Blog Cost and Income Report – how I made over $900 in January 2018

Mar 12 2018
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Nothing held back: my blog cost and monthly income report – how I made over $900 in January 2018! Over the last 2 1/2 years at Grandma’s House DIY (since I started the blog) I have been fully introduced to what I have come to think of as the “Blogger Hustle” which, if it were a dictionary term, would be described as, “A blogger trying every conceivable thing that they can possibly think of times a million and a half and then some more in an attempt to figure out what works for their blog to increase their traffic and then, by some kind of miracle, also maybe make a little bit of money.”

Its been over 11 weeks now and things have done nothing but grow since December of 2017. Is it just a coincidence that it was in that same month that I also, finally, told my ex to leave? When I was literally under my pillow for the fifth day in a row during my divorce my blog suddenly started making me some real money. A new age friend of mine was not surprised, she said, “You kicked the bad energy out of your life, Honey, things will get better now!”

I honestly can’t tell you exactly what did it – I did not have a blog post go viral but my blog’s views just started going up and, by the end of January, were nearly double what they were in November.

Some of the following links ARE referral/affiliate links but that’s not why I’m using those sites. Siteground is an absolutely AMAZING hosting provider whom I switched to late in 2017 because my then hosting provider (who shall remain nameless) was incapable of running a wordpress site the size of Grandma’s House DIY.

Inlinkz is so I can host our weekly link party To Grandma’s House We Go (which is so much fun!). Revive Old Post (the pro version) shares all of my posts daily to all of my social media networks – kinda a lifesaver. I ended up moving to Sendinblue for my newsletter away from Mailchimp because the value for the money was so much higher. And, last but not least, Boardbooster makes my entire Pinterest fame possible as I simply could NOT maintain that account without it which is why I am happy to pay Boardbooster more than anything else a month.

To maintain Grandma’s House DIY my monthly cost breakdown is as follows:

Hosting and domain cost ( $13.99
Newsletter ( $15.00
Link Party ( $2.99
Revive Old Post (Professional Version): $6.25
Pin Scheduler ( $30.00


For over a year now I have been making enough off of ad networks to pay for Grandma’s House DIY and then some. Bad months I would barely make that $70 I needed but on good months I would make that plus upwards of $100 or more. Regardless though, as long as it paid for itself, I was quite happy to keep on humming along. I love this blog and I love the projects and the people and all I get to share with you guys. However, my dream was for some day to make enough here to be able to retire from my day job and blog full time. So, when I talked about the “Blogger Hustle” it was with that goal in mind even though most days it felt like quite the pipe dream!

With that said here is my income report for January of 2018: $52.63
Google Adwords: $67.12
Amazon Affiliate: $82.29
Guest/Sponsored Posts: $100
Hometalk Affiliate: $611.23

JANUARY 2018 TOTAL: $913.27

All in that is $844.99 after my blog costs in January!!! *squeals and tries to do a cartwheel – vows to NEVER try to do a cartwheel again* and Google Adwords are strictly ads that you see strewn about my site: they are completely passive income and totally depend on my page views and folks clicking on them. Amazon Affiliate has ads like that plus I also link to their products on most of my posts. What’s neat about those product links is if someone clicks on them and then goes and buys a $5,000 tv – I’ll get a commission for that too! (No that hasn’t happened but it is possible!)

With my divorce final I was in complete panic when it came to affording my bills. I immediately started replying back to anyone who had ever contacted me to guest post on Grandma’s House DIY. (What did I do before that? I just ignored them cause they all seemed spammy.) This is what I replied back with: “I have two guest post openings on Grandma’s House DIY a month, I charge $50 and require the post to be at least 500 words and include at least two high resolution images and it has to be of a genre that my audience would expect from Grandma’s House DIY. It will be in all of my Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter marketing besides being included in my weekly newsletter and it will be on my site forever.”

I got ignored a lot but I also got some takers! I always have two guest posts on my blog a month now and that $100 is paying my electric bill! On top of that (and this was really important to me) every sponsored post that I’ve put up so far has actually added good information to my site. (I never considered sponsored posts on the worry that it would detract from my blog but with my money situation becoming so dire I didn’t feel I had a choice.) I have been pleasantly surprised at the quality posts I’ve been getting offered and I’m getting paid to post them!

(My posting schedule at Grandma’s House DIY is as follows: Monday my most important meat and potatoes DIY blog post – Wednesday my link party post and then Friday: 1 post a month with the Farmhouse Hens, 1 post a month of my own and 2 sponsored posts.)

I have been a big big big fan and supporter of Hometalk since the very beginning of starting my blog. They love bloggers and are really good to us. When they started their affiliate program I jumped on the band wagon immediately. Here’s the thing about it that totally sets it a part from any program I’ve been able to find. Hometalk pays for every click you get when you pin their pins. You read that right, Hometalk’s affiliate program is just for pinning to Pinterest. In other words: it was perfect for me.

I was ALREADY pinning tons of Hometalk’s pins so I didn’t have to change up my ball game too much. If you want to know more about how I reached 1.5 million views a month on my Pinterest profile I wrote a blog entry all about it here: Pinterest Strategy: What I wish I had known and implemented when I started blogging.

I also became a Hometalk Helper back in November of 2017, I’m one of those folks that helps answering DIY questions on their forum! I love it! Is that one of the things that might have suddenly given my blog its jump in page views? I honestly don’t know but its something I really love participating in.

