Latest posts by R.J. Weiss, CFP®
- 7 Ways To Get Paid To Take Pictures With Your Phone - December 12, 2017
- The One Surprising Money Habit Millionaires Have In Common - December 6, 2017
- 7 Ways To Get Paid To Read Books At Home - December 1, 2017
If you’re new here, this is the 5th blog income report I’m publishing. You can catch up with the first four below:
I debated a while on doing an income report. It’s still a bit strange publishing. Honestly, I find myself bringing up the blog much less to friends and family.
But for the readers of The Ways To Wealth, I find income reports valuable. I like the idea of greater transparency of how TW2W makes money. Plus, income reports force me to look at my business to see what’s working, what’s not, and commit to goals.
Looking back at my own career, the decision to start a blog was one of the wisest career choices I made.
Being known as a combination of CFP® and blogger has opened many doors for me.
- I’ve been able to leave my job in less than 12 months after launching this website to blog full-time
- I’ve spoken at Northwestern University to students about personal finance
- Been interviewed in major media like Bloomberg
- Been able to secure well-paying freelance opportunities
If you’ve been wanting to add a valuable skill to enhance your career or if there’s something you’re passionate about you’d like to share with others–starting a blog is a fantastic decision. It can really change your life–as it has my own.
You’ll be happy to know you can get your blog up and running in as little as 10-15 minutes, even if you have no technical experience. Just as important, it’s super cheap. As a reader of The Ways To Wealth, you can setup your blog with Bluehost under $4.00 a month, instead of the regular price of $7.99. You also get a FREE domain name, a $15 value. Plus, there’s a 30-day money back guarantee, if you decide blogging isn’t right for you.
Interested? Take a look at my free blog setup tutorial.
September Blog Income Report
In July I partnered with Mediavine to add advertising on the blog. I’m very happy with both the revenue and the service MediaVine offers. I was able to achieve a 22.58 Per Session RPM in September, which I’m very satisfied with.
Bookkeeper Business Academy: $424.25
Student Loan Referrals: $300
The MaxBounty program contains many quality survey offers. In addition, they have an excellent free course on affiliate marketing.
I personally use and recommend eBates as it’s an easy way to earn cash back from your online purchases. Their affiliate program is very generous. For your first two referrals, you’ll earn $50. So, even if you don’t have a website, you can earn an extra $50 a quarter by referring two friends.
Panthera Network: $72.90
Amazon Associates: $60.36
30 Days Or Less To Virtual Assistant Success: $21.60
Thoughts on Income
Month-over-month growth comes out to around 14%.
This allowed me to make a few large and overdue investments to the blog (more on that to come).
As for the income, I consider the day I purchased Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing a turning point. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, who created the course, earns well over six figures a month as a personal finance blogger and shares the ins and outs of how she does it. Her course really opened my eyes to the possibilities.
September was also the first month where I left my full-time job (more on that here).
I actually went down to two posts a week (from three) and had less traffic. Instead, the theme of the month for me was list building.
Tasks I was able to check off over the past month included:
- Purchased Thrive Leads, to enhance the ways I’m able to grow the TW2W email list
- Updated old posts to include opt-in forms where appropriate
- Added an entire new email series on maximizing your income with online surveys
- Added new emails to the existing campaigns
There’s still tons I have to learn about email marketing. I spent a lot of time with MailChimp’s support over the past month. I also made some mistakes (SORRY if you got a campaign you didn’t sign up for).
Overall, it was a positive experience focusing on list-building over new content. I’ve gotten to interact with a lot more readers, it allows new readers to see some of the best of what this site has to offer. Plus, it was financially a wise move.
- BigScoots Hosting: $394.24
- Thrive Themes: $180
- Switch to HTTPS: $42,50
- Social Warfare: $29.00
- MailChimp: $13.50
- BoardBooster: $10
- Google Services: $5
As you can see, this was an expensive month.
While a beginner can operate a blog for less than a cup of coffee a month, I made some major investments into this website.
I switched hosting companies. While I recommend BlueHost for new bloggers, there are drawbacks once your traffic increases. I also had BlueHost on a shared hosting plan with a few other websites I run. That means if those website were hacked, BlueHost would take down TW2W as well.
The team at BigScoots was phenomenal. They made the entire switch of hosting companies for me. I prepaid for two years, as there was a discount for doing so.
Beyond hosting and moving to HTTPS, the other large transaction was Thrive Themes. Thrive Themes has many different tools to help in growing your blog. As of now, the Thrive Leads plugin, has been the most help. As has the Thrive Architect plugin, which allows you to easily make design changes.
Total Expenses: $674.24
Net Income: $2,389.90
Here’s the traffic for the site in September, compared to August:
September was the first month that the traffic didn’t grow.
While that’s disappointing, the good news is that banks don’t allow me to deposit pageviews! Joking aside, there’s a lot of metrics you can focus on. For many bloggers, page views is one of the most popular.
It’s easy to track and it’s just as easy to compare yourself to other bloggers. Heck, I track it myself!
While page views are useful, they are not the entire story of how a blog is doing.
As you can see, income was actually up even though pageviews were down.
I started September with 1,277 and ended up with 1,539.
I’ve stated in the past that I was planning to switch to a more advanced platform but once you get the learning curve down, MailChimp has been quite good.
Amazon FBA Sales
I launched a product on Amazon with a friend in May 2017. September was our 4th full month selling our product.
In August we sold $958 of product.
In September sales were down to $541.87.
We made the decision last month to not reorder our 1st product from the supplier.
Instead, we’re in the process of releasing a 2nd product. The goal is to get it on Amazon by the end of the year.
If you’re interested in starting to sell on Amazon, you can check out The Selling Family’s FREE 7 day course: Everything You Need To know To Start Selling On Amazon
September was the month of list building. What then is October?
The theme of the month for me is Facebook Ads. To try and grow TW2W, I’ll be investing a lot of time and money in Facebook Advertising. I’m excited to share with you what I learn.
Why Facebook Ads?
It’s the answer I came up with when I answered the question:
“What’s the ONE Thing I could do, such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?”
From the book: The One Thing by Gary Keller
I’ve then upped posts back up to 3X a week. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).
I’m also headed to FinCon at the end of the month. If you’re going, let me know.
Thanks for reading!