July was difficult. I failed several of my goals, changed my mind on the product I want to build, and neglected my social media activity. July was also my most profitable month to date, invoicing almost double my average revenue for April, May and June.
Stats for July
|Month||Site views||Post views||Twitter profile views||Enquiries||Days off||Revenue|
I issued invoices for £11,800 (~$15,575) excluding VAT in July. These came from a mixture of consulting and development work for two different clients. My revenue was so much higher in July because I was finally able to invoice for a long-running piece of fixed cost work I'd been doing part-time since April. This single invoice accounted for about 50% of the total revenue for July.
I received 1 new work enquiry in July from a semi-local company looking for some straight-forward React development help. I had to turn them down due to lack of availability, but it's important I keep these enquiries coming in as knowing the opportunity is there gives me the confidence to say no to things I don't want to do, and a peace of mind that's hard to come by for the self-employed!
One of my goals for July was to write a blog post focussed on product engineering. I'm disappointed to say I failed to make the time to write anything, and so unsurprisingly my site and blog posts received about the same number of views as they did in previous months - 1,160 views for the website, and 596 for blog posts.
I also neglected my social media activity in July. On Twitter, my tweets, impressions, profile visits and mentions were all between 50-80% lower than June - eek!
Building a different product
In June's update I wrote an entire section on a product idea I wanted to pursue. The product was going to allow people to sell online events or content in an auction-style setup, with customers bidding for access.
After reflecting on this, I've changed my mind, and am instead going to look at building a small indie analytics platform that helps writers monitor and build an audience by providing some deep insight into who's reading their posts. This was my runner-up idea in June, but I've decided it's actually the best option for me personally:
- Analytics is a proven market.
- The idea excites me more.
- The idea is easier to explain.
- It's a product I would use myself.
- It's more visual, and so easier to share progress on.
I intend to break ground on this in August, defining a tight scope for a first launch, and making some technology choices.
Flirting with burnout
I felt a little like I was flirting with burnout for much of July. Trying to wrap up old projects, continue ongoing work, move forward a product idea, write blog posts, and think of insightful things to Tweet about all got a little much at times.
Rather than trying to keep up with it all, I made the sensible call and let my writing and Twitter activity slide in order to keep working hours normal. Although this is probably good for me, it often doesn't feel good. I'm someone who gets job satisfaction from completing tasks, so accepting I won't finish something I set out to achieve can often be stressful in itself.
Goals for August
With that in mind, I've decided I'm only going to set goals each month that contribute towards my long term objectives of building an audience for my consulting work, and growing a successful digital product. This way, I can put something off for a month without it being perceived as a failure, because the goals will always be relevant. Here are my goals for August:
- Write a blog post focused on product engineering.
- Scope out a first release and make technology choices for my analytics product.
That's all for July! You should follow me on Twitter if you want to see how this freelancing adventure develops for me. I also have a RSS feed on this site if you'd just like to keep track of new posts on this blog.