Damn, days are moving fast.
It’s time for an update of my $100K Project.
If you missed any previous episode in this series, you can see all the entries here.
June was the 12 month of the project. The baby is now 1 year!
And at this time, I feel it’s time for me to sit back and reevaluate the project, note down the lessons learned, challenges overcome, and the way forward.
First off, I’m thankful I started to blog about the niche site.
To be honest, blogging kept me in check.
There were many times I felt like giving up…but when I remembered I had to provide an update at the end of the month, I got some motivation (even though subtle) to work on something.
Granted, I’ve not been putting 100% into this project. A lot of stuff happens (life, freelancing work, personal stuff, etc). Despite all these happenings, I was able to make some progress.
When I started the $100K Project, my goal was to take the niche site to $1000 in one year, and then scale it to $10,000 from there.
It’s one year now, and though I did not hit the $1000/m goal, I’ve ended up with an asset that gives me some decent change. I mean, I’m like a landlord renting a studio at $500/m.
Now I just need to get a couple of more ‘studios’ or just increase the rent to $1000.
The past 12 months of working on this project have not been smooth-sailing. I’ve had my fair part of challenges.
Most of the challenges were mental. There were times I felt that I could just not continue working on the site.
Sometimes, I got burned out with the niche. Other times, I thought of starting a new project as I wasn’t seeing results as fast as I wanted.
I’ve been slowly building my mental strength over time. And now, I’m at a point where I no longer see the project as a “niche site” but as a brand.
Initially, I would have stopped working on the site in about 6 months. Now, I’m willing to go for a couple of more years and build something I’ll be proud to plaster my name on.
The easy way out has always been there. I’ve been dabbling with Rank and Rent sites on the side, an offline business, freelancing, and a tad more on my plate.
But like they say, there is no payday for a half-done idea. So, I need to see this project to completion.
What I Did in June
In June, I was busy looking for dropshippers. I finally whipped up the WooCommerce store that I’ve been planning like forever.
I’ve dropshipped products from AliExpress before. Therefore, it was only logical I start looking for suppliers from the site.
However, times have changed and the US-China political showdown is turning out to be bad for business. For example, about a year ago, it was possible to ship items from China to US in under a week. Today, shipping takes 30 to 60 days!
My US customers cannot bear this long shipping time, especially since the items I want to dropship are not unique. They are easily available on Amazon and other US online outlets.
And just to emphasize the point, here’s what I’ve been dealing with due to the long shipping times:
This store is not related to this project. However, I know if I dropship from China, I’ll have to deal with similar issues.
With that said, I was looking for US and EU suppliers that carry high-quality products and have shorter shipping times.
I found a major dropshipper from UK that carries a wide range of products in the niche. With this supplier, shipping is much faster (3-5 days), compared to the over 30 days that’s with Chinese dropshippers.
I had turned to AliExpress because there’s a ton of cheap stuff on the site. However, when I looked at my competition, it’s clear they are not competing on pricing.
I’ll still be able to make good margins with the UK dropshipper (100% profit) without my prices being lower or higher than the competition.
I also approached some world-renowned brands to carry their products. These companies do not dropship but sell at wholesale. The wholesale price is okay. However, I’m still not at a point where I cannot take inventory beforehand.
Other things I was involved in include looking for a private logistics company and heckling with some manufacturers from China (I have plans to do private label).
It’s all vague at the moment but I know what needs to be done.
There’s also the usual stuff that I’ve been doing..pinning, answering questions on Quora, linking from my Q&A site, and participating in forums.
With that said, here’s how the site performed in June.
Seems like there was an update reset. The site saw a 41% increase in visitors.