Is another month over already? Jeez. These income reports just come up so fast now haha.
Fortunately, I love sitting down to write these income reports for a few reasons:
- It is really cool to track your business and pull back the curtain so your readers can see what's going on in your personal life. It's basically like the Wizard of Oz scene where they finally see the guy that's running the whole operation, but less weird.
- Income reports are a great way to market your blog. Some bloggers probably wouldn't admit something like that, but I will because it's true. The more people who see that I'm doing well, the more authority I build in my space and the more people that start following my story.
- I'm really proud of the work that I've put in here and what I've built, so it's fun to tell people about it. 🙂
April was a great month for my business! I've mentioned in earlier income reports that my revenue would be all over the place this year. I'm launching new businesses, launching new courses, and just basically doing a ton of stuff lately.
While of course, I'd like to have $100k months every month - let's be real. That's not going to happen for another year or so most likely.
^^^ The fact that I just wrote that about $100k months is ridiculous and surreal to me. Less than three years ago, I was making about $3,400/month teaching.
I haven't even been self-employed for three years yet. Like...what the heck happened? It feels like I've been doing this for 10 years because of how hard I work, but then I look at how quickly this whole thing has blown up and I feel like I won the lottery or something.
Wanna know what's even crazier? I'm just getting started.
Like one of my favorite artists, Chance the Rapper, says:
(You can check out the song I'm talking about through that link above.)
Let's dig in, shall we? Read this next little blurb to see how M$M income reports work:
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.
My income reports are divided into three sections:
- A quick intro to who I am and what my story is for new readers (Must-read if you are new here, skip if you’re not)
- How I made money the previous month (This changes monthly)
- Cool things that happened in my personal life and business goals that I have coming up (Also changes monthly, so you’ll want to read)
It’s already been so cool to see the progress and how much my life has changed over the past two and a half years!
1. Here's a quick rundown of my story:
I used to be a high school band director, which was basically what I had wanted to do my entire life. I had $40,000 of student loan debt that I hustled really hard on and paid off in a year and a half (you can read more about that here).
Then, I got really excited about personal finance and started this site. I had NO idea what I was doing, but kept plugging away and eventually quit my job six months later to run M$M (which had basically made no money at that point haha).
And now, here I am. I run an awesome online business and basically have found my passion in life.
A lot of you have wanted to start your own blogs after seeing the success that I’ve had, and I highly recommend it. If I hadn’t taken a shot on M$M, I would still be stuck in a career I didn’t really end up enjoying very much.
Just understand – blogging (or any online business for that matter) isn’t easy in any way or for the faint of heart, and definitely not something you should immediately quit your day job for. Most people quit blogging long before they actually “make it.”
It takes time to build a business like this, but if you have talent and a good message/story, it is possible to do well.
Take a look at my free blog setup tutorial. You’ll have your own blog set up in just 10-15 minutes, and will receive a lower website hosting price since you’re a M$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)!
Have you taken my free blogging course yet?
So far I’ve had 2,300+ people sign up for my blogging course since it debuted in February, and the reviews have been killer! Even if you are just thinking about starting a blog or want to figure out how to get more traffic to the one you already have, this will be useful for you.
Basically, if you want to learn the foundational elements of how I went from a high school band director to blogger doing $100k+ of revenue in one month - you'll want to check this out:
2. Here’s how I made money with my online business this month:
Facebook Courses (Facebook Side Hustle and Blow Up Your Blog course): $45,386.00 before affiliate payouts and credit card fees
Just another ho-hum month for FBSH.
Hah just kidding, this month was awesome. We didn't do any launches (which is great because they are so stressful!) and still had a great month of revenue.
Right now Mike and I are just doing a lot of strategizing for growth and figuring out our systems and processes.
You have to remember, we started Laptop Empires in January, and have already had nearly $400k of gross sales this year.
We will likely pass $1,000,000 (yeah, that's one million) in gross and net revenue pretty easily in our first year.
That's....quick. Businesses usually don't just explode like ours has, so we've been furiously trying to stay ahead of what is turning into a freight train of badassery.
Here are some popular questions I've been getting about the FBSH course:
Usually what happens is that people who are interested in the course check out the sales page, which answers a toooon of questions about the course and how it all works.
But sometimes they have a few things that they still want to know.
1. "Does this actually work for local businesses?"
Heck yeah. FB is the best and cheapest place to generate quality leads for small businesses. There isn't really anything that comes close right now either.
If you work with the common types of businesses that we suggest (dentists, chiropractors, restaurants, real estate agents, etc.), you can crush it with this side hustle and provide great results for the client.
However, if you start to get weird and work with people that sell stuff on Etsy or essential oils...you're going to have a hard time.
