How Much I Earned in 2020

It’s January 1st and that means you not only get the December review of my side hustle, but you also get my year in review of how things went.

Youtube

I created a new template for how tech tutorials are going to be produced going forward. I wanted to have something that is easy to follow, engages you at the beginning, but also also explains with clarity what’s going on from a technical perspective. We’ve recorded our new video with this format and it will be published on January 4th. Make sure to keep an eye out for that.

We also spent some time being inspired by other Scratch YouTubers and tried to find a good balance of what we think is working for them and how we can add our own unique style. I’m excited with what we came up with and I really think it has the potential to make an impact on the Scratch community.

We had a goal of posting 10 Scratch videos but fell drastically short of hitting that goal. In fact, I had the goal of trying to get 70 videos published, but we are currently sitting at 57 videos. We also had a goal of hitting 350 subscribers and we managed to hit 312. Had a goal of hitting 750 Watch Hours and we hit 720 hours. Now, I’ll admit that we lost A LOT of momentum because of the holidays. People just weren’t watching our videos as much, but we have a VERY strong plan for January and plan on compensating for our December downfall. I have 12 videos that are already planned for January and production will continue this first week of January. I’m feeling more confident about this new month because I’ve also set up our template in such a way that if my wife doesn’t wake up to make the videos, I can easily make them myself now.

Goals for January — 400 Subs and 800 Watch Hours. 69 videos published in total by the end of January. Let’s do this!

Podcast

The podcast is going very well. I know that the numbers are still very low, but I’m genuinely surprised at where I’m at right now considering that I just started this thing a few months ago. Had a goal of publishing 10 podcast episodes and got 9 episodes out! I honestly thought I was going to have at least 12 episodes out but recording these videos is sometimes a little challenging. Nonetheless, I’ve made a total 2.50 cents from the podcast. I”m averaging about 9 downloads an episode and as more people discover my podcast, they start listening to older episodes which is great. Additionally, I had a goal of ending the year with 250 downloads to my podcast and I ended up getting 272 which is AMAZING! I crushed that goal!!

Next steps are to finish my current season 2 of the podcast which is focused around general security articles that I had written back in May of 2020. Once I finish those, I’ll be pivoting to season 3 which will be a deep dive into security fundamentals. I’ll start from the beginning of the Information Security journey and create episodes that will be targeted towards every day users of the internet. My intention with season 3 is to take a lot of the technical stuff out of cyber security and help every day people understand and be more aware of cyber security.

Goal for January is to publish 10–12 episodes. This is where I’m making the “most” amount of money so I’m incentivized to really put a lot of effort into this endevour.

Blog

I had a goal of writing 14 blog posts but ended up only publishing 9. This is MUCH better than the month of November where I only published 3! Not really sure why I didn’t hit my December goal but I did start making some money on Medium. I managed to make a total of .08 cents!! Again, not a whole lot, but the running total so far is 2.58 cents! It’s humble beginnings and no where near replacing my salary, but this is money I’m making from ideas in my head. This is awesome!

Goals for January on the blog are going to be interesting. I plan on moving away from Medium in January. For the month of January, I’ll be posting on both Medium and on a new website that I’ve created solely for the purposes of blogging. In 2021, I’m going to expand my blog post topics to include Technical Program Management topics in addition to Cyber Security topics. I’m excited about this next chapter because it will give me a change to not only reach more people but potentially monetize more as I’ll be able to control the ads and will not have a pay wall on my personal site. Depending on how this goes, I might ditch Medium, but not sure yet. Shooting for 20 blog posts in January. 10 cyber related and 10 TPM related.

Twitter

Month of December was strong on Twitter, but then towards the holidays I lost all momentum. Twitter is a different beast when everyone is on holiday break and just counting down the days to end the year. As a result, I didn’t grow as much as I would have liked, but I still managed to make respectable progress. I had a goal of having 500 subs on Twitter, and ended up getting 490. It was very close, and I think I would have actually hit it if it wasn’t for all the people that follow and then unfollow for some reason. my numbers fluctuated in the 480’s for a couple of weeks. Twitter is weird that way I guess.

January goals is to get to 550 followers. I know this is a bit aggressive, but considering the number of content pieces I’ll be putting out, I think more and more people are going to want to engage with me. I also plan on doubling down on that 1.80 Gary Vee strategy which should play a significant factor in me trying to grow my audience.

Still same strategy from last time as I didn’t actually follow it.

  • Engage with the people I’m following. Ask questions, provide good thoughts. I’m going to go above just a simple, congrats.
  • Post only about Leadership, Agile, Scratch, and Cyber Security. I’m going to leave off the commentary about my personal life to see how things go. Less ranting and more thought provoking content.
  • Utilize gif’s and pictures more.
  • Utilize Fleets more.

TikTok

In what is becoming a common trend with my life here, I lost a lot of momentum on Tik Tok. I ended up getting 54 likes on my videos but most of those likes came from my wife and cousins. . . so I just didn’t have the reach that I wanted to have. I have to rethink how I’m going to utilize Tik Tok in January but so far I’m completely unmotivated to use the platform. I’d like to stick on the topic of leadership but maybe I need to make vidoes where I’m talking as opposed to just drawing. Maybe I can migrate my drawings over to Instagram. We’ll see how this goes, but I have no clear objective on how I’m going to crush it in 2021 with Tik Tok.

Freelancing

Didn’t do anything in December with respect to freelancing. Planning on starting very small gigs on upwork and fiverr. Not sure what to expect or if I’ll get any work, but I’m going to at least put a profile out there for my LLC and see if I can help anyone out there.

Books

Didn’t make any progress on my Jira book, but I did manage to start creating an outline for my Technical Program Management book. These books are going to be a major part of my 2021 success but they take time. I need to do a lot better in this area. I’m setting up daily goals to make sure I make some progress on each of these books, even it is just writing one sentence down. I have a lot of faith in the value that I’m putting into these books but first I have to write them.

Saas

No progress here in December either, but again, just like with the books, this section is going to play a vital role in the success of my 2021. I have a long list of the different things I want to create and now I just need to start creating things. I think this part scares me the most since I’ll actually have to “engineer” something into existence, but after reading The Third Wave by Steve Case, I’m excited to think about the future and create something that will help me ride the 3rd wave!

Competitions/Challenges/Coding/Live Streaming

Didn’t do anything here either. I do plan on coding and live streaming more of that in 2021. I just really need to pick up coding as a whole and start producing code. I have this great skill that I spent thousands of dollars on and I need to start putting it to work. And no, I’m not actually a software engineer at work, so I don’t get to code on a day to day basis. But the only way I’m going to get better is by writing code. Hopefully January is the month I actually start doing this!

Mentorship

This is a new area for me and one that I actually started making progress on in December. I started helping someone I met online with their journey to finding their first full-time software engineering job. This is all new to me and I haven’t really ever done anything like this before, but I do believe in the power of mentorship. I’m hoping I can actually help this person out because if this works, I plan on engaging with more folks in 2021!

Total:

2.58. Not bad in my opinion. I’m not putting in 100% effort like I should be to make this extremely successful as my wife and I are balancing two kids, and two full-time engineering jobs. This is going to be a slow, but steady incline and as I gain more and more momentum, I’m sure this number is going to go up drastically. Stay tuned to find out how the new year helps me grow!

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