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 robust site 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 means, nonetheless small the steps could seem.
In reality, I’ve even received 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 once I do them persistently. You may be taught extra concerning the journal and what’s inside right here:
- Tailor Brands — Get 40% off the all-in-one platform to construct your on-line model the sensible means w/ code SIDEHUSTLE.
Development of the Nation
There are 4 essential metrics I observe:
- Web site site visitors
- Podcast downloads
- E-mail subscribers
- Total revenue
Twitter followers and Facebook likes are nice, however these are the numbers I pay probably the most consideration to. And like the good Peter Drucker mentioned, “What will get measured will get managed.”
Web site Visitors
Facet Hustle Nation acquired 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 site 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 12 months’s Resolutions and other people’s pursuits in budgeting and creating new earnings streams within the new 12 months.
The Facet Hustle Present noticed over 1,000,000 downloads throughout Q1, up considerably from the 12 months prior.
Nonetheless, I additionally added a Podsights redirect to the feed originally 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 larger than it was all final 12 months which is a constructive signal for me.
Maybe extra necessary than the uncooked obtain counts is Podtrac’s estimation of total viewers dimension. I consider they’re monitoring this based mostly 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 web 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 normal Facet Hustle Nation opt-in varieties.
Not gonna lie, the downward development on the chart is sort of alarming. The most important issue I can attribute that too is slower development on the Facet 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 by day.
Certainly one of my initiatives for the quarter was attempting to determine methods to convert extra of my web site site visitors into electronic mail subscribers. The challenge has been suffering from technical challenges in getting Beaver Builder to behave correctly, however I’m beginning to see some opt-ins to the varied placements I’ve added.
Nonetheless extra work to do on that entrance for certain although.
The 12 months began off extraordinarily robust, thanks to some pre-paid podcast sponsorships. In reality, I believe February could have been my most worthwhile month of all-time.
What I’ve Been Working On
These are the initiatives that occupied most of my time this quarter.
Simplifying Onboarding Sequences and a “Lengthy-Time period Nurture” Marketing campaign
Impressed partly by Rosemarie Groner, I needed 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 way of a short onboarding sequence, often over the course of 5-10 days, relying on which “area of interest” they have 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 might 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 sequence in ActiveCampaign known as “Lengthy-Time period Nurture.” It lasts 15 weeks and covers all types of enjoyable stuff, together with:
- an important talent(s) for aspect hustlers
- methods to escape the rat race
- extra on my entrepreneurial backstory, together with failures and successes
- some particular aspect hustle concepts and sources
The targets are to:
- construct a stronger relationship
- assist subscribers discover the content material that will be most helpful
- soft-sell The Visitors Course and different merchandise
- generate affiliate earnings
Over the long-run, I believe I’ll be capable to higher reply the query “how a lot is an electronic mail subscriber value?” As a result of if you understand that quantity you’ll be able to proactively attempt to enhance that metric, and you may doubtlessly promote to seek out new subscribers and understand how a lot you’ll be able to afford to pay.
As a part of this challenge, I went by way of and up to date all of the hyperlinks in all my welcome sequences to incorporate the UTM parameter “ltn” for “long-term nurture.” That means, when anybody clicks a hyperlink from an electronic mail to the web site, after which subsequently follows an affiliate hyperlink, I’ll be capable to estimate a greenback worth from that click on in Google Analytics.
So if this report is to be believed, the positioning 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 reasonably 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 methods to estimate the worth of affiliate clicks that occur instantly from an electronic mail. Analytics doesn’t appear to select these up, regardless of redirecting by way of the sidehustlenation area with the PrettyLink plugin.
I don’t get postback conversion monitoring or subID monitoring from a whole lot of my affiliate companions, however when you’ve got an answer or system for this, please let me know!
YouTube Content material
I have to 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. In reality, the most well-liked video this quarter is my review of the popular Steady app.
What forms of movies am I making?
- Product critiques, like for Regular, Miles, and Respondent
- Shorter interviews, like this one on flipping mattresses
- “Speaking head” tutorial movies, usually re-purposed from current weblog content material
- Re-purposed podcast episodes
- Dabbling with YouTube shorts.
Quick-form content material is a problem for me. My wheelhouse is a 45-minute podcast dialog or a 3,000 phrase weblog put up! Developing 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 presumably even pulling the audio from sure ones to syndicate to the podcast. If you happen to’re going by way of the difficulty of making the content material, you may as properly get it in entrance of as many individuals as you’ll be able to.
Q1 noticed the discharge of 13 new podcast episodes, overlaying a variety of enterprise fashions. Amongst my favorites have been:
Per the stats, our episodes with Georgia Austin on freelancing writing on Fiverr, our large mind dump of life hacks with Chris Hutchins from All of the Hacks, and Johnny’s window cleansing enterprise have been the most well-liked of the quarter.
