September was the first time it got really hard to keep up with the challenges of being an entrepreneur and arranging the business with the "normal" life.
Being an employee, I can only spend a limited amount of time for my business and that's why I'm heavy relying on efficient working, a strong mindset and laser focus. Those three principles came in very handy in September.
I could just continue this income report with all the things I encountered during September, but this month was heavily coined by mindset.
My mindset really evolved in September and that's the reason why I'm going to start this income report with a detailed mindset section.
Did your hear somebody saying the it's the passion that keeps you going through the tough times? That it's your passion that enables you to deliver outstanding work? That it's the passion that keeps you motivated?
And did you hear somebody saying that every entrepreneur will focus lack of motivation, the feeling of being stuck and of not getting anything done?
September was full of those moments for me. I felt like I wasn't making any progress even though I was working my ass off.
In those moments I procrastinated work that needed to be done. I wrote less blog posts than in August, I commented on fewer blogs and I didn't just feel good.
I guess that were those mysterious moments when things get tough, just like my friends and experienced entrepreneurs told me. Since I heard about those moments before I wasn't really surprised to feel the way I did. It's just normal to experience moments with less motivation and every human has those moments.
Nobody said that the way to the top is easy nor is it only fun. It's constant hustle! So I knew that I needed to overcome that obstacle life built up in front of me.
After quickly analyzing my situation I understood that was engaging in too many projects at the same time. At the peaks I was thinking about 7 totally unrelated projects, which was really exhausting. The problem with having those open loops is, that they subconsciously draw our attention because the mind tells us we didn't complete a certain task. We can't focus but think of all the things we need to do - we just can't get things done!
That's why I'm implementing the Getting Things Done principle by David Allen. I already tried this several times before, but now I finally understood that a very efficient organization is crucial to maintain a healthy business. In particular it was the interview of Jaime Tarde and David Allen that motivated me to give Getting Things Done another try. Contact me, if you want to know exactly how I'm organizing my projects. It would be too complex to explain it here in detail.
Now that my projects were in order, I knew that I needed to create a method that gets me back to work when I'm procrastinating. I already explained in my eBook why the mindset is so important to become successful, so I understood that turning the mindset from procrastination mode to exciting work mode is mandatory.
I learned that thinking about feelings works best. How will I feel when I achieved my goal and finally quit my job? How will I feel when I have enough money to finally visit Tomorrowland? Asking those questions brings excitement back into my mind and even as I'm writing this (listing to the Tomorrowland Aftermovie) my pulse is increasing and it gives me the creeps.
This method works 100%, regardless which motivation problem you're experiencing! Think of something you want to achieve as much as you want to breathe - and then take one step after another until you've reached that goal!
I'm offering coaching services for aspiring entrepreneurs and bloggers, since I know how hard it is to get started and to build a business that pays the bills.
In September I got my first coaching client! Becky is a very passionate entrepreneur and blogger from New Zealand running LifestyleNinjaBlog.com. She biked through South East Asia for less than NZ$1800, knows how to learn 8 songs on guitar in one day and has lots of other adventures going on.
I'm really honored to work with her, because she's taking massive action and I truly believe that we both can grow a great business that supports her desired lifestyle.
Of course I won't share any details of the coaching process here, after all it's private one-on-one coaching. If you're wondering whether I might be able to help you, this site will answer your question.
Probably the biggest challenge I started in September is the #90daysofkeywords challenge. I was inspired by my good friend Myke Macapinlac to publish one keyword for a profitable niche website over 90 days.
Since I'm getting very positive feedback from my visitors and friends about the niche site contents I'm writing, I wanted to take it to the next level. The biggest obstacle in building niche websites is finding high quality keywords. This requires lots of work, creative thinking and hustle. I have found keywords within 30 minutes but also had 6 hours of research finding no profitable keyword.
I learned that most people don't even set up a niche website because they're not sure whether they've found a profitable keyword. This is why I'm going to reveal 90 profitable keywords including their metrics that people can use as inspiration. During the challenge I'm going to use my favorite keyword research tool Long Tail Pro.
The challenge started on September 16th and until December 25th I'll publish on keyword for a profitable niche website per day. You can easily follow this challenge by liking my Facebook page, following me on Twitter or circling me on G+.
Besides running my keyword challenge, I've created a web application to estimate the revenue of your niche websites. It's based upon a spreadsheet by Spencer Haws, my idol when it comes to niche sites and the creator of Long Tail Pro.
Check out this niche website cost calculator based on one of my blog posts...cool! http://t.co/jJ4lMGJa0x
— Spencer Haws (@nichepursuits) September 30, 2013
This web application is totally free for you to use and share. It allows you to enter the costs you're paying for the creation of your niche websites and estimate the profits and the revenue.
