How To Start A Finance Blog

Start A Finance Blog

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If you ask any entrepreneur, starting a business comes with its fair share of challenges.

Starting a finance blog requires a great deal of effort, dedication and most importantly passion.

If you're willing to put in the effort to build your own business, you're going to want to follow the critical steps to creating a successful brand.

We've created a guide that covers each step of the process - from making key financial decisions, to launching and marketing your business the right way, and tips/strategies on how to grow your business effectively.

market size
$400B
avg revenue (monthly)
$33.7K
starting costs
$35.6K
gross margin
80%
time to build
5 months
growth channels
SEO
business model
Subscriptions
best tools
Twitter, WordPress, Pinterest
time investment
Side project
pros & cons
11 Pros & Cons
tips
14 Tips

💡 Introduction To Starting A Finance Blog

Is Starting A Finance Blog Right For You?

There are many factors to consider when starting a finance blog.

We put together the main pros and cons for you here:

Pros of starting a finance blog

• Flexibility

You can put as much time into the business as you'd like. If you like the work and have some initial experience, you can start small and manage all aspects of the business on your own.

• Ability to start your business from home

It's not necessary to have a physical storefront or office space to get your business started. You can do everything from the comfort of your own home, at least in the beginning!

• Little startup costs required

The cost to start a finance blog costs significantly less money than most businesses, ranging anywhere from 7,504 to 62,594.

• Rewarding work

Starting a finance blog can be really rewarding work. After all, you are solving an immediate issue for your customer and you're working on something you truly care about.

• Scalable

With businesses and processes changing daily, there will always be demand for new features, products and services for your business. Additionally, there are several different business models and pricing tiers you can implement that will allow you to reach all types of customers.

• Traffic to your website

A finance blog gives people a reason to visit your website and to keep coming back to you!

• No overhead costs

To get your finance blog started, there are no costs associated with overhead, storage, packaging, etc. This will save you a lot of time and money!

• Meaningful business connections

You never know who you will meet as a finance blog. This could be the start of an incredible business opportunity!

Cons of starting a finance blog

• Crowded Space

Competition is high when it comes to your finance blog, so it's important that you spend a good amount of time analyzing the market and understanding where the demand lies.

• Constant maintenance of publication

You may find yourself constantly needing to update your finance blog in order to stay relevant for your audience and for those searching on google.

• Motivation of employees

If you plan to have a sales/content team on board, finding creative ways to motivate them can be a challenge. It's important that you're able to offer great incentives and a good work environment for your employees.

Players

Big Players

Small Players

Search Interest

Let's take a look at the search trends for finance blog over the last year:

How To Name Your Finance Blog

It's important to find a catchy name for your finance blog so that you can stand out in your space.

Here are some general tips to consider when naming your finance blog

  • Avoid hard to spell names: you want something easy to remember and easy to spell for your customers
  • Conduct a search to see if others in the space have the same name
  • Try not to pick a name that limits growth opportunities for your business (ie. if you decide to expand into other product lines)
  • As soon as you have an idea (or ideas) of a few names that you love, register the domain name(s) as soon as possible!

Why is naming your finance blog so important?

The name of your business will forever play a role in:

  • Your customers first impression
  • Your businesses identity
  • The power behind the type of customer your brand attracts
  • If you're memorable or not

It's important to verify that the domain name is available for your finance blog.

You can search domain availability here:

Find a domain starting at $0.88

powered by Namecheap

Although .com names are the most common and easiest to remember, there are other options if your .com domain name is not available. Depending on your audience, it may not matter as much as you think.

It's also important to thoroughly check if social media handles are available.

As soon as you resonate with a name (or names), secure the domain and SM handles as soon as possible to ensure they don't get taken.

Here's some inspiration for naming your finance blog:

  • The Private check availability
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  • Obscure Carnet check availability
  • Blogging Spot check availability
  • Regular Weblog check availability
  • Micro Loans Group check availability
  • Domestic check availability
  • Academic check availability
  • The Style Blogger check availability
  • The Highest Substance check availability
  • Nonsense Content check availability
  • The Compensatory Funds check availability
  • Vaunted Content check availability
  • Islamic check availability
  • Representational Happy Spot check availability
  • Actual Smug Co check availability
  • Extra Treasury Place check availability
  • Low Subject Co check availability
  • Mustang Finance check availability
  • Frenzied Financial Group check availability
  • Gauntlet Content check availability
  • Actual Capacity check availability
  • The Weekly check availability
  • Cultural Components check availability
  • Conceptual Composition check availability
  • SemanticContent check availability
  • Successful Hiroshi Place check availability
  • Federal Financer check availability
  • Cognitive check availability
  • The Ideological check availability
  • The Fake check availability
  • Based Bookmark check availability
  • Webpage Co check availability
  • Separate Code Collective check availability
  • Symbolic Subject Matter check availability
  • InfluentialBlog check availability
  • Cellular Component check availability
  • Educational Economics check availability
  • National check availability
  • Pok Trading Co check availability
  • VideoBlog check availability
  • Based Blogger check availability
  • Hiroshi Place check availability
  • The Simple check availability
  • Campaign Treasurer Spot check availability
  • Spiritual Satisfied Group check availability
  • The Collaborative Carnet check availability
  • The Free check availability
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  • Adequate Financial check availability
  • Digital check availability
  • Technical Satisfied check availability
  • Pants Finance check availability
  • NewBlog check availability
  • Substance Pro check availability
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  • Foreign Financials check availability
  • Informative Blogging Pro check availability
  • The Functional check availability
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  • The Provincial check availability
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  • Economics Collective check availability
  • Cash In Hand Place check availability
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  • RegularBlog check availability
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  • Subject Group check availability
  • The High check availability
  • Sufficient Pecuniary Resource Group check availability
  • Frenzied Fin check availability
  • Academic Complacent check availability
  • Concrete Component check availability
  • The Mobile check availability
  • The Higher check availability
  • Entire Open Ended Spot check availability
  • The Intellectual Complacent check availability
  • CurrentBlog check availability
  • Transplant Finance check availability
  • Conceptual Context check availability
  • Concrete Contained check availability
  • Speculative Monetary Resource Trading Co check availability
  • Public Treasurer Place check availability
  • Concrete Curriculum check availability
  • Constant Content check availability
  • Mobile Carnet check availability
  • Cognitive Contentedness check availability
  • Happy Spot check availability
  • Satisfied Group check availability
  • Adequate check availability
  • Symbolic Subject check availability
  • The Favorite check availability
  • Longer Satisfied Spot check availability
  • ReadBlog check availability
  • LookingBlog check availability
  • RealBlog check availability
  • Concrete Composition check availability
  • Free check availability
  • Maximum check availability
  • Factual Smug Place check availability
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  • Theoretical Message check availability
  • Based Treasury Co check availability
  • The Objective check availability
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  • The Manifest Satisfied check availability
  • Blogger Co check availability

Read our full guide on naming your finance blog ➜

How To Create A Slogan For Your Finance Blog:

Slogans are a critical piece of your marketing and advertising strategy.

The role of your slogan is to help your customer understand the benefits of your product/service - so it's important to find a catchy and effective slogan name.

Often times, your slogan can even be more important than the name of your brand.

Here are 6 tips for creating a catchy slogan for your finance blog:

1. Keep it short, simple and avoid difficult words

A great rule of thumb is that your slogan should be under 10 words. This will make it easy for your customer to understand and remember.

2. Tell what you do and focus on what makes you different

There are a few different ways you can incorporate what makes your business special in your slogan:

  • Explain the target customer you are catering your services towards
  • What problem do you solve?
  • How do you make other people, clients, or your employer look good?
  • Do you make people more successful? How?

3. Be consistent

Chances are, if you're coming up with a slogan, you may already have your business name, logo, mission, branding etc.

It's important to create a slogan that is consistent with all of the above.

4. Ensure the longevity of your slogan

Times are changing quickly, and so are businesses.

When coming up with your slogan, you may want to consider creating something that is timeless and won't just fade with new trends.

5. Consider your audience

When finding a catchy slogan name, you'll want to make sure that this resonates across your entire audience.

