So, 2016 is about to end! I shouldn’t feel sad, I am not a kid! But guess what? 2016 has been awesome. This post is not only written for all you awesome Internet Marketers. I am writing this post for me, too. This post is going to help me cherish some of the best moments i have had in last one year and when I will feel low, I will come back to read this post again and again.
Now, spoiler alert: I am going to talk about a lot of personal stuffs here in this article. I will talk about my backpacking experience in Thailand, my university life and some other topics which have no relation whatsoever with Internet Marketing or Passive Income. So yes, if you are interested to read a jam-packed article about how to earn money, this is not that guide for you. This is something that will help you to know me better, probably?
Yes, I can’t promise more than that for now. Ready?
2016- A Year In Review
So, why am i super excited to talk about 2016? That’s because this was probably the year that gave me most! I have been lucky enough to face opportunities every single day and I was hard working enough to grab some of them. Let’s start with January.
I didn’t have Passive Journal in January. What I had is another company called InkWork that was serving only in local community. We were offering content service to Bangladeshi clients and we didn’t really have a mission for the business. As some of you might know from my article in Spencer’s blog that I came into the world of Amazon Affiliate Marketing in the last phase of 2015. So, I was working on my second site in January. I wasn’t really making a lot of money but that’s not important. I knew I was going somewhere with my digital marketing skills which was important to me.
At this time, i was still working as a freelancer on Upwork for one client of mine. He is more of a friend than a client right now. His name is Gregg. If you are reading this Gregg, shout out to you. I miss those moments.
I used to manage Gregg’s websites and do a few other tasks mostly related to SEO and marketing. I was fine with what i was doing. Inkwork (my site that was serving to local community) was doing alright. We were generating around $1000 a month from that business which was not awesome but was alright (I live in South East Asia).
Oh, January 27th was my birthday. I turned 23 in 2016. In my family, i am the oldest among all cousins. For some reason, my birthday always gets celebrated. I don’t show it but it feels nice, haha!
Also, I danced for the first time on stage in December, 2015. It was a crazy experience. If you are not familiar with wedding in South East Asia, there are several days with different rituals. One among them is a celebration day where close cousins and friends dance for no reason.
Here’s a pic of me dancing. Guess the song?
Also, shout out to Nuzhat! My dancing partner :p She is also a core member of our Passive Journal Family. And Shout out to her sister, Nabila too. Congrats for your wedding 🙂
Nothing much happened in February. In every February, Bangladesh celebrates International Mother Language Day (On 21st February) and to celebrate that, we always arrange a huge book fair. All sorts of publishers publish their books and what not. So if you are a book lover in Bangladesh, February is a month to get excited by. I was too and bought a ton of books. Also, the Bangladesh Cricket Team was playing brilliantly at that time which brought more happiness. We cherish cricket here in our country.
Businesswise, I was having pretty decent results with my affiliate sites in February. I sold a few on local market. I was understanding how to rank sites and how to process the whole workflow. I already made around $3000 selling small niche type Amazon Affiliate Sites. Though i still didn’t have Passive Journal, i knew that i can offer more than just content solutions to marketers around.
InkWork was still on! I didn’t know whether i would rebrand that blog or would go for something completely new. But i was planning inside.
Then comes the March. March was pretty awesome. Kungfu Panda 3 released and me with friends, cousins couldn’t be happier. Remember?
Kung Fu Panda was not the best thing happened in March (Sounds crazy, right?).
We went ahead and decided that it was time to go big. I was already having little successes with my affiliate websites and this was the time to go big. Thus, I finally decided one day that I have to create an International brand. The target was to reach you guys. I wanted to test water with some of our initial services so we renamed our old Facebook page of InkWork as Passive Journal.
This was the born of Passive Journal as a Facebook Page. We only had two services when we started. We had a keyword research service and we had our old content writing service too. Where InkWork was a Bengali website targeting clients from our local community, we had plans to go big with Passive Journal.
But yes, it was still in the planning phase. Though our name changed, our profitability and services stayed pretty much the same in March. The business was still having those $800-$1000/month sales and I personally had slightly better incomes with my affiliate websites.
