Exciting news y’all. September 2016 was the most successful month in Millennial Moola history. Can’t wait to share my September 2016 traffic and income report. You know I do this blog for the love of writing and teaching others about personal finance, so I’m not in it for the dollars and eyeballs on my stuff. That said, the more people who read my site and the more money I make, generally the more people value what I’m saying. So my total monthly pageviews for September was about 13,300, and my blog net income for the month was $682.
How I Got Featured so Much this Month
In one word: hustle. I submitted several requests to top publications, including Rockstar Finance, Business Insider, and even FiveThirtyEight. I wanted to keep trying until something stuck. J Money and Cait over at Rockstar Finance helped me out big by publishing my original student loan spreadsheet article.
That sharpened my thinking, so I wrote for Business Insider after that with a modified story. I was stoked to find out that they wanted to use my piece. It totally surprised me when they decided to run what I wrote. It is the single biggest traffic impact my site has ever had.
That makes me a little sad, because I read from more photographically inclined bloggers who share on Pinterest that they get like 8,000 views in a day sometimes, but hey you know what, I’ll take my almost 2,000 viewers. That rocks.
The Business Insider article ended up getting picked up by Yahoo, and that’s when it really went viral. It ended up with 300,000 views before all was said and done. Here’s how pronounced the effect was below.
Well established bloggers may be wondering how I got a conversion rate of over 5 pennies per page view? That’s extremely high, and I must say that I’m cheating a bit because I’m counting all my side hustles that result from my online presence, of which this site is the primary vehicle for that. So I’ll break down everything so you can see how I earned what I did.
Tutoring: $240. I have an online craigslist ad where I tutor people for $40 an hour, and I’ve been helping with Statistics and GRE Math. Feels a little sketchy to put that income as blog related, but if it makes you feel better you can back that out. My clients did vet me using my website though.
Affiliate income: $50. I’m still expecting some major checks to go through for affiliate sales that happened this month, but I’ll have to wait on that. Typically there’s a month or two delay between making a sale and earning the income. That $50 was all through one sale with Wealthfront and remains one of the few affiliate links to actually pay out. A dollar of affiliate income in the hand is worth like 10 in the bush.
Student Loan Consulting: $500. This was my big money maker this month, and completely dependent upon my online presence. I’m currently building a new website called StudentLoanPlanner.com, where I’ll focus on making my consulting service a legit business. That Business Insider article went viral enough that about 15-20 people contacted me about my flat fee student loan consulting business. Check Student Loan Planner out to see my latest rates. This category should be much higher by the end of October, as my bookings continue to grow. If you’d like to book a consult or know someone who does, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blog hosting / support related: $68. I bought two new domains, hautehospital.com and studentloanplanner.com. I also bought domain privacy for Wealthy Walnut. The red headed stepchild of Millennial Moola that was causing me to get a bunch of unwanted calls from the people who scour the internet looking to spam call numbers. I also spent $20 for one of my technically inclined buddies to set up a new email account.
Bicycle: $40 I’m attributing $40 to the bicycle cost for riding back and forth to tutoring. Warren Buffet did it for his paper route, and I bet I’m expensing way less than him.
So Net Income: $682, with a Big October Surprise Expected
One thing I did when I built my free spreadsheet for student loan refinancing that you’ll see on the right is build in my link to the $200 referral bonus for refinancing with Sofi. A bunch of people started using this company to save money on their student loans. Once people start submitting the apps and they get funded, I stand to make a decent amount of income from it.
Once this affiliate income starts posting, I expect October will be the most successful month in Moola history. I’m excited to come back and share those numbers with you when I get them.
In the mean time, realize that making money online is incredibly freaking hard. That said, I’d still suggest you open a hosting account with Bluehost. You can open your own blog for like $3-$4 a month, so why not give it a go? I prepaid my expenses for the next three years, so basically everything I make now is gravy. Check out how to start a blog in 10 minutes and start your own today.
Thanks for being loyal readers, and I hope to check back in next month with even better numbers. Thanks y’all!