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Annual Side Hustle Income Report 2017

Annual Side Hustle Income Report – 2017

Welcome to my 2nd Annual Side Hustle Income Report!

When I first started blogging in 2015, I never had any intention of generating income from it. Now I’ve completed my 2nd year of blogging, and while I can’t quit my day job just yet, my side hustle income has become a little more lucrative.

So without further ado, here is my annual side hustle income report for 2017 and we will also see how it compared to last year. The final tally is at the end.Blogging can be discouraging when you are not making money. Here are some ideas you can try!

Blogging can be discouraging when you don't make $$. But this year I blogged less and actually made more! See how in my honest 2017 side hustle income report. Click To Tweet

Enjoy Freebies has not really been enjoying freebies lately…

As a product review blogger, I have found that it is quite difficult to generate lots of views and even harder to get subscribers. And because I had such a small following, I never thought I would make any money from blogging. But this year the freebies have been much fewer and Enjoy Freebies has had to take on a new direction as a blog.

Where have all the freebies gone?
Where have all the freebies gone?

Where have all the freebies gone?

Tomoson – They updated their website last year and I think I landed one sponsored post ($2) from them since then. It used to be a treasure trove of freebies for me, but for some reason, I just have not been selected to review anything from them. Not even for unpaid posts!

Influenster – I used to get Vox boxes from them several times a year. But now it seems like you have to jump through a lot of hoops in order to get a chance at a real Vox Box. This year they started doing what is called a “Virtual Vox” which means you have to share about products on social media that you personally pay for in order to get a badge.

Also now they want you to participate in twitter parties and comment on their YouTube videos. Granted, by doing these things, it increases your chance of getting a Vox Box, but I just don’t have the time for that.

BzzAgent – I have gotten maybe 2 campaigns for BzzAgent this year, and by the time I received the emails, the campaigns were already full. I have a feeling that since I am about to turn 44, I may have fallen out of their key demographics for who they are looking for. But that’s just a theory – still sucks though.

Amazon – Once Amazon changed their policy about reviewing products received complimentary or risk getting banned, much of the product reviewers like myself got scared. I still get approached daily by Amazon sellers wanting me to review their products in which they will reimburse you, but so much of it is junk and I’m just not interested.

However, I still look for unique products to review and share with my readers – even if I have to pay for them myself!

READ  Side Hustle Income Report for 2016

Less blogging = more income. WTF???

So with the products not coming in, I haven’t really had much to review. Plus I have kind of lost the motivation to blog regularly. I spend 60 hours a week at a computer for my job, so blogging on the weekends often feels like more work.

Amazingly, my most popular post this year was one below that I originally published last year. But when I saw how many hits it was getting, I decided to update it a little bit.

Most my most popular post in 2017 was originally written in 2016. The affiliate links within it also boosted my Amazon revenue substantially this past Christmas!

In 2017 I have found myself blogging twice a month and even that sometimes feels like a chore. But with fewer products to review, I found myself blogging more about topics that are much closer to my heart.

For example, I love doing Rants and Rambles, where I share my thoughts about things that drive me crazy. Also, I love finding ways to help people get more out of life on a budget and hacks to make life easier.

I honestly wish I could change the name and domain of my blog, but I have already built up the brand and change is scary. Plus I am afraid of screwing up the site and losing all my hard work.

For now, Enjoy Freebies is still around. And even with blogging once every other week, I have managed to double my side hustle income this year compared to 2016.

Here’s the breakdown…

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Sponsored Posts

Currently, I have a combined social following of about 10,000 combined from all of my social media channels including the blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. This is double from last year!

I have an average of 3500 unique monthly views on my site and around 300 actual subscribers – compared to less than 100 subscribers in 2016.

You need to increase followers on social media to get sponsored posts
You need many followers and engagement on social media to get sponsored posts.

Since my social media following is not astonishing compared to other established bloggers, I have had a hard time landing sponsored posts – which is where most bloggers earn their income.

Comparisons:

2016 – 1 sponsored post = $50

2017 – 7 sponsored posts. This includes the 2 blog posts below at $50 each and 5 social media shares.

Sponsored Posts

Total 2017 sponsored post income = $392 (the $2 comes from that one measly Tomoson review).

