The blogging business is booming and the financial space is no exception. Personal finance bloggers often start by documenting their own personal financial journeys and sharing money-saving advice. For some, those journeys lead to a successful business.
For the past decade, the Plutus Awards has been recognizing these creators with an annual ceremony and award season that puts the focus on excellence in financial media. The awards recognize independent financial media voices as well as favorite products and services in the financial industry.
According to Harlan Landes, founder of The Plutus Awards, “It’s been really interesting to see how the community of bloggers and podcasters has changed. Many blogs and podcasts have become a lot more sophisticated and marketable.” He adds, “People are a lot more concerned with building their businesses and brands, more so than 10 years ago.”
Here, twenty of the 2019 Plutus Awards finalists share what they have learned while building their blogging businesses. As with any small business, their paths to success are diverse. Some of the blogs nominated are young, while others have passed the decade mark; some of these entrepreneurs make a full-time living from their blogs while others use theirs to attract clients for other types of services, such as freelance writing or financial planning services.
All have a passion, though, for helping others navigate the often confusing world of personal and small business finances. Here’s how they do it:
1. Jackie Beck, founder of JackieBeck.com
“I help people get out of debt without putting their life on hold.”
Year founded: 2011
How her blog makes money: Sales of her smartphone app, “Pay Off Debt by Jackie Beck,” and advertising are Beck’s top revenue sources. Others include affiliate marketing (getting paid for recommending other products), courses, and some speaking.
Biggest lesson/challenge: “For me, being part of a community of fellow business owners has been key. This was true way back when I started a wedding photography business, and it’s been true ever since I started helping people get out of debt. Viewing other small business owners as community members with similar goals versus seeing them as competition means you approach the world a different way.
“Sharing knowledge and being there for one another benefits everyone involved, especially since our businesses are similar. We know what each other are going through to a certain extent, and can share pitfalls, resources, and successes. There’s room for everyone to succeed.”
2. Kelan and Brittany Kline, co-founders of The Savvy Couple
“We help families learn how to budget their money, organize their life, and unlock the freedom to do more of the things they love!”
Year founded: 2016
How their blog makes money: Sponsorships (45%), ads (23%), affiliate marketing (22%), product/course sales (10%).
Biggest lesson/challenge: “To become a successful business owner you need to have excellent time management skills. Over the last three years, we have really put a lot of time and effort into being as efficient as possible in everything we do. Things like using the Eisenhower Matrix, utilizing a project management software, setting up systems for everything we do, outsourcing, and tracking our work hours has been instrumental to our success.”
3. Eric Roberge, founder of Beyond Your Hammock
A blog dedicated to helping people use their money as a tool to live a life they love.