I opened up last month’s income report by pointing out that we were already one quarter of the way through 2012. And with the passing of another month, there are but two thirds of the year left.
It’s rather frightening how quickly things are moving for me, but I must say that I am extremely happy with how the year has panned out to date.
My original plans have essentially gone out of the window, but I am getting used to that now. I have to remind myself that back in July of last year, I planned to quit my job at the end of this month by building a full time income with my Modeling For Kids site (remember that?). It’s fair to say that my original plan didn’t come to fruition – but it was replaced with a far better end result. I’m going with the flow, and loving it.
Although I have certainly struggled for motivation at certain points (especially given how unsuccessful my niche site project has been to date), I currently feel more driven than ever in accomplishing my planned future goals.
At the start of the month I was extremely doubtful of attracting 10,000 visitors to this blog again – especially given my new approach. I expected that my freelance income would pick up again after having spent a fair proportion of March on holiday. Finally, I had no idea how well my niche sites would perform.
So in essence, I was expecting a mixed bag of results. Let’s take a look at how things went!
Things are still ticking along nicely on this front. The work from my two regular clients continues, and I am getting approached more and more often by people who have found me either through my existing work, or this blog.
Perhaps most importantly, I have set an hourly rate for all future clients that I am happy with. Whilst I am not going to reveal my rate, let’s just say that it would just about hit the six figure mark if I chose to work what would be considered a “normal” number of hours per week (although I don’t see that happening any time soon ;)). That rate has yet to be sniffed at by potential clients, which is of course encouraging.
Well this isn’t going well at all, to be perfectly frank with you. In retrospect I can clearly recognize that I have thrown away an enormous amount of money on this project without appropriately assessing the potential benefits and risks. It is a mistake that I will try hard not to make again. You live and learn!
This month I will be finishing off link building to the remaining sites, at which point it will simply be a case of sitting back and waiting to see if there are any positive results. To be perfectly honest with you, I will be happy to see the back of this project for a couple of months – it has offered very little in the way of progress.
Once I have wrapped up my niche site project, I will have time to start work on something new. I have been rolling a few ideas around in my head over the last several weeks, as I am not in a rush to start on anything that I am not completely comfortable with.
I really like two of the ideas, and I think I am ready to move forward with one of them. I will probably be asking for your opinion soon, so stay tuned!
Income & Expenditure – April 2012
I am extremely happy to announce that April was a record month in terms of earnings – and by a rather convincing margin no less. It also marked the first month where Leaving Work Behind turned a profit (not including the equivalent cost of my time input).
- Freelance writing:
- Income: $3,157.05
- Expenditure: $0
- Profit: $3,157.05
- Income: $18.27
- Expenditure: $183.46
- Profit: -$165.19
- Income: $91.30
- Expenditure: $53.26
- Profit: $38.04
Total profit for April 2012: $3,029.90
My freelance income wasn’t quite at its February peak, but a huge reduction in my niche site outgoings and a modest contribution from this blog combined to make it a good month for me.
I am now flirting dangerously with breaking even on my total expenses (business and personal). I don’t think it will be long before we see that.
I’m feeling very comfortable with my cash flow now. If I was feeling any kind of pressure, it has now completely dissapated.
If you compare this cash flow with last month’s, you will see that my “red zone” has been pushed back slightly. But the key thing to note is my freelance income, which is extremely conservative. In fact, it only accounts for my two regular clients, and none of the extra work that I am doing. As always, I would prefer to err on the size of cautious conservatism, so that I am not presented with any nasty surprises.
There may well be a point in the relatively near future where keeping tabs on cash flow in this manner is no longer strictly necessary. If my income is consistently exceeding my expenses by a comfortable margin, a monthly cash flow projection would essentially become redundant. It would only be required if I were to want to invest a sizable and/or periodical cash sum in a particular project (at which point, I would want to check that I can afford it).
As I expected, April has not been a good month for the blog, relative to the previous two months:
- Visitors: down 21%
- Average actions: up 5%
- Average time per visit: up 1%
- Bounce rate: up 0%
Although I am not at all surprised, I can’t say that it doesn’t hurt a bit. At least the engagement metrics are holding nicely.
At the end of the day, I have to weigh up input against benefit. And the fact is that Leaving Work Behind wasn’t providing me with the kind of income that justified the enormous amount of time that I was investing. But regardless of that, I love writing for this blog and engaging with you guys, so I will be going nowhere.
Quite the opposite in fact – rather than taking this drop in traffic on the chin, I have been completely reevaluating my efforts. There are ways and means of increasing the quality of your input without increasing the quantity. More on that soon…
April Micro-Goals Roundup
My goals for April were essentially rendered obsolete by my shift in approach. They were focused entirely on my niche site project, and I am now winding that down whilst I analyze the impact of my work to date over the next few months.
- Finalize niche site building system obsolete
- Finish building March’s sites done
- Start building 8 sites in April obsolete
- Research methods for reducing cost per niche site obsolete
My To Do List For May
It’s about time that I set some more effective goals. I feel pretty good about what I have committed to doing for this month – it wraps up my existing niche site project and subsequently represents a better picture of where I am heading.
- Finish link building
Leaving Work Behind
- Finalize new content and promotion strategy
- Implement new autoresponder series
If you are a regular reader then you know that I have struggled with producing a cohesive autoresponder series for this blog. I finally think I have come up with a template that makes sense, and aim to have it up and running this month.
- Make a start
This goal is deliberately ambiguous. Since the project is very much in the formative stages, I am do not have a specific goal in mind for the month – I just want to get the ball rolling.
What’s In Store For May?
April was a bit bumpy, but ultimately represented a successful month in terms of earnings. I want to take that momentum forward into May – with possibly even higher earnings, a new approach for this blog (perhaps accompanied by a recovery in traffic numbers), and the start of an exciting new project.
All in all, I am looking forward to crushing it in May!
Creative Commons image courtesy of Images_of_Money