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February 2018 Income Report
Well, I’m doing it again: Publishing an income report. I did like how publishing my first income report helped me think more strategically about my income in the business.
After a decade of building a foundation and finding my way of doing things, I think I’m finally settling into a model that I can follow and enjoy myself while also making money and helping people in ways that matter to me.
How I’m dividing my time
I’ve started thinking about how best to use my time. There are three main categories I want to focus on:
- Books. I love reading books and love writing them. They’re the most important part of my business in terms of impact I can have. But, revenue for books is still tough. I just need to keep writing them so I can have a nice array of books to give people a chance to buy them all.
- Courses. As much as I’d really just like to read, write books all day, and have conversations on my podcast, online courses are still an important source of revenue for me. I certainly don’t hate making or selling courses. In fact, I’m starting to enjoy it even more, now that I’ve built my skills in writing, and in producing content such as my podcast.
- Affiliates. I cut my business teeth on affiliate marketing. There are products that I’m happy to promote such as WP Engine, Active Campaign and ConvertKit. I enjoy writing detailed content on some of these products, such as how to create a WordPress blog, and creating such content brings in “passive” revenue. I put that in quotes because if you don’t work to maintain passive revenue, it eventually dies out – something I’ve learned from my Match.com coupons site, which used to bring in as much as $11k in a month, and now hardly has any income. Affiliate marketing is a good way to do some work now to not have to do some work later. So, it’s good for freeing oneself up to write books.
Notice that “Podcast” is not on that list. I will continue to do the podcast, but it’s not a big revenue driver, so I won’t fool myself into thinking that I’m being “productive” because I’m working on the podcast. I have some nice systems and processes in place to make it so it’s not a huge time investment. I hope to focus more on it again someday, but until there are more listeners, more sponsorship, and more Patreon supporters, I’ll rely on my existing systems to run the podcast.
New webinar / course push
I spent most of February creating a new webinar, and doing the appropriate marketing. Self Motivation for Solopreneurs teaches people self-motivational tricks I’ve learned. It also promotes a beta course I have called Blog 2 BLING!
I don’t strive to make an online business teaching online business, but I always strive to teach what I’ve learned. One thing I’ve learned – and am always learning – is how to run an online business. I also think running an online business is a great way to achieve the creative self-actualization that I hope to help people achieve with my work. So, I have Blog 2 BLING!
I did the webinar last week, and it went great. I’m doing an encore webinar Tuesday night if you get a chance to make it. There will be a nice revenue bump in the March report thanks to this webinar.
Now that I have this webinar and all of the associated emails fleshed out, it seems I should make good use of that resource. It was a tremendous amount of work. I’m contemplating setting up some sort of recurring webinar schedule with this webinar, another webinar I have called “Bust Through Creative Blocks” (which promotes D4H Video), and coming up with yet another webinar – maybe a typography class to promote White Hot Course.
I found that writing an entire script for the webinar really helps me focus and be in the moment during the webinar. An added plus is it makes it easier for me to repeat the webinar with relatively little thinking.
Losing money on Amazon AMS Ads
I got very excited about Amazon AMS ads for awhile, for promoting The Heart to Start. I ran ads profitably in January, and then I started really running ads on a lot of keywords, as well as many “Product Display” ads, which target readers by interest – sometimes directly on their Kindles.
I was very disappointed to actually lose money on AMS ads in February. Those numbers aren’t reflected well in this report, since my AMS spending is recorded on a cash basis, but according to an accrual-based report I do internally, I spent about $100 more on AMS ads than I made on The Heart to Start. I also spent $33 on Prestozon, which is a snazzy AMS ad tracker. So, I lost about $133 on The Heart to Start in February.
I believe there are a few reasons for this:
- Novelty effect. Most anyone who knows of me who was going to buy The Heart to Start already has. Maybe the ads were helping remind some of those people.
- Spray-and-pray strategy. When I started scaling up ads, I really bid on a ton of keywords. I didn’t think through how much money I would have to spend in order to validate those keywords. Initially, I was making money on the keywords, but eventually my CPC started to go up. Fortunately, I did categorize the keywords, and some categories are more profitable than others. Hopefully that learning will help me go back to running ads profitably.
