December 2019 Blog Income Report

Hey there The Money Ninja readers! Welcome to my first ever blog income report! Money can be a taboo topic, but since this is a personal finance site where I’m showing readers how to make more money, save it better, and spend it more wisely – I felt the need to be totally open to you guys!


Ninja Tip: If you’re thinking about starting a blog, this tutorial will help you start a blog today. My “How to Start a Blog” post will help you:

+ Decide what to write about – there are a TON of things of ideas you can blog on!
+ Compare price options – you have to spend money to start a legit blog, but it doesn’t cost much (I spent $50 a year)
+ Show you how to set up your blog online (it takes 15 minutes)

How do bloggers make money from blogging?

I created a post in plain English (but full of details) how bloggers make money from blogging. In a nutshell, there are 5 main income streams:

  • Advertising
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Sponsored Content
  • Digital Products
  • Services

While these are the 5 popular ones, there are many other strategies you can use. Check out this infographic that shows you 50+ other ways to make money blogging!

Infographic showing 50+ ways to make money blogging

If you’re interested at all, you need to seriously read my post on it and then come back here to read the rest of the blog income report.


The truth is, I started this blog only towards the end of August 2019, but I registered the site way back in 2012! So why now after 7 years? It was me telling myself that it was time. Time to just get it started. Time to write that first post. Time to stop making excuses.

My first blog was actually created in 2002. Anyone remember Xanga? Since then, I’ve made or been part of numerous blogs for short-term stints. The most famous is probably The Points Guy, whose site is now worth over $50 million dollars.

Those blogs that I worked on were like I said, either short-term projects or testing out different aspects of blogging. The Money Ninja is the first blog I’m truly invested in and around a topic that I’m deeply passionate about: personal finance. Showing people how to manage their finances better makes me happy that I’m helping others be more financially knowledgeable.

Now, I don’t want to kid anyone – dedicating yourself to a blog requires hard work. I started this web site while working full-time at a corporate job, studying for my MBA, having recently married, and still trying to maintain some semblance of a work-life balance. I sleep for 4-5 hours a night.

It’s a crazy life, but I love it.

Without further ado, let’s get to the interesting part – the blog income report numbers!

December 2019 Blog Traffic

Unique Visitors = 9,480 | Pageviews = 23,415

There’s no way to monetize a blog if you don’t have people visiting it. I’m happy to report that for this time period I had 9,335 unique visitors looking at 23,415 pages on The Money Ninja:

Google Analytics overall summary for 2019

My short-term goal is to continue to produce valuable and meaningful content to readers. As the blog grows and includes more posts, I’m hoping that the site will attract additional visitors that stay around a little longer.

Traffic Trends

The number of visitors have been steadily growing!

When I first started the blog in August, I remember getting excited when I had more than 10 users a day. There were days where I would just get 1 (probably myself, haha!). Now, the blog is averaging about 200 daily users:

Google Analytics daily traffic trend for 2019

It took a couple of months, but the Google gods decided to rank some of my posts on the first page of certain search terms. That really helped drive organic traffic to my site and organic traffic is the most valuable traffic you can get.

Why? Because these types of visitors are searching for a need and Google has decided that my site fulfills those needs.

Traffic Source

Speaking of organic traffic, here’s my blog traffic by source:

Google Analytics top channels comparison for 2019
Traffic Source Comparison [left chart = October/November 2019; right chart = November/December 2019]

The left chart shows when I started to blog, most of the traffic came from social networks (33.6%). Social networks include The Money Ninja pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

While this is a good source of traffic, it’s not quite as valuable as organic. Only 17.5% (shown in yellow) came from organic searches.

Compare that to the end of the year, where almost 50% of my traffic came organically (in blue).

I like the current mix of traffic sources. What I’ll try to do next is to focus on only 1 or 2 social media pages. Facebook and Pinterest (who knew!) seems to be working the best so far.

December 2019 Blog Income Report

Total Blog Income = $9,342.46

Here’s how I made $9,342.46 on my blog, categorized by the type of income stream:

  • Display Ads: $110.30
  • Affiliate Marketing: $9,232.16
  • Sponsored Content: $0
  • Digital Products: $0
  • Services: $0

Display Ads = $110.30

Display Ads are advertisements that show up when you visit my blog or inside one of my posts. There are many companies you can partner with for this, but the most well-known is Google Adsense.

Google Adsense pays you in two ways: the number of times ads appear (impressions) and the number of times people click on one of the ads (clicks). Clicks pay you a lot more than impressions, but ads show up a lot more than people clicking on them.

