In the beginning of 2014, I decided to do something rather scary… BE TRANSPARENT & HONEST. I want to be an open book, but I’m scared. WHY? Because I’m still at the beginning of my journey, and the numbers are pitiful, and the failures often and obvious.
Below are the numbers, the finances, the projects, my health, and stats from JANUARY 2015. This is a snapshot of what it’s like to be a self published author. A new entrepreneur. An average guy still finding his way. It isn’t designed to scare, nor glorify, merely provide the truth of right now. For all my other Monthly Income Reports, Click Here.
Many of the links in this post are affiliate ones, directing you to the products, apps, and softwares I use to create this monthly report. Don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you anything or affect your privacy, just gives me a commission if you happen to buy. Please note I use(d) everything I link to, and am picky when it comes to sharing such info.
Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, I love to tap away at the keyboard and share my words with those willing to read. However, standing out from the ever growing list of book is tough, so let’s dive into my published books, the amount of copies sold, and the kind of income a crazy pen scratcher like myself earns:
Not a good month for book sales, but unfortunately I’ve not had much time to dedicate to book marketing. I managed to fit in a few bits and pieces, and I’m nearly ready to test out some ideas in the coming weeks. With all eyes on finishing I Unlove You’s first draft, and The Successful Mistake Crowd Publishing Campaign, this side of my world has slipped into nothingness.
Not good in all honesty, but it is what it is.
Need to try some new ideas soon, and kick things into gear. As simple as that!
No new releases this month
I’m thankful to say I’ve FINALLY finished I Unlove You’s first draft!!!
It’s taken much longer than expected, but as of February I go through the entire plot and pull it to pieces. First draft’s are often ugly, and this one fits that bill and then some. I’m excited about draft-two, though, and a new journey of tightening characters, ideas, and overall side-stories.
A process, and sometimes a labour of love, but we’re getting there. I’m rather chuffed about it, too.
My fiction isn’t the only one to get in on the action, either. The Successful Mistake Crowd-Publishing Campaign is live, and between now and the middle of March, we must raise $7,500. Just a normal stroll through the woods and all… haha.
Considering I’ve worked on this book for nearly three years, and have many months of writing and editing ahead, this campaign feels rather life-changing. Super nerve-wrecking and terrifying in all honesty, but exiting, too. We need campaigns like these the kind that test our very limits.
I’ve no idea what will happen over the next 45 days, but I won’t give up. Not this time. I’m pushing the entire way. I hope you’ll keep me pushing too, and remind me to hustle and work and give this everything I’ve got.
No Free promotions or campaigns this month, so nothing to see here, folks…
AMAZON USA (affiliate)
AMAZON UK (affiliate)
APPLE APP STORE (affiliate)
FOLLOW UP.CC (affiliate)
Nothing This Month
TOTAL PROFIT = £3.92
Not much to say. You can see the disappointment with your own eyes.
Numbers like these hurt. They always do. They never won’t. But onwards and upwards, and ensuring I push The Successful Mistake and I Unlove You to the limit. But I must improve my book marketing and place more time and resources into my past books at the same time. I must. I must! I MUST!
I’ve decided 2015 is the year I kick my speaking/workshop career into gear, and as such I’ve created four topics to build a portfolio around:
- YOUR STORY MATTERS, DAMN IT! (aimed at colleges)
- CREATE CUSTOMER LOYALTY & BANISH COMPETITORS THROUGH BRAND STORYTELLING (aimed at businesses)
- THE SECRET BEHIND THE MODERN CREATIVE, ARTIST & CHANGEMAKER (aimed at colleges)
- THE LOCAL AUTHOR WHO NEVER USED TO READ OR WRITE (aimed at primary schools)
Focus for the rest of the year is to refine these topics, gain kick-ass testimonials, and generate momentum ahead of 2015:
No Gigs This Month
THE BEHIND THE SCENES:
Not much going on in the speaking world at the minute, as I’ve placed all eyes on Client Work and The Successful Mistake of late. Of course, I intend to develop a kick-ass Successful Mistake Talk/Workshop, so I suppose that’s on the horizon.
Still in contact with a few schools, and have one or two gigs in the pipeline. Not had much time to think about speaking at the moment though, but this will change come early March. By this time next month, I may have one of two things in my diary.
YOUR STORY MATTERS, DAMN IT!
CREATE CUSTOMER LOYALTY & BANISH…
THE SECRET BEHIND THE MODERN…
THE LOCAL AUTHOR WHO NEVER…
TOTAL PROFIT = £0
Nothing to see here. Not this month.
To be honest, I never expected any speaking gigs in January, but hopefully things will come together again by the end of February. I’ve one or two meetings in the pipeline, so should have a couple speaking engagements in March.
I’ll keep you posted, but as of now, move along…
I may be a writer, but that doesn’t define my whole world. I also help businesses Discover, Create & Share their story, and I’m constantly meeting and greeting local businesses. However, the fine line of client work, networking events, and crafting your own projects is delicate indeed – and one I’m still toeing along each day:
CURRENT CLIENT PROJECTS:
PROJECT CODE NAME:
Project Boba Fet
The start of a Brand Story/Development project that will run for at least 3 months in some capacity
COMPLETED THIS MONTH
- Project Ahsoka Tano
I’VE BEEN TO
Project Ahsoka Tano
Project Boba Fet (Taster Session)
TOTAL PROFIT = £400
All in all, January’s provided a VERY good month in terms of client work. Finishing an editing project for a friend, and filling my weeks with lots of exciting meetings, it’s made all the emails and hustling in November/December worthwhile.
Only one project booked in at the moment, but a few others in the pipeline. Considering I can only take on two major client projects at any one time, means a few simmering in the background is no bad thing. I can’t sit back and relax though, as I continue to connect and introduce myself to LOTS of potential peeps.
But I’ve had some of the best meetings I’ve ever had in recent weeks, and it seems this side of my world begins to click into place. I can’t say much more at the moment, as the majority of this remains confidential and in the early stages. I’m excited to share more in the coming months with you, and hopefully this section becomes hearty reading in the not too distant future.
This website is my home, and although it doesn’t generate any income per se, it does offer a detailed overview of WHO I am and WHY I can help. As such I think it’s important to breakdown all the ins and outs:
POPULAR BLOG POSTS:
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-20-11 = 678 Views
- the-best-brand-stories-in-the-world-2013 = 277 Views
50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-10-1 = 203 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-40-31 = 187 Views
50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-50-41 = 109 Views
NEW BLOG POSTS:
- Why My Meaningful 2015 Goals Are More Awesome Than Yours = 25 Views
- Turndog’s Monthly Income Report (December 2014) = 40 Views
- For The Love of Zeus, Tell Your Story in 2015 = 16 Views
- 10 Simple Ways To Improve Your Brand Story Telling Today = 7 Views
- The Ultimate Tool For Your Epic Brand Story is… = 11 Views
- 973 Ridiculous Days and It’s Come To This… = 2 Views
PURPLE COFFEE PODCAST:
MOST POULAR SESSION
Session 3 (88 Downloads)
Session 28 (10 Downloads)
**The above Facebook stats consider a combined friend/follower count for the profile**
I’ll be honest with you, I expected greater traffic in January. However, the more I think about it, the more these numbers make sense.
For one, I Re-Launched The Purple Coffee Podcast this month, but it wasn’t until the end of January. Plus, a lot of my social media sharing directs people to the iTunes channel, negating my own site. February sees a new podcast session almost every day, so we should be set for a decent month of traffic. I suppose time will tell…
Before we focus on the podcast, let’s take a closer look at the website, and it’s numbers, which, for the most part, are all up from December. Not surprising as it seems this site is beginning to settle back into Google’s rankings once more (after December’s site launch). We’re not quite back up to previous Google Search traffic levels, but we’re getting there. Hopefully by this time next month, we won’t only be back to where we were, but better than ever.
Overall social media stats are on the up, too, in terms of both referral traffic and followers. Not by a crazy amount, but good is good is good…
And I think the most pleasing statistic of all is the amount of time people are spending on site, which saw a good increase this month. In the end of the day, this is what it’s all about. As a blogger and content-crafter, I strive for new eyes, but not any old eyes, rather those who come, stay, and come back again-and-again.
As for the podcast’s re-launch, we’ve seen decent numbers in the first two weeks. Considering the re-launch didn’t take place until the back-end of January, 1,500 downloads within its first month isn’t out of reach. To be honest, I don’t know if this is a good number of not. Compared to my old stats, it’s damn amazing.
Good enough to build long term traction…? I’m not sure.
I’ve learned a lot in the first couple of weeks though, and keen to uncovers lots more wisdom along the way. If you haven’t seen the new podcast yet, I hope you’ll Take A Look and let me know what you think.
Like this website, EMAIL doesn’t generate any income, but it does play a huge role in my journey. Overall, I try not sell via email all too much, rather use the medium to connect and share. Email is my primary tool to introduce myself to potential new clients, reach out to those I wish to interview, and talk to YOU on a regular basis. This is a snapshot of my email world:
THE MAIN NEWSLETTER:
CLICK THROUGH RATE
THE OTHER LISTS:
HOW TO BUILD AN AUTHOR HOUSE
PURPLE COFFEE PODCAST
TOTAL FOR ALL LISTS:
What a strange month for email.
