$10k a Month Blogging: How to Grow from Here? [Side Hustle Coaching]

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raffaele and matt

Side Hustle Show listener Raffaele Di Lallo has built a successful house plant website, earning $10k a month — on the side from his day job.

Still, he explained that 90% of that income was from advertising, and he wanted to diversify his revenue sources and earn more from affiliate marketing.

To help me talk through Raffaele’s business is a long-time friend and online business mentor of mine, Matt Giovanisci.

Matt runs SwimUniversity.com, BrewCabin.com, and MoneyLab.co and the Money Lab Pro membership community.

I knew he’d have some suggestions to grow the income pie and “future proof” Raffaele’s business.

Tune in to check out our full conversation.

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Current State of the Business

Here’s how Raffaele described the current state of OhioTropics:

  • Receiving 350,000 pageviews a month.
  • Email list is 10,000-12,000 people.
  • Generating about $9,000 a month with display advertising from Mediavine, which I plan on to continue growing.
  • Making over $1,000 a month with Amazon affiliates
  • I also bring in some income with a couple eBooks that I sell on Amazon and on the blog.
  • I’m excited to also have a traditionally published book, with a major publisher, that will be coming out in early 2022.
  • I used to do virtual houseplant care consultations but I stopped doing those because I can only do so much.

The Challenge

“My biggest challenge or opportunity is increasing my affiliate income,” Raffaele explained. “My goal this year is to focus on creating specific product review posts, but these types of posts are newer to me so I’m in the process of figuring things out.”

He described trying to balance the online business with his day job, and deciding where to focus his efforts.

Advice and Recommendations

Matt and I had several ideas for Raffaele:

  • Use an in-content email capture form to collect more emails.
  • Use that email list to turn one-time visitors into repeat visitors and buyers.
  • Be nervous of Amazon, given their history of cutting commissions.
  • Partner with smaller growers or brands, where you might have a bigger impact on their business.
  • Consider building out your own digital product(s) to serve your audience.

Again, I think you’ll enjoy this conversation on taking a side hustle that’s already doing well and trying to step it up even more.

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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.

7 thoughts on “$10k a Month Blogging: How to Grow from Here? [Side Hustle Coaching]”

  1. Hello Nick.
    I am on your mailing list. I just listened to a podcast from the fella that’s making $10,000 / mo.
    I need your help. I need some personalized help. Please see if you can give me some direction. Maybe you don’t have enough time.

    I am an ER doctor and I have been practicing since 1979. I am also somewhat of entrepreneur. I have built a freestanding emergency center in the 1980’s that was very successful, but I sold it to a hospital. I do some freelance medical writing and I consider myself an expert in most areas of medicine.

    I am semi-retired right now……too much trauma and drama in the ER. I am looking for another income source in which I can work from my computer. Maybe writing, maybe a blog, maybe something like you have going like the guy with the $10,000 / month income with house plants.

    But, I do not know how to approach it and what would work for me. Do you have any ideas how I can utilize my medical knowledge for a blog or a podcast or affiliate marketing? I need some ideas. Someone like you that understands the audiences and the flow of money. If you help me, I can help you. I don’t know how, but I am open to ideas.


    Tom Douglas, MD

    • Hey Tom, thanks for tuning in!

      I’d avoid any sort of general medical advice blog, given the authority of the already-established competition in that space (the WebMDs of the world, etc.), but there are a few other ideas that come to mind.

      One would be leaning into the specific ER experience with content like “should I go to the ER for _________”. I think a series of articles / videos like that could pick up some traffic.

      Other pros in the medical field have gone the route of helping students with admissions (MedicalSchoolHQ.net, largely built on a podcast audience, or Shemmassian Consulting, largely built from SEO traffic.

      Another angle is to help doctors with other aspects of their lives, like Physician on Fire does with personal finance.

  2. Hello Nick. Just letting you know, I love your show!

    But this episode was sorta bleh. Matt Giovanisci didn’t offer any concrete advice to help his business. He also kept overtaking the podcast with ideas that Raffaele already mentioned or have available on his website.

    One thing I was interested in was what his top post was, and maybe how to build more traffic based on that post. You guys asked the question but Matt interrupted once again…and he never had a chance to answer it.

    It was kind of frustrating to be honest.

    I would love a separate episode on how Raffaele built his online blog business and also specifc steps of bringing traffic to a website organically like he did.


  3. Awesome sauce, Nick. I love both you guys. This is something I’ve been in process of doing over last year or so – email and products. (I’ve come a long way since our Oct 2019 chat…but still have a long way to go). And, even moreso after last year’s crisis

    I can use some help to brainstorm more products. It’s been a learning curve for sure. I should reach out to Rappheal (and Cassidy) to brainstorm as we are parallel but not competing.

    Thx for another awesome podcast. I am planning to relisten and implement soon.


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