If the title peaked your interest, you’re probably wondering how I nearly doubled my income last month and made money without blogging. I obviously have a blog otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this post, but the way I made money last month was by using a little strategy and a lot of hustle.
Why would I want to spill what I make over the internet?? I actually consider this a pay-it-forward because someone once taught me, and I am truly grateful. Us gals need to stick together and build each other up!
This is only my 2nd month reporting my income publicly, so it’s still a little weird! What I learned is in sharing my financial info with you, it makes me hold myself accountable to do it better and better, and I get to teach you how to do it too.
I’ve read and listened a LOT, and it’s so inspiring how some women are making hundreds and thousands of dollars each month just by changing up their schedule. They still have free time, they still have time for their family, and they help pay the bills.
Last month I made $438.78 – WAIT! Before you say, That’s it?? keep in mind this is my first full month being self-employed using completely unorthodox ways to make money without blogging versus a 9-5 job. It’s also an increase of almost $182 over the previous month. Not too shabby!
I’m also a mom of 4, so it’s difficult to find jobs that offer “mommy hours” so I can avoid after school care or daycare. There’s also such an incredible feeling that comes with being independent and making money on your own terms. The money I made last month paid for my son’s laser tag birthday party, the cable bill, and our cell phone bills! I’m pretty happy about that!
Short of doing anything unethical… or immoral (ha!), I spent some of my free time working while the kiddos were at school or asleep at night.
This is my itemized income and how I make money without blogging:
• Consumer panelist = $80.00
• Mystery shops = $243.85
• Copy writing = $33.93
• Online sales = $81.00
For the first two on the list, I owe a lot of gratitude to Kristin Larsen, a blogger who makes her living doing exactly what she teaches. She is also the author of Side Hustle to Success, an e-course where she shares exactly how to make money without blogging!
A couple years ago, I went on a few mystery shopping gigs (aka biz evals) for some extra money and some free family entertainment. I thought about getting back into a few months ago now that my littlest one was going into preschool – you can read How to Make Money as a Mystery Shopper to learn more about it.
Anyway, I only did a few biz evals between 2015 and 2016 because I was doing it wrong. Like anything else, I needed a strategy! That’s when I did an online search and came across Kristin who went from making $0 to over $2000 average per month completing mystery shops and panel studies alone! From her e-course, I learned SO much about all the ways to make money like she did!
Since taking Kristin’s course, I also made it a “rule” that I wouldn’t take any job that paid under $17, and I ended up making over $243 last month! The company paid for my gas a couple of times, and I can write off mileage not reimbursed as well as my meals 🙂
The same goes for being a consumer panelist – it’s super easy! You just need a computer, and you are part of a panel of people who give their opinion as customers. Last month I made $80 by completing just one gig that took me a total of 4 hours! That’s $20 an hour!!
If this is something that interests you, I highly recommend taking Kristen’s course, Side Hustle to Success. She tells you exactly what she did to start, and she gives you all the direct links to the companies that will hire you! Awesome!
I already have something scheduled for the end of this month that will pay $100 for me to evaluate a vendor at a career fair. I plan to go in the morning, do my thing, then send my report as my kids are doing their homework.
There are companies that freelance writers can join to get hired by people who need them. That’s why a lot of such sites like Upwork and Fiverr are oversaturated – to be completely honest, Upwork told me they already had too many writers! And I just do NOT like Fiverr for a couple different reasons. So, I searched around a little and found Zerys, a website that really deserves some credit.
I worked a few gigs writing, and a couple for editing. It gave me some practice, and I made a little money doing it. This was something I did at night in front of the TV, so it was easy for me.
I started selling online years ago before I quit my full-time, corporate job. I was doing pretty well between selling handmade items, items I purchased for resale, and working with a dropshipper (you have an online store and when you sell something, you order with your selected company, and they ship it out to your customer!).
When my 4th child was born, I put everything on hold. It was almost a difficult decision because I was setting sales goals – profit goals, actually – and reaching them.
Last month I decided to ramp up the online sales to test the waters, and I made a few sales! The $81 is profit, because that’s what goes to the bank, not overall sales.
A couple reputable sites to sell products online (in addition to Amazon and Ebay) are:
COMPARE MONTH OVER MONTH
If you look at this past month compared to my previous income report for August, you can see I made more money, but it also came from different sources. That’s the interesting thing about having different ways to make money (or “streams of income”).
