Getting Rich Blogging

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!

Getting Rich Blogging
Getting Rich Blogging – How hard can it be?

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.

Affiliate Links

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).

Fire Course

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.

Hobby

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.

Getting Rich Blogging: Revenue Table
Blogging Revenue Table
Getting Rich Blogging: Revenue Graph
Getting Rich Blogging: Revenue Graph
Getting Rich Blogging: Revenue Cumulative Graph
Getting Rich Blogging: Revenue Cumulative Graph

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.

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16 Comments

  1. Very recognizable! I also started my blog as an experiment with the idea of having a nice monthly income in return. But the attention for my blog comes and goes. When I feel like it and I have time, I work on it and then with great pleasure.

    I am also playing around with affiliates ads, but there are’nt many that I can support. I think it is important that you can, because I see many blogs that dive on specific affiliates where I wonder if the blog article itself is still sincere.

    By the way, with your writing is nothing wrong. Keep up the good work! You’ll get there!

    P.s. Added your blog to my blog roll.

    1. I certainly recognise the coming and going of motivation. As well as the struggle to find affiliates that you can actually support. There are a few, but most are not interesting at all….

      Cheers

  2. Thank you ,

    I like your honesty about being rich blogging. Being a blogger without passion for what you do is bad. When someone starts a website, if they are looking only for monetary stimulus. That person may not be able to make the best decisions to move forward and have a balance between costs and income.

    Cheers,

    Sergy

    1. Hey Sergy, thanks for the comment. Depends on what your goal is, I have friends that have several niche blogs/website specifically for affiliate sales to make some passive income. If you blog purely for money, you have to see your blog as a business, not a hobby like I do mine. It’s a completely different attitude for sure.

  3. As I mainly write for myself and to meet others, making money is no objective.
    Pure cash flow wise, i am break even since day one as I was too lazy to buy a domain name and upgrade from a free wordpress account…
    Maybe one day that will bite me…

  4. Thank goodness you have a hobby. If you call it a job, it’s no longer fun.
    I have never put any ads on my blog, or affiliate links. I pay very little for my blog, a lot less than you. Maybe because I don’t have your traffic? 🙂
    Anyway, as soon as it’s no longer fun and giving you energy, quit doing it. Life’s too short to waste time on energy drainers.

    1. Actually, I slowed down big time since about a year ago (check this post). It started to feel like work indeed, cannot have that obviously 😉 That being said, after blogging for so long (4,5 years and counting), it’s hard to drop everything. Feels wrong when you have invested so much time and effort into it.

      As to the costs of hosting, yeah, could be a little cheaper perhaps. But still have around 135.000-155.000 pageviews per month. So, to have everything run smooth, I don’t mind paying a bit extra.

      1. I was really active in the beginning, that helped spur the growth. Add to this an English blog with international focus and it’s easier to grow. Plus, there is a lot of content on the blog, approaching 340 posts and about 20+ pages. like it wrote, it’s not easy for me to just drop the blog because I don’t feel like blogging every once in a while.

  5. Hahaha, I get where you are coming from. Blogging is hard. When you then decide to put on some ads it really smacks you back on your two feet when you realize you make pennies if anything at all. Getting any meaningful following isn’t easy either. I do try to find a balance between writing about what happens in my life (related to finance) and writing in such a way that my story can also be found through a simple search.

    1. It’s a fine line indeed! It also really depends on your blog, if you do it for yourself, fuck what everyone else thinks! But if you want it to make money, it becomes a whole different ballgame.

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