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Amazon Affiliates

Being a blogger, there is ample opportunity for affiliate ads. Since so many of the products that I review are from Amazon, I figured why not sign up to be an Amazon Affiliate and actually try to make a little money from my site.

Amazon affiliates are a great way to earn a little side hustle income.
Amazon affiliates are a great way to earn a little side hustle income.

 

What is an Amazon Affiliate?

From Amazon: “When website owners and bloggers who are Associates create links and customers click through those links and buy products from Amazon, they earn up to 10% referral fees.”

Basically I add links to the products I review where if a user clicks on it and purchases, I make a tiny commission from that sale. Below is an example of Amazon Affiliate Ads…

But the nice thing about it is that even if a user does not buy the actual product that they clicked on, you can still earn a commission from other products that they purchased during that session. Once you reach a minimum threshold of $10, you can get paid. Best of all, it’s free to become an affiliate!

I wasn’t very hopeful that I would start earning money from Amazon Affiliates. But when I saw that I earned around $8 my first month using it, I was very encouraged. Now I try to add relevant Amazon affiliate links to almost all my posts because, why not?

2016 Amazon Affiliate income – $184.54

2017 Amazon Affiliate income – $418.64

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Adsense

I also participate in the Google Adsense program. In order to be eligible for Google Adsense, you must have an active site for at least 6 months.

What is Adsense?

From Google: AdSense (Google AdSense) is an advertising placement service by Google. The program is designed for website publishers who want to display targeted text, video or image advertisements on website pages and earn money when site visitors view or click the ads.

This is an example of Adsense placements for your website.
This is an example of Adsense placements for your website.

When I first started blogging I did not qualify since my site did not meet the technical criteria. It took me about 3 tries to finally be approved for the program. But now I make passive side hustle income from Adsense on both my blog and YouTube channel.

2016 Adsense income from blog- $60.61

2017 Adsense income from blog – $98.83


YouTube

As part of my product review repertoire I also create YouTube videos. In my videos I typically show tips on how to use a particular product I am reviewing.

I’m not a professional by any means (as can be apparent from my videos) but I think I’m starting to get better at it.

But little did I know how what a hidden gem YouTube is for earning income! In fact, it has become my biggest income generator so far.

In order to make money on YouTube, you first need to have an Adsense account as described above. As long as your video content fits the YouTube guidelines (i.e. not using any copyrighted material), you can start monetizing your videos.

You don’t even need a huge number of subscribers although this certainly helps. But the income is generated not only from clicking on ads on your videos but also through views!

2016 – 322 subscribers

2017 – 893 subscribers at the time of this post. 

For example in 2016 even though I had only 322 subscribers, I had 121,419 collective views on my videos. Ironically, most of my views come from searches rather than my subscribers.

This year 557,126 ▲ collective views.  That’s almost a 400% increase!

My most popular video this year was actually this one:
I did not get as many views on this as the one from last year, but because of the extra videos added to the channel, it added up with the rest of them.


Another nice thing about YouTube is that your videos can keep generating income over time – even if someone watches it 2 years from now!

Total 2016 Adsense income from YouTube: $181.25 

Total 2017 Adsense income from YouTube: $521.36

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Gen Video (YouTube Affiliate Program)

In addition to earning Adsense income from YouTube, you can also earn affiliate income as well! This past year I discovered a site called Gen Video where you can sync up your videos with Amazon affiliate links.

So you are basically earning income two ways!

Make money with YouTube Videos
Make money with YouTube Videos

But Gen Video also provides sponsored video opportunities. Basically you can apply to campaigns on Gen Video and if you get accepted, they pay you to publish your video to YouTube.

You can join for free on the site and select your payment requirement. Being the n00b that I am, I ambitiously asked for $50 for the video. I never thought I would be accepted for a campaign, much less get $50 for it.

But fortunately, I was accepted into a 2 part campaign for Depend Underwear in which I had to make 2 videos for them at $50 each. The brand really liked working with me so they gave me 2 more campaigns to do and increased my rate to $250 each!

In addition to the money earned from the Depend campaign, those videos get a lot of views! There are lots of freaks out there who love hearing women talk about incontinence products I guess. But hey, money is money right?

