This is a follow up story for Money Tamer. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published almost 3 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
The main products that I sell are digital PDFs and spreadsheets that cover budgeting, debt payoff, and savings trackers. These are typically seasonal items since most people want to start their money journey at the New Year.
I wear many hats including stay at home mom, housewife, and entrepreneur. I am only able to work on my business goals part-time, equating to around 16 hrs per week.
Today I’m making close to $10,000 per month in gross profit. This is an increase from prior years and it’s allowed me to hire out more of the day-to-day tasks so I can spend additional time with my family and raising my child.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?
My traffic has over doubled since 2020 at 109k users vs 42k users.
The business has mainly been growing through additional SEO researched articles. That was the main focus throughout 2022 and I earn from display ad revenue via Mediavine.
Currently, I’m focusing on creating lots of digital products surrounding the articles that are ranking well since this is what my readers are looking for. After I create one or two test products, I’ll give them time to see how they sell.
With the products that sell well, I create a lot more similar items around that theme. This allows me to create product bundles that lump 4-5 products together with a slight discount.
People are always looking for a deal so instead of selling a $1.99 PDF product, bundles increase the sale price to $7 or higher. My focus for this year will be to continue to expand product bundles and raise the sale per customer amount higher.
I’ve also expanded my digital products to Etsy. I have the same products on my Shopify and Etsy stores but Etsy helps me reach new customers that I wouldn’t have reached otherwise.
The downside is that Etsy has high fees and it’s more difficult to get customers onto your business email list. The positive is that Etsy SEO is fairly easy to learn and it takes less time for your products to rank.
Etsy has a built-in audience of people who go to their site to purchase unique products. After 3 months, I was able to make Star Seller which also increased sales conversions.
I took a screenshot of the same month as from the original Starter Story. My traffic has over doubled since 2020 at 109k users vs 42k users.
What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?
My biggest challenges this past year have been juggling everything and staying focused. The tech world moves quickly and it seems like every day my inbox is filled with emails about the next greatest thing bloggers must pay attention to or they’ll be left behind.
So I’ve instead unsubscribed from a lot of people and have been focusing on what I like doing best. There’s no reason for me to constantly get FOMO about something that may or may not affect my business in 3 months.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
I no longer bother with Pinterest since it doesn’t seem to be a major traffic driver in my niche. I still have my business Pinterest account but I don’t post new pins to it at this time.
It took me a long time to give Pinterest up because a lot of the bloggers I follow and look up to continuously say how great of a traffic source Pinterest is. But I’ve found over the years that for every 100 pins I put out, only 1 may gain traction and that traction won’t start until 6-8 months later. The ROI isn’t there with the amount of time it took to constantly create pins.
But now I have a lot more time to create products which has a much higher ROI. Time is valuable so use it wisely and focus on what you know is working for your business rather than what others say should work.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
Cut out all the noise, put your head down, and focus on your own business
This upcoming year I’m going to focus on going back and revamping older articles. My skill level for writing, SEO, creating graphics, etc. has drastically improved over the years.
I’ve been so focused on creating new content, I’ve not had the chance to go back and improve the content I already have.
In 5 years, I hope to be able to hire a blog manager so I can focus more on the big picture items and work on growing my business through social media while they manage my virtual assistant and independent contractors. But that’s still a ways off and is kind of a pie-in-the-sky goal of mine.
What’s the best thing you read in the last year?
I enjoyed reading the book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience byMihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It covers how to turn seeking happiness from and extrinsic to intrinsic motivation. It also explores how to have complete immersion into an activity to achieve a higher level of happiness and fulfillment.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
My top tips are to take things at your own pace and not compare yourself to others. There’s always going to be someone who works faster than you, sees success sooner, or whose business grew at a quicker rate.
Everyone’s life circumstances are different so taking longer to achieve your goals doesn’t mean you’re behind or unsuccessful.
Instead, cut out all the noise, put your head down, and focus on your own business. If you’re constantly getting distracted by everyone else, you’re wasting the time you have to work on your own business.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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