Online Business

  • How To Make Money With The Erin Condren Affiliate Program

    If you are a planner girl who creates plan with me videos on YouTube or Instagram you could be making hundreds of dollars a month doing what you love by joining the Erin Condren affiliate program.

    In this post I’m sharing how you can make money as an EC affiliate and why you should go sign up for ShareASale and join the Erin Condren affiliate program right now!

    The Erin Condren affiliate program is one of the best affiliate programs available for anyone making planner content. Even if you use a different style planner it is likely that your audience will love Erin Condren planner products.

    How To Sign Up For The Erin Condren Affiliate Program

    The Erin Condren affiliate program is run by the affiliate network 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 a couple great programs within ShareASale but for this specific niche of planning and budget planners the best one is Erin Condren.

    In the video below I walk through how you can sign up for the Erin Condren affiliate program on the ShareASale affiliate network.

    Benefits Of The Erin Condren Affiliate Program

    So why is the Erin Condren affiliate program so amazing for planner related content creators?

    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.

    As a planner you are likely already using Erin Condren products or related items so you will be showcasing and recommending their products in your content. The affiliate program they run through ShareASale allows you to earn 10% of whatever your audience buys through your links. It’s additional money for you as a commission for sharing how much you love Erin Condren products.

    Things you can recommend from Erin Condren are planners, stickers, and other related accessories. 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. 

    To promote Erin Condren you should go start an account with ShareASale and search for Erin Condren under merchants or in the top ranked merchants since they are always near the top.

    Why Use Affiliate Marketing

    If you have a planner related blog, Instagram account, or YouTube channel then you can monetize your content through affiliate marketing especially the Erin Condren affiliate program through ShareASale.

    I’ve been making money from my budgeting YouTube channel for a while and because of this I get a lot of questions from new YouTubers about how to make money or grow their channels. I always suggest using affiliate marketing for products they already use and love.

    Affiliate marketing has made my channel more most months than I’ve made on ads. It makes this amount of money because people love to click through and purchase the budget stickers I used in my planner. 

    When you create a channel about something you are passionate about you probably have a dedicated audience that will support you by using links where you can make a commission. In fact, affiliate marketing is the BEST way for new content creators to get started because you don’t need huge amounts of views or followers.

    All you need is a passion for the products you are sharing and if you are a planner you likely already have a huge passion for Erin Condren products because they are amazing.

    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. 

    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. 

    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. 

    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 you can promote in order to earn free products is Erin Condren.

    Within the Erin Condren website you can get a referral link where customers can get a credit and you get a credit too. This allows you to buy more Erin Condren products but it doesn’t earn you an income that goes into the bank.

    I’m amazed by how many passionate content creators I see using this referral program so they get free products but not using the affiliate program where they can earn actual income.

    In contrast, you can earn money with the Erin Condren affiliate program through ShareASale.

    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. 

    How To Create Affiliate Links To Erin Condren

    Once you’ve signed up for the Erin Condren affiliate program at ShareASale then you will then need to create the affiliate links you will share in order to make money from commissions.

    Creating links to Erin Condren products can be done a few different ways:

    • copying affiliate links in ShareASale that Erin Condren created
    • using the deal and coupon links created
    • posting ad banners that use affiliate links
    • creating custom links to Erin Condren products you love
    • making a page showing multiple Erin Condren products

    Creating these links is as easy as copying and pasting in most cases. The video below shows you how you can create affiliate links in several different ways.

    You will create the type of link that fits your need best depending on the strategy you want to use to promote your affiliate links.

    Affiliate Marketing Tips For Erin Condren Affiliates

    After you sign up to be an Erin Condren affiliate you may be wondering how to promote the program in order to earn money.

    Here are a few of my favorite tips specific to promoting Erin Condren products as an affiliate.

    • use Erin Condren products in your video/photos and link to that specific item by creating a custom link
    • create a page using ShareASale datafeed tools to recommend your favorite Erin Condren products on a page on your blog
    • share your hauls of new Erin Condren products and link to the new products
    • offer coupon codes for your audience from the coupon / deals section
    • show off how you organize your planner items and promote Erin Condren products and content that show how to organize items
    • connect with your affiliate marketing manager – Erin Condren has a dedicated affiliate marketing manager you can contact through the ShareASale program and they can help you with tips and tricks
    • create content with affiliate marketing in mind instead of as an afterthought – this will allow you to craft content around promoting certain items
    • show off your planner layouts each week either on Instagram and YouTube along with your EC links in the description or bio

    These tips and ideas should get you started for promoting the Erin Condren affiliate program!

    Affiliate Marketing Tips For YouTubers

    If you are a YouTuber with a budgeting related channel and want to start use affiliate marketing to earn money then 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 like Erin Condren and my favorite budget stickers shops and cash envelope makers while also earning income for doing it!

    If you have any questions about affiliate marketing or want to learn more, sign up for my email list where I share tips and tricks about how to monetize your YouTube channel.

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  • Best Personal Financial Niche Affiliate Programs

    If you are a financial YouTuber looking to earn money from your channel beyond ads, you should consider affiliate marketing. Promoting good financial services and products is a great way to increase your revenue.

    I’ve written before about the best affiliate networks for budgeting YouTubers and how to use affiliate marketing on Youtube, but today I’m going to cover some of the best affiliate programs for personal finance niche YouTube channels or blogs.

    Best Financial Affiliate Programs For Personal Finance Niche YouTubers & Bloggers

    Below I’m listing my favorite personal finance niche affiliate programs, most of which are from the affiliate network FlexOffers.

    If you are a personal finance blogger or YouTuber who has not yet signed up for FlexOffers to find affiliate programs then you should use my referral link and do it right now! It’s a goldmine for programs that convert well and are actually high quality and helpful for your audience.

    I do not belong to or promote all of the affiliate programs below because I’ve limited my number of affiliates to promote at once but I do promote 6 on this list and love the others!

    This is a list from May 2020 so payouts and terms of these programs may have changed, check them out today to see if things have changed!

    Investing Affiliate Programs

    These affiliate programs are amazing for investing focused content creators and have amazing payouts.

    Acorns

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $8.00 per lead.

    Description: “Acorns offers a micro investing app that helps people save and invest for their future. Over 3 million Americans use Acorns to help set aside a little from their everyday purchases. This program has a 30-day cookie duration.”

    Blooom

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is a flat fee of $12.00 on free analysis leads.

    Description: “Blooom is a group of experts dedicated to managing users’ 401k online in a simple, affordable way — giving people the confidence to make smarter decisions with their hard-earned dollars.This program offers a 30-day cookie duration.”

    M1 Finance

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $80 of qualified fundings.

