Welcome to my income report for June and July 2017! If you are wondering how to make money online, read on. Find out how much money I made from home in the past two months, and how I did it.
At the end of February 2017, I left a well-paid and secure full-time job in Administration to work from home for myself. Having always done a bit of side hustling (selling my own belongings on eBay, taking online surveys, matched betting, and blogging) I was earning a small amount of money on the side. The dream was always there, however, of one day quitting my job and working purely for myself. After exploring all the options for how to make money online, I wondered if I could make it by becoming self-employed and focussing on my online income streams full-time. After much planning and deliberation, I took the plunge and finally quit my job! Read more about me here.
April 2017 was the first month when I really got to try out the whole ‘work from home’ thing. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can read my April 2017 income report and find out how much I was able to earn in that first month. I followed this up with May’s online income report.
So, my June and July 2017 income reports are a little late (for several reasons, detailed below). I decided to combine them here in one blog post. With another two months on working for myself under my belt, how much did I make online in June and July 2017?
JUNE 2017 ONLINE INCOME: £1,984.68 and JULY 2017 ONLINE INCOME: £1,712.45
As you can see, June’s income was higher than July’s. Both months, however, are a drop from my income in May.
There are a few reasons for this, which I go into below. On the whole I’m pleased, but I know there is a lot I can do to improve this. Keep reading to find out how I made money online in the past two months, and what I plan to do to make more.
This is the third work from home income report I’m sharing on the internet. Publishing this information will motivate me, and hopefully inspire those of you who are contemplating doing the same thing. I know it is the dream of many to be able to give up the day job and work on your own terms. This is my honest account of how much I made in two months working for myself, how I did it, and how I feel about this kind of lifestyle.
WHAT HAPPENED IN JUNE AND JULY
eBay £1,705.29 (June) and £1,471.20 (July): eBay sales slowly started to drop in June, and reached a low in July. I won’t lie; this has been very disconcerting. As eBay is my main source of income at the moment, there have been some panicked moments wondering what’s going on and what I’m doing wrong. I have done a lot of research, however, into the summer slump experienced at this time of year by many retailers. It seems that, on the whole, sales do drop at this time of year because people are away on holiday. It’s an odd time of year too for buying clothes, which make up the majority of my sales inventory. We are about to switch to cooler weather, so people are reluctant to buy many summer items.
I think whether or not you get hit by the summer slump does hang largely on the type of things you sell. If you specialise in barbecues, for example, the summer months are probably your best months.
I was also away for a week in June, so was not able to list as much as I normally do.
On a positive note, we did hit Top Rated Seller status in June. This had been a goal for some time. A Top Rated Seller has more visible listings in eBay search results, and (hopefully) more sales because of it. We are optimistic that this will set us up nicely for the more lucrative months in the run up to Christmas.
The advice I read from other sellers during quieter sales periods is to focus on improving the listings you have. I’ve been through each listing, refining the item descriptions and titles, and making sure photos are up to scratch. We also had a clear out in July of items not likely to sell, that had been sitting around for months with hardly any views. I’ve also used this time to get stuck into the backlog of stock I’d accumulated. It took me three full days to photograph all of the clothing I had in my backlog. I’ve been steadily working to get these listings on eBay and feel better not having a mountain of stuff sitting around unlisted.
Blogging £251.59 (June) and £103.96 (July): blogging income increased and then decreased again. This was a conscious decision, however. I decided from July not to accept dofollow links in sponsored content. Dofollow links pass on ‘link juice’ from the page they link from to the page they link to. A lower-ranking page on Google would benefit from receiving a link from a higher-ranking page. Sometimes companies pay for this, and bloggers place links on their site for money. Stopping accepting dofollow links inevitably meant declining some opportunities which came into my inbox from then onwards. In the past I have worked on a dofollow link basis, accepting link placement opportunities on my blogs (mainly melissajanelee.com).
I did this because, for a start, I needed the money. I also didn’t fully appreciate the long term implications for this with Google. This made me feel uncomfortable for a while, so I decided to put an end to them. I knew this would decrease my blogging income in the short term. Hopefully however I can build my blog up to the point where I can be sponsored for nofollow links in the future. I don’t blame bloggers at all for accepting dofollow links. As I said, I’ve done it myself, and it is an easy way to make some extra cash. In my case, I am stopping because I felt my blog was becoming too infiltrated with paid links to other sites. This can be penalised by Google and of course I don’t want this to happen.
