blogging income report

Why Blogging is My Favorite Side Hustle

Erik Entrepreneurship, Side Hustle, Thoughts of a Mastermind 7 Comments


The Mastermind Within is a blog which is looking to build a collaborative community where ideas can flow openly, and readers can build knowledge and experience amazing personal growth. The Mastermind Within is my blog, and my favorite side hustle.

At the end of the day, I want to help you become the best version of you. Life is a journey, and I want to join you in your journey of success.

That’s why I write, and my purpose for everything I do on this site.

Blogging is my favorite side hustle. I spend about 10-15 hours a week working on this blog – writing, editing, doing web design, working on marketing, and taking care of any other technical pieces involved with running a website.

19 months ago, I started this blog.

Today, I will be sharing with you a number of thoughts on blogging, why I think blogging is amazing as a side hustle, and talk more in-depth about how I’ve been able to grow The Mastermind Within over time.

Behind the Scenes at The Mastermind Within

the mastermind withinIt was a cold winter day in Minnesota, back in the last week of 2016. I bundled up with a sweatshirt and my winter coat, and headed over to my friend’s house. I had an idea but wasn’t sure how to implement it fully.

That winter day, my friend and I started The Mastermind Within – a blog to document our pursuits of financial freedom, and also to document the books we were reading and personal development.

It started off really well. In our first month, we received 1,600 page views, and in our second month, 2,900 page views.

Publishing a few times a week, I was invigorated to start a new side hustle and build upon my house hacking success.

After 3 months, we were both burning out a little bit. I had asked another friend to help out as well, but after a few months of that, it was time to move on.

In May 2017, I started a business as well, and so was spread a little thin. Through the summer months, posting was sporadic and growth was stagnant. I wanted to put more in on The Mastermind Within, but was feeling a little bit like an impostor.

If I was going to talk about entrepreneurship and personal development, then I needed to be living this out and learning how to grow on my own.

After taking a break in October, attending FinCon, and getting re-energized, I’ve now been incredibly consistent and have seen the growth I had hoped for back when I started.

Since November 1st of last year, I’ve posted (at a minimum) 3 times a week – typically Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

9 months of posting 3 times a week has been a grind, but it’s been a lot of fun! I’m learning a ton about myself through this process and wouldn’t give it up for anything else.

The Statistics Behind The Mastermind Within

In the last 19 months, I’ve been busy. On The Mastermind Within, there are currently 326 blog posts, and 51 pages. (pages are web pages that aren’t necessarily blog posts, but still necessary, such as the home page of a site) These blog posts are mostly focused in the areas of personal finance, self improvement, and entrepreneurship.

In 2018, one of my goals is to publish 3 articles a week, and I’ve been successful so far. Through this goal, I will add 156 pieces of content to this site, and hopefully will start gaining more traction with readers and search engines.

You can find the majority of these posts on the portal pages located at the end of this post, or in the side bar.

I’ve organized the site into 8 sections to help you find the content that best suits your need. These are:

With these portal pages, I’ve seen some decent success, but it hasn’t been as good as I was hoping for.

Some of my favorite posts that I’ve written have not been strictly personal finance. I’m kind of a goofy person, and when I can work in random stuff into my posts, I really enjoy my work. Strictly technical blog posts are boring 😉

Here are 14 posts which are some of my favorites:

Traffic and Income Statistics for The Mastermind Within

This month, I’m writing all about side hustling and making money on the side of your day job. I started The Mastermind Within as a money making endeavor, and while my focus has shifted a little bit from this thought, I still track the money I make over time and hope at some point it will generate a profit.

