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Old 01-19-2015, 09:03 AM   #121
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I do find it encouraging that you can make 7 figures from a blog. This gives me hope that there is still a lot of meat left on the internet bone.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:08 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Fermion View Post
I do find it encouraging that you can make 7 figures from a blog. This gives me hope that there is still a lot of meat left on the internet bone.
I was gobsmacked when I heard that figure. Does "making 7 figures from a blog" mean that the revenue from the blog is over $1M/year, or does it mean something else? I wasn't going to say anything, because that seems like an incredibly high income for a blog owned and operated by a single individual.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:07 PM   #123
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There is a giant disconnect between reality and people's beliefs in these groups. It's not the first time. The same thing was going strong in the late 60s-70s with Mother Earth news, Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Catalog and other similar publications. Interesting, but after a lot of hippies went up to Mendicino County and tried their hand at agriculture- mostly some dope growing and a lot of welfare, they eventually got tired of all the sick children, all the communards with the clap, and the hostility of some of the townspeople.Then the communalists who had some brains and foresight headed for law school, graduate school, business school and they were suddenly the yuppies of the 80s. The holdouts can still be found in places where they blend in, and where they can live very cheaply.

People can be incredibly shortsighted, it was as if they popped out of their mothers' wombs only 2 weeks ago. I am not talking about the gurus. Like gurus always do, they know what they are selling. The followers are puzzling to me. However I came from a tradition where it was accepted that only some people understand the game. Your task is to be certain that you are one of those, and not one of the marks.

There was a similar back to the land movement in the 30s-Helen and Scott Nearing were well known leaders. Most of these people were rich or from rich families though, from the tradition of New England transcendentalism. So they could easily supplement their lives, or escape from the lifestyle altogether if it began to bind. It appears as if it may take 40 years or so to awaken people's appetite for another go round.

Ha
Personally, it's a huge embarrassment being from the baby boomer generation (always feeling like I have to apologize to the generations that came before and after). The movie The Big Chill nailed it.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:59 PM   #124
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I love the Mother Earth News site, personally. I don't live in a commune or raise livestock or even have a garden, but moving to more sustainable urban living practices (more cooking from scratch, lower water and energy bills, higher MPG cars, plans to xeriscape) helped us to really trim our ongoing expenses and eliminate many extra years of full time work. Our energy bill alone is $2K a year less than it used to be on average. Over a potential 40 year retirement that is $80K in after tax money right there alone.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:02 AM   #125
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I was gobsmacked when I heard that figure. Does "making 7 figures from a blog" mean that the revenue from the blog is over $1M/year, or does it mean something else?
It means $1M a year. I'd be surprised if it netted less than $500K, maybe much more. You should make a realistic blog about your own story, Major Tom. It is quite interesting to hear about and of course realistic as well.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:04 PM   #126
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I do find it encouraging that you can make 7 figures from a blog. This gives me hope that there is still a lot of meat left on the internet bone.
What's the source for 7 figures?

I saw an interview with a top Youtuber who said they get $0.50-1.00 per 1,000 views. That's as a Youtube partner with an ad forced on the viewer as a short commercial before their videos, plus sidebar clicks.

Somebody with a blog could only have click ads on the side. Those couldn't pay anywhere near a forced video ad like on youtube. Even if he had a million followers reading each of his posts, even at $0.50 per 1,000 views, that's what, $500 per post? Even if he posts every day, $180K a year?

I highly doubt he makes 7 figures.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:31 PM   #127
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What's the source for 7 figures?
It is a pretty high traffic site:

mrmoneymustache.com Site Overview

That kind of money is possible at those traffic levels for a high paying topic. Fifty cents to 1.00 per 1,000 page views would be pretty low for a financial site.
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Old 01-23-2015, 12:50 PM   #128
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I used to be a hardcore MMM fan/evangelist, but recently I've stepped out of the cult to simply be a casual fan.

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MMM has MANY young people on his forum drinking the 4% SWR kook-aid without realizing what exactly is in the brew, and convinced with unshakable faith that anyone can retire on 4% in their 30s on a budget of $12k-$15k/year, and many are locked in on doing just that. But what MMM (and even MMM's wife) have failed in is abusing the 4%SWR references.
I think the "fine print" of his philosophy is that 4% makes sense in conjunction with super-low annual expenses; a side or hobby job to create extra income; and a willingness to DIY/insource every issue that comes up. Consider that a couple could relatively easily clear $25k/year flipping burgers. So even after major paper portfolio losses, it's "easy" to support one's lifestyle. He has whole posts dedicated to "the power of outrageous optimism" and "jobs that pay over $50k without a college degree". He's commented multiple times that it's just so easy to make money in his version of retirement.