The income from blogging I report here does not include items I am gifted from companies. I do record that for tax return purposes, but have decided not to log it as online income here. After all, free gifts do not pay the bills. I want these income reports to demonstrate how to make actual money online.
Blogging also took a backseat in June and July as I worked my way through my eBay stock backlog. There were also several weeks of my switching hosting providers from GoDaddy to Bluehost. My blogs and email accounts had to be migrated over. There were some teething problems which delayed me posting anything, all of which are sorted now.
If you need any inspiration for starting a blog, read my 8 Reasons Why Starting A Blog Can Change Your Life.
Other sources £27.80 (June) and £137.29 (July): in June I was finally able to add in a little bit of variety to my income. I had one mystery shopping assignment which earned me £12.75, and I also took some online surveys and cashed out £15.05. In July, we decluttered and did a car boot sale. Although not technically online income, we sold items we had bought to sell on eBay but which turned out not to be worth it. We made £137.29 from selling old stock, and immediately ploughed this back in to refresh the stock we do have.
Sometimes, things just do not sell as you would expect them to. We anticipate another car boot sale before the end of the season. We are still learning, really, what sells and what doesn’t. Whilst it is kind of unpredictable, there are some items we would not repurchase. We have either not made any money on them, or have actually lost money.
As always, I have not deducted any of my household expenses and day-to-day living costs from this income amount. I have only deducted the associated costs of the particular money-making endeavours above (eBay fees, for example). This is to illustrate the earning potential of someone who wants to start working from home. We all have different outgoings, and mine (my mortgage, bills, car expenses, insurances, food and fuel etc) are things I am trying hard to keep to a bare minimum. I hope that doing things this way can serve to illustrate how you can weigh up the potential for covering all of your outgoings if you decide to start earning money from home. I’m pleased I was able to cover everything with a little bit to spare.
I have not deducted money being put aside for tax and National Insurance from my income reports.
WHAT I LEARNT IN THESE TWO MONTHS ABOUT EARNING AN INCOME FROM HOME
When our eBay sales dropped drastically in July, it reinforced our growing idea that it is vital to diversify your income if you work for yourself. It’s an idea we were aware of, but hadn’t really actioned. We’ve been so focussed on setting our eBay business up. We have seen many self-employed people say that they have more than one income stream, so when one drops for whatever reason the other can carry them through it. Seeing sales drop off so unexpectedly was quite frightening, especially when we realised we had nothing else to fall back on. We are now busy working on diversifying our income in the coming months.
It was also interesting in a way to see how things could change so quickly. Recording our income changes on a monthly basis will allow us to look back in a year’s time and anticipate slow sales months. This year we were not really prepared for it to happen, but we plan never to be in that situation again. eBay is still a fantastic way to make money from home but it is so important to not put all your eggs in one basket.
MY PLANS FOR AUGUST 2017
eBay: now I’ve caught up with some of my stock backlog, I am going to take a little break from eBay for a few days. I’ll concentrate on other things. We hope sales will pick up, of course. We now have over 1,200 listings in our eBay shop we feel it’s time to have a rest from listing and do something else for a week or so.
Blogging: I’m now moving on to Unit 3 of 12 of the Elite Blogging Academy course. This is all about blog presentation and using Pinterest to drive web traffic. I can’t wait to see what changes this brings to my blogging income in the future. If you want to start earning money from your blog, read these 8 Ways To Make Money Blogging.
Amazon FBA: as I said above, it’s so important to diversify your income if you work for yourself from home. This month, we are delving in to the world of Amazon FBA. This stands for Fulfilled by Amazon. Anyone can sell on Amazon, and I have done it in the past (several years ago). I always posted the items myself, however. With FBA, you list the items on Amazon and then ship them to Amazon. They then post them out to buyers themselves. There are lots of advantages to this, such as saving on storage space and gaining access to Amazon members who like to use Prime to get their items faster. Reselling on FBA is a completely new area for us. It’s something I hope to feature in a future income report.
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