It's possible that your slogan could make complete sense to your audience in Europe, but may not resonate with your US audience.

6. Get feedback!

This is one of the easiest ways to know if your slogan will be perceived well, and a step that a lot of brands drop the ball on.

Ask friends, family, strangers, and most importantly, those that are considered to be in your target market.

Here's some inspiration for coming up with a slogan for your finance blog:

Medium Is What We Do

Set Of The Satisfied

From Old To Early

Order Of The Easygoing

Finance - One Name. One Legend.

Contents With Pressure

Blog Keeps Going, And Going, And Going...

Sweet As The Moment When The Blog Went 'Pop'

A Leaner, Meaner Finance

High Loans, International Banking

National And Pyramidal

Content The Best Of The Litter.

Only The Crumbliest Flakiest Blog.

Work Hard, Tax Harder

From Impersonal To Individualized

Good To The Last Blog.

From Low To Flood

Corporate Nytimes Are What We Do

Endless Possibilities With Content.

Lay Of The Subject

Media & Digital Subscription Business Model

When deciding whether or not to start a finance blog, it's important to first decide what type of business model you want to choose.

For this industry, digital subscriptions are one of the best ways to make money (and fast)!

We see subscriptions working very well for big businesses (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, etc) but I think it can work even better for small businesses and small teams.

Why? Because the economics work even better. You don’t need to find thousands of paying subscribers. If you charge enough ($10-100/month), all you need is a few hundred and you would have a sustainable business.

Here are some of the different approaches to the subscription model for blogs, publications, and content creators.

  • The hard paywall - readers need to subscribe and/or pay to read anything
  • The metered paywall - when your publication limits the number of articles readers can read each month (such as the New York Times)
  • Premium newsletters - keeping your content free, but consistently upselling a premium newsletter to all readers
  • Courses - although not technically a subscription model, this is still a great revenue model for content creators.

Here's a great example of a subscription model that offers different pricing and features for readers:

article Offering different price tiers is an effective approach in “upselling” the product and providing new and exciting value for the end-user.

Here's a few tips when taking the subscription model approach:

  • Write content that doesn’t exist anywhere else.
  • Have at least one thing that readers couldn’t live without - as long as it has one thing you can’t live without, customers will keep paying for it.
  • Focus on strong word of mouth and high retention of subscribers.
  • Figure out a way to get people to “find” your thing since you can’t rely on social or Google traffic - may need to do sales or in-person events

To learn more about digital subscriptions and the different approaches you can take, we put together a full guide for you here.

Advertising Supported Business Model

When starting your finance blog, it's important to first understand and identify what your business and revenue model will look like.

For online sites and publishers, an advertising supported revenue model is very common, and if approached in the right way, can be very lucrative for your business.

The general idea is to share services, information, news or feature articles that attract customers (typically for free) and then sell advertising space to other businesses that have a similar audience.

To find advertisers for your business, it's important that you are able to bring value to the equation. This could mean significant traffic to your website, number of followers, synergies with your target audience, etc.

One of the main benefits to an ad-model is that you are able to offer free services to the end-user, which can help organically grow your customer base. As a result, reaching a larger audience will attract more high paying advertisers.

Of course, there are disadvantages to every model. In this case, the main one being that your revenue largely depends on another businesses budget.. Advertising budgets often diminish, especially in tough financial times, which can put your business at risk.

To learn more about the ad-based business model and to determine if it's the right model for you, check out this article.

🎬 How To Start A Finance Blog

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How Much Does It Cost To Start A Finance Blog

If you are planning to start a finance blog, the costs are relatively low. This, of course, depends on if you decide to start the business with lean expenses or bringing in a large team and spending more money.

We’ve outlined two common scenarios for “pre-opening” costs of starting a finance blog and outline the costs you should expect for each:

  • The estimated minimum starting cost = $7,504
  • The estimated maximum starting cost = $62,594
Startup Expenses: Average expenses incurred when starting a finance blog. Min Startup Costs: You plan to execute on your own. You’re able to work from home with minimal costs. Max Startup Costs: You have started with 1+ other team members.
Office Space Expenses
Rent: This refers to the office space you rent out for your business. To minimize costs, you may want to consider starting your business from home or renting an office in a coworking space. $0 $2,000
WiFi: Whether you work from home or in an office space, WiFi is an expense that's tough to avoid. Although the cost is minimal in most cases, it should be appropriately budgeted for each month! $10 $100
Total Office Space Expenses $10 (min) $2,100 (max)
Employee & Freelancer Expenses
Payroll: This number depends on if you decide to pay yourself a salary upfront and how many employees you have on payroll. At first, many founders take on all responsibilities until the business is up and running. You can always hire down the road when you understand where you need help. Keep in mind, if you do plan to pay yourself, the average salary founders make is $50K. $0 $4,000
Other Employee Expenses: Aside from payroll and benefits, there are other costs associated with hiring employees. This includes the cost to advertise the job, the time it takes to interview candidates, and any potential turnover that may result from hiring the wrong candidate. $0 $1,000
Employee Reward Ideas: It's important to recognize and reward employees - whether they hit their goals or are doing an exceptional job. This doesn't have to cost you a lot - simply taking them out to lunch, giving them a gift card or offering a pay-check bonus are all ways to recognize your employee! Here are 65 ways to reward your employees. $0 $500
Total Employee & Freelancer Expenses $0 (min) $5,500 (max)
Equipment & Supply Expenses
Technology Office Equipment: This includes (but is not limited to) physical items such as: laptops, cameras, monitors, microphones, speakers, headsets. Technology needs grow as your company evolves, so to minimize costs, try and only purchase what is needed for you to run your business at the time. $500 $5,000
Total Equipment & Supply Expenses $500 (min) $5,000 (max)
Website Costs
Website builder: The cost of your website will vary depending on which platform you choose. There are many website builders on the market, so it's important you choose the right one for your business and overall goals. To learn more about your options + how to build a great website, check out this article. $15 $100
Web Design: Web design includes several different aspects, including webpage layout, content creation, and design elements.If you have the skills and knowledge to design your website on your own, then outsourcing this to an expert may not be necessary. There are plenty of other ways you can design a beautiful website using design tools and software. $200 $6,000
A Domain Name: Your domain name is the URL and name of your website - this is how internet users find you and your website.Domain names are extremely important and should match your company name and brand. This makes it easier for customers to remember you and return to your website. $12 $200
Email hosting: Email is a critical piece for running your business. Once you have your domain name, you will want to set up email accounts for each user on your team. The most common email hosts are GSuite (typically starting at $6+ per user, per month) or Microsoft Office (typically starting at $5+ per user, per month). The number of email accounts you set up will determine the monthly cost breakdown. $5 $75
Server Hosting: To start your business, you will need to set up and manage a server. The cost for this is typically billed monthly and depends on the platform you choose (typically ranging anywhere from $0-$50/mo). $0 $50
Website chat function: If customer service is a big piece of your business, you will want to consider implementing a chat bot on your website. Typically, there are different tiers of pricing and some businesses even offer freemium services. To find what chat software is best for your business, check out this guide. $0 $75
Total Website Costs $232 (min) $6,500 (max)
Business Formation Fees
Small Business Insurance: Depending on which state you live in and the business you're operating, the costs and requirements for small business insurance vary. You can learn more here. $500 $2,000
Permit and License Fees: Depending on your industry, there are certain licenses and permits you may need in order to comply with state, local, and federal regulations. Here is an article that goes over all the permits and licenses you may need for your finance blog. $50 $700
Trademarking: Filing trademark registration will protect your brand and prevent other businesses from copying your name or product. USPTO has several different types of trademarks, so the cost to apply can vary (typically anywhere from $400-$700). $0 $700
Lawyer Fees: Although you may want to avoid attorney fees, it's important that your business (and you) are covered at all costs. This comes into play when creating founder agreements, setting up your business legal structure, and of course, any unforeseen circumstances that may happen when dealing with customers or other businesses. $0 $1,500
A Patent: Patents provide protection against others stealing or selling your idea.Securing a patent can be very valuable, but it's important that you are 100% sure this will be a smart business move for you, or if this is something to consider down the line.The process of securing a US patent can be both lengthy and pricey, and typically includes filing an application with the USPTO. $5,000 $15,000
Set up business: LLC & Corporations: The first step in setting up your business is deciding whether your business is an LLC, S Corp or C Corp. The cost for this depends on which state you form your business and which structure you decide on. We put together an article that goes over the 10 Steps To Setting Up A Business. $50 $500
Total Business Formation Fees $5,600 (min) $20,400 (max)
App Creation Costs
App Development: App development is the process of creating software intended to run on a mobile device.In addition to coding, there are other elements to consider:- design- back end development- security- architecture- testingMany businesses hire an expert that has the technical knowledge to design and develop an app.Depending on the scope of your project, the cost can vary. Some business owners learn to code on their own to minimize these costs, and others, hire a developer to work for them part-time or full-time. $1,000 $20,000
Total App Creation Costs $1,000 (min) $20,000 (max)
Software Expenses
Design Programs & Software: These programs might include the Adobe family of design tools: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and others. This is typically a monthly subscription ranging from $10-$50/mo. $0 $50
Email marketing tool: If you plan to grow your email list and email marketing efforts, you may want to consider investing in an email marketing platform (ie. Klaviyo, MailChimp). We put together a detailed guide on all of the email marketing tools out there + the pricing models for each one here $0 $100
IT Support: IT support installs and configures hardware and software and solves any technical issues that may arise.IT support can be used internally or for your customers experiencing issues with your product/service.There are a variety of tools and software you can use to help with any technical issues you or your customers are experiencing. This is a great option for businesses that do not have the means to hire a team of professionals. $150 $2,000
Accounting & Invoicing Software: It's important to have an accounting system and process in place to manage financials, reporting, planning and tax preparation. Here are the 30 best accounting tools for small businesses. $0 $50
CRM Software: CRM (customer relationship management) software system is used to track and analyze your company’s interactions with clients and prospects. Although this is not a necessary tool to have for your business, implementing this, in the beginning, may set your business up for success and save you valuable time. $12 $300
Project Management Software: You may want to consider using a project management and collaboration tool to organize your day-to-day. This can also be very beneficial if you have a larger team and want to keep track of everyones tasks and productivity. For a full list of project management tools, check out this full list here. $0 $25
Internal Communication Tool: If you plan to have multiple members on your team, you may want to consider an instant message tool such as Slack or Telegram. The cost is usually billed per month (approx $5/user/month) or there are freemium versions available on many platforms. $0 $20
Social Media Management Tools: If you plan to do social media marketing for your finance blog, you should consider investing in a social media automation or publishing tool. This will save you time and allow you to track performance and engagement for your posts. Here is a list of 28 best social media tools for your small business. $0 $50
Payroll Software: The main purpose of payroll software is to help you pay your team and track each of those payments (so that you don't have to do it manually). If you do not have any employees or have a very small team, payroll software may not be necessary at this stage. Here are the 11 best payroll tools for small businesses! $0 $200
Online data storage: It's important to make sure the information for your finance blog is stored and protected should something happen to your computer or hard drive. The cost for this is affordable and depends on how much data you need to store. To learn more about the different options and pricing on the market, check out this article. $0 $299
Total Software Expenses $162 (min) $3,094 (max)
Total Starting Costs $7,504 (min) $62,594 (max)

