• I Built an E-commerce Store That Earned Me Over $500,000 in 3 Years

    Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@markkoenig?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Mark König</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/ecommerce?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
    Photo by Mark König on Unsplash

    Building a successful e-commerce store is one of the things in life that I’m most proud of. I built it from nothing and ended up selling it for around $250,000.

    It was hard work at times and sometimes quite stressful. But I stuck with it and made it into a great success. I know some others will regard this as a minor success. But for me, coming from my background, it was more than I ever imagined I could make.

    On top of the $250,000, the store made around $100,000 a year profit for three years. That takes the total I made to $550,000 in just three years.

    Note that I did this in the UK. I have made a very rough conversion to $USD, as most readers here are American. The figures can never be accurate because of the huge currency fluctuations between the USD and GBP.

    It started with a simple thought

    I didn’t start with an idea to build an e-commerce site. One simple thought led to an action, which led to another action, which led to building the store.

    It all started when I bought myself an expensive electrical product. I have a curious mind, so I wondered how much profit the business owner I bought it from made.

    As the product cost around $300, I figured they must have made anywhere from $30 to $100 profit. That then made me wonder if I could sell them and make a nice little side income.

    The product is in a small niche that I can’t divulge because of an NDA agreement I signed with the buyer.

    I took action

    Take action!!! Photo by Kamil Pietrzak on Unsplash

    Next, I used Google to try to find some wholesale suppliers. I emailed and phoned a few to ask about their prices. I was quite discouraged because I was either ignored or told to call again when I had a real business up and running. It seemed they only wanted to deal with existing businesses. I assume they wanted to keep their wholesale prices secret.

    I got one interesting reply from a guy though. He suggested I try selling his products on eBay. He said I didn’t need to buy in advance. I could put up the listing, and once I got a sale I could email him the order and he’d post it to the customer. This is a basic dropshipping model, although he didn’t use that term, and I’m not sure it even existed at the time. This was over 10 years ago.


    I already had an eBay account, as I had been selling off items that I no longer needed. So it was straightforward to list a few of the products on eBay. And guess what? I got my first sale the very next day. I can’t remember the exact figures, but I sold the product for around $300 and paid the supplier around $250. It seemed like easy money.

    I continued doing this for a month or two. I calculated that I could make around $3,000 a year if things continued as they were. That would pay for a nice vacation I thought. That was the only expectation I had at the time.

    This then got me thinking again. What if I could double that income? If I could make $3,000 a year, then surely $6,000 a year shouldn’t be too difficult. All I had to do was get more customers. It was then that I decided to create an e-commerce store. I figured out that with profits coming from both the store and eBay, I should be able to increase my profits.

    No Shopify, no WooCommerce

    Back in those days, there weren’t any simple e-commerce solutions like there are today. No Shopify. No WordPress with WooCommerce. Back then it was a case of getting a developer to build a site and integrate an e-commerce script.

    It didn’t seem easy and wasn’t something I was able to do myself, despite my background in IT. These days almost anyone can set up an e-commerce site in an hour or two. That is good in many respects. But it lowers the barriers to entry and creates a huge amount of extra competition.

    Once my site was built (using my eBay profits), I started to share it on forums. These days it is more difficult to share your site. Many people will consider it to be spam. But people didn’t mind when the internet was in its infancy. People were more excited to learn about new sites and find new places to buy from.

    I got a few sales early on, and I was on target to make around $6,000 a year. This had all gone so smoothly that I then realized that I could build a real business. Maybe I could also give up my day job. While I did enjoy my day job, I’d been doing it for many years and I liked the idea of doing something different. I love re-inventing myself from time to time.

    Getting More Traffic

    Photo by Derek Lee on Unsplash

    My next task was to figure out how to get more traffic to my site. I joined a few forums where people were discussing e-commerce sites and got a lot of very useful advice. People seemed way more helpful back then than they are these days.

    Taking the advice into account, I realized that I needed to do two things. One was to try to drive more traffic to the site using Google AdWords, and the other was to add more products to the site. Both combined would surely bring in a lot more sales.

    Next, I re-contacted some of the suppliers I had emailed. Two of them let me have a dropship-type relationship. The understanding was that I would work towards ordering in bulk. Ordering in bulk meant better pricing as well. I also contacted some other suppliers and started to build up my product line.

    For the first two years, I was pretty much always looking for new suppliers and new products. Some products worked out very well, while others didn’t sell at all. There was a lot of trial and error. Often products that I thought would sell well wouldn’t sell at all. Others that I didn’t think would work became a big success. What I learned is that you should always test your ideas. Don’t assume you know the answer beforehand.

    As well as finding new products, I went about building up my AdWords account. This was all new to me, so I spent many weeks and months learning the ins and out of how it all worked. I got to the point where I was spending around $3,000 a month on AdWords, but I still felt that I could improve on that.

