They continued to post about how they were getting out of debt, until a reader recommended they enter the Smartest Shopper competition, which came with a cash prize of £10,000 pounds.
Ricky won, propelling the website into the mainstream press, even landing him a subsequent trip to a coupon event in Texas.
It was at that point that Ricky and Naomi began thinking about how they could turn Skint Dad into a business.
“Naomi was still working full time in HR and I found out about AdSense and put it on the site maybe 6 months to a year into it, and I remember earning our first penny and we just watched it grow,” Ricky says. “I remember when we earned the first pound and it was astronomical that we were sitting there and made something from absolutely nothing. We were making money from this random idea that we had sitting around the dinner table. And I thought if we can make a pound, maybe we can just keep going.”
So they set goals and kept going until they reached them.
“Having the ad revenue as a consistent income stream gave us the confidence that this could be a real thing,” Ricky explains.
It took about three to four years to replace Ricky’s income - around 2016 they started earning more than £1,500 a month from AdSense. “We were making money every day without having to rely on someone reaching out to us for a sponsored post,” Ricky says. “And it was really reliable, that’s where AdSense stood out compared to other networks.”
They cultivated a loyal audience, with nearly 90% of their traffic finding them organically. Soon, their traffic passed the 25,000 visits monthly threshold and they took the leap to Google Certified Publishing Partner, Mediavine, to help them earn more ad revenue. “We doubled our daily ads income,” says Ricky. With the increased earnings, they started hiring freelance writers to support the business. And eventually, Ricky and Naomi became six-figure bloggers. “We just recently hit the six figure threshold and it feels like an unbelievable achievement,” says Naomi.