I’ve been umming and aahing over whether to share my 2021 blog income report or not, and I’ve decided I will share this, but it will be the last income report I share. So read on for my 2021 annual side hustle and blog income report. It reveals how I was able to turnover more than £73,000 in one calendar year, making money working for myself from home.
Blogging, or using social media, to make money takes a tremendous amount of time and effort
I am amazed at how far I have come with my self-employment since 2012 and, in particular, how far I have come since deciding to blog full time as of January 2017. I've been self employed for a decade this year! It’s been five full years since I decided I wanted to do the blogging full-time and thankfully things have gone from strength to strength!
It’s not without hard work though and I often dedicate 60-70 hours a week to working on my blogs and social media. It’s a truly full-time job and then some! I’m pretty obsessed with it all and a complete workaholic. I often spend all my weekday evenings working as well as every weekday…. Even when we’re away. If I’m on my phone then it’s usually something work-related. I don’t have personal social media, although I do share a few personal pics each month on my Instagram account, which I’d delete if it wasn’t able to make me money as I’d rather not have social media accounts at all. The point is, if I’m on my phone then 99% of the time it’s to do with my work!
Even today, with blogging a more well-known serious career choice and influencers reported in the mainstream news to be making some serious money, many people STILL do not get the hard work and commitment that is involved. Just the other day someone asked what I did and went on to tell me how their teenage kids would love to do what I do when they are older… as they want to make money doing very little!
The assumption that blogging or being a social media influencer for money is easy, is made time and time again. Just try it and you’ll see just how easy it is!! I know numerous people who have set up blogs as a side hustle and quit within the first year as they realise they are actually so time-consuming. It’s certainly not a get rich scheme unless you are a master in SEO and already have many existing connections and know what you are doing.
Annual blog income report: How I made £73,341 in 2021
This figure completely blows my mind. I never thought I’d be able to turnover this much income. That’s important to remember though… this is turnover, not profit.
As much as my overall turnover has increased… so has my business outgoings! They are way higher than they usually are. I’ve invested in some tools and apps to make my life a lot easier, as well as a really good laptop and office equipment, so my business outgoings have taken quite the hit recently, but it’s all worth it to increase my productivity. I also upgraded many of the tools I use to annual plans, which often saves money in the long term as they might be discounted if paying annually, so will cost me more overall this year, but less going forward.
My business outgoings were always around 10% for the past couple of years at least, but they're around 20% for the tax year 21/22 so far, so quite a major difference.
This figure is also for the year 2021 so it doesn’t represent the tax year itself… I had a very, very good start to 2021 which was the end of the 20/21 tax year with some very successful affiliate collaborations.
Last tax year, my personal taxable annual income after all the outgoings and expenses was around £46,000. This tax year my salary will be closer to £55,000 which is totally amazing! I could never dream of earning a salary of this much before I started blogging and didn’t even think I’d achieve this when I did start blogging. £30,000 a year was secretly my goal. Now I hope my husband and I, together, can double this, or get close, and both earn a great living from blogging and everything else. I have been the breadwinner for 2.5 years and due to some lifestyle changes, we’ve been pretty much living off just my wage as a family of four for several months, so it will be great to work together in 2022 to increase this and have both of us earning again.
Worried about tax and self assessments as a blogger? Check out my 6 handy tax tips for bloggers and self employed
Before we delve in… what does my annual income report include?
This income report is my total turnover for EVERYTHING I have earnt from home in an entire calendar year.
I share all the money I have made (turnover) from blogging and social media which is my main source of income. I make money from around 10 different ways when it comes to blogging and social media. Think ads, collaborations, affiliate marketing, blogger outreach and more.
It’s not just my business turnover, but also my online personal selling of our preloved stuff (the kids never stop growing out of stuff and we moved house in 2021) as well as cashback, interest on savings and even money we made from our solar panels. I’ll share my half of bank interest and solar panel earnings.
I even share how much money I have earned from loyalty cards. Basically, I document everything that comes back into my accounts and is spent. It’s really interesting to see how this adds up throughout the year and how worth it such loyalty schemes are.
Note, this annual income report is turnover, not profit
As mentioned above, this figure is my total turnover for 2021. It’s not my profit. As explained above, my annual income (salary before tax and national insurance) should be around £55,000 this tax year and it was £46,000 last tax year. My salary currently supports a family of four. If only I’d started this before I had kids and responsibilities… what an incredible salary it would have been as a singleton before kids!
