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EXECUTION Rock Bottom. Goal: £0 -> £500pm

silentjay

Contributor
Feb 14, 2013
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This months earnings so far: £5.37
Yesterdays earnings: £0.00


I closed my last business down about a year ago, online business in the finance sector. Was a flash in the pan thing, only ran for about 2 years. Made a decent amount of money though. However the cost to acquire each customer was rising every day until I was spending £1 to earn £1, all the low hanging fruit had already been taken by me and my competitors. I had to shut it down.

Haven't earnt a penny since then. Tried a few other ideas but haven't got any traction. Been living on savings from the good times. Those savings are coming to a end. I've got my largest bill rent covered and am living very lean. Need to earn about £500 p/m to cover my basic costs though. Obviously this is just a short term goal to keep me afloat.

I've moved into affiliate marketing. Few months ago built a large web app (i'm an experience web /mobile app developer) to help people find shopping deals monetised with affiliate links. Got it live and switched to marketing it but it's tough long grind, can't afford to do paid advertising as it would never make any ROI. I think my only chances are to concentrate on SEO and continue building Facebook groups around it to channel visitors to it. With the small bit of data I've got so far and some back of the napkin maths I reckon I'd need 1,000 - 2,000 visitors a day to earn the £20 a day I need to keep my head above water. Massive uphill climb considering I'm getting maybe 10 a day atm! There's only one competitor very similar to mine and they get over 700k visits a month, but have been around years, least I know there's a market.

From today I'll also be starting a digital marketing agency, focusing on the affiliate side of things. I've had experience of the industry for well over a decade, on both sides as a publisher and merchant, I think I could bring a lot of value to businesses who could really benefit from it but need someone to hold their hand. Especially SME's who probably don't have a digital marketing manager or if they do it's a 20 year old girl who only knows about FB ads and instagram.
 

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Roli

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"can't afford to do paid advertising as it would never make any ROI."

That doesn't sound right? Surely your 700k competitor advertises?

Why did you get into this particular niche, apart from the low competition? I'm kind of getting that you're not that enthusiastic about it.

"From today I'll also be starting a digital marketing agency, focusing on the affiliate side of things. I've had experience of the industry for well over a decade, on both sides as a publisher and merchant, I think I could bring a lot of value to businesses"

Why not bring that value to your own business first?

Sounds like you're at a crossroads, take your time, get some focus, make a decision, then act.
 
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silentjay

Contributor
Feb 14, 2013
72
58
55
39
This months earnings so far: £5.37
Yesterdays earnings: £0.00

Progress reading Unscripted: 8%

Noticed my bounce rate has shot up to 80-100%. Not much point trying to figure out why when I'm still only getting 10 visitors a day i.e. "no point polishing a turd". Will do another SEO audit today. Going to also start fleshing out the digital marketing agency idea and creating a project in Todoist.

One thing I've found super helpful doing the last few months is a morning ritual. Really sets the day up for me. Here's a sample the tasks I do every morning stacked together before hitting my power list:

  • Inbox zero (don't use email as a secondary todo list. Any emails which need processing are added to my todo list)
  • Check calendar
  • Floss + Waterpik (you only get on set of teeth, look after them)
  • Take vitamins (fish oil - cure all, vitamin d/c)
  • 7 min workout while listening to podcast (MFCEO, Jocko Willink...)
  • Make bed (Excellence in all things. If I can't even make my bed in the morning how could I run a large business?)
  • Read 10 pages of book (business/self dev)
  • Record weight (what gets measured gets managed)
  • Do my due anki flash cards (I'm bad with names and I think it's an important skill to have in business)
Amazing how much of effect doing this every morning has on my productivity.
 

Roli

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jun 3, 2015
1,369
2,135
570
This months earnings so far: £5.37
Yesterdays earnings: £0.00
Progress reading Unscripted: 8%

Noticed my bounce rate has shot up to 80-100%. Not much point trying to figure out why when I'm still only getting 10 visitors a day i.e. "no point polishing a turd". Will do another SEO audit today. Going to also start fleshing out the digital marketing agency idea and creating a project in Todoist.