Just don't get weird. Stick with businesses that are common and a lot of people use.
2. "Do I have to cold call businesses?"
Heccckkkk no. But you can if you're one of those crazy outgoing people that enjoys stuff like that. 🙂
We're up to seven client acquisition strategies that we teach in the course now:
- Using FB groups
- Finding clients in your inner circle
- Cold email
- Cold Calling
- Running FB ads for yourself
- Finding clients on LinkedIn
- Finding clients via your local Chamber of Commerce
It doesn't matter if you're shy or outgoing - you're going to have the information and skills to go out and get a client.
The course is currently open for enrollment. If you've been thinking about making extra money to pay off debt or invest a little more every month, the FB Side Hustle Course is definitely for you.
Click "SEE MORE" to check out the testimonials and learn more about the course:
Blow Up Your Blog Course: $1,884.00 net revenue (included in the total above)
We still really haven't promoted this course a ton yet this year, but it's in the plans.
This thing is sneaky good though. We teach you how to run ads to grow a blog's traffic and email list quickly.
It's basically all the stuff that I used to turn M$M into what it is so quick.
We've also had some people take the course that then turned around and offered FB ads to bloggers and landed them as clients.
Right now the course is massively underpriced, so if you're even considering BUYB you will want to jump in on it now before we raise the price to be more competitive with similar courses on the market.
You can learn more below:
FB Ad Services for a Course Launch: $2,500.00
This month Mike and I did something really cool! We helped another set of blogging friends launch their course!
I haven't gotten permission from them to share all the details yet (and it might be a post that's reserved for the Laptop Empires site), but basically - we helped them set up FB retargeting ads during their launch.
It turned out to be suuuuuuper successful. Their total spend was about $4,000 (including ad spend), and we helped them make $27,000!
That's like 350% ROI if I remember correctly, which is...pretty good haha.
I'm not sure how much we'll be providing that service, but if a high-level blogger comes along and has a course that's good, we'd probably consider it.
Digital Marketing Income: $3,819.95
This is basically the slow time for my digital marketing work.
I've got my team in a great rhythm right now, so I've been able to delegate a lot of things out that I would have been doing myself a year ago.
Overall I'm happy with this income stream, and it will pick up a little after the summer is over and my seasonal clients come back.
Affiliate income: $2,854.65
Last month, I said I was going to really work to increase my affiliate income.
I did not actually do that haha.
It's so weird - I used to freak out about my affiliate income because it was one of my main income streams.
Now, I have trouble focusing on it as much as I used to because it's a smaller percentage of my overall revenue. #champagneproblems
But with that said, I really do need to do some work here. I've dropped my partnership with the student loan rate finder that I had worked with for a few years now and didn't have any options available for people who wanted to check student loan refinance rates in April.
Student loans are a big deal to me, so while I was in the process of finding a new company to partner with, I took my time to get it right.
I'll be announcing that partnership in about a week, so stay tuned!
Bluehost Blog Hosting: $2,520.00
Student Loan Rate Finder: $12.75
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: $42.00
Personal Capital: $200
Haven Life Insurance: $20.00 (If you’re looking for term life insurance, this company is the bomb)
Online Surveys: $33.50
Staff writing: $1,500
Yep! Still doing my staff writing gig. The cool thing about this particular gig is that I get to write about personal finance for an industry that really needs it and one that means a lot to me personally.
I'm not sure if I'm actually allowed to mention the organization I write for, but let's just say that it's a very large group of health professionals in a field that is underpaid and overworked.
Traffic was all over the place in April and overall has been stagnant for a few months.
Now that things have settled down, I'm going to really build out some infrastructure this summer.
I have so many posts that need to be optimized for SEO, and we are going to seriously ramp up our Pinterest game.
We're also getting more aggressive with FB ads and plan to ramp up our spending to drive quality traffic to the site.
Traffic is a weird thing. I have a lot of blogger friends with waaaaay more traffic than me, but I make waaaaaaay more money than them.
To me, it all comes down to quality over quantity. I want the right readers, and based on the quality of my private groups....I'm doing just that.
One thing I will tell you - it's way easier to get things going when you have money to invest back into the business. If I wanted to pay some SEO firm $15,000 to optimize the crap out of my site, I could.
But it didn't start that way. I put $20 here, $50 there back into this site via nicer themes, FB ads, etc.
That's probably the #1 reason I think I've reached the revenue levels I have so quickly.
So if you're new to blogging or any business - don't be afraid to put money back in.
Expenses to run M$M for January: $7,903.00
Eventually, I’m going to do a line-item list of every expense because I think it would be helpful for business owners/bloggers that want to see how this all works.
