How Much Does This Blog Make (2019)?
It seems like everybody has a side hustle these days. Whether it’s a Youtube channel, flipping goods on Ebay, selling hand-made thingamajigs on Etsy — there’s plenty of ways to make a little extra money on the side. Blogs (like this one) are just one example.
Most people don’t make a ton of money from these side hustles however. You don’t see Etsy many sellers driving Ferrari’s or sipping champagne on their yachts. Certainly there is some money to be made, but not really enough to quit your day job. Most side-hustles don’t turn into a major income sources…
But there are always exceptions. A handful of people really do make it big.
Most of the time financial success like this is celebrated. “It’s great you’ve done so well selling your product on Etsy!” “I can’t believe you do that full-time now!” “Wow, good job fixing lawnmowers and selling them on Craigslist! What a cool business!”
But in the personal finance and financial independence blog space, success often gets scrutinized. Why?
There’s a couple potential reasons:
- There’s this idea that bloggers who earn “salary levels” of income can’t call themselves financially independent or early retired. They’re “faking it” and have simply changed one job for another. Instead of living off investment income, they’re living off advertising, book income, or whatever product they promote from their blog.
- A significant number of people still doubt you can just save money and then retire in your 30’s by living off your investments. If readers see a blogger earning “multiple incomes” it sheds some doubt about whether the 4% rule really works over the long term.
There’s definitely been a call in the person finance blog space to provide more financial transparency. People want to see how much bloggers are making from blogs, side hustles, books, and other income sources.
I totally support this idea. Transparency is a good thing!
When I first started my blog income transparency process back in 2018, I wrote the first version of this post called How Much Does This Blog Make (2018)? That was then, and this is now… one year later.
As you know, there’s no point in being transparent just once. Income levels from side-hustles are always changing. There’s no honor in being transparent only when a blog is starting out (with few readers and very little income), and then ignoring financial transparency once it grows to become more successful. That kind of behavior just smacks of dishonesty.
In my opinion, if you’re going to be financially transparent, you should be providing regularly updated numbers. That’s what I believe anyway! Call me crazy, but I think readers appreciate continued honesty and transparency over more of pictures of exotic locations and fancy meals purchased at restaurants.
Besides, there’s no point in hiding anything! You’ve already seen how much money I spend and how much I make from dividends. I post about it every month.
Does Mr. Tako Escapes Make Money?
So, does Mr. Tako Escapes make money? Yes. The blog makes a little money. Certainly not “salary” levels of income, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Like most blogs, Mr. Tako Escapes has more than one income source — Google Adsense ads and Amazon affiliate links are the two income sources for this blog that actually earn money.
Let’s look at each of these different income sources and see how much money I made last year…
Google Adsense provides the income earning ads for this blog, and they really pay peanuts. But that’s OK, I don’t mind. The blog continues to grow and attract new readers.
In 2018, the blog earned $708 from Google Adsense. This averages out to be $59 a month in 2018. It’s a decline in income from 2017.
Here’s a screenshot of the blog’s Adsense earnings report for 2018:
Unfortunately, blog income has continued to declined since the start of 2019. For some reason, Google Adsense is now paying even less in 2019 than it did in 2018 or 2017 — Advertising income has averaged $31/month in 2019.
Go figure! Nothing changed on my end, and yet the blog’s audience continues to grow every month! I guess Google needed to make a little more. 😉
While there are many businesses that offer affiliate relationships to bloggers, many of them are extremely picky about who they accept into their affiliate programs. Amazon is the one I primarily work with because they’re not discriminating jerks like those other guys.
This means from time to time I’ll throw up a link to something readers can buy off Amazon. Maybe it’s a book or some item I recently purchased. If readers decide to purchase that item off Amazon using the link, I see a few pennies from the sale — typically 3 to 5 cents per dollar.
(For those folks that have done so — Thank You! Your support is appreciated!)
