Have you ever pictured yourself starting out something as a hobby and later finding yourself in a millionaire status thanks to that hobby?
After starting my personal finance (PF) blog, Frugal Asian Finance, I found that there are a lot of PF bloggers who started their blogs as a hobby and then ended up selling them for a seven-figure amount.
Part of me was fascinated by the power of the internet and the profits blogging can bring.
I have never heard of any journalists becoming a millionaire thanks to their articles.
Journalists are trained to write, communicate, and publish professionally. Many of them stay in school for years to enter journalism.
I don’t know of any schools that offer a major or a degree called Personal Finance Blogging.
In the beginning, part of me was puzzled as to why they would sell their well-performing blogs (their brain child and a money-making machine) for a lump sum amount.
If you have a goose that can bear golden eggs, would you want to keep the goose instead of selling it for a fixed amount of money?
I guess it does get too burdensome at one point. I’m sure those bloggers have their reason. Maybe I’ll understand it more if I’m in their shoe one day.
For now, my blog is my baby. I’m nurturing it with my brain power and care every day. Also, I just started my blog six months ago and haven’t monetized it yet (meaning I’m in the red), so I doubt if anyone wants to buy it.
Without further delay, below are the three personal finance bloggers who turned millionaires over night that I know of.
(By overnight, I mean they signed a deal with the buyer in a short period of time. The hard work they put into their blogs actually took years to bear fruit.)
1. Jim Wang – $3 million
Jim started bargaineering.com to document this learning about personal finance. Jim started the blog out of boredom since he was living away from his then girlfriend (now wife). He began documenting how he tried to figure out his 401(k) on a WordPress blog.
Five years later, he sold his blog to Bankrate for $3 million in 2010. Jim attributed the success of his blog to two factors. First, the timing was right. Jim started the blog about a year before blogging became a phenomenon with the help of blogging technology (i.e. free WordPress).
Second, Jim stressed the importance of hard work. He spent a lot of time writing posts, networking with other bloggers, and building a relationship with his readers. Sincerity is also key to his writing.
Like: I like that Jim is an Asian American blogger who has made it big in the blogging world. It’s inspiring to see someone I can relate and look up to in the blogger community.
2. J.D. Roth – Undisclosed seven-figure sum
The few pennies gradually turned into dollars and then tens of thousands of dollars. In November 2007, J.D. made $5,000 from his blog a month. He eventually quit his job to become a full-time blogger.
Together with the increasing blog income, offers to buy his blog also started to pour in. J.D. brushed them aside until one day when a tragic incident that happened to his friend caused J.D. to evaluate the priorities in his life.
He was burned out and felt that he had said everything he had to say about personal finance. He wanted to switch gear and start a new journey. He tried to find a seller who would commit to continue growing his blog instead of adding ads all over it and letting it die a slow death.
He now runs his new blog Money Boss, where he continues to document his personal finance journey.
Like: I like how J.D. Roth has overcome his financial, marriage, and weight struggles to be a self-made millionaire that inspires others to get out of debt.
3. Trent Hamm – Undisclosed seven-figure sum
Trent grew up in an average family in rural Illinois. His dad worked at a factory, and his mom was a homemaker. His parents also took care of many other children as well as his mom’s two younger siblings. Money was always tight for the family.
Trent later went to Iowa State University and graduated with a degree in Computer Science. Despite having a good job, Trent and his wife accumulated over $20,000 in credit card debt and other loans. They had no savings. And Trent was often away from home on business trips.
Realizing that he wasn’t passionate about a job that took his time away from his family, Trent started The Simple Dollar in 2006 to document the drastic measures he and his wife took to pay off the debt.
In 2008, Trent quit his job when his blog was making enough income to cover his family’s expenses. He sold the blog to Cut Media for an undisclosed seven-figure amount in 2011.
Like: I like Trent’s posts before and right after he sold the site. Those posts address the day-to-day topics such as reducing grocery bills and inexpensive work lunches. They are detailed and relatable.
Those are the three millionaire personal finance bloggers that I know of. I’m sure there are a lot of them out there doing amazing work every day.
It just blows my mind how something can start out simply as a hobby can turn into such a massive business and a deal that can set someone financially free for the rest of their lives.
Do I want to be one of them? For sure.
But aside from money and dreams, I like that I can write passionately about what’s on my mind every single day – frugality – and feel pretty good about sharing it.
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