    Description: “M1 is the future of finance in a sleek, modern app. Rated #1 for both Sophisticated Investors and Socially Responsible Investing by Investopedia, users can enjoy: free investing, high yield checking, low rate borrowing, automation, and optimization. This program offers a 30 day cookie duration.”

    Motley Fool

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $112 on sales.

    Description: “The Motley Fool is dedicated to helping the world invest — better. Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, mutual funds, and premium investing services. This program offers a 45-day cookie duration.”

    Stash

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $4.00 per lead.

    Description: “Stash is on a mission to empower a new generation of investors, offering different types of accounts in which everyone can access to new financial opportunities. This program offers a 15-day cookie duration.”

    Personal Finance Affiliate Programs

    These general personal finance affiliate programs are great for multiple different kinds of channels and content.

    MyFICO

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $12.00 per purchase of the Ultimate 3B monthly or quarterly report product, $4.00 on a 1B product purchase, $8.00 on a 3B product purchase, $80.00 each time the annual 3B product is purchased, and between 8.4%-12.64% on particular SKU List products (a sale under $4.00 will receive no commission).

    Description: “myFICO is the leading expert in providing actual credit reports, scores and information to consumers online. This program offers a 30-day cookie duration period.”

    Payoff

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $120 when a customer gets funded within 30 days of the application.

    Description: “Payoff consists of a team of financial services professionals, research and clinical psychologists, data scientists, neuroscientists, member advocates, and technology experts working together to better understand and accelerate people’s journey towards financial wellness. For customers, Payoff consists of an easy online application, personal service from start to finish, and attainable loans at competitive rates. This program offers a 45-day cookie duration.”

    Personal Capital

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $100 per qualified lead (links at least $100,000 in investable assets to Personal Capital’s Free Financial Dashboard).

    Description: “Personal Capital is wealth management for the Internet Age. Their online platform combines digital technology with highly personalized service to provide a holistic view to a unique financial picture. The Personal Capital affiliate program offers a 60-day referral period.”

    SuperMoney

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: Payout of up to $750 per funded loan / sale. Payout applies to all financial services verticals on the SuperMoney website.

    Description: “SuperMoney helps people compare financial services. In fact, to date we’ve helped millions of people shop for loans, investments and other financial related products.  As a financial services aggregator, SuperMoney partners with the world’s leading banks and financial service companies to empower consumers with a KAYAK-like comparison shopping experience.”

    TransUnion

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $48 of sales.

    Description: “Millions of consumers use TransUnion’s products to manage their credit online & through our apps, protect their identity day & night, and make meaningful progress toward their financial goals. This program offers a 30 day cookie duration.”

    Truebill

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $6.80 on sales

    Description: “Truebill is an app that helps people gain awareness about their spending habits and better manage their money. Truebill makes it easier than ever to manage subscriptions, lower your bills, and stay on top of finances  & budgeting. This program offers a 30-day cookie duration.”

    Money Saving Affiliate Programs

    These affiliate programs are great for people are are wanting to save money. If you have a frugal or savings focused audience, these are for you!

    Honey

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout per New Desktop Installs only (no re-install) is $0.8 per US customer.

    Description: “Honey is a browser extension that finds the best discount codes/makes sure you never overpay. Shop like normal and when you’re ready to checkout, we’ll instantly find and apply the Internet’s best codes directly to your cart.  It only takes two clicks and it’s 100% free. This program offers a 30-day cookie duration.”

    Trim

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $4.50 (user connects financial account).

    Description: “Trim is a virtual personal assistant that constantly works to save users money. Trim adds value in such ways as canceling old subscriptions, setting spending alerts, checking how much users spent on ride-sharing apps the previous month, and automatically fighting fees.”

    Side Hustle Affiliate Programs

    These affiliate programs are great for the side hustle and make more money niche.

    Instacart

    Affiliate network: FlexOffers

    Payout: The payout is $20 per Shopper Activation.

    Description: “Shop and deliver everyday essentials with Instacart, the go-to service for quick and effective grocery shopping. Set your own schedule, be a household hero, and earn money quickly. Customers select groceries through a web application that gives them access to their favorites stores online. Full-service shoppers receive these orders through an app on their smartphone, then shop and deliver groceries to the customer’s door. This program offers a 30-day cookie duration period.”

    Referral Programs

    You can also promote many referral based products where you can earn free items or cash but it’s not strictly an affiliate program. I’ve listed my favorite referral programs below.

    Rakuten

    Payout: Earn $25 for each referral.

    Description: “Since our founding in 1997, Rakuten has helped shape the way people shop online, offering Cash Back, deals and shopping rewards on the world’s largest selection of products and services. To date, our 12 million members in the U.S. have earned over $1 billion in Cash Back at their favorite stores.”

    Robinhood App

    Payout: One free stock for each referral.

    Description: “Robinhood, a pioneer of commission-free investing, gives you more ways to make your money work harder. Make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, ETFs, and options with Robinhood Financial, as well as buy and sell cryptocurrencies with Robinhood Crypto. “

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  • How To Use Affiliate Marketing On Budgeting YouTube Channels

    If you have a budget blog or budgeting YouTube channel then you can monetize your content through affiliate marketing. Today I’m going to share the best ways to make money from affiliate marketing on your channel (or in your blog, there are affiliate links in this post!).

    I’ve been making money from my budgeting YouTube channel for a while and because of this I get a lot of questions from new Youtubers about how to make money or grow their channels. I’m happy to share the information I know so today I’m giving away all my secrets on how I’ve monetized beyond ads.

    Why Use Affiliate Marketing

    Affiliate marketing has made my channel more most months than I’ve made on ads. It makes this amount of money because people love to click through and purchase the budget stickers I used in my planner. 

    When you are a small channel you likely won’t have enough watch time to make money with ads but you probably have a dedicated audience that will support you by using links where you can make a commission. In fact, affiliate marketing is the BEST way for new YouTubers to get started because you don’t need huge amounts of views.

    Affiliate marketing income from my channel has helped us pay down debt and I want to share this tip with all of you!

    Best Affiliate Marketing Programs For Budget Planner Channels

    There are three specific affiliate networks with multiple affiliate programs I’ve used very successfully that I want to share for any channels looking to monetize.

    ShareASale

    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 a couple great programs within ShareASale but for this specific niche of budgeting planners the best one is Erin Condren.

    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.

    Things you can recommend from Erin Condren are planners, stickers, and other related accessories. 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. 

    To promote Erin Condren you should go start an account with ShareASale and search for Erin Condren under merchants. 

    Below is a video showing how to sign up for the Erin Condren program:

    And here is a video about how to create links to Erin Condren products as an affiliate:

    I’ve also written all about how to utilize and make money with the Erin Condren affiliate program!

    Awin

    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, but mainly from one program: 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 budget sets monthly and more.

