This income report is going to be a little awkward because of what happened in February.
I made a lot of money that I didn’t think I was going to make. I’ll be straight up honest with you. This wasn’t the gameplan.
Last month’s income report made perfect sense. I could outline every single strategy that led to my success.
Unfortunately, what I’m going to tell you in this income report isn’t all strategy.
In fact, a lot of the success that happened this month occurred because of things that you can’t control.
I mean, I guess you can in a way but it’s more like planting a seed today and hoping that you get a nice tree out of it in the future.
If you’re here for the first time and have no clue who the hell I am then I’ll try to do some quick background.
Sidenote: I can’t do that copy and paste shit other bloggers do with their income report intros where every month you read the same thing about how much they value income reports. I gotta bring something unique to the party each time.
I wrote Screw Your Income Report for a reason.
My name is Paul Scrivens and I run the site you’re currently reading along with a lot of other sites. I don’t want to say a number because I always lose track and people have me creating more all of the time.
Just know that one of the things that I do is help bloggers build businesses and the reason why I have so many blogs is because I want to make sure I know what the hell I’m talking about.
That’s important to me.
I like to experiment and try out new techniques for growing a blog and only doing that with one niche is pretty limiting.
I need to test things out across multiple niches.
So that’s what I do.
If you want some more background then check out January’s Income Report.
When it comes to reporting revenue in these income reports I’ll show you two numbers:
- The actual money that hit my bank account this month
- The money that COULD (aka earned) hit my bank account in later months (like affiliate revenue)
As a blogger, it’s cool to know you’re going to have some money coming to you in the future but usually you want to know what’s coming to you now!
You can’t go down to the deli and let them know that Amazon is going to pay you in 2 months so can you get some credit on that salami.
So again, the first number will be money that went into my bank account and the second number will be money that should be hitting my bank account later on.
Expenses I report as money that is leaving my account this month with the exception of the Billionaire Blog Club numbers.
For the BBC I’ll show two numbers, money leaving this month and the money I have to pay out to affiliates later.
If this isn’t cool with the accountants out there I understand. I just think it’s a more realistic way to report numbers for the people out there looking to get into blogging.
Before we get started I want to share a special message.
THIS SHIT IS IMPORTANT SO READ IT!!!
Some people love to see the big numbers, I get it. The big numbers are kind of like that HOLY SHIT YOU CAN MAKE THAT MUCH BLOGGING?
But there is a major downside to the big numbers. The big numbers make blogging seem unrealistic to a lot of people.
When you’re at a shitty job and looking for a way out, you might be thinking that you just need to make $2,700 a month from your blog so you can call it quits from the job.
When people start throwing out numbers like $176,000 or $98,000 that is way beyond then what you want at the present moment.
You just want enough to change your current situation. Sure, down the road you’ll probably want more but for right now you just need that amount that is going to change the game.
The reason why I share the individual revenue for each site is because I want you to see it’s possible to get to a nice level of income with a blog.
It’s dumb for me to say I make $50,000 from Siteground and you can to (!!) without showing viable other ways.
But if I show you I’m making $3,000 from a blog with ads and some affiliate marketing that seems within reach.
So keep that in mind. Don’t get caught up in the really big numbers that appear at the end. Focus on the blogs themselves and see how they are performing as standalone businesses.
Let’s get to the blogs.
Blog #1: Obstacle.co (est. June 2016)
You really should go back and read the January Income Report to get more background about Obstacle.co.
Basically, the main goal isn’t to make money but to push people to the Billionaire Blog Club’s mailing list ALONG with showcasing my personality.
Most how to make money bloggers say the same shit over and over and over again. They paint blogging to be the happiest thing in the world and talk about how easy it is to follow your passion and make good money.
I don’t do that to my audience because I actually care about what they are trying to achieve.
If I want to run a 4-minute mile I don’t want a running coach to tell me that all I need to do is believe in myself. I need the person that puts me on a training program that makes me puke but gets results.
