7 years ago when I was 26 years old, I was working at a pizza place making $9 an hour.
I had failed out of college, got let back in (barely), finally graduated after six years (with a stunning 2.0 GPA), and had no idea what the hell I wanted to do with my life.
I was short-sighted, broke, miserable, drinking too much, and viewed this life as my all-to-certain future.
But at 26, I hit a breaking point and enough was enough.
I got into personal development, went to seminars, started working on my mental health, ran a marathon, and got my first real job.
Success came from the small daily choices I made.
After five years in digital marketing, I felt like I finally learned enough to give blogging a try.
So I took what I learned in the startup world and launched AdamEnfroy.com in January 2019.
And now it makes over $100,000 per month.
My ultimate goal is to prove that it’s still possible to build a profitable blog today, starting from zero.
And I remember the small milestones:
- Getting my first few visitors back in January 2019.
- Seeing that 8 or 9 people were on my blog before I went to work that day and feeling proud.
- Making my first affiliate sale of $3.
- Hiring my first writer month 3.
- Planning a goal of $5,000 a month.
- Planning a goal of $10,000 a month so that I could quit my job.
- Realizing, “holy shit” this is actually working.
And when I think about the road to $100k a month, it wasn’t a mountain to climb – just a deliberate strategy and small daily choices to make consistent progress.
If I can do it, anyone can.
1. Blog Income in March 2021: $101,814
In March of 2021, my blog brought in $101,814 with an 83.6% profit margin.
This equates to a profit of $85,137.
That’s insane and one of the main benefits or running an online business.
Think about it this way.
If I owned a restaurant and my profit margin was 6% (the high-end of the industry average), I would have to make $1.42 million in sales to generate the same profit of $85,137. That’s a restaurant making $47,300 every single day.
If my restaurant was running 24/7 and the average customer paid me $25, I would need 1,892 customers per day, 78 per hour, or 1.3 every single minute.
Ultimately, my blog has created a passive income stream that, in the real world, would be like someone walking in the door of my restaurant and handing me $25 every 46 seconds.
That’s mind-blowing for a business I started for $3 a month.
Here’s a quick snapshot of my profit and loss for March 2021 in QuickBooks:
And here’s a detailed view of my sales numbers, mainly in the form of affiliate commissions:
Affiliate Marketing Revenue: $78,965
Overall, I brought in $78,965 from 58 different affiliate programs.
This is an 84% revenue increase compared to March of last year when affiliate revenue was $42,923.
Right now, I’m in over 200 affiliate programs – some are one-time payouts, some are recurring; some are great and some suck.
The way that my blog has continued to make money irrespective of traffic is that many of the affiliate programs pay me on a recurring basis. For example, if someone signs up for Convertkit through one of my affiliate links, Convertkit pays me 30% every month as long as that person remains a customer.
So I’m not generating $78,965 in new commissioned sales every month, but new sales AND a bank of recurring payments from existing customers.
If my blog were to somehow disappear tomorrow, I’d still be making money until all customers churn out from every recurring affiliate program I’m in, which could take years.
Ad Network Revenue: $12,952
In March, my Mediavine ad revenue was $12,952.
As you can see from the screenshot below, payout dates for this ad revenue are delayed by a few months, so this payment was based on traffic levels I received in December 2020:
I expect this ad revenue number to decrease a bit over the coming months as I saw an overall traffic dip early in the year.
My Other Revenue Sources:
- SEO consulting for two clients: $8,700
- Digital product sales: $1,197
Expenses in March 2021: $16,677
Overall, the cost of running my blog in March was $16,677.
Here’s a breakdown of the main costs:
- Freelancers (the team): Between a few writers, an outreach specialist, and a course creation expert/partner, I spent $11,410 on remote contractors.
- Software costs: Office supplies and monthly software costs came in at $1,754.
- Meals, entertainment, and travel: I spent some money in March to go to Austin, Texas to shoot my online blogging course.
- Insurance: My health insurance and media liability insurance came in at $824.
- Equipment: I bought $428 of new studio equipment.
- Accountants: I paid my CPA company $332.
Side Note: when it comes to taxes, I will also add a number of write-offs to these totals, including:
- Home office: I can deduct a percentage of my mortgage based on the square footage of my office.
- Mortgage interest: I can deduct all mortgage interest.
- Phone and internet: I deduct 50-75% of my cell phone and home Internet usage.
- Payroll: As a single-member S Corp, I pay myself a salary, which also allows me to contribute to a solo 401k, both lowering my tax burden.
When you’re first starting your blog, it’s totally fine to keep it a sole proprietorship until you’re generating a substantial income. I kept my blog as a sole proprietorship for a little bit too long. To keep things clean, the best route is to make sure your expenses and profits are all going into one bank account so it’s easy to organize in QuickBooks.
Traffic for March 2021: 332,854
My blog’s traffic has been dipping since January and landed at 332,854 in March.
This is mainly due to decreased rankings for some very high-volume terms that I was ranking well for late last year like business ideas, how to download YouTube videos, how to grow your Instagram, etc.
These high-volume keywords helped with ad revenue, but aren’t very important to affiliate income or to my overall business.
Remember, traffic does not equal revenue.
Another potential pitfall I’m avoiding is that I’m not “all in” on one affiliate program, one blog post, or one sub-niche.
If one blog post loses traffic, others can pick up the slack.
This is where pivoting based on your Google Knowledge Graph comes in.
Instead of focusing on random high-volume keywords to get vanity metrics like traffic, I’m going all-in on keywords that match my knowledge graph in the blogging, software, video, and course space.
That’s where Google thinks I’m an expert and where I’m pivoting my focus to.
In addition to pivoting my focus to match my knowledge graph, I’m also pivoting my blog to an online course business, which will bring a new revenue stream once it’s launched in late April/early May. 🙂
Email Subscribers for March 2021: 46,100
As of March 2021, I have over 46k subscribers on my email list. I currently use Convertkit for email marketing, which I find is a great option for bloggers.
Our Blogpreneurs Facebook Group is also growing quite fast, with 6.9k members as of today. There are a lot of awesome discussions going on and some really cool bloggers helping each other out. Please join us if you haven’t already.
Tasks Completed in March 2021
- Traveled to Austin, TX, and shot over 30 hours of in-depth content for my blogging business course – to be released very soon (more details to come)!
- Published four new posts on my blog.
- Created new video content for my email list (join on my home page)
- Bought a house in Orlando, Florida, and moved my business down there (follow me on Instagram) – hooray for sunshine and no state income tax.
That’s It For My Blog Income Report for March 2021
I want these blog income reports to prove that with the right strategies, making life-changing money with a blog is still possible. You just have to treat your blog like a startup, pivot, adapt, learn, and update your strategies for 2021.
Over the last four months, I’ve been deep in the weeds working on my blogging course.
And after a ton of work, the course is almost ready to go. After researching the competition and already shooting 30+ hours of in-depth content (with a little more to go), I’m 100% confident it’s already the best blogging course in existence. 🙂
It’s a full 12-week learning experience and the curriculum covers:
- Niche selection and the brand of you
- Blogging mindset
- Blogging like a startup
- Decoding search intent
- WordPress tech stack and setup
- Keyword monetization
- Blog content creation
- Advanced link building
- Affiliate marketing and monetization
- Outsourcing and scaling
I’m so excited to launch this course and build the best blogging community in the world around it.
While there are some other blogging courses out there, they’re from people who got their start 5-10 years ago and have been selling the same product for years. The truth is, very few of them actually know about the stuff I’m teaching and I can’t wait for you to be a part of it.
That’s it for now – thank you so much for reading and I’m grateful you found your way here.
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