Welcome to the first income report for 2016! It’s a little later than usual here in February because my book launched this month (and hit the Wall Street Journal bestseller list!), but more on that later. For now, we’ve got January’s numbers and big lessons to share.
These income reports are a part of a monthly series that I’ve been doing since October 2008 where I let you in on what’s happening in my business.
Why do I publish these reports?
I do this because I believe in leading by example, and it doesn’t work unless I share everything involved with what I’m doing, including how much I earn, what’s working well, and where I’m completely failing.
My earnings don’t always increase and I do go through a number of failures along the way, but it’s always a lesson for those who follow along. If I can make mistakes so you don’t have to, then it’s still a win.
With all that said, let’s get into January’s report…
Important Goings-On in January
My primary focus for January was my upcoming book launch for Will It Fly?, which went live on Amazon on February 1.
I’m currently in the middle of crafting a super-detailed step-by-step post about the book and everything I did to make it happen, from how it was written to all of the marketing efforts, and where every dollar was spent—and how much I’ve earned, too. So I won’t get into details about that here, but a lot has already been shared on the following podcast episodes:
Also, Team Flynn member Non (pronounced like “known”) wrote an amazing guest post recently about our social media strategy for the book, which I highly recommend you check out.
Again, you’ll hear a lot more about the details of the book launch in that upcoming post. It’s going to be a big one.
A Brand New SPI Website Coming Soon!
Simultaneously, another big focus for January was the redesign of the SPI Blog. I’m working with the team over at RocketCode.io to make it one of the best personal brand websites on the Internet, and I cannot wait to share it with you!
It’s not just about fancy designs though. It’s about functional design, and that’s truly the main purpose of the upgrade.
You see, back in July 2015, I ran a survey (thanks to Ryan Levesque’s book, Ask, which I highly recommend), which revealed that the way the current site is structured does a poor job of serving you with relevant content.
Most people who have heard that I’m undergoing a redesign say something to the likes of, “But it’s not broken!” which is kind of funny, because looking only at the numbers, it doesn’t seem broken. The traffic and time on site have been increasing, but when it comes down to it, hearing directly from the voice of your reader or website viewer is what’s most important.
To confirm the survey results, I reached out to a number of subscribers and had a Skype conversation with them, and after about two hours of conversations with about two dozen people, it was easy to see that, in fact, the site was broken, or at least not fully optimized.
Along the same lines, I’m set on improving the search experience through the site a lot better, too. If you’ve ever tried to use the search functionality on any WordPress site, you’ll probably agree that it’s pretty much a waste of time. Results are hardly ever what we’re looking for, and I’d like to change that here on SPI.
And finally, another big focus is on the products that SPI will be offering in the future, starting with Will It Fly?, and then on to the other products and courses that are coming down the road. We’re laying the foundation to make it easy to integrate a sales page and checkout experience on the site, and further the conversation we start together here on the blog and on the podcast.
We’re shooting for the first week or two in April for the reveal of phase one of our redesign, and I look forward to hearing what you think!
