In the last while, I’ve had many messages from you guys asking me where I’ve been, so I think it’s time to write an update about what I’m doing right now. Here’s my recap:
Over the past eight months, I changed my main focus from Affiliate Marketing to eCommerce and Mobile Apps. As these two things are quite new to me, I decided to slow down on the blog for a while and fully concentrate on my work. So many things have happened on my new journey.
My affiliate marketing campaigns stopped performing well due to the expiration of the offers. I didn’t spend time replacing them with the new ones, because I started getting bored with testing new offers again and again.
Also, the traffic sometimes didn’t always perform like it used to. I had to go back to the drawing board many times.
If you’re in the affiliate marketing industry, you already know that this is a problem you can’t avoid. You could make more than $1,000 a day from a single affiliate marketing offer, but it could go back to zero overnight.
For this reason, I allocated my time to studying other things over which I can have more control. eCommerce and Mobile App business were the next things I found.
In May last year, I started selling t-shirts on Teespring. I published one post about a technique you can use to make almost four grand a week, and the article was shared many times. You can read it here.
(By the way, this method doesn’t work nowadays, because Facebook no longer allows us to scrape User IDs.)
A few month later, around August, I changed from selling t-shirts on Teespring to selling them on Shopify, one of the top eCommerce platforms. Initially I sold only t-shirts, mainly the ones that sold well on Teespring . The good part about Shopify is that the base cost is lower and people can combine different t-shirts in the same cart (which I couldn’t do in Teespring). It was an auspicious start.
If you don’t know what Shopify is, check it out here.
A few weeks later, I noticed that many people were talking about Dropshipping. I’d heard this word before, but didn’t know how to do it. (I was lucky that I purchased the course about Facebook Ads that Don Wilson taught long time ago.)
Don created a private Facebook group for his members. I’ve bought many courses, and I think his has the most active group I’ve found. Many people in the group share their knowledge and experience almost every day. So I spent time reading and studying how people succeed with dropshipping.
Dropshipping was very good to me. Basically, I find the products that have high demand on eBay, Amazon, or wherever. Then I put them on my store and charge a higher price. When you get an order, you just buy the things from eBay and enter your customer’s address.
The question is “Why would people buy products from my store when they can buy them more cheaply on eBay?”
It’s because most people don’t know. They might never have seen the products before. They see them for the first time in the ads I promote. They just follow the link and purchase things from me.
This is how dropshipping works. Purchase products at a cheap price, and sell them for a bit more. It’s kinda like the the commission for affiliate marketing offers.
Anyway, the next problem arose …
When I sold a lot, the sellers on eBay started increasing the prices of their products. Then I needed to increase my prices too, to avoid losses. The result was that most people wouldn’t buy, because the price was higher than they expected.
What I did first was contact my sellers and ask them to decrease their prices. It didn’t work. So I had find new products to promote.
I’m familiar with this situation. It’s just like when affiliate offers expire …
Anyway, as I sold many products and spent time learning the eCommerce business, I found that this was not the only way to solve the problem. Many sellers sell products at wholesale prices on AliExpress and Alibaba. If I place a bulk order, the cost per item is much lower. I think some eBay sellers source their products here as well.
Some items were just $1-2 per piece on Alibaba, but eBay sellers sold them for $10+++!!!
As most of the items come from China, my customers need to wait a long time to get their item. It’s not good for business.
I let my customers wait for my products for 2-3 weeks – for about 2-3 months. But eventually I found myself getting around 40-50 messages from my customers, every day. They were disappointed and thought my site was a scam.
I was disappointed as well.
So I started looking for a solution. I discovered that many fulfillment services can help me pack and ship products to US customers. All I have to do is ship my products to their warehouse, and they handle the rest.
This means I don’t have to create an order for all my customers by myself. The system is fully integrated with Shopify. When I get a new order, Shopify sends the order information to the warehouse, which packs and ships the products to my customers automatically. It saves me lots of time.
Also, the warehouse is in the US, so my customers get their items faster. When they’re happy, they trust my shop and will purchase things from me again. The cost is a bit high, but as long as I can save time, it’s fine. I can spend more time on expanding my business.
This is the brief story about my eCommerce journey. Actually, there were sooo many problems I encountered along the way, but I can’t write about them all in one post.
Wait! This post is not finished yet.
As you can see, eCommerce can only provide me with active income. There are so many things I have to do. So I gave myself time to learn another business: mobile apps.
I started learning the mobile app business about two years ago, but only began taking it seriously at the end of last year.
The reason I started to take serious action is that my mentor showed me a screenshot of his monthly income from mobile apps. He made six figures a month …. PASSIVELY!
Back in 2014, I did it seriously, once, by outsourcing everything to someone do the job for me. Anyway, I think this is a mistake, because I rarely know anything about the industry. I just hired graphic designers to reskin mobile games for me, but didn’t yet know much about the market or keyword research.
So, I went back to learning how it worked, from scratch. I started hiring graphic designers more slowly and seeing which ways worked best.
Last December, I made around $149 while I was traveling in Japan. I was excited and thought I’d finally found a method that worked.
A few days later, my earnings dropped back to less than $30 a day, because the app’s ranking got worse. I didn’t give up. I tried to test it again using an improved method.
When I found one that worked, I reinvested my mobile app earnings into hiring more graphic designers to create more games for me.
In the first few months, I hired two designers. Two or three months later, I added 4-5 designers to my team. Currently, I have more than ten graphic designers on my team who create 4-5 games for me per month.
Now, my earnings from mobile apps are pretty good. They’re not as high as what I get from eCommerce, but it comes to my pocket passively.
Another good thing about mobile apps is that you can hire designers to create the game or app for you once, and the apps will generate income as long as they’re in the store.
There are no advertising costs required if you know how to do ASO (App Search Optimization) the right way.
Anyway, I plan to use the paid traffic to promote my app, but I need to optimize the sales funnel in my app first. My developer is changing the sales funnel in my game. I’ll try using paid traffic when it’s ready.
It’s like other digital products – no operational or shipping costs needed! You just have to sell the item from inside the game. No need for headaches with a campaign expiring or eBay sellers!
I decided to quit Affiliate Marketing and start building the new empires with eCommerce and mobile apps.
I have done eCom for almost a year, and mobile apps for just half a year. In my opinion, they are suitable for me. No campaign expirations. I can also adjust the sales funnel the way I want.
I’ll continue to focus on just these two things. I’ll spend time on scaling my eCommerce and mobile app business. There’s room for improvement in both.
Thank you for coming to my blog! I’ll find time to write something more soon!
Bank has been working in the affiliate marketing industry since he was an undergrad in 2008. His favorite traffic source is PPV (Pay-Per-View). In 2013, he started sharing his journey on this blog AlcheBank.com and developed AffLanders.com to help people create PPV landing pages.