5 Month Income Report & My Blogging Side Hustle Journey

*This post contains affiliate links which I will receive a small commission from if you purchase something after clicking.

I started The Art Spectrum back in 2009 when I was a mere 16 years old – 9 years ago! The blogging world has changed a lot since then, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t using it partly as a side hustle even at that time. I started my blog on Blogspot, the free blogging platform. Back then, Passionfruit Ads was a free platform to use, and bloggers seemed considerably more open to placing ads for others’ blogs on their site’s sidebars.

I was making maybe $20-25 a month just on placing others’ ads in my sidebar. I didn’t even necessarily know what I was doing was affiliate marketing. Regardless of money, though, I always had the intention of making The Art Spectrum a place where artists and creatives could talk about their stories, share their businesses, and be discovered by buyers and those interested in the creative lives of others.

Fast forward to November of 2017 – I’ve made it both through undergrad getting a degree in Art History with a concentration in Medieval Studies at UConn, moved half way across the country to complete a Masters in Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh, found my husband and got married, and was hired as a full time Fine Arts faculty librarian at the University of Pittsburgh.

You’d think someone who is full time faculty at a major university would be paid pretty well, but I started my position making a mere $36,000 a year. Our University is the lowest paying when it comes to their librarians, which is insane because within my first 5 months I had taught over 75 individual class sessions and workshops and was run ragged with the anxiety and stress of it all.

That first summer was such a relief to me, but as classes took somewhat of a break and I really had time to think, I realized that I didn’t want to be in this profession forever if I could help it. Not that I don’t think librarianship and the stewardship of data and knowledge isn’t important and all, but is it a hill I want to die on? No thanks. 

It was in November that I really started looking into how to make money with my blog. I decided, you know what, I love my blog! I love meeting other creatives and helping them tell their stories! It’s been such a pleasure. Some of them end up becoming real life friends. My friend Bec from Clouds of Colour for instance (who recently had a baby so her Etsy is on hold atm) – she was the second artist I interviewed on The Art Spectrum. We still catch up every so often, and in December of last year she designed my tattoo.

The point is, I really wanted to figure out how to make money with what I love doing, and what I’ve loved doing as a hobby for the past 9 years.  

I started learning everything I could about making money with a blog.

  • I migrated my blog from free WordPress to hosted WordPress.

  • I joined a few Facebook groups on blogging, and even made one of my own for Small Business Artists.

  • I quickly joined Awin and Shareasale, sites where you can become a part of affiliate marketing programs, and I set up Google Adsense and affiliate accounts with Skillshare and Amazon.

  • I set up an Instagram and Twitter for the blog.

  • I set up an account with Mailchimp to build my email list, and started using Tailwind to get more Pinterest engagement. These are the results of the last 5 months:

5 Month Income Report

Grand Total: $207.62 

Favorite Affiliate Programs through Awin:

Etsy

Redbubble

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Although at this point I’m making small change, it’s still better than nothing and the journey has been worth it! I just want to thank all my subscribers and readers who love this blog and want to see it succeed. All of your support means so much to me. Even if I can’t make this my full time gig, the journey continues and I’m so excited for where it’s all headed!

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