I gave publishing old income reports from when I was just starting out a try, but somehow it’s not easy to follow up with this as it’s not that relevant anymore. So a better thing to do would be to review my months, together with money made and lessons learned. It’s a great way to track progress, analyze what you did right and decide what to do better the next month.
As it’s the beginning of October, and I was just finishing my monthly review in terms of finance and work for September, I decided to write a bit about it too. I’m tracking money made, money spent, workouts, food, and a few other things related to goals of mine or things I’m trying to change. I believe what gets measured, gets managed, as Peter Drucker once said.
Let’s see what my September in 2017 was like.
Becoming financially stable again.
I’ve been exploring the principles of money management over the last few months. More specifically, after I got back from Thailand and realized things got a bit out of control as I began spending without tracking. Also, due to other changes in the lifestyle and my new life in the Netherlands, I had bigger expenses. So, less income and more expenses, together with blowing up your savings during travels, is a surefire way to get back to where you started. However, I’m grateful, stayed strong, learned a ton of stuff about handling money and building wealth that I wouldn’t otherwise think about. And am now back on track.
Basically, to be in control of your finances, you need to find ways to increase your monthly income, stop spending too much and ultimately even lower your expenses, and invest or save the difference between these 2.
Not easy, but it’s the path to financial freedom. One of the many types of freedom there are, and certainly one I’m after.
A week back home.
I just got back from Bulgaria, my home country. The lifestyle there is quite cheap, and of course where family is there’s not much spending either, so that helped.
While it was pleasant to see friends and family and get some stuff done there, it was also a distraction. There I’m constantly being reminded of the person I used to be before I saw progress and moved away. I don’t like that, but it will always exist. I’ll never forget where I come from, but that’s not the environment I wanna be surrounded by. Escaping it, and being exposed to a new culture and its positivity and different mentality, makes me notice all the things I didn’t like about the Bulgarian way of thinking. So it takes a lot of patience for me to make it there. That’s why I want it in small doses, and go for a week or 10 days, instead of more, although I could easily do that if I want to.
Back to freelancing as the main source of income.
Truth is, I got distracted this summer and indulged in dreaming, working on bigger things, giving new strategies a try, etc. But if you’re working online, all that should be left for the free time. As the main source of income in my case is freelance work for clients, and has always been, but I left it in the background. That had consequences, and I had to take a step back, see what I’ve been doing differently half a year ago when things were better, and do it again.
Didn’t take long before I was determined, gathered all my willpower and kept waking up early and getting to work, staying focused on the things that matter. So making a living comes first, all other projects and long-term internet marketing strategies come second.
There’s not really anyone to tell you what you might be doing wrong or when you’re slacking off if you’re your own boss. That’s why the personal qualities are built in the process, in the early days and long before you’re making money. It’s the discipline, productivity, effectiveness, the ability to eliminate distractions wherever you are, to structure your ideal day, and more.
Goals before the end of 2017.
I will be finalizing the things with moving my online business to the Netherlands. So a lot of things to prepare. Currently looking for an accountant. Got some other things sorted already but still have some questions that I need to ask someone who’s good at this and already working here as a self-employed person. I did it differently in Bulgaria, and wanna make sure I make the transition right.
Hopefully, the business will be active from the beginning of the new calendar year.
I won’t be sharing the other things I’ve got planned for the next 3 months, though. As I don’t talk too much before the action part and that helps me stay focused. Once there’s progress though, I’d gladly share it here on the blog.
September Income Report
I made a total of $2,325 this month. Let’s keep it this way. While I’m living in a country where the currency is euros, and make my money in American dollars and that affects me negatively, I’ve accepted that a long time ago. It’s part of being international, working online and choosing things to be your way.
There were a total of 44 sponsored posts posted on the blog last month. You can read here about how I got started with sponsored posts. They are in the form of guest posts, and you can’t recognize them, and don’t need to. It’s still good content that I publish during the week, and that’s what makes it a win-win situation for everyone. For the reader, the person or company who provided the post (or made me write it and include their link naturally), and for me as I’ve got a new post to share and get paid for my time that I’ve invested in creating and growing Let’s Reach Success.
As for the income part, here’s what happened each week more specifically:
September, week 1:
Sponsored posts: 8
$100 came in for the first and only sponsored video review I’ve done. That’s a new income stream, although I haven’t done anything to make it happen again. But it is down the road and includes growing my YouTube channel and filling it with content.
$74 came from ads on the blog. I’m no fan of these and that’s why you don’t see pop ups or annoying ads everywhere. I just left these on old posts with a lot of traffic. I’m using the plugin Content.ad
September, week 2:
New clients: 1
Sponsored posts: 10
September, week 3:
Sponsored posts: 9
Highlights: Here I began receiving money for freelance work I’ve done for a new and big clients. Hopefully, it will be a recurring one.
September, week 4:
New clients: 2
Sponsored posts: 10
Highlights: Bigger weekly number is still because of freelance work done on Upwork. Here I talk about how to make it as a freelancer on a site like that.
September, week 5:
Sponsored posts: 7
Highlights: That was the lazy week I spent back home. Not much done other than the necessary daily work for clients and keeping up with deadlines.
What happened on the blog this month
New social media plugin.
You might have noticed the social media buttons are now below, instead of on the side. Still flowing as you scroll down. The plugin is called Social Warfare.
New email optin.
I knew I had to make changes in the email marketing strategies throughout the blog. For a start, I got rid of old plugins that did it and looked a lot for a new one that I like. Tried a popular one but had technical difficulties, so ditched it. The current one is Mailchimp Forms by Optin Cat.
My email provider is Mailchimp, so that worked great. I liked the design and the options the free version provides too.
Because I now offer a ton of stuff to subscribers for free, I had to place different calls to action but with the same idea in mind. You see one in the beginning of each post. There are other ones on the most important pages for new and returning visitors. I still said ‘no’ to adding a popup as I don’t want it to affect the user experience.
I’m getting stricter with what I publish by guest contributors on Let’s Reach Success. The guidelines are now more specific, and I most often give writers a nofollow link. It still amazes me how many people approach me with bad content, and so many requests such as to add many links of theirs and put them in the first sentence, which in my case is the bio.
That’s it for now. That was the first detailed monthly review, and I hope this will become a tradition.
What did you do in September? And what’s the plan for October?