebrate the success of your shop.

    how to sell digital products on shopify
    Try Shopify For Digital Products For 14 Days Free

    Read More

  • Online Income Report June 2020

    Welcome to my monthly online income report for June 2020! Each month I share how much I make from my part time online content creation side hustle selling digital products and making videos about our personal finances on my YouTube channel.

    Each month here on the blog I go into more detail about what I earned from online endeavors like this personal finance blogmy YouTube channel, and my Etsy shop. These are all things I started as a hobby making no more so it’s fun now to earn an income from them!

    I like sharing real numbers to inspire myself and others who want to earn money online. I also value transparency which this report allows me to give my audience when they consume my content.

    Growing my online income has helped me achieve financial goals like paying off debt faster! I have used all of my income from these endeavors to pay off debt and helped eliminate $43,000 in loans.

    It’s been a lot of work in terms of a side hustle but I’ve enjoyed both earning income and helping people by sharing what we’ve done financially. Earning more money can sometimes be the key to succeeding financially and after having lots of job instability this year I know that it’s the key to my sanity. I never want to rely on just one income.

    Online Income Report

    Here are the main income sources broken down by what I earned for the month. I’ve included referral links to each if you want to join and make money too!

    I’m reviewing my online income earned for the month from my YouTube and printables ventures!

    Advertising Income – $1,479.70

    Affiliate Marketing Income – $1,137.77

    Product Sales Income – $257.00

    • Etsy Sales
    • Website Sales

    Other Sources – $55.71

    • Patreon

    Total Online Income: $2,930.18

    This is the amount earned for the month before any fees, expenses, or taxes.

    I don’t keep all of it it and at least 25% will be gone for taxes before it hits my bank account. I also won’t be paid all of it in the month it is earned since each source pays out at different times. I do these reports based on what I earned in a month versus what was received because it inspires me most to grow the income created.

    It was another great month for online income and total earned! This is the most money I’ve ever earned online in a single month and I can hardly believe it. I’m well over the $2,500 earned in a month mark and am amazed that I basically earned a paycheck for doing this work!

    Expenses List

    As I mentioned, I don’t keep all of the money earned each month. Besides paying taxes on that income I also have expenses to run this online business. There are multiple expenses I’m now paying for each month:

    All of these are minimal but they do add up so I still keep an eye on reducing expenses so that my income will keep growing.

    Popular Content

    I like to loook at what worked in terms of content each month so here are my most popular videos, posts, and products!

    The most popular old content on my channel was:

    The new content I published included:

    The new content I published on my website was:

    It’s great to see what is working with new content I’m producing and where I can grow! I definitely added a lot of new website content this month. While my website is not my main priority I think it will ultimately be important!

    What Worked This Month

    I have been continuing to work on a few different priorities growing income sources and I even added a new one this month too!

    Creating NEW Content

    The thing I did best this month was creating new content. Content is king as they say and I doubled down on creating content across my main platforms.

    I published multiple new videos on YouTube across both channels and added new website content as well. I’m still behind on the blog posts I want to do but adding more new content makes me and the Google very happy.

    Focused On Affiliate Marketing

    Affiliate marketing work from previous months really paid off in June! Things I implemented from the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course have started working and the income results show that work.

    Affiliate marketing can be a great way to earn income online and it truly benefits both sides. I only get paid when someone purchases or signs up and they don’t have to burden any extra costs. I only get paid from the company when that happens so they aren’t paying more than I provide. It really does work for all parties involved.

    I also make it a rule to only promote programs I actively use. It’s just easier to be myself and share what I truly use and love than try to make quick cash or promote things I don’t actually use.

    Recommended Online Biz Resources

    As my income continues to grow I want to share some of the resources and products I use to make it happen. These will include affiliate links where applicable but I love recommending them because I personally use them all myself!

    TubeBuddy – Before using this tool I manually did so much work but now I’m able to bulk edit videos, research keywords for SEO and set up all my videos for long term success. TubeBuddy has been the best tool I’ve used for managing and growing my YouTube account. It’s got multiple price level plans so you can grow as your channel grows. Try out TubeBuddy for free.

