Are you curious about a one-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.
I must admit with regret that I didn’t use my sabbatical from publishing very well at the beginning.
Going through my journal entries from October 2016, I noticed an unusually high number of mentions about binge TV and YouTube watching.
On the other hand, I was away from home for more than a week during October, so decreasing my workload was a good idea.
At the beginning of October, I visited my friend Hynek Palatin in Prague. I spent a pleasant two days with him and a blogger and serial entrepreneur Nick Loper and his family.
In the evening, Hynek introduced us to the host of Rocking Self-Publishing podcast, Simon Whistler.
I didn’t have a devious scheme in mind when going to Prague. Networking simply works that way. People meet you, speak with you, get to know you and then do some deals with you.
Straight from Prague, I went for my church community yearly retreat. Four years ago on such a retreat, I gave the most substance to my personal mission statement.
I was back at home by Sunday, after five days of being away.
At the end of October, I traveled to London in my employer’s business. I wanted to organize a meetup with other authors. Unfortunately, a meeting with a client destroyed this plan. Well, at least I finally (It was the 4th time in London in my life) did some sightseeing.
Another Way NOT to Build a Light Bulb
Encouraged and chivied by my mastermind partner, I spent a good chunk of the first half of October working on the online coaching program I wanted to offer to my subscribers.
I signed up for a trial of a shopping cart, wrote several messages in the email sequence, sent a broadcast, followed up individually with those who responded, brainstormed the outline and structure of the program… and I discovered no one was interested enough to pay money for this venture.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas A. Edison about his 10,000 attempts of inventing a light bulb
I wasted several, maybe even a dozen, hours trying to get this program off the ground. But I wasted only several hours, not several months painstakingly building the whole program.
Ask your audience about their opinion. Survey them. Discuss with them. Be in contact with them.
It will save you thousands of dollars and a lot of your precious time down the road.
I got three or four new coaching clients. They found me, not the other way around. The prep work I did in August bore fruit. One of the clients cancelled the coaching even before I sent him the first message. I wrote a few hundred words on a train from Prague, and when I crossed the border and Wi-Fi started working, I discovered he was gone.
Anyway, October was the last month my coaching earnings were at a 2-digit level. Since then, I’ve always coached several clients simultaneously.
I used this less intensive time to take care of a few things that I procrastinated about, or that simply didn’t have a high enough priority in the past.
Finally, I had paperbacks for all of my books except the permafree and very short (about 7,000 words) introduction to my Six Simple Steps to Success series.
I wrote only Quora answers and income reports in October 2016. Well, and some materials for the coaching program, which had never seen daylight.
I kept my Amazon advertising campaigns mostly on autopilot. I tweaked them from time to time.
On 19th of October, I created an experimental campaign that contained not very specific and relevant keywords, but the most common English words.
I did it out of curiosity, I bade very low knowing that conversion rates cannot be great with such words.
To my surprise, the campaign was a big hit. Later, I copied it for all of my books, and it was always successful.
One of the cornerstones of my personal philosophy is: “I will never know till I try.” It gives me a self-permission to risk failures. It’s quite important for me because, in the past, I was paralyzed by the fear of failure.
This experiment was a perfect example. I owe a big chunk of my success with Amazon ads to playing with common words. That one success enabled me to afford to start about 100 campaigns that were failures. I lost on each of them probably less than a dollar. It goes back to Edison’s mindset, sometimes you need many experiments to find this one way that is working.
The Income Report Breakdown
Amazon royalties: €172.46 ($189.7)
CreateSpace royalties: €170.38 ($187.42)
Draft2Digital royalties: $10.19
Coach.me fees: $74.87
Audiobooks royalties: $7.46
$36.9, View From the Top Community fee
$29, Aweber fee
$265, Business on Purpose mastermind
$17.17, royalties split with co-author
$513.74, Amazon ads
$72.61, RA’s (RA = Real Assistant; my son 😉 ) remuneration
$0.99, shopping cart for failed program
Net Result: -$413.16