Welcome to my first income report of the New Year! January was an awesome month despite getting sick toward the last week. I tried to work on balance and time management, even though things fell apart when my sinuses went haywire for both me and my son and I just focused on doing the bare minimum, then getting back in bed.
All in all, my side hustle schedule stayed consistent: I got up around 5:00 am to get abut 1 hour and 20 minutes of work in before leaving to work at my full-time job and I started up around from about 8pm to 10pm each weeknight. During the weekends, I just played around with my schedule to see what would be the most productive solution. I took about two regular work days off to celebrate my son’s birthday and mine and things still seemed to flow pretty well.
If You are New Here
Last year I started publishing the income I earn outside of my full-time job through online side hustles as a way to motivate myself and others to earn more to meet financial goals and work toward financial freedom. I officially landed my first freelance writing client in March 2015. At first, I attempted to start earning an extra income as a way to help me pay off my debt and got hooked. I paid off more than $11,000 of debt last year and wouldn’t have been able to do so without earning an extra income.
I also publish these income reports to demonstrate a true and transparent way that people can earn an honest income working online. I’m not going rocket science here, and I believe almost anyone can do the same things I’m doing to earn money with the right tools and motivation.
This blog and side hustling have both been a labor of love this past year. I’ve poured my heart and soul into this blog and my work and as a result, I’ve seen such an amazing outcome. These income reports wouldn’t even exist if I hadn’t started my blog last year.
It’s been truly life changing and quite rewarding to do something I’m passionate about and earn an income from it. If you’re interested in starting a blog of your own, you can review what I’ve learned after a few months of blogging here and you can check out my guide to starting your very own self-hosted blog in just a few minutes.
To see how my income has grown, here’s a quick recap of the previous months’ income reports:
The numbers for this month are in.
In January 2016, I earned: $2,703.36
Wayyy better than I had anticipated. I recently set a goal to earn at least $2,500 per month by the end of the first quarter this year. Now that I’ve surpassed my goal, I just need to maintain it. This total has not been taxed yet. I usually set aside 25% to 30% of the online income I earn each month for taxes.
A large majority of my online income still comes from freelance writing. Monetizing a blog takes just as much work, effort and also time as freelancing does so while most people should aim for an income that is diversified, it’s much easier said than done. While I don’t expect my blog income to jump up overnight, I know that if I keep at it, it will improve this year.
Here’s How this Total Breaks Down
Freelance Writing: $2,258.36
Virtual Assistant Work: $120
Sponsored Posts: $125
Affiliate Income: $100
Misc.: $100 (A previous client of mine paid for the rights to some writing I did in the past but never got published. Since I didn’t do the actual work in January, I didn’t really know what to classify this as)
For now, I decided to only list the list the methods I am currently utilizing to earn an income online, but there are plenty of ways to monetize your blog or your skills. I am trying a few things on the side, but as I earn an income from them, I’ll include those methods in my reports.
Hours Worked in January
I actually did manage to track my hours spent hustling and blogging last month. Yay! I love tracking my hours now because it’s a good way to measure my productivity and see how much time it takes me to do certain things.
Jan 2-3: 3 hours
January 4-10: 19.5 hours
January 11-17: 18.5 hours
January: 18-24: 16.5 hours
January: 25-31: 15 hours
Total: 72.5 hours
My time management skills are really making a huge difference. What I find awesome is how I’ve been podcasting, doing phone calls with my blog coach, and earning more but still working less hours. I worked about 10 less hours than I did the last time I tracked my hours back in November.
Goals for my Blog and Online Income
Maintain earning at least $2,500 and strive to earn more I’m pretty happy with where I’m at currently, but my end goal is to earn around $5,000 per month in online income, so I’m about halfway there. Why $5,000? It would give me enough to really meet all my financial goals including paying off my debt, and boosting my savings for various different smaller goals. I’m not going to stress myself out to meet that goal, but I am going to continue to work strategically. If I get there by the end of the year, great. If I don’t, no worries.
Continue to lower my Alexa rank and boost my social media followers: Both of these goals have been going well but they’re progressing very slowly. I could be putting more effort into this.
Send at least 3 pitches for freelance jobs and 10 to brands or other websites for partnerships: I had a successful pitch last month but I didn’t follow through with my other leads so I need to meet this goal in February so I can stay on track. Part of my strategy for increasing my income is to scale up and I need new clients to do this. For partnerships, my coach is having me pitch at least 3 brands or websites to start. I want to pitch at least 10 to increase my chances of hearing back.
I suppose that’s all for now folks. Did you earn any extra income in January? What do you find frustrating or enjoyable about side hustling?