Starting off - which direction to go?

13 replies
Hi all,
This will be a long post. Please skip to the bottom section if you don't feel like reading this post in its entirety.

I am currently doing the 'complete digital marketing course' in Udemy. I have been following and have had an interest in digital marketing for many years now. 5+ years at least. I have never actually taken it upon myself to go ahead and start trying something in the field. Despite being a relative noob, I do understand how digital marketing works.

I have some exams at the end of August, which after completing, I intend to go all out in becoming a digital marketer. As of now, I can dedicate around 2 hours a day to it, which I mostly allocate to doing the course or researching what to do. Come September, I will be able to treat it as a full-time job. I can probably allocate an average of 5-6 hours a day (some days more, some less), 7 days a week. In terms of budget, I can probably set aside anywhere between 2-4k USD for advertising, inventory or whatever other costs I may come across, depending on what avenue I take.

My goal is to be making some money by Dec 31st of 2019. I am realistic. If I can even make 100 USD a week by then, with opportunity to scale, I'd be happy. Despite being based in Ireland, I would be living in India by then, as I have spent much of my time travelling and settled in the country the last few years - so I can afford to make less initially. Of course, I would like to be making thousands per month eventually, like all you other successful marketers out there.

I am not sure which avenue of digital marketing to pursue. The three ones that standout to me are affiliate marketing, advertising agency and e-commerce. Ultimately, I would like to sell my own product, though I have nothing concrete in mind yet, despite having a few ideas. I am unsure on how to progress with this idea without having a definite product.

I know people say to stick to your interests and what you are good at, but I don't have many skills or interests. I enjoy writing, Cryptocurrency, football (soccer) and have had a lot of experience with weightlifting and diet in the past (and plan on starting again). I really enjoy self-development as a topic as well. I also enjoy travel and have spent much of the past few years away from home. I studied Computer Science at college, but I didn't excel at or enjoy it.

With all that said, what would you guys guide me towards? I am thinking of just starting a personal blog on my journey in digital marketing/crypto/health and fitness and everything else for the meantime, until I have something solid to work with. Maybe even a crypto specific site. I understand I might not be able to monetize these efficiently for some time, but it would be a learning process for when I do go ahead with whatever I do.

So keeping the following in mind:

- Can work as good as full time at whatever I do.
- Budget of 2-4k. Depending on what I do. Can potentially add another 100 dollars each week
as well.
- I want to make $100 a week by December 31st (or be well on track towards that)
- I like the idea of selling a product, though don't have a definite product in mind yet (I do
have a few rough ideas and trying to come up with more all the time)
- Interests/skills include: Self development, Crypto, Football, Weightlifting/Diet, Writing,
Travel, Research

Taking the above into consideration, what area would you suggest I focus my attentions on? I am willing to work hard and stick at it and don't expect overnight results.
#direction #starting
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Fist off, I have never been a believer of the concept that "you need to build a website around something that interests you." I cannot think of a single successful eCommerce website that I have owned that I had any initial interest whatsoever in the products. As I always say, when the site starts making money, you start becoming much more interested in the niche and eventually become an expert. If it doesn't make money, it's just a waste of time to learn about the niche.

    By and large, the vast majority of the sites we now build are high ticket eCommerce sites, selling things that have an average order value of at least $1,000. Every sale of those types of products results in a lot of profit, which gives us tons of room to advertise. After we have sales and net profits from our advertising efforts, we start paying more attention to the niche, learning more about the products, writing better content, optimizing our pages better, going after good backlinks. Keep in mind, with Google and Bing ads, you only pay for the ads once a month - AFTER they have been running. You should have been making money from those ads so you are not really at much risk (unless the niche is a total flop, which means you did something wrong in the niche research phase at the very beginning).

    The problem you are going to run into is living in India. You're going to have a tough time getting a decent payment processor in India so I'd get that set up from Ireland if at all possible. You'll have an equally tough time getting brand name companies to work with you. That probably means you might have to create your own product or white label one you source from India or China (talk to Walter Hay - known here on the forum as "ImportExport" about that).

    The other viable strategy is going the affiliate route, but that usually only resorts in really good money if you are marketing things that have a very high ticket value. There is not enough money in most cases for you to afford advertising, so the process is slower.

