12 Month Blogging + Side Hustle Income Report
*Asterisks set out in this article relate to advertising and they indicate that the author receives a small share of sales through the related link.*
I’ve officially made it to one year of blogging! It has been an amazing year, but it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s been a year – I think because I didn’t really do anything with it in the first few months due to the fact that I had no clue what to do! Because of the other jobs I had and Uni, I couldn’t dedicate much time to it – though slowly but surely I’ve made progress and also kept consistently posting once a week.
I’ve heard that posting more frequently will lead to increased page views – but I would rather keep it at one a week and keep my standard of writing up. I’ve seen other new bloggers burn out quite quickly when they have tried to post a lot at the same time as maintaining jobs and family life – so I would recommend figuring out a schedule that you will be able to stick to each week.
I absolutely love blogging, and wish that I had started it sooner. I love writing – I always have, and to have a creative outlet is a lovely little escape for me.
If you are working from home, or struggling with anything, blogging can really help you feel as though you are not alone. I have had many people reach out to me asking for advice or letting me know that I have encouraged and helped them – and this means so much to me.
Before I started up the blog, I wondered if anyone would be interested in anything that I had to say. I didn’t know if they would, but I thought that I would do it anyway, because even if I helped one person who was feeling as lost as I had been, it would be worth it.
I also set up my first free email course which is a 7 day course on blogging (I’ll pop it at the bottom of the post, in case you want to sign up). I get a lot of questions about blogging, so I thought it would be handy for me to put together some info for people who are unsure on how to set up a blog. I share loads of my little tips on setting up your blog – including how to make it look great, social media advice and how to set up a mailing list.
This blog has opened up my eyes to new money earning opportunities, it’s had me find some fab online friends, I paid off all of my debt, and I even got to film with a BBC TV show:
Unfortunately for me time-wise my 2 part time jobs, studying at University and my daughter come first, with my blog soaking up as much extra time as possible. I’ve been doing this part time on top of all of this, but I’ve now only got one of my part time jobs – the evening job has gone which means that I will have my evenings free to work on the blog – which I am so happy about! Of course I will also use my evenings for studying too and working on my other money making schemes.
April was especially bad for me for spending time on the blog, as I had a load of Uni work to do – it’s finishing for the year at the end of May so it’s a busy couple of months with it. I hope that now I will have more spare time I will be able to spend more time on my blog getting it all up to scratch. I wish that I could work on it full time!
April was an interesting month for earning extra money, as I did not put much time at all into it (which makes me sad!) but I seemed to have done ok anyway:
Sponsored Posts – £800
I don’t want to earn all of my blog income from sponsored posts, but there’s no doubt that this is a nice amount for a couple of articles which didn’t take me long to write.
I am very fussy about the sponsored posts that I take – I won’t take anything, and not for any amount of money either. Rest assured that any company I write about on here I will have thoroughly vetted and be interested in them myself.
You can find sponsored post opportunities either by having the company find you and contact you themselves (always flattering!) or you can reach out to them by searching for the company that you want to write about and finding their marketing/PR department for someone to speak to, to discuss a collaboration.
Affiliates – £207.84 approx
Blog Hosting* – £30
Blog Themes* – $62.03
Matched Betting* – £79.80
I also had some people sign up to YouGov surveys* through my link which earned me more points – I cashed out the £50 limit a few days ago.
Affiliates were sloooow in April – it’s been the worst month of the year so far. March was the best for some reason?
Affiliates are where I want to earn the majority of my blog income. Easier said than done though! I only recommend things through affiliate links that I personally use, so I don’t promote that many. Every link will be from something that I already write about that can help you earn or save money.
These are the blog posts that I published in April:
Focus On Cutting The Big Expenses, Not Just The Little Ones
How To Make Time To Make More Money
The Benefits of Investing Early
How ‘Wombling’ Can Save You Money On Your Shop
Mistakes That I Made Whilst Paying Off Debt
I Don’t Have a Pension…What Should I Do?
Ads – $13.90
Ads are something I am still not sure about. I don’t think that the ones I use are very intrusive, which is what I am after. I don’t make loads of money with them for this reason however.
Blog Expenses: Nothing this month. So far I have only paid for my hosting and my blog theme, which were purchased months ago.
Thought that I would share my Domain Authority as I shared it in my 6th month income report. Domain authority refers to the authority of your site – it goes off lots of different metrics such as how many other sites link to you, and the higher the better. For example the BBC have a DA of 100.
My DA has increased from 35 last time to 37 this time. Happily, this is good! Some people aren’t that bothered about DA, but companies generally ask for it if you want to work with them.
LODGER – £500
I have mentioned before that I have a lodger, which really helps me out – I use part of the money to pay for my car insurance and petrol, so I don’t have to take this money out of my salary. I recommend getting a lodger if you have a spare room, because it is an easy source of income.
DOG BOARDING – £148.75
I have been doing dog boarding* for a few months now and really love it. My husband and daughter were bugging me to buy a dog for our family, but I said no because I don’t want to have such a big commitment and expense.
We all love dogs, so having the chance to make money looking after them but being able to hand them back was perfect for us! If this looks like a really random amount, it is because it’s after fees.
I was really busy with other stuff this month, so I didn’t book anything else in – which is the beauty of a flexible side hustle.
MATCHED BETTING – £23.94
Majorly slacked on this in April. Very disappointed in myself! I was so busy with work and Uni though, so a lot of other things had to drop. I am determined that in May though I will get back on it, as this is such a good way of earning extra money with little effort. Here’s my post about it* if you don’t know what it is!
My goals for the blog are to increase my page views first and foremost. I have been manually pinning over on Pinterest for a year now, so I think that it’s about time that I used a pinning scheduler – I tend to miss days here and there which is not good for the pageviews. My pageviews goal for May is to actually triple my views.
As I only work on the blog part time, I would love to increase the money that I earn from it so that I am able to spend more time on it.
My favourite social media platform is Instagram, so I am going to continue focusing there as I love the sense of community that is over there – come over and join in! I enjoy the Instagram stories feature, so I will try and make sure that I use this more if this is something that you enjoy too?
I set up a Facebook group called Frugal Food Shopping which is where you can come and share any tips and advice that you have for reducing your food shopping bill, as well as asking for advice if you are struggling.
I’m planning on setting up another Facebook group soon, so keep an eye out for that!
I’m going to work on other social media sites as well, so that I can make sure that all bases are covered.
I have a biiiiig To Do List full of stuff for my blog, which is mostly technical behind the scenes stuff that I won’t bore you with!
I need to focus on my email newsletter too – I have been trying to do this, and provide good content to those who are signed up – I try to make it a bit more personal so it’s like sharing emails with friends, as well as mentioning any relevant posts throughout. A good way of adding people to your mailing list is with content upgrades, which I will be doing more of.
I have many, many goals for my side hustles. I love them, and I want more and more of them. I now have more time to do them, so I need to ensure that I use this time wisely.
My side hustles are:
I’m going to work on all of these more and hope to grow them – Uni finishes at the end of this month so I need to use this time before my daughter is off school for the summer holidays (July) to get as much done as possible!
I also have another blog in the works that I will be launching before the end of May. I’ve got the domain etc, just need to set it all up because I focused on getting the wedding hire website and social media up before this one (bear with me though, it’s not finished yet!).
All in all, I’m looking forward to stepping up my blogging game now that I have some more time, and I need to make sure that I don’t waste it! How are you getting on with your blogging and side income goals? Any tips for me?
Blogging is my favourite way to earn extra money. Follow my step-by-step guide on how to start a blog here.