Blog Income Report Q3 2016

Another quarter is over for the Distilled Dollar household! The site has come a LONG way since it officially launched on March 14th of this year.

Thank you to everyone who visits Distilled Dollar. Seriously, THANK YOU!!! 🙂

This quarter the blog saw features on a lot of great sites, including The Huffington Post. I’m hoping my message will resonate with more people in the future as we all work to pursue financial independence.

Why Share my Blog Income Report?

My goal is to have this site be 100% transparent. If we were to write about money and not discuss our personal cash flows, then we would feel disingenuous.

I also enjoy sharing these stats because other bloggers reach out with recommendations on areas where I can improve. I also receive questions on how I can help others grow their site. A big shout out to Physician on Fire who pointed out an error I had in my Google Analytics. If I didn’t share my Blog Income report last time around, then I have no doubt, my GA would still be messed up.

I also frequently receive question on how I grew my site or my Twitter profile so fast. Luckily, I can refer everyone to prior blog reports or my free Twitter guide without needing to customize an email each time. Of course, I still end up giving tailored feedback, but as the site continues to grow, I’m sure a few readers will chime back here to see how our story has progressed.

Anyway, as with my Q3 net worth update, I’ve now babbled enough, so here’s what you’re all waiting to see…

Blog Income Report Q3 2016

Revenue: $549.05
Expenses: ($561.05)
Blog (Loss): ($12.00)

Before I dive into a breakdown of the revenue, you’ll notice my expenses are also quite high. As a blogger, I want to reinvest my earnings back into my site. I talk about this a bit in a recent guest post I did here.

The short recap is my site is generating revenue because readers find it valuable. I feel I owe it to myself and to my readers to reinvest those earnings back into making this site as great as possible.

The expenses are broken down as such: upgrading my theme ($264) , consulting services ($100), hosting fees ($35.85), & PayPal transfer fees ($14.20).

The revenue breakdown:

Sponsored Content & Ads – $403.94

Personal Capital – $100.00
Blue Apron – $45.00
Amazon Affiliate – $0.11
Total – $549.05 (Or a 2040% increase!!)

I’m happy to have started to earn some revenue from sponsored content, but I know I put my initial price too low. I’ve since closed on two more deals at higher rates but whether they pan out is still up in the air. It doesn’t make much sense to count future earnings until the cash is in the bank.

The Adwords revenue actually dropped since the last quarter. You may have noticed I removed all the Adword placements except for one small box at the very bottom of each page. I find this display is a much smoother experience for my readers.

You might not see it, but bloggers receive tons of emails each week asking for this type of arrangement. After filtering through them, there might be one out of a few dozen worth pursuing.

My only affiliate income from Flex Offers is thanks to Personal Capital. If you aren’t using this free wealth management tool, then sign up today via this free offer. You can view their recommended portfolio for free. It won’t cost you a dime and it takes 10 minutes to link your accounts. As far as I see it, you have nothing to lose, and only insight to gain (check out their cool Fee Analyzer tool).

We love Blue Apron! The cooking app has been a tremendous way for me and my fiancée to cook a delicious meal together. They provide us with all the fancy ingredients that we wouldn’t normally seek out. Each meal contains ~12-15 ingredients and everything is boxed up and fresh when we receive it. Check out my review of Blue Apron if you’re looking to expand your cooking skills. If you sign up with my special offer here, you receive your first box of meals for free.

Thank you to all the readers who end up taking me up on my book recommendations. You will not be disappointed. I’ve done a few book reviews recently as I’ve picked up my hobby of reading again. Let me know if you like them and I’ll keep doing them.

End of Year Goals

My goal is to end this year with my site looking exactly how I had imagined it at the beginning of the year. I want each page to be completed (e.g. why I use Personal Capital?). I look forward to having my content featured on more great blogs and, possibly, a few more news outlets.

