In 2016, when I was pregnant with my first son, I decided with my husband that I would stay at 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. 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 been able to create 10 income streams from my blog, which have helped me pay off $25,000 of debt in this year alone.
This year Arts and Budgets has consistently made over $5,000 each month, and in September I celebrated a huge milestone, earning $10,000 in one month. Here is my best advice.
At the beginning of this year, I set three big goals for my business. I wanted to have my first $10,000 revenue month, 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.
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 would be the most useful to them, I spent time on Pinterest and Facebook group communities about side hustles to get a sense of the kind of struggles they are facing.
Video by Tala Hadavi
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 e-book "Side Hustle to Freedom," both contributed to my first $10,000 revenue month. Since launching the book, I have made over 100 sales.
My course contributed to over $4,500 in revenue during my first $10,000 month. Since launching the e-book, I have made over 100 sales.
My course and my e-book took some time to develop, but once they were available to my customers, they became consistent passive income streams.
I earn more 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 goals this year.
Video by Courtney Stith
Another thing that contributed 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. I built those relationships by supporting and collaborating with them on the platform over time.
And after seeing the side hustle and entrepreneurial content that I regularly posted on my blog and social media platforms, companies began reaching out to me for partnerships to create sponsored posts. This income stream also contributed to hitting that $10,000 milestone.
Video by Mariam Abdallah
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.
Being a consistent presence on Instagram and Pinterest has helped me develop those relationships with brands and collaborators that have allowed me to turn the blog into the 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 with business where you may feel like you want to give up, my best advice is to 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.
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 20,000 followers on social media. She has been featured on Bankrate, Tailwind, LegalZoom, QuickBooks, Mediavine, Plutus Foundation, and more.
More from Grow: