Well, here we are at the beginning of another month! As usual, I'm going to share my report for the previous month, but I'm trying something a bit different this time.
For the most part this year, I've been sharing detailed income reports where I reveal the exact numbers of my business. However, I'm no longer going to do that.
I have 2 reasons. First, I've mentioned a few times that its a little awkward revealing income numbers when you have family and friends reading. I have some more interaction based on my income reports recently with family and friends and well, it's still awkward.
Second, I think many people are DE-motivated by income reports. That's right it depresses them more than inspires them. This realization came last month when I was reading Pat Flynn's income report. He had a great month (as usual), but I found it totally depressing to read because I compared my income to his. (I know we shouldn't compare ourselves to others…)
Sure, I have some businesses doing pretty good, but when Pat post's numbers of $320,000 in one month it definitely didn't inspire me. All I noticed was a huge gap from where I was and where he was. (And by the way, Matt Paulson wrote a great article this week about why he stopped trying to be the next Pat Flynn).
Even though I'm miles away from $320,000 a month, I don't want my income numbers to demotivate anyone reading them. Sure, it's fun to see income reports of people making a couple thousand a month or a little more. But $10,000 or $20,000 a month can seem so far away for some people that it makes them feel like everything they are doing is completely useless.
I don't want people to feel that way after reading my reports. Coupled with the fact that sometimes I have awkward interactions with people I know about my income reports, I will simply forgo the actual income numbers.
The main reason I want to still do an overall monthly report (without income revealed) is to share with you the lessons I've learned in the previous month and hopefully provide you with something you can take away and apply to your own business.
The secondary reason is that reflecting on the previous month is good for me to keep me on track and helps me plan for improvements.
So, with that really long introduction…I'd like to move on…
The Monthly Selfie
Even though I won't be revealing my income numbers, I still will be revealing my pearly whites each month. In fact, I have something special that is brand new this month…a video!
That's right, I'm doing a short video of myself each month from now on; in addition to the picture.
Here's the rules:
- I only get one take on the video.
- I have to take a picture of myself (my monthly selfie) while I'm recording the video.
- I'll briefly share what the latest news is for my business.
- Video length less than 3 mins.
Now that you know the rules, here's the video:
And the “selfie” that I took while recording that video is on display below.
Overall, I'm excited to share a couple of big updates to my business; including selling one business and starting a new software business.
Selling My “Home Goods Brand”
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about weighing the pros and cons of selling a business. As you may have read in that post, I've decided to sell my Niche Site + Amazon FBA business.
If you are interested in buying the business, please go through the normal Empire Flippers process (rather than contacting me privately).
This is the business that I've been documenting on and off for quite some time here and here. I started this business basically on a whim in 2015 to see what I could do in the Amazon FBA space. I quickly saw that my first couple of products were doing well, so I built up a niche site to support that brand.
Now that niche site ranks in Google for hundreds of long tail keywords. And when the visitor lands on my niche site, I very often end up sending them to my Amazon FBA listings to buy my products.
So, not only do I get lots of natural sales on Amazon.com, but I've built up a completely separate traffic source from my own website that helps stabilize the business.
This entire Niche Site combined with an Amazon FBA business is really a killer strategy. It's worked well for me and I know Jon Haver does something similar as well.
Because it's worked so well for me, I already have another Niche Site + Amazon FBA business that is showing some real traction. (This is my “Fitness Brand” that I've referred to in previous income reports).
Overall, selling this business will allow me to cash in (obviously) but also free up some of my focus to pursue my next big venture…which is software!
Starting a New Software Business!
I sold Long Tail Pro about a year and a half ago. When I sold the business, I promised myself that I would wait at least a year before launching another software product. I just wanted to take some time off and really think things through before I jumped into something new.
However, the time has finally come to share what I've been working on behind the scenes for a few months!
My new software tool will help you create beautiful product comparison charts for Amazon Associates in just a few minutes.
I know this is something that I've wanted for a very long time, and I've just never been satisfied with the time intensive options like Table Press or even Thrive Themes. So, I finally took the step of hiring a developer to built out my idea and it's finally come to fruition!
I don't have much else to say about the product at this point; however, I will let you see an example. Below is a chart that I created in less than 5 minutes from start to finish (4 mins and 28 secs to be exact).
My Favorite Business Books That I've Read Recently
Yes, my Amazon associates code is automatically inserted so whether you click on the image, title, or buy button I will get credit for the sale (should you buy).
Yes, everything including images and price is pulled in via the Amazon API so it's 100% compliant and updates automatically.
Yes, I can quickly and easily change the way the chart looks and rearrange columns or rows in an easy to use web-based platform.
Anyway, there is a ton more that I could talk about here. But just know that I'm VERY excited about it!
In fact, Jake and I have been using it on some of our websites for the past few weeks and are seeing significant increases in earnings because we are able to quickly add these charts to pages that we never added charts too before (it was too time consuming).
I'll share more details in the next couple of weeks.
Overall, what do you think of the idea and how it looks?
A Quick Update on My Brands
Even though I'm no longer sharing specific numbers for my brands, I do want to share any brief highlights or lessons that I may have learned throughout the month.
I'll keep this brief.
Niche Pursuits Insider is still going strong. I've decided to open the doors in an “evergreen” way (doors always open) and focus on driving traffic through FB ads mostly; rather than emailing my list a bunch of times. We'll see how that strategy goes over the next couple of months.
Other than that, Jason is helping out with content here on the site and making sure we have a good content plan in place.
Home Goods Brand
This business had a growth month for August and September is looking solid. However, I may not have this business much longer since I'm selling it on Empire Flippers here.
This Niche Site + Amazon FBA business I think will be my next big business. This brand grew by 55% in August.
I could and probably should write an entire blog post about this brand. We tried a Kickstarter campaign and it did not go well. I feel like we did a lot of things right; however, at the end of the day I just don't think the product was a good fit to be launched on Kickstarter.
We have since launched the product on Amazon and its doing MUCH better. We are still very early on with sales, but right now it's already ranking on the first page of Amazon for one its targeted keywords (thanks to some promotions we've been running this week). If this product can stick on the first page, it will be a great product.
I also have a second product that just went live under this brand as well (physical product on Amazon). We've made some initial sales and got a solid first review. However, we've yet to employ the same “launch” strategies via discounts like we have on the first product.
I think with a little bit of promotion on Amazon, we can turn this second new product into a solid earner as well. The category is competitive with lots of sales (top earners doing $30k+ per month). However, we have a unique feature that helps us stand out a bit from the competition. Hopefully this will help us attract some sales long term.
Finally, some of our “older” existing products are picking up in this category. I don't know if it's just seasonal or what, but sales have definitely picked up the last few weeks for some of our existing products.
Overall, I'm very excited about where this brand is going.
Amazon FBA Incubator
These products as a whole (about 14 products) decreased by 14% in August. I've decided to look at some of the older products and see if we can improve the listings, do some promotions, and improve sales. When we launched these products, many of them were done in a very MVP fashion.
The pictures were taken with mobile phones and we just put the listings up to see what kind of sales we could get. Believe it or not, this has been good enough to do fairly well.
However, the time has come for me to finally go back and do a complete listings audit to figure out how we can get better pictures and make our listings stand out. I've created a complete listings audit checklist that Jake is helping me go through with each product.
Once our listings are optimized, I plan to do some promotions via discounts to generate sales and hopefully a few more positive reviews. I feel like we have a few products that are good, but the listings need to be “dusted off” a bit and re-launched.
I'm hoping to see a nice bump in sales by the end of the year.
After having our first booth at a tradeshow in July, I was hoping to see big growth numbers during August. Unfortunately, that hasn't quite worked out.
Some of our Facebook ads haven't been performing as well, and we didn't receive as many retail orders as we had hoped.
Part of the reason for slow retail orders is because we have been hesitant about pushing this avenue too hard since we are low on inventory. We don't want to have a bunch of orders come in when we aren't ready to fulfill those.
However, we are in the process getting new inventory in stock and should be able to hit our retail sales process much harder in September. (Our process involves contacting those we met at the tradeshow and reaching our via email to retail stores across the country).
Overall, I'm still enthusiastic about this brand and expect continued growth.
Overall, I hope you don't mind that I've changed up my business report a bit. Hopefully as I continue to share what I'm working on I can still help you stay motivated in your own business as I share what's working for me.
This is also a huge month for me since I just listed a significant business for sale and I'm about ready to start what I hope will be a significant software business.
Want to hear more? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!