New Weblog Content material
Firstly of the 12 months, I created a Google Sheet with a number of key phrases I needed to focus on, and a month-to-month plan to deal with these articles.
To date that’s resulted in:
You’ll discover that a few of these are extra listicle format posts, some are critiques or informational content material, and a few are based mostly on podcast interviews. Not each podcast episode simply lends itself to search engine marketing/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 an inventory of dozens of key phrases, and prioritized these with the most effective completely satisfied medium in search quantity and competitiveness.
And as traditional, I spent chunk of time updating a few of 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 attempting to really minimize size from a whole lot of these posts—trying to curate the most effective of the most effective, versus simply attempting to create the longest article potential.
Including Decide-in Types to Facet Hustle Nation
On my mission to succeed in 100,000 electronic mail subscribers this 12 months, I acknowledged I have to do a greater job of changing web site guests into electronic mail subscribers. The conversion price 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. To date, I’ve seen round 350 sign-ups by way of 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 phases:
- Including an opt-in type on to the put up—with the identify and electronic mail deal with subject clearly seen (transformed so near zero you may barely see it).
- Utilizing the identical name out, however as a substitute utilizing a button to hyperlink to a LeadPages touchdown web page to higher clarify the provide (which transformed barely higher).
- Utilizing the identical name out, however having the button open a popup with the identify and electronic mail fields (that is changing the most effective thus far).
Sadly this challenge 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. Numerous points with efficiency caching and minification, which I’ve arrange within the identify of higher load occasions.
The subsequent stage might be to proceed to focus on excessive site visitors pages, however make a transparent call-to-action on the backside of the put up to opt-in. I’ve a generic opt-in type on the backside of each put up, however I really feel like a call-out that’s barely extra associated to the content material and is straightforward to grasp would carry out higher.
One other factor to check 🙂
Testing One-Time Affords
A number of Facet Hustle Present friends have talked about the facility of a “one-time provide” — 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 sort 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 enhance your preliminary lead magnet and assist subscribers get their desired end result quicker or simpler, then I believe 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 persons are provided after they decide in for the $500 Problem. I’m utilizing LeadPages for this gross sales web page, and so they have an integration instantly with Stripe for fee processing and you may even add a bit countdown timer to let individuals know this really is a limited-time provide.
Even at a $7 worth level, I’m seeing only a 2% conversion price on this OTO, which is a far cry from the 15-30% that some friends 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 totally, I’m unsure.
The second OTO I created was the Begin My Facet Hustle Workbook, which was beforehand bundled in with my Begin My Facet Hustle course. I figured it was one thing I’d already created and was value testing as a standalone provide.
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 superb. If anybody needs to try these micro-funnels and provide some steering, undoubtedly hit me up!
One incremental income stream this quarter has been some restricted publication sponsorship placements. To date, these have been coordinated instantly or by way of Third-party brokers like Stack Media and Paved.
Right here’s a pattern of what it appears like:
I’ve been together with these placements on the backside of the publication within the “You May Additionally Like” part, and are value wherever from $100-500 per week. (Generally it’s a flat price; typically it’s based mostly on what number of clicks the hyperlink will get.)
Both means, that’s been a constructive growth this quarter.
One other advertising and marketing experiment I’ve been enjoying 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 once you publish new content material or actually everytime you wish to share one thing.
To date I’ve collected 2,700 subscribers, and the engagement is definitely OK. My campaigns are seeing a 2-6% open price, which I suppose if I preserve it operating and 10x the variety of subscribers, the site visitors potential retains growing.
I’m taking a look at this as a technique to attempt to seize a few of the 5,000+ each day guests — most of whom won’t ever come again. Round 1% of tourists 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 when it comes to load time (the place each millisecond counts), and to have a look at it the opposite means — 99% of tourists are declining it. I’ll in all probability preserve Gravitec operating for some time longer to see how the outcomes stack up with a bigger viewers dimension.
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 a few of the current content material we’d already created for Pinterest. Thought pins / story pins, I believe they’re known as.
You may create these fairly simply in Canva, in a vertical video format. My essential factor was attempting to construct the account without having to be on digicam myself, however I’m unsure if that’s going to work. The most effective of those “concept pin” movies has round 800 views, so that they’re not precisely profitable the viral lottery.
The subsequent genius concept I had got here to me within the bathe, and that was to re-purpose a few of the Cash Making Minutes — these little micro podcast episodes I ran as an Alexa Talent in 2019. With the assistance of Lumen5, a extremely slick AI video creation instrument, my assistant and I’ve began placing collectively some 60-second clips, narrated by me, to put up 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 / Life-style Stuff That Occurred
Dry January was dry February and March as properly. 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 provides auditory suggestions supposedly based mostly in your mind indicators 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 often occurs early afternoon after lunch or within the night after the youngsters go to mattress. And I’ve been utilizing the built-in journal entry within the Muse app as sort of a each day gratitude journal and work check-in, to reply what I received finished that day.
