Hey, Scott here.
If you are new to my site and wondering what the heck this page is, here’s the deal:
I started my personal finance blog in March 2015. I never intended to make money with my blog. I wanted to work on my show, write books, finance courses, do some public speaking, and maybe someday write some kick-butt piece of software.
I published an average of two articles per week on my blog, never once focusing on making money. One day (September 2016) I realized how my website had grown over the past seventeen months. I spent some time optimizing my blog to make money and made $11,400 in less than three weeks.
That was crazy (it still blows me away), so I started blogging about blogging. I write these reports for a few reasons:
- To encourage and help you start your own blog or side hustle if it’s something you’ve been considering. By writing about what I’ve learned works and doesn’t work, you get the benefit of that knowledge. You can also avoid all the crap products I’ve wasted money on.
- To prove there is room for new bloggers to make money. I started in 2015 – which is pretty late to the game.
- Because I love talking about websites. Almost as much as I love talking about personal finance on my show, or my cats.
I hope you find these reports helpful. Let’s dig in…
Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. All of the products listed below are products and services we’ve used before. If you have any questions about any of the income or expenses you can leave a comment and we’ll do our best to reply.
Product Income – $833.07
- Book sales
Affiliate Income – $20,103.59
- Amazon Associates
- Bluehost (click here for my tutorial on how to make money blogging)
- Lead Pages
- Long Tail Platinum
- Optin Monster
- Social Warfare
- Survey Companies
- Theme Forest
Expenses – $1,521.70
- Contractors and Staff – $550.00
- MailChimp – $75.00
- Microsoft Office 365 – $10.81
- Adobe Creative Cloud – $32.46
- Long Tail Platinum (keyword research) – $37.00
- Speak Pipe (leave voicemail via website) – $7.00
- New office router – $244.50
- Dropbox – $10.65
- Libsyn (podcast hosting) – $30.00
- Google Business – $16.66
- Facebook advertising – $442.53
- Registered Agent Renewal – $39.00
- Shipping (for books) – $26.58
Net Income for October: $19.414.96
Note that doesn’t include taxes or health insurance which I have to pay myself for being self-employed.
Overall in October I accomplished very little in regards to growing the business. Yes, I made more money than the previous month. But I feel there is a large gap between where I am and where I could be.
October had many ‘life’ moments that chewed up my schedule. Like the 90 minutes, I sat in a bank one day waiting to sign paperwork to set up the checking accounts for Katie’s new business. I finally got up and left.
Site Speed Case Studies
October I burned 1 1/2 weeks working on other people’s websites. I had anticipated one day, not 1/3 of the month. I was trying to build two case studies on speed optimization. While I increased the speed of both sites by 20%, I didn’t get the end results I wanted.
They weren’t my sites, so I couldn’t do as much as I would have liked if I had 100% control of the decisions. I did confirm I will never work on any site other than my own. It had nothing to do with the site owners – they were great and are friends of mine. It was technology.
I’ll gladly give suggestions on websites and be the visionary that I tend to excel at. But I’ll stay away from the hands-on work going forward.
My Pillar Post
I also spent two weeks working on a single pillar post 10,500 words long. The post includes ten images I created in Adobe Fireworks. I’m conducting an experiment to see how a long, keyword rich article will rank in Google. Stay tuned!
Asking For Raises
I’ve performed very well with the affiliate programs I’m a part of in the past few weeks. I asked several of them for payout increases. Several were happy to increase my rates.
Five minutes of email requests will be worth an extra $20,000 over the next year if my traffic stays the same.
Lesson learned – develop good relationships with your affiliate partners. If you continue to make them money, ask for a bigger cut of sales.
Making Yourself Available
In several of my posts, I put my email address right at the top offering a way for people to ask me questions. The response was overwhelming. So is the work replying. But I’m getting to help a lot of people which builds trust and an audience.
Not only that, every time I get a question it can lead to a blog post people would be interested in. No more guessing about topics to write.
Every once in a while, I’ll dump some money on Facebook advertising. I know almost zero about doing Facebook ads, so this is mostly just wasted money. I’ve tried it a few times to advertise my book. I lose money each time. Someday I’ll have to figure out how to do this properly.
Goals will keep you moving forward. I talk about setting goals all the time on my show. I spent 2-hours this morning planning my next moves.
I’m getting a lot of blogging related questions. Not quite as many questions about financial stuff, but a lot. I’m carving out time in November to publish several more blogging articles over the next couple months. I hope with all the new articles I can cut down on the questions coming in and free up my time for other projects.
Blogging is priority #3 in my business.
- #1 is doing my show three times/week.
- #2 is answering listener questions in a timely fashion
- #3 is writing new blog articles
That hasn’t changed in over a year, and I have no plans on changing it. Ok, I did become an author this summer but still churned out a few blog posts along the way.
That said, here’s what I’m focused on:
- Become a better speaker. I’m carving out 30-minutes a day first thing in the morning to read/watch/listen to become the best dang show host I can.
- Grow my show. I haven’t done one thing in six months to actively grow my show. I have a ton of ideas, but they didn’t fit my priorities.
- Promote my book more. It’s the author’s dilemma. You write a book, release it, then don’t work on selling and marketing it.
- Create more blog related content. You asked for it (some of you did anyway).