Highs and lows as we flip the calendar into April this 12 months.
From the isolation of the entire household getting the ‘rona in January to some actually sturdy visitors and revenue months, by no means a uninteresting second!
In these quarterly Progress Reports, I break down how the enterprise grew (or shrunk), what I labored on, and different happenings from the final three months.
So why a “progress” report? As a result of that’s what it’s all about.
To me, progress means ahead movement, or actively taking the steps to enhance every day. It’s one factor we will management.
Progress is common; everybody could make progress towards their targets in some significant manner, nevertheless small the steps could appear.
Actually, I’ve even obtained a bodily productiveness journal known as The Progress Journal.
It facilities on 5 key habits I’ve discovered make me really feel simpler and happier after I do them constantly. You may be taught extra in regards to the journal and what’s inside right here:
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Development of the Nation
There are 4 foremost metrics I observe:
- Web site visitors
- Podcast downloads
- E-mail subscribers
- General revenue
Twitter followers and Facebook likes are nice, however these are the numbers I pay probably the most consideration to. And like the nice Peter Drucker mentioned, “What will get measured will get managed.”
Web site Visitors
Aspect Hustle Nation obtained round 6,800 guests a day in Q1, which was roughly the identical as in Q1 2021. It’s typical for me to see a relative spike in visitors in January, after which a gradual tapering decline because the quarter progresses.
I’ve all the time attributed that to the optimism of New Yr’s Resolutions and other people’s pursuits in budgeting and creating new revenue streams within the new 12 months.
The Aspect Hustle Present noticed over 1,000,000 downloads throughout Q1, up considerably from the 12 months prior.
Nevertheless, I additionally added a Podsights redirect to the feed at first of the 12 months, which led to a bunch of duplicate downloads. I used to be fairly pumped on the primary Thursday till I spotted that it was a glitch!
Nonetheless, even with these outlier spikes, the general development is greater than it was all final 12 months which is a constructive signal for me.
Maybe extra vital than the uncooked obtain counts is Podtrac’s estimation of total viewers measurement. I consider they’re monitoring this primarily based on the variety of distinctive gadgets downloading or streaming your present.
Any month it’s above 90-100k is superior in e-book.
I added round 4,000 internet new electronic mail subscribers in Q1 (after unsubscribes). That’s about 45 new subscribers per day, coming in from the Facebook group (by way of GroupLeads), podcast lead magnets, e-book lead magnets, and basic Aspect Hustle Nation opt-in varieties.
Not gonna lie, the downward development on the chart is type of alarming. The largest issue I can attribute that too is slower progress on the Aspect Hustle Nation FB group.
Possibly there was a shift in how FB was recommending the group to individuals over there, however the silver lining is it’s simpler to average when there aren’t 100 new individuals coming in day-after-day.
One in all my tasks for the quarter was making an attempt to determine convert extra of my web site visitors into electronic mail subscribers. The mission has been suffering from technical challenges in getting Beaver Builder to behave correctly, however I’m beginning to see some opt-ins to the assorted placements I’ve added.
Nonetheless extra work to do on that entrance for certain although.
The 12 months began off extraordinarily sturdy, thanks to some pre-paid podcast sponsorships. Actually, I feel February might have been my most worthwhile month of all-time.
What I’ve Been Working On
These are the tasks that occupied most of my time this quarter.
Simplifying Onboarding Sequences and a “Lengthy-Time period Nurture” Marketing campaign
Impressed partially by Rosemarie Groner, I wished to do a greater job at constructing a relationship with electronic mail subscribers. The system I’d been operating for the final couple years would run new subscribers by a short onboarding collection, normally over the course of 5-10 days, relying on which “area of interest” they had been grouped into.
(I’ve totally different onboarding paths for running a blog, freelancing, e-commerce, and so on.)
Then after that, they’d simply be lumped into the weekly publication section. I knew I may do a greater job of introducing killer archive content material that’s in any other case buried.
