Personal Finance Blog Income Report Roundup: June 2018
If you spend nearly as much time as I do exploring personal finance websites, chances are you’ve come across income reports that several bloggers share as a way to educate and motivate their audience. I’ve always found these reports to be fascinating but had put off writing my own for one simple reason: there wasn’t much income to speak of. That said, I think I’ve come across a loophole that will not only allow me to share my journey in trying to make a bit of profit from this site but to also highlight where I’m taking my inspiration from. The result is a new feature I’m launching here on Money@30 I’m calling the Personal Finance Blogging Income Report Roundup (rather to the point, isn’t it?).
For this inaugural installment, I wanted to take a look at income reports that a few personal finance blogs published for June 2018. 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 their gross income, however some sites also include information on their site expenses and net income. You should visit each site (linked below) if you’re interested in digging deeper.
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 June 2018 reports.
Personal Finance Blog Income Report Roundup (in $)
*Money@30 income = Affiliate income: $23, Total: $23
Blogging Income Report Roundup Takeaways
Bluehost is apparently big business for blogs
This blog actually isn’t hosted by Bluehost — although, after looking over some of these income statements — perhaps it should be. More accurately, perhaps I should be telling other people their blogs should be hosted by them as affiliate revenue from the company added a ton to the bottom line for Making Sense of Cents ($30,800, to be exact). Meanwhile Millennial Money Man, Money Done Right, and The Savvy Couple all saw more modest but still significant income from Bluehost as well. Clearly this is one affiliate that’s performing well for bloggers and something worth looking into.
On the other hand this site is hosted by Liquid Web and I really couldn’t be any happier with their managed service. For a technical neophyte like myself it’s nice to know they are taking care of everything so I can just focus on creating content.
Affiliatize wherever possible
Continuing our look at the topic of affiliate revenue, aside from Bluehost being a standout, I noticed a great diversity in where a lot of these sites were making their money. This included a mix of promoting services they were already using (Bluehost, Tailwinds, Seva, etc..), tools directly related to the personal finance space (Ebates, various survey sites, Personal Capital, etc.), and those products and services that can only be described as “other” (e.g. VPNs). I thought this was interesting as it highlights just how many types of businesses offer affiliate programs and how there may be monetization opportunities in just about any topic you may be writing on. Obviously some of these affiliate deals will work out better than others but they all add up.
There’s money in teaching what you know
While several sites made the majority of their money from affiliate links, courses and products they sold were also a big factor in their earning potential. This was especially true for Millennial Money Man, where their “Facebook Side Hustle” and “Blow Up Your Blog” courses grossed an impressive $65,362.00 before expenses. Obviously selling a course does require a lot of work, advertising, and more, but the pay off is clearly there.
Personally, I’ve been considering turning my ebook about writing and publishing your own ebook into some sort of online course and seeing these numbers may just be the motivation I need to make that plan a reality ASAP.
Behind my income report
Contrary to what my handy dandy chart displays, I actually did make few shekels in June that I can attribute to this blog (or at least this blog’s brand). In this case, a whole $23 came from Dosh referral bonuses — likely a result of my video review:
This income has actually been higher in previous months, but Dosh has made some changes to their payout amounts and what actions trigger bonuses.
Speaking of YouTube, I’m excited to announce Money@30 has surpassed the 4,000 watch hours threshold needed to qualify for monetization on the platform. Unfortunately, I’m still about 440 subscribers shy of the 1,000 also required. Still, subscriber growth has remained encouraging and this goal is within sight. Since this channel is associated with this site and some of the videos correspond directly to articles here, I hope to include any revenue I do eventually make from YouTube ads and the like on future income reports. More importantly, I’m confident that, at some point, my income will be large enough to actually display on my chart!
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. On that note, 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 post a link in comments below. Until next month, happy blogging!