P/L: + $2,671.33
I think this month really highlights how inconsistent this business really is. I have numbers ranging from high to low reds to high to low greens. It gets annoying sometimes as you just don't know where your business is heading. You can't relax because you need to be keeping a hawk eye on your campaigns and on the other hand you have to put out effort that doesn't guarantee you any success. I've spent many days throwing out campaigns and ideas only to have a spell of low numbers and no winners. Just my previous successes carrying me through. I think everyone who's been an avid reader of my blog has been able to spot the trend(s) though. If I DO hit some red, it's only a matter of time till my 'experimentation phase' produces some results and I'm back in the green.
Out of Ideas
A big part of October was spent experimenting. I'll admit, it's getting extremely difficult to find winning ideas on Teespring. My Win:Lose ratio has gone from around 10:1 to 20:1. That is, 20 campaigns I throw out there will give me something in return. I'll spend about $200-$300 testing those 20 campaigns and eventually hit something that nets me at least $1,000 plus. I know the winning campaign is just around the corner but the effort needed to design and test 20 campaigns is just getting too much. I've realized I need a team that can do a lot of the research + designing for me. Is this possible? It sure is!
Anything you can do, someone else is out there that can do it better. I truly believe that and I know it kind of sounds self defeating but in this big world of 6 billion+ people there is surely people out there that can do parts of your business better than you. It's just a matter of finding them and getting them on board. I think this will be my focus in November.
I've had quite a lot of questions regarding my datafeed sites. I embarked on a massive project to build out 100 of them and hope they bring in some income some time down the line. Well this month, they bought in a whopping 4 sales. Is that good? Is that bad? I don't know! My strategy is a lazy one. To be honest, I outsourced 60-70% of it! Most of what I invested was a bit of time learning it and of course some money, about 1-2k. I got 4 sales in the space of a week which had me thinking this is the moment when I start to rank and rake in the cash. Only to have 3 weeks of nothing straight after.
I'm not sure what's meant to happen here, if it gives me under $500 in December then I'll just stop blogging about it. Financially speaking, it'll probably bring in enough revenue to cover it self by the time I need to renew all those domains. Let's see what happens in December but for now, there's not much to report.
Motivated to test other things
Again, with Teespring Campaigns just requiring so much effort, I've kept an eye out for other opportunities. From focusing on international translated Fabrily campaigns to giving this blog more of a thought, I've been looking at what I can diversify into.
Not only was I just experimenting with International campaigns, I actually found a campaign that I hit success with! You can get huge ROI's with international campaigns due to how cheap clicks are. It's not uncommon for me to be getting clicks through to my campaign at 1 cent. That means I'll pay $10 for 1000 people to go through to my campaign! I made about 65 sales with a particular campaign that is heavily expandable. I think I spent about $200 which gives me an ROI of around 300%. Not bad! I'm starting to realize the money is where other affiliates haven't been hence a lot of my focus this month was actually OFF Teespring.
Breaking Things Down to Systems
I also spent a lot of this month drawing things up on my white board. Just mapping down the actual process I use to get my income and how I can go about outsourcing these individual parts. The biggest challenge has been finding someone who can speak great English, (so I can communicate design ideas easy to them), AND are willing to do work for around $5-$10 an hour. I can probably afford more but until things are working well on their own, this is all I'm willing to pay.
I've found a couple of people who are showing some promise and am excited to see parts of my business getting done for me. The more I can take myself out, the more I can focus on research and design and actually GROWING my business. At the moment I'm stuck in a loop of Design -> Market -> Profit -> Repeat.
I think by December, I'll have some systems in place and a lot of work taken off my shoulders. I should also have a good steady income to back it as this blog itself is making me a steady 1-2k a month, (I don't report this). I'm thinking of putting it straight into my outsourcing testing.
Putting all Profits into Testing
Most of my months have been under 4 figures in costs but October was JUST $40 or so shy of 5 figures. Why? Because of the amount of testing I was doing. I've said it many times before but you have to keep testing if you want to run this business continuously. Especially with Teespring. Unfortunately Teespring camps are so short lived. They last about 7-10 days till I've juiced every last sale out of my advertising and I have to scrap the concept and start anew. Kind of frustrating but I'm learning at a tremendous rate and I'm sure it will all come together somewhere down the track.
Teespring Releases Kids Wear and Lowers Goal Limit
Somewhere in October Teespring released Kids Wear which is a pretty cool addition. The problem is targeting kids who like a particular interest. Well, I don't think you can! I ran a few tests and launched about 10 campaigns in total from varying niches.
That's one good thing I've learned in this business. To start off broad and let your data guide the next set of your decisions. From the sports niche to cartoons and movies, there's a bunch of things you can try. If you were to search 'kids' in teespring, you'll notice most of the shirts that are doing good are in the sports niche. I think that's where the money's at here, it's just a matter of coming up with a good designs and expanding it before anyone else catches on.
Teespring also lowered their goal limit to 5 WOOO HOOOO!! The amount of $$ I've spent buying the rest of my hoodies/shirts so my campaign can tip is ridiculous. Not to mention the amount of money I've lost from campaigns NOT reaching the limit, and me deciding it's not a good idea to buy the rest. I think it would be around 3k of loss stock. At least now, even my poor performing campaigns will give me a payout, hopefully enough to cover their cost. I think it's a good move to get more newbies into the game. Selling 10 was a bit of a challenge but selling 5 should make it MUCH more easier.
In my moment of 'seeing what else is out there', I decided to join StackThatMoney Forums. Along with Aff PlayBook and IMGrind, it was the 3rd big forum out there. Actually, when I was first deciding which forum to join it was out of Aff PlayBook and StackThatMoney.
It's a pretty good forum. I was actually blown away by the amount of content and activity there. People are friendly and nice and I've already come across a bunch of golden nuggets that have helped in my business. It's probably a bit too much to join up to ALL paid forums and communities out there, you'd probably die from info overload but I think I'm at a point where I've disciplined myself to limit my time spent reading up on these places. They're also a great place to hang for inspiration and ideas.
Most of my time is still spent at Aff PlayBook but I'll still check StackThatMoney quite regularly. Any place where there's a pool of Full-Time affiliates sharing their successes and strategies is a great place to be so it was just a matter of time till I connect myself to the forum. Check out StackThatMoney Here.
AffEngineer APB Competition
I ran another competition in October for my blog. The idea was to learn WHY people chose affiliate marketing over other business paths. I was able to hustle David for a one month free membership into the forum which was won by Tommie Smallz who's quite an active member there! I'm impressed at the way he participates and he's doing a lot of things I did and more when I first started. The more you immerse yourself in the community the more people will help you get to where you want to be.
I like the whole competition thing. Maybe next time I'll give away a laptop or something!
Trying Media Buying
Media Buying has always had my attention. I've just never been able to dedicate my time to it as other traffic sources have picked up for me and have kept me occupied. I decided to give it a go and asked my Aff Playbook people where they think I should start. I ended up going with Googles very own Display Network and putting up a few Teespring campaigns to see if I could net sales I otherwise wouldn't have been able to.
You can actually select the exact website you want your ads displayed on and a HUGE amount of online entrepreneurs have adsense enabled on their blog so this applies to pretty much every website. I think there's huge potential here as there's a lot of people out there who don't know how to monetize their blog/site which is where we come in.
I've also been thinking of advertising my blog monthly reports on Google Display Network. They get a lot of attention when I post them and I remember how much I love reading Pat Flyns and Tyler Cruz's reports so it's just a matter of finding affiliate marketers and showing them that there are some monthly reports to be read here too.
October has mostly been a month of experimentation for me. It's a scary place to be as you don't know what to focus on with all these ideas running through your head. A big part of being successful here is to be able to manage all of this in your head and translate it into result producing action.
I see a lot of entrepreneurs fail because they just can't stick to one thing and end up doing everything but just not getting anywhere. I usually start off broad with my ideas but as soon as one starts showing more promise then the other, I'll focus in on it till I've figured out how to make money from it. This approach has always worked for me given I force myself to sit on the computer and do the hardest bit first, get sales.
Anyway, this is pretty much it from me this month. It's 11th of November already and I've already made about 2k net I so should have more to blog about next monthly report.
All the best
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