Life is good, you know? I'm sitting here writing on a Sunday morning, drinking some great coffee that my new friend Matt from Legendary Coffee sent over, and reflecting on what was a pretty awesome month in June.
My wife and I took a vacation in Florida for about 10 days, the businesses (can't believe I own multiple now haha) did well, and I'm feeling pretty good about where everything is heading long-term.
Even just a year ago I would have probably been stressing out a lot during this time of year. Summer is kinda slow for blogging in general, and back when I had to rely on traffic alone to make money with this site...it was a little scary sometimes.
Fortunately, I have a team now to help me with things. It's pretty crazy when I sit here and try to reflect on how far everything has come in just three short years.
I'm finally starting to feel like I'm living the lifestyle I wanted to when I took the leap of faith and quit my teaching job. It's nice.
In this month's income report, I'll go into:
- The summer slowdown for the blog (that's a real thing haha)
- Laptop Empires podcast launching (!!!!!)
- Month 1 of Coral being retired and life plans moving forward
- Getting rid of the blogger bod
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 $40,000 of student loan debt that I hustled really hard on and paid it off in a year and a half (you can read more about that here).
Then, I got really excited about personal finance and started this site. I had NO idea what I was doing, but kept plugging away and eventually quit my job six months later to run M$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$M, I would still be stuck in a career I didn’t really end up enjoying very much.
Just understand – blogging (or any online business for that matter) isn’t easy in any way or for the faint of heart, and definitely not something you should immediately quit your day job for. Most people quit blogging long before they actually “make it.”
It takes time to build a business like this, but if you have talent and a good message/story, it is possible to do well.
Take a look at my free blog setup tutorial. You’ll have your own blog set up in just 10-15 minutes, and will receive a lower website hosting price since you’re an M$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 nearly 3,000 people sign up for my blogging course since I created it, 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.
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:Invalid shortcode parameters
2. Here’s how I made money with my online business this month:
Facebook Courses (Facebook Side Hustle and Blow Up Your Blog course): $65,362.00 before affiliate payouts and credit card fees
The FB Side Hustle course is still growing! Honestly, I think we're just getting started with this thing. I know that sounds crazy, but the potential this course has is just ridiculous.
In July, we're going to really focus on bringing in new students and setting up some of our own FB ads for retargeting, traffic, etc.
Overall though, things are going great! We have students getting clients literally every week. It's cool because I get to see people make more money and get on a path towards meeting some of their personal finance goals.
Featured question from people interested in joining the FB Side Hustle Course:
I get so many questions about the course through my email, FB messenger, Twitter, and basically anywhere else that people can reach out to me.
From now on, I'll be featuring one of the questions that I see popping up more often than others! If you have another question that I don't cover - no worries. We answer almost every question imaginable on the sales page for the course.
Here this month's question:
"Why isn't the group for the course free?"
It's actually pretty simple - we have hired a whole team of people to make sure that you are successful with FBSH!
Making the group a paid one admittedly is not that common in the personal finance world (although there are bloggers now who are moving to that model since they've seen us do it successfully).
We could have made the group free and not hired the FB ad experts we have, customer support, or group manager...but the group wouldn't be nearly as helpful in that scenario. We want people to take the course and actually do something with it - which doesn't always happen in other courses that I've taken.
Our course is great, but the group is where the real magic happens.
You get the first month of the group for free and can cancel at any time for any reason within that time period.
If you have questions about ad campaigns, our experts help you troubleshoot.
Want to figure out how to deal with a client but aren't sure what to say? We help with that too.
Basically, anything you need to be successful is provided in the group. It's freaking awesome.
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" below to check out the testimonials and learn more about the course:
Blow Up Your Blog Course: $3,112.00 net revenue (included in the total above)
I think this is the last month that we'll be offering BUYB at a low price. We're actually going to change the name, add a bit more content, and then re-release this course at a higher price point to make it more competitive with other FB ad courses in the blogging space.
We have a bunch of bloggers that have taken it who want to be affiliates for the course, so raising the price to make it more attractive in that way has a lot of perks.
Quite honestly, there's some next-level info in here when it comes to running FB ads for your blog. A lot of people have seen what I've done with my traffic campaigns and started implementing it for their own blogs, which is pretty cool.
I've even seen some copycat posts out there that are similar to my most popular ones floating around on FB!
