As always, each month I write a detailed report about how my businesses are running, including a breakdown of the income for each income stream, related expenses, and the lessons learned. We're into the second month of the year, and although it's a month with fewer days, there's still a lot of stuff to share, so let's get right to it…
Important Goings-On in February
Typically I can categorize each month as either a planning month, or an execution month. I do this strategically in my overall planning schedule because it helps me stay focused on what needs to be done and which brain I'll need to tap into more. With that said, February was definitely both a planning AND execution month.
SPI TV is my new web video show, which is published both as a YouTube series, and also a Video Podcast. Make sure to subscribe on YouTube or iTunes to stay on top of it every Friday when a new episodes goes live.
I already had a largely populated video channel on YouTube, with 35,000 subscribers and over 80 videos that was capturing organic traffic fairly well. Unfortunately, in 2012 when I doubled up on my podcast schedule, I left producing videos behind, which is why about 95% of the videos on my YouTube channel are pre-2012. As a result of the lack of attention to my channel, my reach with my subscribers is extremely low, so don't even think the actual active subscriber count is close to the displayed 35,000 subscribers.
If I were to guess, based on how many views I get within a week after a video is published without any promotion (which I've tested), it's probably closer to 4,000 or 5,000 subscribers…which is sad.
But, this is where SPI TV comes in! It's my launch back into the video scene, and with my trusty sidekick (aka. videographer) Caleb Wojcik on the team, we're definitely ready to start cranking…and we have.
Already, we've shot half of the videos we need for a Friday publishing schedule through June 2015. Only 5 episodes have gone live so far, but overall the response from the audience has been amazing!
Here's a list of the existing episodes for you to check out:
- Episode 001: How to Write a Book—The Secret to a Super Fast First Draft
- Episode 002: My Custom Home Office Tour and Setup
- Episode 003: My Top 5 Productivity Tools that Can Make You Better, Faster & Stronger
- Episode 004: 9 Ways to Get an Immediate Boost of Energy Before You Work
- Episode 005: Why Events and Gigs are KEY to Your Brand + Behind the Scenes of 1DayBB
Episode 2, which I'll embed for you below, has by far been the most popular. It's a virtual tour of my new home office:
People seem to really dig the behind the scenes stuff…so maybe you should think about how you can open up the factory doors a little bit like this for your audience too!
So far, the YouTube videos for SPI TV have been viewed 47,988 times, which is great. After 5 episodes, you'd think there would be much more with 35,000 subscribers—but as you can see, not so much.
What's cool is that since launching SPI TV, the subscriber count, however has grown by about 4,000 people. These are new subscribers who I would definitely consider active at this point:
Now, here's the really interesting part…
The video podcast—the same exact show, only served through iTunes, has had a total of 32,985 plays. In other words, 40% of the overall views of SPI TV have come directly from iTunes…as a video podcast. Video podcasts are something we don't hear much about.
(analytics from PodBean.com—the host I use to serve these videos as a podcast to iTunes. I use them because it's a flat fee, and unlimited storage space with unmetered bandwidth)
Now, you have to realize that I have a huge audio podcasting audience. With The SPI Podcast, AskPat, plus 1DayBB, it's really easy for those people to find and subscribe to SPI TV on a platform that many of them are already on: iTunes.
But, Caleb (my videographer) who created a YouTube Channel and Video Podcast at the same time for his brand at DIY Video Guy, said he's getting more downloads from his video podcast than on YouTube.
He's a featured guest in an upcoming episode of The SPI Podcast (154) coming out later this month, so look out for that as we reveal more about the production side of SPI TV, and more on the video podcasting stuff.
I'm keeping a close eye on the numbers here for you to see if the video podcast can keep up with the YouTube channel, and it seems pretty close so far. Of course, you lose a lot of the organic search capability that YouTube is obviously known for versus what's available on iTunes, but still—this was really surprising to me…in a totally good way.
Doing both seems like a viable option if you're thinking of getting into video.
Getting Ahead and Batch Processing
A lot of energy in February, especially in the first half, was used to get ahead on my content production schedule. When you publish content and when you create content can be totally different, and I batch processed a ton of content up front in the month so I could free up time in the later half of the month.
Because for an entire week I was going to be 100% on Daddy duty as April, my wife, was set to go on her first vacation since having our first born 5 years ago. We've gone on several vacations as a family before, but the most time she has ever spent away from the kids up until this February vacation was a single night, and to say she deserved this time off with some girlfriends of hers is an understatement. Her full time job is being an awesome mom, and it's truly the toughest job in the world.
I wanted to be totally there for the kids mentally when she was away so she didn't have to worry while enjoying Disneyworld and Universal Studios in Florida. And, she was crazy enough to sign up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, which is a Disney themed race that goes through the park. So, it's her first vacation in years, and she signs up to go run 13.1 miles.
Told you she's awesome. 🙂
I took a few days to batch process a lot of content. One day was specifically for moving ahead on The SPI Podcast—taking some interview recordings I've done in the past and adding in the introductions, sponsorship spots and closing statements before sending those files off to Dropbox for my team to put together into full podcast episodes. I got 1.5 months ahead of schedule on that.
My other show, AskPat, took a couple of days to get a couple of weeks ahead. For two consecutive nights, I recorded an additional 5 episodes, so in total I was 2 weeks ahead before April took off on her trip.
With the written content, I wasn't able to get ahead but it was easy for me to include writing into my morning routine so that I could chip away at upcoming posts every morning before the kids woke up.
While April was away, it was totally tempting to get more work done, especially while my son was at pre-school and it was just my daughter and I at home, but I had to keep reminding myself that I put in the hard work up front so I could enjoy that time with the kids and be there 100% physically and mentally with them. Whenever I had that urge to work and it wasn't the right time, I decided to get out of the house.
Plus, I mean, look at her. How could you NOT want to get out of the house and visit a park with this cutie?
In addition to executing on SPI TV and content production, a lot of days in February were done planning ahead. Here are some of the exciting things you can look forward to seeing that were planning in February:
An SPI Brand Makeover
It's been a couple of years since the last redesign of The Smart Passive Income Blog, but never have I decided to do a complete makeover considering all of the components and legs of the brand. In other words, a redesign is happening as we speak that takes into account not only the blog, but how all aspects of SPI coherently look and work together—from the podcasts to SPI TV to my public speaking, and more.
For an interesting look at the history of themes here on the blog, including the very first themes that content was published on, check out this post here. I can't bare to look sometimes..LOL.
All I can say is…
It's about time.
I mean, when you put all of those aspects under the SPI Brand together, you'll notice that each part looks almost completely different than the other.
I mean, just look at the podcast logos for The SPI Podcast, AskPat and SPI TV:
Even deliverables like Ebooks the Smart Way look different than any of those things.
So, as you can see, although the site isn't “broken” and things are indeed working well, I'd like for there to be a better graphical language (not graphic language, hehe) across all parts of the brand. So far, it's just been a Frankenstein sort of approach as new things have come out over time, which is fine, but it's time to level-up again.
More on this later as things progress.
1-Day Business Breakthrough
Chris Ducker and I are quickly approaching our April 24th live event (click here for tickets) and we're deep into planning mode right now. It's pretty cool that we can plan an event together like this even though he's all the way on the other side of the world in the Philippines. Just goes to show just how connected we all are these days, and just how really there are no limits to what you can do anymore.
As shown in Episode 5 of SPI TV below, you can see the space we rented out and what we plan to do with it:
Super stoked for those of you who signed up—thank you! And tickets to the event, which you can watch and participate in remotely will be available up until the date of the event, check it out!
New Media Expo Keynote
On April 14th, I'll be on stage at New Media Expo for the biggest presentation of my life. Thousands of people in the crowd, and with the way things have been going with my presentations over the past few years, a lot of people are expecting big things from me.
In February, a lot of the work was done to coordinate a few piece of the puzzle in terms of what I'm trying to accomplish on stage. It's not going to be easy, and a little luck will be involved too, but that's all I'm going to say about that, hehe.
If you are going to be there, look out, because I do have something pretty awesome planned. We'll see what happens, and I look forward to seeing you there!
If you won't be there, hopefully it'll be enjoyed enough for you to hear about it through the interwebs.
Alright, now let's get to last month's income and expense breakdown.
Full Disclosure: Some of the items in the list below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase through that link, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Note: Items with an empty difference percentage were not present on the previous month's income report.
Expenses do not include pro-rated yearly fees. Most are related to the Smart Passive Income Blog and new projects that are currently under development.
Overall, my income is definitely less than last month but everything is still performing very well. There were three less days in February so that plays a small role in the earnings decrease, but also in January there were a few large affiliate payouts that were a one-time thing.
Another great month, with a slight decrease both in earnings and expenses too. No major changes in terms of additional income streams, but as always some things are up, and some things are down. One thing that has picked up with no additional work on my end is Green Exam Academy, which is still chugging along after 6 years since it's birth, and about 4 years of completely passive income.
Work is still being done to see how I can, if possible, generate even more from Security Guard Training HQ, and another product is in the works for the audience at FoodTruckr.com—so for non-SPI related items, things are going well!
The Smart Podcast Player is still performing well despite everything being completely organic right now. Paid advertisements and partnerships are definitely in the pipeline, but a change to the homepage, and some additional price testing is in order first. Very happy with the results from this software so far, and hope to see a much bigger jump in the next couple of months once more promotions start rolling out.
A Quick Favor—Help Me Win Top Business Podcast This Year!
For the third year in a row, The Smart Passive Income Podcast has been nominated for a Podcast Award! Thank you all for the amazing support and the nomination—a huge win in and of itself. I haven't won before, but I figure if I am going to win, this is the year to do it since the award ceremony happens at New Media Expo, and I will be performing the opening keynote there this year in Vegas.
Voting ends on March 24th and you are allowed to vote daily for your favorite podcasts. If you had a quick second to spare, please head on over to PodcastAwards.com and cast your vote for The Smart Passive Income Podcast under the Business category. See below:
There's some stiff competition, but I know for a fact there isn't a better community than the one here on SPI. Let's show 'em what we got!
Thank you all for your support, and if you'd like a quick and friendly daily reminder to vote please click the link below to subscribe. Per several requests, this is a special list I setup with a daily auto-responder email reminder. The list will be deleted after voting ends on March 24th. Here's the link below:
Spread the word! Thanks so much, and here's to you and your success this month!