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

You would possibly keep 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 revenue, largely from show adverts and a bit slice of affiliate commissions as effectively.

The most important change since I final spoke to Raffaele is that he’s been in a position to depart his day job and now works on his weblog full-time.

On this episode, we concentrate on that core of the enterprise and what made that doable: creating Website positioning-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 greatest ideas for optimizing content material for increased advert RPMs
  • how Raffaele has doubled down on what’s driving essentially the most income

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Changing into a Full-Time Plant Blogger

“Rather a lot has advanced and adjusted 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 principle 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 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 visitors as final time we spoke.

Nonetheless, Raffaele’s income has gone up, largely on account of his advert RPMs (income per thousand periods) growing.

Right here’s a breakdown of Raffaele’s revenue 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 offers to extend his advert income.

Utilizing Mediavine’s analytics, Raffaele is ready to see which of his posts have the very best RPMs.

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

RPMs fluctuate all year long. Nonetheless, on a great 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

After 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 crops.

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.

E book Gross sales

Having launched each digital books and a now a hardback, Raffaele can see that conventional publishing has given him a solution 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 ebook because of the period of time it took.

Digital Merchandise

In final 12 months’s episode, Matt beneficial Raffaele create extra digital merchandise.

This has been on Raffaele’s thoughts. Creating some sort in fact is one thing he’s eager to do, however he hasn’t had time.

“I’m a one-person present, it’s arduous to do every little thing,” Raffaele defined.

E mail Checklist

Raffaele not too long ago pruned his email list and dropped any subscribers who weren’t partaking 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 sequence of emails which might be despatched to every new subscriber protecting ideas round the right way to take care of houseplants.

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

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

The e-mail supplier Raffaele is utilizing is BirdSend.

Content material Technique

Raffaele is producing all the content material on OhioTropics himself. Raffaele stated he tried to outsource content material as soon as, however 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 arduous to outsource.

Raffaele stated he felt like his readers would have the ability to inform it wasn’t him writing the content material.

He additionally stated he seems like content material written from first-hand expertise performs higher from an SEO perspective and is extra useful 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 Outdated Posts

Raffaele is continually 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.

Arising With New Matters

Raffaele stated he doesn’t see developing with new matters or concepts for content material ever being an issue.

The plant area of interest is large, there are actually 1000’s of crops he might write about. Plus there are countless questions he can reply round every particular person plant.

Key phrase Analysis Metrics

Raffaele defined that he follows the final Website positioning recommendation of in search of low competitors key phrases with first rate search quantity.

To do his key phrase analysis, Raffaele makes use of Ahrefs. One thing fascinating that Raffaele stated about Ahrefs and different Website positioning 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 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 appears to be like for key phrases he’s rating close to the underside of web page one that aren’t that associated to the submit that’s rating for them.

He then writes a brand new submit focusing on these key phrases. Raffaele stated he often ranks loads sooner 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 large 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 might 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 big plant firm through considered one of 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 a great following, however 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 Manner

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 recognized on the time as he’d desire to have cleaner URLs with out the publishing date included.

He might change it now, however it will imply redirecting all of his current posts and this isn’t one thing Raffaele is snug 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 ebook was going to be deducted from his royalties.

Raffaele stated he’s positive this was within the contract, and it’s superb. But it surely 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 supply extra content material, it’s a numbers sport,” Raffaele stated.

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

He stated he’s reached some extent 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 needs to discover, reminiscent of a telephone app. It’s only a matter of discovering the time whereas sustaining every little thing else Raffaele has occurring proper now.

Raffaele’s #1 Tip for Facet Hustle Nation

Don’t hand over.”

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Enter your electronic mail to take a look at the total checklist now:

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