Oh, you want to read last month’s first? Here’s all of the blog earnings posts.
Money Propeller is my second blog, Unique Gifter is my first. My goal with it is to straight up make some money, while sharing what I believe is valuable information on all things money. With the goal of earning money, I am attempting to be (somewhat) strategic with how I go about this. Online projects are my main side hustle; if that’s not your thing, there are some other ideas for you here.
The plan is to be totally transparent about everything and to let you know what is and is not working for me, so you can follow me down the path or avoid the mistakes that leave me in a burning pile of wreckage.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of these posts, or if you have any questions you would like me to answer, or stats you feel I should include.
This post contains affiliate links.
Money Propeller is an experiment in “Spend money to make money.” And I am a-spending! When I decided to launch this domain name (I have a collection, like most online hustlers), my rule for pre-launch was that I needed to have 52 posts written and scheduled. That represents six months of posting twice per week, so that I can focus on promoting the posts and developing other aspects of the blog, like the newsletter. That time has come and gone and I am in the process of scheduling out to approximately June at the moment, but now I am at a point where I have to write a lot again.
On Money Propeller I also wanted to have a bunch of different voices and perspectives, right from the beginning. Believe it or not, I don’t know everything! Other people know about topics that I don’t, like fashion, and insights into education. You can read about our authors here, and there are even more in the pipeline. Do you want to tell your story? Give us a shout and come be our guest.
The Earnings and Stats for March
March had some good things happen.
Domain Authority and Page Authority remain unchanged since September, but the MozRank increased to 5.10, from 5.08 last month.
There were 5,029 page views in March, which is 162 per day, on average. It also means it’s the best month yet for pageviews! In January and February, the site averaged 140 views per day, so March represents 8.6% growth. I was hoping for 10%, but things are moving in the right direction. 10% growth for April would be 178 views per day. Let’s see what we can do on that front!
The plan for February was to focus on social media following – you should follow me on twitter @moneypropeller and on Pinterest! Also check out the Pinterest People to Follow Round Up post, to follow a bunch of awesome Personal Finance bloggers. After February’s focus, I basically completely backed off and there hasn’t been a ton of growth on those fronts. Ah well.
I backed off from a lot of things, in fact, and went on vacation to Mexico, which was fantastic. I was 100%, completely without internet for 7 days, and only had my phone for two additional days. I loved it. I highly recommend it.
Unfortunately, when I got back, I still didn’t feel like spending very much time online, so I didn’t. I did come up with more post ideas, so hopefully I can execute on some of them. I love it when things come together, like my post on How to Spend an Obscene Amount on Groceries. That one flew together!
In March, I started working with Gretchen, from Retired by 40, on my Pinterest accounts. She literally wrote the (a?) book on Pinterest: Generate Traffic with Pinterest: Your Ultimate Guide to Using Pinterest as a Personal Finance, Money, or Frugality Blogger.
Followers are continuing to increase and traffic from Pinterest is growing. Followers grew 29% for the second month in a row. It won’t take long to crack 1000 followers at this rate! Bring on 5000!
Definitely consider picking up Gretchen’s book, Generate Traffic with Pinterest: Your Ultimate Guide to Using Pinterest as a Personal Finance, Money, or Frugality Blogger.
I’ve been using Board Booster and it is fantastic. It’s a Pinterest scheduling tool, so you can go in and pin a million things without overloading your followers, plus it does this thing called looping. Looping repins things from your board, so that they get in front of new faces, and deletes the old pin so that there aren’t multiples on the board. It’s pretty swell. The schedule tool is also awesome. There is even a 100 pin free trial. I got hooked after that!
(PS: If you are a blogger and want a nice way to track your stats, For Profit Blogging has a free Blog Tracker available.)
This is the part that you all actually care about, I know. Here goes:
Not great. After a few awesome months, the blog is on a losing streak. It’s not massively negative, but it’s still definitely negative.
The expenses are the red bars and the revenues are the blue bars, and they are both positive values, so that it is easy to see their size in relation to each other.
Revenues are coming in, for sure, but the expenses are consuming them all!
$11.03 – CPC and CPM Advertising
$5.00 – Amazon Affiliate Earnings
$219.84 – Direct Advertising
$0 – Tangerine – Use my Orange Key 23676924S1 to get a $25 bonus when opening an account
$0 – Digit – Use this app to help you save money by rounding up your transactions and saving the difference.
$0 – Vayable – Travel with personalized tour guides who are locals
$0 – Gazelle – Trade in your old electronics for cash, or buy refurbished ones for great prices.
$0 – Genesis Framework – An awesome, customizable platform for websites
$0 – Big Scoots – Web hosting that rocks
$0 – Dropbox – Free document storage and sharing, in the cloud
$0 – Rover – Pet sitting, a side hustle or an affordable way to get your pets looked after
$0 – Board Booster – 100 pin free trial – a way to repin your pins and schedule pins precisely
$0 – ViralWoot – Another free pin scheduler, and way to promote your pins
$235.87 Total (Net of Paypal fees)
There is an assortment of affiliate links live on the site (PicMonkey, Amazon), and they are slowly starting to trickle in funds. Until the stats are higher, I expect revenues to be rather low, but here’s to the trickles turning into a flood.
