These posts are a way for me to share the ups-and-downs of working for myself, of trying to take my business off the ground, of how to make money as a digital nomad, or whatever you want to call it. They’re a way of holding myself accountable everyday because I know at the end of the month I’m going to have to tell you what I’ve done to be better.
I also hope that this series will help those of you wondering if you can do it, too. If you want to know what it’s like trying to find freelance work, how much I’m actually raking in each month, and what the rate of growth is over time for my journey, then this is the place to get it.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments. I will do my best to answer them in these monthly posts.
Let’s start with the outgoings. I’m going to preface this by saying Luke and I completely share everything. I’m so lucky to have someone who is so supportive of my huge leap into this digital world, both emotionally and financially.
We currently live in Mexico City, where we are able to spend almost nothing while earning what is classed as a good wage in the city. One of the reasons I was so drawn to living in Mexico was because I knew we would be able to live on relatively little income while I got my business off the ground.
As always, we still currently pay nothing on rent.
This month I’ve gone on something of a health drive. I’ve been buying tons and tons of fresh fruit from our local market and this has meant we’ve actually been spending significantly less on food than we usually do. We’ve spent about 400 pesos a week on groceries each or $80 for the month.
While we don’t pay rent, we do cover the bills. This past month we moved to a new apartment, so have actually not paid any bills for the month. We won’t start paying anything until the end of October. Yippee!
Whenever we want to go anywhere, since we don’t live very close to a metro, we usually get an Uber. It costs us between 60 and $100 pesos or between $3 and $5 to get a taxi into the center of Mexico City. This month we spent about 500 pesos each on taxis or about $25.
5. Drinks, meals out, & other fun
With the long weekend in San Miguel de Allende and some social weekends, we spent a bit more than usual on eating out. This month we spent about 1,000 pesos each on eating out or $50.
6. Marketing Expenses
This month my yearly payment for my site, Collecting Labels, had to be renewed. That cost $115. I have started paying for Mailchimp to manage my email for both sites. That costs $15. I am also paying for Crowdfire.com to assist with my social media following. That’s $6 a month. I spent $55 on Facebook advertising. In total I have spent $191 on running and managing the blogs.
In Total: $346
A real inspiration over the last few months has been Johnny from Johnnyfd.com. His monthly income reports are packed with information for a budding online entrepreneur, and I hope one day to be able to be as good a resource to all of you as he has been to his readers. You can see his latest month’s income report here.
Here’s what I’ve earned and from what outlets I’m making money.
1. Affiliate Marketing
What’s affiliate marketing? Basically I put links to products that I use and love on the site. If you click on those links and buy it, I receive a (very) small commission. The sites I use most are Amazon and Shop Style Collective. This month I haven’t really been pushing my affiliates or writing posts that have links in them, so I only took in $6 in affiliate sales.
I work with a copywriting company where I do some travel writing. They give me a topic and a brief and I write a short piece for one of their clients. This month I made $250 copywriting.
3. Sponsored Content
I sometimes receive a commission for writing about a company or product on one of my websites. I’m trying to work out a way to increase this while still remaining true to myself and to be completely honest and transparent with all of you. This month I made $110 on sponsored content.
4. Freelance Writing
Some months I do really well with my freelancing. I write for a few different websites and apps. It’s mostly travel writing, but I sometimes write fashion pieces for smaller websites. This month I made $180 on Freelance Writing.
5. Social Media Management
I have a few solid clients each month (but am always looking for more!) whose social media I run a few hours a week. This month I made $200 on Social Media Management.
In total: $746
(An increase from $705 last month)
Up again . I know it’s only incremental, but I’m so excited to be increasing each month. I worked really hard to make connections with companies this past month and I’m certain over the next few months that I’ll be reaping the benefits of all of this hard work.