Welcome to my income report for November 2020
In November I have earned $228 in total. 45% less than in the previous month.
What I Did In November
So what happened in November?
Won 3 Paying Customers!
I would never believe, that any of my digital products would generate revenue someday. My last SAAS, TheHustle, flopped, recording zero revenue, or traction till this day.
Fortunately, I don’t put all my eggs into one basket and I try to diversify and entertain myself with multiple projects at once. And one of them finally hit the product-market phase.
So I am happy my dream came true and I got not one customer, but three customers at the same time. One of them even paid for a lifetime membership, a bargain deal given he can profit from my product indefinitely.
The other two paid for the cheapest recurring plan. And I hope they will renew their subscription once it expires six months from now.
Winning customers never go as smoothly as expected. Many things can go wrong at any moment and the last thing I would want is to deal with a refund request shortly after getting high from a recorded sale.
Which might happened in my case.
After monetizing my website, I promoted new features on one of the websites, where I knew interested audiences might hang out.
Soon I got a complaint from a visitor, that he would never trust a checkout form on a non-authority website. Instead, he would be willing to pay with Paypal or in Bitcoin.
After a day of thinking, I opted for a Paypal route. I could earn much more money given how Bitcoin price grew since then but well, that’s life.
My rationale was that I cannot spend the money on operating costs unless I transfer coins to Fiat. Losing a lot in exchange and transfer fees.
So I included a Paypal option in the checkout window and edited the subscription flow to accept manual payments. Not the smoothest user experience, but it works.
Another customer also had trouble with the payment process. He wrote me an email complaining that my checkout page is broken. He filled the form but nothing happened afterward.
Later I found out that I didn’t test one time payment scenario and of course, Stripe subscription API does not support one-time payments even though the price was set as one-time. Very confusing I know.
So I had to spend a week learning how payment intents work and change the subscription flow again.
After spending so much time reworking subscription logic, I thought I made it work, but no. The next time I got a payment notification, the initial excitement quickly turned into stressful bug hunting
Last customer, the one that gave me the most valuable feedback had no trouble with payment checkout. But there was again a bug in my subscription process, which errored when trying to create a new user.
Thankfully, I was sitting in front of the computer when I got a payment notification email. I quickly look into my database if the user was created successfully.
It was not. So I quickly inserted a new record into the database and wrote a personal thank you email. There was maybe a half an hour delay between payment and sending an email.
If it was me, I would be furious not knowing what happen next, if the subscription was successful or not. I would think I was scammed.
In the following two days, I finally fixed the bug.
I was so excited I asked him for a customer interview and he agreed. The interview went well and I got a lot of insights, making a full list of features that might add value to the website. I already managed to incorporate a few of them.
So those were stressful moments everyone will experience once the project starts getting traction. But I have to say I am happy to have this kind of stress, having to deal with paying customers.
It’s the kind of stress you wish you had when starting a new project. So finally, after one year and one pivot later, I can cross this achievement from my bucket list.
Hopefully, I will get more than three early adopters like customers.
Getting traction after the early adopter’s phase is difficult because next customers will have much higher requirements and will not want to spend their money just because they like technological innovations.
I will have to find new places where to market my product.
As a final note, it’s not like I made a lot of money, it is just enough for covering operating costs, which is not cheap.
My First Patreon!
Another achievement I am very happy about is getting my first Patreon ever. Again a close to impossible task if you are not an artist, celebrity, or someone with a huge follower base.
I initially created a Patreon profile for myself. But after getting no results two years later, I looked at successful Patreon creators and I noticed that all of them are laser targeted on their micro niches.
And they published content on regular basis, which gives a clear incentive for someone to become a Patreon.
So I changed the focus from myself to my music channel and started posting my DJ mixes there as paywalled raw downloadable mp3 files accessible only by Patreons with the appropriate price tier.
Nothing happened in the first few months. Until one day, someone listened to one of my mixes and wrote me a personal thank you email! Asking where he can download the mix as he loved it so much!
