I’ve learned a lot while blogging on MoneyNomad.com and freelancing. In addition to working with a variety of large brands, I’ve had the privilege to work with, and learn from, multiple 6-figure bloggers.
Last year I had an idea. Why not take what I’ve learned over the years and see if I can build a website from $0 to $10k/month revenue in one year? And document the process.
It would have sounded crazy to me – but I’ve seen multiple people do it! So, while keeping my full-time job, I began brainstorming last summer.
Let me be clear, my goal with this website was to do more than just make money for myself. I’ve met far too many Americans stressed about finances – from the homeless looking for their next meal, to wealthy Americans afraid that they’ll go broke in retirement.
My goal with A Richer You is to tackle these issues – and explore ways for all Americans to gain financial knowledge and security. In short, the purpose of A Richer You is to truly make a richer you.
But actions speak louder than words. There are far too many millionaires in the world who agree that we need to alleviate poverty, but don’t do anything about it.
I want my business to be different. So, I’ve committed to giving away 50% of A Richer You’s profits in the form of basic income giveaways (yes, I’m very intrigued with the concept of a Universal Basic Income). If you’re a US resident, check out ARicherYou.com/giveaway to enter for a chance to win $500/month for two years. Financed by yours truly 🙂
Side note: Perhaps in the future I’ll expand this project globally (not just US based), but I wanted to start local. However, regardless of where you’re from, you can start receiving a free basic income by joining this new cryptocurrency UBI project. I’ve met the founding team and they’re awesome!
At the beginning of 2018 we had our first drawing, and Terry from Missoula Montana was our very first winner! So, for all of 2018 and 2019, Terry will receive $500/month to use towards whatever she wants. Considering that she has overcome cancer twice and is currently on disability, I am excited that we will be providing a little extra financial stability to her life.
So that’s our project! And I hope that A Richer You can be a leader in the war on poverty and financial worry in America – and ultimately, around the world.
Why I’m sharing my income reports for A Richer You
There are many bloggers who share how much their websites make – partially for inspiration, largely as a publicity stunt. After all, when any of us see a link that says “I earned 7-figures blogging last year”, we’re inclined to click.
I debated whether or not to share my income reports for A Richer You, but ultimately decided to share.
Partially for inspiration, largely as a publicity stunt. 🙂
Because A Richer You is relatively new, I’m hoping that others can follow along on the journey and possibly come up with their own successful website idea.
If you’re interested in making money from a website, I hope these reports will add a bit of value! And feel free to ask any questions in the comments section – I’m always happy to share tips and resources that I’ve come across.
Finally, because I’ve pledged to give away 50% of A Richer You’s profits, it seems appropriate to be transparent with our earnings and expenses (including any salary that I take, when applicable).
Now, let’s get started by taking a look at what it takes to grow a website from $0-$1,000 in 4 months.
How to lay the groundwork for a $1,000/month blog
As Thomas Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
I want to be completely honest that A Richer You’s success is based on a lot of experience, research, and hard work.
I didn’t make $1,000 by keeping an online diary or sharing cat videos.
I’ve started (and stopped) nearly a dozen blogs over the years, I’ve freelanced and written hundreds of articles for close to 100 brands online, and I’ve been an avid student of marketing – taking traditional courses, online blogging courses, and reading anything that I can get my hands on about marketing, strategy, writing, growth, and personal finance.
Why am I saying all of this? Because I want to make it clear that it’s hard work to grow a successful business (and, if you want a blog to succeed, you need to treat it like a business).
But don’t get discouraged! If you’re smart you can learn these skills in far less time than it took me. And I hope my experiences here can provide a bit of a jumpstart for your own success.
If you’re interested in growing a successful online publishing business (which is what a blog is), I highly recommend that you do the following:
1. Invest time and money in learning
I spent far too long trying to learn everything for free.
If you can afford to spend a few hundred bucks now, you could save yourself thousands of hours of time — and start earning money much faster.
A few products that I highly recommend for anyone interested in making money online are:
- Create and Go blogging course: Alex and Lauren have built two blogs that earn over $10,000/month each! There blogging and Pinterest courses provide incredible depth and engagement. If you’re serious about making money with a blog, an investment in their courses is probably the best place to start.
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: Michelle has an amazing blog that earns over $50,000/month from affiliate advertising (and over $100k/month in total)! In addition to great content, her course comes with access to an exclusive Facebook group where you can get answers to your questions from many experts – including Michelle herself.