Obstacle.co is meant to show you the realities of blogging because that’s what you deserve to see so you can decide if it is really for you.
Traffic: 39,006 Pageviews
Shorter month, more pageviews than January.
Obstacle.co is one of the few blogs in my arsenal that is being carried by Google instead of Pinterest.
I was going to work on my Pinterest game a bit this month for the blog but then Pinterest finally rolled out the new pin dimensions and I didn’t want to be bothered.
I’ll tackle it a bit more in March but it probably won’t get the full attention it deserves until April.
I did publish one new post and I decided I wanted to experiment with pin designs so I gave it the ugliest pin design that my eyes would allows.
It’s not taking off like I want it to yet, but I’ll wait another month before doing a brand new design for it.
Revenue: $200 / $0
Getting only $200 from Siteground is a little weird considering the site only talks about how to make money blogging.
This is one of the biggest revenue streams for bloggers that talk about this stuff but for me it’s one of my lowest.
The reasoning is simple…I don’t pimp out any web host links that much. I talk more about what it takes to be a successful blog instead of the actual steps of just installing a blog.
However, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t find a better way to increase this revenue and that’s something I’ll be working on.
Heyo! Last month I was at $-10 and this month I jumped up to $190!
Again, this isn’t really a big deal since the blog is not meant for revenue generation on the frontend.
However, the affiliate marketing game (not just web hosting but other blogging tools) needs to be stepped up.
Not much to do with this site as my attention will be focused on a couple of other sites as you’ll see.
I’m sure I’ll get a blog post or two out the door but nothing major planned.
I actually need to go through all of the old posts and see what updates are needed on each.
Blog #2: Thrive/Strive (est. June 2016)
There isn’t much to say about this blog besides what was said last month. Just more of the same.
Traffic: 435,291 Pageviews
Revenue: $3,830.01 / $4,012.62
A $1,000 increase in revenue can be completely attributed to how well ad revenue performed in December.
Amazon is still a weak point along with other affiliate marketing of the site but similar to Obstacle.co, we use it as a funnel to Keto Dash.
Breakdown of money hitting bank account this month:
Breakdown of money hitting my bank account later:
I forgot to close my ConvertKit account again. Hopefully, I remember for March.
Although the goal of the site is to funnel people to Keto Dash, I also want all of my blogs to be standalone businesses.
$3,761.01 is a standalone business and that number can easily climb with the right kind of moves.
Besides publishing new posts the only other thing I plan on doing is a bit of product research. Since the site does well with Yoga and other fitness topics I’m thinking maybe I can find some type of fitness printable to sell.
No concrete ideas as of yet so I’ll just go exploring.
Blog #3: The Daily Nutrition (est. September 2017)
Same thing as Thrive/Strive. Rinse and repeat.
Traffic: 436,078 Pageviews
A drop from January but with fewer days to cover ground that is going to happen. Even though the site averaged fewer pageviews per day than January I’m still pretty pleased with this number.
Even though the site is doing a large amount of traffic, it still needs a lot more content for me to feel like it can go on auto-pilot.
SEO still needs a bit more time to kick in but it’s hard to complain about almost half a million pageviews in a month to a blog that was created 6 months ago.
Let’s talk about something important.
Looking at the graph you can see the traffic is on a downward trend and this can seem alarming.
I’m not too concerned because the site was still doing good numbers and like I said before, there isn’t enough content on the site to make me feel comfortable with the site going on auto-pilot.
Usually, when this happens with Pinterest traffic it’s because 1-2 posts took off and they died down a bit.
I’ll keep an eye on things in March to see if things continue to trend downward as I add more content.
Revenue: $1,641.00 / $2,980.00
December revenue showing some pretty good signs although I’m not pleased whatsoever with the RPM of the site. I’ll continue to make some tweaks to things in March to see if I can increase but if it doesn’t get to where I want it then I might have to move the blog over to Mediavine.
I have no idea if Mediavine will produce better results for this particular blog but you don’t know anything until you try it.
