Welcome to my March 2015 monthly income report!
As always, each month I write up a detailed report about how my online businesses are progressing. In these reports, you'll find not only what I've been up to and the lessons I've learned, but a line-by-line breakdown of my earnings.
Some income streams go up, and others go down, but there's always a lesson involved.
Let's get right into it:
What Happened in March?
A lot of exciting things happened last month. To start off, I actually accomplished a personal goal I've had for close to a year now, something I've been training hard for since January 1st:
I wanted to break my previous half marathon record, which was at 1:58:13.
On March 8th, I ran the San Diego half marathon—13.1 miles through the downtown area of San Diego, and it was a blast! I finished the race in 1:54:08, crushing my previous record!
Here I am below, enjoying the race around mile 7, hehe!
A lot of you know, especially after Session #150 of the SPI Podcast, just how important health and fitness has been to me lately. It was awesome to see such great results from my morning training routines, but my health and fitness isn't the only thing that has benefited from my 2015 morning routine…
Keeping Up with My Posting Schedule
Over the past couple of years, the consistency of my blog posting schedule has been, well, horrendous. At times I'd go weeks without publishing anything, and after careful examination at the end of last year, I discovered it was because of two reasons:
1) I had such high standards for my writing. I expected each and every blog post to be the most epic post ever, and because of that I held back from writing and publishing a lot of content that could have been completely useful.
2) I didn't plan ahead and think about the content I was going to write in the future. When it came time to write, I was writing to a blank screen, and a blank mind.
Those two factors are dangerous when put together, because major procrastination becomes the real consequence.
At the start of February of 2015, I announced that I was going to start a more regular posting schedule. With the launch of SPI TV in the same month, my posting schedule then became:
Monday: Blog Post
Wednesday: SPI Podcast Session
Friday: SPI TV
February was cake because it was the first month after sharing my new schedule. March was the true test, and I'm happy to say I've continued to stay consistent, especially with the blog posts.
Now, I'm not writing to write epic content anymore. I'm writing to write useful content, and in doing so, epic content could potentially surface. And, it has.
I want to call attention to two blog posts from last month that I'm particularly proud of, in case you missed them:
- 6 Ways to Validate a Product Idea Before You Waste Your Time and Money
- The Best Kind of Question to Ask to Increase Engagement
I even had a couple of people email me in regards to my more recent written posts, with almost the exact same comment:
“It's good to have the old Pat back.”
I attribute a lot of my ability to keep up with my newly found focus through again, my morning routine. It has helped tremendously in the areas of focus, clarity and productivity in all aspects of my life!
A Record Month of Podcast Downloads
March was a record setting month in several ways. but I'm really excited to share some of my most recent numbers from The SPI Podcast.
Last month, The SPI Podcast earned a total of 730,861 downloads! That's nearly three-quarters of a million listens in a single month!
Here's a graph of the growth of the show since it started in July of 2010…
Why the growth? Well, there are several reasons, I'm sure:
The popularity of podcasts as of late. It's definitely going mainstream, and thanks to shows like Serial, more and more people are starting to understand the benefit of listening to podcasts, and more people are downloading more shows. If you don't have a podcast yet, it's the perfect time to start one. Click here to watch my free (no email address required) Podcasting Tutorial!
The consistency of the show. The podcast is the one thing I've always been consistent with, and like with any type of content you publish, the more content you put out there, the more opportunities you have to be found. As more podcast episodes go live, more opportunities arise for people to share, and for the show and episodes to be found through search engines, including iTunes and Google.
Guest spots on other shows. A lot of March was spent doing interviews for other shows, something I had held off on doing for a while to focus on a number of launches happening earlier in the year.
By far, the most popular episode of The SPI Podcast in March was SPI Podcast Session #151: How to Put on a Successful (and Profitable) Virtual Conference with Lain Ehmann.
Here's The Smart Podcast Player (hehe, a little plug there for my product), showcasing that episode here for your convenience:
AskPat also saw record numbers with over 330k downloads in March as well, putting it well over 4 million downloads in total.
Combined between the two shows, that's over a million podcast downloads in March! Insane!
It's always interesting to check into AskPat each month and see which episodes perform the best. Here are the top most downloaded episodes from March (which interestingly enough were not published in March, but in February!), along with their March download numbers:
AP 0245 (12,587 downloads): How Do You Manage Business Partnerships?
AP 0250 (12,507 downloads): What is the Future of Email Lists?
AP 0260 (11,707 downloads): How Should I Format my Ebook Giveaway?
The Smart Podcast Player
This software venture has been a ton of fun! Seeing the Smart Podcast Player being used on other people's websites has been amazing, but even better are seeing the reports come in from people using it.
Check out this Tweet from Brandon (https://twitter.com/BrendanHufford/status/581136312226459648)
Internally, I'm spending a bit of money to come out with something special that will then launch the marketing efforts of this bad boy, because up to this point, even with hundreds of customers on board already, I haven't paid a dime for marketing and it has all happened organically.
Adding a paragraph about the player to the end of my podcasting tutorial has been somewhat helpful too. This is just one of those examples of how going back to update an older episode can be extremely helpful and profitable for you. Unfortunately, most of us don't even consider touching old posts, which is unfortunate.
Are there any older posts you could update that could link to some newer developments of yours?
Not too much to update on this Niche Site Duel experiment. We're still working on product number two, which will be released in May. The site's initial product, released last August, is still performing well!
Public Speaking Season is Now in Full Swing
Typically, I get on stage to speak at least once every couple of months, but it has been since November 2014 that I was last on stage, which was at Michael Hyatt's Platform Conference in Colorado.
In March, however, I spoke twice to begin my season on stage.
In mid-March, I was invited to speak at Chalene Johnson's event, and it was absolutely epic. She had the largest crowd I had ever spoken in front of (about 1500 people), but not only that, they were some of the most excited, energetic people I've ever seen gathered in one space.
Chalene knows how to build an audience, and I picked up a lot from her while I was there. Also, it was great to hang out the evening before and meet a lot of the attendees.
I had a great time on stage as well. Her audience made it real easy for me although I was nervous because of the sheer number of them, and I heard nothing but amazing feedback from my talk. Thank you again to Chalene and her audience for the support and love!
At the end of the month, I also spoke at Social Media Marketing World about Mastermind Groups. This talk was a brand new topic for the stage for me, and it was a delight to present about it because I'm incredibly passionate about my mastermind groups.
On the way to lunch less than 30 minutes after my presentation, a couple of groups of people came up to me to thank me for my presentation, but also share that they've already formed mastermind groups of their own since I finished!
I'm currently in 3 separate groups (yes, 3) and I can easily say that I would not be as successful as I am today if it were not for the people I've connected with and the advice I've been given directly to me in my mastermind groups.
They are truly the secret to success, which is something most successful entrepreneurs understand.
While at Social Media Marketing World, I filmed some quick interviews with some of my friends to ask them why they are in a mastermind group, and a tip for those who are looking to get into one. Together, these became Episode 9 of SPI TV, which you can watch below:
Masterminds are the Secret to SuccessAre you in a Mastermind Group?I'm in 3 different groups because I definitely would not be where I'm at today without them. Here's the full episode of SPI TV Ep. 9, which includes what some of our friends have to say about Mastermind Groups too.Filmed at Social Media Marketing World last week – epic event!
Posted by Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn on Saturday, April 4, 2015
As I mentioned at the end of the video, if you'd like to watch my full presentation about Mastermind Groups, I'm doing a webinar on April 22nd/23rd (two different times, to catch as many time zones as possible for you!).
A special guest and I will teach you how to build a winning mastermind group, including how to find people (or an existing group), structure and format your meetings, and get the most out of that time with your other group members.
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.
It was a record month! This is largely due to a special promotion I ran with Bluehost, and a couple of webinars I did with David Siteman Garland from SPI Podcast Session #136.
It's pretty obvious that I earn a considerable amount from promoting Bluehost for domain and hosting services for those who are just getting started online. Although SPI is on its own private server elsewhere, it did start out on Bluehost and I continue to host several other sites there as well. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
I was participated in a special promotion in March for new Bluehost users, which would give them domain and hosting for only $2.95/month if they signed up before March 31st.
To say this was a successful campaign is an understatement. You can see the numbers above, but my affiliate earnings more than doubled its average for this particular product alone as a result of the campaign.
It's interesting because it's only a dollar off the normal special pricing that I offer, but that dollar, combined with the end date of the promotion meant a ton of people signing up, including 55 people on March 31st alone.
A Big Lesson I Learned in March
The biggest lesson I learned in March is this:
Scarcity and the fear of missing out plays a huge role in your marketing success.
With Bluehost, the March 31st end date for the special promotion drove a ton of sales, especially on that last day, and despite being only a dollar off my normal promo price, people did not want to miss the opportunity to save.
With the webinars I held with David Siteman Garland about creating awesome online courses, we actually did two webinars: one on Thursday, and one on Friday.
The Thursday one had over 3000 registrants, but only about 600 people showed up.
The Friday one had about half the amount of registrants, but 800 people showed up!
This happens each and every time when I do these webinars back to back like this, because on Thursday, people have the opportunity to catch it again the next day, and a lot of people who register for Thursday actually end up coming on Friday too. The attendance on the second day increases, but not only that, the sales and conversion rates do too.
Whenever possible, inject (truthful) scarcity into your marketing funnels. This is why the 3 video series with a closed cart at the end of it is a popular product launch formula, because when you do a launch sequence like that, you will often include bonuses and/or special pricing that's offered for a limited time only.
My Upcoming Virtual Event!
And finally, don't forget to reserve your ticket to the 1-Day Business Breakthrough event Chris Ducker and I are holding on April 24th! It's just around the corner!
For those who grab a virtual seat, you'll also get access to me and Chris the night before for a pre-event party where you can ask us anything for an hour and a half while the crew sets up behind us at the event space. You'll also be able to ask questions live during the actual event and interact with each other as we help entrepreneurs discover new ideas and tackle the biggest issues and setbacks they face.