Been fumbling around for about a year or two now and not sure what to do next

5 replies
Looking for some advice. Am I on the right track?

So my story is that I've been fumbling around with trying to build a passive online income business for the past 2 years or so with the eventual goal to replace (note: I work a fulltime 9-5 job)

I'm new to this whole thing, so I just tried releasing ebooks and found some (but limited) success selling them on various platforms like Amazon, Google...etc (~averaging only around $300 per month). The thing about ebooks is that there's a formula to it. I've found that it's really a numbers game and that the more books I release, the more my revenue increases. The problem is that scaling this is so slow. I'm reaching 60 ebooks now but only have a few hundred in profit per month. I guess I could try outsourcing the whole process, but I don't much money to spend on that. I also tried creating an online course around one of the ebooks and selling them on Udemy and Teachable...etc but traffic.

I've also been building out a website centered around the same niches as my ebooks and trying to sell my ebooks there, but getting traffic to my site is hard. Simultaneously, I'm trying to build my email list through that website, but signups are not organic. I have to mass post my blog articles everywhere. Right now I only got like 300 people on my email list.

I'm just not sure what to do next. as I'm sorta hitting the 2 year mark. I understand there are no shortcuts to online business success but I'm wondering if I need to work smarter, not just harder. I'm wondering if I should just keep cranking out more and more ebooks and slowly increasing the profit that way.. Or maybe I should start trying other things like affiliate marketing, amazon FBA...etc? Kind of rambling but would be great to hear some thoughts.
#fumbling #year
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    if you can not get traffic to your sites now, how will you get traffic to your new affiliate sites ? just asking for a starters ?


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  • Figure out what your passion is, focus on that, and stay consistent and dedicated to the process. You should eventually achieve the results that you desire. Are you writing your own ebooks, or have you tried selling PLR ebooks?
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  • Profile picture of the author tacet222
    So you advise just keep focused on my current process of chugging out ebooks? (I'm making money with it, but I'm just not sure how to scale the whole thing. It's at around $300 per month now)

    I write about half of my books and outsource the remaining parts + copy editing.

    Thanks for telling me about PLR ebooks. Never heard of it until now. Is it free to use? Can you sell these on Amazon?
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  • Profile picture of the author LindyUK
    Hello Tacet

    I read your story and found it a bit similar to how I started off in IM, trying to sell ebooks too, though I was trying to sell ebooks that had resale rights. My story is a bit long but I hope it helps you. I'll just update some figures because I originally posted this story here in the WF about 6 years ago. I'll also add some updates and comments at the bottom.

    I thought this might be interesting to some, how we actually developed our ideas and Business Models that we use.

    I'v mentioned I started in IM in ebay, trying to sell ebooks. Wasn't very successful, I only made $408 for my whole first year. Like every one else I had big dreams of building my Business, but I had no clue really how to do it, didn't know anyone else involved with IM so I was just buying an reading ebooks an searching on the web. I don't think WF was even going then, but if it was I didn't know about it.

    I used to like going into the MSN chat rooms, chatting up the Guys lol. One night I met John, we started talking an I found out he was from Australia and had been involved with IM Business's for 5 years. He was making a fulltime income from them, around US$75,000 a year which I viewed as a fortune then. I asked him if he would mentor me, but he said no. He said he didn't mind having a chat every now an then but he didn't have time to mentor me.

    Well, I'm not one to give up, every time we had a chat I would ask him, and he would say no, no, no. But I wore him down to where he eventually said yes.

    He started his mentoring by looking at what I was doing in ebay. I only had about 20 ebooks, most on Internet Marketing, a few recipe books and 3 on relationships, like how to get a girlfriend. I had never sold a copy of any of the relationship books, he decided to use those as my first lesson.

    He choose the how to get a girlfriend book as the first exercise.

    He said ok, there are thousands of different books in ebay on thousands of different subjects. An thousands of people looking for books everyday too, but how many might be looking for a book on how to get girlfriends, or even know one exists and listed in ebay?

    Next he said, but what if you stopped every young Guy you saw in the streets in London and asked them if they were looking for a girlfriend, and if they said yes, you then said, well go into that Hall and I'll come in and tell you how you can get a girlfriend.

    So now he said, well we have hundreds of Guys in there now who we know want to get a girlfriend. (a targeted audience) and you're the only girl in there, up on the stage in front of them, so you know their attention is going to be all on you and what your going to tell them. (a captive audience)

    So then he said, do you now think you could sell your ebook to some of them? My answer was yes, but how could I do that in real life?

    He said you build a Website, that's your Hall. And you attract single Guys to it. He also told me way back then that I needed to find other ebooks or products (that would appeal to that same target market) to sell on my website, to increase my chances of a sale from every visit to my site.

