What’s Your View on Income Reports?

Income reports have become hugely popular over the last couple of years. It seems that everyone is sharing how they are making money online, from new blogs who are still being developed to bloggers such as Pat Flynn who are making tens of thousands of dollars every month.

So how did this phenomenom start? Well, John Chow may not have been the first person who ever shared details of their income on the internet, however he was definitely the person who made it popular. Several years ago, John was sharing details of his online income through this blog. His growth in income over a year was nothing short of astounding. In December 2006, John had made just over $2,000 dollars from this blog. One year later, John was making over $27,000.

Inspiring Others

As you can imagine, John’s income reports inspired thousands of people to start working online. The power to inspire others is one of the reasons income reports have become so popular. They removed the notion that many people had that they could never make a living through the internet. Many bloggers were not only showing that you could make money online, they were also showing you how they did it.

To date, I have never shared details of how I make money online, however it is something I am considering. I shared my thoughts on this issue last month on my blog. One of things I have always been hesitant about is that sometimes income reports do not inspire others, they simply encourage them to duplicate what the other person has done. I witnessed many instances of this in the past.

Over the last month or so, I have given a lot of thought to sharing income reports with readers and have come to the conclusion that any negative aspects of sharing details online is negligible compared to the positive aspects of doing so. By sharing income details online and showing others exactly what we do, we can help others with less experience and make friends with likeminded people who are on the same journey. That is what John did and I know that many aspiring bloggers continue to be inspired by his success.

What Should Be Included in an Income Report?

If you have read income reports before, you will know that different people share different things online. Some people break down their affiliate income in great detail, specifying what affiliate programs earned them money and what didn’t. Others simply give a final figure (e.g. I made $900 this month from affiliate commissions).

A bigger concern of mine is what to include in an income report. Some people include:

  • Income from their main website (i.e. the one they are publishing the income report on).
  • Income from all their websites.
  • Income from product sales such as books, services and digital products.
  • Income from freelancing, consulting etc.

As you can see, there is a difference between a blog income report and an income report that details someone’s total income from working online. Should you include your total income from working online or just income from your blog? I don’t think there is a wrong or right answer. It just comes down to how transparent you want to be with everyone when you share your income details online.

Would You Share Your Income Details with Others?

I am sure that you have read an income report before and found it, at the very least, interesting. My question to you is this: Would you share your income details with others? If so, what are you hoping to achieve by sharing your income? If not, what is stopping you from sharing your income with others?

Within the next week I am going to make a final decision as to whether I will start being more transparent about my income online. Therefore, I would love to hear why you would or would not do this.

Over to you πŸ™‚

Thanks,
Kevin

Kevin Muldoon is an experienced blogger who blogs regularly about WordPress, Blogging, Social Media and Internet Marketing on his personal blog. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and Google+.


47 thoughts on “What’s Your View on Income Reports?”

  1. Arbaz Khan says:

    Yeah you are right.
    Income reports have become a lot popular in recent times. Sometimes such reports do inspire us but not all the time. Like the income reports of Pat Flynn not only shows the amount of money he has earned but he gives a lot of insights about what he did to do that and what are his future plans.
    Other bloggers should also do something similar.

    1. Hey Arbaz,

      I would agree with that. Pat goes into a lot of detail into how he makes money. He has incorporated case studies into his reports too. I personally think case studies are more beneficial than income reports.

      Kevin

      1. Mike Kawula says:

        Definitely agree that the case studies are more beneficial. I personally like the explanations of why one source may be down or up, tweaks being made and goals focusing on for the following month.

        Internet Mastery was joking the other day whats next to really stand out since this is now becoming a norm. I find value in the details personally, not the numbers.

        1. Me too. I’m hoping to relaunch a website this week so I want to document that. At this point, writing about it is more for me than other people, however if I develop it and it becomes very profitable it would be a good example to people.

          1. Mike Kawula says:

            Nice – Whats the website? Working with someone now myself overseas who’s building out a new niche site for me now. Should be up Thursday (probably faster as he’s rocking anything I give him).

          2. Mike Kawula says:

            Nice, love Martial Arts. Hear great case study on Infusionsoft from a customer of theirs in that niche. Like your site. Do you use LeadPlayer?