It’s loopy how one can be so centered in your breath after which not 20 seconds later, you’re means off in left subject. However apparently, the magic is in that noticing you’re distracted after which recentering. Biceps curls on your mind, as they are saying.
Facet Hustle Nation HQ received an replace this quarter with a barely larger 4K monitor and a brand new electronically adjustable sit-stand desk. Fact is Bryn upgraded her dwelling workplace setup and I used to be sort of jealous.
The desk is an SHW model from Amazon in case you’re out there. I received the 55″ mannequin.
I’m nonetheless looking for somebody to take my outdated IKEA Jerker standing desk away. I believe patrons may be confused as a result of it’s received an enormous cutout within the center for the place the treadmill management panel went once 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 an enormous enchancment and time saver over our outdated French press course of.
The most effective half is the little frother attachment on the aspect 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 received Little Hustler #2 to take some rides on the chairlift.
Total, I received fairly good mileage out of my season’s go regardless of it being sort of a low snow 12 months. That’s been one of many largest benefits of shifting to Washington — each the proximity to the mountains (40 minutes as a substitute 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 using excessive from it … till the subsequent time I performed and returned to actuality. I don’t play fairly often, however man, once you hit it properly, very satisfying!
San Diego and Legoland
Firstly of March we visited Legoland in San Diego, which the youngsters have been thrilled with. If you happen to haven’t been, we determined a whole lot of it might be fairly kitschy if it weren’t Lego, however as a result of it’s, it’s fairly cool.
Type of like Disneyland-light, undoubtedly geared towards youthful youngsters, and with ours at 6 and virtually 4, they have been the right 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 discovered 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. Nevertheless it was cool to go over to his meetup cease and discover some acquainted faces from FinCon and even some Facet Hustle Present listeners as properly.
And eventually, like apparently a whole lot of different individuals, I received fairly hooked on enjoying Wordle. 100% success price thus far, and am grateful they solely allow you to do one a day, which limits the time suck. Nevertheless it’s mind train, proper?
Everyone Acquired Covid…
In January, our youngest introduced Covid dwelling 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 Facet Hustle Shih Tzu received it. Poor man!
Hopefully we’ve some strands of immunity for the inevitable subsequent variant at this level.
My Merch by Amazon Account Acquired Banned
After 5 years on Merch by Amazon, my account was immediately banned. No recourse, no clarification, and only a boilerplate template response saying “this resolution is everlasting and last” once I tried to attraction.
Fortunately this wasn’t earnings we have been counting on, but it surely was a enjoyable aspect hustle and a bummer to have apparently damaged some rule. And an illustration that there’s all the time a danger once you construct a enterprise on another person’s platform.
What I Learn
Undertaking 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.
The best way to Discuss So Little Youngsters Will Hear
This one was really actually useful in offering a ton of case research, scripts, and methods to attempt when our youngsters should not 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 need to flee discomfort. Determine and handle the psychological discomfort that leads us off observe.
- “The treatment for boredom is curiosity. There is no such thing as a treatment for curiosity.”
- Enjoyable is searching for the variability in one thing different individuals don’t discover. It’s breaking by way of the boredom and monotony to find its hidden magnificence.
- Does your calendar mirror your values? To be the particular person you wish to be, it’s important to make time to stay your values.
- With out enough quantities of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, youngsters flip to distractions for psychological nourishment.
Brick by Brick
Impressed by our Legoland go to, I needed 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 latest initiatives, however dives into the tradition of innovation and collaboration and the way Lego very almost went bankrupt within the early 2000s.
What initiatives 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 a substitute of only one. I’ve observed that lots of the high 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, might be a shorter present and I’ve received a handful of codecs I’m anxious to check out. However hopefully it sparks some incremental discovery and phrase of mouth sharing.
The primary metric I’ll be monitoring is Podtrac’s estimation of viewers dimension, which for me has traditionally ranged between 80,000-110,000 individuals per thirty days.
Facet Hustle Quiz
I’ve really had a couple of reader/listener requests for some type of aspect hustle selector quiz, to assist level individuals in the best route from the large breadth of aspect hustle prospects.
This can be a difficult proposition — can I actually take a handful of solutions and supply significant outcomes? Different persons are actually rocking the quiz as a top-of-funnel lead magnet, and that’s encouraging as properly. I’d like to construct one thing that assist individuals slender down their aspect hustle choices after which information them on a extra curated path — and bonus factors if it might probably drive electronic mail sign-ups on the similar time.
How did 2022 begin off for you? What have been the most important initiatives you made progress on! Let me know within the feedback beneath.