And he definitely has his own version of retirement; I think dallas27 described it best earlier in this thread with the "Stage 1" definition:

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Originally Posted by dallas27 View Post
Stage 1 - "I have the money to stay alive and sheltered, - Not set for life mind you, just have that minimum egg that will keep me off the streets and eating ramen noodle if life throws me a curve that I can't recover from.
MMM isn't living exclusively off his portfolio, and from what he's revealed, he's always had enough non-portfolio income to cover his living expenses. If you disagree with his definition of retirement, you get branded as part of the Internet Retirement Police or a Complainypants.

More power to him that he's happily living the life he wants and making good money off his hobbies. Not everyone has hobbies that are profitable, and at least to me, the whole point of retirement is to not have to worry about making money.


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it doesn't matter how resourceful you are, as you are just 1 health issue away from a potentially MAJOR derailment of your entire retirement plans. Not to mention a plethora of other possible things that could happen to such a tiny budget (car accidents, stuff needing fixed around the house, car maintenance, the list goes on and on).
Apparently bike riding is the secret to complete illness avoidance. The cost of health insurance/healthcare always comes up in the comments, and maybe it's just me, but I feel like he always cites biking as his family's means to complete health catastrophe avoidance. Car accidents? Well, hard to get in car accidents if you only drive two tanks' worth of gas per year. Stuff needing fixed around the house/maintenance? DIY is the answer to that. (There's just a slight bit of sarcasm in this paragraph, if it's not obvious.)


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With regard to MMM crankiness or arrogance, that's just part of his shtick. He's been on a number of podcasts, and freely admits that he's actually a mild-mannered programmer-type. It's definitely been successful at getting people talking about him and his ideas.
IIRC, I read once that Mr. Money Mustache is really his super-hero alter-ego personality; as opposed to Pete, the actual real-live person. Sometimes I think he blurs the line a bit between MMM and Pete, but I find that if I keep that deliberate-split-personality idea in mind, then the "facepunches" and other holier-than-thou comments are indeed just shtick, and easier to digest. My impression is that he often takes off the MMM "hat" in the comments section, and the mild-mannered Pete tends to come through somewhat.


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I think the main problem with his SWR advice is that he's really only semi-retired.
Totally agree, although he would label you "Internet Retirement Police" for making that comment.


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His wife posted a while back about visiting her parents, and starting to feel increasingly anxious as they drove around town to a movie and then for dinner. All because of the wastefulness of using a car for those errands. That seems waaaaaaay overboard to me.
Yes, that was their "terrifying" trip to Dairy Queen. There was another article that gave me the impression that they might deliberately live in borderline squalor. He talked about showering only "when needed", maxing out at every other day. The comments got into a series of one-ups, each person subsequently bragging about how little they showered. One guy suggested a "Navy shower": briefly run cold water to wet down your body, turn water off to lather up, then turn cold water again only long enough to rinse. (And even that might be a bit excessive, you really only need to wash key parts of your body.) Can't argue with the green aspects of living like this, and obviously it's necessary somewhere like a submarine. But this is kind of the crux of my frustration with him, he's drawn this arbitrary line between good and bad, where good is doing like him or more extreme, and any less is bad. His particular spend rate and environmental footprint is the new standard; it's where maximum happiness is achieved, and anything beyond that is mindless consumer hedonism. This is true for all people and all personality types. If you disagree, you're just a complainypants.


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I know a lot of people with young children... For most of these people, the boundaries of cost cutting are determined by children. If you have a boy and a girl, you need 3 bedrooms, no matter that there were plenty of mixed gender children raised in Colonial homes with a lot fewer than 3 bedrooms. Every world has legal and social expectations that are usually best observed.
I have two young children, and this is what prevents me from retiring super early to live exclusively off my portfolio. I might be willing to take the risk if I didn't have kids.


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Then we get to school. When I started high school in a big city school that drew from very mixed neighborhoods, both I and my parents realized immediately that this was not a cool idea. This was 50+ years ago, and it has only gotten worse...
I agree with you, but I think MMM would say that you suffer from "Ivy League Preschool Syndrome". He had an earlier post with that exact title IIRC, but has recently back-pedaled a bit, acknowledging that the public schools in his area are inadequate for his son. Now they are homeschooling.


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I respect cost cutting, I have always been cheap, but looking around I think that perhaps non-parents or those with grown children can get out of touch. I have a friend who bought a rundown 50s sfh in Bellevue at the time of her divorce. She successfully raised a son who is very well employed as a software developer, by seeing to it that he attended good schools that she qualified him for my living where she did, and the UW, a reasonable quality reasonable price state flagship school here.
The children aspect is one thing I find particularly irksome about MMM. He has a son, who he describes as a "creative introvert". What that means is that he's happy to stay at home and find ways to entertain himself without spending any money. Now there's a nature versus nurture scenario to debate! But the point is, MMM seems to fail acknowledge that different kids have different interests/personalities, and some of those require money to be spent and transportation out of the range of biking. He recently critiqued a family that had crazy-busy weekends do to their kids' numerous activities. Easy for him to point fingers, when by his own admission, his son only wants to hang out at home.

