Month 4 Income Report - Being patient is HARD

I'm shipping a lot of work, but my patience is being tested.

Hey there!

This is Zach, and in this newsletter, I share a monthly update on how my full-time solopreneurship journey is going.

I’m at the end of month 4, and while there are positive things to share below, my revenue numbers are still painful to look at and I was incredibly impatient this month.

Let’s dive in.

Revenue tracker

Below is my current revenue. Better than last month, but not seeing the growth I want.

As of June 2023, this revenue is primarily broken into 2 separate businesses.

  1. The DIY Golfer - a golf niche site

  2. Zach Gollwitzer YouTube - a coding tutorials channel

Here’s a detailed look at how the overall business has done:

A few notes on this:

  • My biggest expenses are:

    • Cowork space - $205

    • Ahrefs - $105

    • Brevo (email marketing) - $85

  • My affiliate revenue spiked because I had some Amazon affiliate commissions for the United Kingdom and Canada stores that I hadn’t set up a bank account for and they had been accumulating for years! A nice extra bump in earnings, but this won’t continue.

  • Didn’t have to pay for my Digital Ocean hosting bill this month due to a referral I made. Only $25… But I’ll take it!

What went well

I’m becoming more realistic and measured

One of the BEST things I have done so far is track my work in Clockify.

The hours I remembered to track :)

It has improved two things drastically for me:

  1. I’m better at estimating how long things will take

  2. I’m better at tracking the ROI of my time

Coming into this, I worked on a lot of things that… Didn’t really move the needle. I wasted a lot of time, and I didn’t know if what I was working on actually got the results I wanted (heck, sometimes I didn’t even define my desired results).

I now have a much better sense of how long things will take and have spreadsheets built to track whether my time spent was worth it (using appropriate KPIs for each “campaign” I work on)

This has helped me be more realistic about what I can accomplish each week, thus helping me value my time better.

Local Golf Spot is gaining traction

Local Golf Spot is my “moonshot” project I dedicated the first 1.5 months of my journey to getting off the ground. It’s a pSEO experiment that I don’t expect to earn money from for a long time.

That said, lots more pages were indexed with Google this month and I saw traffic increase. My pages are optimized for speed and performance, but I probably will need to optimize them for on-page SEO and better titles to increase my avg. position and CTR on Google.

Google is finally acknowledging my work :)

Some traffic growth!

I’m monetized on YouTube!

I finally hit monetization requirements on The DIY Golfer YouTube channel!

I haven’t posted many commercial-related videos yet, so revenue is low. But this was certainly a step forward!

I now have 2 YouTube channels that are monetized, so I’m hoping after adding some product review videos to each, this Adsense revenue will spike a bit.

My distribution channels are growing

Of the two platforms I’m focusing on right now (YouTube and Email), I saw decent growth:

  • YouTube - got monetized, added 78 new subscribers (total subs - 3,159)

  • Email list - added 412 new subscribers (total subs - 7,839)

What went poorly

While revenue had a slight rebound, it was painful to look at. Again. The line just hasn’t seemed to budge.

In an economy where consumer spending and confidence are decreasing and golf season is coming to a close, I don’t think the pain here is going to subside for quite a few months. Have to be patient and play the long game here.

And speaking of patience…

I was terribly impatient this month. The daily self-doubt, lack of revenue growth, going at it alone, and a mountain of work ahead of me is unsettling. I had to step back a few times this month and reset. It sucked. Bad. Like a burnout-level, “why not just quit and get a normal job” type of suck.

So in classic “fake it until you make it” fashion, I’ve been telling myself this over and over again:

What I shipped

This is mostly a therapy section for me—read it at your own peril. At this early stage, revenue and public praise are simply… Not reassuring. At all. The only thing I’m hanging onto at this point is the hard work I’ve put in.

Almost 100% of my work was for The DIY Golfer brand this month, including 4 newsletter issues, 4 YouTube videos, 3 blog posts, 2 updates to old posts, a re-write of my sales page, and some cold emails.

  1. Researched and completed the first version of Best Golf Courses in Iowa (8 hours of work) - I did this because I noticed that I was organically ranking in spot 91 on Google for this specific location on my Local Golf Spot site and I wanted to run an experiment to see if I could increase that ranking by adding videos, pictures, and some well-researched reviews of golf courses in Iowa. As I’ve mentioned in prior issues, I’m not prioritizing work on Local Golf Spot until I have some more validation from Google. I’m doing little tests like this to feel things out.

  2. “The Saturday Golfer” newsletter issues #03, #04, #05, and #06 (22 hours of work) - I started a weekly newsletter for The DIY Golfer site because I need a place where I can consistently sell to my growing email list of ~7,500 golfers and build warm prospects. A good portion of the work here was building out pages on my site to host editions of the newsletter and learning my process for writing it. I think I can get this down to ~2 hours per issue in the future.

  3. Posted 4 YouTube videos (24 hours of work) - In addition to the weekly newsletter, I’m posting a new YouTube video each week in hopes of bringing in some “top of funnel” leads to my site. This video did pretty well with 2,600 views, but nothing viral yet :(

  4. Re-wrote my Break 90 course sales page (20 hours of work) - after a REALLY slow month last month, I decided to read a copywriting book, refresh my sales knowledge, and re-write my landing page for the Break 90 video course. I also connected Crazy Egg to it and am collecting heatmap and scrollmap data that I can further improve the conversion rate with. I did this at the beginning of the month and ended up selling 6 courses, which was unfortunately not the result I was looking for, but a massive improvement over last month.

  5. Wrote newsletter sponsorship pitches (5 hours of work) - I have little experience with this, so the 2 pitches I wrote took FOREVER. Also, struck out, kind of… Developing relationships is a long game.

  6. Built out product review React MDX components (12 hours of work) - I had to build out a “summary” section, a “pros and cons” section, and a sticky product sidebar for product review posts. I’ll be doing lots more product reviews moving forward so wanted to make sure this template was optimized on mobile and has a chance at high conversion rates for affiliate income.

  7. Updated 2 old product review posts with fresh content (4 hours of work) - I’ve got several pages on my golf site ranking in positions 8-12, so I’m going through and updating the content. I took this post from position 9 to position 3 in one day, which was encouraging!

  8. Published 2 reviews and 1 information blog post (27 hours of work) - I reviewed 2 golf simulator products, the Garmin R10 and Flightscope Mevo along with a supporting, information blog post. This included TONS of product research and 3,000-5,000 word reviews (Garmin R10, Mevo)

Recap, looking forward

During the first 4 months of this journey, I have roughly spent my time on the following things:

  • Local Golf Spot (1 ½ months)

  • Reviving The DIY Golfer (1/2 month)

  • Growing The DIY Golfer (2 months)

Moving forward, the name of this game is CONSISTENCY. I’ve more or less found things that work, so now, it’s a game of publishing content every week for… A LONGGGG time.

See ya in the next issue!


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