One thing I've found super helpful doing the last few months is a morning ritual. Really sets the day up for me. Here's a sample the tasks I do every morning stacked together before hitting my power list:

  • Inbox zero (don't use email as a secondary todo list. Any emails which need processing are added to my todo list)
  • Check calendar
  • Floss + Waterpik (you only get on set of teeth, look after them)
  • Take vitamins (fish oil - cure all, vitamin d/c)
  • 7 min workout while listening to podcast (MFCEO, Jocko Willink...)
  • Make bed (Excellence in all things. If I can't even make my bed in the morning how could I run a large business?)
  • Read 10 pages of book (business/self dev)
  • Record weight (what gets measured gets managed)
  • Do my due anki flash cards (I'm bad with names and I think it's an important skill to have in business)
Amazing how much of effect doing this every morning has on my productivity.
So why did you get into this niche? I'm just interested, because you seem so un-enthused about it.

Ritual is good, however make sure you're not just procrastinating; do you really need to look at your emails every morning? My guess is no (I check about once a fortnight, if that).

Why do you need to weigh yourself every morning; are you on a diet? If not, I can't see what the point of doing this is, apart from to procrastinate.

So after this list, what does your day look like?
 
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silentjay

Contributor
Feb 14, 2013
72
58
55
39
"can't afford to do paid advertising as it would never make any ROI."

That doesn't sound right? Surely your 700k competitor advertises?

Why did you get into this particular niche, apart from the low competition? I'm kind of getting that you're not that enthusiastic about it.

"From today I'll also be starting a digital marketing agency, focusing on the affiliate side of things. I've had experience of the industry for well over a decade, on both sides as a publisher and merchant, I think I could bring a lot of value to businesses"

Why not bring that value to your own business first?

Sounds like you're at a crossroads, take your time, get some focus, make a decision, then act.
Thanks for the reply. From research my competitor gets 80% of their traffic direct (mostly via email sign ups and bookmarks) 10% search engines and 10% referral. They've been around a long time so have been able to build up to that but it looks like they got linked to from some big sites (newspapers) early on. This is really the only way I could think of using paid marketing, buying links i.e. advertorials but doubt I could afford that atm. What are your thoughts?

I'm very enthusiastic about it, during development I was working on it from the moment I got up until bed for months. Had to force myself to stop development and switch to marketing. I just don't see any easy way to start getting any traction (visits) with it over a short time scale, which admittedly makes me disheartened. The idea with the digital marketing agency is that I could actually bypass being reliant on SEO/paid search, start emailing/cold calling business and get some money coming in a quicker time scale to put bread on the table.
 
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silentjay

Contributor
Feb 14, 2013
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39
So why did you get into this niche? I'm just interested, because you seem so un-enthused about it.

Ritual is good, however make sure you're not just procrastinating; do you really need to look at your emails every morning? My guess is no (I check about once a fortnight, if that).

Why do you need to weigh yourself every morning; are you on a diet? If not, I can't see what the point of doing this is, apart from to procrastinate.

So after this list, what does your day look like?
Spot on am aware of pitfall of doing the little tasks which don't have much importance as a way to procrastinate on the big important stuff as have fallen into it a few times. Yup am currently on a diet, I change the morning ritual up to keep it relevant. There are often things I need to work on for that day in email (sentry telling me my app is blowing up/someones ddos the server). It takes me less than 30 seconds to go through all the emails archiving and then adding ones which need actioning to my todo list.

My day in order is:
1. Morning Routine (takes about 30-40mins)
2. Power list (3-5 important tasks which need doing today no exceptions, nothing else is done until these are started. make sure it's the stuff I would normally procrastinate on i.e. the most important stuff)
3. Today's tasks (tasks less important than the power list but ideally need to be done today)
4. Daily routines (if I have time, cleaning etc all automatic lower value repeating tasks)

Don't start the next set until the first is finished to make sure I "eat my frog". Use todoist to keep track of everything.

Am very interested in the niche, building large scale apps and lots experience with affiliate marketing so this was a good pick. Just knocks you back a bit when you've got something which gives a lot of value to people (saving money and getting one over on retailers) but no easy way to get it out there.
 

GoGetter24

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What's the conversion rate on what few leads you do get, and how much does a conversion make?

