Personal Finance Blog Income Report Roundup: July 2018
Having come across several personal finance blogger income reports since starting this site, a couple 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 July 2018 (yes, I’m a little behind). In each case, I’ve broken down their income into four basic categories: affiliate income, sponsorships, courses and/or products, and site ad revenue.
One thing to note is 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. You should visit each site (linked below) if you’re interested in digging deeper. As another note, I’d love to add more sites to this roundup, so please e-mail me at Kyle@moneyat30.com or tweet me @Moneyat30 is 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 July 2018 reports.
Personal Finance Blog Income Report Roundup (in $)
*Money@30 income = Affiliate income: $16, Site ads: $2.53, Total: $18.53
Blogging Income Report Roundup Takeaways
Pinterest is a must for gaining traffic
As a Millennial, I like to think I know a thing or two about social media. Unfortunately, being a reaction .gif king and hashtag wizard won’t magically bring you traffic by themselves. Thus I’ve come to realize that I need to come up with some new strategies when it comes to social. Most notably, this includes finally figuring out Pinterest.
I’ll admit that I don’t fully understand Pinterest nor do I enjoy spending as much time there as I do on Twitter or other sites. However, the results I’ve heard about from other blogs as it relates to Pinterest driving traffic are undeniable. Not only have I read about how much traffic Making Sense of Cents gets from their pins but Bobby from Millennial Money Man also mentioned Pinterest a few times in his July income report, saying that his wife Coral has also made the social network a priority as of late. Actually, come to think of it, Logan from Money Done Right wrote about making more pins in his report as well, so there’s the hat trick.
To my slight credit, I feel I have been at least starting to get a better feel for Pinterest in recent weeks. I’ve joined a few group boards (which I’ve heard is key) and have been working with different tools to create better pins. Although I’m far from a wizard as designing images that will both grab eyeballs and convey the value of my articles, I’ve come to enjoy using Adobe Spark in addition to Stencil to help me craft these all-important pins. I’m beginning to see some results from these efforts, but I definitely need to keep going.
Review, Reuse, Recycle
This isn’t exactly something that any of this month’s income reports discuss directly but it is something I’ve noticed. Although reviewing apps, products, and other helpful tools is a great and organic way to build affiliate income, it doesn’t have to stop there. Instead, it’s important to then link to these reviews and products in subsequent articles if you’re really hoping to create revenue.
It’s not like I don’t realize that linking to affiliates and reviews when appropriate is a smart move. In fact, it’s something I do often when it feels right. But, as my library of reviews and roster of affiliates grows, I need to start thinking about article ideas that will give me the opportunity to re-feature the apps and products I find the most helpful. Again, this is something I’ve started to do but will need to continue going forward — while keeping everything in my own style, of course.
Not just paid courses, free courses
Last time around, I discussed how one of my big takeaways from these income reports was how online courses could be significant income generators. That hasn’t changed, but I’ve also picked up on the fact that there’s value in offering free courses and tools as well. Why? There are a few reasons for this but the largest in my mind is creating long-term relationships with readers.
One main goal I’ve seen with free courses and other giveaways is growing an e-mail list. This then gives you the opportunity to reach readers to tell them about new content on your site or even inform them about any paid courses/ebooks/etc. you might be launching. That said, I’m not suggesting that you should start spamming or selling to people as soon as you get their e-mail, but instead use the opportunity as a way to grow a relationship with them by providing them with useful content. Then, when the time comes that you do need their help, they’ll likely be more willing to give it.
Given that philosophy, I’m currently considering what I could offer — in terms of both free gifts and paid courses — as I continue to build this site.
Behind my income report
Once again, my blogging income for July wasn’t even large enough to display on the chart. In fact, it actually declined slightly, with Dosh referrals netting me $16 in July compared to $23 in June. Again, these referrals came via strangers who likely saw my video about the app. Elsewhere, it was a record month for display advertising revenue on Money@30, with AdSense rising to a whopping $2.53. #GottaStartSomewhere
Getting back to YouTube for a moment, there actually is some great news to report on that front. Last time I wrote this roundup, I noted that I was 440 subscribers shy of the threshold needed to apply for the YouTube’s Partner Program. Today, I have 814 subscribers, meaning I’m just 186 away from monetization possibilities (unfortunately I didn’t happen to check where I sat at the end of July so you’ll have to forgive me). Equally as exciting is that my videos are currently receiving an average of nearly 850 views per day, with that figure likely to rise as I continue to add videos to my channel on a weekly basis. With that, I hope to begin reporting YouTube revenue by the end of the year.
On a final note, I’m really looking forward to attending FinCon in just a couple of weeks. I completely expect to return from Orlando filled with new ideas, strategies, and insight into how I can grow this site/brand — including increasing my income from it. Of course, I’m also excited to meet some of these bloggers I’ve been reading about and hear some of their best tips!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at how other personal finance bloggers are monetizing their sites (and themselves) and I look forward to creating future editions. 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!
Also published on Medium.