    I highly recommend you use the Etsy affiliate program to link to your favorite budget sticker shops on Etsy. You get a small 4% kickback but it doesn’t cost the shop or the customer anything extra. It comes from Etsy’s fees and is a great way for you to earn money by promoting small businesses on Etsy.

    To promote Etsy sticker shops you should go start an account with Awin and search for the Etsy affiliate program. 

    FlexOffers

    FlexOffers is an affiliate network that is geared toward many financial affiliate programs so it’s a great option if you have a channel about budgeting or any financial topic.

    Within FlexOffers there are a number of financial programs on multiple topics about money:

    • banking
    • budgeting
    • credit repair
    • credit reporting
    • debt services
    • home loans
    • investment services
    • tax services
    • wealth advice

    Clearly FlexOffers is the place to be if you are running a channel about personal finances and want to find affiliate programs to promote!

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

    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. 

    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. 

    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 rep for a while because some people abused the system in bad faith but generally affiliate marketing is now a much more popular and regulated industry. 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 and trust 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.

    If you are wondering whether you 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 you can promote is Erin Condren. Within the website you can get a referral link where customers can get a credit and you get a credit too. This allows you to buy more Erin Condren products but it doesn’t earn you an income that goes into the bank.

    In contrast, you can earn money with the Erin Condren affiliate program through ShareASale.

    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 affiliate marketing a great way to monetize for beginners?

    I always recommend beginners start monetizing with affiliate marketing because it’s the best way to earn money with the best risk and reward ratio.

    I say this because most new YouTubers or Bloggers are not getting much traffic so adding ads to their content results in very low rewards. It’s easy to use but ads do not earn much.

    Creating products on the other hand is much harder, requires a lot of upfront work, and may flop because as a beginner you don’t have an audience.

    Enter affiliate marketing, where you don’t have to create a product yet 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, but that’s 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! 

    Affiliate Marketing Tips For YouTubers

    If you are a YouTuber with a budgeting related channel and want to start use affiliate marketing to earn money then 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 like my favorite budget stickers shops and cash envelope makers while also earning income for doing 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! 

    Learn More About Affiliate Marketing

    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.

    Congrats on learning about and using affiliate marketing to grow the income for your channel! It’s so hard to make content and grow a channel so it’s definitely worthwhile to make sure you also are earning money for the time you are investing in your content!

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  • 63 Digital Product Ideas To Sell To Make Passive Income

    Selling digital products on Etsy is a great way to make passive income! You may have heard this before but what exactly can you sell? What are digital products?

    Today I’m talking about A LOT of digital product ideas you can create and sell on Etsy or any online platform in order to make passive income. If you don’t know what to create to sell on Etsy this will give you a great starting off point on digital items you can make.

    63 Digital Product Ideas

    The digital product ideas in this video range from the standard items you can make like SVG files to ones you might not have thought about selling like Instagram story highlights.

    Here are some digital product ideas you can create and sell for passive income:

    1. Art prints
    2. Birthday cards
    3. Birthday invitations
    4. Build plans
    5. Bullet journals
    6. Business cards
    7. Business logos
    8. Business planners
    9. Cash envelopes
    10. Checklists & trackers
    11. Clip art
    12. Coloring pages
    13. Craft patterns
    14. Crochet patterns
    15. Digital papers
    16. Ebooks
    17. Embroidery patterns
    18. Etsy banners
    19. Excel templates
    20. Facebook templates
    21. Flash cards
    22. Fonts
    23. Funny cards
    24. Gift tags
    25. Graduation invitations
    26. Greeting cards
    27. Holiday cards
    28. Instagram story highlights
    29. Instagram templates
    30. Invitation templates
    31. Knitting patterns
    32. Leather making patterns
    33. Lightroom presets
    34. Meal plans
    35. Party banners
    36. Party decor
    37. Party invitation
    38. Party signs
    39. Phone wallpaper
    40. Pinterest templates
    41. Planner inserts
    42. Printable backdrop
    43. Printable envelopes
    44. Printable photo props
    45. Printable stationary
    46. Printable stickers
    47. Quilt patterns
    48. Quote prints
    49. Resume templates
    50. Selfie frames
    51. Sewing patterns
    52. Shower invitations
    53. Snapchat filters
    54. Social media templates
    55. Stock photos
    56. SVG cut files
    57. Sympathy cards
    58. Thank you cards
    59. Website themes
    60. Web store themes (Shopify themes)
    61. Wedding invitations
    62. Wedding signs
    63. Workbooks

    This is a huge list of digital products and even this list is not comprehensive. I left plenty of digital products off the list!

    Since this list mainly focused on items you can create to sell on Etsy I didn’t even include things like courses!

    Check out these additional digital product ideas:

    6 Most Profitable Digital Products To Sell Online

    17 Popular Digital Product Ideas To Sell To Make Passive Income

    15 Digital Products to Sell Online For Passive Income In 2021

    How To Decide What To Sell

    If you have been trying to decide what to sell then this will definitely help get you started! Most of these ideas can be created in free programs like Canva.

    You don’t have to have design skills or a background in digital marketing in order to create and sell digital downloads. You don’t need a formal education or design background to create digital products and earn money selling them – you just have to be curious and willing to learn!

    When deciding what type of digital product to sell I would recommend picking an area where you have a passion in life and then deciding the types of products. For example, maybe you think you should make SVG files because they are popular, but you really love making spreadsheets to keep your life and business organized. I’d focus on that instead!

    Or maybe you like planning parties so you think you need to create party invitations. But I wouldn’t limit myself to one digital product.

    I’d think about what types of products would complement each other in a shop that helps my target audience. You can create listings that complement and link back to each other like related party invitations, party signs, party photo booth backdrops, photo booth props, and more.

    Read more: How to start an Etsy shop

    Creating Digital Products Online

    There are a number of ways to create digital products online these days. It’s possible to make digital products to sell for free with a number of programs!

    Adobe InDesign

    Adobe InDesign – I personally use Adobe InDesign for creating all my printables because it’s the best, most reliable and has the most flexibility. There is a learning curve because it’s a professional program but it’s worth it for the hassles it removes. Try creating with Adobe InDesign’s free trial.

    Adobe Illustrator

    Adobe Illustrator – This program is a must have for all graphics creators! It allows you to do so much and the only limit will be your creativity. It’s perfect for creating wall art, clip arts, designs for SVGs, etc. Try creating with Adobe Illustrator’s free trial.

    Canva

    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. Try creating with Canva.

    PicMonkey

    PicMonkey – This might be a photo editing heavy program but you can also create digital downloads through PicMonkey and edit photos for stock photos sales as well. Try creating with PicMonkey.