It's not sounding like you're hitting a compelling need. Is your product distinguished in some way from that competitor's, that customers also want?

If you can't afford to advertise it, it means it's not an offer that converts, and you need to fix that. You say it has good value; so why aren't people paying good value for it? If people were paying for it, there'd be profits to reinvest in ads. Even if you're only starting with tiny adwords spends to begin with.

And since we're no-nonsense here: that list making, including things like "make my bed", is classic action faking. You need to focus on one single thing everyday, and that's making an offer that converts. Your anki flashcards are not addressing that singular bottleneck that's putting your livelihood in jeopardy, so they should play no part in your day.
 
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silentjay

Contributor
Feb 14, 2013
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39
What's the conversion rate on what few leads you do get, and how much does a conversion make?

It's not sounding like you're hitting a compelling need. Is your product distinguished in some way from that competitor's, that customers also want?

If you can't afford to advertise it, it means it's not an offer that converts, and you need to fix that. You say it has good value; so why aren't people paying good value for it? If people were paying for it, there'd be profits to reinvest in ads. Even if you're only starting with tiny adwords spends to begin with.
With the small amount of data I've got so far the EPC (per click not per 100 clicks) per visitors who clicks on an affiliate link is between £0.05 - £0.10. The percentage of visitors who click a link is 25%.

The market is large, but there's only 2 which are in this particular niche within that, me and my competitor, who gets a crap load of traffic, most recurring, so seems to me there's a need. I'm not selling an offer direct or my own, hence the inability to pay for traffic as I wouldn't ever capture the whole value of that sale, only a tiny percentage. Also most affiliate campaigns forbid you from competing with them on paid traffic, so even if it did make financial sense (it doesn't) I'd soon be kicked out of any campaigns.
 

GoGetter24

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Oct 8, 2017
571
1,113
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Various
The market is large, but there's only 2 which are in this particular niche within that, me and my competitor, who gets a crap load of traffic, most recurring, so seems to me there's a need. I'm not selling an offer direct or my own, hence the inability to pay for traffic as I wouldn't ever capture the whole value of that sale, only a tiny percentage. Also most affiliate campaigns forbid you from competing with them on paid traffic, so even if it did make financial sense (it doesn't) I'd soon be kicked out of any campaigns.
You're basically illustrating the problem.

Is there anything the competitor doesn't do well? Remember that business returns follow a power law. Going head to head with them needs similar scale, and therefore capital and a team, and you don't have that. There has to be something differentiating you from them, in a way tangible and noticeable to the customers needs, or they'll continue to get all the money, and you none of it.

If you're starting out, you need to nail one poorly met need, and if that works you can expand out from there. Think of how Amazon started just with dominating books, before they started expanding into other media, and then into everything; or how Facebook first dominated the Harvard campus, and then Campuses generally, and then US, and then world; or Paypal started by dominating payments on eBay; etc.

When you target that whole space, with an established large competitor, multiple things are going against your favor. They already have all the economies of scale, they will rank first in SERP, they can afford all the paid advertising they want, people know about them, etc. If you can find a specific gap to exploit, you save money with cheaper tail & targeted ads, you can realistically rank a SERP, you can stand out, and you can charge higher prices for whatever your offer is as it's specialized & you're the 'expert' of it. So probably needs some supply-demand hole research within that space.
 
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silentjay

Contributor
Feb 14, 2013
72
58
55
39
This months earnings so far: £5.37
Yesterdays earnings: £0.00

Progress reading Unscripted: 10%

It's the weekend, bit slow off the blocks and had an extra hour in bed, but am back at the grind, no days off. A big changing point in my life was a few months ago decided I would no longer go out drinking. Would go out every Saturday and get tanked up, chasing bar and club ratbags. Did this for years sadly. Sundays would be a write off and even Mondays wouldn't be too rosy. Shame to think of the opportunities I missed because of effectively losing 2 days in a week but onwards and upwards. Lost a few friends also refusing to go out anymore but so be it.

Building a data driven micro site/app today. Won't be making money on this but it's in the same lane as my main site retail and will hopefully funnel some traffic back to my main money site. Giving myself 24 hours to get it built and live.
 

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