Brett Lindenberg, founder of Food Truck Empire discusses his startup costs setting up his blog + his decision to outsource:

Like most bloggers, the launch of my business was low cost. I bought a domain name from GoDaddy, website hosting from HostGator, and had my initial website template customized by someone located in the Philippines. I was introduced to the designer from a friend who had worked with the individual for a Wordpress design as well. The total initial investment for the business was around $500. The majority of the costs went toward paying the designer to create the logo and set up the site.

At the time, $500 was a substantial investment for me. I fell into the trap of having around $40,000 in student loan debt another $10,000 in credit cards after college. Adding a monthly car payment shortly after graduation and the other bills (rent, cell phone, internet access) meant things were tight for me financially for the first 5 years after graduation.

In spite of financial woes, I forced myself to invest money in the design and setup of my blog. In retrospect, I’m glad that I did this because it saved me a lot of time starting the website.

When you start a blog, my belief is that you should outsource all the one-time technical work, design, and setup. There are so many people that spend months wasting time trying to figure out plugins and Wordpress themes when they could have solved the problem on Fiverr.com for a couple hundred bucks and be off to the races.

-  
Brett Lindenberg, on starting Food Truck Empire ($5,400/month) full story ➜

Raising Money For Your Finance Blog

Here are the most common ways to raise money for your finance blog:

What Skills Do I Need To Succeed In Starting A Finance Blog?

As a finance blog, there are several essential skills and characteristics that are important to identify prior to starting your business.

Let’s look at these skills in more detail so you can identify what you need to succeed in your day-to-day business operations:

Advice For Starting A Finance Blog

We've interviewed thousands of successful founders at Starter Story and asked what advice they would give to entrepreneurs who are just getting started.

Here's the best advice we discovered for starting a finance blog:

Alexis Schroeder, founder of FITnancials ($7.5K/month):

Treat your business as a legit business and not a hobby.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, founder of Making Sense of Cents ($100K/month):

Take a course! There is probably something that you can learn, especially if you feel stuck. A course can help you figure out what you may be missing, learn new ways to attract customers/readers, grow your business, and more.

Read the full interview ➜

-

R.J. Weiss, founder of The Ways To Wealth LLC ($30K/month):

Often, it's only after you start a business that you learn what opportunities exist inside an industry. So, getting this hands-on experience as quickly and cheaply as possible is what really matters today.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Jeff Proctor, founder of DollarSprout ($50K/month):

Find your target market and be the best possible solution for them.

Read the full interview ➜

-

David Ning, founder of Astute Actions Inc ($30K/month):

At the end of the day, good content is the best way to keep readers from coming back.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Pardeep Goyal, founder of Cash Overflow ($10K/month):

I learned from the failure of my startup that we should launch products after understanding the pains and gains of the target audience.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Jeff Proctor, founder of DollarSprout ($50K/month):

I was 25 when I left my fulltime job. I had saved up a little over $20,000, which I figured would last for about a year. It lasted for 9 months. I ended up having to go back to work because I was dead broke.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, founder of Making Sense of Cents ($100K/month):

Learn how to separate work and life. Being a blogger can mean that your work-life balance can get out of whack, and this is because it is so easy in today’s world to constantly be connected.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Sayan Neogie, founder of Prosmartrepreneur ($9.5K/month):

Only a small percentage of your content online will bring the most of the revenue.

Read the full interview ➜

-

Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan from the start is critical for the success of your finance blog.

Why?

Because this allows you to roadmap exactly what you do, what your overall structure will look like, and where you want to be in the future.

For many entrepreneurs, writing out the business plan helps validate their idea and decide whether or not they should move forward with starting the business.

You may want to consider expanding upon these sections in your business plan:

  • Executive Summary: Brief outline of your product, the market, and growth opportunities
  • Overviews and Objectives: Overview of your business, target customers, and what you need to run your business
  • Products and Services: Specifics on the products and services your business will provide
  • Market Opportunities: Analysis of customer demographics, buyer habits and if your product is in demand
  • Marketing: Outline of your marketing plan and how you plan to differentiate yourself from other customers
  • Competitive analysis: Analysis of your competition and the strengths and weaknesses therein
  • Operations: Hierarchal structure of the company and what it will take to run the business on the day-to-day
  • Leadership Team: Detailing roles and responsibilities of each manager based on their specific skill-set
  • Financial Analysis Understanding of all expenses, operating budgets, and projections for the future.

Learn more about how to write a business plan here

Determine Which Business Bank Account You Need

There are hundreds of banks out there, and it can be overwhelming to find one that's right for your business.

