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 MARCH 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:
Another disappointing month in terms of bookiness, but as I mentioned last time around, I’ve thought about, and indeed decided to, make all my my fiction FREE for the remainder of 2015. That process is now underway, and it’s an April aim to complete this process and advertise the fact.
We’re nearly there, too, so although I’ve got some organising and rejigging to do, I’ll have to figure out how to share the good word in the coming days.
I’ve no idea whether this will work or not, but you can’t sell much less than zero, and if I’m honest the thought of removing money from the equation for a few months makes me smile. I appreciate many folk don’t agree with free books, and I understand why, but I also feel this could be worth my while.
Time will tell, I suppose.
No new releases this month
I’ve rejigged a few chapters I truly hated for I Unlove You, which is often how a second draft goes. We’re getting there by all accounts, and soon it’ll be time to involve an actual editor. Scary times indeed, but I want to get the story into a position where I’m happy before I do.
By next month’s report I should have a clearer view of where we are.
As for The Successful Mistake… this beast continues to crank away. The writing is getting there, albeit slower than I’d have hoped. It’s an intricate process, and a rather stilted one, but I’m starting to find some flow when I sit at the keyboard and tap away.
A long way to go, but we are getting there.
I’ve also created and started a Pre-Launch Plan (the period between now and publication), with lots of Guest Posts, Podcasts, and much more to keep me busy. I also hope to start some webinars and a few other things I’ve never tried before. The point is to build as much exposure as possible, entice people to sign up to the email list, and generally spread the good word as much and as often as possible.
No easy feat, but it’s nice to have something alongside the actual writing.
No Free promotions or campaigns this month, so nothing to see here, folks…
THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE
AMAZON USA (affiliate)
AMAZON UK (affiliate)
APPLE APP STORE (affiliate)
FOLLOW UP.CC (affiliate)
Nothing This Month
TOTAL PROFIT = £513.43
The biggie here is the two Chapter Partnerships for The successful Mistake, which I’ll announce in the coming days. Literally figuring out how to best announce them, so watch this space.
It’s an exciting time, because although The Successful Mistake CrowdPublish Campaign failed, it doesn’t mean I can’t implement a lot of the ideas that came from it. The Chapter Partners (and main partner) are among these, and the time’s come to fill the remaining slots.
Of course, money raised here is placed to one side, earmarked for editing costs, design costs, and other booky-bookiness. I know it doesn’t classify as book sales per se, but seeing a few numbers in this section has me smiling. A small win, but a win nevertheless.
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:
The Local Author Who Never Used…
Saville Park Primary
Tuesday 3rd March
THE BEHIND THE SCENES:
I had a great time visiting Saville Park Primary last month, and although I have no plans to make this a huge part of my business, I do love working with kids. They’re so creative, and it’s a fresh perspective when much of my day’s taken up with meetings and writing on my own.
I need to find some time to follow people up and start booking things into next year, because although I’m not sure how it’s happened, we’re now in April. And the school year is coming to an end. Which is damn crazy, but apparently reality.
Go figure, right?!?
I’ve formed some great connections this year, so I’m positive more comes from this moving forward. But as of this moment I haven’t much to say because other aspects of my world have taken priority. Will I find time in April to kick this process into gear? Will this be something I have to delegate to an assistant of sorts?
Watch this space…
YOUR STORY MATTERS, DAMN IT!
CREATE CUSTOMER LOYALTY & BANISH…
THE SECRET BEHIND THE MODERN…
THE LOCAL AUTHOR WHO NEVER…
TOTAL PROFIT = £150
Not much to add from the above. I had a great time at Saville Park Primary, and I hope to do a few more talks before the school year’s out. But it’ll be hard because most are now in planning mode for next year. Which is crazy, but true.
But I also hope to do a few more business related talks (ideally for The Successful Mistake), so this could create some extra income in the coming months, too.
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
Project Mace Windu
A Brand Story/Development project that will run for at least 3 months in some capacity
The beginning of a potentially ongoing Brand Story project with a social enterprise startup
COMPLETED THIS MONTH
- Project Gredo
I’VE BEEN TO
Project Boba Fet
TOTAL PROFIT = £1,800
It’s taken a long time, but my client work is starting to gain a little traction.
Not only am I in the middle of a rocking project (which included some mammoth video shoots last month) and starting a new partnership with a startup social enterprise, but there are one or two potential irons in the fire for the future.
I’ve also spent less time working on cold calling and trying to sell, because the truth is I can’t commit myself to any other projects at the moment. This. Feels. Amazeballs!
I’m not resting on my laurels, because I’m a long way from where I want to be or indeed where I need to be. But it’s starting to come together, and soon I’ll have a few amazing case studies to use as examples, which makes enticing new clients a far easier task.
And best-best of all… I’m learning so much! Seriously, these lessons cannot be undervalued, and places me in great stead moving forward. Here’s to happy times, grafting times, and futures-filled-with-loveliness times.
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 = 1,004 Views
- the-best-brand-stories-in-the-world-2013 = 289 Views
- Copyblogger = 282
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-10-1 = 214 Views
- 50-brands-with-amazing-brand-stories-40-31 = 181 Views
NEW BLOG POSTS:
- How to Conform in Business Without Confirming: with Dorie Clark = 59 Views
- Why I Send An Email Each Day & Drive People Insane = 18 Views
- Turndog’s Monthly Income Report (February 2015) = 89 Views
- Why Money Doesn’t Make You Happy – And How to Change This: with Jayson Gaignard = 17 Views
- I Overcame My Fear Of Rejection By Doing This One Thing… = 58 Views
- How To Find Real Purpose As An Entrepreneur: with Michael O’Neal = 15 Views
- Business Failure: This One Mistake Leads To It Every Time… = 20 Views
- This is Why a Car Shouldn’t Be Your Dream: with Clay Hebert = 10 Views
- How To Transform Great Mistakes into Amazing Ideas = 5 Views
PURPLE COFFEE PODCAST:
MOST POULAR SESSION
Session 30 (119 Downloads)
Session 28 (112 Downloads)
**The above Facebook stats consider a combined friend/follower count for the profile**
As I suspected, web traffic increased last month after the Successful Mistake CrowdPublish Campaign ended. All links divert back to turndog.co, so we’ve seen a decent bump.
It also looks like Google traffic is back to a somewhat normal level (although I hope it continues to rise).
But I’m hoping to write quite a few Guest Posts, appear on lots of Podcasts, and generally spread the word far-and-wide -with everything diverting back to this site where new folk hopefully join this journey we’re on. Simply put, I must expose the hell out of The Successful Mistake (and Turndog as a whole) over the next six months.
One stat I aren’t pleased with is the drop in time spent on site, which if you ask me is the most important of all. As someone who writes fairly long Blog Posts, it’s a bit of a kick in the face to see such a low number. However, I also appreciate lots of people come and go in a matter of seconds, so this number isn’t a true reflection by all accounts.
Another stat that’s put a frown on my face is the podcast downloads, which dropped a little. I was hoping to see this number continue to rise month-on-month, and it’s important I create new ideas and means to showcase this to the world. Now that it’s out of iTunes’ New and Noteworthy it’s up to me to spread the word.
Daunting as always!
But overall things are okay. Not good. Not bad. Just okay. The simple aim here is to expose what I do with more people, and build the email list (more on this next). To do this requires more Guest Posts, Interviews, Webinars, and more. As such the next six months are rather big indeed.
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:
Last month I began sending daily emails, and although I’ve failed on a couple of occasions (Saturday and Sunday have sometimes gotten the better of me), I’ve done okay. I haven’t delved too deep into the analytics, and I’ve committed to continue this crazy experiment until the end of April, but so far everything seems to be going rather well.
I won’t go as far to say people are loving it, but they don’t seem to be hating it, either. Are people unsubscribing? Yes. By the boatload? No!
Also, those unsubscribing tend to be from older lists (from campaigns I did eons ago), which means more recent folk are staying on board. This excites me, because I’ve changed course rather a lot in the last 18 months.
So although numbers are down, and so are open rates, they aren’t nearly as bad as I thought they might be. What is a little disappointing is the click rates, because with me sharing Blog Posts and Podcasts each day, I hope to see more clicks and such. So far that doesn’t seem to be the case, but again, I haven’t delved into the numbers too much.
Towards the end of April I will because I plan to write a more detailed post about this experiment so far, what has and hasn’t worked, and lessons learned along the way. But so far I’ve enjoyed it, and my gut says to keep going.
BUTTTTTTTT, the true issue isn’t in the unsubscribed column, but the new-subscribe one.
This is where my attention turns, and although I’m using The Successful Mistake as the spearhead for Guest Posts et al, this isn’t about a book. It’s about new people joining this entire journey with me. This is what these daily emails are all about. I don’t wish to segment folk any more.
The Successful Mistake may introduce them to my world, but it’s about sharing the entire adventure with them. So to be blunt, I must kick my ass in gear and spread the word. I need to get everywhere. I need to share great content. I need to help and be kind.
And I need to do it NOW!!
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
- FICTION = 5,200 words
- NON FICTION =5,850 words
- BLOG POSTS = 8,797 words
- GUEST POSTS = 1,536 words
- EMAILS / NEWSLETTERS = 6,950 words
TOTAL = 28,333 WORDS
I think I’m outgrowing this section, and I think I need to rejig it for next month.
Why? Because I’m doing more ‘offline‘ work. For instance, I took part in two 12-hour video shoots in March. That’s 24 hours the above stats don’t take into account. I’m also in more meetings, and working away from my laptop, so I think the time has come to utilise other types of tracking software.
Because I find a lot of value in tracking what I do and don’t work on, and how long it all takes, but at present it doesn’t reflect my entire world. So… I’m not sure what this new iteration will look like, but I think it needs to happen.