Breakdown of money hitting bank account this month:
Breakdown of money hitting bank account in future:
Pretty embarrassing on the affiliate marketing front. That’s an April goal (I’m already booked for time in March).
But, the site is almost a standalone business as well. If you take future revenue into account then I think it is.
I want to work on some more specialized affiliate marketing posts to see what is possible in this particular niche (nutrition).
Blog #4: Bogoten (est. July 2017)
Spoiler alert, pretty much nothing was done with this blog. That’s okay though because it’s still healthy and just waiting in the wings to rock out.
Traffic: 7,507 Pageviews
When you compare these numbers to the numbers of my other blogs then it doesn’t look impressive. When you realize that the promotion is 100% automated through BoardBooster and I haven’t touched a thing then that’s not bad at all!
Revenue: $7.38 / $0.87
Bleh, definitely not a standalone business yet.
Don’t worry Bogoten, my dear friend, March will be your uprising.
Finish up the cleaning/organization product I am making for the 28-Day Create Your First Product Challenge.
That also means writing a bit more posts focused on this topic and nailing down the sales funnel for it.
Blog #5: Mama Paisa (est. October 2017)
Similar to Bogoten, I promised myself that I’d put some work into this blog and I did…kind of.
I worked on it for one of the 28-Day Challenges. I reworked the post on increasing breast milk supply and the wife and I got two new posts up.
Traffic: 47,923 Pageviews
I’m not going to bother calculating the % increase but that’s some gooooooood shit! Those numbers mean that the blog can apply to Mediavine and that has been done.
Now I’m just waiting on the word.
If you’re wondering how I was able to boost traffic so much in a short period of time the answer is with Pinterest.
I don’t do anything differently when working on an old site or a new site. The same principles always apply.
It’s more of a matter of will I spend time working on the site or not.
You might also be wondering if the Paisa tag team is coming for other mommy blogs and the correct answer is yes.
Yes, we are.
Revenue: $76.14 / $57.98
Mmmmm a tasty bump in affiliate revenue. The goal will be to get this site to $1,000 in Amazon (only) affiliate revenue by August.
Standalone business? Not quite but if the site gets into Mediavine then it becomes a whole new ballgame.
100% focus on affiliate marketing content.
Blog #6: Struggle.co (est. March 2017)
Struggle.co and I have a rocky relationship. Because of its niche, the ad revenue is insane but for one reason or another, I keep putting it on the backburner.
This site could easily top $5,000 in monthly revenue with a bit of work so I guess it’s time for me to buckle down and make it happen.
Struggle.co, you’ll get a lot of my attention in April.
Traffic: 40,022 Pageviews
Revenue: $426.26 /
Nothing much really to report here.
Because the ad RPM for this site is so high I need to get the pageviews over 150,000 so I’ll be focusing on casting a wide net with a content and bringing people in.
A lot of blogs like to start in the personal finance niche, but it’s a pretty hard niche to scale in. You would think that everyone wants to save money but it’s not really something a lot of people actively search for.
I’ll probably also explore some type of budgeting/debt payment printable just to enter that space.
Blog #8: Miss Fit Living (est. July 2017)
Traffic: 158,932 Pageviews
Revenue: $367.54 / $1,759.06
Not a standalone business this month, but that changes next month with over $2,000 in revenue heading my way.
The site is branching out into more women’s lifestyle topics so it will be time to sprinkle those out on the site.
Will also start looking for female-specific products to sell on the site.
Membership Site #1: Keto Dash (est. April 2017)
Traffic: 1,277,774 Pageviews
Revenue: $17,711.19 / $1,152.02
Future revenue is $1,152.02 from Amazon.
If you’re going to spend $169 on a site you better be making some good money from it and good money is being made.
What’s interesting here is that while I’m happy with the number I’m nowhere near content. Considering the money that it makes I really feel like more should be made.
Consider this Spring Cleaning but we now have over 1,000 members and with that comes a TON of feedback so I’ll be spending this month incorporating the feedback and improving the site.
I’m also going to change the revenue model a bit and offer a lower cost PDF of the whole program but you don’t get the community or 1-on-1 email support.
For that, you’ll have to pay a tier up.
Very curious to see how this works out but I tend to like to have multiple options for people that are on the fence.
I’m also considering a higher cost product not because I think it will sell, but for price anchoring (look it up, you’ll understand it).
Membership Site #2: Billionaire Blog Club (est. March 2017)
Alright, so how do you want to do this? I can do a lot of explaining upfront or wait until after the numbers?
After the numbers?
As you can see, the site doesn’t do a lot of traffic. This kind of goes against my philosophy of trying to get as many pageviews as possible but in reality, it’s just that there isn’t enough content on the BBC yet that the public can see.
So what are they going to visit the site for?
I have plans to add more blogging content to the site, I just need to get around to it.
When bloggers tell you that the size of your audience doesn’t matter and you can still make money, these are the kinds of examples they are talking about.
I don’t want you to think that your 5,000 pageviews a month blog is going to succeed.
Get. Those. Pageviews.
Revenue: $57,534.00 / $675.00
The future $675 is from Siteground but you never know if the person is going to stick around long enough for you to get paid out.
So this number is pretty astounding if you consider how much revenue the site brought in January.
This is a ridiculous increase and so the question is how did I do it?
I can tell you what I did but you’ll see that most of it wasn’t my doing.
At the beginning of the month, I decided it was time to raise the price of the BBC Lifetime Membership.
If you don’t know what that is, then let me tell you.
IT’S THE GREATEST DAMN BLOGGING VALUE ON THE PLANET.
Seriously, with the Lifetime Membership, you get ALL of the courses, books, challenges, and community features under the Billionaire Blog Club umbrella.
However, it was also relatively cheap considering the value you get.
While most bloggers are charging $299+ for their Pinterest course, I was including it in the Lifetime Membership amongst my other courses for just $249.
I wanted to raise the price for a couple of reasons:
- The work that I put into the blog resources and community deserve a higher payment.
- I wanted to artificially limit the number of people that got into BBC. Initially, I kept it low to give everyone a chance of getting in but now that it’s grown, I need to scale it back so I can still provide the same experience.
- Lower priced customers can be a pain in the ass. When you create your first product your inclination is to price it low because you’re scared it won’t sell. When you do that you attract an audience that is completely different than the one willing to pay in the hundreds or thousands for a product.
Most importantly, because the price was low, the perceived value was also less.
It’s great for me to say “look at all of the cool shit you get with BBC” but when someone compares it to another blogger’s course that cost the same or even more, then they might think the BBC is just a bunch of cheap junk packaged together.
That isn’t the case.
I’ll talk a bit more about the price in a bit but let’s talk about what happened.
So I told BBC Members and my mailing list that February was the last month they could get into BBC for just $249. After that, I was going to raise the price and limit the dates of enrollment.
That tactic alone isn’t what caused the influx of people. What caused it is Facebook.
I don’t mean me actually doing anything on Facebook. I mean Facebook Groups where bloggers chat amongst each other.
BBC Members would talk about BBC or a non-BBC member would ask about the BBC experience and conversations would explode!
It was insane.
It’s impossible for me to know where these conversations are happening but I was fortunate that one BBC Member, Carly, has a healthy Facebook Group that was having such a conversation.
She was gracious enough to let me join her Group so I could answer any questions people had.
Apparently, this went a long way to the members there. Word on the street is that most course creators aren’t present for their students which doesn’t make much sense to me.
I know I can do everything in my powers to make the most comprehensive courses available, but there is going to be something that I leave out or something that I explain that is going to cause questions.
Those questions need answers and I want to be around to answer them.
This is why the BBC Slack Community is unrivaled. It’s a true Community. A home where people get to know each other and form bonds.
I try my best to be there for BBC Members and they respect that. Because of that, they spread the word on their own.
It’s one thing for me to tell you how great BBC is but when another blogger does it and shares the success that I had a small role in, that goes much further.
