December Income Report – Finishing the Year with a BANG!

DR-Income-Image December

It’s time for last months income report: December 2012.

As a reminder, this is why we do the income reports:

  1. Accountability. These will allow us to finally keep track of our total online revenue – something that I’ve been horrible at.
  2. Progress. Now that we have it documented, we’ll be be able to chart our progress as our income increases (hopefully!)
  3. Truth. To show people that you really can make money online.
  4. Transparency: We want others to see how we do it so that others can do it, too.

Remember: We started blogging in July of 2008 so it’s taken us a lot of time to figure this blogging thing out. And truthfully, we still have a lot to learn. Don’t get the impression that you can start a blog today and turn a profit tomorrow. I promise you, it ain’t going to happen.

What went down in December

This technically did not go down in December, but it’s still top of mind so I have to mention it.   We went to visit my mom in Las Vegas with all three boys and attended New Media Expo for the first time.

You would think that Vegas, visiting my mom or #NMX would be the highlight of the trip, right?

Not even close.   Sorry mom.

The highlight of the trip was being able to sink my teeth into this:

In N Out Burger

I’m seriously drooling just thinking about it.   I love me some In-N-Out Burger!

How much exactly?   Let’s just say that we were in Las Vegas for 5 days and I managed to eat there 5 times.

No, I’m not joking.   You can ask the wife.  I’m kinda obsessed.  :)

New Media Expo

By far my most favorite conference is FINCON.   My wife really loves Blissdom.    New Media Expo (formerly called Blog World) was the first conference that we had been to that was for all bloggers and media types.   What really excited me about this was that I would get a chance to meet some bloggers outside of my niche for the first time.  Some of the highlights were:

  • Chris Ducker from ChrisDucker.com. Been a big fan of Chris for quite some time. His accent makes him cool. In real life, he’s even cooler. Especially when he baptized the back of someone’s head with beer because someone made him laugh in mid-swig. Good times. :)
  • Leslie Samuel from BecomeABlogger.com I just discovered Leslie at Pat Flynn’s podcast. Leslie comes across with so much energy that you can’t help but enjoy your day.
  • Court Tuttle from BlogBuilders.com Court just recently linked out to us from one of his other blogs and that’s how we discovered each other. We had a chance to really meet at Pat’s buffet dinner at the Rio. Court is a SEO ninja! Wow. Expect to see more of him around the blog.
  • Roderick Russell from RoderickRussell.com This guy swallows swords. Nuff said.
  • Jaime Tardy from EventualMillionaire.com It was weird that this was the first time I had met Jaime in person because I felt like I’ve known her for a long time. She’s even featured in my book! She was so nice and can’t wait to hang out again at the next conference.
  • Caleb Wojcik from PocketChanged.com I didn’t get a chance to talk to Caleb as much as I would have liked. In a brief dinner conversation, he tried to convince me that Five Guys was just as good as In-N-Out Burger. I don’t think he realized the immediate disgust I had for him at that exact moment. How dare he! Haha…. Caleb, we can still be friends. :)
  • Derek and Mandy Knight from FreeAt33.com and MoneyMasterMom.com Another blogging couple? Immediate connection!
  • Antonio Centeno from RealMenRealStyle.com. When I think about guys that have style, I think of Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, and Antonio Centeno. And I’m pretty sure that the first two guys could take lessons from Antonio. Antonio and I have been online friends for a few years, so it was finally cool to meet in person. As expected, he was the best dressed man at the conference.
  • Stephanie Sammons from StephanieSammons.com Stephanie is another online friend that we finally got a chance to meet in person for the first time. She’s a former financial advisor (still a CFP) who has a love for social media just as I.
  • John Lee Dumas from EntrepreneursOnFire.com I wasn’t familiar with John before new media expo although I’m not really sure why. He’s a podcasting maniac interviewing entrepreneurs on a daily basis. Yes, DAILY. He is literally an “Entrepreneur on Fire”.
  • Brooke from AllThingsThrifty.com My wife was initially disappointed that there were very few mommy/DIY bloggers in attendance. That is until she met Brooke. They talked for hours and I’m pretty sure they could have went MUCH longer. Let’s just say this…I think my wife has a girl crush. I’m getting her back now since she loves to tease me about my man, Pat Flynn.
  • Carrie Smith from CarefulCents.com Carrie is an awesome blogger and proud to have her as The Debt Movement community manager. I’m personally bummed though that despite all my Tweets and Foresquare check-ins at In-N-Out Burger she still didn’t check it out! :)

Not including in the above summary was Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome, Phil Taylor from PTMoney.com, Todd Tresidder from FinancialMentor.com, Jackie Beck from DebtMyth.com and several others.  Not that they worth mentioning; just that I’ve already had the privilege of meeting them at FINCON before this.

