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How To Leverage Long Blog Posts To Build Your Brand
submitted by W1ZZ4RD to juststart [link] [comments]
You guys were not joking with the amount of shit posts that are ending up on this sub lately.
So, in order to change that, I thought I would throw out something that I have done in the past and am still seeing success with today. Leveraging your blog posts/articles to build a BRAND.
I did it, you did it, almost everyone does it. They get started, they crank out some content, and they expect money to come in. You can make a great living doing this, but you will find it almost impossible to hit the "next level" unless you focus on building a brand. You see the rare comment here of people hitting 20, 30, 50k+ per month....I would bet almost anything their site is a brand that people actually CARE about.
In order to actually get there, you have to create value, have a strategy and create trust with your audience. But how the hell do you create value and trust with an audience that does not yet exist?
One of those ways is utilizing a platform that people already trust: Amazon.
The basic idea before we get into the actual guide is twofold. 1:
You are going to take your longest article or articles, and turn them into an ebook. You will create a coveinterior and publish this on Amazon via the KDP platform. Chances are, no one will actually want to buy your 99 cent ebook, so you are going to make it FREE (with a work around) and use this as a lead gen for your website/email list. 2:
You are then going to take your longest article/articles, and turn these into an AUDIO book, which again acts as a springboard from Amazon to your content to build trust, educate and let them know about your website.
Step 1 brings you no money up front, but if you do this right can net you a LOT of affiliate income and build your list at the same time. Step 2 actually surprised me when doing my taxes. I currently have a single audio book live and it brought me in a few thousand dollars in royalties the past year and I havn't looked at it or touched it since.
Here is a bit of proof that this works and has led to hundreds of thousands of downloads:
So, let's first go over the free book, and then the more exiting method the audio book. Creating A Free Book On Amazon With Your Blog Posts
I am not going to go into detail on how exactly to create a book (this is fairly straight forward), but you will need two things. 1:
Get a KDP Account (free): https://kdp.amazon.com/ 2:
Get a Smashwords account (free): https://www.smashwords.com/
Create your book, format it, and get it uploaded to KDP. This is so straight forward (Google it)
In order to get your book perma free on Kindle, you need to get your book free on other major retailers that Amazon actually has some respect for. The one that I used was Barnes & Noble and this took about a week. Here is how to do it! Smashwords
Smashwords is another retailer of ebooks. What makes this service so powerful is that its free, and they also distribute to major retailers such as Barnes & Noble, OverDrive, iBooks, and Kobo. Upload your Book and set a price of free
It will almost immediately go online at Smashwords as a free book. On your dashboard, you will see that it has been submitted for premium status. This is where the magic happens. A real person will take a look over your work, and if it has followed all of proper formatting, then it will soon show up in the big retailers mentioned above.
It is VERY important that you follow their style guide. It can take a few days at a time for Smashwords to review your book. If it is not up to par, they will deny you, give you a list of things you need to fix, and then you can resubmit it. One of the things that I did wrong was do my table of contents a different way than they wanted.
Another reason I was denied was that my book had links back to Amazon, so remove those as well if you want perma free status. Premium Status Achieved
Once your book has been looked over and has achieved premium status on Smashwords, it is just a waiting game from here.
Eventually, your book will show up on Barnes & Noble. This is one of the only online retailers that Amazon seems to care about. I tried to ask Amazon to price match me as soon as it was free on Smashwords, but it seems they have no respect for this service and I had to wait. Emailing Amazon
Now, you could wait and wait and eventually Amazon should pick up on the fact that your book is free somewhere else. If you are not in the business of waiting for months on end, it is time to do something about it!
What I did was take the URL from Barnes & Noble, and email Amazon from inside my KDP dashboard. At the very bottom of your dashboard, in super small text, you should see Contact Us.
Click on Contact Us –> Pricing & Royalties –> Price Matching, and send them an email asking them to help you out. I told them I had a reader on my blog disappointed that he could get my book for free on my website as well as Barnes & Noble but had to pay for it on Amazon. A few hours later I got an email back stating that while they can decide to price match or not, they had forwarded it to the correct department and a few hours after THAT it was priced to free!
Do keep in mind that this is going to be geo dependent. If you want your eBook free on All Amazon TLDs you need to give them links from all GEO URLs from the major retailers Note:
There are a million and a half Facebook groups for free books. Go post in a few of them to get the ball rolling. Once you have those initial downloads, everything should take off and remain a stable stream of downloads and traffic back to your site if you put links in your book. ALSO, make sure to put some sort of ask at the end of your book for a review, a subscribe to the email list, or give the reader something if they visit your site.
Now, let's get into how even more money is made, by taking that same book/books and turning them into audio books spreading your brand around the internet. Making Money Selling Audiobooks (ACX) Through Amazon Note:
I am going to be copy and pasting images from my own site because there is no way I am downloading a rehosting these. Feel free to complain about self promotion in the comments XD.
In order to be a successful internet marketer, you always have to be testing new ideas and markets. Time and time again I see people who want to make their first dollars online actually succeed in doing so but after many months or many years, it all dries up.
Because these people were not willing to adapt and keep learning. This is the number 1 reason that people fail. They do not want to test the market but keep doing the same thing over and over again, getting stuck in a vicious cycle.
During some downtime a while back, I stumbled across a video of a guy doing thousands of dollars through audiobooks. What really perked my interest is that these books are being sold through Amazon, or more importantly, Amazon’s audio book platform audible.com.
This is one of the biggest audiobook portals in the entire world and I myself have purchased a few during some long road trips.
When I first started selling t-shirts online, the driving factor and where most of my success came from is that they are being sold on Amazon where the customers already are. I did not have to drive traffic at all, only give an existing audience what they wanted. This opportunity looks EXACTLY the same and the competition is so low, its crazy! Chances are, your blog posts will fit right in. Why Audible.com (Amazon’s Audiobook Platform)?
The very first thing I did was take a quick look at how much traffic the platform was getting. I was seeing people put up some pretty impressive numbers (into the 10 figures a month range) so before I dove in, I wanted to make sure the market was actually there.
What I did was take the domain (audible.com) and run it through similar web. This website is incredibly helpful in estimating the amount of traffic that a platform receives each and every month. It is WILDLY inaccurate, but gives a brief overview. https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/audible.png
As you can see at the time of writing this (I wrote this ages ago), there is almost 22 million visitors per month with an average duration of close to 5 minutes.
This is exactly what I want to see!
Lots of traffic, and relatively little competition because there are not that many books out there.
I was down to give this method a try and to my surprise over a year later, it actually worked. Getting Your First Audiobook Published on ACX
Before you attempt to put up an audio book at all, you need to make sure you RESEARCH the niche. Just as with everything else when it comes to internet marketing, you need to make sure that there is customer demand, but that you can break into the market in the first place.
The way we do this is pretty simple. Audiobook (ACX) Niche Research
First, you want to look at Amazon.com for books (NOT audiobooks). For the sake of this example, lets use the first niche that came to my head “merch by amazon”.
Head on over to Amazon.com and just type in the niche you are interested in. If you are pulling back results that are not books, just follow it up with “book”. https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/amazon-page.png
At the very top of the image, you can see that there are over “10,000” results for this niche. This is a good sign, that means there is customer demand there! Customers want to read and learn more about this niche.
I also happen to hold the first and third position for this keyword (those are my books) so it makes this experiment a little easier to start!
Even if there are a lot of results, you want to make sure to click on the first page of products, and look at the BSR or best sellers rank of an item. The lower the rank, the better it is selling.
You can see this in the product details section of the product page: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/product-details.png
The best sellers rank is dependent on the category you are selling in. In this particular instance, this book gets about this many downloads per day: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/merch-by-amazon-book.png NOTE:
Old screenshot but this book still averages almost the exact same downloads per day even over a year later.
Now that we have determined that there is customer demand here, we need to check the competition on Audible.com
In the upper right hand corner you will see the search box. This is where you want to put the same search term that you checked over on Amazon.com.
Click on search and see what comes up!
In this particular case there are ZERO results (note: there are now more than a few results). That means that there is definitely customer demand over at Amazon.com and there are literally zero books on this subject on the audible platform that Amazon owns (and gets 20+ million visitors each month). There is clearly an opportunity here.
After you get good at searching, you will realize that almost every niche under the sun has very very little competition.
What you want to look for is where there are lots of results with a good BSR (under 100k on Amazon.com) and you want to see that there is less than 100 results on Audible.
The opportunities here are almost endless. Remember, it is all about niching down! Vegetable Gardening: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/veggy-gardening.png Sleeping better: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/sleep-better.png Make Money Online: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/make-money-online.png
If one of the most competitive niches on the internet (making money online) has such small search results, then you KNOW this is an untapped gold mine. NOTE:
Screens are from when I published the book. Numbers are changed, but go check. Still stupid low competition in most niches that your blog posts are in. Getting Your Audiobook Created
Now that we have a niche, we need an actual book! Any one of you reading this has the ability to write their own books. It does not matter if you are a great writer. However, if you are NOT a writer, no interest in being a writer, and simply want to get a book up to test this method, there is an easy way to do that.
I will be going over how to outsource the actual book creation as well as the audio voice over for that book once it is complete.
Your book can be as long as you like or as short as you like. However, how long it ends up being is going to determine what kind of royalty you get once the entire process is complete. Because of this, I would recommend about 20-25k words per book. This should put your final audiobook at just over 3 hours in length and this is where you make the best money. To hit this, you may want to take a few of your articles and combine them.
We have a niche, we have a target length for the book, now we just need to find someone to actually write the thing!
Go hire someone or do it yourself. This is pretty self explanatory.
I find that having a general outline for your book is the easiest way to get a good quality product. You can do this by looking at the chapter headings of some of the best sellers. Compile a list of all the headings, and then formulate your own online so that your book will be the most comprehensive book on the market for that niche. Upload Your eBook to Kindle (if you didn't previously)
Before you can actually create your ACX book, you will need to upload your book to Kindle. This is a platform for ebooks that sell on Amazon and ANOTHER avenue for you to make money with your book (outside of audible sales).
Head on over to kindle here: https://kdp.amazon.com/
Sign up for an account and enter in all your information so that you can get paid.
Now that you have an account, you need a few other bits before you can actually upload your book.
First, make sure you familiarize yourself with the cover requirements here: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201113520
You now need to get a cover for your book created. The idea image requirements for kindle for your book cover are 2560 pixels by 1600 pixels.
Your book cover is important!!
I know everyone always says not to judge a book by its cover but we all do it. You do it, I do it, and your potential customers are going to do it too!
Because of this, head over to upwork and post a job for an ebook cover designer. There are a lot of very very talented artists out there and you should get an amazing cover for your book for $20-$30 dollars.
You can see here the cover that I went with that sticks out on the page: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/blueprint-cover.png
Now that you have your book and your cover, let’s upload to Kindle!
Log in to Kindle and click on the Kindle new title button: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/create-a-new-title.png
After you are done adding the Kindle eBook, I would highly suggest adding a paperback as well. We will not be focusing on the paperback, but this is just another avenue that you can make money from your book.
Give your book a title (what is on the book cover), an author, and a description.
Make sure your description is long and detailed. I like to tell a little bit about what is in the book as well as outline the chapters and what the customer will be learning when they read the book.
After you have filled those out, it is time to enter in some backend keywords. These are keywords that you want the book to rank for. Think like a customer here. Whatever they might search for, enter these as your back end keywords.
You have 7 boxes of keywords to fill up here. No need for any punctuation. As long as the keywords are relevant, enter them in.
Once you have your keywords selected, choose a category for your book, and then click on continue.
Now all that is really left is to upload your book, the cover, and pick out pricing: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/manuscript-.png
You do not need to enter an ISBN so go ahead and click save and continue at the bottom of the page.
Set your book at $2.99 or above, and select the 70% royalty share. If you price below $2.99, you will get a much smaller cut. Since we will not be focusing on the actual ebook, every time it sells, we want to maximize our profit. (This is if you are just doing audiobooks and not the free book method mentioned above)
Now all you have to do is scroll to the bottom and click on publish your book! https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/publish-your-kindle-book.png
It can take a while to publish, but I typically see all my books going live within 24 hours. You need to wait for your book to go live, so in the meanwhile, I would suggest publishing the paperback version as well! Publishing Your Book to ACX (Audible)
If you have made it this far and are still with me, impressive.
So far you should have a book with a cover, and it is published on Kindle meaning it is for sale on Amazon.com.
This means we can FINALLY start creation of our audiobook!
To begin, head over to ACX.com and sign up for an account. This is the dashboard for audible.com which is where we want to publish our book.
Again, fill out all your information and take the tax interview. Once you have done that, click on “Add Your Title” from the upper right hand corner.
Search by keyword and find your book on Amazon.com. Once you have found it, click on “This is my eBook”. https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/my-ebook.png
Once you select your book, you will see a popup that asks what you want to do with your ebook: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/produce-ebook.png
Now the fun part starts!
You can either upload audio for the book you already have (which I assume you don’t), of you can find someone to narrate the book for you. This is not going to be free, but you can find some real talent out there that will read your book and allow you to publish audiobooks without ever using your own voice.
Select the first option and click on continue.
Accept the terms and conditions, and click on continue.
The next page is where you want to fill out your book information. Since your book is already on Kindle, most of this is going to be selected for you.