Seriously, if you’re creating products, at some point you want your people to write things like this. I didn’t ask them to write this stuff. This is all on them.
I read this stuff and I honestly think “shit, I better improve things even more!”
From there things snowballed. People would happily announce that they joined the BBC which led to more people joining.
Overall, 256 people joined BBC in February.
That’s kind of crazy when you consider that I didn’t spend any money on ads or run some elaborate launch campaign.
And that’s why I said this was out of my control. You can’t control how your students/customers/members promote your product or if they will at all.
The only thing you can control is the experience that they have and that’s what I work hard on. It paid off and I’m very thankful to all of my members.
Which is also why I’m doubling down on BBC.
More on that below…
Expenses: $174 / $12,990.00
BBC has a generous affiliate program. 40% commission with a cookie that lasts 365 days. 40% of $249 is $99.60 so any member that gets another person to sign up makes a nice chunk of change.
BBC Members have earned over $13,000 in affiliate commissions this year already.
That blows my mind.
There were no affiliate payouts in February because I paid the affiliates a day early in January (the 31st).
Drip has moved up to $149 due to the increase in subscribers. It’s one of those things that sting but as long as you’re doing things right with your mailing list, you should have no problem making that money back.
Everything else stayed the same.
I’ll be the first to say that this is a bit disingenuous considering I have to pay out $13,000 to affiliates in April but I’m trying to show how much money is available to me if I wanted to reinvest.
However, I always keep a running tally of how much affiliates are earning and I make sure that I have that set aside for when it’s time for payouts.
But even if you subtract that $13,000 that still leaves me with $44,000 in profit. That excludes taxes and that kind of business stuff, but as I said before I’m not getting into that craziness for these income reports.
I’ve used a lot of this money to upgrade my office space along with buying new equipment so technically you could say it’s even less of a profit but, again, I don’t want to make these income reports look like Fortune 500 Financial Statements.
I’ve always been a product guy. In a past life, I was a product designer and product manager.
In fact, depending on who your web host is, you might be using a product that I designed.
The way I approach product design is that it’s never finished. Everything must go through iterations and my courses are no different.
I think this is what makes me different from the rest. I’m constantly looking for ways to step the level up with what I offer which means March is all about creating Billionaire Blog Club v4.0.
This means I’ve also shut down enrollment to the site so I can put all of my focus on improving the experience.
That seems kind of insane to cut off my #1 revenue generation but it’s what needs to be done.
So expect March’s Income Report to be significantly lower than this month’s.
However, this is also a good exercise in seeing what other parts of my business pick up the pieces.
The reason why I’m trying to make each individual site its own independent business is that I want the security of knowing that if one site drops off, for whatever reason, I have others to pick up the slack.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking you need multiple businesses!!! You don’t really. At least not yet.
Focus on building up your one blog business and then if you want to expand later, go for it.
A big mistake people make is that they expand their business way too early. It might be because they see another niche gaining traffic or they just have to get that idea out of their head.
Splitting your attention across different properties doesn’t work out very well. It’s why Bogoten is stagnant and Struggle.co isn’t over 100,000 pageviews yet.
It works out for me because I know how to do a lot of computer stuff so I can automate some things and I do things a LOT FASTER than most people.
March also means the end of the traditional sales funnels for Billionaire Blog Club. All emails that I send out now will be nothing but value. There will never be an email dedicated solely to sales.
This is a BIG FUCKING JUMP from what everyone else does.
I honestly have no idea how this is going to work but I think in this niche the game has to change some.
Everybody is doing the same shit. Everybody knows when a person is selling and people are becoming jaded by it.
You can only buy so many courses before realizing you’re wasting your money.
So to combat these things I’m taking BBC to another level that others can’t touch. My goal isn’t to be better than the competition.
My goal is to make the competition irrelevant.
I don’t want BBC to be compared to other blogging resources.
When someone asks where they should go to learn about turning their blog into a business I want the only answer to be BBC and that means I have to continue to improve things.
