This has been a very busy month both for the business and life. Here in the UK lots of covid restrictions are being lifted and as of writing this we can now visit family and friends (up to 6) in public places and gardens.
Which basically means I’m getting fat from BBQ’s and i’ve been sweating cider for two weeks straight, but nonetheless seeing friends and family has been a blessing. This has taken up all of my free time, which I absolutely love, because that’s what its there for.
Me and my partner have also been doing a lot of paper work, and visits to our first home which is due to be complete towards the end of June. For those of that have bought a house and are self-employed, you know how stressful it is, it’s been an unpleasant experience and I can’t wait for us to be in so all of this stress can be forgotten.
There’s also been some very odd conversations about content I have produced this month, and the new start to a financial year has come with open arms. Let’s jump in.
April Quick Statistics (Retro Dodo)
- Website Visits: 319,000
- YouTube Views: 550,000
- New YouTube Subscribers: 2,200
- New Facebook Fans: 250
- New Instagram Fans: 2,251
The business as a whole this month has been an odd one. On paper, visits and views are down slightly from last month, but profits have been far greater for a number of reasons.
Primarily, because I am now out of the 40% tax bracket, as a new financial year has begun which helps with cash flow. Secondly, because of the quality boost of content from my March Review, the videos I have produced have seen a big boost in affiliate sales through products that I showcase across the brand.
I’ve also had some freelance work come in and a payment from a sponsored YouTube video, so this month has been great financially, but the slow drop in website/YouTube views is starting to concern me.
Why Is There A Drop In Traffic?
From what I gather the drop in traffic is for a number of reasons, the primary reason is that the world is slowly getting back to normal, people are going back to work, weekends are now filled with events and when there’s less time on electronics that typically means less traffic because people are searching less.
This metric is out of my control, so I can’t sit here and be disheartened by it, because this is the business I am in, but I can fight it with articles and content that have high search volume. So me and Sebastian (who writes for Retro Dodo) have been in full swing writing content about things that are searched for frequently. For example here a few articles we have produced in the last month that will hopefully rank high over the next few months:
- 15 Best Xbox 360 Games
- 7 Rare Digimon Cards
- 5 Best Gameboy Color Emulators
- Evercade VS Retro Gaming Console
- Hyperkin Retron Sq Review
So hopefully, with the big push of high quality content on the site this month, i’m hoping to see these articles rank well in the next couple of months. Fingers crossed!
Retro Dodo has become to the go source for information on handheld gaming, and if you’re new to the scene, you may not know that SouljaBoy himself has launched one. The only problem is that SouljaBoy has tried this before and scammed lots of people out of a lot of money. So, I got straight on it and told people my honest opinions about it.
Those honest opinions were basically “don’t buy this” and “it’s a shady company” which I still stand by. The company didn’t like it and we’ve been messaging frequently and have even had a video call to talk about this specific piece of content below.
Sometimes people don’t like our content, especially when it loses them money, but I have built a brand off of trust, and hundreds of thousands of community members rely on Retro Dodo to advise them on products to buy and not to buy. This may escalate over the coming months, but this is just another part of the business.
There’s a lot I can’t talk about for legal reasons, but you can view the video above to get an idea of the company behind this product. Who knew I’d end up having beef with SouljaBoy!
Last month I mentioned that I was working on a new business name, because I plan to register as an Ltd Company towards the end of the year which Retro Dodo and future projects will fall under. This is because it has some financial benefits and it has a lot of legal advantages too, should something go wrong (like being sued by SouljaBoy for example).
I didn’t want to reveal the name, but fuck it, it’s pretty obvious. I have gone with Salt Media, and the website is up and running as of today. Why did I change from Thunder Niche to Salt Media? It’s because I didn’t like the name “Thunder Niche”, that’s it. Salt Media feels more sentimental, and I quite like that it brings attention to my surname, perhaps I can pass the business down through the family when I knock off, who knows.
Nothing needs to be done with this really until I transition from sole trader to Ltd Company, for now it sits there waiting for the big day.
