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These monthly income reports are meant to hold me accountable to both myself and my readers. They offer a glimpse into the nature of making money through a blog and other online endeavors, as well as my efforts to cover my expenses while living overseas in the pursuit of becoming location independent.
Forging Ahead Despite Reservations
A recent blog post of mine was picked up on some random forum full of Internet trolls and anonymous people saying some really rude things about me even though they really know nothing at all about me.
It was a strange and new experience to be reading mean and hateful comments from total strangers online.
I began to think that I was putting a little too much information on here about myself–my expenses, my income, even links to my Airbnb profile which shows (roughly) where I live.
But, after giving it more thought, I decided that the haters are just a sign that I am doing something right.
If people who don’t even know you are blindly hating on you by glancing at your website for a minute or two, then I think you must be doing something right.
Usually these people are just projecting their own insecurities onto you. They wish they could be doing what you are doing or have whatever it is you might have. But they don’t.
Instead of acknowledging that they too could do it with a bit of effort and hard work, they just lash out irrationally and try to tear down people that have what they want or are pursing what they want.
The funny thing is, I don’t have a lot… I still haven’t “made it”, but I am happy to say that this month has been my most financially successful month since leaving the 9-5.
If anything the trolls just cemented in my mind that I am heading in the right direction.
On to this month’s report…
August 2014 Income Report
Each month I plan to report on what I did well as well as what I could stand to improve on. First, the good things:
I was able to cover 97.8% of the cost of rent and utilities by renting out my spare rooms via Airbnb. This was accomplished super quickly. I’m impressed with Airbnb (new users can claim a free $25 credit here).
My listing was only active for half a month in July, so this is the first full month using the service. I was therefore able to live rent free with Airbnb–effectively cutting my expenditures for the month to only $647.31–see my detailed report on the cost of living in Medellin.
Affiliate sales and (very minimal) advertising have netted me $315.83 via my blog, which is the most I have ever made in a month via my website, and is really quite awesome.
That means I averaged $10 per day on my site, nearly enough to cover my average daily expenditures on dining out and food. And to think, when I started this blog I was thrilled to make $10 in a MONTH, enough for a free book for my Amazon Kindle.
I added some new key features to this website this month which I believe will position me for better returns in the future.
I added the Start Here page which is basically a Desk to Dirtbag 101 page to get new people up to speed, as well as a Resources page where I detail many of the products, services, books, etc that I have used or use and really, really recommend.
Both pages have been up for less than two weeks, but have already proven to be extremely popular.
Additionally they have had the added benefit of reducing the bounce rate of my site, increasing average time spent on my site, along with the average number of pages viewed per visitor. All good things.
Detailed August 2014 Income Report Breakdown
- $526 – Airbnb Rental
- $235 – Freelance writing
- $315.83 – Affiliate sales and advertising on D2D
$1,076.83 total in August
$1,200 per month is my goal.
90% of the way to my goal.
The first time making four figures. That’s awesome, even if it is poverty level in the States.
Interestingly, the Federal minimum wage amounts to $1,160 at 40 hours per week.
We will call this My Minimum Wage Quest–just trying to make what I could make at McDonald’s.
Though I’m certainly not working 40 hours per week, and this “work” of mine is more meaningful both to myself and (I think) others.
Thoughts and Impressions
I am really pleased at the progress I have made in the two months since I announced my goal to cover theses costs. I wasn’t sure it was even possible, but I feel pretty good about my chances of success.
It is amazing how far it will take you by just identifying your goals and then taking the little steps to get there.
Mountain climbing is such a perfect analogy.
To be sure, there is a lot of this income that is still location dependent–however I am pleased at the model this presents and the potential to replicate it in other locales (for myself and for my readers). All while saying no to the traditional shackles of 9-5 employment.
I still need to take calculated steps to help grow my location independent income, but $300+ in a month is still pretty awesome to me!
Things To Work On
I wanted to put together my free opt in offer (a free pdf ebook type of thing that would hopefully get more people to sign up for my email list) this month, but failed to do so, once again.
I have been strategically using my email list more regularly. But I also want to create what they call an auto-responder series, essentially a series of predetermined emails that go out to new subscribers regardless of when they join.
Within that I want to present some of the ‘best of’ content from D2D, if you will, while providing something of real value to new subscribers. Perhaps something along the lines of embracing risk and uncertainty by leaving the desk and pursuing life on your own terms?
What do you think? What sort of information would YOU like to see in this format? How can I help YOU?
Shoot me an email privately, comment below, or take this brief, anonymous survey for my D2D readers. It would be a HUGE help to me to know more about what sort of content YOU would like to see, beyond just whatever I randomly decide to put out there.
Breaking Down My First Full Month on Airbnb
My half month in July had a 59% occupancy rate at $14.63 average per night and August had a 35% occupancy rate at $23.90 average per night.
By raising my rates in August I was able to reduce my work load (turnover between guests that requires changing sheets and cleaning) while also increasing my income. Win-win.
The low occupancy rate was partially due to less inquiries over the last half of the month–perhaps due to the end of the travel season–and partially due to me being more selective with my guests. In the beginning I said yes to everybody. More recently I have been saying no if they don’t have any reviews.
Of course, we will have to see if things pick up again soon or not… The beginning of August had a major week long festival, La Feria de las Flores, which drew a lot of tourists, it could just be the fallout of that, or it could be that with the rainy season approaching, there are less tourists coming in general.
That’s all I got for you today.
Questions, comments, and feedback on my August 2014 income report are extremely welcome.
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