It was a good start to the year with work coming from many clients, but in the end, everything quickly turned upside down, when I lost 2 of my clients during the month (btw they still owe me money), and I am going to lose another one by the end of February. That means I will have to go back and look for other clients if I want to keep putting food on the table, but it is also an opportunity to carve out some time to launch a few side projects, which is the ultimate goal.

I have used some free time in January to launch the book about Stoic Quotes. It was an opportunity to sell my sawdust. After spending some time collecting many Stoic philosophy quotes for the website, I had the idea of compiling them into a book. Used a bit of Python programming and Latex and I wrote a 200-page book with 20 lines of code (or less). Small bet worth taking. Let’s see how it goes.

Monthly revenue took a hit of course, but it is expected, and it will continue in the next couple of months.

Item Income/Expense
Amazon book sales + $126.33
Gumroad book sales + $13
Freelancing + $4800
Appliku - $10.00
Hetzner - $5.31
Azure - $4.39 - $72.33
Twitter blue - $10.68
Total + $4836.62

Ok, big spend on my favorite Twitter Analytics tool for a yearly plan. I hope it will pay off. To be honest, I am seeing already a good growth in engagement on Twitter since I am scheduling my tweets with ilo. I thought it was a useless tool, but it helps to have a place where I can write down my thoughts, refine them and schedule for the next week. It has become a Sunday afternoon habit already.
And the Twitter Blue is probably worth it too, but the Analytics is still quite broken. I had to download manually all my past tweets and process them with Python, to do a decent analysis of the ones that performed better. If you are curious, check this tweet.

The usual stable revenue from the book sales (I have just got a couple of sales while writing this post) and in general I am looking to improve a bit the quality and positioning of the books I have published. They seem to sell well, no matter what, so I have done two or three things that could give a push to sales:

  • set up a discount code on Gumroad for both soccer betting books (lasts until the end of AFCON)
  • set up an upsell on the book to sell them together (with a nice discount)
  • created an ad campaign on KDP, a bit of an experiment
  • created a 2 book series on KDP, to boost the second book sales

It will be interesting to see the results of the ad experiment. The last time I tried it didn’t go very well, but maybe I was not targeting the right audience. I posted an ad on a website, and I am not even sure how many people saw it. This time I pay per click and I can keep track of things and analyze what works and what doesn’t.

I am going to pause freelancing for a bit in the next months, at least until March. I will focus 100% on side projects, I will launch a few products and try to get some traction. I have already spoken about the Stoic Book and the efforts to improve existing book sales. The other project I am working on is Data internships. I have started contacting recruiters online since last Monday. So far I have written to 8 of them. Trying just to introduce myself and the project, without selling them anything. Only 1 reply and she was not interested. But I will keep trying, until I contact at least 20-30 people and get at least 10 replies. If I get no sales after that, probably I should give up. I can still put the project somehow on autopilot, and see the traffic grow. Given it’s 100% programmatic SEO, it should just grow steadily if I keep pushing content and job offers, even without manually curating them. For Data internships I have also prepared a salary report in the last week (I think it took me 3-4 days) using the data I have collected in the last months. It should help to get a few more students interested in the newsletter, but maybe it will attract also the interest of a few businesses looking to hire an intern and maybe purchase an ad on the website.