I only hope I get chosen for other campaigns in the future. I don’t want to be forever known as “The Depends Girl” (as my hubby calls me). Pffftt!

However, during the middle of the year, Gen Video increased their minimum to $500. Since this increase I have not been able to nab any more campaigns.

I have also noticed that they have been getting less sponsors since this increase as well. I hope they will go back down to $250 min or else I don’t have much confidence that I land many more campaigns in the future. We shall see.

2016 Gen Video income – $350 

2017 Gen Video Income – $1460.09


Ad Space

I was approached by someone who wanted me to put a link on an older post on my site that fits in with my content. It fit organically into the post and it was only one link. I earned $100 minus a few bucks in PayPal fees. But still, to me, this was a score!

2017 Ad Space income – $96.80


Grocery Apps

You guys know I love my grocery apps. They are my favorite way to make free money for barely any effort just by snapping photos of your receipts. My grocery app side hustle paid for all my Christmas presents last year!

Grocery Apps are a great way to get free cash for no effort!
Grocery Apps are a great way to get free cash for no effort!

My all-time favorite app is Ibotta, where I earned the most cash back for my purchases. You can check out all of the grocery apps I use by clicking on the photo above.

Total made from my Grocery Apps in 2017: $457.36

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Final Tally for 2017

Adsense – $98.83
Gen Video – $1460.09
Amazon Affiliates – $418.64
Sponsored posts – $392
YouTube – $521.36
Grocery Apps – $457.36
Ad Space: $96.80
_______________________________________
2017 – $3445.08

Compared to 2016 Side Hustle Income – $1,594.25. That’s roughly a 110% increase! 

As you can see, I’m still pretty much small potatoes. While I’m certainly not at the point where I’m ready to quit my day job, the extra money I have made from my side hustle income has at least paid for the blog hosting, a few bills, and some gifts for the family.

My goal for this upcoming year is to continue to create more “Evergreen” posts that get better traffic. I also plan to do more rants and rambles and lifestyle hacks which are so much fun and get a lot more engagement.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I look forward to seeing you guys in 2018.


Feel any better now? How did you fare in 2017? Got any words of encouragement? Leave me a comment and let me know!

And don’t forget, if you would like more information on how to get free cash with very little effort, please make sure you check out How to Get Free Cash to learn more.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for writing this post, but it does contains affiliate links which means I may be compensated a small amount if you click through and purchase. Full disclosure policy here.**

Published inHow to Get Free CashRants and Rambles

43 Comments

    • Thank you so much for the share and all of your continued support. I wish you much success in 2018!

  1. Kyla Matton Osborne Kyla Matton Osborne

    That’s an awesome improvement over the past year! Congratulations! I want to thank you for going through each of your income streams and talking about the pros and cons. I found it really helpful to see how each option weighs out against the others.

  2. Agh! I read this last year and wanted to follow it, but didn’t. Now this year, I am going to study it hard. I was a very successful blogger in Dubai without doing videos. I was on the cover of magazines, etc etc etc!!! Brands paid me thousands of dirhams just to model or be the face of…here, it is MUCH different. My mom passed away, to having a sick pregnancy, to hypothyroidism, etc etc etc, but now I want to get back into it! If you would like to do a collaboration together, help me study and/or I would even sponsor a giveaway on your blog for your viewers, anything! Email me, let’s chat. I am CanadianSassySally.com and i’m at info@canadiansassysally.com or direct email sallygrayj@gmail.com. Let’s chat! For you helping me, I will 100% return it! Lots of love, Sally xoxox

  3. You have done great, I am going to work more on my subscribers next year and keep a it without giving up early. It’s not that easy but I know I can do it.

    • Thank you. Honestly, it’s not even about subscribers. As long as you are getting people reading and interacting with you, you will go far. Your blog is awesome. I know you’ll do great!

  4. Wow congrats on your 110% increase!! I just stared monetizing my blog so this was an informative post for me. I look forward to learning more about this. I just became an amazon affiliate as well so I’m excited about that. Happy new year and I hope 2018 brings another 110% increase 🙂

    • Awesome! I’m glad it was helpful for you. Good luck with your blog as well.

