How blogging enables me to make money while traveling on a sailboat

This post may contain affiliate links.

One of the questions I commonly get from people is how I’m able to make money while traveling on our sailboat. It’s a valid question for sure, and one that still even blows my mind at times. I mean, look at my office view today!

How I make money while traveling through blogging

My office view right now

Most people think of work as something that involves sitting in rush hour traffic to get to a boring office where they sit behind a cubicle all day.  But for the past 4 years, I’ve been making money while traveling on the boat, and having a blog is one of the main reasons I’m able to do that.

Most people think of making money from a blog as having a bunch of ads and affiliate links. But it goes way beyond that (I don’t even use ads because they don’t pay well). Having this blog has allowed me to:

  • Get generous discounts on products for the boat, just by trying them out and writing my honest opinion
  • Get free products, just for putting an ad on the site, and maybe posting a few pictures on social media of me using the products
  • Get paid to post other people’s articles on my site
  • Promote my Maggie & Milly shop, where I sell my handmade nautical bracelets
  • Get paid freelancing jobs (web design, marketing material design, etc.)
  • Get paid writing jobs (this blog serves as my portfolio and has earned me several writing jobs)
  • Get my current full-time job that allows me to work remotely (yes, my current company actually hired me BECAUSE they loved the fact that I was living on and freelancing from a boat — even though I had no formal experience in my position, working for a New York Times best-selling author)

These are just a few of the perks of having a blog like this. 90% of the work I’ve gotten has been a result of having this blog.

In fact, when I first started out, I used to manually seek out sponsors. Now, sponsors are seeking me out instead of the other way around. I’ve been approached for interviews (you can listen to our interview with Boat Radio International, an online radio program that features boaters from around the world), and I’ve been written up in several online publications.

I’m not saying any of this to brag. I want to show you that it is possible to make money while traveling by having a blog.

So now, how do you get started with a blog? It’s actually not as hard as you may think. I’ll show you step by step how to get your own blog started below.

Step 1: Choose your niche

Just because you live on or travel by boat doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start a sailing blog. When I started this blog, I didn’t want to just write about sailing or our travels, so I chose a unique angle, by writing about how much it costs to live on a sailboat, how I save money, and eventually, how I make money from a boat.

This has allowed me to separate myself from a lot of the other sailing blogs out there (which I love, don’t get me wrong), but I do think niching it down a bit further has helped me distinguish myself as an “expert” of sorts, when it comes to people’s questions about making money while traveling.

People are always interested in the financial aspect of this lifestyle, and many sailing bloggers understandably aren’t comfortable divulging financial information. So I filled that niche.

Your niche doesn’t even have to pertain to sailing or travel. It can be about knitting, or kite-surfing, or whatever hobby you may have. The point is to niche it down. Don’t be too broad.

If you’re starting a blog in order to make money while you travel (or even from home), remember that you want to choose a niche that there’s an audience for. You want to make sure that you’re giving something to your audience. Don’t just make it your personal online journal.

Even if you write a travel blog, you’re teaching people about different places, cultures, and giving them something to daydream about while they’re stuck at their desks all day.

Step 2: Choose a domain name

A domain name is the URL, or the website address you want to use (i.e. savingtosail.com). You want to pick something that’s:

  • Relevant to your niche
  • Catchy/easy to remember
  • Not too long (if possible, keep it under 17 characters)
  • Contains no numbers or hyphens (too hard for people to remember and type)
  • Has a .com or .net extension (no .org, .biz, etc.)

You can purchase your domain separately through a company like Namecheap for about $12/year, which is what I do, but if you’re just starting out, a free domain is usually included when you buy hosting (see below) and requires no additional steps, so to keep this simple, we’ll do it this way.

I recommend choosing 2 or 3 in case your first choice isn’t available.

Step 3: Choose a web host

You need a “web host” to host your website or blog. I use Bluehost for ALL of my websites (I have several). Their hosting packages are affordable, their customer service is excellent, and I’ve had nothing but positive experiences using them.

*NOTE: If you purchase through this link, you can save money and get a hosting package for just $3.49/mo…  a great deal!

The great thing is that Bluehost includes a free domain with your hosting package, so you don’t have to purchase it separately. When you go to sign up, they’ll ask you what domain you’d like, so put in your choices from Step 2. If a .com version (preferred) isn’t available, try the same URL with a .net extension.