Here are some factors you may want to consider:

  • Location - Is your bank close enough that you can easily make deposits or get cash?
  • Low Fees - Make sure to understand any and all fees associated with setting up and maintaining your bank account. Ask for a list - banks usually try to keep this hidden and in the fine print.
  • Online Banking Services - Make sure you can easily navigate through your online portal and you have easy access to everything you need.
  • Line of Credit - What do your options look like (even if you don't need this now, you may need this down the road).
  • Every bank has something that differentiates them from the rest, so make sure whatever that is applied to your needs and values.

Check out this list of the 13 Best Banks for Small Business in 2020 and what makes them so unique.

Setting Up Your Finance Blog (Formation and Legal)

When it comes to setting up your business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some financial and legal decisions.

The first thing you'll want to decide on is whether you want to be an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp.

These three options are found to be the most common when starting a small business, and all serve to protect your personal assets and also provide you with certain tax benefits.

  • LLC: All income and expenses from the business are reported on the LLC personal income tax return.
  • S corp: Owners pay themselves salaries + receive dividends from profits.
  • C Corp: C Corps are separately taxable entities that file a corporate tax return (Form 1120). No income tax is paid at the corporate level and any tax due is paid at the owners individual expense.

Depending on where you're conducting business, you'll also want to consider securing the proper permits, licenses and liability insurance.

Learn more about securing the right permits and licenses ➜

Need to start an LLC? Create an LLC in minutes with ZenBusiness.

How Do I Pay Myself As A Small Business Owner?

Most entrepreneurs start a business to do something they love- but at the end of the day, you still have bills to pay (maybe now more than ever).

But it's important to strike the right balance - if you pay yourself too much, you could be putting your business at risk.

There are two common ways to pay yourself as a business owner:

1. Owner's Draw

Many entrepreneurs pay themselves through an owner's draw. This means that you are technically sean as "self-employed" through the eyes of the IRS and are not paid through regular wages.

At the point that you collect money from the draw, taxes typically are not taken out - so make sure you are prepared to pay these taxes once you file your individual return.

As an owner who takes a draw, you can legally take out as much as you want from your equity.

This type of compensation is suited for Sole props, LLCs, and partnerships. If you’re an S corp, you can pay yourself through both a salary and draw if you choose.

2. Salary

If you decide to pay yourself a salary, you will receive a set and recurring amount. This will be taxed by the federal government and the state you reside in.

The reality is that it can be really complicated to set your own salary, so we have some tips for you to consider:

  • Take out a reasonable amount that allows you to live comfortably but also sets your business up for success
  • Consider the number of hours you are working weekly + the type of duties you are performing.
  • Set your salary based on your industry-standard, location, and profits (or projected profits)
  • Look at your P&L statement: Deduct your own pay from that amount. This is important so you can first tackle important business expenses, and then pay yourself from the amount leftover.
  • Pick a payroll schedule (and stick to it)! In the US, it's most common to pay yourself and employees twice a month.

https://media.giphy.com/media/xT0xeLTRncS90ptpfi/giphy.gif

To learn more about how to pay yourself and what is a reasonable amount, check out this article.

How To Price Your Finance Blog

One of the most challenging aspects to starting a finance blog is determining how much to charge for your finance blog.

When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.

Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as "cheap." Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.

On the other hand, when businesses over-price, this tends to be just as damaging to the business.

When customers buy, it's likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they're getting the best value + deal. This is why it's so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.

Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:

Understand your customer

It's important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they're willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you'll want to takeaway:

  • Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
  • Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
  • Level of price sensitivity with your customer

All of these segments will help you identify the type of customer you're attracting and how to price your product accordingly.

Understand your costs

When pricing your finance blog, it's critical that you first identify all of your costs and consequently mark up your finance blog so you can factor in a profit.

The actual cost of your finance blog may include things like:

  • The actual cost to make the product (ie. raw materials, supplies, manufacturer).
  • Shipping + overhead fees
  • Rent
  • Operating costs to run your business

You may want to consider creating a spreadsheet with every single expense involved in operating/owning your business. This will give you an idea as to what you need to generate in order to at the very least, break-even and will help you price your products to factor in a profit.

Create revenue goals

When determining the price of your finance blog, you'll want to create goals for revenue + how much profit you want your finance blog to make.

This process is simpler than you may think:

  1. Think about your breakeven cost (by completing the above step).
  2. Create a revenue goal based on your break-even cost
  3. Evaluate the # of items you plan to sell in a given period (make sure this is a realistic number)
  4. Divide your revenue goal by the number of items you plan to sell

This figure will help determine your estimated price per product in order to meet your revenue goals.

Evaluate your competition

The last piece in determining how to price your finance blog is by simply looking at your competition.

The best way to do this is by finding like-minded businesses that offer product(s) with similar perceived value. Then, you can compare prices of the different businesses and determine where your finance blog fits best in the marketplace.

All of these factors play an equal part in pricing your finance blog, so it's important you evaluate each one individually to come up with an accurate price that will help optimize your business from the start.

Gross Margin Calculator: How to Calculate The Gross Margin For Your Finance Blog

Our calculator is designed to be simple and easy to use.

The goal is to help you set realistic expectations and understand what is considered a healthy gross margin for your finance blog.

Calculate your gross margin and profit margin here.

Building an MVP (Minimal Viable Product)

When building a finance blog, it's critical that you first validate your product/service rather than rushing to build it right away.

This could save you months, if not years of building the wrong product/service.

If you're hoping to decrease any sort of risk that comes with launching your finance blog, designing a prototype can be a great way to de-risk your situation.

The point of your finance blog prototype is that it doesn't have to be perfect.

In the beginning stages, it doesn't matter how rough V1 of your prototype is, it's more important to just get started and you can always refine from there based on feedback from your network and most importantly your customers.

How To Build A MVP

Here are several different ways of building a prototype/MVP:

  • Start by building a landing page to see if customers actually need your product and if they are willing to pay for it
  • Build a very basic version of your idea and ask for immediate feedback from potential customers
  • Present a problem and solution via Facebook/Instagram Ads and see what the response is like

David Ning, founder of Astute Actions Inc dives deep into the process of designing and prototyping their product:

In the beginning, I was writing about anything and everything. The topics eventually had a personal finance focus but still, I was just writing about what was on my mind. At some point, the dominance of Google and how much power it holds on bringing in traffic and revenue became crystal clear, and that in turn led to MoneyNing.com having each article focus on one topic. They were short and sweet to address one point. After all, Google wants to, first and foremost, send visitors to a page to answer the question they are searching for.

As Google’s preferences evolved, so has our content. Now what they are looking for is more long-form articles. This means, longer, more detailed discussion on each topic to show that we are authorities on the subject.

At the end of the day, good content is the best way to keep readers from coming back.

Revenue sources also changed over the years. We started mainly with ad placements, but we added affiliate marketing to the site shortly after I went full time. In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is talking about a product or service, and advertisers will pay you based on our readers performing a specific action. For example, I could be talking about a savings account, and if the reader then becomes interested in opening an account and do so, then I get paid. It sort of works like a referral bonus, but through my site instead of word of mouth.

The first post was always exciting, and the funny thing was that I wasn’t even recommending the product. I was talking about how some people were having a bad experience with a certain bank. Still, people decided that whatever I said wasn’t a concern to them, and they signed up anyway!

It just goes to show that if you are genuine with what you write about, then you can still make a good living. You don’t necessarily have to sell out!

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David Ning, on starting Astute Actions Inc ($30,000/month) full story ➜

How To Find The Right Developer For Your Finance Blog

If you (or others on your team) don't have the necessary coding/design skills to build the product on your own, finding the right developer for your finance blog is a critical piece to bringing your idea to life.

Prior to hiring someone, you'll want to:

  • Have a very clear understanding of what your product (or MVP) will look like
  • Understand what the details of the user experience will look like (pages, how users sign up, backend administrative details, billing, reports etc). It may help to draw out the prototype and UX experience on a design platform such as Sketch
  • Understand what features you want to implement now and even those in the future
  • Understand the costs and time associated with hiring a developer and set a budget (more on that below)

Here are some ways you can find a developer:

Arielle Frank, founder of Clout Collective talks about her experiences and lessons learned when hiring a developer as a non-technical founder:

My first attempt to find a developer was a massive failure. I was basically screaming to be taken advantage of with my lack of technical knowledge and a heart full of hope. I signed an extremely unfavorable contract with a developer based in Morocco who claimed to offer “discounted” development services in exchange for equity in the company. By “discounted” I mean that it would cost only $40K to build the MVP. At the time I had no frame of reference for whether or not this was normal and justified it to myself.