The interesting parts are these: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/book-deetz.png
This lets you say that you want to receive auditions from narrators but also lets you describe the voice you are looking for. I like to select this based on the topic of the book and what would fit best.
After you upload a test piece of your book for your narrator auditions, click on next.
The next page is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the entire process. You can pick how you pay the person that is narrating your book. https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/pay-narrator.png
By default, the first option is going to be selected (Royalty Share) but you do NOT want to do this!
If you have a successful book, that means you will giving half your royalty away for many years to come.
Instead, select pay for production and pay your narrators up front. I have found that the lowest level of $0-$50 per finished hour (PFH) works well and you get some quality people applying to narrate your book.
For a book of 20,000 words, you can expect to pay a little over $100, but you do not have to do any of the work yourself!
You will start getting auditions almost immediately over the next few days and you will be able to see this in your top menu. https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/auditions.png
Make sure to go through all the auditions and listen to each one of them as everyone has their unique style and some attach specific notes about the project to their audition: https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/auditions2.png
Once you have someone selected, all you have to do is then make an offer, and they will do the rest!
The narrator you chose may send you a few questions over messages, so make sure you are watching your email whenever those come in.
Once your narrator has finished the book, you have to approve it. After you approve it, you MUST pay your narrator before the book will go live on audible. This is not very clear for a first time user.
I was expecting the system to use my card on file, but had to follow up and actually send the narrator the money over paypal. After that occurs, they will also approve the book, and it will get final approval from the ACX team! https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/approval.png
Once you receive that email, it is just a waiting game as the book is pushed out to retail! https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/book-to-audible.png TIP:
If you email the ACX team and ask nicely, they will give you 25 codes for free books so that you can give them out to people for review. This is a good way to bump your book inside of audible and start getting downloads. Wrapping It Up
When building your business, use every tool at your disposal to drive traffic and build up your audience. Focus on building a brand and not just a website.
I want to help you guys convert more sales, so I'm offering up free copywriting to three users.
submitted by ThankYouCorvus to Affiliatemarketing [link] [comments]
👋 Hey, I write sales copy that makes you more money.
I sell using words
that persuade your visitors to take an action, whether it's buying a product/service
, signing up in a squeeze page
, or clicking a button on your site
I also turn your sales funnels into "well oiled machines"
that pump out conversions faster than the actual friggin speed of light.
(Disclaimer: I didn't actually test that)
Now, for many of you, I am going to make your day. I suspect what I am going to write next is going to put smiles on the faces of people all over Reddit....
I'm going to make you smile by telling you that the above sentence secretly manipulated you!
It's called a "Slippery Slope" transition statement. It's designed to make you read the next sentence!
That's why people hire me! I get people to read one sentence, and then the next... and the next...
I could go on and on, but here's what you need to know right now...
It just worked on you again! Another slippery slope transition statement. 😎
Okay, I'm done..but there are a couple psychological reasons you're still reading this
I want to share with you:
- It's actually been 100% about what I can do for you, you feel you're getting some "nuggets" of information. I write like I'm talking to YOU, to ONE person, not an "internet crowd".
- You might think my "two sentences per paragraph" spacing is annoying, but it makes mobile users more engaged because they read it faster, and scroll down constantly with a physical action of their finger. This is called "Neuro-Linguistic-Programming".
- I just response blocked your objection to my writing being annoying in the point above, if you're a user who thought it was. This is where It's ME who brings up the objection so I CAN control it, and do what I want with it, instead of you being in control throwing it in the comments.
- I write like I speak. That's super important when you want to keep people engaged and flowing down your page to make a conversion!
If even YOU are surprised that you just read 364 words
by the end of this sentence.
Then let me do the same for your emails or website for FREE!
(Also, sorry for the weird sentence stop, I wanted to make a point)
I'm offering to do the following copy work for 3 users
, 100% free (more would be too large a workload
- Sales Letter Copy
- Emails/Email Autoresponder Sequence copy
- Lead Magnet Creation Copy (Ebook, Email Course, Checklist, Quickstart Guide, etc...)
- Blog Article that leads to a call to action or has affiliate links in it.
- Landing Page Copy
If you want me to write copy to increase your sales toss me a message with the details of the work you'd like.
I'm giving the first 3 people
to message me with serious
work, free consult and copy work
. You'll own the copy and do what you want with it, it's all yours!
Thanks for hanging out with me, it's been fun!
: I'm doing this because I have some down-time this week, and I LOVE Copywriting. I seriously just enjoy writing good copy and seeing the results roll in. I don't think I could take on more than three, because I have client work coming up.
From 10 to 14,000 Youtube Subscribers in 3 Weeks. Here’s What Happened, & What I Learned.
submitted by zachshefska to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]
You’ve got to be a bit crazy to leave a cushy job and a stable career to start your own business. Two months ago, I did exactly that when I left my multi-six figure salary and founded Your Auto Advocate with my business partner, AKA my dad
At that time (the first week of March), it wasn’t clear what effect coronavirus would have in the United States. As the days and weeks unfolded I couldn’t help but get depressed. I’d talk with family or friends, and they’d say, “Boy, don’t you wish you had kept that job just a bit longer?” And I’d think to myself, “maybe?” I was confused, scared, and certainly not making much progress on my new business venture.
Then, amidst all this negative energy, my dad had a great idea; “Why don’t we film YouTube videos via Zoom?” Before working full time on Your Auto Advocate I had filmed a handful of videos with my dad. He would talk about the car business, I would post them on our YouTube channel, and we’d get a few hundred views. I had a vision for growing our YouTube channel into something sustainable and scalable for the business, but it never really took off.
Until… We started recording Zoom conversations like Ray had suggested. Here’s the story (and lessons learned) from growing Your Auto Advocate’s YouTube channel
from 0 to 14,000+ subscribers in three weeks. Below you’ll see I am as transparent as I possibly can be, with screenshots from Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, and Youtube Analytics. I hope you find this valuable.
What is Your Auto Advocate?
To provide clarity on what you are about to read, you need to have a brief understanding of what Your Auto Advocate is, and how YouTube (and content marketing in general) play into the company’s overall growth strategy.
Your Auto Advocate is a professional car buying service
Let’s say you’re in the market to buy a new vehicle. Odds are, the thought of going into a dealership (or in our current state, going onto a dealer’s website), makes you queasy. That’s because most people do not trust car salespeople
. I can’t blame them.
Interacting with car dealerships is far from pleasant, and it’s tough to walk away from buying a new car feeling confident you got a great deal.
No one wants to be the guy or gal that makes the dealership a lot of money.
That’s where Your Auto Advocate helps. Instead of going to a dealership, you hire Your Auto Advocate. You tell Your Auto Advocate what vehicle you’re interested in, and they handle all of the dealer outreach and negotiation. Their only compensation comes from you, the client, so you have confidence they’re working the dealers for the best deal possible without a “kickback” of any sort.
That’s Your Auto Advocate in a nutshell. We make car buying simple, easy, and fun.
Now, to gain awareness for this new venture I was adamant that we needed to leverage Ray’s 43+ year career in the car business to teach consumers the ins and outs of how dealerships work. That led us to create videos and write written guides. My thought process was that if we could build trust with our audience early on, and give them the tools they needed to feel more comfortable buying a car on their own, then eventually, we’d find prospective customers that would pay us to simply do it for them.
Before we got traction
It’s important to recognize that Your Auto Advocate’s YouTube success did not occur overnight.
Before gaining traction, I fumbled around with a few videos that didn’t get more than a few hundred views. Those videos were shot in 4k, with professional lighting, a microphone, and more. The “new” videos we created from recorded Zoom calls (using our free Zoom accounts of course!), were in 360p, with no microphones, and no editing.
What changed from those original videos, to the recorded Zoom calls that allowed us to get over one million views in a few short weeks? Here’s what I think happened:
- People enjoy the back and forth banter and authenticity between Ray and I;
- People enjoy the poor quality of the videos, it appears more authentic than well produced content. I think this is really important to understand this point. Here is an email from a customer that sums it up well: https://imgur.com/2PnNFTW
- Ray and I began creating videos that were topical and relevant based off of current events, rather than focusing on “general” information on the car business.
These three characteristics are what I think allowed us to find traction on YouTube.
The growth we experienced
As I wrote about a few months ago, finding your first paying customer is not easy
. It was on April 19th, nearly 6 weeks after I quit my job, that we had our first paying customer. This is an important date, because it was just four days later that our YouTube videos began to pick up steam. Screenshot of YouTube Analytics
As you can see in the screenshot of our YouTube analytics, we saw a massive increase in viewership over the past week or so. Before this spike, we were averaging around 100 views per day across all of our videos. On Thursday April 23rd we knew something was happening, because we spiked to 1,852 views.
I sent my dad this message on that day: https://imgur.com/l7D5IeJ
Views on Friday the 24th grew to 4,400, then 21,916 on Saturday. This kept going until it reached the top on Saturday, May 2nd at 131,417 views in a single day
We’ve seen viewership decline since then, and if you asked me “why,” I wouldn’t be able to provide a concrete answer. I don’t know why.
We have a base of 14,000+ subscribers now though, so each of our new videos receives a few thousand views when we upload them. We’ll see if we’re able to grow more rapidly again in the future.
I have a lot to learn when it comes to developing a YouTube channel!
Converting viewers into customers
The goal of content marketing is to generate customers for your business. One of the benefits of YouTube is that you can monetize your content (you may have noticed in the screenshot above it showed nearly $3,000 in revenue from ads on our videos, for example), but the primary goal is to convert readers or viewers into customers.
We saw a huge spike in website traffic in conjunction with our growth on YouTube. People that found Your Auto Advocate on YouTube would then google search our name. Here’s the search data for “Your Auto Advocate”: https://imgur.com/TXrYqwM
Once traffic reaches your website it’s important to have a clear “flow” for how users can convert into customers. Fortunately for us, the traffic that made it to our website was converting at a high clip! In the screenshot below you can see (to the right) the “goal conversion” for Marketing Qualified Lead. That is anyone that completes our Sign Up form
. Google Analytics screenshot
The bounce rate has been incredibly low, and the time on site has been incredibly high.
About 2% of traffic has converted into MQL, and over two thirds of that traffic has converted into a Sales Qualified Lead.
Those SQLs have converted into paying customers at a high clip too!
The funnel (as of writing this) is:
39% of visitors that fill out our sign up form have gone onto become paying customers!
- 67 MQLs, converting into
- 26 customers
Anecdotally speaking, the other 61% who are not converting into customers right now, have told us they’d like to work with us in the future, when they are ready to buy their next car. That being said, I anticipate more than 70% of our MQLs will convert into paying customers over the next few months. There really has been limited to no negative reaction to our business model, pricing, or value proposition. People really hate going into car dealerships or dealing with car salespeople, and we can take them out of that pain.
As in any service business, the more you can delight your customers, the better your chances are of gaining referrals and word of mouth recommendations. With that in mind, we created a compelling thank you page after paying your final invoice: https://imgur.com/AHbmNNu
And, new reviews have been coming in too! https://imgur.com/gVoXP3a
Where do we go from here?
Well, all this growth has forced Your Auto Advocate to mature more quickly than I had previously imagined. Our first employee will be joining us on May 25th to help us expand and meet demand! If you had asked me if this was possible one month ago I would have said “No way!” But look where we are now.
It’s truly incredible that some Zoom recordings with my dad have enabled our business to grow as quickly as it has. Authenticity goes a long way I suppose. Incredible.
There are a few high priority tasks I will be focusing on over the coming days and weeks:
- We need to find other marketing channels. YouTube as a marketing channel is great, but being entirely dependent on it as your growth engine is not smart. What if YouTube changes its algorithm and you don’t get as many views? Over the coming weeks I will be exploring and testing new marketing channels such as:
- Affiliate marketing;
- Referral marketing;
- Direct mail marketing;
- Social media marketing; and
- Partnership development (employee benefits programs).
- We need to make service delivery simpler, easier, and more fun. The other area of the business I will be focusing on is developing a product to wrap around the service we are currently providing. I have a vision for how we can make the user experience for both the customer, and the Your Auto Advocate representative that is working with them to be efficient, convenient, and seamless. If we do this right we’ll be able to scale the business in a way that is profitable.
- I need to create a timeline with goals, financial projections, and expected hiring dates. Since we’ve proven the business model, one of my primary responsibilities is to develop clarity around how quickly we can (and should grow), and what type of investment that will take. I owe it to myself, and all future team members to provide a clear roadmap of where we’re going and how we plan to get there.
I hope you found this interesting and valuable. I’ll post another update once I get a chance, sometime in June I imagine. Thanks for reading.
Game VII.B 2020: BINGO! Rules, Roles, and Registration
submitted by BINGO_Host to HogwartsWerewolves [link] [comments]
There will be two games running during July:
Game A: Percy Jackson
Hosted by isaacthefan
Game B: BINGO! Hosted by oomps62
and Penultima You will be elderly.
Your knees will know the second it thinks of raining.
Both of your hips have been replaced and even your artificial hips need new hips.
You're no spring chicken. Maybe an autumn turkey.
You’re happily retired, and with your fully raised kids raising your grandkids, there isn’t much left for you in the house you raised your family. It would be so much better to still have your own private place, but within a larger community filled with other seniors!
