Now that March is over it’s time to take a look at my income and profit at the end of quarter 1.
This is a recurring monthly post to track my goal of earning at least £4,000 profit from my Side Hustle ventures this year.
My goal breaks down across the months and weeks of the year as follows:
£4,000 per year or
£333.33 per month or
£76.92 per week
This means that my target profit for March would ideally be in the region of £333.33.
I didn’t achieve the ideal monthly target in both January and February, which has left me with a shortfall of around £299.75. That’s a lot of catching up to do!
Let’s see how I got on…
Here’s how my income is panning out:
Sadly at £120.29, my March income was less than January’s or February’s. I knew it was going to be a tough month because by the 1st March I already had projections for how much money I was going to receive from my book publishing business and it was tiny. Since I hadn’t been promoting my books back in January my book sales were very low, resulting in a paltry £25 income projection for March.
To make matters worse, after a strong income last month for audiobook sales, March took a decided downturn because audiobook sales failed to achieve the minimum payment threshold. This means that I won’t get my March audiobook royalties until the April payment. [Note: If the payment threshold is not met in any given month, the royalties are rolled forward into the next month].
Most of my side hustle income gets generated in the 2 months before I actually receive the money into my bank account. I am much less experienced at side hustles which generate instant money that’s payable immediately. I tried my best with the time I had available during March to raise some quick income, but this only resulted in an additional £88. The methods I used were:
- Matched Betting
- Survey sites
- Cashback deals
The additional £88 is not a lot, but it’s better than nothing and I’m pleased that I at least managed to get my income into 3 figures!
My running total income for the year is now sitting at £654.36.
Here’s a break-down of where the income came from in March:
This is likely to be the only month where you’ll see Matched Betting as the top earner because I’ve turned my attention to running regular book promotions and this is already seeing an improvement in my online publishing income! I have to say that Matched Betting is a great way of making some guaranteed money with the bonus that it’s tax free! If you are interested in giving Matched Betting a go, I’d suggest making use of a site such as Odds Monkey or Profit Accumulator. I use Odds Monkey and love how easy it is to track your profit as well as finding bets to place/lay. I wrote a bit about Matched Betting in my post The First 6 Money Makers I’ve Tried if you’re not sure what it’s all about.
Here’s how my Side Hustle expenses panned out for March:
|Month||Expenses||Running Total Expenses|
My lowest month so far for expenses at £17.84. This figure is so small because I didn’t do any book promotions for my publishing side hustle, I just had some small advertising expenses through Amazon and my OddsMonkey subscription cost.
Here’s how my profit is looking now that March is taken into account.
|Month||Target Profit||Actual Profit||Difference||Running Total Profit||Running Total
Over / Under Target
At £102.45 profit for March I’m quite behind my target of £333.33 for the month.
My dilemma when I’m faced with a low income month is whether to spend my (limited) time trying to hustle quick income for that month (which tends to take a lot of my time for low rewards) or whether to write-off the month and just focus on creating great products to ultimately improve sales for future months. In March I chose to spend a reasonable amount of time trying to make money via instant side hustles. I feel that this was to the detriment of working on my publishing business which is the thing which will ultimately provide me with a semi-passive income.
So I’ve made a decision. If I have months in the future where I’m not hitting my target income, I’m not going to try too hard to raise more money during that month. Instead I’m going to look to the future and spend time on my hustles which will provide me with ongoing and longer term value. I appreciate that this may mean I miss my goal for the year, but I think this is a better approach in the long term.
WHAT ACTIONS WORKED/DIDN’T WORK FROM LAST MONTH’S PLAN
Here’s a review of how I got on with the plans I made last month:
TO ACHIEVE MY MARCH TARGET
Continue using Odds Monkey to make additional income from Matched Betting
- I opened accounts at 4 new betting sites for sign-up offers during March, as well as taking advantage of an offer which required me to simply deposit money in one of my existing accounts. I am still working through the sign-up offers in the Odds Monkey section for new customers. It takes a bit of time signing up with new sites because they often require you to send identification as part of the sign-up process. Each of the offers require at least 2 separate bets:
- Placing a bet with the bookmaker and laying it with an exchange to qualify for the offer (normally a free bet)
- Placing the free bet with the bookmaker and laying that at an exchange to guarantee profit
- In total I made profit of £45.96 from matched betting (after my Odds Monkey subscription was subtracted)
Continue doing surveys on Prolific and cash-out at least my first £20
- I succeeded with this plan and cashed out £20.26 into my Circle Pay account. I waited until I had over £20 to withdraw from Prolific because this meant that I could take advantage of withdrawing without any fees. I have since continued to do surveys on Prolific, however there haven’t been that many available to me to take. If there were more surveys I would do them!