BBC v4.0 seriously takes things to another level.
I’ll talk about it more in another blog post but I get excited each time I look at it.
So to recap:
- Closed enrollments so pretty much no money coming in from BBC for March
- Killing all sales funnels
Am I worried? Not really.
If I was then I wouldn’t be experimenting. I like the challenge of doing more for my audience and presenting them with an experience that is great for them.
If I can’t do that then I shouldn’t be in this game.
To say I’m pleased with February would be an understatement.
That’s a year’s salary for some people and two years worth of salary for others.
If I played my cards right I could take the rest of the year off and live off of this but that isn’t the goal and that isn’t fair to the BBC or Keto Dash Members.
Just trying to put those numbers into perspective.
|Digital Ocean Hosting||$230|
|Amazon Web Services||$288.76|
What a ridiculous jump from January.
Obviously, Billionaire Blog Club carried much of the weight thanks to word of mouth. I did send an email out to my mailing list about how this would be the last time to get access to BBC for just $249 and that the doors would be closing for a bit.
No doubt that helped some and I would have to look at the numbers but I can tell you that the numbers for the final week of February have affiliates generating about 50% of the revenue.
50% of my business was because of word of mouth.
Not scummy sales tactics.
Just members being excited about promoting the Billionaire Blog Club.
I can’t tell you how awesome that makes me feel but it also adds a bit of pressure which is why I’m killing my revenue in March.
However, like I said at the beginning of this post, it’s important to look at the smaller sites as well and how they bring in money. Each site is slowly moving towards having two or three revenue streams:
- Affiliate Marketing
Your blog can follow the same model. You don’t need to create high-priced courses. You can create simple PDF products or offer services.
It’s amazing the feeling you get being paid by multiple companies/people.
Get on it.
It’s no secret that for most of my sites the main source of traffic is from Pinterest. This is mostly great.
It’s mostly great because Pinterest traffic is awesome and the site itself is awesome.
It’s not so great when they decide to make small changes. For example, they’ve changed the max pin size on the desktop so every…single…one…of…my…pins…is…cut…off.
That means that I have to go through all of my blogs and redo the pins.
This super sucks but this part of the game.
You play in someone else’s sandbox then you need to be prepared to play by their rules.
I would’ve been safe if I had stuck to a smaller pin size but I like my pins standing out and being as large as they can be.
So I’m going with a new pin size of 600×1250.
On the bright side, this gives me a new opportunity to see Pinterest with new stuff.
I don’t know exactly when it happened, but it was over the past couple of months where every single pin of mine, no matter the profile is getting hijacked.
This means that someone is using my exact pin and changing the URL so it goes to their super shitty site.
This sucks and many people are upset which is understandable. You can report each of these pins as your intellectual property and in theory, if an account gets enough reports it gets suspended.
The problem is they are popping up all over the place and it’s just too many to keep track of.
You can spend all of your time trying to catch these people and report them or you can spend your time creating.
I’m spending my time creating.
I hate seeing stolen pins but as of right now it’s on Pinterest to correct this, not me.
If they continue to let it fester I can definitely see it bringing down the site itself which would open the door for an alternative site.
Being Uncomfortable Talking About Money
I don’t think anything prepares you for making this much money. I always imagined I would get to this point one day. That’s why I spent almost all of last year laying down the foundation.
However, nothing prepares you for talking about this kind of money.
Admittedly, it would be much easier just keeping things quiet and leaving a life of peace but at the moment I have to share these numbers because they show validation for what I do and teach.
This also means that my friends and family will see these numbers and I’m curious by how they will react.
Am I now the guy that is expected to pay for most things just because I have the means?
Will some of them hate me because of the success I’ve achieved?
These are things I never considered but now I’m in that territory so I am curious to see how things proceed from here on out.
It wasn’t an easy road but here I am.
If you’re looking for one piece of advice that a lot of people don’t mention when you’re trying to build up a new lifestyle for yourself it is surround yourself with people that support you.
This isn’t even an option.