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Journey to building a business that will let me retire by 30!

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by armur, May 14, 2019.

  1. armur

    armur Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    For the record, I'm currently 26 :D And by retirement, I mean earning a passive income of at least $500+ a day, which would give me complete financial independence.

    This is kind of a continuation from my previous journey where I regularized my short term income through disciplined freelancing. You can check it out here.

    In the previous journey, my sole focus was to get off the ground and start earning something. Hence, I used what I call the GreenStreak technique to build a solid Freelancing business, earning something approx. $20 - $30 per day. It was all me back then, slogging it out for a solid 5-6 hours each day.

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    However, I've since broken my mental barrier that I have to do it all by myself and scaled the freelancing business by hiring other freelancers to work for me. Although it has significantly reduced my margins, it has also put the business pretty much on an auto-pilot mode. With around 20 freelancers and a dedicated assistant to manage them all, I've managed to grow it to a nice $35-$50 a day business. Well, it could easily be $100+ a day, but I pay my freelancers well and keep them happy. Also, the overhead expense of paying my assistant's salary keeps me completely free to focus on my other projects which is what this journey will be about.

    I did mention about the long term goal of starting an e-commerce business with a local twist to it in my previous journey. However, I neither had the cash nor the expertise to start something like that back then. Thanks to the dedicated work that I put in, I had plenty of cash to spare which finally allowed me to team up with my friend and formally start the e-commerce business around 7 months back.

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    Ok, to be honest, it's pretty much a dropshipping business right now - we simply sell products that are available with a seller we know and pocket the margin. We've also listed the products on Amazon and so we get orders from there as well, in addition to orders from our website.

    I do have decent experience ranking an Amazon affiliate website for super easy keywords. Worked on it about a year back and then put it on hold. I wouldn't call that website a huge success but for the minimal effort I put into it, it still brings in a decent amount every month after covering its hosting cost. However, e-commerce SEO seems to be a different beast altogether. There's competition everywhere, even in keywords with volumes of 10-50 per month. Add to it the fact that some of the competitors seem to have deep pockets and the possibility of trying to rank for certain useful keywords goes out the window. However, there are plenty of long tails that can be targetted by a new website like ours and that is what we've set out to do.

    During the initial 2-3 months, we steadily increased the different products that we offer on our website. Since we do dropshipping, it is all about creating attractive product photos and writing SEO-friendly descriptions. Once we had enough products to offer visiting customers a good mix of choices, we started focussing on marketing - basically off-page SEO. My assistant runs guest post outreach campaigns and we've been fairly successful in securing good links from medium-high authority websites. The ranking needle has started to move slightly and we now see somewhere between 15-20 organic visitors to the site daily. Definitely, a long way to go.

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    Since we get visitors who are interested in the niches we target, we also review more expensive products available in Amazon in the same niche. So you can say our website is an e-commerce + amazon affiliate hybrid. We have a long term focus to build authority and dominate our niches, both in the e-commerce space and the affiliate review space.

    I've also brought my thriving freelancing business under the umbrella of this website, so we currently classify the business as having 3 verticals:

    1) E-Commerce vertical: Includes sales from website + Amazon. Long term focus is to increase sales. Currently only focussing on organic growth.

    2) Affiliate vertical: Includes affiliate commission from Amazon. Long term focus is to increase organic traffic and conversions.

    3) Freelancing vertical: Short term focus is to make enough and more to cover all costs and allow us to take a decent amount home. Long term focus is to gradually grow the number of freelancers as well as orders without any significant time investment from myself or my business partner.

    As you can see, we have our daily expenses and cash flow sorted out thanks to the freelancing vertical so it's going to be all about budgeting and investing in the right things to take this business to the next level and make it start raining cash!

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    I plan to update this thread every week to keep myself accountable and also ensure that I track the relevant metrics without fail.

