March few by in a flash! I even forgot to wear green on St. Patrick’s day until 8pm that night. Usually I set out a green outfit the day before but this year I was so focused on my projects I almost totally forgot haha. The weather was gorgeous in San Francisco and I kept myself quite busy on projects and freelancing. Now onto the Untemplater Income Report for March 2015!
2015 Goals Update
1) Goal: Grow More Traffic
Now that I’m creating these income reports, I find Google Analytics a lot more interesting than in the past. My total traffic was up overall in March from February. But due to March being a longer month, my average pageviews per day in March came out just slightly lower February by -0.5%. (By the way you can access my February income report here.)
I’m glad that March held pretty steady and didn’t drastically drop off, since February had a dip down from January. Bottom line, holding steady is a good thing, but I need to keep working harder to be able to drive an increase in my daily average.
March vs February:
Year over Year:
2) Goal: Land More Freelancing Gigs
With the help of a highly connected friend, I was able to get two new freelance writing opportunities in March! That was very exciting and got me really pumped! I’ve completed my first assignments and will be getting started on my second set later this week. The not so good news is that it’s possible one of my existing partnerships that pays quite well could end in the next few months due to budget cuts, so I’m grateful to have some extra work now in case things thin out later on in Q2.
I re-read the Unconventional Guides ebook on Freelance Writing to brush up my skills, which was great and got my brain thinking about some new ways to improve. And since I plan to travel a lot more this year than last year (gotta take advantage of a flexible schedule while I have one!), I also had a fun time publishing a review on their latest guide Working On The Road. I recommend you check it out if you want to more flexible hours or desire a location independent lifestyle.
I also spent several hours one afternoon brushing up on my grammar skills and taking quizzes to test my knowledge. I never thought I’d actually find myself wishing I could re-take my 8th grade grammar class, ha! I had the meanest grammar teacher, but man did he really know his stuff. One of my writing gigs is pretty old-school corporate and requires very proper grammar, so I’m continually trying to improve my editing skills. I’m sure my 8th grade grammar teacher would probably draw red circles all over my writing with his nitpicky ways, but now I would find it totally fascinating versus completely annoying back then. At least blog-style writing is best when it’s a bit lax on proper grammar, right? 🙂
3) Goal: Build More Affiliate Income
Thank you to those of you who signed up for services or bought products using Untemplater links! Affiliate income did well in March and I am currently working on adding a few more products and services into the mix to replace some programs that have closed down and also to diversify. I plan to be more diligent about checking for broken links and deactivated programs as well.
Income Report March 2015
Ok, let’s move into the March numbers!
Total Revenue Streams = $11,778
Editorial, writing, online marketing $5,150
Website management $1,000
I am very happy about the bump in freelancing in March, but I am mentally preparing myself that things could slow down. As a result, I’m continuing to seek out more opportunities, saving as much as I can, and staying on my toes.
Rental income $800
Dividends & Interest income $308
Prosper P2P investment income $42
I had a drop in investment income in March but fortunately nothing to panic about since my investments are conservative. And I recently put some more cash to work in my P2P Prosper account in a few more C loans to continue to diversify away from just Bs and above.
ADVERTISING & AFFILIATE: $4,478
Affiliate Advertising: $3,600
Profitable Online Store: $264
Direct Advertising: $250
Contextual Advertising (Adsense): $186
Unconventional Guides: $59
Thesis Theme: $29
Amazon Associates: $0
Affiliate and advertising had a nice 14% increase over February, partly because March was a longer month and also due to a nice surprise bump from Profitable Online Store.
Expenses = $4,720
Meals & Entertainment – business: $(278)
Aweber, Marketing, Subscriptions, Fees: $(245)
Hosting, web related: $(190)
Travel – business: $(100)
Supplies & misc: $(15)
Business expenses came in lower for March due to lower travel costs and outsourcing. I anticipate outsourcing should drop down further for April as I take on more things myself. I was tempted to create another niche site on Bluehost since the cost is so low at $3.95 a month, but I am putting that idea on hold for now since I need to focus on my new freelancing gigs and my other 2015 goals.
Living expenses: $(3,310)
Meals & Entertainment – personal: $(332)
Travel – personal: $(100)
No major changes here. I spent a bit less on travel but I’m saving up for a big trip in the coming months. I’m still trying to figure out where I want to go, but I definitely want to somewhere warm. Hawaii or Mexico would be awesome. Where ever I end up, I’m just so happy that San Francisco is a fantastic home base. It’s expensive here, but it’s worth it.
PROFITS: $11,778 (Income) – $4,720 (Expenses) = $7,058
March was a fantastic month and I’m still in shock that it’s the second week of April already. My profits before taxes of $7,058 represent a 59.9% operating profit margin ($7,058/ $11,778 revenue), up from 52.2% in February. I got all of my 2014 taxes filed and paid (owed a lot more than last year, but I expected that) and also paid my April estimated taxes as well. If you’re self-employed or are considering working for yourself, be sure to read through my post on estimated taxes to learn about the important basics.
Taxes are a pain but I’ve been earning a nice income, so I can’t really complain. I also like to use the city services and benefits (graffiti removal, tree trimming, adding stop signs, public transit, public parks, etc.) as much as possible to feel I’m at least getting something back for the thousands I’m forking over.
In the meantime, I’m still saving all my excess as I anticipate higher expenses for travel in the coming months and possibly a decrease in freelancing income.
Personal Finance – If you’re interested in tracking your own finances, sign up for a free account with Personal Capital. Link your credit cards, checking accounts, mortgage, student loan debt, savings accounts, investment accounts, etc. all in one place. Their reports and analytical tools really make it easy to monitor your financial health and helps you set goals. I’ve had an account with them for several years and love how easy and intuitive the platform is. Bloggers – want to become an affiliate? Sign up for the Personal Capital affiliate program here.
Be your own investment manager – I also recently opened a trading account with Motif Investing. I love their business model of buying baskets of securities, i.e. motifs, for one low rate of $9.95. They have an easy to browse product catalog of professionally created motifs that experts have crafted so you don’t have to wrack your brain figuring out what to buy/sell. It’s fun to invest in ideas to grow your wealth.
Become A Freelancer – Motivated to become a freelancer? The possibilities are endless! If you’re a creative, learn how to sell your products and create your own online store. Like to write as much as I do? Find out how to get published and earn money as a writer. Whatever your interests are, work on building up your skills and developing your own unique niche.
Are you by any chance burnt out of your job like I was? Believe in yourself that you have options and can turn your career around. I didn’t believe I could escape for the longest time and now I realize how foolish I was. Learn how to get paid to leave your job like I did and open your eyes to new opportunities.
Untemplaters, how did you perform in March? Take any fun trips or accomplish any goals? Has spring arrived where you are yet?