The absolute state of my finances – July 2022

Haven’t written a post in a while, nobody reads this anyway but this is going to be a post I’ll check back on, on January 1st 2023 at the latest. Things have changed since the last post, and I’m doing fine financially since my Redbubble ban.

Current stats:

Without going into specific details for income streams (these have been elaborated on in previous posts)


  • Employed(3 days a week): £28500 / 1750~ Month
  • Side income from the dating app job: £200~ month
  • Other income streams: £100~ Month
  • Total Income estimate (Month): £2200~

Savings and investments:

  • Premium bonds; £18000
  • Investments: £6600
  • Bank Balance: £1200~
  • Total liquid assets: £25500~


  • Mortgage: £61000 remaining (Property was £107500) (1.61% i) coming to just under £400/month
  • General outgoings (Bills etc) of about £250 / month

I’ve been gradually increasing my finances. The thin blue line is just an average predictor, meaning I should get to £30,000 liquid by Jan 1st 2023. Obviously I’d hope sooner.

Short term goals:

  • £30k in savings
  • £20k of that in premium bonds
  • Investigate more income streams
  • Get paid more for my actual job
  • Release the game I am working on

Long term goals

  • Buy to let property (Move out and keep house)

Not very exciting goals at all to be honest. I had a chat with a financial advisor a few weeks ago which put this into perspective; I have no real long term goals, I suppose I’m a bit devoid of personality.

Short term goals are classed as ‘this year’ for me. I’m working on developing a game which will be out in September / October (on Steam!) but I’m not expecting any money from it.

I’m in a cushty position where I only work 3.5 days a week now for full pay, so I’m not looking to change jobs, but I’d like some more passive income streams. Gone are the golden months of Redbubble and POD, but not just for me, I’ve been hearing that sales are down for many.

£20k in premium bonds is an achievable vanity goal for me, maybe i can push it to £25k.

£30k in savings feels doable. I am consistently beating my own savings targets. Please enjoy a needlessly detailed form:

On average I am saving £850 a month, and I have a goal of £750.


It’s fine really. Numbers go up. Investments recovering. I just think if I had a better paying full time job, I’d be capable of much more.

Will check back in a few months,

One year after my Redbubble Ban

Around this time last year, I was banned from Redbubble. You can take a look at the post I wrote here about it all. It took me about two weeks to emotionally get over the fact that all that money I was making for no effort was gone, and even after, even now, I still think about it. What a mistake that all was. ‘Looks like this account has been suspended’ is a message you never want to see when logging into Redbubble.

I thought about this yesterday, and now after a year or so of basically no major updates, I figure it’s time to talk about what I’ve been doing, how life has been after Redbubble being my main side income, and all that. maybe it can inspire other people who have been banned, maybe it can just help me get my thoughts in order.

Firstly, it’s not all about the grind

I don’t enjoy a lot of passive income things. I don’t especially enjoy creating art to be sold, uploading it, creating websites. I do it solely because I know that it will pay off later; that the effort I put in now will reap greater rewards later on. It’s only recently that some of my newer sites are picking up in AdSense revenue; these things, they take time.

There is a certain mindset that is glamourized when it comes to working online, passive income etc, and that is ‘the grind’. It’s all about the grind. I am guilty of it as well. I often feel guilty if I am not being productive, and because of this I sometimes struggle to enjoy things I know I like doing; walking in the woods, playing a videogame, having fun with friends or chilling with my family. There is more to life than repetitively uploading designs.

Having much less enjoyment from passive income now

When I started my whole passive income journey, I was so excited when I’d make 50p a day or something like that. I don’t get that anymore. It is because my Redbubble was making me £30-40 every day that I lost sight of the small gains. I suppose this is normal. I’ve made about £3 total passively today, something I’d have killed for 5 years ago or so when I started.

Negatives over, let’s look at what I’ve done since the Redbubble account suspension;

Renting a spare room

This isn’t for me. I had one lodger, and while I’m glad he paid his way (and my mortgage), I can’t do this anymore. I just don’t like to share my space I think. The housing market is crazy right now, so I am looking to sell and downsize, with the thought of later buying and renting out flats.

Renting a spare room might be great for you though, so definitely consider it. If you get the right person, or live in the right type of house, then it can definitely work out.

Being Overemployed while working from home

I have a fulltime job now. I also have my side job. Sometimes (cheeky), if there is nothing to do at my fulltime job, I will just open my other laptop and do my side job during work hours. if anything comes in for my main job, I’ll stop and get back to it, but 6 or so months in now, it hasn’t been an issue.

Working from home has been great for this. This may be a personality shift to consider, but no company is your friend. As a worker, you should be looking to maximise your time, if any, spent working. Now is a great time to do this; so many roles are remote.

For an example of the maths;

Main Job (p/hr)
Side Job (p/h)Total Hourly pay

That’s around £26 an hour. Of course this depends on workload, and I rarely do more than one hour of my side job during my main job time. The sidegig is also not at all consistent, sometimes there, there is nothing to do, but this does a good enough job of illustrating that you can basically double your income during those working hours when you were doing nothing anyway.

Take a look at ‘Overemployed’ for more info

Monetising my free time

Again with the side job, I’ve developed a habit of just doing it when I know I’m not doing anything else. Planning to watch something on Netflix? Sidejob on my laptop. Playing a passive game or something? Sidejob in another window. I do switch off and just enjoy these things too, but I have a lot of free time so I do put some of it towards making money, even if it’s a little bit.

All these little moments can add up. It’s just that thing where a little bit of effort every day builds up.

I’d strongly suggest having a side job. I’ve been made redundant twice now in the past 4 years. It’s always good to have a backup.

POD Platforms

I am on the following POD platforms still;

  • Society 6
  • Merch by Amazon
  • TeePublic

I’m still making sales on all of these and I still upload to them, although much less than I tell others they should be doing. I maybe make around £150 a month from these, all added up.

Share dealing

I have a Trading212 account now, and I put in around £50 every week. Honestly, results have been mixed, but I’m treating this as a long term thing now. I find Trading 212 a bit better than other share dealing apps and I quite like their pie feature as it allows you to easily spread investments, as well as copy popular traders.


If you ever get banned from Redbubble, or your main platform, remember that you can always put your work elsewhere, use your skills elsewhere, and look for other opportunities.

What Passive Income is to me now

What a year, with no updates to boot. Standard. So what’s been happening since my last post? Passive income took a dive for me after the Redbubble fiasco of 2020 but I’m clawing my way back up through other means. Looking at it now that’s probably my biggest financial blunder, but a few years ago I also lost 50,000 DOGECOIN so I suppose time will tell which one of those is worse.

I have a very long way to go to get back to my highest point but I’m quite confident I’ll get there. Quite a lot has changed since my last post so I’ll go through the big events and how it has changed passive income for me!

I got a job

The biggest change since my last post was that last month, I got a job. Alongside my side-gig as a dating app, it’s a full time job in IT. It pays well and I can work from home, which I honestly prefer (Thanks COVID!). The job itself isn’t too bad but its 8 hours a day, which leaves little time for my own personal projects.

As money goes, I don’t really mind talking about it, it’s £27500/pa, so about £14 an hour (Just under $20). It’s pays less than my previous full time job, but the 100% remote working nature of it and flexitime make it somewhat enjoyable.

Honestly I miss not having a fulltime job, but sometimes you have to take the hit. I especially miss living on my own schedule, going and having a coffee in the woods and doing things at my own pace. I want to move house and I’ll need a job to prove I can pay a mortgage anyway. I’d have been a fool not to accept a fulltime job when it was offered considering the climate; I’m terrible enough at interviews and I always struggle to find a job.

I lost my lodger

A big hit to my passive income, I lost my lodger at the start of the month. While it coincided with getting a job which more than balances out, it was a rather big hit. I mentioned it here briefly; that was £495 a month (and he paid on time too thank God).

I prefer living alone, and to be honest towards the end it just started to become a drag, so I am glad this is over. All in all an okay experience but renting a room isn’t for me.

If you’re ever in the position to give it a shot though, I’d strongly back renting a room out. It can be very little effort for quite a lot of money. I just treated it as somebody else paying my mortgage for me.

Passive income now

So from the above; passive income has changed for me. Because of the job, I have less time to work on my own money generating projects. The beauty of this however is that what I have already done is still paying off!

Passive income (as well as side gig income) has temporarily gone from my focus to a tasty side benefit; I’m able to save extra money and offset my other expenses by doing very little. It’s also become my stupid purchase fund (VR is great!)

MBA (Merch by Amazon)

I’m stunned by how well some designs are selling. I am still in T500 and I get sales every few weeks. I should upload more but we all know that. MBA is the true reflection of ‘You get out what you put in’. I could see so many more sales if I maxxed out my upload limit but I just haven’t. And that’s on me.

I find the upload process quite clunky and you just never know if something is going to sell, so I’ve just been taking the designs that do sell, and relisting those on other products.


Thank you monthly sales. I sell on TeePublic every day or two, though often at a discount due to a sitewide sale. Just had a check and I’ve made around $800 across all my accounts, which is great for the complete lack of energy I’ve put into it. May this continue.

The upload process to TeePublic is really easy to use and I’d suggest anybody wanting to start out in Print on Demand start with TeePublic. It’s so easy to get designs up and selling.

Other platforms

I’ve seen some good sales on other platforms coming up as well, which I may talk about later. It’s always nice to see things grow. Just earlier today I made an out of the blue £20 sale. I’ll never get tired of that.

Investments / Crypto

I still haven’t invested a lot, but all of my current investments are up. My year long investment ISA returned a profit albeit a small one and I’m making money through apps like Free Trade and Trading212.

I have taken all of my crypto out of Coinbase, but they often give away Crypto for free that you can use to invest. I’ve put all of mine into Tezos or Algo as it stakes itself. Very small-time for me though, Crypto is such a gamble.

As I mentioned in the intro, I lost 50,000 Dogecoin. That’s around £20,000. I mean I did lose it years ago and i would have cashed out much sooner but what a lesson.

Premium bonds

Available in the UK, premium bonds allow you to deposit a cash amount into a Government back account. Each £1 entered is essentially an entry into a prize draw every month. You can win anywhere from £25 to a million every month, and withdraw the money whenever you want. At most you can have £50,000 invested.

It’s a bit of a vanity goal for me to max out my premium bonds account and I have a long way to go. Currently I’m up to £8,500, and I’ll be topping it up every month from now while I’m employed fulltime.

So what is the point of this post?

I wanted to sum up my experience so far this year, as well as note down what I’m doing moving forward. Passive income for me, likely through the rest of 2021 will be a side-note to my full time job.

100% passive income and nothing else doesn’t have to be your goal. For me it was, but now I’m seriously looking forward to having a consistent income that I can top up on the side with my side-gig income and passive income.

My rough numbers going off of last month and predictions are looking to be:

Monthly Income
Full time Job1850
Side-Gig income300
Other Passive Income150
Total income:2600~

From this my expenses are around:

Expenses Monthly
All Bills combined250
Premium Bond investment500
Food, Groceries etc120
Total Expenses:1420~

Numbers are approximate, but even after all my outgoings, that’s still at least a £1000 increase in my bank every month which is quite comfortable. As I mentioned my passive income has become my silly purchase fund, but it’ll likely turn into my ‘investment fund’ soon enough because I’m a pretty stingy person who doesn’t like spending money.

Short term goals:

Like my earlier posts, I’ll write some short term goals I’ll be working on before my next post, whenever that will be.

  1. Upload more designs
  2. Get £10,000 in Premium bonds
  3. Think about long term goals

Regarding point 3, I have no long term goals, at least not financial/business ones. I’d like to own a physical business one day I think, but it needs considerable thought.

Anyway just wanted to get something out there and posted. It might seem like a pointless ramble but that’s all this blog has ever been. If you found some value from this post then that’s great. For me it helped me clear my mind and visualise the numbers and what I’ve done so far. To me thoughts only become actionable when they’re put down on paper.

