It’s time for a quick recap of January!
After attending Affiliate World Asia in Bangkok in December, I decided to live in Chiang Mai (in the North of Thailand) for an undefined period of time.
I stayed there already 2 months last year and it turned out to be a great place to focus on work since there is very little distraction.
I have been planning some big changes these past few months and the extra focus I’m getting here is particularly useful.
Here’s what happened in January
After living for 3 weeks in Chiang Mai, I moved back to Manila, Philippines during the last week of January.
I lived in several cities in different countries for the past 8 years and I can say without a doubt that Manila is where Home is at the moment.
It’s funny to realize how comfortable you are living in a place only after you leave for a while.
That being said, I’m back at home and I love every minute of it.
What I’ve been focusing on
Work has been extremely challenging during January.
First of all, as I was explaining last month, traffic to my main affiliate site hes been decreasing every single day, like clockwork.
This is quite frustrating since I didn’t make any big change to the site that could explain a penalty, and since the change is happening steadily over time, it doesn’t look at all like a penalty that would have a dramatic effect overnight.
Instead of fighting that uphill battle, I’ve decided to leave this site on its own for a few months until things either settle a bit, or it completely crashes.
We’ll see how it goes in the future.
Software as a Service
This project didn’t go as planned, at all.
I initially developed this tool for a friend who needed it to run his affiliate campaigns. And I really insisted with him before I started doing the coding to make sure he was not going to back down once the work is done.
He assured me several times that he would have no problem paying North of $500 per month for this tool, and that he could refer some other users who do the same kind of marketing.
That “friend” turned out to be a deadbeat: he completely let me down after I spent the time writing all the code myself. He paid me only a few hundred dollars, once, and never referred anyone.
Word of advice: never do any work for your friends unless you’re paid upfront.
I am now facing a dilema: either I spend time promoting the tool, without any insurance that it will be worth my time, or I kill the project and move onto other ventures.
Ecom, here I come
Finally! I got started with ecommerce.
After weighting in the pros and cons of Amazon FBA and Shopify, I decided to start my own store with Shopify.
The learning curve has been pretty steep so far, but I love it. I’m learning a lot of new things every day, and I can see things improving week after week.
One mistake that I made right off the batt was trying to start 2 stores at the same time: 1 general store, and 1 niche store.
It’s simply taking me too much time at this point to make any change since I am in the learning phase. So after only a week, I killed the niche store to focus on the general store full time.
Let’s be clear, I don’t expect this project to be making money any time soon. Right now I’m spending money on advertising and learning the whole process.
I’ll be lucky if I start making money before 3 or 4 months.
What about the money?
Here is a breakdown of the money flow for my various projects.
To make this report easier to understand, I’m using a simple color code: green numbers are positive, red numbers are negative.
Please keep in mind that these figures may not be 100% accurate due to various factors such as refund requests and network adjustments. The terms for each payment may also vary. As a result these numbers may differ from the actual payments issued and received.
|Niche Sites||$1,758.08||▼ $1,900.96|
|Viral Sites||$26.50||▼ $29.60|
|Cost of Goods||-$399.48||-/-|
This is the first of several months of painful losses.
I’m spending a decent amount of money on Facebook ads at the moment. This is a normal process as I am collecting data to run more efficient campaigns in the future.
A lot of people would start to freak out in a similar situation because our brains are wired to be risk-averse.
But I happen to know that it’s almost impossible to skip through that part when you’re learning the whole system.
What’s happening next?
I don’t want to lose too much money so I need to be careful how I spend my time.
It would be easy to launch 100 new products on my site and hope for the best, but it’s a good way to shoot yourself in the foot.
Either you set a budget that is too small for each product and you fail to get data that is statistically significant, or you burn through all your cash and you end up broke.
February will most likely be focused on improving the on-site factors to improve my revenue without increasing my spending too much.
See you next month!