November 2017 Income Report: Black Friday / Cyber Monday, Improving Productivity📅, #notmyweek 🤢
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 also motivate me.
I tend to forget my small achievements… and posts 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 my income report #27 to find out what happened in November 2017.
What happened in November
November was a so-so month. The earnings were Ok but much lower than a year ago. This time, I was very conscious about Black Friday / Cyber Monday and started preparing for it a way in advance. However, my efforts did not pay back and the whole thing was a flop 😞
And in general, the month was weird… The first half was quite relaxed and calm while the second half was freakish-ly intense and stressful.
Let’s take a closer look 👀
Black Friday / Cyber Monday preps
I decided to do BF/CM only on Elephant 🐘 Website and on my blog.
On my blog, I again prepared a post and sent an email to my subscribers. I don’t think anybody bought anything, haha 😂😂😂 That’s fine. The deals were so-so, at least from my point of view.
For Elephant 🐘 Website, I prepared a Deals page and was diligently updating it manually every day for the whole week before BF/CM. I think it got 2 sales in total… bummer… But what can I do if nothing these visitors wanted was on sale? 😿
Enjoying AAWP + Thrive Architect
While preparing for BF/CM, I decided to learn how to use AAWP, a new WP plugin for the Amazon Affiliate program.
On Elephant 🐘 Website, I use Thrive Architect plugin that allows quickly and conveniently building pages in WordPress. This was the first time I tried AAWP and Thrive Architect together… and I have to say it is such a killer combination!
I did not realize before that WP Content in Thrive Architect is rendered “on the fly” while the page is still in the edit mode.
AAWP shortcuts get converted into HTML snippets right away after the Edit dialog of the WP Content is closed. Ugly shortcuts are gone and instead, I see beautifully rendered Amazon product ads. It makes it so convenient to adjust the look of Amazon products while editing the post.
On top of that, AAWP allows selecting different images of the product. This is also super cool and gives a possibility to choose the best presentation of the Amazon product.
It all means I can see how the page will look like after being rendered right in the edit mode. No need to constantly hit Preview button anymore! Such a huge time saver!
Eternal search for a VA
The VA I hired on Upwork last time and who I was so excited about resigned 😭😭😭 She said the task was too complicated for her 😵
I spent about two hours trying to train her. On her side, she spent some unknown time trying to wrap her head around the instructions… The head did not get wrapped and she resigned saying it’s too hard.
I got soooooooooo upset… As you remember, I had such high hopes… eeeehhhh
At least, she did not charge a single penny for her time. It was very honest of her and I appreciated it a lot.
After the bummer, I thought that I do not have time now to go with another hire that needs to be hired, trained, supervised, etc. After all, it happened right before Black Friday and I was up to my eyeballs in preparing for BF/CM. So I decided to “throw money into the problem” 😀 💰💰💰 and to try out an expensive solution Time Etc.
Time Etc is a service that offers high-quality well-trained VAs 👨🏭👩🏭 for a premium price. You simply give a task and they find a VA. If you are not satisfied with the VA, they will find another one.
I hoped that an expensive thus experienced VA would help me to move the needle fast. I had 2 trial hours to test the waters and see if the service was right for me.
Well, it was not.
The VA I was assigned still misunderstood some of my instructions and failed to deliver impeccable work that would be worthy of paying $26 / hour… Two trial hours got used up and I decided not to renew the contract. I am back to the wild looking for good VAs!
And this time I have a new plan! Will tell about it in December income report 😉
Fiverr for designers
In November, I finally started working with designers 👨🏻🎨 for image creation. I love everything that comes to making media for the blogs (taking pictures, editing, etc) but it takes way too much time. I finally came to make an executive decision to stop wasting my time on it. Outsourcing it is the best!
I went to Fiverr and found a designer who had a promo and offered to do 6 images for $5 instead of regular 3…
…haha, should I really mention the well-known axiom that cheap is rarely good? My expectations for the final design were much higher… However, the ease of outsourcing really hooked me up. Right after I resolved the 1st order, I immediately placed the second one with the same designer.
Convenience and speed, speed and convenience. It overweighted all cons!
Troubles with Thirsty Affiliates plugin
As I mentioned above, I did run BF / CB o the blog this year… and oh boy am I glad I did!
While preparing, I discovered that the last update of ThirstyAffiliates WP plugin wiped out all destination links 🙀🙀🙀 It meant that when someone clicked on an affiliate link, it would not open any website…
Looked like it stayed broken for at least two weeks before I noticed it. I hope I did not lose too many clicks.
Thank god, the solution was quick and simple. If you use Thirsty Affiliates, go and check your links now! If you also encountered the bug with empty destination links, check out the solution here.
The second half of November was very stressful and busy. I was preparing for BF/ CM and my 1st job also had a lot of things going on at the same time.
In order to be able to do everything that needs to be done, I decided to try a new approach. I started planning my work in terms of time slots rather than having a simple to-do list.
How does it work?
I take my calendar 📅 and block out time slots that are dedicated to a single type of activity (or a group of similar multiple activities). During each slot, I do only the activity I planned to do and nothing else. Once the time slot is ending, I try my best to wrap up whatever I am doing and move on to the next planned activity.
For example, this is how my last Saturday when I was writing this report looked like ➡️➡️➡️
I got the idea from SimpleDollar, a personal finance blog I am reading.