Let the evolution continue!
As for the above numbers, all seems rather well. I’m again disappointed in my lack of Scrivener time, but I’ve achieved a decent amount in the hours I’ve logged in. I do need to work on I Unlove You and The Successful Mistake more, I have no doubt, but I’d rather spend ten hours smashing it instead of twenty hours half-assing it.
And I wrote more this month, which is good. It’s lower than it ought to be, as I feel 40,000 words is the optimum level I’d like to get to. But all-in-all I’m fairly satisfied with where I am, and the truly exciting part is that these numbers open my eyes, and guide me where to go next.
The fact I plan to alter things is evidence enough. Simple awareness of your situation is half the battle.
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
11.4 Stone (158 lbs)
42,543 Net Colories
11.1 Stone (155 lbs)
42,350 Net Colories
- No books finished this month 🙁
Oh dear me, this wasn’t a good month for my tummy.
To be frank, I placed far too much crap into it. As you’ll see below, I spent rather a lot on meals and drinks, too, and it’s easy to pin-point why… Dating.
I won’t share much of my personal life because who wants to know that, but I’m in a new relationship which means meals out and such. This means rich food and large portions. It means a social life. Seriously, what’s going on?!?
So yes, I’ve eaten far too much, but it was also a good month in terms of walking, but I won’t lie to you because I feel heavy and in need of a cleanse. I mean, I don’t feel awful, but my body’s rocking-and-rolling at the moment.
“Stop feeding me,” it says. So I suppose I better oblige.
I’ll stop here because there’s not much more to add. Simply put, I just need to stop eating sugar and crap (which Easter makes harder, by the way!!).
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME:
TOTAL PROFIT = £1,882.20
Okay, so this is rather a big month when it comes to money, because it’s the first time I’ve earned more than during my old 9-5 job.
It’s exciting, but at the same time I’ll pause the celebrations because this doesn’t take into account tax and such, and it’s only a single month. I promised myself long ago that I wouldn’t get excited about such things until I outdid my previous life’s income (you know, those monthly wages) for at least six months in a row.
In my opinion such continuity proves it isn’t a fluke. It proves it’s real. So until I do six back-to-backs (ideally forever increasing) I won’t light the cigar. Yet it’s a big month regardless, and it allows me to settle some debt, organise my life better, and really starting kicking this growth into gear.
So let’s celebrate, albeit in a sophisticated and downbeat fashion.
SO, THE PLAN FOR APRIL:
Right, let’s end with a few mini objectives to help keep the eye on the prize throughout March:
- MAKE ALL FICTION WORK FREE + SPREAD THE GOOD WORD (Book Marketing)
- COMPLETE TURNDOG BRAND STORY PLANNING + START CREATING IT (Content/Brand Based)
- EDIT AT LEAST 12 CHAPTERS (SECOND DRAFT) (I Unlove You Based)
- ENTICE 3 MORE CHAPTER PARTNERS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE (Successful Mistake Based)
- WRITE 15,000 WORDS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE (Successful Mistake Based)
March was a good month for the most part. I learned a lot, earned some money, had an actual day off (and spent it with Evo Terra and his awesome wife, Sheila), and laid the foundations for a few new projects.
But we’re now into April, and I want to make it better yet. And this begins with writing, so I’ll place initial focus on I Unlove You (edit 12 chapters) and The Successful Mistake (write 15,000 words). Both of these will be a challenge, largely down to time constraints. But that’s the point of challenges, they’re there to push you.
And I like to think of myself as a writer first and foremost, because when I’m writing I’m at my creative best. My clients want me at my creative best. Those who know me do, too. So let’s start with writing and work backwards from there.
Which leads me to completing the FREE process for all my books, which is already underway, and gaining a few new Chapter Partners for The Successful Mistake. The latter not only adds income, but means I get to collaborate with some truly great brands.
In terms of reaching new people and exposing the book far-and-wide, this is huge. So… yeah… gaining three new partners would be awesome to achieve in April.
As for the Turndog Brand Story… I’ve done noting on it for weeks, and I’m not happy. I really want to get this done, but time’s gotten the better of me. No excuses though, for I must kick this into gear. After all, who else is going to do it? Nobody but me, so it’s time to get grafting, Turndog!!
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 = Although I took a backward step in terms of weight, I took a forward one in terms of income. If recent trends continue, Kiddo and me shall walk along the River Rhine come November
- BUY & SHARE A COFFEE WITH 25 PEOPLE WHO APPEAR IN THE SUCCESSFUL MISTAKE = After spending time with Evo Terra this month, we can officially strike a number off this list. I had a blast with him and Sheila, too, and it confirms the amazingness of spending real time with real people. A long way to go, but I’m positive I can achieve this goal!
- REACH 100,000 PEOPLE THROUGH MY STORIES & WORDS = With a few potential guest posts in store, I’m making strides towards this goal, although not huge ones. As I said earlier, the next six months are rather huge.
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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