- I checked in with these sites at least a couple of times a week during March. I haven’t had any wins yet, but given that this only takes about 5 minutes per day it’s worth having a quick look I think. It’s not an income source that I can rely on in any shape or form however!
List more of my unwanted items on eBay
- My challenge with this plan was that I didn’t have anything in mind that was unwanted or ready to sell. It’s necessary to go looking round the house to source things which I no longer want that I also think will have a decent resale value. I have listed a Karen Millen skirt and some Victoria Secret underwear on Buy It Now listings, however I haven’t had a buyer for either of these yet. My strategy with eBay is to list items using Buy It Now rather than as auctions. I then leave everything listed until someone comes along who wants to buy - occasionally I change the prices if something hasn’t shifted for a long time.
TO INCREASE INCOME FOR FUTURE MONTHS
Promote existing kindle books
- I continued to purchase further promotions for my books during March. One of these actually ran during March. Unfortunately the other promotion hit a snag. The company I used didn’t include my book on their promotion email for the day I had paid for. This meant that I didn’t get people coming to buy my book while it was on offer. I contacted the promoter who apologised and offered to run it a couple of days later. I agreed and got everything set-up again, only to be dismayed when once again my book wasn’t included in their promotion email. Since then I have been in touch with the promoter again who has refunded me the cost of the promotion as a goodwill gesture and has now scheduled my book to be promoted during April. Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly this time.
- It’s a pity because the promotion failure has effected what I would have expected to make in Kindle sales for my May payment. However hopefully it will all work itself out come June. I am continuing to book regular promotions for my books into May and beyond.
Continue with the Kindle course I’ve been working my way through, to help me successfully create and launch my next new ebook and paperback
- I did a little more work through the course during March, however things got busy with Easter and other commitments so I didn’t make as much progress as I would have liked
Create weekly posts on this website to help my readers learn ways to make money
- I published 4 posts during March and stayed on schedule for my target of 1 post per week
- I find at the moment that each blog post is taking me a long time to create (we’re talking 5 hours plus). I don’t feel that writing comes naturally to me - it takes me time to collate my thoughts to try to string together sentences that make sense. This is definitely an area for improvement!
Increase the number of followers on my Instagram account so that I can share my message about designing a life of your dreams, driving more traffic to this website
- I started March with 560 Instagram followers, at the end of March I was on 782
- It takes a lot of consistent effort, thought and consideration to run a good instagram account I think. I’m pleased with an increase of 200+ followers in a month and I am continuing to find ways to come up with imaginative content that hopefully is interesting and useful for those who are following
Continue working through my money making blog course by Emma Drew Turn Your Dreams Into Money because this is offering me tremendous guidance on how to make this website the best it can be for my readers
- Similarly to the publishing course, I did find some time to pursue the course during March, but I would love to have done more. I’m really excited about working through this. I need to allocate a timeblock so that I can dedicate myself to learning and implementng all the great advice on offer
- You may have seen in my recent post Write About What You Love And Make Money Too that I have a special discount code to offer you until the end of April 2018 if you would like to get £50 off the usual course price. Simply enter code SPRING2018 as you purchase Turn Your Dreams Into Money: How to build a six-figure blog and live the life you want to take advantage of the offer
Things I will try this month to help improve future months’ income and profit
- Focus my time and attention on core money making activities:
- Online publishing
- Growing Inspiring Life Design site and associated social media
- Any other money making activities will either be stopped or significantly reduced because they are taking up too much of my time for too little return
- Get stuck into the creation process for at least one new book to publish
- Run and track success of promotions booked for April
- Plan and book promotions for May
- Do at least 4 more lessons of publishing course
Inspiring Life Design blog
- Publish 4 posts during April
- Grow Instagram following from 782 to 900+ followers
- Get at least 50% of the way through Turn Your Dreams Into Money course (I’m currently 31% through)
Well that’s my income, profit and plans for another month. How did your first quarter of the year go? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below…
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