    Canva – Canva is one of the best free editing programs where you can create a digital products and the paid version is even better with bonus features that help take your work to the next level. I use it for creating all my Youtube thumbnails, my social media posts and my digital products! Try creating with Canva.

    Tailwind is the tool I’m using to grow my account and reach on Pinterest. Bringing in consistent traffic from Pinterest boosts any business and Tailwind allows me to schedule content and get results without spending all my time there. It also automatically pins at the best time for engagement and reach for major traffic growth. Get a free trial of Tailwind here.

    Why Share An Online Income Report

    I’m sharing my online income reports as a YouTuber, digital product creator, and blogger to show people that it is possible to make money online in a non-sleazy way that helps people.

    Lots of people want to know how much small YouTube creators make with videos and if you can make money from a small audience online. Fellow YouTubers want to know how I make money with affiliate marketing and digital products not just ad revenue because they know it is hard to survive on YouTube ad income.

    Income reports allow me to share what I’m doing with Etsy and YouTube while building my online income so other creators can benefit and it lets me be fully transparent with my audience about how much I am making.

    It’s amazing that we can earn money creating and sharing content online.

    Previous Online Income Reports

    If you’re interested in past income reports, you can see all of them here:

    As you can see from past income reports, my online income in the first few months of 2020 trended much higher than my income last year. The growth is not viral or explosive but it has moved up and is consistently over $2,00 each month.

    I’ve been consistently earning $2,000 a month now which is far beyond my original goal of earning $600 per month with my YouTube channel.

    I like sharing these numbers to show small YouTubers and other content creators what is possible without a huge audience. While that would be amazing, it is possible to still earn income as a small channel and blog.

    Read More

  • Online Income Report May 2020

    Welcome to my monthly online income report for May 2020! Each month I share how much I make from my part time online content creation side hustle selling digital products and making videos about our personal finances on my YouTube channel.

    Each month here on the blog I go into more detail about what I earned from online endeavors like this personal finance blogmy YouTube channel, and my Etsy shop. These are all things I started as a hobby making no more so it’s fun now to earn an income from them!

    I like sharing real numbers to inspire myself and others who want to earn money online. I also value transparency which this report allows me to give my audience when they consume my content.

    Growing my online income has helped me achieve financial goals like paying off debt faster! I have used all of my income from these endeavors to pay off debt and helped eliminate $43,000 in loans.

    It’s been a lot of work in terms of a side hustle but I’ve enjoyed both earning income and helping people by sharing what we’ve done financially. Earning more money can sometimes be the key to succeeding financially and after having lots of job instability this year I know that it’s the key to my sanity. I never want to rely on just one income.

    Online Income Report

    Here are the main income sources broken down by what I earned for the month. I’ve included referral links to each if you want to join and make money too!

    I’m reviewing my online income earned for the month of May 2020 from my YouTube and printables ventures!

    Advertising Income – $1,186.25

    Affiliate Marketing Income – $591.92

    • Shareasale – $4.54
    • FlexOffers – $8.00
    • Awin – $204.93
    • Amazon – $138.00
    • Impact Radius – $20.00
    • Robinhoood – $216.45

    Product Sales Income – $361.35

    • Etsy Sales – $194.85
    • Website Sales – $166.50

    Other Sources – $46.33

    • Patreon $46.33

    Total Online Income: $2,185.85

    This is the amount earned for the month before any fees, expenses, or taxes.

    I don’t keep all of it it and at least 25% will be gone for taxes before it hits my bank account. I also won’t be paid all of it in the month it is earned since each source pays out at different times. I do these reports based on what I earned in a month versus what was received because it inspires me most to grow the income created.

    It was another great month for online income and total earned! This is the most money I’ve ever earned online in a single month and I can hardly believe it. I’m well over the $2,000 earned in a month mark and am amazed that I basically earned a paycheck for doing this work!