The eBay selling is turnover too and doesn’t account for the loss from eBay fees, payment fees and postage. My packaging is always free as I save all our envelopes and mailing bags from our own online deliveries! However, even if all these fees and postage were 50% of the total cost (which I very much doubt) then you can still see it’s a great profit for selling preloved goods and unwanted furniture, homewares we no longer use etc. We moved house autumn 2021 and so we did have a great deal of items to sell. With primary school kids, they are also still growing out of toys and clothes quite regularly so I sell bundles on eBay or Facebook Marketplace whenever we have a sort out.
The cashback is the amount we receive. It’s seen as a delayed discount and is not taxable, so it’s money straight back in our pockets from things we were going to purchase online anyway. We are big fans of cashback and check it for everything. I get cashback on all our insurances each year (home, car, life, etc.), cashback on travel bookings, car breakdown cover, grocery shopping, in-store shopping, subscriptions, energy switches and online shopping!
Whilst we’re on the subject of cashback, here’s a great trick to get three cashback/loyalty offers in one…
One of my best cashback tricks is to use a Curve card for the 1% cashback for a month which continues if you refer a friend… then I link it to my Tesco clubcard credit card which I use to pay for everything so I get the clubcard points… whilst also making sure I have my Tesco clubcard credit card linked up to Airtime Rewards so I get cashback automatically if I shop anywhere that’s linked to Airtime Rewards! One purchase can sometimes result in two lots of cashback as well as the Tesco clubcard points and all I do is use the Curve card to pay and everything else is automatic! (Note, I budget each month and use our Tesco credit card for the benefit of extra clubcard points each month, paying it in full each month).
Want to do the same? Get £20 free cash in one month if you sign up to Curve for free with code FL2KH at https://www.curve.app/join#FL2KH (1% cashback on all purchases for 30 days… keep the cashback coming by referring your friends with your referral link)
For Airtime rewards, use my promo code to make your first £1.50 and earn more automatically when you shop at retailers they are partnered with. Simply link your credit and debit cards to the app and that’s all you need to do! Use code FTT7WY7W at airtimerewards.app.link/friend and we’ll both get 50p when you join and an extra £1 if you spend at one of the retailers within 7 days.
It's worth noting that some of the income you see below is personal and not taxable. Selling preloved goods is not taxable and neither is cashback, which is seen as a delayed discount on a purchase by HMRC. Solar panel feed in tariff payments from a residential property are tax free. I like to include these in my report as its all cash back in our pockets to spend on what we like. It's money into the house and I like to include it on my annual income report to see how much we have made.
Some of my annual income report figures are halved
Most of this stuff is my personal income from things I personally do to make money at home, but some of it like some of the bank interest and solar panel income is joint as it’s mine and my husband’s, so where this happens, I have halved the total to reflect my half only.
So for example, we actually made twice as much as a couple from our solar panels, which is amazing! The same with some of the bank interest and the loyalty points!
Why have I shared income reports on my blog since 2017?
I used to share a monthly blog and side hustle income report when I first started making money online and extra cash from home. It was a great motivator for me in the beginning and I wanted to share how I made all this cash so others could do it too.
Then I decided to only share an annual income report for each calendar year. My monthly reports were becoming very samey and this seemed a better option.
I have shared my income reports not to brag, but to show how you can make and save money from home too, if this interests you. It’s also to give something back.
Without reading other online income reports, I’d never have learned how to make money online myself. I may not have realised it was possible.
It’s how I discovered many of the methods I use today with thanks to other people sharing their online income reports.
I started my self-employment in 2012, trying a few failed ideas, until I entered the world of blogging in 2013 and realised in 2016 I could make serious money from it! Once I started making money from blogging it took me six months to start making a full time living from it and in January 2017 I decided to go for it and decided I would make blogging my full-time career, leaving my last part-time employed job in May 2017. I’ve made a full-time income from home ever since and this is partly with thanks to other people sharing income reports.
It was from reading other blogger income reports and online income reports that I realised I could make some serious money from my blog. Without other bloggers sharing their income reports I might never have realised!
Many money bloggers shared other ways to make money online and shared their income. It’s what led me to matched betting as a profitable side hustle and many of the other side hustles I have used to make money at home and online.
In total I’ve made money from over 70 methods at home including these 60 ways to make money online that I have personally tried and tested.
So, basically, I have to thank all the other wonderful bloggers and online community who shared their income reports on blogs and in forums for making me realise I could do it too, and how.
