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I earned 598.77$ as a Side Hustle in October, and Most Likely It Won’t Happen Again

A must in one day in Vienna: itinerary Hundertwasserhaus

Last month, I started taking my travel blog seriously as a source of passive income. That means I have to show up every day and improve it every day. Updating old content. Writing new ones. SEOing everything. Doing backlinking. The whole shebang.

Here are some strategies I put in place

Doing a series on non-competitive keywords around my trips in Europe.

I’m doing a lot of one day in series:

One Day in Lugano: The Best Things to Do
Day trip from Ljubljana: Things to Do in Trieste in 1 Day
Day trip from Ljubljana: The Best Things to Do in Lake Bled in 1 Day
One Day in Ljubljana: Things to Do and Some Personal Tips
One Day in Venice: Things to Do in Venice, Italy

These itineraries are catered towards certain keywords that are not diluted yet on Google, which means it is easy for these content to rank in two to three months time.

Link building

There is a reason why I’m linking the articles on the top. Those are links, baby. And links give them better chances of ranking. So that’s why they are there.

On top of that, I now include Pinterest in my link building strategy. Some of the traffic on my blog are surprisingly from Pinterest. For example, my one day in Lugano content has a lot of shares and traffic from Pinterest.

Now how much did I actually earn in October.

By far, travelpayouts is the best travel affiliate that I’ve tried. I’ve tried CJ. I’ve tried many travel booking platform’s affiliates. All these places have their own minimum payment threshold. Just imagine having all of them in one place, it becomes much easier to reach the payment threshold and therefore have access to your own money. The lowest minimum amount you can withdraw from TravelPayouts is $100.

Travel Payout (Agoda, Booking, Getyourguide): 63$. Earnings are mostly from Agoda since most of my high-ranking content are the ones about the Philippines. Agoda is popular in Southeast Asia. But I expect, Viator, and GetYourGuide will outrank Agoda earnings next year, since I’m doing a lot of content on my Europe trip which I expect to rank on Google by mid-2024.

Agoda (its own platform): 25$. Still in the process of updating old affiliate links and centralize everything on travelpayouts. But for content that hasn’t been changed yet, it still brings some Agoda income.

Google Adsense: 10.77$. It is not much, I know. But it has been steadily growing every month. The sessions too. And that matters. Why? As I said I intend to reach at least 50k sessions to be admitted in the Mediavine program. One lovely news is that my little blog has reached 1M impressions. Woho!

Paid creative writing talk: 100$. I don’t know if I should count this. Back in September, I was invited to talk about my creative writing process. It has nothing to do with my blog, but with my other life, my literary writing life. Yep, I write poetry, short stories, and essays in my mother tongue. And sometimes I get invited to talk about these things and get paid a bit.

Literary prize: 400$. Kinda similar to the paid creative talk. This one is a very random thing to have. Most likely, the only time that this occurs. A collection of poems of mine and a short story won third prize in a national writing contest in my home country, and there is a bit of money involved. The prize is taxable.

Breakdown of my affiliate marketing earnings on Tiktok for full transparency.

Total October side hustle earnings: 598.77$

But as I said, if I remove my literary writing earnings, my affiliate and ads earnings will only be $100 which is roughly Php5000.00, and it is not really a huge amount especially in Germany where I currently live. Sure, it can handle half of the groceries of the week. 😛

Again, as I said I’m not doing this challenge to be rich. I will be more than happy to have a consistent $500 a month from these little side hustles.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

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