So I constructed out a brand new weekly automation collection in ActiveCampaign known as “Lengthy-Time period Nurture.” It lasts 15 weeks and covers all types of enjoyable stuff, together with:
- crucial talent(s) for facet hustlers
- escape the rat race
- extra on my entrepreneurial backstory, together with failures and successes
- some particular facet hustle concepts and sources
The targets are to:
- construct a stronger relationship
- assist subscribers discover the content material that may be most useful
- soft-sell The Visitors Course and different merchandise
- generate affiliate earnings
Over the long-run, I feel I’ll have the ability to higher reply the query “how a lot is an electronic mail subscriber price?” As a result of if you realize that quantity you’ll be able to proactively attempt to enhance that metric, and you may doubtlessly promote to search out new subscribers and understand how a lot you’ll be able to afford to pay.
As a part of this mission, I went by and up to date all of the hyperlinks in all my welcome sequences to incorporate the UTM parameter “ltn” for “long-term nurture.” That manner, when anybody clicks a hyperlink from an electronic mail to the web site, after which subsequently follows an affiliate hyperlink, I’ll have the ability to estimate a greenback worth from that click on in Google Analytics.
So if this report is to be believed, the location earned roughly $136 from subscribers in welcome sequences during the last 30 days. But when I divide that by the roughly 2400 new subscribers over that point, I get a fairly dismal worth of $0.05 per subscriber.
After all the longer individuals stick round, the higher the image will get. They’ve extra probabilities to make purchases and share content material with their pals.
(The “electronic mail” marketing campaign proven is the tag assigned to the weekly publication.)
Sadly, the piece of the pie I haven’t fairly discovered simply but is estimate the worth of affiliate clicks that occur straight from an electronic mail. Analytics doesn’t appear to select these up, regardless of redirecting by the sidehustlenation area with the PrettyLink plugin.
I don’t get postback conversion monitoring or subID monitoring from numerous my affiliate companions, however when you have an answer or system for this, please let me know!
YouTube Content material
I must do a full breakdown of my YouTube experiments quickly, however that is an thrilling new frontier for me. This quarter, my channel handed 20,000 subscribers, and I printed 12 new movies.
None of these have actually hit the viral jackpot, however most are racking up regular views. Actually, the most well-liked video this quarter is my review of the popular Steady app.
What sorts of movies am I making?
- Product opinions, like for Regular, Miles, and Respondent
- Shorter interviews, like this one on flipping mattresses
- “Speaking head” tutorial movies, typically re-purposed from current weblog content material
- Re-purposed podcast episodes
- Dabbling with YouTube shorts.
Brief-form content material is a problem for me. My wheelhouse is a 45-minute podcast dialog or a 3,000 phrase weblog publish! Arising with intelligent, witty, compelling tweets and TikTok movies is like studying a brand new language.
I like the thought of embedding these movies into current weblog content material the place related, and probably even pulling the audio from sure ones to syndicate to the podcast. Should you’re going by the difficulty of making the content material, you would possibly as nicely get it in entrance of as many individuals as you’ll be able to.
Q1 noticed the discharge of 13 new podcast episodes, masking a variety of enterprise fashions. Amongst my favorites had been:
Per the stats, our episodes with Georgia Austin on freelancing writing on Fiverr, our huge mind dump of life hacks with Chris Hutchins from All of the Hacks, and Johnny’s window cleansing enterprise had been the most well-liked of the quarter.
New Weblog Content material
In the beginning of the 12 months, I created a Google Sheet with a number of key phrases I wished to focus on, and a month-to-month plan to sort out these articles.
Thus far that’s resulted in:
You’ll discover that a few of these are extra listicle format posts, some are opinions or informational content material, and a few are primarily based on podcast interviews. Not each podcast episode simply lends itself to search engine optimization/search intent, however many episodes do. When that’s the case, I do my greatest to beef up the present notes to create a useful resource worthy of rating on the primary web page.
It was useful to map out this content material plan and put a goal month for publication. I began with a listing of dozens of key phrases, and prioritized these with the most effective blissful medium in search quantity and competitiveness.
And as typical, I spent an excellent chunk of time updating among the pillar posts from the archives, together with my lists of money-making apps, paid market research companies, the best items to flip for a profit, side hustle ideas, and extra. One development is making an attempt to truly minimize size from numerous these posts—making an attempt to curate the most effective of the most effective, versus simply making an attempt to create the longest article potential.
