April equals the end of the tax year in the UK. The 2021 to 2022 tax year was my first full year self employed and working online from home. I keep track of my monthly income and I have a business account that everything gets paid in to. I know I am reaching my targets but I was interested to see a full breakdown of exactly how much money is coming from what income stream.
How I Make Money Online Working From Home
I have five main income streams at the moment. Two of which are passive. This means that once I’ve done the main work, they continue to tick over and bring in an income without me really having to do anything.
- Online tutoring
- Affiliate income
- Online Surveys
- Sponsored content
Teaching English as a foreign language online is my biggest income source. I teach for roughly 30 hours a week (6 hours a day, 5 times a week). Cambly Kids isn’t the best paid teaching platform. There are also no ‘benefits’. I don’t get paid time off, sickness pay etc. If I don’t work, I don’t earn any money. But I don’t have to commute anywhere as I work from home, so I save money in this way.
Along with teaching the students, I have made extra income through creating a sponsored YouTube video for them. Plus the additional videos I made myself and my blog posts about Cambly all have my referral link in them. If someone is accepted to teach after using my code, I get a bonus. This is included within my teaching income, as it comes through within my regular pay check.
I love my job and the freedom and flexibility it brings. For the most part it is a fairly consistent pay cheque.
My blog does also cover my time off though, which I’m thankful for. It means I can take time off and not really worry about it. I know I can have so many weeks off and technically will be covered for it throughout the year. It equals about a 1/8th of my total income from the several different income streams I have on it.
When it comes to my blog, my biggest income stream is via my display ads. I have advert images throughout my posts and then there’s the banner at the bottom and the video pop up. I know that ads and popups can be annoying, but I spend a lot of time creating content without being paid. My content is also free to view.
For the first half of the year I was on a different ad network that didn’t pay as well. In September I switched over to SheMedia and have been very happy. They pay a higher rate and from what I’ve seen on my end, I have some decent relevant companies advertised (Hotels.com and Expedia for example).
With most networks there is a delay in pay. So what I earned throughout January, I didn’t actually get paid for until the end of March. February and March were some of my biggest earning months yet. However I won’t receive that pay until end of April and May which fall within the next tax year. I’m hoping that with the summer season and the higher rates, this part of my income should hopefully increase from 6% in the next year.
I was surprised that my affiliate income was the same percentage as my ad income. Both being 6% each. I am part of several different affiliate platforms, the main ones being: Amazon, booking.com and TravelPayouts (which has brands like GetYourGuide). I may make a commission on purchases or bookings made after clicking the link. With travel slowly making a return, I’m hoping that this income increases slightly over the next year too.
Amazon and booking.com have a tiny cookie window. Unless the purchasers goes ahead and reserves within that same session, I don’t receive anything. For example, if someone clicks on my link for a hotel I have recommended, they will need to reserve that hotel or another one there and then for me to make a commission. If they decide to return the the website the following day to go through with the booking then instead, unless they go back via the link on my site, I make nothing.
Online surveys are a bit slow going when it comes to making an income. I do surveys with 2 different companies: Opinium and YouGov. Once I hit £25 on Opinium you can cash out. I get this every 3 months or so. The amount of surveys I get varies. It’s roughly 1 or 2 a day, each survey is either 50p or 75p and they take about 10 minutes to do. It’s something that I do from my phone and it doesn’t really feel like work.
The surveys are often quite interesting and sometimes you get invited to take part in focus groups on Zoom. The Zoom groups can pay up to around £60 but they do take a couple of hours rather than a few minutes.
YouGov takes longer to cash out as you have to reach £50 worth of points. They also aren’t as frequent. I reach the £50 threshold about once a year.
I don’t really take on much sponsored content. A lot of the companies are after paid do-follow links which can sometimes be a bit of a grey area when it comes to Google. Some companies will ask you to not disclose the fact that the link has been paid for (against the law) and they want a follow link. It’s also best practise for links to be tagged as ‘Sponsored’ not as ‘Follow’. So unless a company agrees to a disclosure and the sponsored tag, I don’t accept them.
Goals For The Next Tax Year
For the next tax year, as mentioned above, I would like to see my blog making up a higher percentage of my income. Now that travel is coming back, hopefully some of my posts that rank fairly high on Google will actually get traffic this year. Last year some of those posts were for places that still had restrictions so therefore no one was searching for them.
By the time I had signed onto the new ad network, I had missed the high traffic that I receive during the summer months. This year I should get a boost due to everything being ready and in place. I also have a second site and has just signed it up for Google Adsense in hope of catching that additional summer traffic. Adsense is a lower paid network but even if I make £100 in a year, it will cover the hosting fee for that site.
On the other hand, with travel getting easier I may end up taking more time off from teaching than what I did last year. Again I’m hoping that the blog will be able to make up the difference from the extra time off. I’d like the total income to increase too, but I’m not pressuring myself on if it doesn’t. If I wanted extra money I could teach more classes in a day, but then I lose the time that I can spend working on my websites.
I could work on the road but avoid burn out I find that I do need to completely switch off now and again!
I’d like to create another income stream too. I’ve been playing around with the idea of some sort of physical product to buy. I have a couple of books available on Amazon but I included these within the Amazon affiliate total as it’s such a small income. (I rarely advertise them so it’s mostly from people that have stumbled across the blog posts). I have a couple of ideas but like anything it’s having the time to actually create them!
Any questions? Let me know!