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Side Income Report for February 2019: How I Earned $40,441.47 (on the Side) This Month

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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Now, let’s do this.

Side Income Breakdown for February 2019

Gross Income


2 x Content Marketing Clients


Online Course Sales (Built to Blog)






Carbon Ads


Podcast Sponsorships (Side Hustle Project)



Expenses Breakdown

Total Expenses


Web Services – Hosting and Storage

OptimizePress (Renewal)
Google Drive
Amazon Web Services



Online Tools & Subscriptions

ConvertKit (Pre-Paid Annual)
Bluehost (Test Website)
Adobe Creative Cloud
Quickbooks (Video Conferencing)
Apple (Storage & Apps)
Video Transcriptions (YouTube)



Professional Services

Freelance Writers
Wordpress Developer
Virtual Assistant
Podcast Producer (Invoice delayed, short month)
Business Insurance




Quuu Promote (Pre-Paid Annual)



Travel, Office Supplies & Misc

iPhone X Payment Plan
AT&T Service Plan (iPhone)
Internet (Comcast)
Apple Products
Transaction Fees
Amazon and Office Supplies
Uber and Lyft 🚖
Stripe Atlas Registration Fee




Net Profit Breakdown

Net Profit



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:

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 bloghow 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:

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 😊

How I Made $40,441 Blogging on the Side of my day job Ryan Robinson ryrob February 2019 Income Report

Hi I'm Ryan Robinson

I'm a blogger, but I'm not my blog. I am not my business either. Occasional podcaster and very-much-recovering side project addict. Co-Founder at RightBlogger. Join me here, on to learn how to start a blog and build a purpose-connected business. Be sure to take my free blogging tools for a spin... especially my wildly popular free keyword research tool & AI article writer. They rule. Somehow, I also find time to write for publications like Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, Business Insider, and more. Let’s chat on Twitter (X?) and YouTube about our feelings (and business, of course).

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42 replies to “Side Income Report for February 2019: How I Earned $40,441.47 (on the Side) This Month”

  1. I have mixed feelings when I read income reports. Feelings of excitement, fear, love, and anxiety. The good thing is that I choose to focus on the good feelings. This is a motivation to keep the work going. Thank you for sharing.

    • Good! Glad to hear that, Adeyemi. It’s all about channeling these snippets of insight into action that gets you to where you also want to be (and the habits/routines that can support those right actions).

  2. Awesome updates Ryan. Congrats on your hard work. Sorry to hear about your father passing. I knew you were going to Hawaii but didn’t know the reason.

    Curious; how do you find your freelance clients and how much time per week do you dedicate to them? Client work is lucrative, but unless they’re crystal clear on what they want, I find it tricky to manage client expectations.

    That’s why I prefer course sales, affiliate sales, and public speaking… and I’m using my Kindle books to fuel those revenue streams.

    • Thanks, Raza! It’s hard work for sure, and I appreciate the condolences as well.

      Your conclusion about client work is what’s led me to pulling the plug on all of those projects now. Just too time-consuming, especially when they draw time away from (as you’ve identified yourself) continuing to build the revenue that my more long-term, passive assets like this blog, my courses and books can create.

      Pumped to see a deep dive from you soon about launching Kindle books! 💪

  3. It is very generous and courageous of you to open up this much personal information. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thank you Ryan for your heart pour information. I believe that I’ll learn so much from you.

  5. Thank you for the information, podcasts, emails continually coming in along with your sincere passion and information on what has worked for you and how to help it work for others. I think seeing the constant updates and the information to back what is said, hearing from others through your podcasts (especially your interview with Jenny Shih) helps to have confidence that the information you are putting out can lead to true success. I am at a point of searching and trying to get to a place of making something work, so this information and guidance is very important to help build a foundation without feeling like it will be a dead end of wasted time and hopefully be ready to go with a depth of knowledge, giving more confidence to make it work.

    • You’re so welcome, Amy! I’m really happy to hear your perspective—and you’re very right, Jenny was a stellar guest. Definitely plan on having her back on the show one of these days for a round two interview.

      What kind of business are you wanting to build for yourself—is it a blog?

      • HI, thank you so much for answering back : ) I am definitely considering a blog as one of the avenues to take, and I am at present receiving your emails BAB. I will have to look at it more on the weekend (I work two jobs and I actually love both jobs, and am a mom, but as much as I love both jobs, I can’t keep working like this with all the other responsibilities to keep up, hence one of the reasons I am trying to move ‘forward’ in a different way). Plus, I feel I have more to share in life that would be beneficial to others, which gives the passion to also search for different ways to make something else work. So I am searching and learning and still trying to keep up with where I am at. Thank you for the great information!

  6. Thanks for providing so much content Ryan. I also have a blog + podcast and you continue to inspire me!

    Sounds like a ton of your traffic comes from Google…do you get much from Pinterest or run FB ads?

    Also, how do you create these 20,000 word posts!? Crazy long!

    • Boom! That’s so awesome to hear Michael, thanks for stopping by and sharing.

      Looks like you’re keeping up some serious momentum with your podcast this year, continue the hustle! 💪

      Google is definitely my largest traffic source today. Pinterest is a distant second, then my email list and Facebook trailing behind that. I don’t run any ads though, all just from organic sharing (and regularly seeding my content with some influential people I’ve gotten to meet that have audiences larger than mine on those social channels).

      20k word guides—ha! VERY slowly and over the course of months. The first draft was around 6,000 words, and I’d add to it when I have the time 🙂

  7. I’d love to hear more about the Bluehost affiliate earnings. How do you get that to work obviously that could be a loaded question but just curious about the short version of it.