Including Choose-in Varieties to Aspect Hustle Nation
On my mission to achieve 100,000 electronic mail subscribers this 12 months, I acknowledged I must do a greater job of changing web site guests into electronic mail subscribers. The conversion charge is fairly low, possibly round 1%.
So my plan was to focus on high-traffic, low income pages, and plaster them with opt-in varieties. Thus far, I’ve seen round 350 sign-ups by these varieties, which is decrease than I hoped for, however actually higher than nothing.
What could also be attention-grabbing to you is I examined this in 3 levels:
- Including an opt-in type on to the publish—with the title and electronic mail deal with area clearly seen (transformed so near zero you may barely see it).
- Utilizing the identical name out, however as an alternative utilizing a button to hyperlink to a LeadPages touchdown web page to raised clarify the supply (which transformed barely higher).
- Utilizing the identical name out, however having the button open a popup with the title and electronic mail fields (that is changing the most effective to date).
Sadly this mission was far more irritating than I really feel prefer it ought to have been, simply in coping with technical challenges of getting the pop-up to work correctly. Plenty of points with efficiency caching and minification, which I’ve arrange within the title of higher load occasions.
The following stage might be to proceed to focus on excessive visitors pages, however make a transparent call-to-action on the backside of the publish to opt-in. I’ve a generic opt-in type on the backside of each publish, however I really feel like a call-out that’s barely extra associated to the content material and is simple to know would carry out higher.
One other factor to check 🙂
Testing One-Time Affords
A number of Aspect Hustle Present visitors have talked about the facility of a “one-time supply” — a small upsell you current instantly after somebody opts in to your electronic mail record. For years, I hesitated to attempt it as a result of it simply type of felt bizarre … somebody opts in for a free factor and you then instantly attempt to promote them one thing else?
But when the upsell is designed to enrich your preliminary lead magnet and assist subscribers get their desired outcome sooner or simpler, then I feel it is smart to a minimum of take a look at.
So I arrange a few these.
One is the $500 Problem Companion Workbook, which individuals are provided after they choose in for the $500 Problem. I’m utilizing LeadPages for this gross sales web page, and so they have an integration straight with Stripe for fee processing and you may even add a bit countdown timer to let individuals know this actually is a limited-time supply.
Even at a $7 worth level, I’m seeing only a 2% conversion charge on this OTO, which is a far cry from the 15-30% that some visitors have shared. So clearly I’m lacking one thing right here, whether or not it’s the product or the messaging or one thing else solely, I’m undecided.
The second OTO I created was the Begin My Aspect Hustle Workbook, which was beforehand bundled in with my Begin My Aspect Hustle course. I figured it was one thing I’d already created and was price testing as a standalone supply.
New subscribers are offered with this after they opt-in for The 5 Quickest Methods to Make Extra Cash, and it’s changing barely higher, 4-5%, however nonetheless not wonderful. If anybody desires to check out these micro-funnels and supply some steerage, undoubtedly hit me up!
One incremental income stream this quarter has been some restricted publication sponsorship placements. Thus far, these have been coordinated straight or by Third-party brokers like Stack Media and Paved.
Right here’s a pattern of what it seems like:
I’ve been together with these placements on the backside of the publication within the “You May Additionally Like” part, and are price anyplace from $100-500 per week. (Generally it’s a flat payment; typically it’s primarily based on what number of clicks the hyperlink will get.)
Both manner, that’s been a constructive growth this quarter.
One other advertising and marketing experiment I’ve been taking part in round with is push notifications. I purchased an AppSumo deal for a service known as Gravitec, which permits web site guests to opt-in to obtain browser push notifications if you publish new content material or actually everytime you need to share one thing.
Thus far I’ve collected 2,700 subscribers, and the engagement is definitely OK. My campaigns are seeing a 2-6% open charge, which I assume if I hold it operating and 10x the variety of subscribers, the visitors potential retains growing.
I’m taking a look at this as a method to attempt to seize among the 5,000+ each day guests — most of whom won’t ever come again. Round 1% of holiday makers opt-in to obtain the push notifications.
