I was recently doing our monthly biz finances, and I’m thrilled to report that we QUADRUPLED our previous highest month of revenue! It felt great and it was tons of fun. Here’s a graph of our blog revenue and expenses since January of last year for those of you who like to see actual data like I do:
Here’s the thing, though. We didn’t just wake up on January 1st and suddenly decide to give it our all and emerge with a fantastic month. Our success last month was a result of the hard work and difficult decisions we made over the past year or so. Last month was just the payoff of all that.
When it comes to blogging (and probably most things in life), long term thinking will bring you the most success. When I make a decision, I’m not thinking just of what will bring in the most revenue tomorrow or next week. I try to always be thinking of what will make our business stronger and more profitable in a few months, a year, or two years. Sometimes that means making some short term sacrifices for much greater long term gain.
The recent scope I did on this topic was the most popular scope I’ve ever done, so apparently this is something you all want to hear about. Here’s a replay of the scope, if you’d like to watch it:
As always I’m happy to share what I know. Here’s a few of the specific decisions we made in the past year that really paid off. These decisions weren’t easy and some were a little scary, but they turned out to be by far the best thing.
My husband quit one of his jobs and came on board to help with the business. Obviously, this decision was a little scary for us. He’d had this job for about 10 years, and it had well supported our family. (It was a little less scary for us because it was only one of his part time jobs and he still has another part time job that he loves.) However, we knew that we could grow the business more and faster with him on board. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this has helped us. He’s been able to take several things entirely off my plate so I can focus on what I do best – creating pretty printables and content for all of you.
We cut out some lucrative product lines. We cut several products entirely from our shop – products that were bringing us around 2k in revenue each month! I had known we needed to do that for some time, but I kept holding out because I love those products and, of course, they brought us income. However, those products weren’t really in line with the direction we were going and took us way too long to create, so they had to go. That really freed us up to focus our attention on new things that more of our customers want (like the Sweet Life Society), which has turned out to be way more profitable than the products we cut.
We hired more help. Hiring people to help can be a little difficult and is obviously an initial investment. I’m definitely not a hiring expert by any means, but I have learned a lot about it. We hired someone amazing early in the year and someone else toward the end of the year, and that took a lot off my plate to allow me to spend more of my time creating content and products. That is the only reason I’m able to now blog twice a week (once about organizing and once about blogging) and create my List Building Academy course that’s coming in March. Even though paying them is not a small expense, I will be able to make more money in the long run by being able to grow my audience and create more products. I’m also way less stressed, which is SUPER important to me.
We took a break to refresh and get organized behind the scenes. Things were extra crazy around here in August and September getting ready for and launching the Sweet Life Society. It wasn’t an easy task, and we were pretty much exhausted after that. We took a break from launching new things and just went in maintenance mode for 3 months. We also focused quite a bit on getting the business and processes more organized behind the scenes (mainly using Asana). Having all those things in place and having a lot of processes run smoothly really allowed us to focus on delivering the most value to our customers and reaching new people.
I invested in training and coaching. I invested in some training and coaching that was very valuable. I had the knowledge I needed. Investing in those things can be scary, but if you can shorten your learning curve, it’s worth it.
I hope this advice helps you. This post pretty much summarizes what I learned in my third year of blogging that culminated in a record breaking month. If you’d like to hear the top 5 things in my first two years of blogging, sign up here:
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