    Selling Digital Products Online

    You will want an e-commerce platform that will allow you to both take payments and deliver your digital products to your customers. There are many different e-commerce platforms that make this possible so let’s look at the best ones for selling digital products specifically.

    Etsy

    Etsy – I love selling on Etsy because you don’t have to find people to buy your digital products – they are already on the platform and Etsy is bringing them to you! It’s easy for beginners to start and Etsy shop and you can get 40 free listings through this link.

    Check out these posts for more tips about selling on Etsy:

    Shopify

    Shopify – One of the most popular platforms to use for selling goods online. Shopify has emerged at the top of many seller’s lists for the ease of use, beautiful designs, set pricing, and powerful backend. It offers everything you need to sell digital or physical products and scale your business too. Get a free trial of Shopify here.

    WooCommerce

    WooCommerce – WooCommerce integrates easily with existing WordPress websites to sell digital downloads. WooCommerce is not specifically for digital downloads but they have made the process super simple for sellers and do not take additional fees from sales. I currently use WooCommerce to sell my digital downloads on my website. Get started with WooCommerce.

    Marketing Your Digital Products

    Once you’ve created your digital downloadable products and have them ready to be sold, you have to market them! One huge way to do this successfully? Email marketing!

    People won’t know your products exist without a little effort on your part. While Etsy makes this the simplest (you just need a little SEO to start), you should still work to promote your items in oder to make sales.

    When you build an email list you are able to contact them directly with new products, sales and more. The best email marketing platform for digital product sellers is ConvertKit. (I previously used MailChimp but switched to ConvertKit because they are focused on helping creators make a living online.)

    ConvertKit Email Marketing To Build Audience and Sell Digital Products

    ConvertKit email marketing sells more products than most social media efforts and should be at the top of your to do list. Email marketing is essential to selling digital products. Creating an email list outside of Etsy should be your NUMBER ONE PRIORITY since things on Etsy are out of your control.

    ConvertKit makes it easy and cheap to get started and can scale with your business growth. You can start with a free plan and move up to paid plans.

    They also allow you to sell your digital products in your emails!

    Sell Your Digital Products Via Email With ConvertKit

    That’s right, you can sell digital products and deliver them straight through ConverKit. This allows you to provide customers multiple options to get your digital products. This reduces sales friction and opens you up to new passive income opportunities with your digital products.

    Get started with ConvertKit for free!

    Grow Your Passive Income With Digital Products

    Digital products are amazing because these are things that you can create once and sell online over and over creating passive income and freedom in your life. This benefits you but it also benefits the end user who gets something they need at a lower price point and quicker. Not everyone has the budget to pay top dollar for custom designed work so digital products have revolutionized how consumers are able to get what they need. It is truly a win win for us all.

    If you have been wanting to sell some type of digital products in order to earn passive income I highly recommend it! I started my Etsy shop to share what I had made for myself during my own budgeting journey. I definitely did not know everything about Etsy and have figured it out along the way while also selling thousands of dollars worth of products.

    make money selling digital downloads on etsy

    If you want to grow on Etsy I recommend my friend Sharon’s Etsy Entrepreneur course where she walks you through the process of setting up an Etsy shop and growing it to make $1,000 a month or more. She grew her Etsy store of digital downloads to more than $1,000 a month and has inspired many people to do the same.

    Regardless of whether you continue to learn on your own or pay for education, I hope you keep going and keep creating products for the world to use and enjoy. You are capable of creating the products that can change your life while also helping others.

    Read More

  • April 2020 Online Income Report – $2,054.34

    Welcome to my April 2020 monthly online income report! Each month I share how much I make from my part time online content creation hobby.

    I’m diving into how I make money online selling digital products and making videos about our personal finances on my YouTube channel. These are passion projects I’ve done since before I made any money so it’s amazing to see the income rising.

    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. I like sharing real numbers to inspire myself and others and I value transparency which this report allows me to give you.

    I’ve been slowly building online income over the last two years while working on my blog and YouTube channel part time during my off hours after working a full time job. This is a hobby and a part time side hustle for me.

    Growing my online income has helped me achieve financial goals like paying off debt faster! I use all of my income from these endeavors to pay off debt. I’m building an income producing asset to help pay for the liability of debt.

    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.

    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 $1,500 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 what is possible with a channel that isn’t huge or growing by hundreds of thousands of subscribers in a year. While that would be amazing, it is possible to still earn income as a small channel and blog.

    You can find ways to monetize outside of ads in order to build an income and diversify it.

    April 2020 Online Income Report

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

    Advertising Income – $856.72

    • YouTube Advertising Channel 1 – $741.23
    • YouTube Advertising Channel 2 – $100.36
    • Adsense & Sponsored – $15.13

    Affiliate Marketing Income – $706.78

    • Shareasale – $2.63
    • Awin – $40.51
    • Robinhood – $130.17
    • Amazon – $148.47
    • Impact Radius – $385.00
    • Rakuten – $0.00
    • Capital One – $0.00

    Product Sales Income – $480.59

    • Etsy Products – $355.44
    • Website Sales – $125.15

    Patreon – $10.25

    • Patreon $10.25

    Total Income: $2,054.34

    This is the amount earned in April 2020 before any fees, expenses, or taxes.

    That means I don’t keep all of it it and at least 25% will be gone for taxes before it hits my personal 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. In the video you can see the difference between what I earned and what I received in April.

    There are multiple expenses I’m now paying for each month:

    However, I must say with much excitement: I finally hit $2,000 in a month!

    I’ve consistently made $1,000 a month then $1,500 a month and now this is my first month earning $2,000. I can barely believe it.

    I hit the goal of earning $2,000 in a month from mostly YouTube generated activity which is insane and exciting and worth all the work that has gone into it. I’ve been making videos for over 2 years now and not a single one has gone viral.

    It’s amazing to me that I’m able to earn $2,000 in a month WITHOUT going viral. It just goes to show that consistent and steady work does make a difference.

    What I Worked On In April 2020

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

    Diversifying Income

    In March I started selling on my own website to get off of relying completely on Etsy (I am still selling on Etsy since so many people love and use the platform!). Etsy has been a great place to start a digital download shop, but it has some downsides as well, mostly high fees, which I hope to combat with my own website sales.

    (I’m testing out multiple platforms to sell with like Podia, SendOwl, WooCommerce, and Shopify too in order to see which I like the best currently for selling digital products.)

    In April 2020 I decided to test out another revenue source: Patreon!

    I started a Patreon to include my monthly budgeting printables along with some of the future printables I plan to create around different areas of life like meal planning, online business, and planning. I’m hoping the Patreon offers another revenue source for me an also allows people to get MORE for their money since they will get access to a large library of items for just $10 a month.

