What 2019 Holds – Looking Towards The Future
2019 is finally here and as I reflect on the past year, I wanted to do a blog post to kick off some focus on this blog. I have not actually written one of these since December 31st 2015 (http://www.passive.marketing/what-2016-holds-for-passive-marketing/) on my old blog. After reading through that post, it is incredibly weird how things can change in such a short amount of time.
My first goal for 2016 was to finally release my first SaaS product…
Fast forward a year later, and I met a guy from across the globe from me who has released other softwares and plugins with his own team. After some talk and planning, we are ready to begin finally making the product.
Nine months later, Todor (my business partner) and I released that software. We grew it into the largest software for Print-on-Demand sellers, specifically focusing on the Merch by Amazon niche. That software is called Merch Informer and it has been a journey that completely changed my outlook on internet marketing.
My bread and butter before software has always been affiliate sites. I know what works, what doesn’t and how to rank content. Outsourcing that content is something I became VERY good at to push large numbers of published words each and every week. When it came to content marketing for this specific software niche, it became a LOT harder. You see, most people are familiar with topics such as fitness/finance/parenting/diet because these are often times a part of everyday life. When it came to a brand new industry (Amazon Merch Print-on-Demand) the pool of writers shrunk to almost zero. At the beginning, not many people actually knew what they were doing, so how would I hire them to create content? I was one of the only people in the beginning who understood how the research/listing/selling process worked on Amazon and was able to quickly grow because of it. CNBC actually did a piece on us so you know that I am telling the truth.
This forced me to write all the content myself, and I quickly learned two things. First, content is a LOT easier to write when you know the subject inside and out. Second, creating long form content that goes over every little detail or concern from your reader ends up ranking for EVERYTHING. We have all heard that content is “king” but after I actually started creating it myself, I found that to actually be the case (surprising right?). Over 2 years later and 250,000+ words written, I have finally started to get burnt out. It is a good thing there are a lot more people in this industry now that I can easily hire someone to continue where I left off. That being said, I did not publish any fluff content at all. Every article is specific, actionable and relatable. If you spend your time filling your site with fluff articles, your readers will get bored and your metrics will look like trash.
Because I spent all of my waking time working on this software business, most of the other goals listed in my last post linked above failed. I did manage to make more than $4,000 per month with my T-shirt business and currently do much more than that. Outside of that, because it wasn’t related to POD (Print-on Demand), I completely ignored my other goals.
I didn’t build out any massive authority sites (if you do not count Merch Informer), I did not increase FBA profits to $50,000 per month (in fact, I stopped selling via FBA), and I did not manage to buy my first rental property or deadlift 4 plates. All of this is just fine by me. Life changed, business changed, and I pivoted.
For 2019, I have some large goals to accomplish to keep moving forward.
Goals For 2019
Release Second/Third SaaS Product
Over the past few years, I have found my true passion is actually software and making people’s lives easier.
How many times have you become frustrated with something in your life and thought to yourself “there HAS to be an easier way to do this!”. This happens to me every day and is always frustrating. That was, until I realized if I had a problem, other people probably did as well. Software is the solution to a lot of these issues. Software can help you save time, it can help you gather data to make the right decisions, and if used correctly, can help you make more money in your business.
While customers can sometimes be a pain, there is really no greater feeling than someone appreciating what you have done for their business with the tools you have created. This is why, in 2019, my main focus will be on releasing new software products.
I have learned along the way that building up a project from scratch is HARD. It sometimes feels like the entire space is against you, and you are constantly battling uphill to gain ground. We did manage to succeed in gathering an audience, so our focus for the new products will be in the same overarching niche of E-commerce.
A lot of software providers like to repackage what they already have and resell it under a different name/package. Our goal has always been to add more modules to our core product (more value), and keep the price the same in order to reward people that have supported us. For this reason, the new software we will release is in a similar niche, but there will not be overlap.
If you are interested in these products when they come out, make sure to hop on the email list and I will let everyone know when beta is ready to launch!
Buying Rental Property
This is going to make the list again – I have wanted to do this since I was in college. I finally have the funds available to get started. Building a real estate portfolio is pretty exciting, but something I know close to nothing about.
We ended up moving across the country to Colorado where we purchased our first house. That was 4 months ago, and I am already hungry for more. I was afraid I might have a hard time getting a loan from a bank since I have been self employed for so long, but after a nice chat with the banker, I learned that 75% of the rents are taken into consideration when it comes to your debt to income ratio. This is great news for me (meaning I can borrow more without it counting against me too much).
All I knew a few months ago was that I wanted to do multi family property. Other than that, I didn’t know much at all. When that happens, as with all business, I tend to get obsessive and research everything I can all day everyday. I think I have a good understanding of what I am looking for and what I need to do (even though I am sure my girlfriend, friends and family are sick of me talking about it).
The goal at the end of the year is to own a duplex/triplex/4plex. Ideally I would like to control more doors to get a higher cash flow after all expenses and property management, but there are slim pickings out here in CO.
We shall see what happens but the goal is to at LEAST have one rental by the end of the year.
Get Back Into Affiliate Marketing
While I absolutely love software, I have to admit I have missed the affiliate marketing side of things. Building out sites that help customers find what they are looking for, and helping them make the right choices.
In 2019, I want to dive back in and work on ONE site. More than that is hard to juggle, especially with other things on my plate, so I will be starting a new project and running a case study here on it.
Most people run case studies where they document how much money a site makes every month and what they did. I want to take that idea and completely flip it.
I want to do a case study on an affiliate site where I detail every process of what I did, but instead of reporting revenue each month, I want to document how much I spend. I have not decided on a “spend” goal yet, but it will be in the $10,000-$50,000 range.
This should be able to provide a unique perspective on creating websites that bring people value and how much easier these sites are to grow when you have money to put behind them.
Let me know in the comments below what you think of this idea!
Wrapping It Up
That about sums up my major goals for the year. This year is going to be what YOU make of it. Remember that you make a conscious decision each day about what you do. Just start, take action, and make this year what you want it to be!
Good luck out there.