July 2021 Review

I thought July was going to be easy, but I was wrong, oh so very wrong. This month has been a challenge, especially within the last week or so, and because of the new house we’ve had a lot of people around, unpacking, building stuff etc, so “free” time hasn’t really existed this month.

The UK has now officially removed any and all covid restrictions, which is great news for those who have been double jabbed, but for those who haven’t it’s a little weird. It’s like the government are saying “do what you want, but it’s now your fault if you get it”. So i’m still a little hesitant to go “out out”.

Oh and England lost the Euros Final in a traditional manner which ruined a whole week of July.

So, let’s jump into the good, the bad and the ugly moments that July decided to bring.

Retro Dodo Statistics

  • Website Visits: 375,000
  • YouTube Views: 463,000
  • New YouTube Subscribers: 2,500
  • New Facebook Fans: 609
  • New Instagram Fans: 784

Business

Christ. Where do I start? Let’s get the ugly out of the way, and then we can move this blog post into a more positive vibe.

The Ugly

The start of July was absolute chaos. For the first time ever, Retro Dodo’s website was hacked. A hacker managed to get through the back end of our website using an outdated plugin. I won’t go into too much detail because of security reasons but it basically meant hackers had complete control over the website.

Eventually after five days, and a couple of missed family events, I got it sorted, but it wasn’t fun. It had no negative effect on the website, but it was a virus that was planted, ready to be used. The virus was most likely there to steal content and to steal advertisement revenue. That virus has now been removed. Phew!

If you read my June 2021 Review, you may remember that I was talking to a Social Media Assistant, to help manage one of my clients social media pages. This client is the only client I have, I was doing it as a favour but the money was… great. Three days work for £1500.

After many months working for them, I thought it was time to put that money into an assistant which can do that job for me, so I free up those days, and they can also help grow Retro Dodo by creating video content.

Perfect, they agreed, it looked as if this was a smart business choice on my behalf, but then, a few days after I signed the contract the worst possible outcome happened. The client emailed me saying they no longer need me to look after their social pages.

This wasn’t due to the quality of my work, they were very happy, they just didn’t want to work on the pages anymore because they haven’t got the time. Well, shit.

£1,500 down. A potential £18,000 a year. Gone.

The one thing I hate most about running your own business is the fact that at times, you have to give people bad news, or put them in a stressful situation. This really screws me up mentally, because if anyone works under me it’s my duty to look after them, and treat them like kings or queens.

The second I have to stop working with them, is when I start feeling like shit. I don’t care if my business strategies effect me, but as soon as they effect a team member I feel incredibly upset, like I’ve let them down, and that I’m not good enough to be running a business.

So I had to talk to the social media assistant and inform him of my situation. Thankfully we came to an agreement that we were both happy with, but it has still really frustrated me and I can imagine it will take me a couple of weeks to get over, I’m weird like that.

The Bad

Saltalamacchia.co.uk

What else f*cked me up this month? Oh some small things! For example last month a company was going to take legal action because I used the name “Salt Media”, so I had to build a whole new website, under a new name which cost me a lot of time and money.

That is now called Saltalamacchia Media. I just couldn’t be bothered to invest more time and money into finding a new business name that clicks, so I went with the generic surname which I won’t get bored of. And before you ask, yes I trademarked it, i’m not falling for that again.

I also put up a sponsored Instagram post that got a lot of hate comments. I didn’t even think about how it would effect my followers, I was busy, posted it and soon realised that it was a VERY bad decision. It made the brand look unprofessional and I saw comments like “what is this crap”, “dude, why are you uploading this” and “aren’t you meant to be recommending good products?”.

I really screwed up. I lost a few followers and soon learnt that I won’t be posting sponsored pictures on Instagram that don’t fit within the niche. I’m not sure why I even posted it, because it was only a $50 sponsorship. I was in cruise control at a time when i shouldn’t be. Whoops.

The Good

Finally let’s talk about what has gone well this month! Retro Dodo’s traffic is up, with a few social posts doing really well, but what matters the most is the continued growth of organic traffic. This is traffic that ranks high in Google that I don’t need to do much work on.

Alongside website traffic, YouTube revenue has increased because our recent videos have had higher viewer retention, and because of that it seems a number of sponsors have come knocking on our door.

Three sponsors have been in touch this month asking to work with us on our YouTube channel. One of which went live this week, and two which will be going live in August.

