On this week’s episode, we’re catching up with the 6-figure houseplant blogger, Raffaele Di Lallo of OhioTropics.com.

You may keep in mind Raffaele from a blog coaching episode we did final 12 months with the assistance of Matt Giovanisci from Money Lab.

At the moment, Raffaele was producing over 300,000 pageviews monthly, which translated into round $10k in revenue, principally from show advertisements and a little bit slice of affiliate commissions as nicely.

The most important change since I final spoke to Raffaele is that he’s been in a position to go away his day job and now works on his weblog full-time.

On this episode, we concentrate on that core of the enterprise and what made that attainable: creating Search engine optimization-friendly content material and monetizing it on autopilot with advertisements.

Tune in to The Aspect Hustle Present interview to listen to:

  • how Raffaele’s enterprise has modified from final 12 months
  • a few of his greatest suggestions for optimizing content material for larger advert RPMs
  • how Raffaele has doubled down on what’s driving probably the most income

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Turning into a Full-Time Plant Blogger

“Lots has advanced and altered since we final spoke. The large factor is that I used to be truly in a position to quit my day job again in early November 2021,” Raffaele advised me.

So, the aspect hustle has grow to be the primary hustle for Raffaele, which is nice information.

Raffaele additionally launched a historically revealed book on houseplant care, to go together with his self-published titles.

houseplant warrior

However the spine of Raffaele’s enterprise is publishing content material on his weblog and he’s continued to publish a few posts per week.

Visitors and Income Numbers

Raffaele’s site visitors goes up and down because it’s seasonal, however he’s averaging over 300,000 pageviews monthly.

That is about the identical quantity of site visitors as final time we spoke.

Nevertheless, Raffaele’s income has gone up, principally on account of his advert RPMs (income per thousand classes) growing.

Right here’s a breakdown of Raffaele’s revenue streams.

Advert Income

Raffaele is utilizing Mediavine to show advertisements on his web site. Raffaele stated he’s been in a position to make the most of a number of the instruments and analytics Mediavine supplies to extend his advert income.

Utilizing Mediavine’s analytics, Raffaele is ready to see which of his posts have the very best RPMs.

Raffaele advised me he’s been writing extra content material across the larger RPM matters, and that is what has contributed to growing his advert RPMs.

RPMs fluctuate all year long. Nevertheless, on month Raffaele stated his RPM is within the $50-$60 vary, though $40 RPM is nearer his common.

This implies for 300,000 classes at an RPM of $40, Raffaele earns roughly $12,000 in advert income.

Affiliate Commissions

After I requested Raffaele about his Amazon Affiliate commissions, he advised me, “It’s chugging alongside just about the identical because it was.”

Raffaele nonetheless provides hyperlinks to merchandise on Amazon if he’s personally used the merchandise and desires to advocate it, however stated it’s not a lot of a spotlight for him.

Raffaele has additionally been working with a person firm that makes customized soil blends for home crops.

He’s working carefully with this affiliate producing customized content material to advertise their merchandise, however this was a brand new relationship on the time of the interview.

Ebook Gross sales

Having launched each digital books and a now a hardback, Raffaele can see that conventional publishing has given him a option to attain a brand new viewers.

Raffaele stated he’s glad he did it, however he’s not in a rush to launch one other e book because of the period of time it took.

Digital Merchandise

In final 12 months’s episode, Matt really helpful Raffaele create extra digital merchandise.

This has been on Raffaele’s thoughts. Creating some sort after all is one thing he’s eager to do, however he hasn’t had time.

“I’m a one-person present, it’s onerous to do the whole lot,” Raffaele defined.

Electronic mail Record

Raffaele lately pruned his email list and dropped any subscribers who weren’t participating together with his emails.

He trimmed right down to round 7,000 subs, however has since grown his record again as much as round 9,500 subs.

Raffaele has created a welcome sequence of emails which are despatched to every new subscriber protecting suggestions round find out how to take care of houseplants.

After the welcome sequence, Raffaele additionally has an extended sequence of automated emails protecting numerous matters in additional element.

Along with this, Raffaele sends out a publication each Thursday.

The e-mail supplier Raffaele is utilizing is BirdSend.

