One of my goals for this year is to step up my side-hustle game.
I have a full-time job so I hope that by reporting monthly on my progress, I’ll stay motivated.
Since we’ve already paid off our debt, my only goal for this extra income is to increase our savings.
If my side-hustle income continues at the current rate, I’ll have an extra $6,000 by year-end.
Blogging Income +$793
I started off the year with a blogging bang.
My traffic is up to nearly 60,000 page views per month and my blogging income is up as well.
Here is the breakdown of my blogging income by company:
*Sucuri was $200 for the year which all hit in January. Fiverr and Facebook ads were one time fees. All other expenses are monthly.
If you’re interested in making money blogging, read this section.
Otherwise, skip to the later sections.
Blogging isn’t my only side-hustle this year!
How I Made Money Blogging This Month
I truly believe in the Pareto principle.
That is 80% of the outcomes come from 20% of the inputs.
For that reason, I’m going to give the “Lite” and “Lux” version of how I make money blogging in the case that someone reading this wants to try it out.
You obviously need a blog to make money blogging.
I created my blog and purchased my domain name with Bluehost.
Check out my How to Start A Blog Guide if you’re thinking about starting your own site.
Make Money Blogging – Lite
Step 1 – Sign Up to Promote Products
In order to make money blogging, you need to sign up to promote products.
There are companies out there that have relationships with thousands of merchants and if you sign up for them (it’s free to signup), you can search and see what merchants you can promote.
For example, one of the companies I promote is Personal Capital and I signed up to promote it through FlexOffers.
I’ve been a Personal Capital user for years (my husband and I use their net worth tool to track our savings) so it made sense for me to promote that product.
I recommend signing up for them and seeing if any products you already use are offered.
(Just a tip on FlexOffers – sign up for a “publisher” account. I was confused by that when I first signed up).
I also make money through Ebates.
I don’t buy anything online without checking to see if Ebates offers cash back first.
It’s pretty natural that I would make good money promoting Ebates since it’s free to use and saves people money.
If you’re interested in promoting Ebates, sign up for Ebates here, and get $75 for your first three referrals.
Step 2 – Bring More People To Your Site
Pinterest was my #1 traffic and income driver this month.
It’s really hard to make money if no one knows about your site.
I use the automatic pin-scheduler Tailwind, which is fairly cheap for the dollar return I’m getting each month.
Tailwind also enables me to blog and have a full-time job since pinning 100 images a day would take me forever.
You can sign up for the Tailwind 30-day free trial if you want to test it out on your site.
I also wrote this tutorial on How to Setup Tailwind if you need help setting it up.
Make Money Blogging – Lux
Step 1 – Sign up for an affiliate marketing course
When I wanted to get serious about making money blogging, I started to sign up for paid blogging tools.
The biggest ROI I’ve received is from The Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course, which I took late last summer.
The course is great and the bonus is the private Facebook group that you get access to once you sign up.
In the group, you can ask questions, share each other’s content (I get a big bump in traffic from Facebook group shares), and just generally help each other out.
I recommend signing up for the course if you want to spend money to make money.
I make more money than I spend on the blog now so I’m happy with my approach.
I actually spent more money than I made for a few months so don’t be discouraged if you’re not there yet.
Related: From $60K in Debt to $200K Net Worth
Step 2 – Sign up for security monitoring
My second recommendation for the Lux level of making money blogging is signing up for Sucuri which is a website security and malware removal service.
My site was hacked two weeks ago and another blogger (from the Facebook group I just mentioned) recommended Sucuri.
The price was hefty, $200 for the year, but it was still 1/3 of the price of my other options.
$200 was a huge hit but I would make the same decision again and again.
I was delighted with Sucuri’s service. Delight seems like a silly word to use but I was so stressed out when my website was hacked and Sucuri truly made my day.
My site was back up and fixed within hours.
If you are already making money on your blog, I recommend signing up for Sucuri.
If you’re not making money on your blog, perhaps back-up your site using a free plug-in and sign up for Sucuri when you have the cash to do it.
(Although, I’m very risk tolerant. I probably shouldn’t have waited for my site to crash to sign up so maybe you should be proactive).
Super Lux Level Blogging
As you can imagine, there is a super lux version of making money blogging too.
I’m not making enough money on my blog to spend any more than I’m currently spending.
Maybe I’ll get to this section in future months.
I did play around with some Facebook ads this month to see what I could get for return on those. So far, my Pinterest game is better than my Facebook game but I expect to improve my Facebook game this next month.
If you want to see more blogging tools that I use, check out my post 15+ Tools to Monetize Your Site.
Rental Income (- $150)
Side hustle #2 is that I’m a landlord.
My husband and I accidentally became landlords when we could not sell our home this past summer.
We ended up renting it out and it’s been fairly painless so far (despite the fact that we’re managing it out of state).
We don’t use property managers because it would eat into the budget too much and we’re not quite breaking even on the property.
As you can see below, we had a dishwasher incident this month. (The tenant clogged it with food and we had to pay someone to come clean out the filter).
Most months though we don’t have any expenses.
We’re interested in acquiring a more profitable rental sometime this year.
We may even sell this property once the lease is up. We’re still figuring that out.
Planned Side Hustles For This Year
I have two additional side hustles up my sleeve for this year.
1) The Millennial Boss Coaching Service
First, I’m launching a coaching service for anyone interested in either blog coaching, money coaching, or career coaching.
I want to help others and think I can do so in the following ways:
- I’ve reached a certain level of success on this site now and I can now help others repeat it.
- I’ve paid off $89,000 of debt and want to help people alleviate the burden of debt.
- I went from a liberal arts degree to a career in tech and can help people career hack to get what they want out of their career.
Check out my coaching page for a list of my services and more information.
2) Selling Physical Products Online
For the second new side-hustle, I’m going to start selling physical products online through Amazon FBA and Etsy.
I was motivated by a new blog friend that I connected with this week, Sharon at Digital Nomad Quest.
She’s currently making a good chunk of change per month on Etsy selling digital products.
I also had a conversation with another set of friends that know people who sell private label products on Amazon.
I’m going to try it out for a few months and see what happens.
In fact, I’ve already made an order to buy a product!
Expect more in next month’s side income report.
If you want to follow along on my side-hustle progress, follow me on Facebook!
Do you have any side-hustles going on right now? Tell us about them below!
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