My structure for this monthly income report is simple.
- Money Earned
- Money Spent
- Results of My Experiments
I originally intended this to be a side hustle report, but I had to pause my Etsy shop because I wasn’t getting the ROI I wanted and I had a few customer inquiries that stressed me out.
I actually just had someone message me this month to ask for a refund for an order back in July! Ugh.
I used to include my rental property in this income report but it was pretty boring since this is an accidental rental property and I barely cash flow nor have expenses for it.
My tenant called and I did have to buy a washer and dryer this month, but luckily this all went down over the holiday and I could take advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend deals.
24 hours after ordering, the washer and dryer were in the house and the existing appliances were removed for $15 each. Pretty sweet and painless.
- Check out my recent guest post on Frugal Asian Finance about managing an out-of-state rental property.
I have another income source with my podcast but I don’t disclose financial details since I launched it with a friend and admittedly, we haven’t hit break even yet.
Podcasts are very expensive to start (especially if you outsource) but we think it’s worth it and the only way we can scale. Plus, the team we have working on it is worth it! They’re rock stars and we’re lucky to have them.
- Check out FIRE Drill Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher
Blogging Income this Month – $1930.90
Expenses that are worth it:
- Tailwind – I use the tribes features which allows me to pool together with other bloggers to share each other’s Pinterest content.
- Boardbooster – I use the campaigns to send out top posts to my top group boards. I also have Christmas boards I Created last year on a loop so I don’t have to go out and find new seasonal content to pin this year. I still do pin Christmas recipes manually but only because I like to pin them myself.
- ConvertKit – there really is no better email platform in my mind. I have a growing list for Fire Drill Podcast, a list for this site (see pop-up that will bug you if you scroll down too far) and also a budding blogging email list. If you’re a blogger, I recommend you join the blogging email list (below). Bonus – you get my notes from the Elite Blog Academy conference I attended back in September for subscribing.
- Sucuri – my site was hacked earlier this year so I paid for site monitoring. If you make money on your site, you should probably sign up for something like Sucuri. They proactively monitor and will clean up any infected files for a one time fee. There are some things that you just never regret spending money on, and this is one of those things.
- PicMonkey – this is an online photo editor like Canva but offers some better layering and photoshop-esque features. Here’s my top Pinterest pin this month that I made with PicMonkey’s handy dandy layering feature. Check out that gold sparkle overlay and feel free to pin it to your boards! It’s popular so you’ll get some benefits from it (it helps your profile to pin popular pins).
- Pinterest Ads – I promoted 4 posts on Pinterest last month but only one pin “really took off.” There were two factors to that:
- First I promoted this pin earlier in the month when I was competing less with companies and persons looking to capture holiday traffic. My budget stretched further early November since CPC was low.
- Second, the pin is just a good-looking pin. Here it is (pin this too if you wish). I pinned other pins last month that weren’t as good-looking and I didn’t get as much ROI. I’m still getting ROI from this pin even though I stopped paying to promote it weeks ago.
- I don’t really stress about paying money for Pinterest pins right now because I get paid for views on this site through Mediavine. I could technically arbitrage my payment per 1,000 views on the blog versus my payment for 1,000 clicks on Pinterest if I wanted to drive traffic with little/zero cost. I’m not doing that though.
I pay for stock photos now
I just realized as I’m typing this that I forgot to include an expense.
I started paying for stock photos recently after I read about the benefits in the awesome 90-page Pinterest guide, Pinteresting Strategies, by big-deal blogger Carly Cambell.
The argument is that Pinterest associates like-images together by subject and if everyone and their mother uses the same free stock photo, Pinterest will have trouble indexing your pin into a category (such as recipes, or money posts, or whatever category). I can definitely see that happening since bloggers in all different categories use the same photos.
I now pay for them and I think I’ve received a benefit.
PS – don’t have a blog? Start here.
Thank Goodness I Monetize this Site
I received a little bit of heat when I first put ads on the site but I’m so grateful I did.
The reason is that businesses and side hustles cost money and I love doing them.
Having a small income stream from this site means that I don’t have to pay out of my own pocket for things like my Etsy business and for the podcast.
I’m grateful that I didn’t have to make the choice between my own financial health and starting a podcast, which I love doing. I get a chance to work with one of my good friends producing content that is meaningful to us and hopefully inspiring to listeners.
This small income stream also means I can reinvest back into my businesses and try different things when I need to, without sacrificing my daily quality of life or savings rate.
For example, I never would have spent over $100 on my Pinterest advertising experiment last month, had I had to pay for the ads “from my own pocket.”
I almost feel like I’m 20 again and my uncle just gave me a $50 bill to take to the blackjack table.
Gambling is more fun when it’s not your money, right?
Gambling and taking risks has allowed my businesses to grow and has given me more confidence to scale my experiments.
If I didn’t invest the money for Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s course on How to Monetize Your Blog,I wouldn’t be at the point I’m at today where I can start a podcast and do these things that bring me joy.
Experiment Last Month – Guest Posting & Podcasting
I didn’t publish many posts on Millennial Boss in November since I was busy guest posting and guest podcasting everywhere else – which was my strategy for the month.
I was listening to a podcast episode which encouraged working with influencers as a more effective promotion strategy than paying for Facebook ads (since competition is high for Facebook ads right now driving up the price).
The results of this experiment are TBD. I think I need to give it 30 days or so to sink in since many of my guest posts and podcast episodes just went live.
I will measure success by looking at traffic to this site and Fire Drill Podcast as well as measuring podcast downloads. I will also look at Google Webmasters search queries for “Millennial Boss” (and 15 misspellings of it lol) to see if people were searching for my site after being exposed to it somewhere else.
Guest Blog Posts this Month
In addition to the Frugal Asian Finance guest post, I also guest posted on Chief Mom Officer.
I actually pitched Liz at FinCon that she should feature a breadwinning dog mom in her Six-Figure Breadwinning Mom Series and she took me up on that offer.
- Here is that post – Breadwinning, Six Figure, Dog Mom – J the Millennial Boss
I’m very passionate about the topic and was grateful to be included in the series along with the amazing women she’s featured.
Guest Podcast Episodes this Month
I recorded a few guest podcast episodes this month including this episode on Marriage, Kids and Money that went live:
I’ve been trying to do more guest appearances on podcasts and hope to do a few more this month.
It’s fun being on the other side of the table with podcasting.
Guest Posts on Millennial Boss this Month
I can’t forget that I had two great guest posts on Millennial Boss this month.
- Managing Resentment and Stress as the Female Breadwinner – from Chief Mom Officer
- Why the Top Athletes Blow Their Money – from Super Millennial
I have a few awesome posts queued up for December which I can’t wait to share with you!
I also released my October Income report last month, where I shared I made over $1500.
What’s in the books for December?
- I’m getting back into real estate – looking to incorporate some sort of Airbnb/Tiny house thing into the mix
- I’m enjoying holiday & family time
- I want to do more guest posts and guest podcast appearances
- I want to have a positive ROI on the podcast =)
If you want to help me with the podcast, you can leave a 2-second review on iTunes.
For those of you who have left a review, I ❤️you. Seriously, thank you!
- Leave a review on iTunes here. (or you can always email Gwen and I with your feedback, or just email to say hi).
What are you planning for side hustles and experiments in December?
- The Don’t Forget Ski Trip Packing List (+ Printable PDF) - February 15, 2020
- These 3 Courses in the Genius Bloggers Toolkit Make it Worth It - January 16, 2020
- How to Gnomes with Felt Hats in 20 Minutes (St. Patricks, Valentines, Easter) - January 13, 2020