Danny shares his entrepreneurial journey and why he building his tool on existing platforms.
Below you will find a rough outline of Danny’s story. We discussed this story in more detail during the podcast.
Tell us your journey.
I’ve been an entrepreneur for the last 7 years, which is also when I started my career in corporate IT. When I first started IT as a helpdesk tech, I wasn’t making much money so I learned affiliate marketing as a way to generate some side income.
Over the years, affiliate marketing and SEO has turned into a big passion of mine. I’ve built and sold many sites and business to some pretty influential people in the industry. I’m now an IT Manager, but the passion is still there and I continue to build affiliate sites.
These skillsets have led me down the path of software development and into my current business.
How successful is your business today?
The business is fairly new and has earned around $1,200 in the last 3 months since launch.
AAWP is the largest WordPress plugin for product boxes/lists/grids/tables with hundreds of thousands of users, so I know once I get the word out there it will continue to grow.
To grow the userbase, I need to make people aware that the product exists so I’ve been focusing getting links inside posts on blogs that already rank on the first page of Google for “AAWP review” or ranking for “best google chrome extension for Amazon Affiliates”, as well as landing guest posts on other relevant sites like AMZ Watcher, Technicall Wall, and KasaReviews.
Tell us a failure story or a funny story that perhaps not many people know about.
At the beginning of my journey, I purchased a domain called Off-grid-survival.com without doing proper research. I wasn’t aware that OffGridSurvival.com was a big site and had been around for years.
Over time, my posts started to outrank his and the owner contacted me saying I need to take my site down or he would get his lawyers involved. To avoid that, I inadvertently agreed to transfer the domain name to him and would move the content to a new domain (in exchange for dofollow links to my new site plus future guest posts.)
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As soon as the transfer was complete, he never spoke to me again. I lost my domain, rankings, and promised backlinks.
Spencer comment – Great story!
What are 1 or 2 strategies that have made your business successful?
No need to reinvent the wheel for your business. If you can capitalize on existing business that are already popular and add value to those – you can still be successful (Took this from Matt Giovanisci on his Asana for Bloggers course). So, I targeted an already huge audience of AAWP users and created something to simplify an otherwise manual process.
I started out by searching Google for every blog that has reviewed AAWP or AmaLinks Pro (searching Google for AAWP Review or AmaLinks Pro review). Then, I compiled their contact info into a spreadsheet. I sent out personalized emails to each, with a free license key to test it out. If they mentioned downsides/issues they had – I made sure to address them in the email and explained how AMZ Table Assistant could alleviate or resolve their issues.
If they responded or were interested, I offered to write a short intro paragraph that they insert into their already existing articles and/or create a Gumroad affiliate account.
Where do you hope to take your business in the future?
My plan is to continue writing guest posts on relevant sites where I know AAWP or AmaLinks Pro users already visit, as well as ranking for longtail keywords surrounding product box plugins. I also plan on experimenting with Facebook ads and targeting audiences with those types of users.
I also plan on reaching out to the founder of AAWP after I have some more social proof.
What advice do you have for someone that has never started an online business and is considering getting started?
My advice for someone who has never started a business is to evaluate the market and just start. Every project you start is a new learning experience. Your first venture may not successful, but with each project you you learn a little bit more than the last and can apply it to your next project.
If you’re creating a software product and can solve a problem you have, there’s a good chance someone else has the exact same issue. If you can find blog posts/reddit threads/Facebook posts where others have the same problem – that’s even better because it shows there’s a market for your product.
If it’s an affiliate website, just start writing. Learn from those in the industry who are successful. Listen to podcasts, join communities and become involved. Eventually you will realize which types of articles rank well, and you can either double down on that topic or create other posts in a similar style.