I know it’s been done to death but I’ve decided to publish monthly income reports on this blog. Why? Because I want to be totally honest about the realities of self-employment as a single mother.
It can be a financial roller-coaster.
Total transparency means getting down to brass tacks about what I’m bringing in and what I’m shelling out.
I hope that by sharing this, and the lessons I’m learning as I go, you can learn from what works for me, and what doesn’t.
I also want to keep myself accountable and it’s a great exercise to sit down and review each month properly.
- To accurately show the financial reality of self-employment I’m showing what actually came in and out of my account. So it’s not necessarily reflective of the work I did that month. Amounts are rounded up to the nearest £.
April 2017 blog & business income
- Freelance copywriting and social media consulting: £4800
- Passive income – social media planner: £22
Total income = £4822
April 2017 blog and business expenses
- Bank/service charges: £8
- Merchant fees (Paypal and Payhip): £3
- Credit card interest: £12
- Travel expenses: £19
- Policy Bee – professional indemnity insurance: £17
- Michael Hyatt Full Focus Planner: £83
Education & training
- Melyssa Griffin – Blog To Business Hive: £37
- MelissaGriffin – Pursuit HQ: £37
- Freelance To Freedom School: £30
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: £135
Advertising & promotion
Total expenses = £451
Net profit = £4371
(Transferred to tax account = £1200, paid myself = £1543)
This look like a bumper month doesn’t it? However, sadly it’s not. Let me explain. I got paid twice by my main client because…drum roll!…from 1 April they aren’t able to pay freelancers anymore (more about that below).
Because they still had work for me to do in May the paid me in advance for that in April. So you’ll see I only paid myself £1543 because I have to make sure that money covers me for May as well.
I wouldn’t be totally transparent if I didn’t also report that on top of this income I also get tax credits and child benefit from the government.
- Tax credits/child benefit for April 2017 = £379
What I learned
Inconsistent posting and marketing hamper your results. The opposite of the lesson I learned last month! My traffic for April was less than March – only 900 page views instead of over 1000. The reason was my spectacular inconsistency. School holidays, several long weekends and my lack of planning ahead resulted meant I only published 6 posts, and I didn’t complete all the activities in my marketing plan.
I need to overcome my inability to do things unless I’m under pressure. My inability to get blog posts scheduled in advance is down to my lifelong inability to make myself do things until the last minute. It’s like I need the urgency of an impending deadline to make myself get up off my lazy arse. It’s plagued me all my life and when it comes to blogging means I’m always playing catch up. It also means that if I have a bad day and need to rest or something crops up that mean I can’t work then I don’t get my blogging jobs done.
Writing time! I’m extremely lucky to be going on a week’s retreat in Greece next week (yippee!). It’s a writing retreat (with some yoga thrown in) so my plan is to get ahead with my blog writing and to focus on content that I can put together as an ebook.
I’d love to self-publish a book and I have a few ideas in mind, but one that helps promote this blog and the ethos behind it is the first priority.
A part-time job. So you’ll have read above that my main client isn’t able to pay freelancers anymore. At first, I was really disappointed about this because I really like working with them and they’re my main source of income. I’ve been working for them for an average of two days a week for nearly a year.
However, they didn’t want to lose me so a couple of months ago they asked me to consider accepting becoming a staff member. Blimey. I’d literally just started this blog and my self-employed status was already in question!
So I wrestled with whether to do it or not (and they’ll be a blog post to come!) but in the end, I’ve decided to give it a go. Here’s why:
- Part of living life on your own terms, whether you’re self-employed or not, is being willing to try new things and to be flexible about the path you take to get to your goal. My ultimate goal is still to live off my own wits. But to get there my priority has to be growing this site and having a reliable income will mean I can commit more time to doing that because I won’t be hustling for work and fretting about paying the bills.
- I really like them and since I’ve worked for them I’ve admired how well they treat their staff and engaged their workforce is.
- They asked me what would work for me, and are offering me genuine flexibility. I’ll be working from home around school hours for two-and-a-half days in term-time and two days in the school holidays. We’ve agreed that I’ll go into the office for a day once a fortnight, and to be honest it’ll be nice to have some company and a change of scenery occasionally.
- I have to give credit where it’s due to of any organisation willing to offer true flexibility. Because it still goes against the grain. So it’s not to be sniffed at.
I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. I start later this month when I get back from my retreat!
Affiliate marketing. You might have noticed that I splashed out on a couple of bigger items this month. One of those was the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. I’m a bit annoyed with myself because I’d said I wasn’t going to buy ANY more courses, but the truth is, I LOVE learning. It’s hard for me to resist!
So this was an impulse purchase, but affiliate marketing is definitely something I wanted to know more about it and so far the course is well worth it. It was brilliantly promoted by a fellow blogger, Brittany Berger. Brittany so expertly demonstrated what she’d learned on the course by sharing her experience of the course in her emails that I had to get in on it too.
I haven’t had time to go through the whole course yet, but I’m really impressed with what I’ve learned so far. And over the next couple of months, I’ll be putting it all into action.