The month of March saw my highest level of side income ever, $58,210.48. That’s more than I made in well over my first year of work out of college, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. Traffic also broke a new (incredible) milestone crossing 400,000 readers in one month and my business has never been better—I have a lot to be grateful for.
As I’m writing this income report, I’m up in the air on my way to the Close team retreat (where my remote full-time gig is). We’re spending a week with the entire team all in Montreal to put our heads together and plan for the next six months.
On the personal side of things, Shelly and I just got back from a two-week trip to Costa Rica and Guatemala for one of my best friend’s weddings. We had a blast touring through Santa Teresa Beach in Costa Rica for a week before making our way to beautiful Antigua, Guatemala for the wedding. After that, we bounced around with a few friends to see the Mayan pyramids in Tikal, then to Lake Atitlan for a final few days of relaxation before heading home. Here are a few photos from our trip:
Now, let’s dig into the numbers… As I predicted, last month again saw a huge jump in side income over February’s, landing squarely within my forecast range—thanks in large part to the continued rise in affiliate commissions from my guide about how to start a blog ranking #1 in organic search. I’ve now officially wound down all of my freelance clients at least for the time being while I focus all of my side time on working hard to keep growing my passive blog income.
Overall, I generated $58,210.48 in side income revenue during March of 2019.
Since March was a heavy travel month, I wasn’t as active as I was during the first two months of the year with keeping my freelance writers busy. That kept expenses pretty low, giving me a net profit for the month of $54,732.63.
The Forecast 🌤: For April, I’m expecting side income to dip a bit from this new all-time high, landing somewhere in the range of $45,000 to $50,000 depending upon how a few new initiatives go throughout the month. I’ll be restarting a lot of my talented freelance writers on new articles to keep my content pipeline full, so I’m expecting to see higher expenses than this month as well. All in the name of investing toward future growth.
Now, on to the details of my March side income report…
Side Income in March 2019: $58,210.48
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 March 2019
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 (for Feb and Mar)
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 🚖
Net Profit Breakdown
Now, on to my blog, email and podcast-related statistics.
2. Blog Stats for March 2019: 486,555 Sessions and 94,473 Total Email Subscribers
For the third month in a row, I’ve hit a new all-time high in blog traffic and am nearing a new major milestone of half a million monthly readers on the horizon. 🎉
I was up in Sessions from February by 24.33%. On top of the sessions increase, I moved up to 611,979 pageviews.
All of my top articles saw increases in traffic during March—due largely to key steady organic rankings during the month, but in part due to lasting effects of a few upgrades my developer launched last month to decrease page load time on my blog. I'm still investing in more speed enhancements to see if we can keep the positive changes going.
Overall, I'm up more than 151% in growth year over year compared to March 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 March, 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
- motivational quotes
- remote job
- business books
- how to freelance
- business advice
- freelance contract
- work from home jobs
- freelance proposals
- best remote jobs websites
- business slang
- how to sell phone cases
March 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 7,834 subscribers to my community with my total list size growing to 94,473 subscribers 🎉
This was a record growth month in new email 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 offering my more advanced paid course (Built to Blog).
3. Podcast Downloads for March 2019: 27,031 Downloads
My podcast, The Side Hustle Project is continuing to grow at a healthy pace.
And with 27,031 downloads, this month was up a bit from February’s numbers, despite a little less promotion work on my part than usual, due to my travels outside of the country.
Here are the episodes that went live last month:
- #102: How to Start (Multiple) Remote SaaS Companies with Liam Martin of Time Doctor
- #103: Best-Selling Author Cal Newport on Achieving Digital Minimalism and Deep Work
- #104: How to Build a $50,000/Month Service Business with Madeline Lambert of Content Refined
- #105: WordPress Hosting Pioneer Josh Strebel on Growing Pagely to Be a $10 Million Business
March brought my total download numbers for the show up to 370,739 downloads!
If you're not a listener yet, give it a try right here 🙂
That's it for my March side income report.
For April, I'm predicting my side income to decrease a bit down to around $45,000 to $50,000 as I come down from my all-time high Bluehost affiliate payout month. A major focus of mine throughout the next few months is to grow my existing passive income streams (affiliates, course sales, book sales, and otherwise) and set my sights on having a six-figure month by this time in 2020.
I have so much to be grateful for, and I’ve never been more excited to work on growing my blog even further from here. It’s easy to forget sometimes that it’s been an arduous 5 year adventure with ups and downs in order to get here. I’ll keep sharing what I learn along the way.
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 😊