Welcome to The Ways to Wealth’s August Income Report for 2018.
Despite net income at an all-time high, it was a roller coaster month.
I had some highs, including:
- Over $18K in revenue
- New Facebook campaigns off to a promising start
- New links from some well-regarded websites (I made my Mom proud with a mention in Self Magazine).
However, I made one pretty stupid mistake. That as I write it out, sounds even worse…
…Over a year ago I hired a guy on Fiverr to help decrease page load time. There was a communication barrier, but overall I was happy with the outcome.
As I recently redesigned the site, I got in touch with him again to look things over. The goal was to make sure there was no low hanging fruit.
He tinkered with a few things but was having trouble making any progress. We left off on a Friday agreeing to stop the project.
Meanwhile, one thing I’m focusing on this year is taking hard breaks from work. In other words, no little check-ins with email, stats, etc… If I’m not working, I’m not on a computer.
Saturday morning the VA I hired messaged me. He had an idea. He mentioned that my site might be down a day or two.
Without my permission, he went through with his idea.
I didn’t find out my site was down until Sunday. It wasn’t fixed until Monday.
Two days of lost income. Plus, I had Facebook ads running. So, I took a bigger loss.
What was more costly is that Facebook optimizes for landing page views. As no landing page views were recorded, the algorithm got out of whack. Over the next week or so, I saw a good jump in my cost per result.
So, blogging friends, there’s a good lesson here:
“Don’t hire some random guy on Fiverr to mess with the backend of your site.”
Joking aside, there’s a more important lesson I learned.
Work only with the best.
So that’s what I did.
I hired Grayson Bell of IMarkInteractive to take care of all things tech related.
Ironically, this mishap is why net income was so high. Ever since I started advertising on Facebook, I’ve increased my spend every month. When ad costs climbed, I reduced my budgets.
Meanwhile, the majority of the income I received this month was earned back in June and July.
The good news is by the end August my ad costs were back to where they were, in some cases better. New campaigns are off to promising starts. I’ve seen some good jumps for keywords I’m going after. Plus, the Bears got Khalil Mack.
So, all is well!
And actually, September is off to a great start.
Ad costs have dropped even further. Traffic from SEO is starting to climb again.
Plus, I’m headed to FinCon, a conference for personal finance bloggers, at the end of the month.
So, life is good.
Here’s the breakdown of last month’s income and expenses, followed by what I’m working on.
Revenue Earned In August
The only two ways I earned money in August were from advertising and affiliates.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Advertising: $9,850
- Affiliates: $9,013
- Total: $18,863
I’ve done a few sponsored posts in the past, as a third source of income, but nothing came in for August.
Expenses for August
Here are my expenses for August.
- Facebook Advertising: $6,160
- Contract Work: $1,323
- Other: $ $336
- Total: $ 7,819
My team of people now consist of a proofreader/content editor, tech support, and a Pinterest VA.
While I used to work with a ghostwriter, I’ve slowed down the work as of now, while I fine tune other systems.
That brings net income for the month to $11,044.
Here’s the screenshot from QuickBooks.
What Went On In August
I’ve gotten in a good rhythm as of late with my schedule.
A typical day for has been:
- Two 90-minute blocks spent on content
- A 60-minute block on Facebook Marketing
- A 60-minute block on everything else, mainly outreach and email correspondence
On the content side, I have alternated between working on new and upgrading old blog posts. In last month’s report, I share the reasoning and the method I’m using to upgrade content.
On the Facebook side, I’m either doing or learning. The doing consists of optimizing current ads or launching new. On the learning side, I’ll through content in Flourish with Facebook Ads, reading blog posts, or listening to podcasts while taking notes. (The Art of Paid Traffic is excellent).
Having a daily schedule like this works well for me. This way I don’t waste much time planning.
Instead, I try to revisit this schedule every 90-days (once per quarter) to make sure I’m doing the right things.
- Related: How To Make Money Fast
What’s Ahead for September
September is the start of an important time for personal finance bloggers. For many reasons, interest in finance declines over the summer and picks back up come September.
I want to take full advantage of this and ramp things up here.
For me this consists of:
- Developing new content that tends to peak during this time
- Optimizing old content for better rankings in Google
- Increasing the budgets on my Facebook ads
A few new things I’m trying out:
I switched to Ahrefs as my keyword research tool. Previously, I had been using KWFinder. The problem is a lot of quality blogs use KWFinder. I found that I was consistently competing for the same keywords as these blogs. More so, these blogs are better at SEO than I am right now. Ahrefs is more expensive but has a lot more bells and whistles. I’m excited about the potential going forward.
Facebook ad costs dropped to start the month. I’m between 3-5 cents a click on most of my campaigns, which I’m able to almost offset with advertising.
Also, I was able to negotiate a discount on Bluehost for readers of The Ways to Wealth. Instead of $3.99 a month, you can now launch a blog for $2.95/mo with Bluehost.
This is temporary for now, as July was a record month for Bluehost. But my goal is to make this permanent.
Recommended Blogging Resources
Bluehost (Cheap Hosting + Free Domain Name)
I launched this blog with Bluehost hosting and used it up until I was getting 100,000 visitors a month. What’s great about Bluehost is they allow someone with no technical experience, to launch their blog in only 10 minutes. See TW2W’s setup tutorial. They also give you a free domain name, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing opened my eyes to the earning potential a blog can have. It’s creator, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, runs a 7-figure personal finance blog that’s only a few years old. I can’t recommend this course enough, as it was the catalyst for myself being able to work full-time from home.
Related Blogging Articles on The Ways to Wealth
- The Best Blog Niche Ideas for Making Money
- How to Get Your Blog Noticed: 50+ Tips for 3 Million Views in 2 Years
- Blog Name Ideas: How to Choose the Perfect Domain Name for Your Personal or Lifestyle Blog