Smutlancer Monthly Income Report: December 2019 and Year-End Review

Here we are. The end of one year, and the start of another. From things going on in the background, I already know 2020 holds a lot of possibility with many changes on the horizon. For the time in a couple of years, I feel very excited for what’s to come in my career as a smutlancer.

But before I can really look forward, I need to look back a bit. Below is the monthly report for December and a bonus review for 2019. It was a great month and year.

December 2019 Income

December income is primarily based on work completed in November. I bill clients on the last day of every month, and they have 10 days to pay. Affiliate sales tend to pay quarterly, but some pay monthly. I break down my freelance writing between vanilla and sex content because I want to show what’s possible in either category.

  • Freelance Writing
    • Vanilla Content: $800.00
    • Sex/Adult Content: $5875.00
  • Affiliate Sales: $261.86
  • Podcast Sponsorship: —
  • Sponsored Blog Posts: $300
  • Website Sponsorship: —
  • Banner Ads: —
  • Book Sales: $34.67
  • Patreon: $659.00
  • Consulting: —
  • Donations: —
  • Bonus (from client): —
  • Product Sales: $1297.82

Total Income: $9,228.35 (up $1,745.21 from November)

December 2019 Expenses

Some expenses are monthly, some quarterly, and some annual. Taxes are something I save for monthly to be paid quarterly.

  • Web Hosting: $42.98
  • Domain Renewals: —
  • Podcast Hosting: $32.00
  • Canva: —
  • Buffer: $10.00
  • InLinkz: $2.99 (linky tool for Masturbation Monday)
  • Blog Contributors: $21
  • Taxes: $1000.00
  • Payment Fees (PayPal, Stripe): $250.68
  • Shipping/Postage: $135.85
  • Tech Support: $66.95
  • DepositPhotos (stock photo): — $29.00
  • MailerLite (email newsletter): $15.00
  • Adobe Premiere Pro: $21.00
  • Brand Purchase Payment Plan: $100.00
  • Printing Costs: $233.41

Total Expenses: $1,960.86 (up $109.84 from November)

December 2019 Net Income: $7,267.49 (↑ $1,635.37 from November)

Chart by Visualizer

So…December was a good month. The second best month of 2019, actually. If you look closely, it’s due in large part to product sales. John Brownstone and I had a great weekend as a vendor at a local kinky market and did well during the month online because of a holiday sale. Patreon and affiliate sales both did well which certainly contributed.

If you look closely as expenses, you’ll notice a couple of new items. The “brand purchase payment plan” is a mysterious purchase I’m making (but not discussing yet) of an existing domain and brand from a friend who can no longer develop the brand. Once it’s finalized, I’ll talk more about it — what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and my experience buying a brand. The other item is “printing costs.” A small portion of that ($41) was for a planner I’m using to map out two of my business projects (the mysterious brand and Loving BDSM). The rest is for a membership drive we’re going for the Loving BDSM Patreon.

Now, let’s look at 2019 as a whole.

2019 Year-End Review

Let’s start with the big number. Based on my 2019 estimated net income (an estimate until our nice tax person actually does our taxes and factors in things I haven’t) is…


What this number does not include:

  • Income earned solely by John Brownstone that’s not attached to any of my projects.
  • Tool/equipment expenses incurred by John Brownstone
  • Eligible deductions and other criteria that may lower our gross income
  • An accurate amount for our 2019 taxes

So will this number change once our taxes are done? Of course it will. But based on the physical money brought in and available to spend, this is as close as I can get on my own.

Now, let’s break this down.

As you can see, the vast majority of my income comes from freelance work, and I am fortunate to have one large client who throws lots of regular work my way. But I also want to grow other revenue streams. 2019 was spent measuring that income. 2020 will be spent focused on growth.

In 2019, of the rest of my income streams, I made $9,714.10. I think that means I can accurately say I made over $9,700 directly from my websites, podcasts, and YouTube channel. Which means that I made (approximately) $63,533.44 from freelance income. That’s a solid income, and one I’m proud of — and have achieved after five-plus years as a freelancer.

Because I’m focusing my growth on my own content creation (and because my freelance income is such a huge portion of my income), let’s look at how the rest of my income breaks down:

Chart by Visualizer

Patreon and product sales are the two biggest portions of the pie above. I’m comfortable with that and plan to increase the total dollar amount for each in 2020. What I hope to increase in 2020 will be book sales (which include workbooks/digital downloads I create — though I may separate that out into its own category), podcast sponsors, and blog sponsors. I’ve largely ignored banner ads (few brands want to buy them) and donations can never be relied upon. Ultimately, I want the pie chart of my own content to be fairly diverse so that if/when one revenue stream drops, it doesn’t hurt too much.

Where do I go from here?

My word of the year is Progress. I’m comfortable with my big goals/dreams (earn my income through my own content) so that’s not changing. But how I achieve the big goal will change slightly in 2020 with a focus on progress. This means figuring out what works well for me (Patreon and physical products seem likely) and growing what can be grown.

I hope these monthly income reports are useful in some way. I definitely want to show you what’s possible and show the (relative) ups and downs of freelance/content creation income. Yes, a full time income from your own work and time is possible. It’s not quick or easy, and our paths never look identical, but it can be done.

Want to learn more about how to grow your income creating content about sex, gender, relationships, and all things smutty? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter to keep up with the blog and podcast!

Kayla Lords

Kayla Lords is a freelance sex writer, podcaster, blogger, all-around sex content creating human, and she really likes creating content. As a writer, she focuses on sex and kink primarily on BDSM and power exchange. She works with private clients to write their content and manage their social media, while also co-hosting two podcasts, running a YouTube channel, and managing multiple blogs. Let's just say, she stays busy and wants to keep it that way. Kayla is an international speaker and an award-winning sex blogger. She believes we are stronger together as a community than we are isolated and apart. We all deserve to get paid for the work we do, but until we understand our cumulative power, we'll all wonder if we're "the only one" doing this smutlancing thing.

2 Responses

  1. Anton says:

    Legit thank you for making these posts about the personal finance stuff. Previously all this stuff was a giant mystery that only revealed itself *after* the fact, but this here gives a glimpse into what its actually like.

    Even cooler is the business thinking side, tools mentioned, negotiating prices and how to strategize in general.

    All these reports so far were a fascinating read and gave me insight in how I should think as a person. I also appreciated the frankness, honesty, transparency and realness of this.

    Thank you!

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