The official name of my August monkey was “straighten up my finances”. If you came here by accident and you don’t really know what I’m talking about, go ahead and read the introductory post. In brief, I decided to ditch all my new year resolutions in 2011 and instead pick an “inner monkey” each month and try to “tame” it. Read what an inner monkey is.
The Revenue Sources Issue
Initially, I wanted to use the term “problem”, but I realized it will be a little too much to call it problem. In fact, it was just an issue. Basically, my revenue sources were a little bit stretched. During the last 3 years, since I started to write on this blog, I did a lot of experiments in monetization. Some of these experiments generated more revenue than others, obviously. But the whole mechanism wasn’t really oiled. There were a lot of debris floating around. And some of these debris were thoroughly described in the first update about this monkey.
So, where am I now? What are my valid revenue sources and what are the things I should leave behind?
In short, I narrowed the circle of valid revenue sources to only 5 areas: ebooks, partnerships, iOS apps, consulting and live events. There was a strong desire to create an online course and I really wanted to get one done, but it just didn’t happen. So I think I will leave the online courses behind for a while.
This month I launched Brilliantly Better, one of the most challenging books I ever launched so far. In short, the book is a collection of more than 70 articles on this blog, hand picked and edited to create a meaningful package. The online version can be bought for 16.99 (which is a steal, when you think you get more than 500 pages worth of content), the Kindle version can be bought for 9.99 (yes, big difference) and the iBookStore version should come up in a few weeks, at the same price.
One important thing to mention is that I made a video for this ebook, which turned out to be more popular than the book itself. It’s on the sidebar and at the end of this post, feel free to watch it, it’s only a minute. Oh, and if you like it, feel free to share it.
Meanwhile, I have another 5 titles which are continuing to sell, without any specific marketing campaigns, just by being listed on this blog. Here’s a quick list:
- 100 Ways To Live A Better Life: CreateSpace | Amazon | Kindle | iBookStore
- 100 Ways To Screw Up Your Life: CreateSpace | Amazon | Kindle | iBookStore
- The Productivity Trap: CreateSpace | Amazon | Kindle | iBookStore
- The 7 Ages Of An Online Business: CreateSpace | Amazon | Kindle | iBookStore
- Natural Productivity – Assess, Decide, Do: Amazon | Web | Kindle | iBookStore
As a general strategy direction, I think ebooks will make at least 50% of my focus. It’s not only the revenue, which is of course, a steady one, but also the fact that I really like to write. It’s one of the things I’m doing almost effortless and, based on some of the opinions on this blog, it’s something that at least makes people think, if not something that they really enjoy.
I created a new partnership for my WordPress premium framework line of business. It’s called WPGalore, and we’re already working on it. The feature list is ready, the schedule in place, the team assembled and ready to work (it will still be a side project for some of the people involved, though, just to keep the risks low) and there’s even a landing page for you guys. If you want to know more about it, leave your email after you click on the link above and we’ll be in touch.
To be honest, I’m quite thrilled about this new line of revenue, which started early this year and which was almost on the verge of a huge success with WPSumo, if it wasn’t for that team glitch which kinda poisoned the partnership. I’m also happy that I was smart enough to leave a bad partnership behind (please note that the partnership was bad, not the people, all people were ok, we just had different ideas and expectations) and start a new one pretty fast. If everything goes well, we should be up and running sometime this year. We’re targeting November as the month of launch and there are pretty big chances that this will actually happen.
In terms of focus I will give 30% of it to the partnership area.
Oh, there are also another two partnerships in which I’m supposedly involved as a partner/adviser, but these are not even remotely at the same level with WPGalore in terms of management and development. I admit that in WPGalore I’m deeply involved at an operational level, making things happening every day, while in the other two I’m just an observer. I could surely kick some of the assess in those two startups, but I prefer to remain an observer for now and see if things will really take off or not. From the WPSumo experience I can reinforce the fact that the product or the market can be validated, but if the team isn’t, well, everything was in vain. That’s how business function, I suppose.
When I’m talking iOS apps, I’m talking in fact about iAdd, my iOS implementation of the Assess – Decide – Do framework (just get the book from the list above if you want to know more about it). The app development was stopped, because I decided to wait for iCloud to launch. According to the latest information, this won’t happen until early October. I’m not supposed to talk about the beta releases of iOS 5, although I’m playing with them on a daily basis. All I can tell is that the development proved to be far more tedious than I anticipated. And the return of investment kinda slow.
I will continue to maintain iAdd for iPhone and iPad as I promised, and I will do my best to launch the desktop version by the end of the year. Like this, I will at least know that I created a complete productivity suite for Mac/iOS and take a break for a while from iOS development. In terms of energy and focus this project was really wearing me out. But it’s still a big priority for me, so I will give it at least 10% of my remaining focus. That means that out of 10 hours of work every day, I will dedicate at least one to iAdd.
Consulting and Live Events
I put these two line of revenue in the same paragraph because they’re pretty much similar. And because I don’t intend to give more than a combined 10% of all of my focus to them. Basically, I will just keep myself prepared and updated with all the major trends in this area and I will make sure my skills won’t start to worn out, but I won’t promote any of these specifically. If somebody ask me to provide, I will deliver, but that’s all for now.
The Overall Strategy
Just a few more words before going to the next monkey. As you see, I’m trying to create a mix of passive and active income. The passive income area will be illustrated by the ebooks and iOS apps, which will continue to generate revenue more after the work was finished. In total, they’ll be at around 60% of my focus.
The rest of 40% will be split between my partnerships (which will in turn create some passive income too, based on the business model that will be implemented, but it will require a constant investment of time and value) and my consulting and live events line.
I am pretty sure that I didn’t have any idea about the real balance between my passive and active income before this month, so even if I will take into account only this outcome, this monkey taming can be considered a huge success.
So, 60% passive versus 40% active revenue. It’s not so bad, but it could be so much better.
Monkey Number 9
In September I want to finish, and, if possible, to publish my first fiction book in English. It’s based on some of the stuff I wrote more than 20 years ago, but which still resists to one of the harshest critiques I know,and that would be me. After I read parts of that material again this month, translating a few important parts, I can confirm that. I don’t know if it will be a huge success or an epic blunder, but I know for sure this is one of the oldest monkeys I have.
I’ve been fantasizing to publish that book ever since I was 17. I think it’s time to get this done.
Will see how this goes.