The biggest goal for Q4 is to rebuild a pipeline of ready-to-publish content. By building the pipeline in Q4, I’m hoping to open up more time in Q1 so I can work on new projects for Distilled Dollar. As part of this initiative, I’ve also picked up a half dozen books that should help me develop a stronger site.

I’m in no particular rush as a good portion of my, “blogging,” time relates to reading and commenting on other sites. This type of activity doesn’t generate a ton of page views, but it makes the whole experience much more fun. Plus, I learn awesome money tips that we utilize to increase our savings rate even more.

In the end, the value I receive out of Distilled Dollar is directly proportionate to the value I provide to my awesome readers. I’ve received so much this year and I can’t wait to continue to give back in Q4 and 2017.

Thank you for making this blogging experience so enjoyable!

As a reader of Distilled Dollar, do you find value in these blog income reports? Do you want me to continue doing them at the start of each quarter?

Master Distiller

30 comments… add one
  • Jon @ Be Net Worthy Oct 7, 2016, 5:25 am

    I love the income reports. As a new blogger myself it gives me a benchmark on how I’m doing and I love to see how other people are succeeding. Bold move on trimming down your display ads, but it makes sense. They don’t generate a lot of revenue and it significantly improves the user experience. I may have to consider doing the same.

    You can thank me for a for cents of your affiliate income, I enjoyed Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life!

    Have a great weekend!

    • Distilled Dollar Oct 7, 2016, 9:07 pm

      Sweet! I cherish those pennies. I haven’t finished the other two books yet on Stoicism so I can’t recommend, but they look to be great as well.

      Thanks for the comment Jon! Looks like I’ll stick with these quarterly income reports.

      • The Vigilante Oct 12, 2016, 5:18 pm

        This seems awfully unfair. You should probably see that Seneca gets his cut.

        • Distilled Dollar Oct 13, 2016, 3:24 pm

          Haha! I’m sure someone in Italy claims to be a long lost descendent of his.

  • Jay Oct 7, 2016, 7:12 am

    Thanks for the update. I appreciate the transparency. I really like this new full-screen layout as well that you’ve just recently implemented. Thanks again for sharing and have a great weekend!

    • Distilled Dollar Oct 7, 2016, 9:07 pm

      Awesome – glad to hear you like the theme. Money well spent it looks like.

  • Ms. Montana Oct 7, 2016, 8:58 am

    Congrats on a great quarter! I started blogging just a few months after you, so it is really fun for me to see where you take things. Keep up the great work.

  • Financial Panther Oct 7, 2016, 9:24 am

    Awesome quarter Matt! I haven’t put any ads or anything on my own blog yet. Just working on building an audience before I even think about monetizing, but it’s cool to see your growth. Just hoping I can at least make enough money in the next year to at least cover my cost of going to FinCon.

    • Distilled Dollar Oct 7, 2016, 9:15 pm

      That’s one of our goals too – enough revenue to cover the costs of FinCon. I’m sure it will work itself out, and if not, then I will view it as an investment with a high ROI in the end.

  • Linda @ Bklyn Bread Oct 7, 2016, 9:36 am

    It’s always so interesting to get these little windows onto how other bloggers are doing things. The site looks great and I love the HuffPo story…

    • Distilled Dollar Oct 7, 2016, 9:16 pm

      Thank you x2!! 🙂

      I’m happy how the HuffPo story went. It summarizes a lot about us in such a short amount of space. And of course, thanks again for the site layout. Hopefully soon it will be all done!

  • Cindy @ Smart Family Money Oct 7, 2016, 4:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing your income report! It’s really interesting, as a new blogger, to read about how bloggers are making money. I like the new site layout!

    • Distilled Dollar Oct 7, 2016, 9:21 pm

      Thank you Cindy! I love hearing people’s reaction to the theme. It makes me feel much better about spending the money to upgrade it in the first place!