    Expenses List

    As I mentioned, I don’t keep all of the money earned each month. Besides paying taxes on that income I also have expenses to run this online business. There are multiple expenses I’m now paying for each month:

    All of these are minimal but they do add up so I still keep an eye on reducing expenses so that my income will keep growing.

    Popular Content

    I like to loook at what worked in terms of content each month so here are my most popular videos, posts, and products!

    The most popular old content on my channel was:

    The new content I published included:

    The new content I published on my website was:

    It’s great to see what is working with new content I’m producing and where I can grow! I definitely added a lot of new website content this month. While my website is not my main priority I think it will ultimately be important!

    What Worked This Month

    I have been continuing to work on a few different priorities growing income sources and I even added a new one this month too!

    Creating NEW Content

    The thing I did best this month was creating new content. Content is king as they say and I doubled down on creating content across my main platforms.

    I published multiple new videos on YouTube across both channels and added new website content as well. I’m still behind on the blog posts I want to do but adding more new content makes me and the Google very happy.

    Focused On Affiliate Marketing

    I have continued with my implementation of ideas learned from Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course and in that regard I’ve added a couple new affiliate marketing partners.

    I don’t plan to add too many or add any I don’t actively use myself. I find it is easier and more authentic to only promote programs I actively use. It’s similar to how I only buy stocks of companies I actively use and adore. It’s just easier to be myself and share what I truly use and love than try to make quick cash (gross tactic anyway).

    Adding new partners that I’m loving will be so helpful in growing the affiliate income because it is not hard to share these products.

    Recommended Online Biz Resources

    As my income continues to grow I want to share some of the resources and products I use to make it happen. These will include affiliate links where applicable but I love recommending them because I personally use them all myself!

    TubeBuddy – Before using this tool I manually did so much work but now I’m able to bulk edit videos, research keywords for SEO and set up all my videos for long term success. TubeBuddy has been the best tool I’ve used for managing and growing my YouTube account. It’s got multiple price level plans so you can grow as your channel grows. Try out TubeBuddy for free.

    Canva – Canva is one of the best free editing programs where you can create a digital products and the paid version is even better with bonus features that help take your work to the next level. I use it for creating all my Youtube thumbnails, my social media posts and my digital products! Try creating with Canva.

    Tailwind is the tool I’m using to grow my account and reach on Pinterest. Bringing in consistent traffic from Pinterest boosts any business and Tailwind allows me to schedule content and get results without spending all my time there. It also automatically pins at the best time for engagement and reach for major traffic growth. Get a free trial of Tailwind here.

    Why Share An Online Income Report

    I’m sharing my online income reports as a YouTuber, digital product creator, and blogger to show people that it is possible to make money online in a non-sleazy way that helps people.

    Lots of people want to know how much small YouTube creators make with videos and if you can make money from a small audience online. Fellow YouTubers want to know how I make money with affiliate marketing and digital products not just ad revenue because they know it is hard to survive on YouTube ad income.

    Income reports allow me to share what I’m doing with Etsy and YouTube while building my online income so other creators can benefit and it lets me be fully transparent with my audience about how much I am making.

    It’s amazing that we can earn money creating and sharing content online.

    Previous Online Income Reports

    If you’re interested in past income reports, you can see all of them here:

    As you can see from past income reports, my online income in the first few months of 2020 trended much higher than my income last year. The growth is not viral or explosive but it has moved up and is consistently over $2,00 each month.

    I’ve been consistently earning $1,500 a month now which is far beyond my original goal of earning $600 per month with my YouTube channel.

    I like sharing these numbers to show small YouTubers and other content creators what is possible without a huge audience. While that would be amazing, it is possible to still earn income as a small channel and blog.

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  • How To Move From Etsy To Shopify

    I’ve sold on Etsy since 2019 but I recently opened a Shopify store to test out selling my products on my own website. Moving from Etsy to Shopify was a breeze and today I’m sharing my experience along with why you may want to move from selling on Etsy to selling via Shopify.

