September 2021 Review

September has been a bit of a mad one. Time off in August meant I had to organise September to play catch up, a few freelance projects came in and I had a few trips away from home to see family and a stag do up in Liverpool (which are thing now that lockdown has eased).

Going out again into bars, nightclubs and packed pubs was a little overwhelming, but a few pints in and it’s like it never happened. I’m not sure if it’s just Liverpool, but the streets were ram packed with people drinking and partying, it felt like everyone was let out at the same time and people were just going mad.

But perhaps that’s just a normal night in Liverpool and country folk like me just have no idea!

While I write this the days are getting darker and the cold more common. The summer is finally over and that alone is a fairly sad feeling. I’m a huge fan of Christmas, wintery hikes, exploring cosey pubs but the dark morning and dark nights just puts me in a very anti-social mood.

But this winter can’t be as bad as last winter which excites me a little.

Moving onto the business side of things, this month has been a little bit of a rollercoaster, especially this last week. Let’s discuss.

Retro Dodo Statistics

  • Website Visits: 390,000
  • YouTube Views: 361,000
  • New YouTube Subscribers: 1,600
  • New Facebook Fans: 619
  • New Instagram Fans: 805

September 2021 Earnings

  • Website Ad Revenue = £2,320
  • YouTube Ad Revenue = £865
  • Affiliate Marketing Revenue = £2,363
  • Sponsorship Revenue = £2,231
  • TOTAL = £7,779 ($10,495) – before outgoings, taxes etc

Business

The site and YouTube channel has remained the same in terms of visitors, but earnings has slightly increased due to EPMv’s increasing and affiliate sales increasing because of slightly more reviews on the website and channel.

September is typically an average month for many publishers because advertisers are waiting to spend all of their marketing budget towards Q4 of 2021, so this month coming up will be mainly preparing for November and December in order to grow traffic and revenue.

Even though stats were somewhat idle, we did have two sponsors on our YouTube channel which brang in a considerable chunk of revenue. These sponsorships are “non-dedicated” meaning they feature in one of our videos for a minute or two but that’s it, the video is not dedicated to their product or service.

These are somewhat easy to produce and don’t need much planning, but this month one of the sponsors wasn’t being very professional and requested many different re-edits which consumed a couple of days work. But hey! It was worth it in the end.

If you read last month’s review you will know that a large media company known as WatchMojo took our content without permission and used it for their own financial gain. As of yesterday YouTube has finally taken down their video!

This was a great small achievement as the CEO of WatchMojo was emailing me stating he was in the right and that he’s allowed to do this, even after studying copyright law all his life. Well, karma played its part and it has now been settled.

Now let’s talk about the disasters that happened this month. As mentioned in last months review I started the “second project” which was TinyHomeHub, but unfortunately it has conflicted with an old contract where I sold a blog similar to this project.

So it has come to a conclusion that Tiny Home will not be allowed to function until April 2022. Yeah it sucks, but it was completely my fault, I screwed up and i’m now accepting the punishment. I can’t go into too much detail, but it’s simply a conflict of interest which I should have known about.

So this project will now be halted until further notice. Will I pick it back up again next year, most likely, but it’s certainly de-motivated me and I have lost a couple of thousands of pounds building it to where it is now alongside telling the freelance writer to stop writing. So, who knows what will happen this is something I need to sit on and think about.

This was a learning curve, for sure. Past decisions can affect your future self long beyond what you expect, even in business.

Secondly, we started producing Facebook videos a couple of months ago in order to help grow Retro Dodo’s Facebook page and solve the current policy issue it was facing which stopped us from monetising the video content.

After applying for Facebook to look at this issue they have informed us that they cannot change it, and after doing some research it’s likely this won’t change the account issue for many months, which is very disappointing. So this means I now have to stop spending money on a video editor for the Facebook videos.

Typically you can request Facebook to look at it every month or so, but I’ve been doing this for 6+ months and it seems they aren’t helping. The issue came from using a clip that Retro Dodo didn’t own, even when asking the creator for permission and crediting. But it went against Facebook’s policies even if the creator was happy with it.

This has now caused our Facebook page to not being able to request monetisation for a long time.

The biggest problem i face with this is having to tell yet another freelancer this month that I want to stop working with them. I hate doing this so much to a point where I struggle to sleep. I know what it’s like being a freelancer living on the edge, not knowing how much work you’ll have next month, so this doesn’t sit well with me.

But at the end of the day I have mouths to feed, and a goal to eventually have a team to support. So potentially burning one or two bridges to build many in the future is a risk i’m willing to take even if it makes be feel like i’m letting people down.

So overall, I personally feel like it hasn’t been a very good month. Financially it was good, but in terms of progress, not so much.

Life & Health

This month has been great, i’ve had friends over for dinner, visited Cornwall with family for a few days, then had a big weekend up North with “the lads”, so in terms of being social it’s been a blast! My wallet would say otherwise.

Me and my partner are picking at the house, adding bits of art, buying bits for the living room and making it more and more like home as the weeks go on. It’s going to take years to get it to where we want, but now that i’m in I realise that its a part of the fun. It’s about getting excited for that new piece of art, saving up for summer so we can do things to the garden etc.

I’ve wanted a house ever since I was 16 and every time I wake up in the morning it still feels a little surreal. I get moments randomly in the day when I think “Dang, this is OUR house?”. It’s not the biggest, it’s not the best but i’m so grateful for it and to own it with my best friend is a dream come true, even if there is a constant flow of tiny spiders making it their own without paying rent.

All of these combined has kept me in a good mental state too. I have also started reading The Mountain Is You by Brianna Weist which has taught me a few things about the brain when going through bad thoughts. I recommend this to anyone who has been through trauma, lost someone close or struggles to control the mind. It’s a bit too deep for me, but it’s a nice read.

Physically I haven’t been doing much intense activity. I go for a walk most mornings for 45 minutes, but that’s about it. I’ve also been picking at some meal prepping recipes for my lunches which I’ve done for a week or so, but what i really need to do is get to the gym a few times a week.

The only thing holding me back is the high membership fee of my local gym and how terrible it is. It looks like a run down school gym with cracked walls, smelly equipment and claustrophobic hall ways. But, it’s something that i have to just get on with and try to make it become a habit.

Perhaps in my next review I will have the balls to sign up, but then it’s my birthday which means lots of food and alcohol, then it’s basically Christmas which means… lots of food and alcohol. *sighs*

What Have I Learnt?

To not break contracts you absolute twat.

Next months goals

Increase website earnings and sign up to the gym.

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