Helping Those Like Me
For years now I’ve wanted to start a project alongside Retro Dodo, but I haven’t found what that exact project could be. I’ve tried many things, Tiny Home Hub, Candleaholic, Break The Seal, Thunder Niche and more. Nothing has stuck. I test, I fail, I test and I fail again until something sticks. I’ve done this strategy for years, and it’s why I’m where I am now, doing something I love.
School teaches you to fear failure, but in life, failure is the first step to getting what you want.
For years I have wanted to document what I have been doing in hopes it helps others doing what I am, creating content for a living. I have a wide number of files on my hard drive from years ago which is about me starting a video log about my business, but I have never had the bollocks to upload it.
I have voice recordings from last year about my business failures/growths, but again, I have done nothing with it. I’m scared to show people my failures, how much I earn, what’s working well, and what’s not.
I don’t want to make it feel like i’m boasting, or that I am a “professional” because I am not. I want it to help others grow their small businesses, because it’s exactly the type of content I needed when I started in 2019. So I am on the fence whether or not to go all in and do it when I finally move into the new house.
Below is a video I made in January that I was going to upload, but I didn’t because I was scared about putting the business at risk due to the transparency and I hated the fact that people would see how much I earned. Perhaps it’s more than what people think, and could this cause jealousy or hate? Perhaps it’s less than what people think and then they’ll look down on me because I’m earning less than them?
This video is private, so you are one of the select few reading this that will ever see it.
The way of thinking that “we shouldn’t tell others how much we earn” comes from the businesses that pay us. They want to normalise the privacy of this because they don’t want your colleagues to know how much you earn because they could be earning less, and will then eventually ask for a pay rise causing them to pay that person the “normal rate” like their other employees.
This normality has been apart of business for many years and it’s a big reason why I find it hard to share my earnings. I think if everyone was open about their salary/earnings, there would be less of a “pay gap” throughout everyones careers, but it’s a very hard habit to get out of because it has been ingrained in us all from childhood.
So, if I was to help others, to document my journey and to start creating content about my business I would have to be open with my earnings, even if I was in a loss. This scares me, but I’m tempted to start a whole new channel dedicated to helping those in the start-up media company scene.
The risks are very high. Someone could copy all of Retro Dodo’s articles, see gaps in my business for them to pursue and eventually lose me money. But I really do think the more people I help, means the more people that will eventually help me, and I think it could be a great business in itself.
This isn’t a project that I can just “test and fail” like my others. This is a project that I have to go all in with, for many years. It’s a lot fo work, it puts pressure on me to succeed, because if I don’t create a media company 5 – 10 years from now, what the fuck was it all for?
I’ve lost count of the amount of BBQ’s I’ve been to this month. Restrictions has eased and I can now see most family and friends. This has made the month go by so quick, and I’ve loved seeing everyone.
It’s also opened up the opportunity to leave the local area so me and Kate have been exploring a few places, our favourite being Lyme Regis, we love it there. We have this weird ritual where we go there every year and take a picture in the exact same spot. These 3 years have not been kind to me, haha!
We’ve also added a new bed to our campervan, because the previous one was very uncomfortable, but a 5″ thick firm foam mattress has done the job, and we can sleep like kings and queens in a random field, lovely.
We’re now coming up to 6 months waiting for the house to be built, and the progress has been incredible over the last month. The kitchen has been fitted, the mud has been placed in the garden, the plumbing is in, and now all that needs doing is electrics, flooring and fencing!
One of the best days of April was when we took my parents to go see inside the house, we were allowed on site with our little hard hats and given the chance to take measurements, have a look at the kitchen, and check that everything was okay.
There’s nothing quite like walking into your new home for the first time, and I don’t think it’s a memory i’ll ever forget, it really cemented the fact that this is going to be our home. The little town of Corsham is going to be where we live and grow for the next few years. It’s very exciting.
One of the main reasons we chose Corsham, is not only because the town is stunning but because it’s quiet, charming, just a 12 minute drive into Bath, and has “affordable” house prices for properties so close to the city.
It’s also smack bang in the middle between both of our families, which is always a bonus. We would have loved to live in Bath but the house prices have skyrocketed and we needed space plus a decent garden. The garden size is what made us pull the trigger.