I LOVE MY BLOG
Since we’re talking business, I should mention my blog. This is what I consider a hub for all my streams of income. This is a place I can call my own, no matter what happens to Etsy or Zerys or anything else. Unless the internet world crashes, I have my blog. BTW, I still have my very first blog, but as with most bloggers in 2009, I made it personal with only access to family and close friends.
This is my 3rd blog over the course of 8 years, and I admit it’s been a lot of work! What I want to do with it is share my journey in the creative business field and help other women grow into successful business owners too.
If you’ve considered starting a blog, feel feel to read, Ask Yourself 3 Questions Before Starting a Blog. You can also read How to Start Blogging if you’re ready to blossom in business and launch your own blog!
Here’s a few things I use to run my blog:
• WordPress – I’ve worked with a couple different platforms in the past, but I’m currently using WP to give me more control and freedom to do what I please (yep, that’s an oxymoron, but I hope it makes sense!).
• Inmotion – This is my current hosting site. It’s not the only one I use because I also run my husband’s business website, but I use it over Bluehost like many bloggers do not because there’s anything bad about Bluehost, but I compared the two and found Inmotion is more powerful and offers more. If you want to read more about it, I wrote a post comparing Bluehost and Inmotion. Inmotion also offers free SSL, something required by Google Chrome as of October 2017 in order for your blog/website not to be flagged as a potentially malicious site! Forbes published an article that explains it better.
• Mailer Lite – ah, as a blogger, we all need readers! A lot of bloggers swear by Convert Kit for their subscriber lists, but I prefer to use Mailer Lite because it offers comparable services at a lower cost.
• Boardbooster – this connects my blog to Pinterest. I schedule when my blog posts are going to be shown on Pinterest. This allows me to target times when my posts are going to be seen the most, and I don’t have to be sitting at my computer at that exact time. Other bloggers prefer Tailwind, but I actually have never tried them, so I cannot say which is better.
• Linktree – this handy tool is free to join and helps my Instagram account. You receive a custom web address you can put in your Instagram bio, and when someone clicks on it, it gives them the option to go to your blog/website, Facebook page, Twitter, whatever you want! It’s pretty clever to override the one, clickable URL Instagram allows.
THINGS TO DO THIS MONTH
I believe reading and continuing your education is really important, especially if you consider how fast technology evolves. I try to listen to a podcast a few times a week, and I keep my local library busy with the crazy amount of biz books I check out!I keep my local library busy with the crazy amount of biz books I check out! Click To Tweet
Yesterday I found this AWESOME website called Ultimate Bundles that sells packages of ebooks, courses, and organizing printables at crazy discounts!
I bought the Ultimate Bundle, Work at Home Super Bundle, and already read through a lot of the ebooks included in the package. Yes, I did a little snooping and looked up a couple of individual items to see how much they are by themselves, and so far the Ultimate Bundle is definitely a better deal versus buying everything a la cart.
The company is completely transparent about what is included in their bundles, and I really appreciate that. I found a couple of ebooks in my bundle weren’t really what I was hoping for, but some others made up for it and surpassed my expectations.
The bundles are offered on a limited time basis, and there’s one called Genius Bloggers Toolkit that expires October 9! It includes an enormous amount of resources, so it’s definitely an investment. Credit has to go to LeeAnn at My Veteran Woman Life who introduced me to the Ultimate Bundle website – thanks, LeeAnn 😉
As for copy writing (or content writing), while I like working with Zerys, I find the site can be limiting because you’re offered work based on the “100 specialties” I have listed on my profile (niche business ops and arts & crafts). It would help to find a couple more writing sites to hone-in on my writing skills and help me earn money in the meantime.
Many people call these sites “content mills” and discourage it, but there are companies out there who really need writers and editors. Someone’s got to do it!
I also want to get into selling products more. I’m a creative at heart, and there’s always a project I want to tackle! My Pinterest boards give me so many ideas, and my studio is full of supplies calling out my name.
MY BUSINESS WEAKNESS
Setting goals is something I really need to improve on. I’ve done it in the past, and it worked really well. Putting goals in place for my income (including how I make money without blogging), website/blog statistics, and my social media business accounts will improve my small biz operations. I have been helping my husband with his business so much lately, that I need to remind myself that I need to put my words into practice for my own biz 😉
Using a planner and a business binder has really organized my work at home schedule. I want to implement an online planner like Google Keep with my digital calendar… I wonder if I can also integrate it with the calendar I use on my phone?
What are 3 goals you have to tackle this month? Share them in the comments below!