    So here it starts folks - my plan to retire in under 4 years :)
     
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  2. Aaric

    Aaric Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  3. anup999

    anup999 Power Member

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    I'm also 26 graduated last year and want to settle.
    But never made any plan yet.
    BTW good luck to your journey..
     
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  4. armur

    armur Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks, you guys!

    My apologies for not being able to update this journey thread these last few months. I had my work cut out with managing all aspects of the business while also doing a lot of freelancing work myself. So we took a week off of freelancing to step back and take a bird's eye view of all aspects of the business. It was pretty clear that we needed at least a few more super-talented freelancers who could effectively replace me and hence free up my time.

    Hence, my business partner and I set another week aside to screen and recruit a few more freelancers - basically, we took action rather than wait for things to happen. I'm super happy to say that I was impressed by the talent we managed to find :) We've also established a good process for working remotely using Trello. This is one tool that I can't recommend enough. It has completely changed the way our team handles work. We are also able to meet deadlines effectively. Being able to see the quantum of pending work visually definitely helps.

    So I have to say that the short term cash-flow oriented Freelancing vertical is doing pretty solidly at the moment. Meanwhile, the other two verticals have also picked up steam. We've hit an average organic traffic of 50+ visitors a day. About 60-70% of this is from the Affiliate buying-intent keywords which have started ranking in the top 20 results for my target keywords. The rest of the traffic lands directly on our e-commerce product pages and convert at about 1-2%.

    Overall, I'm pretty happy about the fact that the business is completely self-sufficient at the moment and also manages to generate a decent amount of cash for us to take home every month. However, I do feel that we definitely need to up our SEO game soon. Only then will the business become truly passive and help put me on track to retire in the next 4 years :D

    I'll be back with an update next week folks.

    Cheers :)
    Armur
     
  5. Bluesb4midnight

    Bluesb4midnight Registered Member

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    Can't help but notice after giving this a read through, but have you considered using ads?
     
  6. armur

    armur Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I've considered getting started with ads several times but the thought of throwing really hard-earned money at ads with speculative returns really scares the hell out of me. I come from humble beginnings and it's a psychological thing that I definitely have to overcome. Maybe this is the nudge I've been waiting for :D

    Which platform would you recommend for a paid ad newbie like me @Bluesb4midnight? Just to try and test the waters. My store is in the general niche with a lot of competition. Maybe that's why our SEO results are so slow and hard to come by. So ads might be the key.
     
  7. Bluesb4midnight

    Bluesb4midnight Registered Member

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    You should weigh out your options. Social media offers many vehicles to travel in. What are the stats on successful sales, age, time when bought, anything a customer really liked about the item/customer service, (example) I really loved little Johnny's Dragon ball z kids plate. This thing is indestructible! <--boom selling point. Then after looking 360 at why it sells choose a platform that targets it.

    Facebook they have tons of mom groups with lots of little Johnny's running round, I know I got one.

    Or what's hot on insta? Mhhh trending?

    You see where this is going...
     
  8. larshall

    larshall Newbie

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    thanks for great share. Keep update
     
  9. khalesij

    khalesij Registered Member

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    following
     
  10. armur

    armur Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    You know that's happened to us quite a few times! There would be these customers who would come back and say they liked a particular feature of our product. That would be something we'd never even thought of, of being marketing-worthy.

    Thanks for the tips @Bluesb4midnight. I'll spend the next week reading up about the various aspects of advertising on social media. Will it be okay if I PM you in case I have questions?

    Thanks for the motivation mate :)
     
  11. babu_monu

    babu_monu Newbie

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    Great share OP. following
     
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  12. Bluesb4midnight

    Bluesb4midnight Registered Member

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    You can pm me. I'm not a expert in any area, just dabbled around here and there. Meet some really great people on here that have helped me, so always happy to pass it on.
     
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  13. Purush

    Purush Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I always have a thought of retiring early. May be atleast form next 5 years. seems to be you have a great team to back you up. so you could be easily on track. following and motivating myself.
     
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