First of all, I’ve sent more personal emails in the last few weeks than I ever have before. In aid of The Successful Mistake’s Crowd-Publish Launch, I’ve contacted all the interviewees several times, and to be quite honest I feel like a massive pest. I’ve tried to stay on the right side of annoying, but I’m not sure, maybe I’ve stumbled over it.
This worry carries over into my mailing lists, where most numbers are down. Thankfully unsubscribe-rates don’t seem any higher than usual, but less sign-ups are somewhat concerning. I’ve had lots of content-driven posts this month, and shared them far and wide. It’s a worry to see so few newbies, although this may be down to not reaching enough new people.
I do have quite a few Guest Posts lined up, and Podcast Interviews, too, but seen as they’re aimed at The Successful Mistake Crowd-Publish Campaign, I’m not sure how beneficial this will be for email sign ups. A tad worrisome, and I may have to reevaluate my content strategy soon. I don’t think there’s an issue with the content as such, but my reach… and marketing… and connecting with new people… not the best.
Time is a valuable entity you can never get back, and knowing how I spend my time (or as often is the case, waste it!), is a vital cog in my growth. I’m forever trying to find a balance between work, sleep, spending time with Kid Turndog, and chilling with a book in hand. The below doesn’t break down my exact timetable, but it does provide a rough overview as to how productive I am:
TOTAL HOURS LOGGED
FINAL CUT PRO
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
- 39, 251 Words Written (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Email Newsletters, Blog Posts)
I’m a tad disappointed to not spend 20 hours in Scrivener this month, but considering I’ve written around 40,000 words, I can’t be too down on myself. Before we delve into the rest of my time, let’s first focus on this word count – a new feature I’ve decided to track in 2015.
It makes sense, after all, being a writer and such. This number takes into account my Fiction, Non-Fiction, Blogging, and Email Newsletters. Considering it doesn’t consider general email, storyboarding, client work, and general planning of life, I think it’s safe to say I wrote around 50,0o0 words this month.
That’s over half-a-million words a year, and although many of them are crap and far from polished, it’s positive nevertheless. In the end of the day, the more I write the better I become. It’s as simple as that. Whether it’s an email or a novel, writing and storytelling knows no bounds.
In future I think I’ll split this word count up, too, measuring how much time I spend on fiction, non-fiction, and so on. What do you think? Would this add more value to this monthly income report?
As for the rest of the workload, not a great deal stands out. I’m not sure how I spent so much time within Turndog.co to be honest, but it’s probably down to Blog and Guest Post writing. Add this to the time spent in Scrivener, and I suppose it explains how I wrote 40,000 words this month.
Feels good to lose myself for nearly 7 hours in Skype too, as this is time spent connecting with awesome folk. With quite a few interviews lined up in February, this number should continue to rock-and-roll. Overall though, no huge surprises from this section. It seems like a rather well balanced month, and combine this to time spent in meetings, I’ve averaged over 50 hours a week.
HEALTH & WELL BEING:
The final piece of the jigsaw is my health and wellbeing, which is arguably more important than everything else. 2015 is the year I wish to bootstrap my routine, and ensure I stay healthy, active, and on top of the stress and vigour working for yourself brings. You can’t measure happiness, but you can track your daily day, which certainly plays a role if you ask me:
1.5 Hours (football)
1.5 Hours (football)
DAYS UNDER LIMIT
DAYS OVER LIMIT
11.5 Stone (159 lbs)
42,350 Net Colories
11.3 Stone (157 lbs)
42,570 Net Colories
Not surprising, I’ve had a better month compared to December (a month of diet doom).
However, I don’t feel too cracking, and my weight’s crept up a little again. It’s hard to describe, but I just feel a little sluggish, and I put it down to two things:
- Too many naughty snacks
- Not enough physical yoga
My sweet-tooth temptations continue to roam after Christmas, and I need to overcome this. This is the main reason I’ve put on a few pounds throughout January.
As for my lack of yoga, it’s down to circumstance as much as anything. I take part in a relaxed version on Monday evenings, which I’ve been to every week since Christmas. My Wednesday night physical yoga sessions though (which are more active and hardcore), have been hard to get to.
Between snow and ridiculously cold and wet nights, feeling sick, having a meeting, and postponed sessions, I’ve only been to one since the middle of December. I didn’t think it had such a big impact on me, but I now realise it does.
