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The main purpose of The Money Sprout blog is to explore and discover new and exciting side income streams … also commonly referred to as side hustles.
With the exception of a few minor side hustle ideas that have fizzled out (i.e. Fulfillment by Amazon), the only significant income stream we post about is our dividend stock portfolio. And while our dividend income stream now brings in an extra $2,400 per year, our family is looking for more.
Investing in dividend stocks is a great way to earn side income … or better yet passive income. But the only problem is that it takes a ton of time and capital to build anything significant. It has taken us almost 10 years just to build a $2,400 dividend income stream.
We have a goal to grow this income stream to $3,000 next year. And possibly $5,000 the year after. But in order to reach these goals … we will need to invest more of our income.
And how do we plan to invest more? By earning more money through other side hustles like from blogging income.
Blogging income seems to be the most promising side hustle for us (other than dividend income) and it comes with several advantages.
Earning this type of income has plenty to like – the work can basically be done from any location in the world. It also has the potential to earn substantial income if you put in the work. While not guaranteed … the potential to earn over a $1,000,000 per year is there.
The startup costs to earn blogging income are also very low. Really, it can cost less than $100 a year to get a blog started.
So our new focus is to start building up one of our blogs where we can earn $5,000+ per month in sustainable income by next June (2018). If that goes well, then we may try and repeat that process into a second and third blog.
Here is a little bit more information about our first blog that we plan to earn sustainable income from in the health and fitness niche.
Health and Fitness Blog
After writing about personal finance, my second passion is to blog about health and fitness. That is one of the reasons why I started a blog on the topic over 3 years ago.
The bad news is that I never spent much time on the blog … only posting every couple of months. I didn’t have any plan or purpose for the site and treated it more like a hobby.
Well, my focus has now switched from blogging as a hobby to blogging as a source of side income. To date, the visitors to the health and fitness blog have been limited and there have been no earnings.
Total Earning to Date – $0
And actually … instead of earning any income, the site has incurred several expenses including – domain name, hosting, and theme costs. So overall, my heath and fitness site has been cash flow negative since it first started.
So just to be clear … even though I am starting this blogging income campaign with an existing site … it has very little traffic and has lost money.
Blogging Income – August Updates
Every month that I post these updates, I plan to share a few statistics … including the social media accounts tied to this site. The plan is that many of these stats increase month by month … and next year I can look back and see how much my site has grown.
Here are a couple notable stats for the site at the end of August (2017) –
- Age of site – approximately 3+ years
- Posts – 14 articles
- July Pageviews – 926 (way up from 406 last month)
- Highest Monthly Pageviews – 926 (new record, previously was 690 Jan-2017)
- Email Subscribers – 0
- Income Earned – $0
- Pinterest Followers – 49 (up from 42 last month)
- Twitter Followers – 70 (up from 21 last month)
- Instagram Followers – 31 (up from 26 from last month)
Note – For now, I am concentrating my social media efforts to mostly Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. I am planning to leverage the power of Pinterest to try and get a bunch of traffic right away. I also figure that Twitter and Instagram tend to be popular choices for sharing content on the Health and Fitness industry … so I will work to build up my following in those as well..
Out of the 3 social media networks, Pinterest will be the main focus starting out because of the potential for good traffic right away. However, recently I have been putting more effort into growing my Twitter following as you can see by the numbers.
I recently read about a Twitter hack to grow your followers, which has been somewhat successful for us. We bumped our followers up by 49 … which was more than double the number we had in July. I am going to continue with this hack for September and if successful … will share in a separate post.
Even though we saw everything growing (which is good) from our social media accounts and pageviews … we still have no email subscribers. And we haven’t made any money from the site yet. At this point, I am not as concerned about the money … that will come eventually. I am more concerned about how to start getting email subscribers.
Blogging Income Goals for August
We set several high level goals for August on our health and fitness blog. Our long term goal is to earn $5,000 per month in sustainable income by June 2018. There is a ton of work that will need to be done to get there over the next 9 to 10 months.
Here is a recap of our goals for August –
Goal #1 – Finish evaluating the remaining 9 articles on the site
After the last update in July, there were 9 “older” articles I had published over a year ago on the site that I wanted to review. The goal was to see if they added any value to readers. I figured some of these articles may need to be tweaked a little while others removed completely from the site.
I reviewed 4 out of the 9 articles and removed each of them as they didn’t fit with the new direction of the site. Another 2 articles I decided could be saved but need some tweaks. The remaining 3 (out of 9) still need to be reviewed.
This is now a priority for September.
Goal #2 – Open up a Tailwind account and start building my Pinterest profile up
I finally opened a Tailwind account for my health and fitness blog the last week of August. For the last couple of days of the month, I focused on automating my Pinterest Pins and saw a rise in traffic to my site and my followers.
Still some work to do, but I expect to really see my numbers start to “pop” now in September with the addition of Tailwind.
Hopefully this $100+ annual investment is worth it!
Goal #3 – Write 2 articles of at least 1,500 words
I beat this goal … rather easily to be honest. We published 3 new articles on the blog in August, two of which are over 1,500 words.
- Post #1 – New Tabata Workout #1 – 1,312 words
- Post #2 – New Tabata Workout #2 – 1,538 words
- Post #3 – Ketogenic Diet Recipes – 1,568 words
With the exception of the Ketogenic Recipe post, I created 3 new Pins for each article along with an image that could be used on Twitter and another for Instagram. My goal for each post is to create the following images – 3 Pins, 1 Twitter pic, and 1 Instagram pic.
I still need to create the 3 Pins for my Keto Recipe post and use Tailwind to help bring in traffic.
Goal #4 – Reach 50 Followers on Pinterest
I just missed this goal by 1 Pinterest follower. There was no real magic in why I picked 50 as a goal … other than it was an increase from the prior month and a round number.
If I would have opened up the Tailwind account sooner in the month, I am pretty sure I would have hit my goal of getting 50 Pinterest followers.
September Blogging Income Goals
There is no doubt that we saw our best month so far in August. But there is still a ton of work to be done to build and grow this site into a sustainable income machine.
Here are the new updated September goals for our health and fitness blog –
Goal #1 – Finish evaluating the remaining 3 articles on the site and tweak the other 2
This goal is to finish my one outstanding tasks of reviewing older content published over a year ago on the site.
Goal #2 – Write 3 articles of at least 1,500 words
Eventually I would like to post 1 new article of 1,500+ words a week for the site. I think that is manageable long term. However, September is a busy month and I think 3 articles should do the trick.
Goal #3 – Reach 65 Followers on Pinterest
Just shy of 50 Pinterest followers, I think we can pick up another 15+ this month. I really wanted to set this goal for 75 followers but thought that was a bit aggressive.
Let’s see how much help we get from our Tailwind account.
Goal #4 – Reach 100 Twitter Followers
Honestly, this goal should be the easiest to reach given my new hack to get Twitter followers. I will test out the method one more month and then up my future goals if we are successful.
Goal #5 – Reach 35 Instagram Followers
From what I have seen so far on Instagram is that if you post your pics frequently with relevant hashtags, then you can easily attract some followers.
Growing Our Health and Fitness Site
Moving forward, I plan to set goals each month for our social media followers. I also plan to start setting goals for email subscribers … but I need to figure out how to get at least one first!
As my site grows and matures, I think using social media (mostly Pinterest) is the quickest way to get traffic and eventually income.
While not an actual goal listed above, I plan to do some research over the next couple weeks on growing my email list.
Are you earning blogging income? What strategies are you using to grow your site and income?