Me and Kate have been living in tiny, noisy city centre flats for years now, so having a garden that we can use for parties and gatherings without feeling cramped was mandatory.
It’s the perfect house for us both. It’s located around so many incredible areas too. Corsham’s town centre looks like something straight off the history channel, there’s incredible architecture, tiny towns just a stones throw away, and it’s just a short drive to Kate’s work place.
While exploring we came across Hartham Park. Located in Corsham it’s a 1700’s building that has been converted into a co-working place and a cafe. We went there for lunch, had some banging fish and chips and then went exploring around the gardens.
I felt like I was in Harry Potter it was incredible. We have lots to explore.
Life is good.
Blimey, my physical health has been all over the place this month. The first three weeks has basically been a consumption just alcohol and meat. I have also stopped walking after March’s mad walking spree.
Why I stopped I am not sure. I think when I set goals that are too hard I end up completing them which is great, but I stop doing it once I complete it. After reading the book Atomic Habits by James Clear he mentions to not set hard tasks, but instead set easy tasks that you can do on a daily basis for months/years.
For example, do you want to lose weight? Then the simple habit of not keeping junk in the house will have huge benefits in the long run. So that’s what I’ve done, I’ve stopped keeping any kind of junk in the flat, if I want to have it bad enough i’ll have to go out and get it.
The science behind it is that it will become such a chore to “go get”, that you won’t ever go out to get it. As of a week ago I started this and so far it has worked. Me being lazy and saying “I can’t be bothered to go and get some chocolate from the shops” is actually helping my big ass lose weight.
I’ll keep you updated with how this goes throughout May. It’s a simple habit that should be effective. I’m not cutting out junk completely, I just now only reward myself on the weekends.
Double scoop ice creams, here I come.
Mentally, I have been good, but I think this is because I have been busy. When I am not busy that’s when I tend to get into my own head, but if I am too busy I then get stressed which causes anxious thoughts.
I have to be in this perfect state of flow that merges enjoyment with being busy. It’s hard to crack, and a huge influx of work can totally ruin in but i haven’t had that this month. However, next month I have lots of work to do. Out of the whole of June, i am only working about 10 – 14 days of it, so I have to work my ass off in May to schedule all of the work for those days I can’t work.
This is because of moving into the house and a weeks family holiday.
This last week of April I’ve been jogging four days a week, it’s only about 30 – 40 minutes of exercise, but its enough to get me sweating. I feel as if the jog helps remove stress from the mind, even if my feet sting.
This is a hard habit I am trying to start, but even though it’s the thing I hate most, it has its benefits both for the mind and the beer belly. I wake up everyday and weigh myself in hopes it triggers the mind to think “eat healthy today”, this again is something I have learned from the Atomic Habits book. In just a week I have lost 1KG (2.2lbs), i know it’s not a lot, but it’s working.
This could be just a fad, but i’m trying my hardest to stick with it.
What Have I Learnt?
This month I have learnt a lot of new things, but most have came from the incredible books that I have read. The creation of small, easy habits that can be done regularly are the habits that compound overtime to give even greater results.
The simple exercise of not having a 6 pack of beer in, but instead 2 cans will help over the long run or walking the long way to work will help you loose weight and increase metabolic rate over time. Small habits, big changes. So I am going to try some.
Another one I am trying is to increase my content output. I have two jars on my desk, one red and one green. The red jar is filled with 50 paper clips. Every time I create an article or a video I move one clip from the red jar into the green. Once all of the clips have been moved I will reward myself with a treat up to £200. This could be a new LEGO set, new clothes or a trip away.
Making 50 pieces of content myself is going to take months. This habit is to stop me from buying junk I don’t need and it helps increase the want to make more content.
One of the main things I have learned this month is that the mind is at ease with friends and family. My mental health has been in the best state this year, and I really think that’s because I am seeing more people, enjoying my free time and keeping the brain active with enjoyment and things to look forward to.
Next Months Goals?
May is going to be a tough month. I have a lot of work to be getting on with and I hope I can stick to eating less shit. So my goals for next month are simple. Work more, eat less.
EDIT: Bloody hell, this article is almost 3000 words long. That’s the longest review yet!