Woo! The month of September brought my highest side income of the year (so far) 🎉
And for the third month in a row now, the massive content and affiliate experiments I’ve been launching since the beginning of summer have continued to pay off in a big way. I talk a lot about those experiments and the strategic shifts I’ve been making with my blog this year in my new course, Built to Blog.
Overall, I generated $19,894.95 in side income revenue during September of 2018.
As side income was up significantly over the previous month (again), that extra increase also translated into a huge jump in net profit—up to $12,904.00 for the month.
The Forecast 🌤: I’m currently spending the week in Lisbon, Portugal with the Close.io team for a dose of working, exploring, eating, drinking and hanging together (yes I still have a full-time job—and I couldn’t be more pumped about the team I get to work with).
After retreat wraps up, I’m spending another week stopping through Amsterdam & Berlin, so if you live in those cities… hit me up! As a result of all the travel, I’m expecting a pretty big dip down in side income for the month of October, since I’m taking half the month “semi-off” and enjoying my travels. By November, side income should start to swing back up again as my brand new Built to Blog course continues to climb in enrollments and I spend more time working on ways to drive more sign ups.
Now, on to the details for my September side income…
Side Income for September 2018: $19,894.95
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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1. Side Income Breakdown for September 2018
1 x Content Marketing Client
Online Course Sales (Built to Blog)
Fiverr Pro Consulting Call
Podcast Sponsorships (Side Hustle Project)
Online Tools & Subscriptions
Freelance Writers (Client Work)
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 (Office Supplies)
United Airlines (Seat Upgrades ✈️)
Net Profit Breakdown
Now, on to my blog and podcast-related statistics.
2. Blog Stats for September 2018: 307,068 Sessions and 62,848 Total Email Subscribers
September 2018 (again) saw my highest blog traffic month ever! I'm on a massive growth streak this year.
This month, I was up in Sessions over August by 5.11% (a surge back to solid traffic growth again compared to last month's slow down in pace). On top of the session growth, I moved up to 387,503 pageviews, also my highest ever with a comparable improvement above last month's.
Over the past 6 months of this year, my meteoric increase in traffic is directly correlated to 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.
Here are my top 15 trafficked posts from September, ranked in descending order of which drove the most readers:
- business ideas
- make money online
- motivational quotes
- freelance jobs
- business books
- how to freelance
- remote job
- business advice
- freelance proposals
- freelance contract
- online business courses
- how to sell phone cases
- how to start a blog (this post has the most attributable revenue for the month)
- business slang
- how to write cold emails
With the pre-sale transactions from the early release of my Built to Blog course hitting my account in September, that gave a huge spike in attributable revenue to my 20,000 word ultimate guide, 10 Steps to Start a Blog on the Side—which currently ranks #8 in organic search for how to start a blog.
That ranking has fluctuated quite a bit between position #5 and #9 over the past two weeks, so I'm expecting it to continue getting placement-tested by search algorithms for the weeks to come.
Seeing as this post was originally published in June of this year, already shooting up this high in only four months for such an insanely competitive keyword phrase is very promising—especially since every other ranking piece of content on the first page of search results is several years old.
Ultimately, my goal is to climb to the #1 spot for how to start a blog, which will likely take many more months (potentially years) of hard promotion work, frequent updates and partnerships to get me there. But, given the clear early indicators of how well I've gotten this post to climb in rankings so far, it'll be worth it.
And as more new readers land on this post, more will join my free course, How to Build a Blog in 7 Days. Like so:
From there, some percentage of students in the free course will eventually upgrade to my more advanced training course, Built to Blog—which has 54 lessons, over 8 hours of instructional video lectures, more than 15,000 words in private written content, and 5 hours of exclusive interviews with ten of the world's most influential bloggers.
I know, it's pretty epic. And in the course, I walk students step-by-step through how to build and grow a profitable blog (without wasting time and money on tactics that don't work today).
During September, I also published a pretty epic guide of my 32 Best Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website, which is already climbing up the organic rankings, cracking page 2 for the hyper-competitive (very high-volume) search term, how to drive traffic. I'm expecting this post to make some big traffic gains over the coming few months as I begin promoting it.
Overall site traffic is up by a whopping 140% compared to September of 2017, which truly blows my mind.
The insane time investments I've been putting in with respect to both my personal content writing, scaling my writing efforts with the help of an editor and a renewed focus on promotion have finally begun paying massive dividends.
I use ConvertKit to manage my email subscriber community and deliver my emails.
September saw the addition of 5,527 subscribers to my community with my total list size growing to 62,848 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 my more advanced paid course (Built to Blog).
3. Podcast Downloads for September 2018: 22,192 Downloads
My podcast, The Side Hustle Project has officially had it's second month in a row with 20,000+ downloads.
And with 22,192 downloads, I'm up to another all-time high with engagement moving in the right direction.
Here are the episodes that went live last month:
- #76: Twine CEO Uri Pomerantz on Growing to 100,000+ Downloads and Selling His Startup
- #77: Neil Patel on Going from Seven-Figure Digital Marketer to Serial Startup Founder
- #78: Srinivas Rao on Becoming an Unmistakable Creative and Building a World-Renowned Podcast
- #79: How Selena Soo Launched a $300,000 Coaching Business (and Connects with Influencers)
September brought my total download numbers for the show up to 214,727 downloads!
If you're not a listener yet, give it a try right here 🙂
That's it for my September side income report.
Like I said above, in October I'm predicting my side income to take a bit of a dip while I lay the groundwork for the more official launch of my course, Built to Blog. After that permanently goes live, I'll be working my tail off to get my side income back up to this level on a consistent basis—which I'm expecting to pull off by January to February at the latest.
If you're looking for some additional reading to help grow your own blog (on the side), I recently launched a 20,000 word free guide to building and scaling a profitable blog right here that I'd love for you to read 😊