Hey everyone! If you’re new around here, I started tracking my blogging income through these income reports in mid-2016. This is a great way for me to keep an eye on my progress of doing M$M full-time, and it’s also a great way for you to follow along as well if you're thinking of starting an online business!
I can’t wait to look back on these several years from now and see how far the site has come. It's already been surreal to this point.
On a personal level – life is crazy good right now. I'm only about a month away from being self-employed for two years, which blows my mind. This all has gone by REALLY fast.
A lot of you have wanted to start your own blogs after seeing the success that I’m starting to have, and I highly recommend it. If I hadn’t taken a shot on M$M, I would still be stuck in a career I didn’t really enjoy very much.
Just understand - this isn't easy in any way or for the faint of heart, and definitely not something you should immediately quit your day job for. Most people quit blogging long before they actually "make it."
It takes time to build a business like this, but if you have talent and a good message/story to tell, it is possible to do well.
Take a look at my free blog setup tutorial. You'll have your own blog set up in just 10-15 minutes, and will receive a special website hosting price since you're a M$M reader when you use my exclusive link. As a bonus from my family at Bluehost- you’ll also get a domain name for free ($15 value).
BTW - the M$M Facebook page is lit right now
I don't know if you guys have noticed, but the engagement from M$M readers on the FB page (you can like it here) is pretty awesome.
One of my goals has been to create a community feel for M$M readers, and it's finally starting to happen. We're having some great comment threads on everything from dogs and cats (just trust me it's cool) to how much money millennials have in their savings accounts.
Have you taken my free blogging course yet?
So far I've had over 600 people sign up for my blogging course since I made it in February, and the reviews have been great! Even if you are just thinking about starting a blog or want to figure out how to get more traffic to one you already have, this will be useful for you.
Everything in the course applies to small business websites that have a blog as well, so there is good value for business owners out there that want more engagement on their sites.
I've been told I need to charge for this course, but I'm opting to keep it free for now. If you don't want to pay for it, get in for free while you still can.
Let’s get to the report…
Something to remember when you look at this income report – I’m self-employed and have to cover expenses, my terrible health insurance policy (sadly I'm not joking), and taxes. Surprisingly, I got a very unexpected $500 back from the IRS for last year (not included in this report). I don't think that will happen next year haha.
Here’s how I made money online in March:
MillennialMoneyMan.com Income: $10,117.87
This is the money that I made directly from the blog through affiliates, sponsorships, and staff writing gigs that I've picked up through the site.
I remember when I was totally happy making $6,000 from my entire business, so I try to keep that with me to stay grounded and realize how much progress I've made so far.
But, one of my big goals is to make $10,000 a month with affiliate income this year! I think I can get there, just gotta get some different products that I feel good about on the site.
Affiliate income: $4,644.85
Bluehost Blog Hosting: $2,405.00 (Take a look at my free blog starter guide to set up your own site in 15 minutes or less!)
LendEDU: $1,719.75 <- Well over 1,000 M$M readers have used this free rate finder tool so far to search for better student loan interest rates. (Bloggers, I highly recommend that you apply to become a LendEDU affiliate here)
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: $236.40
Online Surveys: $143.00
Personal Capital: $100.00
If you are a blogger and want to figure out how to make affiliate income, you need to take the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. This is THE most comprehensive affiliate course out there. I took this course back in August of 2016, and saw my affiliate income jump from a few hundred dollars to several thousand per month.
Blog coaching: $250.00
Well...I wasn't planning on doing any coaching in April, but I had a reader that reached out and I couldn't turn him down because of some special circumstances. So, I guess I came out of early blog coaching retirement haha.
I don't mind doing one or two of these sessions a month if people really want one, but back when I was doing several a month it got to be a little too much on my plate.
My time is certainly not cheap, but I'm also one of the very very few people in the world that legitimately does this for a living...so I don't have to be. 🙂
Sidebar Advertising/Sponsorships: $2,224.52
April was pretty solid - but I do feel like I turned down a ton of sponsorship offers. If the product isn't a great fit for the readers, what's the point in having it on the site?
