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This is my first blog income report, and I have to say, I’m a little bit nervous about disclosing the financials of my business.
But I know that many of you are curious about the “inside scoop”, so I’m sharing it all.
Here was Digital Honey’s income report so far this year:
- January – $129.49
- February – $169.49
- March – $2,398.98
- April – $4,595.49
- May – $7,057.49
- June – $5,136.49
- July – $3,905.00
- August – $3,615.00
- September – $5,516.35
The income is purely from affiliate commissions on the products that we review. If September’s commissions all arrive on time, then this month should end up at around $6,400. Here it is in chart format:
You can’t help but notice that there was one heck of a run-up between February and May!
Traffic to the site also exploded during that time:
I was riding high in May! I thought that we’d be at 100,000 per month in traffic by now and $20,000 per month in revenue!
Wow, was I wrong. My site got hit by the May 27th Google algorithm update, and site traffic dropped 30% overnight. At that same time, my top-earning affiliate program got canceled. Some of that revenue got paid out in June, and by July it was 100% gone.
I wanted to quit. It really took the wind out of my sails.
Two things hurt my business that were 100% out of my control. I didn’t do anything risky or wrong, it just happened. So it felt like a gut punch!
For those of you not familiar with SEO (search engine optimization), Google makes significant changes to the way its search engine algorithm works 2-3 times per year. They call this an “algorithm update”. Some sites that get a lot of traffic lose a ton of it, and others that don’t have much get lifted up.
I actually run a small SEO agency and have been doing SEO marketing full-time for the past 6 years. None of the sites that I have ever managed lost traffic in an algorithm update. So for this to happen, it was quite the blow…
But I’m persisting. Entrepreneurship is the hardest in the early years, when your business is unproven. Ultimately I realized that this is normal. Every business hits speed bumps.
Site traffic regained a new high in August, and revenue is back up almost to where it was in May. I’m going to keep fighting!
Expenses are around $2,000 per month. This mostly goes to paying the freelance writers that put up most of the blog’s content. Some of it goes to other things like design, attorney fees, or backlink acquisition (an SEO marketing cost).
I want to shake things up a little. Most bloggers share their income and expenses, and sometimes their personal debt pay-down. But why not their assets?
So today, I’m going to reveal my personal asset allocations:
- Home equity – $265,000
- I-Bonds – $60,000
- Private company stock – $31,250
- Cash – a good amount
- Digital Honey – $51,000
- GB Digital – ???
A Few Notes
GB Digital is my SEO marketing agency, which is basically my “day job”. Most of my income comes from that, but it’s self-employment. It’s not a sellable asset. If I stop working, I don’t make money.
So even though my CPA or a bank would technically assign value to it, I’m not including it as an asset.
The private company stock is from my last job. I used to work at a small tech company that gave me stock options. When I left the job, I exercised those stock options, so now I own the stock. It’s not worth a ton now, but if the company keeps growing it could be worth $150,000 at the end of next year or the year after.
I keep a lot of cash, both as a personal emergency fund for my family, and as a reserve for my business. I need to invest more of it, but investing is a complicated thing right now.
Digital Honey’s value is based on its net profit since the beginning of the year. It’s not worth much now, but if I keep building it, it can sell for 40x monthly profits (conservatively). That’s why I’m working hard to grow it!
I-Bonds are a great investment to protect yourself against inflation. You buy them directly from the US Federal government’s website.
We’re definitely going to keep publishing more great product reviews and other content to build the site’s traffic and income.
However, I’m REALLY interested in putting out some video content on YouTube and TikTok. Stay tuned for that.
I’m worried that my tax bill will be quite hefty if I don’t plan out a smart tax strategy. Right now I’m considering:
- Reinvesting profits back into Digital Honey
- Buying my first rental property in a cheaper market, probably through a service like Roofstock
- Shorting the stock market
- Switching to a higher interest rate savings account, buying more bonds, and doing crypto/DeFi lending
I’ll keep you updated in the next income report!
I’m a money nerd, small business owner, and personal finance blogger. After job-hopping and ruining my credit in my early 20s, I decided to get serious about money and my career. Now I have top-tier credit, a successful small business, and am on a path to financial independence.