    Oh ... I almost forgot ... you say that one of your interests is writing. If that means that you are a high quality writer, you can make a considerable amount of money just doing that. All kinds of companies are looking for great writers - everything from individual websites to major companies to SEO firms - and in many cases, you can do that work for them from home.
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  • Profile picture of the author deano2727
    Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

    Fist off, I have never been a believer of the concept that "you need to build a website around something that interests you." I cannot think of a single successful eCommerce website that I have owned that I had any initial interest whatsoever in the products. As I always say, when the site starts making money, you start becoming much more interested in the niche and eventually become an expert. If it doesn't make money, it's just a waste of time to learn about the niche.

    By and large, the vast majority of the sites we now build are high ticket eCommerce sites, selling things that have an average order value of at least $1,000. Every sale of those types of products results in a lot of profit, which gives us tons of room to advertise. After we have sales and net profits from our advertising efforts, we start paying more attention to the niche, learning more about the products, writing better content, optimizing our pages better, going after good backlinks. Keep in mind, with Google and Bing ads, you only pay for the ads once a month - AFTER they have been running. You should have been making money from those ads so you are not really at much risk (unless the niche is a total flop, which means you did something wrong in the niche research phase at the very beginning).

    The problem you are going to run into is living in India. You're going to have a tough time getting a decent payment processor in India so I'd get that set up from Ireland if at all possible. You'll have an equally tough time getting brand name companies to work with you. That probably means you might have to create your own product or white label one you source from India or China (talk to Walter Hay - known here on the forum as "ImportExport" about that).

    The other viable strategy is going the affiliate route, but that usually only resorts in really good money if you are marketing things that have a very high ticket value. There is not enough money in most cases for you to afford advertising, so the process is slower.

    Oh ... I almost forgot ... you say that one of your interests is writing. If that means that you are a high quality writer, you can make a considerable amount of money just doing that. All kinds of companies are looking for great writers - everything from individual websites to major companies to SEO firms - and in many cases, you can do that work for them from home.
    Thanks for the detailed response.

    The section I have placed in bold is something I am considering right now. I have started inquiring in to the feasibility of a couple of ideas I have. I am considering making my own products from ingredients and materials native to India. The products I am looking in to potentially creating would not provide me with a monopoly, as there is competition. I do however believe that, if I can get the raw materials/ingredients at a good enough price, without compromising on quality and being able to create a great product, I can take an ample sized portion of that niches pie by good branding, advertising, blogging with quality, relevant content and using IG influencers in that field. I feel I can also give buyers a more involved feeling on what they are getting, by showing photos of me with the raw materials, where they are from and with whom gathered/made them.

    I go back to Ireland next month and will be there anywhere between 2 and 4 months, so I will definitely try get set up from that side there and then. In fact, not only is it the best option, I also think it may be the only option (to register my business in Ireland).

    In regards to writing, if it is a topic I am knowledgeable on or enjoy, then I can write in depth and captivate the reader while doing so. That is something I plan on using to my advantage.
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    • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
      Originally Posted by deano2727 View Post

      The products I am looking in to potentially creating would not provide me with a monopoly, as there is competition.
      Competition is a GOOD thing. Unless you have invented the world's first teleportation device, have solved wireless electricity or something pretty darned novel (maybe the new Pet Rock or Rubik's Cube), competition indicates that there is a market for something. No competition usually means "no demand".

      Your only job is to give people a reason why yours is better or if things are identical (as in brand name products), why you are the place to buy from.
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      • Profile picture of the author deano2727
        Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

        Competition is a GOOD thing. Unless you have invented the world's first teleportation device, have solved wireless electricity or something pretty darned novel (maybe the new Pet Rock or Rubik's Cube), competition indicates that there is a market for something. No competition usually means "no demand".

        Your only job is to give people a reason why yours is better or if things are identical (as in brand name products), why you are the place to buy from.
        Yeah, I think you're right in regards to competition. I intend to use the best quality raw materials to make my product(s), and I will back it up by going to where they originally came from and giving a story and photos on the place and people who work there showing the care that is taken. I will also use my own product and make a blog on the process.

        I have contacted tons of wholesalers to get prices and some extra information on quality and if their produce satisfies my requirements. I have also contacted Revenue, who take care of tax, imports and all that stuff to find out what I would be liable to pay on import tariffs. I need to figure out the cost to make the product(s) inclusive of duty and VAT etc. Duties are either 0 or 5% mostly on the raw materials I wish to import.

