Alright, 2019 is officially off to an incredible start for my blog. Traffic rose to a new all-time high and my side income doubled my previous high—moving up to a whopping $40,441.47 (which still doesn’t feel real).
Everything is still going great over at Close (my remote full-time job) right now and I’ve been able to unlock a lot more time lately for doing what I enjoy most about the job—writing and content promotion. In the personal world, Shelly and I spent a week in Hawaii both to spread my dad’s ashes (it was beautiful) and to just relax a bit from what’s been a past year of many ups and downs. We’re now getting very close to our next trip—spending a couple weeks in Costa Rica & then Guatemala for a good friend’s wedding.
Onto the numbers… As I accurately predicted, last month saw a huge jump in side income over January’s, more than doubling and crossing over my forecast number. The only thing crazier than that, is looking down the pipeline at how much revenue is expected in March—thanks largely to the continued rise in affiliate commissions from my guide about how to start a blog ranking #1 in organic search. This was also the very last month of work with my existing freelance clients, which I’ve been slowly winding down in order to shift all my side time over to focus on growing the blog.
Overall, I generated $40,441.47 in side income revenue during February of 2019.
Once again, I invested very heavily in talented writing help to get more quality content ready to publish on my blog, so expenses are remaining high for now. My net profit for the month came in at $33,563.02.
The Forecast 🌤: For March, I’m expecting side income to cross over $55,000 and could potentially rise to more than $60,000 if a new campaign performs as expected. That’s truly insane to me still. And during the month of February, I still booked $43,510 in affiliate commissions from just Bluehost alone (from my starting a blog guide), which will still keep my side income propped up for the next couple months ahead.
Now, on to the details of my February side income report…
Side Income in February 2019: $40,441.47
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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Side Income Breakdown for February 2019
2 x Content Marketing Clients
Online Course Sales (Built to Blog)
Book Sales (Habits of Successful Bloggers)
Amazon.com (Business Books)
Podcast Sponsorships (Side Hustle Project)
Web Services – Hosting and Storage
Online Tools & Subscriptions
Podcast Producer (Invoice delayed, short month)
Quuu Promote (Pre-Paid Annual)
Travel, Office Supplies & Misc
iPhone X Payment Plan
AT&T Service Plan (iPhone)
Amazon and Office Supplies
Uber and Lyft 🚖
Stripe Atlas Registration Fee
Net Profit Breakdown
Now, on to my blog, email and podcast-related statistics.
2. Blog Stats for February 2019: 391,337 Sessions and 88,132 Total Email Subscribers
This month (again) brought a new all-time high in my blog's traffic! 🎉
I was up in Sessions from January by just under 6%. On top of the sessions increase, I moved up to 494,085 pageviews.
All of my top articles saw increases in traffic during February—due largely to risings in organic rankings during the month, but in part due to some enhancements my developer launched to help decrease page load time on my blog. After releasing a series of updates toward the beginning of the month, I began seeing a consistent 10-20% rise in week over week traffic. I'm investing in more speed enhancements to see if we can keep this going!
Overall, I'm up more than 162% in growth year over year compared to February 2018. That increase is directly correlated with several of my most trafficked posts continuing to rank higher in organic search—coupled with increased activity on Pinterest that's resulted in more traffic.
Here are my top 15 trafficked posts from February, ranked in descending order of which drove the most readers:
- business ideas
- how to start a blog (most attributable revenue for the month)
- freelance jobs
- motivational quotes
- make money online
- remote job
- business books
- how to freelance
- business advice
- freelance proposals
- freelance contract
- best remote jobs websites
- business slang
- how to sell phone cases
- online business courses
February saw another surge of traffic to my 24,000 word guide, 10 Steps to Start a Blog on the Side—which held steady in the #1 ranking position in searches for hugely competitive terms like how to start a blog, how to blog, and other related terms that get a lot of activity this time of year.
And the best part about that? As more readers land on this post, more are joining my free course, How to Build a Blog in 7 Days and will (soon) be given an offer to join my paid Built to Blog course that'll help them level up their blogging journey even more.
Continuing into 2019, my major focus remains on generating more revenue and publishing more content to diversify my passive income streams.
2. Email Subscribers.
I use ConvertKit to manage my email subscriber community and deliver my emails.
February saw the addition of 7,024 subscribers to my community with my total list size growing to 88,132 subscribers 🎉
This has been a near record growth month in new email subscribers, falling a bit from January's high. 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 offering my more advanced paid course (Built to Blog).
3. Podcast Downloads for February 2019: 25,321 Downloads
My podcast, The Side Hustle Project is continuing to grow at a healthy pace.
And with 25,321 downloads, last month saw a dip from January's all-time high, but given that this was a short month with only 4 episodes, it was to be expected.
Here are the episodes that went live last month:
- #98: Award-Winning Writer Jory MacKay on How to Craft Amazing Blog Content
- #99: How Mariah Coz Built a 7-Figure Online Course Business
- #100: NFL to Shark Tank: How Justin Forsett Built a Big Business After Retiring From Football
- #101: How to Work 17 Hours a Week with Entrepreneur and Outsourcing Expert John Jonas
February brought my total download numbers for the show up to 343,667 downloads!
If you're not a listener yet, give it a try right here 🙂
That's it for my February side income report.
For March, I'm predicting my side income to increase to upwards of $55,000 or $60,000 and I'm hoping to keep that trend both increasing and stable.
I've never been more excited about my blog and all the work I've put in for the past 5 years is really starting to pay off now. Here's to sharing everything I continue learning at each step of the journey.
If you're looking for some additional reading to help grow your own blog (on the side), I recently launched a 24,000 word free guide to building and scaling a profitable blog right here that I'd love for you to read 😊