I’m starting to notice a pattern here. I always start these monthly income reports by saying how surprised I am that I’m actually making money in these difficult times. It’s always the same, and I’m starting to feel like I’m repeating myself. And that’s a problem.
The fact that I’m actually making money isn’t the problem. It’s just that I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels so far this year and I’m not pushing as hard as I should in order to grow the business. That’s got to change, because I’m nowhere near to my first major goal of $10,000 a month.
Everything that went well in July
There really isn’t that much that went well for the month of July. On the flipside, nothing really went all that bad either, so I guess that’s something good. Right?
I know. This is what I write every month. Anyway…
- My main YouTube channel (travel-related content) is continuing to grow despite reducing my upload schedule to one video a month. Yes, I am adding approximately 1/3 the amount of subscribers per month that I was adding at the beginning of the year, but it’s still growth. This is somewhat encouraging though. I’ve never been a big fan of getting stuck on the YouTube hamster wheel and feeling like I have to constantly upload content in order to grow. That sucks.
- The recent content that I’ve been posting to my biggest website (the travel blog) is doing well. A few months ago, I was worried about what would happen if I stopped posting trip-specific content and focused on things like product reviews and general editorial stuff. The results I’m seeing are encouraging. No, my traffic levels are nowhere near what they were at the beginning of this year. However, I’m feeling encouraged to keep experimenting and growing the blog. It’s not dead yet!
- Traffic to several of my other blogs has increased 20% in July. I’ve done this by creating content based around keywords with decently high/volume and low competition. FYI, I’m using SEMrush for most of my keyword research right now. I couldn’t live without it.
- My second YouTube channel crossed over 1000 subscribers, which means that it is eligible for monetization.
Everything that went wrong in July
- Traffic to both my travel blog and it’s associated YouTube channel continues to be depressingly low. This wasn’t a surprise – I knew it would be bad again.
- I’m starting to feel the emotional stress of keeping my Patrons and YouTube subscribers for my travel brand engaged. That audience is amazing, and they’ve been nothing but supportive of me ever since this COVID-19 mess started. However, I feel like I have an obligation to them to keep producing better and better content on my usual upload schedule. I guess I’m just a people pleaser, and the fact that I can’t provide the kind of content that they subscribed for is eating away at me.
- I’m not starting to see any significant increase in affiliate income or digital product sales. Back in May, I started doing a huge push towards creating content focused around these two streams of income. I know these things take time, but I was hoping to see at least some progress – especially since most of my websites are 5+ years old and have decent authority. I guess I’ve just got to keep on grinding…
|Please note: some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. This means that I will get paid a commission if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of them.|
July 2020 income report (7 blogs and 3 YouTube channels):
- YouTube ad revenue: $210.58
- Website display ad revenue: $78.90
- Affiliate Marketing: $73.58
- Sponsored content: $900
- Patreon: $779.05
- Digital product sales: $1462.00
- Dividends: $0
Total income: $3,504.11
July 2020 Business expenses:
- WP Engine (web hosting): $95
- ConvertKit (email marketing): $27
- SEMrush (keyword research): $99
- Gumroad (for selling digital products): $10
- QuickBooks Self Employed (for bookkeeping and invoicing): $10
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $52
- Vimeo: $7
- AmaLinks Pro: $11
- Shopify (for selling digital products): $29
- Epidemic Sound (for YouTube music): $15
- Sync (secure cloud storage): $8
Total expenses: $363
Total profit (income minus expenses): $3,141.11
As you can see, those numbers are right on par with my monthly income reports of the past six months or so. As I said earlier, that’s good. But bad. I need to be putting more effort into growing my portfolio of websites.
It’s not like I’m sitting around playing video games all day though. The longer this pandemic goes on, the more I am spending time working on ALL my projects. Some of those projects are actually turning into major projects, and they have the potential to dwarf the success of what I’ve achieved so far with my travel brand (which has always been my biggest project).
If I spend all my time working on content for my travel brand, those other (more lucrative) projects will stop growing. And if I spend all my time working on those other projects, my travel brand stops growing. See the predicament?
All the things I’ve been working on for the month of August
I’ve been writing content! My next goal for my portfolio of websites is to increase traffic as much as I can. The uptick in traffic that I’m seeing from recent content is encouraging! I’ve been writing a lot of content during the month of August and it’s going to continue for the foreseeable future.
I’d love to hire somebody to do all my writing for me, so I can focus on things like video production. However, I’m not making enough money to do that quite yet.
As soon as I start having a little extra cash to throw reinvest, I’m probably going to go all in on paid content from Content Development Pros. It’s all about working smarter, not harder. Right?