Fairview Senior Center is the place for you. A place to make new friends and live a carefree lifestyle. Just see some excerpts from the brochure!
- Enjoy easily navigable paths surrounded by a variety of horticultural features. Sit down on one of the many benches when you need a moment’s rest! Our parks are perfectly maintained by our groundskeeping crew, but if you have an interest in gardening, you can apply for your own raised bed plot to tend to yourself!
- Choose to have meals and snacks in one of our many food options: Fairview Fountain Cafe and Bistro, Garden View Dining Lounge, or make your favorite homemade meals in the Fairview Family Style Kitchen
- Enjoy luxurious personal apartments. Inquire about customization options prior to moving in. Apartments may be furnished, or you can bring your favorite furniture from home. After all, with Fairview Senior Center being your new home, you should be comfortable!
- Join us for our many social gatherings. We keep a full schedule of daily activities from guided exercises to keep you spry, sing-alongs, films at our theater, featuring both classics and new releases, music classes, aquatic aerobics, dance classes in both line and ballroom styles, and competitions on our shaded shuffleboard courts, designed to keep you protected from the sun and rain while still getting fresh air.
- Dive in to new adventures in our library, well-stocked with new bestsellers and familiar classics.
- At the end of the day (6 pm sharp) join us in our Bingo Hall for exciting, competitive (yet friendly) BINGO! and win one of the many fabulous prizes raffled off each night.
Fairview Senior Center- Beginning a new chapter of our lives, together. Unfortunately, we all eventually come to the point in our lives when we need a little more help and full time care. If you’re a fall risk, for example, and need to be transitioned to life in a wheelchair at a place with full time caregivers. When that time comes, Sundown Estates Nursing Home is there. You can refer to their informational packet, with some excerpts below:
Sundown Estates- A safe place to put your family.
General Mechanics There will be two teams the Seniors (town) vs Staff (wolves)
Each phase, we will reveal:
- The beloved seniors residing at Fairview Senior Center. Grandpas, abuelas, omas, and bubbes. They’re retired, their kids are long grown and now raising their own kids. They’re living out their golden years among their peers, participating in retirement activities, the most sacred of which is BINGO. Unfortunately, someone keeps stealing the BINGO prizes donated by the seniors’ families, and they are not happy about someone getting between them and their BINGO games. Every day they’ll vote to remove someone from Fairview Senior Center
- The staff at the Fairview Senior Center. The staff are greedy and stealing BINGO prizes from the seniors. Every night, the staff will deem someone as a “fall risk” and have them shipped out to Sundown Estates Nursing Home for being such a troublemaker.
- The Seniors win if they can eliminate all of the Staff
- The Staff win when they outnumber the remaining Seniors
- Who was the vote target, how many votes they received, and their affiliation
- Who was sent to Sundown Estates Nursing Home and their affiliation
Roles Each role may exist 0 or more times.
|Name ||Description |
|Bubbe Ruth ||She’s got the greatest soups in the facility. Come over to the Fairview Family Style Kitchen where she’ll whip you up a soup that’ll cure any ailment you have! Every night she will choose a target and their target is protected from being sent off to Sundown Estates Nursing Home. Cannot target the same person more than 3 times per game. |
|Opa Benjamin ||He doesn’t have much to say, but he’s very perceptive. He seems to know things that nobody else does. Every night he will choose a target and find out the target’s affiliation. |
|Grammy Beverly ||Nobody owns the power of persuasion like her. Give her a minute and she can convince you to do just about anything. 3 times per game, she can submit a call for the next phase to have a double vote. |
|Papa Herman ||Has he ever told you about his time in the Big One? Sit down, you’re going to be here all night listening to his war stories. Every night, he will choose a target and that target will be unable to complete their action. Does not affect items. Cannot select the same target more than 3 times per game. |
|Grandma Carolyn ||She’s got friends everywhere and they keep her informed about goings-on all over town. 3 times per game, she can choose to see the role of a player at Sundown Estates Nursing Home. |
|Gramps George ||He’s a bit of a troublemaker - he’s got a new prank to play just about every day. Every night he will choose two targets to swap. Actions done onto his first target will now be done onto his second target and vice versa. Cannot target any person (either as Target 1 or Target 2) two phases in a row. |
|Mawmaw Rosie ||She loves her mystery stories, especially Agatha Christie and Murder, She Wrote. She loves to investigate any little mystery she can find. Every night, she will choose a target and they will find out who their target submitted an action for that night, if any. |
|Abuelo Manuel ||That old back injury keeps him up at all hours of the night, so he may as well look out the window and see what’s going on all over Fairview Senior Center. 3 times per game, he can choose to spy on a player and see everybody who visited that player in the night. |
|Memere Rita ||Any grandmother would do anything for her children and grandchildren. Memere Rita sees everyone as her family. Every night, she will choose a target. If her target was scheduled to be shipped off to Sundown Estates Nursing Home, she will be shipped off instead. |
|Mami Anna ||An avid casino visitor and gambling fanatic, Mami Anna will use any tactic at her disposal to win at BINGO. 3 times per game, she can choose to target a player and have them sent to Sundown Estates Nursing Home. |
|Grandparents ||Regardless of if they’re a Pawpaw, Nana, Opa, Mummo, Abuela, or Mami, you better be prepared to get off of their lawns. While they don’t have actions, they can vote every day and earn items. |
No matter who is banned from Fairview Senior Center, the staff will always have the ability to deem seniors as “fall risks”.
|Name ||Description |
|Nurse ||The one in charge of everybody’s medical records… whether or not they’re accurate, who knows? Every night, they will have a player classified as a “fall risk” and have them shipped off to Sundown Estates Nursing Home. |
|Groundskeeper ||Someone’s gotta shovel the sidewalk and make sure that the paths around Fairview Senior Center are flat. Unfortunately, with this guy around, you’ll never find any evidence of crimes. Every night, they will be able to choose a player’s affiliation to obscure. Has 33% chance of failure. Cannot target the same player twice in a row. |
|Hall Monitor ||Retirement doesn't sit well with him, he needs a job to feel a sense of purpose. Despite being a Senior, he's more than happy to work with the Staff. They will begin the game as a Grandparent on the side of the Seniors, but will join the Staff if they would have been sent to Sundown Estates. |
|Cafeteria Worker ||An expert at making everybody’s favorite comfort foods, which results in their target entering a food coma and falling asleep early. Every night, they will choose a target and that target will be unable to complete their action. Does not affect items. Cannot select the same target more than 3 times during the game. |
|Office Manager ||A master at forging paperwork. Every night, they will choose a player and that player will show up as Staff to investigators. Cannot select the same target twice in a row. |
|The Administrator ||The Fairview Senior Center simply couldn’t function without them! They are immune to being sent to Sundown Estates Nursing Home as a result of night actions or items. |
|Game Room Manager ||Absolutely loves BINGO and runs the show! How could anybody ever suspect them? They will show up as being on the side of the Seniors when investigated |
|Security Guard ||Patrols around the senior center, doing “routine checks”. If he saw how rowdy the BINGO games got, he’d be sure to shut that down. Once per game, they will choose a player to visit and every visitor to that player gets sent off to Sundown Estates Nursing Home. |
|Volunteers ||When it’s not your job on the line, it can be even more difficult to resist the temptation of lifting a few prizes. After all, there are so many! Who’s going to miss a couple? Although they have no special abilities, they work with the rest of the staff. |
Bingo Bingo Prizes (Items) will be earned by playing BINGO! Details of how BINGO is played will be outlined in the Phase 0 event, but in summary:
- During Phase 0 players will have a chance to submit things that would be on their werewolf BINGO board
- Each player will be assigned a unique BINGO board
- When players find things in the threads that meet their BINGO criteria, they can call BINGO and submit their card to win an item
- You can only have one item at a time. If you currently hold an unused item, you will not be eligible to win a new one until it is used.
|Item ||Actions |
|Local Coupon Book ||Causes the full voting results from the phase it is used to be posted. |
|Manicures for Two ||Learn the name of one other player who shares your affiliation. |
|Deck of Cards ||Causes your vote to be counted triple for the current phase. |
|Fresh Garden Produce Basket ||Choose a person and see everyone who voted for them in that day’s vote. |
|Hand-knit Hat and Scarf ||Choose a target and learn who they submitted an action on that phase. |
|Scrabble ||Choose a target and prevent them from voting AND completing their night action. |
|Wine and Cheese Basket ||Choose a target and redirect their action onto another player of your choice. |
|Weekend Getaway Stay at a local hotel ||Choose a target. If they’re on the opposite side as you, they’re sent to Sundown Estates. If they’re on your side, you’re sent to Sundown Estates. |
|Massage Gift Certificate ||Choose a target. Nobody can visit them that night. |
|Lotion Gift Set ||Choose another player and render them invisible to any investigation that phase. |
|The Game of Life ||Choose a target and see which role visited them that phase. |
|Fresh Bread Assortment ||Choose another player. Anybody who visited them will now visit you. Anybody who visited you will now visit them. |
|Coffee and tea variety sampler ||Choose someone and if they submitted an action, guarantee that it succeeds even when it wouldn't have otherwise. |
|Box of Chocolates ||Choose to use your action and anybody who commented “first” will have their action fail for the next 3 nights. |
|Crocheted Doily ||Find out any players who visited you the night you use this action. |
|MP3 Player ||Prevent a player’s affiliation from appearing in the post when they’re sent to Sundown Estates. |
|Homemade Soup ||Protect a target from removal from the house (vote or night action) for that phase. |
|Floral Arrangement ||Remove 3 votes from your target. |
|Werther’s Originals ||Send your target to Sundown Estates. |
|Beaded Necklace and Bracelet ||Replicate the action of your first target onto your second target. |
|Cozy Wool Socks ||Privately reveals role on death to your target. |
|Wind Chimes ||Shows full vote tally from any previous phase |
|Leather Bound Journal ||Allows player to send a message upon their death to another player. This message may not exceed 150 characters, including punctuation. This item must be submitted at any point before the end of phase before that player’s death, and may not be changed after submitting. |
|Grand Canyon Puzzle ||Target someone in the current phase to publicly reveal their vote |
Rules and Additional Information
Activity If you fail to vote or submit a night action for 3 days total, you will be removed from the game.
Alt Accounts We will not be allowing secret alt accounts for this game. Alt accounts which are publicly known are fine.
Editing Comments If you are editing comments, it should be made clear why you’re editing. If you made an error, use strikethroughs on the information you want removed, but don’t delete it. If you want to add something, put it at the end what you’re adding. Do not share information, then immediately edit your comment to hide what you said from others.
Do not delete comments
Codes and Keys Comments in this game should be in English and free of encryption. We ask that players do not try to find workarounds to this. Previous Removals
If you have been removed from 2 games in the past 12 months for inactivity or rule violations, you may not sign up for this game.
Discontinuation of the word “lynch” in HogwartsWerewolves Games You may have seen the post “Hogwarts Werewolves and Social Justice” come up in the last week. If you haven’t read it already, we highly encourage you to read and discuss it with the rest of the community.
In short, as a Again, we encourage the community to read the entirety of the post (linked above), as it provides further context for this decision, as well as discussion of alternative terms that can be used. We understand that this is a significant change in the way that we talk about our games, and mistakes will happen. We are not out to punish you if you forget to use an alternative word and we will apologize if we do. We are all working to be better people, but we’re all human and we need to be kind to each other while we all work towards removing lynch from our game vernacular.
mod team community, we believe that we should no longer use the term “lynch” in light-hearted fashion. As a Mafia-based community, many of our games revolve around phases often framed as “night kills” and “day lynches.” The word “lynch” has a long legacy of anti-Blackness and murder of Black people, Indigenous people, and members of other marginalized groups, and we feel that time is well overdue to examine what it means to continue using it as a descriptor of gameplay. While “lynch” is established Mafia terminology, it is also a word that is painful for many people to hear. We should not justify continuing to use it because it is still used commonly elsewhere. It is inappropriate and cruel to make a game out of generational trauma.
Signups and Timeline Signup using THIS LINK. Signups close at 10pm EST on Tuesday June 30. Role PMs will be sent out shortly after.
Phase 0 will start when role assignments go out (which will be shortly after the sign-up deadline. Phase 0 will last for approximately 2 days, though the confirmation period will be limited to the first 24 hours of that time.
Phase 0 will end at 10 pm (Eastern) on Thursday, July 2nd, and Phase 1 will begin shortly after.
- Limitations on use for roles added to their descriptions
(Month 7) My First Steps in Amazon Affiliate - It Hurts!
Previous months: submitted by l0v33 to juststart [link] [comments]
What's up, juststarter family!
First I want to say that my previous update was removed by reddit's filters and even moderators could not help with this. I don't worry too much about this because mostly I write these updates for myself. Month6 was a good one because I god x3 clicks and x3 impressions that month. I think that the compound effect of internal and external links and a couple of huge HARO wins contributed to that. Also I made 16 sales and my site was approved on amazon affiliate program.
And how about this month? On one hand it sucked because of HARO. I tried outsourcing the HARO writing to a very good writer. However, only one pitch was successful out of eight written and sent. Maybe it's just the statistics or a seasonal trend. But now I think that I should return to writing the pitches myself because I have a gut feeling of how every pitch should be written, how every sentence should be built, which order of points would be optimal to get quoted. What do you think, should I test this out?