Despite all my criticisms, I think he's a force for good. One of his fundamental tenets is to separate money from happiness; happiness comes from within, from friendships and growth, from learning and challenges; but not from spending money. I certainly like to be reminded to "stop and smell the flowers", and at the risk of being presumptuous, I think many people could as well.
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:02 PM   #129
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My guess would be he's making in the $250-500k range. But maybe it's a million, maybe more.

Looking at the last month's worth of traffic, he's getting 19 million visits per year with 89 million pageviews. At a buck per thousand pageviews, that's $89k per year gross. He's probably getting that buck per thousand from the minimal google adsense ads on his site (check the footer if you can't find it). I bet he's getting another $10+ per thousand visits from affiliate advertising (the real blog money makers). That's $200,000 per year.

Some financial blog sites can make $20-40 per 1000 pageviews. That would put MMM well into the seven figure category, but a lot of his pageviews are to the forums where it's not really monetized (beyond google adsense ads IIRC).
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:05 PM   #130
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Would I want to live his lifestyle? No. Does he have a lot of ideas I find worthwhile? Yes. He is willing to examine life with a lot less of the society filter many of us have. If you want to see this on steroids surf on over to Extreme Early Retirement. I have the same opinion of that site as I do of MMM. I look at them and incorporate what I like into my lifestyle and occasionally laugh at the rest. But it works for them! What I do probably would not work for many of you. If we agreed with each other completely one of us would be a waste of space. Then we could probably disagree about which of us was the waste of space...
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:52 PM   #131
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Guess that makes ER-org the sane middle-of-the-road place "for the rest of us"
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:23 PM   #132
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Are we sure seven figures doesn't mean something like $12,345.67.. . If he was truly make a $1 million form the blog, and keeping anything around $200K, it just silly to be as frugal as he claims to be.
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:07 AM   #133
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There was a similar back to the land movement in the 30s-Helen and Scott Nearing were well known leaders. Most of these people were rich or from rich families though, from the tradition of New England transcendentalism. So they could easily supplement their lives, or escape from the lifestyle altogether if it began to bind. It appears as if it may take 40 years or so to awaken people's appetite for another go round.
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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.

— Henry David Thoreau, Walden, "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For
I read somewhere that Thoreau wasn't all that. He had his connections and was able to do it before the days of click-thrus, ad sense, affiliate links . . .

I have no idea what MMM is really like. I do know that writing about finance on the Web can pay well and telling other people how they can make it or write about it pays even better.

But really, if you want to become FI on the Web, you need to have manicured fingernails and open up Disney toys.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/youtub...062606350.html
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Old 01-24-2015, 05:03 PM   #134
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But really, if you want to become FI on the Web, you need to have manicured fingernails and open up Disney toys.
Interesting! DW and I just had a long discussion today about various and sundry relatives who go shopping as a form of entertainment, and what do they do with all that stuff when they get it home?

I guess when you run out of money you watch youtube videos of other people unboxing stuff you wish you have money to buy so you could unbox it yourself. Or something like that....
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:40 AM   #135
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This is what a "million dollar" Blog looks like. I wonder if MMM meets this criteria... if only the time commitment it takes:

Andrew Sullivan to Retire From Blogging

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In his retirement blog post, Sullivan noted how well his site has fared in two years.

“In just two years, you built a million dollar revenue company, with 30,000 subscribers, a million monthly readers, and revenue growth of 17 percent over the first year,” he said.
Quote:
“I want to spend some real time with my parents, while I still have them, with my husband, who is too often a ‘blog-widow’, my sister and brother, my niece and nephews, and rekindle the friendships that I have simply had to let wither because I’m always tied to the blog. And I want to stay healthy. I’ve had increasing health challenges these past few years. They’re not HIV-related; my doctor tells me they’re simply a result of fifteen years of daily, hourly, always-on-deadline stress. These past few weeks were particularly rough — and finally forced me to get real.”
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:23 AM   #136
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This is what a "million dollar" Blog looks like. I wonder if MMM meets this criteria... if only the time commitment it takes:
I think MMM has announced pretty much the same thing. He won't respond to all the emails he gets. He can't respond to all the comments. He ignores many inquiries for partnerships and turns down media interviews (unless they are interesting or notable).

I've traded emails with him and made plans to meet up while we were in the same city in Canada. We ended up canceling our planned travel, so it didn't work out. But he basically told me "hey I'd love to meet up, but I'm putting spending time with family first, so once you get here get in touch and if I'm not busy with the family or "real life" friends I'll hang out with MMM/blog friends". Nothing wrong with that, and something I've had to do as another blogger that gets invited to stuff sometimes.

I doubt he's spending anywhere near full time on his blog these days (judging by his absence on social media and limited new post release schdule). He hired some guy to run the technical side of things, since dealing with millions of hits each month requires more than a turnkey shared hosting solution.
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