Luckily, after a lot more internet sleuthing, I found my current developer, Adeva. Working with Adeva was the opposite experience of my initial encounter in every way. At $8K, Adeva’s quote for my MVP was literally 1/5th the cost of the original developer! I decided to save money on a front-end designer for V1 by using a template and designing things where I could in Figma.

I was forced to figure out many of the details and features of the platform upfront since Adeva couldn’t give me a quote without detailed user stories.

When building out the prospective features, I tried to focus on the end result and work backward from there.

For example, the end goal was for a content creator to be able to read a review and know whether or not they want to collaborate with a specific brand. I used this goal to inform the questions I collected for the reviews and the best way to display this info. During this phase, I also relied heavily on my beta testers for feedback about which info would be the most useful for them.

It’s tempting to add a bunch of cool, slick features when you’re building your product, but my brilliant mentor encouraged me to focus on doing one thing extremely well.

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Wilson Hung, on starting ARPU (/month) full story ➜

🚀 How To Launch Your Finance Blog

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Build A Website

Building a website is imperative when launching your business, and with the right tools in place, this can be a simple task to check off the list (without having to hire someone).

  1. Pick a domain name that's easy to remember and easy to type
  2. Choose a Web Hosting Plan (ie. Shopify, Squarespace)
  3. Make sure you choose the right theme and design
  4. Implement the proper page structure (ie. about page, contact page, pricing etc)

To learn more about how to build a stellar website with little stress, we give you all the details on this step-by-step guide.

Best Website Platforms To Use For Your Finance Blog:

There are a variety of websites platforms out there, and it's important to choose the right one that will set you up for success.

Here's everything you need to know about the two most common platforms for your finance blog:

WordPress

Free and open-source content management system based on PHP and MySQL.

Free to use/open source but you will need to pay for the hosting.

Businesses using WordPress:

337 successful businesses are using WordPress ➜

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Get WordPress ➜

Squarespace

The all-in-one solution for anyone looking to create a beautiful website.

  • Personal Plan: $12/month
  • Business Plan: $18/month
  • Basic: $26/month
  • Advanced: $40/month

  • Pricing: Freemium

  • Twitter: @squarespace

  • Website: squarespace.com

Businesses using Squarespace:

67 successful businesses are using Squarespace ➜

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Get Squarespace ➜

Web Design

Once you have chosen the domain, web hosting, and platform, it's time to get started with the design phase.

Themes are a great way to produce the fundamental style and identity of your website - this includes everything from your font design to your blog post styles.

One of the best ways to get started is to simply explore the various themes (free or paid depending on what you're looking for) and test them on your site.

If web-design really isn't in the cards for you, you may want to consider outsourcing a web designer to help bring your vision and brand to life.

Get Press Coverage For Your Finance Blog

The more buzz around your brand - the more the phones ring, the more traffic to your website, and the more customers as a result.

Here are a few ways you can get press for your business:

Press releases:

Press releases are a great way to share big announcements or news, but in order to get any traction, you'll need to find a way to make your press release stand out amongst others.

Try to convey a story that really matters, not just to you, but to the reporter and to their audience.

Here are some things to consider when submitting a press release:

  • Craft a catchy subject (keep it short and sweet).
  • Acknowledge the journalist's past work and interests - this is key!
  • Include the main point of the story in the first paragraph, heck, even the first sentence. Reporters want to hear the juice first and foremost.
  • Focus on the facts and try to limit the amount of jargon used.
  • Pitch yourself! Help them put a face to the story.
  • Make sure your topic is newsworthy. If it's not, find a way to!
  • Try not to include any attachments of your release!

Email is one of the most effective and preferred way to send your press release, so as long as you keep your pitch brief, interesting and personalized (no cold emails), you should stand a chance!

Get Press Using HARO

HARO, otherwise known as "Help a Reporter Out" is an outlet for journalists to source upcoming stories and opportunities for media coverage.

The best part is, HARO is free to use! There are, of course, premium versions you can purchase, but the free version is still an accessible way to get press.

Once you set up an account, HARO essentially will email you based on stories (that are relevant to you) that need to be covered where you will then have a chance to essentially "bid on the story."

Here are some tips when crafting your pitch:

  • Discuss your experience and expertise in the space. Make sure it's obvious why you're relevant to this story.
  • Answer the question in 3-4 sentences. Try and be as direct as possible
  • Offer to provide the reporter with more information and make sure to give them your contact info

Plan a Publicity Stunt

Planning a publicity stunt is an effective and quick way to raise awareness for your brand and gain some traction from the press.

If you're looking to plan a stunt, the objective should be to be bold and create something memorable

However, being bold has a fine line - it's important that you consider the timing of your stunt to ensure you don't come off insensitive or unethical. For example, timing may not be in your favor if you plan something during the general election, or in most recent cases, a global pandemic.

In order to measure the success of your stunt, it's important that you first determine your end goal, for example:

  • Is the stunt aimed to raise money for your business or a particular organization?
  • Is the stunt aimed to drive more traffic to your website?
  • Is the stunt aimed to get more followers and engagement on Instagram?

Here are a few tips for creating a great publicity stunt:

  • Research to ensure that there haven't been similar stunts done in the past by other businesses - this could easily turn off journalists and your audience.
  • Make sure you can explain the stunt in one headline - this will help grab the media's attention. In other words, simplify!
  • The stunt should be related to the product you are promoting. Even if the stunt is a success in terms of viewers, but it doesn't tie back to your original goal, then it's not useful.
  • Keep the stunt visual with videos/images.
  • Leverage the internet and social media platforms for your stunt by sharing your message across a variety of audiences. This will help with word of mouth and the overall success of your event.

To learn other strategies on how to get press, check out our full guide here.

Launch Strategies For Your Finance Blog

There are various different ways you can launch your finance blog successfully.

Here are a few different strategies to get customers excited about your finance blog.

  • Build hype with a landing page: you can effectively do this through waiting lists, discounts, countdown timer etc
  • Create a teaser video: even just a 30 second video is a great way to exposure for your finance blog, and possibly even go viral
  • Reach out to influencers: The right influencer for your product has the ability to reach your audience with just one post, and because of their loyal following, this could lead to a big return for you.
  • Get Press: Whether you plan a PR stunt or get exposure through a popular news outlet, this is a great way to attract initial customers
  • Launch on popular sites: A great way to get buzz about your finance blog is to submit your launch to popular startup sites.

Here are a few popular sites to launch on:

Learn more about how to launch your business successfully ➜ here

Jeff Proctor, founder of DollarSprout dives deep into the process of launching the business:

The process of “launching” actually began about 8 months before I quit my job. The biggest thing for me at the time was making sure that I had enough money saved up to go without a paycheck for a while.

Once my mind was set on leaving, I saved as much money as I possibly could. I also applied for a few credit cards while I was still employed just in case I needed the buffer later on.

I don’t think there is any way I/we could have learned these lessons without making the mistakes ourselves. It’s not like reading a how-to article would have necessarily made everything easier; we had to learn things the hard way.

The nice thing about the business model that Ben and I had our sights set on was that it’s extremely low overhead. Other than the cost of hosting and our site theme, we incurred very little cost over the first year. For the small expenses that did pop up, Ben handled most of them since he was still working full time as a Registered Nurse.

Of course, the drawback to a low overhead model means that it’s also low barrier to entry and we were somewhat fooled into thinking that would make things easier. Any business endeavor is going to be difficult to get up and running!

Our first few months after the site was live was spent posting on social media (mainly Facebook and Twitter) and writing news-style blog posts on investing trends we were seeing. We didn’t have a clear strategy on how that would lead into sales; we simply thought “if we do this long enough, we will eventually breakthrough”.