The Debt Movement

Another thing that didn’t launch until January but I’ve been working on for months is The Debt Movement.   My goal is to help people pay off $10 million in 90 days.  Easy breezy!  Haha….

We kicked off the movement by hosting a Tweetchat with J$ from BudgetsAreSexy.com and got the #debtmovement hashtag to trend on Twitter.  Baller!

Debt Movement Trending

Oh yeah, I’m BIG time now….

That’s probably a bit silly to get excited over, but I was proud nonetheless.   I’m even prouder that we’re close to getting 2,000 people signed up with over $100k of debt already paid off.

Here’s a look at the numbers for December:

Income Breakdown

Good Financial Cents

  • Adsense: $1,236.57
  • Adspeed: $669.88
  • Commission Junction: $919.29
  • Flex Offers:$3,089.50
  • Direct Advertising: $1,737.52
  • Media Net:  $560.27
  • Consumer Track: $42.00
    • Total: $8,255.03

Dollars and Roses

  • Blogging Your Passion: $94.00
  • ShareASale (Thesis Theme): $208.56
    • Total: $302.56

Other Niche Sites

  • Adsense: $103.96
  • Flex Offers: $23.00
  • Direct Advertising: $650.00
  • Media Net:  $75.56
  • Niche Site Revenue:$5,508.19
    • Total: $6,360.1
House of Rose blog
  • BlogHer Ads: $492.04
  • BlogHer Sponsored Posts: $150.00
  • Direct Advertising: $70.00
  • Adsense: $422.84
  • BlueHost: $1,260.00
    • Total $2,394.88
Freelance Writing
  • Equifax: $0
    • Total: $0

     

Book Advance

  • Total: $1,260.00

 

Total Revenue for December: $18,572.57

Revenue Last Month: $13,491.48

  • Difference: +5,081.09
  • Total for 2012: $115,289.16

What Happened in December

December’s income report can be wrapped in Joey Lawrence’s classic phrase: “Whoa!”

Talk about closing out the year with a bang.   Not only did we beat our current monthly high – we crushed it.   Yeah baby!

Why such a great month?  Let’s take a look…..

  1. House of Rose stepping up her game (again).   Even though her Blogher Ads and Adsense went down being end of year, her Bluehost conversions skyrocketed to $1,260.  I’m embarrassed that we didn’t think to add the How To Start a Blog page to her site earlier, but just glad we did.
  2. Niche Site is cranking away.  I’ve been working on my niche for over a year now (yes, that long!) and last month was the highest its generated thus far.   Just because it’s doing good does not mean that I’m slowing down.  I’m still adding 2-3 articles to the site per week because I want to make sure the site becomes an authority in its space.  Plus, it’s a competitive niche so I need to be on my toes.
  3. Book Advance (half minus agent’s cut).  I’m not sure how many authors actually tell you what their book advance is.  It seems to be somewhat taboo to share publicly.  And I wouldn’t have any reason to if it wasn’t for this blog.   I debated even including it here, but after talking with my publisher and getting a better understanding of why they picked up my book (when everyone else turned me down) it only made sense.  On top of the book, they were also attracted to what I’ve been able to do online.  They could tell that I was an entrepreneur at heart and would do anything it takes to make sure the book is a success. Dang! They know me too well.  :)

2012 Wrap up

It’s amazing to see how much we’ve grown this past year with this blog and the rest of our sites.   I was hopeful that we would break $100k this year in our online businesses, but during the beginning of the year (March in particular) I started having my doubts.

Just before the doubts crept in too far, things really picked up for us.  The fact remains, we never gave up. Even if we didn’t hit our goal we would have continued to run our blogs just like we have for the past four years.  For the simple reason that we love to blog.

We get asked all the time “how can I make money from starting a blog?” and I cringe at that question because they don’t get it.  First, you have to love to blog. Period.  Without that, you’ll never make any money and you’ll fizzle out in a few short months.