I also highly recommend that you check out the eBook I cowrote with Kathleen, on creating a brand and getting a blog up and running quickly and efficiently (and no, it doesn’t involve spending this much money on your site!):
(Feel free to sign up as an affiliate, as well. You get half of the sales price!)
$320.05 – Writers and VA Time
$ 320.05 Total
I was finally able to pay almost all of the writer’s I owed this month. *cough*cough* You know who you are! They wanted to finish a big project before getting paid and life kept getting in the way. I am glad that’s all squared away now.
For simplicity’s sake, all of the VA costs are charged to MP, but she does work on other sites of mine as well. In March, most of her time was spent working on things for Unique Gifter, again, but her time is still charged here. If you’re curious about what she does, I’ve covered some things here.
March Net Earnings
March works out to a loss of $84.18. Definitely not where I want things to be, but I’m still trucking. I’m glad that some of the outstanding liabilities are now gone.
It’s still kind of like a yo-yo, but one in the hands of a toddler… I’m more interested in a V!
So I am still quite a long way from zero, but more or less breaking even and getting work done in other places. I’m still a long way from my goal, though!
Well darn. C’mon March!
Don’t forget, everyone: it is absolutely possible to start a blog without spending this much! I am funding this with past earnings from my other site.
In order to drive that point home, I wanted to do a bit of an experiment. Of course, there are a lot of caveats with this experiment, mostly that a lot of time is spent by other people on the site, and in order to have the same level of success I would have had to make up the difference in hours. While theoretically possible, I really wouldn’t have done it. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at how much money Money Propeller would have earned me if I didn’t have a VA and I didn’t have staff writers:
That blip in August is the Grocery Giveaway that I ran in conjunction with other bloggers. They contributed to the prize and I did as well. The rest of the remaining expenses are things like premium plugin purchases, services and domain names.
Overall, here’s how it looks:
Without all of the VA and writer expenses, Money Propeller would have earned $1,049.75 thus far. The site went live in July, so on average, that is $116.64 per month. That’s a far cry from raking it in and good golly is it an absolutely awful hourly rate!
However, it’s on an upward trend and we’re in this for the long haul. There is a $3,000 difference between the current -$2000 position and the hypothetical +$1,000 position. I’m contributing to the incomes of others, or something.
The big announcement has come, and On Your Mark, Get Set, Blog! is here. This is your guide to setting up a new website and brand, quickly and efficiently, by laying out all of the information that you will need and and all of the steps in the right order. Faster blogging. For everyone. An entire chapter is available for free download!
I’ve still got a bunch of work to do on the niche site that I bought on a whim, CoonHuntingClub.com (yes, you can laugh, I do).
Plus, because I have boatloads of time on my hands (okay, I have a lot of time that I don’t effectively use, this is very, very true. I am lazy sometimes), I am now the co-owner of a coupons and deals site. The details aren’t 100% worked out yet, but hopefully I can share that next month.
Things that I *did* Do in March
I wrote this section in February, because I felt like I didn’t get much done. In March… I went to Mexico. I also wrote a massive post for Unique Gifter, with copious amounts of assistance from my VA. (Seriously, it would take me MONTHS to do without her!)
I still have a million and one outstanding projects for this site, here are some examples: new header, side bar buttons (I made two in March!), update old images, finish and schedule the 75% written posts, do more things on the book launch front, set up adsense custom channels, add words to the multitude of spreadsheet based posts I’ve started, and on and on and on!
I’m pretty stoked about some of the spreadsheet based posts that are coming up. I recently saved my working file for one as “college students are screwed.” 🙂 <– That’s from February, but those posts are still living in my computer, not on the website!
There are some really useful Facebook groups for bloggers out there, though it is important to find ones that are a good fit for you. Just start searching on Facebook, join some, read some posts and then decide if you will stick around or not. Some are very positive and supportive, while others might have good technical information but can be a bit harsh.
Reach out and network! I try to email another blogger at least once a week. It’s not a hard and fast rule and thankfully opportunities present themselves often. This is how we network, folks! Drop someone a line to tell them a post really resonated with you, to offer a tip or observation, or to thank them for a shout out or link. Those are just a few ideas, there are really a million and one ways to reach out!
Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed your flight! I really do appreciate you taking the time to read all of this, and I especially hope that it is helping you to learn from my wins and major losses! It is all of you fine folks who got me started on this blogging adventure in the first place, and it really won’t go anywhere at all without you.
If you have any suggestions, again, I would love to hear from you with a quick email or comment.
Here’s all of the blog earnings and stats posts, if you want to read more.