Editor's Note: The content regarding eHow is no longer relevant. Please visit our Getting Started page, which we keep up to date with advice for getting started with earning money online. (Updated 10/2015)
This is the fourth of a series of reports that I will post each and every month summarizing my progress. I'll first mention the major events that may have happened within the month that could have made a difference in my earnings. I will also break down the sources of my income so that I can keep track of how each one is doing. Lastly, I'll conclude with the most important things that I learned and what I have planned for the near future. I'd love to respond to any questions or comments that you may have. Thanks!
Important Goings-On in January
- Finished and launched an audio version of my ebook.
- Ran a fairly aggressive marketing campaign for my audio guide at no cost. (I'll talk more about this below)
- I started my own company, Flynndustries, LLC to protect my personal assets and create a more professional business identity.
- I met with a CPA for the first time to get the financial matters of making money online straightened out.
- I definitely met my goal of 150 subscribers for The Smart Passive Income Blog by February 1. I was featured on a blog that brought in over 3000 unique visitors in one day, and as you can very well see, I now have over 500 subscribers. It's amazing what “being nice” can do for you.
- I started to develop iPhone applications with a good friend of mine and we have three underway as we speak. They should be on the market within a month or so. I'm really really excited for this project!
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Another record month in pretty much all of the categories. The launch of my audio guide is what definitely boosted the numbers, and I did strike a few more private advertising deals on my website as well. eHow was being weird this month and the earnings aren't really updating as often as they should, but I did just about the same as last month, which is expected because I did not write one single article. I was actually glad to see the numbers at least earn as much as they did the month prior for eHow.
Important Things I Learned in January
- To Increase Sales, Add a New Product. This sounds almost obvious, right? It wasn't to me. After I wrote my ebook and it started selling in October, I was super stoked. I knew I had a winner and I was ready to sit back, relax, and just watch the money roll in. I was a fool. Because I had a product out there that was a winner that people trusted, anything new that I put out was sure to sell. Think about Apple and all of the new iPods that come out every 6 months. It's kind of like that. So when I finally launched my audio guide in January, they sold like hotcakes, especially to those who had already purchased my ebook. I wish I had done it sooner.
- Have Someone Else Make The New Product For You. For the audio guide, I spent two or three days writing scripts and just gave them to a voice talent to read and record it professionally for me. Overall, this cost $1200, and I made up the difference within 2 or 3 days of sales. I was a little scared to spend that much money on something like this. But, if you remember way back when, I held a survey to my ebook customers asking if they would purchase an audio version of the guide if it were available, and 80% of them said they would. This is how I knew it was going to sell, so I had to trust my research. Ahh, the power of polls.
- If You Sell Something To Someone, Make Sure You Can Contact Them Later On. Having something like an email list to contact your old customers is extremely important for many reasons. One, you can ask them for feedback for your item so you can improve it. Two, you can ask for testimonials which you can place on your website to help increase the believability and “reality” of your product to future consumers. Third (and this is what I'm really trying to get at here), is that you can let them know if you launched a new product. You know they are into whatever your new item is, because they already purchased your first one. This is a quick, no cost way to get immediate sales on any new products that you launch. When my audio guide came out, I immediately contacted all of my ebook customers. That being said, I didn't just say: “Hey, buy the audio guide I just made!”. That's a little impersonal. It's better to ask how they are doing, be friendly, etc. and then just mention that you have a little something that might help. I also included a little discount code since they purchased the ebook already, which expired in a certain amount of hours. It worked like a charm.
- Starting a Company and my CPA. I recently wrote posts about how I started my LLC in about 30 minutes, and also what I learned from my first meeting with a CPA. I won't elaborate on these here—you can just click the links if you haven't read those posts already. All I can say is that owning my own company is really fulfilling and I'm really glad I did it, even though I'm still learning all of the odds and ends.
Well, there is one thing happening very soon that will be the biggest moment in my life so far. I'm getting married on February 21, 2009 to my wonderful fiancee, April! That's only 19 days away!!! I'm really excited, and I'd be happy to share photos with you as they come along if you're interested. I guess my main goal is just to survive the last few weeks of wedding planning. I apologize in advance if the blog posts become scarce this month, but I promise I will do my best to keep up the pace I've set so far.
For February, I have a few income related goals that I'd like to pursue:
- Although the iPhone applications are in their developmental stages right now, all my partner and I can do is basically plan out how we're going to market our apps. We plan to at least film one commercial that will air on youtube and will hopefully generate some steam and momentum for the applications before they launch sometime in March. I may be asking you for your help.
- I want to begin to monetize The Smart Passive Income Blog. I don't want to shower the blog with tons of Adsense ads, but I may sprinkle a few affiliate ads here and there. I'm not sure exactly what I'll do yet, but I'll definitely walk you through what I do in case you may be interested in doing the same thing.
- As recommended by my CPA, I plan to purchase Quickbooks Pro and begin to manage my new company in the way that it should. Putting my transactions in Quickbooks will make it much easier for me when I file for taxes each quarter. Also, I will get a business checking account and hopefully some line of credit for my business as well. Again, I'll make sure I report on everything I do.
For subscribers…I think having 600 by the end of February would be pretty awesome. Per a number of requests, I hope to implement an email subscribing feature too.
Thanks again for reading my Monthly Reports. I enjoy writing them with the purpose of teaching you what I learned, so I hope you can take away at least one tidbit of advice from me. All the best to each and every one of you.