Man. Straight-up, I thought it would be several more years before I was sharing six-figure income reports on this site. I knew I'd get there someday, but definitely not in two and a half years of doing this full-time.
Like...I always used to look at the income reports for Pat Flynn, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, or John Lee Dumas and think: "How the heck do they bring in that much money with their businesses?"
It always seemed like one of those things that was so far away for me, but now that I'm getting closer to that level (at least...I think I am haha), it all makes a lot more sense.
So if you're wondering how it's possible to bring in six figures in a month with a blog:
- You have to have a good amount of traffic (but it doesn't have to be 1,000,000 views/month or anything like that)
- You have to have a lot of trust with your audience, which is developed over time by doing things the right way
- You have to have the right product that actually helps people
- You have to have a good understanding of marketing and sales
Out of all of that stuff, I'd say having the right product might be the hardest thing to get right.
Right now, the FB Side Hustle Course is absolutely crushing it. Mike Yanda (co-creator of the course) and I re-launched FBSH in March after shutting it down in February to get the first group of students settled in.
How did it do?
Another six-figure launch. Back to back. That's when you know you have something really, really special that a lot of people love.
So I'll go through all of that in this report, how the Original Hustlers (first group of students that jumped in on the course) are doing, and then all of the other insanity that has become my business these days haha.
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 2,000+ 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): $122,005.00 before affiliate payouts and credit card fees
Like I mentioned earlier, we relaunched the FBSH course after having it closed down in February.
The course crushed it again with a six-figure launch!
This time was a little bit different from the first launch because we had a ton of testimonials from students. As far as I can tell, pretty much everyone that takes the course sees the value in what we are doing here. We teach people real-world skills they can monetize and take them from zero experience to legitimate marketer.
We don't just teach you how to run FB ads for businesses. We teach you the ideology behind creating leads for businesses regardless of the platform, which means that you will always have a skill that you can make money with. Businesses will always, ALWAYS need leads. That's the lifeblood of a small business.
FB just happens to be the most effective tool for that right now.
But of course, the most important thing here is that we are helping people make money that they would have never made before so that they can get ahead financially.
Every day we are seeing FBSH students post about landing their first client, and some are even up to four clients at this point (which is crazy - we definitely weren't planning on that happening so soon).
It's been a lot of fun to see people step out of their comfort zone and give entrepreneurship a shot. I never dreamed that I would own a business when I was a high school band director, and I don't think Mike did either back when he was a lawyer.
So it's really cool to see people blossom into another version of themselves just like we did.
We also have a lot of fun, and the private coaching group for the course has turned into an awesome community of its own. Our students have already started doing local meetups, they have shirts and coffee mugs that they take selfies with all the time (which is freaking awesome), and they're becoming friends.
Creating that type of community so quickly is hard to do, but I've been cultivating the M$M community for a while though so it makes sense. It's basically the M$M group with more ridiculousness and alcohol every Thursday night at our weekly live training.
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.
You can learn more below:
Blow Up Your Blog Course: $4,250.00 net revenue (included in the total above)
Sales for the BUYB course have picked up, and we really haven't promoted it very aggressively yet. That's pretty cool, right? 🙂
We will eventually promote this more, but with the craziness of the FBSH course in March, it wasn't at the top of the list.
But make no mistake - this course is crazy good haha. It will teach you how to grow your traffic and email subscribers quickly with FB ads, and it's made by people that have actually done it.
Think about it...you probably found me because of a FB ad, right?
I've grown a killer audience on the platform. One of my biggest gripes with other courses I see out there is that they were made by people who just took some other course and then started selling their own.
That's wildly prevalent in the FB ad world. People with no real experience just repackaging information that they paid for elsewhere.
The techniques in the BUYB course are things that I developed over years of experimentation. This is the kind of stuff that you'll see OTHER people steal here pretty soon.
So anyway, this course is legit, you're going to learn some next-level information about growing a blog very quickly (for either yourself or another blogger that you'd like to charge every month to run ads for).
If you're a blogger that's interested in blowing up your traffic and email list very quickly, you'll want to take this while it's still cheap. This will become one of the go-to courses for bloggers this year once we really start promoting it.
