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Business update

Business Update: Authority Site, Niche E-commerce, and More

Business update

Today will be a simple update post about my current business. I don’t have any mind-blowing stats to review or any good strategies to share. This is a transparent sharing and I just want to be honest to myself.

This blog was originally created to keep track of my business journey in 2010. However, the journey was not really that smooth from the start. However, it is finally starting to pick up a lot this year.

It was really not easy to create passive income online, as you can’t achieve it overnight and you have to keep testing. However, I feel that creating an online business to create your own online passive income had a higher chance of success rate than a traditional business.

If you had read about my story on my “about me page“, I come from an offline business model background. It is much tougher and there are a lot of things you can’t control. In any case, offline business models required much more capital, while online business models require much less.

For example, I used to open office for my MLM business last time in a prime area, with a rental cost of $3000 per month. My partners and I had to rotate to open the door of the office everyday morning just to open for business and this only encompassed the immediate, surrounding local market.

In online business, I just need to pay domain and web hosting rental and it is open 24/7 hour for business for the global market. See the difference as to why I say online business has a much higher success rate.

OK, OK, enough of the talk. Let me get down to business.

I just want to give you a quick rundown of all the current projects that I’m working on and give a quick update.  I would also love some feedback from you, so look out for my questions.  In particular, I’d like to know which project you are interested in hearing MORE about.

Business Update

Digital Marketing Agency – E-Alchemists.com

I started this digital marketing agency in Singapore in 2011. Originally, it was a one man show business providing only SEO services. It started very slow and I had a hard time growing the business solo.

I started giving free SEO Workshops to joint venture partners and then it started to gain momentum. As I was operating alone for this business, my first year revenue was only a 4 figure sum. A lot of my time was spent establishing myself as a SEO consultant and I went to a lot of networking sessions to build up the relationship with other business owners, as well as joining a lot of Facebook groups to give advice on digital marketing. This actually helped a lot at a later stage of the business.

I know from the start that I couldn’t grow the business myself so I went to look for a co-founder in 2012, whereby Tong joined in. Then business start to gain more momentum. We used a low ticket item like a website creation workshop priced at $38 and sold through Groupon. It was a success and 308 tickets were sold. We gained a lot of leads and also generated sales. That year we managed to increase revenues to a 5 figure sum.

The next 2 years were really difficult because once you gain the momentum, the challenge was to maintain the business. We increased the price of our SEO and web development products. We had lesser clients but we still maintained the same 5 figure revenues. During this time, I started to pump some of our profit into other joint venture businesses like ieatandeat.com and a niche E-commerce site.

The business was originally created to use the profit and invest in our own web properties. The idea was to grow our own web properties so that it would give us a passive income. We preferred to take less profit and instead chose to invest in our web properties for the future.

So the next stage for this business was to transform from a digital marketing agency to a Media company. Being a Media company means we had a lot of authority sites under us making it easy to sell advertising because we control everything. Clients will need us because we had the traffic.

However, this will not be an easy journey because growing websites takes a lot of time and patience.

Authority Site – Ieatandeat.com

ieatandeatlogo

This authority site started in 2013 and you can read about all the progress here. It actually started as an experiment but later it evolved into something bigger than we anticipated. This site was one of the investments I made using some of the E-Alchemists profit. The idea was to turn this website and start to earn passive income from ads and other sources.

The monthly earning from Adsense was reinvested to buy traffic from Facebook and web hosting resources. Starting from this year, the site started to gain more food tasting reviews and we had started to work with a local government agency. We also received a request from Yahoo to work with them and this is still pending for discussion with them.

Now here are the website stats, if you are interested.

  • 1,200 visitors / day
    2233 page views / day
    37,000 visitors / month
    67,000 page views / month
    544 blog post published
    4700 Facebook fans
    4262 Instagram followers
    2200 email subscribers
    Singapore Alexa Ranking 15,092
    Average 6 food tastings per month
    Total Adsense for 24 months – $3311

It had been shortlisted for 2 blog award in the Singapore Blog Awards of 2014 and 2015

Singapore blog award

Singapore blog award 2015

It also started to be featured in a local authority site which is great for us. We have a very active community on Instagram and Facebook.  We are now in stage 3 of the project which is focussed on better monetization of the website. It is currently still progressing and I will post more updates at a later date.

Niche E-Ecommerce

If you read my previous post about this project here, this site is one of the joint venture sites that I am currently working on. The original idea was to sell the product and earn a 15% online net profit from it.

For the whole of 17 months into this niche e-commerce project, we only managed to earn $4549.19. However, for certain months, we actually did nothing much but it still gave us a monthly passive income of a few hundred dollars, which is not bad. This was also one of the web properties I invested my time on.

It is tough to manage an e-ecommerce business, however I feel that this site still has the potential to become something bigger. The next progression step for sales is to create a better sales funnel so we can maximize each sale.

Dropped Projects

I dropped several projects which didn’t really working out well.

Mastermind Group – I tried running a mastermind group, however it was very time-consuming and not all the members were willing to take part in this exercise, making it time-consuming for me and hence I stopped organizing it. It was also not generating income and I felt that I could make better use of my time for other business.

Software as a service – Initially I wanted to create a Cloud application for one industry. However, the development of the Cloud software was taking too much time and money. Also, I could not find a technical co-founder for software design. I tried to outsource the application development through ODesk but due to language issues, each change was costing a lot of money. I dropped it because I feel that I was not ready for SaaS business. It is much tougher than you think!

Wrapping Up

Overall, I just wanted to give a brief update on the various online businesses that I am currently working on.

I would love to hear your feedback on which projects you would like to hear more about. If you have any additional comments or questions, let me know!