The second review of 2021, a place where I can document and share how the month has gone financially, mentally and physically.
This article will be much shorter than my January 2021 Review, due to the fact I don’t have to introduce you into why i’m doing this, if you have read the first review, you’ll know exactly why.
February Quick Statistics (Retro Dodo)
- Website Visits: 427,000
- YouTube Views: 517,000
- New Facebook Fans: 460
- New Instagram Fans: 2,067
- New Email Sign Ups: 168
Just like January, February is a challenging month for digital media businesses, advertisers pay less typically at the start of the year, and combining that with pandemic financial problems, let’s just say it hurts.
For those of you new to the way I work, my brands basically get paid $X per 1,000 views, also known as RPM (rate per mille), the more traffic you get, the more you earn. Typically I see highs as $15+ per thousand views on RetroDodo.com, but this month it’s been very low, like $5 low.
But I have planned to have this low RPM for months, and although it hit me by surprise in January, I expected it for February, and for many months to come.
The UK government recently revealed that they plan for the UK economy to be “back to normal” around the middle of 2022, until then, advertisers will not be paying as high as they normally would, so to counteract that I need high traffic.
This month has been filled with a lot of small wins, these have kept my spirits high and have made my weeks feel accomplished even if at times I have been mentally drained. I even hit a creative block a couple of weeks ago which sapped me of business motivation for a whole week.
But nonetheless, here’s a list of some of my small wins this month:
- New Retro Dodo Logo/Style
- Featured on GamingBible (owned by LadBible).
- Was sent a custom Dodo SEGA Game Gear by a fan.
- MANSCAPED Sponsorship.
- Max Reload and the Nether Blasters Sponsorship.
- Great interactions with Patrons.
- Client extends Social Media work for an additional 3 months.
- Extra Freelance work
All of these small wins has helped the business considerably, in the long run.
A couple of small scale sponsorships kept money trickling in, the article I produced for GamingBible features a backlink to RetroDodo which will help Google trust the brand and I’ve had some genuine phone calls and interactions with awesome members of the community that motivates the shit outta me.
Financially the business has been “meh” but the new look, the constant flow of incredible content and the continued support by the retro gaming community has lifted my spirits.
Every time I look back at RetroDodo I am proud of what me and Seb have created, it’s growing quickly in a time when many websites are suffering.
Heck, towards the end of February a businessman made an offer to buy Retro Dodo. This is always a great sign, even if I’d never sell it.
Over the past 3 – 4 months I’ve been working on building a second project that I am genuinely interested about. Previously I made a camper van project that I sold, but I need something similar for me to enjoy working on, so I created Tiny Home Hub.
Tiny Home Hub is my new outdoor/adventure project that I plan to work on alongside Retro Dodo over the coming years.
I have employed a freelancer writer in the tiny home community to produce an article a week for the website too, she’s great and knows her stuff. I know, this doesn’t sound like a lot, but currently it’s all I can afford.
An article a week helps Google know that we’re in it for the long run, instead of uploading 15 articles in one week and then going off grid.
This will pick up once I have some more disposable cash, but currently that’s all going towards a new house. But as of now, some content is better than none.
I also launched a Treehouse Tour video. At the beginning of February I contacted every single local treehouse in my area, asking to come film while they had no customers. My thoughts being that they couldn’t really refuse because any promotion or social content in a time of emptiness would be beneficial.
A few got back to me, the first being the Cheritron Treehouse in Somerset. Me and Kate drove down, they gave us the code in an email so we didn’t see anyone the whole time there and filmed as much as we needed.
The outcome was great, the video quick, informative and intriguing. The channel is dead at the moment, but I plan to change that over time. This is just the beginning for my second project.
My mental health has been pretty good this month, I had a brief few days where it was pretty poor but that was due to alcohol and an intense hangover which always screws me up for days on end.
I could write a whole article about why I am starting to really dislike alcohol. I find that I associate alcohol with good times, and that if I’m at a pub or a party I have to drink in order to have fun, but in reality that’s not true. I probably associate it with the peer pressure of “not drinking with the lads” when I was a teen. It’s engraved deeply somewhere in the depths that I have yet to explore.
There’s two things which I’ve done consistently throughout February which has helped keep my bad thoughts at bay, and that’s walking and reading.
The morning walk for me, is a form of meditation and the reading is a form of learning. When I read a book, I get a sense of growth, and I feel as if I’m learning, doing something right to keep me moving forward.
Most of what I read is self help and business books, these give me a hit of dopamine every time I finish one and it’s something I can put to action in my business. My favourite read of the month is Superfans by Pat Flynn.
Walking just feels good, I even try to run a couple of KM’s a few days of the week to get me sweating and again to make me feel like I’m moving forward. FYI running really hurts when you’re a 100KG lump.
I think because our government has given us an idea of when we’ll be somewhat back to normal and dates that we can hug our family, it’s helped me a lot. It’s something to look forward too and an actual light at the end of the tunnel.
Normality will be weird, and I feel many of us will take time to recalibrate back to normality. Me and my partners life has been completely flipped on its head. I sold my biggest revenue stream and had to start a business from scratch during a pandemic. Kate has been furloughed for almost half a year, with no idea if she’ll have a job next month.
It’s like we’ve both been clenching our way through the last year, checking our bank balance every day, worrying if we need to find more money for the house, not knowing what the next month will bring. It’s been tough.
Furlough is awful, it’s a mental trap. One day you think you’re fine, the next your boss gives you a hint that you should look for another job, it’s a mental balancing act and somehow Kate has handled it brilliantly.
Those that think furlough is easy hasn’t been furloughed, it’s horrible.
But things are slowly getting back to “normal”, one day at a time.
What Have I Learned?
I have learned a lot this month, even if it felt like it was over in a flash. I learned that I can be consistent with goals, even if they are hard.
Reading can be fun and enjoyable, and that the business I in can snowball effectively, even if i have a bad week and don’t want to work.
That’s the great thing about the business I am in, it’s somewhat reccuring passive income, so if something does happen, or if I want to go on holiday the money still comes in. For that, I am very grateful.
Last month at the end of my review I stated I had 4 goals for February, and they were as follows:
- Increase YouTube Views
- Keep The Content Flow
- Keep Walking/Running 4 – 5 Days A Week
- Read 2 – 3 Books
I can confirm that I did every single one of these, which i honestly didn’t think I would do. YouTube views increased by 10-15%, the content flow is working and in full motion, I have been walking most days, and I read two books.
Nailed it. This is why I write these blog posts, to motivate myself which is selfish I know but while writing this, it’s like another form of gratitude meditation. It lets me think about the last month, in order to organise the next.
Next Months Goals
I’m going to set myself a challenging goal this month, one that I think will do wonders for me physically and mentally. That goal is to do 10,000 steps a day for the whole of March.
Now that might not sound like much, it’s 8KM in total, but for someone who works at home, and has a desk about 10ft away from his bed, that’s a big challenge.
This will bring up phyiscal challenges like pain, tiredness and demotivation, but the long term rewards far outweigh the short term pain. So let’s give it a try.
Catch you next month where I may have stubs as feet.