YouTube sponsorships aren’t financial game changers, but I see them more as a little bonus which can be used to invest into even more content across our social platforms.

my office backdrop

Alongside that, the studio is finally done! It took me several weeks to get it to how I like, but it’s almost there and I couldn’t be happier. I still have some messing around to do in regards to the video colour correction, but that will be fixed surely.

I went for a chilled, gentlemen’s club look with a touch of nerd. There’s a podcasting corner filled with books and art, there’s a display filled with handhelds, nostalgic collectibles and a bad ass lava lamp.

The desk setup needs some work, but it matches the style of the backdrop and works efficiently to get work done. Eventually this will change slightly alongside the camera corner which I shoot from, but I need to save some pennies before i do that.

my desk setup 2021

Moving away from Retro Dodo, I have been trying to find time to work on Tiny Home Hub. I have a writer that will be writing a few articles a month to get the ball rolling and I’ve told myself to make a few videos a week to start growing the YouTube channel.

It’s nowhere near as much content as I’d want to upload a month, but it’s a start. And finally, my blog (what you’re reading now), has a newsletter that will be launching soon. It’s free, and it will feature a weekly look behind the scenes, and advice on how to grow communities/blogs/social channels.

Eventually it will become a paid newsletter that will feature a bunch of valuable content that goes out weekly. I don’t want to be the guy that creates courses, or e-books, I think a weekly newsletter is far more valuable than that and far cheaper.

But that won’t happen anytime soon. The free newsletter will launch, and once my personal YouTube channel and blog starts to pick up, that’s when i’ll launch an exclusive paid newsletter. You can sign up the the free newsletter at the bottom of this article. I hope to launch it in September.

I have also uploaded my first Welcome video to my personal channel which is at the top of this article. It’s a look into what I want the channel to become, and what it will have to offer. I plan to upload content towards the end of August to this channel.

Health

corsham
Our local town

This month hasn’t been too bad in terms of mental and physical health. The house has kept me moving for weeks. Unpacking, building things, mowing the grass, lifting stuff and so on. Plus the heatwave kept me from eating junk because I just don’t have an appetite when it’s hot for some reason.

Last week I also started a little workout routine. Shortly after we moved into the house i went and checked out the local gym and… well. It felt like an under financed school gym with very little free weights, and for £38 a month, I just couldn’t justify having to pay that, aswell as drive there most days.

So instead I bought a kettlebell and a skipping rope. This helps me do a quick 30 minute workout in the morning which doesn’t take up time, I do it out in the garden, and then straight to work. Easy.

This habit that I am trying to build comes from one of the books i read last month called atomic Habits, which basically promotes making good habits easy to do, and bad habits hard to do. So, the workout which I have a habit of bailing on is easy to do, because the kettlebell and skipping rope is quite literally on my doorstep and doesn’t take up much time.

I have also invested into Nourished, it’s a 3D printed daily vitamin that you can customise to your own needs. I feel its odd that I don’t invest into my own health, but I will happily buy a £50 video game, several pints on a night out, or a £100 box of Pokemon cards when I’m hungover so why not help myself out a little with some vitamins?

They are priced at around £35 a month, but they give my body the vitamins that i’ve been missing out on. Hopefully over the coming months I may feel a difference? Who knows, i’ll keep you updated.

Mentally I’ve been somewhat stable. Last year when I moved into a new flat, I went into a dark place because it was a new space, a new lifestyle. This happened days after I moved in, but moving into this house feel great. It’s like a huge upgrade, a place to rest, grow and learn, so I’ve been happy that my mind has eased nicely into this new lifestyle, even if it isn’t perfect yet.

Book Of The Month

scott adams book

I thought i’d add this little segment into these reviews, because I always find some valuable information in self-help and business books that I think is worth sharing. Plus it allows me to look back on this segment to remind myself of the awesome books and quotes I’ve read.

I am currently reading The Unfair Advantage, and I also finished How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big by Scott Adams. Both great books, but Scott Adams is man of many talents, one of them being to fail.

But this book hit home because in one my previous blog posts, and I’ve even tweeted it before. I stated that school treats failure as a bad thing, when in reality, failure is the first step to success.

“Oh, you failed, you’re less valuable and less important than the other students that didn’t”. This book cements that failing is the best thing to do. Keep trying, keep getting back up, and keep learning. Then you will eventually find success.

It’s a great book if you feel down about your projects or that your work isn’t good enough. We all have this moments, and this book highlights that those failures, those down days are in fact great steps forward.

What Have I Learnt?

That grass grows stupidly fast in the summer.

Next Months Goals

Organise a weekly work system/schedule that makes my output as effect as possible.

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