$1000 Challenge Update #2 – The rise of the doubts

For those who are new, this is a progress update of my Ultimate Challenge – Creating a small business that generates USD1000/month (on the side) using a comprehensive business plan

Long story short, this blog will serve as a small business that I attempt to use to generate at least $1000 monthly income (on the side) by the end of this year

$1000 Challenge Update #2 – The rise of the doubts Click To Tweet

Why this small business challenge

This challenge was started to celebrate what 1 Day 1 Thought stands for – sharing information and knowledge to help you learn how to start and grow a business, even if it’s a side hustle.

I share updates about this challenge on a weekly and monthly basis covering these things:

  • My thought processes
  • Specific actions taken
  • Progress of this small business
  • Traffic details
  • Income vs expenses details
  • Progress vs goals
  • Anything else I think is relevant

By doing so, I hope for 2 things:

  1. If you already have a business idea that’s been lingering in your mind, or if you’ve always wanted to start a small business – I hope this challenge will inspire you to take action and just go for it
  2. You will be benefit from learning and applying some of the steps and strategies throughout this journey, saving you a lot of time and guesswork in your own small business

You can view all the progresses of this challenge via this link

Here’s the low-down for everything I did from 18th – 24th May

1 Day 1 Thought is official!

What better way to start a small business than, well, starting a small business? 

I officially registered 1 Day 1 Thought as a business with the Companies Commission of Malaysia. Yay to 1 Day 1 Thought! ????????

Write, Write, Write, and hit a roadblock

This week I was pretty efficient with my writing. In total, I wrote 3 long form articles compared to my weekly goal of 1 article

  1. 8 best marketing strategies for small business that actually works (and is free)
  2. Update #1 – $1000/month ultimate small business challenge
  3. 10 traits of the most successful small business owners I know

Except for article #2, these articles were written based on my keyword research on topics related to small businesses. 

However, SEO is a long term game, it’s a little too early to tell whether these SEO articles are effective. Plus, 1 Day 1 Thought is a relatively new site in the eyes of Google

Oh well, I’ll know soon enough

The roadblock and a little help

When I was writing the article on 10 traits of the most successful business owners I know , I started experiencing writer’s block. It took me 3 days to complete the article despite it being a relatively easy article to write.

This led me to start questioning my small business model, and also myself:

  • Is this the correct business model to pursue?
  • Would I have seen more monetary returns by now if I was selling a physical product online
  • Are my efforts justifiable for the time spent?
  • What will happen when I start to get busier?
  • Is my knowledge about topics on small businesses so limited?
  • What if I can’t churn out more articles?

It’s amazing how fast doubts will arise, and I think maybe it happens when you start doing something and get caught in the action and small hurdles and momentarily forget the big picture. Or maybe, it’s a personal issue that I need to work on

As usual, I turned to my wife (who is a superwoman by the way ) and she gave me some advice which really helped

She reminded me that I have just been attempting to write at this level for a relatively short period of time, and not to put too much pressure on myself to keep the creative juice flowing. In her words – “Relax and slowly get it done”

I also relooked at my business plan and got reminded that a big part of why I started this small business challenge is because I enjoyed sharing knowledge about small businesses – even though I still have much to learn myself

The good thing is with some advice and motivation, paired with a whole lot of discipline, I managed to push through

Fine tuning my work processes

To build audiences for 1 Day 1 Thought more effectively, I need to maximize my chances of exposure.

Email Marketing

I send out weekly updates to my email subscribers. This week, I set up a proper email marketing format for my weekly subscriber emails

These are some of the things I included:

  • A main focus section where I gave a preview of the main content of the week and included a big button to read the article
  • Added a P/S below the button to let people know about this ongoing small business challenge so that they will follow my progress
  • Link to the most popular articles at the bottom of the email 

Platform Postings

I also created a schedule to stagger my blog posts on various platforms. The idea behind this is not to ‘blast’ out my new blog posts at once in order to maximize the potential organic reach

Many experts suggest only focusing on 1 or 2 platforms, mainly due to the time required to repost and edit contents to fit those platforms. 