Kinda cool though...I never really thought I'd get to the point where people were trying to recreate what I've done on M$M. I take it as a compliment. 🙂
If you want to grab BUYB before all the changes and for less than $100 - you should definitely do that in July.
Click "see more" below to learn about BUYB:
Digital Marketing Income: $3,819.95
Not much has changed here since last month. Still going strong here, and it's been nice to have my team handle the day to day work so that I can jump in and out as needed to put out fires.
Affiliate income: $1,695.00
Another "meh" month for affiliate income. I will focus on this again eventually, but I keep putting it off to work on other areas of the business that have become more profitable.
There a bunch of ads/funnels that I need to get up and running for affiliate offers.
We'll attempt to dabble with that in July and probably slowly build those funnels up toward the end of the year. My goal eventually is to get to $10k/month with affiliate income...but I just don't have the time to make it happen right now haha.
This revenue stream has been trending down for a while, which is realistically a side effect of people buying FBSH. I'll get it going back the right direction eventually.
Staff writing: $0
Speaking of not having time...I actually ran out of time last month and wasn't able to get an article done for the organization I write for! That happens every once in a while, and typically what I do is push out two the following month.
Traffic was down for M$M last month (relatively speaking), but that's all over with now! We had a temporary issue with the M$M FB ad account, so things were much lower than usual in May and the first half of June. You'll see a big swell in the middle of the month, and then it drops back down towards the end.
That swell happened because we are testing out some different traffic funnels on FB that we'll continue to mess with through July.
The crazy part is that business revenue actually went up in both of those months even when traffic was lower! I used to really freak out about traffic, but now I've realized that it can be a bit of a vanity metric in blogging.
It's great to bring new readers in, of course, but I see some blogs that have a crapload of traffic that don't do nearly as much in revenue.
Right now, we are going back into old posts of mine and updating them to improve in the Google search rankings, and Coral is now running the Pinterest account for me (which means I'll have much more traffic coming from that source as well).
I think realistically I'll probably reach around 500,000 views per month at the end of the year, which will be nice as ad revenue picks up going into the holiday season.
Now that it's summer though...the blog feels so slow! A lot of bloggers have slowdowns during the summer, which is actually kinda nice sometimes because you get to take a step back and relax.
However...we have a ton going on with LE right now, so even though things are slow with M$M in terms of comments, emails, traffic, etc, - I'm still working my butt off.
Not complaining of course, but I actually was looking forward to the summer being slow this year. I'm not sure what it's going to be like in the fall when everything picks back up, but it might get a little crazy.
I still remember the days of M$M when I waited for a single email to roll in. Sometimes I think that would be nice to go back to...but then snap out of it and answer more emails. 🙂
Expenses to run M$M for January: $5,826.55
Eventually, I’m going to do a line-item list of every expense because I think it would be helpful for business owners/bloggers that want to see how this all works.
But for now, I’m just going to briefly describe what this number includes because these reports already take several hours to complete:
- Paying the M$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: $31,724.00
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.
I have no idea what the final numbers for this year are going to look like, so right now I'm trying to make sure that I have all my ducks in a row for taxes. My quarterly payments have gone up pretty substantially, which isn't really bad or anything...but has been interesting to say the least.
Three years ago I was a teacher and didn't even know what quarterly tax payments were!
3. Cool stuff that happened last month
The Laptop Empires Podcast is live!
Mike and I started LE back in January, and now we finally have a website haha! Honestly, the business exploded so quickly that we have just been trying to keep up with everything until now.
We originally planned to launch this thing a few months ago, but life just kept getting in the way. It's a little crazy, but Mike and I both own multiple businesses at this point. Instead of trying to rush and get the podcast/website out and get all stressed about it while spinning all of the other plates that we have, we decided to take our time and launch LE when things were a little more chill in the summer.
Since Mike has kids and stays home with them during the day, we record podcast episodes in the evening. I think at this point we're up to maybe 8 episodes that we have recorded (don't quote me on that...I honestly can't remember), and we'll be slowly releasing them twice per week on Monday and Thursday as we create more.
LE launched with 4 episodes, with the first one as our "flagship" episode on why everyone should start an online business, and the other three are a series on our six-figure course launches from earlier in the year.
