We are now halfway through the year. How did that happen? I’ve just collected all the data from my various income sources to make one of my quarterly business reports.
Now, is that a smile or a grimace, Rob? Read on to find out!
Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with my quarterly business reports. I used to give income reports as well. I stopped for a combination of reasons. But I’m going to divulge one more number: $2738.21 – that’s the amount of monthly income my business makes if I do nothing.
Yes, you read that right. My company essentially did nothing this quarter. I didn’t release a new course or a new book like I usually do, and I’m not counting income that comes from graphic design jobs.
As I have surplus in the business and passive income coming in, I’m in the enviable position of being able to invest in new business opportunities. Unfortunately, apart from investing in cryptos, none of my new ventures are making money at the moment.
So that’s the background, now I’ll tell you a bit about what I’m doing and why.
For those of you who don’t know, Amazon FBA stands for “Fulfilment by Amazon” and involves sourcing physical product wholesale, shipping them to Amazon’s warehouses, selling them on their platform and, hopefully, pocketing some profit. (It’s the last part of the procedure I’m still working on).
I’ve been through every Amazon FBA emotion in the last three months ranging from “OMG, this is so great, I’m an FBA rockstar” to “OMFG, I’m losing so much money this isn’t even funny”.
My first product is over a year old and makes $500-1000/month profit. However, I’ve now got other products that are either selling slowly or not at all. I’m also spending a fortune on ads and promos.
So the above image doesn’t give you the full picture. Amazon FBA rockstars could take home 40% profit from the “Ordered product sales” photo. I’m taking less.
I’ve decided to run Viral Launch promos on one of the new products and again on the first product (to up its ranking) in the next month or so. I’ll let you know how I get on.
So far after over a year of Amazon FBA my prognosis is this: a lot of work with (almost) nothing to show but I love this business and I don’t want to give it up!
Merch on Amazon
If you don’t know what Merch on Amazon is this video will set you straight as well as tell you how to apply (which I suggest you do): merch.amazon.com
Why do I love Merch on Amazon? It’s sooo simple! You upload a t-shirt design, someone buys it, and Amazon pays you. That’s it! No pay per click, no customer questions, no bothering about reviews. Merch really boils down to two things:
- Picking a good niche
- Designing a good shirt
That’s all you’ve got to worry about.
As I say in the video, Merch is a slow starter. You’re only able to sell 10 different t-shirt designs at first, then you get tiered up to being able to sell 25 different t-shirt designs. I can now sell 100 different designs so I’m really hopeful I can start making this a viable business going forward.
Up until now, I sold all my shirts at a massive discount (I would make only about $0.30 a sale). But now I’m pushing the prices up on the successful shirts so I make around $3 a sale. Have a look at my Merch figures from June.
Not much profit but sales figures are the best market research. Each one of the shirts sales is a niche that I can further exploit.
And, remember this is just for t-shirts in the US. I’m looking forward to Amazon rolling this out to other countries and on other products not just shirts.
Crypto currency investing
I can’t write an income report without mentioning my biggest winner and my biggest distraction. I just wish I didn’t have to keep looking at the charts so damn much!
This shouldn’t really be in my business reports as it’s not my business’s money. But this has had the biggest effect on my business (and me) this quarter as it affects my thinking.
As you can see from the charts, my Ethereum investment surged from $42 to over $400, then back down to $200 and stands at $250-ish at the time of writing. I still haven’t sold. I’m holding.
No, that’s not a spelling mistake. Hodl – it’s a thing.
Video courses and e-books – the core of my business
Well, what with the daily “enjoyment” of watching the price of cryptos going up and down as well as other extra-curricula activities, I didn’t even get round to launching anything this quarter!
All I did was to re-launch a re-written book on Kindle using the old Kindle KDP Select free promo method. Over 1000 downloaded for free, a bump in sales but a negligible bump in sign-ups – not worth it!
To my shame I haven’t completed my course on WordPress security yet. That’ll be out before the end of July. Pinky promise!
What I’m doing to get out of this malaise – daily video
So, seeing as I hadn’t done anything this quarter, I resolved to do something!
The answer was to create a video of myself talking to camera everyday. Talking to camera is outside my comfort zone. But also if I improve at it, it’s something I would benefit from.
Here’s one of the videos plus an explanation of how challenges can benefit creative entrepreneurs.
I got this idea from my friend Alex Mathers’s book Joining the Dots: The A-Z Handbook for Making a Success of Your Creative Skills. It’s a great book, and is incredibly cheap on Kindle – so I would heartily recommend you buy it!
Why don’t you try it?
- Try to record a video everyday. Recording a video isn’t that hard (although editing can be time-consuming). By the end of a month, you’ll have a video course ready to sell.
- Try to write 750 words everyday. You’ll have a book done in a month (subject to a couple of read throughs and a professional copy check – ha, that’s nothing!).
I also got the idea from another friend, Dan O’Donnell, who just talks about what he’s doing on his Youtube channel and I really like this format.
Another reason for the extra content creation – Steemit
Steemit is a social network that pays both content creators and content curators. The more your content gets read, watched, upvoted (liked), commented upon, the more money you make.
Compare this to Facebook, where all the content gets posted for free. It’s this content that ultimately makes Mark Zuckerberg and the shareholders rich. Steemit on the other hand, doesn’t have shareholders, is a distributed organisation, and makes money from it’s own crypto-currency – which has a market cap of over $400 million at the time of writing.
It could be the next big thing. It could crash and burn. Time will tell.
What I’m up to – personal stuff
I’ve been living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for most of this quarter, and lovin’ it. It’s my favorite place for relaxing, recharging, working, meditating, and improving physical health. Hence the gym photo – haven’t I got a big nose!
Chiang Mai is a small enough town not to have too many distractions and a big enough town to have dozens and dozens of amazing people who I know.
I did make it to Bangkok for a few days to see friends. I also helped out a non-profit called Yogamour providing local hill tribe village kids with free dental care.
But that’s about it from me this quarter.
Plans for next quarter
Here’s what I’ll achieve in time for the next quarter’s business report:
- Launch new course on WordPress security (by the end of this month)
- Email my subscribers with a new free email course on how to set up a website
- Make over $10 a post on Steemit
- Make over $500/month on Amazon Merch
- Have all my Amazon FBA products making a profit (haha!)
- Launch another course on Photoshop, Illustrator, or Merch (which would you prefer)
Hold me to them! (Or hodl me to them!)
Thanks for reading. You have great taste. Lots of my best love, Rob x