Fortunately I am pretty familiar when it comes to content adaptation, so I picked 5 platforms that I feel have the biggest potential and created a posting schedule for each platform

  • This blog (obviously)
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Medium

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

It’s clear to me that SEO is key if I want to have a consistent flow of traffic to my website without having to pay through my nose. Hence I’ve been spending a lot of time on this

This week, I attempted to fine tune my SEO efforts by splitting my blog topics into 2 aspects – starting a small business and growing a small business. After that I started listing down some keywords under this 2 topics and based my keyword research on them

I have not started using these results to think of new blog topics yet, but this is something I’ll need to get to soon

Blog Income related actions

Website builders

In my last update I mentioned that I was approved for Wix’s affiliate program and was trying to figure out their affiliate interface

I spent some time doing so and have identified a few assets that are suitable for 1 Day 1 Thought. I’ll be looking at integrating them in the website and throughout articles

Affiliate websites

I spent some time going through the popular affiliate websites to understand their requirements for application and also their respective products. I checked out CJ Affiliate, Click Bank, Share A Sale, and also Rakuten

Amongst these websites, CJ Affiliate seems to have the strictest requirements in terms of application. I am unable to access the types of products that they are selling before I register, so I’m still unsure about their product offerings

As for the other sites, registration is pretty upfront. However, when I check out the affiliate products that are targeted at small businesses, it seems that the products offered are quite limited.

I think I’ll have spend a bit more time studying these sites and look for other direct affiliate partners

Freelancing websites

I think that Freelancing websites can be one of the quickest ways for me to generate income for 1 Day 1 Thought. Therefore, I spent some time setting up my Upwork and Freelancer account and clicked around for the jobs offered.

I also submitted my first proposal to bid on a writing job on Upwork. I haven’t heard back from the job poster at the time of writing so I’m going to try to start bidding on other jobs

Eyes on the prize

As usual, I’ve been working on quite a few tasks related to 1 Day 1 Thought this week

In the midst of it I realised that I have very limited time and manpower.

Right now, I’m lucky because I have more time on my hands due to the pandemic. But what will happen when things start to pick up and I start to get busier with my other business again?

By then, I won’t be able to commit as much time as I am currently doing. In other words, I need all my actions from now onwards to be extremely efficient

I need to keep my eyes on the prize

That’s why, I further broke down 1 Day 1 Thought’s goals into smaller action plans. From now onwards, I’m going to have to train myself to question whether every single task I am doing will point back to my action plan or main goals. If it doesn’t, it can wait

On top of that, I have a tendency to linger on things that catch my interest and start looking for more information and go down the rabbit hole of endless articles. This habit too, must go ????

Where I am vs my Goals

P/S: You can get access to my live goal tracker by registering for my newsletter in the form below

Minimum 1 piece of long form blog post of 1500 words and above / week

Like what I mentioned earlier, 3 articles compared to the 1 article goal – all with a little motivation and discipline

15% increase in website sessions on a month to month basis

With 231 sessions, my website sessions experienced a tremendous drop (60%) compared to last week

This is partially because of the high-base effect due to the successful post about 10 small business ideas that you can start from home [Link to article] I wrote the week before which gave me my biggest boost of traffic this far

The second reason is because this week is the start of the Hari Raya long holiday weekend. I anticipate next week’s traffic to continue to be affected by the holiday

Of all the goals, this is the one I am concerned about the most, mainly because of the SEO. I’m planning to check out some free trainings on SEO

In terms of content, I think I need to start focusing on content that either features other small businesses or is about other small business owners so that I can tap into their audiences too

800 email subscribers

This week, I had 1 subscriber increase. I’m not currently worried about this because I am still in the midst of writing more articles and connecting them together.

After that is done, I will start to create more lead magnets and free resources so as to incentivise email sign-ups

Let me know if you’ve got a small business related resource you would like to have! ????

1000 Facebook Likes

This week I saw a 3% increase in organic Facebook likes. I don’t think this is an issue because I’ve got plans to start running paid ads by June. Based on my experiences, organic likes will likely see a steady increase then

$1000 monthly income generated by blog

Currently, no income has been generated by 1 Day 1 Thought yet

As you can see, I’m still working on the foundations of the income streams of this blog. Hopefully I’ll start seeing some results soon

My thoughts

After hitting the writer’s block and experiencing doubts, I’ve come to realise that I might be judging myself too harshly

In the process of researching other successful small business owners, I got carried away by the success stories of other people and expect to achieve success in the things I do in a short timeframe. When I’m unable to do so, I tend to start questing my own abilities and judgment 

But I forget that sometimes we only see what is written or talked about. Often times we have no idea what is going on behind the scenes, the doubts and challenges that those small business owners face too

I think that judging myself too harshly is also caused by my tendency to push very hard at the beginning of any interesting project or small business (I think it’s because of the excitement), and then expecting some results. The reality I have came to learn from this is that it is better to pace myself and have more consistency

After all, like anything worth doing, a small business is a long term game

That’s all I’ve got for this week, I’ll speak to you next week!

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