You can learn more below:
Make Money Marketing Course: $105
I made this announcement in February's income report, but I'll be closing down the M$M course for a while. You can still get it by request, but for now, I'm going to focus in on the other projects that I have going on for the site.
The reality is that I don't have the time to focus on this specific course, and everyone really wants the FBSH course instead haha.
Digital Marketing Income: $3,344.95
Still going strong with marketing work for local clients! Some of my clients are seasonal, which is nice because it gives me little breaks during the year where I can work on other projects. The next few months will be a little slower here until the summer (and the end of the year gets a little crazy). This revenue stream isn't the biggest for the business anymore, but it's very consistent which is nice.
I had to pick up local marketing work after I left my teaching job a few years ago because blogs don't make much money in the first six months. I was not aware of that haha. So I started doing local SEO, freelance writing, and a range of services that directly related to blogging to help bring more leads in the door for small businesses.
Affiliate income: $3,540.20
So affiliate income made a little bit of a comeback in March, but it's still down pretty significantly from where it was before all of the courses came out.
I'm not too concerned about it because the other things I have going on are doing so well. As long as I can cover my FB ad spend between this and ad revenue, I'm happy.
But, I will be starting a different partnership in April for student loan refinancing that I'm very excited about, and I will also be optimizing more of my posts to drive more affiliate sales.
My goal by the end of the year is to get this up to somewhere around $10,000/month, so we'll see what happens.
Bluehost Blog Hosting: $2,380.00
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: $162.80
Personal Capital: $100
Haven Life Insurance: $20.00 (If you’re looking for term life insurance, this company is the bomb)
Online Surveys: $22.75
Staff writing: $1,500
I'm still going strong with my staff writing gig but definitely haven't tried to take on any more of this type of work. As much as I love writing, the reality is that I only have so much time in the day now, and writing for money is one of the least efficient ways that I bring revenue in for the business. I really like the organization I'm writing for right now though, so I'll continue to do this for them as long as they'll have me.
If you are just starting out with blogging - try to pick up some freelance writing work. It pays well, and the more practice you can get writing, the better.
Wasn't really too focused on traffic or ad revenue this month, if we're being honest. Course launches take a ton of energy out of you, so I had most of my focus there.
Now that the FBSH course is evergreen (available all the time), I can refocus in on generating more traffic and email subscribers.
Fortunately, there are a lot of things I can do right now to take this up to the next level. I'll be focusing more on SEO and Pinterest in the coming months, and I'm also about to really up my game with more Facebook ads. I have nooooo problem reinvesting money into my business, so I'll increase my ad spend more if needed. There are some strategies that I've been chomping at the bit to experiment with lately, so that will be fun.
If you want to learn how I generate high-quality traffic with Facebook ads, take the Blow Up Your Blog course. We are going to raise the price on this soon to make it more competitive with some other blogging courses on the market, so I'd highly suggest that you grab it now.
The biggest thing though is that I need to continue to optimize the traffic I already have. There are plenty of bloggers with way more traffic than me that are bringing in much less revenue.
Right now, I'm very happy with the number of ads that are running on the site. It's just enough to bring in some good money, but not so intrusive to where it makes the reading experience suck.
If FBSH continues to crush it, I may revisit the number of ads I currently have again and possibly lower it. Not sure yet.
Ha. I'm really not sure why I even include this anymore. I honestly think that I'm at the point where I don't want to do any sponsorships on this site. I might not make that "official", but it's just gotta be the right thing for me to promote it. The companies that are reaching out to me are getting bigger, but I just don't really need it at this point so it's easier to say no.
It's weird. But, I'm just going off my gut feeling right now. I really want the reader experience to be awesome on M$M, and I'm not sure how sponsored posts fit into that picture.
Expenses to run M$M for January: $9,100.50
I think in future reports when I have more time to sit down and write these (now that all the course launches are finished), I’m going to do a line-item list of every expense because I think it would be helpful for business owners/bloggers that want to see how this all works.