  5. I am having problems signing up with gen video…i keep trying to sign up but it wont load properly..

  6. You are so impressive these stats sound like this would be your only job so kudos. I wish my income from these various sources was as good and this is my fulltime job

    • If I could live on 3k a year, sure! But it’s still a great way to earn passive income for sure. Your blog is awesome. I know you’ll go very far!

  7. I want to have some side hustles this year. I quit doing as many free reviews and would rather use my time working towards making more money. I’m going to check out some of your options. I do sponsored posts, but want to work on some youtube income this year.

    • Yeah, the free reviews are not very fruitful. Definitely look into YouTube!

  8. I haven’t done Youtube. I totally get the not wanting to work on the weekend blogging when you’ve been working all week though.

    • Yeah, it’s hard to get the motivation sometimes. Glad you understand 🙂

  9. Thanks for the details of earnings from different mediums. I am so glad that I came across your post. Clarified many doubts.

  10. I so enjoyed this post. My blog is only three months old, so I have a hard time gauging where my stats should be. This was encouraging! Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. Hannah MArie Hannah MArie

    This is one way to boost up my motivation. I know it wasn’t easy making something out of nothing. You are truly an inspiration.

  12. I just started making youtube videos with my posts so I’m really glad to hear it has increased your income and views! That’s awesome. I’m not making much money from my site yet so this is really encouraging!

  13. rememberkim@verizon.net rememberkim@verizon.net

    Girl, you’re doing something right….that’s for sure. I’ve been blogging now for about 7 years (5 strong) though I make more, but some of your income comes from places I’ve never heard of…..keep it up.

  14. Britney Britney

    This is wonderful! I’ve been making a few extra bucks blogging the past few months and I love Tomoson myself!

  15. Wow go you, you’ve done so well this year! I’ve done pretty well myself, I’ve managed to increase my minimum fee for a blog post by 10 times the amount. This year I want to get into youtube, it’s a minefield though!

    • That’s incredible. I hope to be able to do that someday too. Good luck to you in 2018!

  16. Marissa Zurfluh Marissa Zurfluh

    It really sounds like you didn’t do bad this year despite some companies being lame. I feel like a lot of people did better this year on their side hustle.

  17. You had a much better year, very creative use of your time and less blogging–cool.

  18. This is amazing to hear!! I made my first-ever money from Amazon affiliate last week (48 cents, BUT STILL) and I love seeing reports like this from fellow bloggers!

  19. your numbers are looking good and wishing you success for this year!

  20. angela@marathonsandmotivation.com angela@marathonsandmotivation.com

    This is a great breakdown for the year! I love how you compared this year with last year!! I need to keep better track of stuff this year.

  21. That’s a rather great income on the side! I’m going to look into this YouTube/Amazon combo – that sounds like a great idea!

  22. Melanie it looks like you had a truly successful year! It is always so important to be aware of options and sources to help bring in that extra income . . .

  23. Great list of things that bloggers should know. It always depends on the location cause I have noticed in United States and UK bloggers have more opportunities but for others its kinda limited but there are lots of ways of course. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  24. kimmieklewis kimmieklewis

    congratulations! don’t you love when you start making money for something that you put your heart into?

  25. Andrea Firmani Andrea Firmani

    Thanks for the great breakdown and comparison of blogging years. I’m sure things will go up and down, just like most businesses. Raising a toast to blogging in 2018! Cheers to you!

  26. Ruth I. Ruth I.

    Sounds like 2017 is an amazing year for you! You did great and I hope for more for you this 2018! It’s so interesting to know how much your grow from each platform.

  27. Congratulations on your success!! Most of the time it takes sometime to earn a full time income from blogging.I also like to review products time to time.However,my most of the income is from sponsored posts and affiliate programs.

  28. Congratulations on a successful year. I tell all new bloggers that they have to be constant and not give up. The second year is always much better than the first. This year I expect your big boom.

  29. Congrats on your second year of blogging. It takes a lot of discipline to be a consistent blogger. I hope you come into even greater success this year.

  30. Congratulations on your success, may 2018 be an even better year for you!

  31. This is just so amazing! I should do my own version of Side Hustle Income Report. It’s really nice to see you’re growing!

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