The blogging company is booming and there is no exception to the economic room. Bloggers of personal finance often begin by documenting their own private economic travels and exchanging money-saving tips. These travels lead to a good company for some.
With an annual ceremony and award season that focuses on excellence in economic media, the Plutus Awards have recognized these creators for the previous decade. The prizes acknowledge the voices of autonomous financial media as well as the financial industry’s favorite products and services.
“It was really exciting to see how the community of bloggers and podcasters has altered,” says Harlan Landes, founder of The Plutus Awards. Many blogs and podcasts have become much more advanced and marketable. “He adds,” More than 10 years ago, people are much more interested in constructing their companies and brands.
Twenty of the 2019 Plutus Awards winners here share what they learned as they build their blogging companies. Like any small business, they have varied routes to achievement. Some of the nominated blogs are young, while others have passed the 10-year mark; some of these entrepreneurs live full-time from their blogs, while others use theirs to attract customers for other kinds of services, such as freelance writing or financial planning services.
All have a passion, though, for helping others navigate the often confusing world of personal and small business finances. Here’s how they do it:
1. Jackie Beck, founder of JackieBeck.com
“I help people get out of debt without putting their life on hold.”
Year founded: 2011
How her blog makes money: Sales of her smartphone app, “Pay Off Debt by Jackie Beck,” and advertising is Beck’s top revenue sources. Others include affiliate marketing (getting paid for recommending other products), courses, and some speaking.
Biggest lesson/challenge: “It was important to me to be part of a group of fellow company owners. This was true back when I began a wedding photography company, and since I began helping individuals get out of debt, it has been true. Viewing other small business owners with comparable objectives as community members versus seeing them as competition implies approaching the world in a distinct manner.
“Sharing knowledge and being there for one another benefits everyone involved, especially since our businesses are similar. We know what each other are going through to a certain extent, and can share pitfalls, resources, and successes. There’s room for everyone to succeed.”
2. Kelan and Brittany Kline, co-founders of The Savvy Couple
“We help families learn how to budget their money, organize their life, and unlock the freedom to do more of the things they love!”
Year founded: 2016
How their blog makes money: Sponsorships (45%), ads (23%), affiliate marketing (22%), product/course sales (10%).
Biggest lesson/challenge: “To become a successful business owner you need to have excellent time management skills. Over the last three years, we have really put a lot of time and effort into being as efficient as possible in everything we do. Things like using the Eisenhower Matrix, utilizing a project management software, setting up systems for everything we do, outsourcing, and tracking our work hours has been instrumental to our success.”
3. Eric Roberge, founder of Beyond Your Hammock
A blog dedicated to helping people use their money as a tool to live a life they love.
Year founded: 2015
How his blog makes money: Roberge runs a fee-only financial planning firm and the blog supports that business while also helping people who are not clients.
Biggest lesson/challenge: “One major factor in our success is the fact that I was extremely cognizant of our profit margin for a long, long time. Most independent advisors have profit margins around 30%, but until last year we were consistently at 80% or 90%. Staying lean has allowed me to be really flexible and forced me to be innovative. It also has allowed me to build a solid foundation for my personal finances, so that now, as we look to reinvest more in the business and know that our profit margin will start dropping (at least to some degree) as we hire and scale, I feel confident that we can truly afford to take those risks that are necessary to get the business to the next level. It’s much more of a calculated risk because we’re not putting ourselves in a do-or-die situation, and that allows for clearer thinking and less emotional/irrational decision-making.