It’s one other touch-point, but it surely doesn’t come free. It prices a fraction of second by way of load time (the place each millisecond counts), and to take a look at it the opposite manner — 99% of holiday makers are declining it. I’ll in all probability hold Gravitec operating for some time longer to see how the outcomes stack up with a bigger viewers measurement.
After seeing the viral success of Kat Norton, Tori Dunlap, and others on TikTok, I lastly broke down and created an account. My thought right here was to attempt to re-purpose among the current content material we’d already created for Pinterest. Concept pins / story pins, I feel they’re known as.
You may create these fairly simply in Canva, in a vertical video format. My foremost factor was making an attempt to construct the account with no need to be on digicam myself, however I’m undecided if that’s going to work. The very best of those “thought pin” movies has round 800 views, so that they’re not precisely successful the viral lottery.
The following genius thought I had got here to me within the bathe, and that was to re-purpose among the Cash Making Minutes — these little micro podcast episodes I ran as an Alexa Ability in 2019. With the assistance of Lumen5, a very slick AI video creation device, my assistant and I’ve began placing collectively some 60-second clips, narrated by me, to publish on TikTok and as YouTube shorts.
We’ll see how these find yourself performing, however I felt like I wanted to start out taking some swings in a distinct format.
Cool Enterprise / Way of life Stuff That Occurred
Dry January became dry February and March as nicely. I don’t know that I actually intend to be dry the entire 12 months, however within the meantime, Spindrift for the win!
It’s one much less variable—not having to fret about you’re going to really feel the subsequent day.
Q1 additionally introduced one other streak — 3 straight months of each day meditation. I’m utilizing the Muse device, which supplies auditory suggestions supposedly primarily based in your mind alerts and the way calm your thoughts is. Whether or not or not it really works, it’s been useful for me to develop a behavior.
This normally occurs early afternoon after lunch or within the night after the children go to mattress. And I’ve been utilizing the built-in journal entry within the Muse app as type of a each day gratitude journal and work check-in, to reply what I obtained executed that day.
It’s loopy how one can be so targeted in your breath after which not 20 seconds later, you’re manner off in left area. However apparently, the magic is in that noticing you’re distracted after which recentering. Biceps curls to your mind, as they are saying.
Aspect Hustle Nation HQ obtained an replace this quarter with a barely larger 4K monitor and a brand new electronically adjustable sit-stand desk. Fact is Bryn upgraded her house workplace setup and I used to be type of jealous.
The desk is an SHW model from Amazon in case you’re out there. I obtained the 55″ mannequin.
I’m nonetheless looking for somebody to take my outdated IKEA Jerker standing desk away. I feel consumers could be confused as a result of it’s obtained a giant cutout within the center for the place the treadmill management panel went after I was nonetheless rocking the treadmill desk setup.
One other way of life improve was this Ninja coffee maker. It was really a Christmas current (thanks mother!), but it surely’s a giant enchancment and time saver over our outdated French press course of.
The very best half is the little frother attachment on the facet I exploit to combine in my collagen powder and MCT oil powder.
My brother organized a household ski weekend up within the mountains, the place we lucked out with some sunny climate. We even obtained Little Hustler #2 to take some rides on the chairlift.
General, I obtained fairly good mileage out of my season’s go regardless of it being type of a low snow 12 months. That’s been one of many largest benefits of transferring to Washington — each the proximity to the mountains (40 minutes as an alternative of two.5-3 hours), and my brother and pop to ski with.
Broke 100 on the Golf Course
I shot my greatest spherical but on a moist, muddy winter morning, and was driving excessive from it … till the subsequent time I performed and returned to actuality. I don’t play fairly often, however man, if you hit it nicely, very satisfying!
San Diego and Legoland
In the beginning of March we visited Legoland in San Diego, which the children had been thrilled with. Should you haven’t been, we determined numerous it could be fairly kitschy if it weren’t Lego, however as a result of it’s, it’s fairly cool.
Form of like Disneyland-light, undoubtedly geared towards youthful children, and with ours at 6 and virtually 4, they had been the proper age. And our youngest is tremendous into Ninjago, so he was fairly pumped to satisfy the inexperienced ninja in actual life.
