Frequent Miler’s 2022 State of the Business Report

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In 2020, I posted a series detailing how the Frequent Miler business was coping with COVID.  In the first post, at the start of COVID lock-downs, I predicted that revenue would likely drop to near zero for about 6 months but that I was committed to keeping the team going.  I had full faith in the business long-term.  In the second post, I showed the steep drop in revenue that happened, as predicted.  And in the third post, I showed that the worst was over: revenue was picking up and my 6 month prediction was spot-on.

Readers seemed to appreciate the peek behind the curtain and so we decided that it would make sense to publish an annual “state of the business” post.  This is that…

Overview

In brief, the business is doing great.  Our team has grown and yet is more cohesive, and having more fun, than ever.  Blog readership is up.  Our podcast audience has grown.  And revenue is up.

Some of our recent success is probably due to an ever-swelling demand for leisure travel.  Mix that with higher travel prices and you end up with more interest than ever before in how to play the points & miles game.

I believe that our long term success, though, is a result of always putting the audience first.  Every decision we make is driven first by what we think is best for our audience regardless of revenue consequences.  The most obvious result of this is the way we only publish the credit card offers that are best for our readers.  That often means that affiliate links, and associated revenue, are left on the cutting room floor.  But our audience-first mentality also shows in many less obvious ways.  For example, many blogs have pop-ups that beg you to sign up for their newsletter, or video ads that slow down the page load.  I hate both of those things and so we don’t do them even though they would likely lead to more money for the business.  Similarly, we’ve often been asked to create a paid membership to give select people more access to our time and/or to secrets.  I’ve always said no to that because our time then would be taken away from doing what’s best for our overall audience.  I want us to be spending our time creating great content that is accessible by everyone.

The Team

From left to right: Carrie, Nick, Stephen, Greg, Tim

Our team grew 25% larger when Tim joined us in January.  Actually, when measured by height, the team grew by even more than that (see photo, above).  Only Nick and I work full time on Frequent Miler, but I consider everyone to be equally part of what “Frequent Miler” is.  I absolutely love this team.  We’re all committed to making Frequent Miler great, and we have lots of fun.  Podcast followers already know how much fun Nick and I have bantering together.  Now, with our monthly Ask Us Anything series, you can get to know the whole team.

Audience Stats

We don’t do any advertising to try to increase our audience.  Instead, we just keep publishing informative and (hopefully) entertaining content.  And, as you’ll see below, people are discovering Frequent Miler in bigger numbers than ever before…

Blog

For a long time, our blog readership has hovered around 7 to 8 million page views per year.  That was great, but this year was significantly better with over 10.5 million page views!

Podcast

Our Frequent Miler on the Air podcast audience has been steadily growing over time.  I don’t look at download stats often, but when I last looked I think we were hovering around 5,000 downloads per week.  Now we’re at around 10,000!

A free service called Chartable shows us our recent position on the Apple podcast charts.  The chart above shows the position of our podcast within the “Places and Travel” category in the United States.  As you can see, our show often comes close to being in the top 10.  But that’s the show overall.  If we look instead at specific episodes, every recent episode has placed within the top 10 in this category shortly after publication.  Unfortunately, I haven’t found a good way to make Chartable show this in a chart (it doesn’t seem to be chart-able, LOL).

Youtube

While our Youtube numbers are tiny compared to our blog readership, video views are way up.  Overall our video audience appears to be about half the size of our podcast audience.

Finances

Revenue is way up!  2019 was a decent year.  Thanks to the pandemic, 2020 wasn’t as good, but when you consider that nearly all revenue was from the first three and final three months of the year, it was actually pretty amazing.  Then 2021 was our best revenue year ever, and 2022 was even better than that!

Except for a few hundred dollars from video ads, all of our revenue to-date comes from the blog.  The podcast, Youtube, and social media postings contribute indirectly by leading people to discover the blog for its content or for our list of unbiased best credit card offers.

Within the blog, ads account for 13% of our revenue.  The rest of our revenue is from affiliate links, and the vast majority of that is from credit card affiliate links.  When a reader clicks through to sign up for a credit card on an offer with which we have an affiliate link, we earn a commission if that reader is approved.  Keep in mind, though, that we often do not publish our affiliate links because there are often better public offers available for which we do not get paid.  And we always show the best public offer.  Still, despite this policy, our credit card affiliate commission is our biggest source of revenue, by far.

