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EXECUTION If at first you don't succeed...

silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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Been a few years since I closed my last venture down. Was profitable, built up a small nest egg, however every day costs were increasing, had reached maximum scale without employing locals which would have ate up profit (overhead walks on 2 feet), it was taking up every waking moment of my day even after automating every last thing.

Haven't had much luck since then, tried lots of different avenues. However hope springs eternal so I'm continuing to plug away.

Live but inactive projects:
  • Amazon affiliate site - This is actually a small Django web app, brings in hardly any money, few £ per month. It's automated but not worth renewing the domain so will let the domain expire.
  • Product affiliate site & mobile app - Another Django web app, very large this time, gigs of data and 3 servers. Doesn't bring in much, maybe £30 or so month. Not enough money in it for paid advertising and it's organic traffic is sod all. Been going about 2 years. It's automated so will let it run till it breaks.
  • Holiday affiliate web app/mobile app - Technically finished, need to market it. Problem with this one is it takes a lot of manual work per day to update, need to figure out automation as I just don't have the time. Could outsource it but haven't got the money.
Active projects:
  • Consumer niche affiliate FB page + website (another app) + android app - My main revenue generator. Been going about a year. Is taking up about 30 mins a day of my time. Most money is from the FB page. Was growing month on month to about £400 a month 2 months ago. Then revenue dropped off a cliff face. Down to around £100 last 30 days. I reckon there's been another FB algo change. Not enough ROI to grow the page using paid advertising. Website doesn't get much organic traffic nor the mobile app. Am pivoting and turning the website into a shop and will be promoting dropshipped products with higher returns instead of affiliate products. If that doesn't make it worth while will let it all die. I've well and truly flogged this horse.
  • Affiliate fashion tool/web app - Another Django web app aimed at fashionistas. Haven't released it yet. It's quite a large project so chipping away at it an hour or two a day. Don't see it being finished for months as it's technically quite challenging. This will be my last ever affiliate site.
  • Dropshipping - Haven't started this yet but planning on building a system to create stores rapidly on my own servers either using saleor or spree, dropshipping products from aliexpress/ebay, using paid traffic such as FB ads.
 
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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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Previous 30 Days Gross Earnings: £186.39
Current Last 30 Days Gross Earnings: £71.67

Income continues to fall off a cliff, worse than when I started in the first 30 days with 10 FB page likes and zero visits to website. Due to the FB algo changes, organic reach of my FB business pages dropping. Continuing to scale any FB related work down. Cancelled paid buffer account.

Active Projects Updates
  • Consumer niche affiliate FB page/website/android app - Continuing to ramp down affiliate links and ramp up dropshipped offerings on own shop. Using unique offerings on ebay/etsy in the £5-£20 then adding 50% margin on top.
  • Affiliate fashion tool/web app - Chipping away at code. Maybe 60% done.
  • Dropshipping - Going to set up a saleor install today, if that doesn't offer what i'm looking for will test Spree commerce. Idea i'm going for is to build a system and templates where I can rapidly create new stores (mostly one product) and ads (mostly FB) within minutes to test new products sourced from aliexpress/etsy/ebay etc.
 
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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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Had non-business commitments today so not much progress.

Active Projects Updates
  • Consumer niche affiliate - Not a single dropshipped shop sale as yet. Affiliate revenue continues to drop. Deleted a load of FB business pages which I was intending on growing but see now it's pretty much a fools errand.
  • Affiliate fashion tool/web app - Still coding.
  • Dropshipping Microsites - Tested Spree and Saleor. Sprees multi-store feature looked promising only to find it's half baked. Documentation for Spree is also poor so am going with Saleor and hopefully I can bend it to my needs.
Decided to shut down the consumer product affiliate site & mobile app I've got this evening, it's running the background on auto-pilot but not even covering the server costs. It's been running 2 years but hasn't gone anywhere. Need to keep narrowing my focus on better projects and admit this ones been a failure.

Another thing, been working on my discipline. Been blocking lots of distracting websites last few days, been going well, news sites, twatter, pointless forums etc. Combination of using the ISP's blocker, editing my hosts file and chrome app. Also installed a youtube distraction remover chrome extension which hides related vids, home page feed etc. Tried removing the YT app off Android phone, see you can't remove it, very insidious, nice one Google.
 
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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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Active Projects Updates
  • Consumer niche affiliate - Taking me an hour a day yet only made £70 last 30 days. Haven't had a single store sale, using Ecwid to inject the shop into my existing site. Noticed I have however had one abandoned cart, so at least that's something I guess.
  • Affiliate fashion tool/web app - Still coding.
  • Dropshipping Microsites - Need to get a working copy of Saleor running on my machine today. I could just skip all this and use shopify/ecwid but I'm intending on building a lot of 1 page stores, can't afford at this point to pay £20+ per month per store when I assume the majority aren't going to make any money.
 

itsmalcolmhere

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Jun 12, 2019
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Hi Jay, I've read your post. Im not familiar with the affiliate programs as i don't involve myself in it. As for Dropshipping, may i have an understanding, why Spree or Saleor?
 
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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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Hi Jay, I've read your post. Im not familiar with the affiliate programs as i don't involve myself in it. As for Dropshipping, may i have an understanding, why Spree or Saleor?
I intend on building lots of mostly single product stores, keeping the ones that work and throwing away the ones which don't, automating as much of this as possible. Then just go in and make small display changes, logos, colours etc, I'd rather spend bit longer building a system at the start rather than have to do the same donkey work for each store. I'll be able to run one command using an automation tool like Fabric and everything gets setup automagically...domain, email, app created, products and images imported etc

Regards to why Spree or Saleor, they looked like the best open source candidates, modern and two of the most popular, plus open source so I can make any modifications as necessary.
 

itsmalcolmhere

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Jun 12, 2019
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I intend on building lots of mostly single product stores, keeping the ones that work and throwing away the ones which don't, automating as much of this as possible. Then just go in and make small display changes, logos, colours etc, I'd rather spend bit longer building a system at the start rather than have to do the same donkey work for each store. I'll be able to run one command using an automation tool like Fabric and everything gets setup automagically...domain, email, app created, products and images imported etc

Regards to why Spree or Saleor, they looked like the best open source candidates, modern and two of the most popular, plus open source so I can make any modifications as necessary.
interesting! hmm, so have you consider trying using the ones that you're not using, to upsell instead? might be able to scale. may i understand the rational of building a system, will it improve the sales?

sounds like you love having to work the website yourself HAHAHA i kinda like things that are automated for me
 
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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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interesting! hmm, so have you consider trying using the ones that you're not using, to upsell instead? might be able to scale. may i understand the rational of building a system, will it improve the sales?

sounds like you love having to work the website yourself HAHAHA i kinda like things that are automated for me
Not heard of upsell, do you have a link?

Rational of building a system is that i'll be able to bang out stores and test the market rapidly while building a store which is designed exactly how I want it, without having to repeat my self over and over again. Make a change with one store, all those changes are propagated to every other store you have. Try doing that in Shopify!

I'm a web developer, it'll be much easier to build a project like this rather than mess around with contractors who'll need training, monitoring, fixing mistakes etc. And the stores like Saleor all the hard work is done anyway, it's not like i'm building a e-commerce site from scratch!
 

itsmalcolmhere

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Jun 12, 2019
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Not heard of upsell, do you have a link?

Rational of building a system is that i'll be able to bang out stores and test the market rapidly while building a store which is designed exactly how I want it, without having to repeat my self over and over again. Make a change with one store, all those changes are propagated to every other store you have. Try doing that in Shopify!