The opposite enjoyable random a part of the journey was I realized that Joe Saul-Sehy from Stacking Benjamins was on the town for his e-book tour. Stacked is his new e-book, which I encourage you to take a look at. But it surely was cool to move over to his meetup cease and discover some acquainted faces from FinCon and even some Aspect Hustle Present listeners as nicely.
And at last, like apparently numerous different individuals, I obtained fairly hooked on taking part in Wordle. 100% success charge to date, and am grateful they solely allow you to do one a day, which limits the time suck. But it surely’s mind train, proper?
Everyone Bought Covid…
In January, our youngest introduced Covid house from preschool. He generously shared it together with his brother, who kindly handed it alongside to Bryn and I. Fortunately it was delicate throughout. However we expect even the Aspect Hustle Shih Tzu obtained it. Poor man!
Hopefully we have now some strands of immunity for the inevitable subsequent variant at this level.
My Merch by Amazon Account Bought Banned
After 5 years on Merch by Amazon, my account was out of the blue banned. No recourse, no clarification, and only a boilerplate template response saying “this resolution is everlasting and remaining” after I tried to enchantment.
Fortunately this wasn’t revenue we had been counting on, but it surely was a enjoyable facet hustle and a bummer to have apparently damaged some rule. And an illustration that there’s all the time a threat if you construct a enterprise on another person’s platform.
What I Learn
Venture Hail Mary
I don’t learn a lot fiction, however I loved The Martian so determined to take a look at Andy Weir’s newest, Project Hail Mary. It’s a enjoyable one, and I received’t spoil it in case you haven’t learn it, however undoubtedly takes a flip I didn’t see coming.
Tips on how to Speak So Little Children Will Hear
This one was really actually useful in offering a ton of case research, scripts, and methods to attempt when our children will not be exhibiting the behaviors you’d prefer to see.
Indistractible was my greatest learn of the quarter, and I made a bunch of highlights. Amongst them:
- All motivation is a want to flee discomfort. Determine and handle the psychological discomfort that leads us off observe.
- “The remedy for boredom is curiosity. There isn’t any remedy for curiosity.”
- Enjoyable is on the lookout for the variability in one thing different individuals don’t discover. It’s breaking by the boredom and monotony to find its hidden magnificence.
- Does your calendar mirror your values? To be the particular person you need to be, it’s important to make time to reside your values.
- With out enough quantities of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, children flip to distractions for psychological nourishment.
Brick by Brick
Impressed by our Legoland go to, I wished to be taught extra about Lego the corporate. This book is about 10 years outdated, so it doesn’t cowl The Lego Film or different current tasks, however dives into the tradition of innovation and collaboration and the way Lego very almost went bankrupt within the early 2000s.
What tasks are on the horizon for Q2? I’ve a couple of issues in thoughts.
Doubling the Podcast Output
First, I plan to check bumping the podcast output to 2x per week as an alternative of only one. I’ve seen that most of the prime podcasts publish a number of episodes per week.
My speculation: doing so will develop the viewers.
The second episode, which I plan to launch on Mondays, shall be a shorter present and I’ve obtained a handful of codecs I’m anxious to check out. However hopefully it sparks some incremental discovery and phrase of mouth sharing.
The principle metric I’ll be monitoring is Podtrac’s estimation of viewers measurement, which for me has traditionally ranged between 80,000-110,000 individuals per thirty days.
Aspect Hustle Quiz
I’ve really had a couple of reader/listener requests for some form of facet hustle selector quiz, to assist level individuals in the precise path from the large breadth of facet hustle potentialities.
This can be a difficult proposition — can I actually take a handful of solutions and supply significant outcomes? Different individuals are actually rocking the quiz as a top-of-funnel lead magnet, and that’s encouraging as nicely. I’d like to construct one thing that assist individuals slender down their facet hustle choices after which information them on a extra curated path — and bonus factors if it may possibly drive electronic mail sign-ups on the similar time.
How did 2022 begin off for you? What had been the largest tasks you made progress on! Let me know within the feedback under.