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August 2017 Income Report: Learning Must Go On 👩‍🎓, Thrive Architect, Personal Bits

Today is Labor Day in Canada and the USA. Happy holiday to all my north American readers! Have fun and eat a lot of BBQ burgers! At least, this is what I am planning to do 🍔🍔🍔 😋

In this blog, I write about what I am doing to create various income streams that come from online endeavors. The monthly income reports detail my results.

Why am I sharing my income publicly? I hope to gain trustworthiness with you and to keep some degree of accountability for myself.

The reports motivate me. I tend to forget my small achievements… and reports like this one won’t let me do it 🙂 Apart from that, they help me to remember how much I have already invested. It’s a motivation to push even harder!

Read on August 2017 Income Report, which is also my income report #24.

What Happened In August

Learning Must Go On👩‍🎓

As you remember from my June income report, I got one of the most expensive and extensive niche website courses available and was diving into it in July by implementing the content on Elephant 🐘 Website.

Got lost in my elephants, horses, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean 🐀🐘🐎 🐝

In August, the learning continued.

I again did pretty much nothing but that. I have dipped my toes into the email marketing and social media marketing and am already getting some results. They are modest but visible enough to keep me going.

Thrive Architect (Former Content Builder)

As a part of the niche website course, I have started using Thrive Architect content constructor plugin (former Thrive Content Builder.) The course authors greatly recommend it for the post formatting.

For me, it has been a big stumbling block.

Don’t take me wrong, the plugin is indeed great… too bad using it made me review pretty much all the writing and formatting tools and processes I had in place:

  • I had to replace the Quick Adsense plugin since it is not compatible with the Thrive thing.
  • I cannot use the Grammarly browser extension to do edits on the spot since the Thrive Architect does not support it.
  • The Readability part of the Yoast SEO plugin is useless now, it cannot anymore highlight problematic places in the text.
  • Same thing for EazyAzon, it is harder to use it now.

The plugin does make it pretty easy to create a well-structured content. However, these little inconveniences have been pretty annoying.
When I just started using it, I got so irritated that I was thinking of asking for a refund. But time passed and I got used to it… After all, it does help to construct a well-designed content fast.

Thrive Themes logoWhat else helped me to live with it is that recently, the plugin got a major upgrade. The upgrade aimed to make the UI (user interface) more intuitive and convenient to use and it looks like they greatly succeeded.

Unfortunately, the upgrade did not come for free. No, I am not talking about paying money for it (in this sense, it was free.)

The new plugin has so many bugs 🕷️🕷️🕷️ and they can be very irritating sometimes. Imagine you completely revamped your post and now are trying to save it… but it does not save and just hangs. This is a real story that happened to me a few days. I have found a workaround already but it still wasted some of my valuable time 🙁

On the plus side, the Thrive guys seem to fix bugs pretty quickly so I expect the nuisances to be gone soon.

Overall, the Thrive Theme products are not new to me. On this website, I use their Focus theme and am pretty happy with it. Hope that with the Thrive Architect, it will the same story.

Amazon Affiliate Images Policy

As you probably know already, the Amazon Affiliate agreement does not allow to store Amazon product images anywhere but on Amazon servers. It has been a part of the TOS since forever but only recently, Amazon has started nudging the affiliates to follow the rule.

I am using the EazyAzon plugin that does save Amazon product images on the website it is installed it. Which means I do break the TOS 🙁

It has been bothering me for a while now and in new articles, I am now using the links from Amazon affiliate portal. I realized it can be trickier than it looks like so I want to publish a post with my findings and thoughts. Probably, will do it in September – stay tuned!

Funny Firefox Spellcheck

This screenshot needs no words:

Funny Firefox spellcheck

Guest Posting: Timeline Can Be Loooong

As you probably still remember, I was doing guest posting for Elephant 🐘 Website. I paused it a while ago but still had a few open requests where I was waiting for blogs to publish my posts.

For one of them, the approval was received in February.

And finally, in August, the post was published! It took the blog 6 months to do it. 6 months!!! I knew the waiting list can be long… but did not expect it to be that long.

Just wanted to share it with you guys so you know the real timeline of guest posting. It is useful when you try to guest post time sensitive articles that are tied to a season or particular event. I think it is the best to write guest posts that are time agnostic.

Kickfurther

In August, I did not back up any purchase order. Just a few long-time-ago-started contracts paid a bit.

If you do not know what Kickfurther is, you can read about it here.

Personal Bits

Job Similarities

In August, I was surprised to notice how my first job (day job) challenges repeat my second job (niche websites) challenges. Both challenges give me quite a headache… and I kinda have no escape from it day or night 🙁

Similarity #1: The amount of work is astonishing

At both works, my team (in the case of the job #2, my team is me) has so much stuff to do. So much. The list just keeps going on and on and it only grows with time.

It is a bit discouraging and feels like we move nowhere. Dozens of other things to do pop up once something is done…

In both cases, I have to constantly prioritize and try to think short term and celebrate small wins.

“Hurray, I finished this article!”

“Hurray, we implemented this extra button!”

The only way to resolve this issue is to resolve the similarity #2 I write about below.

Similarity #2: The resources are very limited

Projects at both of my jobs are severely understaffed.

With the job #2 (niche websites) it is pretty obvious: I am the only one currently working on my projects. No freelancers are helping me.

With the job #1 (day job), my team has only one permanent developer while it should be three of them. A note: my team still has 6 other guys excluding me 🙂 They are just not permanent devs and are doing something else.