2. Freelance and work for successful brands
What’s better than learning? Getting paid to learn!
I’ve written hundreds of articles for other businesses — allowing me to get paid while learning about topics that interested me, and improving my overall writing quality.
Plus, I’ve been able to observe how they market, grow, and earn. If you’re interested in building a successful website, study the best and, if you can work for them!
A great way to start finding writing/design projects is through Fiverr, Upwork, or by contacting websites directly. Even those that don’t pay can provide you with great name recognition and a portfolio to show other brands.
3. Pick a profitable niche that you’re passionate about
Once you’re ready to launch your own website, pick a profitable niche that you’ll have fun writing about. This may sound obvious, but it’s very important.
Not all niches are created equal. Ensure that the topic you want to write about can make you money and is a topic that you can enjoy discussing for months or years to come.
How do you know if a blog niche can make you money? Ask yourself, “Do people spend money in this category?” If “yes”, you’re good to go.
And the answer can be pretty broad. For example, if you love Lord of the Rings, you could make money writing about LOTR because there are books, movies, costumes, games, etc., built around this niche — and these are all products that you can link to and promote to potentially make money.
The time commitment behind A Richer You
A Richer You has been in the works for more than 4 months.
I thought about this idea for nearly a year.
Once I actually decided to make it happen, I spent a solid 3 months developing the website, writing a few articles, and building processes for how to grow the business.
Although A Richer You has only been around for 4 months, it’s the result of much more work and money.
In fact, in 2017 I spent a good 1000 hours and about $2,500 on A Richer You. That’s a lot of work!
Side note: You certainly don’t need to spend as much money as I have. You can start a blog using iPage for $25 for the first year, use a free theme, and write everything yourself.
The reason I mention all of this is to make it very clear that a successful website takes work. You need to commit to it and plan for a long and slow journey.
Don’t go quit your job and expect to be living the dream by the time your two-week’s notice expires. It will take a bit more strategy and work to truly succeed.
Okay! Now that we’ve discussed the background, let’s take a look at our stats for January.
Here’s what happened on A Richer You in January
There were a few exciting things that happened on A Richer You this month:
- Announced the winner of our first basic income giveaway: Terry from Missoula, Montana won our first basic income giveaway, meaning that she’ll receive $500/month for the next two years! Her first month’s winnings were delivered at the end of January. If you’d like to be our next winner, go enter here!
- $1,500 Cash Giveaway: We partnered on a $1,500 cash giveaway with GoBankingRates, Popular Mechanics, Did You Know?, and Finimize. It’s always exciting to work with exceptional brands like these — and I highly recommend that you enter this giveaway before it ends on February 19!
- My interview on the Popcorn Finance Podcast went live: At Fincon this last year I met an awesome podcaster, Chris. Myself and the founder of Grove were interviewed about our experience with the FinEx experience put on by CFSI. You can listen to this interview here. I certainly need to continue improving my speaking skills (goal for 2018), but this wasn’t too bad for my second podcast interview (my first was on Nomad Capitalist back when I was traveling more, and you can listen to that one here).
ARicherYou.com’s January stats
For the month of January, we have the following stats for A Richer You (ARY):
Email subscribers: 19,506 (this is after removing about 3,000 inactive subscribers)
Facebook: 2,752 followers
Twitter: 2,534 followers
Pinterest: 1,614 followers
As the image below shows, our Google statistics included 4,312 page views, 2,546 unique visitors, and an average time on site of one minute.
As you can see, the site still doesn’t have a huge amount of traffic. Most of our income is coming from people entering the giveaway or from affiliate links included in our emails. The goal for this coming month is to build more valuable content that will begin bringing organic search traffic.
The spike in traffic at the end of the month is from paid traffic purchased from Fiverr. The jury is still out on whether or not that’s adding valuable subscribers – but it does seem to be decreasing the value of my Google Adsense per-click revenue. So it may not be beneficial.
Our new 2018 basic income giveaway for $500/month for two years had 5,206 people enter in January. This means that this giveaway is still lagging our 2017 giveaway, which ended December with 20,000 entrants. Clearly, not everyone who entered in 2017 has re-entered our new giveaway.
Here’s What A Richer You Earned and Spent in January 2018
Alright, now it’s time to discuss money — which is really why you started reading this article in the first place!
