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Mar Q/A Roundup
Hey it’s Opossum here! Welcome to my free monthly Q/A Roundup. Today’s post is on some of the best questions in the last month. Each week I write about a new topic or analyze a new digital business. If you’re not a subscriber, here’s what you missed this month:
First, thank you. I love seeing this project grow and help people.
Secondly, I feel like many of you are missing some context about this Substack and Twitter account. It is not designed like a normal newsletter. I’m not going to send out emails just to send out emails. It was designed to be read from the beginning similar to a course.
Every new subscriber should read that post to catch up on why this Substack exists. Don’t skip it. If you’ve been a subscriber, go read it before you do anything else.
WiFi Money is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Is the supplement affiliate market more difficult than other markets because of high authority sites that have written articles and are going to be very difficult to outrank in the SERPs?
It's not near impossible, just harder because YMYL. If you plan to start a supplement brand after doing affiliate, you should definitely do supplement affiliate so that you can pass traffic later or combine the two.
For those unaware, YMYL stands for Your Money or Your Life. It’s a class of niches that affect, well, your money or your life. Google will hold these niches to a higher standards of EEAT. For further reading on this, read this and google “EEAT” and “YMYL”.
What are the bare minimum requirements financially to get started?
But seriously there's no blanket answer here. Are you selling cars or $0.50 erasers? Do you want to grow slow or fast? Organic or paid ads? Do you have a built in audience?
If you’re starting from 0, here’s the factors that are going to increase the cost.
Paid ads or not already having an audience
More paid ads because it’s not a money button if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Cost of goods
Inventory turn time along with replenishment time. Let’s say you actually do well and sell through your first batch of inventory but you’re using those sales to fund your next inventory buy. Well you have to wait until you sell a certain amount to place the next order. This can leave you with an out of stock store for months and a disappearing audience. In a future post, I’ll go over inventory forecasting and you’ll see how this can limit your growth.
Outsourcing costs. You should do as much yourself as you can but there’s certain aspects that don’t make sense to learn. IE design, video editing, etc.
Plans to partner with big box retail and wholesalers. Their orders are large and tie up a lot of cash/inventory.
Factors that will decrease your startup costs.
Having an audience already
Knowing how to grow and curate an audience via social media
Being good at SEO and being able to rank a site quickly
Low product run manufacturers
Low COGS as a percentage of sale price
Faster manufacturing and transit times
If you had the opportunity to change one thing that you did in your early 20s or in college, what would it be?
There’s a very long list but it boils down to wasting time. You get the advice that your 20’s are for partying, getting laid, and reaching that top layer of self actualization in Maslow's hierarchy.
Modern advice is backwards. You can do that in your late 20’s, 30’s & 40’s. At no point in you life will you have as much energy/vigor as you do in your 20’s to build the rest of your life.
PLUS compounding interest is in your favor when you’re young.
Let’s look at 2 different versions of yourself. What you could become and what you will become. Assume that you never get a big hit and grow a big company. Each version of yourself parties and figures out self actualization for the same number of years.
The first version does it later in life. A decade later. After they’ve created a small business that they sold for $100k, they went on to create another income stream that they were able to save $50k per year except for the years that they were partying/self actualization. The compounding (10%) of the initial $100k is still happening along with the following 5 years of of $50k savings.
The second person does all of the partying/self actualization up front and misses out on a decade of compounding. Same number of good years and exact same savings rate.
These two versions of yourself have a 2X difference saved by the time they hit 50. (Even better if you’re reading these words and you’re in college)
This is literally possible for the vast majority of people. Most people think they have to create some big company. Some will and become really wealthy. But the above is attainable to the average American.
Which do you think would be the better path to take?
“But muh GF/BF that I love!”
If this is you, think for a second. If your partner has a problem with you working so many hours when you’re young, how do you think they’re going to feel when you have a couple of kids and other responsibilities?
Either the relationship isn’t going to last or they’re going to restrict you from doing it later in life. That excuse is a lose-lose if you want to start a business.
So what would I be doing if I was sub 30?
I would solely focus on becoming the best in 2 things.
Growing a social media following (specifically video). I'd have 5 phones with 25 different instagram, TikTok, and YT Shorts accounts.
I'd stay up to date on every AI tool imaginable and learn how to use them together to create things that no one tool could do
Why is everyone saying Substack is not WiFi money?
It is but it’s likely not what you should be doing for a few reasons.
You’re probably not a great writer
You probably don’t have niche expertise that people want
You probably don’t have an audience that you can pull over that’s ready to buy from you
You probably have no clue how to market your Substack
Almost anyone can start ecom, affiliate, or a service business and there’s less competition. Substack on the other hand is going to be much harder for you to scale if you don’t have 3 out of 4 above.
The top Substack writers are pulling in a few million a year. Do you know what the top ecom, affiliate, or service businesses are pulling in?
Hundreds of millions or billions a year. The markets are bigger and it’s less competitive.
Substack isn’t my main squeeze and it likely shouldn’t be yours either.
Do you want me to:
Write 2 free emails for you?
Write 10 tweets for you?
Automate a process for you?
Increase your conversion on your website?
Increase your email revenue?
On and on and on…
If you haven’t been following the online money sphere in the last few years, the new con is starting a business around a skillset that you don’t have.
“Just start a copywriting business and you’ll be rich” - Even though you don’t know anything about writing copy or converting words into emotion into action.
“Just start a CRO business (conversion rate optimization) and you’ll be rich” - Even though you don’t know anything about ecommerce, UX, or digital marketing.
“Just start a email marketing business and you’ll be rich” - Even though you know nothing about email or converting customers.
There’s some crossover with my audience and these scammers so I needed to include this question.
I’ve received countless cold DMs like this. As I type this, another one just hit my DMs…
No sane person worth their salt is going to give some random (less than) amateur access to their website, audience, or revenue stream. If they do say yes, their audience is crap, they don’t know what they’re doing, or they’re an idiot. Your whole success here is predicated on scamming someone else.
“How is it a scam if the vast majority of their students have become successful”
They haven’t. It’s a lie. You teach enough people and a few of them are bound to be successful. Law of large numbers. You then use those few people as social proof that it works and say most people are that successful too!
“You’re just a slacker and aren’t willing to stick around and pay me long enough for it to work!”
I get the irony of running a Substack with the above statement. If you can’t tell the difference between the two and would like to group me in with the ladder, here’s how you unsubscribe on IOS and Android.
For those of you that didn’t click on those links…
Build a real business. Affiliate or e-commerce preferably but anything will do. Going the consulting/service route is only a good idea under four circumstances.
You actually have experience in the domain
You want to scam gullible people
You’re willing to work for free for a biz to build the experience
You can learn the skill easily. This is mostly applicable to some of the low end trades as there’s so little competition with them. (Power washing, landscaping, mobile notary, etc.)
Lastly, feel free to ask any questions in the comments below & Happy Easter!
If you’re subscribed to this newsletter, you need to keep in mind why we’re here.
Your boss and company, no matter how nice, doesn’t care about your future. Nobody outside of a few family members and select friends care about your growth and your future.
You are the only one that can save yourself and make your life what you want it.
Single player. Just you.
This Substack is here to help you build a business and build the life that you want. I’ve laid out the basics to understand, analyze, & grow most any online business.
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Disclaimer: Nothing written here should be construed as legal for financial advice of any kind. These are opinions and observations, written by an anonymous cartoon Opossum, built up over years working in e-commerce & affiliate marketing.