But for now, I’m just going to briefly describe what this number includes because these reports already take several hours to complete:
- Paying the M$M team
- FB ads
- Website hosting and various small services I need for the blog (social media tools, Teachable hosting for the courses, etc.)
- Credit card fees (which suuuuuck but oh well)
Net Revenue: $45,010.00
For the purposes of this report, I'm going to split the net revenue of the Facebook course and BUYB in half. Mike and I leave money in the business (which is structured as an LLC that is owned by our LLCs). It produces a K-1 every year and then we just transfer the revenue to our main business accounts.
Business is so weird haha. I never thought I'd be talking about any of this stuff before, but it's also really interesting to see how things just get more complex with your business over time.
I really have no idea what this is going to look like month to month, but I have a feeling it will settle in around this number for the rest of the year unless we do more launches of the course (and we have other things in the works as well).
3. Cool stuff for M$M:
We're officially launching Laptop Empires in a few weeks!!!!!!
I can't even explain how excited I am about this right now.
One of the only problems I've ever had with M$M is that I can't really talk about online businesses that much outside of these income reports.
The reality is that most of my audience doesn't really care about blogging or selling courses - they just want the personal finance talk, which is fine. I love that too haha.
But Laptop Empires is going to be straight-up online entrepreneurship for me. I have so much energy on that and can produce a ton of great content for it.
The big thing though is that Mike and I are doing a podcast that will be the main content focus on the site. The people in the FBSH course already know this, but Mike and I have unique skill sets to bring to the table, and we're pretty damn entertaining if I say so myself.
My specialty is community building and producing content that people love. His specialty is optimization along with a ton of marketing expertise, and he's great at the content game as well.
I'm calling my shot here a bit, but I think we will quickly become one of the go-to sources for online business info (up there with the Smart Passive Incomes and Entrepreneur On Fires of the world).
We did the FBSH course and crushed it with that in like six weeks. Imagine what's going to happen when we can really dig into this stuff. It's about to be silly-time.
The Millennial Mastermind is coming...
I've been sharing bits and pieces about this for a few months now, but we are getting close to it being a thing, so I'm super stoked about it.
I'm teaming up with Grant Sabatier from Millennial Money to create the Millennial Money Mastermind.
This is a premium coaching product for bloggers. Essentially, we're going to teach you how to take your blog full-time.
Grant and I started our sites around the same time back in 2015, and hopefully this doesn't come across as bragging (because it's true), we're both crushing it.
He's an SEO master and has picked up tons of media exposure, I'm all things Facebook and have built out some pretty incredible communities with dedicated audiences.
So if you're interested in really taking your blog to full-time income like we have, you'll want to stay tuned in the next few weeks.
This is going to be insane.
I'm doing better with work-life balance finally
I struggled with this the past few months, but I've finally started to get away from the computer more and hang with my wife and family.
The cool thing is that I have a team of people now to help me with the business! In March, I was able to travel to St. Lucia with Coral and spend about a week away from my computer.
I might actually do a whole post on the vacation because it was freaking awesome, but I'll give you the highlights of St. Lucia really quick.
- The island is absolutely beautiful
- It's a little hard to get to
- The people are legit
- Beaches are probably a 7/10 (nothing compares to the Bahamas where we did our honeymoon IMO)
- The Pitons (iconic St. Lucia mountains) are way harder to climb than they look
Most of our vacation was spent lying on the beach, which was exactly what I needed.
However, on one of our last days, we decided to climb the "Gras Piton".
They called it a hike.
That was not a hike in any sense of the word.
I've done a decent amount of hiking in my day (I was actually an Eagle Scout...did you know that?), so I thought that the Pitons would probably not be too bad.
Yeah...that was not the case. Coral and I almost died halfway up the mountain. It was beautiful though, but I'm not sure I would subject myself to that level of nonsense on a chill vacation again.
So if you're into punishing yourself physically and potentially breaking your ankles/falling down the side of a mountain, go "hike" the Pitons!
If not...just chill on the beach. Trust me haha.
Here are some pictures from the vacation:
If you've been reading M$M for a while - I 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 it without you. I hope you had a great month in March!