    Paying $3,000 to learn AdWords

    I bought a Perry Marshall AdWords course. Through this, I was introduced to an AdWords master. He agreed to teach me how to use AdWords more efficiently. I paid $3,000 for this, which seemed quite a lot of money at the time. But after 6 weeks, my monthly spend was down to $2,000 a month AND I was getting more sales. So the $3,000 training saved me $12,000 a year, as well as making more money from extra sales. That $3,000 training turned out to be a real bargain.

    It was using AdWords to drive traffic to the site that transformed my business. I don’t think I would have been able to build such a successful business without it. I did try other advertising, such as with Bing, Yahoo, shopping comparison sites, and offline advertising. But it was AdWords that got the bulk of sales. Some of the shopping comparison sites were well worth it as well.

    Getting fed-up and burned out

    Photo by Daniel Tausis on Unsplash

    I got to the point where I wasn’t able to grow my sales at all. It’s at this point that I got a little fed up, as I hadn’t had a proper holiday for three years. I did go on holiday, but even then I had to sort out the orders for the warehouse every day. I also needed to answer customer emails, etc. It felt like I couldn’t get away from the business even for a few days. I was getting burned out.

    I did once hire an assistant to run the business while I was away. She ended up being so hopeless that I ended up even more stressed. Not only did I end up having to do the work myself, but spent a lot of extra time cleaning up the mess that she’d created.

    Time for a fresh start

    It was at this point that I decided I needed a clean break and decided to put the business up for sale. I found a broker and they advised that it might take up to a year to get a sale, or I might not get one at all. But luck was again on my side. A few people showed an interest and one of those bought the site a few months later.

    Some other useful information

    There were other aspects to the business that I haven’t mentioned above. In the beginning, I was accepting credit card payments via some online company (I can’t remember the name of it). Their fees were so high that they took a big chunk out of my profits. They charged around 5–10% and kept my money for around 30 days. That wasn’t great for cash flow, especially as the business started growing. I approached about six local banks to ask about getting a credit card merchant account. One of those banks gave me a great deal. I paid around 1.25% to 1.5%, and the sales income got transferred to my account the next day.

    Another interesting thing that happened was that four of my suppliers offered me the exclusive rights to sell certain products. That meant that if any other sellers wanted to sell them, they needed to buy them from my company. That sounded great, but in reality, not many people bought wholesale from me. Competitors usually sold similar products but different brands.

    There is much about the business that I’ve now forgotten, as it all seems a very long time ago. I also lost all my notes when my hard drive crashed a few years back.

    The business is still running and still pretty successful. I noticed that a few of my old competitors are no longer around. It makes me feel proud to realize that I build such a solid and sustainable business.

    Some Lessons Learned

    Choosing suitable products is the toughest part of starting an e-commerce store. Choose wisely. There are several reasons that this store was a success. The main reason is that I used the products myself. That meant that I understood the ins and outs of how they worked. I was able to answer questions from potential customers, and give tips based on my usage.

    Another reason for the success was that competition was limited. I sold specialized products, and there were only around five or six major competitors.

    I was also responsible for repairing any products that broke down, as most had at least a 5-year warranty. Most people do not want to deal with repairs, and so wouldn’t choose to sell products like this.

    A new e-commerce store

    I mentioned on a forum last week that I was thinking of starting an e-commerce store selling mirrors. One person advised against selling mirrors. They said they could break too easily during shipping.

    But for me, that means fewer people will bother selling them, and so there will be less competition. I spoke to a supplier about this issue. They told me it is rare for their mirrors to break during shipping. They are packed properly to ensure they are as safe as they can be. I am now seriously considering this for my next venture. Less competition sounds great to me.

    E-commerce Quick Start Guide

    My E-commerce Quick Start Guide is now live. This includes more up-to-date information on how to get started. Note that this is currently a link to Medium. I’ll be updating this soon.

  • How Can a New Writer Make Money on Medium?

    And what type of stories earn the most money?

    Photo by Windows on Unsplash

    New writers on Medium often don’t know what the best approach is for building a following and earning a side income on the site.

    So, if you are a new writer looking to establish yourself on Medium, here are a few suggestions that may be helpful:

    1. Choose a niche or topic that you are passionate about and knowledgeable about. This will make it easier for you to write about the subject, and it will also make your writing more authentic and engaging for your readers.
    2. Write high-quality, well-written articles. Take the time to research and fact-check your work, and be sure to proofread and edit your writing carefully.
    3. Use images, videos, and other media to enhance your stories and make them more visually appealing.
    4. Engage with your readers by responding to comments and promoting your work on social media and other platforms.
    5. Consider joining a writing community or joining a publication to get feedback on your work and connect with other writers.

    Remember, it can take time to build an audience and establish yourself as a writer on Medium. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results, and keep working on improving your craft and building your platform.

    Most writers give up within 6 months. Nearly all give up with a year. Very few keep writing for 5 years. Maybe only 1%. It’s that 1% that makes most of the money here.

    Do you want to be a part of the 1%? If the answer is yes, then you need to put in the work.

