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I will just get right to the point … the level of work I put into our niche blog side hustle last month sucked.
Earlier this year, I set a goal to start building up one of our blogs where we can earn $5,000+ per month in sustainable income. That was a bit of a lofty goal … but I wanted to push myself to start earning side income.
At the time of writing this article, our family has one main source of income … which is my full-time job. We also have built a good side income stream of dividend stocks that will pay us over $2,500 this year.
Both of these sources of income are more than enough to cover our current living expenses. But our main source of income (i.e. job) doesn’t provide the flexibility and security that multiple income streams would. Which is why my wife and I have been focused on building up multiple sources of income to provide flexibility in our lives.
Earning money from blogging is one potential source of income we are starting to explore.
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
When it comes to blogging, I have 2 passions – personal finance and health and fitness. I handle the personal finance side of things here on The Money Sprout. For covering health and fitness topics … I started a separate blog for that over 3 years ago.
For years, I never gave the health and fitness blog much love … only posting every couple of months. I didn’t have any plan or purpose for the site and treated it more like a hobby.
Now my focus has changed from blogging as a hobby to blogging as a source of side income. To date, visitors to the health and fitness blog have been limited and there have been no earnings.
Total Earning to Date – $0
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 Stats – October Updates
At the beginning of every month, I share a few statistics from the past 30+ days … including the social media accounts tied to this site. The plan is too increase these stats month by month … and then 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 October (2017) –
- Age of site – approximately 3+ years
- Posts – 13 articles
- October Pageviews – 4,192 (more than double from 1,914 last month)
- Highest Monthly Pageviews – 4,192 (new record, previously was 1,914 Sep-2017)
- Email Subscribers – 1
- Income Earned – $0
- Pinterest Followers – 69 (up from 57 last month)
- Twitter Followers – 116 (up from 110 last month)
- Instagram Followers – 29 (up from 28 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 has been the main focus starting out because of the potential for good traffic right away. Well guess what? All of that extra traffic came from Pinterest.
So even though I didn’t work on the blog directly last month … we did grow our Pinterest account and got a big jump in traffic.
I didn’t do very much to grow our Twitter account in October and even less with Instagram. After seeing our jump in traffic from Pinterest, I am going to put all of our social media focus for now on that platform. I figured why not become an expert on one of the platforms instead of knowing a little bit about several.
Blogging Income Results for October – How did we do?
We didn’t necessarily have a good month when it comes to hitting our set goals. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a successful month. In fact … the results from last month have given me a TON of motivation to start treating this blog more like a business than a hobby.
For October, we set several high level goals on our health and fitness blog. Our long term goal is to earn $5,000 per month in sustainable income by June 2018. Not sure we are going to hit that target at this point as there is a ton of work that will need to be done over the next 8 months.
Here is a recap of our goals for October –
Goal #1 – Get Email Subscribers
This has been bugging me for the past couple of months … signing up my first email subscriber. Well I am happy to announce that wait is over … I got my first subscriber about 3 days ago! So the blog now has it’s first (and ONLY) email subscriber.
I know … getting 1 new email subscriber is nothing special to most blogs. But it is an emotional hurdle for me that tells me it can be done.
Goal #2 – Write 3 new articles (1,500+ words)
Completely missed the mark on this one. We did not publish any new articles in October … but that is ok.
Goal #3 – Reach 65 Followers on Pinterest
We did manage to reach this goal and beat it by 4. We now have 69 followers and I didn’t do any direct work to hit the goal. I did however use the Tailwind app to keep our Pinning frequency up (and daily I might add). The Pinterest account tied to our blog is really starting to grow and takeoff, so I look forward to adding more Pins from the blog to see if we can increase traffic.
Goal #4 – Reach 150 Twitter Followers
Missed it by 34 followers. I have decided to switch all my social media focus (for now) to Pinterest. I will continue to post new articles from the blog on our Twitter account … but that is it for now.
Goal #5 – Reach 35 Instagram Followers
Missed this goal by 6 followers. I will be treating Instagram the same as Twitter for now and not really put much time into growing it.
November Blogging Income Goals – New Goals
Despite not publishing a single new post on our blog last month, we managed to grow our pageviews by 119%. That is amazing to me that we grew by that much and didn’t do very much.
All of this extra traffic was a result of growing our Pinterest account. So we have decided to focus all of our time on writing new posts and using Pinterest to promote them.
For November our goals are simple –
- Publish 8 new posts of at least 1,000 words each
- Continue to grow our Pinterest Account
One of my problems is staying focused. Hopefully removing some of the other goals like growing Twitter and Instagram accounts will help me concentrate on what is important – publishing new content.
Growing Our Health and Fitness Site
After seeing our pageviews double each of the last two months, I am very encouraged about getting traffic to our niche site. As long as I can dedicate time to producing new content on the site, I think Pinterest can drive traffic to the blog.
Then it is a matter of building that precious email list and further down the road monetizing it.
Now that I have narrowed down my monthly goals to just a few, I should be able to stay on track and start building this site.
Are you earning blogging income? What strategies are you using to grow your site and income?