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March 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:
Opossum, a random question for you here after digging through the archives and putting some ideas together (along with a cross-reference to BtB's latest monthly update that included the blurb about buying/fixing websites)...
Other than Flippa, what are some marketplaces out in the wild for sites and ecomm/SaaS businesses? Currently have more cash than time and am willing to try to improve a site with potential vs. a greenfield project. That may be a fool's errand, but it's something that at least sounds interesting to me. Any resources on such an effort would be hugely appreciated. Thanks in advance and keep up the great content!
It's a fools errand if you've never built a website but here you go.
Empire Flippers, Micro Acquire, Exchange Marketplace, Biz buy sell or whatever it's called, Bizquest, FE International, and 100 others.
There's a lot of brokers out there and a lot of duplication on a lot of the websites. I've even seen some on Craigslist but that was far and few between.
Let’s be clear about something. Until you’ve built/marketed a site or two, you have no business buying a site. It’s a recipe for failure.
You may succeed but you’re more likely to fail. It may be a shortcut to success but if you have had zero success building a site, what makes you think you can turn around someone else’s work and make it better?
Hi Opossum, thanks for all the value you bring.
We have a small e-commerce supplement brand that we've been working on nights and weekends on top of the normal career. We have a small email list from word of mouth and reaching out to close contacts but it's time to drive more traffic.
What would be your top recommendation to start getting more emails and driving traffic? We're continually rejected by FB ads due to being a health supplement and trying to work on the highest leverage point for now.
If your question is how to get more *emails*, then you have to get more traffic somehow. Email collection for B2C is a secondary consequence of having traffic and sales. It's not like it's a good idea to scrape random emails and do a max blast.
Now if your question is to how to grow your traffic... That's a much easier question.
1. Figure out what you're doing wrong on FB to get rejected.
2. Utilize TikTok/Instagram funnels and do giveaways for your product. Hell any organic channel that you can get eyeballs, giveaways are a great way to get more eyeballs/traffic/emails.
3. Look at free product listings on Google and Google PLA ads. This won’t likely drive a ton but it’s a simple one time set and forget.
4. Cold outreach to micro influencers to partner with.
5. Become an affiliate merchant, have an enormously juicy offer for your affiliates, reach out to recruit affiliates. Now when I say juicy, I mean juicy. Your goal shouldn’t be to make any profit on these sales initially. Your goal should be to get traffic, links, and new customers. Once your customer has purchased, you have their email and you no longer have to pay commission on their later purchases.
6. Incentivize your customers to get 50% off if their friends purchase. IE a referral program.
I'd personally start with 2, 4, and 5.
Hi there. Thanks for all your content, very insightful!
I’m just getting into the website and affiliate game. I think the content stuff would my strengths but I don’t know anything about the technical aspect of Wordpress or code.
How important is this to succeed? Do you think you could learn as you go or should I invest time in learning?
Learn as you go. You don't need to learn how to code. Now a days, everything is self hosted and you can heavily rely on customer support of your host for a lot of support.
On the front end, WP makes it easy. Learning to read JS and HTML is helpful and can be learned as you go.
When I started out, I did a JS and CSS class here and there. It was helpful but not needed at all. Worst case scenario, learn as you go and you can find a dev in the Philippines to help you out on the cheap.
What are your thoughts on these e-commerce “gurus” I’ve seen popping up all over the place. Worth it for a newbie? I’ve seen a lot of ads for this Beyond Six Figures company
My account is the antithesis of these gurus. Most of these gurus are good at personal branding and social marketing but have no real world experience in actual ecommerce.
Taking a 2 minute look at Beyond Six Figures shows me that he started "mentoring" people in ecommerce at 18 as a freshman in college. What do you think that says about him as a person and his knowledge of ecommerce?
Hello Opossum, thanks again for this and paid content.
I’ve been building out my site on the side but my day job requires 50-60 hours per week so I’ve been slightly slow to put out posts.
Right now I have about 3 guides and each took me a few months.
Based on this, I figure that it’ll take me an extremely long time to get traction so I was wondering, is it better to outsource content at this stage?
Any other advice you’d have?
I haven’t done any affiliate stuff just yet because I saw someone where you said to focus on content first to get visitors and then do product reviews.
"each took me a few months" - I think there might be a problem with your productivity or time management. One guide should take you a day at most. 50-60 hours is at best 5 full days of work. That still leaves you Saturday and Sunday to pump out 1-3 guides a week.
I'd figure out where all of your time is going and optimize. Only once you learn how to rank articles and write for SEO should you outsource. You have to develop an efficient process for pumping out content before you train someone else to do it.
If you don't develop an efficient process, your writers are going to be just as inefficient and it's going to cost you $500 a post as you’ll have to go back and forth on what you actually want.
I'd also look at your WFH schedule. If you're not working from home, you're wasting at least 10 hours a week in travel / getting ready for work.
Do you want to pay me to run Google Ads for you?
No. Hell no. Why in the hell would I pay you to do something that I myself know 100x more about than you?
Maybe that’s not exactly how the conversation went down, but that was the gist of it.
Good on this person that reached out and is actually trying to get their service business off the ground. Props to him for trying. But…
If you’re starting a service business, you have to qualify your leads first. I as someone with a lot of experience in ecommerce am not going to outsource my ad budget to someone with less than a year of experience.
I don’t care if you’re 18 or 30. You don’t have the experience for me to pay you to make my life easier. I’d be paying you to make my life harder tbh.
If on the other hand, I was 40 and owned a landscaping company, I’d be your target.
Polls & Reader Asks
I’ve been asked to do a lot of things in this past almost year. Here’s a few:
1:1 mentorship - essentially an advisor/board member type relationship for your digital business
Run ads for people
Build their website
Record me auditing a website…
Course on building a service business
Start a private paid discord
There seems to be a need that I’m not filling. While I won’t build a website or run ads for you since;
You should learn how to do that yourself
It’s too low value for my time (I would charge more than it’s worth to you)
I am trying to find a way to fill that void though. The below Twitter poll will be open for the next day if you’d like to vote.
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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.