As you can guess, this income source isn’t going to generate a lot of money. For all of 2018, this blog made $442 from Amazon. This works out to be $36/month, which is slightly higher than what I earned in 2017.
Here’s the requisite screenshot from Amazon’s reporting page:
Clearly I didn’t get to millionaire status from Amazon Affiliate income… maybe I have some other secret source of income?
Nope, no secret income sources! Many blogs do have a variety income sources — Promoting a book the author has written is one popular income source right now. Sponsored content is another income source I see often. There’s also folks who sell online courses, and there’s loads of other affiliate income possibilities available to blogs. Credit card promotion continues to be a very popular income source in the personal finance space.
My blog doesn’t earn income from any of those sources. I won’t disparage anyone who earns income in this way either. If they can earn money doing it, all the more power to them!
That’s not to say that I won’t ever write a book or shill for a credit card company, but as of right now this blog doesn’t derive income from any ‘other’ sources.
Let’s not forget that despite all these BIG dollar signs I’m flashing around like some kind of mad gangster, blogs do actually have expenses.
In my case, I pay $3.73 monthly to Squidix for my web hosting, and last year I paid $13.16 annually for the domain name MrTakoEscapes.com. This means the blog had $57.92 in regular recurring expenses for 2018.
The blog also had software expenses of $32.68 in 2018. This is to pay for some WordPress plugins that help me manage the site.
It’s also necessary to pay self employment taxes after expenses. Don’t forget the taxes! In 2018, self employment taxes were 15.3%, which have to be paid in quarterly installments.
For all of 2018, MrTakoEscapes.com made about $897 after expenses and taxes.
Why Do I Do It?
Now that I’ve revealed the numbers I bet your wondering, “Wow, that’s so little! Why does he do it?”
Writing a blog like this requires a ton of work. I wrote 98 posts in 2018. Most of these posts took around 8 hours to write (yes, I’m a slow writer). That’s 784 hours of writing. There’s also tons of research and blog management that I don’t even try to account for.
Yet, the blog only earned $897 in 2018. This means I made around $1.14 per hour writing. Clearly I’m making less than minimum wage here. Why would I even bother when the income level is so low?
It’s really not about the money. There’s a variety of reasons why people write blogs — for some it’s an income source and they do it to make money. Other people do it to promote their book or other business. And for others, it’s just a hobby.
On the spectrum of different blogs that exist, Mr. Tako Escapes tends to fall more on the “hobby” end of the blogging spectrum. I’m doing this mainly because I enjoy the writing process — not because I earn a big income from it.
I also write MrTakoEscapes for a few reasons you might not expect:
1. Writing helps me think. I write a lot about the process of investing on this blog, and I also create write-ups of my investing ideas. Many people find these posts interesting, but one of the big reasons I do it is because writing helps me think. The process of organizing my thoughts into the written word and coming-up with compelling investing ideas helps me become a better investor and a better human being.
To quote Blaise Pascal (the mathematician), “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
Well, maybe the world should start blogging! I spend A LOT of time sitting quietly, writing and thinking. Most of that time I use to contemplate the topics of money and investing.
2. To provide a different voice. I also write this blog because I feel there’s room for different voices in the personal finance space. There are many different ways to achieve financial independence, and I think more blogs should reflect that.
Right now, I think there’s too many bog-standard blogs that all read like generic copies of one another. If you’ve read many personal finance blogs, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about here!
I believe the world needs a greater variety of voices to reflect the great variety of ways in which we can all reach financial independence!
3. Investing advice for my kids. One of the biggest reasons why I write this blog is because I want to leave some lasting investing advice for my kids. As I mentioned in the About page for this blog, there’s just too much useless investing noise out there. Too many half-truths. Too many guru’s that just want to steal your money. Too many new investing fads.
Most investing advice is actually about taking your money, and not about earning you money. This is an area where I believe I can actually help my kids. I’ve already made most of the big mistakes. I’m writing this blog with the intent that one day my kids will read it. My personal hope is that they’ll learn to become better investors.