Which is great, because it provides the motivation to keep going, and to consider adding another physical session throughout the week, too. Two of these sessions each week could make me feel like a superhero, so I’m certainly considering it.
In the meantime, I’m performing 50 daily squats to compensate, pushing my sugar addictions to one side, and even using the idea of running and a few trips to the weight-room. But it all comes back to diet, and finding a lifestyle that fits me. With cold weather like this, and comfort food all around, it’s easier said than done.
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME:
TOTAL PROFIT = £112.44
All in all, not a bad month, especially seen as I expected a slow start to the year. Not a huge profit by any means, but it’s good to see income going up, and outgoings heading down.
In particular, I spent a great deal less on coffee and trips to the coffee shop this month, and this probably correlates with the extra meetings I’ve had. The more time I spend in meetings, connecting with people and making shit happen, the less time I spend in Costa, hoping to make shit happen, and generally planning for it.
I think the best way to describe January is to say it’s been a productive one, and I need plenty more in the near future. There’s a long way to go though, and I certainly can’t rest on my laurels just yet. Still, a good month is a good month, and I plenty to be thankful and hopeful for.
SO, THE PLAN FOR FEBRUARY:
Right, let’s end with a few mini objectives to help keep the eye on the prize throughout February:
- RAISE $5,000 IN THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE CROWD-PUBLISH CAMPAIGN (Success Mistake Based)
- STORYBOARD TURNDOG BRAND STORY + PREPARE FOR MARCH ACTION PLAN (Content Based)
- WRITE/EDIT AT LEAST 20,000 WORDS FOR IN UNLOVE YOU (I Unlove You Based)
- FINISH WRITING STAGE ONE OF THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE (Success Mistake Based)
- CONVERT A CLIENT-LEAD INTO A CUSTOMER (Client Based)
February’s set to be manic, but in a truly wonderful sense. Between a client project, striving to convert another lead, starting I Unlove You’s second draft, writing The Successful Mistake, kicking The Purple Coffee Podcast into gear, AND point as many eyes on The Successful Mistake Crowd-Publish Campaign as possible, I’ve plenty on my plate.
Client work should take care of itself for the most part, because as I develop this process I’ll create actionable tasks to tick off the list. At this moment in time, I’m not sure how much of this will come in February, but in the coming days I will.
I’ve also set the Turndog Brand Story in motion, and now’s the time to kick this into gear, storyboard it, plan it, write it, and ready myself for Match (full of filming, design, and finishing touches). A busy couple of months, not least because it’s a side project I’m working on in the evenings.
And although The Successful Mistake is my most front-and-centre book, I must place a lot of love into I Unlove You, too. As I venture into the second draft, I appreciate how vital and important this time is. I must give it the careful attention it both requires and deserves.
But above all (other than client work, which always has my fullest attention), The Crowd-Publish Campaign rules this particular roost. We have 45 days to raise $7,500, and I have plenty of daily tasks to perform. I’m not some big deal with an existing large audience who can launch and sit back.
I’ve launched, which is the easy bit. It’s now time to make sure it’s a success, which is far from simple. Still, it’s why we do this kind of thing, right? 🙂
And finally, I’ve set myself three 2015 Goals (This Post explains all), which EVERYTHING I do over the next twelve months works towards. These are what they are, and this is what I’ve done to stride closer towards these this month:
- IN NOVEMBER, GO ABROAD WITH KID TURNDOG FOR THE FIRST TIME & WEIGH 11 STONE THE DAY OF OUR FLIGHT = I made strides towards this, setting the potential wheels in motion for several client projects. Between his and The Successful Mistake Crowd-Publish Launch, it could place me in a position of stability come November. However, I think I took a backwards step in terms of weight…
- BUY & SHARE A COFFEE WITH 25 PEOPLE WHO APPEAR IN THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE = Didn’t make any literal steps towards this, but connected and re-conencted with lots of folk. Overall, I feel like I crawled towards this goal, rather than walked the walk.
- REACH 100,000 PEOPLE THROUGH MY STORIES & WORDS = With the launch of the podcast, I took a potential big step in this quest. Also wrote a few Guest Posts, which are rather fundamental in this particular journey. Again, no major steps, but a few significant ones nevertheless.
And there you go, folks. Another Monthly Income Report at an end. I know these reports are long, but I hope they help you in some way (if only for pure entertainment/laughing at me purposes). These Monthly Income Reports are hard to write, but I find them rather therapeutic, too. Thank you for reading, and please get in touch and let me know your thoughts. I’d love to start a convo on TWITTER or FACEBOOK.
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