    The Patreon will also allow a lower level $2 per month option for anyone who just wants to support my work. I ended up with $10.25 for the month which is a decent start for a new revenue source! I’m hoping it continues to grow.

    Creator Pennies Academy

    Another great thing about Patreon is that I’m adding a level for creators!

    I’ve been sharing content about creating content recently and since everyone has a lot of questions I’ve decided to add a “Creator Pennies” level on Patreon where I can do weekly prompts, tips for earning, monthly live videos answering questions, and answer your questions via messaging.

    I’ve set this price point at $20 which is still pretty low compared to most similar academy type programs so I’m very hopeful people are interested and want to learn about and grow with me.

    Made for videos for two YouTube channels.

    In April I decided to use my second channel more frequently by uploading more content. I decided to start making and adding at least a couple videos a month with a goal of one per week.

    For so long I only had my second channel with very old videos and no strategy. I’m now going to test out a new strategy that is very different from my main channel where I talk about financial topics.

    In April I made videos for both channels.

    Added new affiliate marketing partners.

    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.

    What I’m Working On Next

    So what’s on tap for next month? I’ve got a few things planned:

    Grow the products in my shops. I plan to create more items and also promote what is already there on both Etsy / my website / Patreon. I still have a goal of having 100 listings on Etsy and I want to get to that by the end of the year.

    Create more affiliate focused videos. These videos tend not to kill it in ad revenue but they are great income producers with affiliate marketing income.

    Looking for sponsors. I’d like to start doing sponsored videos where a good company I love and have vetted sponsors all of my videos about budgeting for a month, or my 4-5 Transfer Tuesday videos in a month. I’d like to try to start doing a bundle of sponsored videos to provide more value to the sponsor and also bring in more income.

    Popular Content

    Here are some of my top videos for the month of April

    April Monthly Budget | Big Emergency Savings & Investing Small Amounts | Budget With Me

    $2,900 Stimulus Check Arrived!! Save & Pay Off Debt With Me

    How We Budget $3,000 | April Paycheck Budget Planner | Budget With Me

    I’m glad to see these videos did well and hope to create more that are also doing well. A lot of the top videos in April had to do with the corona shutdown and stimulus checks which was a very popular topic.

    Looking forward to sharing my May online income!

    Read More

  • How To Start An Etsy Shop

    Starting an Etsy shop in 2020 to earn more income is a great idea! Etsy is a huge marketplace for sellers as you can sell both physical and digital products to a huge audience.

    If you want to start an Etsy shop in order to earn part time or full time income then this tutorial for beginners will help you get started! I know a lot of people who have never sold online before can feel intimidated which is why I created this tutorial on how to set up an Etsy shop step by step. It is very easy and seeing someone else do it makes it feel much easier!

    Starting Your Etsy Shop

    In order to start an Etsy shop you will need an idea of what you want to sell and a name picked out for your new Etsy store. If you haven’t already decided this before starting to watch the video you will want to think about what you will sell in your new Etsy store and what brand you want to build around your shop.

    Once you’ve got a general idea you are ready to watch this video tutorial on how to create your new Etsy shop!

    You can start your shop with this link for 40 free listings to jumpstart your shop without having to waste money on those first listings.

    Why Start Selling On Etsy

    Creating an Etsy shop is a great way to have an outlet for selling in the beginning when things are new and you don’t have an audience. Etsy is a great platform for beginners because it is a marketplace which means it already has buyers who are looking for items to buy.

    When you open a new shop on Etsy you instantly have the same access to all those buyers and don’t have to drive traffic to your listing like you would on your own website. This is why I highly, highly recommend Etsy for beginners who want to sell items online.

    I personally love selling on Etsy and have made hundreds of sales in my first 6 months of selling digital downloads online. Starting my Etsy shop was one of the best things I ever did online which is why I want to show others how to do it and encourage you to take the step to creating your dream of selling online!

    Beginner Etsy Success Tips

    Starting from scratch on Etsy can be hard. There are some ways to speed up the process like learning from a course or following best practices from successful Etsy shops.

    Because I know how hard it can be to start an Etsy store and grow it, here are my best tips for building a successful Etsy shop from the beginning:

    • have a strong niche where your products are very focused on either one niched area or style
    • create a strong brand story and share that in your shop and listings
    • continue your brand elements throughout the shop via colors and fonts
    • share photos that clearly show your items and how they can be used
    • make your descriptions clear and very descriptive – the more the better when you are explaining what comes with your item and how it can improve someone’s life
    • clearly articulate your shop’s policies if you don’t offer refunds or have specific policies that a buyer needs to share
    • build your shop with more listings to bring in new buyers and more traffic
    • make sure you promote your listings both on Etsy with seo and ads and off Etsy with social media

    Those are tips that can get your Etsy shop started and off the ground in less time. Making sure you start off strong from your very first listing means you won’t have to spend time later going back to fix your early mistakes.

    Growing A Business On Etsy

    Etsy has downsides but it’s also an amazing place to build a business and earn an income.

    If you want to grow on Etsy I recommend my friend Sharon’s Etsy Entrepreneur course where she walks you through the process of setting up an Etsy shop and growing it to make $1,000 a month or more. She grew her Etsy store of digital downloads to more than $1,000 a month and has inspired many people to do the same.

    Remember that your Etsy growth will depend on being consistent and growing over time. Very few people start their Etsy shop and go full time the very same month. For most of us we begin with one product and grow over time.

    Over time you will learn tips and tricks to grow your Etsy shop and find that success on Etsy can be far beyond you expected. I personally know multiple full time Etsy sellers who started as a fun side hustle and now make a full time living selling on Etsy.

    Read More

  • March 2020 Online Income Report – $1,483.94

    I’m a couple months late, but I’m finally sharing my March 2020 monthly online income report! I’m diving into how I make money online selling digital products and making videos about our personal finances on my YouTube channel.

    I share monthly income reports here on the blog and on YouTube. I share what I earned from online endeavors like this personal finance blogmy YouTube channel, and my Etsy shop because I like to be transparent and reading income reports inspire me to start my own online endeavors. I like sharing real numbers to inspire myself and others and I value transparency which this report allows me to give you.

    I’ve been slowly building online income over the last two years while working on my blog and YouTube channel part time during my off hours after working a full time job. Sometimes I work on this income and sometimes I don’t, but I usually spend 5-10 hours a week on it.

    Reasons why I’m trying to make online income:

    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.

    Why Share An Online Income Report

    I’m sharing my online income reports as a YouTuber 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 youtubers make 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.

    Income reports allow me to share what I’m doing 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.

    While I’m not earning a full time income online currently, I am happy to show that I’ve grown my income to hit that original online income goal and I’ve been able to help a lot of people along the way. 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 2019 has been trending much higher than my income last year. The growth is not viral or explosive but it has moved up and is consistently over $1,500 each month.

