First of all, this is not exactly a “quarter-year,” but I only thought of this post about two weeks ago or so, and I was either going to do it now and be a little behind on the “quarter” part, or wait for it to be like half a year update or something. But I eventually decided to just do it now.
I felt like I should have a post where I document what has been going well for me so far on this journey and what needs improvement. So that I can have an overview of where I am exactly.
I started this journey in December 2018, so this is currently my 5th month on the journey.
I have had some downs and a whole good deal of ups, and I’m working my way through this as hard and as fast as I can.
I’ll start with the downs first, so I can end this on a positive note.
1. No day job
So far, I haven’t managed to find any day jobs that would allow me to do what I love doing, which is writing.
I enjoy writing, whether it’s blogging here or writing fiction, and living to do just this was my ultimate dream. But, you know, it would have been nice if I managed to get paid for that as well. However, no luck so far in that area.
2. No more Redbubble
Another bad news is that my online store on Redbubble, which was actually bringing in some profit, got suspended for no reason about 2 months ago.
I figured it out by chance, when I was checking for broken links on my website here and found that my store’s link was one of them. I mean imagine finding out like that; not a very pleasant surprise.
I contacted them a dozen times, for about 3 weeks, and I received no answer. Until I eventually tweeted them and someone replied to me a week later.
They said my account seems to have had some kind of a “suspicious activity” that violated their rules or so and which has resulted in suspending it.
Now I have not logged into my account nor uploaded any new designs for over 3 months prior to this suspension. So, there is no way in hell I had anything to do with this activity.
When I tried to have a better explanation as to what kind of activity exactly that would be considered “suspicious,” to the point that they would suspend an account without even a notice; their reply was that they don’t know and they can’t tell me what it is exactly.
That was it. They literally shut down a person’s source of income with absolutely no explanations.
They shut it down and they don’t even know why it was shut down. However, they still banned me from ever using their service again.
I wrote a post some time ago about my experience with print-on-demand websites and I talked about how much I love and recommend Redbubble as a free online shop, I sincerely take that back now. Please do not use this service.
I wholeheartedly believed it was an amazing service at the time, but you can only judge something based on your experience and what you have seen, and at that time, I only saw a great service. But now and after how they’ve treated this whole situation, I honestly would just recommend you go for any of the other alternatives on that list.
3. No books read
So, I had a plan to read a book every month. One book that would help me progress and benefit me on this journey; and I would write a review about it here to share the best ideas discussed with everyone.
However, I only managed to read 2 books throughout the past 5 months.
I will try to get into the habit of audiobooks, because apparently having to stare at words on a screen 24/7 is not making me very enthusiastic about seeing more words on any other page.
Now to the good and productive side of the journey!
I mentioned in a previous post that I started my first investment in real estate through a local home construction company; starting with a very humble amount of money, the least amount they accepted actually.
This one is successful so far and is supposed to provide a little amount of interest in the next few days, as a quarter year profit, which will hopefully help with my saving up target for the year.
2. Saving Goal
Speaking of saving up, I’m sort of halfway through my annual saving goal, so this is good news as well.
I have been practicing a lot of ways to help minimize my spendings as much as possible, since my income is not that great at the moment. So, I follow these saving money tips religiously.
I still need to find some form of a stable job though, since it’s apparently the only way I will be able to progress a bit faster with my goals.
3. Retirement Account
I was in the bank a few weeks ago and I was asking about the available index funds to see if I could afford any.
And I found something else, that is a bit similar, which is a type of insurance that withdraws a fixed amount from your bank account on a monthly basis and provides a certain profit every year.
The profit percentage is not fixed and it is mostly connected with the economy, so it is sort of a similar thing to index funds; however instead of making one-time payment to buy a fund, I make smaller monthly payments, which kind of suits my current financial situation.
So, I opened an account there and this is considered my first long-term investment method. (If you are in Egypt and want to know more about it, just contact me.)
