Personal Finance Blog Income Report Roundup: October 2018
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 October 2018 — including one blog I’ve discovered since my last installment along with some reliable favorites. In each case, I’ve broken down their income into four basic categories: affiliate income, sponsorships, courses and/or products, and site ad revenue.
Something 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. 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. 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 October 2018 reports.
Personal Finance Blog Income Report Roundup (in $)
**Money@30 income = Affiliate income: $10, Site Ads: $10.86 Total: $20.86
Blogging Income Report Roundup Takeaways
You know, after doing this round-up for a few months, I sometimes worry that there won’t be any trends to note within these reports. Yet, that was far from the case in October as the topics of sponsorships and sponsored content seemed to crop up again and again. Millennial Money Man reported sponsored content income for the first time this year as well as Logan from Money Done Right also tacking on some sponsored income to the bottom line (incidentally, while these earnings are listed in his write-up, they don’t seem to be included in his grand total), Michelle from Making Sense of Cents just debuted her Making Sense of Sponsored Posts course as well. If that’s not a clear trend, I don’t know what is.
Currently, I have yet to share any sponsored posts on Money@30, but it is something I’m open to. However, while I have received some sporadic sponsorship inquires either for blog posts or YouTube videos, none have seemed like a good fit. In some cases, I’ve proceeded to do unsponsored reviews of certain apps or products for Dyer News but, most of the time, these “opportunities” end up going straight in the trash. For example, I got several e-mails from a “fine jewelry brand” that thought they’d be a great fit for my personal finance channel! Sure, I could respond and explain why that makes little to no sense, but I just tap “delete” instead.
It’s clear that sponsored partnerships can be lucrative but, in my eyes, they can also be risky. This is to say that, by carelessly taking a payday and promoting irrelevant or questionable products, you could easily turn off your audience (to be clear, I’m not accusing any of my fellow bloggers of crossing this line). So, while I’ll leave the door open to potential sponsorships down the road, rest assured that any partnership I pursue would need to result in content that I can be proud of and that fits within the goals I have for Money@30.
Passive income can really be passive
Another interesting trend I noticed in this month’s set of reports really reinforced what’s so great about building a blog: passive income. While Millennial Money Man notes that his October blog income took a bit of a tumble from September, he also clarifies that he essentially took the month off. Somewhat similarly, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says she spent her October traveling and still managed to bring in more than $145,000 in gross income. These figures show that, although it’s important to continually create new content and promote your old work, strong SEO tactics and affiliate relationships can help ensure that you still have money rolling in even when you take time off.
As someone who loves to travel and sure as hell enjoys his time off, this aspect of blogging is truly inspirational to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and enjoy sharing my thoughts, discoveries, and knowledge with readers, but it is nice to know that you can take a break without wiping out your war chest. Ultimately, it’s all about a life-work balance — and that’s exactly what I’m looking to accomplish as I continue to grow this blog.
Setting specific goals
I realize that, a lot of the time when I do these round-ups, I allude to very broad, overall goals (kind of like I did in the previous section). That may be fine in some cases, but I know as well as anyone that the key to achieving a goal is to make it specific, measurable, and realistic. Take, for example, the goals that Mary from A Merry Life included in her October income report. Among her goals, she says she wants to create three YouTube videos per week — something I’m quite envious of as someone who’s still struggling to meet my one-per-week quota.
Following Mary’s lead, starting in the new year (since everyone needs a resolution, right?), I’m going to start including specific goals in the “Behind my income report” section of these write-ups. Naturally, I’ll also offer updates on how I’m doing with those goals to better hold myself accountable. As I’ve said all along, you have to start somewhere — and so it seems only logical that setting smaller goals will help me reach some of my much larger ones in the long run.
Behind my income report
October was another minor month in terms of income but also saw a number of small wins. First, my display ad income more than doubled from September, topping more than $10 as opposed to around $4. Add in another $10 from Dosh and there was an extra Andrew Jackson to be collected last month from this blog.
Elsewhere, when last we spoke, I announced that I had finally surpassed 1,000 subscribers on YouTube, placing my channel under review for monetization. Well, just last week, I got an e-mail congratulating me on officially joining the YouTube Partner Program! Better yet, within a couple of days of running ads on my channel, it’s safe to say that I’ve been effectively blown away by the results. Alas, since the monetization switch flipped on in November, you’ll have to wait until next month’s round-up to see what I’m talking about #tease.
With that said, I’m super excited about the prospects of continuing to grow my YouTube channel and having reportable income that’s more than two digits. Meanwhile, I’m also still working to launch my Money@30 podcast, which will present another opportunity for monetization — although the path to that point is far less obvious than with YouTube. So, as we power on toward the end of the year, I certainly have a lot to celebrate and even more to consider for the future.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at how other personal finance bloggers are monetizing their sites 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!