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My thoughts on full time Milelion-ing

The best way of Milelion-ing.

I started The Milelion back in May 2015, in the midst of a month-long hiatus from consulting.  Here’s the very first post, if anyone’s up for some nostalgia.

Milelion, circa 2015
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Oh, those were fun days. I’d write one post per week, struggle with the intricacies of web hosting, and feel like a big boy when the website generated $20 of advertising revenue in a month (look ma, I own a tech company!).

I enjoyed what I was doing, but always thought at the back of my mind that the site would eventually go down the path of one of those Live Journal pages you start in your teens and abandon after a few months. I assumed that sooner or later I’d simply get tired of writing, and The Milelion would lapse into obscurity, joining the trash heap of Angelfire and GeoCities pages that came before. I mean, I couldn’t keep this up forever, right?

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I figured I’d try it for 6 months. No one sued me for libel. So I tried another 6 months. And another 6 months. And so on. In 2015 I wrote 91 posts. In 2016, 274 posts. In 2017, 409 posts. As of October 2018, the site has published 543 posts and counting. Readership grew from 1,000 visitors a month to 10,000, then 100,000. Maybe the travel hacking community in Singapore is bigger than I thought. Or maybe none of you actually exist, and I’m Fight Clubbing all my pageviews in the dead of the night. Whatever it is, The Milelion has already grown beyond my wildest dreams, and I’m very thankful for that.

As you know, I had a decision on my hands back in June. I wanted to move out of management consulting, but didn’t know where to go. I wasn’t sure that The Milelion was ready for prime time, and I preferred not to resort to cyberbegging/online pimping (although I have received some rather lucrative offers for Matthew).

So I joined Mileslife, excited by the “earn miles everywhere” vision and the chance to do something special in the world of miles and points Three months later, I concluded two things: one, that the Mileslife IPO is going to be bigger than Alibaba, and two, that doing justice to my job would likely come at the expense of The Milelion. Besides, with my upcoming January nuptials, spending quality time with the Milelioness and building our home together would become the priority. The first year of marriage is crucial, and I’m not sure if I’d be able to juggle that with the demands of startup culture. I’m sure some people can, but I’m not one of them.

It was just as well that during this period, Milelion revenue started picking up. I can’t explain why, I’ll just chalk it up to God’s blessing. I found ways of monetizing traffic through events, affiliate sign ups, and advertising, while keeping the core proposition of the site, content, free. It became apparent that I could make a living doing what I love doing, without having to show too much skin (for that you’ll need the soon-to-be-launched Milelion Premium).

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Long story short, Mileslife was the right opportunity at the wrong time, and at the start of this month, I made the decision to full-time Milelion (which is undoubtedly the best way to Milelion). What does this mean for the site and for you guys? Business as usual. The Milelion wouldn’t be what it is without the community, and I see no reason to fix what isn’t broken.

How can you help? You already are. You support the site when you attend our events, sign up for credit cards through our affiliate campaigns, make purchases through affiliate links or whitelist the site on your adblocker (please don’t underestimate the impact of that last one). You grow the community when you join our Facebook or Telegram Groups, subscribe to the newsletter or Telegram Channel, or simply be that guy who starts every conversation with “so I read on The Milelion…” (trust me, chicks dig that). If you run a somewhat legitimate business and want to do exciting legal things together, reach out.

Some of you have been reading the site since we first started, others have joined along the way. Whatever the case, it’s your participation, feedback, comments, and support that have made all this possible. I’d give you all a group hug, if it didn’t open me up to potential liability. Thank you everyone for your support, and let’s see where this goes.

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Aaron

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ej
Guest
ej

Congrats and good luck with your venture!

I’m a bit skeptical on your statement on mileslife tho. The range of merchants is so limited that I have to go out of my way just to complete the October miles booster. Really can’t see it being bigger than alibaba.

Jimmy
Guest
Jimmy

Haha, I guess the “Mileslife IPO going to be bigger than alibaba” complement is a courteous complement, perhaps based on some internal “vision”. We outsiders will not know for sure but can surely sit back and see how it goes.

HZ
Guest
HZ

Congratulations! & thank you!

David
Guest
David

All the best and thanks for sharing

Peter
Guest
Peter

All the best Aaron. You’ve made a great decision. I am sure you will succeed and achieve your dreams.

Bountiful rewards await those who dare to take the path less travelled.

I enjoy the whole concept of Milelion and saw it grew since I joined in 2016. Can’t describe how much I have enjoyed it. But most importantly spread the word around.

Congratulations and best wishes and blessings on your impending big day and a superb journey ahead with milelioness.

Go after your dreams.
Peter

Jo
Guest
Jo

Love it! Yours is the only blog I subscribe to and read on a regular basis. Keep those posts coming!

SGGOODLIFE
Guest

All the best Shi Fu! Milelion deserves a shout out. Wouldn’t have experienced the many business class trips without your blog! And congrats on the upcoming wedding

Xy
Guest

just super proud of you! Continue to be weird, uphold your values, and stop being a snob. Haha. Enjoy the journey!

