Table of contents
Welcome to my October 2019 Income Report! This is my very first Income Report!
A lot has been going on, but one thing rises above the rest... I spent almost $2,000!! That's way more than I planned to spend, but there's a rational reason for it, and we're going to go through it together.
Expenses aside, I feel like everything is going according to the plan. I'm a little bit behind schedule (a week), but I think that's because I didn't realize how many things I planned to do in October. Hopefully I'll be able to gain that week back in November. If I do (and I really hope I do), I may be able to achieve my ULTIMATE professional goal for 2019: starting 3 businesses in 3 months (check all my goals here).
Anyhow, there's a lot of things to cover, so let's dive in! We're first going to talk about what I've done during this month (times 3! because I had to do all those things for 3 businesses), then wel'll take a look at my expenses (where those $2,000 went...); and finally, my plans for November. Here we go!
In a nutshell, October has been the "setting up month". Not much has been done that can be shown online, but I've prepared the ground for content creation in November. I've pretty much found out what businesses I'm going to start, I designed a brand and website for all 3, and I actually created the 3 websites based on those designs.
Not that bad for a newbie!
Having done all those things I can say that the're a lot of fun! Looking for keywords is like treasure hunting, designing a brand is super exciting, and website building is extremely gratifying. But at the same time it's nerve wracking not knowing whether or not you're making the right choices. However, I know that not moving forward is the biggest mistake, so I did my best! And I'm actually very happy with the results.
I first started looking for keywords to start my online businesses. If you want to know how I did it, I wrote a post about it: My Keyword Research Secrets and Tools Finally Revealed!. The idea is pretty simple though, you have to find something that people are looking for online, and then build a website around that topic. Ideally, that keyword has a lot of searches and low competition. That way it's easier to rank in Search Engines and drive traffic to your site.
Once you have your keyword, you have to buy a domain that (ideally) contains that keyword. I also wrote a post on that topic, for when the time comes for you to buy a domain yourself: How To Buy a Domain to rank high on Google! Be sure to check them out!
Using the methods described in those posts I just mentioned, I came up with two amazing Keywords:
1. Rug Cleaning: It's the keyword I'm going to use for my Authority Niche Site. I want it to be a website that has the best information regarding how to clean a rug, best cleaners, tips for professional cleaner etc. If you want to read more about why I chose this keyword and the domain I bought, I wrote a post about it. Check it out here!
2. Dentist Near Me: It's the keyword I'm going to use for my Directory Niche Site. I was hesitant at first, but I finally decided to go with this keyword and now I'm pshyched about it! I wrote another post explaining why I decided to go for it (take a look here) and bought a domain. I don't think it's not going to be an easy keyword, but I hope it's worth the effort!
Why am I not happy about the third keyword? Because I didn't follow my own rules. I wanted my third business to be an Affiliate Marketing Site. You know that site! You're on it right now! The only problem was... I wanted my affiliate marketing site's name to be more personal and meaningful to me. When I came up with the name "My Little Green Car", I was so excited I never checked it's difficulty and bought the domain right away. I did check it later on, and... Surprise! It's (by far) my hardest keyword. If you want to read more about why it's so difficult and what I plan to do about it, click here.
Overall I'm very happy with my keyword research. Difficulty-wise, I think there's a big spectrum and that's going to allow me to see whether or not is worth it to target tougher keywords.
Once I had my keywords and bought my domains, it was time to design a brand around those keywords.
Strictly speaking, buying a domain is part of "brand design". In fact, in almost every business you would first choose a brand name, and then buy a domain that fits the chosen brand. However, given that these are Online Businesses, the availability of the domain can be a deal breaker. And so, for an online business it's easier to find a name while searching for an available domain. That's why I felt that a post on how to buy a domain was necessary.
Anyway, back to brand design... Let's take a look at the 3 new brands!
1. Rug Cleaning: The brand name I chose for the keyword "rug cleaning" is... drumroll please... Rug Cleaning World. Not only the domain was free, but I feel like the domain is broad enough to include anything related to rug cleaning. Maybe even more! My main focus is going to be rug cleaning, but I'm open to talking about other rug-related topics in the future.
In order save some money, I designed it myself! And I'm very happy with the outcome! This is the design:
2. Dentist near me: Since this is the keyword I'm going to be using for my Directory Niche site, I wanted my brand name to be simple, yet to inspire confidence. So I came up with... Best Dentist Near Me. The good thing about this name is that it contains the keyword and it's simple to remember. However, I felt like it was a little bit informal. So I decided to buy a .org instead of a .com in order to become a more trustworthy source. This is the logo I designed:
You can tell that both have pretty similar designs. That's because I designed both myself! It's pretty simple to DIY, but if you want to outsource your logo to a professional for around $10-$20, take a look in this website. I've hired many designers there and the results are surprisingly good!
3. My Little Green Car: This is the website you're on right now, so you know that the brand I chose to go with. The design was way more complex because I wanted to be a reflection of who I am and what I like. And capturing that isn't easy for a designer. But it was so worth it! I couldn't be happier! I love my new logo and I think I'm going to stick with it for a loooong time!
Once I had my brand design, I had to design and build 3 websites. That seems like a lot of work... but believe me: Once you have your logo and you're happy with it, the website's design kind of falls under it automatically. I plan on doing a post on how to design a website step by step in 24h, so subscribe to my newsletter to be the first to find out!
Designing a website is not hard... The only problem was that I had a very strict schedule and I wanted to have everything ready by the end of the month. What I did to achieve my goals was to reuse as much as I could. That's why www.rugcleaningworld.com and www.bestdentistnearme.org look so similar to one another.