A Richer You’s Income for January 2018
In January, A Richer You earned money exclusively through affiliate programs and ads – we didn’t sell any products, courses, or sponsored posts. Our revenue for January included:
- Google Adsense: $448.49. This was a fantastic month for Google Adsense, but my cost per click rate has been decreasing, and February may only earn me about $200 with the same level of traffic.
- Amazon: $86.68. Includes links to books, products, etc..
- FlexOffers affiliate platform: $169.70. Linking to financial products like Trim App, Personal Capital, PCH Giveaway, Swagbucks, etc.
- ShareASale affiliate platform: $111.75. Linking to products like Dollar Digs, Creative Live, Panel Place, and Checkout51.
- CJ.com: $57.50. Including AHPFund – one of my favorite ways to invest in real estate.
- Miscellaneous Survey and Cashback sites: $116. Including sites like Ebates, My Survey, etc.
- Other investing service, financial tools, and refer-a-friend services: $100. Sites like Robinhood, Square Cash, Circle Cash, Coinbase, Qapital, and LongGame.
Meanwhile, there were a few possible income sources and credits that aren’t necessarily worth anything now, but may be worth something in the future:
- Airbnb referral bonuses: $40. Not much, but worth mentioning.
- Possible cryptocurrency earnings from Mannabase from January activity: $1000*. Manna is a new cryptocurrency that provides a Universal Basic Income to anyone who signs up — and they provide a bonus when you refer others. I’m estimating my referral income for January to be worth about $1,000. But at this point there’s no real value here.
- Possible Vital Credit Card earnings from January activity: $100*. Vital is a credit card that plans to launch this summer that offers a 1% cashback bonus, along with points for everyone you refer — with the possibility of earning money when they spend money. Although this isn’t worth anything yet, I’m tentatively estimating my referral bonuses from January to be worth $100.
In total, if we don’t count credits and possible income, A Richer You made $1,090.12 in January.
A Richer You’s Expenses for January 2018
Of course, I’m spending a lot of money to make money (although this is not always necessary when starting a blog). Our expenses have included:
- Our first basic income payment to Terry: $500
- A full-time virtual assistant hired through OnlineJobs and multiple freelancers from Upwork: $400
- MailerLite: $82. This is by far the most affordable newsletter tool — offering the first 1000 subscribers free. However, as my traffic has increased, I have had to regularly increase my plan.
- iPage website hosting: $10. The first year is $25, and then you pay monthly — and I have had to select a higher cost service due to my needs and traffic.
- Giveaway promotion: $110. Believe it or not, simply giving away $12,000 isn’t enough to make a project go viral! So I’ve spent $110 this month promoting our giveaway at ARicherYou.com/giveaway.
In total, in January we spent $1,102 on A Richer You.
January net income
As you can see, we’re actually down in January. With a net income of -$11.88.
Although we made $1,090.12, our expenses still outdid revenue.
Considering our expenses included giving away $500, paying to promote a giveaway, and hiring others to help build the site, I’m very proud of our current income. It’s much easier to work on a project, and hire others to work on it, when it’s bringing money in.
We’re on the edge of breaking even — so let’s see if February actually turns a profit.
The future for A Richer You
As you can see, this project certainly has an element of risk.
Because I’ve committed to paying for a basic income and hiring others when possible, the costs associated with growing this website are pretty high!
But that’s the perk of growing a blog while having a day job. I can reinvest everything I make into the website because I’m not concerned about going homeless if the site doesn’t turn a profit right away.
And personally, I find a lot of fulfillment in knowing that I’m providing a basic income to someone who needs it.
Moving forward, I need to work on developing some higher quality content for A Richer You. I started by building out product pages – but it looks like articles may be more beneficial in the long run. So I may start transitioning the website to more of an online magazine.
The key is finding a way to share high quality content without consuming all of my time or spending substantially more than the website makes. February will be focused on figuring out how to do this effectively.
Meanwhile, I’m hoping to land a few more podcasts, attend several more local meetups, and ideally line up a speaking gig or two. Not only is offline promotion beneficial for a website, I find talking to people a lot more fun than sitting behind a computer screen.
You can learn more about our first basic income giveaway recipient here. And, if you’re interested in becoming our next, you can enter the 2018 basic income giveaway here!
Until next month. Thanks for reading and stay inspired!
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