Afford Anything is based around a core mission. Our mission is:
- Be outrageously helpful.
- Serve our audience.
That’s it. There’s our “hidden agenda,” in plain sight.
Most “info-product” websites are spammy. They lure people with outrageous promises —
“From $0 to $45,229 per MONTH in your first year of business — even if you have no experience, no credit and no money! We’ll show you the SECRET — but only if you act now! This limited-time offer will disappear soon!”
Those websites exist to sell, not to serve.
We take the opposite approach. We believe we should:
- Offer SOLID, actionable, valuable, useful information
- Help you break “analysis paralysis” and take action
- Create reasonable, realistic expectations
We also believe in these principles:
- DON’T prey on people in desperate situations
- DON’T sell to people in financial hardship
We heavily reinvest into Afford Anything. These reinvestments create jobs, reach a wider audience and affect thousands of lives.
We have to make money in order to exist.
- My team won’t work for free.
- My software, hosting, etc. isn’t free.
By clicking on an affiliate link, or buying a course, you’re supporting this website and its team. We appreciate that!
This money allows us to focus full-time on Afford Anything, and covers the software, hosting, tools, tech support and other costs needed to operate and grow this movement.
Here’s specific detail about the costs of running Afford Anything:
The Team I Hire
- I hired Erin, my Chief Sanity Officer, who works around 20-30 hours per week for Afford Anything. She handles a zillion behind-the-scenes tasks, including video production, image design, editing and more. (It’s not right for me to reveal her salary — but it’s my single biggest expense. My philosophy is to hire the best, not the cheapest.)
- I hired Eric, my Tech Support Guy, to handle the technical heavy lifting. Site load time slow? Call him. Plugin broken? Call him. Changing the coding of an option from HTML to CSS? Call this guy.
- I hired Steve, my Producer, who edits and produces every podcast episode.
- I hired a developer to, duh, develop this website. I built Version 1.0 myself with a WordPress theme (if you’re a longtime reader, you remember how primitive that looked), but the current Version 2.0 is more customized. Also, more expensive.
- I hired a layout designer to layout and format my free guide, Escape, that I give away for free.
The Stuff I Buy
- I pay $1,188 per year for web hosting. If you’re a beginner blogger, you can get a $5 per month plan. But I need enough speed and bandwidth to support the high level of traffic that I’m getting.
- I pay $2,148 per year for email distribution. Because I can’t just send a Gmail to 20,000+ email subscribers.
- I pay roughly $300 per year for a premium version of those annoying pop-ups that ask you to subscribe. (Thanks for putting up with those!)
- I pay $588 per year for the software that creates those little boxes that allow you to join the free VIP email list for the podcast and real estate course.
- I pay $120 per year for software that helps me promote this website on Pinterest.
- I pay $180 per year for the Gmail for Business upgrade for myself and my team.
- I pay $120 per year for Boomerang for Gmail for two accounts, which facilitates emailing with my readers.
- I pay $120 per year for software that helps me pre-schedule social media updates.
- I paid $1,100 upfront, plus around $200 per year, registering multiple domains. I own affordanything.com, affordanything.org, afford-anything.com … you get the idea. (I also own StrippersAtMyFuneral.com, for some reason. 🙂 )
- I pay $200 – $2,000+ each for multiple online courses that teach me a variety of skills related to this website, like social media marketing, better writing, and even a course on how to create courses. (Circular, I know.)
- I pay roughly $4,000 per year flying to conferences to meet with other bloggers and swap ideas. I attend FinCon, NMX, and the Society of Professional Journalists. I’m thinking of attending Podcast Movement, also.
- I pay for the hardware and software associated with the podcast: a high-caliber microphone, recording software, etc.
- I occasionally pay for stock photos when I can’t find the right image on any of the free stock websites.
- … and I’m sure there are a zillion other expenses I’ve forgotten to list.
I also spend 40+ hours each week nurturing this website and community, at the expense of other business (or life) activities.
So … yeah.
The only way Afford Anything can exist is by making money, which I can reinvest back into hiring people, improving the website and growing the movement.
How Do We Make Money?
How am I pulling this off?
Afford Anything earns money in several ways, including:
- Selling courses and educational material (coming in 2016!)
- Affiliate programs
- Consulting for businesses (I’m hoping to stop this, if the courses perform well)
- Display advertising (I’m hoping to stop this, if the courses perform well)
- Link advertising (I stopped doing this in 2013)
Let’s talk about the one that raises the most questions: affiliate programs.
An “affiliate program” allows a website to make a small commission through a referral to a product or service. For example, if I say, “check out Digit — it’s free,” and you use that link to sign up for an account, I get $5.
My affiliate policy is straightforward: I don’t affiliate to anything unless I use it myself.
Here’s the deal:
If I use and like a service, I’ll talk about it — whether or not it has an affiliate program.
Many services don’t have an affiliate program, which means I earn $0.00 by talking about it. But I do it anyway.
For example, Vanguard and Gmail are services that I use, like and trust. They don’t pay affiliate commissions. I’m happy to share these with you — even though I have nothing to gain — because I believe they’re awesome.
If I use, like and trust a service that happens to have an affiliate program, I’ll use their referral link.
I like these.
I’d recommend them to my mom.
So why wouldn’t I recommend them to you?
If you have any questions — either about my affiliate ethical policy, or about any specific product — drop me a question within the comment stream of any article. I’m happy to help.
I Have No Fancy Credentials
One more disclaimer:
I am NOT a financial planner, tax advisor, investment advisor, or any other type of licensed or certified financial professional.
I have no credentials.
I’m a normal person. Not a fancy-pants expert.
(Well, I’m a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia. Technically.)
(Oh yeah, and I won an award for “Best New Finance Blog” back in 2011. So that’s a thing.)
Here’s more stuff I legally need to say:
The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such professional advice, consult a licensed financial advisor or tax advisor.
AffordAnything.com is owned by Afford Anything LLC.
Personal Information Collected on this Website
No personally-identifiable information is collected on this website from persons that browse our website. The only personally-identifiable information collected on this website is gathered in our comment area, where fields are provided so that you can provide your name and email address to leave a comment. We collect this information so that we can respond to the comments or questions that you post.
Anonymous Information Collected on this Website
We record anonymous data. Most of the information that we collect from this website is anonymous information, such as the pages you visit. Other anonymous data we may collect might include the name of your internet service provider, the website that you used to link to our site, the websites that you visit from our site, and your IP address. The data is used for statistical purposes, but you, as the individual user, remain anonymous. We use this anonymous information to help improve the content of this site and to compile aggregate statistics about individuals using our site for internal market research purposes.
Thanks! I appreciate you reading and being part of this community. If you have any questions, please drop us a line through the “comments” on any blog post!