An Expert Interview About Entrepreneurship with Kyle Taylor, Founder of The Penny Hoarder
Determined to get out of debt and make better financial decisions, Kyle Taylor created a personal blog in 2010 to record his progress towards paying off his student loans. He didn’t know it then, but his personal blog, The Penny Hoarder, would grow to be a million dollar business that offers financial tips to millions of online users in similar situations.
We recently had the opportunity to listen in on a Q&A between Taylor and co-owner of the HOTH Marc Hardgrove at SEO and content marketing conference HOTHCON 2018. We learned a lot about Taylor and The Penny Hoarder that inspired us to write this post.
The Penny Hoarder moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in November of 2017. When asked about the pros and cons of the ‘burg, Taylor mentioned that local businesses work together and they truly want to help each other. St. Petersburg is also moving in the right direction with wanting to be the arts and tech capital of Florida, thus the perfect home for The Penny Hoarder. The only con that Taylor mentioned was that there is a perception that St. Petersburg is “God’s waiting room,” but he wants to put an end to that stigma.
We were shocked to learn that Taylor didn’t hire his first employee until he made 5 million dollars in revenue. Taylor was advised to hire a entry level employee to do the things he didn’t want to do, but he did the opposite. He hired someone with years of experience in the business and he has no regrets. He encourages others to hire people who have the knowledge to contribute to their business and challenge them to work harder like his first employee did.
The Penny Hoarder has four shared values: be kind, be leaders, be bold, and have fun. Taylor spreads these values across their growing number of employees. They are projected to reach 165 employees by 2020. Taylor says he is not a serial entrepreneur. He enjoys building his current business.
Taylor’s passion is taking the stress out of finances. His website is broken down into five different sections–make money, deals, food, smart money, and life–that show you how to budget your money in different respects. When asked how he is able to maintain his excitement for his business, Taylor borrowed a quote from Oprah saying, “I feel exhausted, but never depleted.”
Taylor hinted at creating new sections to the website as they think of more ways to help people save and manage their money.
“Money touches everything,” said Taylor.
Taylor believes that creating quality content for your audience always comes first, but that monetization should not be overlooked. One-tenth of The Penny Hoarder’s content is monetized. Taylor highly recommends that people diversify their revenue streams. In the event that one income source is compromised, multiple revenue streams guarantee that there is always a back up.
For instance, three years ago Taylor’s Google AdSense account was suspended for fraud and he lost $2,000. Google AdSense was his main money maker and that is when he realized he needed to diversify his revenue sources. Although Taylor now has years of experience, he still makes mistakes and learns from them. The only difference is that the mistakes are now a lot bigger and a lot more expensive.
The Penny Hoarder got rid of display advertising about a year ago, and now makes money from performance advertising. The Penny Hoarder decided to move in this direction because it is easier to sell and is low risk.
During Kyle Taylor’s Q&A, he discussed how he likes to balance work and play. He mentioned that he likes to spend Thursday nights playing Mario Kart and relaxing with friends and family while being completely unplugged from work. Monopoly is his favorite game, which isn’t all that shocking considering the nature of his work.
Hardgrove asked Taylor what he would wish for if he had three wishes and he answered: to be able to eat pizza and drink beer everyday without gaining weight, for wages to increase with inflation, and to keep smiling everyday he goes into work. Kyle Taylor built The Penny Hoarder on a passion for helping readers get out of debt and save money, and said that the day that he stops smiling when he goes into work would be the day he is finished.
The Penny Hoarder’s headquarters are located in the old Tampa Bay Times building, in a 23,000-square-foot office. Decor in the office is inspired by menswear in London. The overall design of the office is an open work environment where Taylor’s employees can collaborate and be creative. There is also a meditation room where employees can sit and relax. Drawing inspiration from the penny, there are copper accents throughout the office – including a coffee table made entirely out of pennies.
To learn more about The Penny Hoarder, visit www.thepennyhoarder.com, or follow them on social media @thepennyhoarder.