July Progress Report!
 
Happy August!

Thanks to Ricky Fang, Alehandro Lee, and Mellissa Redman, who all pledged since the June update. (Apologies if I missed anyone.)

This progress report for July is a bit late. My brother-in-law was in town staying with us for a week starting on the 3rd, and between that and other errands with the kids headed back to school (end of this week), now I'm playing catch-up. While I didn't make any comics this week, I did manage to write more comedy, which you can see in An Open Letter to Hecklers. Also, my advertising funds ran out around the 1st, so the ads are down for twelve days now and that's kind of killing me. So far the advertising has been the most effective way to grow traffic on the Woohooligan site, so it's real hard on me psychologically when they're down and my traffic growth basically flat-lines.

On positive note, I've noticed that the reporting of pledges on Patreon is a little squirrely. I say it's positive because the $43 currently reported on the Patreon profile is notably below what's actually pledged. We're actually at $68/mo. That's because a couple of $10 patrons had new credit cards and haven't updated their Patreon settings with their new cards yet, so it's really just a clerical hiccup. The average pledge growth over the past seven months is almost $10/mo. While that's still significantly less than I'd hoped, I set an ambitious goal and I knew we might not reach it... and that was before a bunch of things piled on top of that goal, between taking time and money to move my mom when her neighborhood was unsafe, losing the transmission in our van suddenly and without warning in early July, my brother-in-law being in town and having done no engineering work at all last month so I could focus on the laugh-machine (meaning no extra funds for advertising). So when it's all laid out, I'm happy with an average growth of $10/mo over the past seven months, even though it's below my goal. I think we've done well. :)

There's still a lot more to do, so I'm not giving up trying new things. On the tail end of July I made a Batman comic strip and if you checked it on the Woohooligan site, there it mentions the Patreon at the end covering your patron bonus content. This particular strip was actually quite well received! :D This despite my concern that the Patreon mention at the bottom might put some people off. That appears not to have been the case, so you can expect to see more strips like that from time to time with a Patreon mention at the bottom covering your bonus content that you can see here. It won't be every strip -- at this moment I don't plan to do that on any of the ongoing story pages, but you're likely to see it every month or so. In any event, it seems pretty effective, so that will continue. :D

Also, I think the primary reason we're behind the original schedule is because of things that were outside of my control, like my mom's neighborhood and losing the transmission in our car (I had taken it to the mechanic a half-dozen times for the check engine light and every time they returned it to me and said "it's fine, don't know why the light's on", so it boils down apparently to Dodge dealers not knowing how to diagnose their own vehicles). So because so much of this year has been out of my hands, I'm extending the goal for another year. So the new goal is to replace my disability by January 2018, giving me an extra twelve months to get there. Even with the extra time, this still puts us slightly behind schedule. I think though that being moderately behind the schedule will be psychologically a lot easier on me than being so dramatically behind schedule and help me not get so worked up about it. I only hope that the government doesn't cut off my disability in the next couple months. If that happens, I have no idea how I'm going to recover from it... I'll think of something, but for now, it's good to feel back on track. :)

So having said all that, again, I need your help now more than ever! And the really cool thing is, it doesn't have to cost you a dime! :D All you have to do is share the comic with your friends and make sure they know where to read it and that we have a Patreon.

So what have I accomplished with my 40 hours/week in July?

Expenses: $160.00
Advertising: $145.00
Shopping Cart: $15.00
Income: $43.00
Net: -$117.00

Those numbers were slightly off on last month's report because I forgot to include the shopping cart fee and I used the total amount pledged instead of the amount collected. The $43 here is the amount collected, so June was closer to this July amount. Hopefully clerical errors will be cleaned up and that Net will be closer to breaking even next month. We'll get there. :)

Comic Pages: 6 (4 updates)
Still ahead of schedule. What I've promised in my goals on the Patreon is to publish at least two pages per month when I get to $157/mo, at which point working 40 hours/week like I've promised will be earning me about $1/hr and was my target for the first of May, which we're now three months past. I'm including the Batman comic in the comic pages for the month, because although it was inspired by a raffle request, it was a three-page comic, which means I put out six full pages of comic in July.

Bonus Content: 1
No NSFW bonus in July, but I did manage to get the Batman comic out with a bonus ending for you guys. You guys liked that it here on Patreon more than any other content I've published! So, woohoo! Apparently you guys were as happy with that bonus ending as I was. :D

Commissions: 1
I managed to get the Batman strip done, and I've got descriptions of two more that I'll be getting done shortly in August. I'll also be pulling the August raffle in the next day or so. Given that there's a bit of a time lapse between people winning the raffle and receiving the request, I'm sort of expecting to always have between 2-3 raffle winners in the queue and getting a couple of them made in a given month. I know in particular I still haven't heard from Ashley who won several months ago. I did get an email from her, but it was along the lines of "I'm having computer problems and noticed you were trying to reach me via Patreon messages, but I couldn't read the message". So hopefully she'll be able to get her technical issues resolved eventually. Until then I'll just keep her in the queue. :)

Research:
Not much this month. I finished Grit by Angela Duckworth -- good read if not tremendously practical with regard to marketing. I found it helpful psychologically, it's helped me to put my work in perspective and keep me on track with less nail-biting about my progress. I'm still reading the IDW Social Media Marketing for Dummies All-In-One and like the other couple of marketing books I've read so far most of the information in it is things I already knew, so... on the one hand it's good to know that I'm apparently not a slouch on marketing, but it would be nice to get some tips that help in a more substantial way.

Ad Campaigns: Baseline Only
I almost wrote "none", but I do generally run about $3/day in ads most days even when I'm not running a particular campaign. I didn't run any new campaigns in July, although I did create a new banner from the Batman comic, which I plan to use for a new ad campaign soon, although I don't know when I'll have the money in my account to do that. Toward the end of the month some of my usual Baseline ads were winning at higher amounts and I fed some extra money into those to keep them going, but I just ran out of money to feed it around the first.

Other Promotion: Unknown
This entails non-paid contacting of bloggers and podcasters about reviews and/or interviews. Tiffany started helping me out with this in June and I remember her saying she sent a few emails before her brother arrived last week. I don't actually know who she emailed -- if she gets a chance to look it up I might update this report.

So that's it for now! Like I said, things are still really hard, but I'm not giving up! I hope you'll stick with me and help me reach that crazy dream of mine! :D

Stay tuned and stay awesome, Hooligans!