March was also the time when I officially ended my freelancing career. I remember when I started as a freelancer. I was a kid with desires to do something. Life is beautiful. (I still time to time work as a freelancer if the client is someone I know from before).
Well, I came till April but I didn’t mention my study issues yet. That tells you how serious I am about my studies, right? Well, in case if you don’t know, i am currently doing Bachelor in Business Administration (Marketing). I actually am almost done with my undergrad. There’s one final exam left this December and i will be done.
Anyway, the reason to brought study is because I always wanted to go abroad for my higher studies and I needed to sit for an IELTS exam, right? April 13th was the day when I sat for my IELTS exam. I knew I had to apply for Internships in August (Internship is mandatory to get your graduation certificate) and I thought, adding an IELTS score in my resume will enhance my chances.
So, I gave my IELTS exam on 13th April and I took a vacation off to Thailand. My flight was on April 23rd and this was my first solo backpacking trip. This was not meant to be though. One of my friends (Shout out to Wasif) was supposed to join me but he had visa issues. So I went alone.
I always ask for window seats and Bangladesh Biman is mostly kind enough to offer me one. The trick is: Always go early for your check-in. You will always end up getting a window seater.
Now, Thailand was amazing. The reason that i went to Thailand was to spend time with tigers at Tiger Kingdom, Phuket. The image of mine that you see in homepage with a tiger, that’s taken in Phuket.
I was also in Bangkok for 2.5 days. Both the places were awesome. I now have a lot of Internet Marketer friends who live in Chiang Mai but i had none in April. The only attraction in Chiang Mai was elephants and i was not that interested about elephants.
This is not a travel blog so I will try to keep my Thailand story short.
There’s one more thing to tell you guys before I move to May. When i was at a Cat Cafe (A place where you can play with cats and have snacks) on April 29th probably, I got my IELTS results.
I scored 8.O. Yay.
X Men Apocalypse released on May. Do I sound like a movie geek? haha!
Strangely, nothing much happened in May. I was back from my holidays and our services at Passive Journal Facebook page resumed. We were a team of two people including me back then. Everything was going fine. I was concentrating more on my niche sites but yes, I don’t have a lot to talk about May here. May was decent. Nothing exciting happened. There’s no point in talking about regular business days, right?
June was big. Do you know why?
June was the month when we launched PassiveJournal.com. Officially, our birthday is on June 18th, 2016. We launched a wide variety of services and most of them are still there at our service page. Most of our services were loved my marketers and we were on a smooth ride.
This is the month when i sold one of my affiliate websites for $12000. I gave all the details about that site including the URL on my Ultimate Amazon Affiliate Marketing Article. If you are interested, you might have a look.
Let’s get back to Passive Journal. So, we launched Passive Journal and we couldn’t be more excited. I have been fortunate that I was accepted with Passive Journal to the IM community. We have always had great order numbers. We have obviously had our low days but mostly, we had amazing growths month by month.
If i am asked (I will never be asked this), what’s the best month of this year, i will definitely say, June it was. June is when all started.
July was the month when Verizon took Yahoo! and we were all like, see, how an empire falls!
I was super busy as July was the semester final month of my 2nd last semester. This was also the first month when foreign orders took over local orders in Passive Journal in terms of monetary value.
I was never into studies but I am not someone who fails either. I try to keep a CGPA so that people don’t point fingers at me (either in a good way or bad way). Anyway, the semester ended. This was my second last semester. That meant one thing!
I had to look for internship opportunities. With that thought, let’s go to August.
I am not going to give you numbers but August was the first time when we achieved something big (financially) at Passive Journal. We were already a team of 5 members by August excluding all the VA and project based employees who work with us. But something bad had to happen business wise.
Remember, I had to look for Internship? August was the month for that. If you are one of my precious subscribers (which you should be) then you already heard me whining about my internship. If you didn’t, then here’s the full story for you.
So when I asked CPC (Career & Placement Center) of my university that whether it is possible to work for Passive Journal this three months as an intern, the teacher didn’t agree. She kind of convinced me to work for a corporate organization to taste that life too.
So, I joined this bank called Bank Asia Limited on August 14th, 2016.
I have to tell you. The horrible intern stories that you listen to as a potential intern, those are not always true. I have had amazing experiences with my colleagues. They don’t really follow my blog but this is the maximum I can do for them. So Lira, Ferdous, Fahad, Apurba and all others, i love you guys! Thank you for making this an awesome experience for me. I could not be at a place where people are boring and always working.
Thankfully, though the tasks were boring, the people were super interesting which balanced it out. I owe a lot to you guys.
This was the month when we got to know that it is not safe to carry your Samsung Note in aeroplane. I use a One+3 so i guess, I am safe.
Anyway, September was pretty decent too. I had to work a lot from August to November as i spent the whole day at my Internship office. So my daily schedule became like this:
I woke up at 8.00 am in the morning, went to office at 10.00am. Left office by 6pm and then came home within 7.30pm. After that, I used to take a quick nap and start working again from 11pm to around 3-4am. So yes, it was tough but Passive Journal needed this.
Every day was just a ton of work and the next day we had even more. We launched some of our coolest services like Niche Site Building With SEO Guarantee and we couldn’t be happier with the results.
Did we have any specific achievements in September? Not really! We became a slightly bigger company employee wise which is a big thing to me but probably not as much to you guys.
Passive Journal and our ventures were going well but there was a major breakthrough in the world of affiliate marketing in October. In case you didn’t know, The New York Times bought two of the biggest fishes in October (Wirecutter & TheSweetHome) for a $30million+ deal. You can find the details here if you are interested.
From the beginning, we were telling people that Affiliate Marketing is a thing but there were those skeptical guys around. Finally, most of them realized that affiliate marketing is going to be the future or at least going to take over a huge part of the digital marketing industry.
We launched our newly designed White Hat SEO service in October. We have helped our clients to rank better. Almost 99% of our clients had seen better rankings with our SEO service and we couldn’t be happier.
So, I know I am passing my undergrad on December, 2016. What next? I obviously will be working full time on Passive Journal. There’s no other options for me. But education wise, I wanted to pursue my Master’s degree. What’s that one topic which i want to have my Master’s degree on?
It is Digital Marketing & Strategy!
So I started looking and found that most universities that offer Digital Marketing as a Master’s are located in either Europe or USA. So Europe it was.
I didn’t hesitate to apply and on 14th November, i got accepted in Trinity Business School, Dublin.
That was one of the happiest moments for me this year. Obviously, I have to sort out visa and other stuffs but if things go well (finger’s crossed), I might join this beautiful school in September, 2017.
Surprisingly, I am yet to finish talking about November! Remember, i have started my internship with Bank Asia in August, 2016? It was November and I was done with my internship. You already saw a mug photo. Here’s another one:
This might not be the finest photo on earth but this is the only photo where everyone’s there! So, I had to upload this one. If any of you are reading this, I will miss you.
Also, we offer our first Black Friday – Cyber Monday discount from Passive Journal this November. It was an amazing experience. Sales were tripled for 3 days. Those who tell you Black Friday discounts do not work, they lie!
I am writing this post on December 8, 2016. So December is yet to finish. I know that we will have at least one exciting story about Passive Journal to share with you guys (I can’t give away the details now but I might update this post later). I have my last exam of my undergrad life on 15th December, 2016 and the preparation couldn’t be worse (haha).
I am also planning my next Backpacking trip. Don’t know the destination yet, you might read about that in 2017 year review article.
This has been a brilliant year for me. Passive Journal has seen 5 figure income within 6 months of operation. We started as a two-employee company and now we have more than 12. They are family though i often send them rude emails. If you received one of those emails then i am so sorry. Let’s make 2017 a better one, shall we?
Personally, I have had great achievements in 2016. Life is going to be a lot different in 2017 but let’s not think about that right now.
It is time to cherish the memories of this beautiful year.
I wish you Advance Happy New Year. I wish next year brings more happiness to you and to your family.
If you read this far, I thank you personally. You either didn’t have anything to do or you actually care for me or Passive Journal (Or you might also like brilliant writings).
From Passive Journal Family,
Thank you for being with us.