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My Business Year 2021 In Review: Successes 🎉 Struggles😣 And Plans For The Next Year 📝

It’s the beginning of the new year and it means… it’s time to write yet another annual review post 🥂 However, I do not yet resume working on my blog like before. I am just temporarily back to tell you what a year it has been! 😅

In this blog, I write about what I am doing to create various income streams that come from online endeavors. The yearly reports let me take a look at my business from a distance.

The reports also motivate me💪

I tend to forget my achievements… and posts like this one won’t let me do it 🙂 Apart from that, they help me to remember how much I have progressed and how much I have already invested in my business. It’s a motivation to push even harder 💦

2021 was an exceptional year. 

Exceptional 😊

Exceptional! 🤩

I got a breakthrough in both business and personal areas. My big long-term goals got accomplished. I couldn’t even dream that it would all come together in one year in such a successful blast 🤩

Let’s see what I achieved and where I slacked in 2021 👀

Successes and accomplishments

The word of 2021 was FOCUS 🥅🏑👀

I stopped doing all the things that were not moving me towards my goals and concentrated only on the ones that were.

And… well, the result was quite amazing 🤩

Let’s look at the two biggest achievements I accomplished in 2021.

Increasing the revenue

There is no doubt this item was on my 2020 list for 2021 😄 I put there a certain number… and exceed it 🤗 (second year in the row 🤣)

2021 was such a crazy year 🤯😱

The pandemic continued… But, unlike in 2020, it didn’t affect my business either in a positive or in a negative way  🤷‍♀️ My business just grew on its own 😝

My revenue exceeded my ambitious (or so I thought at the beginning of 2021) goal revenue by 55% 🤯

Now, my monthly revenue is in 5-digit numbers and the profit I get from my business exceeded the salary I was getting at my last day job where I had a position of team lead 😝

Revenue and Expenses Chart 2016- 2021

🐪 Website

In 2021, I renamed 🐘 Website to 🐪 Website because it had diverged from the rest of the 🐘 website family.

The website traffic improved significantly at the beginning of 2021 and it allowed me to start improving monetization.

Camel website traffic 2020 and 2021 traffic comparison

First, I switched from Ezoic to Mediavine (both are display ad providers). 

It was my personal victory because it was my third attempt to move to Mediavine. Two previous attempts failed. Mediavine rejected the website with a vague explanation that the website was not approved by their partners 🤷‍♀️

This move pretty much doubled the income I was getting from the website.

However, I didn’t stop and decided to go even further 😏 

I applied to AdThrive, the top-tier ad provider that pays the most money among all the ad platforms 🤩

…and I also got accepted by AdThrive, just like that 🤘😎 This also increased the website revenue but not as much as the first switch.

It was all literally a dream come true 🤩

Got lost in my Camels 🐪, Elephants 🐘, Unicorns 🦄, and other creatures? Read here to find out what the website nicknames mean!

🦄 Website

In 2020, 🦄 Website struggled with the traffic. In 2021, I managed to fix it 😏 and it went up by 80% 😛

Unicorn website traffic 2020 and 2021 traffic comparison

After that, I again decided to move away from Ezoic to a better ad provider.

It was not the first time I tried to do that.

When I bought the site in 2020, I immediately applied to both Mediavine and Adthrive. However, the website was rejected by both providers… 😔 

I thought it was because of its niche and decided to not stress about it that much 🤷‍♀️

Instead, I switched to the Premium tier of Ezoic and this move doubled the ad income of the website.

However, Ezoic Premium had a catch: In order to use it, I had to pay back a significant (maybe 60% or even more? 🤔) portion of the revenue… 😣 so it was not a very desirable way of monetization.

While browsing the Ezoic Premium stats, I noticed one thing… The advertisers that were buying ad space on 🦄 Website were not niche-specific at all! They were companies that could easily be present on Mediavine or AdThrive 🤔

So, I asked myself: Why wouldn’t I again try to move to the better ad provider? 🤨

And I did! I got accepted by Mediavine right away and AdThrive followed later.

