Blog Income Report Q2 2016 - Distilled Dollar

Blog Income Report Q2 2016

I’ll run through all my numbers below, including a short part at the end about my favorite day during Q2 when I hit 10k page views in a single day (thanks to my being featured on Rockstar Finance). In the effort to keep my financial life fully transparent, I am also keeping this blog transparent with another quarterly income report.

For those who don’t care much about blogging and are only concerned about all things personal finance, then I’ll recommend listening to my first podcast from a few weeks back. If you prefer reading material, then you’ll notice I link to my most popular posts throughout the rest of this article.

For my readers – I’m so grateful for every single person that stops by the site. I don’t care whether you skim one article or read through a dozen, as long as you leave my site having learned something of positive value. At the very least, I hope you’ve have a good laugh while learning from a few of my mistakes.

Similar to my Q1 Blog Income report, I prefer to show my results instead of describe each detail.

As you can see from the featured image of this post, many of my stats have multiplied by a factor of ten in only 3 months!

Distilled Dollar now has 731 total comments! That’s a massive increase from Q1’s total of 48!

Twitter obviously continues to be a huge success. I recently wrote a full guide on everything I’ve learned as I gained 10,000 followers in 4 months. If you’re curious about starting an account on Twitter, check it out here. I walk through everything to go from nothing to having a following large enough to draw in (depending on the day) 10-25% of my audience. You can do all this with minimal stress and with only 20 minutes a day.

On a similar vein, I’ve noticed a small uptick in the number of visitors from search engines. It is my belief that Google will essentially ignore new websites for much of their first year. Somewhere around the 9-12 month mark, Google’s search algorithm will start to send more traffic to your site. Within 18 months, I think it is a healthy expectation to see more traffic from Google than any other source of traffic. I’m surprised to see even a few views from search engines right now, but I don’t expect this number to drive any meaningful traffic for some time.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by Distilled Dollar, opened a link to a new article, left a comment, shared a link via social media, and in general, did anything to help make this blog a success through the first six months!

Seriously, thank you for making this process so enjoyable!

Now, onto the big numbers that need to be reported.

Q2 was the first time I “monetized” the site, although that might be a weak attempt to say I applied for Google adsense and setup Amazon affiliates.

The revenue is low, but at least it is partially because I have chosen for it to be low.

Take Google Adsense for example. I’ve been contacted by two individuals from Google about “optimizing” my ad placement. I’ve chosen not to do so because it would make the ads on my site much more obstructive to your reader experience.

I’ve also been told I should upgrade to a new theme that allows more ad space on a side banner. I love my current theme because it is minimalistic. Granted, I will likely change themes before the end of the year, simply because I would like to include, “top articles,” “new comments,” but that’s all down the road.

Lastly, I’ve turned away a couple (yes, a couple as in two) offers to post sponsored content for a $$ price. I’m not opposed to promoting quality products, such as great books I’ve enjoyed or automated wealth tracking tools, but I don’t want to promote something for the sake of promoting it.

Blog Income Q2 2016


Revenue: $26.91
Expenses: $(35.85)
Net Loss: $(8.94)

Expenses are down significantly because the start up costs of my blog included the price of my logo. I’m happy to say the expenses may go down even further next quarter as I’m contemplating switching hosting services from Host Gator to Blue Host. From what I can tell, they are similar (they are owned by the same parent company), but Blue Host might suit my current needs better.

If you’re looking to create your own site, here’s a great resource to see how you can set up a WordPress Blog in 15 minutes.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You need me to break up the revenue line into the single element parts so you can see where I’m getting all that CASH from.

Okay, here’s how revenue breaks down:

$26.75 – Adsense
$0.16 – Amazon Affiliates
$26.91 – Total

Thank you to the two folks who purchased books that I have recommended. These books have changed my life, and are truly great resources.

Q3 Plans


Given Q1 revenue was $0, I’m pretty happy to see Q2 contain SOME revenue.

As for Q3; plans have been up in the air between diving into a new social media platform (currently, I’m thinking Instagram or Pinterest) OR developing a larger pipeline of posts. I’m leaning towards writing more as it feels great to have a few weeks of edited posts ready to be published.

Not to mention, Mrs. Distilled Dollar gets a break from daily proofreading.

Since blogging is all about the long haul, I’m leaning towards accomplishing the latter first, and then if there is time left over, I’ll create a new social media account.

As you might be able to tell from my experience with Twitter, I prefer to dive in deep to understand all the nuts and bolts before moving on. It took me a great amount of time and stress to gain 10k followers, but now I’ve learned the process.

If anyone knows any helpful guides similar to my Twitter guide that can help me remove stress and time from developing new social media accounts, let me know.

Running a blog while working a full time job is demanding. It doesn’t help that I’m also training for a triathlon this summer and that we’ve added a new family member to the The Distilled Dollar household.

Remember that “eventual adoption of a second cat” that Mrs. Distilled Dollar negotiated as part of her full-time proofreader contact? Well… we adopted a kitten a few weeks back. So far, his favorite hobbies include head butting me awake at 4 AM, jumping on his older sister (a five year old calico), and falling asleep to my tales of personal finance.

