Scaling From $88K/Month To $150K/Month Through My Personal Finance Website [Update]

Published: April 10th, 2023
Bobby Hoyt
Millennial Money Man
from Houston, Texas, USA
started April 2015
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Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

Hey, I’m Bobby Hoyt, founder of Millennial Money Man and band director turned personal finance blogger. You can find my original starter story here.

When I started M$M, I was focused on teaching millennials three core things: how to make more money, save more money, and pay off debt. But a lot has changed since my last interview (which I’ll get to in a second), and the biggest is that M$M is now a make-money brand — meaning we focus on helping people make money through side hustles, freelancing, online businesses, and investing.

We started transitioning about a year ago because I believe that growing your income is the most effective way to reach any kind of financial goal. That’s been my experience, and it’s what most successful people I know believe in as well.

I don’t talk about this a lot in my business, but I’ve adopted an abundance mindset over the past few years — I was all about saving and being as frugal as possible when I started my business — and refocusing our business as a make-money brand aligns with this personal shift and the belief that there’s money out there to be made for everyone. I’m not trying to gloss over the reality that some people have to hustle more than others to make money — this awareness is essential in this industry.

Shifting our brand’s focus has informed much of what we’ve done in the past year, like creating courses, for example, and it’s gotten me excited about the future of M$M.

Don’t be afraid to be real. Build your business the way you want. Manage it the way you want. Do things the way you want them to be done.

The business has grown a lot in the past couple of years, and the most impactful growth started early in 2022 when I decided to start bringing on full-time employees instead of relying on contractors alone. I hired a new Director of Operations and brought a long-time freelancer on as our Head of Content.


Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?

The three of us (in the image above), plus our email marketing manager, are the core team at M$M, and we’ve established a fun, tight-knit relationship. We even had our first-ever team retreat this year, and I can honestly say that hanging out with my employees is more fun than I ever expected. Haha.

Beyond hiring full-time employees, we started developing a series of freelance/online business courses and launched the first two: Proofreading Launchpad and Big Money Writer. We’re working on a couple of others right now that will be ready to launch later in the year.

We’ve also launched our first of what will likely be several podcasts (our first is called Questionable Decisions, and it’s a lot of fun to record), and we’ve started implementing a social media strategy. We’re still learning on that latter part, but overall, it’s been a pretty crazy year considering how small our team is and how much content we’ve produced.

It was the first half of 2020 when I first shared my story, so that was three years ago, which is wild thinking about everything that’s happened in the last three years. But you can see from our analytics dashboard that our organic traffic and referring domains have grown significantly.


The blog is still currently the core of the business in terms of revenue and visitors, and we’re always focusing on optimization — you have to be!

We deleted about half of our content when we shifted to a make-money brand because we had a lot of stuff that focused on budgeting and debt payoff that was no longer relevant.

There were still a lot of old articles on the site that were from when it was just me running M$M. Oof. Some of those were tough to look back on, but I’ve seriously grown so much as a person and business owner since then.

Speaking of the site, we spent a good portion of last year working on a new site design, and it’ll be ready to launch in the next few weeks. Honestly, we could have launched it already, but we’re trying to be thoughtful about it because the new site has the potential to affect what we have going on with affiliates and courses.

I’ll be excited when it’s out there, though. It’s a much better reflection of what the brand has become, and it’s like our reintroduction into the world.

What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?

Even though hiring full-time employees has had a positive impact on the business as a whole, the transition has been challenging. I’ve had to learn how to lean on people in a way I haven’t done yet in my business. It involves letting people in and trusting in their abilities. I’ve been fortunate enough to have hired talented people who I can trust, but it’s a challenge personally.

You need to find a balance between giving your employees space and stepping in when you know what needs to be done.

Clarifying the direction of the business — beyond simply shifting to a make-money brand — is an ongoing discussion. I mean, we know what direction we’re headed, but it’s figuring out the right time to execute certain projects and being open to possibilities along the way. I feel like that’s a challenge for many business owners: knowing what you want while being flexible.

There have been a few other obstacles that we’ve had to overcome as a team, like figuring out how to grow our social media presence and expanding partnerships. Oh yeah, we can’t forget about perceived AI threats, which have been something the entire media landscape has been dealing with this past year. And I say perceived because I don’t think we need to be scared of it, but we need to be aware of it.

We’ve buckled down this past year to actively grow the business in new directions. It’s been a period of growth and building, and the overall amount of work has been a challenge — it’s almost like we’re in start-up mode even though I’ve been running this site for years — but it’s been incredibly fulfilling.

