Welcome to my November 2017 monthly review and income report. It’s been a focused month. I made improvements to the way I do and organize my work, and am expecting to see results over the next few months.
Discipline starts with good self-assessment, followed by a solid plan.
I’m back to spending some time doing affiliate marketing, getting the ins and outs of it (but for quality products only). It’s one of the genuine ways to do things online, assuming you’re not just promoting spammy sites and putting links everywhere. That means you’re looking for easy money, which is never a good strategy in the long-term and won’t lead to getting people interested.
I do it the way I like, which is by creating valuable content and mentioning somebody else’s course or offer inside that is relevant to the topic.
Anyways, how was your November? Here are some things I did or planned.
Removed all comments from the blog.
That was a big move and one I’ve been considering for years now. I share the why behind it in details in this post.
Quite many big publications have done the same.
But in a nutshell, my reasons are:
- Spam gets in the way and takes time (even with a good plugin to stop it);
- The conversations these days have moved to social media, instead of a single platform such as a blog. That also gives people a chance to share their opinion in front of their audience, and gives more exposure to everyone;
- It’s another step to a more minimalist look;
- The meaningful comments actually stopped coming years ago. If they don’t add value, and haven’t done it for that long, then it’s simply not a necessary feature.
First I deleted all existing comments (more than 4000). Then I disabled the function so that no future comments are allowed. Now the comment field isn’t there anymore, and there’s one less element on the page to create clutter.
Had a great consultation with an accountant.
I’m moving my online business to the Netherlands as of January 1st. And if all goes well, I want to have other things ready in advance. One of these is an accountant.
I contacted a few people online around 2 months ago, when I was still unclear about how things work in this country in terms of VAT, being a new freelancer, insurance, etc. Now I do after doing a proper research, and can say the country is giving enough benefits to those working for themselves, whose income isn’t big. The premiums are plenty, and the accountant helped me see the big picture.
Numbers are a funny thing. But without keeping an eye on them, things can easily get out of control.
During my 1-hour visit in his office (which ended up being in another city, but that doesn’t really matter), he explained it all to me. The details, together with the big picture. Now I know what to expect, when to have my business records prepared, what sums of money to give and what I might receive back at certain periods, etc.
Added a News Category to the blog.
One thing big publications have in common, even if it’s in the self-development niche, is that they share trends and current events. So I created a new category, called it News, and went through all past articles to see what can be included in it.
Then I began adding new things there too. It’s shorter, to-the-point content.
– Jeff Bezos became the richest person in the world;
- Tim Ferriss published his new book Tribe of Mentors;
- A new tool you might find interesting;
- Tech news;
More interactive posts.
Long-form content is important, but big blocks of text are boring. So there’s a better way to write in the digital age.
Shorter paragraphs (1-3 sentences), shorter sentences, more bullet points and using headings more often. But it’s also important to break text with images, videos and other types of content.
So that’s what I’m turning into a habit now. Even with guest posts, I’m making edits to divide longer paragraphs or sentences into shorter ones, to add 1-3 images, and even one video that’s relevant to the topic.
You can also be including a social media post inside it, or an audio player (to a podcast episode, for example). It’s so normal to see all types of content in one place now, that it makes the page more interesting and interactive. In fact, those who aren’t doing it, will be left behind.
Got my dose of personal growth.
In the October monthly review, I mentioned I have more free time now and it’s a quiet period. So I’d like to learn a new skill or do something else related to personal growth and going out of the comfort zone.
Well, I chose that to be a crash course in Dutch.
Took the decision without overthinking it, did a quick research and emailed a few schools. Depending on the date, price and material that would be covered, I chose one.
It took place the last 2 weeks of November and it was great. I got a better understanding of the culture and learned a ton of grammar that I’ll now master before continuing.
Basically, I haven’t even covered A1 yet. It takes one more week (10 hours) to finish that textbook and consider the level done. But no rush here. I first need to learn all the vocabulary and feel comfortable using all that I was taught during these 2 weeks.
It also lead to some discipline as I needed to be there for 2 hours at 10 am every workday for 2 weeks. So I structured my days differently. Also studied for an hour or two each evening. Was nice. Not easy, but worth it knowing it’s just for a short period of time.
If you’re looking for something to get you out of the rut, start learning a new language :)
Syndicating content on Medium and LinkedIn.
Branding is a never-ending process. And the personal brand of a freelancer and blogger must include daily activities. I just turned something else into a weekly tradition – republishing content on 2 other big places.
That’s Medium.com and LinkedIn Pulse.
To build authority. You can see Neil Patel republishing an article there almost daily. He only shares the intro, though, and then links to the original source. I do something similar.
On Medium, however, there’s an actual option to import an article. I copy the link from a piece of content on my blog and paste it there, then improve it a bit and add images.
I also created the Let’s Reach Success publication there.
That might lead to gaining an audience on another platform. And after all, the point of that content (I’m only republishing the best) is to be seen. So it makes sense to put it elsewhere instead of just on my site.
Sometime ago I wrote a post answering the question ‘Should I start a blog or write on Medium?’ There I talked about the tremendous benefits of blogging and having your own platform. But there’s another way to do it. Have your blog, and syndicate your content on Medium :)
November Income Report
The revenue for November is $2156.
To compare, in October that was $1881. And in September $2325.
Note: The new thing you’ll see below is that the last item isn’t November Week 4, but it covers the last 10 days of the month.
Here’s the thing. Till now I was tracking my budget monthly, but breaking it down into weeks (Mon-Sun). It worked for me, and might be for many people, but it’s not the right way from an accountant’s point of view. So as I’ll need to be doing things right from January on, I’m starting now.
That means December, and every next month, I’ll have a so-called weekly review (to see progress and plan the next week) every 10 days, instead of every 7. And it won’t matter if it’s Monday or the weekend. I’ll just follow the date.
So, let’s break November down into weeks to see what happened.
November, Week 1
Sponsored posts: 15
November, Week 2
Sp. posts: 7
November, Week 3
New client: 1
Sp. posts: 7
November, Last 10 Days
New client: 1
Sp. posts: 13
One thing is sure: I didn’t focus enough on finding new freelance clients this month. Which is necessary to bring work for the next few weeks. I need more discipline in that aspect.
I had some different expenses this month, but it all went down well. That was the fee for the course, and other one-time things. December must be easier in terms of spending.
I will be heading back home in Bulgaria for the Christmas holidays. And while for some people visiting family in another country means spending more, in this case it’s the opposite.
Thanks for reading this far and hope you enjoyed my monthly review. Till the next one!