Well. Yeah. You guys know that I rarely have a hard time writing or talking about stuff, but that number is just too unreal for me to describe. I've never made that much money in a month. Ever. The fact that I'm doing it online in less than 2 years of running this site is unbelievable to me.
I'll give a SUPER quick recap of my journey over the last year and a half – there are a lot of new readers here that came on in September (thank you). If you're already tired of my story, you can scroll down to the income breakdown below haha!
I was a band director just a little over a year ago. I believed in this site and my message of debt-freedom so much that I quit my freaking job for it. It was one of the scariest things I've ever done in my life. If you were wondering – the site didn't make any money at all at the time…it was the proverbial leap of faith that so many people dream about doing.
It was also crazy. Don't do what I did, or at least talk to me first if you are considering it!
Now I can legitimately work from anywhere I want (writing from a coffee shop right now), and I have NEVER BEEN HAPPIER – which is easily the most important part of the entire story. I can absolutely say that I've found my passion blogging and working online.
If you’d like to start your own blog as a hobby or potential side-hustle, check out my free “how-to” blog setup guide. You’ll be able to set up your own blog in as little as 15 minutes. I also suggest that you sign up for my free blogging course below.
Let's dig into September's income:
Obviously, I blew August's $6,196.71 out of the water. I know there are bloggers out there that make 10x what I made in September…but I'm still REALLY new to the game compared to all of them. You won't hear a single complaint from me here. This is great money for anyone.
When I left my job to grow M$M, I had only made about $3 from Google ads on the site. I literally had to start doing digital marketing for small businesses to bring money in. The cool thing is that a freelancing gig I got turned into my first client!
I really believe anyone with writing talent can get freelance gigs online, and you'll never know what they can turn into.
Remember – I’m self employed. This means I have to pay taxes (ugh), health insurance, and expenses!
Digital Marketing Income – $3,609.80
I started providing digital marketing services including freelance writing, email campaigns, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), social media management and ad campaigns, website design, and running company blogs back in 2015.
This isn't easy income, and I spend a lot of time writing, learning, and hustling to make this money. I'm also on call 24/7 – it's very important that a businesses' site gets back up and running quickly if anything goes wrong. Money is on the line when websites go down.
You also have to be willing to answer emails at any time as quickly as possible, and educate yourself on/LOVE the products that you push with this type of work. The cool thing is that there are a lot of cross-overs to this by running a successful blog. The skill set is SUPER similar. 🙂
Out of respect for clients’ privacy, I can't name them on the site or list my specific rates, but you’re always welcome to email me if you are an aspiring digital marketer and want tips or guidance!
MillennialMoneyMan.com Income – $6,562.47
Here is a breakdown of what M$M made in September:
Affiliate income – $4,309.94
LendEDU – $2,103.75 <- LendEDU is my favorite affiliate! Almost 200 readers used this tool last month to find better student loan interest rates for free. (Bloggers, I highly recommend that you apply to become a LendEDU affiliate here).
Personal Capital – $1,000
Bluehost – $900 (Take a look at my free blog creation guide)
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course – $112.19
Motif Investing– $51.75
Online Surveys – $96.25
Betterment – $30
Uber – $16
If you are a blogger looking to make more online income and haven't taken the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course, you are leaving money on the table. I took this course in August, and saw my affiliate income jump from a few hundred dollars to over $4,000 this month!
Pro tip – Treat your blog like a business and put money back in to it so it can grow.
Blog Coaching – $500
I REALLY love doing blog coaching, but it is pretty time consuming compared to other ways you can make $$$ blogging.
If you want to set up a coaching session, you can shoot me an email through this link.
It's an hour long phone call, and I feel like I'm pretty fun to talk to (I at least tell myself that). I did blog coaching with J$ back in the day when he still did it, and I feel like it's a way I can pass on some of the things he taught me about this business to other people.
I'll probably continue to do blog coaching until the end of the year and possibly stop after that depending on the site's income.
Sponsorships/Advertising – $1,752.53
This income includes all sponsorships and sidebar advertising revenue from the site.
If you're a financial blogger that is looking for a good ad revenue solution – check out MyFinance. I signed on with them in September and was very pleased with the ad revenue split and content they provide. Contact tim @ my finance dot com (spaced out for spam reasons) and include M$M in the subject line to be considered for the program!
I feel VERY lucky (even though I do work hard for my business)
This isn't the type of thing I say on the site often, but this income feels like an absolute blessing. September is truly the month that M$M “arrived” as a personal finance site (Now I just have to keep it going). Here are a few incredible things that happened:
CNBC called me for an interview
This was easily the best thing that has ever happened for the site. I was featured for my student loan payoff story ($40,000 in 18 months on a teacher's salary). I had been featured on other sites before (Reuters, Lifehacker, etc.), and didn't think this one would be much different.
I was totally wrong – the story did so well that it was spun off into two additional stories by CNBC, all of which were syndicated on to Yahoo Finance and MSN Money and a few other sites. A ton of my Facebook friends kept tagging me in pictures of the front page of Yahoo, which was surreal AF.
So obviously that helped my traffic! M$M had about 130,000 page views in September, which kinda seems like the entry point to being considered a more serious blog. Pretty cool! That also explains the jump in affiliate income.
I had my first TV appearance!
A local station picked up my student loan story, and invited me to talk about it on live TV. It was totally different than anything I've ever done, and I *think* I have another one lined up for October (I'll let you know).
I went to FinCon for the first time
The majority of you aren't bloggers and have no idea what FinCon is (I didn't either…don't worry).
There is an actual conference for personal finance bloggers, which I know sounds totally ridiculous. It was in San Diego this year, and I finally met all of the bloggers that I've been a fan of for the past year and a half.
I got to hang out with some of the biggest bloggers in the personal finance space, which was awesome!!!! There are a few people that have changed my life without even knowing it, so it was nice to meet them and try to thank them in the least awkward/weird way possible haha.
I also had to apologize to a few for asking so many questions all the time. 🙂
I'm sure you're wondering – how have I done this so fast?
That was easily the #1 question I got at FinCon from other bloggers. Blogs are a very slow business model (which is why I encourage people to do it on the side!). 99.99999% of bloggers with less than 2 years of experience don't quit their job to run a website like I did.
I kept answering with “I don't know“, but after sitting down and giving it some serious thought, here's what I've got:
I got lucky.
Ha! Just kidding. I worked my @$$ off and invested back into the site. I paid for blog coaching, got the nicer theme, learned about Facebook ads, etc. I'm also a student of the game and try to learn every trick I can whenever possible.
I've been told by enough people now to start admitting that I have some writing talent as well.
Lastly, I'm passionate about this and try to put that passion into my message. I want to HELP people desperately. I think it makes me stand out on what can be a pretty bland topic, and I have a cool debt payoff/leap of faith story that lends itself well to features on big sites.
Thanks for checking out September's income report! You can see August's income report below: