The Boss Chronicles: September 2018 [Pre-Income Blog 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.
Blog Pre-Income Report – September 2018
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 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.
Who am I?
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 walk away and 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!
September 2018 Blog Pre-Income Report:
Focus for the month: Content Creation
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. I’m at a stage in my blog and the blogging course I’m taking where I need to focus on creating wonderful, amazing content for you!
Currently, that’s my utmost importance at the moment: creating useful content and inspiring you to take the next steps in your business and helping you to accomplish your business goals and the goals in your life so YOU can get the dream life you desire.
Goals for September:
Minimum: 9 posts
Maximum: 20 posts
I planned on writing 5 holiday posts, 5 normal posts, and 10 drafted holiday posts for October and November. I wanted to write my holiday posts as early as possible so that they could start to gain traction from Google and start getting crawled by the bots.
I know a few people who think I am crazy for setting a goal of 20 posts, but I really think it’s genuinely possible! Although it’s not something I will do long term, I think when you are first starting out as a blogger, it’s important to get as much high-quality content as you can out there so that you jump-start your site for success with Google, and your readers. Finding out what your readers need as quickly as possible is the key point.
Send 4 Hidden Gem newsletters
Completed: 4/4 newsletters – woohoo!
In full transparency, I want to be very open about my actions in these Boss Chronicles. You don’t hear too often about how many newsletters or email campaigns they were going to send that month. I plan on doing so.
And I was taught by my blogging mentors that your income is in the list, so why not include it in these monthly reports?
It’s an important – dare I say, vital – part of running a blog.
Whether you run an ecommerce shop online selling on Amazon or Etsy, or you run multiple blogs – you need to be utilizing your email list – so make sure you are interacting with your readers, who love you and want to hear from you!
– Increase # of Pinterest group boards to at least 50
– Analyze health of those group boards
– Create a manual pinning strategy based on health of those boards
So close on my group boards! I would have finished this if my Pinterest account hadn’t got suspended (more on that later). I did create a manual pinning strategy based on this super helpful video by Breaking The One Percent using Tailwind.
What worked this month:
Planning and Productivity:
In order to achieve my lofty goals, sitting down and outlining those metrics that I can directly control was essential.
One main thing I changed with my productivity strategy was to start consciously focusing on one thing at a time.
This has immensely helped my focus.
I also have a bad habit of keeping multiple notebooks everywhere with lots of notes and I’ve started to place everything into a OneNote notebook, and one paper planner. I’m a paper girl at heart, so I miss my notebooks a little bit! I’m thinking about getting a RocketBook, though.
I hate my schedule being written down to a T, so although I don’t have every task written in a detailed hourly schedule for each day, I know I can choose the most important tasks and get those done first.
Using the ABCDE method from Brian Tracy has really helped me with this, and I ended up getting a lot more done than I expected I would – woohoo!
Here’s a post I did this month on the various methods of productivity.
Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all of the things you have to do for blogging, so I had to think of a way to combat that.
What I came up with is something that’s worked for me and is super easy to implement!
I started by putting a post-it notes on my computer screen that says, “Current Task:” and each task that’s on my weekly list I choose to complete, I write on a separate post-it note.
Right now, my post-it note says “Boss Chronicles Post for Sept” and I know that currently that is the task I’m working on.
If I end up getting distracted, I can just look right back at that and know that that’s the only task I should be working on at the moment, and everything else can wait.
What didn’t work this month:
This month I under-estimated how crazy my college math class was going to be.
It took me a lot more time than I expected to complete the sections each week, therefore it became my full-time job, because passing this class is essential.
Because of this, the business went to second priority, and will remain there until I finish the class. This means I had to adjust my originally planned goals and be even smarter about the actions I take in October.
I’m sure a lot of you can relate when it comes to other things that might take priority over your business in life. Don’t put it aside completely, just adjust and do the best you can!
Each step forward you take is a step that wouldn’t have been taken if you decided not to work on it.
Metrics for September 2018
My pageviews dropped significantly because of one main thing on my part:
I had to refocus my attention to my math class, which meant that I stopped focusing on social media.
I essentially stopped manually pinning on Pinterest, launching new pins, and posting in Facebook groups.
This caused a significant decrease in my traffic, as I expected it would.
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 be included in a later income report.
The only thing I’m currently spending each month is a subscription to my email service provider.
I’m not making anything yet – and I’m only going to talk about what’s been deposited into my account.
Although I’ve made a few dollars from Google Adsense and the Amazon Affiliate program, I won’t be receiving that until I meet the minimum threshold for those accounts, so it’s just easier not to include it until it’s deposited.
