It’s been a while since my last monthly income report, hasn’t it? Well, in an effort to be more organized, I’m going to start doing this again on a regular basis.
Anyway, “good news and bad news” is the best way to describe my income report (across 7 websites and 3 YouTube channels) for March 2020. It was a wild ride (in both good ways and bad), and I actually made more money than I thought I would. But – there is danger looming ahead.
Things that went well in March:
- My Patreon account set another record month in terms of pledges from my Patrons.
- Having a sponsor for one of my YouTube videos was also a nice way to boost income. As a matter of fact, I’ve got a sponsor lined up for the next three months (a deal that was put together in December of last year). That’s gonna be really nice considering the dark storm clouds looming ahead…
Things that didn’t go well in March:
- COVID-19 kicked my ass. No, I didn’t get sick, but it has brought my primary blog and YouTube channel to it’s knees. Demand for travel content has literally dried up and I’m stuck with years worth of content that nobody wants to consume.
- Traffic on my primary blog (travel niche) has dropped 60%. Remember how close I was to being able to qualify for a premium ad network (which would significantly increase my monthly revenue)? I was hoping to make that jump within the next few months, but there’s not a single ad network out there that would want to work with me now (and for the foreseeable future). The blog is essentially dead in the water for the time being.
- Traffic for my primary YouTube channel (travel niche) has also dropped 60%, and everything I’ve been uploading isn’t getting any traction. It’s so demotivating to spend so much time on each video only to realize that nobody really cares.
- YouTube ad revenue is also down 60% – not only because of the lower number of views, but because advertisers have aggressively scaled back their advertising budgets due to the global shutdown.
- I hate to admit this, but I’m losing confidence in myself. Of course I realize that the traffic and revenue drops are no fault of my own, but it still hurts to be spending so much time pumping out content and not seeing any return from it.
The last point is exactly why Ive been spending less time on social media lately. I’m feeling like a lost soul at the moment, unsure about my next move…
March 2020 income report (7 blogs and 3 YouTube channels):
- YouTube Ad revenue: $439.50
- Website display ad revenue: $65.89
- Affiliate Marketing: $0
- Sponsored content: $900
- Patreon: $805.69
- Digital product sales: $1915.49
Total income: $4,126.57
March 2020 Business expenses:
- Web Hosting: $187
- ConvertKit (email marketing): $27
- Ahrefs: $99
- Gumroad (for selling digital products): $10
- QuickBooks Self Employed (for bookkeeping and invoicing): $10
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $52
- Vimeo: $7
- Shopify (for selling digital products): $29
- Epidemic Sound (for YouTube music): $15
- Tax preparation: $955
Total expenses: $1,391
Total profit (income minus expenses): $2735.57
As you can see, the sponsorship, digital product sales, and my amazing Patrons saved me from total ruin (thank you!). However, this was the first month in a very long time that I didn’t have any affiliate income. And that YouTube ad revenue is downright scary considering what I was making just two months ago.
Things I’m focusing on for April
To be honest, I’m doing more soul-searching than anything else. I’m seeing most online superstars show up on social media every day staying active and involved – which is something I just don’t have the energy for right now because of how concerned I am about my income for the next several months.
Instead, I’ve been working some of my older projects that I’ve been neglecting for the past year or so.
I’ve always considered myself to be an entrepreneur with an extremely short attention span, so it’s not surprising that I’m finding myself doing this. There’s nothing wrong with having too many income sources! It’s a good problem to have IMHO.
Anyway, I’ve been doing business online for over 15 years now, and NEVER have I seen a single niche get decimated overnight like the travel niche has in the month of March. It’s been a kick in the balls to say the least, and if anything, it has been a reminder of how important it is to diversify my efforts going forward.