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

I am typing out these answers as my two-year-old is napping in the other room, and that — parenting a toddler while working from home — has been a major lesson in patience and flexibility. My wife also works from home, and we don’t have a nanny or daycare, so we’re just balancing it all between the two of us.

More specifically related to my business, I think when you go through periods of growth, you’re inherently learning as you go, so I could include a lot here.

But the biggest lesson has come from creating and launching our first few courses. I’ve launched courses before (the Facebook Side Hustle Course that I created with my business partner, Mike Yanda, at Laptop Empires was my first experience), but every course is different!

I remember telling the team how things typically happen, but when our first M$M course, Proofreading Launchpad, initially launched, the audience and offer were different. It was a great launch, and we learned a ton because the context was different. We’ve since had to dig into who the audience is, where we’re getting leads from, and perfect our funnel.

There have also been some hiccups with the launch dates on other courses we’re creating, and when you’re planning on revenue from those launches, you learn how to pivot quickly. There have been a lot of creative teams calls when my Director of Operations asks, “What are we going to do to bring in new revenue this month?”

That leads to another lesson: learning to have fun with your team. I think all of us at M$M have a unique working relationship, haha, and it’s way more exciting to build a business with people you have fun with. I mean, having employees adds complexity to your business, but you get a lot of stuff done faster than you would with an all-contract team.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

The big plan is to grow into a well-diversified and dynamic personal finance media company. Redefining ourselves as a make-money brand has been the first step.

I think, as a whole, the personal finance media landscape is shifting for the better because people are tired of “experts” saying that cutting your daily latte is the path to financial independence. That’s crap, and it minimizes the real struggle so many people encounter when trying to make any real progress on their financial goals.

I know I’ve gotten off track, but this is the kind of thing that gets me fired up and is ultimately why we’re pivoting and growing in another direction.

Back to the question… We had a great conversation about this at our team retreat, and everyone got involved in what we’re doing as a company and where we’re headed.

In so short term, as in the next year, our main goals are to launch at least two more courses, scale the ones we launched this past year, and optimize our affiliates. I want to nail down the social media component as well because that will only be more and more important.

Our audience primarily comes from search, but diversifying our traffic will be key to realizing our next few goals. Well, diversifying and then keeping them in our funnel, and we’ve got some cool ideas on that component that we’ll probably be launching in the next couple of years.

What’s the best thing you read in the last year?

There are a couple of books I’ve been working through over the past few months: G Code and Crucial Conversations. They’re both good, but I’m honestly not a big reader, which I know might sound weird since my business is built around people reading my blog, haha.

Most of the content I consume that is impactful comes from podcasts — it’s my preferred source of media and information.

I’m going to sound like such a 30-something-year-old guy saying this, but I listen to a lot of Joe Rogan. And say what you will about the guy, but he’s an excellent interviewer, and I don’t know of another show with such a wide range of guests. Some of the most interesting and best episodes have been with Mike Baker, Russell Brand, Eric Weinstein (specifically the episode about aliens), and Matt Taibbi.

I also listened to the S-Town podcast again, which is one of my all-time favorite shows. People are fascinating. There’s so much to learn about life when you’re willing to listen to people. You might think you’ve got nothing in common, but we’re all humans experiencing life as it comes at us, with similar fears and goals.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their businesses?

Hire talented people. Period. Seriously, and I’ve said this already, but you can get so much more done when you hire good people. The challenge for most business owners is then giving those talented people the space to be creative and do what they’re good at. It can take a few tries before you find the right people but know that they’re out there.

I’ve never been one to micromanage — it’s just not in my nature — but you need to find a balance between giving your employees space and stepping in when you know what needs to be done. When the stakes are low, I’d much rather allow my employees to fail and then learn from that failure. The lesson is more likely to stay with them, but if the stakes are high (and this is the balance I’m talking about), you have to triage the situation before it gets out of hand.

Part of what I’m saying is that you also have to be willing to take more risks. You will not grow your business to the extent you want without doing something that terrifies you.

Taking risks can be incredibly motivating too — it is for me. Overall, I think a lot of new entrepreneurs are too afraid to take risks and feel stressed out about it, but it’s the fear of doing something you don’t want to do that causes stress. When you accept that you’ll fail sometimes and learn something as you fail, you’ll be far better equipped to take on risks.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to be real. Build your business the way you want. Manage it the way you want. Do things the way you want them to be done. There are best practices, sure, but your business will stand apart when it reflects who you are as a unique human being.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We’re growing quickly and will be hiring for several roles this year as we scale. We’ll know more as we go, but we’re honestly always looking for talented people to join our team.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!