Last week, I read an interesting piece from Kevin @ Invest it Wisely. He highlighted the upsides and downsides of sharing your income with others. As he mentioned, most people are voyeurs and love to see how others are doing. I’m pretty sure that if you offer to tell your neighbour how much you make and how much you have in debt, he will be delighted to buy you a coffee (but don’t expect the same transparency in return!).
People like reality TV as they like to know what people are doing with their lives. Somebody else’s life is definitely more interesting than yours, right? We all want to know how this guy is able to pay for his new car or go on vacation and we really would like to know about our boss’ salary.
The fact that people want to know makes the idea of transparency a great marketing tool to bring people on your side or to get other’s peoples attention if you share your personal income. You will automatically have the dance floor to yourself and have your moment of glory… if, of course, you are making a great income!
Several successful bloggers are sharing their income report in order to attract more readers.
Several brokers and financial advisors use the same technique to show they make money in order to attract new clients.
Reality shows are based on the same concept to attract their audience and it works perfectly!
Sharing your blogging income is definitely a great way to grow your readership. However, if you only do it to gain more readers, you are making a big mistake. This is what I had done last year and it wasn’t worth it. Sharing your income to get more RSS or newsletter subscribers is not a good marketing plan. You need a better plan than that.
When you share your income, you don’t always attract the people you want. You will also attract jealousy. This is why the benefit from sharing must be higher than simply getting more traffic on your blog.
Pat Flynn’s example is perfect:
His income reports are among the most read and popular posts on his site.
Each income report includes tons of affiliate links and tutorials to use products.
If he used a different ID for links showed on this income report than others used on his site, I’m positive that the ID linked to the income report would generate at least 50% of his overall sales.
It’s also an amazing way to do natural link building:
Income report articles usually get several natural links from other bloggers who comment or just mention how great your month was. Then, if you include links towards tutorials and articles that will generate affiliate sales in your income report, you are building an amazing web around the keywords you wish to rank for.
So the better plan enables you to:
#1 Improve your traffic
#2 Improve your affiliate stats
#3 Improve your keyword ranking on money generating articles
This is why and how people share their income efficiently. And this is where I failed last year in reporting my income. Since The Financial Blogger is not all about making money online but my personal blog where I talk about personal finance as well, it’s harder for me to make money through “making money online affiliate programs”. I was able to boost my sales on Market Samurai but it wasn’t enough to compensate for the hater threats.
In order to fully benefit from the power of an income report, I should have taken more time in the detail and write more “making money online affiliate articles” that would have generated more sales. It’s definitely a catch 22: you are looking to improve both your traffic and earnings with your income report while you need to publish strong numbers to improve your traffic & earnings J.
In my opinion, I don’t see much downside in sharing my personal income with my friends and family. I’m not walking in the room and bragging about my salary. But if someone asks me how much I make, I will give him the exact number. I don’t see why I wouldn’t. You will probably tell me that I may lose friends because of jealousy. You are probably right. But I don’t see it as a downside. If someone is your friend simply because he thinks he makes as much or more than you, than he is not really your friend in the first place. If all it takes to end a friendship is a number written on a pay stub, do you really need this person in your entourage? I don’t. I would rather keep real friends with real values. As for the others, well… too bad for them!
I’m always surprised to see how taboo money is. You have more chances to know about your friends sexual fantasies than their salary! I see it with a totally different set of eyes. If someone makes more than me, then I’m curious to know what he does that I don’t. How he got there, how things went for him (it’s never easy). It makes great story and you can learn a lot from these people. Unfortunately, this is very rare that you can have such conversations…
Each month, I’m motivated by the desire to share more information with you. I want you to know how I make my money online and how I reach my goals. I also want you to know that it’s not always easy and that I fail from time to time. On the other hand, I remember that if I’m not strong enough, if my plan is not big enough, there will be more downsides to sharing my numbers than upsides. This is the reason why I’m still sharing my Adsense income and continue my Blog Evolution Report. It’s not as bold as an income report but you can get a lot of information from it. One day, I might go back to the full income report… I just have to build a strong plan behind it so it’s really worth it J.
What do you think? Are you willing to share your income with friends and family? Would you share your business revenues?
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