But for now, I’m just going to briefly describe what this number includes because these reports already take several hours to complete:
- Paying the M$M team
- FB ads
- Website hosting and various small services I need for the blog (social media tools, Teachable hosting for the courses, etc.)
Net Revenue: $24,119.15
For the purposes of this report, I'm going to split the net revenue of the Facebook course and BUYB in half. Mike and I leave money in the business (which is structured as an LLC that is owned by our LLCs). It produces a K-1 every year and then we just transfer the revenue to our main business accounts.
Business is so weird haha. I never thought I'd be talking about any of this stuff before, but it's also really interesting to see how things just get more complex with your business over time.
I really have no idea what this is going to look like month to month, but I have a feeling it will settle in around this number for the rest of the year unless we do more launches of the course (and we have other things in the works as well).
3. Cool stuff for M$M:
I was featured on CNBC! (Well my car was, but whatever)
I always knew that "The Beast" would be worth driving.
A few months ago I wrote an article about why I still drive a $6,000 car even though I can afford something nicer.
I love writing about cars because I truly believe that one of the biggest reasons Coral and I were able to get ahead quickly was by driving older cars.
So anyway, a writer for CNBC Make It picked up the story. It drove a bunch of traffic and I got a lot of new email subscribers out of it! The story also went up on MSN, Yahoo Finance, and a few other places.
That was my second time being featured on CNBC since I've been running M$M, which is funny to me because I'm just some random ex-teacher guy.
But hey, I'll take it.
Laptop Empires is sooooooooooo close to launching.
Man. This is going to be freaking cool.
I loooooooove what I've built here at M$M. The communities are awesome, I love my readers, and I'm just really proud of this entire brand because I've been able to do everything the way I wanted and still make a bunch of money.
But Laptop Empires is going to be next-level.
I think LE will become a $1,000,000/month business within 5 years. If someone wants to write that down and hold me to it, I'm game haha.
But honestly, I think we are going to take the industry by surprise. There are a lot of people in the online business space that I respect a ton...but I want to pass them up and have the borderline obsessive drive to do it.
Mike and I have skill sets that perfectly align, which is why we have had so much success so quickly with the FBSH and BUYB courses.
I know how to connect with people on an emotional level and build trust through authenticity, which is basically just fancy talk for I keep it real and people like reading my stuff because of the lack of fluffy nothingness.
Mike is brilliant at marketing strategy and a million other things that relate to online business.
We're also pretty funny as a duo, which is why I think our podcast is going to crush.
But on top of that - we truly believe in the power of teaching other people how to start real online businesses.
Our branding is dope too, so there's that. Who doesn't like grumpy hip hop teddy bears that work online?
Here's where the site is right now (just need to build out some content and put finishing touches on the design so we can launch in June):
I'm loving the new Monday/Thursday writing schedule!
I was super worried to change it up from my M/W/F posting schedule and thought that I'd make a lot of my readers mad.
But honestly, I had to do it, and I'm glad I did.
With adding LE to the mix and the podcast, there was no way I could keep up the same writing schedule. And honestly, I didn't need to.
I have soooooo much content that needs to be optimized. I'll bring in way more readers by putting my efforts there instead of churning out new stuff 3x per week.
The cool thing is that I've built out a great FB community, so my readers still have plenty of access to hang out with me there. I also have time to sit down and write some killer content that I've been wanting to do for months now but couldn't find the time.
So overall, it's definitely going to be the right decision moving forward.
Here are my upcoming travel plans:
I don't know if you guys care where I travel, but Coral and I have some pretty sweet trips coming up.
In June, we're going to spend some time in Anna Maria Island, Florida. It's basically our favorite place to go for a relaxing vacation where we can just chill and enjoy the beach.
In July, I want to go to Costa Rica. I was talking to Grant from Millennial Money about buying a vacation home someday, and he mentioned CR. I hadn't even really checked it out...and holy crap it looks awesome. So I'll be going there to do some...research. Haha.
And then in October, Coral and I are going to Italy! There was a 24- hour flash sale for United Emirates back in February that Mike told me about. Get this - we spent $700 TOTAL for two round-trip tickets to Italy from NYC. That's crazy.
So we'll probably hit up NYC and hang out with some of my blogging friends for a weekend before we head out to Italy.
I will be consuming all of the good pizza and wine that my body can handle. Maybe even more than it can handle. So excited.
If you've been reading M$M for a while - I honestly can't thank you enough. Hopefully, you can tell that I work really, really hard to produce content that makes your life better. It's my passion in life.
But, I can't do any of this without you. I hope you had a great month in April!
Make sure you jump into the private M$M group on FB so we can hang out and share way too many GIFs.