During the month of June, I saw another small dip in side income, ending at $54,923.08. Traffic also tapered off a bit with a combination of recent search algorithm updates and the usual summer slump for blogging & business-related content, dropping me down to 377,000 readers and just over 462,000 unique sessions. Overall, it was still an incredible month!
It’s a mixture of emotions, but I’m excited to share that I’ve finally left my day job at Close. It’s been a long time coming, as my side income from blogging has been outpacing my FT paycheck for almost a year now, but I wanted to plan a mutually beneficial, slow transition out from the team. Working remotely with Steli, Ramin, Madhav and Brianna on the marketing team at Close for the past two years has been an amazing learning experience and I’m super grateful for my time with them. I can honestly say I’ve never had a better job in my life, and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back if things ever change in the future.
On the more personal side of things, Shelly and I spent a lot of time traveling for three-day weekends with family & friends last month, while checking out wedding venues with any remaining free time we had. We’re getting close to deciding on a venue for our 2020 wedding, so we’re pumped!
Now, let’s dig into the numbers… last month saw another slight dip in side income from May, which still landed me at the very top of my forecast range thanks to solid affiliate commissions from my guide about how to start a blog and another consistent month of sales for my premium blogging course, Built to Blog: How to Get Your First 10,000 Readers and Earn Six-Figures Blogging.
Overall, I generated $54,923.08 in side income revenue during June of 2019.
In response to the (many) search algorithm updates, I’m ramping up content production related to “blogging” content on my site. That translated into hiring more freelance writers than ever and I’ll be keeping them busy for the next few months. With my sustained writer expenses, profit for June came in at $47,513.44.
The Forecast 🌤: For July, I’m expecting side income to take a pretty big hit, landing around $40,000 – $45,000 as I’ve seen a pretty dramatic shakeup in my organic search rankings over the past month. I’m expecting this drop to deepen over the next couple months, but for this to be a relatively short-term fluctuation that I’ll be able to overcome within the next few months. Expenses should remain pretty steady as I cut back on a few less-essential activities and double down on more writers.
Now, on to the details of my June side income report…
Side Income in June 2019: $54,923.08
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 June 2019
Course & Book Sales (Built to Blog)
Freelance Clients & Sponsorships
Amazon (Business Books)
Podcast Sponsorships (Side Hustle Project)
Web Services – Hosting and Storage
Online Tools & Subscriptions
Quuu Promote (Pre-Paid Annual)
Travel, Office Supplies & Misc
iPhone X Payment Plan
AT&T Service Plan (iPhone)
Gas & Fuel
Uber and Lyft 🚖
Net Profit Breakdown
Now, on to my blog, email and podcast-related statistics.
2. Blog Stats for June 2019: 462,370 Sessions and 109,925 Total Email Subscribers
After an insane five month growth streak, my blog traffic finally plateaued, dipping below the half a million monthly reader mark with the organic ranking shakeup I've experienced in a few of my top keyword phrases.
I was down in Sessions from May by almost 21%, returning me to March-April traffic levels. On top of that, I also dropped down to 581,376 pageviews.
Almost all of my top articles saw dips in traffic during June—due (I think) entirely to a shift in organic search rankings during the month, as a result of Google's ever-changing search algorithm releasing at least two or three updates. Though I'm taking a hit right now, I've been talking to some of the best minds in SEO and I have a good idea of how to best recover in the months to come. It'll take time to recover, so I'm tightening my belt and focusing on doing just a couple of things extremely well over the next few months.
Overall, I'm still up more than 81% in growth year over year compared to June of 2018. That increase is tied to my most trafficked posts still continuing to deliver strong traffic from organic search—coupled with increased activity on Pinterest that's resulted in more readers.
Here are my top 15 trafficked posts from June, ranked in descending order of which drove the most readers:
- business ideas
- freelance jobs
- how to start a blog (most attributable revenue for the month)
- make money online
- best remote jobs websites
- motivational quotes
- remote job
- business books
- how to freelance
- business advice
- freelance contract
- work from home jobs
- freelance proposals
- how to sell phone cases
- amazon affiliate marketing
June saw my first real dip in traffic this year to my 25,000+ word guide, 10 Steps to Start a Blog on the Side—which still remained in the top few positions in searches for competitive terms like how to start a blog, how to blog, and other related terms. Some of the traffic dip is seasonal, but my rankings have been getting tested quite a lot for these terms with the recent algorithm updates.
Still, as more readers land on this post, more are joining my free course, How to Build a Blog in 7 Days and are offered an opportunity to join my more advanced, comprehensive paid Built to Blog course that'll help them level up their blogging journey even more.
Also in June as I push into more "blogging" content, I published two new pieces for my growing audience of bloggers:
- 32 Blogging Statistics You Need to Know (to Improve Your Blogging Strategy) in 2019
- How to Name a Blog (the Smart Way): Plus 25 Genius Blog Names to Get Inspired
My plan is to continue publishing a much higher volume of in-depth content for bloggers throughout 2019 with the goal of clearly signaling to Google and other search engines that my blog is primarily about blogging, in order to show that my site is most authoritative on that topic area.
2. Email Subscribers.
I use ConvertKit to manage my email subscriber community and deliver my emails.
June saw the addition of 5,393 subscribers to my community with my total list size growing to 109,925 subscribers 🎉
For the first time all year, I saw a sizable slow down in new sign ups (again due to the shifting around in organic traffic rankings). Overall, I'm still seeing a meaningful number of new email subscribers come through, largely in my "blogger" cohort. 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 June 2019: 22,066 Downloads
My podcast, The Side Hustle Project is still remaining steady with solid monthly growth.
With 22,066 downloads, last month saw a sizable gain above May's figures.
Here are the episodes that went live last month:
- #115: How to Nail Your Influencer Marketing with Prolific Digital Marketer Shane Barker
- #116: Tim Soulo on Going from Blogger to Ahrefs CMO (and What it Takes to Create Top-Ranking Content)
- #117: How Olympic Athlete Nick Symmonds Built a 7-Figure Side Business (Run Gum)
- #118: How to Grow Your Blog Like a Startup (and Earn $10,000/Month on the Side) in 90 Days with Adam Enfroy
June brought my total download numbers for the show to 314,352 downloads!
If you're not a listener yet, give it a try right here 🙂
That's it for my June side income report.
For July, I'm predicting side income to take a pretty big hit, landing around $40,000 - $45,000 with the dramatic shakeup I've seen in organic search rankings over the past month. I'm expecting this decrease to deepen for another few months, but I believe my lower search rankings are actually in a relatively short-term fluctuation period that I can recover from within the next 3-4 months. I'm anticipating a return to the $50k revenue mark before the end of this year.
And hey, I promised to share the ups and the downs here right?!
I strongly believe in showing you not just my highlight reel, but also shining a light on the punches I take.
Though I've seen an incredible amount of success with my blog this year, I'm still in the middle of a lifelong learning experience.
I’ll keep sharing what I learn along my journey back to rebuilding my organic search rankings.
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 😊