October 2017 Unconventional Income Report | The Unconventional RD

Please note that this article contains affiliate links, clearly marked below. If you click on these links & make a purchase, I will earn a small percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you.

OKAY, so I followed up my BEST month ever with one of my WORST. 

Go figure, right??

Does anyone else notice a pattern like this??

I think it’s because I tend to hustle and work my ass off for a few weeks or months, and then I just crash and need some time off (which then = a lower earning month).

BUT, as I work to build my passive income streams and less of my income is dependent on my direct time, hopefully, that will change 🙂

I WILL say though, that some REALLY exciting non-private practice related opportunities came my way this month that totally ended up changing the trajectory of my career. Stay tuned for more on that at the end of the post!

So without further ado, here’s the income report!

October 2017 Income Sources

1. Virtual Services ($940.83)

  • Virtual Private Practice ($818.33)
  • Consulting ($122.50)

2. Recurring Revenue ($322.83)

  • Functional Nutrition Library ($322.83)

3. Events ($200)

  • Public Speaking ($200)

4. Products ($40.34)

  • Fullscript ($40.34)

5. Advertising ($27.91)

  • Gourmet Ads ($15.03)
  • Google Adsense ($12.88)

6. Affiliate Income ($0.80)

  • Amazon ($0.80)

So my #1 income source in October was still from 1:1 work seeing clients, but hey, I’m patiently waiting for that passive income to grow!

Let’s dive into some more details on these income streams:

Virtual Services

1. Virtual Private Practice ($818.33) 

Alright, so this isn’t as good as September, but that’s mostly because last month I had a few people sign up for $1,000 nutrition counseling packages and pay in full.

That means that this month I was still working with them, but didn’t get any additional income since they paid upfront.

I’ve mentioned a lot about my virtual private practice in past posts, but…

2. Consulting ($122.50)

As I mentioned in previous 2017 income reports, I spent the first half of the year doing some consulting for a school district who needed to revamp their local school wellness policy to meet the new regulations.

It was a great gig that I appreciated so much while I was transitioning away from math and science tutoring and leaning more heavily into my nutrition-focused work 🙂

This month I got paid for a few hours of final work that I did over the summer, buttoning up some last minute details before the 2018 school year started.

And as always, just a reminder that I got this gig by pitching myself to a former preceptor, so never underestimate the power of your network and simply putting yourself out there! <3

Recurring Revenue

1. Functional Nutrition Library ($322.83)

Here’s an inside look at my transactions for October 2017 from the Functional Nutrition Library:

Functional Nutrition Library Sales Oct 2017

I had 1 new annual subscriber at $119/yr, plus 17 recurring payments from monthly members, so my total for the month was $322.83.

Considering that this was only the 4th month of my membership’s site existence, and I had done NO advertising whatsoever besides mentioning it in my own Facebook group (only 1,000 members at the time) and within the NEDPG listserv during my advertising month, I was pretty happy with this progress!

In addition, I also added twenty-something members who received 6-months free access to the FNL for purchasing the RD Entrepreneur Symposium through my affiliate link. (PS that link is my current affiliate link to the symposium.)

HOWEVER, in retrospect, I totally messed up this process.

What I did:

  • Added all 20-something free members MANUALLY by creating their accounts for them then emailing them the log-in information.

What I SHOULD have done:

  • Created a coupon code for them to redeem a 6-month free trial that would automatically continue if not canceled.

By manually adding the members, they had no payment information associated with their account, and there was no way for them to upgrade to a paid account if they wanted to remain members.


If they liked the site and wanted to remain a member, they had to let their account expire, then re-sign up with their payment information.

Needless to say, my retention after the free trial was not great, since I had made the entire process somewhat of a headache.

Out of the twenty-something people who had the free trial, only FIVE went out of their way to remain paying members.

I mean, I guess that’s better than zero, but the whole thing was NOT well coordinated on my end!

Much of this was just due to a lack of understanding of how my membership plugin worked. I didn’t even know that I COULD set up free trials with coupon codes.

Live and learn I guess, right??

