Changes Since Last Update
It has now been about 7 months since I first published an article detailing my monthly income from blogging. That article was requested by several of you guys and was well received. Since I love to write and talk about finances, I want to be as transparent as possible with you all about income from this blog and how it changes over time. I finished my last travel physical therapy contract 6 months ago and have been jobless since then, spending most of that time traveling around the world. Excitingly enough, this blog brought in enough income each month while traveling to pay for all of my expenses on the trip! Not a ton has changed on my income from this site since the last article, but I thought it would be a good idea to update it and try to figure out an average “hourly rate” earned from everything I spend time doing on this site.
Financially Successful Blogging
I want to start again with this reminder that starting a blog for the sole purpose of making money is probably not a good use of time. 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 really paid dividends over the last 6 months while Whitney and I took 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 last year (at 29 years old) instead of working full-time for another year or so to reach my goal retirement number.
Income From The Blog
Alright so I said it’s not that financially worthwhile, especially when starting out, but I also said I am making enough to travel for extended periods of time in low cost of living areas. So how much am I making? That is likely the reason why you clicked on this post in the first place. The income is extremely variable from month to month, so I’ll use the monthly average from the entire year of 2018. I currently still have three sources of income from this blog, and those include: advertisements, affiliates, and referrals. Without further ado, here’s what my average gross blog income for the year of 2018 looked like…
In March of last year, I decided to put a few ads on the website, which you’ll likely have noticed by now. I was on the fence about whether it would be worth it or not, but they are pretty small and not intrusive, and I don’t think that it really takes anything away from the reader experience (if you think it does make your experience on the site worse, let me know!). 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. On average, I make about $1 for every 300 page views I get. This ends up being not very much, but the rate has gradually improved over the past few months, so I’m hoping it continues to get better this year.
- Monthly Average: ~$35
I still 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 years in some way. I’ve been 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. You’ll see links to each of these on the right side bar as well above the advertisements.
- Monthly average: ~$225
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 along 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 my 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 challenge, although that has since ended and I no longer have a referral link for them (my old link above may still work to give you guys an extra $40 on your prize though).
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 me when they contact the company. 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. This income for FifthWheelPT will most likely gradually decrease this year due to starting a new website with Whitney and another fellow traveler a few months ago specifically for mentoring new travel therapists. I do still get people contacting me through this site as well though and will probably continue to get a few each year.
- Monthly average: ~$1,350
Total Gross Earnings
Adding the three monthly averages together gives me gross average monthly earnings of $1,610/month.
Definitely still not a life changing amount, but it is very nice to be able to have the security of that income without depending on a job. It gives me more flexibility and confidence to take risks… like our upcoming 15 week trip to Europe in a few months! I’m fairly risk adverse in most situations and wouldn’t be taking these long trips each year if it wasn’t for having this income from the blog.
What About Expenses?
I’ve spent a total of $72 on the site since inception. As you can probably guess by my site layout, logo, 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 from pictures that Whitney and I have taken during our travels. I had absolutely no experience with websites or blogs a couple of 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. I honestly don’t think this is the best way to go about it, and this site would probably be much bigger if I spend money on advertising and better layouts, but I like knowing that I have extremely low expenses and don’t need to make much to be profitable.
Average Hourly Earnings from 2018
The amount of time I spend working on this site can vary quite a lot from month to month. Some months I get inspired and write a ton, while other months I get busy and write much less. I’m trying to be more consistent with publishing 1-2 articles each week from now on since I’ll be working much less each year and don’t have an excuse anymore.
Writing articles isn’t the only thing that takes up time from running this site though. Responding to emails and Facebook messages, marketing articles, updating Facebook and Instagram accounts, trying to fix broken credit card referral links from old articles, and updating links of the site all end up taking some time as well. Whitney also puts in time editing my articles, organizing site pages, and formatting the website.
On average in 2018, I spent about 8 hours per week between various activities related to this site. Let’s break that $1,610/month from above into an hourly rate.
- $1,610 / 4.33 (weeks/month) / 8 (hours/week) = $46/hour!
Making a lot of money from blogging rarely happens, and if it does it requires a ton of time and effort, but being able to “work” from anywhere is a wonderful thing.
In 2018, I averaged about $1,560/month gross income from the blog from the three sources mentioned above. This translates into a rate of about $46/hour.
That is not a life changing amount by any means and is actually less than I would make working a part time job as a physical therapist in many areas, but it has been steadily growing as I’ve gotten more and more readers over the past few years. My operating costs are nearly nonexistent due to doing everything on my own with some help from Whitney along the way.
I don’t anticipate this amount to increase in 2019, and in reality it may actually decrease, but we shall see. The great part is being able to make any money at all while writing about topics that I enjoy (and it doesn’t hurt that I could make some of that money while sitting in a coffee shop or by the beach in some random country overseas!)
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, and I do my best to learn as well. Thanks for following along and for all the questions, comments, and feedback over the past few years. Stay tuned for 2019 because we’ve got a ton of awesome travels coming up, and I’ll continue to share things with you guys along the way and even on a more consistent basis :).
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