    I’m consistently earning $1,000 a month now when I was only earning $300-500 last year when I started tracking my online income. That might not seem huge since it’s small numbers but that means I have doubled my monthly online income!

    I like sharing these numbers to show small YouTubers what is possible with a channel that isn’t huge or growing by hundreds of thousands of subscribers in a year. While that would be amazing, it is possible to still earn income as a small channel and blog.

    Seeing these numbers in this format helps me to see the growth I’ve already had and inspires me to keep growing.

    Mary 2020 Online Income Report

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

    Advertising Income – $923.20

    • YouTube Advertising Channel 1 – $809.31
    • YouTube Advertising Channel 2 – $102.32
    • Adsense & Sponsored – $11.57

    Affiliate Marketing Income – $162.50

    • Amazon – $101.76
    • Awin – $43.71
    • Impact Radius – $0.00
    • Shareasale – $0.70
    • Rakuten – $0.00
    • Capital One – $0.00
    • Robinhood – $16.33

    Product Sales Income – $397.94

    • Etsy Products – $397.94

    Total Income: $1,483.64

    This is the amount earned in March 2020 before any fees, expenses, or taxes.

    That means this amount is what I earned but not what I keep. I will only keep 70% of this income after taxes and expenses.

    There are multiple expenses I’m now paying for each month:

    Another thing to note is that this is not what I received for the month of March but instead what I “earned” through my efforts. This means depending on the income source, I’ll get this money anywhere from the day I earn it to 90 days later. Most pay out a few weeks or the next month.

    However, I must say with much excitement I am thrilled at my continued income earned each month! I am hovering around the $1,500 mark each month now and that feels quite sustainable and very exciting for our family.

    This is very exciting because this has been a very consistent amount for the last few months.

    I keep hitting the goals I set and I’m incredibly excited about it! When I originally started YouTube I wanted to earn $600 to pay for our daycare costs. Then I hit that amount and thought, maybe I could earn $1,000 a month. Then I decided to aim higher and try to aim for $2,000 a month or $24,000 a year. It’s a big goal but I’m sure that I can hit it since I’m continuing to hit every goal!

    What I Worked On In March 2020

    March was a very strange month because it started out like a normal month and then turned into anxiety city like coronavirus. Personally this cause me to struggle

    I did still create a few videos in March that went well. Here are a couple of the March videos that performed well and I’m very proud of producing!

    I didn’t do much on my blog but I was pretty happy to product multiple videos in the month of March!

    More Popular YouTube videos on my channel:

    Read More

  • What I Wish I Knew Before Starting An Etsy Shop

    Starting an Etsy shop in 2019 was a wonderful addition to my online business. It helped grow Pennies Not Perfection by leaps and bounds and also gave me a new creative outlet that I fell in love with.

    Etsy fulfilled many personal and business needs for me, but I wish had known more about Etsy when I started. Today I’m sharing a few of the lessons I wish I knew before I started my Etsy shop.

    So what lessons did I learn after 450 sales in the first few months of my Etsy shop? These are the top 4!

    SEO Is Very Important For Etsy Success

    I get 55% of my traffic from Etsy, not my Youtube channel, my Instagram account or my blog. The majority of my traffic comes from Etsy itself and much of that is from search.

    Some of that search traffic is from people searching for my Etsy shop because I’ve created a strong brand. Minus the people searching specifically for “Pennies Not Perfection” there are many many more who are searching for keywords to find items they want to purchase. Because Etsy functions as a marketplace driven by search, it makes sense that a big chunk of my Etsy traffic and sales comes from people using the search function.

    Because search is so important that means SEO (search engine optimization) is important to a shop’s success. Knowing how SEO works and how to create good on page content for your listings is very important.

    Your Effort Level Determines Your Success

    Your Etsy shop succeeds based on the level of effort you put in to making it succeed. This has been very evident to me after many months of experience, experiments, and observation.

    I’ve never been super pushy or sales focused because that’s not my natural personality. I love making helpful tools and want to be compensated for the work and value I provide, but being loud about my products is not my style. However, I’ve watched people in my Etsy groups who focus on promotion and they’ve gotten three times as many sales in the same amount of time.

    Promotion matters. If you really want to succeed you have to promote your listings. You need to find ways to share and get your products out there into the world, either on Facebook or YouTube or Pinterest or wherever.

    I’ve also noticed that the level of effort you are putting into your shop with adding listings and doing sales and being active will affect your sales numbers. When I’m actively adding new listings and updating things in my shop I make more sales. When I’m ignoring my shop the number of sales drops. The level of effort I put in during a month definitely changes the amount of sales I make.

    It Is Just As Easy To Sell Expensive Items

    When I started selling on Etsy, I was scared to sell anything over $2 or to ever raise my prices. Because I wasn’t confident in my ability to create and sell, I told myself the false story that it is easier to sell cheap items.

    As it turns out, it takes just as much effort to sell a more expensive item than a cheaper one. While it might take more effort to create the more expensive item because you are putting more value into it – the effort to sell it on Etsy is pretty similar to selling something cheaper.

    This revelation only came recently – 6 months after I started an Etsy shop! I played it way to safe in the first 6 months of my shop and my revenue was much lower because of it. Once I started higher priced items packed with value the amount I was earning went up. In fact, the best seller in my shop is one of my most expensive items!

    Etsy Controls Your Shop

    Unfortunately the last thing I wish I knew before I started selling on Etsy is not a positive one but it is true. Etsy controls your shop and can change the rules whenever. This is true whether it benefits your bottom line or not.

    Recently Etsy enacted a change with mandatory off site advertising for your listings if you make over $10k a year. It’s not something you can opt out of and you have no choice whether or not your shop participates. This has led many people to plan on leaving Etsy because that type of advertising is not part of their business strategy and the 12-15% fee that Etsy will collect means their profit margin drops drastically.

    Using a site like Etsy has many positives but you are giving up a level of control in order to use it and benefit from their marketplace. Unfortunately that means at any time Etsy can make a change that benefits their business model without your consent. Ultimately all the benefits of having an Etsy shop can be wiped out if they make a decision that negatively affects your shop strategy.

    This is actually one of the reasons I recently started selling budgeting printables on my own website via Shopify which allowed me to keep more of the money from my sales and have more control over my marketing.

    shopify store vs etsy shop
    starting a shopify store to sell printables

    Opening An Successful Etsy Shop

    Those are a few of the things I wish I had know before starting my Etsy shop in 2019. However, despite the good and bad, Etsy has been an incredible addition to my online business! It’s been a great way to get started with selling products and interacting with customers in the marketplace.

    If you are interested in opening your own Etsy shop, I’ve shared instructions in the video below.

