March has been an uplifting month, not just for the business but for life in general and our slow move out of a full lockdown here in the UK is significantly helping with that.
Days are getting brighter, warmer and longer. March has been a much needed breath of fresh air, and it’s opened my eyes to a few things which I’ve missed over the last 6+ months, but we’ll get to that shortly.
March Quick Statistics (Retro Dodo)
- Website Visits: 331,000
- YouTube Views: 600,000
- New YouTube Subscribers: 2,800
- New Facebook Fans: 210
- New Instagram Fans: 2,635
- New Email Sign Ups: 150
This month has been a good month, even if numbers are down from February, but much of the success has happened behind the scenes.
For example, I tested a new style of video for our product reviews on Retro Dodo’s YouTube channel. It has a much more professional feel, it’s shorter, more informative and much more enjoyable to watch. After producing this video I received many comments asking us to do more of it, so I came to the conclusion that future reviews are to take on this style.
The only downfall really, is that it takes a lot longer to produce, but if the subscribers are happy, the numbers are strong and from what we’ve seen the affiliate sales increase, it’s a no brainer.
While we’re on the subject of YouTube, the channel has been booming! It’s the best month of revenue since late last year, engagement is high, output is 2 – 3 times a week and we had yet another big sponsor which happened to be Otis, a place for you to buy shares in pop culture assets like Pokemon Cards and Retro Video Games.
It’s funny, because I made a podcast episode about them in January on the Retrospect Podcast, and it just so happened that they listened to it and then wanted to work with Retro Dodo.
This in itself is a business lesson, especially in digital publishing. Be so big, and so powerful that they can’t not work with you.
This moves me onto a meeting I had with a CEO of a successful digital publishing company based in Bath. We went for a social distanced walk and spoke about both of our journeys, it was refreshing to hear from someone who is where I eventually want to be.
Like any “big dog” that wants to talk with me it eventually leads onto something they want from me, which was Retro Dodo as a whole. The project I will never let go. It’s a brand that has quite literally had my blood, sweat and tears.
He knew I wouldn’t sell it, but we eventually came to the agreement that we could potentially help each other out down the road. It’s always nice hearing praise from someone who is miles ahead of me in the industry, and I’ve had my fair share of business owners wanting my projects, but this one was different.
This was someone who has wealth, has a team and has connections. It was a look into what I wanted, and he had it. The freedom to build brands he loves, to sustain a family and give jobs to like-minded creatives within the industry.
It felt like when Neo had to choose between the blue or red pill, to go down the rabbit hole with no return. But I’ve been there before, and I’ve learnt my lessons. Retro Dodo is mine, and always will be. If it was any other project, it would have been a much different story.
It just goes to show what one geezer can do in his tiny flat with nothing but motivation and passion. The same goes for any of you that are creative and want to build something, it’s possible.
I am also looking to officially start a Ltd company towards the end of this year, at the moment I am technically a self employed sole trader. This jump is big for me, no longer a lone wolf. A jump that is more financially beneficial, and it’s one step closer to the end goal, and the reason why I document my journey here.
To build a successful micro media company.
I have picked a name, and I am currently building the website, but I can’t reveal too much because I don’t want anyone taking the company name. Perhaps in a review further down the line I will reveal this.
What went wrong this month?
Where should I begin. Because it’s just me and Seb that work on the brand, when I put my hours elsewhere another side of the business has less attention. So this month YouTube views and subscribers increased whereas the website traffic stayed the same.
I can only spin so many plates and I have to choose which ones to spin wisely.
I fucked up big time this month, because I wanted to give a free mug to all of Retro Dodo’s patrons. For those that don’t know Patreon is basically where your community can support you by giving you a few quid a month to support the content flow. We have a £3 package and a £5 package, this gives the community early access to content, exclusive podcasts and more.
So I wanted to give everyone who supported Retro Dodo a free mug in March. The mug costs $20 to make and ship, so I thought “that will be okay, not many new Patrons will join this month”. Well… didn’t that backfire.
We went from 10 Patrons to 42 Patrons in two weeks because of the mug promotion. I only thought a few people would help support us but no, 32 new community members hopped on board, and I now have to purchase £600 worth of mugs. Fuck me.
I also did barely any work on Tiny Home Hub. I went and filmed a tour in early March which i still have yet to edit and my freelance writer left within a week because she admitted she knew nothing about tiny homes.
In my last review, my only fitness goal was to walk 10,000 steps a day, equivalant to 5 miles a day, and I can confirm I have done just that.
The first two weeks were easy, my legs were fine, I got up early and it was the first thing I would do, but over the last two weeks it has started to get some what… annoying.
It wasn’t the physical toll that annoyed me, my calves are constantly stiff, but what suddenly annoyed me was the time it took to walk those 10,000 steps. I’m an inpatient guy I know that, but having to take an hour and half out of my mornings before doing any work started to frustrate me.
I had lots on my to do list this month, but knowing I had to get the walk over and done with every morning started to take its toll. I haven’t even seen any physical changes which is a bit depressing, but I know internally it’s probably helped a lot. Weirdly enough, I liked walking the most when it was raining. Less people, less distractions, it was like my “zen” time.
Mentally I’ve been pretty good this month. I have the odd moment or afternoon when I’m a bit “meh” or anxious, but I think that’s normal. I watched something from a therapist who said “when your brain goes into destructive mode and starts to think of worst case scenarios, tackle it with the best case scenario. Keep going, keep thinking it and over power the fear”.
I don’t know why but this stuck with me this month. It’s a simple, but powerful habit to get into it, I’m going to start trying it.
Life is real good. As of writing this today I actually went to visit my brother for lunch in his garden which gave me this vision of the world slowly, but surely getting back to normal. I know we have a long way to go, and the world will never be “normal” again, but it was nice to be able to see my family without having big restrictions.
Over the next week I am seeing most of my close friends and family, which I am excited about. The UK is hopefully returning to normal, so fingers crossed it all goes to plan.
In just a few month too, me and my partner will be moving into our first home, this is the most excited I’ve been in a long time and we can’t wait to get the keys.
WE HAVE A GARDEN!!!!
Apparently, the timelines are still on schedule, so we’re hoping an early July move in date. This means I have to re-design the office and studio space which is going to take a lot of time and money. I have a lot of plans to make my office a very creative space. It needs to be efficient.
As of writing this, the kitchen is being put in, the roof is on, the mud in the garden placed and there’s finally a door!
What have I learnt?
I need to be more scheduled. I am a bit of a loose canon at times, pushing work back, taking a day off to enjoy the sun, and working late nights randomly.
I need to get into a strict routine so that life and work doesn’t overlap. That’s hard at the moment because I am forced to stay in, but when I move into our new home I want to get stricter with a routine.
No editing until 12:00 at night, no writing emails on weekends, and no wasting money on shitty mugs.
I also learnt that Google now ranks YouTube chapters in the search engine, which could be big for Retro Dodo.
Next Months Goals
Read more and enjoy time with friends and family. Simple.