Well, it’s hard to believe – but I can finally call myself a paid blogger! This month I decided to make an effort to transition my blog from a hobby to a business and it actual worked.
I earned over $2,300 from my blog in July (in both money and services received). And from the look of things, August should be even better!
So, whether you’re a friend curious about what I’m mysteriously doing on my laptop in Costa Rica, or a new blogger eager to monetize your own site, I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of many other bloggers and share my monthly earnings report.
Why share my income reports? My hope is that this will inspire others who would love to have the flexibility that comes with a digital nomad lifestyle – and show that it’s absolutely possible to make money blogging if you’re willing to put in the time and energy. It’s not fast and easy, but it’s a great way to develop a business that scales.
As you can see from a quick glance around my site, I make typos, don’t fully understand good design, and have many other “flaws”. But I’m learning, and earning! If you’re at all interested in making a living blogging, I recommend checking out my article on how to start a blog and give it a shot. You may be surprised with the results!
Now, here’s how Money Nomad made money this month.
How Money Nomad Makes Money
Although I currently earn most of my income by helping businesses with online marketing, monetizing a blog has been a dream for years. I’ve launched, and taken down, at least half a dozen blogs over the years. However, with Money Nomad I decided to stick with one concept and develop a degree of consistency — and it’s starting to pay off!
Because I make money from this blog, I certainly want to be transparent about that with you. It’s exciting to earn money writing about topics I enjoy, but my primary focus will remain on offering value to my readers. Fortunately, as a blogger you can talk about what you want and make money in the process. Here’s how it works…
As I’ve made an effort to increase the value that Money Nomad offers for free (such as the 13 week series on How to Quit Your Job and Become a Digital Nomad in 90 Days), I’ve been able to grow a committed following that appreciates and supports what I do. And I’m finally able to start earning an income from that following!
“But Rob, how do you make money without actually selling anything?” Great question.
Currently, about 50% of my blog income comes from affiliate advertising. Throughout my articles I occasionally mention products or services that I use and value. If you decide to make a purchase through those links, I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you).
What’s great about affiliate advertising is that it allows readers to support bloggers without actually having to pay them directly. Instead, I’m able to share tools, resources, and products that I believe are valuable, and you are able to support my writing by using and buying these items when/if they benefit you!
The other 50% comes from sponsors – who pay me to review or mention their service on Money Nomad. I’m very cautious about what businesses I discuss on Money Nomad, as I want this site to remain beneficial to readers and not a massive billboard. But finding high quality sponsors helps me invest more time and energy into improving Money Nomad – and introduces me to some awesome brands.
Money Nomad Income for July, 2016
For the month of July I’m including the money I earned from affiliates and sponsors, along with the retail value of any services or products I received to review and/or giveaway. I’ll break each of these down so that you can see what I made in detail.
I’ve done some revamping of Money Nomad over the last few months and traffic has fluctuated up/down because of that – but my traffic for July was just over 20,000 page views. Considering I made just over $2,000, that results in $0.10 per view! If this ratio remains consistent, then it will be very easy to calculate the worth of driving more traffic to Money Nomad – as there is an amount associated with each visit. However, I do not get paid per page view and this number may fluctuate in future months.
Over this month my largest affiliate commissions came from three products that I use and enjoy myself:
- Bluehost Website Hosting – which keeps Money Nomad up and running (Use the link to save 50% and get WordPress installed for free)
- Fundrise eREIT for real estate investing – currently my favorite investing tool and one I wrote a review about that’s ranked on Google’s first page.
- Motif Investing – which is a stock investing platform with a twist that currently offers a $150 sign up bonus and allows you to purchase up to 30 stocks for a single price.
Now, onto the full report.
Money Nomad Income by Category
Here’s the Money Nomad blog income by category for the month of July (based on payments received – some of which were from previous months).
From affiliate programs:
- Bluehost Hosting (Use the link to save 50% and get WordPress installed for free) – $105
- Fundrise (see my review on real estate investing with Fundrise) – $450
- FlexOffers (affiliate platform) – $426
- Ebates (offers cashback shopping) – $5
- Giving Assistant (offers cashback shopping) – $10
- ShareASale (affiliate platform) – $33.83
- Amazon – $19.41 – mostly from my article about Kindle Unlimited.
- CJ.com (affiliate platform) – $5
- Lending Club (investing in peer-to-peer loans) – $5
- Sponsored posts and links (monetary) – $525
- Giveaways (you can win this RVShare.com gift card here) – $150
- Free travel RSV (Yes, I accidentally became a travel blogger this month! I’ll share more soon) – $642.86
In total, Money Nomad received $2,372.10 in July! Once we discount the giveaway and free travel, the actual monetary income is $1,579.24.
That’s not too shabby for a side project!
Money Nomad Expenses for July, 2016
We all know that it takes money to make money – and the same holds true with blogging. Although you can get by spending relatively little, it’s worth calculating the tradeoff of using a tool or freelancer rather than doing something yourself.
For example, I’ve discovered that it’s far more cost effective for me to pay someone to create my title images than it is for me to fumble through creating them myself. The saved time allows me to focus on other activities on my blog or working for clients.
Money Nomad expenses for July
During the month of July I used the following tools and products to keep my site going (annual costs are split out by month):
- Bluehost website hosting ($3.95/month but I use an upgraded plan) – $5.95
- Fiverr gigs for title images and Pinterest management – $55
- IncFile (incorporated my site as an LLC in Delaware) – $37
- Aweber for my newsletter (just switched to their plan) – Free trial ($29)
- SumoMe (for the great/annoying popups you see here) – Free trial ($39)
- Pic Monkey used by assistant to create title images – Free version used by assistant ($2.5)
- Tailwind for Pinterest management – Free trial ($9.99)
- Self Lender Review cost – $74.90
- PayPal fees (transaction costs) – $20
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course – $147 (sale from $197)
My total expenses for July came out to $339.85 – with the likelihood of these increasing next month as I transition from free trials to paid subscriptions. However, the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course was a one time purchase – and a worthwhile one at that! I can attribute much of my success with affiliate revenue to what I learned from Michelle, the creator of the course.
When it’s all send and done, I netted $1,239.39 cash in July! Of course, 30% of this will go to taxes, but that’s still more than enough to cover a good chunk of our living expenses this last month in Costa Rica. Pretty awesome!
What’s Next for Money Nomad?
Now that the site is actually starting to make a bit of money, I can invest a more time and money into making it better! And I’m incredibly excited about this.
I’m currently trying to figure out how to make this site more of a holistic resource rather than a personal blog. In other words, I plan on seeking out additional team members as the site grows to add further value to the Money Nomad community. I’m still not sure what that will look like, but I’m excited to see what Money Nomad will morph into.
Meanwhile, if you’re enthusiastic about business, travel, self-employment, and investing, Money Nomad should only increase in value and benefit to you – so join our email list and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. As a side note, I’ve used Hunter.io for a long time to find emails, but they recently created the Hunter MailTracker tool to track emails which I’ve found extremely helpful.
Finally, if you’re ready to start blogging you can make the most of the current Bluehost hosting deal and setup your blog for $3.95/month (50% off) and get WordPress installed for free. Who knows, in six months you may be earning more from blogging than I am!
Thanks so much for being a valuable member of the Money Nomad community and I look forward to further interactions with you on and off this blog. As always, reach out if you have any questions or if I can assist you in growing your next business venture. Stay inspired!