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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.

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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

Audience:

Udemy course -> 112 students1

Reactd3 email subscribers -> 160

Blog subscribers -> 78

Marketing

React page views: 380

Adwords: \\\$70, 11k views, 30 clicks

FB ads: \\\$1, 5 actions, 4 clicks

Things

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

Result

\\\$75 profit


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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

Subscribers

Reactd3 -> 4,341

Why programmers work at night -> 736

Blog -> 944

Live coding -> 194

Medium -> 427

Marketing

FBads: \\\$46, 29 leads, decent reach

Result

\\\$201 loss ?

Things

  • 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. ↩︎

5)

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

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