I have learned so many new things in those past few months.
Some things I have already implemented in my life and practice and some are things that will help me in a bit of a long-term, such as the various investment methods that would make it easier for me to see what exactly I would want to do with my money once I have enough of it.
5 months ago, I had absolutely zero knowledge in any and all of the below.
a. Making Money
- I have learned about a number of different online businesses and how to start them.
- I learned how to become a host and make money with Airbnb. I was planning to put that to practice a bit earlier, but decided to put it off for personal reasons. However, I still have it on the list of things I will be doing soon.
- I learned about the different ways I can invest in gold.
- I learned how to invest in index funds, and I consider this to be one of the highlights of my accomplishments, if I say so myself. This is also the first thing coming up on my list once I have enough money to put in a fund.
Learning this stuff and applying them gradually has made a noticeable difference in the way the blog has been performing.
Below is a graph of my views and visitors from December 1st until April 25th. And I will not be sharing any numbers, because my focus is not on the numbers at all, just as it shouldn’t be anyone else’s, as long as progress is being made.
The point is that this curve/chart is going upwards, not a flatline and not heading downwards. That is the only thing that matters in stats.
Since I learned about Google’s SEO and applied most of what I learned to my website, I’ve definitely started seeing a difference in traffic, in that, I have been gaining a lot more visitors from search engines, Google and others, in the past few weeks than I have been since I started this blog.
There is no graph I could manage to get from the WordPress stats to show this progress.
But here’s how my website has been performing as recorded on Google Search Console from Dec 29th till Apr 23rd.
I learned a lot about Pinterest, too, and how to use it to drive traffic to your website.
I’m still working on seeing results from this one as I have just started; but I did see my very first few clicks from Pinterest last week, and my curve is also moving upwards. So, hopefully, I’m on the right track.
Below is a graph of the profile reach stats over the past few weeks since I started working on the account, from March 27th to Apr 25th.
I have also learned how to manage goals and set up clear and achievable plans.
I developed a lot of habits that has helped my productivity, such as creating lists for everything, which has hugely impacted my life, to be honest, and helps me achieve my daily goals every day.
Also, thanks to this, my house is always clean now, because I’m rocking those chores! That’s probably too much information for you, but I wanted to put this out there: Little accomplishments count, too.
I’m physically much better than I was a few months ago, too, thanks to a workout routine, a few detox challenges here and there, and learning more about physical health and ways to keep a good posture to ease my neck and back pain.
I’m also mentally motivated, blogging-wise, thanks to a great company of bloggers who have found and read my blog and granted me with nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award, the Blogger Recognition Award, and the Sunshine Blogger Award, which I am yet to publish a post about.
5. Great Company
Speaking of great company, last but definitely not least, throughout the past few months, I have met so many amazing people.
Some of them couldn’t have been more supportive of my journey and never seem to miss an opportunity to cheer for me and lift me up with their comments and feedback.
And some of them have inspired me in a lot of different ways, and maybe without them even knowing it.
But all of them are incredibly nice and friendly people with genuine personalities that have left a huge positive impact on me.
And I would like to take this moment to give them a shoutout, just because I can (in no particular order, website – Twitter).
Erin – @Erinbabysteps
A. Jackson – @AMisanthrope1
Vanessa – @TheWblogger
Sandy – @sundaywithsandy
Mikaela – @fit_blondie_mj
Roger – @mindandlove1
Syeda – @Gurru_Says
Mama Robbins – @MamaRobbinsLife
Alpana – @chand_alpana
M. Lanen – @lanendevries
Sophie Alice – @prosateuse
Kenzie – @MsKenzieMack
These people have been the cause of some of my smiles, giggles, or laughters; they either taught me something new or just been such great companions that made my journey, so far, a much more enjoyable one!
I cannot wait to meet more amazing people and learn more and, hopefully, achieve more of my goals to eventually reach the ultimate one: Becoming my own boss.
Till next week, happy days!