Whew! The first month of the year was a total whirlwind, but also one of my most productive on the blog in a very long time. My blog really killed it this month, smashing all-time highs in traffic, email subscribers and podcast downloads (and I almost tied my side income record too).
On another note, things are 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 love most—writing and content promotion. From the personal side of things, Shelly and I did a lot of planning for several big upcoming international trips we’re going on—including a week in Hawaii, a couple weeks in Costa Rica & Guatemala and some time in France & Italy 🙏
Onto the numbers… As I accurately predicted, last month saw a big resurgence in my side income over December’s. What’s even more insane, is that over the next couple months—thanks to a massive rise in affiliate commissions from my guide about how to start a blog ranking #1 in organic Google search—I might actually double my side income each month. It’s truly crazy, and I’m talking more about that later on in this report.
Overall, I generated $18,465.01 in side income revenue during January of 2018.
Due to (again) investing heavily into more content writers that’ll deliver a strong return over the months and years to come, my net profit for the month was lower than I’d hoped for, coming in at $9,844.40.
The Forecast 🌤: For February, I’m really turning the heat up. I’m expecting my side income to cross over the $40,000 mark (!!!). That’s far higher than ever before. Plus, during the month of January, I booked a grand total of $54,250 in affiliate commissions from just Bluehost alone (from my starting a blog guide). And since Bluehost pays out 45 days after commissions lock, it’ll deposit in March, making that another guaranteed record growth month already.
Once this level of affiliate income from my Bluehost partnership starts hitting my accounts in March, I’ll definitely be doing a little happy dance (it still doesn’t feel real) 🕺
Now, on to the details of my January side income report…
Side Income in January 2019: $18,465.01
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 January 2019
1 x Content Marketing Client
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
Freelance Writers (Client Work + Blog)
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 and Office Supplies
Hotel in LA
Uber and Lyft 🚖
Yubico (Security Key)
Net Profit Breakdown
Now, on to my blog, email and podcast-related statistics.
2. Blog Stats for January 2019: 370,316 Sessions and 82,584 Total Email Subscribers
This month brought a new all-time high in my blog's traffic! 🎉
I was up in Sessions from December by a whopping 42%. On top of the sessions increase, I moved up to 473,701 pageviews.
Virtually all of my top content pieces saw increases in traffic during January—some of which can be attributed to the first month of the year being the most active period of time when it comes to new year's resolutions of starting a business, launching a blog, changing careers and such. Many of my top posts also rose in organic rankings during the month too.
Overall, I'm up a hell of a lot from January of 2018—more than 131% in growth year over year. That increase is 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 January, 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
- how to freelance
- business books
- freelance proposals
- business advice
- freelance contract
- business slang
- how to sell phone cases
- how to start a side business
- online business courses
January saw a massive 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.
January saw the addition of 8,178 subscribers to my community with my total list size growing to 82,584 subscribers 🎉
This has been a record growth month in new email subscribers as well. And 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 January 2019: 32,168 Downloads
My podcast, The Side Hustle Project is continuing to grow at a very healthy pace.
And with 32,168 downloads, this month hit a new all-time high (breaking 30,000 downloads for the first time).
Here are the episodes that went live last month:
- #93: How to Go From Day Job to Running a Six-Figure Coaching Business with Jenny Shih
- #94: From Prototype to $1 Million Run Rate in Less Than 1 Year with ISM’s Justin Kwong
- #95: Backlinko’s Brian Dean on SEO in 2019 and How to Generate 3 Million Blog Readers
- #96: Sales Coach Kendrick Shope on Transforming Yourself into a Better Salesperson
- #97: Freelance Copywriter to Building a $60,000/mo Online Business with Laura Belgray
January brought my total download numbers for the show up to 318,346 downloads! I promise a killer digital party when I hit 500,000 downloads.
If you're not a listener yet, give it a try right here 🙂
That's it for my January side income report.
For February, I'm predicting my side income to more than double, skyrocketing above $40,000 and to continue increasing at a break-neck pace for at least the next month or two. I'm anticipating March will see a side income level in excess of $60,000+ and I'm hoping to keep that trend both increasing and becoming more reliable.
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 ten-fold 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 😊