The Boss Chronicles: October 2018 Pre-Income Report
16 min read
To read the very first report of The Boss Chronicles, head over to this post here, where I talk about the idea behind The Boss Chronicles, and more about my personal story.
DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links, where, at no cost to you, I may receive a small income for your purchase. Thank you for your support!
The Boss Chronicles: October 2018 [Pre-Income Report]
Oh, budding entrepreneur.
You see them all over the interwebs:
When you read other income reports, you see those new bloggers claiming to have made thousands that month.
But it’s not often that you see the reports about the business before it started making money.
Most bloggers start to publish income reports after they start making money – but you’ve got questions like:
How long did it take them to get there?
What steps did they take that caused their success?
& what does a business online really look like on the inside, every day?
And even though I’m a new blogger, I’m going to dive into talking about blogging anyway.
But instead, I want to put a twist on the ol’ income report.
Because I get it. Income reports are enticing.
Reading other income reports has helped me see what actions I should be taking as a business owner, what things to look out for and what plans I should be making.
So I wanted to introduce this idea of The Boss Chronicles – where I talk to you about the real, tangible, actionable steps that I am taking to start making money from a blog.
I’ll outline for you what my goals were each month, along with other metrics, and actions I’ve taken to move my business forward – or what has stepped us back.
But who are you?
My name is Tiffany and I have been working at home for over two years now.
I started selling on Amazon FBA in 2015 and quit my full-time job in 2016.
After a while of selling on Amazon, I realized there’s a less risky way of making money online that would allow me to be location independent and run multiple businesses.
So, I pivoted.
I straight up walked away from my growing business on Amazon.
And I risked it all again to start a blog.
And while I have pivoted my own business, I have still gained plenty of knowledge and experience in my previous business, which is where I can help.
This is why I started The Boss Chronicles.
Because there’s no way we can’t live the life we’ve always craved.
Because I’m on a mission to pay off debt, and so are you.
Because I’m building a community of online entrepreneurs who know that life isn’t all about cubicles and commutes.
Because you and me? We know there’s more to life, and there’s an entire incredibly amazing and beautiful world out there we have yet to explore.
Are you ready? Let’s get to it!
October 2018 Blog Pre-Income Report:
What happened this month?
Let’s go over what we planned to do, and then we’ll go over what actually happened. Each month I like to set a focus for the month, so that if I ever get overwhelmed or confused, I just go back to my goal for that month and re-center.
Focus for the month: My very first affiliate launch!
In October my number one focus was to work on the Genius Bloggers Toolkit affiliate launch! This was my very first affiliate launch! The main number one task for myself was to get this affiliate launch done. I did get it done and I’ll go into the details a bit later!
Blog Post Goals:
5 holiday posts up and published:0/5 completed. I failed at this goal! I had other things to focus on, sadly. I feel like I’m behind and I’m disappointed that I didn’t get them done, but, alas. As long as we move forward, right? Finish 5 posts in drafts: 3/5 completed. Although I didn’t get all these drafts done, I did start two new posts and finish them! Bonus points because they were quite long Ultimate Guides, too! I’ll keep trying for next month to get more done. Write out content hubs (content planning): Completed! I did sit down and figure out the hub and spoke model for my content! I now have a better and clearer picture as to what blog posts I want to focus on!
Here are the posts I wrote this month: 3 Time Management Techniques to Speed Up Entrepreneur Success Etsy vs Amazon [An In-Depth Comparison] How to Create Organized Business Systems in 5 Days Like A Boss How to Skyrocket Your Blog Traffic with Facebook Groups The Honest Definition of Passive Income
Opt-ins I Created This Month: To go along with the Facebook Groups post I wrote this month, I went ahead and created a content upgrade for that. You can see it here! Now, it’s important to note that I created a system for each opt-in or content upgrade that I do. Each one gets a landing page, a new opt-in form through ConvertKit, targeted keywords, a blog post, a Pinterest pin, and more!
Participate in the Genius Bloggers Toolkit affiliate launch:Completed! Email my newsletter 4 times: 4 newsletters. Completed! I did get four newsletters out! I adjusted the layout and content strategy of my newsletters to make it better and easier to consume. I like to find little random tools and useful information and pass it along. I sometimes write stories or lessons, or maybe I send an article that I think they would find useful. It just depends what I feel like doing that week and whether I’ve found anything interesting. At the end I now put the posts I’ve written that week so that my readers can check those out if they’re interested.
