Personal Finance Blog Income Report - May 2022
Updated: Jun 3, 2022
What Did My Blog Make In May?
Each month, I take stock of the total income that my blog drives for those four weeks prior. For May, we had some big wins, some weird turns, and even unlocked a new revenue stream. Let's break down how much money my personal finance blog made in the month of May.
The Newest Posts in May
The Blog's Wins
Keyword Research Continues to Pay Off
I've been pretty open on this site about my lack of knowledge early on. I thought to myself "I'm pretty plugged into the world of personal finance, so I know what to write about," but it turns out that was pretty incorrect.
Then a few months later, I discovered keyword research. Essentially, it's a way to find out what questions people are asking so you can shape your blog posts around the answer, driving users to your site. In understanding keyword research, you begin to tailor your writing to the user, rather than try to get the other way around.
This has all resulted in a feature I highlighted in last month's income report called "featured snippets." As a quick refresher, a featured snippet is Google ranking your answer to a specific question as "the best," and placing it at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). This generally results in much higher traffic to that article in a much shorter time frame, as you're essentially "skipping the line" of the organic sandbox period.
In last month's income report, I stated that I had 11 featured snippets for one article. Well, as that article continues to age and gain traffic, that number has now jumped to 14 featured snippets. I also have ten 2nd place rankings for that piece, and it is now driving a majority of my traffic.
I also captured a featured snippet for another one of my articles, which is hopefully a sign of things to come as my newer, more well-researched pieces begin to age into relevance.
Related: April 2022 Income Report
I Got Back on Reddit
Early on in my blogging days, before I understood the wonders of SEO, I turned to social media. Social media can be a phenomenal short-term source of views, but it's not overly sustainable until you build up your own community, which is almost as much work as setting up your own successful website. To skip this process, I took to Reddit.
Reddit is a phenomenal place to promote your posts to a massive audience very quickly. It's one of those "burns twice as bright for half as long" scenarios, and it's been working phenomenally. My site is about to have it's 50,000th visitor, and about 40% of those are from Reddit. But, I ran into a problem.
Some subreddits are...aggressive. If they notice you're skirting publishing rules or you're posting too much, some get testy. Well, that's exactly what happened to me. I got banned from the NFL subreddit for posting my Tom Brady article, I was cursed at in the WallStreetBets subreddit and it all went south. This led to my quest to find a kinder, gentler subreddit to post in, and I found it: Disney.
Disney adults are usually two things: kind and engaged. This was my perfect storm this month, as I posted my piece on Golden Oak in the Disneyland subreddit, and it got traction straight away. Over the course of two days, I reached over 2,000 pageviews on that one piece, which really bumped my income this month on Adsense, including my highest single-day income on the Adsense platform.
I Discovered a New Revenue Stream
As my blog continues to age, and the content gets better, it starts to reach new audiences. What I didn't consider is that it could reach prospective clients for content marketing. Well, one reader reached out that they had some writing work for me if I'm interested. To quote the Senator from Veep when discussing the "Families First" bill, "Now I'm interested. Very...fucking...interested."
Fast forward a few weeks and I now have an awesome relationship with a company that hires me for occasional content marketing! I don't have specific permissions to chat about the company or my rates, so I'll leave that out, but suffice to say it's been a massive contributor to my income levels this month, which you can find below.
The Blog's Lessons
Medium Is A Strange Beast
You would think that, after over a year of writing articles on Medium, I would have figured the platform out at least a little bit. Turns out, nope!
My revenue from Medium has fluctuated by a massive amount from month to month. The algorithm is extremely temperamental, and the only thing more confusing than Medium's curation guidelines is the topic of inflation. The platform, as a whole, is pretty opaque.
However, I'm hesitant to give it up because my profile actually has traction. I'm at 200 profile followers and climbing, so it would feel like a waste to just throw that audience (and revenue stream) away, right?
How Much Money Did My Blog Make Last Month?
Alright, here's the total revenue, as well as profit, that my personal finance site made last month:
Adsense - $121.48 (+9.23% month-over-month)
Medium -$80.45 (-40.07% month-over-month)
Affiliate - $0 (sign up for Albert for a free $150 using my link)
Freelancing - $300
Wix Plugin Renewal - $24.95
Stripe Invoicing Fee - $9.90
2022 Total: $1,380.07
That's right! I'm officially over the $1,000 mark, and over halfway to my $2,500 goal for the year. I have 6 more months to get it done, so hopefully the bottom stops falling out of Medium and that can start generating three figures for me again!
The Future of Blog Income Reports
These blog income reports are a really fun way for me to check in every month on my progress, but I'll admit, they're becoming a little bit of a crutch. My content volume has slowed down a bit thanks to a new job and a heavy travel schedule, but these income reports are a little tough to write. From month to month, not much changes in terms of seismic changes to my process or revenue. I was fortunate to be able to write about my experiences with freelancing this month, but Adsense is in a steady upward climb, Medium has collapsed faster than Ryen Russillo on vacation, and everything else is pretty much steady.
The plan for these moving forward is to post these once per quarter, giving you guys updates on greater revenue and income ranges, as well as potentially identify changes in process (hiring writers, advertising, etc). Let me know if you want to see anything else in the comments below, and thanks for tuning into another income report!