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$M full-time, and it’s also a great way for you to follow along as well if you’re thinking of starting an online business!
I can’t wait to look back on these several years from now and see how far the site has come. It’s already been crazy so far.
On a personal level – life is awesome. I feel like I've been able to create a really good work-life balance while making great money at the same time.
A lot of you have wanted to start your own blogs after seeing the success that I’ve had, and I highly recommend it. If I hadn’t taken a shot on M$M, I would still be stuck in a career I didn’t really 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, 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)!
Jump on the wait list for my marketing course!
You'll see this a little later in my income report, but one of the most important income streams that I currently have is from running a digital marketing business through my blog. Over the past two years, I've made tens of thousands of dollars by running marketing operations for small businesses.
There are a lot of great ways to make money from a blog, but I think using a blog as a portfolio to get marketing work from local small businesses is the fastest monetization strategy that requires the least amount of traffic.
This is the only way I was able to survive and bring in money after I quit my job to run my blog, and I think it's the ultimate side hustle for someone that wants to make money online. Within a few months of leaving my teaching job, I literally replaced my salary with marketing work through my site.
I 100% believe that bloggers can and should be making money this way.
The course will be available for purchase in October. The price tag will be under $200 (with an option to split up the course payment), and will also have a generous affiliate commission so you can increase your blogging income stream.
Here are some of the things you'll get from the course:
- How to use your blog to secure marketing work and actually make money blogging early on
- All of the email templates and important document templates that I use to secure clients (including budget proposals)
- How to run Facebook ads, Google ads, SEO, email campaigns, and manage social media for small businesses
- How to find the right clients and help them grow their online presence and revenue
- What you can charge for your services
- How to run your accounting program and pay yourself from the company
- How to get clients to recommend your services to their business owning friends
- Admission to a private Facebook group where you'll have direct access to me and all of the bloggers/digital marketers who have taken the course (this will be a killer resource)
I'll keep you all updated on the course, but if you want early access and updates, sign up for the course waitlist below:
Have you taken my free blogging course yet?
So far I’ve had over 1,100 people sign up for my blogging course since it debuted 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 the 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.
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 (seriously it sucks), and taxes.
I've increased the amount that I pay myself recently, which means that I'm paying more Social Security and Medicare taxes than I used to. I also pay quarterly taxes that will probably have to increase next year as well.
Here's how I made money with my online business this month:
July felt like a super weird month for M$M.
You always hear that the summer is the slow time of year for blogs, but my traffic was up pretty substantially from June. I also had my highest month ever for my affiliate income streams, so that was pretty sweet too.
My wife has been off for the summer and goes back to work in a week or so. Luckily this summer I was able to balance growing my business with getting some quality time with her.
Unfortunately (or fortunately...not sure) I think I've passed the point of no return. I would have a hard time ever going back to a "normal" job after having the experience of running an online business like mine!
It's harder work than it seems, but there is still a good amount of flexibility and I can wear whatever I want to work. 🙂
MillennialMoneyMan.com Income: $11,541.95
Affiliate income: $6,398.95
Bluehost Blog Hosting: $3,490 (Take a look at my free blog starter guide to set up your own site in 15 minutes or less!)
LendEDU: $1,796.25 <- Over 1,000 M$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: $346 (Read my review of this course that helped me grow my affiliate income to over $6,000 per month!)
Haven Life Insurance: $200 (If you're looking for term life insurance, this company is bomb)
Online Surveys: $214.00
Personal Capital: $300.00
I felt like I had been stuck in a rut with my affiliate income (not that I'm complaining), but I really wanted to grow this revenue stream this month and was able to do it.
More streams of income = more freedom. One of my goals is to have a $10,000 month for my affiliate income this year, so we'll see what happens when everything picks up in the fall!
Staff writing: $0
This was the main reason I thought that July was going to be a down month. I've been doing this awesome staff writing gig for several months now, but I knew that it could go away at any time.
Surprisingly, the project I was working on has only been put on pause temporarily until September and will pick back up then.
