For the past two years I’ve tried to increase my semi-passive income by buying two websites. As a side gig to my work as a freelance writer, I thought that they’d be easy enough to keep going while helping me meet an important financial goal — paying my family’s monthly mortgage.
It didn’t work out as well as I hoped it would, and I recently sold an investing website called Before You Invest after about two years of ownership. It was an interesting side gig, but I found that I didn’t have the time to devote to it that I thought it deserved.
The sale comes about six months after I sold another site I bought as a side gig and a way to add some semi-passive income — FamousParenting.com. I wrote about this sale in 2016, explaining that it was taking up too much of my time and wasn’t making much money.
After starting with a sudden change from how the site had been running for years with weekly posts on the best parenting sites, it looks like the new owner of FamousParenting has changed it to original blog writing that should hopefully attract more readers.
Selling Before You Invest as a side gig was a more difficult decision. I increased the number of posts on the site, and even hired a few part-time writers. Traffic increased and my income from the site doubled within a year, but it still wasn’t enough to keep me enthused about running the site.
I sold it to someone who I think will only improve it, and think it will continue to be an excellent resource for people entering the world of investing.
My goals for my websites have been to write about what I’m passionate about — personal finance writing — while hopefully having the sites earn enough money to pay our monthly mortgage. I put a lot of hours into the two personal finance sites I still have — CashSmarter and Add-Vodka — and I plan to continue that work.
Dropping a side gig, as I learned with FamousParenting, is a difficult but important step to having more time to focus on things that are successful and are areas that I really want to work in. CashSmarter is a site I started from scratch, while Add-Vodka is a PF site I bought from another blogger as a way to have a built-in audience from the start.
Dropping a site from my media empire is giving me more time to spend on these two sites. I’ve already made a few changes to CashSmarter, thanks to the help of a consultant who I hired.
For example, I’ve added a free e-book to help people learn how to become an expert source for the media. All it requires is providing an email so that you’ll get a newsletter from me every once in awhile on what’s going on at CashSmarter.
I’m working on a few other changes at the site, including an improved “About” page that will better tell the story of how I came to be where I am as a personal finance expert and why I started this site.
Another side gig?
Will I take on extra side gigs? Doubtful. I thought running five websites would be easier than it is, and I’d like to think I’ve learned from my mistakes. Running two personal finance sites and a site devoted to my freelance writing work is keeping me busy, and for 2017 I plan on focusing on those.
Who knows what will happen in 2018? Maybe I’ll figure out how to run these sites more smoothly and will decide that adding a side gig or two is in the cards. But for 2017, I’m sticking with what I’ve got.