MillennialMoneyMan.com is Two Years Old!

MillennialMoneyMan.com is Two Years Old!

Millennial Money Man turns two years old

The past two years have been both the slowest and fastest years of my life. They were the slowest because building a business is a day-by-day, month-by-month project. You can never really look too far ahead, because you have no idea what is going to come up that day.

They’ve been the fastest because I can’t believe what I’ve been able to accomplish in two years of writing my thoughts about personal finance online. Just a year and a half ago, I was a band director that woke up at 5:30 AM to go teach my first class at 7:15 AM (the kids were still half asleep usually).

Since then, I’ve turned a website that most of my peers thought was a total waste of time into a viable business. I basically went from making $50,000/year working myself into the grave to bringing in $11,000+ per month typing on a computer from coffee shops. It’s crazy.

Here are some things that happened in M$M’s second year:

I started making a decent living from my work

Let’s not get it confused – $10,000-$11,000 per month is great money, but I’m not getting rich or anything right now. However, when I first went out on my own I wasn’t really making enough money to support myself, much less my wife too. The progress lately has been pretty freaking awesome.

The crazy thing is that I haven’t even scratched the potential for what my brand can do. I truly believe that I can make $1,000,000/year from this site. But, I know it will take a lot of time.

I study other bloggers’ income reports pretty closely (Pat from SmartPassiveIncome.com and Michelle from MakingSenseofCents.com to name a few), and so far I feel like M$M is “on track”. It seems like the minimum to start making 1% type of income from blogging is about five years.

Like anything else, you just have to learn a ton of crap about the trade. I’ve got some goals for 2017 that I’ll detail a little later in this post. I really wish I had learned about blogging and earning income online sooner, because I’d be closer to that $1,000,000/year goal. If you are thinking about starting a blog, my best advice is that you start now instead of later. Just trust me.

Related: Create your own blog in just 15 minutes with my free how-to guide 

You can see my income reports for 2016 below:

November 2016 Online Income Report: $11,173.63

 

October 2016 Online Income Report: $11,343.22

 

September 2016 Online Income Report: $10,127.27

 

August 2016 Online Income Report: $6,196.71

 

I was featured in some pretty legit news sites this year

One of the toughest things about blogging is getting mentioned or featured by major news publications. It’s the easiest way to add some legitimacy to your site and bring in loyal readers.

CNBC picked up my story about paying off my student loans on a teacher’s salary, and it completely changed my business. That made M$M go from a pipe dream to something I could actually live on.

Since then, I’ve had various features or mentions on other sites like Business Insider and Forbes. I have been labeled a “personal finance expert” and “Millennial expert” a few times now, which is super weird haha. I still feel like I’m just some random dude playing around on my computer.

Here are the articles I was either featured or mentioned in this year:

How a teacher paid off $40,000 of student loans in 18 months – CNBC/Yahoo Finance

A teacher who paid off $40,000 of student loans in 18 months gave up 5 things –CNBC/Yahoo Finance

A teacher who paid off $40,000 of student loans in 1.5 says the first step to take has nothing to do with debt – CNBC/Yahoo Finance

I paid off $40,000 of student loans in a year and a half on a teacher’s salary – here are 5 things you should do if you want to get out of debt fast. – Business Insider

Your Money: Tips for millennials who dream of being their own boss – Reuters

Is Your Credit Score Killing Your Love Life? – Forbes

Don’t pay off your student loans – yet. – MarketWatch

Millennials Fear Tax Season, But Breaks and Youth-Friendly Policies Mean They Don’t Need To – International Business Times

7 Ideal Summer Job Options for Teachers – U.S. News

Decide How Much Money Your Work-Life Balance is Worth – Lifehacker

Be Suspicious of the Word “Afford” to Keep Your Budget Balanced – Lifehacker

I’ve learned that companies have no idea how to talk to Millennials

I was flown out to Boston and New York this year to give my thoughts to some large financial corporations on reaching Millennials. I can just tell all of you that right now, these financial giants don’t really understand us at all and are really worried about it.

It seems that with baby boomers you could just throw up a TV personality with a credit card and that was all they needed to convince them to buy crap. Millennials are still (wrongly) perceived by these financial institutions as lazy, aloof young idiots on their phones that want special treatment.

The disconnect for these financial institutions is that we just straight-up don’t trust them. It’s not us…it’s them. They crashed the damn market with reckless, criminal activity in our formative years that screwed over both us and our parents. I don’t care what clever app they make or what “action advice” they put on their company’s home page, it’s not going to “connect” with young people that hate them.