I'm a web developer, it'll be much easier to build a project like this rather than mess around with contractors who'll need training, monitoring, fixing mistakes etc. And the stores like Saleor all the hard work is done anyway, it's not like i'm building a e-commerce site from scratch!
you can try 'clickfunnel' or googling sales funnel. there'll be lots of details why you should be having a funnel.

when you mentioned those changes will be propagated to other store, did you tried it?

i see! that explained why all the work! :D
 
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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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you can try 'clickfunnel' or googling sales funnel. there'll be lots of details why you should be having a funnel.

when you mentioned those changes will be propagated to other store, did you tried it?

i see! that explained why all the work! :D
Ah sorry misunderstood you, thought you meant there was some store software out there called "upsell" lol
 

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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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Active Projects Updates
  • Consumer niche FB page affiliate/dropship store - Still no dropship sales. Going to reduce FB posts down to 5 per day.
  • Affiliate fashion tool/web app - Still coding.
  • Dropshipping Microsites - Going to sack Saleor off, it's dependant on loads of other apps, redis, celery, postgresql etc. Decided i'm going to dance with the devil instead i.e. Wordpress + woocommerce. Just need to get something up and running fast and cheap.
 

itsmalcolmhere

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 12, 2019
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Active Projects Updates
  • Consumer niche FB page affiliate/dropship store - Still no dropship sales. Going to reduce FB posts down to 5 per day.
  • Affiliate fashion tool/web app - Still coding.
  • Dropshipping Microsites - Going to sack Saleor off, it's dependant on loads of other apps, redis, celery, postgresql etc. Decided i'm going to dance with the devil instead i.e. Wordpress + woocommerce. Just need to get something up and running fast and cheap.
try building a good website and learn fb ads. maybe it'll helps, it dont take overnight for you to see results unless the foundation is well built. Consumer niche FB page affiliate/dropship store - how much are you investing in this at the moment?
 

Ojizy

New Contributor
Jun 25, 2019
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Previous 30 Days Gross Earnings: £186.39
Current Last 30 Days Gross Earnings: £71.67

Income continues to fall off a cliff, worse than when I started in the first 30 days with 10 FB page likes and zero visits to website. Due to the FB algo changes, organic reach of my FB business pages dropping. Continuing to scale any FB related work down. Cancelled paid buffer account.

Active Projects Updates
  • Consumer niche affiliate FB page/website/android app - Continuing to ramp down affiliate links and ramp up dropshipped offerings on own shop. Using unique offerings on ebay/etsy in the £5-£20 then adding 50% margin on top.
  • Affiliate fashion tool/web app - Chipping away at code. Maybe 60% done.
  • Dropshipping - Going to set up a saleor install today, if that doesn't offer what i'm looking for will test Spree commerce. Idea i'm going for is to build a system and templates where I can rapidly create new stores (mostly one product) and ads (mostly FB) within minutes to test new products sourced from aliexpress/etsy/ebay etc.
Why not get data and retargeting the lookalike audience
 

maverick

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Hi Silentjay,

Good work on getting started and trying things. You remind me of myself when I was involved in affiliate marketing years ago and just wanted to pass along my learnings:

  • Affiliate marketing does not help build a sustainable (and sellable) business. It is perceived as 'quick and easy' money however more times than not it will lead you to spending a lot of time to make pennies (and ultimately make someone else rich).
  • First focus should be on setting up a venture that generates money/profit and that you will know how to grow/scale. Once you have a working process, then automate. Not the other way around.
  • I used to throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks. This doesn't work though. Focusing on 1 venture for a sustained period of time, growing it steadily, understanding it more and more each day will be much, much more profitable in the end.
  • Find 1 product AND 1 channel only and master that.
 
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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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Why not get data and retargeting the lookalike audience
Good idea, the FB page is about 7k likes should be able to get a good lookalike audience from it. I tried boosting a post for one of my dropshipped items to my FB audience, didn't go anywhere however. I don't think having a store embedding into an existing large site (using an ecwid widget) is ideal for sales, need to spin it off onto it's own domain.