        I think the profit per unit would be anywhere around $1-2 before advertising costs, after the initial batch or 2, it would be much closer to $2 I think. If customers like the product, its something some of them would buy again every couple of months. The product(s) I would potentially be selling are going to be marketed towards the health & fitness industry.

        For advertising, I will probably just blog using my product and showing results I've made and what I've done with it, and market the blog/product through IG influencers and posting on forums etc. I'll play around with FB ads as well, to see what results that can provide.

        Considering the rough estimate on profit I gave and the type of product I will be selling, does this seem like a viable business plan? I understand profit margins are small on each unit sold, so I am still unsure about it.

        What do you guys think? Obviously I won't know until I try, but I am sure some people can give advice or point out some things that I may not have considered.
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by deano2727 View Post

    Hi all,


    I do understand how digital marketing works.




    I am not sure which avenue of digital marketing to pursue. The three ones that standout to me are affiliate marketing, advertising agency and e-commerce. Ultimately, I would like to sell my own product, though I have nothing concrete in mind yet, despite having a few ideas. I am unsure on how to progress with this idea without having a definite product.

    - Can work as good as full time at whatever I do.
    - Budget of 2-4k. Depending on what I do. Can potentially add another 100 dollars each week
    as well.
    - I want to make $100 a week by December 31st (or be well on track towards that)
    - I like the idea of selling a product, though don't have a definite product in mind yet (I do
    have a few rough ideas and trying to come up with more all the time)
    - Interests/skills include: Self development, Crypto, Football, Weightlifting/Diet, Writing,
    Travel, Research

    Taking the above into consideration, what area would you suggest I focus my attentions on? I am willing to work hard and stick at it and don't expect overnight results.

    Dave H. has given you some excellent advice.

    I have a few questions.

    Do you understand how ALL marketing works, digital or not? See, I don't think you need to think that way.

    You want to make money. From online activity. It boils down to...

    SELLING SOMETHING TO SOMEONE WITH THE MONEY TO BUY.

    Be that affiliate marketing, ecom, or agency. In Dave's post there is GOLD if you read between the lines, he offers products which people buy, if they don't buy, whether he likes, loves or hates it, he drops it.

    The idea is to sell what people want. If you hate the idea of "selling", then substitute the word "offer" when you see it.

    What can you offer to people? And WHY would they want to buy it? Then, it is testing of price, timing, and advertising to the right people at the right time.

    Your first product could be a report on living in India vs living in Ireland. Why did you choose India? Start there. WRITE a short report.

    Of course I am BIASED, no mistake about it. Dave likes ecom, and has gotten good at it, finding products people want to buy. And then selling more and more of them. His choice of a higher ticket item is wise too, because, as he stated, more profit = more advertising dollars.

    I like INFORMATION. Having created and sold over 75 information products online these last 25 years, but that is me. I mention this because you can WRITE and you like too, and because the desire, the DEMAND, the definite market of information buyers will never go away.

    IF you eventually want to have your own products, why not start there? Do a search for information products business model to see the Billion results.

    Of course, once you start being profitable, you can expand to real products, not just digital, or go any direction you want. But build a FOUNDATION around a FRAMEWORK of you and FOCUS.

    You've told us of your interests, what if you start writing, everyday, about how you came to be interested in these areas, and do that for 2 weeks. What will happen is you will develop a work flow (I suggest writing the same time every day for the same amount of time, say one hour early morning).

    Use what you have, and BEGIN where you are at, and have a clearly defined idea of where you want to go, financially, as well as physically and spiritually too.

    You have STORED value in your writing ability. It is an untapped ASSET. It can be the thing you are seeking, or you could knock around for a couple of years looking for the greener pastures.

    So, ask youself what you want and WHY you want to do that. If it is a living or income, then heed Dave's advice, sell what people want to buy.

    But add to your knowledge FOUNDATION and be the primary source of information products, it is the fastest way to go.

    GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author deano2727
    Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

    Dave H. has given you some excellent advice.

    I have a few questions.

    Do you understand how ALL marketing works, digital or not? See, I don't think you need to think that way.

    You want to make money. From online activity. It boils down to...

    SELLING SOMETHING TO SOMEONE WITH THE MONEY TO BUY.

