My First Year Blogging Summary – How Much Money Did I Make?
My first year of blogging is complete and it just seems crazy to even type that. It feels like just yesterday, I was searching for a creative outlet to share my thoughts and ideas surrounding personal finance.
Thinking back on this last year, all I can say is wow. The amount of things I have learned and the ways I have been able to help others has been life changing and I mean it. Before writing this article, I went back and read my post: My First Six Months Of Blogging. How It Went and My Future Plans. Even though that post was only written 6 months ago, I feel like it has been years and I am a whole different person.
In this article I’m going to share with you exactly how much I’ve made from this blog but before I do, I want to share with you some metrics that justify my number. Showing just the dollars doesn’t tell you the full story. In addition, this website has never been a get rich quick scheme but something much deeper.
I’ve Learned A Ton
It would be irresponsible to not start out with talking about the things I have learned over the last year. To be honest, when I started this whole thing I thought I had somewhat of a grasp of websites and everything that comes along with them. I could not have been more wrong.
I knew nothing.
Even today I feel like I know almost nothing and while I used to let this scare me I now embrace it because why not?
To give you just a taste here are some things I’ve learned or improved on:
- My writing skills (grammar, typing speed, etc.)
- Design in general (still terrible)
- Email marketing
- Video editing
- Time management
- Understanding online analytics
If this website imploded tomorrow and YD&NB ceased to exist, I would still feel fulfilled knowing that I learned so much about these different topics. In addition to that, my knowledge in my field, personal finance, has grown ten-fold.
I feel more comfortable than ever not only managing my own finances but also helping others.
The most interesting and reassuring thing for me and what proves that I’m on the right track is the analytics. I’m a numbers guy and for my whole life, I’ve believed that numbers don’t lie. Up to this point that thinking hasn’t failed me and until it doesn’t I won’t change my mind.
I’ve always been a person who explores any opportunity until I’m quite sure that it is dead. When one of these opportunities shows signs of life, the first thing I’m going to do is grab the gas can and dump the whole thing on it. Hopefully turning my small kindling into a bonfire.
I want to be transparent here and show you some of my analytics. They aren’t overly impressive but in my mind they are the kindling.
Google Analytics is an endless pile of data and to be honest I don’t understand the majority of it. At first, I would try to decipher everything and figure out how to leverage the data. Now, I’ve become much more focused on only a certain number of charts.
The first one being the monthly page views. While this chart may seem relatively flat, it actually isn’t for a couple reasons. First off, as you can see when I launched the website I had a huge jump in page views. This was from me ‘launching’ on social media and sharing everything I could. 90% of those views were from people coming from Facebook to see what I was up to.
The second reason piggybacks off the first in that views were coming from social media. Over the last 3-4 months I’ve made a conscious effort to taper back my sharing. For one, I think I may be annoying and the other was I just forgot.
When you take those two things out of play this chart would have a nice linear growth to it.
My overall page views over the last year sits just over 7,000. This means I averaged about 600 per month, which in all honesty is not great. At the beginning of the year, I wrote an article titled Young, Dumb, AND Not Broke?! Business Goals – 2019. In that article, I said that by the end of the year I wanted to be getting 5,000 pageviews a month.
Well, so far I’m well short of that but I knew this would be the case. You see, it takes time for Google, or other search engines, to pick up on your content and get it in front of people. I have some solid pieces out there, I just need to be patient and see if they can get traction.
I’ll show you why I think that can happen in the next section.
This is probably my favorite piece of evidence in this whole article. The chart below shows the users coming to my site directly from Google. Taking this number from 0 over the first 8 months to almost 200 a month today is a huge accomplishment. As I’m writing this, I can already tell you that June’s numbers will be even better.
The point being, I only have so many Facebook friends or people on my email list that will open and read an article. If you are going to have any success blogging, your main traffic source has to come from search engines and it’s up to you to earn that traffic.
Like I stated in the last section, it takes a little bit of time for an article to get some traction and become popular. You can’t expect to post a great piece and for search engines to find it immediately. One of the reasons for the recent increase is that I had a big goal in March. I pushed myself and wrote 20,000 words of content that month and have averaged over 10,000 words a month since.
I believe that if I keep creating, the views will come.
Google Search Console
If you aren’t in this internet marketing game then you will have no idea what Google Search Console is but it’s a pretty self-explanatory piece of software. GSC allows you to drill into your organic search for your website. Which by my last section, you know that this is a huge focus.
This first chart shows my impressions on GSC. Most of you are familiar with impressions from social media but if you aren’t, it’s the number of times my articles pop up on someone’s screen when searching a certain term. If the person scrolls by it and goes to the next page for example then that is an impression.
As you can see from the chart below my impressions BLEW UP in mid-March. In fact, over 90% of my impressions have been in the last 2 months. Again, I credit this to the big push of content over that time period. I used to get excited about getting 20–50 impressions a day but now I’m averaging almost 1000.