Social Media Goals:
My current platform focus is Pinterest, although as I get better at being consistent with my Pinterest activity, I will spread out to other platforms. Master one, then move on to the next!
Get my account unsuspended on Pinterest:Yay! I got unsuspended!
Increase the number of Pinterest group boards to 50: Not complete. I’ll explain why below.
Analyze health of group boards:Complete! I made a spreadsheet that allows me to do this using my Tailwind metrics. Did you know you can actually hurt your account if you pin to those group boards that don’t have a healthy amount of activity? That’s what I’ve heard – so it’s good to know if your boards are moving and are healthy.
Launch a new Pinterest pin every weekday (using Tailwind):Not complete. I’ll explain why.
I did get to create new pin images and did a lot of experimenting with pin designs. I’m excited to see how these new pin designs help! I need to do a lot of work on practicing design, though, haha!
Continue sharing on Facebook groups:Fail. Didn’t really get to this :/ no particular reason why.
One of my stumbling blocks this month was that near the beginning of the month, Pinterest marked my account as spam and suspended me. What happened was I received an email stating a user had reported two pins as copyright. It says the users name, and the pin image had the URL at the bottom. I looked up that URL and found that the owner of the site was the same name as the user.
The problem was, I didn’t steal the images or do anything wrong. In fact, the pins didn’t have a URL on them. They went straight to an image of the pin, instead of a URL. This caused me quite a bit of panic as I had to email Pinterest several times in order to get someone to talk to me.
I debated on starting a new account but didn’t want to do that until I knew for sure that I wouldn’t get my account back. Luckily, I just tried to log in one day and voila! It was back!
My traffic and monthly viewers have dropped significantly, and I’m working hard to bring it back up. That’s what I’ll be focusing on in November.
Phew, close call. It can happen and proves to be yet another reason why you should diversify your traffic using SEO, and other social media platforms. You don’t have control of the platforms, and this could happen to anyone.
What worked this month?
It’s important to celebrate the little wins in your business as you move forward. It keeps you motivated and you can tell if you’re moving forward or staying stagnant. Growth is important! So I decided to write out this little celebrations area.
First affiliate launch:
For this month, I want to celebrate my first email affiliate launch! The Genius Bloggers Toolkit was open this month and I decided to participate despite having a small email list. I think this was a good move! Although the person who purchased may or may not have been someone I knew (lol) I still call that a success! For the small number of email subscribers I have, I’m going to call it a win!
It lasted 6 days and using different marketing techniques in each of my emails I was able to identify and target different buyers with my email copy. Some were objection emails, some were storytelling emails, and it was really interesting to see what goes on behind an affiliate launch.
I did have to have someone from one of my blogging groups take the time to help me set up ConvertKit, though. I’ve been struggling with figuring out ConvertKit, but I know the more I keep using it the easier it will be.
By doing an affiliate launch so early on in the blogs life, I feel I’m getting a better idea on how to promote and learning a lot while my list is smaller in size. I recommend it – it can’t hurt!
Unsuspended My Pinterest Account
I’d call getting my Pinterest account back as a win, too! Thank goodness!
Planning and Productivity:
Last month I talked about consciously focusing on one thing at a time, and I can tell ya – it’s soooo much easier to get tasks done if you do this. The thing is, you have to consciously realize and block out other distractions. Put your phone in a drawer, turn off the TV or put on music so you can focus. I also have one million notebooks and places that I keep notes. Instead of being so scattered, I’ve been focusing on putting my notes in one place at a time and keeping a daily work journal in OneNote. I used to write on paper (I’m a paper girl) but doing this digitally has sped up my workflow because I type a million words per minute. There’s a thing I’ve read about with productivity that if you write out somewhere what you’re currently doing and before you start a new task, it helps your mind transition and keep focused. For example: “It is 12:02 pm. I just completed writing my end of month report for the blog. I still need to do this and this to prep it for posting. I also remembered that I need to send a newsletter today. Now I am going to focus on the next most important task, filling up my Tailwind queue. After that, I will do a newsletter.” Or something like that. Using a stream of consciousness to keep you accountable can really help you figure out what to focus on next. This has been helpful for me! I also use the ABCDE method from Brian Tracy which is super beneficial, and a method where I have the “Current Task” written on a post it note and on my screen, so I can stay on task. I read recently about a trick where you set a bell or a timer to go off every hour, to make sure you’re working on the things you were supposed to be working on. I plan on trying this out!
