Online business in the midst of a pandemic


Turns out a pandemic is good for online business. Well at least for mine anyway.

My business fell into the category of ‘panic’ buying. More people at home all the time, turns out people turn to hobbies that feed them. Subsequently, my little business has had it’s best month yet. 

Member retention update

So coming back to last month my main focus was on member retention.

My onboarding emails seem to be working so far (still early days) but I am finding that it’s having a knock on effect with my engagement levels. 

Regular posting and engaging with new members has been a stand out winner. People are posting and engaging! Finally. All it took was me to get into a routine with it. 

Reconnection

The other thing I did this month was invite old members back into the membership. I was reluctant to do this, as I often felt that anyone who left didn’t actually get value out of it. But to my surprise I got 3 members back on board, one of which signed up for the entire year. 

Regular Launches

This has been working fantastically. I open it up whenever I feel like it. I am now keeping it open for a full week before shutting it down and don’t interrupt my regular emails. This feels better for me, I don’t feel like I am pushing anything, it’s a take it or leave it approach without much of a second thought.  

Along with the regular launches I’ve also added a yearly payment option which has been great for cashflow. I’ve been able to get things in advance to save money which is amazing.  

Optin change a winner

I added a few new email list optins to my website which have been successful. Two are specific to some of my most popular blog posts, and the other is a general guide. The change has made my email list grow a lot faster than it ever did in the past.

I have now found that the blog specific ones were not really my niche so instead of ditching those people I am working on how I can service them. In the mean time I am segmenting my lists big time and sending out 3 separate emails every week to ensure they are getting content that is relevant.

Due to the growth, I’ll soon have to start paying for the privilege of email marketing, which will make me look at other options that do segmenting better. With the Australian dollar so low it will be a substantial hit to the monthly budget so I am keeping my options open. 

Traffic highs and woes

My website traffic has increased exponentially. A blessing and a curse. It made my website slow down to a snails pace with constant time outs. I optimised the website but unfortunately it didn’t help. So after trying to find a solution with my existing host, I pulled the pin and moved. It was painful moving a huge website, but I am glad it’s done. It’s early days yet but the new host is way cheaper and has better customer service. 

Back to no time

Now with kids at home full time I am back to the no time situation. I am able to get pockets of time here and there and thankful that my business allows me to do this. It’s just exhausting, but we deal with it and we keep on going. I am grateful for everything we have right now. 

Podcast + YouTube

The podcast is back, I decided on monthly episodes to keep the pressure off. I braved some of the reviews on apple itunes and they are good so I am happy that people are enjoying them. I am doing interview style this time around with some amazing people. Getting time to do this is challenging. 

I still haven’t launched youtube but I have 3 videos almost finishing editing so hopefully by the next time you’re reading one of these updates I’ve launched it. 

Physical Product is go

I added a shop with physical products to it and it’s going well. I get a purchase just about every other day. My issue is keeping stock up as my suppliers are slow and I wasn’t sure how it would go at first so I didn’t put in a big order.

I am working on creating my own products so this will eliminate this issue but to start with this is what I have to deal with.

Audience is big in the USA

A large chunk of traffic (from pinterest) is coming from the USA. I need to get a small priced product up to take advantage of that.

The google ads are a waste of space bringing in $5 a month and they slow my website down. I am thinking once I hit the $100 mark I will look at trying a different Adserver to see if there is any benefit.

Organic Audience Building

I am finding that finally my hard work of creating free content is finally paying off and I am finally seeing a flow on affect from that.

Everything is feeling a little bit easier and in flow which it hasn’t felt like for a long time. Let’s hope it keeps up.

MARCH STATS

Active Members – 24

MARKETING

  • Email subscribers – 1302 (+357)
  • Instagram followers –12.9K (+2100)
  • Facebook followers – 947 (+30)
  • Average Monthly website hits – 12900 (+557%)

DOLLARS

INCOME

  • Memberships – $469
  • Product Sales – $116
  • Website advertising  $0 (need to get $100 for a payout, very close!)

EXPENSES

  • Website costs –  $96.11
  • Payment Fees – $21.13
  • Cost of sales – $191.64
  • Advertising/marketing – $0

TOTAL Expenses $325.68

PROFIT/LOSS

Profit/Loss for March – Profit $259.67

(When I finish setting up my accounting in Excel I’ll update this with the Lifetime value)

TIME

Hours spent on the project the past month : Approx 36

MY COMMITMENT FOR APRIL

  • Launch YouTube
  • Map out book plan

MAY SNAPSHOT

  • Finalise content road map for the next 12 months

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