    Just like building wealth, it’s the 1% that tend to put in the work to build that wealth. The 99% just complain instead of doing the work.

    What type of stories earn the most money?

    It is difficult to determine exactly what type of stories earn the most money on Medium, as it can depend on a variety of factors such as the subject matter, the quality of the writing, the popularity of the topic, and the size of the author’s audience. That being said, some types of stories that may have the potential to earn more money on Medium include:

    • In-depth, well-researched articles on timely and popular topics
    • Personal essays or memoirs that resonate with readers
    • Stories that offer unique perspectives or insights on current events or trends
    • Practical guides or how-to articles on topics that are in demand
    • Stories that tell compelling, heartfelt, or inspiring stories

    It’s important to note that earning money on Medium is not guaranteed, and it can take time and effort to build an audience and establish yourself as a writer on the platform.

    If you’re a new writer here, I hope this helps.

  • 3 Killer Benefits of Starting Your Own Blog

    Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@daryadarya_livejournal?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">DaryaDarya LiveJournal</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/RHURc_FsTIY?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
    Photo by DaryaDarya LiveJournal on Unsplash

    I’ve started wondering recently whether Medium is the right place for me. I enjoy writing there and interacting with other writers, but it feels a little like a day job. And a not-very-well-paid day job at that.

    That led to me consider if writing elsewhere would be a better option.

    I wrote in a recent post about a few previous side hustles that worked for me. This made me realize that instead of writing articles for money, I could be writing articles to both make money and build a business.

    The one that is at the front of my mind at the moment is creating another travel blog.

    I ran one years ago which earned me $60,000 over three years. I’ve earned over $7,000 on Medium in the last year. If I could replicate the success of my travel blog, I’d be making three times what I make there. And I’d be writing about something that I love — travel.

    Here are the three main benefits I see from creating your own blog or website.

    Benefit #1 — A blog can earn more money

    The main benefit is that a blog could earn much more than I can earn here. Of course, there’s no guarantee. I’ve created many blogs and content websites over the years, with a few being complete failures. It’s entirely possible that I could create a travel blog that ends up earning next to nothing.

    If you want to start a blog, you’ll love this article about how you can set up a blog for just $33 for a whole year.

    There are no guarantees in life.

    Benefit #2 — It’s easier to take time off without losing traction

    As you are probably already aware, if you stop writing on Medium for a month or two, your views and earnings will likely collapse. With an established website or blog, your views and earnings can stay steady for months, and even years, without any further work.

    You will generally be relying on traffic from Google search. Once your site is ranking well, the visitors will continue coming. When I had my travel blog, there were a few pages that got 100-400 visits every day for years. The keywords ranked very well, with some being at the top of the search results.

    When this is the case, the pages don’t suddenly stop ranking just because you stop writing.

    Benefit #3 — You can build a valuable asset

    Suppose you earn $1,000 a month writing on Medium. Also, suppose you no longer have time to write here. What can you do? Nothing much, except let your earnings drift quickly down to $0.

    Now suppose you built a blog that earns $1,000 a month. Also, like above, suppose you no longer have time to write there. What can you do? Well, you could take a year off and continue earning that $1,000 a month. Maybe it will drop a little. But maybe the earnings will grow a little even if you neglect the blog.

    Over time, your rankings can improve even without extra work.

    But you also have another option. You could sell your blog. A content blog can easily sell for 40 times the monthly profit. I’ve even seen them sell for 50-55 times monthly profit.

    Your $1,000 a month blog could be sold for $40,000 to $55,000.

    With a blog or website, you’re building a valuable asset. Build a few and you can make substantial amounts of money.

    So, why doesn’t everyone do this if it’s so easy?

    The simple answer is that it’s not easy. Sometimes, everything falls into place and it is really easy. My previous travel blog was pretty straightforward. I traveled and wrote about it. That’s it. Oh, and took a few photos as well.

    Other times, nothing seems to work. In that case, you’ll likely need to abandon the blog and try another one.

    You need a niche

    But this won’t work if you just publish random posts.

    One thing to note is that a successful website or blog needs to have a fairly tight niche. Usually, you also need to do keyword research. To rank well, you need to write about what readers are looking for. You also need to target low-competition keywords.

    Target low-competition keywords

    As an example, you’ll never rank well for ‘things to do in London‘. There are too many huge companies in this niche. The top companies have teams of employees working full-time on ranking their sites.

    Go do a Google search and see for yourself. One of the top results is from Trip Advisor. They have over 4,000 employees. Do you think you or I can outrank them for ‘things to do in London‘?

    But you could travel to lesser-known places and write about those. For example, you could visit Chiang Rai and Pai in northern Thailand. A post about ‘how to get from Chiang Rai to Pai‘ would be much easier to rank well. That may get you 10-50 visits to your site each day. Keep writing similar posts and the traffic can add up quickly.

    My travel blog consistently got 25,000 to 40,000 page views per month while targeting low-competition keywords.