            Have couple different things worked in past.

            Currently working on Lower Back Pain and a Teaching review. Lower Back should be done by End of week and will start posting. Teaching will be done next week, unless he gets it designed faster. Seems like everytime I give this guy something he has it done super fast. Must have a team, but prices are great and quality, so I dont care.

          3. Just searching for that case study now Mike haha πŸ™‚

            I don’t use LeadPlayer at the moment. I am not producing many videos myself so it is not something I need.

            Lower back pain is a big topic. I am staying at my girlfriends parents house for a month or so as we arrange my girlfriends visa back to the UK. We’re both currently sharing a single bed…which has given me some problems with my back. I can’t wait to get back to exercising regularly. I’d be interested in seeing the website.

            I am hoping to work on the martial arts videos website over the next few days. I have a lots of little things I need to get out the way first. Always the way!

          4. Mike Kawula says:

            Tried finding the Case Study, they have so much content. It was a membership type site and they really used it well.

            Check this video out for LeadPlayer. Not sure if its the case, though for another site I’ve uploaded manufacturers video’s and I rank page one vs. them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdKrJdez7iM

            Good luck with the move and back! Reach out if you ever want to kick around thoughts.

            Mike

          5. Thanks Mike. Definitely. You can find me on Twitter and Facebook πŸ™‚

        2. Martialartsvideos.com. It’s got a lot of potential.

          What does your niche focus on?

      2. Wayne says:

        I agree Kevin making money online is easy but the right tools to do it with hard. Thanks for the info.

      3. Wayne says:

        I agree Kevin making money online is easy but the right tools to do it with hard. Thanks for the info. We need the right tools to make it online.

    2. Warren says:

      At what point should a blogger consider implementing income reports do you think?

      1. That’s a very good question Warren. I don’t think there is a wrong or right answer. I have seen some bloggers report income from day 1.

        I am not making much money through my blog directly at the moment. I am making most money through freelance writing, Google Adsense revenue from my websites and sales of my books. So I don’t know what to include in an income report as most of it isn’t directly being earned through my blog.

        1. Warren says:

          I’m in the same boat. I would have to add it all up in order to feel like writing the darn thing was even worth it! LOL

          Cheers!

  2. Alan Smith says:

    let me try this one but currently i am using Google adsence.

  3. marion l says:

    I have to say I can actually be very skeptical of some income reports I tend to think the most trustworthy ones are the ones that give you more details about how they made it as well or if it was from a number of different sites or keywords etc

    1. I bet some people are stretching the truth and increasing numbers in places. I think most do (I hope so). It’s kind of pointless sharing income details with others if you are lying. For me, sharing income details with others would benefit me as much as it would benefit others.

  4. Tauseef Alam says:

    Hi

    What i’ve noticed, sharing income reports helps in building a brand for yourself. When people see your income, they get impressed and start following your tips so that they can also start making money like yourself.

    To my mind, if someone is making a handsome amount of money online, he/she should show a monthly income report.

    1. Hi Tauseef,

      That is something I should have touched upon in my post. One of my readers says that he finds it easier to trust advice from people who have proven that they can make money – through income reports or whatever. It does seem to raise the profile of people in many people’s eyes.

      Kevin

  5. I. C. Daniel says:

    “self praise is not recommended”

    Best regards from I. C. Daniel

    1. Can you expand on this πŸ™‚

      1. Kingged says:

        He obviously thought since this is John Chow’s blog, he wrote this post, hence the comment. But John didn’t write this post, so the comment is invalid, πŸ™‚

        1. Ahhh. Thanks for clarifying. I was genuinely confused haha πŸ™‚

  6. I think this very much depends on the type of blog you have and what it is that you are trying to promote. It makes sense to me that if you have blogs/websites specifically targeted towards how to make money on-line, that revealing your income from your on-line endeavours would create a feeling in the reader that they can trust the advise that is being given.

    I’m not sure that the same would be true for other types of blogs that are targeting a different audience.

    1. I agree however I have seen a few non making money online type blogs sharing income with readers too. It makes more sense within the blogging/memo niche though.

  7. An income report can be a motivational tool, but it also depends on the manner in which it is represented. Ensuring it is shown on a respectable platform is key since some folks lack integrity in their numbers.