    You can use this link to get 40 free listings on Etsy when you start your shop. When you open a new shop Etsy recommends starting with at least 10 listings but I have started both of my shops with 1 item.

    Tips I’d recommend for building a successful Etsy shop from the beginning:

    • have a strong niche where your products are very focused on either one niched area or style
    • create a strong brand story and share that in your shop and listings
    • continue your brand elements throughout the shop via colors and fonts
    • share photos that clearly show your items and how they can be used
    • make your descriptions clear and very descriptive – the more the better when you are explaining what comes with your item and how it can improve someone’s life
    • clearly articulate your shop’s policies if you don’t offer refunds or have specific policies that a buyer needs to share
    • build your shop with more listings to bring in new buyers and more traffic
    • make sure you promote your listings both on Etsy with seo and ads and off Etsy with social media

    Those are a few of my best tips and I hope your new Etsy shop thrives!

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  • February 2020 Online Income Report – $1,507.18

    Welcome to my February 2020 monthly online income report! I’m diving into how I make money online selling digital products and making videos about our personal finances on my YouTube channel.

    Each month here on the blog I share what I earned from online endeavors like this personal finance blogmy YouTube channel, and my Etsy shop. I like sharing real numbers to inspire myself and others and I value transparency which this report allows me to give you.

    I’ve been slowly building online income over the last two years while working on my blog and YouTube channel part time during my off hours after working a full time job.

    Growing my online income has helped me achieve financial goals like paying off debt faster! 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.

    Why Share An Online Income Report

    I’m sharing my online income reports as a YouTuber 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 youtubers make 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.

    Income reports allow me to share what I’m doing 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.

    While I’m not earning a full time income online currently, I am happy to show that I’ve grown my income to hit that original online income goal and I’ve been able to help a lot of people along the way. 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 2019 has been trending much higher than my income last year. The growth is not viral or explosive but it has moved up and is consistently over $1,500 each month.

    I’m consistently earning $1,000 a month now when I was only earning $300-500 last year when I started tracking my online income. That might not seem huge since it’s small numbers but that means I have doubled my monthly online income!

    I like sharing these numbers to show small YouTubers what is possible with a channel that isn’t huge or growing by hundreds of thousands of subscribers in a year. While that would be amazing, it is possible to still earn income as a small channel and blog.

    Seeing these numbers in this format helps me to see the growth I’ve already had and inspires me to keep growing.

    February 2020 Online Income Report

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

    Advertising Income – $778.83

    • YouTube Advertising Channel 1 – $600.35
    • YouTube Advertising Channel 2 – $159.27
    • Adsense & Sponsored – $19.21

    Affiliate Marketing Income – $459.35

    • Amazon – $119.02
    • Awin – $103.33
    • Impact Radius – $237.00
    • Shareasale – $0.00
    • Rakuten – $0.00
    • Capital One – $0.00
    • Robinhood – multiple free stocks

    Product Sales Income – $269.00

    • Etsy Products – $269.00

    Total Income: $1,507.18

    This is the amount earned in February 2020 before any fees, expenses, or taxes.

    That means 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.

    There are multiple expenses I’m now paying for each month:

    However, I must say with much excitement: I continue to stay above the $1,500 mark in income earned each month!

    This makes me hopeful since the income has been consistent month after month after having bumped up over $1,000 and then $1,500.

    I hit the goal of earning $1,000 in a month from mostly YouTube generated activity which is insane and exciting and worth all the work that has gone into it. I’ve been making videos for over 2 years now and not a single one has gone viral.

    What I Worked On In February 2020

    In January I worked on a few different priorities both growing income sources I already had and creating new ones.

    Made for videos for my YouTube channel.

    I continued to make and post videos weekly. I continued to see higher views and revenue due to lingering interest in financial topics.

    Made affiliate marketing improvements.

    I continued with my implementation of ideas learned from Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. Some of the older posts and videos I made focused on affiliate marketing are doing well even now, so I’m reaping the benefits of past work.

    Added products to my Etsy shop.

    I continued adding more products to my Etsy shop and increased the amount of higher priced products. Having multiple items listed at $8.50 has increased my overall order amount. It also works well for people purchasing because my printables are priced competitively and much less than many alternatives.

    While I have a clean aesthetic for my budgeting printables and trackers, I also decided to offer colors and fun versions!

    What I’m Working On Next

    So what’s on tap for next month? I’ve got a few things planned:

    Grow the products in my Etsy shop. I plan to create more items and also promote what is already there. I have a big goal of eventually getting to 100 items listed in 2020 so I’m hoping I can continue to add products and grow the amount of listing and sales.

    It’s a huge goal and I have a long way to go but I want to at least add 4 new products in February. I have a list of over a hundred new items I’d like to make, but time considerations make it a little bit hard. Aiming for 1 per week is a good compromise that moves me closer to the goal.

    Create more affiliate focused videos. I made a couple affiliate product focused videos and they did quite well for my channel based on the response and the income. Since I’ve determined I will never recommend things I won’t use myself, I’m happy to do affiliate based videos. I’ve turned down more lucrative offers because they felt sketchy and instead I’m focusing on things I use and love. This strategy might not be the fastest way to wealth, but it feels the best to me.

    After taking Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing I have so many ideas to implement and just need to find the time to do so. I’m planning to create more affiliate focused videos by focusing on single products and being super helpful in the content. I honestly never want to create anything that isn’t helpful to at least one person.

    Popular YouTube videos on my channel:

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  • January 2020 Online Income Report – $1,931.00

    Welcome to my monthly online income report! And to the biggest income report so far! January 2020 was my best online income month yet. This little creative side project has turned into a side hustle with real legs.

    Each month here on the blog I share what I earned from online endeavors like this personal finance blogmy YouTube channel, and my Etsy shop. I like sharing real numbers to inspire myself and others.

    I know that earning more online income could stop me from working 45 hours each week so I’ve tried to squeeze as much work into online income generating activities as possible. Because I’m back to working full time hours for a season I’m unable to put more than a few hours each week into my online income activities, but the income this month has me hopeful that I can continue growing the income by being extremely helpful and reaching more people.

    Growing my online income is so important to my current financial goals and that focus matters so much to my family right now! It also means that as my income grows, I’m helping more people.

    Why Share An Online Income Report

    I’m sharing my online income reports as a YouTuber (my main priority these days even though I started years ago as a blogger) to show people that it is possible to make money online. Lots of people want to know how much small youtubers make and if you can make money from a small YouTube channel.

    I’m a small YouTuber that started just so I could share videos of my Alaska vacation, but it’s turned into so much more than that over the two years that I’ve been making videos on YouTube.