- Seasonality. January was Self-Help book season. Maybe February not so much? Again, I really saw my CPC go up, and the detail-page conversion rate go down, while making no significant changes. Perhaps people have bought their “New Years” books and are tided over until summer reading season.
- Saturation / Ad Fatigue. Probably many people have seen ads for HTS many times now. Those who were going to buy it, did. Those who aren’t interested probably hardly even notice the ads anymore.
A publishing experiment with How to Write a Book
I did a fun publishing experiment in February. I was writing a blog post, and it ended up being 7,000 words. I figured a long blog post makes a short book. So, I published How to Write a Book on Kindle and paperback. It was briefly available on ePub, but I discontinued it. It wasn’t popular, and I decided to include How to Write a Book in Kindle Unlimited, which requires exclusive distribution of the digital edition.
I made $86.94 on How to Write a Book in February. That isn’t much money, but it’s significantly more than the $0 I would have made otherwise. Additionally, this book helps bring in new readers who are actually looking for books on Amazon. I recently included a sample chapter of The Heart to Start at the end of the book, so hopefully it will lead to some sales.
I have since syndicated the entire book as a free blog post here on kadavy.net. It’s called…How to Write a Book. I also plan to syndicate it to Steemit and to Medium’s Partner Program, so it will bring in some additional money. I know it’s a very competitive keyphrase, but my hope is I can bring in some search traffic to capture leads and promote my other books.
I shared a bit of my thought process behind this experiment on Medium, in a post called This might not work, and in further detail in a post called How “Pounded In The Butt By My Own Butt” changed the way I saw books forever.
I am considering expanding this strategy to other posts, such as my Steemit tutorial, and maybe some future short reads on self publishing or online business.
Dramatic health improvements
I sometimes mention my chronic health problems. It seems each step of treatment I come to realize how much of a handicap they have placed upon me. I’ve had several breakthroughs, but the latest one seems to be the most promising.
It turns out that the amalgam fillings I had in my mouth for the past 25 years were making me sick. I know this because each time I removed one, I got a little better (and I got very sick when I got overzealous and removed two at once).
When I removed the final filling, I could hardly sleep that night because I had so much energy. Muscles that had been chronically tense for decades were twitching and releasing. My breath stopped feeling so labored – it feels “clean.”
I long thought it was a myth that amalgam fillings could make a person sick, but the more I’ve looked into it, the more I’ve realized what a naive and foolish viewpoint that was – one that apparently cost me decades of quality life. They apparently don’t cause problems when viewed across a population, but for sensitive individuals they definitely cause problems – especially considering I may have other problems that just make it worse. (This document from the Swedish government lays out the argument well).
There’s still a long ways to go. I’m doing a chelation program that may take a few years, and during which I’ll can expect to feel like crap from time to time, and perhaps for several months at a time.
I did my first round of the chelators, and it was pretty rough, but I’m trying to schedule to treatments so they don’t interfere with running my business.
I mention this because, mark my words: This will probably lead to a dramatic positive change in my business. My ability to concentrate, plan long-term, and organize is on a whole other level. I have newfound mental clarity, though there’s still some brain fog that I’m battling with. My body has been in a constant fight-or-flight mode for the past couple of decades, so it’s great to have a brain that functions somewhat normally now.
Gross income was $3,238.69 (Down from January’s $6,067.71). Net profit was $1,845.92 (Down from January’s $3,675.87). Those are scarily bad numbers to me, but February was a short month, and March will have a nice bump from the webinar.
|The Heart to Start Kindle||$568.44|
|The Heart to Start Paperback||$216.58|
|The Heart to Start Audiobook||$65.13|
|How to Write a Book Kindle||$76.01|
|How to Write a Book Paperback||$2.02|
|How to Write a Book ePub (discontinued)||$8.91|
|Total Book Sales||$937.09|
|Summer of Design||$20.50|
|White Hot Course||$375|
|Total Digital Products||$631.85|
|Double Your Freelancing Rate||$475|
Love Your Work Podcast
|Total LYW Podcast||$158.77|
|Podcast Editing / Publishing||$240|
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