I hope you’re having an superior begin to your 12 months to this point.
The primary half of 2023 has been stuffed with thrilling new initiatives, experiments, wins, challenges, and all the things in between for Aspect Hustle Nation.
On this progress report, I wish to offer you an inside look behind the scenes at what I’ve been engaged on to this point this 12 months. The objective is to supply a clear view into working this aspect hustle that’s now over 10 years previous.
There’s been some new behavior installations, e-mail advertising and marketing checks, product launches, podcast experiments, web site updates, and extra. I’ll share what’s going nicely, what’s nonetheless a piece in progress, and what’s on the horizon for the remainder of 2023 and past.
- What Was That Like — Unreal conditions, actual folks – expertise gripping tales on the What Was That Like podcast!
Make Small New Each day Habits for 2023
I’m not massive on New Yr’s resolutions, however I’m a fan of putting in constructive new micro-habits that may stack up over time. So as an alternative of setting enormous audacious objectives, I made a decision to deal with simply two small every day habits I wished to construct in 2023.
Stroll at the very least one mile per day. This has been surprisingly straightforward to stay with, thanks largely to my son’s elementary faculty being precisely a half mile away. Heading out for a fast lap within the morning or afternoon means I can knock out my every day minimal whereas additionally getting some bonus dad factors for strolling him to or from faculty.
3-Query Journal. For this one, I ask myself three easy questions earlier than mattress:
- What did I get performed in the present day? – Permits me to have fun progress and small wins from the day
- What am I grateful for? – Faucets into the scientifically-validated advantages of working towards gratitude
- How will I win tomorrow? – Prompts me to do a fast psychological obtain and get clear on my greatest priorities and objectives for the subsequent day
I’ve discovered this 3 query journaling ritual to be tremendous fast and excessive leverage. It takes simply a few minutes however shifts my mindset in a extremely useful means as I wind down every day.
I’d experimented with journaling apps and different frameworks through the years, however they by no means caught for quite a lot of weeks. Placing pen to paper in a easy pocket book has been the successful formulation this time round.
I haven’t missed a day in 2023 to this point!
The 3Q Journal
In Could, I took the three query journal idea and turned it into an precise paperback journal product. I known as it The 3-Question Journal and it merely prompts you to reply those self same three questions every day.
The objective with 3Q Journal was to not make tens of millions and even cowl the prices of making it. I priced it at $4.99, which is concerning the minimal value Amazon permits for a paperback.
My hope was that individuals would seize a duplicate and construct the identical easy but high-leverage every day journaling routine.
You may study extra about 3Q Journal or seize your individual copy at 3QJournal.com. I’d love to listen to for those who discover it as helpful as I’ve for reflecting and resetting every night.
The Aspect Hustle Present Playlist Quiz
Should you’ve listened to the Aspect Hustle Present podcast, I’m at all times on the lookout for methods to boost engagement and assist match listeners with essentially the most related episodes for them.
So again in February, I created a enjoyable podcast playlist generator quiz to do precisely that.
This has generated some nice outcomes:
- 4500 quiz begins
- 3300 quiz completions
- 2500 e-mail opt-ins
Right here was my considering:
With over 550 episodes within the archive, I do know it may be daunting for brand spanking new listeners to know the place to begin. But when I might ask a couple of brief multiple-choice questions on their objectives and pursuits, I might immediately advocate a customized playlist of my finest episodes which can be most related to that particular person.
For instance, perhaps you’re most interested by content material associated to Etsy, social media advertising and marketing, or beginning a weblog. The quiz outcomes will serve up a tailor-made playlist only for you on these subjects.
So how did I really construct this?
The technical spine is software program known as Interact.
Inside Work together, you possibly can create multiple-choice questions, textual content questions, picture questions, and extra. You can even set conditional logic in order that the questions change based mostly on earlier responses.
The ultimate step is connecting your outcomes to some sort of final result. On this case, I tied every potential outcomes mixture to a particular pre-made playlist on Spotify.
Work together integrates immediately with ActiveCampaign, which is the e-mail service I exploit to handle my subscriber listing. This permits quiz takers to enter their e-mail handle to be able to obtain their playlist outcomes.
Right here’s the way it works:
- Go to hustle.show and take the Aspect Hustle Present Playlist Quiz
- Reply 5-6 multiple-choice questions on your objectives and pursuits
- Enter your e-mail handle to view playlist outcomes
- You obtain an e-mail along with your customized playlist
- I now have a brand new subscriber who is very engaged from the beginning!
Why I Nearly Switched Electronic mail Service Suppliers
For the previous a number of years, ActiveCampaign has been my go-to e-mail service supplier. It’s the place I handle my subscriber listing, ship broadcasts, run automations, observe analytics, and way more.
However I got here dangerously near dropping it for a unique supplier.
Out of the blue, I obtained discover that ActiveCampaign could be considerably growing their pricing resulting from “inflationary prices.” This got here lower than three months after I had already crossed a pricing threshold as a result of my listing surpassed 100,000 subscribers in December.
I bought on the cellphone with their customer support group to voice my issues and attempt to provide you with an alternate resolution.
We went forwards and backwards for some time, however in the end settled on this annual pay as you go plan at a reasonable low cost. It wasn’t preferrred, however switching companies would have taken an infinite quantity of labor.
So regardless of my frustrations, the pay as you go deal made essentially the most sense on the time. I paid the $7,000+ bill, hoping that might be the tip of it.
Simply hours after submitting fee, I bought an e-mail from a reader who had taken the Aspect Hustle Present Playlist Quiz. They requested why their quiz outcomes e-mail confirmed up fully clean.
I did some investigating and found ActiveCampaign had eliminated a key characteristic I relied on with none discover.
