How I Made $21.95 From My Blog Last Month
Seriously. That’s all we made. Before expenses. Aren’t you supposed to make money blogging? Aren’t we business and finance professors who should know how to do this? Let me explain.
Where We Started
The Money Professors is an offline company with an online presence. We are not an online company. But we decided that needs to change. Why? There are many reasons, but let’s take a journey back together shall we? (Cue cheesy music and the fake old-time video reel).
It was 2010 and three college professors were teaching their popular personal finance class at East Carolina University (500 students per semester – for a class that was purely elective and didn’t count towards any degree or program). Having spent the last several years improving the student experience in the classroom and being asked by local media for interviews and for guest presentations at various conferences and events, the three realized there was a real thirst for financial education.
Now, I had already written two books (The Graduate’s Guide to Life and Money and Extra Credit: The 7 Things Every College Student Needs to Know about Credit, Debt & Cash). But we felt the need to write a textbook as well. Which starts us on the journey of The Money Professors (yes, we are actually professors – who teach business, marketing, and personal finance). We formed our company as a way to allocate royalties as well as other income such as speaking and consulting fees. Thus we started an offline business, partly for tax purposes. We quickly landed a contract with the non-profit Inceptia to design the curriculum for their Certificate in Personal Financial Management.
Where We Are
Since then we have been working on our textbook, completed a book for parents of college bound seniors called How to Keep Your Kid from Moving Back Home after College, and continue to speak and consult. But ultimately we realized that while our message was reaching hundreds each year, we felt that we could reach thousands instead. The best way to do that was to take our knowledge and content and turn our website into a blog – rather a resource site for financial literacy content – driven by a blog.
We wanted – No we needed to make our content available to everyone. So that brings us up to last month. Since we are not set up as a blog, we don’t have many affiliate partnerships formalized (we now have an Amazon Associates Account setup in case customers prefer to purchase our books on Amazon and not from our site – but I am not sure if that has been setup correctly yet), we don’t have any social media campaigns, and the only online product we have developed so far is the recently launched workbook Turn Your Debt into Dollars – which gives readers the strategies to save tens of thousands of dollars by eliminating debt and improving their own credit score.
Where We Are Headed
We are working on several online courses as well as other workbooks and a software program, DebtorADE, which is actually available as an Excel download, but we plan to have it coded as a standalone software tool. The website will also be redesigned as more user-friendly. Right now we are designing the website on paper.
Part of our efforts are to help individuals navigate debt, money management, and increasing their earnings. While we always tell people to first focus on the things you can control – your spending – that is the short-term. For the longer term, we want people to also focus on increasing their income – whether that is through getting a pay raise, a better job, or starting a business.
Follow Our Journey
If you want to start a blog there are a ton of resources available that we will be sharing in future posts. But you can also follow along with us. I know it is motivating and exciting to hear from bloggers who are making $30,000+ per month, but there is so much they have already done to get there. You can start from the beginning and see what we do to succeed – and at times fail. We will be as transparent as possible in the process. We are educators after all. We want to help others succeed in business. That’s what we do. That’s what we teach.
There are so many exciting things I can’t wait to share such as:
- The steps to start a blog
- Choosing a hosting provider
- Choosing the right theme for your site
- Choosing a shopping cart
- Choosing an email autoresponder
- Joining an affiliate network
- Backing up your site
- Site security
- Looking at the numbers
- Storage and site performance
- The list goes on..
Since I teach business for a living, I anticipate creating some of the above topics as their own standalone face-to-face courses. If so, I will create an online version as well once I get the bugs worked out offline so you will have a high quality college-caliber course without all the additional fees and expenses.
Learn to Make Money Blogging – Or Just Make More Money Period
What I can tell you is that starting a blog (if you want to make money blogging) is like starting any other business, but it is a little like the wild west in that it is not as defined of a market in the way that say a retail store or a coffee shop is readily defined. That means there is a lot of opportunity but a lot of snake oil salesman out there as well.
If you want to learn how to start a business, and want to watch one as it unfolds (our March sales so far are a whopping $0 – so we are really starting from scratch – UPDATE: March Sales = $28.95), then follow us along. I will also explain why we aren’t making any sales and what we are doing to change that over the next few months. Whether you want to make money blogging or just make money in any business that you start on your own, what we share along the way will be helpful.
Keep in mind that The Money Professors all work full-time at our respective colleges and we do some offline work for the business as well. For example we are currently in the process of working on a textbook with a major publisher. The point is that we are not under any pressure to make money from our site and we are running it part-time since we work and already have other part-time obligations. Many of you are also in the same situation. You have day jobs. We get it. Every step will be broken down into easy-to-understand and easy-to-do steps. This is going to be fun!
We are happy to answer any questions you might have and will layout our business in more detail in a later post.
In the meantime, keep making smart money decisions and push yourself further in your career or your entrepreneurial adventures. Feel free to post comments or questions. We look forward to sharing this journey with as many people as possible.
As part of my blogging journey, I have started to join in on some link parties. Here is one below: