Meh, not much has changed in terms of income but then again I haven't done anything to really expect much of a change.
September, just like the other months have been a lot of experimenting. This year itself was a lot of experimenting with new things, new ideas and although most, (or any), of it didn't contribute to my bottom dollar, I still learned a lot about online business.
Everything that doesn't work out teaches you more about the real world of business. Although it's disappointing, it's still necessary to help set goals that are more in tune with these realities.
Ditching a Business Idea
At the start of this year, I had a list of ideas I wanted to implement. From building massive lists and trying to monetise them with custom products to building a competition type website. Each one would work great I thought to myself and so I set out to put them to the test, one-by-one.
I built a list of 15k subscribers, all built from scratch, none bought. Either I didn't know how to monetise it right or there was something flawed in the model. The first email generated around $2k in sales so I thought I was on to a winner!
The first email was a 'congratulation to 'name', for winning the contest - for all others that didn't win, you can still buy the shirt here -> 'link'.
So basically everyone that didn't win who were still interested in the shirt bought it.
I made all my money back and then some with building the list so now I had a free list to work with. I sent out another 4-5 emails and made a few sales here and there but nothing consistent. Maybe I have to build a relationship with them or whatever but I started to realise that there's a difference between a list generated from people that want to win stuff to a list generated from people that have already bought something.
The latter is willing to spend money. People who want to win stuff might be in it just to see what they can get for free. They might be very socially active but just don't spend money.
This was an interesting realisation and made me change my approach on list building. No wonder people sell WSO's for so damn cheap. Mostly it's to build a list of people that are willing to spend money. Even if it's $7, it's still prove that this particular email address entry is willing to give you their money as long as you can give them something valuable in return.
Anyway, my idea of a competition giveaway website failed due to the above reason. I had 15k email address all just wanting to win and so when a, 'you can buy the item from 'here' if you didn't win' email was sent out, no one bought anything. If I wasn't going to have success with 15k emails, then there was no real reason to continue so I decided to just take my learnings and ditch it.
Focus on Things that Already Work
This was another realisation I made from the above project.
One of biggest success factors with Teespring was keeping an eye on designs that are working. They give you insight into what people are willing to purchase. What colors, descriptions, niches, slogans work well. If you can make variations that incorporate these points, your chance of success is much higher.
I don't know why I stopped thinking like this.
New ideas are great but it's rare they give you the results you desire. They're mostly ideas that work in your head but when put to the test, there's something that's missing. That 'something missing' remains a mystery and will only be realised once you learn enough from that particular venture.
I've realised it's better to just stick with a model that already works. If you know someone that's making 10k/month on FaceBook with a fanpage, try to emulate them till you get the same results. It's a prove model, it will work once you figure it out.
This method of emulation is better than trying to start from scratch with an idea no on else is doing. Like I said before, it MIGHT work, but chances are it won't. I've decided to stick with an idea that someone else is making money from till I make the same, (or more), money.
This is why it's important to just start with something. Put it to the test, one month later, reevaluate. If it doesn't work, it will, at the very least, teach you a tonne about business.
Writing, writing, writing
The idea I've decided to stick to is Kindle Publishing.
There are bloggers that are making a lot of money with it and I feel like I can do it to.
It seems to be like Teespring in that, you throw books out there and see which ones sell the best. The ones that sell like hot cakes will pay for your time and effort spent on ones that don't sell.
I'm thinking of approaching it like Teespring as well. Spending $20 just testing till I hit on an idea that gets huge opt-ins and engagement. Once that happens, spend a week writing up the book and publish it.
Kindle seems to be a long term play. You can't just upload a book up there and expect it to sell by itself. You need to push and promote it at the start so it can climb up the charts and get Amazons attention. Once it's done this, Amazon will start doing the work for you and will begin promoting your book for you.
This is where you make money.
My goal is to push out a bunch of promo books solely geared to collect email addresses. These emails will be used as my initial download/sales boosters when launching my kindle books hopefully giving my books the kick they need to start selling better.
I'm still in the early stages so we'll see what happens. Right now I'm just writing like a type-writer on steroids.
Focusing on Validation
Validation is huge in business. It's something that should never be overlooked during the early stages of business.
It saves you from spending a lot of time and effort on things that don't have the potential you want.
This is the approach I'm going to apply with my kindle books as mentioned above. If I can get people opt-ing in to the 'launch special deal' then I can compare these opt in rates against my other kindle books.
I'll only type up the ones that get me the best opt-ins, this way I know I'm working on a winner.
Teespring taught me that testing is key to successful selling and so it's silly if I don't use this knowledge to better my current business ventures.
Routining works, (it's boring but it works)
3,000 words a day.
That's how much I was writing when making my Teespring courses. It was boring, boring work but it had to be done.
I'm the type of person that needs a routine to function. In fact, I think every entrepreneur that has every achieved something has at some point, incorporated a routine to make it work.
It guarantees work getting done and allows you to focus on what matters. I have no idea how many of you guys are incorporating routining into your life but you HAVE to do it if you want to achieve anything.
Whether it's 1 hour of reading after work or 15 minutes of stretching in the morning. Whatever you do, do it for 3 months NON-STOP to see any results.
I've started doing this with my personal goals and have finally started seeing results. Consistency and persistence are the golden words to achieving success and routining is what will get you there.
Conclusion - last 3 months of the year
Sure, my income hasn't changed this whole year but I've solved a lot of mysteries about business in my head.
I've implement a bunch of things I've wanted to try and have gotten closer to learning where to spend my time.
The next 3 months are the last 3 months for this year. I have a couple more projects I want to implement. I have no idea how they're going to go. All I know is that they'll allow me to grow as an entrepreneur ultimately making me capable of earning more as an entrepreneur. At the end of the day, this is what matters.
Thanks for reading.
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