    • Whew! Yeah loaded question for sure, but a GREAT one no doubt.

      Stay tuned on my email list, I’ll be publishing a very in-depth guide going behind-the-scenes of how I monetize my blog (and the Bluehost affiliate program is naturally a major part of that). Hoping to release it by next week!

      But for now, the short version is—my guide to starting a blog gets a lot of traffic. A certain percentage of those readers will click through to take action on actually launching their blog (using the hosting provider I recommend/brokered a deal with: Bluehost) after reading about how to get a blog off the ground. My compensation comes on a per-signup basis for those customers I refer to Bluehost *if* they stick around for at least a month 🙂

  8. Ryan, great you could share these numbers and I wish you continued success.

    It surely shows that writing informative content is the way to get the click.

    You seem to be doing very well with Bluehost, but there in lies the rub of which I am sure you are acutely aware.

    Your email list is crazy numbers and you should be converting them into your paid course with follow up mails that give you a second pillar to your income stream.

    Good luck with the continued success.

  9. Thanks for being so open about your financials. i’m interested in this kind of side job but i really have no idea from where to start. It would be so nice of you, if you could help me.

    • Sure, Najee! I’d recommend by reading through my (free) guide on how to start a blog here as a good first step:

  10. Very cool stuff Ryan. Regarding your podcast, could you share which service you use (i.e. Anchor, etc.) and are you overall happy with it?

    • Yes, would love to know more about your podcasting vendors and production experiences. Also, how is Quu Promoting working for you as far as generating traffic for your blog? Great stuff Ryan!

      • Hey Liz! I use Simplecast and really dig it, but my podcast editor does most of the work 🙂

        Quuu Promote—yep, I’m a big fan of this service. Mostly because of the initial spike in social shares it can generate for a new article within the first couple of months (most of my posts get 500 to 600 shares in the first 90 days from Quuu). The share numbers are very consistent, but clicks and traffic isn’t a guarantee… I’ve had some articles get nearly 1,000 clicks and others that hover around 100 and don’t get too much traction. A lot of that tends to be more related to how well your social copy and article title is written though!

  11. Hi Ryan,
    Thanks for the info! Wondering which route you would recommend for someone looking for 3-5k monthly income online but to achieve those numbers sooner rather than later? Not a “get rich quick” as we know those don’t exist, but something that has a quicker return on investment (of time)? Thanks again and look forward to following your journey and learning from you.

    • I hate to hit you with an “it depends,” but it really does… context is everything and without a lot of knowledge & context about who you are, your experience, skills, interests, I’d just be offering up a best guess at what kind of side business you should go for. So here’s another way to think about it…

      Quickest time to generating $3-5k/mo: Freelancing, consulting and otherwise selling your services. Fastest IMO to getting to that revenue goal with a true business of your own. Biggest drawback is that it takes a good amount of time unless you’re serving a premium market at higher price points than you’ll find on sites like Upwork/Fiverr. This means reaching out directly to clients and brokering deals with them.

      I’d check out these other ideas I’ve put together and see if anything else sparks your interest:

  12. Thank you for sharing! You are so very organized. I am inspired by your hard work and hope to become as successful as you one day –real soon!

    • You’re welcome, Rochelle! I have no doubt you’ll be able to make big things happen with your blog if you create the right habits, stick to your commitments and keep experimenting until things begin to click 🙂

  13. Hey Ryan,

    Hats off to you and the great content you’re providing us with! I’m looking forward to hearing more success-oriented content from you. I hope to become as successful as you are and I’m working on it very hard.

    Joana Lima

    • Thanks, Joana! It’s been a lot of work getting here, but I hope to see you back here soon to share some of your own blogging success 🙂

  14. Hi Ryan! I saw you at webinars and didn’t know this personal blog. Looks AWESOME!

    Question: Looking at your Bluehost numbers, I believe you receive $65 per sign up. Does this mean 387 people sign up to Bluehost through your content during February? (that’s amazing!)


    • Boom! Thanks, Pablo. Yep, this blog has been my side hustle for several years now.

      Now that I’m sending a good number of new customers to Bluehost, I’ve been able to negotiate a payout rate that’s a good deal higher than their starting list rate of $65/sign up. I send them more like ~300 sign ups per month.

  15. This is so inspiring Ryan. You are rocking.I have started journey last year and getting some little bit affiliate sale and this keeps me motivating to work on side blog.

    Just because of guys like you,I have started my online business.

  16. Hi Ryan! Can you believe me if I told you that since January 2018 I have not earned a dollar from the Internet? Although I did not stop trying, reading and research! It’s hard, man, and I’m failing

  17. Love this transparency and breakdown Ryan!
    I’m looking to share my journey as an agency/affiliate marketing advocate as well, but am currently using an excel spreadsheet…seems like should be an easier way.
    What tool(s) are you using to document and calculate all of this?

  18. Hey Rob!
    How come you pay so little for Convertkit when, at that number of subscribers, it should cost you more than $450 a month?

    • I took a one-time offer they did on Black Friday last year to pre-pay on an annual contract (in order to get 2 or 3 months free), making it a no-brainer deal for me where my business is at today 🧐

  19. Firstly i would like to thank you for the report, i have a question regarding web host affiliate, is it necessary to use it in same niche and context of web hosting, or promote it in another website niche as travel or food?

    • You’re welcome, Lina. You can definitely recommend web hosting on your blog (even if you don’t talk much about the specifics of hosting)—if you’re teaching any type of audience how to get their blogs/websites up and running, then recommending a hosting plan that you’ve tested and stand behind is a great way to add some affiliate revenue into your business.