My journey building a blog and a side income after 1 year

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n October 2020 I finally launched my blog and started to write. A year later I grew the blog to 10k pageviews and $800 in monthly revenue as a side project. No ads, just digital products based on the content that resonated with people.

Today I am going to share my journey and the lessons I learned.

Gumroad 30 days income from Notion templates.

It was my second attempt when I launched this blog a year ago. The first try failed because I focused on the design instead of the content. This time, after reading [this article]( from Nat Eliason, I just started.

I spent a day to launch the blog with Webflow and then focused on the content. To make the blog successful, I had to be consistent with the content production. Since it's a new skill, I had to undergo some identity changes.

The goal was to build a habit of writing. I set a schedule to publish an article once a week. Big thanks to Atomic Habits and James Clear's blog. I started small and tried to be as consistent as possible.

At first, I wrote about everything that interested me. It was an opportunity to research and write on topics I was always curious about but never "had time for it". I wrote about creativity, learning, perfectionism, first principles, and so on.

After a few months, I had only a couple of visitors a day. Probably my friends. I established the habit, but it felt discouraging that nobody can discover my work.

That's when I learned about SEO. The topics and the keywords I wrote about were super competitive and my content didn't rank. Nonetheless, I kept writing and exploring different topics until I saw some growth.

About the same time, I learned about Notion and started to use it for many different things. I was so hyped about it that I decided to share the different ways I use it. A month or two later I saw real growth of organic visitors.

Search console showing the organic traffic growth.

It was a relatively new niche and although there was competition, it was possible to rank for that type of content. The more I wrote the more visitors I had. I learned the power of organic traffic.

I shared the way I organize my life with Notion, how I set goals, track progress, build habits and promote self-growth with a system I built. It resonated with many readers. It helped to solve the same problem that I had: reach goals and promote self-growth.

Blog posts I published in my Notion content dashboard.

At that time I had financial difficulties so I thought about how I can generate a side income from the blog.

I like to keep my blog clean and fast so ads were out of the question. Then I came up with an idea to make a digital product out of my life operating system. I knew there's interest because I saw the growing traffic.

I wrote 5k words long series of blog posts on how to set up a system that helped me to overcome procrastination and finally move towards my goals.

I launched the system on @gumroad and since then it has generated $1400 with no marketing or promotion. Although you could follow the blog posts and build it yourself, people found it valuable and purchased it anyway.

Gumroad earnings screenshot.

I like the concept of sharing useful information at zero cost but also launching it as a product for those who prefer saving time and supporting my work.

The other products I launched, both free and paid, generated more revenue. It is now at $800 a month of passive income.

For comparison, I earn €4k a month as an architectural designer. I spent 11 years to earn that much. And I am lucky I didn't have university debt.

Just to make it clearer: $800 passive income as a part-time project and €4k as a full-time 160 hours job. That's when I realized that my time can be more valuable somewhere else.

I am glad that I didn't give up in the first 3-6 months of my blogging journey when I didn't see any progress. Instead, I analyzed what I did wrong and what I can do better.

I explored different topics to find a niche, stayed consistent, and launched products that generate passive income. All-time revenue currently is at $2500.

Gumroad all-time earnings from selling digital products.

To summarize.

1. Just start
2. Stay consistent
3. Drive identity changes
4. Try different things
5. Provide value

Hope my experience will be useful and encouraging for others to just start and keep going until you pass the plateau, and finally see the results of your efforts.

If you liked this post, consider [following me]( on Twitter to not miss future updates. From now on I plan to document my journey to a $15k MRR that can help me gain freedom and design a lifestyle I always had in mind.

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