In 2016, when I was pregnant with my first son, I decided with my husband to stay home and start a blog to help people find the best side hustles for them. I was inspired by my background in musical theater and the performing arts.
Over the years, I saw so many talented friends and colleagues look for additional income streams to help them make ends meet as they pursued their dreams. And as someone who had side hustled for a long time, I wanted to use my experience to provide resources and advice for people who wanted to start their own side hustle. After a year of research and trial and error, I started earning money from the blog in 2017.
Today, I have turned my blog into a six-figure business that has helped me pay over $40k of debt. Here is how I did it.
1. Set Clear and SMART Goals
At the beginning of this year, I set three big goals for my business. I wanted to have my first $10,000 revenue month, I wanted to get over 1 million page views on my website and grow my Instagram page to over 25,000 followers.
As of today, I have reached all three objectives with the help of the SMART goal method. Smart is an acronym that stands for (S) Specific, (M) Measurable, (A) Achievable, (R) Relevant, and (T) Time-bound. By setting clear and attainable goals it helped me stay on track and not get overwhelmed.
At the start of each week, I map out small tasks that I can complete every day that will bring me closer to reaching my goals. As a mommy of three little boys, my schedule frequently changes. But I never lose sight of my goals. If I can’t complete a task on a certain day I make sure to tackle it the next day.
In 2022, my goal is to earn six figures from my business, and I believe using the SMART goals method will help me get there.
2. Identify and serve your target audience
One of the major things that helped me grow my blog was identifying and serving my target audience. To figure out what type of products and services that would be the most useful to them, I spent time on Pinterest and Facebook groups communities about side hustle to get a sense of the kind of struggles they are facing.
I found two key themes that kept emerging. They wanted to know how to find the side hustles that would best fit their talents and skill sets, and then the concrete steps they needed to get started.
Doing this research, and then surveying my existing audience through email marketing and my social media platforms, helped me narrow down the type of products and services I wanted to create.
Sign ups for my signature course, Blog for Profit Academy for new bloggers and purchases of my ebook “Side Hustle To Freedom,” both contributed to my first $10,000 revenue month. Since launching the book, I have made over 100 sales.
My Blog For Profit Academy course contributed to over $4,500 in revenue during my first $10,000 month, and since launching the ebook I have made over 100 sales.
3. Create passive income streams
My course and my eBook took some time to develop, but once they were available to my customers, they became passive income streams.
I also earn passive income by promoting products I recommend through affiliate marketing, and by having ads through the ad management company Mediavine on my website.
Both the affiliate marketing and the advertising income streams contributed to over $4,000 in income in my first $10,000 month. Overall, passive income was a key way I was able to hit my revenue goal.
4. Build partnerships with brands you believe in
Another contributing to reaching my monthly income goal this year was building partnerships with different brands and bloggers.
While growing my Instagram page to over 25,000 followers, I have partnered with many personal finance bloggers and entrepreneurs on Instagram, which has helped me promote my digital products and coaching services. Some of the ways I built those partnerships were by supporting and collaborating with them on the platform.
Also, brands have reached out to me for partnerships to create sponsored posts after seeing the side hustle and entrepreneurial content that I regularly post on my blog and social media platforms. This income stream also contributed significantly to hitting that $10,000 milestone.
5. Be consistent, but give yourself time to rest and reset
At the start of Arts and Budgets, I decided to focus on two social media platforms where I would devote my time to growing a significant audience. I chose Instagram to help build connections with my target audience and other online entrepreneurs, and Pinterest to help send more traffic to my website every day.
I know that being a consistent presence on Instagram and Pinterest has helped me develop relationships with brands and collaborators that have helped me turn the blog into the profitable business it is today. But consistency is only one part of it.
Over the last few years, I’ve learned that rest is just as important as posting content regularly. So, on tough days in your business where you want to give up, give yourself the space and the grace to take the time you need to refocus and reset. Understanding that has been a huge part in turning my blog side hustle into a profitable and sustainable business.