:)
Guest
:)

Ty Aaron for everything! Keep on Milelioning! Started reading ur blog since ’15 and you are the reason why I’m able to bring my family on a vacay on SQ metal this year.

ksbernardong
Member
ksbernardong

Congrats Aaron! This is the definitely the site to go to for miles’ advisory. Will continue to drive traffic to your site.

And have a fulfilling marriage ahead too! Hope to hear baby milelions news soon… 😉

Bernard

Adriel pang
Guest
Adriel pang

Good job

FRO
Guest
FRO

I have start read your post since 2015. It is really fascinating that I find your “milelion” while I google search for new credit card sign-up. I have learn so much from this website that allow me to define “travel for better and less” in this community. Thank you and all the best with your new venture

JW
Guest
JW

#nocashback

Long live the Milelion.

Sha
Guest
Sha

Silent lurker here who’s been following ML for a year or so. I have one point to raise – ML is responsible for a major consumer journalistic coup – the Jul 2018 news break on Grab’s Rewards program devaluation, which mainstream media didn’t pick up on. ML’s detailed reports and well-researched legwork on the matter stirred a wave of bad PR and criticism among consumers, which eventually contributed Grab to U-turn on their shitty policy (I hope!). Without such vigilantism, greedy corporations like Grab would get away with much more. Which is a long way of saying, please keep doing… Read more »

spk
Guest
spk

Traveled on long haul J for the first time last year, thanks to Milelion’s tips!
Hope you get baby milelions (or mile cubs?) soon and start writing on the family aspects of travel!

Rajiv
Guest

All the best Aaron for new life with 2 new full-time partners – wife & milelion. Which of two is more fun & challenging, time will tell 🙂

Hector
Guest
Hector

Admire your courage. Will support as always.

fc
Guest
fc

Hey Aaron, just wanted to say thanks for all the time and effort you’ve dedicated to this blog. I wouldn’t have gotten into the world of travel hacking without it.

Congratulations on your decision, and all the best!

How Chong Jeng
Guest
How Chong Jeng

Congratulations Aaron, love your website and blog.
Yes you’re right to prioritise your marriage too !

jh
Guest
jh

Thank you and will continue support the site

Zack
Guest
Zack

Congrats Aaron! Wishing you all the best!

James Low
Guest
James Low

Congratulations, on the nups and the MLpro. Have been a silent lurker since day 1++ and witnessed how ML has grown and matured over time. Happy for you

TesQ
Guest
TesQ

All the very best with your new adventures, Milelion! Thank you very much for maintaining this webpage, as a mere teacher I imagined I’d only ever be able to take one flight beyond economy, and only after many years of saving. Your advice has enabled me to have many more opportunities !

A longtime fan
Guest
A longtime fan

I have been reading the Milelion site since 2 years ago. While I was not one of the first readers of the site, I was one of the early members of the Milelion telegram group. I am happy for you that Milelion is generating sufficient income for you to make this your full time job and fully support the workshops that you started conducting. However, I fear that making Milelion your main source of income is changing the dynamics of Milelion. I cannot speak for the website, as doesn’t promote discussion as much as the telegram group does (despite there… Read more »

Alan
Guest
Alan

Hi Aaron, I’ve been following Milelion for sometime now and have benefitted greatly from your posts. Have you thought about starting a patron or a forum to build a community around the site? A Facebook group is great but you don’t own the data, Facebook does. Also it is terrible for SEO for community generated content.

Jimmy
Guest
Jimmy

I must say it is a very bold step for you to take, but I am glad for you that you are now having a more flexible working schedules.

Wish ya all the best Aaron

H
Guest
H

All the best for the road ahead, this post should go out to all the men who want to be like you, and all the women who want to be with you. The line is long as always!

D.
Guest
D.

When can we expect the litter of Milecubs to make their appearance? Perhaps you can do a piece on the experience of travelling in J with babies in tow. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen any bassinet seats in F…

John
Guest
John

Thanks Aaron for sharing.
To Aaron and all readers, still on this topic, did anyone experience or manage to keep their credit cards after a career move (job change, retirement, etc) which get lower or no salary?
This is on basis that you could still afford your spending but just no longer qualify for the income requirements.
Thanks all

Christopher
Guest
Christopher

Hey there Aaron. I’ve been a reader since day 1 haha. Congrats on this and way to go! Our KF account balances thank you.

P.S. When’s the next drinking session?

Tan Lay Khim
Guest

Congratulations!
It’s never easy going full time but with your smarts, resourceful nature and passion, I’m sure Milelion will go far.
All the best and hope to connect some time! 🙂

Yi Kai
Guest
Yi Kai

Congrats! Your blog is the reason why I ditch all my cashback cards and change to points and miles card. And also, the tips you gave is the reason why I am able to snag a pair of J class ticket on JAL (for cheap). That tip is awesome and for that, I am eternally grateful for being able to lie on a full flat bed aboard their 787.

All the best for the future and continue to rock on with more awesome content!

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[…] hard-core Milelion fans out there, you will be glad to know that Aaron also went onboard Milelion full-time in 2018. So we can all look forward to more great articles in […]