Thankfully I've gotten past the point where I feel like sponsorship income is necessary to run the site. I do really well on just the display ads.
Staff Writing: $2,998.50
I managed to pick up a really great staff writing gig back in December. I’m excited that I’ll be doing more writing with this particular client over the next few months, and it’s awesome because they just want me to write about money.
A lot of you have asked me about this gig - it really just came to me randomly one day because of how big the site is, so I can't give you sage advice for how to get one that pays quite this much unfortunately.
BUT, a ton of readers have recommended Upwork.com for freelance writing gigs, so if you're interested I would check it out.
Digital Marketing Income: $6,889.90
If you’re new to M$M, I’ll just catch you up really quick! When I left my job almost two years ago to start working for myself, I wasn’t making much money at all. The site itself had made around $3 when I took the leap of faith (please don’t do what I did).
A reader really liked my story and work on the site, and became my first marketing client! This is a great way to make money when you first start blogging because the skill-set is identical to what you do with your own site.
I highly recommend that anyone who spends time blogging go out and try to find some marketing clients. It’s been a great experience for me so far.
Out of respect for clients’ privacy, I can’t name them on the site or list my rates for specific projects, but you’re always welcome to email me if you are an aspiring digital marketer and want tips or guidance!
Facebook ad services: $3,500.00
Well the first month of offering FB ad services was pretty successful! Just like you need to do with your blog when you first start, I niched down as much as possible to find clients I could immediately provide value for with Facebook ads.
Are you ready? Here was the niche: People that write the formations (aka "drill") for marching bands.
I used to be a band director, so I know exactly what band directors are looking for with drill writers. That paired with the fact that I know I can do Facebook ads better than anyone else in that industry gave me an immediate advantage I could use to sell clients.
I also leveraged the fact that I built one of the biggest Millennial blogs in the country using Facebook ads, and boom. Money.
The trick is that you have to actually be good at what you say you are - or else clients don't get what they paid for and you come off as a jerk.
I'm not sure how much of this type of work I'll end up doing, because I am bumping up against the need to hire someone to help me run some aspects of my business.
EVERY person I've talked to that has scaled up their marketing services has told me not to and keep my services as boutique as possible. Not totally sure what I'll do quite yet, but I'm sure I'll figure it out.
Cool stuff for M$M:
Salesforce (a big software company) flew me out to Toronto for a few days to do a chat on reaching millennials.
I had never been to Canada before - it was great! The people there are as nice as you hear about haha.
However, their money is weird and fake feeling (just kidding Canada peeps).
Anyways, it was super interesting to talk to some people from Toronto and get a feel of the differences between the US millennials and Canadian millennials!
Obviously, this month was best month my business has ever had. I know I'll have ups and downs, but generally the income for the site and my marketing efforts are trending up over time.
I did have some big marketing projects that won't come up again this year, but at the same time I also did more traditional sales with my Facebook services.
Before this month I really didn't feel too comfortable jumping on the phone and selling something, but I've found that if you are selling from a position of not really needing the money, it's WAY easier.
Anyways, I'm just trying to stay in the moment as much as possible and enjoy that I can make money the way I do. Most people never take the chance on this opportunity, so I am very grateful that everything has worked out so far.
My friend Erin from BrokeMillennial.com just launched her new book Broke Millennial. I did a book giveaway the other day for it on Facebook that went really well! I'm super happy for her because she's a baller, and this is just the beginning in an epic money expert career to come.
I really believe that every M$M reader would like this book. It's not a get rich quick story or something lame like that. It's a book for real people that just want to get their money right with real-world examples.
Drop whatever you're doing for a few minutes and go pick up her book through the picture below (it's only like $10):
You guys rock!
Thanks so much for checking out my April 2017 income report. As always, thank you for reading and please please please reach out and let me know what cool stuff is going on with you!
Whether it’s student loan payoff stories, accomplishments with your business or blog, or anything else…I love to be a part of it. Without all of you, I wouldn't have a job. I consider every one of you as family because of that. 🙂
You can take a look at all of my income reports here or check out the latest ones below: