I always seem to come back to writing about waves and seasons. I live on an island constantly surrounded by waves and I always feel seasonal shifts, so that’s probably why.
And also why I’m here writing again, there is a new seasonal shift, and as per usual, here I am, following the call to write.
I wanted to share some updates with you, partly encouragement, partly motivational, partly real, partly because I want to, partly because I’m called to.
You might remember my last post. Good for you if you do, because I don’t, it was so long ago. But I’m sure I detailed my masterplan for building websites like some people buy or build houses, and how I love online real estate.
And then Covid happened.
So during lockdown, nothing really changed for me to be honest. Most days I sit at home in my office and write content. I pretty much did the same thing throughout the whole of this year, bar a few moments which I’ll talk about in a bit.
My plan for building websites as my version of online real estate hasn’t changed at all. I’m still focussed on the exact same goal. The goal itself shifts a bit – some days I want my websites to just earn passive income, some days I want my websites to change the world. Some days I want to sell my sites for a million dollars, other days I’m happy with them earning a nice passive side income every month and will keep them until nobody uses websites anymore.
The main goal though – to build a handful of profitable, fun to create websites, hasn’t changed.
In case you did miss the last post, I like building and selling websites and I’m good at it. I’ve built and sold two so far, one which was valued at almost 300K. I didn’t get anywhere near that valuation when I actually sold lol, but that’s because I wanted a fast sale and was too impatient to wait for the right buyer. Lesson learned.
I also helped build another site that was sold successfully, I just didn’t own that one. I’ve also written content for countless others, writing about anything from swimming pools (yep) to vegan diets to homeschooling and everything inbetween.
I like writing. I think people should do what they like to do. And build a world around that. That’s supposing the world itself doesn’t shift too much.
How The World Impacted Websites And Blogs In 2020
Yes, people still blog. You’re reading one of them. I read them most days. I like reading micro blog sites like IG and twitter too of course but blogging gives me more depth than I can get from social media.
When covid hit most blog publishers I know went into a little bit of crisis mode. The company I was CEO-ing for, right after hiring me, was hit with almost a 50% reduction in normal revenue as advertisers slashed their advertising budget in panic and fear of a global recession.
That’s recovered now and in fact ad rates are back to normal, and even higher. Along with a super high stock market. Which means we probably are about to go into a recession, but as a dreamer I’m hopeful we are about to, at some point, head into a new golden age rather than a recession. Let’s see.
Amazon hit publishers hard and came under a lot of criticism as it slashed its affiliate commissions during the middle of the
plan pandemic. My sites weren’t impacted as they aren’t earning anything from Amazon, but that was almost definitely part of the future income plan for both sites. That caused me to change how I look at blog income and where it comes from. I haven’t decided how my sites will be monetised yet. I like the idea of ads, but dislike the invasive user experience ads give to the reader.
Making New Income Streams During Lockdown
I also like the idea of having an online store, in fact I set up a shopify store during lockdown and made sales every single day. I used ads on Pinterest to make it happen. Ads on Instagram were a waste of time and money. Pinterest ads were much cheaper and led to higher conversions. Still, it was pretty awesome to go from zero to a brand new income stream in the space of 3 days. Just shows you what can be done when you decide.
What Charlie Did Next – What I’ve Been Working On.
Did you ever read the book what Katy did and what Katy did next? I loved those books. Anyway, back to websites.
The two websites are like chalk and cheese.
Not only are they on entirely different topics, but they did not go at all as planned. Except of course, they’ve all gone exactly as planned, but that’s a debate I’ll reserve for my coaching clients 😉
One site, the one I launched the shopify store for, was the site I expected to go extremely well. In the photography niche, it’s not like I don’t have a ton of experience and can’t write about it with my eyes closed.
But this was the one I struggled to focus on and find motivation for. I’m not sure why. It would be super easy income. I’ve already got courses, presets, sales pages, and blog content on there. I just need to push to create more content and promote it more. It made sales over lockdown of my presets, around 2-3 sales per day.
Although that sounds good, it only just covered my ads cost and left me with zero profit. Of course I still get those names on my mailing list to promote to in future but it just didn’t light my fire.
I’m just not money motivated enough to push something I’m not feeling. I might sell it and use the money to build another site. Or, I might just let it sit there and let it age for a while and then decide what to do with it later.
It’s a good solid site, with a lot going for it. I’ll probably keep it for now.
Site two was my surprise site. It’s the one I felt least passionately about and inspired by, but has grown on me more and more over time. It now has 38 articles on it, all are over 1500 words. My goal was 30 by Xmas so I’m happy with that.
I think I’ve stayed on board and motivated with this one as I hired a writer to share writing the content. Actually, she writes way more than I do. I edit her posts, add images and press publish. Editing her posts isn’t quite as simple as it sounds as I have to make sure it’s edited for SEO, meaning, the Google-gods will send readers my way. That’s probably not fun for most people but I find it easy to blast out some music, drink coffee, and enjoy doing it.
I’m really proud of this site. It’s been a bit stop-start like all of my businesses and projects but it’s still here, being worked on daily right now, and I feel thankful to have found my writer who likes the work as much as I like giving it to her 🙂
Also, in What Charlie Did Next, Charlie took holiday. Actual, holiday. Holiday where I didn’t check my phone, write anything, or speak to anyone about work for two whole weeks. This is the first time I’ve done that in 8 years. We had friends to stay and we did normal holiday ish things. Ate in beautiful restaurants by the ocean. Watched the sunset. Went to the water park. Swam in the sea most days.
