Personal Finance Blog Income Report Roundup: January 2019
Having come across several personal finance blogger income reports since starting this site, a few months ago I launched a new feature compiling some of these reports and adding what lessons I took away from them. Aptly titled my Personal Finance Blogging Income Report Roundup, this time around I’ll be looking at reports published for January 2019 (yup, we’re doing a bit of catch-up here). In each case, I’ve broken down their income into four basic categories: affiliate income, sponsorships, courses and/or products, and site ad revenue.
It’s been a while so I’ll remind you that I’ve only compiled the data for each blogger’s gross income despite some sites also including information on their site expenses and net income. Similarly, in some cases, these categories don’t cover all of a site’s reported income as freelancing revenue and the like have been excluded. You should visit each site (linked below) if you’re interested in digging deeper. Once again, I’d also love to add more sites to this roundup, so please e-mail me at Kyle@moneyat30.com or tweet me @Moneyat30 if you’d like to be included.
With that, here’s a quick look at how these blogs’ incomes break down as well as a few things I’m personally taking away from their January 2019 reports.
Blogging Income Report Roundup Takeaways
Going out of style?
The first thing I feel I need to address this time around is that the selection of blogs featured has completely changed from previous entries (except for my own, of course). While I was happy to find more income reports to include, another reason for the change is that several of the bloggers that regularly did income reports in the past have since stopped doing so. In each case, they have their own reasons for the change.
Starting in 2019, Michelle from Making Sense of Cents made the transition from her previous income reports to what she’s calling “Business Reports.” In this new format, she plans to look at more of the broad strokes, discussing how she ran her business in a given month and what goals she has going forward. Plus, she notes that, with a large backlog of specific, number-rich reports, there’s not much more value in saying nearly the same thing each month. Of course, she also cited privacy and security as other reasons for the change. Similarly, in a recent post on his January and February income, Jeff Proctor of Breaking the One Percent also mentioned the possibility of ending his income reports, noting, “You never know who is watching you.”
I say all of this not just because it is definitely the type of trend this round-up is made to identify but also because this could impact the way I do these articles in the future. I’m still brainstorming how I can adapt this feature and come at is from a slightly different angle to accommodate the changes. In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions, hit me up!
Courses, but not just your own
In the past, I’ve highlighted how courses and other products such as ebooks have proven to a be popular and effective way for bloggers to generate revenue. That holds true once again as you can see that Ryan Robinson made $2,494.43 in January thanks to sales of his course and his book. However something that’s not as obvious in my handy dandy chart is that a lot of the affiliate revenue cited this month comes from those recommending other people’s courses.
Funny enough, both Michelle is Money Hungry and Finsavvy Panda give shout outs to Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s Making Sense of Affiliate Income course in their January income reports. It also seems as though they’ve put what they learned to good use, with Finsavvy Panda noting $504.32 in affiliate revenue from that course while Michelle saw similar results from other courses. This goes to show that, even if you’re not quite in a place where you can create a course of your own to drive revenue, there might be an opportunity in promoting some of your fellow bloggers products.
Behind my income report
Hey look, I showed up on the chart! Is that because I featured blogs with only five-figure income instead of six this month? Partially — but it’s also because January was my second full month of having YouTube ad revenue, which continued to exceed my expectations.
Throughout January, my YouTube channel brought in $472.67 in revenue. My lowest revenue day during the month came in at around $10 while the best day brought in $20. What’s even better is that this came without further investment, meaning that — aside from the labor I put into creating weekly videos — I didn’t directly spend on new gadgets or advertisements in January. I’m also happy to say that I met my goal of doing at least one video a week to keep my library of content growing.
Elsewhere in my report, display ad revenue was down a bit to $8.42. Part of the reason for that decline was that one of the articles that had been generating the most traffic for me (my review of Allegiant Air) started to slip a bit in Google. As luck would have it, I happened to fly Allegiant to Las Vegas in January and to Los Angeles last month, so I updated my review and will hopefully get a nice SEO bump there.
Finally, Dosh referrals brought in another $15 for the month, which is about average these days. That might not be much but the lifetime revenue on that one review has been outstanding. I should also note that I gained a couple of thousand coins in Long Game thanks to referal bonuses, but said coins don’t correspond directly to actually cash so it was just a nice, fun perk.
Goals for this month
As I just mentioned, I was good about sticking to a video a week in January and technically managed the same in February. However, I did still fall a bit behind and, if I’m being honest with myself, one of the videos was a “bonus” and shouldn’t have really counted (although I was happy with how it came out). Thus, this month, I’m going to ensure there’s no “technically” attached to my one a week plan.
On a related note, the other big goal for the month is to finally roll out that video section. I’m getting very close but still haven’t been able to launch that just yet. To be clear, I’m not anticipating this move to increase revenue per se but am excited to have another “in-house” place to showcase the videos I work so hard on, not to mention adding some extra content here on the site.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at how other bloggers are monetizing their sites and I look forward to creating future editions — in whatever form they end up taking. As I mentioned at the top, if anyone knows of other sites I should include in my roundup or if you’d like to have your personal finance blog income report featured, please feel free to reach out to me or post a link in comments below. Until next time, happy blogging!