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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 a few 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. When I started Retire by 40 in 2010, my goal was to generate about $500/month. After 9 years, the blog income has grown significantly. 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.

2020 Blog Income: $31,253

This year, my blog income decreased by about 20% from the previous year. That’s actually better than I expected. The blog traffic decreased by about 25%. I guess people don’t really want to read about early retirement when the pandemic hit. But I don’t really know why. Hopefully, the blog traffic will recover at some point.

Here is how we generated online income in 2020.

Revenue: $41,403

  • Banner ads: $22,536. These are the banner ads you see on Retire by 40. I hope to make about $2,000 per month with these ads at some point. This is down due to lower traffic. For 2021, I hope to generate about $1,500/m.
  • Affiliates: $17,067. 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. I’d like to see about $2,000/month at some point. For 2021, I’d be very happy with around $1,000/m.
  • Private ads: $1,800. Occasionally, we worked with a company to advertise their products. I rarely do this anymore. This income will be very small in 2020.

Expenses: $10,150

  • Business: -$4,232. Business equipment, internet, hosting, email service, CDN, cell phone, etc…
  • Travel and meals: -$1069
  • Employee: -$2,548. This year, RB40Jr is our part-time YouTuber, photographer, model, and mascot. I’ll pay him $25 for each image and video I use in a blog post 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. We made a bunch of videos this year.
  • Estimated tax: $2,200. I haven’t sent this in yet. We still haven’t received our stimulus so they should cancel each other out.

Here is the 2020 graph of the revenue, expense, and net income. We can see the blog income decreasing over the last few months.

2020 blog income

Historical income

Incredibly, Retire by 40 generated over $450,000 in revenue* since I started blogging in 2010. That’s much more than I ever expected. It’s pretty crazy. This is why you should start a blog to build your brand. Once you are established, you can branch out to do freelance work, write a book, coach, get on TV, and monetize. It’s a new world and you can’t depend on your day job 100% anymore.

*Revenue is before taxes and expenses.

Thank you for your support!

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, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

Joe also 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 DIY investors analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.

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