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

You may bear 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 per thirty days, which translated into round $10k in earnings, principally from show adverts and a bit of slice of affiliate commissions as properly.

The largest 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 deal with that core of the enterprise and what made that doable: creating Search engine optimisation-friendly content material and monetizing it on autopilot with adverts.

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

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

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Turning into a Full-Time Plant Blogger

“So much has developed and altered since we final spoke. The large factor is that I used to be really in a position to quit my day job again in early November 2021,” Raffaele informed me.

So, the aspect hustle has change into the primary hustle for Raffaele, which is nice information.

Raffaele additionally launched a historically printed book on houseplant care, to go along 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 per thirty days.

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

Nonetheless, Raffaele’s income has gone up, principally as a result of his advert RPMs (income per thousand periods) rising.

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

Advert Income

Raffaele is utilizing Mediavine to show adverts on his website. Raffaele stated he’s been in a position to make the most of among 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 best RPMs.

Raffaele informed me he’s been writing extra content material across the greater RPM subjects, and that is what has contributed to rising his advert RPMs.

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

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

Affiliate Commissions

Once I requested Raffaele about his Amazon Affiliate commissions, he informed 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 vegetation.

He’s working intently 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 useful 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 laborious to do every thing,” Raffaele defined.

E-mail Record

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

He trimmed all the way down to round 7,000 subs, however has since grown his checklist again as much as round 9,500 subs.

Raffaele has created a welcome collection of emails which might be despatched to every new subscriber protecting suggestions round the way to take care of houseplants.

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

Along with this, Raffaele sends out a e-newsletter each Thursday.

The e-mail supplier Raffaele is utilizing is BirdSend.

profitable houseplant blog

Content material Technique

Raffaele is producing the entire content material on OhioTropics himself. Raffaele stated he tried to outsource content material as soon as, nevertheless 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 laborious 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 worthwhile to guests.

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

Updating Previous Posts

Raffaele is consistently taking a look at 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 subjects or concepts for content material ever being an issue.

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

Key phrase Analysis Metrics

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

To do his key phrase analysis, Raffaele makes use of Ahrefs. One thing attention-grabbing that Raffaele stated about Ahrefs and different Search engine optimisation 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 based mostly on key phrases he’s already rating for, simply not rating very extremely.

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

He then writes a brand new put up focusing on these key phrases. Raffaele stated he normally ranks so much quicker for these key phrases as he already has some authority in Google’s eyes.


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 as of late,” Raffaele informed me.

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

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

Social Media

Raffaele has a large Instagram following of ~165k followers and caught the eye of a giant plant firm through one among 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.

Total, 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, nevertheless 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 favor to have cleaner URLs with out the publishing date included.

He may change it now, however it might imply redirecting all of his current posts and this isn’t one thing Raffaele is comfy 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 certain this was within the contract, and it’s nice. However it got here as a shock when he began promoting books and anticipated the royalties to begin flowing in.

What’s Subsequent?

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

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

He stated he’s reached a degree 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 desires to discover, similar to a cellphone app. It’s only a matter of discovering the time whereas sustaining every thing else Raffaele has occurring proper now.

Raffaele’s #1 Tip for Facet Hustle Nation

Don’t hand over.”

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