46: Blogging in Your Spare Time: From $0 to $17,000 a month

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In episode 46 of The Side Hustle show, we get to hear the incredible story of Lindsay and Bjork Ostrom, who built PinchofYum.com up to a massive audience all while working a day job. In fact, they spent a full year volunteering in the Philippines but still managed to keep the site growing and thriving!

In January, the site generated more than a million pageviews and earned over $17,000! In this interview we dive into how they got started, how the readership grew, and how they monetize the site.

Last year, they added to their side hustle portfolio with a new project called Food Blogger Pro, a gated community with a private online forum and an extensive library of tutorial videos.

This one runs a little longer than most episodes, but I think you’ll agree it’s pretty good stuff!

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  • How Lindsay originally started Pinch of Yum on a free Tumblr account, with no idea what she was doing.
  • Why they ultimately switched over to their own domain and began using WordPress.
  • The early days and first dollars of monetization.
  • How the site earns an income today, and why they’d love to eventually get rid of the 3rd-party ads.
  • How Pinterest generates a huge volume of traffic, but there’s no “secret sauce.”
  • How they got it all done in limited hours.
  • How they pre-sold memberships to Food Blogger Pro, and used that money to build the site.
  • The recurring revenue model and what’s on the inside.
  • Bjork & Lindsay’s #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation.


What do you say? Would you still work your day job with that kind of side hustle income?

Ready to start your own blog? Check out my free “how to start a blog” video course and get started quickly and affordably.

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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

9 thoughts on “46: Blogging in Your Spare Time: From $0 to $17,000 a month”

  1. Great podcast! Lindsay & Bjork’s are working hard! It’s inspiring to hear about their journey and success. Bjork mentioned the high time requirement of running a membership site. Good to hear this as I am considering offering starting off with either an online course OR a monthly membership site. I had read the average time that a member remains a paying monthly member is six months which is not too long. So, a one time sale of “how to start your food blog” course might may sell for $597 compared to a six month membership client paying far less ($25 x 6=$150 income). Keeping your monthly members longer than 6 months or raising the monthly member fee would help I suppose. Any pros/cons or comments between the two?

    • Thanks Dawn! What are you thinking your site or course would be focused on?

      The drawback of a high price-point for a one-time course is (in my mind at least), a smaller segment of the market who is ready to invest in it. And from what I’m told, the courses are very much launch-dependent — as in the majority of the sales will happen right around the launch time.

      The membership model can be a more predictable revenue stream, even if it’s lower upfront. To combat early departures, I’ve seen a couple examples of changing the billing cadence, so instead of the member having to make a buying decision every month, maybe they only have to make it every 3 months, every 6 months, or every year. Could do discounting in exchange for more cash flow upfront.

      Just some thoughts.

  2. I know it’s more expensive for you, but I would love to see transcripts of your shows. My current lifestyle doesn’t include time to listen but includes time to read. Thank you for considering this suggestion.

  3. This is a great story that supports the idea of starting is half the job done. They are a bit lucky that their first effort was the winner. There are many people started a few things before they found their winner model. I love how the passion came first and money later in their case. You have to have passion for the work you do and this is extra important in the blogging world.

  4. Nick I found your blog through your ebook when googling Gary Vaynerchuk. Awesome stuff, you’re doing great! Funny how a pdf is so google friendly.

    P.S. I have a solution to your transcription needs. Email me or hit me up on Twitter @londonfundotca

    • Hey Dave, that’s great … and Gary’s name would be a good “keyword” to rank for, pdf or not!

      I’ll send you a note about the transcriptions. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Thanks for this episode. It was very motivating to me. Being a food blogger can be very discouraging sometimes but this gave me a second wind. It’s nice to see what can happen with consistent hard work.

    • Hey Janet, thanks for stopping by — great to see you and happy to provide some motivation! I loved hearing Bjork and Lindsay’s story, but understand it can be tough. Even though food is about a universal a topic (I mean we all gotta eat, right?) it can be an uphill battle to gain some traction, same as with any blog. Keep me posted!


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