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HackingFIRE Monthly Wrap-up #1

Valhalla Weekly - Security, Software, and All Things Research
Valhalla Weekly - Security, Software, and All Things Research
The First HackingFIRE Monthly Wrap-up!
It’s wrap-up time! Here is the metrics for my first month of the HackingFIRE initiative. Learn from the lessons I’m learning the hard way and get some value out of the things I did right this month!
TL;DR
MRR+Investment Goals
$250 crypto account
$250 investment account
$50 tech income
$50 educational product income
Overall: $600 investments+income (+$600 from previous month)
MRR+Investment Actual
$250.25 crypto account (+0.1%)
$252.67 investment account (+1.1%)
$4.00 tech income (-92%)
$59.34 educational income (+18.7%)
Overall: $566.26 (-5.6% behind goal)
Full Breakdown
Crypto
  • Crypto is staked fairly evenly between Solana ($SOL), Livepeer ($LPT) and Binance Coin ($BNB)
  • Average APY is 9.6%
  • P/L is around -1.5% for the month with crypto taking a nose dive
Stocks
  • Account is all cash at the moment while I figure out what to invest in
  • Research on ethical investing methodologies is ongoing as well
  • Will be buying early this month
Tech
  • This was a promising month with a disappointing result
  • Contract on Fiverr reached verbal agreement, $4 fee paid out and then ghosted. The contract was going to be worth about $150, so I would have gone well over my goal for the month
Educational
  • I’m counting the money I’m going to make on my Web Scraping for Beginners book since I did make that a couple months ago but it hasn’t been paid out. That’s right at $26.38
  • I made $21 off of my web scraping course on Udemy
  • I made $9.28 from my Medium blog this month and $2.47 from Amazon Affiliate income from my blog.
This month's wrap-up
A fairly decent start! Investment targets were pretty easy to hit, even if I didn’t buy anything in the stock market (seems like that may have been an accidentally good idea anyways…) but the tech target miss was irritating.
There are loads of people who make lots of money doing software development on Fiverr and Upwork… I’ve had a platform on both sites for quite some time now, though I don’t actively pursue projects on Upwork or keep my profile on FIverr updated, for reasons that are about to be apparent. Both platforms are incredibly spammy, and the couple of times I have gotten somewhere, the client has ghosted. The only saving grace was this time I was smart enough to get a small fee for planning out the project, so it at least wasn’t a total loss… If you’re interested in getting some web scraping work done, let me know on Fiverr!
My educational income looks good on paper, but the reality is that $26.38 of that money came from one-off sales of my work-in-progress book, and $21 came from a course I started selling last year. The only money I’m making from new income is about $9.28 from Medium. So, if we don’t count the older income streams, I’m about 80% behind! I’ve got some plans for that over the next month that we will get to later.
In terms of investments, I’ve been talking a bit on Twitter and in my last newsletter about how I’m studying up on the tech behind Web3. It’s been utterly fascinating to read about the complexities and depth behind the technologies, stuff that gets lost in the sauce of high-risk speculative “investments” that are just real-time, complicated gambling. I think if I can find intelligent, strategic methods of investing in crypto and Web3, it’ll be a fun way to learn even more.
Stock market investing is going a bit slower. I haven’t had much time over the last month to really devote to finding ethical investment opportunities, which may not be a bad thing given the market tanking. I put the money in my account and I’m just holding off for a while to invest it until I can figure out a decent strategy.
Over the next month...
Goals for the Next Month
Projected Tech Revenue: $74.00 (+32%)
Projected Educational Revenue: $74.00 (+32%)
Projected Crypto Account: $295.00 (+15%)
Projected Stock Account: $295.00 (+15%)
Total Income+Investments: $738 (+23.3%)
Tech Revenue
So, the biggest challenge over the next month is building up a tech revenue stream. Fiverr and Upwork don’t seem like they’re going to be the answer to that problem. So, I have a couple of miniature plans that I’m going to start executing.
The first one is that I’m going to build out a proper freelance/consulting landing page. Depending on Upwork/Fiverr means depending on the typical audience that comes to Upwork/Fiverr (AKA mostly scammers and spammers) and giving them a cut of the revenue. If I can build up my own freelance/consulting flow, I’ll keep everything but the payment processing fees, and hopefully attract a better audience.
So, first thing on the agenda is building out a Webflow page to capture user details and marketing info. This is going to suck a bit, because I’m awful at design, but it’s gotta get done. After that, I’ll figure out a solid menu of service offerings and start building out a lead list. I’m thinking about doing some local physical marketing to see if I can get some local leads, but given that I live in a more rural area, I don’t know if that will work.
Next: SaaS. I desperately need to actually finish and launch a SaaS product, even if it sucks. The only thing worse than a bad product is not having one at all! Luckily, I have tons of products that I’ve already got started, domain and all! So, I’m going to pick one this month, simplify the hell out of it and hopefully launch ASAP. I’m thinking about taking some time off of work to work on it full-time, but we will see about that.
Educational Revenue
Educational Revenue is going to be fun. I’m going to keep banging away on my web scraping with Python book and try to have that launched soon, even if not this month. The great thing about publishing on LeanPub is that you don’t have to have the book finished to actually sell it! The bad thing is, there’s a 60 day delay between sale and pay-out… so I’m going to count the sales revenue in the month that the sale occurs, unless there are a ton of chargebacks.
I started thinking this month about things that have worked previously. I’ve made close to $1,800 from my web scraping course on Udemy, so why not make another course? The problem is, courses are time consuming to produce and are sometimes low-return if you’re not careful. Burning a hundred hours on a course that makes less than $2,000 is… less than ideal. The $2,000 sounds great! The idea of making $20 an hour? Less so…
One of the more disappointing metrics is my Medium income. I had my highest month ever last month at $15 and it dropped 40% to just over $9 this month… Now, $15 per month isn’t going to make you rich, but I was hoping I could repeat that and scale it up a bit this month. That being said, my output was way lower, so I can’t be surprised that the income was lower as well.
So, here’s the plan. I’m going to work on what I already have going: my blog, my book and my YouTube channels (more on those later) and flesh out some ideas for courses I can put together. If something just jumps off the page and presents itself as a solid, marketable course that will be fairly easy to produce, I’ll jump on it.
Marketing
It’s been a good month for social growth!
SEO on the blog has grown very nicely, mostly due to targeting a couple of good keywords. I’m going to pivot off of those keywords this month with some solid research articles and try to keep driving those lines up.
Socials have grown nicely as well, namely a 72% increase in following, 57% increase in impressions and a decent conversion rate. I think pouncing on the opportunities that Twitter gives you is a good plan, I just need to find what works.
My first channel Valhalla_Dev did really well this month, though new subscribers stalled. A lot of that is from increasing content tempo toward the end of the month, so I’m definitely going to try to keep executing on that some more.
I also started my second channel, HackingFIRE this month and immediately pulled in 10 subscribers. It feels weird starting a channel from scratch, putting videos up only to get 10 views in a week if I’m lucky… but I think it will grow faster over time and will be a valuable asset later. It’s just slow growth at first!
Until Next Time
Phew… that was lengthy.
I didn’t mean for this to be a beast of a newsletter entry, but here we are! Lot’s to talk about I guess. I’ll definitely be sending out month two’s update on the last day of July or first day of August, but if there are any major updates I’ll put an update out then as well. Until then, take it easy!
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Valhalla Weekly - Security, Software, and All Things Research
Valhalla Weekly - Security, Software, and All Things Research @valhalla_dev

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