Besides the book and the redesign, I wasn’t focused much on anything else. That’s my cue to get into the numbers breakdown for January, so here we go…
INCOME BREAKDOWN (January 2016)
- GreenExamAcademy.com Product Sales:
- Total: $2,344.03
- Previous Month: $1,114.50
- Difference: +$1,229.53
- Adsense: $1,913.80
- Job Board: $140.99
- Total: $2,054.79
- Previous Month: $1,577.48
- Difference: +$477.31
- Adsense: $89.56
- How to Start a Food Truck eBook: $975.00
- Total: $1,064.56
- Previous Month: $1,100.01
- Difference: -$35.45
- Total: $769.23
- Previous Month: $469.53
- Difference: +$299.70
- Total: $769.23
- iPhone Applications:
- Paid Apps: $893.12
- Free Apps: $321.03
- Total: $1,214.15
- Previous Month: $1,187.83
- Difference: +$26.32
- Affiliate Earnings:
- Bluehost.com: $61,800 (How to create a blog in less than four minutes with Bluehost)
- LeadPages: $15,587.87 (The Free LeadPages Rapid List-Building 2.0 Webinar Replay)
- Market Samurai: $1,566.11 (Market Samurai free webinar replay)
- Thesis Theme for WordPress: $945.50
- Long Tail Pro Keyword Research Tool: $3,866.69
- AWeber: $2,136.70 (my collection of top performing email list strategies)
- 99Designs: $260.00
- SumoMe: $3,890.00
- Create Awesome Online Courses: $7,645.10
- Zero to Launch Course: $38,895.20
- Zippy Courses: $1,294.00
- ConvertKit: $3,542.83
- Amazon.com referrals from SPI (books and equipment referrals): $451.36
- Total: $141,881.36
- Previous Month: $79,927.94
- Difference: +$61,953.42
- eBook Sales for Let Go:
- Total: $341.98
- Previous Month: $187.12
- Difference: +$154.86
- Total: $341.98
- Ask Pat Podcast Sponsorship:
- Total: $4,107.08
- SPI Podcast Sponsorship:
- Total: $10,406.00
- Smart Podcast Player:
- Total: $12,466.75
- Previous Month: $8,297.22
- Difference: +$4,169.53
- Total: $12,466.75
- Gross Total in January: $176,649.93
- Previous Month: $107,999.33
- Difference: +$68,650.60
EXPENSES BREAKDOWN (January 2016)
Below is what was paid last month. It does not include pro-rated yearly fees. Most are related to the Smart Passive Income Blog and new projects that are currently under development:
- Dropbox: $9.99
- Libsyn.com (podcast file hosting): $30.00
- PodBean.com (video podcast hosting): $18.00
- Podcast and Video Transcriptions: $388.15
- Hosting Payments and Domain Renewals: $155.03
- E-Junkie Shopping Cart Fee: $5.00
- Paypal Website Payments Pro: $30.00
- Certified Public Accountant / Bookkeeping: $260.00
- Legal: $250.00
- Skype: $2.99
- Developers and Assistants (includes all help, from podcast editing, website & software development): $29,871.50
- Slack (for team communication): $88.00
- Helpscout Support System: $70.00
- Email Service Provider: $479.00
- Book Coaching / Accountability: $2,300.00
- Copy Editing for Book: $2,000.00
- Video Filming and Editing: $3,500.00
- Website Redesign and Conversion Optimization Fee: $30,700.00
- Total Rough Expenses for January: $70,157.66
- Rough expenses from previous month: $71,757.47
- Net Total in January: $106,492.27
- Net Total from Previous Month: $71,753.76
The Biggest Lesson I Learned in January
We’re off to a good start for the year, and I owe a lot of that to my new “word.”
What do I mean?
Well, have you ever heard of people coming up with a new word or phrase to focus on when approaching a new year? This year mine is:
Okay, well that’s an initialism, one that is actually three words, but it encompasses a whole deeper meaning than Chief Executive Officer, especially when you consider how I started my business in the first place.
Back in 2008, coming off of my layoff, I started out as a scrappy, just-make-it-work, figure-it-out-as-you-go type of entrepreneur. And from 2008 to 2015, I had always considered myself as that scrappy kind of entrepreneur, because I was good at it.
It’s almost a ready, fire, aim approach.
During these past six months, however, I have made a mindset shift to start thinking of myself as more of a CEO of my company. Not CEO in the sense that I’ll be putting on a suit every day, inaccessible to my team, and above everyone else, but CEO in the sense that I need to start treating my business like a real business.
CEO in the sense that I will focus on building out a team to continue growing, and ultimately serving my community better.
Because of that shift in my focus, I decided I would make it a priority to take charge in working on big projects that would have the greatest impact. That’s where the book came from, why the site redesign is important, and why I’ll be making a shift over the next two years from an affiliate-based income to one that is more diverse with my own products and courses.
It also has me thinking about what else beyond SPI I can get into, something beyond business with even more purpose. I have a number of things in the works that I’m excited to share and take part in very soon.
Systems, purpose, and keeping better track of the numbers are all things that are a priority for me here in 2016, and it already seems to be paying off. I’m excited to continue the SPI journey with you here and share all parts of it with you as we go along.
Again, I truly appreciate your support, time, and attention, and I look forward to serving you more and even better down the road.
Here’s to you and an amazing 2016! Here we go!