This last chart is the number of clicks from those impressions. To be honest, I think these numbers could be a little better. Overall though they are improving and I’m seeing 5-10 clicks per day.
The last key metrics that makes me feel as if I’m moving in the right direction is from Uber Suggest. This is a website that was created by Neil Patel who is an internet marketing legend.
The tool’s main focus is on keyword research. You can also use it to evaluate your competitor’s website as well as your own. Like Google Analytics, there is a ton of data to sift through but I mainly focus on the chart below.
This chart shows you the number of keywords that you have ranking in the top 100 links on Google. As you can see, the growth is starting to increase exponentially and I now have over 250 keywords that rank.
My goal here is to keep this trend going but also try to get more rankings in the top 10. Green bars represent these keywords and I currently have zero. Just having a couple of these can take your site’s page views and send them through the roof.
How Much Money Have I Made?
I promised everyone over on my Twitter account that I would share exactly how much I’ve made and spent on YD&NB over the last year so here it is.
Well, not quite yet.
Before I tell you the numbers (because you are going to think I’m crazy) let me explain to you how starting a business works most of the time.
At first, you are going to have very little income and this is the bracket I’m in. On top of that, your expenses are going to be high, these are called start-up costs. It takes time for you to prove out your product or in my case, prove my expertise to my audience in this category. When this happens, trust is gained and you can then help them out even more.
I will always put out free content but there will be a time to monetize and as I’ve explained in past articles you won’t even realize it. Whether that is an ad on YouTube (more on that in a bit), or an affiliate link.to a product that I recommend. Making money doesn’t mean you have to be a pushy salesman annoying your content consumers.
That is something I will never be.
So, now that our basic level business class is over let’s look at the numbers.
There is no use of hiding them so just check out this table:
Yikes. Not what you expected huh?
Six months ago I only had about $1,000 dollars of expenses but when I saw the opportunity that was in front of me, I doubled down and poured on the gas as I said earlier.
Will it work out? Only time will tell. But until then I’m going to keep putting in the work and do everything in my power to make it happen. Who knows? Maybe when I write my 2-year recap article, these numbers could look a whole lot different.
If you take anything from this article, my numbers should prove that the idea that making internet money is easy is just simply false. Nothing good happens without some hard work.
The Next 6 Months
Overall, I’m extremely happy with the direction everything is headed. In my mind, there is only one thing to do and that is to continue putting the work in. Put out higher quality content and see where it takes me over the next 6 months.
If I can keep up this pace, then I’ll beat my projections of breaking even in under two years. I should have a great side income that will allow me to do more of the things I want to do. I’m not going to just stick to the website though. Instead, I’m moving over to other platforms like YouTube.
Yes, you read that heading right. You can find me on YouTube. In fact, by the time you are reading this article I’ve already posted my first five videos. Why YouTube? Well, I think people like to consume content in two different forms. One is through words and the other is through video.
Even though I have a blog, I am a huge video guy. Obviously, there are thousands of other people out there like me or platforms like YouTube would not even exist.
For now, the channel is mostly going to consist of me cross-posting content that you will find written out on this blog. In addition, I want to do some reaction videos to articles that are put out by major personal finance publishing companies to give you my take on them.
If you want to check out the channel, or better yet subscribe, then click the link below.
I have purposely been quiet about starting up on YouTube and I plan to do that for the foreseeable future. The reason for that is I want to rely on organic growth here and not get the spike in traffic from sharing on places like Facebook or Twitter.
If you want to be in the know when it comes to YouTube and everything YD&NB then make sure you are signed up for my email list. Not only will I keep you in the loop but you will also get a lofty discount on any products I release in the future. Sign up on the box above.
The YD&NB Online Course
The second major thing I hope to launch before the end of the year is the YD&NB Online Course. That name is definitely going to change so ignore that for now. I have been wanting to make a course for almost two years. The premise behind it is that it would be the course you should have taken in high school.
Obviously, our education system does a terrible job of teaching people the basics. Like the day 1 basics of how to even open a checking account. This course will start with this basic stuff, then move on to more advanced info like structuring your accounts, understanding how much you need to retire, and how to budget everything correctly.
That’s all still in the works though and of course, if this all flops then that may not come to fruition. But for now, it’s in my plan.
The Bottom Line
Overall, I feel extremely blessed with where I have been and where I’m going. Yes, I have spent a ton of money but I know the ROI is there and I can see myself getting into the positive in the next one to two years.
What I’m most happy about is that I went into all of this with absolutely zero expectations. I just want to help people and see them feel comfortable with managing their money. At the end of the day, I am doing that so I’m fulfilled.
The money part would simply be the cherry on top.
At the end of the day, all I can do is follow in the words of Fred VanVleet and bet on yourself.
Now, back to work.
If you liked this post then please pin the picture below and if you want to read more articles here are my latest: