May has been a wonderful month here in Halifax, where I decided to spend most of the summer. We’re staying at a beautiful Airbnb located downtown, so we’ve been exploring the city a lot.

Since I’ve been in tourist and chillaxing mode, I haven’t worked on my business as much as I should have this month. Things have been stagnating for a while and I’m at the point where I need to make big decisions in order to grow.

One of those decisions has been to hire an assistant, and May has been the first month where I’ve had outside help. I’ll go into the whole process as part of this post.

May Income Breakdown

May Traffic

After a boost in traffic, my numbers have gone back down again. I noticed the same thing happened at the beginning of last summer and my traffic has been lower during the summer months. I’m going to take a guess and assume it’s a temporary drop somehow related to the seasons, because nothing else changed.

What Happened This Month?

My income has been hovering around the same number for the last 6 months, and although I’m happy with this number, my goal is always to grow. I haven’t been doing anything new and exciting lately, and it’s time.

I have several ideas floating in my head for new projects, some of which are:

  • Growing Rosevibe to offer courses and services! I’m currently making $0 in revenue from Rosevibe.
  • Start selling physical products (there are several routes I can take for this to happen).
  • Working on my second website which is currently bringing around $3500 in revenue, as there’s some growth potential there.
  • Starting more websites, which was initially my plan and almost happened a few months ago. I decided to focus on existing sites (including Rosevibe) instead.
  • Getting my feet wet when it comes to apps. I’ve been considering outsourcing to have an app built.

I’m a big advocate of working on big and exciting projects that are going to truly have an impact on my business, as opposed to putting in endless hours on maintenance tasks that only serve to keep your head above the water.

What’s holding me back, then?

This is a question I’ve had to keep asking myself this month, and finding an answer isn’t easy. For one, I harbour a lot of self-doubt. My confidence is like a yo-yo, and I’m also somewhat of a perfectionist. These two things combined (self-doubt and perfectionism) lead me to procrastinate in order to avoid trying. I also struggle with the idea of putting myself out there, which is essential to overcome.

I’m going to have to find an answer to this question in order to move forward and get over the hump.

Affiliate Income

Most of my income comes from affiliate marketing. I’m an affiliate for Amazon as well as multiple networks such as Linkshare and ShareASale, and I’m also on Reward Style — if you want to learn more about the networks I use and recommend, click here for a full post!

I’m a big fan of affiliate marketing revenue not only because it’s great passive income, but also because you can integrate it into your content seamlessly. I’m not an affiliate for any brands or products I don’t truly recommend, and my affiliate links are simply a way of monetizing content that would be on the blog regardless. There are no third-party ads involved with affiliate marketing, and I can manage everything myself which is a huge plus.

Ad Revenue

Ad revenue isn’t my favorite way to monetize. Mainly, this is because it slows down my loading time which has a negative effect not only on SEO but also on each user’s experience. Ads also don’t usually mesh with the content and they’re invasive. Since I’m using third-party ads, this means I have no control over the ads themselves. I might not personally support every advertiser for whatever reason, yet I have to tolerate the ads being on my website.

You can see a screenshot of my ad revenue for May as well as for June, which is the current month as I’m writing this income report. My RPM has gone up considerably in June since I added a (pretty invasive) sticky footer ad to my site. According to a poll, my readers don’t mind the ads too much, so I’m hoping this change won’t have a negative impact.

Hiring An Assistant

I’ve definitely reached the point where I need an assistant in order to be able to grow my online business. This has been a hard decision for me because I want to do allll the things myself! This was quickly becoming impossible, and I was starting to work on my business LESS due to it being overwhelming.

I hired a (virtual) assistant through the mailing list of my main site, which is something I recommend. I wanted someone who shared the same passion first and foremost, since I needed an assistant for that specific website.

I made sure to give an accurate job description and included what type of person, skills, and tasks I’m looking for. I received over 350 applications after asking for a cover letter and resume, and narrowing it down to one wasn’t easy.

I’ve worked with my current assistant for 2 months now, and the process has been more time-consuming than I anticipated. In these early stages, there’s a lot of double-checking and things aren’t running completely smoothly yet.

I’ll possibly write an in-depth post about hiring a virtual assistant in the future if there’s interest.

Using My Mailing List

One big goal I’m having with my main blog is using my mailing list more consistently. I’ve acquired over 30,000 email subscribers and I’ve been aiming to form a better community bond with everyone. An email list is a huge asset for multiple reasons. Using your list to monetize your blog is an obvious one, but you can do much more in terms of building a community, which is my main goal.

Right now, I need to do two things:

  • Set up an autoresponder for new subscribers (a series of emails every new subscriber will be getting).
  • Come up with an email schedule to follow, for example emailing every thursday morning.

Goals For Next Month

All goals will go in my upcoming income report, since I’m posting this at the very end of June.