The reality was much different. What we were doing just plain wasn’t working. It wasn’t a matter of volume or persistence.

It wasn’t until we tried switching things up that we started to see some meaningful traction. One of our first breakthroughs in terms of building an audience was Pinterest. Neither of us had ever used Pinterest in our personal lives, but we heard it was a great traffic source for a lot of blogs so we decided to give it a shot. Like any new platform, there is a bit of a learning curve, but once we got the hang of it we really saw an uptick in traffic.

We heard that “group boards” were very important for visibility at the time. This is basically where you can get access to someone else’s followers by being a contributor to one of their boards. Getting added to these boards was a laborious task that included an insane amount of manual, cold outreach.

how-we-grew-our-personal-finance-blog-to-2m-year Some of our early pins

Despite the uptick in traffic (around 20k page views per month), our sales were still sitting firmly at $0.

We noticed a lot of “bloggers” on Pinterest were using affiliate marketing and seeing some success. That led us down the path of finding financial companies that had affiliate programs and trying to incorporate some affiliate links into our content.

Our first “home run” article that did well on Pinterest and affiliate links was a listicle post that Ben wrote about different ways that people can make money from home. The original version of that post was single-handedly responsible for our first $500+ month. The article had roughly 50k pageviews in 2 months.

This article wasn’t published until almost a year into starting our business. Once we felt that first glimpse of success, though, we started to build on it.

-  
Jeff Proctor, on starting DollarSprout ($50,000/month) full story ➜

🌱 How To Grow Your Finance Blog

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Social Media Advertising

Social Media Advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to finance blog.

There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you.

Let's talk about a few of the main platforms and what makes them unique:

  • Facebook Advertising - more than 2 billion monthly users. Facebook is the best for lead generation + capturing email addresses for e-commerce businesses.
  • Instagram Advertising - approximately 500 million monthly users and has a higher audience engagement rate than any other platform. Instagram ads are best for linking to a product page or landing page and reaches the 18-29 age group most effectively.
  • Twitter Advertising- Small businesses typically use twitter ads to drive brand awareness, but the platform is meant more for organic engagement (and is not as heavily used for paid advertising)
  • Pinterest Advertising - 175 million monthly users and most effectively reaches the female audience. Pinterest is great for promoting products without "promoted". The promoted pins have a way of blending right in.
  • LinkedIn Advertising - 227 million monthly users and is geared towards the B2B market and generates the highest quality leads. Great platform for recruiters, high-end products and services that will help businesses

It's important to first define your goal/objective so that you don't waste time and money into the wrong platform:

Here are some different questions to ask yourself as it relates to your goals:

  • Do I want to simply drive brand awareness?
  • Do I want to drive users to my website to gather information?
  • Do I want to increase sales and get my customer to take action?

From there, choose the platform that targets your audience best and start experimenting!

Learn more about social media advertising ➜ here.

Founder Andy Hayes talks about mastering FB ads and the pixel:

The biggest bang for your buck will likely be mastering Facebook and it’s platform - which we all know is pay for play, so you’ll have to come up with a small amount of budget to start for marketing.

We’ve spent countless hours (and paid numerous coaches) before we cracked the code that works for us on Facebook, but it is working really well for us now.

Some of the most important things to know when it comes to FB Ads:

  • Start with retargeting (that’s showing ads to people who already know you but did not purchase). Master this - and start building information on your Facebook Pixel - before you do anything else
  • Once you have that down, try working with the 1% “Lookalike” audience to prospect for new customers. This may take awhile because your pixel audience is small, so try layering on interests - 1% Lookalike and your largest competitor, for example. Don’t use interest-only targeting until you master this.
  • Great photography and videography is key, as is smart copy. Research what’s out there in your industry and constantly test - what works for one company may not work for other people.
  • Make sure you have good offers. For example, we have a $5 trial for our subscription, which converts affordably - if we promoted our subscription with the standard $30 front charge, it wouldn’t be as cost-effective.
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Andy Hayes, on starting Plum Deluxe Tea ($75,000/month) full story ➜

Grow Your Email List

The more engaged list of emails, the more engaged customers, which ultimately leads to more sales.

One of the best ways to start growing your list is by providing your customer with something free (or discounted) in return.

This could also be anything from:

  • Ebook
  • Fascinating case study
  • Video series
  • Free week of the product
  • Discount on the product

Learn more about how to grow your email list and improve email marketing ➜ here.

Dylan Jacob, founder of Brumate states their email collection tactic that is proven to work:

We use Spin-a-Sale for this (you spin a wheel for a discount code in exchange for subscribing to our email list). This has been the best email-collecting tool we have found because the customer truly feels like they won a prize rather than just a coupon code.

Even if a customer doesn’t convert right away, if we have their email we have a 19% chance of converting them into a future customer whether that is through future promotions, new releases, or simply just sending an email at the right time for a purchase to finally make sense for them.

We also have a return customer rate of over 14%, so one out of every 6 people we convert will end up buying from us again with an average order value of over $60.00.

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Dylan Jacob, on starting BrüMate ($12,000,000/month) full story ➜

Add an exit-intent popup to your online store

A great way to double, or even triple, your email opt-in rate and to grow your list is to add an exit-intent popup to your site, and offering a discount or content upgrade for subscribers.

Here's an example of what that might look like:

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One thing that I spent years NOT doing, that I now kick myself about, is adding an "exit intent pop-up" to our site, which lets people enter a sweepstakes to win a Xero Shoes gift certificate.

That one idea has added over 100,000 subscribers to our email list, which is one of our most effective marketing channels.

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Steven Sashen, on starting Xero Shoes ($1,500,000/month) full story ➜

Improve Your Email Marketing

Different types of emails

Here are the most common types of email campaigns you can send to your customers and their benefits:

  • Welcome emails - the perfect way to provide information from the start with a clear CTA. Make sure to tell your customer everything they need to know about your product or service.
  • Newsletters - a great way to give customers updates or send out your latest content
  • Product launch emails - the quickest (and easiest) way to increase sales is by selling to current customers. Make sure they're the first on the list to know about your new product
  • Promotional emails - promote discounts, deals coupons etc. Try and make this feel exclusive and for a limited time only
  • Abandoned cart emails - give your customers a reason to complete their purchase!

Here's a great resource for finding curated email designs, for all types of email campaigns!

Abandonded Cart Flow

The abandoned cart workflow is one of the most effective strategies for turning your lead into a customer, and a powerful tool to have if you're an e-commerce business.

Think about all the times that you went on a shopping frenzy only to add items to your cart and then either forget or realize nows not the right time to pull the trigger.

Then, minutes later you receive an email saying "Hurry up! Your cart is waiting - and we want to provide you with 20% off your order."

Maybe that's the special touch (and discount) you needed to pull that trigger.

Implementing this workflow can automatically trigger this for your business every time a customer abandons their cart.

Here's a great example of an abandoned cart email from Brooklinen:

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Things they do well:

  • Showcase 5-star reviews from other customers
  • Offer a small discount + free shipping
  • Great design + clear call to actions!

Improve your SEO

SEO is not just about driving traffic to your site, it's about driving the RIGHT traffic to your site, and ultimately, converting leads into customers.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding what your customers are searching for, otherwise known as "keyword research."

Here are some tools that can help you choose the right keywords for your finance blog.

Publish Great Content

Finding keywords is an important piece of the puzzle, but Google also ranks your site based on the actual content you produce, as this is what your customers are reading and engaging with.

There are various different "forms" of content that you may want to consider diversifying on your sites, such as blog posts, articles, studies, and videos.

So let's discuss what google considers "good content:"

  • Length - This will vary depending on the page, however, generally having a sufficient amount of content helps search engines recognize that your site is a good source for a specific topic
  • Engagement - The longer people stay on your website to read your content, the higher Google will rank your website. It's important to have informative and "thick" content that keeps people reading
  • Avoid Duplicating Content - Google will recognize this and may consider your content to have low value
  • Ensure pages load quickly - This will also help with engagement and time spent on your website
  • Shareability - Create content that people want to share, and is easy for them to share, especially to their social media accounts (ie. "click to tweet" is a great example of this).

