As I predicted, October took a pretty decent hit to my side income… and I’m down a bit from my all-time high last month (for now 😉).
For the fourth month in a row now though, my slow shift of replacing my freelance-based side income with more scalable (and passive) income sources like affiliate commissions and my new course, Built to Blog, is going insanely well. And that major shift in income distribution is the real win in my mind.
At the beginning of this year, nearly 90% of my side income came from freelance projects I landed as a result of inbound inquiries through my blog—and as of this October, I’ve gotten that freelance income down to just 34% of my total earnings. This is a trend I’m working hard to keep moving, as I look to wrap up my freelance engagements next year and focus all of my side time on growing my more scalable and passive blog income sources.
Overall, I generated $14,432.31 in side income revenue during October of 2018.
Net profit for the month was at $9,496.33.
The Forecast 🌤: For November, I’m expecting to (at best) remain flat with last month’s side income and will likely take another marginal dip down. Shelly and I are moving into a new apartment here in San Francisco, and I’m working on a big new initiative in my day job doing content marketing & partnerships at Close.io, all with the holidays starting to sneak up on us too—so I’m expecting my side time to be pretty limited during November. Much of this month’s side income will depend upon how quickly I can implement a new email sequence series that’ll pitch my quickly growing Built to Blog course more actively & thoughtfully to new subscribers that join my list.
Now, on to the details for my October side income…
Side Income for October 2018: $14,432.31
In these monthly reports, I track my total side income every month, including each individual source of that income, and associated expenses with running my side businesses. This is the good and the bad.
Next, I break down the traffic to my blog which heavily impacts my side income, including what’s performing best and how I’m working to drive in more readers. I also cover how many email subscribers I’m at, the number of new subscribers acquired during the month, and what that growth trajectory looks like.
Then I talk about my podcast download numbers for the month, and which episodes performed best.
Finally, I cover updates on any other side projects I’m working on for the month.
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1. Side Income Breakdown for October 2018
1 x Content Marketing Client
Online Course Sales (Built to Blog)
Podcast Sponsorships (Side Hustle Project)
Online Tools & Subscriptions
Freelance Writers (Client Work)
Podcast Producer (Xavi at Branded Pod)
Quuu Promote (Pre-Paid Annual)
Travel, Office Supplies & Misc
iPhone X Payment Plan
AT&T Service Plan (iPhone)
Amazon (Office Supplies)
Airlines (Seat Upgrades ✈️)
Net Profit Breakdown
Now, on to my blog and podcast-related statistics.
2. Blog Stats for September 2018: 355,754 Sessions and 67,643 Total Email Subscribers
October 2018 (again) saw my highest blog traffic month ever.
This month, I was up in Sessions over September by an insane 13.6%. On top of the session growth, I moved up to 444,118 pageviews, also my highest ever with a comparable improvement above last month's.
Over the past 6 months of the year, my increase in traffic continues to be directly correlated with several of my most trafficked posts continuing to rank higher in organic search—coupled with increased activity and clicks from Pinterest that've resulted in more traffic from that platform as well.
Here are my top 15 trafficked posts from October, ranked in descending order of which drove the most readers:
- business ideas
- motivational quotes
- make money online
- freelance jobs
- business books
- how to freelance
- remote job
- business advice
- business slang
- freelance contract
- how to sell phone cases
- how to start a blog (this post has the most attributable revenue for the month)
- online business courses
- freelance proposals
- how to write cold emails
With another limited sales email series I ran at the beginning of the month promoting the public availability of my Built to Blog course, that again gave a major spike in attributable revenue to my 20,000+ word ultimate guide, 10 Steps to Start a Blog on the Side—which now ranks #5 in organic search for how to start a blog.
That ranking has fluctuated quite a bit over the past month or so, and I'm expecting it to continue getting placement-tested by search algorithms for the months to come.
I have high hopes of climbing to the #1 spot for how to start a blog, which will likely take many more months (potentially years) of hard promotion work, frequent updates and partnerships to get me there. As more new readers land on this post, more will join my free course, How to Build a Blog in 7 Days.
During October, I also published 35 Best CRMs for Small Business, Startups and Freelancer, which is already climbing the organic rankings, ranking #8 for the super valuable search term, best CRMs for small business. I'm expecting this post to continue climbing over the coming months as I begin promoting it.
Overall site traffic is up by a mind-bending 185% compared to October of 2017, which is amazing.
The time investments are finally paying off big time.
I use ConvertKit to manage my email subscriber community and deliver my emails.
October saw the addition of 6,061 subscribers to my community with my total list size growing to 67,643 subscribers 🎉
So much of my new subscriber growth continues to be fueled by my new free course, Build a Blog in 7 Days which is well-optimized for both affiliate revenue and for my more advanced paid course (Built to Blog).
3. Podcast Downloads for September 2018: 24,192 Downloads
My podcast, The Side Hustle Project is now staying above the 20,000+ download threshold.
And with 24,192 downloads, I'm up to another all-time high with engagement moving in the right direction.
Here are the episodes that went live last month:
- #80: Grant Cardone on How to Master Your Sales Process and Build a Scalable Business
- #81: Eric Siu on Growing a Marketing Agency and Landing Fortune 500 Clients
- #82: James Clear on the Power of Habit, Mastering Productivity and Behavior Change
- #83: How Nomatic Raised $8 Million Crowdfunding (and Pre-Selling) Travel Gear with Jon Richards
- #84: How to Break into the Film and Commercial Industries with Writer and Director Toby Wosskow
October brought my total download numbers for the show up to 238,941 downloads!
If you're not a listener yet, give it a try right here 🙂
That's it for my October side income report.
Like I said above, in November I'm predicting my side income to take another bit of a dip while I lay the groundwork for the automation email sequence pitching my course, Built to Blog to new subscribers as they join. After that goes live, I'll be expecting to see side income eventually rise back up to September's level on a consistent basis—which I'm hoping to achieve by January of 2019.
If you're looking for some additional reading to help grow your own blog (on the side), I recently launched a 20,000 word free guide to building and scaling a profitable blog right here that I'd love for you to read 😊