    Even with a travel blog, it’s important to have some kind of niche. Maybe traveling in Asia, traveling with kids, traveling as a disabled person, or similar.

    Abena Talks recently wrote a Medium article about how she makes great money writing about fruit. Yes, fruit! There are plenty of similar niches that can make great money. Have a read of her post below.

    I Made $200,000 Online From This Weird Fruit
    As mentioned above, you can’t just write about a bunch of random topics. You need to choose a niche and do some keyword research. Many websites cover keyword research in-depth, so I won’t go over it here.


    I can’t say what’s right for you, but I will almost certainly start another travel blog. Stay tuned. First I need to find a great domain name and a decent WordPress theme.

    I recently wrote about how I plan to earn $8,000 a month by the end of next year. One of the projects I was planning was a print-on-demand site. After further research, I decided to ditch that idea. I plan to replace that idea with a travel blog.

    This should keep me on target.

    Have you considered creating a blog or do you already have one? If you have one, how successful is it? If you have any tips, please share them in the comments section.

  • November Medium Earnings — I’m Still in the $100 Club Despite Not Publishing for 2 Weeks

    Views are holding up very well

    Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

    This is the first article that I’ve published on Medium since 14 November. That’s when I announced that I would no longer be publishing regularly on Medium. Instead, I will publish monthly earnings updates along with updates on my side hustles. There might be the other article or two as well.

    Once I stopped writing, I expected my views and earnings to drop very quickly. That’s not what happened though. The views are down but not as much as I expected. The earnings have continued their downward trend.


    I published 13 stories in November, which is 11 fewer than in October. It’s well below my average of 35 stories per month which I’ve achieved over the last year. Back in April, I published 58 stories.

    These 13 stories were published in the first 14 days of the month, so I could easily have gotten to my average of 35 if I’d kept writing.


    Medium views for November 2022 — Screenshot by the author

    In October, my stories got 11,577 views. In November, that dropped to 8,617 views. The figures are different from the screenshot above because the screenshot shows 2 November to 1 December.

    My views are down 26%. That’s not too bad when you consider that I haven’t published an article for over two weeks.

    The spike you see in the chart above is for an article that suddenly got some external views. It’s a story from July about feeding stray cats. It got 1,259 views over a week. Only three of the views were internal. I earned $0.04 during that week. A week later, I earned $1.84 on a day with zero views. I assume someone that read the story must have later signed up to Medium.

    Followers, Subscribers & Referred Members

    Medium audience for November 2022 — Screenshot by the author

    I gained 156 followers in November. That’s the lowest amount I’ve gained in a month since I joined in October last year.

    Email subscribers are down two to 141. This is the first time ever that subscriber numbers have dropped in a month.

    I have 15 referred members, down one from October. That’s only the second time that I’ve lost a referrer over a month.


    Medium earnings for November 2022 — Screenshot by the author

    In November, I earned $155.98. That’s a drop of 34% from October’s $237.76. It’s the worst month ever for earnings. My best month was back in April when I earned almost $1,700.

    On the plus side, I’ve now earned $7,182.89 since I joined Medium on 30 October 21.

    The Future

    As mentioned previously, I’ll be writing mostly on my blog from now onwards.

    You can see it at SideHustleMonkey.com.

    At the moment. I’m in the process of transferring over all my relevant Medium stories. The first full month, November, has been better than expected, so I have high hopes for this. I’ll provide an update on this later. I’m just waiting for Google t update the final figures for November.

  • This is the Easiest Side Hustle for Beginners

    The first step in building your empire

    Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@veryinformed?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Oberon Copeland @veryinformed.com</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/ebay?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
    Photo by Oberon Copeland @veryinformed.com on Unsplash

    Many people want to start a side hustle, especially in these tough economic times. The problem is that many don’t know where to start. They often just try random ideas and give up quickly when they don’t work.

    But there’s one side hustle that’s suited to almost everyone, especially beginners. It takes zero dollars to start and you’re almost certain to make at least a little money.

    Too good to be true?

    Not at all.

    What is it?

    Selling on eBay.

    Before you dismiss it out of hand, you should know that many make a full-time living by selling on eBay. Millions of others make a nice part-time income.

    You should note that this will only work if eBay is available and popular in your country. If it’s not, there may be a similar platform you can sell on.

    How to start without spending any money?

    That’s easy. Almost everyone has items that they no longer use. You can start by selling those. It’s an easy win. You get rid of your unwanted items while making a few dollars. The buyer gets items they need at a reduced price. You both win. The environment also wins, as the buyer isn’t buying new.

    eBay is as straightforward as it gets, but to improve and make more money you need to put in some work.

    You are willing to work, right?

    After you’ve sold all your unwanted items, you can move on to buying and selling. Many eBay sellers buy from secondhand stores or from places like Facebook Marketplace.

    You can sell a variety of items, to begin with, but if you can buy and sell in a niche, it can work out very well.