As a result, in both cases, the astonishing amount of work from the similarity #1 is moving very slowly and it makes everybody involved unhappy with the progress.

What to do with these challenges?

The only way to address the above similarities is to hire more people! Duhhh 😀

At both jobs, it is slowly moving towards filling the resource gap. With the day job, the top management approving our budget. With the niche websites, I am grinding through the course and learning the necessities.

Once it is all done, my both jobs will be happy! Well as long as the next challenge is successfully solved…

Be careful with who you hire

Yes. Another duh. This is an axiom for every and each business/project.

Why am I writing about it here? Because in August, my day job gave me a perfect life lesson about it and I am planning to apply it to my second job.

Without being too verbose about this sensitive topic, I can only say that a bad hire happened on my team.

We knew the person well before hiring and they seemed to have technical skills and knowledge required for the job. After getting them onboard, our work was going well for a couple of months… But in August, we witnessed how the project unexpectedly crumbled around them. Turns out the person was missing critical organization and communication skills.

None of us saw it coming and we were caught by a great surprise.

august 2017 income report hiring

It slowed us down quite a lot so the pile of work only grew bigger. The good thing the person was a temp and we could get rid of them pretty fast.

What can I say?

Even a known expert who’s hired temporarily can negatively impact your work if their skills do not match the project and team well.

Even if a guy (or gal) is not a stranger to you or your team and looks like a great fit, you still better go through a full interview process. Access all of their skills to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future. If you or your team have any doubt, do not hire them!

After it happened, our tech lead said:

Better miss on hiring the best candidate than hiring wrong one cause it'll drag down everybody Click To Tweet

It made me think about hiring people for my second job. Now, I better spend more time on interviewing than trying to speed up the process.

Fun stuff

In August, it was not the only drudgery happening. Fun stuff happened as well!

I run under the rain and it made me happy like a child 🙂

August 2017 income report after rain

We went to a highly anticipated Asian food fest. After waiting for almost an hour in line, we ate a few small things and left 😀 🍲 🍜 😀

August 2017 income report Asian food

Had a lot of fun cycling! Sam resting during one of the rides:

August 2017 income report Sam resting

 

Ok, now let’s go back to the business!

Expenses

In August, the expenses were low due to the fact I was too busy going through the course and did not work with freelancers at all. I did spend some money on buying Thrive Themes plugins, though.

Expenses
Expense Amount Notes
Outsourced writing $0.00 Ordered zero new articles
Outsourced VA $0.00 Did not worked with my VA
E-marketing tools $43.95 Paid for SERP tracking, stock photos, cheap access to AhRef and other SEO tools and proxies for Domain Hunter Gatherer , etc
Thrive Theme plugins $134.00 Bought Thrive Architect and Thrive Leads plugin for Elephant website
PBN domain registration $0.00 No PBN domain expenses
PBN hosting $42.90 Paid for Easy Blog Networks, an awesome solution for PBNs (read my review) and Bulk Buy Hosting (here's my review)
Hosting $0.00 No regular website hosting expenses
Domain registration $32.71 Some non-PBN domain renewals and WhoIs privacy
KickFurther $0.00 Did not re-invested anything
Total $253.56

Income

The high season for Elephant 🐘 Website and its family is finishing so the income level is dropping. And Horse 🐎 Website produced some results. Meanwhile, Rat 🐀 Website is still doing well though it is having its own high season going to the end, too. Honeybee 🐝 Website got a return and no sales and that’s why it is negative this month.

Got lost in my elephants, horses, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean 🐀🐘🐎 🐝

Income
Income Amount Notes
Amazon by Elephant Website $564.38 Revenue from the 1st website I bought (and 2 other websites in the same niche)
AdSense by Elephant & Horse Websites $430.71 Revenue from the 1st & 2nd websites I bought (and 2 other websites in the same niche)
Amazon by Rat Website $56.10 Revenue from the website built by Human Proof Designs; check their website to see if you can get a ready made niche website for yourself
Ads by Rat Website $0.33 I monetize Rat Website through media.net
Amazon by Honeybee Website -$1.56 Revenue from the website I am building myself with a PBN
ClickBank $80.31 Recurring and new sales for Easy Blog Networks and Ultimate Azon theme for WordPress
Bulk BuyHosting $36.59 Some affiliate sales for Buy Bulk Hosting, a solution for PBN hosting
HPD Affiliate $0.00 Affiliate income from Human Proof Designs; check their website to see if you can get a ready made niche website for yourself
HOTH $50.13 Finally got a refund from Hoth for a service I canceled quite a while ago; I used their SEO packages and Hoth Blogger service
Kickfurther $10.91 Online investments paid back; read more in my post about Kickfurther
Interest $6.15 Stashed extra money on a high earning saving account and earned interest
Total $1,234.05

Totals

Here are my totals for August 2017.

Total income $1,234.05 minus total expenses $253.56 makes a net profit of $980.49.

Here is the chart with my revenue vs expenses history for the last 12 months.

August 2017 income report chart

September 2017 Plans

In September, I plan to continue going with the course. Hopefully, I will learn enough to write some tasks for writers and start hiring again. Yeah… I said the same thing for August and it never happened… Let see if September will be any better.

In September, it will be the 2-year anniversary of my blog and business. Time to look at the past year and draw some conclusions.

And of course, in September, I will try to write about my experience in the blog! Since I am not sure when I will post the next post… stay tuned by subscribing to my emails!

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Disclaimer

Some of the links in this income report are affiliate links. I will receive a small fee if you choose to buy after clicking on any of these links. Thank you if you do!

 

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