Oftentimes you can get your first or second choice this way. But always stick with .com and .net as recommended earlier. It’s more professional, easier to remember, and Google promotes these in their search engine rankings higher than other extensions.

Step 4: Install WordPress (easy — and free!)

WordPress is hands down my #1 recommended software for websites and blogs. Most websites and blogs you see today are using self-hosted WordPress because of the customization abilities, beautiful free themes, plugins for everything you can imagine, and more.

You can install WordPress for free directly from the cPanel of your BlueHost account as follows:

  1. Navigate to the MOJO Marketplace section inside cPanel.
  2. Click the One-Click Installs icon.
    How to install WordPress on Bluehost account
  3. Choose WordPress.
    Install WP onto Bluehost account
  4. Click the Install button.
    Installing WP on Bluehost account
  5. Choose the domain name to install it to.
    mojo-select-domain
  6. If necessary, you can edit the email address, username and password for the new WordPress installation. Click “advanced options” and you can change those settings.
  7. Read through the license and service agreements and check the boxes.
  8. Select the Install Now button.
    Install WP on Bluehost

Step 5: Choose a WordPress theme

Once you’ve installed WordPress, you’ll want to log into your WordPress account and choose a theme. Your WordPress account is now where you’ll be going to do all of your bloggy stuff. You’ll rarely need to log into your Bluehost account at this point.

To log into WordPress, go to:

  • yourdomain/wp-admin

So for me, mine is: savingtosail.com/wp-admin.

Once you log in, you’ll see the WordPress dashboard (the column on the left side). This can be a little intimidating at first, but it’s an easy learning curve. To install your theme, just look on the dashboard and select Appearance —> Themes.

There are so many awesome themes that it can be a little hard to choose. I recommend Divi by Elegant Themes because it is SO easy to work with right out of the box, even if you’re a beginner and have no technical or coding skills whatsoever, and you can create a site that looks like something that a pro designed in as little as a weekend (not lying). Don’t believe me? Check out these sites I created with the Divi theme:

When I design sites for my clients, I almost always use Divi, because it allows them to make changes in the future without having to re-hire me, or hire another designer or webmaster. Seriously, it’s stupid simple. And gorgeous.

Step 6: Write your first blog post!

Now, we’re talking! To create a new (first) post, just go to Posts —> All Posts. You’ll see one that is a default “sample” post already there, called “Hello World!”. Just click on the “edit” button, and it will open that up.

Change your title, write your post, upload images using the “Add Media” button, and when everything is all set, hit the “Publish” button on the upper right hand side.

Voila!

Do you want to make money while traveling?

The point of all this is that so many people hold themselves back from their dreams because they think it’s impossible to be able to make money from anywhere, and that’s just not true.

Granted, it takes a lot of work (these posts don’t just write themselves), but writing is something I love to do, and the benefits of having an online writing portfolio have been amazing.

Will everyone have the same results? No. I know bloggers who make a lot more than I do, and I know some that don’t make any money. Hell, I don’t even make that much money through my blog itself, but the fact that I have a blog gives me credibility. I get readers who write and hire me for jobs that I never otherwise would have gotten, and I’m able to promote myself and my ventures in a way that I wouldn’t be able to without a blog. And it’s almost all pure profit because the expense to have a blog is minimal.

I pay about $60/year to host and maintain this blog, and it paid me back 200x that last year, not including the full-time job. Yes, I averaged over $1000/month in SIDE income last year — almost solely because I have this blog.

Pretty cool if you ask me.

Have you thought about starting a blog? Are you just not sure where to start, or need to bounce around some ideas? Want help withthe technical aspect of it? Post your questions/concerns in the comments, or email me and I’ll respond to every one.

Top 5 reasons you should be selling your writing to niche-market magazines

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Selling your writing to niche-market magazines

You guys know that I’m all about working from anywhere in the world, doing something you love. As full-time cruisers, it’s important to be able to create a way to make an income while not being tied to a desk or requiring consistent, reliable wifi, etc.

That’s why writing — whether it’s writing for a magazine or self-publishing your own book on Amazon — can be such a big win for us. I know several sailors who make a sustainable income just off their writing, and they don’t write just for sailing magazines, either.

That’s why I’m super excited to introduce this guest post by fellow sailor and author, Michael Robertson, who has some great tips on writing for niche-market magazines. He’s the managing editor of Good Old Boat Magazine, and he just finished an awesome book called Selling Your Writing to the Boating Magazines (and other niche mags), so he knows what he’s talking about. Be sure to read through to the end to have a chance to win a copy of his book!

