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January 2022: Creator Income Report & Reflections

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An honest look at how I earned $329 in revenue as a part-time small creator.
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Vidya
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Feb 13, 2022
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Creator Income Report for January 2022.
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An honest look at how I earned $329 in revenue as a part-time small creator.
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If youโ€™ve read my annual review for 2021, then you know I was already planning to write income reports in 2022. But, I couldnโ€™t release it on Feb 1st because life โ€œhappenedโ€ to me and this had to take a backseat.
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Things have improved since the first week of February and Iโ€™m feeling positive about where Iโ€™m heading as a creator.
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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.
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Not-So-Fun-Fact: A junior developerโ€™s salary is around $250 - $300 per month in India. (Please let's change this! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ)
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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 didnโ€™t make sense for me to continue in the same job when I can earn it by being my own boss.
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Also, I was confident that I could land a freelance client if I really pushed myself. Thatโ€™s exactly what I did in April 2021. ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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.
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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.
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Before we go into this, Iโ€™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 Iโ€™m bound to a contract I signed. So, these reports will strictly include only what I can share.
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Letโ€™s get started!
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TL;DR: โ€ข I quit my job as a Junior Data Scientist in March 2021. โ€ข Started my freelance and creator journey in April 2021. โ€ข Sharing my creator income reports starting from January 2022.
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Income Report for January 2022

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What I earned and did in January this year:
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Please note that Iโ€™m deliberately not including what I earn from Swapstack since itโ€™s a full-time job now. ๐Ÿ™‚
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A brief about my side projects and how I earn money as a creator:
  • Newsletter - The Curious Bunch: Iโ€™ve started accepting sponsors for my newsletter since May 2021 when I crossed over 500 subscribers. Since then, Iโ€™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.
  • Donations from Buy Me A Coffee and Tip Jar: Iโ€™ve been accepting donations from my newsletter readers since January 2021.
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Thatโ€™s all! Previously, I dabbled with affiliate products but couldnโ€™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 itโ€™s not a priority right now.
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Net Profit: $314.34

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Net Profit = Total Revenue - Total Expenses
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Net Profit is what matters because thatโ€™s what you get after paying your business expenses.
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Total Revenue: $329

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  • Newsletter ($100) โ€” Sponsorships: $80, Classifieds: $20
  • Writing OS ($164) โ€” Pre-Order sales: $164
  • Donations ($65) โ€” Buy Me A Coffee: $58, Tip Jar: $7
  • Freelance ($0)
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Expenses: -$14.66

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So far, my only big expense is the hosting cost for this blog and to be fair, itโ€™s relatively very cheap considering other blogging platforms out there.
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Although I purchase most of these subscriptions on yearly basis, Iโ€™m breaking them down as monthly expenses so itโ€™s easy for you to understand.
  • Website Hosting ($7.99) โ€” MDX: -$7.07, Carrd: -$0.92
  • Domains ($6.08) โ€” Vidya.so: -$5.42, Writingos.co: -$0.66
  • Email ($0.59) โ€” Vidya.so: -$0.59
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This month I also joined FrugalMVP โ€” 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.
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Iโ€™m pretty sure I havenโ€™t listed a few more expenses but those are necessities and unavoidable.

January Milestones

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I love celebrating small milestones because theyโ€™re the ones that accumulate and make huge difference at the end of the year.
  • Released my first product of the year and started accepting pre-orders - Writing OS
  • 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 MVPโ€™s cost was ~$150)
  • Got coffees worth 5000 INR ($66.36)
  • Continuing Full-time at Swapstack as Growth Marketer ๐Ÿ™‚
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What I tried/failed to do

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I was about to land a freelance client and work for them as a Marketing consultant but I realized I said โ€˜yesโ€™ 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.
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I was suffering from a cold, fever, and cough for the most part of January.
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As a result, I couldnโ€™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.
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What Iโ€™m planning for February

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Planning to officially launch my info-product Writing OS. One of the ways Iโ€™m marketing it is by building in public. Iโ€™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. Iโ€™m perfectly happy with the feedback Iโ€™m getting so far from my users.
One of the things I couldnโ€™t do in January due to bad health was, reach out to potential sponsors for my newsletter. Iโ€™m going to double down on it and book a few sponsors 1 to 2 months in advance.
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Iโ€™m planning to be more consistent with my writing on this blog and Twitter. Also, Iโ€™ll probably write a few articles for clients. (Know anyone? Send them my way!)
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Tools & Resources I used in January

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Here are a few tools and resources that have helped me with my creator journey so far:
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Thatโ€™s all for now. If you want to get in touch with me, I hang out on Twitter.
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If you have any questions or feedback, comment below. ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

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