Earning

I went from making at most $450 a month to over $10,000 a month from multiple income streams: Here’s how

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Latasha Peterson is the founder of Arts and Budgets.
Photo by OneFlo Entertainment
Key Points
  • "Becoming a full-time entrepreneur has taught me the importance of asking for help," writes Latasha Peterson.
  • "With this side hustle turned full-time business, I have created ten income streams, paid off $30,000 of debt, and can work from anywhere in the world."

In 2016, I started a blog called Arts and Budgets to help people find the best and most lucrative side hustles for them. I have a background in the performing arts and I wanted to help my community, and other creative individuals, earn more while still pursuing their dreams. 

In the first year, I didn't earn any money, but I learned a lot. It was all valuable information that ultimately helped grow the business, and the following year I began to consistently monetize my blog. In July of 2017, I turned my blog into a business by incorporating it into an LLC.

Today, Arts and Budgets get over 100,000 monthly readers, and has over 100,000 followers on Instagram. I have gone from earning at the most $450 a month early on, to currently earning over $10,000 each month.

With this side hustle turned full-time business, I have created 10 income streams, paid off $30,000 of debt, and can work from anywhere in the world.

Here are the steps I took to grow my business and develop multiple income streams.

1. I developed offerings to help my readers solve their biggest problems 

Before I started monetizing Arts and Budgets, I surveyed my existing audience from my first year of the blog through my email provider, and polled my followers on my social media platforms to find out what they needed help with the most. 

Conducting this research helped me learn the topics that my readers were the most interested in. There were two key areas that kept coming up in the responses: "Finding the best and most profitable side hustle to increase income" and "help with turning a blog side hustle into a successful business."

This research was invaluable because it helped me narrow down the type of products and services I wanted to provide, in addition to my work on the blog.

From there, I created two passive income streams: my "Side Hustle To Freedom" e-book and my signature course, Blog For Profit Academy, for new bloggers. I also created two other offerings, one-on-one blog coaching and one-on-one side hustle coaching, to more personally engage with my audience. 

The sales for Blog For Profit Academy and purchases of my e-book have both been major contributors to my monthly revenue since they launched.

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2. I gave myself clear goals and worked backwards

Once I narrowed down my niche and learned more about my target audience, I set up clear goals with a timeline to help me stay organized. 

For example, I set my main overarching goals at the beginning of this year. Two of those goals were to grow my Instagram page to over 100,000 followers before this year was out and to hit $20,000 in sales with my Blog For Profit Academy course.

As of today, I have accomplished both goals with the help of the SMART goals method. Smart is an acronym that stands for (S) Specific, (M) Measurable, (A) Achievable, (R) Relevant, and (T) Time-bound. Setting clear and attainable goals helped me stay on track and not get overwhelmed.

To help set my monthly goals, I write out two to three business goals for each day. As a mom of three little children, it's important for me to maximize each day, and writing out my daily goals helps me stay focused and accomplish each goal. 

My new business goal is to have at least 1,000 sign-ups for my new Blog For Profit Masterclass that is starting in August. 

3. I grew my passive income one step at a time 

When I started monetizing the blog, I researched many different ways that I could potentially earn from it, and focused on one building one passive income stream at a time, with the understanding that some would take more work than others to become regular earning sources for me.

For example, I started first with affiliate marketing and that took around three months to become consistent passive income. But once that was up and running, I applied to an ad publishing company, Mediavine. That had a quicker return on the work I put in, and once the ads were set up, I was making passive income almost immediately. 

Then, as my audience continued to grow, I started to focus on bigger undertakings that required more of my time and attention up front, like the e-book and my course. But having all those passive income streams have played a huge part in helping me meet my income goals each month.

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4. I found the tools I need to create a consistent schedule 

Another essential step in turning my side hustle into a profitable business was creating a consistent schedule. As a busy mom, I started to use tools such as Hootsuite to help with consistency and tools such as Trello to help with organization. 

In a typical week, I will start my morning by setting three business goals for the day. Since I have three little boys, my husband and I split the days in half. I have my time in the afternoon to work on Arts and Budgets tasks and conduct coaching calls and classes. 

At the beginning of each week, I schedule my content on Pinterest, set up my posting schedule for Instagram and TikTok, and schedule my email newsletter for my subscribers. Using these simple tools in my business helps me stay focused and my business organized as it grows each month. 

5. I built a team I can rely on to help my business reach its potential 

While expanding my business, I noticed that I needed extra help to accomplish all the goals I set each month. So I decided to hire a writer for my team and a web designer to help with the security and clean-up of my site.  

In June of this year, after holding the fourth offering of my Blog For Profit Academy course, I realized I would need to hire a virtual assistant to help with the administrative and social media tasks of Arts and Budgets. So I recently hired two new virtual assistants to help with the everyday tasks of Arts and Budgets and to to help with the launch of the Blog For Profit masterclass. 

Becoming a full-time entrepreneur has taught me the importance of asking for help. I think one of the most key drivers of the success of Arts and Budgets has been finding people I trust, who share my vision of what this business could be. Together, we're able to accomplish so much and help even more people pursue their side hustle dreams.

Latasha Peterson is a wife, mom of three, side hustle coach, speaker, and the founder of the blog Arts and Budgets. She created Arts and Budgets to help individuals find the best and most profitable side hustles for them. Her blog gets over 100,000 monthly visitors and has over 50,000 followers on social media. She has been featured on Bankrate, Tailwind, LegalZoom, QuickBooks, Mediavine, Plutus Foundation, and more.

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