Take it away, Michael!


Have you ever stopped to think that all we writers have to sell are ordinary words that are free of charge and available to anyone? Our challenge is to choose wisely from among these ordinary words and to string them together in a unique order that results in a story that’s compelling to readers. It’s like a game, a puzzle—and not an easy one. Like any game, there are other players (lots of them) choosing from the same finite word pile, each trying to spin a yarn more compelling than yours. In this environment, it can be hard to get anyone to read your writing, let alone buy it. Fortunately, there is a marketplace where selling your writing is not only possible, but where there is a very straightforward path to publication.

Niche-market Magazines

You probably subscribe to one. Maybe it’s a camping, climbing, or cat magazine? Maybe a knitting, kiting, or kayaking magazine? A gambling, golfing, or gardening magazine? Parenting, papyrus-making, or parachuting magazine? Boating, flying, hot-rodding, R/C modeling, sailing, surfing, skiing, or photo-taking magazine? There’s a magazine for everyone with a niche hobby or interest. And if you’re a writer just starting out, eager to get your first byline and your first check in the mail, these magazines are your market. Let me give you the top five reasons why this is true.

But first, I want to assure you of something: Your success will not hinge on how many editors are your Facebook friends, or even how talented a writer you are. Your success will depend only on how much you want it, whether you’re willing to learn and put in the work to make it happen. Because selling your writing to niche-market magazines isn’t sleight of hand or divine intervention or even the inspiration you’ve been waiting to strike, it’s work. You can sell your writing to any of these niche-market magazines, as long as…

  • You are an enthusiast and can identify a magazine that caters to your special interest.
  • You like to write and you are willing to take seriously the craft of writing and the business of selling writing.

That is it. You can do it. I am convinced everyone has a publishable story to write, and I know the niche market magazines are hungry for content. I wrote a book detailing the concrete steps I take to sell my writing and that have been used by others to sell their writing.

Top 5 Reasons Niche-Market Magazines are Your Market

1. Great news: Freelance writers produce a high percentage of the content in niche-market magazines. This is because these magazines’ budgets and staffs are smaller than those of mainstream magazines. It is more cost-efficient for them to buy stories from freelance writers than to hire staff writers. This is a market that favors the freelance writer. You are a freelance writer. That you are a freelance writer getting started means you are a freelance writer with a fresh voice. Use it.

2. The nature of many niche-market magazines is that they cover interests that are common to a small percentage of the population. Accordingly, this population is interested in learning about other members and how they are exploring the same interest. In other words, readers of People magazine are not interested in other readers of People magazine and do not want to read articles written by other readers of People magazine. However, readers of Model Railroader are keen to read the words of a fellow model train enthusiast, just as a reader of Yachting Monthly will give great attention to a sailing yarn spun by a fellow sailor. The New Yorker, The Atlantic, People, and Popular Science might not need you, but the niche-market magazines do need you. You, aspiring niche-market magazine writer, have it good. You have a market, an avenue to selling your writing.

3. Any niche-market magazine you can think of is a non-fiction publication. Non-fiction pays. Far more writers are able to make a living writing non-fiction than are able to do so writing fiction. It may not be fair, but it’s the way it is. Of course, writing non-fiction doesn’t mean ignoring or shutting down your creative impulses. On the contrary. The best non-fiction writing is compelling and uses the same structure and devices to grab and keep a reader’s attention as found in good fiction. So let your creative flag fly and grab some editor’s attention!

4. Niche-market magazines in general comprise a stable, healthy market to which to sell your writing. Because niche-market magazine content is focused, the audience is narrow — in some cases very narrow — and passionate. This is a readership that advertisers love and are willing to pay a premium to reach. Contrast this market to that of the mass-market, general-interest pubs available at supermarket checkouts. The broad-appeal magazines enjoy much larger circulations, but those circulations are generally in decline. They are increasingly under threat from other media sources that feature the same broad-appeal content. What’s a magazine going to tell you about the East Coast train derailment or the celebrity break-up that you haven’t already seen reported online — and that you’ve read for free? The mass-market magazines do not have advertisers who will stick with them through thick and thin; Ford and Folgers can advertise anywhere. However, the company that manufactures the tiny trees and lampposts that model railroaders love, they are loyal to Model Railroader magazine.

