Do not index
Do not index
If you’ve read my annual review for 2021, then you know I was already planning to write income reports in 2022. But, I couldn’t release it on Feb 1st because life “happened” to me and this had to take a backseat.
Things have improved since the first week of February and I’m feeling positive about where I’m heading as a creator.
To give you a bit of context around my creator journey, I left my job as a Junior Data Scientist in March of 2021. I didn't have a plan other than "finding work that wouldn't burn me out". I also realized that I wasn't getting paid enough and my work wasn't nearly as challenging.
Not-So-Fun-Fact: A junior developer’s salary is around $250 - $300 per month in India. (Please let's change this! 😩)
Before I decided to leave my job, I had a bit of savings in my bank + my newsletter was making more or less the same amount of money I was making at my day job. So it didn’t make sense for me to continue in the same job when I can earn it by being my own boss.
Also, I was confident that I could land a freelance client if I really pushed myself. That’s exactly what I did in April 2021. 👇🏻
That one single tweet brought me almost 200+ followers in a day. Lots of DMs around how I monetized my newsletter and how I landed freelance clients.
The reason behind writing these income reports is mostly so that I can reflect, plan, and focus on where I will spend my time in the next few months and a little bit about helping others who are on the same journey as me.
Before we go into this, I’d like to thank Monica Lent for inspiring me to share these reports with you. Also, please keep in mind that I cannot share a few of my freelance client income reports if I’m bound to a contract I signed. So, these reports will strictly include only what I can share.
Let’s get started!
TL;DR: • I quit my job as a Junior Data Scientist in March 2021. • Started my freelance and creator journey in April 2021. • Sharing my creator income reports starting from January 2022.
Income Report for January 2022
What I earned and did in January this year:
Please note that I’m deliberately not including what I earn from Swapstack since it’s a full-time job now. 🙂
A brief about my side projects and how I earn money as a creator:
- Newsletter - The Curious Bunch: I’ve started accepting sponsors for my newsletter since May 2021 when I crossed over 500 subscribers. Since then, I’ve been able to book sponsors (mostly inbound requests) for every weekly issue I send. You can view my current pricing structure on this advertising page.
- Writing OS - Digital Product: A Notion Dashboard that helps you write consistently. Open for pre-orders at the time of writing this review.
- Donations from Buy Me A Coffee and Tip Jar: I’ve been accepting donations from my newsletter readers since January 2021.
That’s all! Previously, I dabbled with affiliate products but couldn’t generate enough revenue from them so I dropped the idea of chasing affiliate revenue for this year. I might pick it up later but it’s not a priority right now.
Net Profit: $314.34
Net Profit = Total Revenue - Total Expenses
Net Profit is what matters because that’s what you get after paying your business expenses.
Total Revenue: $329
- Newsletter ($100) — Sponsorships: $80, Classifieds: $20
- Writing OS ($164) — Pre-Order sales: $164
- Donations ($65) — Buy Me A Coffee: $58, Tip Jar: $7
- Freelance ($0)
So far, my only big expense is the hosting cost for this blog and to be fair, it’s relatively very cheap considering other blogging platforms out there.
Although I purchase most of these subscriptions on yearly basis, I’m breaking them down as monthly expenses so it’s easy for you to understand.
- Website Hosting ($7.99) — MDX: -$7.07, Carrd: -$0.92
- Domains ($6.08) — Vidya.so: -$5.42, Writingos.co: -$0.66
- Email ($0.59) — Vidya.so: -$0.59
This month I also joined FrugalMVP — a paid cohort course ($147) and bought a subscription for Focusmate ($5) which helps me be productive and get things done. These two are totally worth their price and I highly recommend them if you want to get ahead as a creator.
I’m pretty sure I haven’t listed a few more expenses but those are necessities and unavoidable.
I love celebrating small milestones because they’re the ones that accumulate and make huge difference at the end of the year.
- Got featured in IndieHackers website & Newsletter
- Released my first product of the year and started accepting pre-orders - Writing OS
- Crossed 10+ sales in under 2 hours for Writing OS
- Crossed 25+ sales in 24 hours after increasing the price!
- Helped 100+ people through donations from my newsletter
- Crossed 1100+ Newsletter subscribers for The Curious Bunch
- Helped with Swapstack’s Tip Jar launch on Product Hunt and it ended up at #6 position.
- Joined Frugal MVP. This proved to be one of the best decisions I made in the whole month.
- Crossed $150 in pre-orders for Writing OS (anything I earn after this is a profit since Frugal MVP’s cost was ~$150)
- Got coffees worth 5000 INR ($66.36)
- Continuing Full-time at Swapstack as Growth Marketer 🙂
- Made a personal interview video on YouTube with Anangsha
What I tried/failed to do
I was about to land a freelance client and work for them as a Marketing consultant but I realized I said ‘yes’ too soon for various reasons. I need to be careful about which clients I choose to work with and question myself before saying yes to any kind of request.
I was suffering from a cold, fever, and cough for the most part of January.
As a result, I couldn’t be consistent with my blog, a side project I initially planned, and landing clients to offer my content writing, marketing, and no-code skills.
What I’m planning for February
Planning to officially launch my info-product Writing OS. One of the ways I’m marketing it is by building in public. I’ve no plans to do a Product Hunt launch in February since I need time to perfect it before I go and launch to a larger audience. I’m perfectly happy with the feedback I’m getting so far from my users.
One of the things I couldn’t do in January due to bad health was, reach out to potential sponsors for my newsletter. I’m going to double down on it and book a few sponsors 1 to 2 months in advance.
I’m planning to be more consistent with my writing on this blog and Twitter. Also, I’ll probably write a few articles for clients. (Know anyone? Send them my way!)
Tools & Resources I used in January
Here are a few tools and resources that have helped me with my creator journey so far:
- Landing Page: Carrd
- Payments: Flurly, Tip Jar, Buy Me A Coffee
- Email Capture & Forms: EmailOctopus, Tally
- Community: Frugal MVP, Rad Reads
That’s all for now. If you want to get in touch with me, I hang out on Twitter.