The traffic did not change too much but that's how it works: endless despair brightened up with short spikes of growth. (LOL, I actually compared the numbers and it grew significantly! I was so focused on other things that didn't notice that! Very pleasant feeling!)
I started receiving the clicks but had zero sales previous month.
There are two reasons:
- The guides that generate most of clicks lead to products that are currently unavailable :( This was partially resolved by using the links from alternative affiliate program. What do you guys think, maybe I should write that "you can read the review of this product but we strongly recommend checking the alternatives link1 link2 and link3? And lead the visitors to alternative products that are available?
- I don't know why but many visitors just will keep scrolling and then exit without clicking to products. I view the recordings from Hotjar and 80% of sessions are just monotonous scrolling of a page and then exit. That's weird. I think that I'm ranking too low and my visitors aren't actual people who are looking for products. I think, these are my 'colleagues' :D.
Also I had an interesting insight: Visitors who actually click the affiliate links almost do not scroll the page. They just land , spend a couple of seconds and then click the featured picks. Is this pattern common for your sites?
What was done:
- Published 7 more articles - now I have approx. 190K words
- Purchased 4 links to my main site
- Purchased 10 links to my satellites
- Accepted a guest article from a really good person who also allowed me to publish one guest post for her
- Wrote two guest posts and two of them are already published
- Built two very strong links through outreach (DR60 and DR91) - it's simply impossible to buy something like this. And if it would be possible, it would cost 1-2k per such link
- Build a single link through HARO , the site has DR 87
- Also tried speeding up my site but can't say that I succeeded. My site still has low scores, but I don't care too much because all the competitors are also not too fast. But this doesn't ban them from ranking.
At the end of the day:
- 27.3K impressions in GSC (+73%)
- 151 clicks in GSC (+128%)
- 159 organic new users in GA (+169%)
I feel pretty happy, entertained and proud of myself for writing this report. It showed me that my progress does not stand still. Yeah, it would be even cooler if I had a couple of bucks from affiliate program. But I'm sure that this won't be a problem in future as long as my traffic keeps growing.
Also I have a very pleasant feeling that I'm the owner of that site: a couple of guys asked to write a guest post for me, some guys definitely would like to have the traffic I have...and even one person asked me if I would like to sell this site :D. I treat my site similarly to other guys who love their car or motorcycle lol (my total investment is also very close to Harley Davidson 883 Sportster).
That's it. See you next month!
What web hosting solution would you recommend for a Wordpress blog about a niche hobby? I was going to go with Bluehost until I read the horror stories on here.
submitted by Repulsive-Divide to webhosting [link] [comments]
I have a domain through Google Domains, and I'm going to be setting up the blog via Wordpress. The idea is that it's a niche hobby blog that I'm hoping to for Amazon Affiliate link marketing, and I don't expect a ton of visitors. It's more of a "writing reviews of products I think people would like, and if I can make some money on the side that'd be great" kind of thing. I know a very basic amount of programming, and none of it is related to web development so I'd prefer not having to write any code myself, at least at first.
Most of the people I've spoken to recommend either BlueHost, and it looks like according to Reddit they're pretty bad, so I'd like to explore some other options as well.
- **What is your monthly budget?** Anywhere under $10/month should be okay, cheaper is better but not at the cost of speed.
- **Where are you/your users located?** I'm in the US and my goal audience is anyone who wants to read it, but most of my users will probably be in the US as well
- **What kind of site are you hosting (Wordpress, phpBB, custom software, etc) or what is your use case?** Wordpress.
- **Do you have a monthly traffic volume? Estimates are ok.** This is my first website, so I have no idea what to expect. I would guess somewhere between 3000-10000 views per month, hopefully more as time goes on.
- **If you’re looking at VPSes: Do you have experience administrating linux servers and infrastructure?** No.
- **Did you read the sidebacheck out the hosts listed there? I've personally vetted these companies and their services are a good fit for 99% of people.** I have, but I've never heard of them other than on this sub.
I left $1000+/mo on the table because I was afraid of display ads. Don't be like me.
submitted by Sebules to juststart [link] [comments]
One of my niche sites was doing about £3000 a month via Amazon and I was proud of the low loading speed and I've always been a fan of clean design.
No popups, no display ads, no lead generation, minimal social - I built my site as if I was the user rather than building it for revenue and visitors.
What a mistake that was. Last month I started showing display ads, as well as trialing push ads and email gen.
I was expecting a major downturn in affiliate revenue and potential negative effects on organic visibility as a result of the sheer volume of display ads showing but I was wrong.
Site speed has suffered a little bit (average 1.5s is now up to 3s) but income via Amazon pek and visitor value has increased by about 30%.
Pre-display ads: value per visitor - £0.10
Post-display ads: value per visitor - £0.13
In terms of display ad revenue, last month I earned $616~ and am looking to double that by tackling Pinterest this month.
Reading up on the value of display ads, rather than it having the negative effect I was expecting, it's increased dwell time (due to longer pages) and CTR to affiliate links is up by about 10% as well.
Tl:Dr - didnt put display ads on because I wanted users to stay on the site and give a good ux. Trialed display ads and have increased revenue and CTR to affiliate links as a result.
of RPM and earning as a few have asked for them here and via PM.
What should I do with my website? There is demand but couldn't generate much profit
Hi, a year ago I have started a website in a quite small but unique niche (not in English). Its basically gear reviews website, with Amazon affiliate program. The site was running for a year with about 3,000 unique visitors per month, without any paid ads. Eventually, I closed the website because it wasn't profitable. In my country, it is not a very popular thing to order from Amazon (although usually in this niche it is much cheaper), so it wasn't easy to get money from this way, but I couldn't think about any other way that might be good in a reviews website. submitted by ben154451 to Affiliatemarketing [link] [comments]
In the last couple of months, I keep getting likes on the Facebook page, although there is no website, and the links on the page aren't working, It made me realize there is a demand for the website.
My question now is how can I make even a small profit from the website? I've noticed that the Amazon program is even less profitable now than it was before, so what would you suggest me to do?
CASE STUDY: Transitioning my niche site to ecommerce using Shopify
Disclaimer submitted by Mark-JST to juststart [link] [comments]
: My site is very small and I don't purport this to be a gamechanger for, well, anyone. I just wanted to share something that is seeming to work well for me.
I started my niche site in 2018 -- it is focused around a particular type of vehicle that has a hobbyist following. Initially the site was monetized through a combination of Google Adsense and the Amazon Associates program. At some point, I started trying to diversify the income as much as possible. For me, this meant adding the eBay Partner Network for some items and applying for Ezoic as soon as I met the requirements.
I also experimented with some small affiliate programs but didn't have much success -- I had to get very creative to find them as most of the stores I really wanted to refer sales for did not offer an affiliate program. I reached out to them multiple times seeing if there was something we could arrange. I even offered to just sell display ads to them, but no dice. The result was signing up for a couple small affiliate programs with low commissions and low sales volume proructs. This frustration was the start of my desire to curate my own store of products I genuinely want to sell.
Shopify and subdomaining
I use Shopify to host my online store. I am a software engineer by profession so I generally don't consider ease-of-use and setup to be the most important factors when choosing software -- I just want whatever is the most effective. There are other options like WooCommerce that I have heard great things about.
However, for me, Shopify is almost magically easy to use and offers everything I have needed or wanted so far. Following Warren Buffet's advice to "buy what you like" I actually bought as much stock in the company as I could after using it for a month. Everything just works exactly how I expect it to. I have never struggled to find any answers or documentation about anything. The support is phenomenal.
It's just a great product -- to me I think they could be a bigger company then Amazon in a few years because it allows anyone to create to sell online and maintain a lot of control, something retailers lose with Amazon. I signed up for the Shopify affiliate program because I want
to refer people to it, not to
refer people to it. I helped my cousin set one up for his beef jerky business and it took 20 minutes before he was online and it has been a gamechanger. The small independent grocery store across the street from me is surviving (probably thriving) through COVID-19 because they allow online orders through Shopify and window pickup. But most importantly, it's great to get the little notification when you make a sale, especially when the margins are so much higher than affiliate, but I'll get to that later.
For me, I used a shop.mydomain.com
subdomain for my Shopify site. It's great because there are no conflicts with your Wordpress site and it's a very clean looking link. Shopify has some documentation
on this if you would like to try it.
Selling items yourself is great mainly because you get to choose and experiment with your profit margins. Want to experiment with razor-thin margins because you know your visitors will shop around a lot? Try it. Want to raise the price so any one sale is $80 in profit but you don't have to pack and ship as much? Might work, try it! Between Google Analytics and Shopify's analytics stats, you can measure anything you need to.
Here's a concrete example of one item from my site. I sell a particular type of spark plug that is used on a vehicle that my site is partly focused on. This is an item I have sold/referred in one way or another since the beginning of my site in 2018:
- Amazon Associates commission: $0.84 (before commission slashing!)
- Average Amazon Associates sales/month: 3
- Shopify profit margin: $14.06
- Average sales/month: 4
This is a small item that is extremely easy to buy in bulk and pack/ship quickly.
I actually averaged more clicks to this item when the destination was Amazon, so my conversion rate actually went up
when I moved away from Amazon. I charge a few dollars more than Amazon and many other online retailers for this item. I could probably do some experimenting to find the optimal price/sales ratio, but I think those numbers speak for themselves.
One of my early fears was that the trust people have for Amazon and their affinity towards Prime is hard to challenge, but my opinion is that the trust you gain by writing well-researched, meaningful articles and being an active participant in the niche you serve makes people want to support you.
Dropshipping has negative connotations because of the bastardized "buy cheap small items from overseas and make 4000% profit while the user doesn't know that the item wont arrive for 2 months" format that is shown by YouTube influencers and the like. However, dropshipping is simply collecting a sale yourself while having an underlying price agreement with a supplier who will pack and ship the item for you. The first item I sold through my Shopify store I actually sold on a dropshipping basis.
This was a line of products within the $200-300 price range, and I also sold these through the Amazon Associates program before. It was nice to make $10-17 for one sale, but I felt like I should be making more. I called the company that produces this item and asked to buy 3 or 4 to sell myself, but he suggested dropshipping instead which I was interested in as these items are rather large. I agreed to buy the items for around $160-200 and now I profit around $60 per sale -- the only effort required on my end is sending an email (gave them a card to have on file) and adding the tracking number to Shopify when it is available. The credit card points are nice too!
One other thing about this that I think is important -- It's really nice to have personal relationships that this kind of business offers. The guy that answered the phone was the owner of the small business and he's the nicest guy, great to deal with and it feels good to get him some sales, especially during a crisis like this. I actually met up with him at an industry event and we talked for a long time. He's an older guy and at some point I want to get him setup with a better online presence especially as he sells a lot of other products over the phone that I can't necessarily refer in my niche, but could definitely benefit from a real online store and web presence. I am building similar relationships with other suppliers and personally I love it.
If you go the route of stocking and shipping items yourself, the scope of products you can monetize through your site broadens drastically. For me, there was always a certain type of item that I wanted to sell, but I could never find a good version of this item on Amazon or anywhere that offered an affiliate program. This was actually one of the retailers I reached out to asking for an affiliate program to no avail. Then I asked for a dropshipping agreement -- the answer was still no. However, it's a lot easier when you ask to buy 50x of one item. They processed my distributor account in a day and had my items to me by the end of the week. It is now my best selling item!
Shipping Logistics and Tools
One of the things that I think could be a dealbreaker for people is something I personally really enjoy -- stocking, packing, and shipping items. My inventory is small enough to fit in a walk-in closet in my apartment. I love the process of getting the Shopfiy "ca-ching" notification, packing the order, and dropping it off at the mailbox. Here are some tools I have used to make this process more efficient:
- Label printer: I initially bought the cheapest option on Amazon. This was a mistake. That thing was absolute garbage. Then I bought a Brother QL-1100 and I love it. It's nearly $200 but worth every penny. The driver worked immediately, a stark contrast to the earlier printer. Prints quickly in very high quality. You can get away with using a regular printer, cutting out the label, and taping it on your package, but the presentation value is much better with a good label printer.
- Standard printer: Use for leaving a packing slip, order receipt, etc.
- Computer: Definitely not important, but I like to have a dedicated laptop for my "ship station" right next to my label printer and regular printer.
Here is part of my dedicated "ship-station" where I manage my store and print labels/packing slips. https://i.imgur.com/TdRfvEK.jpg
I would probably wait to receive the items you're selling before selecting the packaging you're going to use. That way you can take exact measurements and consider alternative sizes/types of packages. One of my items is a collection of smaller items. I throw away the box that my supplier ships it in, and put it in a bag that goes inside my small mailer box. I use a particular size of bubble wrap which was also specifically chosen to protect the item, while also taking up all of the surrounding space. It's much easier to make all of these choices when you have the item in front of you.
Here's the previously mentioned item (spark plugs) in the box I chose (bubble wrap not shown!) There is no wasted space when it is packed. https://i.imgur.com/IXgTxm0.jpg
For me, I use USPS for nearly all of my orders. It's usually the cheapest option and very fast for the size of item I have. I live in an apartment complex and I can just drop my packages in the mailroom and they get picked up daily. Shopify will show you all of the available shipping options with speed and price. For international orders, it's only a few dollars more, and I think it goes from USPS and gets picked up by DHL.
Another benefit of this approach is that you have infinitely more opportunity to make a good impression on your customers which is huge if your items are the kind that might be reordered, or if the customer may be interested in other items you sell. For me, item presentation is also important because as I said, I am operating out of a spare closet in my apartment, so I want to look as professional as possible.
Here are some ways you can do this:
- Light box: You definitely don't want to just pick pictures from Google Images. Take your own pictures. I bought a decent sized light box from Amazon for around $70 and it makes a massive difference. I would link it here but it seems like it's no longer available. I have an iPhone SE which is worlds away from most good cameras these days, but with the light box my pictures look extremely professional. This is not an item I sell (it's my beard comb) but I did a quick comparison of using the light box vs. my initial approach: using printer paper with an overhead lamp.
- Custom packaging: As discussed before, get your measurements and then choose the package you want to ship in. For me, I wanted to have some custom packaging with my logo on it. I didn't buy in huge bulk so it cost me about $3 per mailer box for the first order of packaging. It's a lot when my margins are mostly $20-40, but to me it is important. For companies to consider, I strongly recommend UPrinting or Packwire.
- EDIT: I originally noted issues I had with Packwire here but Phil from Packwire spotted it and he is sending me a new shipment free of charge that we expect will solve the issue I had. Thank you Phil! Based on this experience alone I would recommend trying them out if you need custom packages.
- Packing slips/notes: All of my orders contain a thank you note to the customer with my name and email. I thank them for the order and ask them to reach out if they have any questions or concerns. I also ask them to reach out if there's any item they would be interested in that they do not currently see on my store. I haven't had any responses recommending products customers would be interested in, but I did have one customer ask about using the item. I sent him my number and he gave me a call and I explained everything to him. I think my store will be his first stop if he ever needs anything else.
- Dual use of label printer: Use your label printer to look more professional. On the item that I put into a bag and then into my mailer box, I have item label stickers that I put on the bag. It has my logo and the item title and ID number of the item within my store. It is a nice added touch and I think it looks very official.
I have not yet started experimenting with any form of ads. All of my sales thus far have been the result of organic traffic from the content on my website funneled through to my store. This month I am going to experiment with Facebook and Google Ads. Obviously this may not work but if there is a decent enough margin after the increased customer acquisition cost I will continue. I will report these results later!
Legality and Relationship to Affiliate Marketing
Keeping in mind that we in this business typically operate as affiliates, the golden rule is to make sure you are recommending the absolute best products to your site visitors. Thinking back to the Casper mattress affiliate drama
, there should be research and thought behind your recommendations. Selling the items yourself does complicate this. I have used all of the items I sell on my store. When I moved my links over from Amazon, I kept the notes indicating that I have used the item, but I also added a link to an explanation of my store.
I think it ends up being an extra vote of confidence when I explain to users: I have tried the items I sell and think they are the best in their category. I used to sell these items as an affiliate and would receive a commission, but I believe in them strongly enough that I now stock and sell them myself. I am not the only one who sells them and you can certainly buy from others if you find a better price/shipping speed.
I'll restate what I said before because I think it is extremely illuminating: My conversion rates went up when I moved items from Amazon to my own store!
The bottom line is that you need to be explicit about these things to be safe and honest. I think my niche works particularly well for this as people are looking for a.) What exact version of the item do I need? and b.) How do I use it? I know many niche sites are focused around "Top 10 X" type content and this may become a lot more difficult within the honesty/legality context. Something to think about.
As a final note, I still operate this as a sole proprietorship. Eventually I want to get an LLC for it. I have been upfront about this with all of my suppliers and none of them have required this for a distributor agreement.
Here are my income sources over time. I apologize for the colors used in the line charts of individual sources, I could not figure out how to configure those. https://i.imgur.com/bkeK6PJ.jpg https://i.imgur.com/8ES9cG5.jpg
As you can see, my site is very small. However, the relationship between the decline these past few months in display advertising revenue (Ezoic literally sent an email saying to expect lower rates) and the Amazon Associates rate cut charted against my growing Shopify revenue really opened my eyes to the benefit I gained from diversifying towards ecommerce/Shopify. I still keep the older sources of revenue, but I actually think I will consider eliminating them in the future, especially display ads. Diversification is necessary when the revenue source lacks control -- Amazon Associates can slash rates willy-nilly, eBay Partner Network can apparently just decide to not pay me for a large sale I made, who even knows what these display ad networks are actually getting paid for our clicks or if every click is considered, etc.
Selling the items yourself gives you a lot more responsibility, but a lot more control. One of the primary reasons I'm so excited about this is that my inventory is still VERY small. I am working to add new items and it's wonderful because even if I only sell a few, the profit margins make it so much easier to spend the time to create the content and stock/ship the item -- a luxury I never had with Amazon.
Please feel free to ask any questions! I'd love to help if I can.
How to Make Money with Instagram: The Ultimate Guide [2020 Update]
Making money with Instagram is no joke. On the contrary, BusinessInsider shows that popular Instagram influencers can already charge a minimum of € 15,000 for a single sponsored post on their accounts! So what does it come down to? submitted by yatesmaron to Howwemakemoneyonline [link] [comments]
When it comes to making money with social media and how much money you will really make, your results will depend on your experience, how many followers you have, and your confidence.
Of course everyone starts from a different starting point or situation, but here are the 4 main ways that we recommend to make money via Instagram
. What you can do:
- Promote other people's products through affiliate marketing
- The photos you take sell on various websites and platforms that offer images
- Create sponsored posts for the brands you work with
- Create your own physical, digital or coaching products
You can use one, several or even all 4 of these methods simultaneously to make money via Instagram - it's your choice!
Now that that's said, are you ready to go
Following are the details of each method of how to make money with Instagram
How to Make Money on Instagram - The 4 Methods
1 Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways of making money on Instagram.
Simply put, affiliate marketing is when you get a commission when someone clicks on a link from another company from your account, and then buys a product. You usually get a commission when someone buys something, but sometimes when they just click on the link.
Affiliate marketing is so simple because all you have to do is show the product with a “story” around it, for example in a review, a video or a post with a little paragraph about the product, then put it in link your Instagram bio to. You can also have your own website where you send people to learn more about the products you show.
Keep in mind that when you recommend something, your good name and reputation are associated with the product, so only recommend products that you have used yourself, that you trust and like.
Affiliate marketing is an extensive topic, and we have written about it many times. You can dig deeper into it in our article: the Guide to Affiliate Marketing
You can also visit the following websites that have affiliate lists of products that offer affiliate programs, which will take you one step further in learning how to make money with Instagram
2 Sell your photos
You spend a lot of time and effort to get the scene, light and captions just right… so why not convert all the effort you've already put into your IG account into more money
There are many sites online where you can host and sell your photos
3 Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts are another way of making money with Instagram, and it is expected that by 2020 there will be around 32.3 billion sponsored Instagram posts
to be paid by brands.
You can also participate and get paid like this
What exactly are sponsored posts? First you grow your number of followers, by supporting a certain message or by specializing in things like health, things that men / women need (think of cars, beauty, etc.), cats, or whatever your thing . If a sponsor likes what you do, they will ask you to promote them! Not only do they pay for you talking about them, but they usually combine it with an affiliate link, so you get a commission when one of your visitors buys something from the sponsor!
Some people think that sponsoring and making money is about having millions of followers, but that's not true
. Sponsors are not stupid, they know you can just buy "fake followers" to make the number look better.
What they're looking for is the real, engaged followers who trust you. A sponsor would rather have 1,000 people ready to buy what the influencer
recommends than 2 million accounts that actually mean nothing.
It's all about trust and commitment
How Much Can You Ask?
Now you're probably wondering how much money to charge per sponsored post.
Unless you're extremely experienced with Instagram and a big influencer, it's likely to be determined by the company itself. It can depend on whether you post a photo, video or story and how long the video is when it is a video or a story.
Good news is that when we look at the rates on AdFactor
of some influencers
, and the number of Instagram followers they have, it looks like you can already ask € 500 per sponsored post with just a few thousand followers.
That can give you an idea of how many brands are willing to pay, and what number you can play with during the negotiations.
How To Find Sponsors
The easiest way to find sponsors is to compile a list of companies and brands you like, and write them an email describing who you are, why you like them, and how you can help them when you promote them on Instagram.
Here are a few examples of emails
you can view and use.
Another way is to list yourself and your account on an influencer marketplace, where brands “shop around” to find the accounts they would like to sponsor or contact.
How to avoid being called a defector (or why you shouldn't have too many sponsored posts)
It can be tempting to turn every post into a sponsored post, but there has to be a balance. Remember, your audience originally followed you for the sheer content of your posts and because they liked YOU, not because they want to see ads all the time.
We recommend that you consider using a #sponsored or #spon hashtag to indicate that it is a sponsored post
. If you're worried about using sponsored posts at all, we've got some good news for you!
For example below, you can see that beauty blogger and Instagrammer Mascha Feoktistova
indicates that her latest fragrance from Guess is sponsored using the hashtag #spon.
Instagram now also has a "Paid Partnership With ..." tag that clearly identifies sponsored posts. Some brands even require that you use this as an influencer. You can here
read about the tag.
When you're trying to find a balance in how you make money on Instagram, fewer sponsored posts are better than more. Try a certain number first (eg 1 per week), and you could even create a live survey with your “Story” feature to ask your audience if they are satisfied with the number of sponsored posts, and if they like the recommendations .
Always try to be as careful as possible with sponsored posts, and keep in mind: LESS is more!
4 Make your own products
Making your own products is a great way to turn your Instagram account into a money machine. And it can also be a lot of fun!
Most Instagrammers start with paid services because they are the easiest to set up. You basically choose the talents you have, and you work as a freelance consultant for someone, while setting your own rates for your talents! If you'd like to learn more about that, check out our guide on how to start freelancing
Another good example, besides paid services, is that you create something like an e-book about your favorite topic and sell it on your website through an online shop program.
Online products are one of our favorites, because once you have set up your website and your online shop program, the “shop” is always open, and you can get paid for your knowledge while you sleep! The return on your investment can be HUGE!
If you want to research how to make money with Instagram, we recommend that you sign up on SendOwl
for your online shop program and use it to sell your online products.
You can then develop further by delving into physical products with services such as Shopify
, which help you to set up a real online shop.
Physical products can be challenging because you have to make sure the quality is good enough as they are made from factories. Services like Printful
can do all the work for you when printing certain photos in shirts and mugs, as well as finding recommended factories.
If you follow this route, we recommend that you always see a sample of the products before selling it to your audience. You can't make money by putting your name on poor quality products!
Reference: Entreprenuers Hustle Free Style
It's not worth to have Amazon Affiliate links anymore
My site has currently ~1,500 visitors per day and the conversion rate is consistently 10%+. My earnings have dropped from $35/day (on average) to $9. This is ridiculous. submitted by blulemming to juststart [link] [comments]
I think I'll remove the affiliate links (I use SiteStripe), because they slow down the site considerably, and I definitely won't drive business to Amazon for $9 a day. I'll just list the products and use affiliate links (where possible) from ShareASale or similar aff programs.
Being an affiliate for Amazon now feels like as if you'd want someone very much, but they keep rejecting you, yet you still cling to them. :) No, thanks.
How to actually make a living from your blog
Huge misconception; you need a crap-ton of traffic to make a living online. submitted by mickmeaney to Blogging [link] [comments]
You just need the right traffic.
I first started way back in 1998 and was making a full time living from my website by 2004.
... Well, I say a “living”... but it was more like surviving.
Anyway, here’s what I wish someone told me back then, it would have saved me years of trial and error.
Here’s the thing.
Traffic INTENT is everything.
Are your visitors looking for educational content that helps them to solve a very specific problem?
Will they (eventually) be willing to pay for a comprehensive solution?
...Ok, you might know know that right now... so let’s validate it.
Real quick... just open a new tab, head over to Amazon... are there any books in the same niche as your blog? Are people leaving verified reviews for those books?
You now know there’s a large group of people with money to spend.
So how do you get these folks to visit your blog?
Create content based around the right keywords, so your stuff gets ranked and seen.
That means staying the hell away from competitive key phrases. Stick to around 1,000 searches per month, more or less.
How do you find that info?
SEMrush, Keyword Surfer, Ubersuggest... all have free options. You might get mixed results, that’s ok you just want a rough idea.
Ok so now you’ve got the right type of traffic coming to your blog.
How do make money from it?
You’ve probably heard AdSense is the way to go. Nope, with that you really do need a crap-ton of traffic.
Because we’re targeting people with a problem to solve, it makes life a lot easier for us, and more profitable.
But the traffic is still cold.
People rarely buy stuff just because a review or a banner on some random blog told them too.
They consider the source, they don’t know you and they don’t trust you (yet).
So you need to warm them up.
The best way to earn their trust is to give them more free stuff that will help them.
Ask them to join your email list in exchange for an extra piece of content.
This should be quick and easy to consume, something to help move them further along their journey - without bogging them down or creating overwhelm.
Since they’re on your email list, you can continue the conversation, deliver more value, build more trust and increase the desire for a comprehensive solution.
Now they have a reason to listen to you, your opinion, advice and recommendations.
This is where you really make your money.
When you suggest they buy product X, your conversions will be a hell of a lot greater, than just putting banner ads in front of cold traffic.
Where do you get products to sell? Recommend other peoples products and earn an affiliate commission, or make your own.
I’ve done it both ways, and it all works pretty much the same. The monetisation method is just a cog in the machine, albeit a very important one.
And this system can (and should) be automated.
Now you don’t have to rely on CPM earnings or need lots of traffic to make money.
Happy to answer any questions (please don’t inbox me, ask publicly so everyone else can benefit).
How to achieve explosive startup growth!
submitted by alollou to startups [link] [comments]
Here is the summary of the book Traction:
How any startup can achieve explosive growth.
I hope that you find it useful!
Traction is a sign that your startup is taking off. If you charge, it means customers are buying. If your product is free, it means your user base is growing.
If you have traction, all your technical, market, and team risks become easier to handle. It becomes easier to fund-raise, hire, do press, partnerships, and acquisitions.
Traction trumps everything.
Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have is enough customers.
You should spend your time in parallel
, both constructing your product and testing traction channels.
This is what we call the 50 percent rule
: spend 50 percent of your time on product and 50% on traction. This rule seems simple but it’s hard to follow because the pull to spend all your attention on the product is strong. You’re probably making a startup because you want to build a particular product. You have a vision, but a lot of traction activities are unknown and outside your vision and comfort zone. So you try to avoid them. Don’t.
Doing product and traction in parallel has these benefits:
- You get knowledge from traction efforts, so you’ll build the right product for your customers.
- You get to experiment and test different traction channels before you launch anything. This means when your product is ready, you can grow rapidly.
Before trying to get traction, you’ll need to define what traction means for your company. You need to set a traction goal. Maybe your current startup goal is to raise funding or become profitable. How many customers do you need and at what rate? You should then focus on marketing activities that result in a significant impact on your traction goal. It should move the needle.
Your startup has 3 phases:
Phase I: Make something people want
In phase 1, your product has the most leaks, it really doesn’t hold water. You shouldn’t scale up your efforts now, but it’s important to send a small amount of water through the bucket so you can see where the holes are and plug them. \ Your goal in phase 1 is to get your first customers and prove your product can get traction. You focus on building your initial product and getting traction in ways that don’t scale: giving talks, writing guest posts, emailing people you know, attending conferences, and doing whatever you can to get in front of customers.
Some founders believe that startups either take off or don’t. Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off!
– Paul Graham
Phase II: Market something people want
Once you hone your product, you have product-market fit and customers are sticking around. Now is the time to scale up your traction efforts. You fine-tune your positioning and marketing messages.
Phase III: Scale your business
As your company grows, smaller traction strategies stop moving the needle, so you’ll start to scale.
In phase 3 you have an established business model and significant position in the market, and you’re focused on scaling to further dominate the market and to profit.
Traction for funding
When pursuing funding, first contact individuals who understand what you’re working on. The better your investors understand what you’re doing, the less traction they’ll need to see before they invest. Also, try friends and family who may not need to see any traction before investing as they’re investing in you personally.
To pivot or not to pivot
Many startups give up way too early. The first thing to look for is evidence of real product engagement, even if it’s only a few dedicated customers. If you have such an engagement, you might be giving up too soon. Look for the bright spots in your customer base and see if you can expand from that base.
The Bullseye framework
helps you find the channel that will get you traction. Most businesses actually get zero distribution channels to work. If you can get even a single distribution channel to work, you have a great business. If you try for several but don’t nail one, you’re finished.
You’re aiming for bullseye: the one channel at the center of the target that will unlock your next growth stage. Here are the 3 Bullseye framework steps:
Find what’s possible: The outer-ring
The first step in Bullseye is brainstorming every single traction channel. It’s important not to dismiss any channel in this step. Think of at least one idea for each channel. For example, social ads is a traction channel. Running ads on Facebook or Twitter is a channel strategy within social ads. You could research what marketing strategies worked in your industry as well as the history of companies in your space.
Find what’s probable: The middle-ring
Go around your outer-ring and promote your best and most exciting ideas to your middle-ring. For each traction channel in your middle ring, now construct a cheap traction test you can run to find if the idea is good or not. These tests need to answer the following questions:
- What’s the cost of acquiring customers?
- How many customers are available?
- Are they the right type of customers for you now?
You want to design small scale tests that don’t require much up-front cost or effort. For example, run 4 Facebook ads instead of 40.
Find what’s working: The inner-ring
The final step in Bullseye is to only focus on one channel that will move the needle for your startup: your core channel. At any stage of your startup, you should have one traction channel that you’re focusing on and optimizing.
Most founders mess this up by keeping around distracting marketing efforts in other channels.
If search engine marketing is significantly better for you than other channels, you should focus all your efforts on this core channel and uncover additional strategies and tactics within it.
If no channel seems promising after testing, the whole process should be repeated. If you tried several times with no success, then your product may require more tweaking and your bucket might be still leaky. Middle-ring tests:
You should be running several cheap tests that give you an indication of how successful a given channel strategy could be. Inner ring tests:
You’re doing two things:
- Optimize your chosen channel strategy to make it the best it can be.
- Discover better channel strategies within this traction channel.
There is always a set of things you can tweak. For targeting blogs, you can tweak which blogs to target, type of content, call to action, etc. For search engine marketing, you can tweak keywords, ad-copy, demographics, and landing pages.
A common approach is to use A/B testing, where A is the control group and B is the experimental group. The purpose of it is to measure the effectiveness of change in a button color, an ad image, or a different message on a web page. If the experimental group performs significantly better, you can apply the change, get the benefits, and run another test.
You can use tools such as Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer, and Unbounce.
Over time, all marketing channels become saturated. To combat this, you should always be trying to discover new strategies and tactics within your channel and conduct small experiments. Also, experiment with new marketing platforms while they’re still in their infancy.
To track your tests you could start with a simple spreadsheet or use an analytics tool with cohort analysis. You’ll need to answer these questions:
- How many people landed on the website?
- What are the demographics of my best and worst customers?
- Are customers who interact with my support team more likely to stay?
A basic analytics tool like Clicky, Mixpanel, or Chartbeat can help you with these questions. You can use a spreadsheet as the tool to rank and prioritize traction channel strategies. You should include columns like how many customers are available
, conversion rate
, the cost to acquire a customer
, lifetime value of a customer
for every given strategy.
Define your traction goal
You should always have an explicit traction goal you’re working towards. This could be 1,000 paying customers or 100 new daily customers, or 10% of your market. You want a goal where hitting the mark would change things significantly for your company’s outcome.
Once that is defined, you can work backward and set clear time-based subgoals. Such as reaching 1,000 customers by next quarter.
The key is to follow the critical path towards that goal and exclude all features and marketing activities that don’t help you reach your goal. Everything you decide to do should be assessed against your critical path.
Avoid traction biases
Your competitive advantage may be acquiring customers in ways your competition isn’t. That’s why it’s critical to avoid have traction biases. Stop your urge to refuse channels like speaking engagements, sales or affiliate marketing, business development, or trade shows just because you hate talking on the phone or you find the channel annoying or time-consuming.
Targeting blogs that your prospective customers read is one of the best ways to get your first wave customers.
Mint’s initial series of tests revealed that targeting blogs should be its core channel. They asked users to embed an “I want mint” badge on their personal blogs and rewarded them with a VIP access before other invitations were sent out. They also directly sponsored blogs. They sent bloggers a message with “Can I send you $500” as the subject and told them a bit about the product.
To find smaller blogs in your niche:
- Google “top blogs for x” or “best x blogs.”
- Search for your product keywords on YouTube.
- Use tools like FollowerWonk and Klout to find top twitter accounts in your industry.
- Use social mention to find sites with the most frequent mentions for your keywords.
- Talk to people to figure out what your target audience is really reading online.
You can also target link-sharing communities like Reddit, Product Hunt, and Hacker News.
Dropbox, Codecademy, Quora, and Gumroad all got their first customers by sharing their products on HackerNews because their products were a good fit for users on that site.
Starting out, an article in TechCrunch or The Huffington Post can boost your startup in the eyes of potential customers, investors, or partners. If you have a fascinating story with broad appeal, media outlets will want
to hear from you.
It’s easier to start smaller when targeting big media outlets. Sites like TechCrunch and Lifehacker often pick up stories from smaller forums like Hacker News and subreddits. Instead of approaching TechCrunch, try blogs that TechCrunch reads and get story ideas from. It’s easier to get a smaller blog’s attention. Then you might get featured on TechCrunch and then The New York Times which reads TechCrunch!
What gets a reporter’s attention?
- Milestones like raising money, launching a new product, breaking a usage barrier.
- A PR stunt.
- A big partnership.
- A special industry report.
A good press angle makes people react emotionally. If it’s not interesting enough to elicit emotion, you don’t have a story worth pitching.
A good first step is using a service like Help A Reporter Out (HARO), where reporters request sources for articles they’re working on. It could get you a mention in the piece and help establish your credibility. Also, you could offer reporters commentary on stories related to your industries.
You can use Twitter to reach reporters online; almost all of them have Twitter accounts and you’d be surprised how few followers many of them have, but they can be highly influential with their content.
Once you have a solid story, you want to draw as much attention to it as you can:
- Submit the story to link-sharing sites like Reddit and HackerNews
- Share it on social networks
- Email it to influencers in your industry for comment.
- Ping blogs in your space and tell them you have a story that’s getting buzz.
Once your story has been established as a popular news item, try to drag it out as long as you can. Offer interviews that add to the story. Start “How We Did This” follow-up interviews.
As your startup grows you may consider hiring a PR firm or consultant.
Nearly every company attempts traditional publicity, but only a few focus on stunts and other unconventional ways to get buzz.
The publicity stunt
- Half.com renamed (Halfway, Oregon) to Half.com and launched it on the Today show with the mayor of Halfway, Oregon.
- Richard Branson made his press conferences as outlandish as possible (dressing like a woman, driving a tank through the streets) to get the media talking about whatever Virgin was launching.
- WePay (a PayPal competitor) placed a 600-pound block of ice at PayPal’s conference entrance.
- DuckDuckGo bought a billboard in Google’s backyard highlighting its privacy focus.
- Blendtec created a series of videos called “Will It Blend?” where they blended items like a rake, golf balls, and even an iPhone.
- When Grasshopper did a rebrand, they sent chocolate-covered grasshoppers to 5,000 influential people.
Be awesome to your customers. Shortly after Alexis Ohanian launched Hipmunk, he sent out luggage tags and a handwritten note to the first several hundred people who mentioned the site on Twitter.
Holding a contest is also a great repeatable way to generate publicity and get word of mouth. Shopify has an annual Build a Business competition.
Great customer support is so rare that, if you make your customers happy, they’re likely to spread the news of your awesome product. Zappos is one of the best-known examples of a company with incredible customer service and they classify support as a marketing investment.
SEM is placing ads on search engines like Google. It’s sometimes called “pay-per-click” because you only pay when a user clicks on an ad.
SEM works well for companies looking to sell directly to their target customer. You’re capturing people who are actively searching for solutions. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The percentage of ad impressions that result in clicks to your site. Cost per Click (CPC)
The amount it costs to buy a click on an ad. Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
How much it costs you to acquire a customer, not just a click. If you buy clicks at $1 and 10% of people who hit your site make a purchase. This makes your CPA at $10.
CPA = CPC / conversion percentage
SEM to get early customer data
You can use SEM as a way to get early customer data in a controlled and predictable way. Even if you don’t expect to be profitable, you can decide to spend a certain amount of money to get an early base of customers and users to inform you about important metrics such as landing page conversion rates, average cost per customer, and lifetime value.
Archives.com used AdWords to drive traffic to their landing pages, even before they built a product, to test interest in a specific product approach. By measuring the CTR for each ad and conversions, they determined which product aspects were the most compelling to potential customers and what those people would actually pay for. When they finally built their product, they built something they knew
the market would want.
Find high-potential keywords, group them into ad groups, and test different ad copy and landing pages within each ad group. As data flows in, remove underperforming ads and landing pages and make tweaks to keep improving results.
Use tools like Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer to run A/B tests on your landing pages.
Use Google’s keyword planner to discover top keywords your target customers use to find products like yours. You could also use tools such as KeywordSpy, SEMrush, and SpyFu to discover keywords your competition is using.
You can refine your keyword list by adding more terms to the end of each base term to create long-tail keywords
. They’re less competitive and have lower search volumes which makes them ideal for testing on smaller groups of customers.
SEM is more expensive for more competitive keywords, so you’ll need to limit yourself to keywords with profitable conversion rates.
You shouldn’t expect your campaigns to be profitable right away, but if you can run a campaign that breaks even after a short period of time, then SEM could be an excellent channel for you to focus on.
Write ads with titles that are catchy, memorable, and relevant to the keywords you’ve paired with it. Include the keyword at least once in the body of your ad and conclude with a prominent call to action like “Check out discounted Nike sneakers!”
Each of your ads and ad groups will have a quality score associated with it. A high-quality score will get you better ad placements and better ad pricing. Click-through rate has the biggest influence on quality score, so you should tailor your ads to the keywords. Google assigns a low-quality score to ads with CTRs below 1.5%
- Consider expanding your ads to the content network of non-Google sites.