4. To help people. While there are a huge number of bloggers in this world, I hope that in some small way what I write is helpful to people. Part of why I write this blog is to just say “Hey, this stuff is real! You really can reach financial independence! It’s not fake!”
I’d like to think that I’ve maybe helped a few readers reach financial independence for themselves! Over the years many people have written and thanked me for the inspiration.
It’s fantastic to hear that I might have done some good in this world!
I bet you though this blog earned a bunch of money, didn’t you? It surprises a lot of people how little it makes. Honestly, the lack of financial reward doesn’t bother me. The number of readers and followers of this blog has continued to grow year after year. Blog income doesn’t reflect that.
The growth in readership is affirmation enough that people are interested in financial independence, and the Tako family’s story. I think most people are smart enough to know what’s real and honest in this world. The blog’s growth is a reflection of that. Thank you to all the dedicated readers!
Even though I’ve never revealed my real identity to the world, I’m quite happy to share our little financial success story with as much transparency as I can. Even though I don’t share my real name, everything you read here is as real as it gets.
Thanks for reading everybody!
[Image Credit: Flickr]
48 thoughts on “How Much Does This Blog Make (2019)?”
Hi Mr Tako,
I do notice (on other people’s sites), that google adds just became annoying and not relevant to the reason I came to a website.
Your site can not be the only one who suffered reduce income from Google.
I hope you get to earn more and more.
Keep up your good writing,
Thank you Petra! I can’t really explain the drop in income, but “oh well” it wasn’t that much to begin with. 😉
“Writing helps me think.”
So so true. I’ve found that actually putting thoughts down to be more cathartic than just mashing them around in your head. This is a large reason why I blog, for less money than you 🙂
I also want to help people. I’ve gotten numerous emails from readers saying that I helped them and have even coached a few with buying a bike or learning the logistics of mountain climbing. That feels really great.
That’s awesome Dave! Keep doing all the wonderful stuff that you do! Your blog in particular is one of my favorites!
I too spend an inordinate amount of time on my blog. From start to finish each post typically sucks 4-6 hours (often more) of my time.
But it is weird the time flies when I am caught in the creative process. I look up and I am almost missing my lunch time. It is something that opened up a part of me that was slowly getting destroyed in the current medical climate I am in as a radiologist. Sparked a new passion I was losing.
The money I made last year could be easily covered by working 1 or 2 extra days at work. But I enjoy this so it doesn’t matter how much I spent in time. And my favorite currency is comments. Love the interaction with my readers which I hope continues to grow.
Oh, that’s so true… I too enjoy the interaction with folks in the comments. Most of the folks that comment and read here are really fantastic people!
Thank you for putting this out there. I’m still curious on AdSense and may try it out to help cover hosting costs. A motivator for my writing is to keep a capsule of thoughts for my daughter to read as she grows up. Also to have a place to refer friends to when personal finance topics arise.
Sounds like a great plan! Good luck to you Frugal Engineers!
Thanks for sharing this info Mr. Tako! It’s always helpful to read about how other bloggers make a bit of income and learn about their motivations. As Dave wrote about above, another currency that’s so meaningful to me is comments—and you get plenty of those! So you’re pretty rich in that respect! You put out great content, and I look forward to following your story for many more years!
Thanks Chrissy! I’m blessed with some of the nicest readers in all the world! Like yourself! It truly is a different kind of wealth. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your numbers, Mr Tako. I’m writing 10-20 questions on Quora each day and that pays about 100 dollars a month. No big money to be made for sure.
How many page views are you getting a month?
Hi Mike! Generally around 45k-60k pageviews a month.
Thanks for sharing! I didnt realize how much work blogging was going to be when I started.
I love it but damn I had this rosy vision of just sitting with a coffee in the morning and knocking out some thoughtful article every day. Very much not based in reality!
I’ve also noticed a lot of the people who make a lot of money blogging seem to sell courses about how to make money blogging. Suspicious I think.
I try to keep an open mind about these things. Some of those courses could do a lot of good for people!
But yes, I’m with you — more transparency around this kind of income is a good thing!
You should take all these blogs and put them in a book. It is the most sensible investment advice anywhere and I wish you luck and good fortune.
Thank you Lorraine! I’ve actually thought about that! Maybe I could take some of my better posts and somehow compile them into a book. It would definitely take some work, but might be a fun project some day!
I hope you will continue this great blog. I started reading mainly due to being a personal finance nerd but what kept me continuing to enjoy your blog are all the other things you’ve talked about. I’ve enjoyed reading about your cooking and salivating at those yummy dinners you’ve made. My husband and I have even re created some of your dishes ourselves after getting so hungry looking at your dinner pictures. I loved that “everything but the kitchen sink” fried rice you just blogged about. Great idea to get rid of left overs. It’s also been fun seeing your carpentry creations and watching your kids adventures too. Wonderful blog!
Thank you RocDoc! It certainly is a labor of love! I’m absolutely thrilled you are enjoying it! 🙂
We’ll since that is all you’re making you might as well get rid of all the ads. You clearly aren’t doing this for the $1.14 an hour you make. Your readers would enjoy your blog better without ads. I will say that it seems like you don’t have as many as some bloggers.
Nah — If I didn’t have the ads, how would I cover my expenses?
I personally think it’s important to set the right expectations around monetization. My intent is to keep some monetization without being too “in your face” about it. The things that annoy me about other sites (like popups), I’m going to try not to do.
Hey Mr Tako, having been a reader of this great blog for a whole year now made me writing the first comment here. In fact it was last year’s article about that topic that led me here (via a link from the money wiz – just wondering why I still know THIS detail…). I immediately started binge-reading your previous articles within a few days, couple if weeks tops, and got addicted. So, maybe I’m part of the reason for that peak in Google adsense payments back in June 2018 😉 I can proudly say that I read every single one of your articles and still love them. Nothing’s boring at all, please keep on blogging 🙂
That brings me to the qursrion why is this my first comment here? I have absolutely no idea, in fact there were many moments when I felt like commenting something you just wrote about, but I must have been too lazy or something. Well, I hope I will comment on a more regular basis in future.
For now let me just end this with a big THANK YOU!
PS: (Since I’m a German I just hope my English is not too bad and you do understand what I want to tell you)
Wow, you’ve read every single post? That’s really incredible! 🙂
Welcome to the blog, and please feel free to comment or ask questions any time!
P.S. Your English is great!
I reached the oint recently where I was making about half what you make from my blog. But recently my impressions have fallen to zero and I can’t figure it out. I’ll keep writing for free if I have to because the 35 bucks a month or so was never going to move the needle. But its frustrating to not have better mastery over something I spend so much time on.
It is frustrating sometimes isn’t it? I get quite a few impressions, but my challenge is in turning them into $$. Google doesn’t seem to pay much these days. 😉
I enjoy reading your blog regularly. Much more enjoyable and genuine than some bigger bloggers that bog the reader down with grifter guest gibberish posts and ads all around their site. Keep up the good work, and the keep posting recipes!
Thanks Patroclus! Definitely more recipes coming!
Thanks a lot for the transparency! I wish this was the norm for every PF blogs! Keep up with the great work 🙂
Thankyou Poor Swiss! 🙂
Hi Mr Tako!
Thanks for showing us behind the curtain! It’s great to see how much money blogs are making (especially for us newbies)
Have you thought of changing add providers, potentially to Mediavine or Adthrive?
It could always be worth checking them out!
Oh, yeah absolutely. I applied for Mediavine earlier this year and they turned me down. Apparently my traffic wasn’t what they were looking for, but they didn’t really provide any concrete details as to why.