5. Finally, writing for magazines within a single niche means you gain name recognition quickly within your market. It means your story ideas are likely to feed off and build on one another. It means your knowledge of the subject matter builds on itself. Writer Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen (theadventurouswriter.com) has sold stories to both mass-market and niche-market magazines. She focuses on the health sector and makes a good case for the focused approach. “The more you write about one particular niche or beat, the easier it is to research and write the article. For instance, I write health articles for Women’s magazine (published by the BC Women’s Hospital). Every article I write teaches me more about medicine, medical terms, and health news, which makes me a better health writer. It’s an upward spiral!”Selling Your Writing to the Boating Magazines (and other niche mags)


Michael Robertson is the managing editor of Good Old Boat magazine and the author of Selling Your Writing to the Boating Magazines (and Other Niche Mags) (2016, Force Four Publications). He lives and travels with his family aboard a sailboat and is co-author of Voyaging with Kids: A guide to family life afloat (2015, L&L Pardey Publications). He writes regularly for half-a-dozen niche-market magazines and blogs at www.logofdelviento.blogspot.com.

2015 – The Year of the Hustle + My Annual Side Income Report

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2015 was the year of the hustle

Well, we’re on the heels of February, so my monthly income report is a little overdue here. Better late than never, right? This month has actually been a really fantastically busy month for me, and I am so excited for 2016 I can’t stand it, but I won’t get ahead of myself just yet. Let’s focus on 2015 right now. 2015 is what I call the year of the hustle. I hustled my ass off.

Now let me get personal for a minute.

Some of you may know that last year started off in the worst possible way when my Dad passed away unexpectedly on New Years Day. To say that it shattered my world is an understatement. I’ve never in my life been hit with such complete devastation, and it was, and still is, almost impossible for me to talk about, and I miss him so much I can’t stand it.

But I’ve always been strong, even when life gets shitty, and somehow I managed to move forward, even on days that I wanted to crawl up in a ball and do nothing. I’d like to say that his passing motivated me to be a better and stronger person, and to go after what I want in life… and in many ways, that’s true. He was always 110% supportive of my decisions – whether it was to move onto a sailboat, or to start my own business. He always believed in me and told me I could do anything I wanted.

But if I’m being perfectly honest, I have to admit that part of my hustle mentality this year was also born out of the need for denial. Whether it was healthy or not, I needed something to occupy all of my spare time because frankly, I couldn’t take the quiet. It hurt too much. So I threw myself into work and education.

I’ve always been a bit of a nerd, and I love all things web/marketing related – from web design, to SEO, to blogging… I find it fascinating. As such, I immersed myself in learning as much as possible – I became a sponge. I learned however I could – from reading various blogs and books to watching videos to taking online courses. Once I learned about some of these things, I turned them into income streams.

For instance, I’ve been using WordPress for a few years now, but it wasn’t until I really learned the ins and outs of how to customize themes that I was able to raise my web design/website management prices and earn a decent side income from it.

I studied SEO and took an SEO course, and I’ve more than doubled my blog traffic over the past year. I learned more about email marketing, and now I have a regular client who pays me to do her email marketing campaigns. I studied how to negotiate a salary and landed a 14% raise at my old company, before ultimately leaving that job to pursue (and land) my dream job working on the editorial team for a NY Times bestselling author.

Basically, in 2015, I invested in myself, I hustled, and I came out ahead in so many ways.

Another BIG lifechanger was that in August, I got married to Chris, the love of my life. We’ve been together for over 9 years, and we made it official on August 8th. I didn’t think things would be much different since we felt married already, but it really has been awesome. I love calling him my husband, and life is so sweet with him.

And last but not least… in December, I. Turned. Forty. If you want to talk denial, that’s one thing I’m really still in denial about. I’ve tried to embrace it, and I know they say life gets better at 40, and in some ways it’s true, but I sure as shit don’t feel forty, and I know I don’t act it, so I’ll just continue with my denial on that for awhile longer.

December Online Income Report

Alright, alright. Get to the money already, you’re probably saying! Ok, ok. First I’ll give you December’s numbers, then I’ll give you the numbers for the entire year of 2015.

Just like I mention every month, my side income report numbers are an accurate depiction of what I’ve made online, bad or good. These numbers don’t include my income from my full-time job as a QA Specialist, or my handsome hubby’s income (from his music, book, and freelance work).