I had to edit this post to update the pageviews for October. When I looked at the pageviews it had said 800+ pageviews, and now looking at it says 2382. Strange!
Now, I do know that pageviews are a vanity metric, according to big bloggers. Because it’s not directly related to your income. I understand that, but right now one of my big goals is to get into Mediavine so I am keeping an eye on them for now.
Some ideas to improve this would be:
1 | Doing roundup posts with bloggers in my niche and hoping they will share it
2 | Collaborate with other bloggers
3 | Accepting guest posts so that they can also share with their audience
4 | Keep working on Pinterest manual pinning and group boards
5 | Write posts that my audience wants to read
6 | Work on different pin designs, titles, descriptions and keywords
Last Month: 7901
This Month: 9743
Last Month: 457
This Month: 523
Last Month: 349.3
This Month: 221.7
Last Month: 11973
My monthly views were at 349.3k and have plummeted down to 221.7k. Lots of people say that monthly viewers don’t matter, but I still count it as a vague metric that you can help tell you if things are improving or not. I’m clawing my way back up!
The Money Honey!
I’m not going to include expenses for one-time costs such as education until I start making income, because there’s nothing I can do to start paying that off yet. I also won’t be including yearly annual costs until then, which include hosting and Tailwind. All of my costs will likely be included in a later income report.
This is called a pre-income report because I wanted to talk about the journey to getting to the income reports as a blogger. So of course, I have income for the blog trickling into those affiliate from Google Adsense, Amazon Affiliates, and various affiliate programs I plan on diving into more soon. But none of those will be given to me until they reach thresholds, except for ONE!
The Genius Bloggers Toolkit Affiliate: $38.80
BUT – this payment is delayed until December, so we can’t count it until then ☹
It’s a tricky thing for bloggers. The income has to sit and wait for returns or a 30 day period before it’s sent to you – delays aren’t fun!
I guess we can officially count this as the very first income I’ve ever made from blogging, woohoo! That’s something to celebrate. But since the next few months will still be $0 probably, I think I’ll keep the name pre-income report for a little while lol!
Plans and Strategies for Next Month:
How many months have we been running? I was fully up, designed, and running about mid-June of 2018. That means I’ve been up for about 4.5 months. Let’s just round it to 5 months. So if we’re being technical we made $39 in the first 5 months of the blogs life! That’s pretty cool! I can’t negate that, that is definitely a win, even though I don’t get the income until later. When do I expect to start making an income? This is a loaded question. I don’t expect that ads and Amazon will be the biggest income maker for this site. I think that my flagship program that I’m planning as well as numerous other products I have planned will be contributing to the blog’s income – and I expect that that will be later next year. My next steps with income will be: 1| To join MediaVine 2| Come up with a small product to feature that will help you with your online business! 3| Focus on affiliate programs 4| Focus on creating a tripwire 5| Open my Etsy shop and intertwine it with The Success Mountain Ideally, I’d like to start making income by March, which will be the 12-month mark for me coming up with this idea to start a blog. That’s when I bought the Elite Blog Academy course! Honestly though, with helping others comes income – so as long as that’s what you’re doing with your blog, platform or voice, you’re headed in the right direction. Upcoming Projects and Tasks to Move the Needle This month I’m focusing on the holidays! I have something special planned for my readers for the holidays, as long as I can get it done! I do have a lot going on in my personal life (as everyone does) but I am really trying hard to create great, new, fresh and wonderful things for you guys! As a reminder about content: With new content and a killer social media strategy will come new traffic. With new traffic will come new email subscribers. With new email subscribers comes a tribe of amazing readers who need your help These readers will purchase the products that you recommend, because you know they’ll help them along on their journey. Also, it’s vital that we go through our to-do list to think about what tasks will give us the biggest ROI in our businesses. Taking a tip out of The ONE Thing by Gary Keller (highly recommend): What is that one thing that will give you the biggest return this month?
That’s it for this Boss Chronicles post!
And it’s official, we are one month into Q4! AHHH! Catch you next month for November’s recap to see if I made any money in my first few months of blogging, and if I meet my goals. Thanks for reading through The Boss Chronicles, and if there’s things that you want to talk about in your business journey, questions I haven’t answered that you may have, or any other thoughts you want me to get brutally honest about my business (or yours – hey I’m up for it!) let me know! Here’s to November– cheers!
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What months have we covered so far?
All of The Boss Chronicles September 2018 – October 2018 – (you are here)
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