With this website, I decided to stay with Mediavine because I really like their reporting.

This was another big win for me in 2021 🎉😁

Moving to the next level with delegating

In 2021, I offloaded some management work to my editor who’s now managing one of my two VAs and all the writers

I did it out of necessity (more on it in the Personal Life section) and it turned out to work so well that I am now keeping it this way! 😍

Due to the personal stuff I talk about below, I found out that I do not need to work 10 hours a day in order to make good money 😁

On the contrary! 

If I do not have much time to work on my business, I tend to really, really focus on the important parts and to delegate and automate as much as possible 😅

By the end of the year, I was making more money than I used to get with my day job (I was a team lead in a software company) while working only 25-30% of a “normal” workday 😁 And I loved it!!! 😍

Struggles and failures

2021 prepared me just one failure… and it was HUGE 💥

Legal action against Baby 🐘 Website

In April 2021, I got an email from one of the mediation and arbitration legal companies that provide dispute resolutions 😯

A big (very big) company filed a claim against me for unfair usage of a domain name that contained their registered brand name 😨😱💀

They asked to transfer the domain to their jurisdiction. 

Luckily, they did not ask for any money. In fact, in order to file the complaint, they had to pay something like $1,000 or $1,500 😂

I objected to the claim but to no avail 🤷‍♀️ One and a half months later, the decision was rendered and Cloudflare (the domain registrar) transferred the domain away from me 😢

It cost me $3,500 per month in lost revenue 😭😭😭

What could I have done to prevent this? Not much… I knew that I was walking on the edge with this website and that’s why I got others that were not that risky.

My income reports for 2021

If you feel like drilling into some particular details of my last year, here are my income reports for 2021 to check. However, I stopped writing them once my personal life took over 🤷‍♀️

Report Revenue
Jan-Feb 2021 $10,740.11
Mar-Apr 2021 $21,032.27

Personal life changes

Well… I am now a mother💥 Starting from August 9, 2021! 😍🥰

It’s a boy! 👦🏽🎉

Me and my new baby

We adopted a child from Thailand 😊

We started the adoption process 5+ years ago. And finally, in February 2021, we got a proposal with our little son of 3 years old.

In July, in the midst of the pandemic, we went to Thailand 😬 and in August, we became a family of three 👨‍👩‍👦

Hubby and our baby boy

Now you understand why I started having much less time for my business 😅

My hubby also took a parental leave so we both got very focused on our little monkey to make sure that he adapts well to his new life.

The adoption is still not finalized and we are not yet allowed to show our son’s face publicly.

Plans for 2022

Revenue projections

The year 2021 was sooo good that not only I achieved my goal of reaching $100,000 in year revenue but I also exceeded it by 55% 🤯

In the previous year report, I wrote that achieving my financial goal would be very hard… and now look at this 🤑 My monthly revenue is now in 5-digit numbers 😋

However, it feels to me that I have already picked up all the low-hanging fruits in my business. 

The biggest of them was changing the ad providers. I am already using the top ones and to make another financial leap, I’d need to work hard on increasing the traffic. This is harder to do and it requires time 🤷‍♀️

So I don’t preview huge growth anymore. My goal for 2022 is to get to $200,000 per year.

Yearly Revenue+Expenses and Revenue Projection chart 2022

My Word Of The Year

Now that I have a kid, I will be much busier and I won’t be able to pull 10-hour workdays anymore… But I still want to grow my business.

That’s why for this year, I am choosing the word: 

EFFICIENCY 🛠

I need to delegate more and automate more so that I can work less 😊

So, how was my 2021?

It was amazing 😍 Unpredictable 😅 but very goal-achieving 😁 and full of new heights I managed to reach! 🚀

How was your 2021? What were your top achievements and lessons learned? Let me know in the comments!

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