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    After a year, my first business diary retires

    This week last year, I started a business diary. Spurred on by the success of React+d3js, it was time to get serious.


    Every week, I would write down some numbers, take stock of how I pushed my side-hustle forward, and brainstorm some ideas on what to do next. Here’s what that first page said:

    Sales this week - Aug 9th, 2015 - Aug 15th, 2015:

    10 Student packages -> $87

    1 Engineer package -> $59


    Udemy course -> 112 students1

    Reactd3 email subscribers -> 160

    Blog subscribers -> 78


    React page views: 380

    Adwords: $70, 11k views, 30 clicks

    FB ads: $1, 5 actions, 4 clicks


    • published promo blogpost, this one
    • adjusted Drip campaign timing
    • researched email performance
    • started working on React+d3js update


    $75 profit


    This Sunday, I wrote the last page that would fit in this notebook. Most entries were about a week apart, but some had an entire month between them. Life gets busy, and transcribing stats from charts you find online into a notebook is never a priority.

    Here’s what the last page says:

    Sales this week

    7 student packages -> $117

    4 Why programmers work at night -> $0

    53 ES6 cheatsheet -> $8


    Reactd3 -> 4,341

    Why programmers work at night -> 736

    Blog -> 944

    Live coding -> 194

    Medium -> 427


    FBads: $46, 29 leads, decent reach


    $201 loss ?


    • paid my editor
    • I should move this to a spreadsheet

    I probably should move my diary into a spreadsheet, but I’m on the fence about this. A spreadsheet makes it easier to look at trends and draw pretty graphs. A notebook makes it easier to appreciate life.

    And yes, the last week in this diary is a $201 loss while the first week was a $75 profit. What a colossal failure! But not really. It fluctuates. Unlike a year ago, I have an editor now. I pay somebody to look at every single thing I publish.

    I started looking for one right after that first week in the diary. A few weeks later, I had an editor. My side-hustle usually has a loss on the weeks that his monthly invoice comes through.

    Such is life.

    Here’s what happened in this year of side-hustling:

    React Indie Bundle - 6 authors, 1 sale, $30k in a week

    React+d3js ES6 - book rewrite, relaunch, $9k in first month

    Weekly livecoding - pure fun, excuse to do cool shit

    React+D3 workshops - 3 iterations, about $9k

    ES6 cheatsheet - 1,184 emails, $314

    Daily blogging experiment - ongoing, stay tuned

    $27k in my share of sales2; 4 products launched; 2 things started to encourage doing cool shit; $4k spent on advertising; $2k on consultants; and some $2k on education materials.

    That’s an overall profit of about $19k.

    Which means I’m not investing enough in growth.

    1. This was my Mastering d3.js video course published through Packt. It has since died a whimpering death and has gone from Udemy. I don’t know if it’s still making sales somewhere else. We never even broke through the advance amount. ↩︎

    4) React Indie Bundle and the Workshops are a collaboration so I don’t get the whole pie. ↩︎


    Did you enjoy this article?

    Published on August 26th, 2016 in Business, Learning, Personal, side business, Side Projects

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