So, anyways, I’m going to try to get them to understand that haha.

M$M grew a ton

Partially because I was featured on the above mentioned sites, and partially because I learned how to advertise effectively on Facebook, the site has grown considerably. The site averages somewhere over 100,000 views per month, and my Twitter and Facebook following have both grown to over 10k follows/likes. If you have 100,000 views a month on your site, you should be able to make a living online (in my opinion).

The site’s total reach is getting closer to 100,000 PEOPLE (like actual humans, not just views) per month. I want to say my total reach across all my social media channels and site traffic is sitting right around 90,000, which is a lot of damn people when you think about it.

That’s the equivalent of filling up a NFL stadium to capacity once a month and talking to them about money and entrepreneurship. That’s pretty cool, right?

Here are my goals for M$M’s third year:

Well…there are a lot honestly, but I’m trying to keep my main focus to building my Pinterest traffic and building my email list. There are a few others though!

Build the email list

I’m closing in on about 5,000 people on my email list, which is pretty small in relation to the size of the site. The honest reason is that I didn’t put enough time into that aspect and was more worried about starting to build affiliate income. That will change in 2017.

Generate substantial Pinterest traffic

Coral and I have made some pretty awesome strides on getting our Pinterest account set up correctly. It’s crazy how much work that takes if you didn’t focus on it from the beginning! I’ve really spent some money there for coaching sessions and getting pins made, and we have a clear plan going forward. I will attack that the same way I did Facebook, and I fully expect to kick @$$ there too.

Double my online income

I don’t quite have the final numbers this year, but it looks like I will close the year having made about $80,000 online this year from my marketing income and site income combined. Based on some things I know that are coming up in January and beyond, I expect the site to do very well next year and see no reason why I can’t make $150,000 – $200,000 next year online.

Update the website

As I’m writing this, I’ve got a phone call scheduled with a web developer in about five minutes. I’m going to make some changes to the site to clean a few things up and capture more email addresses/feature my income reports! I’m super excited about this, and I think it will definitely maximize my advertising efforts.

Meet more bloggers

I went to FinCon for the first time this year (it’s a conference for personal finance bloggers), and it was awesome! It’s cool to meet people that actually know what I do, because “professional blogger” isn’t the most relatable profession to tell people about.

When it comes to networking with other bloggers and participating in the PF community, I really haven’t done a great job. I’ve managed to do a lot of this on my own, but I definitely recognize the value in meeting and helping other bloggers grow their sites. This profession is pretty scarce, so there isn’t really a competitive feel to it like you might see in other lines of work.

Keep helping people

Easily the most important one on the list! I really appreciate everyone so far that has reached out and let me know that my story, the site, or my message has inspired them. Personal finance is hard. Student loans suck. Making extra money on the side isn’t easy. My goal is to make all of those things a little easier to deal with.

I’m looking forward to another year of growing the site and talking to more of you! Thank you so much for being a part of the site. Let’s kill it in 2017!

Question for you:

What would you like to see more of in 2017? Side hustles? Student loan stories? Let me know in the comments (I DO take your advice to heart)!

 

Live differently. Your bank accounts will thank me later. ~M$M

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20 comments… add one
  • Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies Dec 28, 2016, 8:20 am

    Happy Birthday! 🙂 It’s been so incredible to watch you grow this site. You definitely need to give yourself credit for all the amazing work you do. While I can’t imagine leaving the classroom (maybe middle schoolers are less scary?! 😉 ), I do think it’s fun to think that maybe my blog can help some money trickle in. You are doing awesome things! I cannot wait to see how 2017 brings even bigger news your way. Thanks for always being so inspiring.

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 28, 2016, 8:28 am

      Thanks so much Penny for the kind words! I taught high school and middle school, and I actually enjoyed teaching middle school more – everything always seemed cooler or more fun for them, which definitely made it more fun to teach. I noticed you got your first sponsored post a few weeks ago – keep going and you’ll be shocked how much it grows!

  • Deryl Dec 28, 2016, 8:21 am

    Happy Birthday M$M!!

    I came across your site a couple months ago, and now I’m hooked! I look forward to reading posts on M-W-F.

    My recommendation for 2017 would be to post subjects that influence people to explore their emotions related to money. Mental health is so important, and being mindful/aware of our emotions is a great place to start. Good luck on your future endeavors!

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 28, 2016, 8:30 am

      Wow thanks Deryl, I’m so glad you’ve found the site and like it! I am going to keep a M-W-F schedule in 2017, although I might be starting a podcast (shhhhh…don’t tell anyone) that will replace one of the posts per week. So maybe Monday podcast, Wednesday guest post, and Friday post from me! We’ll see.

      Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll definitely keep that in mind!

  • Centsai Dec 28, 2016, 9:47 am

    Congratulations on all of your success these past 2 years! We can’t wait to see what is in store this upcoming year!

    Wishing you a happy new year from the Centsai team!

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher Dec 28, 2016, 10:07 am

    Happy anniversary, M$M!

    I’m coming up on my first anniversary and it’s crazy what can happen in a year. I’d always like to grow more, but I’m proud of what I’ve been able to do just with my spare time. 🙂

    I’d love to hear more student loan stories in 2017! Mr. Picky Pincher and I are paying off our $65,000 of student loan debt in 18 months, so it would be great to hear from other people who are also paying these suckers off!

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 28, 2016, 10:40 am

      Thank you! Awesome, I’ll definitely add that to the list. Blogging is hard – you should be happy with any type of growth!

  • Ricard Torres @ Escaping to Freedom Dec 28, 2016, 11:03 am

    Happy second birthday, M$M!

    It’s amazing what you’ve managed to accomplish – I definitely see you and your blog as a reference to what I want to achieve with my own business. If I do half as well in 2 years as you have done, I’ll call it a massive success! 😋

    Looking forward to the site redesign! Are you going for a dedicated area on your header to show the latest income reports, like Pat Flynn or EoFire have got?

    Best of luck for 2017! It’s gonna be an awesome year 😃

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 28, 2016, 12:43 pm

      Thanks Ricard! Yes – the main goal is to feature the income reports and capture more emails. I am actually considering the same designer that did EOFire, I think his style would work really well on M$M and would allow me to help more people start making money though entrepreneurship. I’ve talked to a couple designers so far and don’t think I can go wrong with any of them!

  • Mrs. COD Dec 28, 2016, 11:18 am

    Way to go on your two year blogiversary! I appreciate your “anti-entitlement” advice as well as your non-judgmental tone. I think your compassion goes a long way in reaching readers. You’re not just criticizing millennials for stupid money decisions; you’re giving tools and inspiration to make smarter decisions. Keep it up!

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 28, 2016, 12:41 pm

      Thanks Mrs. COD! I appreciate that a lot. I’ve gotten a little preachy at times and made some people mad, but I can only write what comes from the heart. I’ve definitely become a lot more empathetic to the problems that young people face over the past two years. It only takes a couple of heart-breaking emails to put you in your place.

  • Matt @ Distilled Dollar Dec 28, 2016, 1:15 pm

    Awesome job in 2016 and Happy Birthday!

    Your site continues to be an inspiration and reading your articles over a year ago helped me launch my own site. Your story has been killer and it is great to see your lifestyle start to pick up a lot after many, many months of hard work!

    Keep up the great work in 2017!

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 28, 2016, 1:18 pm

      Wow thanks Matt – I didn’t realize you started the site because of M$M! Hope all is well. I’m not going to lie, life is pretty good right now! I am really starting to see the work pay off, and I think 2017 will be a good year!

  • Stefanie O'Connell Dec 28, 2016, 10:09 pm

    SO much to celebrate here – congrats! Personally, I’d like to read more about your fbook ad strategy, but I’m not sure how entertaining your other readers would find that 😊

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 29, 2016, 9:09 am

      Haha yeah I’m honestly not sure how many of my readers are hopeful bloggers/pf people and how many are just regular millennials that don’t care about blogging! Congrats on Fox and Friends the other day, that was so cool!!!!!

  • Lindsay @ Notorious D.E.B.T. Dec 29, 2016, 7:30 am

    Happy birthday! It’s been great to see your site grow – if I could be even half as successful as you by my site’s second birthday, I’d consider it a success!

    I’d love to see more student loan stories, from a range of people just starting out paying off their loans all the way to being paid off. Those ones are always super interesting for me!

    • Millennial Money Man Dec 29, 2016, 9:10 am

      Thanks Lindsay! I’ll be sure to get more student loan stories in – I’m sure I could get some readers to share what they are doing!

  • Derek Jan 1, 2017, 11:30 pm

    Congrats on the success! I came across your website somewhere along the lines of looking for resources to pay off my house, my student loan was paid off years ago. I have a good paying day job that I like, but the idea of a blog as a side hustle sounded appealing, as my wife and I have lost enthusiasm for our side business. I’ve combined the blog with fitness, hoping to kill two birds with one stone, as my fitness level has fallen off because of the business.

    Hope you have succcess in 2017, and I’m taking notes!

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