Welcome to the year of alchemy!


This year I am embarking on an experiment to see if I can finally get a passion project off the ground.

I thought I’d do a bit of a kick off post to give you a bit of background.

Where it’s at

This isn’t a new project, it’s one that has been sidelined since 2012, so to give you some context and an overview of where the project sits:

  • It’s a blog that started in 2012
  • I was blogging on average once a month, there were times where I was blogging 3 times a week, and then 6 month+ stints of nothing at all.
  • Since August 2018 I’ve been blogging once a week.
  • I’ve written 111 blog posts.
  • I started my email list with an ebook incentive in August 2017
  • I sent an email once a month until August 2018. Now I’ve increased the frequency to once a week
  • I have focussed primarily on instagram – posting regularly (but not consistently). Growth hit a stand still from 2016 until just recently.
  • Income streams to this point have been google adsense, and recently an online shop selling physical products.
  • I have a very targeted niche

What I know

Because this blog has been around for a while, there a few things I have a good understanding of and mainly that is the audience I want to target. I’ve also refined my content creation style, although it is still constantly evolving.

Now if this isn’t something you’ve sorted, you may find creating your first product a bit difficult (as in knowing what to create). But I really do want to show that action is really the key here, start creating, the right people will come.. as long as you’re solving a problem that needs to be solved.

You need to take action but also be flexible enough to adjust the sails as needed.

The big goals

The big thing for me at the moment is actually getting the products created so I can make money. I’ve been given a few freebies on Instagram but that’s it.. I feel like I’ve been fluffing around in this area for way too long, I want to create 3 digital offerings launching one before the beginning of each season (Autumn, Winter, Spring) and then have Summer to revise and iterate.

In terms of marketing – I’d also love to start a podcast by Autumn and by Spring I want to start a YouTube Channel.

I don’t want these posts to become one of those boring income reports but obviously there are some monetary goals. Good would be $15K, Great would be $30K, Better would be $60K+

How much time can I allocate to this project?

With two kids under 2.5 that are currently not in daycare I am lucky if I get a synced nap maybe once every 2 days and it’s half an hour at best.

So with this in mind I am going to do a Tim Ferris style 4 hour work week (I still haven’t read his book) and see where that takes me. I won’t be outsourcing anything unless there is revenue bought in that would allow me to do this.

4 hours a week, 16 hours a month. Maybe more, maybe less.

The stats before we begin

Email subscribers – 258

Instagram followers – 3826

Facebook followers – 357

Average Monthly website hits – 1100

Let’s talk $

As icky as talking money is, it is really a key indicator of whether or not what I am working on is a business or a hobby. And the goal is to turn the hobby into a business.

So a snapshot of where we are at:

Total sales:

$9 from selling physical products

$70 from Google Adsense*

Total for the past 7 years $79

Hurrah!

(*however to get it I need to get to $100 so it’s unlikely I will ever see this as I’ve switched it off)

In these updates I will be including how much I am spending to give a clear picture of where money goes in an online business.

The money I’ll be investing in the beginning phase will be hosting and domain registration (around $300 for the year) and I have allocated $200 towards an advertising budget.

Starting capital is super lean – $500 at most.

Regular marketing actions I am currently taking

Email marketing

I send out an email every Friday – 29.7% open rate, my list is pretty engaged as I get replies all the time.

Blogging

I blog once a week and am ahead by 2 months

Instagram

I post pretty regularly (but not consistently) on instagram (when I am with the kids). I also take time to comment on at least 3 people in my niches posts (this has helped immensely with the growth)

Facebook

I share 2 blog posts a week (1 old, 1 new) on Facebook, plus occasionally any random things I find that I think is relevant to my audience and also my feed from Instagram comes through to Facebook..

Pinterest

I was pretty religiously adding pinterest sharing images but am probably about 20 posts behind. This has been a great source of traffic to my site so I need to up my game.

I also reply to every single email, comment or message I get. It makes for a super engaged community.

Time to stop the busy work

My biggest issue around this blog is pretty simple, I am not really selling anything! I’ve kept myself busy doing lots of things – tweaking, creating free content, connecting with my audience which is all good stuff. But it’s a waste of time if it’s not leading somewhere.

So whilst I would love to keep the momentum of my regular posting and work on getting my google rank a bit higher – my commitment in this first month is creating a digital product – an online course, then I’ll catch up on the busy work.

Let’s talk about the mindset (or mindshit)

So why has it taken me 7 years to create something to sell? Well a few things that have held me back in doing this:

  • I don’t feel like I am qualified
  • The industry has a big sharing community
  • It takes time to show people what I want to demonstrate
  • I freaking hate being in front of a camera for creating video content
  • Children are little time machines who take a lot of your time

Let’s just address each of these:

I don’t feel like I am qualified.

Technically I don’t have a piece of paper, but I have been doing it all my life so I need to really focus on the proof being in the result.

The industry has a big sharing community

A lot of content you can find online for free (like most things) and because the subject matter is hobby related, a lot of people expect the information to be freely available. But there are people who are selling things. It’s just a fine balance of giving vs asking (I had a break through with this just recently).

It takes time to show people

I’ll need to create some of my content on the fly and I need to get brave and do it in real time (aka live video).

I freaking hate being in front of a camera

I need to get over this, practice makes perfect I guess?

Children

The whole point of stepping into this biz is to be able to be flexible around them, I’ve found 1:1 work really hard to balance so having more control over my own deadlines should be a better option.

My commitment for January

Create a sales page for my product

Why am I doing this first? Well it gives me a super clear idea of how to structure my content. Having it all laid out to explain the process also helps me refine the content. Plus it kills two birds with one stone. Once the sales page is mostly done it’s then just a matter of final tweaks.

Create the content for the product

The idea will be to have a live video once a week over a 6 week period. I need to map out what those videos need to cover. I will also draft the ebooks to go with each module.

February snapshot:

Launch my first digital offering!

Until next month, if you’re not on the list to get my regular updates on this project and are wanting to follow along you can sign up here.

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