2020: Lessons Learned

2020 contained, without a doubt, both some of my highest and lowest points in passive income. I was passively earning the most I have ever earned from Redbubble (Over £1500/Month) and I started up a number of new streams, new TeePublic shops, Merch by Amazon, it’s all on the up.

That was until I got banned by Redbubble. My lowest point in Print on Demand came in October, banned because I broke the rules on an account I completely forgot about. An easy £1500/month, around £20k a year, gone.

Honestly, I try not to think about it. I was a bit glum in the first few weeks, I couldn’t believe it. After scratching around with customer service for a while, I had my hopes up but they were ultimately dashed when I found out I wasn’t getting my banned Redbubble accounts back.

It’s amazing how quickly the human brain can get over things though. I am a stingy bastard, but I’m not too bothered about having loads of money in my life. I have my own flat, I am still renting a room, I am earning more every month than I am paying out, and I can save and invest a little as well.

I thought I’d summarise 2020 with what I have learned in Print on Demand and passive income in general.

You can go from 0-100MPH in about a month if you want to.

Print on demand especially is funny, especially if you’re a seller. You know that if you put more effort in, you will earn more, but the time delays can be very long. One of my Redbubble accounts that I started last year (not the one which got me banned!) ,was based on one niche, which I just saturated with designs. By the end of the first month I made £80, more than I thought I would. At the second month, I made £200.

I always say to people starting out that they should just upload designs. Get to 50 designs and you’ll see sales. Up there it’s a numbers game. Upload one design a day and in a month you’ll have more designs up than most people have.

I’m not sure when I finally realised that Redbubble is a numbers game. MBA is a numbers game. It feels soulless to create art without passion, but my best sellers are all very, very simple. Want an example? This T-Shirt sells on Amazon. You might not even notice at first, but it’s got a spelling error. It’s also just terrible. It’s not a best-seller by any means, but it took about 2 minutes for me to make and upload. I think it’s sold 3 or 4 times.

If you really wanted to, you could create simple designs, not even especially bad ones, put them for sale, and make money. Print on Demand is easy to begin with. It really does just start as a numbers game.

You can recreate success.

I am quite confident that as I’ve been able to make £1500~ a month passively once, I’ll be able to do it again. Why would it only happen the once? I’m not going to give up simply because of one setback.

Though I’m not at the same numbers yet, I’m quite confident I’ll be able to get back to £1000/month by December 2021 withsome effort, maybe £500/month by then with minimal effort. Whether this is through Print on Demand, or through a collection of little streams, who knows. On that note…

Don’t rely on one stream!

I was a fool to put too much effort in Redbubble and neglect Merch by Amazon. MBA has so much more potential that I am only just starting to realise. While I’m not exactly making bank now on MBA, it’s nice to see it growing every month. I’d rather see some increase every month over stagnating at a higher level.

Have a backup plan in case it all goes wrong.

Redbubble banning me didn’t screw up my finances terribly. I am still making more than I spend every month so it’s not as bad a position as others are in. I was lucky to have a casual little job on the side as well to keep me tiding over.

Before Redbubble banned me I was maybe making £200 or so on my casual job, but now I’ve upped that to £600/month at least. That, along with my rental income means I’m at least making something near to minimum wage every month, with only 2 hours a day or so. It’s not bad.

Diversify your areas of interest.

Print on Demand is great, but there’s so much more. It’s very easy to bog yourself down in one area and focus on just that. I neglected my AdSense income, Kindle publishing, stocks and shares, bank account management, microgig opportunities, etc, all because I was chasing a goal of passive-only income.

Passive-only income is great, but at least in the early stages, you can’t rely on it fully. I’m absolutely terrible at getting a real job, so I was lucky to have the little casual job to fall back on, as well as my lodger income.

One thing that the coronavirus lockdown has imparted on many of us is that it’s easier than we thought to work from home. Something to remember is that you really have all the tools you need to succeed; you have your own brain, a computer, and the internet.

Over the next year I’ll be doing what I was doing before, just on different platforms. I’m not too sure what will happen to JeezPod over the next year but I’ve renewed the domain anyway. I’ll likely post another update around February.

October 2020 Passive Income

October was my worst month ever for passive income. Not at all for the amount I made, but definitely for the mistakes I made. If you’ve read this post, you’ll see that my Redbubble account was suspended on October 9th.

I still got the payments up to then, and also my other, side accounts on Redbubble which were slowly banned over the days following.

Not included in this post are things I am not actively working on. I made some Kindle sales (and I’m looking into this a little more now), and some affiliate income from Amazon from some websites I run, as well as a few quid from some AdSense clicks.

I’ll start to report these things if they pick up or if I start to focus on them, but they’re so inconsequential right now that I don’t even consider them. Maybe £10 total there.

Here’s an overview of my Passive income for 2020, as well as my current, mid November thoughts and feelings on Print on Demand.

October 2020 Passive income report – Overview

ThingAmount that thing gave me
Redbubble Main Store£552.96
Redbubble Side Store£81.66
Merch By Amazon£17.90
Lodger Income£495

So much lower than my previous report. Two months ago, my min Redbubble account brought in over £1300, and I didn’t even update it that month. How times have changed!

Redbubble, Main and Side store – £552.96 + £81.66

Redbubble actually banned every store I’ve ever opened, I had five, three with sales. They likely ban you based on shared details; mine were all linked to the same payment method, but also probably they’ll ban from the same IP.

Losing £800-1000 a month is not something that I’m happy with, obviously. As far as I can tell, my general sales were slightly increasing as usual over this period.

I actually sent an apology to Redbubble, but they never replied after they suspended my account. I am sorry, but I doubt anybody has read my apology.

My side store here was banned just under two weeks after my main account, and it was picking up in popularity and sales as well. I made a few bulk sales there before it was banned, so these will get paid in during November.

Sales made on my side account during October 1st – 21st until it was banned. 🙁

Honestly? I’ve considered making another Redbubble account. I’d be silly not to, even though it’s against the rules. I’ll likely use another device completely, and either my mobile data or a public WiFi.

Merch By Amazon – £17.90

I have only just started putting real effort into Merch by Amazon, and that is because I am an idiot. I should have done this ages ago, it’s bloody brilliant. The following is my PrettyMerch snapshot (USA selected)

I’m in tier 100 at the moment, with 76 sales total (75 US and 1 UK) and I’m not making consistent sales at all. In fact the things I posted weeks ago are only just starting to sell. I made a sale as I was typing this, so that’s nice.

I was a little ‘lucky’ with my Merch account, and a bit cheeky really. I had a piece of FanArt make it to around a 30,000BSR, and that was pulling me through the tiers.

I’ve since deleted it and I’m focussing on 100% original work. Maybe I should have let it pull me to tier 500, but I didn’t want to risk any takedowns.

Here’s the current state of affairs on Merch for me. I’ve got my slots filled, but so far, only three designs have sold. That’s 73 sales of the piece Fan art, and 3 from original designs, but it is very early days.

I keep reading that designs take weeks to months to actually rank on Amazon properly.

As I’m only in Tier 100, I am pricing my work very low, the sale just now netted me a cool 70 cents, compared to the few quid I’d get from a T-Shirt sale on Redbubble.

Merch by Amazon feels a lot more competitive, and it’s a lot harder to get your work found.

Moving forward I need to just go over my Merch uploads, whittle out the poor designs and replace them with better ones.

I’ve also uploaded to products other than standard Tees, so I might scrap the fancy products and just get more original designs up on the basic tee.

Still learning this, but great to see validation in the form of sales.

TeePublic – £44.47

That’s an affiliate link there. All my links to Teepublic are. Click it if you like. TeePublic is actually looking to be a nice little gem of an earner.

It’s consistently giving me more every month. Much like my early days of Redbubble, I have completely neglected TeePublic only until now, and by putting a bit of work in, I’m seeing a bit of some results.

Earlier this month, I created, uploaded and sold a design within three hours. I have a smooth workflow with Merch, using the same files I upload to that. It’s very quick to upload to TeePublic, much more so than merch, or even Redbubble.

If you’re uploading to any Print on Demand site, you may as well also upload to TeePublic, it’s just so damn quick to do so. I actually uploaded 48 designs to TeePublic, basically everything I put on Merch. As always it takes a while to rank properly, so I’m happy to wait a while for this.

Lodger Income – £495

More important than ever is my income form my lodger. Consistent, at least I know I’ll get it every month. While it can be a bit of a faff living with somebody in a flat, it’s not that bad overall, especially when rent day comes around. After losing Redbubble, my lodger income has become more important than ever.

There’s not really much to chat about here really! if you have a room spare and feel up to it, consider renting it out. It’s free money.

Goals for next month

I have a daily routine I stick with to ensure I can live on at least a subsistence level of living. This involves earning a certain amount every day self employed, and creating a certain number of designs every day (recently 5, so I could max out my Amazon uploads).

I’m hoping to tier up on Amazon soon, so I want designs ready to go. My only goal moving forward is to make £100 passively, total from all sources not including my lodger income. As always I am researching other ways to do this.

Post-Redbubble Passive Income – Lessons learned

I don’t know when I first developed the mentality for passive income, but once I got that taste, I realised it was for me. Following on from my previous post, I think now would be a great time to summarise everything that I’ve done so far regarding passive income, as well as what I intend to try next. Maybe you’ll get some ideas too.

I’ve also spruced this article up with some low quality GIF’s as well, so uh, enjoy.

While I am still appealing my Redbubble account closure, I’m starting to come to terms with the fact I will be losing out on that income. What was a solid £1000 a month is now nothing, so let’s address that first.

What it feels like to lose a successful Redbubble account

Really fucking shit. The fact is, my main Redbubble account was bringing in half of my total income every month. I have a little work from home job, I have a lodger, and I have a few other income streams, and still Redbubble was half of what I was getting. All that and tt didn’t require any effort to upkeep.

It’s a painful loss to see it go. This may sound dramatic but it was more than an account on website, it was a little entity of my own that I tended to for five years. I put a lot of work into my Redbubble store, and it vanished in an instant.

I didn’t think it’d happen to me, and maybe you think the same. But it can. A minor infraction can spill out and wipe out your entire relationship with Redbubble. Be aware of that.

Why did I lose my account?

I lost my Redbubble account because of a side account I had a few months ago. The side account was banned because of some low quality work.

It wasn’t spammy, I didn’t make many sales at all, I just left it up and it got too many warnings and by the time I checked the warnings and went to login to delete the account, it was suspended. There are other accounts up now, with similar work showing, which isn’t nice to see.

A few months later, two weeks ago, *poof*, my main account has been suspended too. It feels like a gigantic kick in the teeth and two weeks later to the day now, I am still not fully over it.

Update: Bad news. I had a number of little side accounts on Redbubble and it looks like they’re all gone. It’s very upsetting to lose everything over what was a tiny mistake.

Lesson one; Do absolutely nothing to jeopardise your accounts on these POD platforms. You do not own the platform, so play by the rules, even if others are not. It is not worth losing an account and being unable to sign up again. Don’t make my mistake.

I sent an apology to Redbubble. Even if I don’t get my account back, I just want to be clear with them what I was doing.

Luckily I’ve stopped thinking about the money I’m losing every day, and I’ve started putting energy into other ventures. I’ll summarise EVERYTHING I’ve done relating to passive income previously in this article. Who knows, maybe you’ll get some ideas!

My passive income streams and mentality

I absolutely hate working for somebody else, and I hate trading my time for money. This is a common thing you’ll see in the passive income space. I honestly feel like many jobs exploit the worker, and time is something you’ll never ever get back. A lot of my past career seems like wasted time to me.

I started getting interest in passive income in 2013 or so, mainly Amazon Associates. I made a few websites and saw some income trickle in. As with everything it started small and terrible, and grew from there.