As far as 2013 goes, expect more of the same around the blog.  The big differences is more interviews, more posts, and a few more surprises.   Stay tuned…..

Comments

  1. “First, you have to love to blog. Period. Without that, you’ll never make any money and you’ll fizzle out in a few short months.”

    SUCH a true statement. I’ve been blogging for nearly 5 years and am just starting to see the real results I have been working for! :) Thanks for sharing so openly and inspiring others with your story!

  2. Looks like you guys are doing great! I can’t wait until when I am hopefully at this amount :)

  3. Hi,

    Can I ask you one thing which I have always been a little confused with?
    Can we affiliate to different affiliate programs like Commission Junction (and others for that matter) if we are using Adsense ads? Would you like to do a post on it? It would be really helpful because Adsense does not seem to have time for my question…

    Love from India.
    Jiya

    • @ Jiya

      Yes, you sure can. The only issue becomes when you have a post that includes affiliate links within it that also has Google ads. Someone might click your Google ad where you make a lower CPC instead of clicking your affiliate link where you could have made a much higher conversion.

      Right now I don’t do a good job of managing this. Something I need to work on…

  4. Hey Jeff, Awesome to see you doing well – although not surprising. Really appreciate that you have a bunch of projects on the go at the same time. Interested to know – Do you find that there is a lot of synergy between your sites? Really love that your niche site is crushing it. Quinn

    • @ Quinn

      I think the craziest unexpected synergy is between my wife’s blog and my blog and how this blog ties them all together.

      I definitely see a lot of referral traffic from her blog to mine and The Debt Movement. Unfortunately, I don’t think I return the favor as much. That’s okay though since her traffic is killing mine now. :)

  5. I am truly enjoying reading both your blogs, but I’ll be honest….I do go to yours only through her mostly. :) You both make a great team!

  6. This is so exciting! Has it really been a year already?!

    After years of blogging I am making the switch to wordpress and getting a nice layout done. I can’t wait to “relaunch”.

  7. Hey Jeff,

    I think your idea of “how to start a blog” is so simple but so brilliant at the same time! I guess that the simplest ideas are the best :-).

    I’m stunned to see how great you are doing, keep it up man!

  8. Hey Jeff and Mandy
    Congrats on the record income! We had a great time meeting you at NMX, and thanks for introducing us to In and Out Burger. We ate there twice. We drove by the “competitors” that Caleb seemed to enjoy so much but didn’t consider them worth a visit :)

  9. Is Flex Offers an ad network like BlogHer?

    • @ Andi Flexo Offers (and Commission Junction) are affiliate companies where a ton of different companies register their affiliate programs through.

      For example, on my blog I have an affiliate relationship with Scottrade. Instead of going through Scottrade direct, I can register through Flex Offers and get approved to offer Scottrade (and also other online brokerages). If someone signs up for Scottrade through my affiliate link, I get paid a referral fee. They have dozens of different categories so it works for any type blog.

      The difference between FO and CJ is that each has their own affiliate relationships (although they have duplicates, as well).

      It’s free to join each of the networks, but it may be difficult to get approved for the individual affiliates based on your traffic to your blog.

      Blogher is more for impression based ads.

  10. Ok gotcha! Thanks!!

  11. So honored to be mentioned in this article…thanks Jeff. Unlike Caleb, I know there is no comparison…I even had the Fire Nation meetup for EntrepreneurOnFire at In-N-Out Burger…so we can be friends :-)

    Prepare to Ignite all!

  12. Jeff

    Thanks so much for the kind mention here – great write up, by the way.

    Man, that evening was TOO much fun. Lot’s of great convo’s and plenty of enjoyment. Great times.

    Hope to see you again soon, my man.

    C

  13. Thanks for the shout-out Jeff & Mandy! It was a pleasure meeting you as well although we didn’t have much time to talk (what was it to quick conversations in the hallway!).

    It was such a great experience to finally meet you in person – will follow-up soon on the idea you sent me the other day!

    Respectfully,

    Antonio

  14. Not sure how I missed this, but I swear I did my very best to get to an In-N-Out Burger but it just never happened. :( Good news though! I found one here just north of Dallas. Woot! Already making plans to visit there — and I’ll of course be taking pictures! :)

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