  • Ty Oct 7, 2016, 5:06 pm

    Nice work, Matt! Like you, I’m doing some blog maintenance this week (month) and it’s kicking my butt. But I think it will make for a better user experience in the long run. The new theme looks great! I like it much better than the old image that took up so much of your home page.

    Also like you, I’m getting ready to ditch my AdSense ads. Although I just hit my first $100 month (Google’s threshold for receiving payment), it’s something that reader’s don’t like. The “good” ads are placed in the post themselves, but that disrupts the readability and flow of each post, so I’m going to remove them and focus on affiliate income eventually.

    Thanks for the update. It’s always interesting to peek behind the curtains.

    • Distilled Dollar Oct 7, 2016, 9:25 pm

      Month sounds about right! Hah, I’m trying a few more tweaks today and tomorrow, and then I’ll need a break.

      Ya – I’m not sure when I’ll receive my Adsense money, haha. It will likely sit there for a long time.

  • Tawcan Oct 7, 2016, 5:40 pm

    Thanks for the update, it’s always great to see other blog’s income report and get a detailed breakdown.

    • Distilled Dollar Oct 7, 2016, 9:26 pm

      I agree! I find it helps me see what works and what doesn’t work – both from the perspective of the blogger and the reader.

  • PatientWealthBuilder Oct 7, 2016, 8:42 pm

    Do you work in public accounting? How do you balance time between work, life, and blogging? Sincere question!

    • Distilled Dollar Oct 7, 2016, 9:30 pm

      I used to work in Public Account until late last year. Launching a blog was actually one of my “pro’s” when deciding to leave public.

      Ya, I don’t miss any of those 2am mornings or 6am up wake up calls. I love having my weekends back and not needing to open my computer up when I get home at night. I would definetly not have been able to pull off this blog if I was still working full time. Or at least, I would have had to post only once a week, maybe twice.

      • PatientWealthBuilder Oct 8, 2016, 12:01 pm

        Cool thanks for sharing. I am not in public but am still in a very challenging role – which for now is great. But it cuts into my blogging time! Do you work part-time now? I’m exploring options in a theoretical way for alternate work schedules for someone who is a CPA. I know I need a professional challenge to stay excited about work but that usually results in having much less time for other pursuits like my blog and real estate investing.

        • Distilled Dollar Oct 8, 2016, 1:39 pm

          I work full time and I make up for it by waking up at 5 each morning to get ~90 minutes each morning on this site. I also tend to write/edit/post/etc. on the weekends.

          I do know a lot of CPA’s who eventually negotiate a situation where they work 4 days of the week at about 10 hours. I haven’t tried anything like that at my work. I hope that answers your question!

  • Your First Million Oct 10, 2016, 10:56 am

    Awesome update! It is really cool to see the growth over time. Keep up the good work!

  • Ricard Torres @ Escaping to Freedom Oct 11, 2016, 4:56 am

    Hey Matt! Yes, definitely keep doing these income reports – they serve as motivation for us newer bloggers 🙂 It’s really comforting to see that you’re now generating significant revenue from your blog, which kind of reinforces that there is money to be made from it and that it can come relatively soon.

    Keep up the amazing work! Hopefully, I’ll get to where you are now in a few months and I can start with my monthly income reports. So excited!!

    • Distilled Dollar Oct 13, 2016, 3:31 pm

      That’s awesome to hear Ricard! With the speed of the internet, I will not be surprised if you’re there quicker.

      But on the other hand, taking the long approach will keep you grounded. These types of activities tend to take years to play out.

  • Michael Oct 11, 2016, 1:47 pm

    Hi Matt,

    I love to see income reports. Nice breakdown of income and expenses. Keep it going!


    • Distilled Dollar Oct 13, 2016, 3:24 pm

      Thanks Michael! I’ll keep doing these per quarter. It is nice to also get some feedback on readers on what can be tweaked.

  • Roadrunner Oct 31, 2016, 8:35 am

    Nice job! Congratulations for making your blog a valuable one not just from a quality but also from a financial perspective!

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