Web Development and content marketing

Always a passing interest but never really a passion, web development for me has more been a means to an end. I have learned a few languages and picked up a few bits, even had a few jobs in some companies making websites.

Web development for me has more been about content marketing. Like JeezPOD, the website exists simply to serve information which can be monetised. There is plenty of money in making cool little web apps, but for me I think I’ve realised that programming, especially web programming, is not a passion, and I’m not going to pursue it.

Content marketing is a different matter, and it’s why I like WordPress so much. It’s very easy to get an information based website off the ground, sling some ads on, and make money. Most of the following schemes tie into Web development; Amazon marketing, Google Adsense etc.

My main success story with content marketing was the large site I sold for £10k. In terms of website sales, that isn’t even big in the grand scheme of things, however it did set me up to put down a big chunky deposit on a flat. I had many sites before this one, and it was a lot of work to create, maintain and finally sell the site mentioned.

Amazon Affiliate Marketing

I had some success with affiliate marketing, but I hit a barrier that was more of a personal thing than anything else. It felt essentially soulless; I do not buy a lot of things, and I don’t like to buy a lot of things, so it’s hard to persuade other people to.

I did tend to promote some products here and there and I have had pay-outs from Amazon, but it’s not enough for me to live on. Amazon Affiliate marketing would work for somebody who knows what they’re talking about, in niche that has lots of products to promote, but it isn’t for me. I found it extremely draining to write product reviews every night.

I started probably five or six websites solely based on Amazon affiliate income. It was an easy time in my life, I had a few jobs here and there and I was living with my parents so no major outgoings. I had time to experiment!

Google Adsense

My main focus for monetising my websites after Amazon turned to Google Adsense. No reader likes ads, but they’re a godsend if you’re creating a website. Plenty of people do not use ad blockers and if you go for the right niche, you’ll reach a sweet spot.

The website I talk about in this post was monetised by Google Adsense. It wasn’t bringing in too much, maybe £100-200 a month, but it was all passive and at the time was the most money I’d earned passively. I still remember being happy about earning a 50p a day! How times have changed.

Google ads used to be my main focus. It really was money for nothing. I have three websites I now run in this sort of game, but i don’t really work on them at all. Too many projects, too little time!

eBooks and Kindle

The first ever eBook I wrote was unsurprisingly about passive income. I set a challenge to myself;

‘Can I write and publish a kindle eBook in a day?’. I said that to myself in the morning and by 11:45pm I’d published it. It wasn’t good at all, but it has made sales and even gotten good reviews. If you have the motivation, then you can easily make money right now by publishing something on kindle. It’s a slick easy process.

The same website as before also lent itself very well to an eBook. Rather cheekily, I took all the content I had written, formatted it as an eBook over a few days and published it. It didn’t sell great, but it did and still does sell now and then.

Once you have content, you may as well reuse it in different market places. Which leads me on to;

Print on Demand

Print on demand only became my main focus in November 2019, nearly a whole year ago. I’ve shared this before;

After I started looking around online at how good print on demand profits can be, I switched focus to my Redbubble stores. From £50 a month to £250 is a masssive leap.

And it just kept on going up. Those tips were damn good. Just goes to show that it’s not necessarily the designs you have uploaded, but how you present them, and their pricing.

Changing the pricing of my stickers in Redbubble was the main catalyst for this change. I was already selling lots, but increasing the margins to 100% did not deter any buyers whatsoever. If you are selling stickers on Redbubble but haven’t upped your margins, do it now.

Looking at those charts you can see why I am upset about losing my Redbubble accounts. The most money I’ve earned passively online so far is with print on demand services.

Moving on from Redbubble

‘What do do when your Redbubble account has been suspended’. That is a question I’ve been asking myself for two weeks. Finally I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ve lost that income, but there are some things I haven’t lost;

  • All of the art and designs I uploaded to all of my accounts
  • A memory and record of what were my best selling products
  • A deep overview of how things sell and the timeframes to expect with print on demand
  • The thought that it’s not at all impossible to get back to the same stage I was at, and quickly

I may have been kicked back to square 1 (Maybe square 2), but I think I have the knowledge to work safely on other POD platforms and at least get back to the level I was at.

If you’ve been banned from Redbubble recently, then don’t lose heart. It is a good platform to sell on, but there are other places to focus as well. Here’s what I’ll be doing in the next few weeks.

Other platforms I’ll be focusing on

Merch by Amazon

My MBA account is in a low tier, but it’s selling. Honestly I just haven’t focused on it. If there is something I learned, its that I put too much work into Redbubble, and not enough elsewhere.

These are my Merch states to date. Not brilliant, but better than nothing. I have one design that is making all of those sales, but that’s to be expected when you’ve only had 10 designs or so up for months. I’ve only recently tiered up to T100, and I’m filling my 5 slots a day.

My technique is not glamorous when it comes to MBA. If you aren’t aware, you have a number of slots. The more you sell, the more slots you unlock. I currently have 100 slots to fill, and can upload 5 designs a day.

The best selling shirt there is cheap, and it’s simply pulling me through the tiers so I can level up and unlock more slots to fill. My designs are nothing special. I’m taking what sold well on Redbubble, and I’m making original work for MBA. More than anything, it is just a grind. Soon I’ll have more slots than I can fill anyway!


I have started selling on TeePublic. I’ve had three accounts for a while now. Two are in different niches (One I created after my Redbubble ban, so no sales yet), one is a general store. I love the upload process. It is better than the Redbubble one by far, but with a smaller selection.

I am a bit worried that as I’m banned from RB, I might be banned from TP at some point (they’re the same parent company), but we’ll get to that later. It’s quite easy to have a workflow that allows both MBA and TP. I use the same file size for both, so uploading is a breeze.

These are the stats for my two TeePublic stores with sales. Nothing to boast about but like MBA, I just haven’t put work on them. They have maybe 50 designs each, and that’s after a little upload spree I ran in the past day or two. I’m certain they’ll pick up steam when I start consistently uploading content.

Checking back, TeePublic has been selling more and more every month, so I’m quite confident for it heading towards Christmas and into next year.

Teespring / Own print on demand store

I’m considering taking my main niche and setting up shop on TeeSpring, or failing that my own store. The real margins are when you set up your own site and set up your own print on demand with something like Printful or Printify.

I’m somewhat confident in growing an audience and promoting it and it’s a niche I know very well, and it’d be a new challenge that would be a bit more secure than relying on a wholly owned platform somebody else hosts.


It feels silly to want to make a Redbubble course now that I’ve been banned, but I have so many tips I’d like to share. I honestly think I could coach people to make more money on their existing stores, and there are definitely things I do that I haven’t seen any ‘gurus’ talk about.

I did say all my info would be free here and that’s true, but I might go so far as to share my niches, best selling products etc, elsewhere in some video and text course. Something to think about.

Goals moving forward

Personally I need a goal to aim towards. As my passive income right now has been completely shot, I need to fix that. I’ve gone from making a solid £1000 on Redbubble every month to £0. I’ll be lucky if I am making £100 a month right now in total over all of my streams (apart from my lodger), but I’ll have to wait and see until all my payments come in.

My first goal after finishing this post is:

  • Make £100 passively, online

My actionable goals are:

  • 100 designs on Merch by Amazon as soon as possible (60 uploads to go, so 1 days at the very least unless I tier up before then)
  • 100 designs on TeePublic accounts 1,2 and 3 (50 design upload limit so this week at the earliest really)

I also want to look into other POD platforms. I have a Zazzle and S6 account, but I don’t really like either of them. The upload process is bulky, and the audience is smaller and much different to Redbubble.

In summary

  • Don’t do anything to put your Redbubble account at risk.
  • Diversify your income streams as soon as possible
  • Organise your uploads so you can easily pop them on other platforms

Is Redbubble going to burst?

Now that I’ve set up a nice little earner on Redbubble, the worry is starting to set in. How long is this going to last? Certainly not forever. Truly this is the curse of ownership; now that something is valuable, you want to protect it.

Redbubble has been going for 14 years now, since 2006, and it has at least proven that it can last that long. How long can this continue?

I’ve had a few people ask me about the work from home job I mentioned in a previous post, so I thought it a good idea to talk about that more, as well as other ways I’m trying to mitigate the fact that I don’t own the processes I’m selling by. If Redbubble goes bust, so do I!

Redbubble is here to stay

I do think it’s safe to assume Redbubble will be around for at least another ten years. Currently, Redbubble stock is the highest it has ever been, jumping up sharply in the past few days.

Redbubble is still a very popular site, they are adding new products you can design for, and personally I am selling more and more each month. If you want to get into Redbubble but haven’t yet, then it’s still worth it, and it’s best to start soon.

It’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket, but for me, right now, Redbubble has become my biggest earner. June 2020 is looking to be at least £1200 in pure, passive income, and that’s only my main shop, not including my other side shops.

Despite the apparent rock hard foundation Redbubble does have there are things to consider, even if, as a service, Redbubble isn’t going anywhere.

Changes of terms and conditions

If Redbubble changes it terms and conditions, it could negatively affect a lot of us. Have you ever had the following email from Redbubble: “An Important Message About Your Work on Redbubble”. It’ll usually appear if you’ve had a design removed.

Recently, Redbubble have changed policies to now allow certain designs to show up on certain products, in case they cause offence. For example; you might not want to have anything religious on a bath mat, or socks, as you put your feet on these things. In some cultures, that will cause great offence.

While this is perfectly fine, it does just highlight the fact that you are not in control of where you are selling. Who knows what will change in future? Maybe your best selling piece of work will be taken down. It’s something to consider.


There are a few things you can and should be doing to mitigate any potential losses when it comes to selling on Redbubble. Consider the following:

  • Adhere to Redbubble policy
  • Start multiple Redbubble stores
  • Use other platforms
  • Have a day job

Adhere to policy

As we just discussed, Redbubble can change their policies at any time. Creating safe work which is unlikely to get removed is key to a long lasting store. To do this, ensure that you only upload original work, that cannot be seen an offensive.

Start multiple stores

They can’t ban them all! If you want to work with something a bit more risque, then consider multiple stores, each geared to a niche. Have an NSFW niche you want to try out? Simply start a new store for it. If it gets any warning or take downs, they won’t affect your main store.

This is what I do now when I am trying a new style of designs. I’m not too convinced that an established store has much weight in terms of search results, I think it’s purely down to the design uploaded.

Use other platforms

I should be doing this more, but if you’re seeing success on Redbubble, then you’ll likely see success elsewhere with the same designs. It’s your work, you have the rights to it; so it may be sensible to play a wide game.

Instead of creating more designs for Redbubble, spent a week or two putting your current designs on other platforms. Get an account for Merch By Amazon if you haven’t already, I’m seeing a lot of sales here now. TeePublic is also a good choice, essentially a carbon copy of Redbubble, but with a better uploading UI.

Have a day job

I know this is the opposite of passive income, but considering most of us are in lockdown, it’s a good shout. You’re sitting at home most of the day anyway, you may as well put it to use, earn some money, and learn something too.

As I said in my previous post, I managed to get a freelance role working for a dating app. Here’s the secret to how I found the job.

I went on indeed and searched for ‘Remote’.

That’s it. Now is such a good time to find work from home jobs. Lots of companies need people to work for them, but aren’t willing to open their offices yet. Did I think I would ever work for a dating app, moderating dodgy profiles? No. Is it worth it? At £12-15 an hour, I would say so.


Redbubble will not be here to stay forever, as nothing is. It’s not an income you can rely on for life. It is probably going to be here for the next ten years, but who knows, maybe something will come along to replace Print on demand as a process.

It’s foolish to put all of your eggs in a single basket, but you can use Redbubble to learn about print on demand, learn about marketing online and selling, and those are the real profits.

£1000 a month, passively.