    What Is Shopify?

    Shopify is an online platform that allows you build your own online store where you can sell physical or digital products.

    Shopify manages to make creating your online store easy but also robust which is why it’s trusted by over 1 million businesses.

    Shopify offers customizable themes to make your storefront look just the way you want it as well as apps and tools that allow you to manage it professionally. From inventory management to email marketing, Shopify gives you the tools to make your store a success.

    I recently covered why beginners might want to use Shopify in this video:

    In the video on Shopify I cover:

    • what Shopify is
    • is Shopify legit
    • who Shopify is for
    • Shopify pricing plans
    • Shopify fees
    • my Shopify review and opinions

    Basically everything you want to know about Shopify as a beginner to selling online!

    Through my experience selling on Etsy and Shopify I’ve learned a lot about both platforms. Setting up multiple stores on each platform really taught me the pros and cons to using Etsy and Shopify (they both have pros and cons)!

    I’ve also learned a lot by watching hundreds of videos from other sellers in order to find ways to maximize my growth selling digital products.

    So which one is best in my opinion? It really matters what your end goal is with your store!

    Shopify Vs Etsy

    Why would you want to consider selling with Shopify instead of Etsy? There are many reasons but the number one is growth.

    If you plan to grow your shop into a true business and scale it then you want to use a platform like Shopify. Etsy is a great place for many to get started but plenty of us later realize we have made a mistake investing our time into growing on Etsy because it has major flaws that limit growth.

    Here are a few reasons you will want to switch to Shopify from Etsy:

    • On Shopify you won’t be competing with other shops selling similar items. On Etsy every time someone sees your products they also see ads and listings for other similar products and they may click away.
    • On Shopify you won’t be giving up 5% of every sale as a transaction fee to the platform. There is a set standard fee for using Shopify which makes a lot of sense if you are selling high priced items or do a lot of volume sales.
    • On Shopify you will never be forced to pay extra advertising fees or fees you don’t want to pay. Etsy recently introduced mandatory off site advertising. You can’t opt out even if advertising is not part of your marketing plan. You have to pay the 12-15% of the sales price whether you wanted to run an ad or not. You don’t have to deal with this on Shopify.
    • Shopify has more features than Etsy. For a “free” platform Etsy is well suited to introduce you to the basics of e-commerce but Shopify will take you to the next level. They have every feature Etsy does and even more comprehensive and robust options too.
    • Shopify gives you more control. You are in control of your store’s destiny and success. You drive your traffic and set your prices and more importantly – keep more of your profit when you grow.

    Those are just a few of the reasons why a sales platform like Shopify is better than Etsy.

    How To Start A Shopify Store

    The first thing you will want to do in order to move from Etsy to Shopify is to start your Shopify store. Luckily you can start a Shopify store risk free for 14 days. Get the free trial here.

    The video below shows how you can open a Shopify store quickly and easily and gives you a bit of a tutorial on how to sell digital products as well!

    Once you have your Shopify store started with a free trial you can play around with getting your shop how you want it to look and familiarizing yourself with both the front end and back end of Shopify. Then once you are ready, you can move your Etsy shop over to Shopify in no time at all!

    How To Move From Etsy To Shopify

    If you are convinced that selling on Shopify is superior to Etsy then you’ll want to work on moving your shop over to Shopify.

    The following video shows you how to move your shop from Etsy to Shopify in a few easy steps:

    In this video I show you how to set up a Shopify store in 2020 to move from Etsy to Shopify.

    In the short tutorial on starting a Shopify store I cover:

    • how to get started on Shopify
    • Etsy to Shopify import data
    • learn how to import products from Etsy to Shopify
    • why you want to sell of Shopify instead of Etsy

    As you can see from the video tutorial, moving from Etsy to Shopify is quick and easy with the built in migration tools!

    Getting started on Shopify can feel intimidating because it powers so many customized huge website but it is actually very easy to start selling on Shopify for beginners.

