Summer is an amazing time of the year! With warm weather, opportunities to travel, and a little extra time with family and friends, what's not to like about summer? Last month I had a small dip in income thanks to the summer lull of online traffic, but things turned around in June. Let's take a look at how my online business fared as summer began.
I read other personal finance blogs as I worked to pay off my car loan (which I did in about half of the five year term), pay off my student loans (two years and six days after graduation), and conquer other financial challenges. I realized reading those other sites that I had a unique perspective thanks to my background, and to build trust with you, I am completely transparent on how I deal with my own finances.
Since the beginning of 2012, I have shared my online earnings from my side hustles as they grew and turned into my full-time job. While it is now my primary income, I continue to share every month to show you what is possible if you put your mind to it. Side hustle income has changed my life, and I like to show you how in these monthly updates.
If it’s your first time stopping in, you can see a history of my online income reports here going back to February 2012 when I brought in $739 online. I did a whole lot better this month, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out exactly how much better and how I did it!
Most popular posts for new readers:
- Complete Beginner Guide to Budgeting
- Complete Beginner Guide to Credit
- Complete Beginner Guide to the Stock Market
- Complete Beginner Guide to Freelancing
- Complete Beginner Guide to Travel Hacking
- 137 Side Hustle Ideas
Join Me at Podcast Movement in Anaheim!
After FinCon, Podcast Movement was the second major online media conference I took the initiative to attend. I went to Podcast Movement in Chicago last summer and had a great time, and I'm excited to head back next month for Podcast Movement in Anaheim. I'm also stepping up my participating by bringing Ignite to Podcast Movement, as I have done at FinCon for the last five years.
If you are interested in attending Podcast Movement in Anaheim this August, you can sign up with my code “EricRosenberg50” to get $50 off registration and an entry for a free podcasting mic from Blue Microphones. I use the Blue Yeti myself! If you have any interest in podcasting as a business, I highly recommend going. This will be my second year in attendance, and I imagine far from my last. I don't get paid for referring anyone, but if you do sign up with my code I also get an entry for those free microphones. Learn more at Podcast Movement.
A Fresh Personal Profitability Podcast Format
For the first 18 months of the Personal Profitability Podcast, I recorded episodes around 45 minutes long featuring in-depth interviews with a variety of experts in entrepreneurship and personal finance. These episodes were amazing to record and live on in the podcast archives, but I decided that after a year and a half it is time to mix things up.
Starting at the beginning of July, episodes are now around 25 minutes long and come out every week on Tuesday. The first episode of the new format features guest Grant Baldwin of The Speaker Lab, a prolific speaker who has brought in well over $1 million in speaker fees since he took his speaking side hustle from the church pulpit to stages around the country. Episode two of the new format focuses on mortgages and early retirement. Guest Chris Reining joined me for a fun chat about how he was able to stash away enough cash to retire at 37!
New episodes come out every week, so be sure to subscribe in your favorite podcast app.
Getting Settled In at my New House
Less than a week after moving into my new house in Ventura, a family emergency took me to Denver for a week. Now that I've been back for a few days and had some time to catch my breath, I am working through a list of goals to get settled in, including a few home improvement projects.
The boxes are almost all unpacked, the office is setup and functional, and we love the new house. While taking care of the outside of our home, we found one of the hose spigots started to leak. That was a $95 repair that went in a blink of an eye, though I am working with the home warranty to try for a reimbursement. Home warranties are a must for new homeowners. I have never attempted a claim before, but a leaky pipe less than a month after we moved in changed that.
Looking at the rest of our list, which includes a visit from an electrician for some lighting upgrades, it is easy to see how fast money can go into a house. We have budgeted for a project once a month for the first few months we are here to get our house setup just the way we want it. We plan to be here a while, so it is worth investing in a few upgrades we will love and enjoy.