I reached the £1000 a month mark much sooner than I anticipated; 6 months too soon to be exact; June 2020 instead of December 2020! As of right now, Redbubble is my main source of income! Looking to the future, this might not be the case, but I consider it a personal success! It’s something I aimed for and achieved.

From basically nothing in November to the equivalent of minimum wage, and all it took was a little bit of effort. It is true, the success is ability multiplied by motivation. So long as you have one of those, you’ll get somewhere. I will not pretend it was easy, I simply put a lot of work in.

In this post I’ll summarise what I did to go from £100 or so a month to ten times that amount, and I’ll spice it up with other things I’ve been doing, outside of Redbubble and POD to earn money on my own terms.

Right now, I’m not entirely sure what the future will bring, I don’t think any of us are. Are we going to get hit my a global recession? Maybe. Will people still buy things like stickers and art prints online? Almost definitely.

The Beginning

November 2019 was when I stumbled onto Passive owl’s channel on Youtube. Specifically this video that he made about a single design, which I suggest you watch right now. If you haven’t seen his videos, while they are a little dated, you’re going to get more value from them than this post, so just continue your journey there!

I went on to watch every other video on his channel. While clearly he is not an expert or guru, his advice and experience is worth listening to and I made it a goal then on to surpass his income, then £800 a month as he mentions.

Putting his advice into place really paid off, as you can see in my very first post here:

I went from under £100 or so to over £250, just by following his advice. I don’t even think I uploaded many new products, I just optimised what I had. The results were almost instant, and staggering. Redbubble went from being a forgettable side hustle to my main focus, and has been my main concern since.

The Middle

After this initial surge, things just kept on increasing. The more I sold, the more I felt motivated to upload. It’s a brilliant cycle, and I doubled my designs uploaded to where it currently sites; at around 350. Branching out from my initial niche, I started adding all sorts of designs.

I was made redundant from my full-time job in late January, and was at a bit of a loss of what to do. I spent a lot of time optimising my Redbubble store.

Some of these designs shot up; my current fourth and fifth selling designs of all time are something I uploaded about a month ago. It goes to show that you can just strike it lucky, and that it may not be best to stick to a niche.

When the global lockdown hit, it didn’t really affect sales at all. May 2020 was my best month so far. I suppose everybody is stuck, indoors and bored.

The End (and the new beginning)

£3351 in a year, but £1000 of that is only the previous month! June looks so small because I’m writing this in June, so that’s only what I’ve sold so far 🙂

It’s not the end at all, but it’s the end of the beginning. If things continue, it’ll mean I have wangled myself a fully passive job that is equivalent to something minimum wage. Great, this was my exact intent!

Worryingly, since my redundancy, I have been relying on Redbubble as a main part of my income. To somewhat alleviate these worries I’ve done the following.

  • A dodgy Redbubble project
  • A new sensible Redbubble project
  • Expanded to other platforms
  • Taken a freelance role
  • Gotten a lodger

I’ll discuss the income streams I am working on, and then give a rough estimate to their profits afterwards.

Dodgy Redbubble project

I’m now running three Redbubble shops. My main one is a general one, and the other two are niches. The first is a dodgy, NSFW (not safe for work) themed shop. I have had so many designs removed that it’s likely to get taken down, however it is making sales so I am leaving it untouched.

I would not recommend starting an NSFW shop on Redbubble. There are just too many hurdles and it’ll take up too much of your time. Keep it nice and vanilla!

I have, however received my first payment from the shop in the last few days, £40. Hmm. Not bad. I’ll just leave the shop for now, 20 sales or so in the first month isn’t that bad but it feels like too fragile a project to fully invest in.

Sensible Redbubble project

The sensible Redbubble project is a lot different. I won’t go into it in any detail at all as the niche is a good one, but the general idea is that I am uploading one or two designs per day, and have been for the past two months (admittedly with some breaks).

One design a day does not sound like much, but it all adds up. 30-60 designs per month is more than most stores have in total. Now that I’m making this my full time thing, I may even make it 5 designs a day, however it’s unlikely that it’ll be more than that.

When you find a good niche, I think it is best to be consistent. Upload on a schedule and don’t relent. So much of print on demand is just being consistent. Have a consistent level of quality to your designs, and upload them consistently. Eventually some of them will sell. I’ve made a few sales already, enough to justify this project already.

Expanding to other platforms

I have had a TeePublic account for ages, but I’ve only just started uploading to it in the last few months. I’m selling a lot less than Redbubble, but still they are sales I wouldn’t see otherwise. In reality, I should be duplicating my current general store across as many platforms as I can.

Merch By Amazon is also seeing some sales now, and I expect I’ll be out of Tier 10 soon. Amazon had issues with the COVID lockdown and suspended sales, but now that’s alleviated I’m doing much better than before. Definitely something to consider and such a powerful marketplace.

Taking a Freelance role

Not at all passive, but helpful to have now. I’m stuck indoors in lock down anyway, so I may as well put my time to use! I won’t go into detail again, but I am working as a moderator for an app, and they pay per ‘action’.

So for example, say a user complaint comes in, I fix it, and get paid for that bit of work. They pay straight into Paypal, and it is probably one of the easiest jobs I have ever had. On average, this works out at around £12 an hour, so it’s not too shabby.

I haven’t added this to the passive income either, so thats still income on top of my passive income! Jobs like this are out there, especially now. You just need to look for them. It’s so easy to make a full time living working from home, passive or not.

Taking a Lodger

Basically a no-brainer and I have mentioned it in previous posts; my lodger pays me £500 a month, tax free. I’m not even using that room! I don’t count this in my business income, but personal income. In the UK, you don’t pay tax on lodger income if it’s under a certain amount. It’s like, free money.

The Results

It’s strange to see it illustrated; Redbubble accounting for half of my monthly income, but I’m just trying to show what is possible.

It took me six months to go from less than £100 a month to over £1000 a month, and I am not special. I just read advice and put it into practice. It was all hard work and application over any skill and there’s no reason you can’t do it too. Hell, I’m trying to do it again.

