Thirty Third Income Report – December 2015 ($181.04)

Are you curious about a one-year delay? I explained it in my first income report.

Thirty third income report December 2015It would have been quite a standard month, even dull, if not for one thing:
QUORA!

The previous month, I had started preparing for a big opening on Quora. I’d heard people were getting a lot of momentum on that platform, but I didn’t really expect what happened.

I began to post answers. At first, my answers were getting a few hundred views each. I was fine with that. During the same period, I was lucky if I got a few hundred visits a month on my blog.

But I posted every single day on Quora and consistently got those hundreds of views every day. What is more, I found I could re-purpose my old stuff- blog posts, articles, and book content. In a few cases, my old blog posts from 2013—which had only a handful of views from my friends—got thousands of views on Quora.

I noted in my journal on the 10th of December:
I was eager to get my first 1,000 views on Quora, so I wrote 2 short answers (160 words) and published them. Then I found a question with 30 answers and 87 followers in Fitness category (314,000 followers). My recent Good Men Project article was an ideal response to it, so I shared it. 60 views in 10 minutes.
I wasted hours observing how my view stats were climbing on Quora. My answer landed 6th or 7th from the top, being ahead of 550 others. It got to my head. I couldn’t focus on my job.

This is what I call “the Quora effect.” I finally felt appreciated. I could instantly check if the piece I’d written got interest or not. And the genius Quora ranking algorithm makes me feel like a fricking genius myself. You know, when your answer is ahead of 550 other answers it’s a balsam for ego. I needed that balsam very badly.

For the first two weeks it was more of an ego-building thing than anything else. Significant results came later. But I’ll tell the rest of the story at the end of this post.

[hmm, it’s a suspense; maybe I should start writing fiction 😉 ]

Writing

After my initial success with Quora I focused almost solely on producing more answers. Before I switched to writing answers full time, I finished bonus materials to Bulletproof Health and Fitness, the book that I published in December.

I was encouraged by the results Kevin Kruse achieved by offering special bonuses in his book instead of one general lead magnet. His sign-up rate skyrocketed because of that.

Skyrocketing sign-ups sounded good. I wrote something like ten bonuses and converted them into PDFs. My friend proofread them and added graphic elements. I created separate sign-up forms for each bonus.

All in vain. I got only 23 subscribers via those bonus materials in a year.

Lesson:
Dedicated bonuses for each chapter are like dedicated call to actions and lead magnets in blog posts. They convert very well, but you need traffic before you can get those conversions. My book sold about 680 copies in the first month. Kevin’s book sold several thousand books in the first month.

Book #13

I published Bulletproof Health and Fitness on the 20th of December,  in an ideal moment a few days before Christmas. It didn’t do much good. My Buck Books promo that took place on 24th of December sold only 56 copies. I scheduled several other promos in the next 2-3 weeks. It was the first time I had extended a book launch so much.

I extended my launch period in part because I wanted to experiment. Kevin Kruse had released his 15 Secrets… at 99 cents, and held the price for over a month, amassing a whole stack of promos. He did really well with that book.

Another reason for taking my time over this launch was that December was a very busy month in my day job. No, it was crazy busy. I felt exhausted all the time. I was sleep deprived and I was doing a lot of overtime. I couldn’t do much work on my business in this period. I remember submitting my book to a book promo website. It was a case of having 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there..

In the end it worked out pretty well. After the initial Buck Books promo, I was afraid the book would flop, but in the end I got my return on investment before the end of January. (I’ll tell you more about that in the next report.)
bhaf_sales31xii

Connecting

On December 7th I had a coaching call with a guy who coaches small business owners to automate their processes and grow their businesses. America is a weird place. “Small Business” for them is 1-5 million dollars of revenue.  😀

He builds businesses from 1-5 million turnover to 20-50 million. I was stoked I had a free call with him. He interviewed me diligently and …

He found little to correct.

A few things he said to me:

“You are well studied. Most of my clients on the first call have no idea what I’m talking about.
You are on the right path. Continue to grind. You will see results.”

I needed to hear that. I needed that confirmation from the guy who knows what a business is. I live in a remote place; I’ve had almost zero live interactions with other business owners—and very little online either—because of my many different obligations. It was a confidence boost very much needed at that time.

In December I was also able to connect with Kevin Kruse and Rebecca Patrick-Howard whom I met in Pat’s first Kindle book group on Facebook. Both of them are successful authors who do their own thing full-time. As I said, my isolation was energy-sapping, so those calls were a blessing for me.

Quora breakthrough

33irqviewsDuring Christmas, one of my answers unexpectedly took off big time. I got thousands and thousands of views in one day. I became a most-viewed writer in several categories.

This was beautiful. I had been trying for years to put my works in front of a wider audience. I had tried to get on magazines. I had tried to get on popular blogs, all with very little success. And here, on Quora I was able to share my existing stuff and thousands of people were reading it and they liked it.

I was stoked.

Since that time, I’ve decided to continue writing on Quora. Nowadays, it is my foremost publishing platform. A huge bulk of my overall content goes there and is propagated from Quora to other platforms, including my own blog.

Those last few days of December were only the forecast of my future successes on Quora.

One thing I realized quite quickly though: Quora wasn’t a good platform to sell my books. The amazing surge of Quora views didn’t translate into an equally impressive surge in book sales. At the beginning, I tried to pimp my books there and answered only the questions that I tackled in my books. It provided some results, but they were much smaller than I anticipated.

After many tries and a lot of guesstimation, I concluded that I got about one book sale per 10,000 Quora views. If I had approached Quora as a vehicle for book sales, it would have been an unprofitable venture. But I didn’t, and those 100-200 additional book sales in the past year were a nice bonus to this activity, not the main prize.

The Income Report Breakdown

Income:
Amazon royalties: €596.84 ($656.52)
CreateSpace royalties: €24.47 ($26.92)

Total: $683.44

Costs:
$118, proofreading for Bulletproof Health and Fitness
$47.5, proofreading services Fiverr
$30, View From the Top Community fee
$58, Aweber fee
$198, royalties split with co-author
$99, eBook cover for Bulletproof Health and Fitness and paperback cover for 99 Perseverance Success Stories
$148.9, eight different promotions on promo sites
Total: $502.4

Net Result: $181.04


Previous Income Report: November 2015