    Once I realized I could also earn money with the videos, I decided to set a goal of making YouTube into a side hustle. My original goal with earning income on YouTube was to earn at least $600 dollars a month to help pay for the additional daycare expenses for my daughter.

    Any amount of money would help our financial situation since we had increased expenses and I wanted to work less as well. Those two things don’t go together without added stress, so my plan was to increase my side hustle income!

    I knew that earning money online was possible because I had done it once before as a blogger on a small scale and even though I’d let that income and blog life go, I had seen hundreds of others do the same and more by reading their online income reports. If people could earn tens of thousands a month online, surely I could earn $600 a month.

    Income reports inspired me to try to work harder and do more while building my online income through my YouTube channel

    While I’m not earning a full time income online currently, I am happy to show that I’ve grown my income to hit that original online income goal and I’ve been able to help a lot of people along the way. 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:

    Online Income Reports – Pennies Not Perfection

    As you can see from past income reports, my online income in 2019 has been trending much higher than my income last year. The growth is not viral or explosive but it is moving up every single month.

    I’m consistently earning $1,000 a month now when I was only earning $300-500 last year when I started tracking my online income. That might not seem huge since it’s small numbers but that means I have doubled my monthly online income!

    It’s amazing to think that I have earned over $1,000 a month with Pennies Not Perfection and other online activities these past few months.

    I like sharing these numbers to show small YouTubers what is possible with a channel that isn’t huge or growing by hundreds of thousands of subscribers in a year. While that would be amazing, it is possible to still earn income as a small channel.

    Seeing these numbers in this format helps me to see the growth I’ve already had and inspires me to keep growing.

    I plan to grow this blog/website around my channel as well and hopefully these income report numbers inspire anyone looking to grow from humble beginnings online.

    January 2020 Online Income Report

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

    Advertising Income – $$774.05

    • YouTube Advertising Channel 1 – $652.84
    • YouTube Advertising Channel 2 – $103.21
    • Adsense & Sponsored – $18.00

    Affiliate Marketing Income – $695.50

    • Amazon – $108.06
    • Awin – $101.07
    • Impact Radius – $60.00
    • Shareasale – $1.37
    • Rakuten – $25.00
    • Capital One – $400.00

    Product Sales Income – $461.45

    • Etsy Products – $461.45

    Total Income: $1,931.00

    This is the amount earned in January 2020 before any fees, expenses, or taxes.

    That means 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.

    However, I must say with much excitement: I continue to stay above the $1,000 mark in income earned!

    This makes me hopeful since the income has been consistent month after month being over $1,000 a month. Of course I know that this could change at any moment but I’m grateful for the continued earnings!

    I hit the goal of earning $1,000 in a month from mostly YouTube generated activity which is insane and exciting and worth all the work that has gone into it. I’ve been making videos for over 2 years now and not a single one has gone viral.

    What I Worked On In January 2020

    In January I worked on a few different priorities both growing income sources I already had and creating new ones.

    Made for videos for my YouTube channel.

    I continued to make and post videos at least three times a week in January. A few of my videos did well because of all the people trying to get their finances in order in January. I was happy to see some take off!

    My revenue for ads in January was higher than I expected, due to that increase in people watching. Typically January revenue is bad for YouTubers but I think it is a bit flipped for financial channels.

    Made affiliate marketing improvements.

    I continued with my implementation of tweaks I learned from taking the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. Some of the older posts and videos I made focused on affiliate marketing are doing well even now, so I’m reaping the benefits of past work.

    I also continued to make tweaks on my existing ones should help increase the affiliate revenue. I’m very happy with the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course so far because it’s helped me focus into a better direction.

    I signed on to two new programs I want to promote as well. I was also contacted to join a third which I did but then I felt a bit of hesitation about signing up for their product so ultimately decided not to promote that company.

    Added products to my Etsy shop.

    I continued to add more products to my Etsy shop and increased the amount of higher priced products. Having multiple items listed at $8.50 has increased my overall order amount. It also works well for people purchasing because my printables are priced competitively and much less than many alternatives.

    While I have a clean aesthetic for my budgeting printables and trackers, I also decided to offer colors and fun versions! This came about from wanting a colorful version for myself in February and I’m thrilled to also sell them!

    January 2020 Online Income Wins

    Time to celebrate some things that went right with online income in the month of January!

    Income over $1,900.

    My first big goal with online income was to get to earning at least $600 a month to help pay for daycare and debt payments. More recently I challenged myself to start hitting $1,000 a month. I managed to do that for several months in a row and then last month I earned over $1,900!

    That number blew my mind. So much so that I had to count up everything multiple times and recount my numbers. It was incredibly exciting to see that I earned so much during the month.

    This is the best side hustle by far of any I’ve ever done! It definitely took a lot of work to learn the skills needed and it’s take a long time to ramp up to this level of income, but I love being able to earn online income through making videos, writing blog posts, recommending and creating products that help other people. This allows me to be creative, supportive, and encouraging which is all the things I want to be in life.

    Etsy revenue over $450.

    Etsy was amazing in the month on January! I couldn’t even believe the amount that I sold because it was triple the amount sold in January.

    Triple. Yes, triple the amount. That also blew my mind. That seems to be the theme for the income earned in January.

    I’m thrilled that people are connecting and using and loving something I’ve made. I didn’t realize how awesome selling something could be. Before I started my Etsy shop I only felt fear over selling – what if no one bought anything? what if people hated it? what if I only got 1 star reviews? Now I realize that the upside of creating and selling is amazing. Not only do I receive an income but I help other people.

    What I’m Working On Next

    So what’s on tap for next month? I’ve got a few things planned:

    Grow the products in my Etsy shop. I plan to create more items and also promote what is already there. I have a big goal of eventually getting to 100 items listed in 2020 so I’m hoping I can continue to add products and grow the amount of listing and sales.

    It’s a huge goal and I have a long way to go but I want to at least add 4 new products in February. I have a list of over a hundred new items I’d like to make, but time considerations make it a little bit hard. Aiming for 1 per week is a good compromise that moves me closer to the goal.

    Create more affiliate focused videos. I made a couple affiliate product focused videos and they did quite well for my channel based on the response and the income. Since I’ve determined I will never recommend things I won’t use myself, I’m happy to do affiliate based videos. I’ve turned down more lucrative offers because they felt sketchy and instead I’m focusing on things I use and love. This strategy might not be the fastest way to wealth, but it feels the best to me.

    After taking Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing I have so many ideas to implement and just need to find the time to do so. I’m planning to create more affiliate focused videos by focusing on single products and being super helpful in the content. I honestly never want to create anything that isn’t helpful to at least one person.

    Popular YouTube videos on my channel:

    Thanks for reading/watching/following along with this online income journey! Stay tuned for more online income reports.

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