    Some also buy discounted items from local retailers and re-sell those. Whether this works for you or not depends on what you have available locally. This kind of buying and selling works best in larger cities, as there is a bigger choice of retailers to buy from.

    A bad time to start?

    You may think that the current cost of living crisis means that now is a bad time to start, but it’s quite the opposite. Many people will be selling items they no longer need so that they can raise some quick cash. Others will be looking to save some money by buying secondhand. You, dear reader, can benefit from this.

    I first discovered the joys of eBay when I bought a secondhand audio course on the platform for $200. After I’d listened to it, I re-sold it on eBay. I got $210 for it. I made $10 from buying something I wanted to use myself and then selling it when I’d finished using it. I was amazed.

    Full-time income potential

    I’ve followed others that have made over $100,000 a year buying and selling secondhand goods. What starts as a small side hustle can turn into something that pays more than your day job.

    Getting to $100,000 a year takes a lot of work though.

    I’ve made money on and off doing this in the past. I travel too much these days, so I’m never in one place long enough to build it into a real business. If I ever settle down, I may give it a serious go.

    Have any of you tried buying and selling on eBay or a similar platform?

  • My New Blog Had Almost 1,000 Views in Month 1

    It’s a much better start than I was expecting

    Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash
    Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

    I started my new blog on 23 October. The results below are for the month of November. I’m extremely happy with my progress so far. If I can keep this up it should be a great success.

    The blog is SideHustleMonkey.com.

    Stories published

    I’ve published 14 stories on the blog so far. These are all articles that were previously published on Medium. I was hoping to upload more than this, but it’s quite a tedious process. I plan to do better this month.

    I’ve made sure that I set the canonical link for each Medium story to point at my blog, as I want Google to rank the stories on my blog not the ones on Medium. If you’re planning to copy Medium stories to your own blog, you need to make sure you do this. You can edit the canonical link under the Advanced Settings of your Medium stories.

    Users and Views

    Google Analytics for Nov 2022 — Screenshot by the author

    Google Analytics shows that I had 375 users and 917 page views for November. I thought I would be lucky to get 500 page views, so I’m more than happy to reach almost double that.

    Google Search Console Impressions

    Google Search Console Impressions for Nov 2022 — Screenshot by the author

    Google Search Console shows information such as how many pages on your site are indexed and how many impressions and clicks you’ve received from Google search. 

    As you can see above, the side had 29 impressions and 4 clicks. That may seem low, but it’s pretty good for the first month. It can take 6 months or longer to start getting high numbers of impressions.

    You can also see from the chart that I was only getting one impression now and again, to begin with. During the last few days, I’ve started getting 3–4 impressions a day. That’s another good sign.

    As more pages get indexed, this number should grow quickly. I’ll also try to publish a post per day this month, so that should also help.

    Google Search Console Page Indexing

    Google Search Console Page Indexing for Nov 2022 — Screenshot by the author

    As you can see above, only around half the pages on my site are currently indexed. The indexing took a while to get started, but it seems to have picked up in the last few days.

    As more of these pages are indexed, I should get more impressions and clicks from Google Search.


    I earned $65 in October from an affiliate link. I didn’t earn anything in November. I only have an affiliate link on one story though, so this isn’t unexpected.

    I want to get 50–100 articles published before I start adding ads. I think it’s easier to get ranked initially if your site doesn’t have many ads. 


    A blog like this could sell for 30-50 times its monthly profit. I’m going to assume a 40X valuation here and in all future updates. This is just to help motivate me. If I can see the value of the blog increasing over time, I’m more likely to keep adding content regularly.

    I’m not entirely sure how to start the valuation. I haven’t made any profit in November, so that would mean the blog is currently worth zero. Note that I’m ignoring the value of the content and only basing my figures on profit multiples. 

    The blog earned $65 in October, so that would value the blog at $2,600. 

    Maybe the value is somewhere between $0 and $2,600. This will get clearer as I go along.

    Note that this is a very rough estimate. The blog would need to have a consistent monthly income of at least six months to reach those valuations. 

    What’s next

    My plan for the next few months is to keep adding all the relevant articles from Medium. It’s a very tedious job.

    Other than that, I’ll keep an eye on the stats to make sure they’re heading in the right direction. 

    I may also write a few dedicated posts specifically for this blog.

    I’ll keep promoting the site wherever I can.

  • 9 Ways to Easily Increase Your Medium Earnings

    Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@adelis?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Adel</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/climbing-a-mountain?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
    Photo by Adel on Unsplash

    I’m sure you would all like to increase your Medium earnings. After all, who wants to work for a pittance? Not me and not you. You’ll be glad to know that there are several methods that you can use to increase your views, reads, and earnings.

    Read on, and all will be revealed.

    Method #1 — Write more articles

    Let’s start with the most obvious. If you earn $300 a month from writing ten articles, you should make $600 by writing 20. This doesn’t scale very easily though. You’ll hit your limit quickly. But it is a way to get a quick win.