Our goal with the podcast is simple: teach people how to create real businesses online just like we have. Since I'm primarily a blogger (although I do still run a small digital marketing agency) and Mike built a really solid FB ad agency, we have a pretty unique perspective on this whole online business thing and have a lot to offer to multiple niches.
Audience building, selling courses, providing marketing services, affiliate income, building agencies, hiring people from all over the world, and the list goes on and on and on. Between the two of us...we know a lot of crap about making money on the internet haha.
The fact that he's a former lawyer and I'm a former teacher is cool too. Like a lot of people who read M$M, we wanted to leave the normal 9-5 gigs and create a better lifestyle for ourselves.
You can check out the Laptop Empires website here.
Coral and I are considering moving to Florida (but haven't decided yet)
My mom has already predicted that we won't actually do this haha. Coral and I went to Anna Maria Island, FL for about 10 days in June, and it's quickly turned into our favorite vacation spot so far.
Our ideal vacation is anything with a great beach and water. We've been to Jamaica, the Bahamas, St. Lucia, and Aruba so far...and the west coast of Florida is still our favorite place to be hands-down.
We've been to Anna Maria twice now, and are actually planning on going back a third time later this summer and checking out the Tampa/St. Pete area a little more too.
At this point, we know that we either want to live in Florida full-time or at least purchase a vacation rental in that area in the coming years. I'm thinking the second option will probably be what happens realistically, but who knows?
With Coral being retired and me being able to work from anywhere, we're really evaluating our options. We don't want to travel full-time, but we do want to be able to live somewhere cool. We've both been in Houston our entire lives pretty much, and I'm getting a little antsy for a change.
We also love our house right now, and fortunately, we purchased it at a great time and have seen the area around us explode (and house prices go up quickly with that growth). Maybe we just keep this property as a home base and travel a bunch?
We'll see...but I'm grateful for the options for sure.
Oh yeah...my wife is retired!
A lot of people have asked me what it's like with my wife being around all the time, and so far it's been pretty awesome. I think I've been able to find a good balance of buckling down for work and also spending time with her.
It looks like Coral is going to start helping me with some things on this site moving forward, and right now she's getting back up to speed on all the new Pinterest changes (RIP Boardbooster) so she can take that over for me.
I've never really focused on Pinterest at all because I don't like the platform very much, and FB just makes way more sense to me. Coral was handling all of it for me at the beginning of the year and was crushing it! I was seeing these crazy spikes in traffic, but then, of course, she had to go back to her job and wasn't able to focus on it as much.
Now that she's going to help me with that, it's going to be a really good traffic source for M$M moving forward.
I really don't want to create a dynamic where Coral is working "for" me...because honestly, I don't want to have a situation where I'm her boss or something. That's one of the big reasons that I opted to hire an assistant back in December. Most likely, we'll just find ways that Coral can take over certain day-to-day responsibilities that I don't have as much energy to focus on anymore as this thing keeps growing.
Who knows haha.
I'm finally getting in shape...
Blogging is great. I love it. But holy crap it is not conducive to being in shape at all.
At one point, I think I had gained about 20 pounds after I left my teaching job. A lot of it was stress I think, and a lot of it was just going from walking around all day to sitting a lot.
This year so far I've lost about 10 of those pounds, but I still want to do more.
I've been able to figure out nearly every other aspect of my life (good marriage, good business, semi-OK work/life balance now), so the fitness thing has been frustrating for sure.
So...I hired a fitness coach. Ranbir is my new homie, and he's helping me get in shape.
The working out is great and I'm lifting more than I ever have in my life...but I'm finding that food is what has been holding me back.
I have NEVER thought that I eat poorly, but it turns out that I was just eating too much. Right now I'm on a calorie deficit and tracking everything I eat. The first couple weeks were rough (I was ultra-hangry all the time), but now I've gotten used to watching the calories while getting into the gym regularly.
If I know myself and my obsessive personality, I'll probably attack this the same way that I did with my student loans and building M$M. Hopefully, I don't hurt myself in the gym in the meantime haha.
If you've been reading M$M for a while - I honestly can't thank you enough. Hopefully, you can tell that I work really, really hard to produce content that makes your life better. It's my passion in life.
But, I can't do any of this without you. I hope you had a great month in June!
Make sure you jump into the private M$M group on FB so we can hang out and share way too many GIFs.