Another element of creating good content is creating consistent content.

If (and hopefully you are) publishing content frequently, it's important to stick to a schedule - this helps build brand trust and easy user experience with your customers.

Planning out your content with a content calendar is key to staying consistent.

Here are a few great content calendar tools that can help you:

  • Trello
  • Airtable
  • If you prefer to keep it simple, your average spreadsheet is just as useful!

Backlinks

Backlinks are an important piece to SEO, as they allow for other websites to link to your content.

Search engines recognize that other sites are essentially "verifying" your content and essentially rank you higher because of this.

Of course, some links are more valuable than others and can affect your site in different ways.

For example, if a highly valuable and credible site like the New York Times links to a page on your website, this could be remarkable from an SEO perspective.

Aside from organically getting mentioned from other sites, there are other ways that you can increase and earn backlinks:

  • Create infographics with relevant data that people want to share
  • Promote your content on different sites/look into "guest blogging"
  • Contact influencers/journalists/bloggers and ask them to mention you!
  • Write testimonials for other sites in exchange for a backlink
  • Leverage existing business relationships

Learn more about the fundamentals of SEO ➜ here and check out Neil Patel's 3 Powerful SEO Tips below

Build A Blog

One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and grow your business is through consistently blogging.

We've outlined some useful tips for you to consider when creating content:

Consistency and Quantity

Quality is important, but it should be the standard for any content you publish.

What’s more important is consistency and quantity.

Consistency is as simple as committing to publishing and sharing a certain number of posts per week. For me, that’s three per week right now.

This kind of commitment is key, because one day, a random post will blow up, and you will have never expected it.

Oversaturation

The easiest mind trap is to think "I’m posting too much", and “I need to give my readers/audience/this platform a break”.

This is nonsense.

There is no such thing as oversaturation. Well, there is, but it is just someone else’s opinion.

For every person that tells you you are posting too much, there is another person that wants even more of your content.

You should ignore people’s opinions on how much you post.

Patience & Persistence

Keep posting, keep trying, and keep putting out good content on the regular. Your time will come, and when it does, it will change everything.

The only thing you have control over is your content.

You can’t control how people will react to it. You can’t control pageviews, likes, or shares.

So the only metric you should focus on is how much content you can put out in a week, month, etc.

Where to share your blog content

Mailing List

I know it sounds obvious, but the best places to share your content is on your mailing list. It is guaranteed traffic and it is a great way to get rapid feedback from your most loyal readers.

Send newsletters often. I have done once a week since starting, and I’m moving to twice a week soon.

Work on increasing your mailing list as well. Look into ways to increase your conversion rate to your mailing list. I added a flyout popup thing to my site and now I’m collecting ~30 emails per day.

An email newsletter is one of the most powerful assets you can have and it is worth its weight in gold.

Reddit

Reddit is one of my favorite places to promote content.

It is a very scary place because you will often get banned or heckled, but it can really pay off.

Create social media accounts for your blog, the main ones I use:

Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn

Set up Buffer and share all of your blog posts to all of your accounts. All of these little shares really do add up.

Automate this as much as possible. I automated all of my social media for Starter Story.

Facebook Groups

When I started out, I put together a spreadsheet of relevant Facebook groups for my niche, and I would post to these groups whenever I had a big story I wanted to share.

Build A Facebook Community

Building a community is a great way to grow your network and your business.

There are several different ways of building a community, one of the most effective (and simplest) ways is to build a Facebook group

Setting up the group page takes less than 10 minutes, and we've outlined ways the top 5 ways to create an engaging and successful group:

  • Make the group exclusive. This may sound counter-intuitive, however, this ensures privacy and that the group will feel comfortable posting and engaging with members.
  • Try to be warm and welcoming. A great way to do this is by having a "Member Monday" where you welcome new members and ask them to introduce themselves in the group
  • Use polls/surveys. This is a great way to know your audience and see what people want more of in the group (more business tips, networking opportunities, etc).
  • Include influential people & conduct AMA's (ask me anything). This is a great way to get members engaged
  • Host an in-person (or virtual) event with members in the group. This will create stronger relationships and build a strong community.

Mike Doehla, founder of Stronger U, an online nutrition company noticed that his customers needed a little motivation and sense of community:

Most diets are lonely so we wanted to give support and a community.

I think many people fail diets because there is no one to talk to and no accountability.

You can by a book, or google a meal plan but who’s going to keep you on track? We will. The entire SU community.

We give our members access for life to our Facebook community filled with people around the world who are looking out for everyone’s success.

Most diets make up arbitrary rules and we thought they just didn’t make sense. Meal timing, Cutting carbs, butter in coffee, sugar being the devil? Ehh no need to overthink that stuff.

We’ll give you the science behind of what we do and show you what actually matters based on real research.

Luckily we have a PhD at our disposal to educate our staff and members so everyone is getting the most up to date information out there.

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Mike Doehla, on starting Stronger U ($500,000/month) full story ➜

The Freemium Model

Offering free trials to your platform is a great way to gain exposure for your business and potentially get new customers!

Finding the right finance blog is a big deal for most people, so it can be important for customers to try a free version with limited features prior to making a big investment.

Once your customer reaches the limits of their free account, they're much more likely to invest in the premium version so they can gain access to all of the features your product offers.

There are a few different ways you can limit certain aspects of your product:

  • Usage quotas: Storage limits or limiting the number of times they can utilize a feature
  • Limited features: Only allowing your free user to utilize certain features vs all features - this is also a great way to upsell during the user's experience
  • Limited support: Customer support can be time-consuming, by limiting the level of support to free users this is a great incentive for them to upgrade (and will save you a lot of time and money)!

Form partnerships for your finance blog

Starting a finance blog is all about building relationships and becoming an integral part of your community.

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking they can do everything on their own. In reality, other businesses (even your competition) and members of your community can be a huge piece of your growth strategy.

When forming any type of partnership, a lot of energy and time can go into this. To ensure it's worth your while, dive deep into the vetting process and ask yourself (and them) the following questions:

  • What are your businesses values and priorities?
  • Who are your customers? What matters most to them?
  • In what ways can we both bring value to each others businesses? Cross promotions? Clout/credibility?
  • Should we do a trial run first to make sure this partnership works out before finalizing an agreement?
  • What will the agreement look like?

Once you have an idea as to what the ideal partnership agreement looks like, that's when the outreach begins (the hardest part)!

Here are some different ways you can meet other entrepreneurs and form partnerships:

  • Simply talk to other people in the finance blog industry. You'd be surprised as to how willing other entrepreneurs are to share their knowledge with you
  • Host an event: By inviting people to your event in your community and industry, you may be able to form partnerships and expand your clientele
  • Join a facebook community: Nowadays, everything is online. A great way to meet other people is to become 'active' on a public forum or community
  • Use other social networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter to aid your outreach. This can be a very powerful tool if used properly.

Forming partnerships and building relationships within your community can be a very valuable tool, but it's important that you do your due diligence and avoid going in blind to any sort of partnership. This can save you months, if not years of time.

Mike Aspinall, founder of The Crafty Gentlemen discusses how brand partnerships are the most important part of his growth strategy and revenue stream:

My main revenue stream is sponsored brand partnerships, whereby a company pays me a fee to feature their product within one of my blog posts.

Over the years, I’ve worked with some really cool brands – Etsy, Hobbycraft, Cricut, Pinterest, Gorilla Glue, Singer, Janome, Brother, Bosch, and lots more.

For a long time, I was hesitant to charge for my work – I was happy to work in exchange for products. But there came a point where I was being offered more work than I could have said yes to – something had to change. So I started to charge for partnerships. And brands agreed, no questions asked!