Thank You!

We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without you.  Thank you for reading, listening, and watching.  Thank you for recommending Frequent Miler to family and friends.  Thank you for your comments, emails, and Facebook group posts.  Without you, we would not have been able to reach this level of success.  We appreciate your continued engagement and thank you for being part of our journey!

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Denise in COS

I’m late to commenting here, but I want to give another vote of support for FM being an outstanding and reliable blog. I’ve been dabbling in points and miles since the very beginning of points and miles. I was so sad to see my original United Mileage Plus number go away in the Continental merger–it had a lot of zero’s at the beginning. Anyway, I’ve read a bunch of different blogs over the years, but I rarely read any now except for FM! I’m glad, Greg, when you gave yourself 6 or 8 months to make a living from the blog, you were successful!

ashu

Thanks for great resources and podcast, I have listened to every single one of them in 2022 and even got in the giant mailbag once 🙂 Looking forward for even better 2023…

Saheel

I started following Frequent Miler this year and always wondered if its sustainable without selling us anything. This post is reassuring, I look forward to the podcast every week.

rdover1

Congratulations to you and the team! It was a big leap of faith you took in 2012, and I’ve loved reading you since. All my applications (including P2) go through you guys as you more than earn them! Keep up the great work.

Jan W

You guys are the best! Thanks for keeping us informed and well traveled!

Gents

Thank you for the work you guys do. I’m not at the level of many of these experts, but as I’ve read several blogs throughout the years attempting to get better at this game, FM has become a go to for me. Thank you for everything you guys do.

Marr3wk

Thank you for producing the most trustworthy content around!

Bilt shills

First Bilt article- Q3 2021. Revenues been streaming up since then…

Pennyondollar

Thanks to the FM team , I’ve been able to constantly travel in premium cabins and stay at luxury hotels for free or at least almost free. I am from Malaysia whereby we do not have access to the hotel or airline credit cards that earn easy hotel FNA or points or even air miles but because of the weekly travel hacks from the FM on the air, I’ve been able to use that knowledge to fit the Malaysia travel hacking method and earned myself the Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton and even IHG top elite status without breaking a sweat! The airmiles have been coming in pretty quickly along with the cash backs thanks to the teams daily tips and tricks 🙂 Keep up the good work, and you will not believe how many people are reading the frequentmiler blog from Malaysia 🙂

Lynn

Absolutely love FM. I started in the hobby about 15 years ago reading many blogs, but over time have narrowed that down to ONE. Keep up the good work!

Grant

Congrats to Greg and the whole FM team on a great travel resource. Keep up the great work and all the best for 2023!

Brendan

Glad to hear you’re doing well. As a FM enthusiast, I look forward to my Saturday morning podcast, and I’m still shocked that it’s add free. I’m definitely be interested in listening to commercials if it meant more great content on the blog or more frequent podcast.

Eric

Glad to hear, love the blog and will continue to keep supporting you all! Keep up the great work!

Josh

Glad to hear that your revenue is doing great! You guys totally deserve it, been following you guys for a while now. Honestly you guys provide the best info for the audience.
Keep up the great work! Here’s to a better 2023!

slaven

Congrats!! I am thrilled that you’re revenue is way up. You guys deserve it.

Phoenix

One of the most genuine blog around. Most of the blogs and FB groups are just about selling their products or seminars. Greg and Nick does a great job. Stephen is awesome too

Lanny

I’d echo many of the other commenters – FM is my favorite travel blog. I especially like the family travel slant that Nick brings. Keep up the great work though – all of you. Podcast is great, blog is great, Ask us Anything is fun. Glad its earning the team some well deserved income. Look forward to 2023.

Anand

Congratulations and absolutely well deserved. I dicovered you a whole back when you figured out the vanilla/bluebird (I forget the terms) technique. I might just participate in 1 percent of your strategies, but nevertheless a very enjoyable and unique corner of the internet.

Anand

Wish you could edit comment typos!

elk

Greg,
This has now been my 3rd year following you and your team and I have to say you are my number one source and inspiration in the travel miles game. Thanks for another great year and motivational challenge you and your team did! Here’s to another great year!

