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You may have noticed that we haven’t shared any income reports in a long time, but this is mostly because we don’t think it’s anyone’s business how much we earn. However, we figured all of that needed to change in January 2020 when Greg launched his new blogging course, Earn More Blogging.
It’s hard to market a blogging course when you aren’t transparent about how much money you earn blogging, and obviously you wouldn’t want to learn from someone who made $11 on their website last year.
Alas, here we are reminiscing over the awesome income year we had in 2019. In total, hubby and I pulled in $1,033,585 in revenue using multiple income streams we cultivated online. This doesn’t take our expenses into account, but we dive into those further below…so keep reading!
How Did We Earn Over $1 Million Online in 2019?
Greg and I have been doing a lot of different things to earn money online for years, including blogging, freelance writing, and selling some online courses. We strive to be transparent for the people who purchase our courses because we know not everyone who sells courses is honest about where their income comes from.
With this in mind, here’s how our revenue turned out in 2019:
- $569,927 in affiliate marketing and ad networks
- $412,453 in freelance writing income (Holly’s income)
- $48,817 for our Earn More Writing courses, hosted by yours truly
- $2,388 in sponsored posts
Total Revenue in 2019: $1,033,585
As you can see, the bulk of our revenue in 2019 was straight blogging income. We also earn some money from courses, and I earned a buttload of cash freelance writing in 2019. I have earned at least $200,000 per year writing for the last several years, but this was the first year I crossed over the $300,000 threshold. I killed it! That probably won’t happen again, but it did boost our income for the year.
I do make some money selling my writing courses that show other people how to build online freelancing careers, but not a ton. It’s mostly a pet project for me.
As I mentioned though, Greg just launched his new Earn More Blogging course, which we expect to bring in a ton of income in 2020. Of course everyone wants to learn from my awesome hubby, right? This course didn’t launch until January of 2020 though, so we didn’t earn any money from it last year.
How Did Our Business Expenses Stack Up in 2020?
Greg says our expenses were a little over $180,000 for the year, mostly for help we pay for so we can focus our efforts on stuff that earns more money. We pay for help with our taxes, for example, and we hire writers to create some of the awesome content for our website. We also have a virtual assistant, an editor, and pay for some online ads and media liability insurance. Those expenses combined are where we spent around $180,000 last year.
Keep in mind, however, that you don’t have to spend that much to run a blog! In fact, 2019 was the first year we spent even close to this much. At first, we spent almost zero, other than the money we spent on hosting and wifi! If you want to learn how to start a blog for only a few bucks a month, just follow the link!
How Are Our Lives and Finances in 2020?
Since we haven’t done any income reports for a few years, most people probably don’t have any idea where we’re at financially. As a reminder though, we originally started Club Thrifty in 2012 as a journal to help us get out of around $50,000 in auto and student loan debt.
A lot has changed since those early days, but here are some basic updates:
- Greg and I paid off our home in 2018 and we paid cash for a $100,000+ room addition project as well.
- We save a lot of our income, and sometimes as much as 90% of our after-tax income, in any given month.
- We also spend a lot of money sometimes….mostly because we can. We went on two vacations that cost more than $20,000 each in 2019 because we paid for family members to come with us!
- We are on track for extremely early retirement, probably in the next 10 years or when we feel like it.
To be honest, the money no longer makes a huge difference in our lives other than helping to boost our brokerage accounts. We do feel a lot less stressed out about money and the future, and that is probably the best thing about our online business ventures!
We’re still pretty frugal and we definitely use a budget each month, but I never have to worry about bills that pop up. For example, my daughter broke her arm recently and I found out I have to get my wisdom teeth pulled to the tune of over $6,000. That kind of stuff is just a blip on the radar to me now, when it would have been financially devastating just 10 years ago!
We also have a lot of freedom in our lives, including the freedom to travel around 20 weeks per year. This has been great since we have pivoted our website a little away from budgeting and frugality and more toward the “live your best life” space.
I am so glad we started a blog in 2012…honestly…so glad! I can’t imagine how different my life would be if we hadn’t taken the chance to work from home and build something for ourselves. Money is just one benefit, but I love being a present parent for my kids even more. I love that we put them on the bus each day for school and that we’re home when the bus drops them off. I love that I can take a day off whenever, or that I can quit work early to go to a school concert or just enjoy some downtime.
We also love to travel, so we’re living the dream. We have been to so many awesome places in the last 7 or 8 years and we already have a ton of travel planned for 2020 and beyond. It just keeps getting better and better.
The Bottom Line
Are you thinking of starting a blog? Or wishing the blog you already have was bringing in a bigger chunk of income? If so, our best advice is to keep plugging away. It took a long time to build what we have, but nothing we did was rocket science by any means.
If you want some free tips, make sure to check out our free webinar on our “6 Secrets to Building a Six-Figure Blog” from scratch! We did it, and I think anyone else can if they follow the right steps and never give up.