The Struggle is Real, Y'all.

Last Update: May 07, 2019

Hello, fellow entrepreneurs! How has May been treating you so far? Was April a success? Have you been struggling? You're not alone! It's been a wee bit rough lately on my end. I've been meaning to do an April report for y'all and just wow, it's been crazy.

April Report - Ho Boy

So April has netted me around $20 in Amazon affiliate sales, though again, folks, this is not on my website. I count this as both a success and a failure. How did I manage this feat? I'm actively involved in a lot of book groups on Facebook. I don't spam. I don't even list full-price e-books. I inform fellow readers of sales running on good books. I get a LOT of sales, but it's only pennies per commission.

What's the point then?

The point is I often shared good deals I've found in groups BEFORE I became an affiliate marketer. I didn't change my practice of sharing e-book sales under a buck or so. I simply started using affiliate links on my website's Facebook page, then sharing to relevant groups.

I like helping people. I love reading. I love finding a good book on sale for the digital format. I love to share the deal. I simply monetized my fun, now. I don't spam, overdo it, or message people. Therefore, I don't get reported for spam, which is what happens when you bomb groups with affiliate links.

My niche is e-readers so it's related, though I don't post these sales on my site. My site is for information and e-readers only, with room for accessories. I use my social media pages for my site for a bit more fun stuff, memes and reading stuff. Plus updates on my site, of course.

As for my site in April, I have a few organic visitors from search engines which is cool. No direct sales or anything. My posting frequency has gone down, unfortunately. Lastly, because of a few new e-reader releases in March and April, I decide to update previous posts. Then I decided to use Site Feedback and Site Comments after each post update.

In order to do this, I have been leaving more comments and feedback for other people's sites, because I don't feel right, purchasing credits. Purchasing credits to me is like purchasing comments. Which is too close to purchasing reviews on Amazon and that's seriously unethical, against Amazon rules, and a huge pet peeve of mine. Though purchasing credits for feedback would be okay for me.

Thankfully, Kyle and Carson created a Site Comment section that calls for opinions, not demanding dishonest praise. It's just 'trading' comments is more my own ethical manner of receiving them.

Anyway, then a feedback comment made a good point and I changed my theme. Then again asked for feedback and changed the default font around. Then decide I needed a new post because I'm seriously slacking here. Then I joined a new affiliate network because I need to expand on a few ideas.

Now my head feels like it's going to explode.

April's Lessons

  • Once you go premium, pick a different theme. Don't stick with one of the few themes starter members have access to. I was given this piece of advice in Site Feedback, because I was scared to change what works. Nothing against starter members or the themes, but you have access to thousands of free themes (with the option of purchasing a premium version), and those starter themes are functional but commonly used. Take yourself and your site seriously by changing it. Don't worry about purchasing a premium theme until you get some traffic, and sales, and you know exactly what theme you are going to stick with.
  • Don't admit you don't know something. It's okay not to know something, but you want to come across as an expert. Don't lie! But if you can't find something out from extensively research, simply omit the entire thing. Don't say you don't know. Again, excellent piece of advice during Website Feedback.
  • Don't be too professional! This is my bit of wisdom. You want to write with great spelling and grammar, definitely. But don't bore your audience trying to be 'professional'. You want your site to look professional, you want your business practices to be professional, you want to write as well as a professional, but you don't want to write content that reads like a college essay or book report! Use fun words or expressions, and talk to you readers, don't lecture them like a professor. Remember, unless your target audience are academics, long reports are boring.
  • Site Feedback and Site Comments are both under utilized and misunderstood. Site Comments are honest discussion about the post's content. You don't need to pretend or lie, and please don't. You come across as forced and fake. I understand some people try to manipulate their comments for Google and reject perfectly good comments, but I don't want that. I want honesty about the subject. You hate E-readers? Then explain why you love paper books instead of trying to say something you're not feeling. Site Feedback is to tell people what works well on the website and what needs improving. You need to share BOTH what you like and don't like. By sharing what's good, your fellow affiliate marketer won't change it. Then share what doesn't work, which helps them to improve! It's absolutely vital to include both.
  • Google indexes my site FAST. Like the most recent post was indexed in 5 minutes before I even submitted the URL. The post before did the same thing. Crazy. That said, indexing isn't that important except as a step to ranking. Ranking is where it's at!
  • Real life is a bummer. This one is pretty self-explanatory.

