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 weekAug 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


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. ↩︎

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

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