I decided to share my own income report to do the same and help others. Perhaps you are looking for a way to make money from home or a cashback site to get more money back in your account. My annual income report may help you discover a way for yourself. Or even inspire you to see it’s possible to make a full-time living from home, if you want to. Just like other blogger and website income reports inspired me.
To understand even more about why I shared my income reports online then click to read my blog post why I publish income reports.
Annual income report 2021: the breakdown of how I earned over £73,000 from blogging, side hustles, cashback and other money-making or money-saving methods
This is where you will see my exact turnover from all my money making activities for the whole of 2021.
I am a full-time self-employed blogger and I also do lots of side hustles from website testing to completing academic research questionnaires. I also love to get more money back in our bank from cashback and loyalty cards.
I used to do matched betting too which was so lucrative at first, but I stopped at the start of 2019. You can read why I quit matched betting, but why I still recommend it too! If you want to make money quickly from home, on the side, then give my matched betting blog a read!
This income report shares all the ways I’ve got money back into our bank. Money I’ve earned and money I’ve got back through different methods. Money we can spend. For this reason I haven’t included my LISA bank account for retirement as although it makes me a 25% bonus on everything I save, it’s not money I can actively spend right now, so I only include ways to make money and get more money right now!
Here’s a look at all the different ways I earned money online and at home in 2021, grouped together by category.
I will go into some more detail about each method and side hustle below, sharing resources and links if you want to learn more or sign up to certain websites to do the same!
Here’s a look at how I earned money from home in 2021. And remember, as explained above, this is my total turnover for the calendar year, not my profit:
£69.187.59 - BLOGGING, SOCIAL MEDIA & AFFILIATE INCOME
First up, my online passion and full-time career - blogging!
I’ve shared a lot of blog posts before about how I accidentally became a blogger. I was actually trying to get more visitors to my online fashion accessories website and fell in love with blogging. Realising a few years in, thanks to other people’s blogging income reports, that I could actually turn my blog into a serious money-maker!
If you want to learn more about how I came to be a full-time blogger, after starting my online business journey with an Etsy store selling handmade cards, then click to read the story of Lylia Rose. Everything evolved into where I am today! A full-time blogger with a few side hustles who is now about to take on this blogging journey with husband in tow from 2022 onwards! I’d better update that article soon.
I have a few blogs I make money from and social media too. Here’s a look at some of the services I sell and how I’ve made money thanks to blogging and social media in 2021:
Freelance blog writing
Sponsored blog posts
Hosting giveaways for brands
Social media ads, giveaways and promotions
Competition cash prize winnings (related to entering my blog or giveaways in blogger networks I use)
Media features (I’ve been featured in the media quite a few times in 2021 and sometimes with thank you fees for my story and/or time)
CPA campaigns arranged directly with brands
When I first started blogging I only thought you could make money by having ads on your website. How wrong I was! There are so many ways to make money from a blog once you have enough visitors or good enough metrics like a high DA (Domain Authority) score, amongst many other metrics like Domain Rating, Trust Flow, Alexa ranking and organic traffic.
If you have associated social media accounts, or standalone social media accounts, then you can also sell services on these too, such as by doing paid brand partnerships on Instagram. One of my Instagram paid partnerships in 2021 has been my highest single earning collaboration to date!
Blogging professionally opens up many ways to make money online.
Affiliate income was amazing for me in 2021. I didn’t think it would go so well for me in 2021 as I thought it was a fluke in 2020 when I had some successful campaigns, but it improved in 2021 and I hope my husband and I can improve on this even more going forward. His own blog has some really successful posts which are monetized quite successfully with affiliate links, so I’m going to bring his skills over to my blog and hope he can write some incredible posts for my blog too in the same style. Or update some of my old posts. It will be a great test to see if we can repeat his success on different blogs, or whether it was just luck that some of his posts ranked so highly on Google.
Here are loads of resources to see how I make money from all these methods, with links to many of the companies I use such as Awin for affiliate marketing:
You’ll find loads more blogging tips and affiliate programme recommendations in my top menu too under the blogging categories!
Where do I get my affiliate and referral income from?
I have some special CPA deals direct with brands that I have great success with, but I also take part in some affiliate schemes that most other bloggers can apply for in themselves. Here are some of the main websites and networks I made affiliate income / referral income from in 2021 and regularly recommend:
My Money Pocket (now closed)
Many of these free money offers have referral schemes or affiliate schemes.