Webmaster/Web Design: $450
Online Sales: $320.91
Affiliate Income: $86.06
Adsense: $23.44
Writing Gigs: $150
Misc: $39.03
TOTAL: $1069.44 in extra income (Up $272.14 from November)

Not too shabby.

I’ve also saved a total of $627.65 so far with Digit, the free automated savings app that I am absolutely in LOVE with. You’ve heard me talk about it before on here, and it’s really an awesome way to save money.

It just pulls a couple dollars here, a couple dollars there – amounts so small that they are inconsequential to your banking balance, but  they add up relatively quickly in your Digit account. I highly recommend the service. And it’s free!

You can sign up easily at: Savingtosail.com/Digit

2015 Annual Online Income Report

Ok – so I sat down and tallied all of my online income from 2015, and here are the numbers:

Webmaster/Web Design: $4012.77
Online Sales: $4742.64
Affiliate Income: $1025.85
Adsense: $204.09
Writing Gigs: $1656.66
Misc: $511.37
TOTAL: $12,153.38 in extra income

Last year, I averaged over $1000 per month in online income. It’s about the equivalent of working 20 hrs a week at a part time job making $12/hr. So not amazing, but it’s also not half bad, especially considering that I got to do it all from the comfort of my boat.

While it’s not groundbreaking or freedom-making income, it’s all relative. I mean, if we were in the Bahamas, living on an anchor instead of at a dock, and if we were very frugal and didn’t have any major boating expenses, that income could almost sustain us. (I have friends who have lived comfortably in the Bahamas for less than $1500/mo.)

Do those numbers surprise you at all? It surprised me a little bit for a couple of reasons.

First, I was a little surprised that my biggest money maker was my online jewelry business. I would have thought it would have been the web design stuff, but nope. My online jewelry shop, Maggie and Milly, was responsible for over 30% of my side income. And that is from zero advertising and very little promotion!

My second most profitable side income stream was web design. I had a few clients who needed various edits (I did very little design work) and it generated another 30+% of my income.

The writing income actually surprised me, too – mainly because I really didn’t go out looking for writing work – it actually came to me! I was approached by Sailboat Interiors about writing the blog for them (which I now currently do), and I also was hired to write some SEO articles for a company who liked my writing.

I know that I could make a lot more money writing if I actually put some effort into it, as I’ve had a few editors who wanted me to send them pieces, but it just hasn’t been one of my bigger priorities. But now that I think about it, I’m not sure why. Maybe I’ll try to do that more this year.

And the only other one that’s worth mentioning is my affiliate income. It gets a mention since it’s over $1k, and frankly, it’s another thing that I put very little effort into. So many people do affiliate marketing wrong that I’ve shied away from a lot of it. I never wanted to be the one who had crazy looking ads all over my site, or in the sidebar of my blog, just to make a couple of bucks.

You’ll notice that most of my affiliate promoting comes in a natural way in my posts, where I’ll link to something I’m talking about… but for the most part, I don’t try super hard, so I guess it’s pretty cool that I still brought in a hundred bucks or so on average a month in affiliate income.

Adsense is almost laughable, and quite frankly, I don’t even know why I bother. Ads are ugly, people are blind to them (so they don’t click), and I made just $200 all year in them. Considering that Google has a threshhold and they don’t pay you until you hit $100, then it’s really not worth the annoyance if you ask me.

That’s why I took the ads off this site. I’d rather give you a better user experience than to try to make a few cents off a shitty looking ad.  I do still have a couple of affiliate ad banners sprinkled in 2 or 3 spots on the site, but Adsense? No thanks.

What’s New in 2016 – A Different Kind of Hustle

I’ll be posting another post about some new stuff going on. Be on the lookout for that in a day or two. Also, I’m not going to be sharing my monthly income for the time being. I’m scaling back on my freelance work for others in order to put all my efforts into these new projects.

In addition, I want to shift the focus of the blog to not just be about me and how much I make in side income, but more about how YOU can make money on the side. So that’s the direction I’m headed. It will give you more to sink your teeth into, and spark some ideas on things you can do from your own boat, or wherever you happen to be reading from.

I know a lot of people say that the monthly income posts inspire them, but I think stories about how others are doing it will be better. If I have really good things to report, I will, and I’ll share numbers, but for at least the time being, there won’t be much to share, and again, I want to take the focus away from me and put it more on you.