    So how we did it, it was like an Advice website for Guys, where they could ask me, being a girl, advice about other girls. I promoted in MySpace, I could target an attract Guys to my website in there. (Now you can do that much better an easier with FaceBook) It was a bit clunky, there wasn't any membership site software then I don't think, so it was just a html website. Guys had to actually email me their questions and I would put their questions an my answers on the website. But it still worked well because it was interesting, everyone kept coming back to read what other Guys were asking me, an to see my answers. I would also promo my ebooks in some of my answers, they were shown along one side of my website with a paypal/download link. I would get beautiful emails, even with photos sometimes from Guys who had found a girlfriend from following my advice or buying and reading the ebooks. Also a few asking if I was single and wanting dates lol, cause I had my photos up there too. It was loads of fun.

    The idea was successful from the start, the first month I sold 36 of those how to get a girlfriend ebooks plus a few others. That was more than double the profit of my whole first year. As my website grew (with more Guys coming to it) I was soon selling hundreds of ebooks a month.

    I'll tell you something really personal, how John's lesson's an ways of thinking completely changed my life. Along the way something really wonderful happened. I was 24 then, Sherri was 8, I had no family, my parents had kicked me out of home when I was only 16 for becoming pregnant with Sherri. I was still hurting from that. Spending so much time together John an I soon became really close, we talked every night and I started to let Sherri talk with him too. He delighted her Sherri absolutely adored him, she would nearly knock me off my chair to get to him when she knew he was on the headphones. I started to think of him like a Dad that I had never had, I started to love him but wasn't game to tell him any of that. He was teaching me not only bout IM an Business, but about so many things, especially about thinking in a different way. He was councelling me too about my life, an I was taking it all in.

    A few months went by, one night his lesson to me was about our British Commandos, the SAS, an their motto, Who Dares Wins. He meant it as a business lesson but I took it to heart, I decided to Dare! I decided to ask him if he would really be my Dad an Sherri's GrandDad. He said yes, he adopted me as his Daughter, an Sherri as his Granddaughter.

    Some might think a personal story is out of place in a Business lesson, but my lessons are more bout thinking differently with your Business's. An remember too - Who Dares Wins.

    For those who have been following my posts, you will recognise that first model as now being the way we do Affiliate Marketing. Targeted Market - Captive Audience - Personal Approach -Engage Our Subscribers.

    In fact it is the base model that we use with all our Business's, it has allowed us to build a ten million dollar per year Business in only 9 years, an growing at a rate of around a million dollars a year. I hope others can use it to make dreams come true too.

    Update 2019: It is 14 years now since John became my Dad and we started a new business together. We still do some Affiliate Marketing but we are more an Agency now. We now have a turnover of more than US$21 Million per year, and have 78 employees. We grow at least US$1.5 Million per year.

    So a few comments: You need to stop churning out ebooks that each only average a few dollars per month income, and concentrate on learning how to market them. Our model is about going and finding our target market, rather than them having to somehow find you. So for example, if you were selling a dog training ebook on Amazon, you are hoping that people come searching for a dog training book and find your listing out of possibly hundreds of others. Now if we were selling a dog training book we would be thinking, where can WE find dog owners that might buy a dog training book? So one answer we would come up with is: umm, well there are a lot of Dog Groups in Facebook, and together they add up to millions of dog lovers. So that's like my Dad's "Hall" in our story, except we have millions of people already sitting in these Hall's. Then the next thing is we are likely to have a lot less competition with people trying to sell them the same thing.

    So you need to sit down and start to THINK in a different way to most. Where can you find large numbers of people who might all have an interest in what you are selling? You can think of it like this, if you were selling candy floss or cotton candy, where do you think you could sell the most - by going door to door one house at a time or by going to a Fair where there are thousands of people wandering around?

    Tell me what your niche's are and ask questions if you want.

    By the way, you asked about PLR ebooks. PLR stands for Private Label Rights, there are thousands of PLR ebooks but the way to sell them is to do some rewriting of the content, change the title and also the cover design. By doing this you are creating a different product so not selling the same ebook as hundreds or thousands of others. You buy the PLR books including rights, and yes you can list your finished creation on Amazon, ebay or where ever.

    Hope I have helped you some.


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  • Scenario One: You have 60 ebooks. They make you $300 a month.

    Scenario Two: You have 1 product. You sell it for $300. (Maybe $100).

    Traffic is your problem.

    Wouldn't the second option require less traffic to get to your current $300 a month?

    Captain Hindsight would suggest that you should have taken the time, effort and money away from creating 60 eBooks, and focused it on creating ONE product instead.

    You would have needed less traffic. You would have been much more focused on a specific audience. Your advertising would have been easier.

    I'm not suggesting you ditch your model. Just something to think about.

    Captain Hindsight is a dick.
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