Latest posts by R.J. Weiss, CFP®
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Welcome to The Ways to Wealth’s April 2018 Income Report. This one will be a bit different from what you’re used to.
Thinking back to why I decided to write income reports there were two primary reasons:
- To inspire. Income reports of other bloggers are what opened my eyes to the potential of blogging.
- To teach. Not only was I inspired, I learned a ton.
It’s with this in mind that I wanted to change things up a bit today.
As of now, I’ve been a bit all over the place with these reports.
In my first ever blog income report, I included consulting income. As my income grow, so did the complexity of tracking it. I may “make” $500 in a day but may not see that money for 90 days.
For example, on (5/07/18) my ad revenue was $332.54. However, I won’t see that money deposited in my bank account until August 5th.
Before today, I’ve reported revenue when earned not when deposited (or received). Since the site is on an upward trajectory this creates a false image that say in January $11,475 more dollars ended up in my bank account on 2/1.
This is not accurate. While this makes sense to me, a beginner might get confused.
Then, there’s expenses. While income may take 60 to 90 days to hit my bank account, expenses are quicker. A credit card takes on average 45 days from date of sale to withdraw from my account.
It’s worth noting that my bookkeeping software (Quickbooks) tracks the expense on the day of sale.
This creates some interesting cash flow situations!
For example, say you had a great month with your blog in regards to earned income. One reason for that great month was you had a few ads doing very well. So, you scaled up those ads by increasing the budget.
Then, one of your goals was to have the website redesigned. So, you paid a large sum of money to have that done.
In this case income earned would be high. Expenses too would be high as you increased ad spend and paid the web designer.
However, income received depends on how the site performed around 60 to 90 days ago.
Now let’s say 60 to 90 days ago was February. The shortest month of the year (which translates into less page views) and so happens to be the month you spent sipping Mai Tais in Hawaii. So, income received was down.
Turns out, this is exactly what happened to me (minus the Mai Tais)!
Fortunately, when I started cranking up my advertising spend, I figured something like this could happen. As such, I’ve been withdrawing only enough from the business to live off of.
Going back to my mission to teach and inform with these reports — I started writing this report as usual, reporting on income earned not received.
As revenue earned in April was north of $18K, this would have allowed me to write a pretty cool headline. While it would have been true it would have painted an inaccurate image.
Because net income earned was only $3,068 for April 2018.
Let’s dive into the numbers.
Income Received in April 2018
If you skipped the intro, here’s income received (not earned) in April 2018.
I’m going to break this down into general categories.
- Advertising: $6,282.35
- Affiliates: $7,594.65
- Sponsored Content: $300
- Total: $14,177
And to provide a bit of substance, I advertise with the MediaVine ad network.
YTD my top five affiliates are, with the networks I use:
- Credit Sesame (through FlexOffers)
- Swagbucks (through Impact)
- SurveyJunkie (Direct relationship but available through MaxBounty)
- Esurance (through FlexOffers)
- Blooom (Direct relationship but available through FlexOffers)
Related Reading on The Ways to Wealth
- How To Choose The Perfect Domain Name for Your Personal or Lifestyle Blog
- How I Got Over 275,00 Page Views From Pinterest In One Month
- The Insanely Simple Guide To Starting A Successful Money Making Blog In 2018
Expenses for April 2018
Here’s expenses incurred for April 2018.
- Facebook Advertising: $8,634
- Contract Labor: $2,258 (Web design, freelance writer, graphic designer)
- Images: $49.00
- Misc Web Services: $73 (BoardBooster and MailChimp)
- Annual Credit Card Fee: $95
- Total: $11,109
The big expense that stands out is Facebook Advertising.
I currently run Facebook Ads direct to many blog posts on the site. I may spend .05 a click to get a visitor to my page from Facebook and earn on average .06 for that visitor.
I had a few ads do well this month, so I cranked up the ad spend. I don’t see around 90% of this income for another month or two.
Beyond seeing an ROI with the Facebook ads, there are other benefits as well:
- My traffic stats and social profiles have grown quite a bit
- My email list is also growing
Even if I was breaking even, I’d still invest into Facebook advertising to grow my blog. If you’re interested, the course I took and learned a ton from was Monica Louie’s Flourish with Facebook Ads.
It’s not as fun reporting only $3,068 of income. It won’t help with click throughs to this post either. But I hope doing the report like this was valuable to you. Especially if you’re considering driving paid traffic to your blog.
What’s ironic is as I write this, I’m upbeat with how things are going.
The site saw a record 432,370 page views last month. Earned revenue, which I track on a daily basis, was over $18K.
Organic traffic from Google was up 40% month over month.
The Ways to Wealth was featured on sites like MSN, Discover, AllBusiness, and Chime Bank.
While net income may not show it, it was a great month.
It also helps that I have a personal emergency fund and haven’t taken out every last dollar from the business. If I was, I would have missed quite the opportunity with scaling my ad spend.
This is where it’s important to have a long-term view of things. While net-income was down for April, a lot of great things happened.
In other news, last month I reported about redesigning my site. This goal is going well, as I have my first walk through next week. The new site should go live in May, which has me excited!
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 guarantee.
Once the site traffic was more then my Bluehost account could handle, I switched to BigScoots and have been very happy. Where BigScoots excels is speed and service. As I get a lot of traffic from mobile, speed was very important to me. More so, anytime I have a question it’s answered promptly from someone in their Chicago office. It’s more expensive than Bluehost but I definitely recommend making the switch to BigScoots once your getting 100,000 or so monthly page views.
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 become a full-time blogger.
Flourish with Facebook Ads
Monica Louie has put together an excellent course and community on Facebook Advertising with Flourish with Facebook Ads. I credit Facebook Advertising, specifically the lessons I learned from Flourish with Facebook Ads, from getting to the $3,000 or so a month mark to where I am today.
Related Reading on The Ways to Wealth
- How To Become A Full Time Blogger In Less Than A Year
- 17 Surprisingly Easy Ways To Generate Passive Income
- Hobbies That Make Money: 65 Surprising Hobbies That Can Make You Money Today
Free Email Course: How To Make Your First $1K Blogging
The blueprint I used to earn my first $1K blogging.
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