Hi Silentjay,

Good work on getting started and trying things. You remind me of myself when I was involved in affiliate marketing years ago and just wanted to pass along my learnings:

  • Affiliate marketing does not help build a sustainable (and sellable) business. It is perceived as 'quick and easy' money however more times than not it will lead you to spending a lot of time to make pennies (and ultimately make someone else rich).
  • First focus should be on setting up a venture that generates money/profit and that you will know how to grow/scale. Once you have a working process, then automate. Not the other way around.
  • I used to throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks. This doesn't work though. Focusing on 1 venture for a sustained period of time, growing it steadily, understanding it more and more each day will be much, much more profitable in the end.
  • Find 1 product AND 1 channel only and master that.
Great advice. Completely agree with you about affiliate marketing, you're doing all that work to make someone else rich vs selling your own product/dropshipping/your own affiliate products. The fashion affiliate site i'm working on will be the last affiliate site for me. I'd bin it right now but I'm half way through and don't want to sack off all the work.

Agreed, have been throwing a lot of shit against the wall, too many projects going nowhere. Been ruthless last week or so shutting down projects going nowhere.

I'm down to
  • 1 amazon affiliate app which is on full autopilot (0 hours per week) however only brings in maybe £5 per week. If it breaks I'll bin it rather than fix it.
  • The consumer niche FB page/website/mobile app - all set up, takes 40 mins per day roughly to maintain. I'm moving over to dropshipping from affiliate earnings. However if I'm unable to get a sale in the next week or two i'll be binning it.
  • Fashion affiliate site, 1 hour a day coding, need to see this through to the bitter end.
  • Dropshipping microsites, advertised via fb/instagram - where I see the future. Focus of my current efforts.
 
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silentjay

Contributor
Feb 14, 2013
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Previous Last 30 days Earnings: £168.65
Current Last 30 days Earnings:
£68.84 :rage:

Updates
  • Consumer niche FB page affiliate/dropship store - Still no dropship sales. Continue to reduce amount of affiliate links I share.
  • Affiliate fashion tool/web app - Still coding 1-2 hours a day.
  • Dropshipping Microsites - Finally got a new server up and running for WP installs as there was no way I was going to have a security risk such as WP on the same server as my other sites.
    Found a nice app which does all the heavy lifting when spinning up a new WP instance called EasyEngine. Set up a multi site WP instance. Going to build a boiler plate woocommerce store, same plugins, theme etc so I can keep what works and throw away what doesn't.
 
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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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Good news had my first dropship sale on the weekend from a store page on the companion site to my FB page. Am positive about the dropshiping microsites am still setting up.
 
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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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Had another dropship sale yesterday from the rubbish ecwid store widget. If I can get sales from that then I can only imagine the potential with a custom high conversion set up.

Continuing to build a Wordpress + woocommerce system. So many plugins to configure + theme modification.
 
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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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Dam I've decided to sack wordpress/woocommerce off and go back to the drawing board. I'm just constantly fighting everything, wordpress, woocommerce, plugins, themes.

All I want is a simple sequence: landing page -> product page -> checkout page -> upsell -> downsell. I don't need all the e-commerce functionality of woocommerce and a simple paypal express implementation would do the trick and push the orders to an external order management system.

Going to build it from the ground up in Django. Reckon it'll take me 2 weeks and will definitely be worth having a streamlined custom made setup for 1 product dropshipping rather than hacking wordpress/woocommerce and plugin hell.
 

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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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Progress on the dropshipping multi-store system I'm building from scratch is moving along much quicker than I thought. Most the meat is already there now on the landing and product page. Need to implement a simple cart solution and do the checkout/upsell pages.

Does anyone know a good free/low cost order management system? If I can't find one I'll just use the django admin area for the time being until I can sort out something a little more sophisticated.
 
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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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Still rapid progress on the dropshipping multi-site system, even building split testing into the heart of it. Reckon I'll be done by next week. Am setting up PayPal Checkout which greatly simplifies the payment side of things for me.
 
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silentjay

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Feb 14, 2013
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Got knocked off my stride last week or so. Not a great deal of progress has been made. Getting back into the swing of things now though.

Dropshipping app I'm developing works, got Paypal Checkout working. However I still need to implement product variants functionality.

My existing site has now been changed from affiliate based to dropshipping. Frontpage is now a store.
 

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