    To get started with the very basics of moving your shop from Etsy to Shopify you will want to import your products, orders, and customers from Etsy and then choose a theme.

    You don’t have to get super in depth to start but can add and adjust to your shop as you go. This Shopify tutorial is easy and fast for moving from Etsy to Shopify and perfect for beginners to get more sales with less competition from other sellers.

    Selling On Etsy And Shopify

    If you can’t decide whether Etsy or Shopify is better for your business then I suggest doing a hybrid model where you sell on Etsy AND Shopify.

    Personally this is what I do! I still have my Etsy shop available to customers but I also sell on my own website.

    My Etsy shop is up and running so it can reach customers via the Etsy marketplace and then lead them to my products and brand. However, I don’t send my traffic from YouTube or social media to Etsy. I send those customers to my own website with my products for sale.

    Having Etsy running still allows me to have passive income with digital downloads and another way for people to find me but it’s not my main priority. This hybrid method has worked well for me selling digital downloads. The amount I make via

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  • How To Grow A YouTube Channel

    Growing a YouTube channel can be hard and sometimes it depends on luck and topic. In fact, it can take some of us years to hit 10,000 subscribers while we watch other speed past us by multiple times. If you want to grow then there are some things you can do to increase your chances of growth and success.

    Tips For Growing Your YouTube Channel

    If you want to make more money from your small Youtube channel then the best way to do it is to grow your channel. The more people that find you the more money you will make.

    Here are the ways I’ve learned to grow on YouTube.

    Utilize Useful Youtube Growth Tools

    I resisted using a paid tool like TubeBuddy for a while because I thought I was smart enough to do it on my own but when I finally caved and bought a subscription I kicked myself for not doing it sooner.

    With TubeBuddy you can see EXACTLY what other channels are using for their tags and video data and compare their channels to yours. You can learn how to do a lot of title and tag work for SEO with TubeBuddy.

    some of my other favorite tools I’ve used inside TubeBuddy while growing my channel:

    • canned responses which is super useful for interacting with your audience
    • upload checklist
    • video topic planner

    Those are a few of my favorite tools within my account to grow. TubeBuddy has a free version with limited tools listed here and paid accounts when you really want to grow (which are amazing for the price).

    Learn About SEO

    There are tons of videos on Youtube about how to use SEO on the platform. Watch some. Learn about what keywords are and how to use them. For many channels, search is the key way they are found and earn money.

    To shorten your journey in learning and implementing SEO, I again recommend TubeBuddy because it’s like an all in one solution for YouTubers.

    Here are the SEO tools you have access to inside TubeBuddy:

    • view and copy video tags from another channel
    • tag rankings so you can track where you rank
    • suggested tags for your videos
    • keyword explorer
    • search rankings
    • best practices audit

    And even more! All of those tools help you get your video ranked on YouTube so you get more views. It seriously has more tools than I’ve even had time to use yet but what I have used above has helped take my videos to the next level.

    Since I’ve been using TubeBuddy my SEO has improved and my search traffic has doubled. Seriously, it doubled! TubeBuddy has been an incredibly helpful and the first month I used it I actually doubled the views on my channel going from 45,000 views in a month to 110,000 in a month.

    Build Community

    Having a community around your channel and your videos is another great way to guarantee successful video launches and continued success. Building community can be done in a few ways:

    • commenting on other youtube channels
    • responding to all of your comments
    • referencing viewers and comments in your videos
    • giving shoutouts to people in your community
    • giving your viewers a nickname and expected phrases

    Those are just a few ways I’ve found to build my community but you can find what works for you! The most successful YouTube channels have an element of community around them.

    Those are just some of the ways I’ve learned how to grow my channel and consistently doubled my channel size each year I’ve been on Youtube while still keeping consistent and engaged subscribers.

    Make Good Videos

    Seriously, making good videos is how you grow on YouTube. There are a lot of additional factors but you won’t grow if you make bad videos.

    You should be making videos that you know are good. If they make you cringe when you are rewatching to edit, how do you expect anyone else to enjoy them?