The Struggling Entrepreneur

I keep my blog here as a kind of personal journal of my journey to success. I have to remember that everyone goes through some struggling while building a business. I'm definitely not alone. I'm not thinking of throwing in the towel. I've had some serious setbacks though. Perhaps what I'm going through can help someone realize there's always struggles with success and it isn't always easy. Struggling does NOT mean failure. Only quitting is a failure!

So this is all the stuff I am struggling with right now.

  • Serious frustration with my lack of a laptop. Mine gave up the ghost a couple months ago and I need to buy another one, but...
  • I am one seriously broke woman right now, because...
  • Rescue foster cats are having a serious issue getting over an Upper Respiratory Infection, mysterious non-parasite induced diarrhea, and now freaking RINGWORM!
  • RINGWORM!! I finally caught it myself so it deserves a second mention. It also deserves a second mention because the best treatment for it is a lime sulfur BATH! I have to bathe cats. This is not going to be pretty.
  • Did I mention that I have to bathe cats!?
  • Medication change has my mood and motivation changed. I'm not as focused, or motivated to do everyday stuff and my site stuff. I'm going to be discussing this with my doctor hopefully.
  • Finding alone time to work, after I work. Because it's so frustrating to work on a tablet, this stuff takes me years to accomplish simple tasks. My roommate isn't putting it down, but he's still making me feel guilty that I have to take so much time. Not on purpose, he's just frustrated that I'm always 'busy'.
  • The new antibiotic for the cats is horribly bitter and causes the cats to hate it and foam at the mouth. Cats don't taste sweet, do tricks that pharmacies use for kids medication doesn't work. Milk doesn't mask the taste, and neither does yogurt. I have to liquefy it to get the correct dosage and this is killing me to watch. I'm going to pick up some experimental flavors tomorrow. Maybe sardine oil?

May Goals

  • Reapply to Google AdSense
  • Update my posts
  • Submit each post for Site Feedback and Site Comments
  • Reapply to an affiliate program.
  • Set aside time to read and decompress every evening AND take Sunday off from WA, my site, and people.
  • My personal cats, Daisy and Buddy, need their vaccinations too!

Hopefully, this month will be more successes than struggles!

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SondraM Premium
It sounds like you had a very busy month. The ringworm did not sound fun. Bathing cats sound like even less fun. lol I've never met a cat that willingly took a bath.

Shoot - dogs don't even like getting baths although they play in the water.

I hope our May will be more successes than struggles.

p.s I hope you found a theme that you like. I discovered that Google didn't like my them because the print was too small on mobile. Oh well......

Take care,
Selenityjade Premium
Thank you! I'm still tweaking and asking feedback. So far it's not a popular theme with men, but as I'm doing a non-technical site about ereaders, which are technical, my audience will likely be mostly women who don't care about technical specifications. The default font wasn't great and I'm not thrilled with the side bar. I just don't know. I'm still messing with it.

Cats also dislike bitter pills and I've been dealing with them foaming at the mouth, lol. Poor dears. Ringworm isn't that bad, it's just a fungal infection like athlete's foot, and cats eventually heal on their own after months or a year. But as it's contagious, we need to nip this in the bud. It's not seriously contagious, but still prolonged contact... My arm is itchy! It took me a month to catch it, now I feel like it's everywhere!

Thanks for your kind words!
SondraM Premium
You are welcome. Best wishes.

Themes can be very frustrating....
Selenityjade Premium
Right?! I want simple and appealing, not a complicated layout. My site isn't loaded with photos like a fashion blog or photography blog. I want one with the option of upgrading to the premium version, so if I find one I love, I can get an excellent extras. But I'm trying free versions first. It's a nice theme, I like it, but it's grey and white, but I think it's going to be TOO geared towards women. Gah. -_-