Getting Rich Blogging, many of us bloggers would love to get rich blogging. Nothing beats some “passive” income, right? Most people have the idea that you start a blog and money flows is. I was hoping for that too, but well, let’s just look at the numbers.
Blogging is hard!
First off, blogging f-ing is hard! It takes oodles of time to find topics, write posts, do research, finds links, pictures, do calculations and review your own work. Granted, I still suck at that last part. There are always errors in my posts. Frankly, I suck at writing. I’m a mediocre writer at best. I started this blog to write down my ideas and thoughts of our FIRE journey. It was a way to organise my ideas and interact with others that were doing the same. However, I also like to share my knowledge with others. That is why I wrote a Dutch E-book (see here). But be warned though, it’s an E-book by a mediocre writer!
Anyhow, I still enjoy writing the occasional post (despite it taking up a lot of time). I love to fart around online and with Excel, albeit I’m definitely not nearly as good as some other bloggers like Geldnerd and Dr ERN (on the Excel part at least). For me it’s not about the fancy calculations, macro’s or other exciting things you can do with Excel. I’m more interested in relatively high level calculations that are applicable to our situation. Since our plans change on a daily basis anyways, having a calculation that is about 80% accurate, is plenty for us. But if you, my dear readers, can also benefit from our calculations, that’s awesome!
Blogging for Money
We first started out the blog without advertisements. Heck, I didn’t even know how to work Adsense from our binocular friends. But at some point I did put ads on the site to help offset our hosting costs. The blog did grow in audience and traffic, so a more expensive hosting package was required. Hence, it costs more money to operate the blog, albeit still not a lot in the grand scheme of things. I always hated the flashy, annoying ads. But because I’m somewhat of a penny pincher, I have an uncontrollable urge to break even on the hosting.
Since ads are not the right way to earn a bit of money on the side. I had to try something new. So lately, I’ve been trying to see if I could get off the ads and replace with fewer (less annoying) affiliate links. Hence, there are now a few links to the Dutch website “Bol.com” (it’s the local Amazon – part of the Ahold Delhaize group) on the blog.
But there are now also a few affiliate links (via FinanceAds) around for stuff like insurances, mortgage rates and online banking. Items that one needs anyways, and should cost you as little as possible. But at the same time, the level of service should be good. So I’ve only selected the ones that I either use myself or know from friends that are good companies/products. There is actually few that fit the bill…. I’m now also winding down the Adsense (still need a payout at €70, almost there, then it’s gone).
And finally, I’ve found an online FIRE related course that I really like. That is why I’m now promoting it for a few Dutch entrepreneurial blokes. If there ever will be one person that will use the discount code from this blog, I might actually receive my first commission! But more importantly, I think the person that will buy the course will actually be helped along to fund his/her ideal lifestyle.
But as you guessed, considering I already suck at writing, I also suck at monetising this blog. I lack entrepreneurial skills to see opportunity and go for it. I’m also extremely lazy and have a short attention span = no focus on stuff that takes effort to learn that does not interest me. In this case, affiliate marketing, blog monetisation and such.
This is probably a good thing, because it keeps me honest. I keeps me original. It keeps this blog to be a reflection of me, with all my flaws (and not a “fake” sales channel). If you love it, please do keep coming back. If you don’t, please bugger off! 😉
Interesting tax note: the Dutch tax department sees a hobby as an activity that costs more in expenses than is brings you as income. If you have a hobby, you don’t have to report any profit under you income in Box 1 (as there is none). When you start to make a bit of profit, you will have to report that income.
Let’s see if this blog was a hobby, or if I was able to make it into an income stream…. I started blogging back in September of 2015. Below is some data from that year onward until 31 December 2019. I’ve added in the YTD numbers for 2020 too for good measure.
Gosh, not only do I suck at FIRE, I also suck at getting rich blogging! It’s horrid…. but at least I had fun, I hope you did too.