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Web Publishing Notes December 2019
At least one reader noticed that I hadn’t published the Web Notes for November (thanks for letting me know that you were reading them, April!), so I decided to go ahead and actually write and publish a report for December. See, your comments matter!
I’ll stop doing these roundups in 2020 and instead… drumroll… I’ll publish monthly revenue reports!
Why? Because I think the business is becoming interesting enough to do that. With several sites about to break out of the sandbox, there will be more to share and discuss in monthly revenue reports. And I just don’t see myself posting both these detailed reports and the roundups.
Also, I suspect that, like myself, most people prefer to read revenue reports rather than roundups? I could be wrong there – let me know if you feel differently.
Anyway, stay tuned for the quarterly revenue report that covers Q4 of 2019. It has been an interesting quarter and we’re currently working on the report.
This is the beach in my hometown of Netanya, Israel. I usually post images from our trips abroad, but we tend to stay home over the winter, so a picture of Israel it is.
The Monthly Round-up for December
Moving on to a few of the more interesting posts that I was reading this month. First, the image that I used to feature this post –
The one question to ask before starting a new website
Shawna from Skipblast.com discusses a fascinating topic here – where do you see yourself with a site, a few years down the road? She changed the way she looks at creating new websites and now asks herself about each new project: Do I want to still be doing this in three years?
I found it very interesting that Shawna focused on the choice of niche with that question. Is the niche interesting enough for you, so that you’ll have fun writing about it in three years? I think that’s an excellent question if you write your own content. In fact, I once published a post about why you should only choose blog niches that you’re interested in.
My perspective has changed since I discovered outsourcing. Now, what I’m interested in is streamlining my workflows and managing other people. The choice of niche isn’t influenced by what interests me. At least not as much.
Also – and this is probably because I’m much older than most web publishers – my goal isn’t to be doing “this” in three years. My current goal is actually to build a working business that will allow me to semi-retired in three years, with employees who can keep running the business for me. Ideally. In reality, probably more like five years.
How to avoid blogger burnout
Burnout is always a worry for me. I’ve hit that spot more than once, and I have to pace myself to prevent it from recurring. Jon Dykstra does a great job of outlining the causes of blogger burnout in this post, as well as ways to prevent it.
I can vouch for every way suggested in that post. If you’re new to this business, please read it and implement the advice. Burnout sucks, and if you’re new to web publishing, it could stop you in your tracks and bring your entire web publishing dream to an end.
In fact, I have to remind myself of this strategy quite often – Have realistic expectations. During the past four months, my team and I produced a total of 689 excellent blog posts. That took a LOT of effort, and I couldn’t avoid expecting Google to respond faster. Putting so much time and energy into the project, you really want to see the results. Right now.
What helps in my case is having a detailed “Business Strategy” spreadsheet with a clear outline of projected revenue and profit. That outline reflects, among other things, the time it takes posts to rank. So, for December, it relies on the number of posts that have been published up to the end of August (and then a bit more, because some posts rank faster – it’s a complicated formula).
The thing is, going back to that projected timeline, I can see that hey, we’re doing ok. Sure, Google didn’t rank these 600+ posts right away, but that wasn’t part of the plan anyway. We’re meeting the goals and exceeding them even. That’s a nice feeling. It also helps combat burnout by dialing back expectations to where I really think they should be.
Being a Digital Nomad in an RV can get expensive
Speaking of burnout, the best way to prevent it (and Jon mentions that early on in his post), is to work fewer hours.
And the best way to make me do other stuff and engage with the world beyond my screen is by traveling.
We have a fantasy plan, or a “plantasy” if you like, of taking to the road in 2021, RV’ing across the US and Canada. I have a notorious record of making such “plantasies” become a reality. During the last decade, we spent a total of almost two years of road trips in North America, albeit in a car and motels. So, yeah, there’s a good chance that I will be working from the road in less than two years.
Hence why this post by ThinkSaveRetire.com caught my eye in December’s RSS feed. This post is mainly for people who may be interested in the RV lifestyle. If you are, it’s well worth a read. They talk about just how expensive RV living can get and offer ways to save money too.
Growing an RV blog from zero to $5K a month in one year
Turning this rig around back to actual web publishing.
Success stories are always fun to read, so I’ll wrap this month’s web publishing notes with Todd and Julie’s.
I checked their blog at Trekkn.co, and it has approximately 200 posts. That means each of their posts makes $25 a month on average. Our own business model relies on $8 a month per post to be successful, so seeing this makes me happy. I always hope that our assumptions are too conservative *wink*.
Anyway, that’s it for this round-up! Starting in February, I’ll be publishing monthly revenue reports instead of roundups. Fingers crossed, I’ll have time to blog here some more in between these reports!
Happy new year, everyone! I have a feeling 2020 is going to be pretty awesome!
Looking forward to income reports and more posts generally Anne. Thanks for the mention.
Thanks for stopping by!
Another great post. I’m looking forward to the revenue reports. I am finding that writing down my revenue and goals for each site each month provides a great way for me to look back and reflect on my thoughts and aspirations when the sites were still babies 😀 Looking at other peoples revenue reports, allows me to “compare” growth and strategies even though I know it isn’t a true comparison.
Thanks, April! I love me a good revenue report by others too.
The last quarterly report has just been published and is available here. I hope it didn’t come out too long…
I just discovered your blog and to be honest i value this type of posts as much as the revenue ones so i’d say keep them coming when you find the time 😉
Thanks Alex! Finding the time is proving to be very challenging so far. We’re planning a business trip to the States in March and I’m super busy trying to put everything in place. Not only to make the most of the trip, but also to make sure that my team can keep the operation running here with me away. I’m committed to publishing revenue reports once a month but I doubt I’ll have time for much more until April.
For some reason when I try to subscribe to your blog on the home screen I never seem to receive a confirmation email or become subscribed? Just letting you know in case it’s broken.
Looking forward to the Feb update
Alex (not the Alex above;) )
Thanks for letting me know. I’ll need to look into this. I use Mailchimp but haven’t updated the setup in a while so maybe something is off there.
Ok, I checked and the list is working but didn’t have any confirmation messages. Your email was added. I just switched it over to double opt-in, so there are confirmation emails going out. I also added a signup box at the bottom of every blog page.