At the tail end of September, I found out my account on Pinterest was suspended. Although this is due to an error on Pinterest’s part, I’m expecting I will be able to get unsuspended.
A Pinterest user (who I subsequently found on Pinterest and stalked her website from the pin image with the URL, lol) wrongfully reported two of her pins as copyright at the same time, which I believe is what triggered my suspension.
The two pins in question lead to the image of the pin instead of the URL to her website. Fortunately, this wasn’t an error on my part, and it wasn’t leading to a spam website.
Since this isn’t my wrong-doing, I believe Pinterest will unsuspend my account. I’m just waiting to hear back from them.
So, I’ll show you the metrics I had tracked the last time I was able to.
These are my notes from 9/25/2018:
Total pins: 7901
Monthly Views: 349.3
Monthly Engaged: 11973
Group Boards: 47
These metrics are a part of Jennifer Maker’s Pinterest Launch Strategy ebook which has been immensely helpful in my growing my account.
Within 3 months I have been able to increase my followers from 60 to 457, and my monthly views from 3.8k to 349.3k with no signs of slowing down, except when I stopped engaging this month to keep my schooling on track.
I can’t wait to get my account unsuspended, because I’ve got some good things coming next month!
As for Instagram, I had scheduled and posted daily using Later, but had some problems with the app.
It was supposed to auto-post my posts and it was doing well for a few days. Then in the middle of the month it stopped working.
I didn’t have the time to go in and see what the problem was, but I manually posted for a few days.
This isn’t something I really have time to focus and dive deep into at the moment, so we’ll be skipping Instagram next month.
I focused heavily on Facebook groups in September.
I created a spreadsheet that tracks the groups I’m in, the promotion days, and other pertinent information so I can interact with their users in my favorite groups.
It’s available here in The Vault.
When you join my newsletter, you get access to The Vault which has templates, worksheets, eBooks and motivational wallpapers that help you stay on track in your business!
All the things that I offer in The Vault or links to books or software I talk about are things I use in my own business.
Expectations and Goals for Next Month:
- Get 5 of my holiday posts up and published, and launched on Pinterest
- Finish at least 5 posts I have in drafts
- Write out content hubs (link to Hubspot) that I want to focus on for the next few months and rest of 2018.
- Launch the Genius Bloggers Toolkit for the month
This will be my first affiliate program email launch! Although it may be a bit early in my blogging journey to start advertising affiliates, I wanted to go ahead and rip the band aid off for my first affiliate launch!
A lot of bloggers are afraid about emailing their list, and I can totally understand the fear! But I’m not afraid of fear, so I’m going to go ahead and send out emails to those on my list who I know would love and benefit from the product!
This launch will last about 6 days and is hosted by The Genius Bloggers Toolkit – something I purchased earlier this year, and constantly go back to every single week!
- Email 4 newsletters, once a week
I plan on emailing The Hidden Gem, my weekly newsletter once a week as well to talk about the lessons I’ve learned, awesome content, tools or software I’ve found so that you can always have useful information coming straight to your inbox – no more searching online to find useful information or tools, I’ll bring them straight to you!
- #1 priority is to get my Pinterest account back or start a new one.
- Once that’s done, I would like to launch a new Pinterest pin every weekday
- Continue my manual pinning strategy
- Continue sharing and interacting with Facebook groups for the next month to see if it’s bringing me traffic. If it doesn’t within the next month, I will discontinue it.
Plans and Strategies for Next Month, October 2018:
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 3.5 months. Let’s just round it to 4 months.
We had a big mis-hap with an awful web designer early on who totally robbed me of my money and about 3 months’ worth of business time this year when I soft-launched TSM in April/May.
Hence, I can’t get mad at myself for not being further along in progress because I was literally dead in the water for three months. I used that time to write posts!
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 to join MediaVine and come up with a small product to feature that will help you with your online business!
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.
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
My job right now is to focus on creating amazing content.
If your blog is in this position as well, that’s what you should be focusing on at the moment.
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?
This doesn’t always have to mean money.
For me, it’s still content, content, content.
I’ve said it a bunch this month, and I’ll keep saying it!
It’s important for Google, for SEO, for a new blog, and most importantly, my readers!
That’s it for the first Boss Chronicles post!
And it’s official – FALL IS HERE!
Catch you next month for October to see what ups and downs we’ve had so far!
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 October – cheers!
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Be sure to subscribe to updates to The Boss Chronicles – you’ll learn lessons and actionable strategies and see the results from my tests and actions I took that month. This will help you avoid making mistakes and help you see which strategy is currently working in the online world.
What months have we covered so far?
September 2018 – (you are here)
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