They eradicated one thing known as “conditional content material” which allowed me to selectively show sure textual content, photos, or hyperlinks inside an e-mail based mostly on particular standards.
With out conditional content material, my interactive quiz was completely ineffective!
Suffice it to say, I used to be completely fuming. It felt like a complete bait and change.
Fortunately, after a couple of strongly worded messages, they agreed to re-enable that characteristic on my account. Catastrophe averted, however a irritating expertise nonetheless.
The Curious Case of 8,516 “Warners”
Now and again, I’d discover 600-800 new subscribers in a day, 10x the conventional quantity.
Tracing the supply, all of them got here from one opt-in type: the “E-newsletter Niches” lead magnet from my interview with Danielle Desir-Corbett about her $1,300/mo publication aspect hustle.
I assumed the episode was driving main visitors, however analytics didn’t present something uncommon these days.
Just a few weeks later, I seen new subscribers from that type being added sporadically between my Teachable course enrollments, and each single one had a Yahoo e-mail handle and the primary identify “Warner.”
It signifies that over the course of months, 8,516 faux “Warners” joined my listing and by no means opened a message!
So I added a CAPTCHA to stop extra Warners sooner or later. My open and click on charges improved with 8,516 lifeless subscribers off the listing.
Ramping Up One-Off Electronic mail Campaigns
Earlier this 12 months I used to be re-reading a superb e-book known as From 6 to 7 Figures by my good friend Austin Netzley.
Certainly one of Austin’s core ideas is eradicating your self as a bottleneck in your online business because the proprietor. Reasonably than doing all the things, you must goal to transition into a pacesetter/supervisor position as an alternative.
In one among his chapter motion objects, Austin asks:
“What’s the easiest and most direct path to serving your current viewers higher?”
The reply was apparent — I wanted to get higher at promoting services and products to my present e-mail subscribers and web site guests.
Rising my visitors and viewers is nice, however essentially the most direct path to development was higher monetization of my current viewers.
So I made a acutely aware effort to ship extra devoted e-mail campaigns selling merchandise, companies, offers, and presents past simply my 1-2 occasions monthly publication.
I name these “one-off emails” they usually’ve develop into a key a part of my promotional technique this 12 months.
Listed below are some examples of one-off campaigns I’ve despatched:
- A limited-time elevated bonus provide for a particular business credit card geared toward entrepreneurs
- An affiliate promo for Sharetown, an organization that helps you resell furnishings and mattress returns
- An unique sale on my Podcast Growth Playbook course after hitting the large 25M lifetime obtain milestone
It’s a mixture of my very own presents and affiliate promotions for merchandise/companies I consider in.
I don’t have one lined up each week, however to this point they’ve been well-received.
BC Stack is an annual bundle promotion of digital merchandise associated to running a blog, podcasting, and social media.
Dozens of on-line enterprise homeowners and bloggers contribute one among their programs or merchandise to a bundle that’s obtainable for a steep low cost for a restricted time.
There are a couple of massive advantages:
- Consumers get entry to tons of fantastic merchandise for one low value
- Creators get to construct their e-mail listing by requiring an opt-in to entry the content material
- Associates like me earn commissions for selling the deal
I’ve participated in BC Stack as each a buyer and an affiliate for the previous a number of years with nice outcomes.
This 12 months, the theme of the entire bundle was visitors. I already had created The Traffic Course, however didn’t really feel completely snug discounting all of it the best way all the way down to $49, which is the value of BC Stack.
So as an alternative, I pulled one part out of The Visitors Course and created Easy Content Makeover.
This allowed me to retain the worth of my core course whereas creating a brand new lead magnet product I might use to:
- Promote the BC Stack as an affiliate
- Give patrons their first style of my teachings
- Begin constructing a testimonial base for this new product
Through the 1-week gross sales interval, I used to be capable of generate over $10,000 in income.
Beefing Up Content material on Aspect Hustle Nation
This web site serves as the net dwelling base for all my work, so holding the weblog up to date with contemporary content material has at all times been a precedence.
This 12 months to this point, I’ve revealed 17 new articles centered particularly on SEO and producing natural visitors.
Just a few examples are:
A majority of these evergreen “listicle” articles have a tendency to draw search visitors for years after being revealed if I goal the precise key phrases.
The mixed outcomes to this point are:
- 10,000 incremental month-to-month visits
- An estimated $300 in month-to-month affiliate income
In truth, these outcomes aren’t very thrilling. Possibly I want to focus on key phrases with extra search quantity, given the historical past and authority of the positioning.
Biggest Hits Episodes
I made it 9 years and 500 episodes earlier than taking part in a “rerun” episode, however have began mixing in some “biggest hits” from the archives.
These give new listeners an opportunity to listen to a few of my favourite (and nonetheless related) episodes from years in the past. They usually make my workload just a little simpler.
I’ve performed 5 to this point this 12 months, and going ahead, plan to air one “biggest hits” episode monthly.
By way of downloads, the efficiency is indiscernible from the “all new” episodes.
I’m excited to complete up a brand new youngsters’s e-book earlier than the tip of 2023. It’s based mostly on an imaginary cheetah my son created.
I’ve the rhyming story written, now simply must deal with illustrations. Hoping to collaborate with knowledgeable artist to carry the story life.
Different plans embrace:
- Creating extra of these search engine optimisation aspect hustle articles
- Redesigning SideHustleNation.com for the primary time since 2017
- Transport 1-2 month-to-month one-off e-mail promotions
My to-do listing is at all times longer than hours within the day, however that’s a great downside to have. It means there’s no scarcity of enjoyable stuff to work on!
How About You?
What’s one new behavior you might undertake or challenge you might begin within the subsequent 90 days? Let me know within the feedback beneath.