- Consider luring people back to your site by retargeting through Google AdWords or other sites like AdRoll or Perfect Audience. These ads often convert better as they’re aimed at prospects who have already visited your site. (Be warned that it may feel creepy to certain people)
- Consider using Google’s Conversion Optimizer to automatically adjust your ads to perform better.
- Use negative keywords to prevent ads from showing for certain keywords you don’t want to target.
- Consider using programming scripts to manage your ads.
Display ads are banner ads you see on websites. Social ads are ads you see on social sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Large display campaigns are often used for branding and awareness, much like offline ads. They can also elicit a direct response such as signing up for an email newsletter or buying a product.
Social ads perform exceptionally well is when they’re used to build an audience and engage with them over time, and eventually convert them to customers.
The largest display ad networks are Google Display Network, BuySellAds, Advertising.com, Tribal Fusion, Conversant, and Adblade. Niche ad networks focus on smaller sites that fit certain audience demographics, such as dog lovers or Apple fanatics.
To get started in display advertising, you could start to find out types of ads that work in your industry. You could use tools like MixRank and Adbeat to show you ads your competitors are running and where they place them. Alexa and Quantcast can help you determine who visits the sites that feature your competitors’ ads.
Social ads work well for creating interest among potential new customers. The goal is often awareness oriented, not conversion oriented. A purchase takes place further down the line. People visit social media sites for entertainment and interaction, not to see ads.
An effective social ad strategy takes advantage of this reality. Use ads to start conversations about your products by creating compelling content. Instead of directing people to a conversion page, direct them to a piece of content that explains why you developed your product or has other purposes than immediately completing a sale. If you have a piece of content that has high organic reach, when you put paid ads behind that piece, magic happens. Paid is only as good as the content you put behind it. You should employ social ads when you know that a fire is starting around your message and you want to put more oil on it.
Major social sites you may consider are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Foursquare, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube, and many others.
Even today, advertisers spend more on offline ads than they do online. When buying offline ads, You should try to advertise to demographics that match up with your target audience. Ask for an audience prospectus or ad kit.
Not sure if magazine ads are a good channel for you? Buy a small ad in a niche publication and give it a test. Want to see if newspapers would be good? Buy a few ads in a local paper. You can also try radio ads and billboards.
- You can save money by signing longer ad contracts.
- Look for remnant ads which are ad space that’s unused; publications accept almost any price when selling empty ads near print deadlines.
- You could track ad effectiveness by using unique web addresses and promo codes. You could also try adding “How did you hear about us” to your sign up process.
A compelling magazine or newspaper ad will have an attention-grabbing header, an eye-catching graphic, and a description of the product’s benefits. Also, you should have a strong call to action, like an offer to get a free book.
You could also try direct mail by searching for “direct mail lists” and find companies selling such information. (Beware that it can be perceived as spammy)
- Provide a self-addressed envelope.
- Use handwritten envelopes and cards.
- Have a clear call to action.
- Investigate bulk mail to get reduced pricing.
You could also try local print ads like local fliers, directories, calendars, church bulletins, community newsletters, coupon booklets, or yellow pages. These work really well for cheap if you want to get early traction for your company in a specific area.
If you want to buy space on a billboard, you could contact companies like Lamar, Clear Channel, or Outfront Media. Billboards aren’t effective for people to take immediate action, but it’s extremely effective for raising awareness around events, like concerts and conferences.
DuckDuckGo bought a billboard in Google’s backyard and it got big attention and press coverage.
Transit ads can be effective as a direct response tool. You can contact Blue Line Media to help you with Transit ads.
Radio and TV
Radio ads are priced on a cost per point (CPP) basis, where each point represents what it will cost to reach 1% of the station’s listeners. It also depends on your market, when the commercial runs and how many ads you’ve bought.
TV ads are often used as branding mechanisms. Quality is critical for it and production costs can run to tens of thousands. Higher-end ones can cost $200K to make. You’ll also need an average of $350,000 for actual airtime. For smaller startups, you could try local TV spots which is much cheaper.
Infomercials work really well for products in categories like Workout equipment, household products, health products, and work-from-home businesses. They can cost between $50,000 and $500,000, and they’re always direct-response.
SEO is improving your ranking in search engines in order to get more people to your site.
The most important thing to know about SEO is that the more high-quality links you have to a given site or page, the higher it will rank. You should also make sure you’re using the keywords you want to target appropriately on your pages, like in your page titles and headings.
There are 2 strategies to choose from: fat-head
These are one and two-word searches like “Dishwashers,” and “Facebook.” They are searched a lot and make about 30% of searches and are called. Long-tail:
These are longer searches that don’t get searched as much but add up to the majority of searches made. They make up 70% of searches.
- “Wooden toys” is fat-head.
- “Wood puzzles for 3-year-olds” is long-tail.
When determining which strategy to use, you should keep in mind that the percentage of clicks drops off dramatically as you rank lower. Only 10% of clicks occur beyond the first page.
To find out if fat-head is worthwhile, research what terms people use to find products in your industry, and then see if search volumes are large enough to move the needle. You can use the keyword planner tool for that. You want to find terms that have enough volume such that if you captured 10% for a given term, it would be meaningful.
The next step is determining the difficulty of ranking high for each term. Use tools like Open Site Explorer. If a competitor has thousands of links for a term, it will likely take a lot of focus on building links and optimizing to rank above them.
Next, narrow your list of targeted keywords to just a handful. Go to Google Trends to see how your keywords have been doing. Are they searched more or less often in the last year? You can further test keywords by buying SEM ads against them. If they convert well, then you have an indication that these keywords could get you strong growth.
Next, orient your site around the terms you’ve chosen. Include phrases you are targeting in your page titles and homepage. Get other sites to link to your site. Links with exact phrase matching from high-quality sites will give you a significant boost.
Because it’s difficult to rank high for competitive fat-head terms, a popular SEO strategy for early-stage startups is to focus on long-tail. If you bundle a lot of long-term keywords together you can reach a meaningful number of customers.
Find out what are search volumes for a bunch of long-tail keywords in your industry? Do they add up to meaningful amounts? Also, take a look at the analytics software you use on your site or google search console to find some of the search terms people are already using to get to your site. If you’re naturally getting a significant amount of traffic from long-tail keywords, then the strategy might be a good fit. Also, check if competitors use this strategy. If they have a lot of landing pages (search for site:domain.com in google), then it’s a sign that this strategy works for your market. Also, check Alexa search rankings and look at the percentage of visitors your competitors are receiving from search.
If you proceed with a long-tail SEO strategy, you’ll need to produce significant amounts of quality content. If you can’t invest time in that, you can pay a freelancer from Upwork to write an article for every search phrase you want to target.
Another way is to use content that naturally flows from your business. Ask yourself: what data do we naturally collect or generate that other people may find useful. Large businesses like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Wikipedia all gained most of their traffic by producing automated long-tail content. Sometimes the data is hidden behind a login screen and all you need to do is expose it to search engines, or aggregate it in a useful manner.
How to get links?
Don’t buy links, you’ll be penalized by search engines for it. Instead, you can do:
- Publicity - Get covered by a publication.
- Product - Produce shareable web pages.
- Content marketing - Create strong shareable content. Content that’s highly shareable include infographics, slideshows, images, and original research.
- Widgets - Give site owners useful things to add to their sites which link back to yours.
Companies like Moz and Unbounce have well-known company blogs that are their biggest source of customer acquisition.
Unbounce started a blog and an email list from day one. They used social media to drive readers to your blog. They pinged twitter influencers to ask for feedback, gave away free infographics, and e-books. These actions don’t scale but they push them to a point where their content will spread on its own.
OkCupid is a free online dating site. They intentionally wrote controversial posts like “How your race affects the messages you get” to generate traffic and conversation.
- Overcome writer’s block by writing about the problems facing your target customers.
- Use infographics because they are shared 20x more.
- Show your readers that they have a problem they didn’t know about.
- Engage in online forums where your target customers are, and try to contribute.
- Do guest posting on other popular blogs.
- Keep a regular content schedule.
Email marketing is a personal channel. Messages from your company sit next to emails from friends and family. That’s why email marketing works best when personalized. It can be used to build familiarity with prospects, acquire customers, and retain customers you already have.
Email marketing to Find customers
- Build an email list of prospective customers through your other marketing efforts.
- At the bottom of your blog posts and landing pages, simply ask for an email address.
- Create a short free course related to your area.
- Consider advertising on email newsletters.
Email marketing to Engage customers
If a customer never gets the value of your product, how can you expect them to pay for it or recommend it to others?
- Determine the steps necessary for customers to get value from your product
- Create targeted emails to make sure people complete these steps.
- You can use tools like Vero and Customer.io to automate these messages.
- Send an automated personal email 30 minutes after they signup to ask they if they need help.
Email marketing to Retain customers
Email marketing can be the most effective channel to bring people back to your site. Twitter sends you an email with a weekly digest of popular tweets and your new notifications.
More business-oriented products usually focus on reminders, reports, and information about how you’re getting value from the product. Mint sends a weekly financial summary to show your expenses and income over the previous week.
You can also use it to surprise and delight your customers. Planscope sends a weekly email to customers telling them how much they made that week. Photo apps will send you pictures you took a year ago.
Email marketing to Drive revenue
You can send a series of emails aimed at upselling customers.
WP Engine sends prospects an email course about Wordpress, and near the end of the email, they make a pitch to signup for its premium Wordpress hosting service.
If one of your customers abandoned a shopping cart, send her a targeted email a day or two later with a special offer for whatever item is left in the cart.
You can use email to explain a premium feature a customer is missing out on and how it can help them in a big way.
Email marketing to get referrals
Groupon generates referrals by incentivizing people to tell their friends about discounts.
- Use an email marketing provider that helps ensure deliverability like MailChimp.
- Use A/B tests for every aspect including subjects, formats, images, timing, and more.
- Send emails between 9 AM and 12 PM in your customers’ time zone or schedule them at the time they registered for your email list.
- Learn copywriting techniques by checking resources like copy hackers.
Viral marketing is getting your existing customers to refer others to your product. It was the driving force behind the explosive growth of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Dropbox, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
It’s so powerful that even if you can’t achieve exponential growth with it, you can still get meaningful growth. If your customer refers a new customer within the first week, you’ll go from ten customers to twenty and double every week without any additional marketing.
The oldest form of virality occurs when your product is so remarkable that people naturally tell others about it — pure word of mouth.
Inherent virality occurs when you can get value from a product only by inviting other customers, like Skype, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.
Others grow by encouraging collaboration like Google Docs.
Some embed virality like adding “Get a free email account with Hotmail” or “Sent from iPhone” to default signatures. Mailchimp and other email marketing products add branding to free customers’ emails.
Some incentivize customers to move through a viral loop, like Dropbox giving you more space if you invite friends to sign up. Airbnb, Uber, and PayPal give you account credits for referring friends.
Some add embedded buttons and widgets to grow virally, like Reddit and YouTube.
Some broadcast users activities on their social networks, like Spotify posting on Facebook when you play a song, or Pinterest when you pin content.
The viral coefficient K
is the number of additional customers you can get for each customer you bring in. It depends on i, the number of invites sent per user, and conversion percentage (who will actually sign up after receiving an invite)
K = i * conversion percentage
Any viral coefficient above 1 will result in exponential growth. Any viral coefficient over 0.5 helps your efforts to grow considerably.
You can increase the number of invites per user i by including features that encourage sharing, such as posting to social networks. You can increase the conversion percentage by testing different signup flows. Try cutting out pages or signup fields.
Viral cycle time is how long it takes a user to go through your viral loop. Shortening your cycle time drastically increases the rate at which you go viral. You can do it by creating urgency or incentivizing customers to move through the loops.
- Measure your viral coefficient and cycle time from the start
- Run as many A/B tests as you can. Focus on big changes that would result in a 5-10x improvement in a key metric, like a new email autoresponder or website design or onboarding flow. Then optimize smaller stuff.
- You need a constant stream of new customers entering the viral loop. This is called “seeding.” You could use SEO and online ads for that.
- Copy those who have done it before.
You can build tools like calculators, widgets, and educational microsites to get your company in front of potential customers.
HubSpot has Marketing Grade, a free marketing review tool. It’s free, gives you valuable information, and provides HubSpot with the information they use to qualify you as a potential prospect.
Moz has two free SEO tools, Followerwong and Open Site Explorer. They’ve driven tens of thousands of leads for Moz.
WP Engine has a speed testing tool that asks only for an email address in exchange for a detailed report on your site’s speed.
- Provide something of true value.
- Make the offering extremely relevant to your core business.
- Put microsites and tools on their own domains. It makes it easier to share and does well with SEO when people search for your tool.
With business development, you’re partnering to reach customers in a way that benefits both parties.
Google got most of its initial traction from a partnership with Netscape to be the default search engine and an agreement with Yahoo to power its online searches.
Business development can take the form of:
- Standard partnership, like Apple and Nike producing Nike+ shoe that communicates with the iPhone.
- Joint ventures: Two companies working together to produce a new product. Like bottled Starbucks Frappuccino produced by Pepsi.
- Licencing: Spotify licensing music from record labels.
- Distribution deals: Groupon works with a restaurant to offer a discount to Groupon’s mailing list.
