tl;dr: Goal: sell my Niche Laboratory Pro software product online. Timeframes: short term - sell 1 copy in the first 2 weeks of release. Medium term - make $1000 a month. Long term - make enough passive income to retire.
I've added this personal journeys section to the forum. It reminds me of how The Keyword Academy inspired me and others to journal our online money making journeys (more on The Keyword Academy later).
In this thread I'll document my attempts to get another software business going. I propose to sell the software through ClickBank (though this might change).
Everyone here seems to be blogging. Why? Software is still a great business to be in. Apps are great of course but I'm a desktop developer and it's here that I want to try and strike gold (again).
This year marks the 20th anniversary of my making money online journey. Can you believe it?
Here are my high (and lows):
1998 - write some software articles for a website after seeing a "Write for Us" link. Actually get sent a USD check, and it's for quite a good amount.
2002 - lost my software developer job in the dot com crash 1.0. So I spent my time out of work making a couple of shareware software tools for Windows PCs. The breakthrough was finding out that if I made software, I could hook it up to a site that took credit card orders.
2008 - peak of software business. My record weekly sales of $825 happened this year. Then the big financial crash happened as well as a shift in software development that made my tools more of less obsolete. Lessons learned: (1) sell a business after 7 years, (2) do not expect overnight success in any business.
2010 - started small ClickBank ebook business. Made a few sales but was never comfortable with doing stuff in the health niche.
2010 - Wrote some rubbish on a forum (not this one!) and one day I woke up and smelt the coffee - my threads were getting thousands of page views. Expanded this into my own websites about the niche. Joined The Keyword Academy which inspired me to write 6000+ words a day for a year or two. Man, I really wanted those achievement badges! This propelled my affiliate earnings to well over $1000 a month.
2011 - Attacked by Penguins and Pandas. But unlike most other former members of The Keyword Academy I didn't lose everything(!).
2012 - Built a membership site in my niche. I made a bit of money. But my friend who started a similar membership site is now making over $5000 a month. His secret? Reach out to the influencers in the niche.
2013 - 2017 Tried to enter some new niches. Bombed with property, but got quite a bit of traffic in the SEO and make money online niche. It's hard to monetise though. Also tried an e-commerce store. Clothing is still a good niche but I have way too many eggs in way too many baskets!
2018 Quit my job and started teaching English overseas. This could also be a pretty good niche to blog about but at the end of the day I am a professional software developer so maybe I should be building apps for dollars not blogging for nickels!!!
If you learn anything from my story then this is it:
Invest your online profits.
I now make more money each month from my investments in stocks and property than I do online.
In 2014 I had an idea for a software tool called The Niche Laboratory. It started off being a download. I sold 1 copy (yay!).
Then it became a free software as a service website, much like you can see here.
Now I'm going to make it a download again.
The good news is that by making it a website for a while I've got traffic and regular users, which will make it much easier to hit the ground running with my software. I also have a brand, as well as a mascot (which somebody drew for me on Fiverr).
I would say the biggest risk I face is Microsoft. Boy they've really screwed up Windows as a developer platform. I've got a 4K laptop and it's wonderful but so many apps don't work properly on it.
So I hope my software will actually install and work on other peoples' PCs!
Well that's the plan, what am I going to do?
First I need to build the software. Actually it is now done. The difference between poor software developers and rich ones is that rich ones actually release their code.
I want to see if ClickBank will accept it. If they do then it's going to be pretty easy to get a tonne of affiliates. I did have affiliates for my old software. But it was so specialised that the only affiliates I attracted were the generic download sites.
Late last year I also started a mailing list and I have 100 or so subscribers. I've not made any money from them yet but I am starting to get some good engagement in terms of them emailing me with problems and ideas.
After that it's just waiting for sales and trying to sign up some big name websites to become affiliates.
I guess I could make a WSO as well and sell that on the Warrior Forum.
How does this thread help you if you're not a software developer?
(ii) If you have an idea then you can easily hire a coder.
I'll be using ClickBank so hopefully anything I learn about it can be used for other digital products. I still actually sell a few ebooks I promote (but didn't write myself). In fact one of the best products I promote as an affiliate has been removed from the MarketPlace. I should really make an alternative!
One thing I want this thread to focus on is how to lure in affiliates, preferably big household name ones.
So many ideas, so little time. Stay tuned for the next update...
More threads for you to read and post comments on.
Building a product-based website? The Product Laboratory will help find you brainstorm product ideas.