Financially Successful Blogging
Over the past two years of blogging, I’ve learned a multitude of information associated with writing and marketing successfully. I don’t feel like my writing has meaningfully improved after 100 published articles in that time period, but I do think I have a much better idea of what my readers want to hear about in general. Since I write about a variety of things, my readers are scattered between several different groups, so some posts do well with one group but terribly with another. People reading this blog for the personal finance content don’t care about travel therapy related posts, and travel therapists don’t really care about reading my monthly posts updating my progress to financial independence. But, one thing that everyone is interested in learning about is how to make extra money, which is the topic for today.
I gauged the interest in this post by asking who would be interested in reading about my monthly blog income on my Facebook business page. I figured this was an area that most readers would like to see me write about but, even so, I was surprised at the number of Facebook likes and messages I received. Everyone is interested in this type of post because everyone wants to find an easy way to make extra money, especially those that might be considering blogging or are already blogging as a “side hustle”. If this is sounds like the reason why you’re interested, let me tell you… financially, it’s not worth it. Blogging is not a great side hustle for the income aspect, and the majority of people would be much better off financially to work extra hours at their jobs or develop new skills related to their profession if the goal is financial gain. My main motive for starting this blog was to be able to look back on our travel therapy adventures in the future, and I also wanted to write posts that I could direct my friends and family to that would help them with their finances. Making extra income was the last thing on my mind. With that being said, I’m happy to report that the blog is bringing in some income now, even though on a per hour basis since inception, the rate would be abysmal. I would have probably made 10x as much per hour by working PRN physical therapy jobs over the past two years.
If you’re hoping to quit your job and become a full-time blogger, don’t turn in your resignation later just yet. However, blogging does have one major benefit as a financial side hustle. I’m able to make money from anywhere when writing articles, which will hopefully pay dividends over the next 6 months while Whitney and I take time off of work to travel around the world! Having the extra money from this blog each month is a huge reason why I decided to semi-retire this year (at 29 years old) instead of working full-time for another year to reach my goal retirement number.
Income From My Blog
Alright so I said it’s not that financially worthwhile, but I also said I am making some money. So how much? That is the reason why you clicked on this post in the first place. The income is extremely variable from month to month which is why I’ll use the average of the last three months in the numbers below. I currently have three sources of income from this blog. and those include: advertisements, affiliates, and referrals. Without further ado, here’s what my current gross monthly blog income looks like.
Some of you may have noticed that a few months ago I added advertisements to the site. You should see two ads on the right side of your page as well as two ads below this article. This is actually the only “guaranteed” income I make each month, although it’s very low and fluctuates based on the number of page views I get per month. I basically make about $1 per 335 pages viewed by readers. Since my blog is pretty small still, this doesn’t amount to very much.
- Monthly income: ~$30
I strongly believe that affiliates are the best way to make money as a blogger. The reason for that is it allows me to partner with companies I already use and believe in, and get paid for recommending them to friends, family, and readers. I see this as a win, win, win because the companies get new customers, I get a commission for recommending them, and readers get to use a product that I believe in and has helped me over the past few years in some way. I’ve very picky with the affiliates I choose and currently only have three. Those include: Medbridge, M1 Finance, and Personal Capital. These are all companies that I use and highly recommend.
- Monthly income: ~$160
Similar to affiliates, I will often post referral links to various products or services that I use. Obviously if I have a referral link for something, that means that I already have an account myself and I wouldn’t be writing about it if it wouldn’t be beneficial to you all. The most important thing for me is to be trusted by my readers and to help you guys succeed with me. So, you can bet that if I mention a bank account, credit card, financial product, book, podcast, blog, or anything else for that matter, it’s something that I’ve gotten value out of personally and believe that will be helpful for you all as well. Sometimes I’ll post links to things on the business Facebook page that I think would be beneficial but don’t have the time to write a full article about them. Be sure to follow that page if you’re interested in that type of content. Most often the referral links I share are for credit cards that I’ve signed up for and gotten value from (usually sign up bonuses). I also referred many readers to HealthyWage during my weight loss challange, although that has since ended and I no longer have a referral link for them.
Along those same lines, I have therapists from all disciplines who are interested in travel therapy contact me through the blog asking questions and looking for travel company/recruiter recommendations. I have been very fortunate to be able to refer those people to the travel companies and recruiters that I use, while receiving a bonus if they mention my name. Again, I look at referral bonuses as another win, win, win situation. The recruiters get new travelers, I get a bonus, and the travelers get to work with a recruiter that has gone above and beyond for me.
- Monthly income: ~$1,300
What About Expenses?
For the first year of blogging, I had literally zero expenses except for my time commited. I was using a free domain name that came with my free wordpress blog. A year ago I decided that I no longer wanted the “.wordpress” in my domain name, so I decided to upgrade my site to the next level. This now costs me $36/year, and I renewed in June, so I’ve spent a total of $72 on the site since inception. As you can probably guess by my site layout and cover picture, I haven’t spent any money on those. I get all of my images for posts for free either from pixabay.com or I use pictures that Whitney and I have taken during our travels. I had absolutely no experience with websites or blogs two years ago, so everything you see on this site is a product of what I’ve learned to implement from searching on Google, listening to podcasts, watching videos, or reading articles.
Getting rich from blogging is extremely unlikely, but being able to “work” from anywhere is a wonderful thing. Over the past three months, I’ve averaged about $1,500/month gross income from the blog from the three sources mentioned above. That is not a life changing amount by any means, but it has been steadily growing as I’ve gotten more and more readers over the past year. My operating costs are nearly nonexistant due to doing everything on my own with some help from Whitney along the way. As long as I can stay around that amount each month, I’ll be in great shape even if the income never grows any higher. As you may have guessed from reading my posts on my progress to financial independence, $1,500/month is actually more than my current monthly expenses and more than I expect to spend each month while out of the country over the next 5 months!
I feel extremely lucky to be able to make any income at all from having people read what I write and learn from my journey. Thanks for following along and humoring me over the past couple of years. I appreciate it more than you know!