Future goals

I’m really happy to have achieved my self employment goals sooner than I thought! I have some long off goals to consider, some which you might be interested in looking into yourself!

I am somewhat treating this business as a 4X game, where I am eXploring new possibilities, eXpanding my current ones, eXploiting trends I see and niches that I am familiar with, and I suppose exterminating my old 9-5 life? Not too sure about that one.

My future goals aren’t so revolutionary, but all relate to how I want to live. I’ll list and discuss them below as I did above;

  • Max out my premium bonds
  • Start consistent stock investment
  • Move onto Etsy, or onto my own site
  • Sell or rent my house

Max out Premium bonds

Premium bonds are a type of savings account that exists in the UK. To put it basically; you put money into an account, and instead of generating interest, every £1 you enter is put into a prize draw each month. The odds are low, but so is savings interest currently. there is a maximum allowance of £50,000 per person.

I’m looking to max out my premium bonds account when I can. I currently have £5k in there. With prizes up to £1Million, it’s not too shabby, and your money is protected by the UK government.

Start consistent stock investment / ISA

Something I found quite boring when I first read about it; stocks and shares are a great way to earn passive income. It’s so easy to start now; you can trade for free on apps or websites. I have a few shares I am confident in but I’d like to get a bit more knowledgeable about the area as a whole.

Of course this isn’t without risk, and we may be heading to a global recession soonish as well, so I’m not exactly rushing into this one.

Move onto Etsy, or onto my own site

While I have three Redbubble stores right now, I am still relying on another company for my income and that worries me. Thinking long term, I would like to move away from these smaller services onto my own platform.

I have a niche I should be capitalising on more and I would be making so much more money! However this is long term thinking, but does appear to be the natural evolution of this sort of print on demand business.

Sell or rent my house

I think I’ve realised I don’t really like home ownership. Maybe this just isn’t the right thing to do right now. I am not a very material person and owning a house just feels like a liability more than an investment right now. I’ll hold onto it for now and see what I can do, but I don’t feel this is a long term thing.

What you can take from this post

Personally, I like to read about other peoples experiences with online business, but if there is one thing you actually take away from this post, let it be this:

With a little bit of hard work, you can make money online.

Productivity and Motivation for Print on Demand

I recently made a big decision (recently, as in five minutes ago). I turned down a job offer to pursue print on demand, and passive income on a self employed basis.

This may be the worst time to do it, what with the economy in an iffy state, but after weighing everything up, I decided to just go for it. As I now need to stay motivated, I thought I’d share some things I do to keep myself on track. I hope they can be of some help to you!

It really can be tough to stay motivated when you’re working on print on demand projects. There is a lot of monotony an the reward is often quite delayed, sometimes being months or weeks away.

I wouldn’t say I am an expert in motivation and productivity, far from it, but I’m happy to share some practices and thoughts I have on the matter.

Freebirding (or Chunking)

I have no idea what this is called in real life, but it’s a practice I’ve taken to doing in my general everyday life. Check out the video below, Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It’s around ten minutes long.

‘Freebirding’ is the practice of doing something for the length of this song. I apply it in my real life in a few ways. Cleaning a room, tidying up the kitchen, just getting something done. If you can do something within the length of Free Bird, then it’s worth doing.

I’ll frequently play Free Bird when I’ve finished eating, and start tidying up the kitchen. It may sound silly, but there are a few benefits to it;

  • It’s a fun way to break up time into manageable chunks
  • I’ve associated Free Bird with energy, motivation and just doing stuff. I’ll often continue doing stuff after the song has finished anyway.

You can ‘Freebird’ your way through Print on Demand too. Ten minutes can be spent uploading a product, or starting and finishing a design. I’m actually doing this right now, writing this post!

You can read a more serious write up here. They call it the 10 Minute rule, which sounds a lot more boring than Freebirding.

‘Chaching’ sounds

Every time I make a sale on Redbubble, my phone makes a noise. It’s very nice. The noise itself is nothing special (it’s the Mario coin noise), but the feedback I feel is great.

As well as getting notified as soon as I make a sale, a sound also gives me a little bit of motivational feedback. It’s nice to hear. I am here to make sales and I want to know when they happen.

I use Gmail and an Android phone, so it’s quite easy to set up, and I’ll make a better post on how to do this later I think! (Expect a link here when it’s done!)

It can be nice to hear a number of dings in a day, and it really adds to that sense of satisfaction that you should have working on your own projects that is otherwise forgotten about. You should be happy when you make a sale!

In future I’ll do the same for TeePublic, but I don’t make enough sales to warrant it yet.

Chart your success, predict future success

I have a whiteboard on my wall. It lists a lot of goals and things to remember, not just for my passive income.

One part of the whiteboard is dedicated to Redbubble income, in the form of a line chart. I have each month on the X axis, and the amount I made on the Y axis.

Each month I plot a point and join a line. It’s nice to see it go up! Each month also has a goal, in a sensible rising fashion. Currently, I am seeing a linear increase, so I have predicted it will just follow this pattern.

Having a real life representation of your success is much more impactful than your Redbubble dashboard or payment page. Passive income is usually fully online, and by bringing it into the real world feels more serious.

Limit yourself

It can be tempting to say to yourself “I’m going to upload 20 products today”. In my experience this is a bad approach. Better to upload 20 products over 20 days.

I sometimes don’t follow this advice. Today I uploaded around 25 products, but I don’t make this the norm,

There are a few reasons to limit yourself. Firstly, you won’t get burnt out by doing the same process over and over. Uploading designs is so boring.

Secondly, it can help to get your product (and therefore store) in the ‘Newest’ filter frequently.

One product upload a day means one product in the ‘Newest’ filter every day for 20 days, which is a lot better that 20 products in the ‘Newest’ filter, for one day.

Vision for the future

For me, an end goal is great for motivation. We don’t all have the same end goal, but thinking about where you’re going to be in a few years is great for motivation now.

You won’t get there unless you put the work in. Stay on target!