Writing – After missing my $10,000 goal May, I knew I had to hustle in June to reach my goal. I was lucky to get a huge project assigned that paid me well into the thousands of dollars to complete. It was 10,000 words, so it was no walk in the park, but it did help push me over the goal and more than made up for what I missed in May. To inspire me to get into action, I have been reading fellow freelancer Ryan Waggoner's excellent blog, which is packed with ideas to boost my business.
Speaking – I didn't get any new gigs locked in last month, but I did make some progress in my speaking goals. I entered into a relationship with a business training company that pays speakers to do 1-2 hour presentations on a variety of topics including personal finance. I also updated my speaker page at EricRosenberg.com to include links to videos of past talks around the country.
KosherFish.co – Kosher Fish is now live on the web, the Android, and the new iOS. I don't have many other big plans for Kosher Fish. I emailed a few Rabbis to get the word out and may do an SEO/publicity outreach campaign to get the word out further. I don't expect to make a ton of money from Kosher Fish, but I'd love to make a few more bucks than I am today! I just took a look at the stats and the Android version has broken 100+ installs while the iOS version is just shy of 200 installs.
Money Mola – Money Mola is now in the bug squashing and some final feature tweaks! The ACH platform, which was for a long time our biggest holdup, is now integrated. Expect a launch announcement sometime soon. Really soon.
Entrepreneurial Income Breakdown
And now, the results! If you are a new visitor, check out my entire history of income reports going back to 2012 here. That page recently got a big overhaul, so long time readers may enjoy stopping in as well!
Personal Profitability Income – Advertising and Products
- Affiliate Marketing – $11
- Direct Ad Placements – $275
- Total Advertising – $286
- Website Support – $0 (this business closed at the end of April)
- Writing Services – $12,449
- Total Freelance – $12,449
- Product Sales – $2
- Flipping – $0
- Premium Plugins – $0
- Denver Flash Mob – $0
Gross Profit – $12,737
While my streak of seven months in a row over $10,000 ended in May, I am now able to say “I earned more than $10,000 8 of the last 9 months.” That's pretty darn good! I started the year with a goal of earning an average of over $10,000 per month and I am absolutely on track to do that. However, I upgraded the goal in my head to $10,000 a month all year, which I had done from January to April. May said it wasn't in the cards.
EXPENSES (Does Not Include My Paychecks or Taxes)
- Advertising – $52
- Bank Charges and Payment Fees – $17 (some revenue reported net of fees)
- Business Licenses and Permits – $10
- Computer and Internet Expense – $528
- Meals & Entertainment – $50
- Money Mola Related Expenses – $115
- SG&A – $56
- Outsourced Labor – $54
- Postage & Shipping – $34
- Professional Services – $0
- Telecom Expense – $210
- Travel – $0
- Total Expenses – $1,126
Total Revenue $12,737 Total Expenses $1,126, Profit Before Tax $11,611
Check out my full history of income reports here.
Financial Planning & Analysis
“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist pic.twitter.com/AlC6idyh3f
— Eric Rosenberg (@EricProfits) July 20, 2017
After missing my goal in May, I had a big wake up call on my need to keep on the hustle for new clients, regardless of how successful I appear based on revenue. I got complacent with a few great clients and ignored the possibility that they could leave, even though I knew it to be true. One of my big clients recently insourced their entire writing team and another put my work on hold as they replace my old contact who left the company for a new position.
While I picked up two new clients to replace those, they are at a lower volume (though comparable rates) than the ones I lost. My goal last month was saved by one big project, but I can't count on that every month. July is on track to come in a little low, so I know it have to get back to recruiting new clients to keep my income up as some clients churn. This is a normal part of doing business as a freelancer online, not a reflection of my work, so I'm not offended when a client moves on. I just need to make sure I'm ready to backfill the empty slot in my income they leave behind.
That is my biggest focus for the next few weeks. It is time to get back into a habit and system of reaching out to my network and drumming up more work. Who knows, maybe I'll follow in the footsteps of some successful friends who bring in as much as $20,000 per month freelancing. That is something I can certainly get on board with!
Until next time, stay profitable.