How is it more helpful than a to-do list? Well, a to-do list does not take into account how much time a single task can take. It encourages to fit into a day as many tasks as possible regardless of their value. With time slots, I clearly see the day is finite and I have to prioritize hard in order to accomplish important things.
Also, I feel time slotting has increased my productivity. Now, I can plan how to spend different parts of the day since each task requires a different mental effort. For example, talking on the phone takes more effort for me. For some other ones like playing with new tools, I get into flow faster and stay there longer; it’s easy for me.
Based on that, I can schedule phone calls in the morning when I still have my mental energy at 100%. In evenings, I have less mental power so I can do easy stuff like learning to use a new tool or formatting posts.
I have been using this approach for 2.5 weeks, and so far, I love it!
In November, I did not back up any purchase order.
One of the contracts, Glamour Dolls Makeup ❤ Lisa Frank Collection by Glamour Dolls Makeup, paid off completely. That’s why you will see a spike in my Kickfurther income number.
If you do not know what Kickfurther is, you can read about it here.
Personal bits #notmyweek
While the first half of November was nice and calm… the second half was soooo rough!
On the week of November 19, it felt like I was falling apart.
I had a lot of stress at my 1st job with a nervous breakdown with tears at the end. I was doing the BF/CM stuff at home and it was not working and I was trying to find a different approach. While eating lunch at the beginning of the week, I got a tooth shattered and had to go to a dental emergency. Then, my phone got broken and I had to urgently fix it.
Aaaand in the end… like all above was not enough… I got a food poisoning! I spent a horrible night from Friday to Saturday barfing my brain out 🤮🤮🤮 After that, I had to spend in bed the whole weekend.
All this happened in one week! #notmyweek #notmylife
The week after was slightly better. The stress level has lowered a bit… but I got sick again.
This time, it was a terrible cold. I turned into a giant aching sneezing virus with a waterfall instead of the nose. I almost sneezed my brain out! 🤧🤧🤧 I could not take any sick days at work because I had important planning meetings. I worked the sickest day from home and for the rest, I was carrying with me my new best friend, a box of tissues.
Gosh, I do hope December will be nice and peaceful! Like these kitties 😻😻😻
Ok, now let’s go back to the business!
In November, the expenses grew up a bit. On top of giving my writer more work, I spent some money on a few tools during Black Friday period and did two gigs on Fiverr.
|Outsourced writing||$152.63||Ordered new articles|
|Outsourced VA||$0.00||Did not work with a VA|
|Outsourced images||$13.00||Ordered 12 image designs on Fiverr|
|E-marketing tools||$51.55||Paid for SERP tracking, stock photos, cheap access to AhRef tool, etc|
|PBN domain registration||$0.00||No renewed PBN domains|
|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||Did not pay for regular hosting|
|Domain registration||$0.00||No non-PBN domain expenses|
|KickFurther||$0.00||Did not re-invested anything|
|BF deals||$131.03||Bought a pro version of AAWP, a new plugin for Amazon; got a pro version of AdInserter, a plugin to insert ads; bought Grum, a new tool to post on Instagram|
It’s a low season for Elephant 🐘 Website and its family and they are my main breadwinner. So, the income went down. Black Friday season did not pull in sales, and comparing to the previous year, my November 2017 numbers are down.
Got lost in my elephants, horses, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean 🐀🐘🐎 🐝
|Amazon by Elephant Website||$383.30||Revenue from the 1st website I bought (and 2 other websites in the same niche)|
|AdSense by Elephant & Horse Websites||$280.54||Revenue from the 1st & 2nd websites I bought (and 2 other websites in the same niche)|
|Amazon by Rat Website||$0.00||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||$0.06||I monetize Rat Website through media.net|
|Amazon by Honeybee Website||$0.00||Revenue from the website I am building myself with a PBN|
|ClickBank||$77.97||Recurring and new affiliate sales for Easy Blog Networks, a solution for PBN hosting|
|Bulk BuyHosting||$36.40||Recurrign and new affiliate sales for Buy Bulk Hosting, another solution for PBN hosting|
|Kickfurther||$119.43||Online investments paid back; read more in my post about Kickfurther|
|Interest||$7.81||Stashing extra money on a high earning saving account and earning interest|
Here are my totals for November 2017.
Total income $905.51 minus total expenses $391.11 makes a net profit of $514.40.
The profit is twice as small as compared to the same month last year. On the other hand, I was surprised that I still stayed in plus: I felt like November was a spendy month given all the tools I bought.
Here is the chart with my revenue vs expenses history for the last 13 months. Yes, I changed the period from 12 months to 13 in order to show you how the current month performed compared to the last year.
December 2017 Plans
In December, I yeat again plan to resume guest posting. I need to hire a new VA (or maybe a couple of VAs) and find a new writer since my current one will be gone in January. The VA(s) needs to be trained so I will be quite busy with that.
In addition, there will be various Christmas parties! I will go to one at my work and before that, we will go to a movie morning organized again by my work. And this upcoming Friday, we will fly to Boston to attend a Christmas party organized by Sam’s job!
It will be a busy month!
Also, in December, I will try to continue writing about my money-making experience on the blog. Since I am not sure my posting schedule…
You should stay tuned by subscribing to my emails!
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