If you have been following my online income reports you know that:
- This blog doesn’t make much money, especially if we consider the amount of time I spend with it.
- I don’t consider using ads because I want to keep it clean and turn it into something big.
- It is true that some many readers that come to me through From Cents To Retirement but I could get clients from other sources and that doesn’t really justify the incredible amount of time I spend writing content.
The bottom line is that From cents to retirement is still a one guy show and I do everything from content creation to social media. I was asked many times to write a book, and I did. Many readers eventually became clients. I do get money from affiliate links and sponsored posts if they actually provide value.
But does all this justify the amount of time I put on the blog? The reality is I really don’t earn much from the blog (especially now that I have even more costs with a dedicated server and a Mailchimp paid account) so you know by now that this blog is way more of a labor of love than anything else…
Dude, you still make more money than 70% of the bloggers out there…
Financially wise, I’d actually be much better off if I invested this time into consulting, writing books or, more effectively, at my real estate company.
Since the beginning, my focus has always been entirely on content creation as opposed to monetization, and I am actually quite proud of that. I didn’t want the blog to be a cash machine but rather become something so big that it would attract people from all over the world. My intention was always to share knowledge and inspire people. I also wanted to become the number 1 reference for early retirement in Europe, at the same time I compared thing with the US and Canada, as I know both countries fairly well.
I think I have slowly met those goals. The blog is still growing (after all it is less than 2 years old yet!) and I am here for the long haul. My businesses, my job and even my CFS won’t prevent me from writing awesome content because I am one committed cookie and committed cookies go wherever it takes to deliver.
However, I still have to think financially. This can’t just be my hobby, I should have some return on my time. I won’t make From Cents to Retirement a selling machine, just like many blogs are becoming, but just to put this into perspective, if this was a business I couldn’t live off of it.
How hard is it to maintain a blog?
I can tell you this:
If this was my only job, it would be “easy”. Yet, I’d starve to death.
I can also tell you this:
There were many posts that I wrote with a huge sacrifice, in 2017, as I delt with permanent dizziness. CFS is a monster and I need to deal with it every single day. I can tell you that I’ve been under big stress sometimes, just because I had to deliver. I wanted to guys to have regular posts and learn as much as possible. Posts like “flipping houses with no money“, “geographic arbitrage“, “mastering lines of credit” or “investing in small towns vs big towns” are good examples of posts that took me hours to write, as they average 2400 words! Plus I did a lot of research to write these, and I bought infographics at $10/piece from Fiverr. All of this to please my readers and grow my blog.
I do feel like I put in a lot of effort into producing high-quality content for readers. And sometimes it is not easy…
Sadly, I can’t do this full time because I haven’t retired yet. I do also need to eat and grow my portfolio so I do need to make money. I considered a paid subscription service, but I would not have the time to produce high-quality newsletters at the same time I wrote big, informative posts on From Cents To Retirement. One would end up being dismissed.
Based on what I said above, I want to have a better return on my time. I also want to continue delivering great content and growing the blog. So I came up with the idea of a donate button, which gives everyone the chance to contribute as much as they can and want. I will be totally open about the donations, which I will report on my Online income reports and I will guarantee that the first $100/mo will be given back to the From Cents To Retirement community in the form of infographics, sponsored Facebook ads (which will bring more people -> more money -> better and better content -> happiness), etc. Most likely I will actually spend the donations entirely, mostly on Facebook ads, to grow the blog.
I feel that this can be a temporary idea until the blog grows to the point of making enough money. Enough money would mean covering the fixed expenses of the blog, hiring a VA full time to manage social media, editing posts, etc and put some money on my pocket every month (say $500). At this point, I’d fell it is worth to invest so much time into the blog.
Any donation you want to make is welcomed – even $1 is good! If you consider donating more than $1, please break it down into multiples of $12 and donate monthly… I’d actually get $1/mo than $12 right away. This would help me predict donations much better and plan accordingly as to hire a VA and spend money on infographics, etc.
Either way, don’t feel pressured to donate. Although I feel that some donations would come in handy now, I will continue producing the same content regardless of how much I get!