    Be that affiliate marketing, ecom, or agency. In Dave's post there is GOLD if you read between the lines, he offers products which people buy, if they don't buy, whether he likes, loves or hates it, he drops it.

    The idea is to sell what people want. If you hate the idea of "selling", then substitute the word "offer" when you see it.

    What can you offer to people? And WHY would they want to buy it? Then, it is testing of price, timing, and advertising to the right people at the right time.

    Your first product could be a report on living in India vs living in Ireland. Why did you choose India? Start there. WRITE a short report.

    Of course I am BIASED, no mistake about it. Dave likes ecom, and has gotten good at it, finding products people want to buy. And then selling more and more of them. His choice of a higher ticket item is wise too, because, as he stated, more profit = more advertising dollars.

    I like INFORMATION. Having created and sold over 75 information products online these last 25 years, but that is me. I mention this because you can WRITE and you like too, and because the desire, the DEMAND, the definite market of information buyers will never go away.

    IF you eventually want to have your own products, why not start there? Do a search for information products business model to see the Billion results.

    Of course, once you start being profitable, you can expand to real products, not just digital, or go any direction you want. But build a FOUNDATION around a FRAMEWORK of you and FOCUS.

    You've told us of your interests, what if you start writing, everyday, about how you came to be interested in these areas, and do that for 2 weeks. What will happen is you will develop a work flow (I suggest writing the same time every day for the same amount of time, say one hour early morning).

    Use what you have, and BEGIN where you are at, and have a clearly defined idea of where you want to go, financially, as well as physically and spiritually too.

    You have STORED value in your writing ability. It is an untapped ASSET. It can be the thing you are seeking, or you could knock around for a couple of years looking for the greener pastures.

    So, ask youself what you want and WHY you want to do that. If it is a living or income, then heed Dave's advice, sell what people want to buy.

    But add to your knowledge FOUNDATION and be the primary source of information products, it is the fastest way to go.

    GordonJ
    Thanks a lot for your elaborate post!

    I am not going to pretend like I am some master marketer. I have very little experience with it, be it digital marketing or sales. I do, however, believe I have what it takes to become a successful marketer. I have already thought of many different ways to market a product I have in mind. I believe I have the right mind for it, now its just a matter of putting it in to practice and refining it.

    I think I am going to try go the route of creating my own product from raw materials I can source here in India. I'd register my business in Ireland. I feel if I can get quality raw materials/ingredients for a good price and create a good product, I can market it well. I already have an idea in place and I am currently researching demand, suppliers, costs/profits, legality and how to market it best.

    I will create a blog while using the product for a few months and show it in use, show progress and give feedback and such. I feel this would be one good way to hone my marketing/writing skills as well as teaching me how to build a blog and such. I then plan on using the results to sell my product. I will advertise in many different ways, be it social media through my own pages or by getting influencers in my niche to advertise my blog and/or product. I can also offer them an affiliate option as well as free samples to offer incentive for them to post my blog/product.

    While doing the blog, I will also be using another few things, that if I feel were beneficial to the blog experiment results, I can also make a product from in the future, if I feel it contributed to my success.

    I think over the coming days and weeks, I need to check how feasible it is in terms of legality, profit and demand. If I can overcome those points, then I can go full steam ahead

    Does anyone have any pointers on what to read for the kind of things I have mentioned?
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  • Profile picture of the author davob
    Hello,

    One piece of advice I would give is whatever you choose stick with it and drill down until you know the subject matter. Never ever be distracted by the shiny objects as they will just dilute and distract you away from your goal. They will seem so enticing and easy with their tempting sales page of push button riches, but do not be tempted, just keep on the path you have decided to go on.
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    • Profile picture of the author deano2727
      Originally Posted by davob View Post

      Hello,

      One piece of advice I would give is whatever you choose stick with it and drill down until you know the subject matter. Never ever be distracted by the shiny objects as they will just dilute and distract you away from your goal. They will seem so enticing and easy with their tempting sales page of push button riches, but do not be tempted, just keep on the path you have decided to go on.
      Thanks, davob.

      I have something in mind now. I want to create a product from raw materials over here in India and market to the world. I am planning it out now and if it is a viable option, I will pursue ahead with it.

