July 18, 2012, 5:00 am

Is There A Right WayTo Share Your Income?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Alternative Income,Blog Income Report
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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.

 

This is Why Sharing Your Income is a Good Marketing Strategy

 

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!

 

If You Share Your Income, You Must Have a Better Plan Than That

 

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.

 

Sharing Personal Income is Totally Different

 

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…

 

Final Thoughts on Sharing Income

 

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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Comments

I don’t share my blog income because I don’t want to get potentially slapped sown. I don’t share my personal income online because it could come to haunt me at raise time or if I ever switch jobs… I wish I could share both without fear but I feel there are big downsides to sharing both. I also try to avoid blogging about blogging on my blog…

I only share my CPC and affiliate income. They are pretty low right now and I’ll keep working on them. I’m still learning and hopefully FinCon in Denver will help with monetizing too.

I share almost everything and I’m okay with the fact that I’ve struggled so far. People need to see how hard it is and not just see dollar signs at places like SPI blog. But, you’re right: the best way to actually make money is to have made money, so honestly reporting failure is definitely a Catch-22! Great post!

I’m all for sharing my income. It doesn’t really bother me as I try to help people with finances anyway and income is a part of that equation.

by: The Financial Blogger | July 18th, 2012 (10:33 am)

@Lance,
what do you fear the most? jealously or an attack to your site? I definitely fear attacks!

@Joe,
It seems that revealing a part but not the whole is the best way to proceed in order to attract readers without getting too much attention on the same side. Looking forward meeting with you at Denver!

@Mike,
I’ve posted about some of my failures in the past and I actually see a positive side; you gain in credibility. It’s not true that everything is always good and that one is never making any bad moves.

Definitely attacks. I don’t want someone reproting me or destroying my site. There are some wackos out there…

I never really thought of the linkbuilding or affiliate aspects, but you’re right: income sharing posts would probably be pretty profitable so long as you are actually earning a reasonable income. When I recover from Panda I might start doing that! Right now my income is so low, it’s embarrassing :)

I don’t think there is a “right” or “wrong” way to share income.

There’s simply YOUR way. You share as much or as little as you’re comfortable with sharing.

It’s similar to the fact some bloggers share their actual name (like me) and others blog using a made up name or anonymously. Neither way is “right” or “wrong”, it’s a matter of personal preference.

I had to read half this post before I realized that you’re not actually SHARING your income — you’re disclosing it! Ha — I was headed here thinking you’d tell us how you share with your wife, or share with the homeless, or something!

by: The Financial Blogger | July 18th, 2012 (1:08 pm)

@Kathleen,
LOL! another great example that I’m French ;-) hehehe!

I disclosed my net worth on my website for a day or two, but I decided to take it down. However, I do like to show how my trades are doing, so I like to disclose each trade and amount of money I made. I also like to disclose the return on my investment strategy along with my account information…. Do you think that it would be better for me to not to show my account information, but rather just show my cumulative % gain or loss? I feel as though I am not showing how I am doing with my strategy fully without showing the account value information. What do you think?

by: The Financial Blogger | July 18th, 2012 (3:33 pm)

@Dave,

dislosing your real name is another great question! do you think of people you know that read your blog before writing some lines? I can pretend that nobody that I know reads me sometimes and I like it ;-) hahaha!

by: The Financial Blogger | July 18th, 2012 (3:40 pm)

@John,
I would go with the account information diclosed. You provide accurate numbers and investors appreciate that. I find its quite frustrating when someone give half numbers because it sounds like they are hiding something.

I never talk to my friends about income it just feels weird. It is one of the main reasons I started my blog so I could talk to like minded people.

Notwithstanding it just feels weird to put what I made up there, other than garnering voyeurs I don’t really see the benefit. Should mention I read all the ones I can!

I HATE when family members brag about how much they make, seems so out of place now. But there is a time and a place for it. When people bring it up in conversation as something to talk about I’m instantly turned off. If you need to share your income you’re obviously not satisfied with some other part of your life.

Interesting read.
Cheers,

James

Thanks for the advice. I am trying to provide the info on two different pages like this:

http://callingtheputs.blogspot.com/p/portfolio.html
http://callingtheputs.blogspot.com/p/performance.html

Do you think that it’s a good idea to do this way? or combine them? I just started the blog, so I got lots of things to learn here. I really appreciate your constructive advice!

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the include. :) This is a pretty interesting way of looking at it, Mike, and I like this approach. I think the most I’m comfortable sharing online is how I’m doing relative to my monthly “nut”, or my basic monthly expenses. This makes the most sense given someone like me who’s in a journey to make money working for themselves.

I also agree with you with more transparency regarding family and friends, but not all the way — this is where the strongest jealousy can sometimes also lie. I’ll make an individual judgement in each case to see how much sharing is worth it. Human nature is what it is!

[...] Sometimes you want or need to share your income but The Financial Blogger has to ask Is There A Right Way to Share Your Income? [...]

Yes, I happily share with friends and family. I don’t think it would be much of a surprise, either.

I don’t think I’ve ever explicitly put a number out there on my blog. I do think I will go fully public at some point. That said, if a blogger wanted to know, I would be happy to tell them, and knowing what industry I work it it’s not too hard to make an educated guess. I do talk about what we spend, and sometimes, the percentage of income I save.

[...] I will report the numbers and share my income to my readers and let them know what is working and what [...]

[...] in July 2012, I highlighted the reasons of not sharing my online income anymore. At that time, I felt that I there were more disadvantages than upside. The bulk of my [...]