    Method #2 — Read, clap, comment, and follow other writers

    I did this consistently a while back and managed to increase by views my 100%. It won’t always work out so well, but in my experience, it always works. You’ll get noticed by others, and some of them will read your work.

    This One Medium Trick Boosted My Views by 100%

    Method #3 — Think 10x not 10%

    I recently wrote about how I plan to 10x my Medium earnings by using this method of thinking. Yes, you’ll need to put in some effort in the thinking department. You won’t always get a 10x increase, but maybe you’ll come up with a few great ideas that work wonders for you.

    How I Plan to 10x My Medium Income and How You Can Too

    Method #4 — Write great headlines

    This is something that most writers don’t take enough time over. If you’ve written a great article, it won’t get many views unless you also have a great headline. Writing a headline that gets clicks is probably more important than the article itself. Follow these headline-writing tips from Tim Denning.

    Headlines — 14 Key Takeaways From Tim Denning’s 3-Day Writing Course

    Method #5 — Use appropriate tags

    When publishing your stories you’re allowed to add five tags. It’s important that you use all of them. They help readers find your story. Make sure you use tags that are appropriate for your story. There’s no point in using tags that are a mismatch. I wrote more about tags in the following article.

    Use These Tags If You Want Your Stories To Go Viral

    Method #6 — Publish consistently

    If you look at the top writers here, the one thing they have in common is that they are consistent. That doesn’t mean writing and publishing every day though. Do what suits you, but be consistent. That might mean writing 10 articles a month or 30 articles a month. You should avoid publishing 50 in one month and then five the next. That’s very inconsistent.

    Method #7— Publish in appropriate publications

    Publishing in publications will generally get you more views. Compared to self-publishing, you’ll be exposing your writing to readers that have never seen your work. When I checked the data for stories I published, it showed that I got 50% more views for stories that were published in publications.

    My Stories in Publications Have 50% Higher Views

    Method #8 — Help your readers

    By this, I mean that you should write with your readers in mind. If you write journal-style stories, no one will be interested. Readers are often looking for help or advice. They want to fix something in their lives. Your job as a writer is to give them what they want. It’s not about you. It’s about your readers.

    Method #9 — Experiment

    Don’t blindly follow advice, but experiment to see what works for you. The above methods have helped me and should also help you. But different methods work for different writers, so experiment. You may also cover other methods that work for your unique situation.

    I hope the above tips help you grow your views, reads, and earnings.

    If you have any other ideas that may work, let me know in the comments section. Let’s help each other to grow and move forward.

  • Stop Wasting Money on These 21 Things

    You can save a small fortune by making smarter buying decisions

    Photo by energepic.com: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-payment-terminal-2988232/
    Photo by energepic.com: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-payment-terminal-2988232/

    During the current economic crisis, I hear many people complain that they don’t have enough money to survive. Every day, I read that millions are having to use their credit cards to pay for essentials like food and heating. It seems that everywhere I look, people are suffering.

    But when I look more closely, what I see is almost everyone wasting their money. People are throwing their money away on overpriced products that many don’t even need. With a little planning, the average person could save a substantial amount of money each month.

    These are the top 21 ways I see people wasting money. I could easily come up with a list of 100 ways. People are literally wasting billions of dollars every day.

    #1 — Brand-name Medicines

    Not many people seem to be aware that there are generic versions of brand-name medicines for sale for a fraction of the price. Next time you need to buy drugs, ask the pharmacist about generic alternatives.

    #2 — Takeaway & Convenience Food

    Takeaway and convenience food can cost two, three, or four times as much as it would cost to make similar food at home. Not only are you wasting money on takeaway food, but you’re also likely damaging your health.

    If you cook at home, you can make healthier choices and save money at the same time.

    #3 — Storage Space

    If you need to store your possessions for a short period of time, paying for storage space can be a good solution. Where many people go wrong though, is storing junk that they will never use again.

    I’ve read of people paying $50-$100 a month for years. Often, they pay more for storage than their possessions are actually worth. There’s no point paying $1,200 to store a $500 item. Yet, that’s what some people do.

    Instead, why not sell what you don’t need?

    #4 — Paper Towels

    Using paper towels is not only a waste of money but also damaging to the environment. The more paper products we use, the more trees need to be cut down.

    A better solution is to use a cleaning cloth. It will last a long time and can be easily washed.

    #5 — Brand-name Clothes

    I have the odd brand-name item of clothing, but I didn’t buy it because of the brand name. I buy good-quality clothes that look good on me.

    Too many people these days are obsessed with wearing certain brands. The extra cost is mainly because of the marketing, not because the clothes are of better quality.

    Ask yourself this — if the clothes are so great, why do the companies need to continue spending millions on marketing?

    #6 — Cars & Gas

    I’ve only ever owned four cars in my entire life. Three of them cost under $2,000. I’ve never bought a new car. This has saved me a massive amount of money over the years. I usually walk, cycle, or get public transport.

    As well as saving money, walking and cycling help keep me fit and healthy.