I conveniently pointed him to my Patreon page and a few minutes later he became a Patreon!
I was so thrilled and excited, I mixed a special DJ mix just for him, which I posted a week later. We messaged back and forth a few times and I hope he will stay a supporting Patreon in the future.
Now I am more than ever motivated to post at least one mix a month knowing there might be someone else, who will appreciate what I am doing.
Finished Gigantic Croatia Trip Report
I have a habit of writing an extensive trip report whenever I return from my travels.
Not only it helps me in improving my writing skills, but it also allows me to relive my memories. By describing on paper what happened and how I dealt with various kinds of situations.
The con is, it takes too much time to write such a report. Someone might be satisfied with a summary interspersed with tons of pictures. But I like to write about every detail, opinion, or impression I experience during travels.
So after 3 months of writing almost every day I finished my 16K words post about my month-long adventure in Croatia. So far the most physically demanding trip I have ever done. Describing what I have learned about my inner strength, self-preservation instincts, and motivation to survive.
After the trip, I cherish every moment in my life. And I try to be a better person by being kind and considerate to others. You can read about my survival journey here in this article.
The Hustle App
In November, I continued to use The Hustle every day. The big refactoring project is still on hold.
Good House Music
At the time of writing this post, my Good House Music Youtube Channel grew to 179 subscribers. A 7% increase over the previous month.
I have uploaded one new DJ mix and 8 single tracks. The most viewed track recorded 80 views.
Getting a Pateron, as I mentioned above, revived my passion for posting more DJ mixes, even though I get barely any views by promoting unknown artists and their music collections.
I just enjoy telling a story in a form of a DJ mix and I believe I am not alone, who will enjoy my content. Most importantly, I believe in the power of house music and I want to share my taste with the world.
Hopefully, my growing subscriber base will help me with ranking my videos. So far, less than 25% of the views are coming from my subscribers.
It doesn’t help that I focus on three house music styles instead of one, so my subscriber base is diluted. But I believe it will pay off once I reach one thousand subscribers in ten years.
I will keep uploading till I reach 200 uploads, then we will see if it is going anywhere.
Personal Youtube Channel
In November, I posted 9 new videos on my personal Youtube channel, which I don’t want to share yet.
So far, I try to keep posting 2 videos a week, but it is incredibly hard. Each video takes me 5-12 hours to create. And I get barely any views on each one.
But as I mentioned earlier, I am on this journey for other reasons than fame.
I want to improve my speech, my English fluency, my editing, and my storytelling skills. So far, it’s painful and fun at the same time and I have to force myself a lot to work on videos, but even one view makes me happy.
My most viewed video posted in November got 42 views. My other videos averages about 10 views after publishing.
I worked hard on Financia in November, mostly improving the website based on user feedback.
- Improved SEO
- Migrated codebase to Windows environment
- Added public transportation data
- Added more regions
- Made listing and detail page responsive
- Added Redis for caching
- Added new filters
- Improved UI
- Tons of other bug fixes and optimizations
So far I have put all my time into coding, but it’s not enough. Can’t wait to work on the marketing side, which I hope will kickstart in January.
Income Report Breakdown
For charts and numbers, click on my new Open page
Nothing has changed in November.
My P2P strategies are turned off and I am still waiting on the sideline. Mintos lenders are still owing me a lot in pending payments.
Some of the defaulted lenders announced a debt recovery plan, that will fulfill all the debts in the next ten years. I guess I will keep the account funded for the moment when everything gets back to normal.
Some banks announced even lower saving limits starting next year. So it seems my passive income will shrink even more. There is still one shady bank offering unlimited deposits for 0.9% which is not bad at all. I think it’s time for another rebalance.
Used Stuff Sales
My path to life minimalism went well in November. I got rid of a skate hoodie and a CPU. The less material things I own, the more freedom I get.
Plans, dreams, and wishes
My goals for November are the following. Make Financia better, keep working on my new authority website, and produce video content on regular basis.
That would be it. Thank you so much for following me on this journey and see you in the next report.