How I Run A Million Dollar Blog
Sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks
Since launching Millennial Money in 2015 I’ve had over 40 different incomes streams and worked with over 200 different advertisers, vendors, and partners, and made over $1.5 million from the platform.
You might be thinking, what? How did you make money 40 different ways on the blog? A blog isn’t just a blog, it’s a platform – it’s your brand. You can make it a money machine. Seriously. There are soooo many ways you can make money today with an online platform. If you want to go deep here’s more on how much money you can make blogging.
In 2017 I made over $401,000 through the Millennial Money blog and while I’m still doing my final totals for 2018, I made slightly more money than that last year (full 2018 blog income report dropping soon!). Oh an in 2018 I got to work wherever I wanted, including in my favorite cabin in the Catskills (with my dog Walter!)
To say there’s a lot of moving pieces while running the blog is an understatement. It not only takes a lot of time, I now work with someone who manages the entire blog and all affiliate relationships, as well as both writers and an editor.
But by far the most challenging part of the business to manage are my expenses, billing, and hunting down invoices that haven’t been paid!! In 2016 I realized that I was spending upwards of 15 hours a month just chasing after people to pay me money.
That’s a ton of time to just chase down money. When I added up the amount of time expense tracking and management was taking me, it was at least 30 hours a month. That’s almost an entire week of a full-time job just to manage the backend of a blog. It was just taking too much time. And you know how I feel about time!! You can always go out and make more money, but you can never get back your time!
Managing the blog was just taking way too much time. I started looking for tools to manage the business side of my blog and that’s when I found Quickbooks. If you’re not familiar with it, Quickbooks is a simple business management and accounting software that helps you track and manage your business income and expenses, as well as invoice vendors and clients so you can get paid!
While there are tons of alternatives in the market, Quickbooks is really the Cadillac of small business account platforms. Oh yeah, and you can use it on your phone!! Huge plus for me since I pretty much manage my entire life on my phone. I legit love the Quickbooks mobile app.
So in 2016, I started testing Quickbooks Online. While it took me a little time to set up (the tutorial videos and YouTube were both incredibly helpful). I estimate that it took me about 5 hours total to figure it out and set it up.
Sure, I could have hired someone to do it – there are tons of Quickbooks set up experts out there that are reasonable. But I wanted to learn the ins and outs of how it works. So I spent some time setting it up myself. It was totally worth it, and while I’m still learning I’ve become somewhat of a Quickbooks master just by watching YouTube videos. It’s pretty easy and you can use the online version anywhere. I pay $60 a month for it, which is more than worth the amount of time it saves me. Just the 15 hours a month it saves me would be worth at least $8,000 based on my standard hourly rate. Definitely worth it for me.
I’m like 90% certain that I’m actually updating my Quickbooks account in this photo, which was my favorite “office” in 2018 in the Italian alps! Haha, not every day is this cool, trust me. But I did get the opportunity to spend a month in the Alps working on my blog and writing my Financial Freedom book.
Here’s are all the things that I do regularly with Quickbooks that end up saving me the most time.
1. Tracking down invoices. Some companies I work with are sooo slow to pay that I often have to hunt them down. Quickbooks makes it really easy to request payment directly in the app (and accept credit cards!)
2. Managing my expense receipts. I’m able to just take a picture of the receipt with my phone. Then I can just lose the receipt!
3. Seeing my monthly profit and loss statements and my profit and loss statements over any period. While this doesn’t save me any time, I love this feature because I can see at a glance how well my blog is doing and drill down easily.
4. Finally, it allows me to easily sort payments from the affiliate marketing companies I work with to track revenue from each affiliate over time.
While incomplete disclosure I did get paid to write this post, I am a user of Quickbooks. There’s a reason I use it almost every day! It’s legit and worth checking out if you’re looking for a simple, yet powerful mobile app to run your blog business.