How was last year for you? Do you have plans to hustle this year? What would you like to see more of in this blog? Let’s start the conversation below in the comments!

November Side Income $797 (Plus Get My Income Statement Template)

This post may contain affiliate links.

November side income - plus a free download of my Side Income Statement Template

It’s that time again, when I whip out my spreadsheet and tally up the totals for my monthly income report! I tell ya, I was never much of a spreadsheet girl before, but several months ago, I created a simple side income statement template that does all the calculations for me, and now I love going in there and adding my side income revenue, because it instantly tells me my total thus far for the month and how much over or under I am compared to the month before.

It’s great because it keeps me motivated. “Oh, I’m only about $50 under last month’s total, and I have a week to go… better hustle and find a way to make at least $50 so I can top  it!”

It makes it like a game of sorts, and it makes it a fun way to break down my income into actionable goals.

My Side Income Statement Template

Here’s what my side income spreadsheet looks like. This is an example from August 2015 (and yes, I totally chose it because it had the highest monthly total!)

All I have to do is plug in the amount I get paid for a particular side income gig or online sale in the appropriate column, and voila! All totals are updated at the bottom of the column, and in the side income total at the bottom.

Side income statement template example - my actual income statement from August 2015
I wait until the end of the month to input affiliate income and Adsense, because I don’t have those totals until the end of the month.

I also have it set so that my salary from my full-time job is shown to me, but not factored into my side income totals. That way I still have a high-level view of my overall monthly income.

Column C is from my online jewelry shop (most of you know it already, but I blurred the name out so it’s not quite so obvious to random people on the internet who stumble upon this image).

Wanna snag a copy for yourself? You can modify it to fit your needs, but it’s really a great way to help keep you accountable! Get your side income statement template here.

November Online Income Report

November’s side income was an improvement from October, which I’m happy about considering I’ve not taken on any new clients or actively seeked out any work. Right now, all of my side income is a result of people coming to me, so it’s nice not to have to spend time hustling to find freelance work or new clients.

That’s a huge perk of having a blog like this. Eventually you develop an audience, and they become your spokespeople, and help spread the word, then people come to you.

90% of my side income is a direct result of this blog. That’s a testament to how important having a blog can be. I’ll be talking more about this in my next post, so stay tuned.

But without further ado, here’s the breakdown of November’s income.

Just like I mention every month, my side income report numbers are an accurate depiction of what I’ve made on the side, bad or good, compared to the previous month. These numbers don’t include my income from my full-time job as a QA Specialist (aka glorified proofreader), or my handsome hubby’s income (from his music, book, and freelance work).

Webmaster/Web Design: $0
Online Sales: $305.35
Affiliate Income: $291.38
Adsense: $13.87
Writing Gigs: $150
Misc: $36.70
TOTAL: $797.30 in extra income (Up $119.41 from previous month)

I’ve also saved a total of $454.61 so far with Digit, the free automated savings app that I am absolutely in LOVE with. You’ve heard me talk about it before on here, and it’s really an awesome way to save money.

It just pulls a couple dollars here, a couple dollars there – amounts so small that they are inconsequential to your banking balance, but  they add up relatively quickly in your Digit account. I highly recommend the service. And it’s free!

You can sign up easily by going to: Savingtosail.com/Digit

December Goals

  • Reveal my new blog/website
  • Launch my first online workshop (I’m excited about this!)
  • Grow my subscriber list for this site and the new one
  • Write at least 3 posts/week (between this site and other site)
  • Eat healthier (we don’t eat poorly, but we do eat out too often)
  • Exercise more

Some of these goals are carried over from last month’s side income post, and I could name a ton more, but the more I name, the more overwhelmed I feel, so I’m sticking to a few hard and fast goals right now, and once I get a few of these checked off, I’ll start incorporating more goals.

Until next time! Can’t wait to see how December’s income report turns out!

Oh, P.S. I want to be nosy… how many of you reading this already have a blog? If you do, post a link in the comments – I wanna go check them out! If you don’t have one, then let me know that in the comments, too!

October Online Income Report

This post may contain affiliate links.

online income report - October 2015

You know what’s amazing? The feeling I get when I get an email from someone who stumbled upon my blog by way of Google or Pinterest or some other endless rabbit hole of the awesome interwebs, and they tell me how these posts have inspired them to start a side business where they make online income, in the hopes of being able to one day quit their job and travel.