Google Adsense earnings by platform type for 2019

Ninja Note: I intended to show how many ad clicks I received per month, but it’s against Google’s terms and service. Sorry!

Display ads won’t make a ton of money until your site blog receives a bunch of traffic, but it’s nice coffee money as you keep growing your site.

Affiliate Marketing = $9,232.16

Affiliate Marketing is essentially earning a commission for marketing products and services offered by various companies. Most blogs earn the most through their affiliates and it was no exception for my site.

A big chunk of my blogging income came from recommending products that I already use and love. It reaffirmed what experts say over and over again: talk about products and services you believe in and the money will follow.

There are some companies out there that pay a huge commission, but their products are awful. I’d rather take a pay cut than offer something I don’t genuinely believe in.

So what worked? Posts like my CIT Bank review appealed to quite a few people looking for a savings account with the highest interest rate and readers loved making $100 when SoFi Money had a promo for it a month ago.

And who can forget the U.S. Mint coin deal where I showed people how they can buy a coin for less than $100 and sell it for over $2,000 a few weeks later.

Recently, I became an Amazon affiliate and that has started to earn a few dollars too. We’ll see how that grows:

Amazon Associates summary report for 2019

Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised with how quickly this part of the blog’s income stream has grown!

There were a number of companies who reached out to me for sponsored content; paying me to write about them or their products and services.

I declined all of them. Although they offered decent money for it (between $250 to $500 per post), I didn’t see how it would align with my blog. One guy wanted me to post links to commercial refrigerators. What?!?

I’m open for future collaborations, but I really want to make sure it’s related to personal finance.

Digital Products = $0

I didn’t do anything here. I plan on writing an eBook or digital guide in the future, but my time is limited as it is.

Services = $0

Nothing here either. I had one request to be speaking at a financial event, but it was planned during my trip to Zanzibar with the wife.

And you know the saying, “happy wife, happy life”, love takes priority unless you want to be in the dog house!

The Bottom Line

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the initial traction of this blog because making a decent amount of money in the first several months is not typical. People don’t know your blog exists and Google won’t rank your pages well (if at all) since your blog is so new. It definitely helped that I had experience in this field.

This isn’t meant to be a brag at all. There are a lot of other bloggers who made more money than I did in the beginning. It’s simply evidence that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to start a blog or to learn how to make money from blogging.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog income report. If you like to see these on a regular basis, please let me know 🙂

About John Pham

John Pham is a personal finance expert, serial entrepreneur, and founder of The Money Ninja. He has also been fortunate enough to have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and U.S. News & World Report. John has a B.S. in Entrepreneurship and a Masters in Business Administration, both from the University of New Hampshire.

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Mateo Pedersen
3 years ago

Congrats on all your success! Really inspiring to see how successful this blog is becoming!

Happy 2021!

4 years ago

Can you email me? I have a few questions with starting a daily deals blog.

4 years ago

Nice work!

4 years ago

Do you pay taxes on affiliate income?

C. Cozzi
C. Cozzi
4 years ago

inspirational my dude. congrats!

4 years ago

Nice job! Your site shows that a unique voice can penetrate through a saturated finance blog industry. Happy to see it going well for you.

4 years ago

congrats man! awesome job.

4 years ago

Congrats on all your success! Really inspiring to see how successful this blog is becoming!

nguyen manh
nguyen manh
4 years ago

This is so inspirational! As someone who is thinking about making a blog about fashion, this really helped push me to just do it. Thank you and keep up the good work!

4 years ago


By looking at online income reports from successful bloggers like you, it inspires us and encourages us to work harder even though it’s hard to rank number one in google search.

I also know that it’s very difficult to get to your level because competition is so high right now. But at least we try our best.

Abiola Ayanbule
Abiola Ayanbule
4 years ago

This gives me hope! Even though i dont have anything to write on at the moment, you definetely make it sound like it is something that can be done. I wish i had heard about your blog in time for the US Mint Purchase! Congrats again on your success with the blog!

4 years ago

well done TMN! most blogs take a little bit more time to make that kind of money as you said, but all it takes it a post or two to go viral early. can’t wait to see the next update. congrats!

4 years ago

That’s so amazing! Congratulations! I enjoy reading blog income reports because it gives me the motivation that all kinds of bloggers can be successful. You did say results like this are atypical. Can you let us know what you did different compared to people who are new to blogging?