If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that we had big plans for this summer. Huge plans. Moving from one country to another.
And we did just that. We moved from our homeland of Israel to the US. We’re here now, in Florida, and I’m gradually settling in and getting back to work. Now that I finally have an office to work with, it’s time to catch up on Yeys.
This post will be mostly about how we managed to move across the ocean while keeping the business running with no interruptions. I’ll also include a mini report about our traffic and revenue in July.
Table of Contents
- Preparing for the move
- How we made sure the business kept on running
- What’s next
- The June 2021 Report
- The bottom line
Preparing for the move
We made the decision to move our web publishing operation to the US more than a year ago. Looking at the growth charts, we realized just how much potential this business had. We decided to go all the way in with our investment and grow the business even more.
Our websites target American audiences. Our writers and editors are American. It made more sense to move to the US and get closer to our markets and workforce.
I won’t bore you with all of the technical details. The process was long and time-consuming, and the pandemic made everything more complicated.
By early 2021 we had ourdates for the move. We then started making our plans.
How we made sure the business kept on running
One of our challenges was to make sure the business would keep running with no interruptions while we were on the move.
There was so much work involved with the actual move:
- Selling our belongings in Israel
- Moving out of our home
- Saying goodbye to our friends and relatives
- Packing up and flying to the US
- Buying a car
- Finding a place to live
It was easy to tell we would be extremely busy for a few weeks.
Here are a few things we did to facilitate a smooth move, and keep the business up and running – even with me not being around to monitor things on a daily basis.
Creating a timeline
We worked with a timeline throughout the entire process. With so many time-sensitive things to do, it was imperative.
Everything – from setting up the company to when to start packing – was put on a timeline. That way we could make sure we weren’t dropping the ball on anything that might be required down the road.
Using tasks and checklists
We used Clickup to track everything. The move was a project, so used Clickup to break it down into dozens of tasks and checklists.
Clickup made it easy to review our progress. You can switch the Clickup view seamlessly between gantt (a timeline of sorts) and a list of tasks. That made it easier for us to track everything. We used dependencies a lot as well, as some aspects of setting up the company were intricately connected.
Sticking to our routines and workflows
I love workflows. We are able to publish hundreds of articles each month thanks to our structured workflows.
Every writer, editor, and VA knows their place in the production workflow.
Clickup allows everyone to work as a team and make the workflow happen (you can read here about some of our Clickup workflows).
By the time we made the move, our workflows were well-established. Everyone on the team had been trained in using them. I had outsourced most of the roles out, so almost everything could be done without my involvement.
Except for one thing. I was still in charge of coming up with topics for new articles. More on that later.
Investing in a motivated team
We make a point of creating a friendly work environment. We talk to our VA’s, editors, and writers all the time. We try to connect with them, allow for time off when needed for family reasons. Things like that.
Why is that?
First and foremost, I think it’s the right thing to do. We’re all people, and like to be treated nicely. Being nice to one another makes for a better world. I want people who work for me to be happy and I like to try and be a positive influence in their lives.
I also believe that when you treat people well, they tend to reciprocate. And when they work for you, that means they tend to be more motivated and help you succeed.
When it was time for us to move, I knew I was leaving the business in trustworthy reliable hands. A group of happy, motivated, and well-trained people were holding the proverbial fort while we were on the move.
Working with buffers
Having set up workflows that were operated by a well-trained dedicated team, there was just one function where I was still needed: coming up with new post topics.
While I did train our Chief Editor for that, she could not take on handling the volume we needed. Producing 400+ articles every month requires a lot of “keyword research” time which she didn’t have enough of. Also, I like to do most of our topics. I think there’s a lot of experience-born intuition at play here, so I suspect I can come up with topics faster too.
In short, I needed to cover for myself on that front.
The solution was to create a large buffer of topics. As I mentioned in previous blog posts, I spent most of May and some of June doing just that. It felt like a moving target at times, but I managed to create a buffer of over 1,000 topics by the end of June. I knew I had July and August covered.
I expect to get back to topic creation this week. And I can do that with no pressure, knowing the writers already have enough topics to choose from during August.
Settling in – fast
Finally, to make sure that I can get back to work as soon as possible, we made an effort to settle in as fast as we could.
We were flying to Miami, Florida. That much we knew. We were unsure as to where we wanted to live, though. Florida seemed very nice but too many people warned us that the heat and humidity were unbearable.