    Here are a few of the best tips from successful creators I’ve followed about making good videos:

    • Get to the point in your videos. Don’t ramble on for a long period at the beginning where people will fall off.
    • Make your videos provide value. If your videos are educational then make them very educational. If they are entertainment based then they should provide value by making your viewer feel something. Think of each video and consider what value it is providing someone.
    • Audio quality matters the most even over video quality. You can have top notch video but if your audio is bad people will stop watching.
    • Focus on your presentation and story telling skills. When you first start making videos you probably won’t be very good at this but it’s something that makes the best YouTubers connect with their audience.

    Remember that these are all things that you can work on and you can’t compare yourself to other creators. You should work hard to improve your skills and tune out the distractions of others.

    Provide Unique Value

    This is similar to the idea of making good videos but even good videos won’t get you anywhere if you aren’t providing some sort of value to your audience.

    Every video on your channel is providing some type of value. That value might be education or entertainment or just a feeling like someone belongs. You need to recognize what value you are providing and then put your own unique spin on it.

    Make sure your video has a value driven purpose and you are delivering that value for each second of the video. You don’t need to ramble or go on tangents that don’t deliver on that value.

    Experiment With Ideas

    You likely won’t know what will succeed on your channel until you try some new things. Growing on YouTube means you will have to constantly experiment with ideas and trying out new things with your content.

    When you experiment and try something new you need to do a couple things:

    • be clear to yourself what is different
    • study your analytics to see how the video performs differently
    • double down on experiements that are working

    That is basically the way to succeed and grow on YouTube. When you have a video go viral? Make another similar one in a similar way and provide similar value.

    Experiment until you find something that works and then double down on it.

    Similarly to video types and ideas, experiement with all of these things:

    • thumbnails
    • call to actions in your video
    • titles
    • descriptions
    • video length

    Try out new things and constantly track how the experiments perform. You won’t know what works and what doesn’t work for your channel until you try. There are all sorts of pieces of advice out there “use your face in thumbnails” or “don’t use your face in thumbnails” but you won’t know until you try it on your channel.

    Learn From YouTube Experts

    Another great way to grow on YouTube (and save a ton of time) is to learn from experts who have already done it.

    You can book one on one time or take a course like my friend Erika’s course Mastering YouTube for the Busy Professional (affiliate link).

    She went from 0 subscribers to over 70,000 and $100,000 earned from YouTube in just one year. I’ve learned a lot from her about both getting views from trending topics and outsourcing to grow faster.

    Taking a course like this or from any big YouTuber will help you learn faster and grow faster because you will make less mistakes.

    All of these things will help you grow faster after you’ve hit your first 100 subscribers. Best wishes on growing your channel to a huge success!

    Find Ways To Be More Efficient

    If you plan to grow on YouTube then you need to find ways to be more productive, use your time more wisely, and be more efficient overall. YouTube can be a lot of work and a lot of really tedious work that can be time consuming.

    You may want to try out a number of different things:

    • Using TubeBuddy to batch process tasks
    • Hire an editor too speed up your editing
    • Hire someone to make your thumbnails
    • Outsource any number of tasks to a VA

    Find ways to make tasks faster and more efficient so that you can scale up with your content and growth.

    Keep Going

    I’ve heard time and time again from people who blew up on YouTube that they had their biggest success right after they had considered giving up… but kept going. That means that all the people who quit at that stage likely quit right before they would have seen success.

    There are a lot of fears, excuses, and reasons why people don’t continue to grow on YouTube.

    I recommend you examine those and find ways around them so you can keep going and keep growing your channel. Consistently post videos and work on improving your skills so that you are able to become a pro at YouTube.

    Making Money On YouTube

    Making money on YouTube is not a fast process, but it is possible!

    I started YouTube as a hobby and quickly fell in love with the platform and how it allowed me to find a community, create content, and also make money for my time.