It's actually pretty perfect timing for me since I need to get moving on my marketing course, and my affiliate income and ad revenue jumped up substantially this month so I didn't take the revenue hit I was thinking I would.
Funny how that stuff happens in business, right?
Sidebar Advertising/Sponsorships: $5,143.00
July was a killer month for my ad revenue! I've been working with AdThrive the past few months, and they do an awesome job of managing all of my ads for me and growing my revenue there.
The RPM (revenue per thousand views) of my ads has basically skyrocketed over the past few months, which is awesome. You have to have over 100,000 views a month to apply to be part of AdThrive's network, but if you're a blogger and hit that mark I'd highly recommend applying.
I also had a random sponsorship opportunity roll in that paid really well and was fun to work on.
Digital Marketing Income: $3,489.90
If you’re new to M$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 $3 when I took the leap of faith (please don’t do what I did).
A reader really liked my story and work on the site, and became my first marketing client. This is a great way to make money when you first start blogging because the skill-set is identical to what you do with your own site.
This income stream isn't my biggest, but for me, it's the most important. This money is what helps me sleep at night because it's consistent and I love the work.
The course that I mentioned earlier (you really need to sign up for the waiting list at the beginning of this post if you're interested in making steady money online) will cover everything you need to know about how I make money this way.
Out of respect for clients’ privacy, I can’t name them on the site or list my rates for specific projects, but you’re always welcome to email me if you are an aspiring digital marketer and want tips or guidance!
Cool stuff for M$M:
I have to grind in August (and get a significant amount of my course done)
Last month I said that I couldn't wait for the summer to be over, but now I'm looking at the rest of the year and wishing summer was longer haha.
The end of the year is going to be nuts for my business.
I'm adding two more seasonal marketing clients, selling my course in October that almost 200 people have already signed up for, traffic will be up, affiliate sales will rise (in theory), etc.
The course is going to be the big unknown in terms of how much extra work it will put on my plate, but I'm excited about it. I really think it's going to help a lot of people make more money and take my business to the next level.
I've also had a TV station in San Antonio ask me to start doing regular financial segments with them, which is exciting! This may finally be the time that I have to hire someone to help me run a few aspects of the business...we'll see.
The private Millennial Money Man Facebook group is on fire
Seriously...that's the only way I know how to describe it. Within just a few weeks there are already 1,700 people in the Millennial Money Man Community and it's growing almost faster than I can keep up with it.
This turned out to be a much more positive experience than I could have imagined. It just confirmed to me that I have genuinely good people that read M$M.
The group is a lot of fun for me because typically most readers don't comment or say anything on the actual site! I've had a lot of fun getting to know people and get a better idea of what kind of content this community needs.
Here are some things that people are saying about the group:
"I don't know if you have some sort of super secret screening process that requires a super thousand approval rating to join, but this is some sort of magical judgment-free financial advice utopia. Thank you and props to everyone. Keep it up!" - Alan
"I was thinking this yesterday and seriously am so impressed with the quality of people in here - even if there's disagreement in terms of approaches, everyone shares their opinions but no one gets defensive or combative. It's really cool. Hope it stays this way forever" - Amanda
"I'm constantly learning new things, thinking about things in new ways, and just feeling motivated! I've been in many community groups before but this one is BY FAR the best experience yet!"- Brittany
"This is the only group I've been part of that doesn't seem to have mean people!" -Rachael
Pretty much speaks for itself. 🙂
You can get into the Facebook group here, and please be sure to answer the questions after asking to join!
Our house's closing date was moved up six weeks
On top of all of the stuff I mentioned above, we are also going to be moving way sooner than I expected.
The builder is jamming on our house right now. Cabinets and floors are being installed this week, and the outside is basically finished with the exception of fencing and landscaping.
Coral and I are sooooooooo over living in an apartment, so this will be awesome.
As always...thank you.
I know it may be sappy and I say it a lot, but all of the readers and bloggers that I've met over the past two years make my job sooooo much fun. I truly appreciate every reader (even the ones that disagree with me/correct my grammar haha) and hope that the gratitude comes through in my writing.
Without all of you, I wouldn't have a job. That's never lost on me.