This first quarter went by FAST! But what a quarter it was! I’ve made what I consider to be great strides in my little biz and I’m excited to share them with you.
To recap, I decided to start sharing quarterly income reports for 2019 for two main reasons:
- To keep me accountable
- To inspire others that are interested in starting an online business on the side!
I shared my first quarterly income report back in December of 2018, which you can read about here.
To be clear, this isn’t “just” a blogging income report. My business encompasses blogging, freelance writing, and virtual assistant work. I do all of this as a side-hustle, in addition to working 40 hours a week at my day job.
** My blog posts contain affiliate links, which means that I may earn a commission on purchases you make after clicking on those links. (At no extra cost to you!) Full disclosure here. **
I had two main goals for Q1:
- Increase revenue by 15%
- Create at least 15 new blog posts
We will get to revenue in a second. As for my second goal, I failed miserably, only cranking out 6 new posts instead of 15. Less than half!
But, I’m okay with this. First of all, I will never throw up a post just for the sake of putting something new on my site. I want to make sure I’m only adding valuable content for you!
So I refuse to rush.
Secondly, I ended up biting off more than I can chew with all my goals. I ended up getting busier with clients than I was expecting and something had to give somewhere. (The best kind of problem to have! Thanks again to Gina’s 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success for turning me into a client-landing machine!) I still managed to put out what I consider to be six quality posts so I still count it as a success.
Speaking of success, let’s talk about revenue!
Q1 Income Results
Let’s talk numbers. Keep in mind that everything below is before taxes and converted to Canadian currency:
Freelance/VA work: $2508.61
Affiliate Sales: $60.54
Total Revenue: $2575.47
This time, I’m also going to include all my expenses this quarter that were associated with running the business:
- Tailwind: $153.90
- Convertkit: $119.11
- Depositphotos: $119.11
- VA Leads Group: $103.05
- Hosting Renewal fees: $337.92
- SEO course: $354.61
Total Expenses: $1187.70
Net Income: $1387.77
Let’s break this down a bit more
My net income works out to an average of $460/month which is a decent haul for a side-hustle, but there are some important factors to think about here:
In regards to REVENUE:
Obviously, freelancing and VA work is still making up the vast majority of the revenue! Because of this, I surpassed my goal of increasing revenue by 15%. In fact, I more than doubled my gross revenue!
You will also notice from the graph that March’s revenue was dramatically higher than in February and January. This is slightly deceptive because:
- March had 5 Fridays instead of 4, so I had an extra “pay period” with some clients.
- I wrapped up and invoiced a project in March that I had done most of the work on in February
January was very slow because I was still in the “pitching” phase. But February and March were pretty even for work.
Affiliate income is down from last quarter, but I had been lucky last year as I had an unusually large affiliate sale. This quarter, I had a much larger volume of affiliate sales at a lower commission.
Ad revenue is still sad, but I fully expected that to be around the same as I put zero effort into increasing it this first quarter.
In regards to EXPENSES:
Keep in mind that the hosting fees are annual, so I won’t get hit with that again until March 2020.
The other glaringly large expense was the SEO course that I purchased in February, Stupid Simple SEO. (Which was worth. Every. Penny.)
Look, my business is but a fledgling, and I firmly believe that investing back into it is going to be a huge part of getting it to the next level.
In terms of trimming back expenses for Q2, there isn’t much wiggle room as I need all these monthly services. The only area where I think I can find some savings is with Tailwind.
As vastly useful as this tool is, I think I will cut back my Tribe membership to the middle membership because I haven’t been submitting the maximum number of pins so it’s just a waste.
Q1 ended up being quite a bit different than I expected and has definitely realigned my priorities for Q2. I also think I didn’t set enough goals for myself in Q1.
For the next 3 months, these will be my goals:
- New Content: I’m going to aim for 2 quality, useful posts a month for the next quarter, which I feel is a more reasonable goal at this point than posting every single week.
- Increase Net Income by 20%: Increasing revenue will definitely help me achieve this, but I also want to be more cognizant of how my expenses are impacting the bottom line.
- Affiliate Sales & Ads: It’s time I focus more a bit more on the passive income side of my biz. I specifically want to focus on generating more affiliate sales by testing and reviewing products that I love and recommend. I’m also going to get more serious about ads but am committed to doing so in a way that doesn’t make visiting my site a drag!
- Connecting more with my readers: I want to connect with you more! But that onus is on me. If you have signed up for my email list, you can expect to hear from me at least once a month.
- Maintaining some semblance of work-life balance: There have been a couple of times in the past few months that it felt as though my business had taken over all my free time. But there always needs to be time for self-care, and sacrificing that for business is completely counterproductive. Because if I go looney toons doing this, I’m not going to be good for my day job or my business.
What are your goals for Q2?
April, May, and June: In my opinion, they are these are the three best months of the year. The days are constantly getting longer and warmer; it’s the season of incline!
So how will you make the most of this season? Whether you are thinking about starting a business, working towards a feat of fitness, or have other personal aspirations – now is the time to get started if you haven’t already!
I would love to hear about your goals for these beautiful spring months! Hit me up in the comments!