I loved it. It’s still 80% humidity here. Every day is sweaty and I am longing for cooler autumn days to begin. We still have a while to go.
Holiday was great. I might even take another one at some point 🙂 I did still journal though, of course 🙂
Site Number One
Is doing all that was expected at this stage. It was getting a little google traffic, around 1-2 visitors a day from Google. It was a start, and encouraging to see.
It got a little Pinterest traffic, around 1-20 visitors a day.
The most significant thing that happened was me adding the shopify store and using Pinterest ads to promote the presets I’d purchased to sell. It shows that if someone had the cash to keep putting into ads, and could figure out how to add more preset bundles, build the brand, and increase the pricing, the site would probably be nicely profitable.
I was happy. I just wasn’t motivated to write more blog posts about photography. I thought I was. But I think that season of my life is done. For now 😉 like I said, I flow like the seasons 🙂
Site Number Two
So happy with this site. It’s getting around 30 visitors a day from Pinterest, and between 10-30 from search engines.
It’ll need around 3,000 impressions a month before I can start to monetise with ads – IF I choose to monetise with ads. At the moment I’m getting around 300. But for a new site, that’s good. I’m super happy. I feel like I’m building a house with strong foundations. I love the content. I love the subject. The traffic / readership is growing by the day. I love it!
So I set some bigger goals for it.
Note, these aren’t my life goals or vision goals or anything like that. I do have those, but they’re for another post. These are just simple website goals. A focus, if you like.
For site number 2, my goal is to have 150 posts on there by Christmas. That’s a lot of content. It will probably require me paying my writer a lot of money. That’s what an investment looks like. You give out money with the long term expectation that your investment will go up.
Of course, it might not work out that way. Site number 2 is in a fiercely competitive niche. Way more competitive than photography. But you know I don’t care or believe much in ‘competition’ not because of that femmpreneur style ‘I hope we all make it!’ tripe but because I just think if it’s meant to be the thing you’re doing it will be, and if it’s not you’ll end up doing whatever else God and the Universe have in store for you.
Still, as a tiny site, and for most people, it would be hard going up against brands that have been in existence for years and have a team of 20 writers. It’s just lil ole me and my part time writer.
But that’s ok. I’m trusting in the plan. Even though the plan evolves and changes. I really didn’t think this site would be the one that I felt most enthusiastic for. It has the least amount of content, the least amount of products for sale (in fact it has zero) and it’s in a niche I have the least experience.
Maybe that’s why I like it. I like the challenge 🙂
I actually thing that’s why a lot of people give up building online businesses. They forget to find the joy is in the challenge, not the result. I see it a lot in my coaching clients too, and have to remind them – of course, have goals, have expectations! But don’t pin yourself to the outcome. Something way more valuable could be in the inbetween.
That’s kind of where I feel I am right now. In an uncertain world, building new businesses where nothing is guaranteed, living in a way that changes day to day yet stays the same – everything is inbetween everything else.
Will I hit the 150 articles? Possibly. But I’ll definitely get at least halfway there. Better than if I didn’t have a goal at all.
I’ve also set myself the goal of building another site and having 30 posts on that by Christmas too. I know. I must be mad. But like I said, I like writing and editing and building online real estate.
Somehow I’ve been blessed with the most incredible circle of coaching clients. Some have been with my for years. They’re incredibly loyal and brave women and, as they’ve stuck to the program, they’ve started to achieve incredible things. Some are now location free, some are in multi six figure years, others have been able to take six months off and generate passive income during coronavirus. Some are launching apps, some are launching websites and blogs like I am, some are just starting everything all over again, but braver and stronger this time. Some are at the very top of their game and renowned in their industry. Some are more private like me and like to stay behind the scenes (another reason I like building websites).
Funnily enough, during our calls and coaching days we rarely talk about stuff like ‘ how to grow an audience’ or ‘how to SEO’. Lol. We talk about getting out of your own head, stopping second-guessing yourself, and about how to step into their greater power. We also talk about life, death, and everything inbetween. Because it’s all stuff that stands in the way of you building a business and life in the way you imagine. It’s all linked. It’s all relevant. No point me saying, hey just write 150 blog posts if you’re so depressed about your marriage you can’t even string together a sentence is there?
The girls’ riding instructor always tells them ‘get the head right, and the rest will follow’. It’s true. Get your head right and the rest can follow. But most people can’t get their head right, because of all we have already learned and repeat learn daily telling us we are somehow wrong, doing it wrong, everyone else is better than us, we’ll never make it, and that joy is somewhere else other than here.
Most of the time, success at anything is nothing to do with the things we think it is. Nothing to do with showing up, social media, ads, or any of it. (I didn’t lose a single coaching client the last few months, despite not blogging or posting anything, anywhere).
In an age when we are plagued with more doubt and fear than ever before, 24/7,
There’s nothing as important as understanding how to get out of your head, and into your body. Into allowing yourself to flow with your desires and wants, like the seasons, in a time when our voices and desires go unspoken.