- Supply partnership: Deals between suppliers and Walmart.
You should have already defined your traction goal and milestones, and you shouldn’t accept any partnership that doesn’t align with it. Many startups waste resources because it’s tempting to make deals with bigger companies.
- Create an exhaustive list of all your possible partners.
- Send it to your investors and friends for warm introductions.
- Approach potential customers with a value-focused proposition that outlines why they should work with you.
- Make sure to find out who is in charge of the metric you’ve targeted, and contact them directly.
- Make the negotiation and term sheet as simple as possible
Sales is the process of generating leads, qualifying them, and converting them into paying customers. It’s particularly useful for expensive and enterprise products.
Structuring the sales conversation Situation questions.
Ask one or two questions per conversation. The more you ask situation questions, the less likely they’re going to close.
- How many employees do you have?
- How is your organization structured
- Are you happy with your current solution?
- What problems do you face with it?
Meant to make a prospect aware of the large implications that stem from the problem.
- Does this problem hurt your productivity?
- How many people does it impact?
- What customer or employee turnover are you experiencing because of it?
Focus attention on your solution and get buyers to think about the benefits of solving the problem.
- How do you feel this solution would help you?
Be judicious about the people you contact. You want someone who is one-two levels up in the organization. They have enough perspective on the problem and some authority for decision making. Avoid starting at the top unless you’re calling a very small business.
Try to get answers about:
- Process: How does the company buy a solution like this?
- Need: How badly does the company need a solution for this?
- Authority: Which individuals can make the purchase happen?
- Money: Do they have the funds? How much not solving the problem cost them?
- Timing: What are budget and decision timelines for purchase?
It’s better to gain traction through a marketing channel first, then use sales as a conversion tool to close leads. The next stage is lead qualification: determine how ready a prospect is to buy. Once you’ve qualified the leads, you should lay out exactly what are you going to do for the customer. Set up a timetable for it and get them to commit with a yes or no whether they’re going to buy. Closing leads can be done by a sales team who does a webinar or product demo and has an ongoing email sequence that ends with a purchase request. In other cases, you may need a field sales team that actually visits prospective customers for some part of the process.
A checklist that can help you with sales:
- Remove the need for IT installs
- Free trials
- Channel partners
- Demo videos or Webinars
- Testimonials or case studies
- Email campaigns
- Low introductory price (less than $250/mo for SMB, $10,000 for enterprises)
I removed the last sections because of the post character limit. Here are two:
Most people waste their traffic
Most people are obsessed with traffic. submitted by Project7000-Youtube to Blogging [link] [comments]
But when they get the traffic they do nothing with it!!
At most they get adsense and some rock bottom amazon associate links that pay 2 cents per 100 clicks.
You have to really think about how hard you worked to get this traffic.
Make every visitor count.
Get rid of cheap affiliate programs like the trashy amazon associates (unless you have no choice)
Find higher paying offers
Sell your own digital/physical products
set up Google analytics tracking that will allow you to see how your conversions are doing.
This will make a huge difference to your earnings.
I'll be doing some videos around this topic soon on my youtube channel (link in about section).
My First Project - Month 5
submitted by Bloop5000 to juststart [link] [comments]
This is my journey of starting up my biz/ blog etc. I hope you like it.Here are the entries so far: Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4
**Progress This Month:** Bought 2 more domains ^.^ , haven't done anything with one of them yet, but I plan on using it for something in the future.
The other one I wrote a couple pretty intense articles about Universal Basic Income and am waiting to get out of the sandbox. This month was a rollercoaster lol. I had decided to remove all my high performing content and put them on a more focused domain, so my traffic numbers dropped to basically 5 or 6 users per day. I had kind of given up hope and was about to just trashcan this site and move on to other projects because I thought I had messed this one up too much. Luckily I didn't do that.
I did a random app review and it ended up shooting to rank 1 on Google within 2 days and within a week was bringing me upwards of 900 visitors in a day. So I finally had some days where I made a decent amount of income. I literally went from making under $4 per day to getting over $120 in a single day from 1 post.
This made my GSC graph look really insane lol. The line basically goes straight up.
Unfortunately, the big sites quickly jumped on the opportunity and now I'm back down to only ~300 visitors per day, and only making about $30 in referrals per day. Another annoying thing is it's a pain to withdraw the money. I can only withdraw $50 per day unless I use the balance for gift cards, so even though I'm sitting on like ~$400 worth of referral bonuses, I have only been able to withdraw $170 of it so far. So I'm just going to include the money I have actually received in this months stats. Next month I'll include whatever else I withdraw ;) I also have another ~$50 in referral bonuses waiting to get redeemed from other apps, so that's nice as well. Most of my revenue this month came from the last week of the month, so I'm excited to see what the numbers look like next month. I know my accounting skills need work, but I don't really care, I'm just having a good time :P
A blogger friend challenged me to sell something I own that I didn't need anymore, so I sold an old fishing reel for $50 to a friend. That isn't exactly something super important, especially considering I had to item already, but I'm putting the money into my business anyway, and also counting it as revenue for my self-imposed UBI fund tax. It gives me an excuse to donate more to a good cause :D
The bad news is that all of my tracking is broken except GSC. Even my analytics broke and I've been too lazy to figure it out. I have lots of technical problems on this site BUT it's functioning and doing it's job so I'm trying to get a handle on that.
I am still on the fence about adding my other domains into this study. I am making content for them and trying much harder on them than I do on this site, but I think for now I just want to keep their stats private, until they are worth actually counting up. I'm mostly concerned about the income and strategy more so than the traffic anyway.
I found a cool new source of affiliate income from one of my blogger friends on here, although I haven't gotten any income from it yet, but I like what they are trying to do so I'm testing it out a little.
I also posted some gigs on fiverr for a high price, and got my first potential client. Although I didn't even charge him, I'm just helping him for free because I like this stuff and I like him. BUT he was willing to spend $100 on my blog advice after seeing my GSC stats lol. I had imposter syndrome really badly, but after helping him I realized that what I gave him for free is easily worth much more than $100, so I may be able to start making some income on the side by helping people, we'll see. To me this is more of a comfort zone expansion exercise anyway.
I'm working on some Youtube projects to help drive traffic to my sites/affiliate links as well. I'm finally starting to feel more comfortable with that kind of thing, so hopefully it turns into something.
**Revenue:** Sold a useless fishing reel -$40 profit ($10 was for gas because I delivered it to a friend who is far away) Referral bonuses + $218.30
Total revenue: $258.30
**Expenses:** New Domains - $31.90
Total P/L: $ $226.40
I'm sticking to my previous plan to keep donating 20% of my profits to the UBI fund, even though I am pretty poor and it's frustrating. Fuck it.
**Total UBI Fund Contributions To Date** $19 from last month $45.28 this month
Total UBI fund: $64.28 :]
**Traffic:** Visitors - 4,691 organic search ^.^ (722 last month) Page views - 5,456 (1074 last month, tracking is off apparently because numbers aren't lining up with traffic sources)
**Content:** Blog Articles - 12 new ones on this site, 50 total. (last month I had 38 articles) # of Words Per Article - 1,658 (1927 last month)
**Link Clicks On Website:** My tracking is broken now for some reason. Had 90 people sign up to one app alone, but my stats only say I had about 50 clicks.
I learned a lot this month. I never realized how powerful 1 single post can be if you do it right. That has kind of inspired me to try a lot of different things because it's all starting to click in my head now.
I also learned that you can't take your income for granted. As soon as my income spiked to a full-time income I started planning the Lambo purchase, but I didn't really spend any money because I figured it would go back down once the big boys started smelling profit in the air. That's exactly what happened :P It's a little frustrating that I have to write 2500 word masterpieces and they just have to spam out 300 word drivel and they take all the traffic from the good keywords, but whatever, I know how to work around it.
That's about it for this month. I cant wait for next month's study. Good luck!
Guy who bullied me in high school came to open mat
TL/DR – guy who bullied me in high school came to open mat. He didn’t recognize me, and I took vengeance. submitted by dma202 to bjj [link] [comments]
This is very long, but this was really the most incredible experience, so had to share it here. Some identifying details have been changed.
I’m at my usual weekend open mat, clock buzzes, signaling the end of the first round of the day, and out of the corner of my eye I detect what I can only describe as a sinister presence.
There is a visitor in the gi of another school, a large national affiliation often described here as a cult, finishing some warm-up stretches. A no-stripe white belt. “This is my boy Richie visiting for the weekend,” says one of my teammates, introducing the visitor to another open mat attendee.
I pull off my headgear and squint to get a better look. Could it be…it couldn’t…but it is!
I am in my 40’s now, so this goes back over 30 years, but I was bullied *mercilessly* when I was a high school freshman by a senior named Richie C. As a kid with a November birthday, I probably should have had a redshirt year, because going into 9th grade I was about 5’2, probably 110 pounds, and puberty hadn’t really kicked in yet. Meanwhile, this asshat Richie, who was a tri-captain of the lacrosse team and very popular, was 5’11 and easily 180.
I know pretty much everyone gets bullied at some point in high school, but Richie was merciless. A few “highlights” (I never did figure out why he hated me so much):
-I used to have to ride the same school bus as him every afternoon. Only alternative was a 4 mile walk… this meant that outside of lacrosse season, I was subjected to terrible name calling at least twice a week, which would usually escalate into being held down in the back of the bus and subjected to literal tickle torture and “purple nurples”. This was in the ‘80s before there was an anti-bullying movement, and I pretty much couldn’t get anyone to help me (teachers, parents or other kids).
-On at least 2 occasions, Richie wrote nasty hand-written notes to teachers and signed my name to them. Things like “Mrs. Andrews, you have a great rack.” I was getting called into the Principal having to explain myself for things I didn’t do! I know it was Richie because he whispered in my ear one day “how did you like my notes.”
-One terrible day after gym class, Richie actually locked me in a locker and put a padlock on it. It took 5 minutes before someone heard me screaming, and another 10 before a custodian could get there with bolt cutters. Traumatized me for life. I could go on and on.
Looking over at Richie, it is *unmistakably* him. The years have not been kind to him – his hair is all grey, he looks like he has seen a hard winter or three, and he has what can best be described as a “dad bod” instead of the athletic physique I remember too well. But it is the same guy. Same stupid facial expression like an angry ferret. Same protruding jaw and pig-like nose. Same stupid crew cut. And same stupid mole on his cheek. A tide of emotion washes over me as I think back to my days as a helpless freshman.
Essentially, at this point, I see red. This is the rare opportunity, usually only seen in movies and literature, to avenge a past wrong with one’s own hands. I make my way over to Richie, and as one of the few white belts at the open mat ask him (as nonchalantly as possible, but my heart was in my throat) “hey man, want to roll”?
Sure, he mumbles, in that same stupid cadence I remember all too well. He looks at me, and I detect maybe some faint recognition in his eye, but he doesn’t seem to be able to place me. 30+ years have gone by, after all.
Now I am not a world beater at BJJ, I am a 3 stripe white belt. But I train hard, usually 3x per week, and have competed several times with decent results. Blue belt probably not too far away. I am also pretty strong, I did eventually hit puberty and have put in my share of time in the weight room. These days, am a solid 5’11, 200. I have benched 265 and squatted 385. If I use strength, I could hurt someone.
We start from the knees and slap / bump.
Basically, fellow redditors, riding on a wave of emotion, I had the roll of my life. Everything I tried worked, and I inflicted maximum pain and humiliation along the way.
-Starting from knees, started off with a simple sweep grabbing his lapel with one hand, opposite side knee with the other, and stretching him out using my head as a battering ram. Transitioned to side control where I crossed his face and applied *hard* shoulder pressure. Then went to knee on belly, and I pulled on the back of his head for a good 10 seconds to inflict maximum pain. Transitioned back to side control and then sat through to kesa gatame, where I got him to tap to chest pressure pretty much like Josh Barnett on Dean Lister. The noises Richie made were precious.
-Starting in his closed guard, can opened the crap out of him, dug my elbows into his thighs hard, went with the log splitter knee right in the middle super hard, knee sliced to side control, then from side control wrapped his opposite side arm in his own lapel, twisting his nipple hard when I grabbed his lapel, before finishing with a hard Americana.
-Starting in my closed guard, scissor sweeping the f out of him (he went flying), transitioning to side control, then hard knee on belly, followed by a fast and hard spinning armbar (posting hard on his head with a closed fist in the process) after he pushed my knee like the sucker that he is. Hearing Richie whimper was a balm to my soul.
-In the final second, got to high mount, thwarted all of his lame upa attempts, and actually reached back with one hand to tickle him before doing an Ezekiel at 100 miles an hour. I respected the tap, but just barely.
The roll ended all too soon. Oh, the catharsis! But, the last submission where I tickled him had really pissed him off.
“What the F*** man? Why are you rolling at an open mat like it’s the F**** mundials? And what are you doing tickling me?”
My rejoinder: “Sucks to be helpless, right? Kind of takes me back to Mr. Collins’ gym class and those days on the school bus”
A shocked appearance comes over his face. “What”? He stupidly asks.
“Lower Merion High School, Richie. Pennsylvania. I’ve grown up a lot since then.”
I’ll never forget his response:
“My name is Rickey. I went to high school in Florida.”
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