Kitten


I’m jealous of his ability to quickly catch some zzz’s.

Oh, and now a short inside view on my favorite day from Q2.

A Day in the Life of Distilled Dollar: 10K Page Views in a single Day

I woke up at at 4:30 as usual. I wake up early because I deeply believe blah blah blah and that’s why I love my cats.


I spent about an hour reading and writing my initial comments for the day and checked back on my site.

This particular morning I noticed nothing unusual about the site.

I typically check before I jump in the shower in the morning to see if any new comments popped up. It basically gives me something to think about while I’m getting ready and I try to respond back before I leave for work.

This time though… the number of page views was already nearing a record for a single day. “…Hmm, that’s odd”, I thought, as I reloaded the page to see if it was an error.

The numbers shot UP in that 60 second window.

Slight panic settled in.

I checked the source of the traffic and saw Rockstar Finance!

Full blown panic and excitement now.

Seeing your blog be featured by the likes of J$ from BudgetsAreSexy.com and Cate from CaitFlanders.com is horrible for productivity. It was all I could think about that day!

By the time I wrapped up for the night, I had more than doubled the number of subscribers to my site & topped my first 30 days of ~9k page views with just over 10k in a single day.

My girlfriend and I celebrated by opening up a bottle of sparkling wine. We opted for a $12 Prosecco instead of a $50 bottle of Veuve Clicquot because we’re frugal like that. It was a great way to celebrate an amazing day.

That’s a wrap for Q2. Thanks again for making it amazing!

Here’s to a great Q3!

-Matt
Master Distiller

18 comments… add one
  • Apathy Ends Jul 1, 2016, 6:38 am

    Impressive Matt!

    If it’s any consolation I love your theme and site! But understand your feelings on wanting to add some features – I will have to make a similar decision later.

    • Distilled Dollar Jul 3, 2016, 4:17 pm

      Thanks! I’m a big fan of the theme of course, so it will be a sad day when it changes.

  • Vicki@MSDLifeCoaching Jul 1, 2016, 7:10 am

    Congratulations Matt! I am using some of your ideas but struggle with the whole social media piece too! I never used Twitter before so it is a learning curve. I know Sam at Financial Samuai posted about using Facebook this week but I have yet to give that a try either. I am with you on creating good content first and then trying the social media piece. And diving in with one is the most important I think too! Have a great weekend!

    • Distilled Dollar Jul 3, 2016, 4:28 pm

      I’ve been focusing a lot on building out the pipeline lately – but then again I’ve always been trying to do this. As i’ve switched to posting three times per week it has become more difficult, but I’ve also become better at the entire process of writing and publishing a post.

      Let me know how your Twitter progress goes! Feel free to post a comment later on the original guide article.

  • Jon Jul 1, 2016, 7:11 am

    Well done Matt! Now that you have a good process in place that’s working, just keep on hustling and the continued success will keep building as well!

    • Distilled Dollar Jul 3, 2016, 4:34 pm

      Thanks Jon! The great part about this next phase is that much of the initial work needed to build the habits is now behind me.

  • FinanceSuperhero Jul 1, 2016, 8:33 am

    As always, I am enjoying following your progress and learning from you along the way. Congrats!

  • Julie@ChooseBetterLife Jul 1, 2016, 9:16 am

    Well done!
    You didn’t say it explicitly, but cute cat photos are also known to drive hordes of internet traffic to your site 🙂

    • Distilled Dollar Jul 3, 2016, 4:41 pm

      Thanks! I’m sure more photos will come out in the future, so keep an eye out!

  • Amanda @ centsiblyrich Jul 1, 2016, 9:22 am

    Thanks for sharing your progress, Matt! It’s funny to read about the day you were featured on Rockstar. Looking forward to continuing to follow you progress.

    • Distilled Dollar Jul 3, 2016, 4:42 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment Amanda.

      The Rockstar Finance day was pretty crazy, so I felt it needed its own little piece.

  • Ms. Montana Jul 1, 2016, 12:22 pm

    This is really cool to see! What analytics do you use? I like yours way better!

    • Distilled Dollar Jul 3, 2016, 4:43 pm

      I use google analytics. I also use the Word Press Jet Pack plugin, which helps me stay on top of comments, but the picture you see is from GA.

  • Stefan @Mllnnlbudget Jul 3, 2016, 2:44 pm

    Nice quarter matt! glad to see the progress

    • Distilled Dollar Jul 3, 2016, 4:51 pm

      Thanks for leaving the comment Stefan – I’m sure we will both continue to see progress over the next quarters.

  • Dollar engineer Jul 12, 2016, 8:15 am

    That’s awesome Matt! Hopefully the strong momentum continues for the rest year!

    • Distilled Dollar Jul 21, 2016, 6:24 am

      Yep – we find that once the habits have been established, it becomes easier. Of course, we do automate much of our investing, so we never feel like we’re missing the money to begin with.

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