$1000 Challenge Update #3 – The Blog’s First Income!

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 #3 – The blogs first income! 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 25th – 31st May

A relaxing week to write

This was generally a relaxing week due to the Raya holidays. First two days of the weeks were public holidays and I was pretty swamped with the daughter wreaking havoc in the house and demanding our fullest attention

This week, I wrote about Facebook Shops and included my thoughts on what it means for small businesses (P/S: I really welcome these changes) 

I also wrote about my rising doubts in my second update of the Ultimate Small Business Challenge, and how some advice from my wife helped me overcome it

The blog’s first income!

I’m overjoyed! 1 Day 1 Thought has gotten its first blog income by being commissioned to build a website!

A friend of mine needed a new website for his company and requested for a quotation

On Monday, I had a discussion with him over the phone and asked him what was the website for and what was his intention with the website over the long term

For now, he just needs to showcase his company profile and also some of his products on the website. Over the long term, he hopes to be able to start selling directly from his website

After that, I sent over some layouts and proposed a structure for his website. I also included my quote, the approximate timeline, and the job scopes that will be covered in this project

On Wednesday, he called to confirm giving me the first paying job for 1 Day 1 Thought

The total profit from this project is $465 (RM2000) ????

HELLO AGAIN, SEO

This week, I spent some time going through Yoast’s free basic SEO training. 

I’ve only managed to go through the keywords research module of the training and have yet to go through all the other modules. But so far I’ve got to say Yoast is giving out pretty good free content, in this module alone they covered

  1. What are keywords
  2. How to find keywords that make you rank
  3. How to use the focus keyphrase in Yoast SEO
  4. Detailed reading about Focus keyphrases

If you’re interested in the training, you can check it out here, registration is required

Fine tuning 1 Day 1 Thought

Almost 80% of my audience read my blog on a mobile device. That’s why every time I make modifications or create a new page for my blog, I always give priority to the mobile experience.

This week, I realised that if a user is interested to see other categories of articles that I usually write about, they would either have to head over to the blog’s main page and slowly scroll through the articles, or scroll all the way to the bottom to look for the category dropdown list.

I decided to remove the category drop down list at the bottom of the page and instead listed down all categories under the blog menu. This took me about half a day to do because I needed to figure out how to not let the ‘blog’ tab be a live link (i.e. when you click on the blog tab it jumps to the blog main page instead of showing the drop down contents)

On top of that, I also added in a dedicated tab for the $1000 challenge in the menu to make it more prominent. If things take off, the $1000 challenge could be the main attraction to keep my audiences coming back on a weekly basis

Blog income related actions

This week I started adding Wix affiliate links into my posts. I started checking on my affiliate dashboard and is encouraged to see that there are indeed readers clicking on my link. I’ll continue to work on this and hopefully I get my first affiliate commission soon! 

Where I am VS my Goals

MINIMUM 1 PIECE OF LONG FORM BLOG POST OF 1500 WORDS AND ABOVE / WEEK

This week I exceeded the goal by publishing 2 pieces of long form articles. I foresee that I will be able to keep up this pace until the end of June, which will see me starting to get busier with my travel agency. 

To get ready for that, I have started pacing myself to write certain portions of my article on a daily basis so I can work more comfortably when I get busy from July onwards

15% INCREASE IN WEBSITE SESSIONS ON A MONTH TO MONTH BASIS

This week saw another massive drop of sessions (-71%) compared to last week. I had anticipated this drop of sessions last week due to the long Raya holiday season. 

On top of that, I think it is because the initial excitement of 1 Day 1 Thought amongst readers have started to dwindle. This is where it starts to get challenging, and this is where I need to persevere and keep my focus on my goals and action plans

I also realise that I should start working on How-to contents so that 1 Day 1 Thought can provide more value to help small business owners grow their business

800 EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS

This week, I had 1 subscriber increase. Similar to last week, I’m not currently too worried about this as I’m still at the stage of creating more content and cross linking them so I get more traffic

I do need to start planning on the type of lead magnets to create for this blog though

1000 FACEBOOK LIKES

1 Day 1 Thought’s Facebook page saw 1 increase in page likes, bringing the total page likes now to 141 people, purely through unpaid reach

I’ve already set aside some money to run ads starting in June, but I feel that I need a strong lead magnet to capture leads and also an affiliate program in order to justify starting to spend money on Facebook ads. Depending on how that goes, I might or might not postpone my Facebook ad plans

$1000 MONTHLY INCOME GENERATED BY BLOG

I’m really happy about 1 Day 1 Thought’s first paying project!

It is also very encouraging to know that people do not mind that you are providing a service on a part-time basis so long as you are honest about it and can deliver what you promised

I estimate that I will need about 3 to 4 weeks to deliver the website. Given that this is the main goal of starting this small business challenge, I’m excited to see whether working on side projects on top writing articles and managing my business is sustainable in the long term

Overall Snapshot

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

My Thoughts

The distraction

I realise that I am easily distracted this week 

I’m fortunate to have full control over my time and tasks for a while now, but I find that recently my mind keeps wandering off to other little details and easier tasks. 

This is especially true when I am dealing with challenging tasks or need to think harder. I think it could be my mind trying to escape doing things that are hard (i.e. this small business challenge) when I have so many distractions available ????????

Regardless, I’ve decided that the solution is that I’ll set aside blocks of time early in the day to handle challenging tasks first before doing anything else. This way I can get distracted by that interesting YouTube video or online article later in the day without much guilt or impact on my work

A little discouragement

I’m still feeling discouraged although the constant drop in website traffic was anticipated. I’ll be the first to admit that there was a part of me who felt that I should just stop this challenge and find something that brings in more immediate income to do (like finding a product and immediately advertising it on Facebook for sales)

But I realise that regardless of what I do, the challenges will be similar after the initial excitement dies down. Furthermore, I’ve given thought about this business model and know that this business model will only take off in the mid to long term

I think another reason that I have this thought is because I am afraid of what other people will perceive of me if I fail this small business challenge

Then I remembered that I was the one who put this quote in 1 Day 1 Thought’s ‘Start Here’ Page, and I just earned $465

The only thing worst than starting something and failing… is not starting something

— Seth Godin

I really should take things more easily and not care so much about what people think

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