    If you want to make money on YouTube I’ve written multiple posts about how do do earn money both directly on YouTube and with using YouTube as a traffic source to your products:

    I really enjoy sharing what I’ve learned about making money on YouTube, clearly! It’s an amazing platform that has completely changed many people’s lives by building a business or income from the platform.

    You can see some of my past income reports on YouTube.

    You can watch the video below to see how much YouTube paid me for 2 million views.

    In that video I explain how YouTube pays for views and the amount of money they pay for videos with millions of views which is very useful to understand if you want to make money from your YouTube channel.

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  • Shopify For Beginners

    I recently began selling products with Shopify and then loved it so much I helped a friend set up their business with a Shopify store too. The ease of creating a store and immediately beginning to sell your products makes Shopify one of the best platforms for selling online today.

    In this post I cover everything you’ll want to know about Shopify and how to get started with your own Shopify store. I am a Shopify affiliate so you can use this link to open your store which will help support my work here.

    Shopify 101

    Shopify is an online platform that allows you build your own online store where you can sell physical or digital products.

    You might be wondering is Shopify legit? They’ve been in the news and had crazy speculative stock prices lately, but is their product actually good? The answer is yes! Shopify manages to make creating your online store easy but also robust which is why it’s trusted by over 1 million businesses.

    In fact, large multi-million dollar businesses like Harry’s Razors and Gymshark use Shopify to power their stores as well as many small businesses and online content creators.

    Shopify offers customizable themes to make your storefront look just the way you want it. They also offer apps and tools that put it far above any Shopify competitors. From inventory management to email marketing, Shopify gives you the tools to make your store a success.

    Try Shopify for free!

    How Does Shopify Work?

    Shopify works by providing both a front end (what your customer sees) and a back end (what you see and manage behind the scenes).

    Your customer will see your beautiful and streamlined storefront when they are shopping and once they’ve made a purchase all interactions will continue on the backend where you control everything.

    In the very comprehensive back end of Shopify you have control over your products, inventory, pricing, orders, payments, analytics, finances, and more. They give you every tool you might need and even some that you probably won’t use at first.

    In addition to all of this Shopify also has an app store with plugins for every possible thing you could think of to add to your shop.

    Who is Shopify for?

    Shopify is for aspiring sellers all the way up to large multi-million dollar brands. Shopify’s pricing plans range to suit all sizes of ecommerce companies and their starter plan makes powerful online selling possible for individuals and small shops.

    You can also open any number of types of stores with Shopify:

    • traditional ecommerce
    • digital product sales
    • dropshipping

    If you are eager to grow a large store or create a huge brand then Shopify is definitely the right tool to grow with you.

    Shopify Pricing

    Shopify costs vary depending on which plan you use.

    Here are the three pricing plans currently offered:

    • $29/month for Basic Shopify: All the basics for starting a new business
    • $79/month for Shopify: Everything you need for a growing business
    • $299/month for Advanced Shopify: Advanced features for scaling your business

    However, right now, they are offering 14 days for free! In the past, they’ve even offered 90 days for free, but 14 days is their standard offer.

    You can sign up, set up your store, and pick a payment plan later once you’ve settled in. This is a fantastic offer and allowing a lot of people to jump into ecommerce without any upfront costs or risk.

    You can get your 14 day free trial here.

    Shopify Fees

    If you can’t tell from the basic pricing model with Shopify, it means there are no additional platform fees to pay for selling your products.

    This gives Shopify the edge when comparing it to other store building platforms because it caps off the amount of money it takes from creators which allows store owners to keep more of their money.

    There are going to be payment processing fees when you sell on Shopify but that is true of even platform you use to sell online. In order to accept any payment online for your products you will have to pay someone to process your payments. That might be from incorporating Paypal or Stripe or another payment processor.

    Shopify Review

    Do I recommend Shopify? If you couldn’t already tell from this review, then yes! It’s truly the top option when you are trying to create a store online.

    It’s easy to use and lets beginners start a shop in no time at all. It’s got an amazing support team, room for you to grow, and lots of features with each plan they offer.

