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Blog Income

Blogging Passive IncomeSomewhat Passive Income – Blogging

Blogging isn’t very passive for me at this point. I spend 20-30 hours per week writing, networking, responding to comments, and maintaining Retire by 40. Someday, I’d like to cut it down to around 10 hours per week. That goal is many years off, though. I enjoy blogging so it’s a good way to spend time in early retirement. The blog income is a huge bonus. My goal when I started Retire by 40 in 2010 was to generate about $500/month. It’s been much better than that and I’m very grateful for your support. Thank you!

You can see all of our passive income on the Passive Income page. I will update these passive income pages monthly.

2018 YTD Blog Income: $23,343

2018 is going really well so far. Q1 is usually the best months for blogging and we did very well. Hopefully, the blog income will stay strong through spring. The income usually tapers off in the summer and picks back up a bit in the fall.

Here is how I generated online income so far in 2018.


  • Banner ads: $11,729. These are the banner ads you see on Retire by 40. I hope to make about $2,000 per month with these ads. This is going well so far in 2018.
  • Affiliates: $25,615. These are referral fees from affiliate links. If a reader signs up for a service through our affiliate links, then we may receive a referral fee. Q1 is usually the best quarter for affiliate income. Affiliate income is working very well this year. Q1 and Q2 are great. Hopefully, it doesn’t drop too much over the summer.
  • Private ads: $400. Sometimes we worked with a company to advertise their products. I rarely do this anymore. This income will be very small in 2018.


  • Business: -$1,428. Business equipment, internet, hosting, email service, CDN, cell phone, etc…
  • Travel and meals: -$724
  • Employee: -$524. This year, we’re hiring our first part-time employee. It’s RB40Jr, our son. I’ll pay him $25 for each picture I use on the blog and $4 per image on social media. This income will go straight to his Roth IRA. I’m excited to see how this experiment will turn out.
  • Estimated tax: $4,000 I’m sending the IRS $2,400 every quarter. This should be enough to cover our tax liability.

Here is the 2018 graph of the revenue, expense, and net income.

Blog income 2018

Historical income

Incredibly, Retire by 40 generated over $250,000 since I started blogging in 2010. That’s much more than I ever expected. It’s pretty crazy.

2017 was my best year yet and I made $65,388. You can see the detail here – 2017 Blog Income Wrap Up.

Retire by 40 income history

Starting a blog is a great way to build your brand and generate some extra income. You can see my tutorial – How to Start A Blog and Why You Should. Check it out if you’re thinking about blogging. 

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.

Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.