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While most side income reports are from bloggers and podcasters who started 5+ years ago, here’s one for my blog that just launched 5 months ago.
Let’s dive into my first side income report.
1. Side Income in May 2019: $11,609
For me, May was a month to test new passive revenue streams outside of my coaching and consulting services – I launched my first digital product, added Google AdSense to my site, and joined 29 new affiliate programs, increasing the total from 20 to 49.
- Affiliate Revenue: $2,906
- Thinkific: $988
- PodBean: $873
- Bluehost: $450
- Transistor: $181 (recurring)
- Buzzsprout: $127 (recurring)
- HostGator: $100
- GetResponse: $80
- Siteground: $50
- Inmotion Hosting: $50
- Constant Contact: $7
- Product Sales: $353
- AdSense: $150
- 1:1 Coaching and SEO Consulting for 6 B2B Clients: $8,100
Expenses in May 2019: $1,371
- Web development: $375
- Content writers: $320
- New equipment for online course: $272
- GDPR cookie consent plugin: $49
- Extended widget options plugin: $29
- Indeed job posting: $26
Net Profit: $10,238 (88% Gross Profit Margin)
Now, onto some key takeaways, traffic stats, a May recap, and plans for June.
1. Affiliate Programs
The biggest thing I learned this month is that making $2,906 this month in affiliate revenue didn’t feel like much of anything. Sales add up over time – $50 here, $20 there – over the course of a month it doesn’t feel like much until you add it all up.
I’m happy to see a diversified mix of affiliate programs so that I’m not overly reliant on one program or a single blog post.
I was helped by a crazy $957.60 commission from one Thinkific sale. Someone (my hero) paid for a $399/month annual plan ($4,788 payment) and I received 20%.
I’m also seeing strong performance in the podcasting space, with PodBean and BuzzSprout leading the way. I’m currently generating about 18-20 trials/day for podcast platforms.
In web hosting I made $650, which is up from $300 in April. This is led by Bluehost, but after joining other affiliate hosting programs like HostGator, I’m seeing some potentially stronger conversion rates from other companies.
Out of the 49 affiliate programs I’m in, I have to bookmark 34 different URLs to individually track results:
If you’re a developer (or know one) and could create a platform to pull affiliate programs into one dashboard via APIs, take my money please haha. 🙂
I also increased my percentage of passive income by 22% this month:
- In April, revenue was 92% coaching/consulting and 8% affiliate revenue.
- In May, revenue was 70% coaching/consulting and 30% passive income (affiliate sales, digital product, and ads).
This proves to me that you can start to generate some solid passive income by month 5 (or sooner).
2. Product Sales
I launched my first digital product Backlink Blueprint 1.0 to help new bloggers scale their SEO and link building process. I sold 9 copies in May (not as much as I was hoping for), but only promoted via one email.
Finally, I added Google AdSense in early May and it started bringing in about $5-7/day. I don’t love how it adds a few banners into my blog posts, but I’ll keep it for now to monitor results and switch to a better ad network once I’m over 75-100,000 visitors/month.
4. Coaching and consulting
I currently work with 8 consulting clients and 2 bloggers that I coach. My SEO and content marketing consulting revenue actually decreased by 50% this month because of time constraints with a full-time job. I just hired an awesome freelancer to help build this back up in June.
2. Organic Traffic for May 2019: 31,126 Users (+111%)
My organic traffic increased 111% month-over-month, growing from 14,740 users in April to 31,126 in May. My blog is now over 90% organic traffic.
Monthly traffic has grown 2,614% since January.
3. Email Subscribers for May 2019: +685 (+112%)
I use ConvertKit for my email marketing and added +685 new email subscribers in May, compared to +322 in April and +211 in March. This increased primarily because of the overall traffic increase and a few CRO tweaks with OptinMonster.
Tasks Completed in May:
- Added 29 new affiliate programs and built a co-branded landing page with HostGator
- Blog Posts: Added 7 2,000+ word articles to blog.
- Best Ecommerce Platforms
- Best Website Builders
- How to Make Money on YouTube
- How to Sell on Amazon
- Bluehost vs. HostGator
- HostGator vs. GoDaddy
- Best Name Generators
- Guest Posts: New articles on Zapier.com (DR 91) and ConversionXL.com (DR 84)
- Zapier.com: 7 Tools to Personalize and Scale Your Email Outreach
- ConversionXL.com: YouTube Ads: How to Set Up, Run, and Monitor Campaigns
- Updates to Current Content:
- Added 2,000+ words to Web Hosting article
- Added 1,500+ words to Podcast hosting article
- Added 1,000+ words to Online Course Platforms article
- Added 1,500+ words to Email Marketing Services article
- Link Building:
- 238 new backlinks
- 11 new referring domains with DR over 70
- New Tools Added:
- ThirstyAffiliates (free) WordPress plugin for affiliate link cloaking
- Keyword Rankings:
- Moved to page 1 for online course platforms
- Got to #13 for how to make money online
- Moved from page 3 to page 1 for affiliate programs (#7)
- Got featured snippet (#1) for podcast platforms and moved up to #7 for podcast hosting
- I received 13 new featured snippets for my best web hosting post
- Moved to page 1 for best email marketing platforms
Plans for June:
- Hire employee to help manage consulting business (in progress)
- Build out full step-by-step online course based on my 7-day email series (plan to launch in July; in progress)
- Create new affiliate marketing digital product with directory of programs, signup links, and how to negotiate higher commissions (in progress)
- Publish 6 new blog posts and 5 guest posts
- Improve page load time by replacing Google fonts and improving site speed by 5 points from 88 to 93
That’s it for my (very first) side income report for May 2019.
The purpose of these new side income reports will be to showcase that you can make a sizable side income from a brand new blog and showcase your side income within 5 months, not 1-2 years.
If you want to see some of my top performing affiliate articles, you can check them out here:
- 19 Best Web Hosting Services of 2019
- 11 Best Podcast Hosting Sites of 2019
- 13 Best Platforms to Create an Online Course in 2019
Thank you so much for reading – I’m very grateful you found your way here. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime.