As I mentioned in the last post, February was the first month when I paused freelancing and started launching a few small bets on my own. I love freelancing, it made me money, I was able to support my family with it for an entire year, and it gave me the confidence that I can make it on my own, without being employed. It allowed me to work with many amazing people, on interesting projects, and it allowed me to experiment with new technologies. I learned a lot of stuff, and I recommend to everyone who can, to spend some time freelancing (maybe on the side of your daily job). It will make you a better Developer and Data Scientist.

So why did I stop freelancing? I was not born rich. I was not even born into a middle-class family. Middle-class families own the house they live in, and do not take loans to pay everyday expenses or to pay for University (not in Italy). I don’t want a business that allows me to live the lifestyle I want, travel the world, and work 10 hours a week. I want to build wealth for myself and my family. The only way to do it is to build a business. And the best shot is to build an online business, using the skills I have in this short time window that I have been given. I cannot do it in my free time. I have already tried and burnt out. So, I will stop freelancing for several months, work my ass off and try to make as much money as I can, with a product people love and pay for.

Monthly revenue in the next months will be very low, with the only source of income coming from my books, hoping that one of my small projects will be successful.

Item Income/Expense
Amazon book sales + $139.48
Gumroad book sales + $74.18
Freelancing + $1440
Amazon Ads - $8.77
Appliku - $10.00
Hetzner - $5.31
Azure - $1.23
Twitter blue - $10.68
Total + $1617.67

I have started to advertise on Amazon, so my books should appear in the US store to anyone who looks for certain keywords. My ACOS (the amount I spend in ads for each sale I make) is around 30% which sounds acceptable so far. Considering that another 30-45% of the sales go to Amazon, I am left with 25-40%. As long as ACOS stays below 50% I think I will keep running those ads, as they are profitable. Another bet I am taking is the website This is my first .com purchase (and I don’t think it’s such a bad name). The idea is to use it to drive traffic to my betting books. I have calculated that if I can get on the first page of Google for a few long tail keywords I could get 300 visits per month to the website. If I manage to convert 10% of them, with an average order of $10, I can make $300 more each month, which is double what I am making now. I have already written the first article, I plan to write another couple of articles in March, and then I will have to think about how to rank. I have already put the link in the Smallbets community directory, and I have a couple more ideas that might be a bit borderline (thinking about Looker dashboards and other online forums).

I launched Data Internships Salaries this month. It was an occasion to re-launch Data internships and get a bit more traffic from PH and Twitter. I managed to aggregate all the internship salary data and present them on a new page, which I think will be helpful for people looking for internships. During this month I also partnered up with Kevin. We recommended each other’s newsletters and this got me a few more subscribers to the Data Internship newsletter. I have now a bit more than 200 subs, which was the target I was planning to reach by the end of March. On the flip side, I have not managed to sell any job postings yet. I have been writing weekly to the job posters offering them a spot on the job board on LinkedIn, but out of 20 people, only one replied (negatively) and the rest ignored me. There might be not that high demand for Data interns, which makes monetization quite difficult. I will have to think about some other strategy, maybe my subscribers could be interested in an info product or some course. Another possibility would be to become an affiliate for some courses. Something I should try.

Finally, I am building a tool for Twitter. Yes I know, there are a few out there. But this means there is demand. I want to differentiate myself by focusing on discovering topics to tweet about and trying to help people tweeting more purposefully and on things other people care about. It’s also something that came from scratching my own itch. I have been tweeting more regularly in the last few months, about freelancing, data science, indie hacking and so on. But this is not a good strategy, because the audience interested in these 3 things is not a huge overlap. So, it helped me look into my tweet data and identify the topics that attracted the most interest. I am going to launch in the next days, hopefully next week, and I want to show the product first to some users to get feedback. Write me if you are interested in the product.