I’ve been a customer of all of these myself or used them to make money successfully from home. If you are interested in affiliate marketing or making money from referrals, then it’s definitely much easier to promote and recommend companies you are familiar with and can recommend personally, but you can sign up to others too. For example, there are thousands of brands on Awin that are well known and could be relevant for your posts even if you haven’t used them yourself yet. I like to use the Awin creative ads on my blog in relevant posts in place of using an ad network… that way I can pick the creatives I want to use and where I want to place them.
£2,339.72 - PRELOVED SELLING ON EBAY & FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE
I sell our kids outgrown clothes and toys in bundles as well as items we no longer use or need. I thought things would slow down with preloved selling in 2021, but we moved house! I thought we were pretty minimal, but it’s amazing what collects in the attic and garden! We had a large garden with a workshop and two sheds, but the new house only had a small garden and one small shed so we really had to reduce our belongings here, giving us lots of things to sell and make money towards the new house and things we needed. I use eBay and Facebook Marketplace to sell our preloved goods. Oh and we did a car boot when moving house.
£991.15 - CASHBACK FROM WEBSITES AND APPS
We love cashback and this is just my cashback income for the whole year. As a household there will be even more as my husband has his own cashback accounts too. This is just the total figure from my own cashback accounts, though I do most of the household shopping! We moved house, so there was more furniture, decorating and appliance buying than usual.
Here are all the places I got cashback from in 2021:
Upside (now closed)
Discover even more ways to earn cashback and my reviews in these cashback articles:
£166.20 - SIDE HUSTLES
I used to complete a lot of side hustles online alongside blogging to boost my income, but I rarely have time for this anymore, so I have pretty much stopped other online earning like surveys and academic research studies halfway through 2021. They were all a great way to boost my income whilst I was building up my websites and social media, so they were very valuable for me and I will return to them if I need to or if I have the time.
Here are the side hustles I took part in this year and cashed out. Only four this year as I didn’t have enough time.
- User Testing
I did a few tests at the start of the year, but haven’t done any for ages. When I was quieter with my other work I used to always keep a tab open and check the tests throughout the day as they pinged up.
This is an academic research website and ranges from surveys to playing online games to assessing adverts. All sorts of varied questions, surveys, tests that take from two minutes to 30 minutes and pay varying amounts.
More info: Make money at home with Prolific
Quick, pretty much one minute, or even a few seconds, questions. Give design feedback on apps, games, websites and more.
I only did one ‘mission’ which was to test a new train booking app and I made around £20.
More info: Make money online with Crowdville
Check out my blog post 60 ways to make money online + at home UK for loads more side hustle ideas I have tried and testsed! I’ve used many methods over the past few years to make money from home and online whilst building my blogging business.
£282.84 - LOYALTY CARDS
We use Tesco and Sainsbury’s credit cards to buy all our shopping to get the points, then we pay them back in full each month.
I use the Tesco points to pay my mobile phone bill and we share the Nectar points, usually spending them in Sainsbury’s or on eBay.
I also get Holland and Barrett loyalty points, H&M loyalty points and we get Natwest rewards with our main bank account, so these are all included this year.
£58.23 - BANK INTEREST
This is around ⅓ of what I earned last year for my share of bank interest. AND all my balances have increased, some quite significantly as I carry on saving more. Yet I've only made a third of what I made last year in interest. Interest rates on cash really are awful now.
If you want to start saving with ease then check out my latest Chip promo code which currently gives you £20 free cash at the time of writing!
£301.09 - SOLAR PANELS
Our old house had solar panels and we earned on them up to the date we moved out in September 2021. This was my half! A nice little earner, but we no longer have them.
£14.32 - CASH PRIZE
This was a cash prize I won. I can’t remember why the amount was so random, maybe the prize was in dollars!
Love giveaways? Check out my latest cash prize giveaway.
All my annual blog income reports
Wondering how much I’ve made from home each year since deciding to go full-time with this online money making career choice? It’s always fun to see the progress or compare.
Here are all my annual income reports so you can see how much I made and with what methods.
- How I made £73000 from home + blogging in 2021
Thanks for reading my last blog income report
Thanks for reading and I hope you find some useful ways to make money from home, or get more money back into your bank account with cashback or loyalty points!
I will continue my blogging journey and continue to share ways to make money at home, free money offers, blogging tips and advice and even more on my blog.
Wishing you all the success with your own blogging and at-home money-making journeys.
Want to make more money from home, online or need a side hustle?
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