Having a great network is probably one of the most common factors that divides successful entrepreneurs from those you'll never hear from. That's why I bought my ticket to World Domination Summit 2014, to meet as many like-minded entrepreneurs as possible in person. It will be my very first trip to the US and I'm really pumped!
Josh Taylor, a very good friend of mine, introduced me to Jason Womack, who's a business and productivity coach traveling all over the world to coach the best businesses out there. Jason's running a very inspiring podcast with short and sweet episodes. Having a chat with Jason he invited me to meet him in person at WDS 2014, which will be incredibly valuable. I can't overestimate the need to have a supportive network of only the best people in your field. Don't surround yourself with B-players!
I also got invited to a local social media meetup. The first talk was about search engine advertising, a highly interesting and engaging topic - but not on highest priority for me right now. Far more important was the invitation to do a workshop on WordPress in one of the next meetups in October! Right at the first time being there I was asked to lead a workshop, how great is that?
I also got in touch with Myke Macapinlac from Canada, who I already mentioned earlier. Myke is a professional writer and we're up for a great partnership together with Navid Moazzez. I'm supporting Myke with his web design projects whereas he is teaching me expert skills in copywriting. Together with Navid we're working on the Magnetic Life Podcast, which will hopefully launch soon.
Do you see the beauty of Internet business in this? I'm collaborating with experts in the UK, in the US, in Canada and in Sweden all from a small town in Northern Germany. I haven't met most of the people I'm working with in person and still we're building teams to leverage our strengths. This is the power of using the Internet for your passion!
Ok, let's get to the statistics for September 2013. I got asked via email if I would include traffic statistics into this income report and I decided to do so.
Those statistics are especially interesting because there was a Google update on September 4th, that affected my site quite heavily. Before that update this blog was ranking #1 for the keyword "internet business ideas", right now it's bouncing somewhere between 3 and 5. You can definitely see this resulting in less traffic to this site. Fortunately the loss wasn't as high as I expected.
As you can see I'm not holding anything back from you, this is the unedited traffic. To be honest, I was hesitant to publish the stats below the graph because they show all weaknesses of my website. But after all, you're learning more from my weaknesses than from success stories and that's why I'm publishing those statistics!
After September 4th you can see that the general traffic broke down from nearly 400 visits to 280. But after all I'm pretty happy with 8.582 unique visitors in September. What bothers me more is high bounce rate related to that the low average of only 1.44 pageviews / visit. This is something I definitely need to work on - I'm open for your suggestions!
What's definitely true is that my main traffic comes from organic Google search, 79,53 % of the visitors are coming from Google. I suppose that this is the reason for the low engagement. They all land on this post and obviously I haven't figured out how to keep them on this blog. I'll have to figure out how to restructure the post without loosing the high ranking in Google.
To increase traffic I tested Hittail. This is a service that will suggest keywords that are attracting visitors to your site. The idea behind this is to find keywords you didn't know about and then optimize a post or page for those keywords. I used their free trial and installed the WP plugin, so I didn't pay any money. After two weeks I didn't see any keyword I didn't know before, so I cancelled the subscription before the first payment was due. Hittail didn't track all visitors though, I think it's because I'm running this blog in a WP Multisite installation. That might be the problem, but I didn't further investigate it because I didn't want to have one more service to pay for every month.
In October I'm taking a different approach to increase the traffic on this blog. I'm using the Quicksprout Traffic System by Neil Patel! I purchased his 200 page guide and I'll implement it in October, so that we all have comparable results in the next income report! Of course I'll document that process properly to keep you posted!
As you can see, September was a busy month for me but I didn't change lots of things in order to increase my income. What definitely has affected my income was the decrease of visitors from the Google update - I earned less money from Google Adsense.
What increased though are affiliate sales, so I'll come out pretty even compared to last month.
Google Adsense: $ 179.61
Affiliate Sales: $ 57,03
Total: $ 236,64
eBook - The Entrepreneurial Lifestyle
Total: $ 0 (still no promotion, but that's in work)
Affiliate Sales: $ 30,49
Total: $ 30,49
TOTAL: $ 267,13
So this month was slightly higher than August 2013, which is good. I earned a decent amount of money with web design projects, but I don't consider them as income that should be mentioned in this context. That money would definitely allow me to quit my job and pay all my bills, but I'm not using that money for my own. Instead I'm reinvesting that money into my company to grow the capital. But that's not interesting for you, so I won't tell you about it 😉
I hope that you've made it this far and that you enjoyed this comprehensive income report. Please share this post with one person in your network that can benefit from reading it, I'd love to get as much feedback as possible on my progress!
Best regards from Germany,