    Beyond that the sheer amount of flexibility and features Shopify offers blows away every other online store platform. Things like multiple payment options, multi-channel selling across physical stores or social media or marketplaces, abandoned cart recovery, and more make it far and away the top option when you are comparing different platforms for creating an online store.

    Try Shopify for free and see what you think for yourself!

    Shopify Vs Etsy

    Shopify and Etsy are entirely different types of platforms you can use to sell digital products or physical products. Because these are the two of the three platforms I’ve used to sell online I feel that I’m able to compare these well.

    Shopify vs Etsy Customer Traffic

    Etsy has the advantage in being able to bring customers to your shop. Your Etsy shop will automatically be in front of more people just because it is on Etsy and that is because Etsy is a marketplace. There are already buyers on Etsy who are looking for things to buy.

    Shopify on the other hand, provides the tools you need to sell online but it does not currently provide the level of marketplace activity that Etsy does. This may change in the future but at the moment creating a Shopify store means you will have to do your own marketing and bring in your own customers.

    That trade off is very small if you already have an established following and can drive your own traffic to your shop.

    Shopify vs Etsy Fees

    Since Shopify does not add on any transaction fees like a site like Etsy does, this means you will only pay for your monthly Shopify bill and payment processing fees. The payment processing fees on Shopify lower with the higher paid plans but for online credit card rates they charge 2.9% + 30¢. Any other payments you decide to use besides Shopify Payments start at 2%.

    Etsy on the other-hand, charges a large number of fees. They charge a listing fee of 20¢ any time you list a product and then another 20¢ to renew that listing once an item sells. They also charge a 5% transaction fee for every item you sell. In addition to this they also have started charging you 12-15% for any item that sells due to their offsite advertising. All of these fees are also applied to whatever you charge for shipping. This can lead to 20% or more of your item price being eaten up by fees.

    If you sell at a high volume level Shopify ends up being a much cheaper platform than a site like Etsy that charges 5% transaction fees as well as listing fees and offsite advertising fees.

    Shopify vs Etsy Pricing

    Etsy does not charge anything to open a shop and it does not charge anything ongoing to run one. It provides all of it’s tools “free” in exchange for the higher fees they take from sales you make. This model makes it easy for new sellers to get started with very little risk.

    However, that model quickly runs out of positives for anyone selling expensive items or selling massive amounts of volume.

    Shopify offers three different plans ranging from a reasonable $29 per month to an advanced price of $299 per month. You are able to start with a $29 plan and scale up as you need to in order to support your growing business. But as you grow you’ll get all the tools you need for $299 per month without worrying about giving over 5% of your overall sales volume.

    In the end Etsy pricing is great to get started but if you plan to sell your products seriously then you will end up better off with Shopify.

    How To Get Started On Shopify

    If you plan to start a store to sell your products online then Shopify is likely where you will want to start. You can have a beautiful shop up and running in minutes.

    The tutorial below shows you how to start a Shopify store. This tutorial is specifically designed for people selling digital products since that is my main focus, but it’s a great beginner tutorial for the ins and outs of Shopify!

    You can currently get a 14 day free trial of Shopify which is an amazing way to get started selling without any risk. Definitely give it a try and if you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email of dm!

    Start your free trial with Shopify!

    Moving Your Etsy Shop To Shopify

    If you are currently selling on Etsy and want to leave due to high fees and lack of control, I highly recommend moving your Etsy shop over to Shopify. It’s incredibly easy and Shopify allows you to import all of your Etsy data so you don’t have to start over.

    This video shows you the process of moving over my Etsy shop to Shopify when I decided to start selling on my own website instead of just with Etsy.

    While you will have to drive traffic to your Shopify store, you will be also freeing yourself up for more control over your marketing and success.

    Moving from Etsy to Shopify is something I think most Etsy sellers should do and many have done so in 2020. There has been a large exodus of Etsy sellers for Shopify stores because of Etsy’s high fees and introduction of mandatory off-site marketing.

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