We decided to come here and see for ourselves. We actually found Florida to be as hot and humid as the Tel Aviv area from which we came. Yes, that is hot and humid, but it’s not that bad. It just means you have to stay indoors during most of the day, which is what we do anyway.
Miami itself was tropical. It rained every day during our three days there. Twice a day, in fact. And it was the kind of heavy tropical rain that makes you take cover.
However, as we moved up north along the coast, to the Space Coast area, the weather improved. We’ve been here for almost two weeks now and have only seen rain twice. What’s more, we are now situated on the barrier island between the mainland and the Atlantic ocean. There’s a cool breeze here most of the time, which really takes the edge off the heat.
My son is a huge fan of everything related to space exploration, and he’ll be able to watch the rocket launches from here, which made for our final decision to stay here.
Here are some pictures, so as not to keep this post with no visuals!
Back to the part about keeping our business going.
Most people would start looking for an unfurnished place at this point. Going through the hurdles of finding such a place, changing the utilities to their name, and then buying the furniture and setting everything up.
That can be very time-consuming.
To save on my work time, we decided to pay more and get a fully furnished place, with all expenses covered by the landlord. It’s more expensive, but since this is a long-term rental, it’s not as expensive as an AirBnB, while delivering the same kind of living experience.
We could have saved $1000 a month in rent, but we figured that the time it would take to get us up and running, along with the cost of furniture, balance that out. And most importantly, by getting into this home, we could set up an office right away.
We brought along my screen and keyboard and set up a nice docking station with my laptop in the study room here. So, I was all set up within a day after moving in. Fortunately, our landlord already converted one of the bedrooms into an office space, as per our request. This is what it looked like before I placed my docking station.
It’s taken us a total of three weeks to get from getting the visa, packing up, leaving our old home, flying over, trying out the area, and moving into a new home.
During those three weeks, I checked my mail and kept in touch with my Chief VA and Chief Editor via Skype and Whatsapp. I checked my Clickup notifications occasionally as well.
Everything went smoothly.
And now it’s time to get back into the swing of things.
Fortunately, Clickup helps me track the daily routine stuff. That’s very helpful. But I don’t have any big projects lined up, and that’s strange.
My next step will be to generate another 500 new topics. I really like having this buffer of topics, and I want to keep it going moving forward.
Then I’m going to look at my “Ideas” file. That’s where I jot down my thoughts and ideas for developing my business. I’m going to give this some thought and see if and how to adjust our strategy for the rest of the year.
I’m not too worried. I’m sure I’ll find plenty of fun new projects to keep me busy. Now that I see how well our team can manage the routine production of content, I should have even more time to play with shiny new objects!
The June 2021 Report
Finally, July isn’t over just yet, so I can still sneak in a quick monthly report for June. If you’re new to this blog and aren’t familiar with my business model, you can read about it on the About Me page here.
June was pretty fabulous! Being the last month in a quarter always helps with RPMs. Amazon Prime Day also provided us with a nice little bonus, of an extra couple of thousands of dollars.
Let’s take a look at the numbers and charts.
Traffic on the niche/content sites went up by about 10% from 1,720,245 to 1,875,652 pageviews. We have an additional forums site that we’re keeping out of this chart because it has different traffic patterns. That site brings in an additional 1.3 million pageviews every month.
In terms of revenue, the increase was even more significant, mostly thanks to the higher RPM rates. Revenue went up from $69,986 to $85,105! That’s an increase of about 20%!
Our expenses in June
As always, this section is more about estimating our costs than tracking actual expenses. Even more so for June, when we had a bunch of relocation-related expenses that are likely irrelevant to anyone reading this report.
I put the production per post costs at $70 per post. That number includes writer fees, editing fees, and VA fees. We published a total of 449 posts in June, putting our content investment expenses at $31,430.
As usual, I prefer to add an overall $3K in general expenses. That’s on top of the cost of each post. It’s probably a bit too much, but I prefer to err on the side of caution.
That brings us to a total of $34,430 in expenses.
The bottom line
$85,105 in revenue and $34,430 in expenses brings us to a total of –
$50,675 in profit!
And that’s AFTER content investment!
If we were to stop investing in content, then we would have made a total of more than $80K!
While our business plan predicted these figures, we didn’t think we’d reach them so soon. But again, this was June. July is shaping out to have lower revenue ranges, thanks to the lower RPM of the first month of the quarter. Still, six more days to go, so who knows.
I hope you find this report inspiring. That’s one major reason for me sharing these figures. It’s taken me a few years to these figures, but it’s totally doable!
As always, your comments are very welcome!