March 2018 TURD Income Report

And we’re BACK IN ACTION for March 2018!

In case you missed the update from last month, in February 2018 I made the decision to shut down my private practice. 

I still had a decent number of people I was actively working with 1:1 at the time, but I decided to stop accepting new clients moving forward.

This meant that I removed the “work with me” section of my website, canceled my HealthProfs account, and removed my Google Business listing.

Crazy, right??

But guess what, my income actually WENT UP after making this decision 🙂 

*Please note that some of the links used below are affiliate links. This means that I will earn a small percentage of any sales made through those links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

March 2018 Income Sources

1. Virtual Services ($4,417.08)

  • Freelance Writing ($3000)
  • Virtual Private Practice ($1417.08)

2. Recurring Revenue ($1,158.53)

3. Affiliate Income ($252.45)

4. Products ($28.03)

5. Advertising ($11.77)

  • Google Adsense ($11.77)

Total Income: $5,867.86

March 2018 Expenses

  1. Payments to Assistants: $250
  2. FNL Affiliate Payouts: $48
  3. Thinkific: $49
  4. Hiscox Professional Liability Insurance: $33.33
  5. ConvertKit: $29
  6. Website Hosting with WPopt: $19.99
  7. Tailwind: $14.99
  8. Business Banking Fees: $12
  9. Business Email with G-Suite$10 (2 accounts at $5 each)
  10. Adobe Creative Cloud: $9.99
  11. Dropbox: $9.99
  12. Website Hosting with Cloudways: $11.80

Total Expenses: $498.09

NET INCOME: $5,369.77

Income Overview

I’m proud to say that freelance writing was my greatest income source this month!

This was a MEGA pinch-me moment.

I was basically making a livable wage from freelance writing and my membership site – SAY WHAT???

In case you’re curious, the site I write for is Healthline: Authority Nutrition.

They pay a very good rate for lengthy (usually 2k+ words) research-heavy (usually at least 50 references) nutrition articles – I always learn a lot while writing for them!

It was sort of surreal to realize that I could make almost as much from writing one article as I could from working with a 1:1 client for like 2 months!

Unlike 1:1 client work, which drains me, writing fills me up and is super enjoyable (dare I say it’s almost easy to me??).

Switching my business to focus more on writing and less on client work has been nothing but positive.

Now I make MORE money, have greater flexibility and complete schedule independence.

And it’s nice to know that if I simply sit down and write an article, I’ll know exactly how much money I will receive (unlike private practice, where sometimes it can feel like your income can vary a lot based on how many clients you work with each month).

Overall, leaning into freelance writing has been a super life and business upgrade.

In other exciting news, I also had a great month with the FNL.

For the first time in 2018, I surpassed $1,000 in income from the membership site.

This was because I actually had 5 people sign up for annual memberships, bringing in $595 on top of my recurring monthly revenue. Yahoo!

Here’s what my sales looked like for the month:

FNL Sales March 2018

You can see that I had a big surge in sales at the beginning of the month.

This was most likely due to the final mini e-course I released at the end of February that helped people determine which advanced functional nutrition training might be the best fit for them.

Since ALL of my functional nutrition mini e-courses are included in the FNL membership, a lot of people chose to sign up for an annual membership to gain access to those in addition to all of the notes.

All of the smaller blue spikes on the graph above represent recurring payments from my regular monthly members. As you can see, I was getting thissss close to having at least one payment on every day of the month, which was super exciting!

I was also just ONE MEMBER shy of reaching 100 – I ended March 2018 with 99 active paying members 🙂

And what about that juicy affiliate income??

If I’m being honest, affiliate income is truly one of the most “passive” forms of income out there.

You don’t even have to CREATE your own product, you just simply recommend other people’s stuff and get paid for it when people make purchases.

As a blogger, I’m an affiliate for pretty much EVERY business tool I use (Hint: if you want to join a company’s affiliate program, just go to their website and scroll down to the footer area. There you will probably find a link to become an affiliate).

In March 2018, I hadn’t done a ton of affiliate promotions, but it was on my mind as something to focus on for the year.

So, when Dianne Rishikof approached me about becoming an affiliate for her new e-book, Health Takes Guts (that’s my affiliate link), I was definitely interested!

Since I don’t like to promote anything I can’t personally vouch for, I asked if I could receive a review copy of the book before I decided.

Dianne generously sent me over a copy, and BOY was I impressed! I honestly was expecting a small e-book, maybe like 30 pages or something, but this was like an actual book, just in digital form!

135 amazing pages of advice for practitioners who want to help improve their clients’ gut health.

Since I really thought this e-book was GREAT, I decided to send out an email about it to my functional-nutrition focused email list of like 150 people.

Here’s what that email looked like:

HTG Affiliate Email 1

HTG Affiliate Email 2

More than 50% of my email list opened this email, 20% of them clicked on the link, and 62% of the people who clicked, purchased. 

This = $252 in affiliate revenue this month.

Talk about a great fit for my audience! Those numbers are insane!

I hope this example inspires you to think about how you might be able to implement affiliate strategies in YOUR business as well <3. 

Expenses Overview

This month I paid out nearly $50 to affiliates for the Functional Nutrition Library(If you want to become an affiliate, you can check it out here.)

I also paid roughly the same amount to Thinkific, the platform I used to host my monthly e-courses for the FNL.

As you can see, Thinkific was the priciest business tool I was paying for at the time, so I planned to eventually phase it out when I redesigned the FNL website.

I knew there were plugins I could use that would allow me to create courses on my site, so I planned to look into those moving forward.

Everything else was business as usual… except…


Since I had decided to focus more on freelance writing moving forward, I decided to hire some help 🙂

I realized that I was spending WAY too much time going down research rabbit-holes while writing articles.

I really needed someone to review the literature for me and craft an organized list of the sources I really needed to read in order to write on a certain topic.

By eliminating the PubMed time-suck, I figured I could write a lot faster and earn more money, even after paying for some help.

Soooo, I announced that I was hiring a research assistant in The Unconventional RD Facebook Community and got over 50 freaking applicants!

Oh my gosh, reviewing all the resumes was super tough. SO many people were great candidates.

Eventually, I narrowed it down to a smaller pool of people, whom I asked to complete research on a topic I had already written about (so I knew exactly what they should have found during their lit search and included in their review).

Honestly, I was amazed by the quality of the work submitted, and the final decision came down to super minute-details. Guys, for real, this was SO TOUGH, and now I have so much empathy for hiring managers.

I actually ended up hiring TWO people because I couldn’t decide after speaking to them (LOL) and they were able to get started right away. <3

It was a pretty surreal feeling to be hiring help for the first time!

In the past, I had always felt hesitant about hiring help because my income had been so wildly inconsistent. But with this strategy, I was only paying for help on projects that were guaranteed to result in income (vs, say, paying for help with social media or something).

Seemed like a no brainer, really!

Alright, that’s it for March 2018. 

Thanks for sticking with me if you read this whole post! 🙂

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PS – If you haven’t checked it out yet, I totally recommend joining The Unconventional RD Community on Facebook, listening to my podcast & connecting with me on social media! (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

Erica Julson is a registered dietitian turned digital marketing pro. She has over 12 years of experience blogging and building online businesses and has taught over 900 wellness professionals inside her signature program, SEO Made Simple.