Thanks for the transparency. It’s sobering to see the small potatoes earned by a much more prolific and successful blogger, but that helps me keep focused on my original goals for writing – very similar to yours, just at 20% of the pace 🙂
And it is good to remember that every blogger who went supernova did have a lean spell first. There’s always a chance that you’re building something that will someday be a cash machine! Thanks for all of the great posts and hope you keep ’em comin’.
Thanks Paul! This year has been pretty lean, but I’m happy Google Adsense is still covering my expenses! 🙂 Thanks for reading!
Great stuff Mr. Tako, you don’t create blogs to make money. For me it’s about making connections with people, sharing knowledge, and learning.
Thanks Tawcan! I think you’re absolutely right! So many people focus on the money side of blogging (or at least they worry about it), that I think they forget about the most important parts of blogging — community, sharing, and learning.
Enjoying the blogging itself is the key, Mr. Tako! If someone’s in it just to get rich, the odds are in their favor that they’re going to be very disappointed. Glad you keep at it because you have a lot of loyal readers – myself included!
My Adsense income has actually picked up this year, but that’s likely because my pageviews have gone up (still not to your level yet!). Have you considered looking at alternatives like Mediavine?
Yep, I’ve definitely looked into Mediavine. Unfortunately they turned me down!
Congrats on the uptick in advertising income Jim! You’ve got a great blog — one of the best in my opinion! 🙂
Hey Mr. Tako, have you looked into Mediavine? They pay a lot more than Google AdSense. And it looks like you’ve got more than enough views per month to qualify!
Oh, yes I have Laurie! It would be great to move to a different advertiser, but I applied to Mediavine and they rejected me. Unfortunately Mediavine wouldn’t say why other than my traffic didn’t fit some ideal they’re looking for.
Adsense is the worst. You might try somebody else. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to Adsense. The problem with Mediavine and Adthrive is that they’ll stuff your site with a bunch of ads. You can ask them to cut back to fewer ads if money isn’t a big consideration.
Keep at it!
Thanks for the tip Joe. Unfortunately Mediavine rejected me, and I don’t yet have the #’s for Adthrive! Oh well!
Hey Mr. Tako, just a regular lurker that never comments, but I guess that you would enjoy to know that a guy from Portugal really follows your blog and learns a lot about it.
Welcome Paulo! And thank you for reading!
Where did you get the tiny dollar bills for the picture at the top of the post? Or are there large pennies?
Is there any significance to the amount of money ($4.02) in the photo?
Hehe, you’re the first person to notice that Mike! It’s just a random image I found with the proper distribution rights, but I thought the picture was terribly fitting given my “big money” earnings. 😉
Take solace in the fact that you make way more than I do, and I’ll be at the 5 year mark by the end of the year.
For me, it’s partly a labor of love and partly an identity thing. I identify as the Angry Retail Banker as much as I identify as my real self. It’s also due to the people I’ve helped along the way. Many people who worked/work in retail banking have reached out to me and told me that reading my blog has helped them cope with the day to day pressures of the job and the fear of not being able to find something less stress and more pay. Retail banking takes its toll on you very quickly. Being able to help people is worth way more than money.
Though I would be happy to get some money out of all this too.
Keep writing, Mr. Tako. I don’t comment here often (I think this may be my first one, actually), but I’ve been enjoying your blog for a long time.
ARB–Angry Retail Banker
I really enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for providing the great content for almost nothing 😉 and the transparency is greatly appreciated!
I really like the underrepresented side of blogging you represent..too many people focus on the “passive” money making aspect and hitting 6 figures so easily. Also you just have a fun informative blog in general – I look forward to reading more!
Thanks for the transparency. Blogs take time to earn money and surely you have your most profitable months ahead of you. Also, many people use blogs to open up other opportunities so it’s not only about earning money directly from the blog. You can use your blog to get media attention or even launch a book. Perhaps starting a podcast or youtube channel is your next step. Either way, congrats on your family’s success!