G’day folks! I’ve been a bit silent, mainly because for the second time in a year I’ve been engaged in a house move. Never one to cope well with any kind of distraction or upheaval I’ve been concentrating first of all on actually getting packed, moved, then unpacked (with the usual BT internet connection stuff up type fun that’s inevitable when you move), then getting back into some form of work pattern.
I’m so relieved that it is over. Not just the move, but the necessity to have a desk crammed into my bedroom. I’m not exaggerating when I say I was thoroughly and utterly miserable in the house we had to rent when we moved back to the UK. It was too small for us and all our things, there was nowhere for Duncan to work, the house was for sale so we had to put up with showing viewers around, and there was no bath for the children. If you think this isn’t a biggie, grab the nearest cat and try to get it into a shower cubicle. Whilst there, shampoo and condition it’s hair. Done that? Yeah? Right. Now imagine the second time onwards – when the cat knows what you are up to after dinner. That’s washing an unwilling 1 and 3 year old every night.
I’ve always had a deep seated need for my working environment to feel “right”, and working in my bedroom which was unfortunately up above another house was… exhausting, demotivating, and f**king awful. Trying to do what I’m supposed to love – it felt like chewing broken glass.
Duncan & Kirsty’s Cottage Industry
Thankfully, we are now in a house where everyone has a bedroom that’s 100% for sleeping, and both Duncan and I have separate work spaces. We are ensconced in a quirky and much-extended terraced cottage in the depths of the Scottish countryside. Duncan is splitting time between doing my web development work (which he hates, but does a great job in spite of this), and repairing mobile phones for locals (which he loves). He now has a steady stream of customers, and we are enjoying having a “real world” income stream to compliment our online endeavours. Although as was the case in Australia, we find that the first few months / year most of your profit is sunk back into additional stock and equipment. However, it’s not eating into personal income and the money we did seed into the business is now back in our savings, so this is a great result.
The difference for me is like night and day – my productivity has soared in my new study which already feels like “home”.
Kirsty’s Progress Report – The Graph
Who doesn’t love a graph? Back in August I said I was going to keep track of my progress with diversifying my income streams due to an alarming dependence on one large merchant. The graph below is my income minus the contribution from that one merchant. I started back to work in March.
The green line has now pretty much touched the point at which this segment of my income would be enough for us all to live on. With the (notional) money that Duncan’s phone business brings in, plus the income I have from a couple of investments, that gives us enough to live, pay tax on income, and save a reasonable amount each month.
Interestingly, the dip through September & October – partly caused by the seasonal drop off of one merchant, but mainly caused by a brand bidding voucher code outbreak on another programme I do well on at this time of year. The merchant and network have taken it very seriously and have cleared off the offenders. It cost me quite a bit of income and my sales are still in the process of correcting, which I hope means I will put another little bit on this graph in December.
Of course, at the moment I’m mucking around trying to find new income streams and that does lead to the odd loss on paid search. But so long as the turnover keeps on trucking I can sort the profit margins out as I go 😉
And where has this pleasing shape come from? 100% Paid search. I am working on one blog with SEO in mind in particular very hard but I’m in that for the long haul and not pushing the old affiliate thing terribly hard. I have other organic traffic projects, but understandably I’m prioritising my paid search work as this traffic is way more stable and quicker to build. However, now that I’m getting there…
Time For Some Fun Stuff, Too
When I was planning my move back and my return to work. I wanted to have a bit of fun playing around with a few money making things. YouTube videos came to my attention when I caught my 18 month old sitting with an iPad (which her father bought her – don’t even!!) watching endless videos about unwrapping surprise eggs. Now if that doesn’t demonstrate the intuitive nature of the navigation on sites these days I don’t know what does. We showed her nursery rhymes. Anyhoo – I looked at the views on the videos. Then I found out how much you make per thousand video views on YouTube revshare. Once I got up off the floor and had a hot sweet drink I promised myself I’d investigate. I have some ideas, mostly driven by the things I keep finding my now 3.5 year old watching endlessly.
I also read an eBook about how a guy made a heap selling stuff on eBay. This isn’t something I want to do seriously, but I do have a hobby that lends itself to earning a bit of pocket money. I love to hoover around charity shops (and in Australia the shops they had at rubbish dumps) buying vintage treasures. For £1 or less where possible. I don’t seriously see this as a “proper” revenue stream, but I have a retired aunt who supplements her pension doing a bit of bartering online with car boot and charity shop treasures. So I’m going to have a play with that just for the shits and giggles. The good thing about such “stock” is it costs next to nothing, and I’ll be able to justify buying a lot more of the “treasures” I am forced to leave behind for fear of being branded a hoarder.
Can’t believe I sold the view in the background though. Agh.
Oh, and the eBay book was very good. I will re-read it and put up a review at some point. In fact, that’s something I’ll also do here on the blog. Even if I’m not a world expert at Affiliate Marketing I can still see what a good book resource is and share that here. So long as I can read it with my Kindle Unlimited subscription that is 😉
So things are looking up, and feeling clear. Hopefully I can write in this blog more often, and update this theme again as it doesn’t work properly on an iPad. As with everything, I’ll get there in the end.