Content material Technique

Raffaele is producing all the content material on OhioTropics himself. Raffaele stated he tried to outsource content material as soon as, however it was apparent the article wasn’t in his voice.

Additionally, the content material Raffaele produces is about his private experiences rising and caring for houseplants, and that’s onerous to outsource.

Raffaele stated he felt like his readers would be capable to inform it wasn’t him writing the content material.

He additionally stated he appears like content material written from first-hand expertise performs higher from an SEO perspective and is extra helpful to guests.

Since going full-time together with his weblog, Raffaele has upped his content material manufacturing from one article per week to 2 articles per week.

Updating Previous Posts

Raffaele is continually his analytics to see which posts or key phrases are beginning to slip, and he’ll go in and replace these posts.

Developing With New Subjects

Raffaele stated he doesn’t see arising with new matters or concepts for content material ever being an issue.

The plant area of interest is big, there are actually 1000’s of crops he might write about. Plus there are infinite questions he can reply round every particular person plant.

Key phrase Analysis Metrics

Raffaele defined that he follows the final Search engine optimization recommendation of on the lookout for low competitors key phrases with first rate search quantity.

To do his key phrase analysis, Raffaele makes use of Ahrefs. One thing fascinating that Raffaele stated about Ahrefs and different Search engine optimization instruments is that “search quantity doesn’t imply something.”

Raffaele picks key phrases he likes the look of or is aware of his readers have been asking about and can write these posts whatever the estimated search quantity.

A few of Raffaele’s highest site visitors posts had a really small quantity of estimated search quantity, so he is aware of it’s working.

Utilizing Google Search Console

Raffaele additionally makes use of Google Search Console to seize new key phrase concepts primarily based on key phrases he’s already rating for, simply not rating very extremely.

To do that, Raffaele defined he appears to be like for key phrases he’s rating close to the underside of web page one that aren’t that associated to the submit that’s rating for them.

He then writes a brand new submit concentrating on these key phrases. Raffaele stated he often ranks so much sooner for these key phrases as he already has some authority in Google’s eyes.

YouTube

Raffaele hasn’t posted a brand new video to his YouTube channel in a number of months, but his subscribers and income continue to grow.

“I’ve to double down as a result of video is big lately,” Raffaele advised me.

It’s time-consuming creating and modifying video, which is why Raffaele hasn’t been engaged on his channel.

Video modifying is one thing Raffaele stated he might see himself hiring assist for and it’s on his to-do record to take action.

Social Media

Raffaele has a large Instagram following of ~165k followers and caught the eye of a big plant firm by way of one in every of his Instagram posts final 12 months.

This ended up turning into some freelance work serving to the corporate with their line of houseplants they only launched.

General, nevertheless, Raffaele admits he’s a “little bit burned out by social media.”

It’s been good to him and he’s constructed up following, however it’s been an enormous time sink for Raffaele and doesn’t transfer the needle like weblog content material does.

Errors And Surprises Alongside the Approach

When Raffaele began OhioTropics he didn’t know something about URL constructions or permalinks and arrange his weblog to incorporate the date within the URL.

That is one thing Raffaele stated he wished he’d identified on the time as he’d choose to have cleaner URLs with out the publishing date included.

He might change it now, however it will imply redirecting all of his present posts and this isn’t one thing Raffaele is snug doing in case he breaks one thing.

One thing else Raffaele didn’t understand on the time is that the advance cash he was paid for his e book was going to be deducted from his royalties.

Raffaele stated he’s positive this was within the contract, and it’s high quality. But it surely got here as a shock when he began promoting books and anticipated the royalties to start out flowing in.

What’s Subsequent?

“Simply persevering with to provide extra content material, it’s a numbers recreation,” Raffaele stated.

Raffaele additionally needs to develop his YouTube channel alongside his weblog content material.

He stated he’s reached some extent the place he wants to rent assist if he’s going to scale up, so hiring a video editor is on the playing cards.

Raffaele additionally has some concepts he needs to discover, corresponding to a telephone app. It’s only a matter of discovering the time whereas sustaining the whole lot else Raffaele has occurring proper now.

Raffaele’s #1 Tip for Aspect Hustle Nation

Don’t hand over.”

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