But at least I learned from this mistake, and the next time I offered a free trial for people who purchased the symposium through my link things went WAY more smoothly.

More on that in future reports…

**PS if this is your 1st income report, you can read more about how I set up my membership site in this earlier post.

If you’re looking for a quick recommendation on what tools to use for setting up a membership site, I highly highly recommend the WordPress plugin Memberpress (and yep, that’s my affiliate link).


1. Public Speaking ($200)

I absolutely love public speaking, so I was PUMPED to get paid to do it twice this month.

Event #1:

The first event was a talk for the student dietetics association at CSU Northridge.

I was invited by a then student (now intern – who by the way has kept in touch, which I think is so awesome! – Hi Sarah!!) to speak about my work specializing in food sensitivities and private practice.

I had already given a similar talk at Cal State LA in the previous year, so it wasn’t too much work to update my slides and put everything together.

They were so kind to provide me with a small stipend for the talk plus a Starbucks gift card! I really enjoyed the experience and everyone was very welcoming 🙂

Event #2:

My second speaking opportunity was actually online.

Earlier in the year, I had been interviewed by the lovely Rebecca Coomes on The Healthy Gut Podcast (check me out on episode 29!).

Turns out, Rebecca ALSO runs an online SIBO coaching program (look at her rocking those passive income streams!) where members pay a monthly fee for access to exclusive content.

As a part of her coaching program, she periodically has guest speakers present to her members and answer questions.

Rebecca invited me to speak to her group about the link between SIBO and food sensitivities and I was so excited!

It was an added bonus to get compensated for my time at my regular hourly rate! (Which at the time was $150/h).

Basically, we did a live Zoom call for members of her program where I presented on screen for 45 minutes and then answered member questions in the final 15 minutes.

It was a really fun experience and was also my first time using Zoom for a webinar-style presentation. It was actually super easy & I’ve gone on to use Zoom again for similar projects. Highly recommend!


1. Fullscript ($40.34)

This month some of my clients chose to purchase supplements through my Fullscript account and I earned a percentage of the sale.

I won’t go into too much depth about this here since I’ve already explained how Fullscipt works in several other articles (especially this one) and also have an entire e-course on the topic!

I’ll probably always make a few extra dollars every month from supplement sales for as long as I continue to see clients 1:1.

It’s not an incredible amount of income, but every bit helps!

If you’re interested in recommending and/or selling supplements to clients, you can sign up for your own FREE Fullscript account here.


1. Gourmet Ads ($15.03)

This month I made $15 in ad revenue from Gourmet Ads, which isn’t shabby!

In case you’re not familiar, Gourmet Ads is an ad network that you can sign up for if you have at least 10k pageviews per month on your site (although they let me join when I only had around 7k pageviews).

Once you’ve joined, Gourmet Ads will display ads on your website and you will earn a small amount of money per 1,000 impressions and even more money if someone clicks on the ads.

As you can see, if you’re still in the early stages of blogging and your traffic isn’t sky-high, then you’re not going to get rich off of ads like these, but it’s still fun and motivating to earn a small amount of income from your efforts!

2. Google Adsense ($12.88)

Google Adsense is another free ad network run by Google. Anyone can join and display ads on their site to earn some income.

The good news – it’s really easy join. As long as your site has enough valuable content on it that Google knows it’s not spammy or abandoned, then you should get accepted. (I’d recommend applying when your site is maybe 3 months old to improve your chances.)

The bad news – it doesn’t pay very well, but hey, beginners can’t be choosers, right??

I made roughly twelve bucks from Google Adsense in October, bringing my ad revenue total up to nearly $30 for the month.

I’ll take it!

If you’re considering installing ads on your site, check out these two articles:

Affiliate Income:

1. Amazon ($0.80)

And to round out this month’s income report – I made less than $1 from Amazon Associates! (Yee!)

I earned those big bucks from someone purchasing an e-book and a camera tripod within 24 hours of clicking one of my affiliate links.

If you’re not familiar with the Amazon Associates program, it’s a program that website owners can sign up for if they want to include affiliate links to products sold on Amazon within their blog posts or elsewhere on their site.