It’s bizarre. And awesome.

I mean, I know I’m not saving lives over here, but when anyone tells you that you inspire them… that’s an amazing feeling!

It’s ironic how I started this blog to help fellow sailors see how they could work side jobs from their boat to fund their travels, and while I had a loyal readership,  I really wasn’t getting a lot of outside traffic. Now, I get as much traffic from non-sailors as sailors, and people from all over the world are sharing my posts and emailing me questions about how to make an online income.

I am so grateful that I’m finally starting to see some traction on the blog since starting it 2 years ago. I’ve learned SO much about writing and blogging and promoting my blog since then. I know if I knew then what I know now, my readership would be so much bigger, but you have to start somewhere, and learn as you go sometimes.

The good thing is that you don’t have to take quite as much time as I’ve taken, writing posts, hoping someone would read, and hearing crickets.

I’ll be posting a series of posts on blogging and promoting your blog starting this month, so hopefully you can learn from my mistakes, and save yourself a lot of time and effort when it comes to your blog’s growth. You’ll also be able to apply some of the tips I share to any sort of writing – not just blogs.

BUT before I get started on these posts, I really want to make sure that I’m covering all the things you’re interested in. I rarely ask for favors, but what I’m asking is for you to let me know what you would love to see me cover in upcoming posts on writing/blogging – get specific!

Here are some potential topic ideas:

  • How to start a blog
  • What to write about
  • How to find the time to write
  • How to promote your blog posts
  • How to get affiliates
  • Where to get photos for your blog
  • How to create kickass blog images
  • How to make money with your blog
  • SEO and your blog
  • …????

So comment below with what you’d like to read or learn about when it comes to blogging or writing. Don’t be shy!

October’s Online Income Report

Before I get into this month’s side income report, I just calculated the total amount of side income I’ve made this past year (since last November), and I’ve made $11,845 in online income. That’s an average of almost $1k/mo – not too shabby for working from a sailboat!

October side income was an improvement from September, albeit still pretty slow. My main job has kept me pretty busy, and most of my free time has been spent creating my first online course and preparing to launch my new website (I seriously can’t wait to share more about this once I have everything ready to go… I’m SO impatient – I want it done NOW).

Just like I mention every month, my side income report numbers are an accurate depiction of what I’ve made on the side, bad or good, compared to the previous month. These numbers don’t include my income from my full-time job as a QA Specialist (aka glorified proofreader), or my handsome hubby’s income (from his music, book, and freelance work).

Webmaster/Web Design: $100
Online Sales: $165.95
Affiliate Income: $220.42
Adsense: $19.78
Writing Gigs: $150
Misc: $41.52
TOTAL: $677.89 in extra income (Up $142.67 from previous month)

I’ve also saved a total of $439.24 so far with Digit, the free automated savings app that I am absolutely in LOVE with. You’ve heard me talk about it before on here, and it’s really an awesome way to save money. I love that it just pulls a couple dollars here, a couple dollars there – amounts so small that they are inconsequential to your banking balance, but when they sit and accumulate in your Digit account, they add up relatively quickly. I highly recommend the service. And it’s free!

November Goals

  • Create (and adhere to) an editorial calendar
  • Tweak my listings on my Handmade by Amazon store, Maggie and Milly, where I sell my handcrafted nautical bracelets (for men and women!)
  • Write more content for my new, soon-to-be-revealed website before launching
  • Work on my upcoming online course (hint: it will be a course on getting traffic to your website)
  • Find guest-posting opportunities in the online business niche (thinking big picture)
  • Grow my subscriber list
  • Eat healthier
  • Exercise more
  • More date nights with my hubby (he’s been VERY patient with me as I work through this whole new business idea)

Hopefully I’ll be super productive this month! I’m not actively trying to seek out new business at the moment, but between my jewelry shop, my writing clients, and affiliate income, I hope to still have a decent side income report next month.

Oh, and get this – speaking of online courses, great news if youre interested in taking an online course. Right now, my favorite place for online courses (until mine comes out, of course!) is Udemy. They have courses on everything under the sun, and some are very inexpensive (or even free)! You could buy a courses that may help you in your life or business and make it back 100x. I’ve taken several of their courses, and have always been pleased.

Anyway, that’s all – don’t forget to comment below with what you would love to see in some upcoming posts on blogging.

See ya!