If you’re a blogger or trying to make money online you’ve probably come across blog income reports. These reports are all the rage in the blogosphere but, with anything that’s a trend, one has to wonder how realistic are blog income reports. Today we’re taking a closer look at this blog trend and whether or not you should follow (or even do your own) blog income reports.
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Are you ready to lift the veil? I can’t wait to share some truths with you about blog income reports.
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What is a blog income report?
An income report is a recap prepared by a blogger which shows the made money from their blogging efforts over a given period (usually a month).
Bloggers share these reports in a blog post or sometimes exclusively in a newsletter email.
The report might also break down the tools or programs the bloggers used in a period of time and how much money they made from each tool.
Do I like blog income reports?
Yes and no. I enjoy reading blog income reports as a way to relax, and I appreciate when I’m reading one that is written honestly.
These posts can also be a great source of info for bloggers. Sometimes I’ll browse and pick up a new tool to use or a new method to try. (Pssst….if you’re looking for new tools to use and want to get them at a great price, check out my deals page! Tons of blogger and entrepreneur tools either FREE or with an exclusive deal!)
Keep reading and I’ll share the reason(s) why I’m not a huge fan of blog income reports.
Blog Truth: Income reports are sometimes falsified
As blog reports become more popular I believe some bloggers are tempted to boost their numbers and success. Why would a blogger falsify a report?
Think about it, if a guru looks like they’re successful and living “the life” you’d be more inclined to believe what they say. Claiming to make a ton of money from blogging makes other bloggers want to follow you and invest in you because of the results you’ve had. It’s basically influence 101.
I don’t agree with this because money should not be the only way we measure success.
I’ll be honest, I don’t make a full paycheck from blogging exclusively but that doesn’t mean the info I share isn’t valuable. For some of us bloggers, our emphasis is placed on other metrics. If a reader decides I’m not worth following because I’m not “rich”, it’s their loss.
Blogging Truth: Income Reports are basically an over the top affiliate marketing ploy
I believe in the power of affiliate marketing. I even have a few posts about affiliate marketing including How To Prep Your New Blog for Monetization and How Bloggers Make Real Money with ShareASale – so I’m not against blog monetization.
However, when an income report is falsified that means the blogger behind it is most likely only trying to get you to click on their links.
Another disturbing trend I’ve noticed recently is bloggers are not reminding their readers that the links are affiliate links. With the number of links littered in an income report you’re almost guaranteed to make at least one sale, but you have to let your readers know you make a commission from that click.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using affiliate links in a blog income report but when the only goal is to get people to use your links rather than genuinely inform and educate, it’s not authentic.
Blogging Truth: Blog reports are more opaque than transparent
Again, this boils down to lying or inflating success. If a blogger is claiming to have made over 1k in a month, I need to see some screenshots.
1k a month is doable if that is your goal and you’re pushing hard for it. At the same time, making your first 1k through blogging takes work. Hiding your methods when you’re bragging about making money is not trustworthy.
Another time when it pays to be transparent is when you claim to make big sales but you don’t use typical strategies or have significant traffic.
There’s nothing wrong with using a unique strategy but if you’re leading your audience to think you’re using strategy A and but you’re using strategy M to obtain your money, that’s not fair.
Bloggers read income reports and leave with a sense of “that’s what I should do too.” Except, you’re not telling them everything you do so they’re leaving with a false sense of hope.
Blog truth: Blog income reports can mess with your head
Whether the blogger intends to or not, I can see how some would walk away from a report feeling negative about their journey.
The influencer world is one where you have to show your best side and your best life all the time. A reader might not realize a blogger stayed up every night till 1am for three weeks working on their course, they might have woken up two hours earlier for a month to work on their membership site. The only thing the reader knows is that blogger made 500 in sales from their course on the first day or 1k in sales from their membership site when it launched.
This is why it is crucial (in my opinion) for the ‘how’ to be included when creating your report. Level with your readers.
I’ve seen many bloggers (especially new bloggers) unfairly compare themselves against falsified blog income reports or against reports from bloggers who have been doing this for years.
Should you post or read blog income reports?
Blog income reports aren’t evil so I do think it’s okay to incorporate them into your blogging journey.
As mentioned, I read them whenever I get in the mood to snoop (lol they really are a great way to find new resources) but if I am not in a good space I don’t bother with them.
If you want to create a report I think you should. It can be very motivating not only to yourself but it could also encourage your readers to try harder with their own blogs. Remember to be as honest as possible in your reporting. If money is not your focus but you want to share other progress with you readers do a blog report and leave out the income. I did a few blog reports on my lifestyle blog, here is my fav report.
Recently a lot of bigger bloggers have started sharing their reports exclusively with their email list or with their membership subscribers because they don’t want to add to FOMO and they feel it’s more responsible.
How to tell if a blog income report isn’t what it claims
Don’t assume everyone is lying but do pay attention to these red flags:
- A brand new blogger is suddenly making 20k a month…
- A blogger refuses to show any numbers or analytics (especially if they’re claiming big numbers)
- There’s zero explanation, ever, of what method or tool was used it’s only about the money
- The blogger only boasts and never connects to the reader
Income reports can be a useful tool because a good report will introduce you to something new and it will motivate you to do work harder for your blog.
Now that you know what to look out for, hopefully you can navigate the trend of blog income reports like a pro.
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