If you want to learn more about how affiliate income works, check out section #2 of this post!

So what was my website traffic like in October 2017?

To give you some context, it really helps to understand what type of traffic my website was getting this month.

Here’s an overview shot for you:

October 2017 Traffic at ericajulson.com

You can see that my traffic was relatively stable throughout the month… No big pops from social shares or anything like that.

I had 3,976 unique visitors (users) visit the site in October, with a few people coming back to visit more than once (hence the 5,173 sessions).

When people were on the site, they tended to visit slightly less than 2 pages and stayed for about 90 seconds.

So in sum, I had 9,458 pageviews. That’s not too shabby… close to my average 10k mark.

Where did this traffic come from??

Oct 2017 Traffic Channels ericajulson.com

You can see that it was kind of mixed!

Almost an even split between direct traffic (when people type your URL in directly or bookmarked your page), social, and organic search.

Our #1 source of social traffic was Pinterest (525 sessions), followed closely by Facebook (494 sessions).

For organic search, my top 10 Google search terms were:

  1. erica julson (52 clicks) – this makes sense!
  2. power greens recipe (26 clicks) – thanks to a simple recipe I created using Earthbound Farm’s power greens
  3. toptan pasta (9 clicks) – NO idea what this is or why I’m ranking for it lol
  4. creamy kale and potato soup (7 clicks) – yay! This is a yummy recipe on my site.
  5. sauteed power greens (7 clicks) – oh hey, thanks for the double keyword ranking, power greens recipe!
  6. starting your own nutrition practice (6 clicks) – probably thanks to this awesome article!
  7. sauteed greens and mushrooms (6 clicks) – AGAIN??
  8. farro recipes (5 clicks) – someone must have browsed through A LOT of search results to find my page from this search term
  9. butternut squash recipes ( 4 clicks) – same story here….
  10. miso glazed carrots (4 clicks) – I have a recipe for miso honey glazed carrots on my site, so that explains this one!

So as you can see, my own name and my power greens recipe were responsible for the majority of my search traffic.

At this point in my blogging career, I didn’t know much about SEO strategies, so I totally ranked for that recipe on accident.

Over the last year, I have learned SO MUCH about proper SEO strategy & can’t wait to share it with you during the launch of The Unconventional RD Business Bootcamp (coming in January 2019).

What else happened in October 2017?


I was offered a position as a freelance writer for Healthline: Authority Nutrition. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

This was a position I had originally applied for back in January/February of 2017 and didn’t get.

I actually found out on the morning of my 30th birthday that I didn’t get it, and I was soooooo bummed!

The application process was pretty lengthy, requiring a writing sample and then 2 rounds of writing prompts. I had made it to the final round of applications back in February but didn’t get the gig.

HOWEVER – (big lesson here) – I kept in touch with the team and reached out over the summer to let them know I was definitely still interested if they hired again. 

And guess what? They kept that in mind and actually offered me a spot in October!!!

It was totally an out-of-the-blue email that I woke up to one morning and literally screamed with excitement!!

Of course I said YES!! and scheduled a Skype interview for the following week.

I’m actually still writing for them to this day and absolutely love it!

In fact, I loved getting paid to write SO much, that I eventually shut down my private practice so that I could focus 100% on writing and running my membership site.

Best. Decision. Ever.

I’ve honestly never been happier with the type of work I’m doing and have to pinch myself at how lucky I am to have a job that I love that is also 100% location independent.

If you also desire to live a location-independent lifestyle that allows you to earn money from anywhere, my #1 tip would be to just keep going.

It doesn’t happen overnight. (In fact, it typically takes years. For reference, I started my very first blog in 2010!) But you WILL get there.

Put yourself out there. Try stuff. Pivot when it doesn’t feel right. Launch something and see how it goes. Learn from your mistakes. Try again. And again. And again. Eventually, it all falls into place. 🙂

Alright, that’s it for my October 2017 income report. I hope it was still inspiring, even though it was one of my lowest earning months of 2017!

See ya soon for November’s report!  


Want to receive blog posts, special offers & other helpful info about passive income / entrepreneurship as a dietitian? Join my email list!

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.