    John has created a level of trust that has not been tarnished; therefore, showing his income reports would indeed be a motivator.

    After building a similar trustworthy foundation, we would definitely publish income reports. Doing so before being known, or proven, might not be seen as a positive approach to doing business.

    1. Most of the people I have seen sharing income reports are not that well known. There are bloggers that are sharing income details when they are making less than $100 a month.

      I do agree that some people lack integrity in their numbers, though I do not see any reason for top bloggers to stretch the truth if they are making good money.

  8. faisal says:

    I think its a good way to motivate but difficult to judge that way.

  9. rakesh kumar says:

    income report- well i never ever thought to publish my income report, I do not think an income report will help any guy to trust you, because you mentioned that you are making a good amount from your blog meanwhile your reader is not able to connect himself with your claim and contents. I think it is the content that impersonate yourself and if your reader is able to digest your advice then in my opinion he/she will start following you.

    Another point is as you mentioned in your blog post- A good income report also help you to establish yourself as a brand, No not at all, this is the main reason right now bloggers, right now refrain themself to publish such income reports on their blog.

    1. Hi Rakesh,

      I think the same way as you, however many others do not. I was of the opinion that the reputation and experience of someone can be judged through their articles.

      One of my readers feels differently. He noted that he finds it hard to trust the advice of someone who isn’t open about the way they make money online. I think this is the wrong way to look at things as most people that are making great money online are not sharing how they did it with others.

      So whilst I disagree with only trusting people who share income reports, I do acknowledge that many others do.

      Kevin

  10. Sunday says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Personally, I always look forward to income reports from the following bloggers – Pat Flynn, Eric Gati, and Tyler Cruz. Their report always inspire me because I always attach their report with credibility and transparency.

    Having said that, I will like to share my income reports for readers to see and always get inspired with. I believe in the Internet or online business and would use that means to prove that the Internet money making is real.

    However, in my case, I will prefer to breakdown the income details of each blog for more thorough scrutiny from readers!

    1. Hi Sunday,

      Yeah those guys have been very successful online. I think the more details you give to readers, the more they will find your reports useful. How have your readers responded to your reports so far?

      Kevin

  11. cunjo says:

    I think sharing the income with readers strengthen the credibility of the marketer mainly in the times where there are lots of scams and get rich quick schemes, it’s refreshing to see someone sharing his income and how it’s generated.Sharing the income makes the whole internet business thing very real and that can be a source of inspiration.

    1. Thanks for the comment Cunjo. I can see why many people are being inspired by income reports.

  12. Louis says:

    I agree that income reports inspire others. I’m one of them. They give me a picture of how much is possible to earn and remind me not to waste my time slacking too long πŸ™‚

    1. Get back to work Louis πŸ™‚

  13. Jon says:

    Good post that got me thinking.

    I think its a double edged sword. On one hand an income report can provide trust factor and make the person seem more genuine. On the other it can be seen in the negative. Is that all you made? etc.

    1. Ted Phillips says:

      Agree…and it has advantage and disadvantage to the one writing the income report. Some people will believe you, some will not, thus affecting your reputation of some sort..

  14. Chris says:

    If you have something interesting and inspiring to show- income reports are great and of course animating! But here in germany I have seen sites, where they show their income of 3,75 € or 50,56 €…I’ m not really sure why they do that πŸ™‚

  15. aditya says:

    Crazy man! I was getting the goosebumps while i was reading the article. Currently I am striving hard to reach 100 dollars revenue from Google ads. Hope I write my real story like this in coming six months!

  16. Ansh says:

    I agree income report do inspire others but I have seen many bloggers publishing fake income reports. How to verify if income report is genuine or not?

  17. conie k says:

    i have to admit at first i was not the fan of income report but somehow they do make sence oh until the blogger start raking in millions and began hiding their real income

    1. Would you continue to show people exactly how your business was making money if you were making millions?

  18. Jay Samson says:

    I am a HUGE fan of income reports. I actually have my own blog dedicated to my online income, and while my earnings are no where near Pat Flynn’s, it’s a great way to keep track of your earnings and to see your growth over time.

    It’s also a great way to see your mistakes and to not repeat them.

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