In the first year, The Mastermind Within had 40,000 page views and brought in $160. While I’d love to say this was a profitable endeavor, it wasn’t.

blog income report December 2017

In year 2, through 7 months, this site has received 69,000 page views, is on pace for over 100,000, and has generated $700 in revenue.

blog income and traffic report July 2018

blog income and traffic stats july 2018

Two things I’d like to say here:

  1. I’m not someone who is necessarily numbers hungry. 
    • At the beginning of this blog, I definitely approached it from a monetization viewpoint and got burnt out. It wasn’t fun and probably was turning off people as well.
    • Since I’m still at my day job, I’m not dependent on income from this blog, and as a result, don’t care too much if I generate a profit (though it would be amazing to do so at some point)
  2. Growth takes a long time if you aren’t a marketer and starting a website for the first time
    • I’m a math major who didn’t know web design and was kind of bad at writing when I started.
    • Now, 19 months later, I feel very comfortable writing and communicating, but it took a long time to get there. In addition to this, marketing is still a struggle for me, but I’m learning more and more about that! 🙂

Over the next 6-18 months, I want to continue to build up the content base here on The Mastermind Within, and also look to produce a product or two to compliment all of the content (an premium eBook would be sweet!)

The Skills Necessary for Good Blogging

Now that I’ve been blogging for 19 months, I’ve learned a thing or two. If you have a blog or are interested in doing something on the web, here’s a few paragraphs and some resources to become a good blogger.

If you are interested in becoming a better web designer/developer, I’d highly recommend Code Academy. It’s a free website which is interactive and has courses which wil help you learn HTML, CSS, and Javascript – the core languages of the internet.

Another application I use for web design is Canva. Canva is a free website for creating and editing images.

When writing, I’ve learned a ton using the Yoast SEO plug-in. This plug-in has been very influential in my use of headers, use of shorter paragraphs, and better writing in general.

Other resources I’d recommend checking out are Do You Even Blog, and also the Side Hustle show podcast.

Finally, the number 1 skill necessary for blogging is CONSISTENCY. Rome wasn’t build in a day. I’ve been blogging for 19 months and I’m now just hitting the 10,000 page view mark consistently. Big blogs get 10,000 page views a day.

All I can do is stay the course, and recognize that daily disciplines added up over time WILL result in MASSIVE success.

No one is an overnight success.

I’m learning, growing, and building something awesome for my future self. I’m loving it and hoping it works out for me in the long run.

Why I Love Blogging as a Side Hustle

Blogging is entrepreneurship lite. A blog incredibly simple to start, and if you screw up, no one’s going to lose their job or waste money on your site. Finally, there’s not too difficult of a learning curve to get up to speed.

Running a successful enterprise is incredibly hard work. There’s product development, creation and delivery to worry about, presentation of your product online or in a store, marketing, analytics, finance, accounting, and the list goes on and on.

Starting a blog is just you and your thoughts, or for me, me and my thoughts.

In addition, there is an amazing community of bloggers who I now regularly hang out with and call some of my best friends.

the mastermind within blogger friends

Blogging is my favorite side hustle and I can’t wait to keep doing more of it.

Here’s to a successful rest of the year blogging!

Readers: would you ever start a blog? What do you most enjoy about The Mastermind Within? What’s your favorite side hustle?


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Comments 7

  1. Blogging is my favorite side hustle as well! 🙂

    Reasons why? Because the process of blogging means I’m always learning new things (both in personal finance and in tech/blogging), expanding my horizons, and meeting new people (both other bloggers, and readers). I’ve made some good friends – both local and distant – via blogging.

    I also love it because while it is hard to build in the first few years, if you have the right content it can become a more passive form of income that brings in income whether you’re blogging that day or you’re out fishing on the lake. It’s hard work, but the work doesn’t have to happen every day.

    It’s also great because you can build something from your own efforts, watch it grow and be your own boss.

    Love blogging as a side hustle -and for some – a full time gig.

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  2. I bet I know why that one post is at the top of your list! 😉

    You definitely gotta love it when you’re writing 3 posts a week!

    Blogging can be a lot of hard work but it’s definitely rewarding and fun to contribute towards an overall community and wider audience. I’ve enjoyed it a lot as well!

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  3. Blogging is my favorite side hustle too, and I actually wrote a blog post about it a few months ago. Personally, I love that blogging has the potential to grow into something much bigger than a side hustle and can turn into a business based on selling info products, physical products, offering services, or any number of other monetization methods.

    As much as I like blogging, I don’t think it’s right for everyone. Like you mentioned, it takes a long time to see the results, and not everyone is able or willing to stick it out.

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