    #7 — Gym Membership

    You don’t need to join a gym to get fit. You can work out for free. You can go running in the park and do bodyweight exercises both outdoors and indoors.

    Every morning, I do 20 pushups, 20 squats, 20 lunges, and 20 jumping jacks. It only takes me a few minutes. I often repeat this in the afternoon. After a few weeks, I vary the exercises. I also walk and cycle.

    #8 — Kitchen Gadgets

    I’m sure you all have at least one kitchen gadget that seemed like a good idea but only got used a few times. Maybe you have a bunch of them hidden in the back of your cupboard.

    If you use these gadgets often, they may be worth the costs. But for most people, they are a complete waste of money.

    #9 — Cable TV & Streaming Services

    More people are already realizing that cable TV and streaming services like Netflix are a waste of money. YouTube is free and is more than enough for most people’s needs.

    #10 — Print Newspapers

    I think of print newspapers as the paper version of yesterday’s internet news. There doesn’t seem to be much point to print newspapers these days. There are out of date even before they’re printed.

    #11 — Books

    Books can be borrowed from libraries for free, so there’s no real need to buy them. If we do want to buy, we can reduce the cost by sharing books with a group of friends.

    Most books that are bought are read once and then forgotten about. They aren’t very good value for money.

    #12 — Bottled Water

    Instead of buying bottled water in plastic containers, why not fit a water filter at home? Not only will you be saving money, but you won’t be contributing to all the plastic bottle waste.

    #13 — Extended Warranties

    There may be rare occasions where these are worthwhile, but most extended warranties are just a rip-off. I remember buying a printer for $100 and being asked if I wanted an extended warranty for $75. I walked out of the store. It’s beyond ridiculous.

    If it costs 75% of the product price to insure it, then the product must be of exceedingly low quality. Either that or the retailer thinks you’re stupid.

    #14 — Computer Software

    When it comes to most common computer software, there are almost always free alternatives. These alternatives are usually just as good as the paid versions. You may need to pay for some software if you’re running a business, but for personal use, the free versions are usually enough.

    #15 — Banking Fees

    Some banks charge extortionate fees. If your bank does, I’d suggest switching to a bank that has more reasonable fees. These days, you can get good bonuses for switching banks, so that’s a double gain.

    #16 — Airline Fees

    When you’re booking airline tickets, what seems like the cheapest tick often isn’t. If a ticket from one airline is $200 and it’s $250 from another, it’s tempting to just book the $300 ticket right away.

    But you need to check what all the added extras add up to. Many airlines charge extra for booking a seat, for luggage, for an inflight meal, and much more. These can add up to a substantial amount. Make sure you calculate the total cost before choosing which airline to book with.

    #17 — Pastry With Your Coffee

    Whenever I buy a coffee, the barista almost always asks if I want a cake or pastry with it. It’s sometimes too easy to just say yes. But if you didn’t intend to buy a pastry, just say no.

    Adding a pastry to your order every day is bad for your wallet and bad for your waistline.

    #18 — Upgrading Your Phone Every Year

    I’ve had the same phone for almost four years. I’ve had my laptop for over five years. They both still work perfectly. There’s simply no need to upgrade your phone or electronics every year as some people do.

    The upgraded phone likely isn’t much better than the phone you already have. Sometimes, a new phone turns out to be worse than the one we already had. In those cases, we’re paying to downgrade our phones.

    #19 — Alcohol & Cigarettes

    These are both a disaster for your wallet and your health. If you have to drink, do it in moderation. Enough said.

    #20 — Monthly Subscription Boxes

    It can seem like a good idea to get a monthly box of whatever you’re into. What you’ll find though, is that often you don’t like what’s in the box. Your box turns out to be a waste of money.

    Instead, why not just buy the individual items you want? There’s simply no need to get a subscription box of random items that you may or may not like.

    #21 — Impulse purchases

    Whenever I see an expensive item that I’m thinking of buying, I put the decision off for a week or two. If I still want to buy the item, I go ahead and purchase it.

    But I find that around 90% of the time, I just forget about it. I didn’t need it as much as I thought I did at the time. Impulse purchases are usually satisfying emotions and not needs.

    As well as saving money, you can also earn more money by writing on Medium. Read how I made $5,800 in just 8 months.

  • My 5 Side Hustles That Will Earn $8,000 a Month by 31 December 2023

    I have deliberately set a bold target

    Created by the author using openai.com
    Created by the author using openai.com

    Itis time to set some new income goals for next year. I had a choice of setting either a bold target or a more realistic one. My concern with setting a realistic target is that I may reach it. It’s better to think BIG. Even if I miss my target, I’ll still be more than happy.

    I love experimenting with different side hustles. Some will work and some will fail. I double down on the successes and ditch the failures.

    By setting a target date of 31 December 2023, I’m giving myself 16.5 months to reach my target. It’s bold but achievable.

    Why a target of $8,000?

    This is approximately how much I made from my best side hustle of all time, my e-commerce store. That was many years ago and I have coasted a little since then. Now it’s time to get back on track.

    I have 5side hustles ideas that I am already working on or plan to start soon. They are as follows:

    Side Hustle #1 — Writing (Target $3,000 per month)

    I have been writing here for almost 10 months. I’ve earned an average of around $700 per month so far, with my best month being a $1,695 payday. I am confident that I can reach $3,000 per month by the end of 2023.

    I have already taken one writing course and started a second one. I’m also in the process of implementing changes to what I write and the way I publish. These should produce big dividends.

    As well as Medium income, I also plan to get writing income from Substack and Ko-fi.

    Time needed: 1–2 hours per day. More when I’m taking writing courses, as I am at the moment.

    Side Hustle #2 — Index Funds (Target $1,000 per month)

    This is not a true side hustle, but I’m counting it as one, as it will be generating income. It will require practically zero work. My funds are mostly invested, but I will add extra funds automatically every month.

    All I need to do is check that stats once a month.

    Time needed: Zero. It runs itself.

    Side Hustle #3— Crypto (Target $2,000 per month)

    This side hustle will take a little more work, but not too much. I will couple my hodl strategy with some limited trading. Hopefully, the market will continue to pick up as it has been recently.

    There is a danger that this could produce negative results, but I’m hopeful that this will be a big winner.

    I have much more ambitious targets for this over the next 5–10 years.

    Time needed: 2–3 hours per week.

    Side Hustle #4 — Print On Demand (Target $1,000 per month)

    This will be a brand new side hustle. This is a saturated market, but I recently did some VA work for someone that does this. I’ve picked up some tips and hope that will help me hit the road running.

    I will focus on digital art, to begin with. This is the side hustle that I’m the least confident about. It has potential though, so it is worth putting in the effort to test it out.

    I will likely sell on Redbubble, Printful, and Etsy.

    Time needed: 1 hour a day.

    Side Hustle #5— Niche Content Website (Target $1,000 per month)

    This will be another brand new project. I already have a niche in mind and also have a list of possible domains.

    I will kick this project off myself, but I’ll then likely hire a VA to do the day-to-day work. That will mean I need to pay money upfront, but it should be well worth it.

    I follow a few people that run niche content websites. They all do pretty well, although the work needed to get to $1,000 a month is pretty tough.

    I recently wrote about how you can set up a blog for just $33 for a year.

    Time needed: 1 hour a day. More during the set-up stage.

    Total time needed for all the above: 3–4 hours a day.

    I will provide an update in the months to come. This will most likely be at the end of this year. If I can get to 20–30% of my target by then, I’ll be quietly confident of reaching my final target.

    I will likely have to make adjustments to the above projects. Some could be dropped, while new ones might be added.

    One other side hustle that I’m considering is a rental property. I need to wait until at least next year though, as I need to see how the property market reacts to the current economic situation.

    Once I reach my $8,000 target, I’ll repeat what works on a bigger scale and aim for higher targets.

    I will do all the above mostly while traveling.

  • October Blog Update — So Far, So Good — I Already Earned $65

    A first monthly update on my new blog

    Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

    I recently wrote about how you could set up a blog for just $33. It cost me around $10 extra because I decided to buy a domain separately instead of opting for the free domain offer.

    Having a domain bundled up with your hosting can sometimes cause problems if you want to move to another hosting company. For that reason, I prefer t pay a little extra and have full control over it. I can point it to another hosting company at a moment’s notice if I want.

    Page Views

    Page views for SideHustleMonkey.com (October 2022) — Screenshot by the author

    As you can see above, the site got 112 page views in 8 days. That’s a pretty good start seeing as I only have 11 articles live so far.

    The site also had 57 users.

    If the site got a similar amount of users and page views over a whole month, it would have over 200 users and 420 page views. That would be a better start than any of my other blogs have had.

    Of course, this could just be a case of beginner’s luck. I’ve mentioned the site here, so it could just be followers having a quick look but with no plans to ever return. Only time will tell.

    I have plans to market the site a little in other places, so let’s see how that pans out.


    I didn’t think I’d have a section on earnings in my first update, but I’ve already had an affiliate sale view a link from my blog.

    I’ve earned $65. If I could get one of those a month, I’d be a happy bunny. However, I can’t imagine my site making money that easily.


    At the moment, I’m just adding articles that I’ve already published on Medium. I probably have enough that I can add one a day for the next 3–4 months.

    After that, I’ll likely write start writing articles specifically for the blog and then republish on Medium later. That would mean I had the potential to earn money from two places for the same articles.

    Updating the website

    I still have some work to do tidying up the site. It’s still missing a few basic pages. I also need to figure out the categories and tags to make sure I’m using the most appropriate ones.

    I’ll provide another update next month.

    Here’s the blog: Side Hustle Monkey.com.

    Do you have a blog or plan to start one? If you already have one, have you shared any tips on how you got them running smoothly? Feel free to link to any relevant stories of yours.