The last 6-12 months have been the most successful yet for my business. I’m making regular revenue through multiple streams, including sponsorships, media appearances, influencer work, and passive ad revenue. My website traffic is at an all-time high, and growing – as are my social media followings:

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Mike Aspinall, on starting The Crafty Gentleman ($1,200/month) full story ➜

Experiment With Pay Per Click Ads (PPC)

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a performance-based marketing method that allows you to show specific ads for services or products oriented to a very defined target, with the goal that the user visits your website or landing page.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Consider connecting the ad to your corresponding landing page so that the audience receives the necessary information after clicking on the ad.
  • Conversion Tracking: When running PPC campaigns, be sure to run the ads with conversion tracking.
  • Focus on quality keywords, even if there are few as this will save you time and money. When assessing the performance of a keyword, it's important to track the expense, conversion, and cost per conversion, as well as the ROI.

PPC advertising can be a very important lead generator as long as it's done properly. Your PPC campaign is intended to drive traffic to your website and help the business scale.

Additionally, if the campaign is not having the desired results, you can make the necessary changes immediately to improve them.

Ryan Schortmann, founder of Display Pros talks about their investment in PPC Ads:

My name is Ryan Schortmann and I’m the founder of Display Pros. We are a custom trade show display booth company offering easy to use portable display “kits” for small and medium businesses wanting to get into the trade show game.

It did not take long to come to the realization that to compete at any reasonable level, we were going to need to take the plunge and invest in Pay Per Click ads and display.

From experience, I know that it is important to give Google’s hivemind some time to settle in before each campaign starts seeing consistent results (this is largely dependent on budget).

A certain amount of PPC budget must be viewed as a “marketing research” expense and then you can look at the analytics data and make informed decisions on where to refine, tweak or plain scrap an idea.

Google Shopping was an entirely new concept for me. You can’t assign keywords to products so at first, I was asking myself “How the hell do you refine these?”. Then I found some good reading material and courses and learned of some advanced methods that the pros are using. It turns out you can utilize negative keyword lists combined with the priority setting on each shopping campaign to “shape” the keywords that are coming in and how much you are spending on them.

To learn more about PPC Ads and Google Shopping, check out this video to learn everything you need to know!

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Ryan Schortmann, on starting Display Pros ($30,000/month) full story ➜

🏃🏼‍♀️ How To Run Your Finance Blog

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How To Retain Customers For Your Finance Blog

Retaining customers is one of the most effective ways to grow your finance blog.

Oftentimes, it's easy to find yourself focusing on generating new customers, vs retaining your current ones.

Look at it this way - you are 60-70% more likely to sell a new product to an existing customer than you are a new customer.

That's not to say that finding new customers and revenue streams is not important, however, the easiest (and most inexpensive) source of new revenue is right there in front of you.

Here are some ways you can retain customers for your finance blog:

  • Responding to comments on social media
  • Send discounts (or freebies) to loyal customers
  • Provide valuable content, for free
  • Write a hand written thank you note
  • Provide awesome customer service and build relationships with customers

To find out more tips and tricks on retaining customers, check out this article ➜ here

Jeff Proctor, founder of DollarSprout dives deep into the process of attracting and retaining customers:

We built the foundation of our audience and business on social media (mainly Pinterest and Facebook), but the real key to our growth over the past year has been SEO.

Many SEOs try to overcomplicate things. Our strategy from the start has always been fairly straightforward:

  1. Create useful, keyword-oriented content that helps readers solve a problem
  2. Hustle and get the word out about your content (aka guest post, go on podcasts, network with journalists, etc.)
  3. Make sure you don’t have any glaring technical issues on your site
  4. Rinse and repeat, forever

It sounds simple, but this strategy has required thousands of hours of our time.

The affiliate marketing business model is almost entirely dependent on driving massive amounts of traffic. That’s always at the front of our minds whenever we undertake a new project, build our editorial calendar, etc.

What will people want to read? How can we help them and do a better job than our competitors? How can we effectively promote a financial product or service that makes a reader’s life easier?

These are the questions we are constantly asking ourselves. We’ve moved away from news or op-ed style content and now focus exclusively on writing content that helps our readers solve a problem.

Here’s an example of a page on our site that compares investing apps:

how-we-grew-our-personal-finance-blog-to-2m-year

Since there is rarely a one-size-fits-all product for everyone, we try to match people up with what is best for them. In the example above, we have several categories: best overall, best for long term investors, best for real estate investors, best for crypto trading, etc. With that strategy, we’ve actually seen conversion rates go up.

That being said, the vast majority of our content isn’t monetized to the extent that our product recommendation pages are. Most of our stuff is just there to teach readers something new. We are here to build a brand, not just make a bunch of affiliate income.

how-we-grew-our-personal-finance-blog-to-2m-year

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Jeff Proctor, on starting DollarSprout ($50,000/month) full story ➜

Diversify Your Product Line

Adding new products to your business is a great way to expand into new markets and grow your business.

It's important to note that adding new products and diversifying may not be in the cards for you right this moment, and that's okay. You can always consider it down the road.

Here are some reasons you may want to considering adding/diversifying your product

  • Meeting the needs of your customers
  • Establish yourself as a top provider in your industry and stay ahead of the game with competition
  • Resistance to downturns/trends fading
  • Create new revenue streams

Word of Mouth

The most tried and true way to grow a finance blog is through word of mouth - some entrepreneurs would say it's more important than all social media.

Why you should focus on word of mouth:

  • Consumers trust word of mouth above all other forms of marketing
  • 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising
  • 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe it is the most effective form of marketing

Learn more about word of mouth in our guide: 30 Ways Founders Grow Their Business ➜

Authenticity

As a brand, you want to deliver an experience that authentic, honest and transparent.

Don't make the mistake of giving your audience less credit than they deserve.

Be Authentic

If you go around chasing every trend and only focused on yourself and money, you’re going to lose very quickly.

There have been many times where we have been tempted to do this but stayed true.

Sure we sacrificed sales, but we kept our integrity, played the long game and people saw and appreciated that, and really began emotionally investing in the brand.

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Valentin Ozich, on starting I Love Ugly ($300,000/month) full story ➜

Build a Referral Program

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business and acquire new customers. Especially when you are starting out, it’s important to build a solid referral program to encourage existing customers to help you find new ones.

A great way to do that is by offering a reward (ie. credit on your service or cash) to customers that refer you to their friends and family.

A fantastic referral program will help with clout, credibility, and establishing yourself in the space.

How To Crush The Sales Process For Your Finance Blog

You may find yourself in a spot where you're ready to hire a few (or many) salespeople to support the sales conversion process.

Regardless if you have one or thirty salespeople, it's critical that you assign them specific roles and responsibilities to nurture the client and provide excellent support.

Mike Korba, co-founder of User.Com walks us through the entire sales process and which teams are responsible for what:

User.com Sales Process

Each user and account is qualified with a specialist. For business leads, they are handled by the sales team, and if they are qualified we give them a demo, more than often at the end of their fourteen-day trial. If they’re happy they’ll add a payment, and get an account manager, so a customer support and success team who will help implement the solution and to use the technology.

Sometimes, users will convert naturally on their own, after using the freemium product and finding it to be something that they will find beneficial.

After they convert, we help with onboarding, give them some personalized tips for their specific business or industry to grow plus all kinds of support, for whatever they need - something we take huge pride in.

The team is right now more than 30 people, with more than half working on the IT and product side, and the rest are in three teams: Support, Marketing, and Sales who all work together very closely.

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Mike Korba, on starting User.com ($100,000/month) full story ➜

Outsourcing

If you can afford to hire someone to help support your finance blog, outsourcing is a great way to save you time and energy.

Most importantly, outsourcing can help you focus on the core growth of your business, versus spending your time on day to day tasks that other people can do just as well!

If you do plan to outsource your work, it's important to be hyper-familiar with the actual work involved.

Why is it important to be hyper-familiar with the work?

  • So you can understand how long it takes
  • So you understand the full process, edge cases, things that can go wrong.
  • So you can explain it in detail to your employee.
  • So you can make sure it actually works (for example - how do you know cold email works for your business if you’re not on the ground floor trying it out?)
  • Understanding the tasks at a deep level will save you a lot of time and money.

Resources

We put together the best resources on the internet to help you start your finance blog.

Tools

Books

Web Resources

Videos

Case Studies

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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financemanagertraining
about 1 month ago

thanks for sharing!!!

such an informative post