Let's take a look at the designs!
Rug Cleaning World:
Best Dentist Near Me:
And last, but not least! I wanted My Little Green Car's design to be unique and personal. That's why I decided to hire a professional designer from Fiverr. His design was good. However... It wasn't enough. I first started using his design and tweeking somethings a little bit. But I ended up using his design as inspiration and created my own design! I think it wasn't the designer's fault because I had more (and better) pictures that I had previously given him. But I'm so happy with how everything looks! I love my design and I hope you like it too!
My Little Green Car:
Now, to the most interesting part of the post... Why in the world did I spend almost $2,000? Does that mean that I'm not going to meet my goal of "spending under $2000 in tools and services" before the end of the year? Yes and no.
Yes, because I'm going to spend over $2,000 for sure. I mean, I spent -$1,984.74 in the first month alone, and I still have things I have to pay for.
No, because I paid for a lot of things that I'm going to be using in the next year, not just the next three months.
In other words, since I want to take my online businesses seriously, I chose to pay annually for a couple of tools and services. I did it because you usually get a pretty decent discount (sometimes even up to 40%!). That's why I payed so much! But I'm actually making money, so I'm quite happy about it.
That being said, let's take a look at what I paid for (and how much) during October 2019. Most of the things I paid for are tools and services, so if you want to check those out I have a resources page where you'll find why I like those products and what I use them for.
My Ultimate Hosting solution. I'm paying 3 annual Starter Plans ($300 each). It's the best hosting solution. For $30/month you get everything you need! It's great value! (And if you pay annualy, you get 2 months free)
My email provider. It allows me to manage and grow my email list. It's by far my most important asset! I bougth the least expensive plan because I have so few subscribers yet, but I bought the annual plan. It's $29/month if you pay per month. Hopefully I'll have to pay more in the future!
It's the tool that allowed me to find the keywords for "Rug Cleaning World" and "Best Dentist Near Me". They have a free demo you can try! I couldn't recommend it more! I paid the annual plan because I'm going to use it all the time and the price difference is HUGE.
My email! I'm by myself, so one account is all I need. I'm used to my gmail account, so using G Suite is simple and feels right.
I had to buy my 3 domains, and I used Namecheap to do so. It's an annual payment (only, $9,98 a pop). Check My Resources page for my coupon codes!
Logo & Website Designer + Website Build
I had to outsource a couple of tasks, including logo & website design. I also asked a virtual assistant help me with a couple of repetitive tasks to put my websites up and running. All that for $400. Maybe I could've brought it down a little, but I'm so happy with the results, it's worth paying the price.
I'll start by saying that I made $0.00 this month.
Does that mean that my Income Strategy is not working?
I'm starting 3 businesses at the same time. And I know that because I can't focus all my efforts on just 1 business, I'm not going to move as fast as someone who is working full time creating content and promoting 1 online business. I guess I'm moving as fast as someone who has a 9-to-5 job and is working on his/her side business on weekends and free time. That's pretty fast, but not fast enough to make money the very first month.
I know I'm not making any money yet, but that's just part of the plan. And Income-wise, my plan right now is not to think about Income. I know it can sound counter intuitive to some people, but I have to focus all my energy on getting started. Monetizing my businesses is not a problem right now. If I worry to much or let myself be carried away by fear, then that's a problem.
1. Hiring a freelancer to help you do your work, is a lot of work. As you know, I hired a couple of freelancers (on Fiverr) to help me with logo & website design (amongst other things). They did get the job done, but I spent a lot of time talking to people I didn't end up hiring and dealing with low-cost freelancers who's work is simply not good enough. Next time I'll do my homework and write down the job description and requirements before I talk to anyone. That way I'll have a pdf I can send everyone and save some time. Also... I've noticed there's a high correlation between price and quality. That's kind of obvious, but when you have to pay someone 5 times what someone else is asking for in return... you question why you're paying so much. Anyway, next time I'll focus on more expensive (but better) freelancers. Low-cost freelancers make you loose so much time, it's not worth the money you save.
2. Awesome FREE pictures! You probably know Unsplash because it's been a thing for a couple of years, but when it comes to starting a website/blog it's super helpful! Specially if you're on a budget. It's a FREE website where you can download high-quality pictures. And you don't have to pay a cent! Crediting isn't necessary either, although it's always a nice thing to do. I'm considering investing in a couple of stock photos to improve my businesses images, but with what I found on Unsplash I think I've done a pretty decent job!
Now that my 3 websites have been built, it's now time to upload some content! I'm going to name november my "content month", because I want to be able to create enough content to start promoting all three blogs. I don't want to upload too much information. I pick quality over quantity any day of the week, but when it comes a website's first posts, it's a must. A couple of posts per blog should do!
This week has been an emotinal roller coaster!
I have to take care of my newborn baby while I attempt to start 3 online businesses. It's a lot of work! So far I think everything is going according to plan, but the fact that you know there's nothing wrong doesn't necessarily mean that you feel like nothing is wrong. There have been a lot of times this month where I just didn't know whether or not I was doing the right thing. I had to force myself to stick to the plan, or else I would still be stuck designing the 3 logos.
I made $0 and I spent almost $2,000. When I think about that I just think to myself... Keep calm and carry on! It's way to early to know if any of the 3 businesses are going to pick up.
If you're on the same situation! Don't worry! We're on this together! Join my newsletter to find inspiration (and advice) on how to start an online business!
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