David

Also wanted to add that the yearly challenge, though I’ve only been active through this last one, is the best thing going in the Points and Miles travel space. 3 Cards 3 Continents was a blast to watch and read, from the draft, to the weekly updates l, the blog posts, to the YouTube Shorts. Thanks for a great year of content!

Els A

I’ll echo everyone else: your blog is head and shoulders above the others. I’m glad it’s paying dividends for you guys!

Dave Hanson

Congratulations to you, Greg, and the whole team for another great year! It’s a pleasure to watch your venture grow and thrive.

To me, there are two ways in which your work stands apart from other bloggers. The first is the credibility you have with your readers. We actually believe you when you say you try never to compromise your readers’ interests for the sake of goosing your revenues further.

The second is the obvious joy you take in your work! Just one example: I listen to dozens of great podcasts for work and pleasure every week. But for sheer joy and fun, none beats your weekly Saturday morning drop. 🙂

Thanks for the good work, and best wishes to your whole team for happy holidays and a great 2023!

A B

Greg and team, I really cannot thank you enough for your informative, audience-centric content. I took my family of four through Europe for the trip of a lifetime last summer, thanks to your inspiration — and pointing me the way to the Iberia business sweet spot! (Shoutout to Amex of course). All hotels and airbnb’s covered too. (Thank you Chase). Am looking through the photo album now and getting sappy.

You are so right to take the path less traveled and put the reader first. I can’t stand auto-play adds and avoid them like the plague. FM is the only travel-focused page on my Favorites list. When you guys put up a referral link I am confident it’s the best public offer available, and I’ve taken advantage of that several times (you scratch my back…).

I’m already stockpiling points and planning our next adventure. Keep doing the good work.

Buzz

I visit other blogs but you guys are #1 for sure. The most useful information out there. Glad I found you.

José

Thanks for all you do. I found you through YouTube back in 2020 and have been hooked ever since. I look forward to listening to Frequent miler on the air every Saturday and try to catch every ask us anything. I frequent Facebook again after many years of ignoring the platform to see what’s being talked about on Frequentmiler insiders. Also, I am writing the message from EWR on my way to Vienna and then Tenerife for New Years, booked with aerlingus avois- saved quite a bit in surcharges thanks to your shared insights. Thanks again and Happy New Year.

Mser

Greg, you’ve become the only travel blog I read. If I’m googling for something travel/credit card related, I specifically look for your site (despite often being down the list – with the well-know self-dealing shills at the top). I barely play the game any more now that the Golden Era has come and gone (doesn’t help I’m permanently banned by multiple issuers either, lololol). Glad to see you’re prospering and the team is expanding. Hope 2023 is even better for you, Nick and the crew.

Paolo DLR

Great team photo. Thanks for all the useful info over the past year.

DjP

Congratulations!!
Thank you for what you do.

Drew

Huge thanks to the team for helping me (and now many family members) get into the Game. The community is top notch, helpful, and rewarding. FM helped max out my referral bonuses on 5 Amex Plat. Just amazing. Thanks for everything and cheers to the team!

T. Jones

Frequent Miler is the single greatest resource for learning and growing knowledge about miles and points. For that, I will always be grateful to the folks here who continue to provide content that is consistently insightful and entertaining. Thank you for the work that you do and the knowledge that you share.
Thank you also to all the helpful folks who are part of the Frequent Miler Facebook group. It’s a great place to bounce around ideas and gain new perspectives.
Frequent Miler isn’t just a blog, podcast, or other social media endeavor – it’s a community, one that provides valuable, actionable information while being maintained with the utmost integrity.
Congratulations on your continued success!

Frank

Well done, Greg.

JustSaying

Congratulations on doing what you love!

Stevin

Well done and keep up the great work!

Sam

The best travel blog hands down

Alex H

The integrity of the blog matters to readers like me. You all do business the right way.

Vince

There is no resource that can match FM’s transparency, thoroughness and “just the facts, ma’am” approach. The critical, objective analysis of the various deals and opportunities is unique — no one is doing as much math as your team (I mean, look at all of those spreadsheets you have created…and openly shared!). Let me be clear that the math is entertaining and endlessly helpful. Don’t stop.

BTW, Leaving for Europe tomorrow — my family of 5 in J both ways (again!), with ~40% of nights covered with points/certs. No way that ever would have happened without your help.

JOANNE N

So glad the Covid dip is behind you! Thank you for producing such engaging and useful content. I tell all my friends who want to learn more but feel the whole space is overwhelming to just follow you guys on Twitter and click thru if something catches their eye…

Lee

You stay focused on the hobby and creating value for the players. You keep your eye on the ball. All of the little gold nuggets add up to an ingot. That’s the attraction. And, you don’t publish tabloid-esque articles that somehow relate to travel but that are of no practical utility to the hobbyist. Congratulations on your success.

Mike

Congratulations on your continued success. It has been been an honor to follow your growth and to call you a friend. Now instead of “one card for all” we can say “one blog for all!”

Derek

Love the work and appreciate the different content provided than most of the repetition of the others.

Joe Y

You guys are by far the best points and miles blog out there. Glad to see the business is thriving. Keep up the great work!

Dan

Congrats and happy new year Greg.

David

YouTube definitely helps bring readers to your blog. I am an example of this. I found Frequent Miler through you YouTube channel and I watched every OnThe Air and AskUsAnything in the backlog. I learned so much so quickly…

Mantis

I noticed lately when doing random web searches for travel/cc related terms, I often see FM posts in the search results. It got me thinking, I’m wondering what percentage of your page views are from randos coming from Google or such, and what % are regular readers navigating directly?

Dima

Thank you for all the work that you do, you’re my favorite points blog by far. Trying to support you whenever I can, this year I got Citi Premier & Marriott Boundless via your referral links. Happy holidays!

Larry D

Thank you for what you do. Loyal reader for years and years.

JoshF

This is great! Very happy that FM is thriving, you guys are the best. You have been part of my weekend listening/viewing yardwork/exercise/running errands routine for the past 4 years and I’m glad to hear that trend should continue. Keep up the great work!

THEsocalledfan

Keep it growing Greg! Well done from one of your earliest followers.

Mark

Congrats and keep up the great work!

Ronna Spiegel

I love your blog. You are my go to when I need honest answers. Appreciate all your hard work and am thrilled to see your success. Wishing you continued success in 2023!

TravelPhD

Thank you and I enjoyed your state of the business report. I am a new to the blog, but instantly noted the combination of useful detail and selfless links. You also have fun playing the game, which is key :-).

Dale

Congrats! Love your blog and videos, proves that good guys do win sometimes! Hoping for many more successes for you guys this year!

docntx

Proud to recommend Frequent Miler to anyone.
Let’s hear it for the good guys!

Z Z

I’ve been in this game for years and used to follow all these different blogs, now I don’t even bother because you guys have the best and most honest content and seem like you’re actually having fun! I look forward to the podcast every week as well. Happy holidays and thank you!

JDilla

Awesome work FM team! Loved the 3 cards – 3 continents series this year.

Bikeguy

Love it! Do the right thing and the rest falls into place.

The real beej

You run my favorite blog, without question. I appreciate the honest, informative posts and all of your individual writing styles. One thing you didn’t mention is the avoidance of politics in your posts – It’s refreshing to see the old school approach of just sticking to content. I’m sure most of your readers appreciate it as well. Lastly, an extra 55k membership rewards points appeared in my account this week thanks to your efforts to use reader links for the offers. Between that and breaking the simplymiles deal, I should be paying you guys. Thanks for everything you do in this space.

Cavedweller

Ur Honest I like that.. V Bernie

Mary Jane

Greg, this is the only blog I recommend to all of my friends. The information that you provide to your readers is thorough, candid and fun to read. Please, please, please never change!!

J D

Love your website and FB page. And Tim is either a giant or the rest of the team is tiny.

Bring back the out of state meet ups in ‘23?

Ken East

Congratulation to the team on a great year…your best ever for revenues…and you guys deserve every penny.
Your Audience-centric mentality is what keeps me and many others faithful to help to add to your success. I’ve benefited IMMENSELY from the honest and no frills content of your website/ twitter feeds, podcasts, and of course meetups at events etc. I thank you all.
Keep up the fantastic work you guys do for all of us in the community, and let’s hope for even even stronger readership and audience loyalty into 2023!

Ste en

i browse all the blogs but yours is by the far the best transparency trimpuhs through the ups and downs
happy new years

Gary

Greg,
This transparency is why people are drawn to the Frequent Miler. Your focus on delivering great content and the very best offers is terrific. I love the contests (3 cards, 3 continents) as they demonstrate how much can be accomplished with this hobby.