      I notice you are from Ireland. Have you started up a company/business in Ireland? If so, any tips or guidance on doing so? What do I have to do and how should I do it? Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    I fall more in lines with Dave.. im a "Products" guy... any information based product I have sold has had a "Product" element along with the package.

    I think something VERY WISE that Dave mentions is sorting out your payment method before going to India.

    The greatest hurdle each and every marketer faces is "Traffic", how to get people in front of what ever it is you are selling. You really don't have to wait til you have a product before figuring this out.

    Look, life is a journey.. yours for the little bit I know sounds interesting... Graduating Uni I am guessing.. In Ireland.. have your mind set on locating in India.. you travel and you want to become an entrepreneur... kinda more than slightly has Social media written all over it.

    You should be creating a "ME" brand - as in Your name - or an identity of yourself with a series of social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at the very least. You should watch Gary Vees $1.80 strategy. There is no reason in an hour a day or so NOW you could not hve the beginnings of a wicked following by the time you would actually need it... and the following in of itself will give you a better idea of direction in terms of product or service when the time comes.

    You WANT to get into marketing, start with yourself NOW
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    Success is an ACT not an idea
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    • Profile picture of the author deano2727
      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      I fall more in lines with Dave.. im a "Products" guy... any information based product I have sold has had a "Product" element along with the package.

      I think something VERY WISE that Dave mentions is sorting out your payment method before going to India.

      The greatest hurdle each and every marketer faces is "Traffic", how to get people in front of what ever it is you are selling. You really don't have to wait til you have a product before figuring this out.

      Look, life is a journey.. yours for the little bit I know sounds interesting... Graduating Uni I am guessing.. In Ireland.. have your mind set on locating in India.. you travel and you want to become an entrepreneur... kinda more than slightly has Social media written all over it.

      You should be creating a "ME" brand - as in Your name - or an identity of yourself with a series of social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at the very least. You should watch Gary Vees $1.80 strategy. There is no reason in an hour a day or so NOW you could not hve the beginnings of a wicked following by the time you would actually need it... and the following in of itself will give you a better idea of direction in terms of product or service when the time comes.

      You WANT to get into marketing, start with yourself NOW
      Thanks for the reply!

      Yeah, I think I just need to get myself out there now.I will definitely start with a blog documenting everything I am doing and striving for. Self development, health and fitness, starting a business and everything in between. I can set up a few social media pages too.

      If nothing else, if I do achieve all my goals, it will be proof that I have had a journey of bettering myself and that I am a credible voice on what I talk about. I am sure some more monetizing opportunities would arise from that.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelQuinn
    That's pretty awesome what you do Dave, I was just checking out your website and I've learned some cool stuff from your posts over the last couple months. I'm kind of pissed I didn't find your site last year lmao I'd probably be further on my way by now
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    You'll never be able to afford advertising of any kind at that low profit level - unless the typical sale is 10-20 units at a time, at bare minimum.
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    • Profile picture of the author deano2727
      Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

      You'll never be able to afford advertising of any kind at that low profit level - unless the typical sale is 10-20 units at a time, at bare minimum.
      I was thinking this myself. I noticed one competitor was selling a pack of 3 as standard. Not sure how much of a difference that would make though. They sell a single for 2.99 and then the one they advertise the most is the 3 pack for 7.99. I think best case scenario, they are making 2.50 per sale of 1 united and 6.50 from the 3 packs. Does that work any better?

      I am determined to get something started. Ideally, I want something of my own to sell. My own product or whatever. Of course, if it were that easy, everyone would have their own product. I am constantly thinking about different avenues I can take though.

      I appreciate your advice, Dave. You know what you are talking about and I am happy to listen to people such as yourself. I am checking out your website now and I am going to read through more of your threads and posts, as I feel I can learn a lot from people like yourself. I would even consider buying your course, though I am not sure about dropshipping as of yet. I feel like I am too late to the game for that maybe? Not totally against it though, it is something I have thought about.

      Feel free to PM any info about dropshipping, be it general or related to your course, if you don't want to post here. in case its deemed as advertising. I'm happy to take suggestions from and listen to the pros. I am willing to go a different route than I had envisaged, if it makes sense to me.

      Whatever I do end up doing, I have plenty of time to work at it. I am not afraid of hard work and do not expect instant success. I also am willing to learn the skills necessary to make me succeed at whatever I do. I can also invest a few thousand in to whatever I do as well.
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