My Online Business News & Reflections (Growth, Successes, Travel, & More!)
Running my own online business exposes me to a community of others who run online businesses, and a community of folks who aspire to work online but haven’t quite made the leap or figured out their path just yet.
What I’ve learned about myself this year is that -moreso than web design and SEO- what I really enjoy is talking to others about how they too can work online. I love brainstorming ideas with people and throwing advice or recommendations their way.
This past winter, visiting my hometown, I was on a hike with a friend and she was curious about how my business was going, how I got into doing it, what a work day was like, how secure it was, what I had to learn to make this happen, etc. etc. etc. and I found myself talking for hours as we strolled through the woods, feeling really energized by the topic.
I apologized a couple of times for going on and on, and she urged me to continue and said she was really enjoying learning about all of this.
So since I enjoy talking about it and there are others out there who want to learn more and get insights into the world of running your own online business, I’ve decided to branch out and start speaking more on the subject.
What is My Online Business?
In addition to being a Squarespace web designer & SEO specialist, I also dabble in other online ventures.
Web design + SEO are my bread and butter, but meanwhile I’m working on other long-term, more passive, income strategies as well.
I have two niche websites that I work on when there’s time. One of them I plan to keep and focus on affiliate income with, the other I plan to focus on affiliate income but perhaps sell next year once traffic is up and I have a lot more content. Eventually, I would like to build out one good website each year and flip it. We’ll see how that goes.
I’m currently working on starting a YouTube channel as well. It has nothing to do with any of the above, but will be focused on an area of personal interest. This will be a more creative outlet for me, which I really need.
How Have Things Been Going As An Online Business Owner?
It’s hard to believe I’m only in my second year of doing this. I feel like I’ve learned SO much over the last year.
My first project took off in December 2017, before that I did small projects and updates for people while I built hobby websites to hone my skills. Ever since December 2017, I’ve essentially gotten paid to learn everything I know.
GROWTH SINCE LAST YEAR
Without giving out specific numbers (maybe eventually I’ll do that after I research the pros and cons a bit more), let’s take a look at the growth of my business since this time last year.
If I take an average of money earned, divided by the number of weeks, my earnings since last year are up 250% this year.
It isn’t all that common for new businesses to profit in their first year, but I managed to make a living wage in my first year (without even working a consistent full-time schedule), and to more than double my salary so far this year. This feels like a really good direction and I can only hope and plan to continue this growth, before eventually I transition my offerings from one-to-one to one-to-many.
FUN THINGS TO NOTE THIS YEAr so far
Working online allows me the freedom to shift my schedule around so that I don’t have to miss out on things I really want to do.
I was able to spend a month and a half with family on the other side of the country for the holidays, and my husband and I enjoyed a two-week long road trip on the journey back west this past January.
Our time in Taos (New Mexico), Sedona (Arizona), and along the Extraterrestrial Highway (Nevada) were my favorite parts of this road trip and I was easily able to arrange my schedule to thoroughly enjoy these two weeks without having to worry about work.
I especially loved seeing ancient petroglyphs deep in the Arizona desert…
And driving by the ever-mysterious Area 51 in the absolute middle of nowhere Nevada…
Another pivotal event that happened the first quarter of this year is that we relocated from northeast Washington State to the Olympic Peninsula.
And we… are… loving… it!
We still have a deep love for the Okanogan Highlands where we own land and have plans to build a Nordic-inspired homestead throughout the coming years, but are very much enjoying the maritime rainforest-y lushness of the little seaside village we’ve relocated to.
Another funny thing that happened this year is that I was contacted by a famous actor to design his website. It was amusing to me how quickly this person just became another contact in my cell phone, someone that I talked about casually to my husband just like all other clients. He was a really humble and sweet person and I look forward to working together again in the future.
SEO SUCCESSES THIS YEAR
This is not to boast, but I have learned a lot of nuanced strategies when it comes to Squarespace SEO and my clients have been seeing a lot of success this year with their websites hitting Google Page 1, sometimes within the first month after launching!
My professional website, this one you’re on right now, is ranking on Google Page 1 for some really important keywords and I no longer have to send proposals to potential clients, now my clients are coming to me via my website, which is wonderful! I have had no problem staying fully booked this year and it’s all due to ongoing Squarespace SEO efforts.
One of my niche websites is performing really well, ranking on Google Page 1 for several target keywords. In fact, we were contacted last month by a major production company who wanted to cast us for a cable television show that will be premiering next year! We ended up deciding against it, because living in the Alaskan wilderness with complete strangers just didn’t sound appealing to us at this point in life, but it was still a great experience and opportunity and the company found us because our niche website ranks on Google Page 1 for the term they were searching.
SEO is fun because of the unimaginable possibilities it can bring!
FINANCIAL GOALS ALREADY HIT THIS YEAR
I have learned that, for me, the way to meet material goals is to make more money. Haha. That’s a silly sentence. Basically, what I mean is that if I’m making $25,000 a year, it’s going to be very difficult for me to achieve goals, including paying off debt, saving and investing, while simultaneously enjoying life.
So, the focus for me is to make more money in order to do all of the above.
And since I have managed to increase my salary this year, I’ve also managed to
Pay off two debt accounts entirely
Raise my credit score
Store up a significant emergency savings fund, only to be accessed in dire circumstances
And we’ve saved to purchase two vehicles this year, so now my husband and I both own our vehicles outright - no payments
So those are some of the things I have going on that relate to having an online business.
Let me know if you enjoyed this post and would like to see more of this kind of thing.
I certainly have a lot of info and experience piled up in my head, and would love to organize and share it if it’s helpful for others to read.
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Until next time ~