So, there you have it guys, a complete view of my income here at Grandma’s House DIY and how much I’m making now in 2018. In January I received around 18,000 visitors a month and 24,000 monthly site views.

Grandma's House DIY blog cost and income report, how I made over $900 in January 2018 on my blog, affiliate networks, amazon,, google adwords, selling sponsored posts, joining the hometalk helpers, the blogger hustle, how to


  1. Collier Austin
    March 12, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Great post! I’m so happy for you. For a long time I wasn’t getting email notifications of your new blog posts. I really enjoy your link party, as well as your other blog posts. Keep up the good work!

  2. March 12, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Well, I made $13.00 and change since November!

    • March 13, 2018 at 8:59 am

      That’s awesome Nancy, every little bit helps!

  3. March 12, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. It gives me hope for the day when I go from just writing to trying
    to monitize my blog.

  4. March 13, 2018 at 6:32 am

    Congrats on the successful month, both personally and professionally! I think mindset has so much to do with everything. Plus following your gut and not falling into the traps of what everyone around you does. Best of luck as the year progresses. Visiting from Happy Now party.

    • March 13, 2018 at 9:01 am

      Thank you so much Victoria and I think you’re right, mindset does so much!!

  5. March 13, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    I know his is a stupid question- I’m an amazon affiliate, that’s it for now. I guess I still don’t see how my getting tons of hits on Pinterest works as far as generating income? I switched to the pro version, with tons of data. So? Other than having mostly female viewers not seeing a lot of value? I guess I don’t see how that translates??? Thanks!

    • March 14, 2018 at 6:31 am

      Hi Nancy, the Pinterest profit comes in via Hometalk. So far they are the only site that pays bloggers to pin that I know of, if you go to and scroll down to the bottom you can get more information about their affiliate program! Thanks!

  6. March 15, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    I get inspired to work more hard when I read posts like this. Thanks for sharing out your income report.

    • March 16, 2018 at 8:54 am

      Wonderful to hear from you John, have a great weekend!

  7. March 16, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Good for you! I hope it continues to grow and you succeed! #Fridayatthefirehouse

  8. March 17, 2018 at 12:49 am

    You are such an amazing woman and I’m real glad to hear that things are looking up for you Tarah. May you and your blog just go from strength to strenth

    • March 17, 2018 at 7:55 am

      Thank you so much, have a wonderful St Paddy’s day!

  9. March 17, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Found you through the Blogger’s Pit Stop and subscribed right away. Love this post and your blog… I thought I was done with DIY-ing and old houses, but your house photos make me want to do it all again. Hope your blog income continues to increase!

    • March 19, 2018 at 8:40 am

      Oh Julie, its so great to hear from you, thanks so much for coming by have a great week!

  10. March 18, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Congratulations to you!

    • March 19, 2018 at 8:43 am

      Thank you Fonda, have a wonderful week!

  11. Grace Gleason
    March 18, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    You go, girl! So glad you are finally happy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. March 19, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Thanks for sharing Tarah. May yo continue to have success.

    • March 19, 2018 at 9:05 am

      Thank you Sherry have a great week!

  13. March 20, 2018 at 2:15 am

    Tarah, this post was the most clicked on The Blogger’s Pit Stop. We will be featuring it on the next Pit Stop. I read your story and my heart was so sad for what you have had to endure. Thank you for showing us how to stay strong through hard times.

    Blogger’s Pit Stop

  14. March 20, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Hi Tarahlynn,

    Thanks so much for your post. I have recently added amazon affiliate links to my blog but I am not sure if they will amount to anything. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also joined the Hometalk Affiliate program when it started but I guess I don’t really know how it works. Can you give me a little more information? Like where do you look to even know if you made any revenue from Hometalk? Thanks again for your post and the inspiration.


    • March 20, 2018 at 9:11 am

      Hi Cindy, if you’re a part of the Hometalk’s Affliate program then you can hover on your profile pic in the top right. A navigation box will appear and in that is a link called Dashboard. Click on that. On your dashboard you can see how many clicks you’ve given Hometalk’s pins and how much revenue you’ve made. Also in there is the Pin library where you can go and pin their pins that you can make money on. Hope that helps!

  15. March 23, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Hi Tarah!

    This article is amazing and I appreciate you sharing all of this valuable information with us bloggers! I too moved to Siteground as I was having the same issues – best decision ever! I am also a huge Hometalk supporter and fan and you’re right they are very good to us ๐Ÿ™‚ I will be looking into a lot of your suggestions.

  16. Renee Chamberland
    October 8, 2018 at 10:01 am

    wow it is very nice what you do … I love your work and organizing all of this and putting into a blog … just wow!! I am starting to bring my business online and am curious to find out if you will post your next income reports … (sorry I do not mean to be curious) I am just looking for proof that home renos and diy’er can really create an income blogging!!

    Thanks Tarahlynn … am following your work! love it!

    • October 8, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Hi Renee, over this last summer I’ve found my blog finally hitting a more dependable groove when it comes to income. I did have one month this summer where I made over $1200 but on average I make around $600 a month between advertising and contributed blog posts. Which is SO awesome to me because that’s literally my mortgage payment!! I do hope someday it can be my full time job and I will be posting again my updated income report ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for coming by!

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